We are starting the next lesson in Russian. In this lesson, we will talk about phonetics. Phonetics is the one of the main branches of linguistics. Speech sounds are studied in phonetics. The sounds we pronounce when we speak are called speech sounds. The lips, tongue and vocal cords are involved in the formation of speech sounds. We pronounce and hear the sounds of speech. In the text, they are indicated by letters. We see and write the letters. To distinguish sounds from letters, they are enclosed in parentheses in transcripts.

As we know, speech sounds are divided into 2 types according to their different characteristics: vowels and consonants. In Russian, vowels are called гласные звуки, and consonant sounds are called согласные звуки. As we said in the past lesson, there are 33 letters in the Russian alphabet. 10 of them are vowels, 21 are consonants, and 2 letters - ъ and ь are not pronounced. Vowels are pronounced freely and unobstructed in the oral cavity. Therefore, they sounds clear. Another feature of vowels is the formation of syllables. But in pronunciation of consonants it forms various obstacles in the oral cavity. Although the Russian language consists of 33 letters, there are 42 sounds, of which 6 are vowels and 36 are consonants. The number of vowels and consonants does not match also, so there are only 6 vowel sounds, while there are 10 vowel letters. The same inconsistency is also observed in consonants - there are 21 consonant letters, but there are 36 consonant sounds. This quantitative difference is explained by a number of features of Russian language. Let's explore these features.

Vowel sounds

At first, let's start from vowel sounds. Vowels consist only of sounds. Consonant sounds, in addition to sound, must also consist of noise, or only noise. So, if there is no noise in the sound, then it is a vowel sound. As we said, in Russian there are 10 vowel letters, but there are only 6 vowel sounds. The reason for this is that in Russian, 6 vowel sounds are marked with 10 vowel letters in writing. This is one of the features of the Russian language, and that is why in the Russian language there are only 6 vowel sounds, while there are 10 vowel letters.

Consonant sounds

Now let's talk about the consonant sounds. Consonant sounds are divided into 2 parts according to the presence of vocal cords - voiceless consonants and voiced consonants. That is, if the vocal cords are present, these are voiced consonants, and if they are not present, then they are voiceless consonants. Voiceless consonants are called глухие согласные in Russian, and voiced consonants are called звонкие согласные. At the same time, consonant sounds are paired according to Voiceless and voiced, and in this regard are divided into two parts: those that form a pair – and called парные in Russian and those that do not form a pair called – непарные.

At the same time, consonant letters are divided into soft and hard consonants according to the form take the tongue in pronunciation in the oral cavity. If the middle part of the tongue rises upwards during pronunciation, then this consonant sound is a soft sound. Hard consonants are called твердые согласные in Russian. Soft consonants are called мягкие согласные. Consonants are paired due hardness and softness also.