RUSSIAN ALPHABET, PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY

Russian Lessons Online:
Vowel Reduction: Unstressed О

In Russian language unstressed vowels are shorter than stressed ones. Besides that, such vowels as А, О, Э and the vowels denoted as and ‘Е’, ‘Я’ change their pronunciation. In this lesson we will examine pronunciation of unstressed ‘о’.

In modern Russian pronunciation of unstressed ‘о’ is not different from pronunciation of unstressed ‘а’. That is, it’s pronounced more or less like the final ‘a’ in the word ‘Algeria’ (ə):
у́хо – óo-hə
ма́ло – má-lə

Before stressed vowels unstressed ‘о’ is similar to the ‘u’ in the word ‘cup’ (ʌ):
окно́ – ʌk-nó
боло́то – bʌ-ló-tə
под голово́й – pəd-gə-lʌ-vóy

But there are some exceptions. Please, watch the video to get more information about this phenomenon and listen to the correct pronunciation of Russian words with unstressed ‘о’.

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