Speech sounds play an important role in the life of each person \u0026 ndash; thanks to them, all people can talk and understand each other.
All speech sounds are of two types - consonants and vowels. And although the number of the latter is much larger, in many moments the vowels are decisive. For example, the number of syllables depends on the number of vowels in a word, moreover, it is vowel sounds that have a stress / unstressed property. Considering the question of vowels, it is also worth noting that their number does not correspond to the number of denoting letters. How many vowel sounds are in the Russian language, and why this happens is yet to be understood.

Vowels: how many vowel sounds in Russian and their classification

What sounds are called vowels?

First of all, it is worth remembering what sounds are called vowels. Vowels (from the Latin word vocales) are phonetic sounds formed with the help of a voice, without impurities of noise. While uttering a vowel, a person exhales the air freely and he easily passes through the larynx, then through the mouth and between the ligaments, without encountering any obstacles. Due to their acoustic characteristics, in particular, the fact that the length of a vowel sound can be any, they are also called musical, or tone.

How many vowel sounds in Russian

If there are a dozen letters, only six sounds correspond to them - these sounds [ы], [e], [o], [y], [a], [and].Part of the above vowels is graphically designated with different letters. For example, [a] can give not only “a \u0026 raquo ;, but also the letter“ I \u0026 raquo; in a certain position, and sometimes unstressed, "o \u0026 raquo ;:" Valentina \u0026 raquo ;, "ball \u0026 raquo ;," board \u0026 raquo ;.

The sound [y] can give not only the letter “y”, but sometimes also “y”: “sledge hammer”, “hatch”.

The sound [of] except for the letter “o \u0026 raquo ;, gives“ it \u0026 raquo ;: “cake \u0026 raquo ;,“ dog \u0026 raquo ;.

Vowel sound [s] gives the letter "s \u0026 raquo;, as well as the shock" and \u0026 raquo;, if it is in the position after the letters "w", "c" \u0026 "," "w": "fang", "circus" \u0026. The unstressed letters “e \u0026 raquo ;,“ a \u0026 raquo ;, “o \u0026 raquo; sometimes this sound can also mean: “tested \u0026 raquo ;,“ horses \u0026 raquo ;, “chocolate \u0026 raquo ;.

The vowel [e] can give the letters "e \u0026 raquo; and "f \u0026 raquo ;:" Mary \u0026 raquo ;, "forester \u0026 raquo ;.

But the vowel [and] is graphically denoted by only one “and”, if it is in the shock position: “peaceful”. Without the emphasis, this vowel can be given the letters “a \u0026 raquo; (“Watchmaker \u0026 raquo;),“ i \u0026 raquo; ("Rows \u0026 raquo;)," e \u0026 raquo; ("Adjoining») standing after soft consonants. Also “and \u0026 raquo;, following the soft consonant or at the beginning of the word (“ player \u0026 raquo;); "E \u0026 raquo; at the beginning of the word ("bookcase \u0026 raquo;).

Thus, considering the question of how many vowel sounds in Russian, it becomes clear why there are fewer of them than the letters themselves.

Vowel letters

Each vowel sound has its own graphic designation in the form of a letter. There are ten signs in our language to denote vowel sounds. These are the letters “o \u0026 raquo ;,“ u \u0026 raquo ;, “e \u0026 raquo ;,“ a \u0026 raquo ;, “i \u0026 raquo;“At the same time, the vowel sounds are almost half as much \u0026 ndash; six. A similar situation arose due to the fact that the grounded "W \u0026 raquo ;," e \u0026 raquo ;, "ё \u0026 raquo ;," I \u0026 raquo; - not separate sounds. Depending on their position in the word, these letters are able to denote different sounds.

Being at the beginning of a word, following vowels or “ъ \u0026 raquo; and "\u0026 raquo; Jotted letters represent the sound combination of two sounds (they are diphthongs): [j] and the corresponding vocales: “Jana \u0026 raquo ;,“ wash \u0026 raquo ;, “curly \u0026 raquo ;.

In cases where “yu \u0026 raquo ;,“ yo \u0026 raquo ;, “e \u0026 raquo ;,“ I \u0026 raquo; follow the consonant letters, they denote the corresponding vowel sound, and also make the previous consonant soft: "adopted \u0026 raquo ;.

Having dealt with the question of how many vowel sounds are in the alphabet, and how many letters, it becomes clear why there was a significant difference.

Classification of vowels. Labialization

Paying enough attention to two questions: how many vowel sounds are in Russian, and how many signs are used to convey them in writing, it is worth moving to classification. Vowel sounds, as well as their fellows, consonants, have a number of features, according to which they are assigned to different groups.

There are several of them: it is labialization (coarseness), the method of education (rise) and the place of formation (row).

Labization or, in other words, coarseness \u0026 ndash; it is a sign of the participation or non-participation of stretched lips in the process of pronouncing a sound. How many vowel sounds in a language would be available (in Russian, like most other languages ​​there are six), only two of them [o] and [y] are labialized. Others do not have a similar property.

An interesting fact: the greater the use of rounded sounds in a particular language, the more melodic the speech. Therefore, one of the most melodious languages ​​of the world is French, since it very often uses the sounds of [o] and [y].

Method of forming vowels

Classification of vowels by the method of education is also called classification by vertical lifting of the language. In our language, vocalescents are divided into:
1) Bottom lift \u0026 ndash; sound [a].
2) Medium lift \u0026 ndash; [o] and [e].
3) Top lift \u0026 ndash; the highest position of the language, characteristic of the pronunciation of sounds [y], [i], [s].

Place of formation of vowels

Classification of vowels by place of education (a number) divides vowel sounds according to the horizontal position of the language during the pronunciation of a particular sound.All vowel sounds at the place of education are divided into:
1) Back row \u0026 ndash; sounds [y], [o], when they are formed, the language will be pushed back as much as possible.
2) Middle row \u0026 ndash; sounds [a], [s]. When they are pronounced, the language moves back not so far and is in the so-called middle position.
3) Front row \u0026 ndash; sounds [e], [and]. By forming them, the language moves forward as much as possible.

It is much easier to classify and remember the distinctive properties of vowel sounds than consonants, since they are much smaller. However, it is important for every educated person seeking to write and speak correctly how many vowel sounds in Russian are, with what graphic signs they are written. This knowledge can be useful to those who are going abroad and for this begins to learn a foreign language. In the related Slavic languages, the pronunciation of the vowels is in many ways similar to the Russians, since all of them, in the distant past, originated from the same Old Slavonic language. In foreign languages ​​from other linguistic families, the principles of the formation of vowels, as well as their classification, follow the rules generally accepted in linguistics. So even when learning English or French, it is important for a person to have an idea of ​​how many vowel sounds are in Russian.