Tolika and Tolika in Oral Discourse and Orthoepic Dictionaries

2020. № 6, 7-16

Olga V. Antonova, Vinogradov Russian Language Institute (Russian Academy of Sciences)
(Russia, Moscow),


Nowadays the main task of the orthoepic dictionaries of the Russian language is not only to report information about the normative pronunciation and stress of words, but also to reflect the whole variety of orthoepic variants peculiar to the literary language. However, there are some cases when in the usage of native speakers, it is not the normative version that prevails, but the one that is marked as erroneous in the dictionaries. Thus, the noun tolika in the modern literary language has pronounced accentual fluctuations of normalization (dictionaries do not recommend the tolika
version and only admit the tolika, nevertheless, the first variant predominates in the usus of literary-speaking respondents). The recommendations of the dictionaries were obviously valid for the period of the late 18th — early
20th centuries, when the only possible accentuation was on the second syllable. However, judging by examples from poetic texts, starting from the 1930s the stress in the word shifted to the first syllable. The results of the orthoepic experiment, involving respondents of three different age groups, confirm that in the modern literary usus, the variant with the emphasis on the first syllable is prioritized (in the younger group of the subjects, 100 % of the informants chose tolika variant). Thus, orthoepic recommendations in dictionaries require correction in accordance with the modern scientific concept of making codification decisions based on the actual prevalence of the variant in the speech of educated people.

For citation:

Antonova O. V. Tolikа and Tolikа in Oral Discourse and Orthoepic Dictionaries. Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2020. No. 6. Pp. 7–16. DOI: 10.31857/S013161170012872-8.