Professional Pronunciation Variants: Myths and Reality

2022. № 6, 63-70

Maria L. Kalenchuk, Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia, Moscow),


It should be noted that the lack of systematic scientifi c research on
stress variants used in a narrow professional circle generates a large number
of ‘myths’ and erroneous interpretations when lexicographers try to describe
this section of the accentological system. It is known that one of the striking
features of sounding speech used in professional communication is a special
place of stress, different from the normative one: álkogol’, astrónom, atómnyi,
dóbycha, iskrá, kompás, narkomaníya, osúzhdennyi, prígovor, shássi. The analysis
of various pronouncing dictionaries shows the inconsistency of the information
attributed to professional pronouncing variants. There is a mixture of two
different phenomena. Some cases can be related to professional slang: for example,
doctors pronounce álkogol’, maníya, fobíya, etc., miners rúdnik, dóbycha,
physicists atóm. However, sometimes the words that should be marked as ‘substandard
language’ are attributed to the professional slang category. For example,
the word blyudá, interpreted in some dictionaries as a variant peculiar to ‘professional communication of cooks, waiters, etc.’ or mál’chikovyi, considered
by some authors as a professional variant in the speech of sellers.
Representative sociolinguistic experiments could allow not only to identify
professional variants that actually function in live speech, but also to separate
them from other linguistic phenomena. The results of such studies will
undoubtedly lead to a sharp decrease of variants with the professional mark
in the dictionaries, and the number of prohibitive litters will increase due to
the labeling of colloquial and obsolete variants.

For citation:

Kalenchuk M. L. Professional Pronunciation Variants: Myths and Reality // Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2022. No. 6. Pp. 63–70.