There’s Less Jakan’je Here (Unstressed Vowel Systems of Two Neighbouring Tambov Dialects)

2024. № 1, 21-32

Sergey V. Knyazev, Vinogradov Russian Language Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia, Moscow),


The paper deals with the unstressed vowels systems after palatalized consonants in two neighbouring Southern Russian dialects from Staroyuryev district, Tambov region (Ryazan’ group). The results obtained show that 1) the two dialects located at a distance of 5 kilometers from each other are characterized by different types of the assimilative-dissimilative jakan’je: novoselkovsky and orekhovsky; 2) there are no distinctions in this regard in male in female idiolects; 3) dialectal speakers are quite aware of those subtle differences in their speech. Meanwhile, the obtained data lead us to the conclusion that there exists a gradual transitional distinction among various “types” of assimilative-dissimilative jakan’je South-Eastern Russian dialects rather than a strict categorial (“phonological”) boundary between them since the dialects in question show a gradual transition from prestressed [i] to [a] after palatalized consonants before stressed mid-open and mid-close vowels while there is no variability detected in the position before low and high vowels. Thus, in the system of unstressed vocalism there are both completely stable and variable components.

For citation:

Knyazev S. V. There’s Less Jakan’je Here (Unstressed Vowel Systems of Two Neighbouring Tambov Dialects). Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2024. No. 1. Pp. 21–32. DOI: 10.31857/S0131611724010023.