Russian Word Stress In The Context Of Multicultural Environment


This article presents the accent paradigms of nouns, adjectives, verbs and verb forms, pronouns, numerals and derivatives. The material of the study was the full and short forms of adjectives, nouns, pronouns, numerals, past, present and future tense verbs, imperative mood, participles, participles and derived nouns, adjectives and verbs. An in-depth study of theoretical material on the accentuation of each part of speech allowed us to obtain a holistic view of accent paradigms of the Russian language, to understand the peculiarities of the functioning of the accent system, to understand and realize the specifics of stress of derived words, the mobility of Russian verbal stress. The article also discusses words that have several accentological variants. Revealing the specifics of the Russian stress, the author in his theoretical research adhered to the direction of the Kazan linguistic school. Features of Russian verbal stress are reflected in the works of Gorbachevich Valgina, Vvedenskaya and Fomina and many other Russian, and foreign linguists. The material in this article is valuable for students, teachers of the philological direction, as well as for all those who experience accent difficulties and those who want to master the skills of correct stressing.

Keywords: Accent paradigm, word stress, mobility, inflection, accentuation


In modern Russian in a multicultural environment, a number of features characterizes Russian verbal stress.

Particular attention should be paid to such a feature of stress as mobility during inflection, as well as the formation of different parts of speech.

In addition, special attention should also be paid to the stress of derived words.

Traditionally, one should define the concept of Russian verbal stress and designate its main functions. Word stress is the emphasis in a word of one of the syllables.

While noting the specifics of stress, it should be mentioned that it is one of the features of the outer shell of the word (Kobenko, 2018).

Incorrect accentuation entails distortion of the word form to a large extent, and it also seems difficult to recognize words in speech. Hence it follows that one of the most important functions of Russian verbal stress is the recognition function (Valgina, 2002).

Let us illustrate this with a number of examples: gromko plAchu and plachU za dvoih, mukA vysshego sorta and mUka toska. In addition to the identification function, the excretory function is also considered the main one. Taking into account such features as mobility and different places of stress, the excretory function helps us to highlight a significant morpheme and understand the grammatical processes taking place in the language. Let us illustrate this with a number of examples: HITRyj–hitYOr–hitrA–hitrOVAT–hitrEC–hitrecA–hitrecY–HITRost’. Taking into account the phonetic side of verbal stress, it should be noted that in the process of pronunciation it revives the meaning of the word in our minds, while incorrect accentuation can lead to distortion, misunderstanding of the image of the word (Fatkullina et al., 2018, p.3).

Problem Statement

In many languages the stress is fixed, but in Russian the stress is free. Thus, any syllable can be accentuated. In addition, Russian stress is mobile: when the same word is changed, the stress can move to another syllable.

Research Questions

In the research, the author studies the features of Russian verbal stress: mobility and diversity. The author also examines the accent paradigms of nouns, adjectives, verbs, imperative verbs, participles and participles. At the same time, the accent features of derivative words, words of professionalism and borrowed lexemes are also reflected in the author's research.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this article is to acquaint the reader with the peculiarities of Russian verbal stress in a multicultural environment with illustrative examples. Especially the article describes the mobility of the Russian stress, the specificity of stress of derived words. A short commentary is given for each accent paradigm to reveal the features of the Russian accentuation system. From the practical side, this article allows you to form practical skills in accentuating.

Research Methods

The theoretical material of this scientific article includes the results of research carried out using the following methods of cognition: analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction, abstraction, formalization, idealization, modelling.


When grammatical changing in nouns, adjectives, participles and verbs, in most cases the same morpheme is accented, on the same syllable as in the initial form, that is, stress is constant.

The accent paradigm of nouns is shown in Table 1.

Table 1 - The accent paradigm of nouns
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Table 1 shows the stress of singular and plural forms, varying in cases. In “pesnya” lexeme the accent type is type A (a constant accent on the basis of the word during inflection). In “levsha” lexeme the accent type is type B (constant accent on the ending).

The accent paradigm of adjectives is shown in table 2.

Table 2 - The accent paradigm of adjectives
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table 2 shows the stress of the full forms, varying by gender, numbers and cases, as well as short, varying by gender and numbers. In “prekrasnyj” lexeme the accent type is type A - a constant accent on the basis of the word during inflection (Kasatkin et al., 2001).

The accent paradigm of verbs is shown in table 3.

Table 3 - The accent paradigm of verbs
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table 3 shows the stress of the present tense of the imperfective verbs or the simple future tense of the perfect form of the verbs, changing in person and numbers, and the stress of the past tense, changing in gender and numbers.

In “begat'” and “brosit'” lexemes the accent type is type A (a constant accent on the basis of the word during inflection).

As mentioned above, such stress feature as mobility during inflection deserves special attention. The mobility of accent is typical for a small group of words, but often used (Shuneyko & Chibisova, 2017).

Thus, the emphasis can shift from the base of the word to the ending, as well as in the reverse order.

At the moment, the mobility of the Russian stress acts as a marker of grammatical processes that function in the language. For example, mogu, mozhesh', mozhet, mogut.

The accentuation of imperative forms is shown in table 4.

Forms of imperative mood are formed using the suffix -i- or zero suffix Ø.

Table 4 - The accent paradigm of imperative verbs
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In table 4 the accentuation of the imperative with the suffix –i- depends on the stress of the 1st person verb of the singular present tense. The stress will fall on the suffix -i- of the imperative, if in the 1st person singular the stress falls on the ending -u- /-yu-.

However, if the imperative has a zero suffix Ø, the emphasis will always be on the forming basis, and in this case the stress of the singular form of the 1st person is irrelevant. As for the plural form, there will always be the addition of inflection -te-.

The accentuation of the forms of adverbial participles is shown in the table 5.

Table 5 - The accentuation of the forms of adverbial participles
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In table 5 imperfective adverbial participles formed with the suffixes -a / -ya usually coincide with the accent of the 1st person singular of the present tense.

Imperfective adverbial participles of the verbs “–avat’ ” retain the infinitive stress, since in the 1st person these verbs lose the suffix -va-, while in the adverbial participle it remains.

Consideration should be given to outdated imperfective adverbial participles in which the accent always falls on the syllable before the suffix (Fomina, 2017).

The accent of adverbial perfect participles with the suffixes -v-, vshi-, -shi- coincides with the stress of the past tense of the masculine gender.

Table 6 - The accentuation of the forms of participles
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In Table 6 the stress in -ing participles of the present tense usually coincides with the stress of the form of the 3rd person verb of the plural of the present tense.

The stress in -ing participles of past tense accent coincides with stress of past tense verbs of masculine gender.

The stress in the present participles coincides with the stress of the 1st person verbs in the singular.

Accentuation of pronouns. In Russian, pronouns are represented by a number of grammatical categories (Loginovskaya & Chernikova, 2020):

-personal (ya, ty, my and others)

-possessive (moj, tvoj, ego and others)

-demonstrative (tot, etot, takoj and others)

-interrogative/relative (kto, chto, kotoryj, chej and others)

-negative (nikto, nichto, nikuda and others)

-indefinite (nekto, nechto, kuda-to and others)

-defining (ves', sam, samyj and others)

Stress in the pronouns replacing adverbs coincides with the stress of their initial form.

For example: kuda, pochemu and others.

The word accent with particles ni- , ne-. Particle ni- does not change stress in any category of pronouns.

For example: nigde, nikuda, nikak and others.

Pronouns that perform the functions of nouns, adjectives and numerals in a sentence are characterized by constant stress.

For example: kazhdyj, nekij, nekto, nash, vash and others.

The mobility of the accent is observed in the plural pronoun sami.

Accentuation of numbers. Constant accent can be found in all forms of numerals odinnadcat' (odinnadcat', odinnadcati, odinnadcati, odinnadcat', odinnadcat'yu, odinnadcati).

Moreover, this type of accentuation is characteristic of all quantitative numerals ending in -nadcat', collective numeral oba, obe, in which the accent in objective case shifts to the final syllable of the base - one syllable to the right in comparison with the place of stress in nominative case: oba — oboih, oboim, oboih, oboimi, (ob) oboih; obe — obeih.

Fixed stress on inflection in the forms of all cases (in the nominative and accusative cases, and for numerals ending in - sot, and in the genitive case - stress on inflection): pyat', pyati, pyati, pyat', pyat'yu, o pyati.

Also, this type of accentuation is observed in numerals dva, tri, pyat', shest', sem', sto, pyat'sot (pyatisot, pyatistam, pyat'sot, pyatistami, o pyatistah), shest'sot, sem'sot, vosem'sot, devyat'sot.

Accent on inflection in all objective cases and on the basis in the form of a nominative case.: chetyre, chetyryoh, chetyryom, chetyre, chetyr'mya, o chetyryoh. This type of stress is represented by numerals chetyre, vosem', devyat', desyat', dvadcat', tridcat', sorok; dvesti, trista, chetyresta (Gorbachevich, 2002).

Also, all collective numerals relate to this type of accentuation: dvoe (dvoih, dvoim, dvoih, dvoimi, o dvoih), troe, chetvero, pyatero, shestero, semero, vos'mero, devyatero, desyatero.

Accentuation of derived words. Stress of derived adjectives. Accentuation of derived adjectives characterized by syllable suffixes goes to suffix. For example: -ovat-: belovatyj, zheltovatyj, krasnovatyj (Makshantseva & Koroleva, 2019).

However, stress in full adjectives is independent of non-syllable suffixes -n-, -k-, -l-, -sk- .

Full forms of derivatives and non-derivative adjectives are characterized by constant stress.

Stress of derivative forms of verbs. In verbs on –it, the stress is transferred to the root, as well as in words formed from borrowed nouns.

For example: byulleten' – byulletenit', kseroks–kserit', semafor–semaforit'.

However, the verbs “–irovat'” undergo unsteadiness in stress (finansirovat', kserokopirovat', garantirovat').

It should also be noted that stress unsteadiness within the base can perform a differentiating function. This is typical for homograph verbs.

For example: speshit' (in the meaning of going down to the ground) and speshit' (in the meaning to be in a hurry); trusit' (in the meaning to be afraid) and trusit' (in the meaning to run in small steps).

Accentuation of derived nouns. Accent patterns of derived nouns are similar to adjectives.

The book literary language is characterized by borrowings of nouns with the accented suffix -ism.

For example: kommunizm, feminizm, gumanizm, ekspressionizm.

Borrowed words from the French language denoting the process (massazh), a person (personazh), an object, a place (vernisazh, bagazh) retain the stress of the source language.

Borrowings on – aciya are also constantly accented.

For example: civilizaciya, degradaciya, konstataciya, klassifikaciya.

Unaccented suffix predominates in commonly used words with one basis -i(ya).

For example: repressiya, komediya, mumiya, enciklopediya.

Professionalism is characterized by words with an accented suffix, in particular medical terms.

For example: psihiatriya, biopsiya, anemiya.

At the same time, words such as assimetriya, veterinariya, byurokratiya have variability and others.


Stress, as a phonetic means of forming the external of a word forms a whole, a unity in phonetic terms. At the same time, it possesses a number of specific features, such as mobility and ability to fall on any syllable.

Such specifics of stress were disclosed on the material of the full and short forms of adjectives, feminine, masculine and neuter nouns, pronouns, numerals, past, present and future tenses, imperative, adverbial participles, participles and derived nouns, adjectives and verbs.

Features of the functioning of the accent system are expressed in the existence of accent paradigms presented in tables (1-6).

The presented accent paradigms demonstrate on the one hand constancy, on the other hand the variability of the Russian word accent.


This article was published with the financial support of Komsomolsk-on-Amur State University.


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21 June 2021

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Cite this article as:

Nepochatova, V. M. (2021). Russian Word Stress In The Context Of Multicultural Environment. In N. G. Bogachenko (Ed.), Amurcon 2020: International Scientific Conference, vol 111. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 671-677). European Publisher.