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Map of the Russian dialects of the primary formation (Southern Russian is red)

Southern Russian is one of the main groups of Russian dialects.




  • Unstressed /o/ undergoes different degrees of vowel reduction mainly to [a] (strong akanye), less often to [ɐ], [ə], [ɨ].
  • Unstressed /o/, /e/, /a/ following palatalized consonants and preceding a stressed syllable are not reduced to [ɪ] (like in the Moscow dialect), being instead pronounced [æ] in such positions (e.g. несли is pronounced [nʲæsˈlʲi], not [nʲɪsˈlʲi]) – this is called yakanye/яканье.[1][2]
  • Fricative /ɣ/ instead of the Standard and Northern /ɡ/.[1][3] Soft /ɣʲ/ is usually [j~ʝ].
  • Semivowel /w~u̯/ in the place of the Standard and Northern /v/ and final /l/.[1]
  • /x~xv~xw/ where the Standard and Northern have /f/.[1]
  • Prosthetic /w~u̯/ before /u/ and stressed /o/: во́кна, ву́лица, Standard Russian окна, улица "windows, street".
  • Prosthetic /j/ before /i/ and /e/: етот, ентот, Standard Russian этот "this".
  • In Pskov (southern) and Ryazan sub-groups only one voiceless affricate exists. Merging of Standard Russian /t͡ʃ/ and /t͡s/ into one consonant whether /t͡s/ or /t͡ɕ/.


  • Palatalized final /tʲ/ in 3rd person forms of verbs (this is unpalatalized in the Standard and Northern dialects):[1][4] он ходить, они ходять "he goes, they go"
  • Occasional dropping of the 3rd person ending /tʲ/ at all: он ходи, они ходя "he goes, they go"
  • Oblique case forms of personal pronouns мяне́, табе́, сабе́ instead of Standard Russian мне, тебе, себе "me, you, -self".

Relation to other dialectsEdit

Some of these features such as akanye/yakanye, a debuccalized or lenited /ɡ/, a semivowel /w~u̯/ and palatalized final /tʲ/ in 3rd person forms of verbs are also present in modern Belarusian and some dialects of Ukrainian (Eastern Polesian), indicating a linguistic continuum.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Sussex & Cubberley 2006, pp. 521–526.
  2. ^ "The Language of the Russian Village" (in Russian). Retrieved 2011-11-10.
  3. ^ This has become [ɦ] in nearby Ukrainian dialects (Shevelov 1977:148)
  4. ^ "The Language of the Russian Village" (in Russian). Retrieved 2011-11-10.