2017. № 3 (13), 205-214

Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences


This paper aims at analyzing the intonational variation in expressing the discourse continuity in Russian. The main means of expressing the discourse continuity in Russian is the rise of frequency on the tonic syllable of the accent-bearer of continuity followed by the falling post-tonics (if any) or IK-3 in the terminology of Bryzgunova. The specific intonational patterns which also express the discourse continuity but at the same time carry some additional meanings are: 1) IK-4 (the fall on the tonic syllable followed by the rise on the post-tonics) which expresses the so-called “ordered account of events”, and 2) IK-6 (the rise on the tonic syllable followed by the level post-tonics) which refers to recollecting, or dreaming of events taken place in the past, or going to take place in the future. However, the working corpus of the spoken speech (which has been set up specifically for this analysis) shows that IK-3 as a marker of the discourse continuity has a phonetic variant which has the rise on the tonic syllable followed by the further rise on the post-tonics. I call this pitch accent the gradual rise. The gradual rise exists in a variety of English dialects, German, Dutch, and in the regional variant of Russian, namely in Odessa Russian. Nevertheless, in the young girls’ speech in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg the gradual rise appears as a phonetic variant of IK-3. The gradual rise also occurs in the speech of people influenced by the so-called Odessa accent. I propose to consider the gradual rise in the speech of young girls (high school, or university students) as a genderand age-based pattern of standard Russian. While in the speech of the speakers of both genders and various age who exhibit other parameters (both intonational and segmental) of Odessa Russian, the gradual rise should be viewed as a result of the non-standard regional influence.