Appendix:Russian stress patterns - nouns

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This appendix is still in development.

According to the classification system of Andrey Zaliznyak (Андре́й Зализня́к) there are 6 stress patterns of Russian nouns’ declension, with 4 variants.


The Stress Falls on:
Pattern Letter a b b' c d d' e f f' f''
Number sg pl sg pl sg pl sg pl sg pl sg pl sg pl sg pl sg pl sg pl
Nom stem stem ending ending ending ending stem ending ending stem ending stem stem stem ending stem ending stem ending stem
Acc stem ending ending stem ending stem stem ending stem ending
Gen stem stem ending ending ending ending stem ending ending stem ending stem stem ending ending ending ending ending ending ending
Dat stem stem ending ending ending ending stem ending ending stem ending stem stem ending ending ending ending ending ending ending
Ins stem stem ending ending stem ending stem ending ending stem ending stem stem ending ending ending ending ending stem ending
Pre stem stem ending ending ending ending stem ending ending stem ending stem stem ending ending ending ending ending ending ending
Example мото́р (motór) вещество́ (veščestvó) любо́вь (ljubóvʹ) слой (sloj) игра́ (igrá) душа́ (dušá) ко́рень (kórenʹ) слеза́ (slezá) гора́ (gorá) грудь (grudʹ)


NOTE: Boldfaced cases differ from the other cases in the same number (singular or plural).

The accusative plural is like the nominative plural for inanimate nouns, and like the genitive plural for animate nouns.

Mnemonic:

  1. Patterns a/c/e (or odd-numbered) have stem stress in the singular. Patterns b/d/f and variants (or even-numbered) have ending stress in the singular.
  2. In a and b, plural is like singular. In c and d, it's opposite. In e and f, the plural has moving stress: ending stress, except the nominative plural with stem stress.
  3. The variant patterns (b', d', f', f'') are all ending-stressed in the singular except for one case: accusative singular in d' and f', instrumental singular in b' and f''. (Note however that the stress on the "stem" in a word like любо́вью is on the same syllable as the stress on the "ending" in любо́вь.) In nouns, patterns d' and f' occur only with feminines in -а and -я (the singular accusative endings -у and -ю are unstressed), and b' and f'' occur only with feminines in -ь (the singular instrumental ending -ью is unstressed).


Masculine Nouns[edit]

The great majority of masculine nouns have stress always on the stem (accent pattern A). In particular:

  • New borrowings from other languages (ex. компью́тер (kompʹjúter))
  • Nouns with more than two syllables (ex. анана́с (ananás))
  • Nouns that are not stressed on the last syllable in the nominative singular (the dictionary form) (ex. ла́стик (lástik))

There are however, exceptions to these rules that are outlined below.

Stress Pattern B[edit]

The masculine nouns with stress pattern b (end stressed) fall into a few groups:

  • Several common 1-syllable nouns:
  • In addition, to this stress pattern are the following groups of multi-syllable masculine nouns:
  • Stress Pattern C[edit]

    The masculine nouns with stress pattern c (end stressed in the plural) fall into a two groups:

    • Several 1-syllable nouns:
  • Masculine nouns with the nominative plural (-a) ( (-ja) for nouns ending in й or ь) (ex. дом (dom), край (kraj), учи́тель (učítelʹ)) Exception: рука́в (rukáv)
    See Category:Russian nouns ending in a consonant with plural -а, Category:Russian nouns ending in -ь with plural -я, Category:Russian nouns ending in -й with plural -я
  • Stress Pattern E[edit]

    To this stress pattern belong the following categories of masculine nouns:

    Stress Pattern F[edit]

    To this stress pattern belong the following masculine nouns: гвоздь (gvozdʹ, nail (construction)), груздь (gruzdʹ, milk cap (mushroom)), червь (červʹ, worm)

    Feminine Nouns[edit]

    Most feminine nouns have fixed stem stress (accent pattern a), including all feminine-form nouns ending in unstressed or . For example, ша́пка (šápka, hat) will have fixed stressed because the final is not stressed. There are only two exceptions to this rule: дере́вня (derévnja, village) and до́ля (dólja, portion)

    The following subsections will outline the stress patterns of nouns that govern feminine nouns that are stressed on the final or in the dictionary form.

    Stress Pattern B[edit]

    To this stress pattern belong the following groups of feminine form nouns:

    Stress Pattern D[edit]

    To this stress pattern belongs the following groups of feminine form nouns:

    Stress Pattern D'[edit]

    To this stress pattern belongs the following groups of feminine form nouns: вода́ (vodá, water), душа́ (dušá, soul), земля́ (zemljá, earth), зима́ (zimá, winter), река́ (reká, river), спина́ (spiná, back), стена́ (stená, wall), цена́ (cená, price)

    Stress Pattern F[edit]

    To this stress pattern belongs the following groups of feminine form nouns:

    Stress Pattern F'[edit]

    To this stress pattern belongs the following groups of feminine form nouns:

    Neuter Nouns[edit]

    Most neuter nouns have fixed stress, including those with the ending -ство (-stvo), -ание (-anije), and -ение (-enije).

    Two neuter nouns have stress pattern E: о́ко (óko, eye) (pl. о́чи (óči)) and у́хо (úxo, ear) (pl. у́ши (úši))

    Two neuter nouns have stress pattern F: плечо́ (plečó, shoulder), крыльцо́ (krylʹcó, porch)

    Stress Pattern B[edit]

    Having the ending stress in all cases are the following groups of neuter nouns:

    Stress Pattern С[edit]

    Having the end stress in the plural are the following groups of neuter nouns:

    Stress Pattern D[edit]

    Feminine Nouns Ending with ь[edit]

    Feminine nouns ending in usually have fixed stress, with the stress on the same syllable in all cases.

    Five of these nouns have end stress in all forms except the instrumental singular (pattern b'): вошь (vošʹ), глушь (glušʹ), ложь (ložʹ), любовь (ljubovʹ), and рожь (rožʹ).

    In addition, the following proper nouns have end stress in all forms except the instrumental singular (pattern b'): Обь (Obʹ), Омь (Omʹ), Пермь (Permʹ), Русь (Rusʹ), Тверь (Tverʹ), and Томь (Tomʹ).

    The noun грудь (grudʹ) is end stressed in all cases except the instrumental singular and nominative/accusative plural (pattern f").

    Stress Pattern E[edit]

    1. The following one-syllable nouns: бровь (brovʹ, eyebrow), весть (vestʹ, tiding), ветвь (vetvʹ, branch), вещь (veščʹ, thing), власть (vlastʹ, power), горсть (gorstʹ), гроздь (grozdʹ), дверь (dverʹ), дочь (dočʹ, daughter), дробь (drobʹ), жердь (žerdʹ), зыбь (zybʹ), кисть (kistʹ), кость (kostʹ, bone), кровь (krovʹ), масть (mastʹ), мать (matʹ, mother), мышь (myšʹ, mouse), ночь (nočʹ, night), ось (osʹ, axis), печь (pečʹ, oven), плеть (pletʹ), речь (rečʹ, speech), роль (rolʹ, role), сельдь (selʹdʹ), сеть (setʹ, net), скорбь (skorbʹ), сласть (slastʹ), смерть (smertʹ, death), снасть (snastʹ), соль (solʹ), степь (stepʹ), страсть (strastʹ), тень (tenʹ), треть (tretʹ), трость (trostʹ), цепь (cepʹ), часть (častʹ), шерсть (šerstʹ), щель (ščelʹ)
    2. The following multi-syllable nouns: во́лость (vólostʹ), до́лжность (dólžnostʹ), кре́пость (krépostʹ, stronghold), ло́пасть (lópastʹ), ло́шадь (lóšadʹ, horse), ме́лочь (méločʹ), но́вость (nóvostʹ, piece of news), о́бласть (óblastʹ), о́чередь (óčeredʹ, queue), пло́скость (plóskostʹ), пло́щадь (plóščadʹ), по́весть (póvestʹ), по́лость (pólostʹ), про́пасть (própastʹ), сво́лочь (svóločʹ), ска́терть (skátertʹ, skirt), ско́рость (skórostʹ, speed), сте́пень (stépenʹ), сте́рлядь (stérljadʹ), ступе́нь (stupénʹ, degree, phase), це́рковь (cérkovʹ, church), че́тверть (čétvertʹ), щёлочь (ščóločʹ).

    Further Irregularities[edit]

    The following have the stress shifted to the end in the genitive plural: кольцо́ (kolʹcó) (ко́льца – коле́ц), овца́ (ovcá) (о́вцы – ове́ц), свинья́ (svinʹjá) (сви́ньи – свине́й), семья́ (semʹjá) (се́мьи – семе́й), сестра́ (sestrá) (сёстры – сестёр), судья́ (sudʹjá) (су́дьи – суде́й), яйцо́ (jajcó) (я́йца – яи́ц); земля́ (zemljá) (зе́мли – земе́ль), хло́поты (xlópoty) (хлопо́т)

    See also[edit]