Consonants in Russian language can be voiced or voiceless. In order to understand the concept of voiced and voiceless consonants, we must place our fingers on our vocal cords and say the sounds (not the names of the letters) in the chart above. After doing so, we will notice that the voiced consonants vibrate our cords. Instead, the voiceless consonants do not.
Two pronunciation rules affect these consonants:
1) Word final devoicing. Voiced consonants at the end of words are pronounced voiceless.
We write: We say:
2) Voiced-voiceless assimilation. When voiced and voiceless consonants are adjacent to each other, the nature of the second consonant dictates the nature of the first.
voiced ------> voiceless voiceless ------> voiceless
в Киеве [ф К]иеве
voiceless ------> voiced voiced ------> voiced
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