'ъ' Cyrillic Hardsign Explained Please
Hi, Could anyone explain to me that role and meaning of the Cyrillic Hard sign 'Ъ'.
ъ is used as a separator between the prefixes ending in a consonant and the letters е, ю, я, ё - подъезд, объявление, съёмка...
In simple terms if you see the letter "ъ" you have to pronounce the "й" sound after the consonant (and this consonant is not palatalized = "hard"). we say подъезд like [падйэст], съёмка as [сйомка]...
Without the "ъ" it would be подезд = [пад'эст] and сёмка = [с'омка] (where с' and д' are palatalized or "soft" consonants) without any sound of "й".
You can try to hear the difference:
Съёмка - https://goo.gl/tNnQBs
Сёмка - https://goo.gl/36yhb8
Сёмга - https://goo.gl/nEAF1A
Подъезд - https://goo.gl/TjrSAj
Падение - https://goo.gl/yx4rwv
This letter is the one you won't see too often, but it still has it's pupose. You see, there are four vowels in russian, that begin with a "y" sound: е (ye), ё (yo), ю (yu), я (ya). When these vowels follow a consonant, they lose this "y" sound and instead make the preceding consonant palatalised (or soft as some call it). However, if there is a "ъ" between them, it shows you that the consonant shouldn't be palatalased, and the vowel is pronounced with "y". It usually happens when a prefix ending with a consonant is added to a stem beginning with "е", "ё", "ю" or "я".