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Is мне stressed (as in, is it pronounced mnyeh?)? Is this always the case? If not, what are some examples? Also, what about other short words such as по?

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    I probably did not get your question, but at least one syllable has to be stessed in any case. In this word there is only one syllable, so it has to be stressed. – user996142 Mar 1 '16 at 22:05
  • @user996142 I was talking about in different phrases and circumstances, such as мне нравится and other phrases. – casey Mar 1 '16 at 22:14
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    @Casey can you clarify what you mean? It is one-syllable word after all indeed. – shabunc Mar 2 '16 at 3:52
  • @user996142 бы and у only have one syllable; is there stress anywhere in them? – Nikolay Ershov Mar 2 '16 at 4:00
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The pronoun мне will be always pronounced as mnyeh, no matter if its stressed or not. There's no way you'd say mni.

If you say it in a flowing speech (say, for example, "мне нравится этот фильм") you have basically several options of stressing to report fine meaning of what you're trying to say. Normally if you just report the fact that you liked the film you pronounce "мне нравится" joined together putting primary stress on "нравится", so you have something like (mnyeh-NRUH-vih-tsuh). If you stress the word "мне" putting secondary stress on the verb you would mean that you personally liked it as opposed to someone else who didn't. The same applies to the rest of the words in this example.

По is a preposition and it is also unstressed most of the times and you should pronounce it as any syllable "-по-" in its unstressed position (-puh-).

Now thinking about the syllable -мне- in unstressed position, I'd say that I would always pronounce it like -mnyeh- (consider the following examples: мнемóника, камнепáд or сомневáющийся) but maybe there's a counter-example I can't think of.

UPD 2016-03-02: Transcriptions edited according to hints of @YellowSky

UPD UPD 2016-03-02: As pointed out by @DenisKreshikhin standard pronunciation of a -e- following a soft consonant in an unstressed syllable followed by the stressed one would lean towards -и- rather than -e-

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  • Very thorough answer. Thank you very much for your answer and the examples of stress in the phrases! – casey Mar 2 '16 at 1:06
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    I think your examples of unstressed -мне- are expected to be read closer to [мни], for example сомневаться has the following transcription: [ səmnʲɪˈvatʲsə ]. This service gives th following transcription of your examples: mnʲɪmˈonʲɪkə, kəmnʲɪpˈat, səmnʲɪvˈajʉɕːɪjsʲə. – Artemix Mar 2 '16 at 8:45
  • @Artemix I had my doubts too but double checked myself on the recording. I slightly reduce "e" towards "i" but it's a clear "e". But it might as well be regional thing since I grew up in Kazakhstan and from my experience Russian pronunciation in Kazakhstan tends to be Siberian-like (excluding, of course, people strongly influenced by their native Kazakh language). – Dmitriy Purgin Mar 2 '16 at 9:03
  • The particle ся is always pronounced as [sə], never as [sʲə], and the Russian a in practical transcription is rendered as "uh", that's why mnyeh-NRUH-vih-tsuh, not mnyeh-NRAH-vih-tsyah, and -puh-, not -pah-. – Yellow Sky Mar 2 '16 at 10:47
  • Thanks, I've edited my post. Can you please provide a source for this kind of transcription guidelines? – Dmitriy Purgin Mar 2 '16 at 11:09

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