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In this rendition of the Весеннее танго, I hear "с юга" (for example at 1:04) pronounced as ['st͡sjʉgə]. Am I hearing it right, and, if so, what's the [t͡s] doing there? Is it part of some more general thing? I hear it every time German sings the words so it doesn't seem to be accidental, and, as far as I know, she was a native Russian speaker.

I'm asking this because, if it's a real thing, it's very strange to me as a Polish speaker. What we'd do with the onset of the first syllable is voice the /s/, but then the Polish version of "c" is "z", and it's voiced by default. I don't think Polish speakers insert extra affricates anywhere. (I could be wrong of course, but I'm sure enough to be almost shocked by the Russian thing --- again, if it's real.)

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    Never ever met this anywhere in anybody else's speech... You hear it right, but I really doubt this is something else than German's personal habit.
    – petajamaja
    May 3 '13 at 22:42
  • @petajamaja This is answer enough for me. Why don't you post it as such? I won't accept it right away, in case someone has other ideas, but I will upvote it.
    – ymar
    May 3 '13 at 22:51
  • there is already another answer posted, so I just won't intrude. My answer is based just on an opinion,so I don't find it interesting enough. Let it better be a comment.
    – petajamaja
    May 4 '13 at 7:08
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Video is not available for users from Russia, you can download it here.

I listened to a few times a phrase "с юга" (0:20, 1:04, 1:45), but "с тьюга" I heard only in the second chorus (1:04).
May be it is a defect of record or slip of the tongue?

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    +1 for this one, it is some sound recording defect or a slip of the tongue. Under no circumstances it is typical or even present in ny form in Russian.
    – shabunc
    May 4 '13 at 8:34
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s is alveolar (and voiceless) while j (in ю = йу) is palatal (and voiced).

In normal speech one first releases the tip of the tongue from the alveolar ridge then moves its back to the hard palate while adding voice. This makes two distinct sounds, [s] and [j].

However, while singing it's somewhat hard to move the tongue this way. It's easier to "roll" the tongue over the palate. During the roll the middle of the tongue touches the place between the alveolar ridge and the hard palate and is instantly released (as j is an approximant). This results in a palatalized alveolar plosive, i. e. Russian ть ([tʲ]).

You may easily reproduce this if you roll the tongue over the palate while articulating the phrase, as if you were trying to use the tongue to help blocking the air between the two sounds.

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