Sergei writes:
I still hope to be helpful on the issues of Pskov district dialects (the region where some of my ancestors come from).
There are indeed a few question I'd like to ask. The traditional Western transliteration of Russian <ш, ж, ч, щ> as <š, ž, č, šč> often makes foreigners take it for granted, erroneously, that these symbols represent a uniform place-of-articulation series. Yet while š, ž are completely depalatalised (to the point of being "dark" consonants), č and šč remain palatoalveolar. Here are my questions:
1. Do you know of any historical explanation for this asymmetry?
2. What's the pronunciation of historical šč in your native accent?
3. Does your accent have a voiced counterpart of šč?