This seems like it should be simple, but I would expect the я in стоять to be pronounced like a stand-alone я (like the German "ja") since it is stressed. However, I have listened to a number of native speakers that pronounce the я as in пять (as in the American version of "yankee"). It appears as if the я is softening the preceding о but I didn't think vowels could make other vowels soft. Is it correct either way? Is it just one of those words that is typically pronounced slightly different that one would expect? Or is there some rule this follows I am missing?