Difference between revisions of "IPA phoneme /ə/"

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(/ə/ at the last syllable of a word: ia, ie)
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In [[Estuary English]] /əl/ is pronounced [o]. For example, in broad notation /ˈmɪdəl/ must be read in Estuary English as [ˈmɪdo].
 
In [[Estuary English]] /əl/ is pronounced [o]. For example, in broad notation /ˈmɪdəl/ must be read in Estuary English as [ˈmɪdo].
 
=='''/ə/''' at the first syllable of a word==
 
=='''/ə/''' at the first syllable of a word==
;Sounds
+
===Sounds===
 
*/ə/
 
*/ə/
 
:beginning with "a": about, account, admire, again, alone, along, among, appeal, appear, arise, around, away  
 
:beginning with "a": about, account, admire, again, alone, along, among, appeal, appear, arise, around, away  
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*others: protect, provide
 
*others: protect, provide
  
;Spelling
+
===Spelling===
*with "a": about, baloon, familiar
+
*[[Decoding the letter A|with "a"]]: about, baloon, familiar
*with "e": Unstressed "e" in the first syllable is normally pronounced /ɪ/, as in "begin" or "reply".
+
*[[Decoding the letter E|with "e"]]: Unstressed "e" in the first syllable is normally pronounced /ɪ/, as in "begin" or "reply".
*with "i": Unstressed "i" in the first syllable is normally pronounced /ɪ/, as in "division" or "significant".
+
*[[Decoding the letter I|with "i"]]: Unstressed "i" in the first syllable is normally pronounced /ɪ/, as in "division" or "significant".
*with "o": domestic, gorilla, occur
+
*[[Decoding the letter O|with "o"]]: domestic, gorilla, occur
*with "u": suggest, supply, support
+
*[[Decoding the letter U|with "u"]]: suggest, supply, support
  
Homophones: gorilla, guerrilla
+
===Homophones===
 +
*gorilla, guerrilla
 +
*homophones in some dialects or in relaxed pronunciation: accept /ækˈs{{ɛ}}pt, əkˈs{{ɛ}}pt/, except /ɪkˈs{{ɛ}}pt, əkˈs{{ɛ}}pt/
  
 
=='''/ə/''' in the middle of a word==
 
=='''/ə/''' in the middle of a word==
*with "a": Can'''a'''da - company - organise - relative
+
*[[Decoding the letter A|with "a"]]: Can'''a'''da, company, organise, relative
*with "e": agency - camera - conc'''e'''ntrate - en'''e'''my
+
*[[Decoding exercises: "ai"|with "ai"]]: certainly
*with "i": family - Phil'''i'''ppines - policy  
+
*[[Decoding the letter E|with "e"]]: agency, camera, conc'''e'''ntrate, en'''e'''my
*with "o": Christopher - customer - ignorant - introduce
+
*[[Decoding the letter I|with "i"]]: family, Phil'''i'''ppines, policy  
*with "u": circumstance - measurement - Portugal
+
*[[Decoding exercises: "ia"|with "ia"]]: initiative
*with "y": analysis - Pennsylvania
+
*[[Decoding exercises: "ie"|with "ie"]]: efficiency
*with "ai": certainly
+
*[[Decoding exercises: "io"|with "io"]]: additional, educational, national, traditional
 +
*[[Decoding the letter O|with "o"]]: Christopher, customer, ignorant, introduce
 +
*[[Decoding the letter U|with "u"]]: circumstance, measurement, Portugal
 +
*[[Decoding the letter A|with "y"]]: analysis, Pennsylvania
  
 
=='''/ə/''' at the last syllable of a word==
 
=='''/ə/''' at the last syllable of a word==
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*[[Decoding exercises: "ie"|with "ie"]]: ancient, patient, soldier
 
*[[Decoding exercises: "ie"|with "ie"]]: ancient, patient, soldier
 
*[[Decoding exercises: "io"|with "io"]]: condition, decision, question
 
*[[Decoding exercises: "io"|with "io"]]: condition, decision, question
 +
*with "iou": anxious, cautious, religious
 +
*[[Decoding exercises: "iu"|with "iu"]]: Belgium
 
*[[Decoding the letter O|with "o"]]: common, major, reason
 
*[[Decoding the letter O|with "o"]]: common, major, reason
 
*[[Decoding exercises: "ou"|with "ou"]]: colour,{{brSp}} famous, various
 
*[[Decoding exercises: "ou"|with "ou"]]: colour,{{brSp}} famous, various
 
*[[Decoding the letter U|with "u"]]: album, minimum, useful
 
*[[Decoding the letter U|with "u"]]: album, minimum, useful
 +
*[[Decoding the letter Y|with "y"]]: beryl, martyr, vinyl
 
*[[Unwritten sounds|unwritten /ə/]]: couldn't, mechanism, rhythm
 
*[[Unwritten sounds|unwritten /ə/]]: couldn't, mechanism, rhythm
  
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===/ət/===
 
===/ət/===
{{IPA-consonants}}
+
 
 
*carrot - Connecticut - diet - pilot - quiet - secret
 
*carrot - Connecticut - diet - pilot - quiet - secret
  
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==References==
 
==References==
<references/>
+
<references/> [[category:index]]
  
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
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*[http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/case-studies/received-pronunciation/vowel-sounds-rp/ British Library: Learning - Sounds Familiar?]
 
*[http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/case-studies/received-pronunciation/vowel-sounds-rp/ British Library: Learning - Sounds Familiar?]
  
[[Category:IPA phonetic symbols|Vowel /ʌə/]]
+
[[category:iPA phonetic symbols|Vowel /ʌə/]]
[[Category:Vowel phonemes|ʌə]]
+
[[category:vowel phonemes|ʌə]]

Latest revision as of 09:36, 29 April 2020

ər

letter /letər/

ə

comma /kɒmə/

American
dictionaries

ɚ

letter /letɚ/

The most common sound in all varieties of the English language is /ə/ – it is so important that it even has its own name – schwa. It corresponds to most syllables which do not carry the word stress. And it can actually substitute, obviously depending on the word, any of the five vowels[1] (and also y): (a) about, ago and legal;(e) water, teacher and happen;(i) raisin, pencil and pupil; (o) doctor, lemon and bottom; (u) nature, supply and circus; (y) martyr. It is one of the two vowel sounds used in English for unstressed syllables, the other one being /ɪ/.[2]

In many cases it occurs more than once in the same word, as in another, America, entertainment and political. Another useful example for students is a book and the book. It's probably easier to show students its use with two-syllable words for them to clearly contrast the stressed syllable in a single word.

In Received Pronunciation /ər/ is pronounced [ə] unless it is followed by a vowel, i.e. the "r" is normally silent unless it is followed by a vowel.

In General American the "r" is always pronounced.

There are places in the United Kingdom where the "r" is pronounced, and places in North America where it is not pronounced.

In Estuary English /əl/ is pronounced [o]. For example, in broad notation /ˈmɪdəl/ must be read in Estuary English as [ˈmɪdo].

/ə/ at the first syllable of a word[edit]

Sounds[edit]

  • /ə/
beginning with "a": about, account, admire, again, alone, along, among, appeal, appear, arise, around, away
beginning with "o": occur, official, oppose, original
  • /bə/: balloon, banana, Bolivia
  • /də/: domestic
  • /dʒə/: Japan
  • /fə/: familiar
  • /gə/: gorilla
  • /hə/: habitual, horizon
  • /kə/: capacity, community, computer, concern, consider, continue, control, Kentucky
  • /lə/: lagoon
  • /mə/: machine, material, Morocco
  • /nə/: Nebraska
  • /pə/: patrol, police, position
  • /sə/: suggest, supply, support
  • /tə/: today, together
  • /və/: variety
  • others: protect, provide

Spelling[edit]

  • with "a": about, baloon, familiar
  • with "e": Unstressed "e" in the first syllable is normally pronounced /ɪ/, as in "begin" or "reply".
  • with "i": Unstressed "i" in the first syllable is normally pronounced /ɪ/, as in "division" or "significant".
  • with "o": domestic, gorilla, occur
  • with "u": suggest, supply, support

Homophones[edit]

  • gorilla, guerrilla
  • homophones in some dialects or in relaxed pronunciation: accept /ækˈsept, əkˈsept/, except /ɪkˈsept, əkˈsept/

/ə/ in the middle of a word[edit]

/ə/ at the last syllable of a word[edit]

Spelling[edit]

/ə/[edit]

  • with "a": Africa - America - agenda - Argentina - Barbara - camera - Canada - China - comma - data - drama - extra - formula - idea - lasagnaAmE - Oklahoma - opera - pizza
  • with "e": lasagneBrE
  • unwritten /ə/: Edinburgh

/əb/[edit]

  • Arab

/əd/[edit]

  • method - salad

/ək/[edit]

  • haddock - lilac - Potomac

/əl/[edit]

[l̩]

people [ˈpiːpḷ]

/əl/

people /ˈpiːpəl/

See also IPA phonetic symbol [l̩]

  • able - label - level - local - Michael - table - towel

Homophones: capital - Capitol; principal - principle

/əm/[edit]

See also IPA phonetic symbol [m̩]

  • album - awesome - bottom - freedom - maximum - minimum - problem - random - symptom - system
  • unwritten schwa: alcoholism - criticism - enthusiasm - feminism - mechanism - optimism - orgasm - prism - rythm - sarcasm - tourism

/ən/[edit]

[n̩]

even [ˈiːvṇ]

/ən/

even /ˈiːvən/

See also IPA phonetic symbol [n̩]

  • certain - common - foreign - human - London - mountain - person - reason - recent - season - second - woman
  • With -en: children - citizen - happen - lengthen - open - sudden - weaken
listen - often - soften
fatten - frighten - rotten - tighten
  • With -ion: action - fashion - junction - mention - passion - region - station

/əp/[edit]

  • develop

/ər/[edit]

American
dictionaries

ɚ

letter /letɚ/

Standard
 

ər

letter /letər/

  • With -re (American spelling -er): centre - fibre - litre - metre - theatre
  • With -er: consider - offer - over - summer - teacher - under
With -ber: December - member - November - number - October - remember - September
With -ter: after - computer - character - daughter - letter - matter - quarter - sister - water - winter
With -ther: another - brother - father - feather - leather - mother - other - weather - whether
  • With -ar: angular - cellular - dollar - grammar - particular - popular - regular - similar
  • With -ure: exposure - measure - pleasure - pressure - procedure
With -ture: culture - feature - future - manufacture - nature - picture - structure - temperature
  • With -our (American spelling -or): behaviour - colour - favour - honour - humour - labour - neighbour
  • With -or: author - error - governor - major - minor - professor - senior
With -tor: actor - director - doctor - editor - factor - investor - monitor - motor - sector - visitor

/aɪər/ or /aɪ.ər/ - /aʊər/ or /aʊ.ər/[edit]

Some words can be pronounced with a triphthong, like "fire" as /faɪər/ or "hour" as /aʊər/, and others as a disyllable like "buyer" as /ˈbaɪ.ər/ or "power" as /ˈpaʊ.ər/. In practice most people use the disyllabic pronunciation in all words (this implies "fire" as /ˈfaɪ.ər/ and "hour" as /ˈaʊ.ər/).[3] See Triphthong.

  • /aɪər/
With "-ire": acquire - desire - entire - fire - hire - require - wire
Other: liar - prior
  • /aʊər/
With "-our": flour - hour - our - sour
Other: coward - flower - power - shower - tower

/əs/[edit]

  • With -ous: anxious - continuous - curious - dangerous - enormous - famous - nervous - numerous - obvious - previous - religious - serious - various
  • With -us: focus - status - Uranus - Venus - versus - virus
  • With -as: breakfast - Christmas - Douglas - Honduras - Kansas - Texas - Thomas
  • With -ess: awareness - business - illness - pointless - politeness - regardless - weakness - witness

/ət/[edit]

  • carrot - Connecticut - diet - pilot - quiet - secret

/əθ/[edit]

  • mammoth - twentieth - thirtieth - fortieth

/əv/[edit]

  • of - could've - should've - would've

See Pronunciation exercises: "of" vs "off"

/əz/[edit]

Plurals of words ending in /ə/.

  • cameras - commas - pizzas - operas

Weak forms[edit]

Many grammar words have a weak form, an unstressed form in which the vowel is reduced to /ə/ or /ɪ/.

  • /æ/: am /æm, əm, m/ - and /ænd, ənd, ən, n/ - can /kæn, kən/
  • /ɔː/: /fɔːr, fər/
  • /ʊ/: could /kʊd, kəd/
  • /ʌ/: but /bʌt, bət/

/əʊ, eə, ɪə/ and /ʊə/[edit]

The phonemes /əʊ, eə, ɪə/ and /ʊə/ shouldn't be analyzed as /ə/+/ʊ/, /e/+/ə/, /ɪ/+/ə/ and /ʊ/+/ə/. For example, in American English /əʊ/ sounds [oʊ], which indicates that the GOAT vowel (another name for /əʊ/) doesn't have necessarily a schwa sound.

Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1[edit]

Preconceived ideas and other interferences from L1 obviously interfere in many cases with how students perceive - and pronounce - sounds/words in English. The schwa is possibly the sound that causes most disbelief among students already inclined to be wary of a teacher's latest attempts at perfecting their pronunciation. If you manage to convince them that teacher and creature actually rhyme, you're well on the way to winning 'em over.

References[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]