from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A mid-central neutral vowel, typically occurring in unstressed syllables, as the final vowel of English sofa.
- n. The symbol (ə) used to represent an unstressed neutral vowel and, in some systems of phonetic transcription, a stressed mid-central vowel, as in but.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An indeterminate central vowel sound as the "a" in "about", represented as /ə/ in IPA and /@/ in SAMPA and X-SAMPA.
- n. The character ə, an upside-down, backwards, lower-case E
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a neutral middle vowel; occurs in unstressed syllables
There's nae fuckin schwa in the Roman alfabet so ye cannae ever really be akyirit, ye ken?
A correspondent from Brazil writes to ask about the origins of the phonetics term schwa, used to identify, for example, the English mid-central vowel sound of unstressed the or the final vowel in sofa, and written with an inverted e.
This neutral vowel phoneme known as schwa is produced by the vibration of the vocal cords alone, with the tongue in a neutral position and requiring a minimal amount of articulatory effort.
You referred to the vowel in the first syllable of the “PEH-duh-file” pronunciation as being a schwa, but the schwa is a sound that occurs only in unaccented syllables, like the first syllable of “about.”
In the science of language that calls itself linguistics, a schwa is a neutral vowel sound, its symbol an inverted e, pronounced uh and usually unstressed, as the a in ago or the i in easily.
The ə is called schwa, but the other Hausa letters don't have a name in the standard X keysym table.
Only thin I'm curious about, is how do you plan to explain the difference between the appearance of a 'schwa' and a 'supershortschwa'.
Also, its unstressed and reduced form, named "schwa", is likely to become a persistent problem if we consider that Portuguese unstressed vowels are not normally reduced.
Two phonemes: a voiced dental fricative and a schwa.
I would expect [məsəz] from a New Zealander, with the KIT-schwa merger.