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  1. #1
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    easybreakable is offline Member
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    Exclamation How to simply explain "Schwa"?

    Hi,

    I used to teach preparatory and secondary levels, I mean young who are a bit oriented with phonetics, now my boss asked me to teach a zero level (starter)... The first lesson in the unit is about "Schwa" and I don' have the teacher's book yet.

    I want to know how simply I could explain it without much complicating an already huge topic, I just need simple definition and easy examples, they are adult student with scant knowledge regarding the basics.

  2. #2
    NaVaS is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: How to simply explain "Schwa"?

    Hi. I think "schwa" is not actually a phoneme as everyone says. It seems to me like an area in the IPA vowel chart. Sometimes you can use /ɜ/ and others /a/ instead of "schwa".Some websites say you can change for /ʌ/. Ive read many websites and nobody agrees but Im sure "schwa" is not always the same sound.

    I see "schwa" simply like an unstressed sound. Nothing more.

    Personally I move that phoneme to /ɜ/ often.


    Greetings and sorry if I made mistakes in my english.
    Last edited by NaVaS; 14-Feb-2011 at 17:26.

  3. #3
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: How to simply explain "Schwa"?

    Schwa is most definitely a phoneme. It has many allophones, that's true.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to simply explain "Schwa"?

    When I first studied phonetics over forty years ago, we used /ǝː/ for the sound for which we now use the symbol /ɜː/. Many of the variant allophones of /ǝ/ are very close to a weak, short /ɜː/.

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