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Thread: schwa

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    #1

    schwa

    Which word is the correct one for the schwa sound?

    heard,beard, dear, or heart

    Thanks a lot dears
    Last edited by waleed123456; 02-Apr-2012 at 21:52.

  1. Bennevis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: schwa


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    #3

    Re: schwa

    None of them. The schwa sound is the one you hear in:

    the book, a book, banana, about.

    Incidentally, 'dears' is not an appropriate way to address people in English, even though it is in some other languages.

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    #4

    Re: schwa

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennevis View Post
    Yes, /biəd/ /diə/ (beard, dear) as I say them, but not all English speakers would necessarily use a schwa here.

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    #5

    Re: schwa

    If I had to pick one, I'd say "heard" is, in RP, the closest to the schwa sound, the neutral vowel. In rhotic geolects, the /r/ would eclipse that right out, however.

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    #6

    Re: schwa

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    If I had to pick one, I'd say "heard" is, in RP, the closest to the schwa sound, the neutral vowel.
    I agree with that. Indeed, when I first studied phonetics, nearly fifty years ago, the symbol for the sound in 'heard' in RP was /ə:/.

    Like Raymott, I pronounce 'beard, dear' with a diphthong that glides from /i/ to /ə/. However, I would not use this diphthong as a model for the schwa sound, or a respose to the original question - "Which word is the correct one for the schwa sound?"

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