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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    ə(unstressed) vs ʌ(stressed)

    I learned from a pronunciation website that ə and ʌ are like twins - one for unstressed sound, the other for stressed sound. I think I have heard both sounds of a noun like the following, and when you make the stressed sound ʌ , is it because you want to emphsize it or you are kind of emotionally upset or agitated or do you just do it randomly?

    ə(unstressed) ʌ(stressed)
    one one
    but but
    young young
    love love
    hug hug
    cut cut
    fun fun
    Monday Monday
    Last edited by keannu; 29-Mar-2012 at 10:13.

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    #2

    Re: ə(unstressed) vs ʌ(stressed)

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    I learned from a pronunciation website that ə and ʌ are like twins - one for unstressed sound, the other for stressed sound. I think I have heard both sounds of a noun like the following, and when you make the stressed sound ʌ , is it because you want to emphsize it or you are kind of emotionally upset or agitated or do you just do it randomly?

    ə(unstressed) ʌ(stressed)
    one one - Maybe
    but but - Yes
    young young - No
    love love - No
    hug hug - No
    cut cut - No
    fun fun - No
    Monday Monday No
    That is my experience. The only word here that uses a schwa when the word isn't stressed is 'but', and maybe 'one' in "no one, someone, anyone ..." if spoken quickly. The others don't work as function words; they should be stressed.
    Can you post the website URL?

  3. keannu's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: ə(unstressed) vs ʌ(stressed)

    Pronunciation of English Vowel Sounds 4 - Central Vowels - Part 1 (with captions) - YouTube
    If all the words you marked as "No" should be ʌ, I will be a little bit shocked, going back to my past belief. I mean I firmly believed they should be ʌ, but when I asked some Americans(suck(he pronounced as schwa)) and some Canadian(cut(he pronounced as schwa)) to pronounce them, I got confused. I surely rechecked and rechecked their pronunciation, but they were schwa.
    I have heard most of ʌ sounds(80-90%) as ʌ so far, but some exceptions or my possible mishearing makes me confused.

    In the link, she unifies ʌ and schwa to schwa(meaning ʌ as well), but I'm not sure if she separates the two sounds, or she meant a word can be either of the two depending on situation.
    (Please check at the video clip at 04:27 - otherwise, you will wander)
    Last edited by keannu; 29-Mar-2012 at 12:13.

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    #4

    Re: ə(unstressed) vs ʌ(stressed)

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Pronunciation of English Vowel Sounds 4 - Central Vowels - Part 1 (with captions) - YouTube
    If all the words you marked as "No" should be ʌ, I will be a little bit shocked, going back to my past belief.
    Be shocked then.

    I mean I firmly believed they should be ʌ, but when I asked some Americans(suck(he pronounced as schwa)) and some Canadian(cut(he pronounced as schwa)) to pronounce them, I got confused. I surely rechecked and rechecked their pronunciation, but they were schwa.
    I have heard most of ʌ sounds(80-90%) as ʌ so far, but some exceptions or my possible mishearing makes me confused.

    In the link, she unifies ʌ and schwa to schwa(meaning ʌ as well), but I'm not sure if she separates the two sounds, or she meant a word can be either of the two depending on situation.
    (Please check at the video clip at 04:27 - otherwise, you will wander)
    I disagree with her. I don't think schwa is an unstressed / ʌ /, at least not in AusE. And it's obviously confusing you to think this way.
    In any event, as I said, none of those words that I marked 'No' occur as unstressed words.
    If you have a sound file of someone saying those words with a schwa, please post it.

  5. keannu's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: ə(unstressed) vs ʌ(stressed)

    Maybe she is right, and my interpretation is wrong. I think her view of ʌ as the stressed schwas is correct as the two vowels have exactly the same way of making except for ʌ's exhaling(stressed) and schwa's inhaling(unstressed), and she probably thinks "cup" is pronounced in only one way. But as I seem to have heard both sounds for many words(maybe my misconception), I seem to think in a confusing way.

    I still don't get why the American(from Utah) and the Canadian(from Nova Scotia) pronounced suck[sək] and cut[kət] each. Maybe as there's no rule but has exceptions, they are exceptional cases.

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    #6

    Re: ə(unstressed) vs ʌ(stressed)

    Hi it is American English pronunciation course.
    Thank you

  7. keannu's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: ə(unstressed) vs ʌ(stressed)

    Could you take a look at this website? She seems to pronounce ʌ as schwa, a relaxed sound.
    The 'uh' as in 'butter' Vowel | Rachel's English
    Also, this voice actor for the dictionary seems to pronounce ʌ as schwa for the word "ultra".
    http://endic.naver.com/enkrEntry.nhn...a1&query=ultra
    (click on this symbol )

    If I misheard them, I might be wrong, but I really doubt it.
    Last edited by keannu; 30-Mar-2012 at 00:07.

  8. keannu's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: ə(unstressed) vs ʌ(stressed)

    What about "under"? Isn't "un"''s "u" schwa? No one seems to pronounce it so strong as it is noted in dictionary as [ʌndər]. I think I gave too much burden for the videos, you don't have to watch them, just tell me if there's any exceptional cases for "ʌ".

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    #9

    Re: ə(unstressed) vs ʌ(stressed)

    For many speakers of American English, /ə/ and /ʌ/ are very, very similar. For some speakers of American English there is a greater variety in the way they pronounce /ə/.

    On Pronuncian, I generally will transcribe /ə/ if the vowel sound occurs on an unstressed syllable and /ʌ/ for stressed syllables. Therefore, I show above as /ə ˈbʌv/ since the stressed vowel sound falls on the second syllable. However, I actually pronounce both vowel sounds very similarly in that example.

    If I take the word circumstance /ˈsɚ kəm stns/, however, the /ə/ can vary from the way it is pronounced in the word above. Because of the unstressed nature of the second syllable of the word circumstance, the symbol /ə/ is still used.

  9. keannu's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: ə(unstressed) vs ʌ(stressed)

    Thank you, your argument is quite convincing, but there's more that I need to hear. Some syllables with /ʌ/, irrespective of stress, seem to be pronounced either /ə/ or /ʌ/ without any rules like the ones mentioned so far.

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