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    • Join Date: Nov 2014
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    #1

    Are the sounds of these 5 letters the same?

    In general American English pronunciation, are the sounds of the following 5 letters the same:
    u as in bus,
    o as in lion,
    i as in bird,
    e as in paper, and
    a as in ago.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
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      • Japan
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    • Join Date: Feb 2013
    • Posts: 45
    #2

    Re: Are the sounds of these 5 letters the same?

    NOT A TEACHER

    No.

    1. lion → /ə/ (Ordinary schwa.)
    2. ago → /ə/
    3. bus → /ʌ/ (But for many American English speakers, /ʌ/ = stressed /ə/.)
    4. paper → /ɚ/ (R-colored schwa. Don’t get misled by the old-style phonemic transcription of the r-colored schwa, namely /ər/, into thinking this vowel sound is a sequence of [ə] plus [r]. Phonetically, there’s no [ə] in it, and that’s why /ɚ/ is preferable to /ər/.)
    5. bird → /ɜ˞/ (But for many American English speakers, / ɜ˞/ = stressed /ɚ/.)

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