pronunciation - upside down V, [A] and upside-down e [ə], the schwa

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by stcrocefirenze, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. stcrocefirenze Senior Member

    español castellano, españa
    Hi, I would like to pose this question,that I came across the book
    "American accent training" from Ann Cook :

    "In many dictionaries, you may find a character that looks like an upside down V, [A] and
    another character that is an upside-down e [ə], the schwa. There is a linguistic distinction
    between the two, but they are pronounced exactly the same. Since you can't hear the difference
    between these two sounds, we'll just be using the upside-down e to indicate the schwa sound. It
    is pronounced uh"
    so, please, anyone could enlight me about what is this excerpt about?, I mean, the upside down V, [A] and upside-down e [ə], the schwa, in this context ?
    I'm really struggling to improve my pronuntiation and understanding og english and I will appreciate any help!

    regards and thank you!
  2. george.richards New Member

    English - UK
    I cannot speak from an American perspective but I hope that this response can still be of some use to you.

    The schwa is the most common sound in the English language. You may already know that but here is a useful link anyway:

    It's true that the two sounds are very similar, although there is definitely a difference.
    I'm not an expert on this topic, however I would say that using the two sounds interchangeably is unlikely to have a notable effect on your accent.

    In regards to this book, they are attempting to avoid confusion caused by the similarity of the two sounds. That's why they have decided to represent both sounds with the same symbol.
  3. aztlaniano

    aztlaniano Senior Member

    Lavapiestán, Madrid
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
  4. george.richards New Member

    English - UK
    Nadie ha dicho que era inglés. Sino que es el sonido más común del inglés.
  5. aztlaniano

    aztlaniano Senior Member

    Lavapiestán, Madrid
    English (Aztlán, US sector)
    I didn't see your post til just now, ergo I was not referring to it. I thought stcrocefirenze had the impression the "schwa" was specifically English.
    It doesn't exist in Spanish, but it does in German, French and Russian, that I know of, and surely in many, many other languages I don't know.
  6. Masood

    Masood Senior Member

    Leicester, England
    British English
    I suppose for the purpose of teaching, the 'inverted V' and the 'Schwa' are similar enough in sound to just consider using the schwa.

    In regional British English (roughly, Northern versus Southern England), however, the pronunciation of words whose phonetic spelling includes the inverted V (e.g. fun, bus, muck, etc), can sound very different.
  7. _Mozart_

    _Mozart_ Senior Member

    Santiago - Chile
    Spanish - Chile
    Comparto con Masood, he estado en US y UK, y ciertamente en US el sonido es bastante similar como para reducirlos solo a uno, ya sea ә ó ʌ
    Pero en Inglaterra, los sonidos son notoriamente distintos, incluso entre regiones al norte y al sur (puedo comparar Durham con Reading). Por cuanto creo que hay que conocer cómo suenan las vocales en distintas regiones angloparlantes, como proceso de mejoramiento de pronunciación.
  8. duvija

    duvija Senior Member

    Spanish - Uruguay

    Muy bien. La V invertida es una schwa acentuada (¿ les sirve este dato? Según la región será más o menos diferente.

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