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Query Details

Query Subject:   Two variants of schwa
Author:   Gabriele Azzaro
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Phonetics
Subject Language(s):  English

Query:   Dear linguists,

a student of mine is writing a dissertation on the vowel systems of British
and American English. Her major concern at the moment is finding out the
distribution of the two ''variants'' of the schwa phoneme in specific
contexts: the ''variants'' in question are standardly assumed to be: (i)
normal schwa (here transcribed as /6/); (ii) its slightly higher
realization, transcribed as an /i/ with a dash over it (here transcribed as
/i-/). Could anyone kindly help us with the two following questions?
(i) do you agree on the distribution of the weak /i-/ phoneme in the first
list below? (ii) do you agree on the distribution of schwa /6/ in the second
list below? (Symbols are from the CHILDES UNIBET chart (MacWhinney 1991:
63-4), stress & details omitted).

Thanks for any help, will post a sum as soon as we get some answers back.

abdominal [&bdQmi-n6l]
abstinence [&sti-n6ns]
America [6meri-k6]
badminton [b&dmi-nt6n]
cylinder [sIli-nder]
counterirritant [kaunt6rIri-t6nt]
determinant [dIt3:mi-n6nt]
economical [ek6nQmi-k6l]
electrical [Ilektri-k6l]
emigrant [emi-gr6nt]
eminence [emi-nens]
geophisical [dZi:QfIzi-c6l]
immigrant [Imi-gr6nt]
imminent [Imi-n6nt]
intoxicant [intQksi-k6nt]
incriminate [InkrImi-neIt]
inquisitive [IquIzi-tIv]
nightingale [naIti-ngeIl]
palmistry [pa:mi-stri]
participal [pa:tIsi-pQl]
philippine [fIli-pin]
Anglicism [&ngl6si-z6m]
egotism [i:g6ti-z6m]
consumerism [kQnsu:m6ri-z6m]
nationalism [n&S6n6li-z6m]

babyhood [beIbi-h6d]
boyhood [boIh6d]
childhood [tSaIldh6d]
livelihood [laIvli-h6d]
maidenhood [meId6nh6d]
manhood [m&nh6d]
parenthood [per6nth6d]

- Gabriele Azzaro
- Dipartimento di Psicologia dello Sviluppo e della Socializzazione
- Universita' di Padova
LL Issue: 7.1795
Date posted: 19-Dec-1996


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