The Schwa Is the Laziest Sound in All of Human Speech

allthingslinguistic:

Arika Okrent explains schwas on Lexicon Valley

We all know that English spelling is rarely a good guide to pronunciation. One big reason for this is the prevalence of schwa in the spoken language. That’s why dictionaries and other written guides to pronunciation make use of a special symbol to represent the schwa sound. It looks like this: ǝ—an upside down e. But what is schwa anyway? Here are nine things to help you get to know this very important vowel.

1. ANY WRITTEN VOWEL CAN BE A SPOKEN SCHWA

A schwa is the ‘uh’ sound found in an unstressed syllable. For example, the first syllable in amazing (ǝ-MA-zing), the first syllable in tenacious (tǝ-NA-cious), the second syllable in replicate (RE-plǝ-cate), the second syllable in percolate (PER-cǝ-late), the first syllable in supply (sǝ –PLY), the first syllable in syringe (sǝ-RINGE). That’s a written A, E, I, O, U and even a Y coming out as schwa in the spoken version.

Schwas are very common in English (although they’re surprisingly difficult to play in IPA Scrabble, because they’re far more common in polysyllabic words). They’re less common in other languages, and are one of the things that contribute to non-native accents in both directions: English speakers tend to reduce vowels to schwa even when it’s unwarranted, and speakers of many other languages tend to pronounce too many full vowels. 

Because of how common and distinctively-shaped schwa is, it (along with wugs) have become a ubiquitous icon for linguistics. For example, there’s a schwa necklace, dozens of schwa mugs and t-shirts, and of course the publication Schwa Fire

Linguistics are hella rad

writingsforwinter:

NEVER-BEFORE SEEN photos of….
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As you can see in these photos, the print copies now actually have a spine (blue) and are hardback, and are small enough to fit in your pocket! :D
(They used to be too big to fit in a pocket and were stapled together loosely, softbound.)
This book is split into two parts: the first half about grief, death, depression, eating disorders, suicide, sexual assalt, etc, and the second half about recovery, healing, survival, and growth.
They can be purchased through etsy as a print copy or digital copy.
I’m using all funds from the book sales for my college tuition.
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Beautiful, as always
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writingsforwinter:

NEVER-BEFORE SEEN photos of….
My second book, Healing Old Wounds With New Stitches, which is now hardback and pocket-sized!!!! (4.5” x 6”) :D
As you can see in these photos, the print copies now actually have a spine (blue) and are hardback, and are small enough to fit in your pocket! :D
(They used to be too big to fit in a pocket and were stapled together loosely, softbound.)
This book is split into two parts: the first half about grief, death, depression, eating disorders, suicide, sexual assalt, etc, and the second half about recovery, healing, survival, and growth.
They can be purchased through etsy as a print copy or digital copy.
I’m using all funds from the book sales for my college tuition.
<3

Beautiful, as always
Zoom Info
writingsforwinter:

NEVER-BEFORE SEEN photos of….
My second book, Healing Old Wounds With New Stitches, which is now hardback and pocket-sized!!!! (4.5” x 6”) :D
As you can see in these photos, the print copies now actually have a spine (blue) and are hardback, and are small enough to fit in your pocket! :D
(They used to be too big to fit in a pocket and were stapled together loosely, softbound.)
This book is split into two parts: the first half about grief, death, depression, eating disorders, suicide, sexual assalt, etc, and the second half about recovery, healing, survival, and growth.
They can be purchased through etsy as a print copy or digital copy.
I’m using all funds from the book sales for my college tuition.
<3

Beautiful, as always
Zoom Info
writingsforwinter:

NEVER-BEFORE SEEN photos of….
My second book, Healing Old Wounds With New Stitches, which is now hardback and pocket-sized!!!! (4.5” x 6”) :D
As you can see in these photos, the print copies now actually have a spine (blue) and are hardback, and are small enough to fit in your pocket! :D
(They used to be too big to fit in a pocket and were stapled together loosely, softbound.)
This book is split into two parts: the first half about grief, death, depression, eating disorders, suicide, sexual assalt, etc, and the second half about recovery, healing, survival, and growth.
They can be purchased through etsy as a print copy or digital copy.
I’m using all funds from the book sales for my college tuition.
<3

Beautiful, as always
Zoom Info
writingsforwinter:

NEVER-BEFORE SEEN photos of….
My second book, Healing Old Wounds With New Stitches, which is now hardback and pocket-sized!!!! (4.5” x 6”) :D
As you can see in these photos, the print copies now actually have a spine (blue) and are hardback, and are small enough to fit in your pocket! :D
(They used to be too big to fit in a pocket and were stapled together loosely, softbound.)
This book is split into two parts: the first half about grief, death, depression, eating disorders, suicide, sexual assalt, etc, and the second half about recovery, healing, survival, and growth.
They can be purchased through etsy as a print copy or digital copy.
I’m using all funds from the book sales for my college tuition.
<3

Beautiful, as always
Zoom Info
writingsforwinter:

NEVER-BEFORE SEEN photos of….
My second book, Healing Old Wounds With New Stitches, which is now hardback and pocket-sized!!!! (4.5” x 6”) :D
As you can see in these photos, the print copies now actually have a spine (blue) and are hardback, and are small enough to fit in your pocket! :D
(They used to be too big to fit in a pocket and were stapled together loosely, softbound.)
This book is split into two parts: the first half about grief, death, depression, eating disorders, suicide, sexual assalt, etc, and the second half about recovery, healing, survival, and growth.
They can be purchased through etsy as a print copy or digital copy.
I’m using all funds from the book sales for my college tuition.
<3

Beautiful, as always
Zoom Info
writingsforwinter:

NEVER-BEFORE SEEN photos of….
My second book, Healing Old Wounds With New Stitches, which is now hardback and pocket-sized!!!! (4.5” x 6”) :D
As you can see in these photos, the print copies now actually have a spine (blue) and are hardback, and are small enough to fit in your pocket! :D
(They used to be too big to fit in a pocket and were stapled together loosely, softbound.)
This book is split into two parts: the first half about grief, death, depression, eating disorders, suicide, sexual assalt, etc, and the second half about recovery, healing, survival, and growth.
They can be purchased through etsy as a print copy or digital copy.
I’m using all funds from the book sales for my college tuition.
<3

Beautiful, as always
Zoom Info
writingsforwinter:

NEVER-BEFORE SEEN photos of….
My second book, Healing Old Wounds With New Stitches, which is now hardback and pocket-sized!!!! (4.5” x 6”) :D
As you can see in these photos, the print copies now actually have a spine (blue) and are hardback, and are small enough to fit in your pocket! :D
(They used to be too big to fit in a pocket and were stapled together loosely, softbound.)
This book is split into two parts: the first half about grief, death, depression, eating disorders, suicide, sexual assalt, etc, and the second half about recovery, healing, survival, and growth.
They can be purchased through etsy as a print copy or digital copy.
I’m using all funds from the book sales for my college tuition.
<3

Beautiful, as always
Zoom Info

writingsforwinter:

NEVER-BEFORE SEEN photos of….

My second book, Healing Old Wounds With New Stitches, which is now hardback and pocket-sized!!!! (4.5” x 6”) :D

As you can see in these photos, the print copies now actually have a spine (blue) and are hardback, and are small enough to fit in your pocket! :D

(They used to be too big to fit in a pocket and were stapled together loosely, softbound.)

This book is split into two parts: the first half about grief, death, depression, eating disorders, suicide, sexual assalt, etc, and the second half about recovery, healing, survival, and growth.

They can be purchased through etsy as a print copy or digital copy.

I’m using all funds from the book sales for my college tuition.

<3

Beautiful, as always