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From: "Nokta Kanto" <[log in to unmask]>
> Well I know there's supposed to be a schwa /@/ sound, but at least in my
> dialect of english I can't distinguish this as a separate sound. The schwa
> seems to always be one of the following:
>
> a /V/ sound (about, pencil)
> merged with r as a /3/ sound (winner)
> elided (button /bVtn=/)
>
> How do you consider the schwa as a separate sound?

In (general) English [@] is an allophone of /V/ appearing in unstressed
syllables.

On a phonetic level, [V] is just unrounded [O].
[@] is not a back vowel.

    *Muke!
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