Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 13:58:20 -0400
From: "Dale F.Coye" CoyeCFAT[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: variation in unstressed vowels
Is this an accurate description?
In standard varieties of American English the first syllable of "enough" may
vary between a full (/ee/) or a reduced quality (schwa or /ih/). The same is
true of words with prefixes de-, re-, pre-, and ex- (expect, etc. which
varies between full /eks-/ and reduced /iks-/). But in another group of
words, unstressed syllables do not vary. They must have the reduced schwa
(oppose, offend, condemn). What's interesting is that on stage you'll hear
Shakespearean actors pronouncing words like "offend" with a full-blown /oh/
instead of the usual schwa- in what is sometimes called "mannered" speech.
My questions are- are their standard varieties in which enough, etc. do not
vary, and are their standard varieties where offend, etc. do vary. Does
anyone know any studies on this?
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching