Date: Tue, 25 Jun 1996 13:58:20 -0400 From: "Dale F.Coye" 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? Dale Coye The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Princeton, NJ