[dZ&gwar], [dZ&gjuwar], and [dZ&gwaIr]

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Dec 28 01:06:44 UTC 2010

At 10:35 PM +0000 12/27/10, Tom Zurinskas wrote:
>Phonetic spelling norms are so unacceptable as to be unteachable in
>USA grammar schools.  Yet they could be so simple that everyone
>could learn phonetics even as a first grader.  The key is to make
>phonetic spelling simple and English based as does truespel
>phonetics.  This would lead to a revolutinary capability to explain
>English pronunciation to all learners as does the free converter at
>For the word "jaguar" the notations  [dZ&gwar], [dZ&gjuwar], and
>[dZ&gwaIr] are intelligible.  The ampersand as a schwa is actually
>incorrect here as I hear the words spoken (see below).

The ampersand, [&], doesn't represent a schwa in ascii, it represents
the low front unrounded vowel of "cat".  [@] represents the schwa.


>   Clearly the vowel is short a, as in "jag", not a schwa as in "jug"
>(Usually schwa stands for the "uh" sound ~u).
>I click on the speakers in thefreedictionary.com and hear:
>USA  ~jagwaar  (JAG-wahr) - clicking the speaker icon
>UK   ~jagyue'u  (JAG-you-uh) - clicking the flag icon
>Note, if it's UK, the ending "r" is dropped.  UK phonetics usually
>don't reflect that.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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