Day 9 Reducing Unstressed Vowels Understanding Fast Speech in English




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Hi and welcome to Day 9. Can you balance a glass on your head? I can. Stick around and on Day 20 I'll tell you how I learned how to do it. English with Jennifer I've already told you about function words, small words like AT and THAN, and how in fast speech we usually reduce them. The vowel sounds change to a weaker form, usually a schwa. /ə/ But even with content words, the important words in a sentence or phrase, there can be stressed and unstressed syllables. As long as we have two or more syllables, we can have a stressed and unstressed syllable. Unstressed sounds also get reduced. They often reduce to a schwa, but they could be reduced to a short "i" sound. /ɪ/ I asked you if you could balance a glass on your head. balance The first syllable is stressed. /æ/.../bæ/ The second is unstressed. /ə/... /ˈbæ ləns/ I also asked you to stick around to Day 20, so I can tell you how exactly I learned to balance the glass. stick around...around Which syllable is stressed? /ə ˈraʊnd/ So the "a" is reduced. /ə/ /ə ˈraʊnd/...stick around Here are some words that should be familiar to you. These ones. Listen. Listen closely. I'll say a sentence or phrase. You try to understand. Note in that last sentence I could stress the word "some" or not stress it. If it's unstressed, it sounds weak. /səm/ If I stress it, I'm emphasizing there are some dances learned, but not all of them are learned together. Listen again. (unstressed) /səm/ (stressed) /sʌm/ That's all for now. Thanks for watching and happy studies.