Hour/Our homonyms?

Um?   Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 09:52 GMT
''(Perdona mi ortagrafia y gramatica, pero es que tengo tiempo de no escribir en espanol. Tambien el teclado no le he podido configurar. Ademas a Tom le gustan que escriba uno solo en ingles)''

''Jordi, para mi la vocal "schwa" suena bastante diferente en ciertas palabras. Tiene una tendencia frustrante a cambiar. No se si tu opinas lo mismo. Te dare ejemplos para ver si lo puedes ver de mi punto de vista. Haber si los hablantes nativos de ingles tambien pueden entender lo que quiero decir.''

I don't understand what you're saying. I don't know this language.
Mi5 Mick   Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 14:15 GMT
For me:
@u.. for both but usually @u^ for hour.

eg. our house - @u.. or @u house
1 hour - one @u^
2 hours - two @u..z

Damian   Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 21:14 GMT
<<I've got a chunk of nectarine in my mouth>>

I reckon I should have used plums instead of marbles so I must be losing mine. Aye, nectarines will do....same difference, Random.
Mxsmanic   Wednesday, August 18, 2004, 23:39 GMT
Schwa always sounds the same, otherwise it's not a schwa, by definition. If you think you are hearing or saying different flavors of schwa, in fact you are actually pronouncing vowels other than the schwa.

Hour and our should sound exactly the same in most common pronunciations of English, including RP and GAE. Since RP doesn't pronounce the 'r,' you'd get [AU@] typically, and in GAE you'd get [AUR] (schwa with rhoticity).

The distinction between flour and flower, when it is made, seems to be [flAU@] vs. [flAUw@] or [flAU?@], in RP. I don't usually make this distinction myself; it's pretty much always [flAUR] to me.
Random Chappie   Thursday, August 19, 2004, 01:19 GMT
It's probably not possible to pronounce "different flavours" of the schwa but it's certainly possible to pronounce it longer or shorter or not pronounce it at all.

I speak neither pure RP or GAE. Actually, I can't point my finger exactly on how I speak. My accent is similar to that of many people in the south of England but it's neither RP or Estuary; it's in between the two extremes. I say "shejool" (more Estuary-ish) and not "shedyool" (RP) for "schedule" and as you already know, I don't pronounce the schwa in "our". Yet, I don't say "miwk" for "milk" or "bruvver" for "brother".

What would you call my accent? General Southeastern English? Standard Middle-Class Southeastern English? Suburban Southeastern English? Academic Estuary English? Middle-Class Estuary English? Estuary Received Pronunciation? Lower-Class Received Pronunciation? The possibilities are mind-boggling.
Jordi   Thursday, August 19, 2004, 10:33 GMT
You probably speak Random Southern English.
Mxsmanic   Thursday, August 19, 2004, 13:08 GMT
I'm not good at classifying accents other than RP and GAE. I try to concentrate on the most prevalent standards, as those are the ones people wish to learn.

I don't recall seeing long unstressed vowels, although there's no reason why they couldn't exist. The fact that a vowel is unstressed also rather implies that it will be short.

The unstressed "uh" vowel represented routinely by schwa can in fact vary quite a bit; it's just whatever the individual or his dialect treats as a "resting" vowel, the most neutral and easiest to produce when a vowel is required.
Juan   Thursday, August 19, 2004, 13:31 GMT
Um? sez:
<<I don't understand what you're saying. I don't know this language.>>

Don't worry of what I wrote in that part of the message. It was a "private" message directed to a particular poster. :-) Below is a summary of the main query of my post.

IDE[A], IKE[A] Schwa tendency to sound like a short version of the vowel in BUT

OC[EA]N, VIS[IO]N, SEV[E]N Schwa sounds like a short version of vowel in PET

GU[I]TAR, F[I]NANCE, D[I]RECTION Schwas sound like short version of vowel in PIT

P[O]LICE, ID[O]L, TABL[E] Short version of POT

T[O]DAY, T[O]MORROW, KANG[A]ROO Short version of vowels in GOOD, WOULD

This is based on the non-rhotic vowel system of the UK and Australia
Random Chappie   Thursday, August 19, 2004, 15:40 GMT
Good thinking, Jordi- "Random Southern English".
Juan   Saturday, August 21, 2004, 01:03 GMT
Ok, I guess it is just me then. I seriously need to make a doctor's appointment and get my ears waxed. I'm hearing thing that are obviously not there.
Jim   Monday, August 23, 2004, 10:59 GMT
I prounce them differently.

"our" ==>> /au/
"hour" ==>> /au../
A   Tuesday, August 24, 2004, 03:01 GMT
D wrote:

> Nobody pronounces 'hour' and 'are' the same.

"Nobody"? Someone obviously needs to visit the mountain areas of the American South.
Mi5 Mick   Tuesday, August 24, 2004, 08:10 GMT

Why wouldn't you write "hour" as /au^/ to differentiate it from "hours" ==>> /au..z/?

Random Chappie,

Well, one of my flatmates has an eccentric accent, so Random English would be a good description. :)
Jim   Wednesday, August 25, 2004, 05:56 GMT

Perhaps you're right.
Juan   Thursday, August 26, 2004, 10:04 GMT
Thanks for you input Jim.