Tom   Thursday, August 19, 2004, 22:02 GMT

It's not the schwa that sounds like the Spanish O, it's the L (the "dark l").

Listen to the recordings of "lean" and "hill" here:

Hill sounds like [hi o].
Mi5 Mick   Friday, August 20, 2004, 02:05 GMT
The L is still pronounced unless you fall into the miwk-milk scenario.

It mightn't be a schwa strictly speaking but it behaves like the schwa between T and L in "cattle" ~ cat'l. So you could write [hi'll] though the sound is less evident.

It seems that this schwa is closer to a [u] than an [o:] especially for BL, DL, TL, etc... type combinations. eg. cable, waddle, cattle. Whereas, ER, OR, UR combos have a [e:] schwa. eg. blistering, factoring, hours.