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The unstressed vocalism of the English language.
Vowels in stressed syllables differ from vowels in unstressed syllables by quantity and quality. In the English language articles, conjunctions, prepositions, pronouns, auxiliary and semi-auxiliary verbs, which are, as a rule, unstressed are used in speech in the reduced forms. The verbs have, has, had are used in their strong form as notional verbs. The major role in the system of the unstressed vocalism of the English language belongs to the neutral vowel [ə]. It is necessary to remember that unstressed vowels may be used in the strong forms, e.g.: blackboard [blækbɔd]
unstressed vowels in English may either change their quality and quantity or remain unchanged. For example the indefinite article a may be pronounced as /э/, which differs from /ei/ qualitatively. He may be pronounced as /hi'/ which diilers from /hi:/ quantitatively. In the word potato the final /9U/ remains unchanged though it occurs in an unaccented syllable /pa'teitsu/.
The major role in the system of unstressed vocalism in English belongs to the neutral vowel /a/. It originated as a result of the development of the analytical grammar structures, which led to the reduction of some vowels not only in inflexions but also in other parts of lexical and grammatical words.
According to the data of modern phoneticians /i, э, u, ou/ are always unstressed, /ei, ai/ are unstressed rather often, /d:, л, э: au, is/ are rarely unstressed, ja., u:, i:, 01, еэ, иэ/ are practically never unstressed.
The neutral vowel /з/ may alternate with any vowel of full formation, e.g.
There are some digraphs in English which are pronounced in unstressed syllables either as /э/ or /1/, e. g. er — teacher /ftiitfa/ ar—mortar /'mo:to/ or—motor /imauts/ et—foreign /iform/ ir—elixir /iihksa/ ie—hobbie /Ihobi/ ou(s)—famous /ifeimas/.
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