Talk:Vowel reduction

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Schwa[edit]

"The most common example is the schwa sound, present in nearly all languages."

Uh… what? If this is taken from the Schwa article, note that the definition there includes epenthetic vowels; there are many, many languages without centralized-reduced vowels AIUI (most monosyllabic and Polynesian langs, for just two examples.) --Tropylium 13:03, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Slovene[edit]

In the same way, Slovene [...] has a stressed reduced vowel: /e/ appears as schwa [ə] in some reducing environments (such as /er/ when no other vowel is adjacent), even when the syllable is stressed.

That doesn't make sense. A reduced vowel is by definition unstressed. If the Slovene phoneme /e/ appears as [ə] in certain environments in stressed syllables, that's a simple case of allophony, or neutralisation of a contrast /e/ vs. /ə/ in certain environments, both phonemes merging in /ə/. Anyway, Slovene doesn't even have any kind of synchronic vowel reduction, so this example is off topic.

Of course, stressed schwas (or other central vowels), which can even be phonemic, such as in Albanian, Romanian or Bulgarian, may historically derive from reduced vowels that received the stress after their reduction, but they aren't synchronically reduced vowels anymore. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:31, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

The situation with Slovene is actually even more different. Slovene schwa isn't a reduced vowel synchronically, it is a separate phoneme that contrasts with other vowels in the same position. It originates as an epenthetic vowel that was inserted after the loss of other reduced vowels (due to Havlík's law in the Slavic languages). What makes Slovene special is that the epenthetic vowel remains as a schwa, while in the other Slavic languages it usually became some other less neutral vowel (in Serbo-Croatian it became /a/, for example). CodeCat (talk) 02:23, 23 March 2013 (UTC)