Unstressed vowel

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An unstressed vowel is the vowel sound that forms the syllable peak of a syllable that has no lexical stress. In many languages, such as Russian and English, vowel reduction happens when a vowel changes from stressed to unstressed position, i.e., an unstressed vowel becomes a reduced vowel, such as schwa. As a result, the pronunciation of , e.g., a letter E may significantly differ in the same syllable, but in stressed and unstressed positions. Some other languages, such as Finnish, have no unstressed vowel reduction.

In English

In some dictionary transcriptions of American English, only a subset of vowels may occur in unstressed syllables. Other vowels, such as and , are always transcribed with at least secondary stress. However, when dictionary-convention secondary stress is distinguished from absence of vowel reduction (see the article on secondary stress), it is apparent that all English vowels may occur in unstressed positions:

Nonetheless, it is true that some vowels, such as and , reduce quite readily, so that there are not many English words which have them in unstressed positions.

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