schwa sounds:
  • explanation
  • emphasis
barred i sounds:
  • recitation
  • monitor

In English, we give some syllables more stress than others. That means that some syllables are louder, longer, and clearer than others. Syllables that are unstressed are shorter, softer, and less clear. In fact, there are o nly TWO reduced vowel sounds in English. These are the "Schwa" sound and the "barred i" sound.

The "barred i" is like a really short /I/ sound.
The "schwa" is like a really short vowel made in the center of your mouth.

 

Reduced Vowel Sounds