The "E" in een/de

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lee30bmw
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The "E" in een/de

Post by lee30bmw » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:24 pm

I fully understand the concept of the three different E's (short E, long E, and the "muted" E as dutchgrammar calls it), but when I hear the words "de" and "een" (the article, not number), I don't hear the schwa sound that almost every website says the unstressed (muted) E is supposed to make. However, I do feel like I hear a schwa in the unstressed E in other locations. Here's some examples:

De: http://forvo.com/word/de/#nl
Een: http://forvo.com/word/een/#nl

While some do sound schwa-ey, I feel like others sound closer (read: closer) to the Dutch short U sound (I call it the "just got punched in the stomach" sound, or the "I would imagine French has this vowel" sound). My Dutch teacher pronounces them this way as well.

And here's an IPA that has the schwa sound: http://web.uvic.ca/ling/resources/ipa/c ... IPAlab.htm (click on the "ə" symbol)

The schwa is supposedly the "a" in the English word "about", which sounds accurate in the IPA above (or the "american that is thinking about something" sound). But I don't feel like "de" and "een" sound like this. I think I hear this same pattern in other irregular words with ending in the unstressed E, usually one syllable, like:

je: http://forvo.com/word/je/#nl
me: http://forvo.com/word/me/#nl
we: http://forvo.com/word/we/#nl

Yet in almost any other standard-spelling Dutch word, the unstressed E sounds like a schwa to me. Examples are any word that ends in an -en, -er, etc.

Am I crazy?

lee30bmw
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Re: The "E" in een/de

Post by lee30bmw » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:28 pm

Just so it's clear, here is the difference I'm talking about (using "de" as an example):

http://forvo.com/word/de/#nl

The pronunciations by users Soetkin, bvbork, and MarcusAugustus don't sound like a schwa to me
but
The pronunciations by users Groningen and nobellius sound like a schwa to me

Thanks in advance...I'd write in Dutch but this would take me forever haha

estarling
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Re: The "E" in een/de

Post by estarling » Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:21 pm

Hi Lee,
Because you haven't got yet an response to your subject I dare to share you my opinion.
Unless you work to build a computer program for a synthetic voice, simulating a Dutch speaker,
those small differences have no great meaning in every day speaking.
You may simply follow the trend within the regio and feel good having an understandable conversation.
This is what I try as a Dutch language apprentice. Brgds.
***** De onderlijning van fouten en de kritiek over deze tekst zijn welkom.

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Re: The "E" in een/de

Post by BrutallyFrank » Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:18 pm

I think Estarling is right. As a native speaker I can hear little differences in the soundbites. What I hear is a schwa, but sometimes spoken with an accent or sometimes a little stressed too much. Also the difference between a young female or an older male is quite big.

But like Estarling already wrote: in every day life all these nuances will not be noticed unless you really pay attention to it.
"Moenie worrie nie, alles sal reg kom" (maar hy het nie gesê wanneer nie!)

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