The causes of the schwa phoneme as a fossilized pronunciation problem for Turks

Demirezen M.

2nd World Conference on Educational Sciences (WCES-2010), İstanbul, Turkey, 4 - 08 February 2010, vol.2, pp.1567-1571 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 2
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.03.237
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.1567-1571
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


The articulation of the schwa phoneme, symbolized by the [e] in the IPA system, of the English language, is a serious pronunciation problem for Turkish English teachers, teacher trainees and the students of other fields of study. Because it does not take place in the Turkish vowel inventory, its articulation is managed by Turks in general. It holds a phonemic status in the English vowel inventory, and therefore it changes the grammatical category and the meaning of words, which boil down to mean that it can create breakdowns in communication. Mother tongue interference, vowel reduction, connected speech, lack of professional instruction are some of the causes that lead to the mispronunciation of the schwa phoneme by Turks. The inevitable result is that the schwa phoneme is a fossilized error of articulation for Turks.