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I was looking up the word "meditative", and in one dictionary, the fourth letter "i" is pronounced "ə", but in another dictionary it is pronounced "ɪ".

I don't know which phonetic symbol I should follow (for British English). I listened to the voice samples in both dictionaries, and they all sound like "ɪ".

I need some guidelines.

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Either one is fine. –  Alex B. Sep 5 '12 at 0:05
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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

These sounds are almost the same, and really are only different for people who pronounce "Rosa's" and "roses" differently.

Phonetically, ə is lower and more open than ɪ, but they are both pretty centralized unstressed schwa-like vowels.

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Which one for 'roses'? –  Mitch Sep 4 '12 at 23:56
    
@Mitch For those who make the distinction, "Rosa's" is [ɹo:zəz], "roses" is [ɹo:zɪz] –  Mark Beadles Sep 5 '12 at 1:13
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