Is shwa a single sound or can it be used to denote multiple different sounds? I know different people might pronounce the same words differently but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the fact that to me shwa seems to be used to mean different sounds, sometimes even in the same word. Like
puppet (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puppet). There's no way
e are pronounced the same way in that word. And yet the phonetic transcription uses shwa twice:
pə-pət. So what's going on?
I searched this site and found e.g. this answer by herisson: What exactly is the "schwa" sound?
I think the crucial part is:
Basically, the realization of what is called the "schwa" varies depending on its position and the surrounding sounds.
But what does "realization" mean here? And why does it depend on position/surrounding sounds? Why is it different from all other sounds?