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.

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

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.

| improve this answer | |
  • 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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