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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.
    Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 0:05

1 Answer 1

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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
    Commented Sep 4, 2012 at 23:56
  • @Mitch For those who make the distinction, "Rosa's" is [ɹo:zəz], "roses" is [ɹo:zɪz] Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 1:13

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