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Whats the difference of pronunciation of /ɜː/ compared to /ə/ ?
/ɜː/ -> bird
/ə/ -> winner

both seem to make the same sound.

I'd appreciate any help.
Thanks.
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Comments  
I am a native speaker and teach pronunciation. I think /ir/ is a STRESSED vowel with an /r/ sound and /er/ is an UNSTRESSED vowel or schwa with an /r/ sound. Stressed vowels are generally longer and stronger than the unstressed schwa. Because the schwa is not a stressed vowel, the sound very short. Actually, you can't even distinguish the sound as a typical vowel sound.
I'm only getting question marks for those symbols, but if you are referring to the R-colored vowel sounds in "bird" and "winner", the difference should be explained by a speaker of British English, where there is a difference. As an American, I can only tell you that these vowels are the same, differing only in stress.

CJ
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Well, I'm not a native speaker of English but as far as I know the vowel sound you use in BIRD is a long vowel the same as in girl, nurse, world, work, church, burn ...

While the other is the same you have for example in teacher, another... It's not a long vowel and it only appears in unaccented syllables.
Have to disagree with the vowel sound you use in BIRD is a long vowel. The long vowel "i" sound is the "i"sound in "find," "mine," "grind," "like," "tribe."

The difference between the ir and er is, indeed, the accent. Probably has roots to British pronunciation (e.g., Director = British "dye-rector" as opposed to American "da-rector".)

An interesting tidbit here, I think, is that the short "i" vowel in "bird" has no phonetic purpose: A "silent" vowel. Take the vowel out of "bird" or any of those "vowel-r" examples and you can still correctly pronounce the word!
Hi Anonimous, I'm afraid I don't agree with you. As I said before I'm not a native English speaker but I've always been taught that BIRD is pronounced with a long vowel sound, the same sound you pronounce in nurse, girl, etc. If you look it up in a dictionary the phonetic transcription is: b 3: d
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I think the difference is in the stress of the vowel. See my previous post.
AnonymousAn interesting tidbit here, I think, is that the short "i" vowel in "bird" has no phonetic purpose: A "silent" vowel. Take the vowel out of "bird" or any of those "vowel-r" examples and you can still correctly pronounce the word!
Not so for my (north) English accent. When I say "bird" you will not hear the "r" and the "i" is a long "oe" sound. In fact it's the same sound that I use in "heard", "herd", "curd" and "third".

Listen to me, here:
http://www.the-cool-book-shop.co.uk/sound1/english.htm

Anonymous,

I think Couchpotato is referring to duration when he says "long". In addition to taking stress, the "ir" in "bird" actually lasts longer than the "er" in "winner". In American English, these are the only differences. (In British English, there is an additional difference: the "er" of "winner" is closer to a schwa.)

You are referring, in contrast, to the tense-lax distinction (hop/hope, lack/lake, ...) "long"/"short".

Your differing definitions are the source of a disagreement that, in all probability, is not really a disagreement at all.

CJ
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