Unstressed Vowels

In Plover Theory, we omit unstressed vowels most of the time. Stress is a linguistic term, and in English we tend to have a primary vowel in every word. You don't really need to know linguistics or phonology to get the hang of dropping unstressed vowels though.

For example, we've already been doing it with -D:

  • SPOTD: spotted
  • STARTD: started

Even though those are two-syllable words, we can easily fit them into one stroke by just replacing the unstressed vowel (the "e" in both examples) with nothing! You've probably also noticed this in words like:

  • TERBL: terrible
  • SEFRL: several

These are both three-syllable words, yet by only focusing on the primary vowel (the first "e" in both examples), we can squeeze these words into single strokes.

Here are more examples of dropping unstressed vowels:

  • Prefixes
    • SPRES: suppress
    • TKHRAEU: delay
    • KRUPT: corrupt
    • SPERB: superb
    • SPWHRAOEUPL: sublime
  • Suffixes
    • KAURBS: cautious
    • RUFL: ruffle
    • PATD: patted
    • TAEUBL: table
    • TABLT: tablet
    • EFRT: effort
    • OEPLT: omit
    • SEFR: sever
    • TPAEUFRBL: favorable
    • AFRPBLG: average
    • PREFRPBS: preference
  • Both
    • TKHREURBS: delicious
    • TKHRAOEUTD: delighted

Some of the compound sounds you will learn in the upcoming lessons are just droppings of unstressed vowels and quiet consonants.

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