schwa character
Posted: 27 May 2012 12:27 AM   [ Ignore ]
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When was the schwa character first used by phonologists? Can it be traced to a particular author?

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Posted: 27 May 2012 03:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I believe Jacob Grimm was the first to characterize the schwa sound and identify it as a vowel. So that would give us a terminus post quem of the early nineteenth century. The first citation for schwa in the OED is from Peter Lang’s 1895 A Short Manual of Comparative Philology for Classical Students, and that uses the symbol ə, so 1895 is the terminus ante quem.

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Posted: 27 May 2012 05:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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From French Wikipedia:

Johann Andreas Schmeller est le premier à utiliser le e culbuté pour représenter le son du schwa, dans son livre Die Mundarten Bayerns grammatisch dergestellt en 1821.

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Posted: 27 May 2012 07:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks, you’re both champs. MUCH earlier than I’d’ve guessed.

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