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Vowel frequencies   

Here are some data from Gimson (1980:149), after Fry (1947). I find these figures striking, to put it mildly. They mean that more than one out of every 10 phonemes in English is schwa, the one sound we have no way of showing in spelling. - Note too that speakers who use for in words like 'started' and 'believe' will have an even higher schwa-frequency:

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