A study of early X-ray footage of 4 subjects was conducted to test the prediction that there may be a midpharyngeal constriction in American English schwa. Results show a significant constriction during schwa relative to lingual rest position for all 4 speakers. This evidence contradicts views of American English schwa as having no articulatory target or place features, as well as those which have suggested a neutral target throughout the vocal tract. These findings, however, support claims connecting English schwa with reduced /r/. In addition to the basic effect 1 subject showed a bimodal pattern in schwa, which may indicate that this subject has distinct schwas in lexical vs. functional words, a property that has also been observed with respect to /r/ in r-vocalizing dialects.

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