Neutral vowel

Also found in: Wikipedia.
the vowel element having an obscure and indefinite quality, such as is commonly taken by the vowel in many unaccented syllables. It is regarded by some as identical with the ŭ in up, and is called also the natural vowel, as unformed by art and effort; it is also called the indefinite vowel. It is symbolized in some phonetic alphabets by the schwa (Guide to Pronunciation, 17.

See also: Neutral

References in periodicals archive ?
In this regard, the TB-II system, in which an unmarked consonant may be read either as vowelless or with the neutral/inherent vowel a according to the reader's judgment, is typologically similar to certain non-Indic scripts such as Ethiopian and Meroitic, where vowelless consonants are written with the sign for a weak or neutral vowel which may be suppressed in pronunciation at the reader's discretion (ibid.
Thus, as summed up by Van der Hulst and Van de Weijer, "the prototypical situation is that all vowels (regardless of their number) within a particular domain, usually said to be the (prosodic) word, agree with each other for one of their properties; interruptions of this pattern are due to neutral vowels or lexical exceptions" (1995: 501).
Vowel harmony, neutral vowels and autosegmental theory.