Which pronunciation is more prevalent; /ə/ or /ӕ/? [closed]

at hearing one has got a fortune . . . at last . . . whom I had never heard . . . at a table . . . (Jane Eyre)

If Jim Dale (who reads the Harry Potter series) had read Jane Eyre, I think he would have pronounced all the a sounds as schwa /ə/; yet a recording on Librivox.org has the /ӕ/ sounds. The former is more natural while the latter more punctual. After hearing the audio book, I wonder which pronunciation is more common. Would you let me know?

Answer

Purely functional words are never stressed, and thus are subject to vowel-reduction into schwas.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Listenever , Answer Author : tchrist

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