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I haven't used the speech xtra before but I think I understand the problem. Here's a few suggestions:
Insert a hyphen instead of a space: "this is a-Word"
Put the a in quotes: "This is 'a' word"
Put an exclamation mark after the a: "This is a! word"
good luck :-)
Great suggestions. The a! gave me the long a sound but with attitude. I also tried it with a question mark and that also gave me the long a, but with a little less attitude. Still not quite what I want so any other suggestions would be appreciated.
Thanks for the help. Using a combination of your ideas, I found the ". " (period space) gave me what I wanted. Some of the other combinations would give me the long a but also pronounced the punctuation. the period space gave me only the long a.