Close-mid front rounded vowel

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Close-mid front rounded vowel
IPA number 310
Entity (decimal) ø
Unicode (hex) U+00F8
Kirshenbaum Y

The close-mid front rounded vowel, or high-mid front rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ø, a lowercase letter o with a diagonal stroke through it, derived from the Danish, Norwegian and Faroese alphabets which use the letter to represent this sound. The symbol is commonly referred to as "o, slash" in English.

The IPA prefers terms "close" and "open" for vowels, and the name of the article follows this. However, a large number of linguists,[who?] perhaps a majority,[citation needed] prefer the terms "high" and "low".


IPA vowel chart
Front Near-​front Central Near-​back Back
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
Paired vowels are: unrounded • rounded
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IPA help • IPA key • chart • Loudspeaker.svg chart with audio • view
  • Its vowel height is close-mid, also known as high-mid, which means the tongue is positioned halfway between a close vowel (a high vowel) and a mid vowel.
  • Its vowel backness is front, which means the tongue is positioned as far forward as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.
  • Its roundedness is compressed, which means that the margins of the lips are tense and drawn together in such a way that the inner surfaces are not exposed.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Chinese Wu tzeu [tsøː] 'most'
Danish købe [ˈkʰøːb̥ə] 'buy' See Danish phonology
English South African[1] bird [bø̈ːd] 'bird' Centralized, present in General and Broad varieties. For some speakers it may be lower. In Cultivated it's central unrounded [əː].
Tyneside[2] Somewhat centralized.
Estonian köök [køːk] 'kitchen'
Faroese øl [øːl] 'beer'
French[3] peu [pø] 'few' See French phonology
Franco-Provençal [ˈføʎə] 'daughter'
Hungarian[4] nő [nø̠ː] 'woman' Somewhat retracted. See Hungarian phonology
Lombard Western coeur [køːr] 'heart' Also written ö, particularly in Switzerland and Italy.
Ngwe Mmockngie dialect [nøɣə̀] 'sun'
Norwegian Standard Eastern[5] søt [sø̠ːt̪] 'sweet' Somewhat retracted and lowered. See Norwegian phonology
Tromsø[6] [søːt] See Norwegian phonology
Portuguese Micaelense[7] boi [ˈbø] 'ox' Allophone of /o/. See Portuguese phonology
Some European speakers[8] dou [ˈdøw] 'I give'
Rotuman mösʻạki [møːsʔɔki] 'to put to bed'
Swedish Central Standard[9] öl About this sound [ø̠ːl̪]  'beer' Somewhat retracted. See Swedish phonology

Vowels transcribed /øː/ in Standard German and Belgian Dutch are in fact mid, near-front [ø̞̈ː][10] and central [ɵ̞ː],[11] respectively.

See also[edit]



  • Engstrand, Olle (1999), "Swedish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the usage of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 140, ISBN 0-521-63751-1 
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L. (1993), "French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 23 (2): 73–76, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004874 
  • Iivonen, Antti; Harnud, Huhe (2005), "Acoustical comparison of the monophthong systems in Finnish, Mongolian and Udmurt", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35 (1): 59–71, doi:10.1017/S002510030500191X 
  • Kristoffersen, Gjert (2000), "Segments", The Phonology of Norwegian, Oxford University Press, pp. 14–18, ISBN 978-0-19-823765-5 
  • Lass, Roger (2002), "South African English", in Mesthrie, Rajend, Language in South Africa, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521791052 
  • Lee, Hyun Bok (1999), "Korean", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 120–122, ISBN 0-521-63751-1 
  • Mangold, Max (2005), Das Aussprachewörterbuch, Duden, p. 37, ISBN 9783411040667 
  • Szende, Tamás (1994), "Hungarian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 24 (2): 91–94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005090 
  • Vanvik, Arne (1979), Norsk fonetik, Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo, ISBN 82-990584-0-6 
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2005), "Belgian Standard Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35 (2): 243–247, doi:10.1017/S0025100305002173 
  • Watt, Dominic; Allen, William (2003), "Tyneside English", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (2): 267–271, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001397