The near-close central unrounded vowel, or near-high central unrounded vowel, is a vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The International Phonetic Alphabet can represent this sound in a number of ways (see the box on the right), but the most common symbols are ⟨ɪ̈⟩ (centralized[ɪ]) and ⟨ɨ̞⟩ (lowered[ɨ]). In many British dictionaries, this vowel has been transcribed ⟨ɪ⟩, which captures its height; in the American tradition it is more often ⟨ɨ⟩, which captures its centrality, or ⟨ᵻ⟩, which captures both. The third edition of the OED adopted an unofficial extension of the IPA, ⟨ᵻ⟩, that is a conflation of ⟨ɪ⟩ and ⟨ɨ⟩, and represents either [ɪ̈] or free variation between [ɪ] and [ə].
The IPA prefers terms "close" and "open" for vowels, and the name of the article follows this. However, a large number of linguists, perhaps a majority in the USA, prefer the terms "high" and "low".
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