Open-mid back rounded vowel

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Open-mid back rounded vowel
IPA number 306
Entity (decimal) ɔ
Unicode (hex) U+0254
Kirshenbaum O
Braille ⠣ (braille pattern dots-126)

The open-mid back rounded vowel, or low-mid back 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 ɔ. The IPA symbol is a turned letter c and both the symbol and the sound are commonly called "open-o". The name open-o represents the sound, in that it is like the sound represented by o, the close-mid back rounded vowel, except it is more open. It also represents the symbol, which can be remembered as an o which has been "opened" by removing part of the closed circular shape.

The IPA prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowels, and the name of the article follows this. However, a large number of linguists, perhaps a majority, 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


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Albanian po [pɔ] 'yes'
Armenian Eastern[1] հողմ [hɔʁm] 'storm'
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic khwara [χwɔːra] 'white' Used exclusively in the Urmian dialect. Corresponds to /ɒ/ in most of the other varieties.
Bamana wɔɔrɔ [wɔːrɔ] 'six'
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[2] [example needed] May be transcribed /ɒ/.[2]
Bengali বস [bɔʃ] 'sit' See Bengali phonology
Catalan[3] soc [ˈsɔk] 'clog' See Catalan phonology
Chinese Cantonese ngo5 [ŋɔː˩˧] 'I' See Cantonese phonology
Mandarin wǒ [wɔ˨˩˦] 'I' See Mandarin phonology
Min gōo [ɡɔ˨] 'five'
Wu bo [bɔ˨˩˦] 'run'
Danish Standard[4] og [ɔw] 'and' Often transcribed /ɒ/. See Danish phonology
Dutch Standard Belgian[5] och About this sound [ʔɔˤx]  'alas' 'Very tense, with strong lip-rounding',[6] strongly pharyngealized[7] (although less so in standard Belgian[8]) and somewhat fronted.[5][9] See Dutch phonology
Standard Netherlandic[9]
Amelands hôl [hɔːl] 'hollow'
Belgian nauw [nɔ̞ː] 'narrow' Some dialects. Corresponds to [ɔu] in standard Belgian Dutch.
Dutch Low Saxon taol [tɔːɫ] 'language' May be lower [ɒː] in some dialects.
English Australian[10] not About this sound [nɔt]  'not' See Australian English phonology
Cockney May also be as open as [ɒ], like in traditional RP.
New Dublin Other Dublin accents use a lower sound [ɒ ~ ɑ ~ a], which differs from /ɔː/ entirely by length.
New Zealand[12] May be somewhat fronted.[13] Often transcribed /ɒ/.
Received Pronunciation[14] /ɒ/ has shifted up in emerging RP.
General American[15] thought [θɔːt] 'thought' Only in speakers without the cot–caught merger. It may be lower [ɒ].
Older Received Pronunciation[17] Higher [ɔ̝ː] for most other speakers.
Scottish[18] Many Scottish dialects exhibit the cot-caught merger, the outcome of which is a vowel of [ɔ] quality.
Sheffield[19] goat [gɔ:t] 'goat'
Newfoundland[20] but [bɔt] 'but' Less commonly unrounded [ʌ].[20] See English phonology
Faroese góðan morgun [ˌɡɔuwan ˈmɔɹɡʊn] 'good morning'
French[21] sort [sɔ̜ːʁ] 'fate' See French phonology
Georgian[22] სწრი [st͡sʼɔɾi] 'correct'
German Standard[23] voll About this sound [fɔl]  'full' See German phonology
Italian[24] parola About this sound [päˈrɔ̟ːlä]  'word' Fronted. See Italian phonology
Lao [bɔː] 'origin'
Lingala mbɔ́ngɔ [ᵐbɔ́ᵑɡɔ] 'money' See Lingala vowels.
Macedonian коњ [kɔɲ] 'horse' See Macedonian phonology
Occitan òme [ˈɔme] 'man'
Polish[25] kot About this sound [kɔt̪]  'cat' See Polish phonology
Portuguese Most dialects[26][27] fofoca [fɔˈfɔ̞kə] 'gossip' Stressed vowel might be lower. The presence and use of other unstressed ⟨o⟩ allophones, such as [ o ʊ u], varies according to dialect.
Some speakers[28] bronca [ˈbɾɔ̃kə] 'scolding' Stressed vowel, allophone of nasal vowel /õ̞/. See Portuguese phonology
Swedish moll [mɔl] 'minor' See Swedish phonology
Tajik тоҷикӣ [tɔːdʒɪˈkiː] 'Tajik language'
Ukrainian вовк [ˈvɔwk] 'wolf' See Ukrainian phonology
Uzbek O'zbek [ɔzˈbek] 'Uzbek'
Vietnamese to [tɔ] 'large' See Vietnamese phonology
West Frisian bôle [ˈbɔːɫə] 'bread'

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dum-Tragut (2009:13)
  2. ^ a b Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  3. ^ Carbonell & Llisterri (1992:54)
  4. ^ Grønnum (1998)
  5. ^ a b Verhoeven (2005:245)
  6. ^ Collins & Mees (2003:132)
  7. ^ Collins & Mees (2003:132, 222 and 224)
  8. ^ Collins & Mees (2003:222)
  9. ^ a b Gussenhoven (1992:47)
  10. ^ Harrington, Cox & Evans (1997)
  11. ^ Wells (1982a:305)
  12. ^ Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009a)
  13. ^ Bauer et al. (2007:98)
  14. ^ Wikström (2013:45), "It seems to be the case that younger RP or near-RP speakers typically use a closer quality, possibly approaching Cardinal 6 considering that the quality appears to be roughly intermediate between that used by older speakers for the LOT vowel and that used for the THOUGHT vowel, while older speakers use a more open quality, between Cardinal Vowels 13 and 6."
  15. ^ Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009b)
  16. ^ Lodge (2009:168)
  17. ^ Wells (1982a:293)
  18. ^ Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006:7)
  19. ^ Stoddart, Upton and Widowson in Urban Voices, Arnold, London, 1999, page 74
  20. ^ a b Wells (1982b:498)
  21. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993:73)
  22. ^ Shosted & Chikovani (2006:261–262)
  23. ^ Mangold (2005:37)
  24. ^ Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004:119)
  25. ^ Jassem (2003:105)
  26. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995:91)
  27. ^ Variação inter- e intra-dialetal no português brasileiro: um problema para a teoria fonológica – Seung-Hwa LEE & Marco A. de Oliveira
  28. ^ Lista das marcas dialetais e ouros fenómenos de variação (fonética e fonológica) identificados nas amostras do Arquivo Dialetal do CLUP (Portuguese)


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  • Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1992), "Catalan", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (1–2): 53–56, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004618 
  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2003), The Phonetics of English and Dutch, Fifth Revised Edition, ISBN 9004103406 
  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 25 (2): 90–94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005223 
  • Dum-Tragut, Jasmine (2009), Armenian: Modern Eastern Armenian, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company 
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L (1993), "French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 23 (2): 73–76, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004874 
  • Grønnum, Nina (1998), "Danish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 28 (1 & 2): 99–105, doi:10.1017/s0025100300006290 
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos (1992), "Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (2): 45–47, doi:10.1017/S002510030000459X 
  • Harrington, J.; Cox, F.; Evans, Z. (1997), "An acoustic phonetic study of broad, general, and cultivated Australian English vowels", Australian Journal of Linguistics 17: 155–84, doi:10.1080/07268609708599550 
  • Jassem, Wiktor (2003), "Polish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (1): 103–107, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001191 
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  • Mangold, Max (2005), Das Aussprachewörterbuch, Duden, ISBN 9783411040667 
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  • Mannell, R.; Cox, F.; Harrington, J. (2009b), An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology, Macquarie University 
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  • Scobbie, James M; Gordeeva, Olga B.; Matthews, Benjamin (2006), Acquisition of Scottish English Phonology: an overview, Edinburgh: QMU Speech Science Research Centre Working Papers 
  • Shosted, Ryan K.; Chikovani, Vakhtang (2006), "Standard Georgian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 36 (2): 255–264, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002659 
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  • Wells, John C. (1982b), Accents of English, III: Beyond the British Isles, Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-28541-0 
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