The open-mid back unrounded vowel, or low-mid back unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʌ⟩, graphically a rotated lowercase vee (called a turned V, though it was created as a small-capital ⟨ᴀ⟩ without the crossbar), and both the symbol and the sound are commonly referred to as either a wedge, a caret, or a hat. In transcriptions for some languages (including several dialects of English), this symbol is also used for the near-open central vowel.
The IPA prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowels, and the name of the article follows this. However, a large number of linguistsphonetics such as those by Peter Ladefoged.
, perhaps a majority, prefer the terms "high" and "low", and these are the only terms found in introductory textbooks on
Before World War II, the /ʌ/ of Received Pronunciation was phonetically close to a back vowel [ʌ]; this sound has since shifted forward towards [ɐ] (a near-open central vowel). Daniel Jones reports his speech (southern British), as having an advanced back vowel [ʌ̘] between his central /ə/ and back /ɔ/; however, he also reports that other southern speakers had a lower and even more advanced vowel approaching cardinal [a]. In American English varieties, e.g., the West and Midwest, and the urban South, the typical phonetic realization of the phoneme /ʌ/ is a central vowel that can be transcribed as [ɜ] (open-mid central). Truly backed variants of /ʌ/ that are phonetically [ʌ] can occur in Inland Northern American English, Newfoundland English, Philadelphia English, some African-American Englishes, and (old-fashioned) white Southern English in coastal plain and Piedmont areas. Despite this, the letter ⟨ʌ⟩ is still commonly used to indicate this phoneme, even in the more common varieties with central variants [ɐ] or [ɜ]. This may be due to both tradition as well as the fact that some other dialects retain the older pronunciation.
- ^ W. Labov, S. Ash and C. Boberg (1997), A national map of the regional dialects of American English, Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, retrieved March 7, 2013
- ^ Thomas (2001:27–28, 61–63)
- ^ Thomas (2001:27–28, 73–74)
- ^ Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006:7)
- ^ Coupland (1990:95)
- ^ Lass (2002:115)
- ^ Lee (1999)
- ^ Jones (1972:86–88)
- ^ Gordon (2004b:340)
- ^ Tillery & Bailey (2004:333)
- ^ Thomas (2001:27–28, 112–115, 121, 134, 174)
- ^ Gordon (2004a:294–296)
- ^ Roca & Johnson (1999:135)
- Coupland, Nikolas (1990), English in Wales: Diversity, Conflict, and Change, ISBN 1-85359-032-0
- Gordon, Matthew (2004a), "New York, Philadelphia and other Northern Cities", in Kortmann, Bernd, A Handbook of Varieties of English: Volume 1: Phonology, Walter de Gruyter, pp. 294–296, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
- Gordon, Matthew (2004b), "The West and Midwest: phonology", in Kortmann, Bernd, A Handbook of Varieties of English: Volume 1: Phonology, Walter de Gruyter, p. 340, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
- Jones, Daniel (1972), An outline of English phonetics (9th ed.), Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons Ltd.
- 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
- Roca, Iggy; Johnson, Wyn (1999), Course in Phonology, Blackwell Publishing
- Scobbie, James M; Gordeeva, Olga B.; Matthews, Benjamin (2006), Acquisition of Scottish English Phonology: an overview, Edinburgh: QMU Speech Science Research Centre Working Papers
- Thomas, Erik R. (2001), "An acoustic analysis of vowel variation in New World English", Publication of the American Dialect Society (Duke University Press for the American Dialect Society) 85, ISSN 0002-8207
- Tillery, Jan; Bailey, Guy (2004), "The urban South: phonology", in Kortmann, Bernd, A Handbook of Varieties of English: Volume 1: Phonology, Walter de Gruyter, p. 333, ISBN 3-11-017532-0