Open-mid central unrounded vowel

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Open-mid central unrounded vowel
ɜ
ɛ̈
IPA number 326
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ɜ
Unicode (hex) U+025C
X-SAMPA 3
Kirshenbaum V"
Sound

The open-mid central unrounded vowel, or low-mid central 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 ɜ. Note that the IPA symbol is not the digit 3, but a reversed Latinized variant of the lowercase epsilon, ɛ. The value of this letter was only specified in 1993; before that, it was transcribed ɛ̈.

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, prefer the terms "high" and "low". It has also been described as a 'long schwa', after the extremely common short vowel it resembles a slightly longer form of.

Features[edit]

IPA vowel chart
Front Near-​front Central Near-​back Back
Close
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
iy
ɨʉ
ɯu
ɪʏ
eø
ɘɵ
ɤo
ɛœ
ɜɞ
ʌɔ
aɶ
ɑɒ
Near-close
Close-mid
Mid
Open-mid
Near-open
Open
Paired vowels are: unrounded • rounded
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IPA help • IPA key • chart • Loudspeaker.svg chart with audio • view

Occurrence[edit]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Cherokee v-tla [ɜʔtɬ͡a˦] 'no' Always nasalized.
English Received Pronunciation[1] bird [bɜːd] 'bird' Sulcalized (the tongue is grooved like in [ɹ]). 'Upper Crust RP' speakers pronounce a more open vowel [ɐː], but for most other speakers it's actually mid ([ɜ̝ː]). This vowel corresponds to rhotacized [ɝ] in rhotic dialects.
Norfolk[2] bet [bɜ̟ʔ] 'bet' Somewhat fronted, corresponds to [ɛ~] in other British dialects.
Ohio[3] bust [bɜst] 'bust' The most common realization of the vowel transcribed as ʌ in American English.[1][3]
Most of Texas[3]
Northern Welsh[4] Some speakers.[4] Corresponds to [ə] (or a further back vowel) in other Welsh dialects.[5]
Scottish[6] [bɜ̠st] Somewhat retracted; may be more back [ʌ] instead.
Paicî [mbʷɜ̄] 'remainder'
West Frisian Hindeloopers pöt [pɜt] 'pot'

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ladefoged (1993:82)
  2. ^ Lodge (2009:168)
  3. ^ a b c Thomas (2001:27–28)
  4. ^ a b Tench, Paul (1990). "The Pronunciation of English in Abercrave". In Coupland, Nikolas. English in Wales: Diversity, Conflict, and Change. Multilingual Matters. ISBN 9781853590313. 
  5. ^ Wells (1982:380–381)
  6. ^ Lodge (2009:167)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Ladefoged, Peter (1993), A course in phonetics (3rd ed.), Fort Worth: Harcourt College Publishers 
  • Lodge, Ken (2009), A Critical Introduction to Phonetics, ISBN 978-0-8264-8873-2 
  • Roach, Peter (2004), "British English: Received Pronunciation", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (2): 239–245, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001768 
  • Thomas, Erik R. (2001), An acoustic analysis of vowel variation in New World English, Publication of the American Dialect Society 85, Duke University Press for the American Dialect Society, ISSN 0002-8207 
  • Wells, John C. (1982), Accents of English, 2: The British Isles, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.