Open back unrounded vowel

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Open back unrounded vowel
ɑ
IPA number 305
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ɑ
Unicode (hex) U+0251
X-SAMPA A
Kirshenbaum A
Sound

The open back unrounded vowel, or low 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 ɑ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is A. The letter ɑ is called script a because it lacks the extra hook on top of a printed letter a, which corresponds to a different vowel, the open front unrounded vowel. Script a, which has its linear stroke on the bottom right, should not be confused with turned script a, ɒ, which has its linear stroke on the top left and corresponds to a rounded version of this vowel, the open back rounded vowel.

Limburgish dialect of Hamont has been reported to contrast open front, central and back unrounded vowels,[1] which is extremely unusual.

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".

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
  • Its vowel height is open, also known as low, which means the tongue is positioned as far as possible from the roof of the mouth – that is, as low as possible in the mouth.
  • Its vowel backness is back, which means the tongue is positioned as far back as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Note that unrounded back vowels tend to be centralized, which means that they're in fact near-back.
  • It is unrounded, which means that the lips are not rounded.

Occurrence[edit]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Angor ape [ɑpe] 'father'
Arabic Standard[2] طويل [tˤɑˈwiːl] 'tall' Allophone of long and short /a/ near emphatic consonants. See Arabic phonology
Armenian Eastern[2] հաց [hɑt͡sʰ] 'bread'
Dutch Amsterdam[3] aap [ɑːp] 'monkey' Corresponds to [ ~ äː] in standard Dutch.
Antwerp[4]
Eindhoven
Utrecht[4]
Southern Randstad[5] bad [bɑt] 'bath' Backness varies among dialects; in southern Randstad[6] and standard Netherlandic Dutch[7] it's fully back.[6][7] In addition to being fully back,[6] it's raised to [ɑ̝] in Leiden and Rotterdam,[6] sometimes with lip rounding [ɒ̝].[6] In standard Belgian Dutch it's raised and fronted to [ɑ̝̈].[8] See Dutch phonology
Standard[7][8]
The Hague[9] nauw [nɑː] 'narrow' Corresponds to [ʌu] in standard Dutch.
English Many dialects spa [spɑː] 'spa' See English phonology
Cardiff[10] hot [hɑ̝̈t] 'hot' Somewhat raised and fronted.
Norfolk[11]
General American[12] [hɑt] May be more front [ɑ̟ ~ ä], especially in accents without the cot-caught merger. See English phonology
Cockney[13] bath [bɑːθ] 'bath' Fully back. According to Beaken (1971) it's a 'vigorous, informal' pronunciation. It can be more front [ɑ̟ː] instead.
General
South African[14]
Fully back. Broad varieties usually produce a rounded vowel [ɒː ~ ɔː] instead, while Cultivated SAE prefers a more front vowel [ɑ̟ː ~ äː].
Cultivated
South African[15]
[bɑ̟ːθ] Typically more front than cardinal [ɑ]. It may be as front as [äː] in some Cultivated South African and southern English speakers. See English phonology
Received Pronunciation[16]
Southern English
Finnish kana [ˈkɑnɑ] 'hen' See Finnish phonology
French Quebec pâte [pɑːt] 'paste' See Quebec French phonology.
Georgian[17] გუდ [ɡudɑ] 'leather bag'
German Some dialects Tag [tʰɑːk] 'day' In other dialects it's more front. See German phonology.
Limburgish Hamont dialect[1] [tɑːnt²] 'tooth' Contrasts short and long versions[1] and with [a], [] and [äː].[1]
Hasselt dialect[18] [mɑ̟ːl] 'time' Somewhat fronted.[18][19] These dialects contrast long and short versions of this vowel.[18][19]
Weert dialect[19] [lɑ̟ːŋk] 'tall'
Maastrichtian[20] bats [bɑ̝̈ts] 'buttock' Somewhat raised and fronted.[20]
Luxembourgish[21] Kapp [kʰɑ̝pʰ] 'head' Fully back and raised.
Navajo ashkii [ɑʃkɪː] 'boy' See Navajo phonology
Norwegian Fredrikstad[22] hat [hɑːt] 'hate' Corresponds to [ ~ äː] in Standard Eastern Norwegian. See Norwegian phonology
Stavanger[23]
Trondheim[22]
Plautdietsch Gott [ɡɑ̽t] 'God'
Russian[24] палка [ˈpɑɫkə] 'stick' Occurs only both before /ɫ/ and after an unpalatalized consonant. See Russian phonology
Swedish Central Standard[25] jаg [jɑ̝ːɡ] 'I' Fully back and raised. See Swedish phonology
Ukrainian мати [ˈmɑtɪ] 'mother' See Ukrainian phonology
West Frisian lang [ɫɑŋ] 'long'

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Verhoeven (2007), p. 221.
  2. ^ a b Thelwall & Sa'Adeddin (1990), p. 39.
  3. ^ Collins & Mees (2003), pp. 78, 104 and 133.
  4. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2003), pp. 104 and 133.
  5. ^ Collins & Mees (2003), pp. 96 and 131.
  6. ^ a b c d e Collins & Mees (2003), pp. 131.
  7. ^ a b c Gussenhoven (1992), p. 47.
  8. ^ a b Verhoeven (2005), p. 245.
  9. ^ Collins & Mees (2003), p. 136.
  10. ^ Coupland (1990), p. 95.
  11. ^ Lodge (2009), p. 168.
  12. ^ Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009).
  13. ^ Wells (1982), p. 305.
  14. ^ Lass (2002), p. 117.
  15. ^ Lass (2002), p. 116-117.
  16. ^ Roach (2004), p. 242.
  17. ^ Shosted & Chikovani (2006), pp. 261–262.
  18. ^ a b c Peters (2006), p. 119.
  19. ^ a b c Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998), p. 110.
  20. ^ a b Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999), p. 159.
  21. ^ Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 70.
  22. ^ a b Vanvik (1979), p. 16.
  23. ^ Vanvik (1979), p. 17.
  24. ^ Jones & Ward (1969), p. 50.
  25. ^ Engstrand (1999), p. 140.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2003), The Phonetics of English and Dutch, Fifth Revised Edition, ISBN 9004103406 
  • Coupland, Nikolas (1990), English in Wales: Diversity, Conflict, and Change, ISBN 1-85359-032-0 
  • Dum-Tragut, Jasmine (2009), Armenian: Modern Eastern Armenian, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company 
  • 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. 140–142, 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 
  • Gilles, Peter; Trouvain, Jürgen (2013), "Luxembourgish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 43 (1): 67–74, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000278 
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos (1992), "Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (2): 45–47, doi:10.1017/S002510030000459X 
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos; Aarts, Flor (1999), "The dialect of Maastricht", Journal of the International Phonetic Association (University of Nijmegen, Centre for Language Studies) 29: 155–166, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006526 
  • Heijmans, Linda; Gussenhoven, Carlos (1998), "The Dutch dialect of Weert", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 28: 107–112, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006307 
  • Jones, Daniel; Ward, Dennis (1969), The Phonetics of Russian, Cambridge University Press 
  • Lass, Roger (2002), "South African English", in Mesthrie, Rajend, Language in South Africa, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521791052 
  • Lodge, Ken (2009), A Critical Introduction to Phonetics, pp. 167–169, ISBN 978-0-8264-8873-2 
  • Mannell, R.; Cox, F.; Harrington, J. (2009), An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology, Macquarie University 
  • Peters, Jörg (2006), "The dialect of Hasselt", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 36 (1): 117–124, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002428 
  • Roach, Peter (2004), "British English: Received Pronunciation", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (2): 239–245, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001768 
  • Shosted, Ryan K.; Chikovani, Vakhtang (2006), "Standard Georgian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 36 (2): 255–264, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002659 
  • Thelwall, Robin; Sa'Adeddin, M. Akram (1990), "Arabic", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 20 (2): 37–39, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004266 
  • 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): 245, doi:10.1017/S0025100305002173 
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2007), "The Belgian Limburg dialect of Hamont", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 37 (2): 219–225, doi:10.1017/S0025100307002940 
  • Wells, J.C. (1982). Accents of English 2: The British Isles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.