Close-mid central unrounded vowel

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Close-mid central unrounded vowel
IPA number 397
Entity (decimal) ɘ
Unicode (hex) U+0258
Kirshenbaum @<umd>
Braille ⠲ (braille pattern dots-256) ⠑ (braille pattern dots-15)

The close-mid central unrounded vowel, or high-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 ⟨ɘ⟩. This is a mirrored letter e, and should not be confused with the schwaə⟩, which is a turned e. It was added to the IPA in 1993; before that, this vowel was transcribed ⟨ë⟩ (Latin small letter e with umlaut, not Cyrillic small letter yo). Certain older sources[1] transcribe this vowel ⟨ɤ̈⟩.

The ⟨ɘ⟩ letter may be used with a lowering diacriticɘ̞⟩, to denote the mid central unrounded vowel.

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".

To type this symbol on most keyboards, press and hold the ALT key while typing "600" using the number pad keys.


IPA vowel chart
Front Near-​front Central Near-​back Back
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
i • y
ɨ • ʉ
ɯ • u
ɪ • ʏ
ɪ̈ • ʊ̈
ɯ̽ • ʊ
e • ø
ɘ • ɵ
ɤ • o
 • ø̞
ə • ɵ̞
ɤ̞ • 
ɛ • œ
ɜ • ɞ
ʌ • ɔ
æ • 
ɐ • ɞ̞
a • ɶ
ä • ɒ̈
ɑ • ɒ
Paired vowels are: unrounded • rounded
This table contains phonetic symbols, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]

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Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Cotabato Manobo[2] [example needed] May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ə⟩.
Dinka Luanyjang[3] [orthographic
form needed
[ŋɘ́ŋ] "jawbone" Short allophone of /e/.[3]
English Australian[4][5] bird [bɘːd] 'bird' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɜː⟩. See Australian English phonology
Southern Michigan[6] [bɘ˞ːd] Rhotacized.
Cardiff[7] foot [fɘt] 'foot' Less often rounded [ɵ];[8] corresponds to [ʊ] in other dialects. See English phonology
New Zealand[9] bit [bɘt] 'bit' Corresponds to /ɪ/ in other dialects. See New Zealand English phonology
Southern American[10] nut [nɘt] 'nut' Some dialects.[10] Corresponds to /ʌ/ in other dialects. See English phonology
German Standard[11] bitte About this sound [ˈbɪtɘ]  'please' Also described as mid [ə].[12][13] See Standard German phonology
Many speakers[14] Irrtum [ˈɘːtuːm] "error" Common alternative to the centering diphthong [ɪɐ̯].[14] May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɨː⟩. See Standard German phonology
Irish Munster[15] sáile [ˈsˠɰaːlʲɘ] 'salt water' Usually transcribed in IPA with [ɪ̽]. It is an allophone of /ə/ next to non-palatal slender consonants.[15] See Irish phonology
Jebero[16] [ˈiʃɘk] 'bat'
Kaingang[17] [ˈᵐbɘ] 'tail' Varies between central [ɘ] and back [ɤ].[18]
Kalagan Kaagan[19] [miˈwɘːʔ] 'lost' Allophone of /ɨ/ in word-final stressed syllables before /ʔ/; can be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ə⟩.[19]
Kensiu[20] [ɟɘ˞h] 'to trim' Rhotacized; may be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɚ⟩.[20]
Kera[21] [t͡ʃɘ̄wā̠a̠] 'fire' Allophone of /a/; typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ə⟩.[21]
Korean[22] [ɘːɾɯ̽n] 'senior' May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨əː⟩. See Korean phonology
Lizu[23] [Fkɘ] 'eagle' Allophone of /ə/ after velar stops.[23]
Mapudungun[24] elün [ë̝ˈlɘn] 'to leave (something)'
Mongolian[25] үсэр [usɘɾɘ̆] 'jump'
Mono[26] dœ [dɘ] 'be (equative)' May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ə⟩.[26]
Norwegian Standard Eastern[27] sterkeste [²stæɾkɘstɘ] 'the strongest' Also described as mid [ə];[28] occurs only in unstressed syllables. Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ə⟩. Some dialects (e.g. Trondheimsk) lack this sound.[29] See Norwegian phonology
Polish[30] tymczasowy About this sound [t̪ɘ̟mt͡ʂäˈs̪ɔvɘ̟]  'temporary' Somewhat fronted;[30] typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɨ⟩. See Polish phonology
Romanian Moldavian dialects[31] casă [ˈkäsɘ] 'house' Corresponds to [ə] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Russian Some speakers[32] солнце About this sound [ˈs̪o̞n̪t̪͡s̪ɘ]  'sun' Unstressed allophone of /ɨ/ after /t͡s/; other speakers realize it as near-close [ɨ̞].[32] See Russian phonology
Shiwiar[33] [example needed]
Temne[34] pər [pɘ́r] 'incite' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ə⟩.[34]
Vietnamese[35] v [vɘ˨˩ˀ] 'wife' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɤ⟩. See Vietnamese phonology
Xumi Upper[36] [LPmɘ̃dɐ] 'upstairs' Nasalized; occurs only in this word.[36] It is realized as mid [ə̃] in Lower Xumi.[37]
Zapotec Tilquiapan[38] ne [nɘ] 'and' Most common realization of /e/.[38]


  1. ^ For example Collins & Mees (1990).
  2. ^ Kerr (1988:110)
  3. ^ a b Remijsen & Manyang (2009:117, 119)
  4. ^ Cox (2006:?)
  5. ^ Durie & Hajek (1994:?)
  6. ^ Hillenbrand (2003:122)
  7. ^ Collins & Mees (1990:93)
  8. ^ Collins & Mees (1990:92)
  9. ^ Bauer et al. (2007)
  10. ^ a b Roca & Johnson (1999:186)
  11. ^ Collins & Mees (2013:234)
  12. ^ Kohler (1999:87)
  13. ^ Lodge (2009:87)
  14. ^ a b Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015:34, 52). The source transcribes this sound with the symbol ⟨ɨː⟩, but describes it as a strongly centralized (not "raised and centralized") [ɪ], which it describes as close-mid.
  15. ^ a b Ó Sé (2000)
  16. ^ Valenzuela & Gussenhoven (2013:101)
  17. ^ Jolkesky (2009:676–677 and 682)
  18. ^ Jolkesky (2009:676 and 682)
  19. ^ a b Wendel & Wendel (1978:198)
  20. ^ a b Bishop (1996:230)
  21. ^ a b Pearce (2011:251)
  22. ^ Lee (1999:121)
  23. ^ a b Chirkova & Chen (2013a:79)
  24. ^ Sadowsky et al. (2013:92)
  25. ^ Iivonen & Harnud (2005:62, 66–67)
  26. ^ a b Olson (2004:235)
  27. ^ Popperwell (2010), p. 16, 31–32.
  28. ^ Vanvik (1979), pp. 13, 20.
  29. ^ Vanvik (1979), p. 21.
  30. ^ a b Jassem (2003:105)
  31. ^ Pop (1938), p. 29.
  32. ^ a b Jones & Ward (1969:38)
  33. ^ Fast Mowitz (1975:2)
  34. ^ a b Kanu & Tucker (2010:249)
  35. ^ Hoang (1965:24)
  36. ^ a b Chirkova, Chen & Kocjančič Antolík (2013:389)
  37. ^ Chirkova & Chen (2013b:370)
  38. ^ a b Merrill (2008:109–110)