Close-mid central rounded vowel

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Close-mid central rounded vowel
IPA number 323
Entity (decimal) ɵ
Unicode (hex) U+0275
Kirshenbaum @.
Braille ⠴ (braille pattern dots-356)⠕ (braille pattern dots-135)

The close-mid central rounded vowel, or high-mid central rounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɵ⟩, a lowercase barred letter o.

The character ɵ has been used in several Latin-derived alphabets such as the one for Yañalif, but in that language it denotes a different sound than it does in the IPA. The character is homographic with Cyrillic Ө. The Unicode code point is U+019F Ɵ LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH MIDDLE TILDE (HTML Ɵ).

This sound rarely contrasts with the near-close front rounded vowel. For this reason, it may be sometimes transcribed with the symbol ⟨ʏ⟩. An example of a language contrasting /ɵ/ with /ʏ/ is the Hamont dialect of Limburgish, but in phonemic transcription, the sounds are normally transcribed with /ʏ/ and /y/, respectively.[2] Some speakers of the Chemnitz dialect of German also contrast /ɵ/ with /ʏ/; the former vowel generally corresponds to standard German /ʊ/, whereas the latter vowel occurs only in certain cognates of standard German words and can be unrounded to [ɪ].[3]

The physically possible close-mid central compressed vowel has not been reported to occur in any language,[4] but could be transcribed as a centralized close-mid front rounded vowel [ø̈], which is normally compressed. Other possible transcriptions are ⟨ɘ͡β̞⟩⟩ (simultaneous [ɘ] and labial compression) and [ɘᵝ] ([ɘ] modified with labial compression).


IPA: Vowels
Front Central Back

Paired vowels are: unrounded  rounded


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Azerbaijani Standard [example needed] Typically transcribed as /œ/.
Chinese Cantonese /ceot7 [tsʰɵt˥] 'to go out' See Cantonese phonology
Dutch Standard[5][6] hut [ɦɵt] 'hut' See Dutch phonology
English Cardiff[7] foot [fɵt] 'foot' More often unrounded [ɘ];[8] corresponds to [ʊ] in other dialects. See English phonology
Cultivated South African[9] Younger, especially female speakers.[9] Other speakers have a less front vowel [ʊ]. May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʊ̟⟩ or ⟨ʉ̞⟩. See South African English phonology
Received Pronunciation[10] [fɵʔt] Younger speakers. Others pronounce [ʊ]. See English phonology
Hull[11] goat [ɡɵːt] 'goat' Corresponds to /oʊ/ in other dialects.
New Zealand[12] bird [bɵːd] 'bird' Possible realization of /ɵː/. See New Zealand English phonology
German Chemnitz dialect[13] Wunder [ˈʋɵn̪(t̪)o̽ˤ] 'wonder' Contrasts with /ʏ/ (in certain cognates of standard German words) for some speakers.[3]
Hiw[14] yöykö [jɵjkɵŋ] 'forget'
Irish Munster[15] dúnadh [ˈd̪ˠuːn̪ˠө] 'closing' Allophone of /ə/ adjacent to broad consonants, when the vowel in the preceding syllable is either /uː/ or /ʊ/.[15] See Irish phonology
Limburgish Most dialects[2][16][17] bluts [blɵts] 'bump' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʏ⟩. The example word is from the Weert dialect.[2][16][17]
Maastrichtian[16] beuk [bɵːk] 'books' Front [øː] in other dialects;[2][18] typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨øː
Mongolian[19] өгөх [ɵɡɵx] 'to give'
Norwegian Urban East[20] søt [sɵːt] 'sweet' One of the possible realizations of /øː/. See Norwegian phonology
Ripuarian Kerkrade dialect[21] sjuts [ʃɵts] 'marksman'
Russian[22] тётя About this sound [ˈtʲɵtʲə] 'aunt' Allophone of /o/ following a palatalized consonant. See Russian phonology
Tajik[23] кӯҳ [kʰɵːh] 'mountain' Merges with /u/ in central and southern dialects.
Toda ? [pɵːr̘] 'name'
Uzbek koʻz [kɵz] 'eye'
West Frisian Standard[24][25] put [pɵt] 'well' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ø⟩. See West Frisian phonology
Southwestern dialects[26] fuotten [ˈfɵtn̩] 'feet' Corresponds to [wo] in other dialects.[26] See West Frisian phonology
Xumi Lower[27] [RPʎ̟ɐtsɵ] 'to filter tea' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʉ⟩.[27]
Upper[28] [Htɵ] 'way to do things' Allophone of /o/ after alveolar consonants; may be realized as [o] or [ɤ] instead.[28]

The vowel transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɵ⟩ in Central Standard Swedish is actually mid ([ɵ̞]).[29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ a b c d Verhoeven (2007), p. 221.
  3. ^ a b Khan & Weise (2013), p. 238.
  4. ^ Note that Swedish has a slightly higher near-close central compressed vowel, as well as a slightly lower mid central compressed vowel.
  5. ^ van Heuven & Genet (2002).
  6. ^ Verhoeven (2005), p. 245.
  7. ^ Collins & Mees (1990:92–93)
  8. ^ Collins & Mees (1990:92)
  9. ^ a b Lass (2002), pp. 115-116.
  10. ^ "Received Pronunciation Phonology". The British Library.
  11. ^ Williams & Kerswill (1999), pp. 143 and 146.
  12. ^ Bauer et al. (2007), pp. 98–99.
  13. ^ Khan & Weise (2013), p. 236.
  14. ^ François (2013), p. 207.
  15. ^ a b Ó Sé (2000).
  16. ^ a b c Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999), p. 159.
  17. ^ a b Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998), p. 110.
  18. ^ Peters (2006), p. 119.
  19. ^ Iivonen & Harnud (2005), pp. 62, 66–67.
  20. ^ Kristoffersen (2000), pp. 16–17, 33–35, 37, 343.
  21. ^ Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997:16). The source describes this vowel as the same as the short u in Standard Dutch lucht, which is close-mid central [ɵ] (van Heuven & Genet (2002)).
  22. ^ Jones & Ward (1969), pp. 62–63.
  23. ^ Ido (2014), pp. 91–92.
  24. ^ Sipma (1913), pp. 6, 8, 10.
  25. ^ Tiersma (1999), p. 11.
  26. ^ a b Hoekstra (2003:202), citing Hof (1933:14)
  27. ^ a b Chirkova & Chen (2013), pp. 369–370.
  28. ^ a b Chirkova, Chen & Kocjančič Antolík (2013), p. 389.
  29. ^ Engstrand (1999), p. 140.