Close-mid central unrounded vowel

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Close-mid central unrounded vowel
IPA Number397
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ɘ
Unicode (hex)U+0258
Braille⠲ (braille pattern dots-256)⠑ (braille pattern dots-15)

The close-mid central unrounded vowel, or high-mid central unrounded vowel,[1] 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 schwa ə, 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 diaeresis, not Cyrillic small letter yo). Certain older sources[2] transcribe this vowel ɤ̈.

The ɘ letter may be used with a lowering diacritic ɘ̞, to denote the mid central unrounded vowel.

Conversely, ə, the symbol for the mid central vowel may be used with a raising diacritic ə̝ to denote the close-mid central unrounded vowel, although that is more accurately written with an additional unrounding diacritic ə̝͑ to explicitly denote the lack of rounding (the canonical value of IPA ə is undefined for rounding).



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Cotabato Manobo[3] [example needed] May be transcribed in IPA with ə.
Dinka Luanyjang[4] ŋeŋ [ŋɘ́ŋ] 'jawbone' Short allophone of /e/.[4]
English Australian[5][6] bird [bɘːd] 'bird' Typically transcribed in IPA with ɜː. See Australian English phonology
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' Merger of /ə/ and /ɪ/ found 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
Estonian[11] kõrv [kɘrv] 'ear' Typically transcribed in IPA with ɤ; can be close-mid back [ɤ] or close back [ɯ] instead, depending on the speaker.[11] See Estonian phonology
Irish Munster[12] sáile [ˈsˠɰaːlʲə̝] 'salt water' Usually transcribed in IPA with [ɪ̽]. It is an allophone of /ə/ next to non-palatal slender consonants.[12] See Irish phonology
Jebero[13] ɨx[e/ï][k/c/q] [ˈiʃɘk] 'bat'
Kaingang[14] me [ˈᵐbɘ] 'tail' Varies between central [ɘ] and back [ɤ].[15]
Kalagan Kaagan[16] [miˈwə̝ːʔ] 'lost' Allophone of /ɨ/ in word-final stressed syllables before /ʔ/; can be transcribed in IPA with ə.[16]
Kensiu[17] [ɟɚ̝h] 'to trim' Rhotacized; may be transcribed in IPA with ɚ.[17]
Kera[18] [t͡ʃə̝̄wā̠a̠] 'fire' Allophone of /a/; typically transcribed in IPA with ə.[18]
Korean[19] /ŏŏleun [ə̝ːɾɯ̽n] 'adult' May be transcribed in IPA with əː. See Korean phonology
Kurdish Kurmanji dil/دل [dɘl] 'heart' Allophone of /ɪ/. Sorani alphabet does not transcribe this vowel phoneme in text.
Lizu[20] [Fkə̝][clarification needed] 'eagle' Allophone of /ə/ after velar stops.[20]
Mapudungun[21] elün [ë̝ˈlɘn] 'to give (something)'
Mongolian[22] үсэр [usɘɾɘ̆] 'jump'
Mono[23] dœ [də̝] 'be (equative)' May be transcribed in IPA with ə.[23]
Polish[24] mysz [mɘ̟ʂ] 'mouse' Somewhat fronted;[24] typically transcribed in IPA with ɨ. See Polish phonology
Romanian Moldavian dialect[25] casă [ˈkäsɘ] 'house' Corresponds to [ə] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Shiwiar[26] [example needed]
Temne[27] pər [pə̝́r] 'incite' Typically transcribed in IPA with ə.[27]
Vietnamese[28] v [vɘ˨˩ˀ] 'wife' Typically transcribed in IPA with ɤ. See Vietnamese phonology
Xumi Upper[29] [LPmɘ̃dɐ] 'upstairs' Nasalized; occurs only in this word.[29] It is realized as mid [ə̃] in Lower Xumi.[30]
Zapotec Tilquiapan[31] ne [nɘ] 'and' Most common realization of /e/.[31]


  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ For example Collins & Mees (1990).
  3. ^ Kerr (1988:110)
  4. ^ a b Remijsen & Manyang (2009:117, 119)
  5. ^ Cox (2006:?)
  6. ^ Durie & Hajek (1994:?)
  7. ^ Collins & Mees (1990:93)
  8. ^ Collins & Mees (1990:92)
  9. ^ Bauer et al. (2007)
  10. ^ a b Roca & Johnson (1999:186)
  11. ^ a b Asu & Teras (2009), pp. 368–369.
  12. ^ a b Ó Sé (2000)
  13. ^ Valenzuela & Gussenhoven (2013:101)
  14. ^ Jolkesky (2009:676–677 and 682)
  15. ^ Jolkesky (2009:676 and 682)
  16. ^ a b Wendel & Wendel (1978:198)
  17. ^ a b Bishop (1996:230)
  18. ^ a b Pearce (2011:251)
  19. ^ Lee (1999:121)
  20. ^ a b Chirkova & Chen (2013a:79)
  21. ^ Sadowsky et al. (2013:92)
  22. ^ Iivonen & Harnud (2005:62, 66–67)
  23. ^ a b Olson (2004:235)
  24. ^ a b Jassem (2003:105) The source transcribes this sound with the symbol ɨ but one can see from the vowel chart at pag. 105 that the Polish sound is closer to [ɘ] than to [ɨ].
  25. ^ Pop (1938), p. 29.
  26. ^ Fast Mowitz (1975:2)
  27. ^ a b Kanu & Tucker (2010:249)
  28. ^ Hoang (1965:24)
  29. ^ a b Chirkova, Chen & Kocjančič Antolík (2013:389)
  30. ^ Chirkova & Chen (2013b:370)
  31. ^ a b Merrill (2008:109–110)


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