Close-mid front unrounded vowel

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Close-mid front unrounded vowel
IPA number 302
Entity (decimal) e
Unicode (hex) U+0065
Kirshenbaum e
Braille ⠑ (braille pattern dots-15)

The close-mid front unrounded vowel, or high-mid front 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 ⟨e⟩.

The close-mid near-front unrounded vowel, which differs from its front counterpart in that it is somewhat centralized (but still more front than central [ɘ]), is in practice sometimes transcribed with the symbol ⟨ɪ⟩.[1] In narrow transcription, it is equally correctly transcribed with ⟨ɪ̞⟩, ⟨⟩, ⟨ë⟩ or ⟨ɘ̟⟩ (this article uses ⟨⟩).

The IPA prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowels, and the name of this article follows this preference. However, a large number of linguists prefer the terms "high" and "low".[citation needed]


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
Afrikaans Standard[2] meter [ˈmëˑtɐr] 'meter' Near-front. Allophone of /eə/ in less stressed words and in stressed syllables of polysyllabic words. In the latter case, it is in free variation with the diphthongal realization [ëə̯ ~ ë̯ə ~ ëə].[2] See Afrikaans phonology
Arabic Egyptian ليه [leː] 'why' See Egyptian Arabic phonology
Gulf ليش [leːʃ] See Arabic phonology
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic h [heː] 'yes' Prominent in the Urmia, Nochiya and Jilu dialects. Can be closer to [i] for some speakers. Lowered to [] in other varieties.
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[3] [example needed]
Bengali দেশ [d̪eʃ] 'country' See Bengali phonology
Catalan[4] séc [s̠ek] 'fold' See Catalan phonology
Chinese Cantonese /bei6 [pei˨˨] 'nose' See Cantonese phonology
Shanghainese[5] /ih [e̠ʔ˥] 'one' Near-front. Realization of /ɛ/ in open syllables and /ɪ/ in closed syllables.[5]
Czech Bohemian[6] byli [ˈbele] 'they were' Also described as near-close near-front [ɪ];[7] corresponds to close front [i] in Moravian Czech.[6] See Czech phonology
Brno accent[8] led [let] 'ice' Corresponds to [ɛ ~ ɛ̠ ~ ɛ̝̈] in standard Czech.[9] See Czech phonology
Danish Standard[10][11] hæl [ˈheːˀl] 'heel' Realized as mid [e̞ː] in the conservative variety;[12] most often, it is transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɛː⟩. See Danish phonology
Dutch Belgian[13] vreemd [vreːmt] 'strange' In the Netherlands often diphthongized to [eɪ]. See Dutch phonology
English Australian[14] bed [bed] 'bed' See Australian English phonology
California[15] kid [kʰe̠d] 'kid' Near-front;[15][16] corresponds to [ɪ] in other dialects.
Some Estuary speakers[17] Near-front; other speakers realize it as [ɪ] or, less commonly, as [ɪ̟], [ɪ̈] or even [].[17]
Some speakers of West Midlands English[18] Near-front; other speakers realize it as [ɪ] or, less commonly, as [i].[18]
General Indian[19] play [pl̥e(ː)] 'play'
General Pakistani[20] Can be a diphthong [eɪ] instead, depending on speaker.
Multicultural London[21]
Ulster[25] Pronounced [ɛː~iə] in Belfast.
Faroese eg [eː] 'I' See Faroese phonology
French[26] beauté [bot̪e] 'beauty' See French phonology
Galician tres [t̪ɾes] 'three'
Georgian[27] მეფ [mɛpʰej] 'king'
German Standard[28] Seele About this sound [ˈzeːlə] 'soul' See Standard German phonology
Hindustani दे / دے [d̪eː] 'give!' See Hindustani phonology
Hungarian[29] hét [heːt̪] 'seven' Also described as close-mid [e̞ː].[30] See Hungarian phonology
Icelandic[31][32][33] vinur [ˈveːnөr] 'friend' Most often transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɪ⟩. See Icelandic phonology
Italian[34] stelle [ˈs̪t̪elle] 'stars' See Italian phonology
Kaingang[35] [ˈkɾe] 'thigh'
Korean 베다/beda [ˈpeːda] 'to cut' See Korean phonology
Limburgish Most dialects[36][37][38] leef [leːf] 'dear' The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Rural Weerts[39] beek [beːk] 'stream' Corresponds to /iə/ in the city dialect. The vowel transcribed /eː/ in the city dialect is actually a centering diphthong /eə/.[40]
Luxembourgish[41][42] drécken [ˈdʀekən] 'to push' Allophone of /e/ before velar consonants; in free variation with [ɛ].[42] See Luxembourgish phonology
Malay bebek [bebeʔ] 'duck' See Malay phonology
North Frisian ween [ʋeːn] 'blue'
Norwegian Standard Eastern[43] le [l̪eː] 'laugh' Often diphthongized to [eə̯]. See Norwegian phonology
Polish[44] dzień About this sound [d͡ʑeɲ̟] 'day' Allophone of /ɛ/ between palatal or palatalized consonants. See Polish phonology
Portuguese[45] mesa [ˈmezɐ] 'table' See Portuguese phonology
Punjabi ਸੇਬ [seːb] 'apple'
Romanian Muntenian dialects[46] vezi [vezʲ] '(you) see' Corresponds to mid [] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Russian[47] шея About this sound [ˈʂejə] 'neck' Occurs only before soft consonants. See Russian phonology
Shiwiar[48] [example needed] Allophone of /a/.[48]
Slovak Standard[49] dcéra [ˈt͡seːrä] 'daughter' In standard Slovak, the backness varies between front and near-front; most commonly, it is realized as mid [e̞ː] instead.[50] See Slovak phonology
Dialects spoken near the river Ipeľ[29]
Sorbian Lower[51] měŕ [merʲ] 'measure!' Diphthongized to [i̯ɛ] in slow speech.[51][52] See Upper Sorbian phonology
Upper[51][53] wem [ɥem] 'I know'
Swedish se About this sound [s̪eː] 'see' See Swedish phonology
Vietnamese tê [te] 'numb' See Vietnamese phonology
West Frisian[54] ik [ek] 'I' Also described as mid [];[55] typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɪ⟩. See West Frisian phonology
Yoruba[56] [example needed]
Zapotec Tilquiapan[57] zied [zied̪] [translation needed] Allophone of /e/ that occurs mostly after /i/. In other environments, the most common realization is central [ɘ].[57]
Welsh peth [pe:θ] 'thing' See Welsh phonology

See also[edit]


  1. ^ For example by Collins & Mees (1990:93) and Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999:159).
  2. ^ a b Lass (1987), p. 119.
  3. ^ Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  4. ^ Carbonell & Llisterri (1992:54)
  5. ^ a b Chen & Gussenhoven (2015:328).
  6. ^ a b Šimáčková, Podlipský & Chládková (2012:228–229)
  7. ^ Dankovičová (1999:72)
  8. ^ Palková (1999:187)
  9. ^ Dankovičová (1999:72)
  10. ^ Grønnum (1998:100)
  11. ^ Basbøll (2005:45)
  12. ^ Ladefoged & Johnson (2010:227)
  13. ^ Verhoeven (2005:245)
  14. ^ Harrington, Cox & Evans (1997)
  15. ^ a b Ladefoged (1999:42)
  16. ^ a b Collins & Mees (1990:93)
  17. ^ a b Altendorf & Watt (2004:188)
  18. ^ a b Clark (2004:137)
  19. ^ Wells (1982:626)
  20. ^ Mahboob & Ahmar (2004:1010)
  21. ^ Gimson (2014:91)
  22. ^ Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006:7)
  23. ^ Deterding (2000:?)
  24. ^ Watt & Allen (2003:268–269)
  25. ^ "Week 18 (ii). Northern Ireland" (PDF). 
  26. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993:73)
  27. ^ Shosted & Chikovani (2006:261–262)
  28. ^ Kohler (1999:87), Mangold (2005:37)
  29. ^ a b Kráľ (1988:92)
  30. ^ Szende (1994:92)
  31. ^ Árnason (2011:60)
  32. ^ Einarsson (1945:10), cited in Gussmann (2011:73)
  33. ^ Haugen (1958:65)
  34. ^ Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004:119)
  35. ^ Jolkesky (2009:676–677 and 682)
  36. ^ Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999:159)
  37. ^ Peters (2006:119)
  38. ^ Verhoeven (2007:221)
  39. ^ Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998:107)
  40. ^ Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998:107, 109)
  41. ^ Trouvain & Gilles (2009:75)
  42. ^ a b Gilles & Trouvain (2013:70)
  43. ^ Vanvik (1979:13)
  44. ^ Jassem (2003:106)
  45. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995:91)
  46. ^ Pop (1938), p. 29.
  47. ^ Jones & Ward (1969:44)
  48. ^ a b Fast Mowitz (1975:2)
  49. ^ Pavlík (2004:95)
  50. ^ Pavlík (2004:93, 95)
  51. ^ a b c Stone (2002:600)
  52. ^ Šewc-Schuster (1984:32–33)
  53. ^ Šewc-Schuster (1984:20)
  54. ^ Tiersma (1999:10)
  55. ^ Sipma (1913:10)
  56. ^ Bamgboṣe (1969:166)
  57. ^ a b Merrill (2008:109–110)


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