Close-mid front rounded vowel

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Close-mid front rounded vowel
IPA number 310
Entity (decimal) ø
Unicode (hex) U+00F8
Kirshenbaum Y
Braille ⠳ (braille pattern dots-1256)

The close-mid front rounded vowel, or high-mid front rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. Acoustically it is a close-mid front-central rounded vowel.[1] The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ø⟩, a lowercase letter o with a diagonal stroke through it, borrowed from the Danish, Norwegian, and Faroese languages, where the letter sometimes represents this sound. The symbol is commonly referred to as "o, slash" in English.

For the close-mid near-front rounded vowel that is usually transcribed with the symbol ⟨ʏ⟩ or ⟨y⟩, see near-close near-front rounded vowel. If the usual symbol is ⟨ø⟩, the vowel is listed here.

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

Close-mid front compressed vowel[edit]

The close-mid front compressed vowel is typically transcribed in IPA simply as ⟨ø⟩, which is the convention used in this article. There is no dedicated diacritic for compression in the IPA. However, the compression of the lips can be shown with the letter ⟨β̞⟩ as ⟨e͡β̞⟩ (simultaneous [e] and labial compression) or ⟨eᵝ⟩ ([e] modified with labial compression). The spread-lip diacritic ⟨  ͍ ⟩ may also be used with a rounded vowel letter ⟨ø͍⟩ as an ad hoc symbol, but 'spread' technically means unrounded.

For the close-mid near-front compresed vowel that is usually transcribed with the symbol ⟨ʏ⟩, see near-close near-front compressed vowel. If the usual symbol is ⟨ø⟩, the vowel is listed here.


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
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IPA help • IPA key • chart • Loudspeaker.svg chart with audio • view
  • Its vowel height is close-mid, also known as high-mid, which means the tongue is positioned halfway between a close vowel (a high vowel) and a mid vowel.
  • Its vowel backness is front, which means the tongue is positioned as far forward as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Note that rounded front vowels are often centralized, which means that often they are in fact near-front.
  • Its roundedness is compressed, which means that the margins of the lips are tense and drawn together in such a way that the inner surfaces are not exposed.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[2] [example needed] Near-front.[2]
Northern[3] [example needed] Allophone of /e/ before /l/.[3]
Chinese Shanghainese[4] 肝/koe [kø̠¹] 'liver' Near-front. Realization of /ø/ in open syllables and /ʏ/ in closed syllables.[4]
Danish Standard[5][6] købe [ˈkʰø̠ːb̥ə] 'buy' Near-front.[5][6] See Danish phonology
Dutch Standard Belgian[7][8] neus [nø̠ːs] 'nose' Near-front;[9] also described as mid central [ɵ̞ː]).[10] In the Standard Netherlandic variety, it is diphthongized to [ø̠ʏ̯].[8][11] See Dutch phonology
Many accents[8] Near-front; present in many Eastern and Southern varieties.[12] See Dutch phonology
Standard Netherlandic[13] deur [dø̠ːr] 'door' Allophone of /øː/,[13] also described as a centering diphthong [ø̠ə̯][11] (hear the word: About this sound [dø̠ə̯r]). Realized as a closing diphthong [ø̠ʏ̯] in other positions.[8][11] See Dutch phonology
Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect[14] keul [kø̠ːɫ] 'cool' (adj.) Near-front.[14] See Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect phonology
English Broad South African[15] bird [bø̠ːd] 'bird' Near-front.[15][16] May be lower [ø̞̈ː] in South Africa.[15] In Cultivated South African English, it is realized as [əː].[15] See English phonology and South African English phonology
General South African[15]
French[17] peu [pø] 'few' See French phonology
German Standard[18][19] schön About this sound [ʃø̠ːn]  'beautiful' Near-front;[18][19] also described as mid [ø̞̈].[20] See German phonology
Chemnitz dialect[21] Löwen [ˈl̪øːfɱ̍] 'lions' Used by some speakers in some cognates of standard German words; contrasts with the central /ɵː/. Other speakers use an unrounded [].[21] See Chemnitz German phonology
Palatine[22] [example needed] Occurs only in loanwords.[22]
Hungarian[23] nő [nø̠ː] 'woman' Near-front.[23] See Hungarian phonology
Limburgish Most dialects[24][25][26] beuk [bø̠ːk] 'books' Near-front.[24][25][26] The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Luxembourgish[27][28] blöd [bløːt] 'stupid' Occurs only in loanwords.[27][28] See Luxembourgish phonology
Portuguese Micaelense[29] boi [ˈbø] 'ox' Allophone of /o/. See Portuguese phonology
Some European speakers[30] dou [ˈd̪øw] 'I give'
Ripuarian Kerkrade dialect[31] meusj [møːʃ²] [translation needed]
Saterland Frisian[32] röögje [ˈʀøːɡjə] 'to rain'
West Frisian Hindeloopers[33] beuch [bøːx] [translation needed] Diphthongized to [øʏ̯] in Standard West Frisian.[33] See West Frisian phonology

Close-mid front protruded vowel[edit]

Close-mid front protruded vowel

Catford notes that most languages with rounded front and back vowels use distinct types of labialization, protruded back vowels and compressed front vowels. However, a few languages, such as Scandinavian ones, have protruded front vowels. One of these, Swedish, even contrasts the two types of rounding in front vowels (see near-close near-front rounded vowel, with Swedish examples of both types of rounding).

As there are no diacritics in the IPA to distinguish protruded and compressed rounding, an old diacritic for labialization, ⟨  ̫⟩, will be used here as an ad hoc symbol for protruded front vowels. Another possible transcription is ⟨øʷ⟩ or ⟨⟩ (a close-mid front vowel modified by endolabialization), but this could be misread as a diphthong.

For the close-mid near-front protruded vowel that is usually transcribed with the symbol ⟨ʏ⟩, see near-close near-front protruded vowel. If the usual symbol is ⟨ø⟩, the vowel is listed here.

Acoustically, this sound is "between" the more typical compressed close-mid front vowel [ø] and the unrounded close-mid front vowel [e].



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Norwegian Standard Eastern[34][35] søt [sø̫ːt̻] 'sweet' Near-front;[34] also described as close-mid central [ɵː],[36] mid near-front [ø̽ː][37] and ranging from mid near-front [ø̽ː] to open-mid near-front [œ̠ː].[38] See Norwegian phonology
Swedish Central Standard[39] öl About this sound [ø̫ːl̪]  'beer' Near-front;[40] may be diphthongized to [øə̯]. See Swedish phonology

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Geoff Lindsey (2013) The vowel space, Speech Talk
  2. ^ a b Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  3. ^ a b Rowley (1990), p. 422.
  4. ^ a b Chen & Gussenhoven (2015:328).
  5. ^ a b Grønnum (1998), p. 100.
  6. ^ a b Ladefoged & Johnson (2010), p. 227.
  7. ^ Gussenhoven (1999), p. 74.
  8. ^ a b c d Collins & Mees (2003), pp. 133–134.
  9. ^ Collins & Mees (2003), p. 133.
  10. ^ Verhoeven (2005), p. 245.
  11. ^ a b c Gussenhoven (1999), p. 76.
  12. ^ Collins & Mees (2003), pp. 133–135.
  13. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2003), p. 134.
  14. ^ a b Peters (2010), p. 241.
  15. ^ a b c d e Lass (2002), p. 116.
  16. ^ a b Watt & Allen (2003), pp. 268–269.
  17. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993), p. 73.
  18. ^ a b Kohler (1999), p. 87.
  19. ^ a b Lodge (2009), p. 87.
  20. ^ Mangold (2005), p. 37.
  21. ^ a b Khan & Weise (2013), p. 238.
  22. ^ a b Green (1990), p. 245.
  23. ^ a b Szende (1994), p. 92.
  24. ^ a b Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999), p. 159.
  25. ^ a b Peters (2006), p. 119.
  26. ^ a b Verhoeven (2007), p. 221.
  27. ^ a b Trouvain & Gilles (2009), p. 75.
  28. ^ a b Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 72.
  29. ^ Variação Linguística no Português Europeu: O Caso do Português dos Açores (Portuguese)
  30. ^ Lista das marcas dialetais e outros fenómenos de variação (fonética e fonológica) identificados nas amostras do Arquivo Dialetal do CLUP (Portuguese)
  31. ^ Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997), p. 16.
  32. ^ Fort (2001), p. 411.
  33. ^ a b van der Veen (2001), p. 102.
  34. ^ a b Vanvik (1979), p. 13.
  35. ^ While Vanvik (1979) does not describe the exact type of rounding of this vowel, some other sources (e.g. Haugen (1974:40) and Popperwell (2010:35)) state explicitly that it is protruded.
  36. ^ Kristoffersen (2000), pp. 16–17, 33–35, 37, 343.
  37. ^ Popperwell (2010), pp. 16, 35.
  38. ^ Strandskogen (1979), p. 23.
  39. ^ Engstrand (1999), pp. 140-141.
  40. ^ Engstrand (1999), p. 140.