Mid back rounded vowel

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Mid back rounded vowel
IPA number 307 430
Entity (decimal) o​̞
Unicode (hex) U+006F U+031E
Braille ⠕ (braille pattern dots-135) ⠠ (braille pattern dots-6) ⠣ (braille pattern dots-126)

The mid back rounded vowel is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. While there is no dedicated symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the exact mid back rounded vowel between close-mid [o] and open-mid [ɔ], it is normally written o. If precision is desired, diacritics may be used, such as or ɔ̝, the former being more common. A non-IPA letter is also found.

Note that just because a language has only one non-close non-open back vowel, it still may not be a cardinal mid vowel. The Sulawesian language Tukang Besi, for example, has a close-mid [o], whereas the Moluccan language Taba has an open-mid [ɔ]; in neither language does this contrast with another open close-mid vowel. The Kensiu language spoken in Malaysia and Thailand is highly unusual in that it contrasts true-mid vowels with close-mid and open-mid vowels without differences in other parameters such as backness or roundedness.


IPA vowel chart
Front Near-​front Central Near-​back Back
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
Paired vowels are: unrounded • rounded
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  • Its vowel height is mid, which means the tongue is positioned halfway between a close vowel and an open vowel.
  • Its vowel backness is back, which means the tongue is positioned as far back as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Note that unrounded back vowels tend to be centralized, which means that often they are in fact near-back.
  • Its roundedness is protruded, which means that the corners of the lips are drawn together, and the inner surfaces exposed.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Arabic Hejazi فوق [fo̞ːg] 'up'
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic hga [ho̞ːɡa] 'steam'
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[1] [example needed]
Catalan Algherese soc [ˈso̞k] 'clog' /ɔ/ and /o/ merge into [o̞] in these dialects. See Catalan phonology
Danish Standard[2][3][4][5][6][7][8] monolog [mo̞no̞ˈlo̞ːˀ] 'monologue' Described variously as mid back,[5][6] mid near-back.[3][4][8] and slightly lowered mid back.[7] Typically transcribed /ɔ(ː)/. See Danish phonology
Dutch Amsterdam[9] och [ʔɔ̝̈ˤx] 'alas' Near-back,[9] very tense, with strong lip-rounding and strongly pharyngealized.[10] It corresponds to [ɔˁ] in standard Dutch. See Dutch phonology
English Cardiff[11] thought [θo̞ːt] 'thought' Some speakers, for others it's [ʌ̈ː]. See English phonology
Cultivated Australian Close-mid [] for other speakers.
South African[12]
Geordie[13] Typically transcribed /ɔː/.
Received Pronunciation[15] May be as open as [ɔː] for older speakers, and is most often transcribed as such. See English phonology
Estuary[16] coat [kʰo̟ːʔ] 'coat' Rare; commonly a diphthong.[16] It corresponds to /əʊ/ in other British dialects. See English phonology
Yorkshire[17] [kʰo̟t] Corresponds to /əʊ/ in other British dialects. See English phonology
Finnish[18] kello [ˈke̞llo̞] 'clock' See Finnish phonology
German Standard[19] Pavillon [ˈpʰävɪljõ̞] 'pavilion' Nasalized.[19] Present only in loanwords. See German phonology
Zurich dialect[20] do [d̥o̞] 'so' Allophone of /o/; reported to occur only in this word.[20]
Greek ωκεανός okeanós [o̞ˌce̞ɐˈno̞s] 'ocean' See Modern Greek phonology
Hebrew[21] שלום [ʃäˈlo̞m] 'peace' Hebrew vowels are not shown in the script. See Niqqud and Modern Hebrew phonology
Inuit West Greenlandic[22] [example needed] Allophone of /u/ before and especially between uvulars.[22] See Inuit phonology
Japanese[23] ko [ko̞] 'child' See Japanese phonology
Korean[24] 보리 bori [po̞ˈɾi] 'barley' See Korean phonology
Norwegian Standard Eastern[25] lov [lo̞ːʋ] 'law' May be diphthongized to [o̞ə̯]. See Norwegian phonology
Portuguese Brazilian pororoca [po̞ɾo̞ˈɾɔ̞kɐ] 'pororoca' Unstressed vowel.[26] See Portuguese phonology
Romanian copil [ko̞ˈpil] 'child' See Romanian phonology
Russian[27] сухой About this sound [s̪ʊˈxo̞j]  'dry' See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatian[28] čvȏr / чво̑р [t͡ʃʋô̞ːr] 'knot' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Spanish[29] todo [ˈt̪o̞ð̞o̞] 'all' See Spanish phonology
Turkish[30] kol [kʰo̞ɫ] 'arm' See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian поїзд [ˈpo̞jiz̪d̪] 'train' See Ukrainian phonology
Zapotec Tilquiapan[31] do [d̪o̞] 'corn tassel'


  1. ^ Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  2. ^ Grønnum (1996:6)
  3. ^ a b Grønnum (1998:100)
  4. ^ a b Grønnum (2005:268)
  5. ^ a b Grønnum (2003)
  6. ^ a b Ladefoged & Johnson (2010:227)
  7. ^ a b Allan, Holmes & Lundskær-Nielsen (2000:17)
  8. ^ a b Basbøll (2005:47)
  9. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2003:132)
  10. ^ Collins & Mees (2003:132, 222 and 224)
  11. ^ Coupland (1990:95)
  12. ^ Lass (2002:116)
  13. ^ Watt & Allen (2003:268)
  14. ^ Watson (2007:357)
  15. ^ Roach (2004:242)
  16. ^ a b Przedlacka (2001:44)
  17. ^ Roca & Johnson (1999:180)
  18. ^ Iivonen & Harnud (2005:60, 66)
  19. ^ a b Mangold (2005:37)
  20. ^ a b Fleischer & Schmid (2006), p. 251.
  21. ^ Laufer (1999:98)
  22. ^ a b Fortescue (1990), p. 317.
  23. ^ Okada (1991:94)
  24. ^ Lee (1999:121)
  25. ^ Vanvik (1979:13)
  26. ^ Corresponds to /ɔ/, or /u/ (where Brazilian dialects have [u ~ ʊ ~ o̞]), in other national variants. May be lowered to [ɔ̝ ~ ɔ] in amazofonia, nordestino, mineiro (MG) and fluminense (RJ) if not nasalized ([õ̞] does not corresponds to phoneme /õ/), or be raised and merged to /o/ in sulista, paulistano, caipira and sertanejo.
  27. ^ Jones & Ward (1969:56)
  28. ^ Landau et al. (1999:67)
  29. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:256)
  30. ^ Zimmer & Orgun (1999:155)
  31. ^ Merrill (2008:109)