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 true-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 mid (true-mid or 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[1] فوق [fo̞ːg] 'up' Typically transcribed in IPA as .
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic hga [ho̞ːɡa] 'steam'
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[2] [example needed]
Catalan Modern Algherese[3] soc [ˈso̞k] 'clog' /ɔ/ and /o/ merge into [o̞] in these dialects. See Catalan phonology
Valencian[4] cançó [kanˈso̞] 'song' Allophone of final stressed /o/. Typically transcribed in IPA as o.
Chinese Shanghainese[5] [kö̞¹] 'tall' Near-back. Realization of /ɔ/ in open syllables and /ʊ/ in closed syllables.[5]
Czech[6][7] oko [ˈo̞ko̞] 'eye' In Bohemian Czech, the backness varies between back and near-back, whereas the height varies between mid [o̞] and close-mid [o].[6] See Czech phonology
Danish Standard[8][9][10][11][12][13][14] monolog [mo̞no̞ˈlo̞ːˀ] 'monologue' Described variously as mid back,[11][12] mid near-back.[9][10][14] and slightly lowered mid back.[13] Typically transcribed in IPA as ɔ(ː). See Danish phonology
Dutch Amsterdam[15] och [o̞χ] 'alas' Corresponds to open-mid [ɔˁ] in standard Dutch. See Dutch phonology
Hasselt [o̞x]
Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect[16] mot [mo̞t] 'well' Typically transcribed in IPA as ɔ. See Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect phonology
English Cardiff[17] thought [θo̞ːt] 'thought' Some speakers, for others it is [ʌ̈ː]. See English phonology
South African[18]
Close-mid [] for other speakers.
Geordie[19] Typically transcribed in IPA as ɔː.
Received Pronunciation[21] May be as open as [ɔː] for older speakers, and is most often transcribed as such. See English phonology
Estuary[22] coat [kʰo̟ːʔ] 'coat' Rare; commonly a diphthong.[22] It corresponds to /əʊ/ in other British dialects. See English phonology
Yorkshire[23] [kʰo̟t] Corresponds to /əʊ/ in other British dialects. See English phonology
Estonian[24] tool [to̞ːlʲ] 'chair' See Estonian phonology
Finnish[25][26] kello [ˈke̞llo̞] 'clock' See Finnish phonology
German Bernese dialect[27] Òve [ˈo̞v̥ə] 'oven' Typically transcribed in IPA as ɔ. See Bernese German phonology
Standard[28] Pavillon [ˈpʰävɪljõ̞] 'pavilion' Nasalized.[28] Present only in loanwords. See German phonology
Zurich dialect[29] do [d̥o̞] 'so' Allophone of /o/; reported to occur only in this word.[29]
Greek ωκεανός okeanós [o̞ˌce̞ɐˈno̞s] 'ocean' See Modern Greek phonology
Hebrew[30] שלום [ʃäˈlo̞m] 'peace' Hebrew vowels are not shown in the script. See Niqqud and Modern Hebrew phonology
Ibibio[31] [dó̞] 'there'
Inuit West Greenlandic[32] [example needed] Allophone of /u/ before and especially between uvulars.[32] See Inuit phonology
Italian Piedmont parola [päˈro̞ːlä] 'word' Corresponds to /ɔ/ and /o/ in standard Italian. See Italian phonology
Japanese[33] /ko [ko̞] 'child' See Japanese phonology
Korean[34] 보리/bori [po̞ˈɾi] 'barley' See Korean phonology
Limburgish Hasselt dialect[35] mok [mo̞k] 'mug' Typically transcribed IPA as ɔ.[35]
Norwegian Standard Eastern[36] lov [lo̞ːʋ] 'law' May be diphthongized to [o̞ə̯]. See Norwegian phonology
Portuguese Brazilian pororoca [po̞ɾo̞ˈɾɔ̞kɐ] 'pororoca' Unstressed vowel.[37] See Portuguese phonology
Romanian copil [ko̞ˈpil] 'child' See Romanian phonology
Russian[38] сухой About this sound [s̪ʊˈxo̞j]  'dry' See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatian[39] čvȏr / чво̑р [t͡ʃʋô̞ːr] 'knot' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Shipibo[40]  ? [ˈkö̞ni̞] 'eel' Near-back.[40]
Slovak Standard[41][42][43] ohúriť [ˈo̞ɦʊːrɪc̟] 'to stun' Backness varies between back and near-back.[43] See Slovak phonology
Slovene[44] oglas [o̞ˈɡlá̠s̪] 'advertisement' Unstressed vowel,[44] as well as an allophone of /o/ before /ʋ/ when a vowel does not follow within the same word.[45] See Slovene phonology
Spanish[46] todo [ˈt̪o̞ð̞o̞] 'all' See Spanish phonology
Tera[47] zo [zo̞ː] 'rope'
Turkish[48][49] kol [kʰo̞ɫ] 'arm' See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian поїзд [ˈpo̞jiz̪d̪] 'train' See Ukrainian phonology
Võro Võro [ˈvɤ̞ro̞] 'Võro'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[50] do [d̪o̞] 'corn tassel'


  1. ^ Jarrah, Mohamed Ali Saleh (1993)
  2. ^ Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  3. ^ a b Recasens (1996:59-60)
  4. ^ Saborit (2009:11)
  5. ^ a b Chen & Gussenhoven (2015:328)
  6. ^ a b Dankovičová (1999:72)
  7. ^ Šimáčková, Podlipský & Chládková (2012:228–230)
  8. ^ Grønnum (1996:6)
  9. ^ a b Grønnum (1998:100)
  10. ^ a b Grønnum (2005:268)
  11. ^ a b Grønnum (2003)
  12. ^ a b Ladefoged & Johnson (2010:227)
  13. ^ a b Allan, Holmes & Lundskær-Nielsen (2000:17)
  14. ^ a b Basbøll (2005:47)
  15. ^ Collins & Mees (2003:132)
  16. ^ Peters (2010:241)
  17. ^ Coupland (1990:95)
  18. ^ Lass (2002:116)
  19. ^ Watt & Allen (2003:268)
  20. ^ Watson (2007:357)
  21. ^ Roach (2004:242)
  22. ^ a b Przedlacka (2001:44)
  23. ^ Roca & Johnson (1999:180)
  24. ^ Asu & Teras (2009:368)
  25. ^ Iivonen & Harnud (2005:60, 66)
  26. ^ Suomi, Toivanen & Ylitalo (2008:21)
  27. ^ Marti (1985:?)
  28. ^ a b Mangold (2005:37)
  29. ^ a b Fleischer & Schmid (2006:251)
  30. ^ Laufer (1999:98)
  31. ^ Urua (2004:106)
  32. ^ a b Fortescue (1990), p. 317.
  33. ^ Okada (1991:94)
  34. ^ Lee (1999:121)
  35. ^ a b Peters (2006), p. 119.
  36. ^ Vanvik (1979:13)
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ Jones & Ward (1969:56)
  39. ^ Landau et al. (1999:67)
  40. ^ a b Valenzuela, Márquez Pinedo & Maddieson (2001:282)
  41. ^ Hanulíková & Hamann (2010:375)
  42. ^ Kráľ (1988:92)
  43. ^ a b Pavlík (2004:94–95)
  44. ^ a b Tatjana Srebot-Rejec. "On the vowel system in present-day Slovene" (PDF). 
  45. ^ Šuštaršič, Komar & Petek (1999:138)
  46. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:256)
  47. ^ Tench (2007:230)
  48. ^ Zimmer & Orgun (1999:155)
  49. ^ Göksel & Kerslake (2005:11)
  50. ^ Merrill (2008:109)