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[1] فوق [fo̞ːg] 'up' Typically transcribed in IPA as .
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic hga [ho̞ːɡa] 'steam'
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[2] [example needed]
Catalan Algherese soc [ˈso̞k] 'clog' /ɔ/ and /o/ merge into [o̞] in these dialects. See Catalan phonology
Danish Standard[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] monolog [mo̞no̞ˈlo̞ːˀ] 'monologue' Described variously as mid back,[6][7] mid near-back.[4][5][9] and slightly lowered mid back.[8] Typically transcribed in IPA as ɔ(ː). See Danish phonology
Dutch Amsterdam[10] och [ʔö̞ˤx] 'alas' Near-back,[10] very tense, with strong lip-rounding and strongly pharyngealized.[11] It corresponds to [ɔˁ] in standard Dutch. See Dutch phonology
Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect[12] mot [mo̞t] 'well' Typically transcribed in IPA as ɔ. See Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect phonology
English Cardiff[13] thought [θo̞ːt] 'thought' Some speakers, for others it is [ʌ̈ː]. See English phonology
South African[14]
Close-mid [] for other speakers.
Geordie[15] Typically transcribed in IPA as ɔː.
Received Pronunciation[17] May be as open as [ɔː] for older speakers, and is most often transcribed as such. See English phonology
Estuary[18] coat [kʰo̟ːʔ] 'coat' Rare; commonly a diphthong.[18] It corresponds to /əʊ/ in other British dialects. See English phonology
Yorkshire[19] [kʰo̟t] Corresponds to /əʊ/ in other British dialects. See English phonology
Finnish[20] kello [ˈke̞llo̞] 'clock' See Finnish phonology
German Standard[21] Pavillon [ˈpʰävɪljõ̞] 'pavilion' Nasalized.[21] Present only in loanwords. See German phonology
Zurich dialect[22] do [d̥o̞] 'so' Allophone of /o/; reported to occur only in this word.[22]
Greek ωκεανός okeanós [o̞ˌce̞ɐˈno̞s] 'ocean' See Modern Greek phonology
Hebrew[23] שלום [ʃäˈlo̞m] 'peace' Hebrew vowels are not shown in the script. See Niqqud and Modern Hebrew phonology
Inuit West Greenlandic[24] [example needed] Allophone of /u/ before and especially between uvulars.[24] See Inuit phonology
Japanese[25] /ko [ko̞] 'child' See Japanese phonology
Korean[26] 보리/bori [po̞ˈɾi] 'barley' See Korean phonology
Limburgish Hasselt dialect[27] mok [mo̞k] 'mug' Typically transcribed IPA as ɔ.[27]
Norwegian Standard Eastern[28] lov [lo̞ːʋ] 'law' May be diphthongized to [o̞ə̯]. See Norwegian phonology
Portuguese Brazilian pororoca [po̞ɾo̞ˈɾɔ̞kɐ] 'pororoca' Unstressed vowel.[29] See Portuguese phonology
Romanian copil [ko̞ˈpil] 'child' See Romanian phonology
Russian[30] сухой About this sound [s̪ʊˈxo̞j]  'dry' See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatian[31] čvȏr / чво̑р [t͡ʃʋô̞ːr] 'knot' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovene[32] oglas [o̞ˈɡlá̠s̪] 'advertisement' Unstressed vowel,[32] as well as a non-prevocalic allophone of /o/ before /ʋ/.[33] See Slovene phonology
Spanish[34] todo [ˈt̪o̞ð̞o̞] 'all' See Spanish phonology
Turkish[35] kol [kʰo̞ɫ] 'arm' See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian поїзд [ˈpo̞jiz̪d̪] 'train' See Ukrainian phonology
Zapotec Tilquiapan[36] do [d̪o̞] 'corn tassel'


  1. ^ Jarrah, Mohamed Ali Saleh (1993)
  2. ^ Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  3. ^ Grønnum (1996:6)
  4. ^ a b Grønnum (1998:100)
  5. ^ a b Grønnum (2005:268)
  6. ^ a b Grønnum (2003)
  7. ^ a b Ladefoged & Johnson (2010:227)
  8. ^ a b Allan, Holmes & Lundskær-Nielsen (2000:17)
  9. ^ a b Basbøll (2005:47)
  10. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2003:132)
  11. ^ Collins & Mees (2003:132, 222 and 224)
  12. ^ Peters (2010:241)
  13. ^ Coupland (1990:95)
  14. ^ Lass (2002:116)
  15. ^ Watt & Allen (2003:268)
  16. ^ Watson (2007:357)
  17. ^ Roach (2004:242)
  18. ^ a b Przedlacka (2001:44)
  19. ^ Roca & Johnson (1999:180)
  20. ^ Iivonen & Harnud (2005:60, 66)
  21. ^ a b Mangold (2005:37)
  22. ^ a b Fleischer & Schmid (2006), p. 251.
  23. ^ Laufer (1999:98)
  24. ^ a b Fortescue (1990), p. 317.
  25. ^ Okada (1991:94)
  26. ^ Lee (1999:121)
  27. ^ a b Peters (2006), p. 119.
  28. ^ Vanvik (1979:13)
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ Jones & Ward (1969:56)
  31. ^ Landau et al. (1999:67)
  32. ^ a b Tatjana Srebot-Rejec. "On the vowel system in present-day Slovene" (PDF). 
  33. ^ Šuštaršič, Komar & Petek (1999:138)
  34. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:256)
  35. ^ Zimmer & Orgun (1999:155)
  36. ^ Merrill (2008:109)