Mid back unrounded vowel

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Mid back unrounded vowel
IPA number 315 430
Entity (decimal) ɤ​̞
Unicode (hex) U+0264 U+031E

The mid back unrounded vowel is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. Acoustically it is a mid back-central unrounded vowel.[1] Although there is no dedicated symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the exact mid back unrounded vowel between close-mid [ɤ] and open-mid [ʌ] because no language is known to distinguish all three, ⟨ɤ⟩ is normally used. If more precision is desired, diacritics can be used, such as ⟨ɤ̞⟩ or ⟨ʌ̝⟩.


IPA: Vowels
Front Central Back

Paired vowels are: unrounded  rounded


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Bulgarian[2] път [pɤ̞̈t̪] 'path' Near-back.[2] See Bulgarian phonology
Chinese Shanghainese[3] [kɤ̞̈¹] 'ditch' Near-back; tends to be diphthongized to [ɤ̞̈ɯ̞̈] by younger speakers.[3]
Danish Standard[4] læger [ˈleːɤ̞̈] 'doctors' Near-back; one of possible realizations of the sequences /ər, rə, rər/.[4] See Danish phonology
English Cardiff[5] plus [pl̥ʌ̝̈s] 'plus' Near-back, may be [ə], [ɜ], [ɜ̟] or [ë̞] instead.[5] It corresponds to [ʌ] in other dialects.
Norfolk[6] Near-back;[6] corresponds to [ʌ] in other dialects. See English phonology
Philadelphia[7] [pɫ̥ʌ̝s] May be either open-mid [ʌ] or a lowered and unrounded /uː/ ([ɯ̽]) instead.[7] It corresponds to [ʌ] in other dialects. See English phonology
Gayo[8] kule [kuˈlɤ̞ː] 'tiger' One of the possible allophones of /ə/.[8]
German Chemnitz dialect[9] Schirm [ʃʌ̝̈ˤːm] 'umbrella' Pharyngealized near-back; may be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌˤː⟩. It may be realized as [ɪːɒ̯] instead.[9]
Ibibio[10] [dʌ̝̈k˦] 'enter' Near-back; typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌ⟩.[10]
Vietnamese Hanoi[11] t [t̻ɤ̞̈˧˨] 'sheet' Near-back.[11] Realization of /ɤ/ (also transcribed in IPA with ⟨ə⟩) according to Kirby (2011). See Vietnamese phonology

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Geoff Lindsey (2013) The vowel space, Speech Talk
  2. ^ a b Ternes & Vladimirova-Buhtz (1999), p. 56.
  3. ^ a b Chen & Gussenhoven (2015), p. 328.
  4. ^ a b Basbøll (2005), p. 58.
  5. ^ a b Collins & Mees (1990), p. 93.
  6. ^ a b Lodge (2009), p. 168.
  7. ^ a b Gordon (2004), p. 290.
  8. ^ a b Eades & Hajek (2006), p. 111.
  9. ^ a b Khan & Weise (2013), p. 236.
  10. ^ a b Urua (2004), p. 106.
  11. ^ a b Kirby (2011), p. 384.