Near-close near-front unrounded vowel

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Near-close near-front unrounded vowel
IPA number 319
Entity (decimal) ɪ
Unicode (hex) U+026A
Kirshenbaum I
Braille ⠌ (braille pattern dots-34)

The near-close near-front unrounded vowel, or near-high near-front unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɪ⟩, i.e. a small capital letter i. The International Phonetic Association advises serifs on the symbol's ends.[1] Some sans-serif fonts do meet this typographic specification.[2] Prior to 1989, there was an alternate symbol for this sound: ⟨ɩ⟩, the use of which is no longer sanctioned by the IPA.[3] Despite that, some modern writings[4] still use it.

The Handbook of the International Phonetic Association defines [ɪ] as a mid-centralized (lowered and centralized) close front unrounded vowel,[5] therefore, an alternative transcription of this vowel is ⟨⟩ (a symbol equivalent to a more complex ⟨ï̞⟩). However, some languages, such as Australian English,[6] Danish[7][8] and Swedish,[9] have the near-close front unrounded vowel, which differs from its near-front counterpart in that it is a lowered, but not centralized close front unrounded vowel, transcribed in the IPA as ⟨ɪ̟⟩, ⟨⟩ or ⟨⟩.

The IPA prefers the terms "close" and "open" for classifying vowels. Some linguists use the terms "high" and "low", respectively, instead of "close" and "open".[citation needed]


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
This table contains phonetic symbols, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]

IPA help • IPA key • chart • Loudspeaker.svg chart with audio • view


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Czech Bohemian[10] byli [ˈbɪlɪ] 'they were' Also described as close-mid front [e];[11] corresponds to close front [i] in Moravian Czech.[11] See Czech phonology
Danish Standard[7][8] hel [ˈhe̝ːˀl] 'whole' Fully front;[7][8] typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨⟩ - the way it is pronounced in the conservative variety.[12] The vowel transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɪ⟩ is pronounced similarly to the short /e/.[13] See Danish phonology
Dutch Standard[14][15] blik About this sound [blɪk] 'glance' Also described as close-mid [ɪ̞] in Belgian Standard Dutch.[16] See Dutch phonology
Rotterdam[17] [blɪ̟k] Slightly more front and higher than in Standard Dutch.[17]
The Hague[17]
Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect[18] 'plate' Somewhat fronted.[18] See Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect phonology
English Many dialects bit About this sound [bɪt] 'bit' See English phonology
Australian[6] [bɪ̟t] Fully front.[6] See Australian English phonology
New Zealand[19][20] bed [be̝d] 'bed' Either front or near-front; typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨e⟩. May be close-mid [e] instead, but cultivated speakers realize it as even lower, i.e. mid [].[19][20] See New Zealand English phonology
Some Broad and General South African speakers[21] Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨e⟩. In the Broad variety, it is usually lower [ɛ], whereas in the General variety, it can be close-mid [e] instead.[21] See South African English phonology
German Standard[22][23][24] bitte About this sound [ˈbɪtə] 'please' Described variously as front[22] and near-front.[23][24] See German phonology
Hungarian[25] visz [vɪs] 'to carry' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨i⟩. See Hungarian phonology
Kaingang[26] [ɸɪˈɾi] 'rattlesnake' Atonic allophone of /i/ and /e/.[27]
Limburgish Hamont dialect[28] noorderweend [ˈnoːʀdəʀβ̞ɪːnt] 'north wind' Standard Dutch-influenced pronunciation;[28] may be realized as []. See Hamont dialect phonology
Hasselt dialect[29] mìs [mɪs] 'wrong'
Weert dialect[30] zeen [zɪːn] 'to be' Allophone of /eə/ before nasals.[30]
Luxembourgish[31] Been [be̝ːn] 'leg' Fully front;[31] typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨⟩. Also described as close-mid [].[32] See Luxembourgish phonology
Mongolian[33] ? [xɪɾɘ̆] 'hillside'
Norwegian Standard Eastern[34][35] litt [l̻ɪ̟t̻ː] 'a little' Fully front;[34][35] also described as close [i].[36] See Norwegian phonology
Portuguese Brazilian[37] cine [ˈsinɪ] 'cine' Reduction and neutralization of unstressed /e/ (can be epenthetic), /ɛ/ and /i/. Can be voiceless. See Portuguese phonology
Romanian Banat dialect[38] râu [rɪw] 'river' Corresponds to [ɨ] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Russian[39] дерево About this sound [ˈdʲerʲɪvə] 'tree' Occurs only in unstressed syllables. See Russian phonology
Sema[40] pi [pì̞] 'to say' Fully front;[40] also described as close [i].[41]
Shiwiar[42] [example needed] Allophone of /i/.[42]
Slovak[43][44][45] rýchly [ˈrɪːxlɪ] 'fast' Backness varies between front and near-front.[43] See Slovak phonology
Slovene Standard[46] mira [ˈmɪ̀ːɾä] 'measure' Allophone of /i/ before /r/.[46] See Slovene phonology
Sorbian Upper[47] być [bɪt͡ʃ] 'to be' Allophone of /i/ after hard consonants.[47] See Upper Sorbian phonology
Spanish Eastern Andalusian[48] mis [mɪ̟ː] 'my' (pl.) Fully front. It corresponds to [i] in other dialects, but in these dialects they're distinct. See Spanish phonology
Swedish Central Standard[9] sill About this sound [s̪ɪ̟l̪ː] 'herring' Fully front.[9] See Swedish phonology
Turkish[49] müşteri [my̠ʃt̪e̞ˈɾɪ] 'customer' Allophone of /i/ described variously as "word-final"[49] and "occurring in final open syllable of a phrase".[50] See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian[51] ходити [xoˈdɪtɪ] 'to walk' See Ukrainian phonology
Yoruba[52] [example needed] Fully front; typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ĩ⟩. It is nasalized, and may be close [ĩ] instead.[52]

Icelandic ⟨i⟩ is often transcribed with ⟨ɪ⟩, but it is actually close-mid [e].[53][54][55]


  1. ^ "IPA Fonts: General Advice". International Phonetic Association. 2015. With any font you consider using, it is worth checking that the symbol for the centralized close front vowel (ɪ, U+026A) appears correctly with serifs top and bottom; that the symbol for the dental click (ǀ, U+01C0) is distinct from the lower-case L (l) 
  2. ^ Sans-serif fonts with serifed ɪ (despite having serifless capital I) include Arial, FreeSans and Lucida Sans.
    On the other hand, Segoe and Tahoma place serifs on ɪ as well as capital I.
    Finally, both are serifless in Calibri.
  3. ^ International Phonetic Association (1999:167)
  4. ^ Such as Árnason (2011)
  5. ^ International Phonetic Association (1999:13)
  6. ^ a b c Cox (2012:159)
  7. ^ a b c Grønnum (1998:100)
  8. ^ a b c Basbøll (2005:45)
  9. ^ a b c Engstrand (1999:140)
  10. ^ Dankovičová (1999:72)
  11. ^ a b Šimáčková, Podlipský & Chládková (2012:228–229)
  12. ^ Ladefoged & Johnson (2010:227)
  13. ^ Basbøll (2005:58)
  14. ^ Collins & Mees (2003:128)
  15. ^ Gussenhoven (1992:47)
  16. ^ Verhoeven (2005:245)
  17. ^ a b c Collins & Mees (2003:131)
  18. ^ a b Peters (2010:241)
  19. ^ a b Bauer et al. (2007:98)
  20. ^ a b Gordon & Maclagan (2004:609)
  21. ^ a b Bowerman (2004:936–937)
  22. ^ a b Lodge (2009:87)
  23. ^ a b Kohler (1999:87)
  24. ^ a b Mangold (2005:37)
  25. ^ Szende (1994:92)
  26. ^ Jolkesky (2009:676–677 and 682)
  27. ^ Jolkesky (2009:676 and 682)
  28. ^ a b Verhoeven (2007), p. 224.
  29. ^ Peters (2006), p. 119.
  30. ^ a b Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998), p. 110.
  31. ^ a b Gilles & Trouvain (2013:70)
  32. ^ Trouvain & Gilles (2009:75)
  33. ^ Iivonen & Harnud (2005:62, 66–67)
  34. ^ a b Vanvik (1979:13)
  35. ^ a b Popperwell (2010:16, 18)
  36. ^ Strandskogen (1979:15–16)
  37. ^ Barbosa & Albano (2004:229)
  38. ^ Pop (1938), p. 30.
  39. ^ Jones & Ward (1969:37)
  40. ^ a b Teo (2012:368)
  41. ^ Teo (2014:27)
  42. ^ a b Fast Mowitz (1975:2)
  43. ^ a b Pavlík (2004:93, 95)
  44. ^ Hanulíková & Hamann (2010:375)
  45. ^ Mistrík (1988:13)
  46. ^ a b Jurgec (2007), p. 3.
  47. ^ a b Šewc-Schuster (1984), p. 34.
  48. ^ a b Zamora Vicente (1967:?)
  49. ^ a b Göksel & Kerslake (2005:10)
  50. ^ Zimmer & Organ (1999:155)
  51. ^ Сучасна українська мова: Підручник / О.Д. Пономарів, В.В.Різун, Л.Ю.Шевченко та ін.; За ред. О.Д.пономарева. — 2-ге вид., перероб. —К.: Либідь, 2001. — с. 14
  52. ^ a b Bamgboṣe (1969:166)
  53. ^ Árnason (2011:60)
  54. ^ Einarsson (1945:10), cited in Gussmann (2011:73)
  55. ^ Haugen (1958:65)