Near-close vowel

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A near-close vowel or a near-high vowel is any in a class of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a near-close vowel is that the tongue is positioned similarly to a close vowel, but slightly less constricted. Near-close vowels are sometimes described as lax variants of the fully close vowels.

Partial list[edit]

The near-close vowels that have dedicated symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet are:

(IPA letters for rounded vowels are ambiguous as to whether the rounding is protrusion or compression. However, transcription of the world's languages tends to pattern as above.)

There also are close vowels that don't have dedicated symbols in the IPA:

Other close vowels can be indicated with diacritics of relative articulation applied to letters for neighboring vowels, such as , or ɪ̟ for a near-close front unrounded vowel, or , or ʊ̟ for a near-close back rounded vowel.