Near-open central vowel

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Near-open central vowel
IPA number 324
Entity (decimal) ɐ
Unicode (hex) U+0250
Kirshenbaum &"
Braille ⠲ (braille pattern dots-256) ⠁ (braille pattern dots-1)

The near-open central vowel, or near-low central vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɐ, a rotated lowercase letter a.

The IPA prefers terms "close" and "open" for vowels, and the name of the article follows this. However, a large number of linguists, perhaps a majority, prefer the terms "high" and "low".


IPA vowel chart
Front Near-​front Central Near-​back Back
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
Paired vowels are: unrounded • rounded
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Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Afrikaans[1][2] dak [dɐk] 'roof' See Afrikaans phonology
Arabic[3] قطة [qɐtˤ.tˤɐ] 'cat' Allophone of long and short /a/ for Persian Gulf speakers. See Arabic phonology
Bulgarian ъгъл [ˈɤ̞ɡɐɫ] 'angle'
Catalan Barcelona
metropolitan area
emmagatzemar [ɐm(ː)ɐɰɐd͡z̺ɐˈmä] 'to store' Corresponds to [ə] in other dialects. See Catalan phonology
Chinese Cantonese / sam1 [sɐm˥] 'heart' See Cantonese phonology
Danish Standard[6][7][8][9] ånd [ɐ̠nˀ] 'spirit' Somewhat retracted and somewhat rounded. Most often transcribed in IPA as ʌ. See Danish phonology
Dawsahak [nɐ] 'to give'
Dutch Limburg letter [ˈlɛtɐ] 'letter' Corresponds to /ər/ in standard Dutch.
Flemish Brabant
The Hague
English California[10] nut [nɐt] 'nut' ʌ may be used to transcribe this vowel. For most Australians it's fully open [ä], the same is true for some South Africans. In New Zealand it may be fronted [ɐ̟] or somewhat lower [ä].[11] See English phonology
Cultivated Australian
New Zealand[11][12]
Received Pronunciation[13]
South African
Scottish[14] stack [stɐ̟k] 'stack' Fronted; corresponds to [æ] in other dialects, and also [ɑː] in some other dialects.
Cockney[15][16] stuck 'stuck' Fronted; may be [a] instead.
Inland Northern American[17] bet [bɐt] 'bet' Variation of /ɛ/ used in some places whose accents have undergone the Northern cities vowel shift.
German Standard[18] oder About this sound [ˈʔoːdɐ]  'or' Allophone of /ər/ used in many dialects. See German phonology
Greek[19] ακακία/akaa [ɐkɐˈci.ɐ] 'acacia' Most often transcribed in IPA as a. See Modern Greek phonology
Hindustani[20] दस/دَس [ˈd̪ɐs] 'ten' Common realization of /ə/.[20] See Hindustani phonology
Kaingang[21] [ˈᵑɡɐ] 'terra' Varies between central [ɐ] and back [ɑ].[22]
Korean[23] /bal [pɐl] 'foot' Somewhat lowered. Typically transcribed as /a/. See Korean phonology
Lombard Sant [ˈsɐnt] 'saint'
Luxembourgish[24] Mauer [ˈmɑʊ̯ɐ̠] 'wall' Somewhat retracted. Allophone of word-final /əʀ/.
Norwegian Bergensk kor [kʰɔɐ̯] 'where' Stigmatized realization of coda /r/. See Norwegian phonology
Sandnes-mål[25] baden [ˈbɐːdən] 'child'
Portuguese Fluminense açúcar [ɐˈsukɐχ] 'sugar' In complementary distribution with [a].[26] Raised to [ɜ ~ ɜ̝] in other variants, and in many contexts (particularly if nasalized). See Portuguese phonology
General Brazilian[26] aranha-marrom [ɐˈɾɜ̃j̃ə mɐˈχõ̞ː] 'recluse spider'
European[27] pão [pɐ̃w̃] 'bread' Stressed vowel, mostly as a phonemic nasal vowel (when not followed by a nasal stop). Raised otherwise.
Romanian Moldavian dialects[28] bărbat [bɐrbat][stress?] 'man' Corresponds to [ə] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Russian[29] голова About this sound [ɡəɫ̪ɐˈva]  'head' Occurs mostly immediately before stressed syllables. See Russian phonology
Slovene Standard[30][31] brat [bɾɐ́t̪] 'brother' Corresponds to short /a/ in traditional pronunciation.[31] See Slovene phonology
Ukrainian дитина [dɪ'tɪnɐ] 'child' Unstressed allophone of /ɑ/. See Ukrainian phonology
Upper Sorbian[32] pja [ˈpʲɐst͡ʃ] 'fist' Allophone of /a/ after soft consonants.[32] See Upper Sorbian phonology
Vietnamese[33] chếch [cɐ̆jk̚] 'askance' Typically transcribed in IPA as ə̆. See Vietnamese phonology

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lass (1984), pp. 76, 93–94 and 105.
  2. ^ Donaldson (1993), p. 18.
  3. ^ Thelwall (1990), p. 39.
  4. ^ Rafel (1999), p. 14.
  5. ^ Harrison (1997), pp. 2.
  6. ^ Grønnum (1998), pp. 100.
  7. ^ Grønnum (2005), pp. 268.
  8. ^ Grønnum (2003).
  9. ^ Basbøll (2005), p. 47.
  10. ^ Ladefoged (1999), p. ?.
  11. ^ a b Bauer et al. (2007), p. 98.
  12. ^ Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009).
  13. ^ Roca & Johnson (1999), p. 186.
  14. ^ Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006), p. 7.
  15. ^ Wells (1982), p. 305.
  16. ^ Hughes & Trudgill (1979), p. 35.
  17. ^ Labov, William; Ash, Sharon; Boberg, Charles (1997), A National Map of the Regional Dialects of American English, Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, retrieved March 15, 2013 
  18. ^ Mangold (2005), p. 37.
  19. ^ Arvaniti (2007), p. 25.
  20. ^ a b Ohala (1999), p. 102.
  21. ^ Jolkesky (2009), pp. 676–677 and 682.
  22. ^ Jolkesky (2009), pp. 676 and 682.
  23. ^ Lee (1999), p. 121.
  24. ^ Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 70.
  25. ^ Ims (2010), p. 14.
  26. ^ a b Barbosa & Albano (2004), p. 229.
  27. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995), pp. 91–92.
  28. ^ Pop (1938), p. 29.
  29. ^ Padgett & Tabain (2005), p. 16.
  30. ^ Jurgec (2007), p. 2.
  31. ^ a b Jurgec (2005), pp. 9 and 12.
  32. ^ a b Šewc-Schuster (1984), p. 31.
  33. ^ Hoang (1965:24)