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
Czech Bohemian[6] prach [prɐx] 'dust' Possible realization of /a/.[6] See Czech phonology
Danish Standard[7][8][9][10] 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[11] nut [nɐt] 'nut' ʌ may be used to transcribe this vowel. For most Australians it is fully open [ä], the same is true for some South Africans. In New Zealand it may be fronted [ɐ̟] or somewhat lower [ä].[12] See English phonology
Cultivated Australian
New Zealand[12][13]
Received Pronunciation[14]
South African
Scottish[15] stack [stɐ̟k] 'stack' Fronted; corresponds to [æ] in other dialects, and also [ɑː] in some other dialects.
Cockney[16][17] stuck 'stuck' Fronted; may be [a] instead.
Inland Northern American[18] bet [bɐt] 'bet' Variation of /ɛ/ used in some places whose accents have undergone the Northern cities vowel shift.
German Standard[19] oder About this sound [ˈʔoːdɐ]  'or' Allophone of /ər/ used in many dialects. See German phonology
Greek[20] ακακία/akaa [ɐkɐˈci.ɐ] 'acacia' Most often transcribed in IPA as a. See Modern Greek phonology
Hindustani[21] दस/دَس [ˈd̪ɐs] 'ten' Common realization of /ə/.[21] See Hindustani phonology
Ibibio[22] [dɐ́] 'stand' Typically transcribed in IPA as a.[22]
Kaingang[23] [ˈᵑɡɐ] 'terra' Varies between central [ɐ] and back [ɑ].[24]
Korean[25] /bal [pɐl] 'foot' Somewhat lowered. Typically transcribed as /a/. See Korean phonology
Lombard Sant [ˈsɐnt] 'saint'
Luxembourgish[26] Mauer [ˈmɑʊ̯ɐ̠] 'wall' Somewhat retracted. Allophone of word-final /əʀ/.
Mapudungun[27] ka [ˈkɐ̝ʐɘ̝] 'green' Somewhat raised.[27]
Norwegian Bergensk kor [kʰɔɐ̯] 'where' Stigmatized realization of coda /r/. See Norwegian phonology
Sandnes-mål[28] baden [ˈbɐːdən] 'child'
Portuguese Fluminense açúcar [ɐˈsukɐχ] 'sugar' In complementary distribution with [a].[29] Raised to [ɜ ~ ɜ̝] in other variants, and in many contexts (particularly if nasalized). See Portuguese phonology
General Brazilian[29] aranha-marrom [ɐˈɾɜ̃j̃ə mɐˈχõ̞ː] 'recluse spider'
European[30] pão [pɐ̃w̃] 'bread' Stressed vowel, mostly as a phonemic nasal vowel (when not followed by a nasal stop). Raised otherwise.
Romanian Moldavian dialects[31] bărbat [bɐrbat][stress?] 'man' Corresponds to [ə] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Russian[32] голова About this sound [ɡəɫ̪ɐˈva]  'head' Occurs mostly immediately before stressed syllables. See Russian phonology
Slovak[33] a [ɐ] 'and' Possible realization of /a/; most commonly realized as open [ä] instead.[34] See Slovak phonology
Slovene Standard[35][36] brat [bɾɐ́t̪] 'brother' Corresponds to short /a/ in traditional pronunciation.[36] See Slovene phonology
Ukrainian дитина [dɪ'tɪnɐ] 'child' Unstressed allophone of /ɑ/. See Ukrainian phonology
Upper Sorbian[37] pja [ˈpʲɐst͡ʃ] 'fist' Allophone of /a/ after soft consonants.[37] See Upper Sorbian phonology
Vietnamese[38] chếch [cɐ̆jk̚] 'askance' Typically transcribed in IPA as ə̆. See Vietnamese phonology
Xumi Lower[39] [Htsʰɐ] 'salt'
Upper[40] [Htsɐ] 'sinew'

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. ^ a b Dankovičová (1999), p. 72.
  7. ^ Grønnum (1998), pp. 100.
  8. ^ Grønnum (2005), pp. 268.
  9. ^ Grønnum (2003).
  10. ^ Basbøll (2005), p. 47.
  11. ^ Ladefoged (1999), p. ?.
  12. ^ a b Bauer et al. (2007), p. 98.
  13. ^ Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009).
  14. ^ Roca & Johnson (1999), p. 186.
  15. ^ Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006), p. 7.
  16. ^ Wells (1982), p. 305.
  17. ^ Hughes & Trudgill (1979), p. 35.
  18. ^ 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 
  19. ^ Mangold (2005), p. 37.
  20. ^ Arvaniti (2007), p. 25.
  21. ^ a b Ohala (1999), p. 102.
  22. ^ a b Urua (2004), p. 106.
  23. ^ Jolkesky (2009), pp. 676–677 and 682.
  24. ^ Jolkesky (2009), pp. 676 and 682.
  25. ^ Lee (1999), p. 121.
  26. ^ Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 70.
  27. ^ a b Sadowsky et al. (2013:92)
  28. ^ Ims (2010), p. 14.
  29. ^ a b Barbosa & Albano (2004), p. 229.
  30. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995), pp. 91–92.
  31. ^ Pop (1938), p. 29.
  32. ^ Padgett & Tabain (2005), p. 16.
  33. ^ Pavlík (2004:95)
  34. ^ Pavlík (2004:94–95)
  35. ^ Jurgec (2007), p. 2.
  36. ^ a b Jurgec (2005), pp. 9 and 12.
  37. ^ a b Šewc-Schuster (1984), p. 31.
  38. ^ Hoang (1965:24)
  39. ^ Chirkova & Chen (2013:369–370)
  40. ^ Chirkova, Chen & Kocjančič Antolík (2013:388)