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Open-mid front unrounded vowel

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Open-mid front unrounded vowel
IPA Number303
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ɛ
Unicode (hex)U+025B
Braille⠜ (braille pattern dots-345)
Spectrogram of ⟨ɛ
Sagittal section of a vocal tract pronouncing the IPA sound ⟨ɛ⟩. Note that a wavy glottis in this diagram indicates a voiced sound.

The open-mid front unrounded vowel, or low-mid front unrounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is a Latinized variant of the Greek lowercase epsilon, ⟨ɛ⟩.



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Akan (Twi) ɛyɛ [ɛjɛ] 'it is good/fine' See Akan phonology
Arabic See Imāla
Armenian Eastern[2] էջ/ēj [ɛd͡ʒ] 'page'
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[3] [example needed] Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨æ⟩.
Bengali[4] /ek [ɛk] 'one' Alternative transcription and phonetic realisation of [æ] and an allophone of [e]. See Bengali phonology
Breton[5] gwenn [ˈɡwɛnː] 'white'
Bulgarian[6] пет/pet [pɛt̪] 'five' See Bulgarian phonology
Catalan[7] set [ˈsɛt] 'seven' See Catalan phonology
Chinese Mandarin[8] / tiān [tʰi̯ɛn˥] 'sky' Height varies between mid and open depending on the speaker. See Standard Chinese phonology
Chuvash ҫепĕç ['ɕɛp̬ɘɕ] 'gentle, tender'
Czech[9][10] led [lɛt] 'ice' In Bohemian Czech, this vowel varies between open-mid front [ɛ], open-mid near-front [ɛ̠] and mid near-front [ɛ̝̈].[9] See Czech phonology
Danish Standard[11][12] frisk [ˈfʁɛsk] 'fresh' Most often transcribed in IPA with ⟨æ⟩. See Danish phonology
Dutch Standard[13] bed [bɛt] 'bed' See Dutch phonology
The Hague[14] jij [jɛ̞ː] 'you' Corresponds to [ɛi] in standard Dutch.
English General American[15] bed [bɛd] 'bed'
Northern England[16] May be somewhat lowered.[16]
Received Pronunciation[17][18] Older RP speakers pronounce a closer vowel []. See English phonology
Younger General Australian speakers Realization of /e/ due to an ongoing short-front vowel chain shift. See Australian English phonology
Cockney[20] fat [fɛt] 'fat'
New Zealand[22] See New Zealand English phonology
Broad Australian Realization of /æ/. General Australian speakers realize this vowel as [æ] or [a]. See Australian English phonology
Some Broad
South African speakers[23]
Other speakers realize this vowel as [æ] or [a]. See South African English phonology
Belfast[24] days [dɛːz] 'days' Pronounced [iə] in closed syllables; corresponds to [eɪ] in RP.
Zulu[25] mate [mɛt] 'mate' Speakers exhibit a met-mate merger.
Faroese[26] frekt [fɹɛʰkt] 'greedy' See Faroese phonology
French[27][28] bête [bɛt̪] 'beast' See French phonology
Galician ferro [ˈfɛro̝] 'iron' See Galician phonology
Georgian[29] დი/gedi [ɡɛdi] 'swan'
German Standard[30][31] Bett [b̥ɛt] 'bed' Also described as mid [ɛ̝].[32] See Standard German phonology
Franconian accent[33] oder [ˈoːdɛ] 'or' Used instead of [ɐ].[33] See Standard German phonology
Coastal Northern accents[33]
Swabian accent[34] fett [fɛt] 'fat' Contrasts with the close-mid [e].[34] See Standard German phonology
Western Swiss accents[35] See [z̥ɛː] 'lake' Close-mid [] in other accents; contrasts with the near-open [æː].[36] See Standard German phonology
Hindustani Hindi रहना [ˈɾɛɦna] 'to stay' See Hindustani phonology
Urdu رہنا
Hungarian lesz [ˈlɛs] 'will be' Allophone of [æ].
Italian[37] bene [ˈbɛːne] 'good' See Italian phonology
Kaingang[38] mbre [ˈᵐbɾɛ] 'with'
Korean 매미 / maemi [mɛːmi] 'cicada' See Korean phonology
Kurdish Kurmanji (Northern) hevde [hɛvdɛ] 'seventeen' See Kurdish phonology
Sorani (Central) هه‌ڤده/hevde [hɛvdæ]
Pehlewî (Southern) [hɛvdæ]
Limburgish[39][40][41] crème [kʀ̝ɛːm] 'cream' The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Lithuanian mesti [mɛs̪t̪ɪ] 'throw' See Lithuanian phonology
Lower Sorbian[42] serp [s̪ɛrp] 'sickle'
Luxembourgish[43] Stär [ʃtɛːɐ̯] 'star' Allophone of /eː/ before /ʀ/.[43] See Luxembourgish phonology
Macedonian[44][45] Standard мед/med [ˈmɛd̪] 'honey' See Macedonian language § Vowels
Malay Standard paling [pälɛŋ] 'to play' Possible realisation of /i/ and /e/ in closed final syllables. See Malay phonology
Negeri Sembilan cepat [cɔpɛɁ] 'quick' See Negeri Sembilan Malay
Kelatan-Pattani ayam [äjɛː] 'chicken' See Kelatan-Pattani
Terengganu biasa [bɛsə] 'normal' See Terengganu Malay
Perak mata [matɛ] 'eye' See Perak Malay
Norman Jersey affaûrder [afɔrˈdɛ] 'to afford'
Norwegian Sognamål[46] pest [pʰɛst] 'plague' See Norwegian phonology
Occitan grèga [ˈɣɾɛɣɔ] 'Greek' See Occitan phonology
Polish[47] ten [t̪ɛn̪] 'this one' (nom. m.) See Polish phonology
Portuguese Most dialects[48][49] pé [ˈpɛ] 'foot' Stressed vowel might be lower [æ]. The presence and use of other unstressed ⟨e⟩ allophones, such as [ e ɪ i ɨ], varies according to dialect.
Some speakers[50] tempo [ˈt̪ɛ̃mpu] 'time' Timbre differences for nasalized vowels are mainly kept in European Portuguese. See Portuguese phonology
Romanian Transylvanian dialects[51] vede [ˈvɛɟe] '(he) sees' Corresponds to mid [] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Russian[52] это/eto [ˈɛt̪ə] 'this' See Russian phonology
Shiwiar[53] [example needed] Allophone of /a/.
Slovene met [mɛ́t] 'throw' (n.) See Slovene phonology
Spanish Eastern Andalusian[54] las madres [læ̞ː ˈmæ̞ːð̞ɾɛː] 'the mothers' Corresponds to [] in other dialects, but in these dialects they are distinct. See Spanish phonology
Swahili shule [ʃulɛ] 'school'
Swedish Central Standard[55] ät [ɛ̠ːt̪] 'eat' (imp.) Somewhat retracted.[55] See Swedish phonology
Tagalog peke [ˈpɛxɛʔ] 'fake' See Tagalog phonology
Telugu చే [tʃɛːa] 'Fish'
మే [mɛːka] 'Goat'
Thai ตร / trae [trɛː˧] 'horn (instrument)'
Turkish[56][57] ülke [y̠l̠ˈcɛ] 'country' Allophone of /e/ described variously as "word-final"[56] and "occurring in final open syllable of a phrase".[57] See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian[58] день/den' [dɛnʲ] 'day' See Ukrainian phonology
Upper Sorbian[42][59] čelo [ˈt͡ʃɛlɔ] 'calf'
Welsh nesaf [nɛsav] 'next' See Welsh phonology
West Frisian[60] beppe [ˈbɛpə] 'grandma' See West Frisian phonology
Yoruba[61] sẹ̀ [ɛ̄sɛ] 'leg'

See also[edit]


  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ Dum-Tragut (2009), p. 13.
  3. ^ Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  4. ^ Khan (2010), p. 222.
  5. ^ Mikael Madeg, Traité de prononciation du breton du Nord-Ouest à l’usage des bretonnants, Emgleo Breiz, Brest, 2010
  6. ^ Ternes & Vladimirova-Buhtz (1999), p. 56.
  7. ^ Carbonell & Llisterri (1992), p. 54.
  8. ^ Lin (2007), p. 65.
  9. ^ a b Dankovičová (1999), p. 72.
  10. ^ Šimáčková, Podlipský & Chládková (2012), p. 228.
  11. ^ Grønnum (1998), p. 100.
  12. ^ Basbøll (2005), p. 45.
  13. ^ Gussenhoven (1992), p. 47.
  14. ^ Collins & Mees (2003), p. 136.
  15. ^ Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009a).
  16. ^ a b Lodge (2009), p. 163.
  17. ^ Schmitt (2007), pp. 322–323.
  18. ^ "Received Pronunciation". British Library. Retrieved 2013-05-26.
  19. ^ Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006), p. 7.
  20. ^ Hughes & Trudgill (1979), p. 35.
  21. ^ Bet Hashim & Brown (2000).
  22. ^ Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009b).
  23. ^ Lanham (1967), p. 9.
  24. ^ "Week 18 (ii). Northern Ireland" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-05-26.
  25. ^ "Rodrik Wade, MA Thesis, Ch 4: Structural characteristics of Zulu English". Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-17.
  26. ^ Árnason (2011), pp. 68, 75.
  27. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993), p. 73.
  28. ^ Collins & Mees (2013), p. 225.
  29. ^ Shosted & Chikovani (2006), pp. 261–262.
  30. ^ Hall (2003), pp. 82, 107.
  31. ^ Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 34.
  32. ^ Kohler (1999), p. 87.
  33. ^ a b c Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 40.
  34. ^ a b Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 64.
  35. ^ Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 65.
  36. ^ Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), pp. 34, 65.
  37. ^ Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004), p. 119.
  38. ^ Jolkesky (2009), pp. 676–677, 682.
  39. ^ Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999), p. 159.
  40. ^ Peters (2006), p. 119.
  41. ^ Verhoeven (2007), p. 221.
  42. ^ a b Stone (2002), p. 600.
  43. ^ a b Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 70.
  44. ^ Friedman (2001:10)
  45. ^ Lunt (1952:10–11)
  46. ^ Haugen (2004), p. 30.
  47. ^ Jassem (2003), p. 105.
  48. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995), p. 91.
  49. ^ Variação inter- e intra-dialetal no português brasileiro: um problema para a teoria fonológica – Seung-Hwa LEE & Marco A. de Oliveira Archived 2014-12-15 at the Wayback Machine
  50. ^ Lista das marcas dialetais e ouros fenómenos de variação (fonética e fonológica) identificados nas amostras do Arquivo Dialetal do CLUP
  51. ^ Pop (1938), p. 29.
  52. ^ Jones & Ward (1969), p. 41.
  53. ^ Fast Mowitz (1975), p. 2.
  54. ^ a b Zamora Vicente (1967), p. ?.
  55. ^ a b Engstrand (1999), p. 140.
  56. ^ a b Göksel & Kerslake (2005), p. 10.
  57. ^ a b Zimmer & Orgun (1999), p. 155.
  58. ^ Danyenko & Vakulenko (1995), p. 4.
  59. ^ Šewc-Schuster (1984), p. 20.
  60. ^ Tiersma (1999), p. 10.
  61. ^ Bamgboṣe (1966), p. 166.


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External links[edit]