Open-mid front unrounded vowel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Open-mid front unrounded vowel
IPA number 303
Entity (decimal) ɛ
Unicode (hex) U+025B
Kirshenbaum E
Braille ⠜ (braille pattern dots-345)

The open-mid front unrounded vowel, or low-mid 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 a Latinized variant of the Greek lowercase epsilon, ⟨ɛ⟩.

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
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
Akan pɛ [pʰɛ] 'to like'
Albanian tre [tɾɛ] 'three'
Arabic كريب [kɾɛp] 'crêpe' Only in loanwords and used by a small number of speakers, depending on country of origin. See Arabic phonology.
Armenian Eastern[1] էջ [ɛd͡ʒ] 'page'
Assamese তিয়া [ɛtija] 'now'
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic mes [mɛːs] 'table' Used predominantly in the Tyari, Barwari and Chaldean Neo-Aramaic dialects. Corresponds to [i] in other varieties.
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[2] [example needed] May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨æ⟩.[2]
Bulgarian[3] пет [pɛt̪] 'five' See Bulgarian phonology
Catalan[4] mel [mɛɫ] 'honey' See Catalan phonology
Chinese Cantonese /se4 [sɛː˩] 'snake' See Cantonese phonology
Mandarin /nian [njɛn˧˥] 'year' Varies between open and mid. See Mandarin phonology
Wu ngae [ŋɛ˥˨] 'face'
Czech[5][6][7] led [lɛt] 'ice' In Bohemian Czech, this vowel varies between open-mid front [ɛ], open-mid near-front [ɛ̠] and mid near-front [ɛ̝̈].[5] See Czech phonology
Danish Standard[8][9] frisk [ˈfʁ̞ɛsɡ̊] 'fresh' Most often transcribed in IPA with ⟨æ⟩. See Danish phonology
Dutch Standard[10] bed About this sound [bɛt]  'bed' See Dutch phonology
The Hague[11] jij About this sound [jɛ̞ː]  'you' Corresponds to [ɛi] in standard Dutch.
English General American[12] bed About this sound [bɛd]  'bed'
Northern English[13] May be somewhat lowered.[14]
Received Pronunciation[15][16] Older RP speakers pronounce a closer vowel []. See English phonology
Cockney[18] fat [fɛt] 'fat'
New Zealand[20]
Some Broad South African speakers[21] Other speakers realize this vowel as [æ] or [a].
Belfast[22] days [dɛːz] 'days' Pronounced [iə] in closed syllables; corresponds to [eɪ] in RP.
Zulu[23] mate [mɛt] 'mate' Speakers exhibit a met-mate merger.
Estonian[24] sule [ˈsulɛˑ] 'feather' (gen. sg.) Common word-final allophone of /e/.[25] See Estonian phonology
Faroese elska [ɛlska] 'love'
French[26] bête About this sound [bɛt̪]  'beast' See French phonology
Galician pé [pɛ] 'foot'
Georgian[27] გედი [ɡɛdɪ] 'swan'
German Standard[28] Bett About this sound [bɛt]  'bed' Also described as mid near-front [ɛ̝̈].[29] See Standard German phonology
Hindustani شَہَر / शहर [ʃɛɦɛr] 'city' See Hindustani phonology
Icelandic[30][31][32] kenna [ˈcʰɛnːa] 'to teach' Often diphthongized to [eɛ] when long.[33] See Icelandic phonology
Italian[34] bene About this sound [ˈbɛːne]  'good' See Italian phonology
Kaingang[35] [ˈᵐbɾɛ] 'with'
Korean 태도 [tʰɛːdo] 'attitude' Currently merging with [e] in Seoul dialects. See Korean phonology
Limburgish[36][37][38] crème [kʀ̝ɛːm] 'cream' The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.[39]
Lithuanian mane [mɐˈnʲɛ] 'me' (acc.)
Luxembourgish[40][41] Stär [ʃtɛːɐ̯] 'star' Allophone of /eː/ before /ʀ/.[41] See Luxembourgish phonology
Macedonian елен [ˈɛl̪ɛn̪] 'deer' See Macedonian phonology
Ngwe Njoagwi dialect [lɛ̀rɛ́] 'eye'
North Frisian tech [tɛx] 'closed'
Polish[42] ten About this sound [t̪ɛn̪]  'this one' (nom. m.) See Polish phonology
Portuguese Most dialects[43][44] meleca [mɛˈl̪ɛ̞kə] 'goo' 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[45] tempo [ˈt̪ɛ̃pu] 'time' Stressed vowel, allophone of nasal vowel /ẽ̞/. See Portuguese phonology
Romanian Transylvanian dialects[46] vede [ˈvɛɟe] '(he) sees' Corresponds to mid [] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Russian[47] это About this sound [ˈɛt̪ə]  'this' See Russian phonology
Scottish Gaelic aig [ɛk] 'at' See Scottish Gaelic phonology
Seri me [mɛ] 'you'
Shiwiar[48] [example needed] Allophone of /a/.
Slovak[7] behať [ˈbɛɦäc̟] 'to run' Rare realization of /e/; most commonly realized as mid [].[7] See Slovak phonology
Spanish Eastern Andalusian[49] las madres [læ̞ː ˈmæ̞ːð̞ɾɛː] 'the mothers' Corresponds to [] in other dialects, but in these dialects they're distinct. See Spanish phonology
Sorbian Lower[50] serp [s̪ɛrp] 'sickle'
Upper[50][51] čelo [ˈt͡ʃɛlɔ] 'calf' See Upper Sorbian phonology
Swedish Central Standard[52] ät [ɛ̠ːt̪] 'eat' (imp.) Somewhat retracted. See Swedish phonology
Tagalog babae [bɐˈbaɛː] 'woman' Can also be pronounced as []. See Tagalog phonology
Turkish[53][54] ülke [y̠l̠ˈcɛ] 'country' Allophone of /e/ described variously as "word-final"[53] and "occurring in final open syllable of a phrase".[54] See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian береза About this sound [bɛˈrɛz̪ɐ]  'birch' See Ukrainian phonology
Vietnamese e [ɛ] 'to fear' See Vietnamese phonology
West Frisian têd [tɛːt] 'languid'
Yoruba[55] sẹ̀ [ɛ̄sɛ] 'leg'

The vowel transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɛ⟩ in Standard Eastern Norwegian is actually mid.[56]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dum-Tragut (2009:13)
  2. ^ a b Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  3. ^ Ternes & Vladimirova-Buhtz (1999:56)
  4. ^ Carbonell & Llisterri (1992:54)
  5. ^ a b Dankovičová (1999:72)
  6. ^ Šimáčková, Podlipský & Chládková (2012:228)
  7. ^ a b c Kráľ (1988:92)
  8. ^ Grønnum (1998:100)
  9. ^ Basbøll (2005:45)
  10. ^ Gussenhoven (1992), p. 47.
  11. ^ Collins & Mees (2003:136)
  12. ^ Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009a)
  13. ^ Lodge (2009:163), Watson (2007:357), Watt & Allen (2003:268)
  14. ^ Lodge (2009:163)
  15. ^ Schmitt (2007:322–323)
  16. ^ "Received Pronunciation". British Library. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  17. ^ Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006:7)
  18. ^ Hughes & Trudgill (1979:35)
  19. ^ Bet Hashim & Brown (2000)
  20. ^ Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009b)
  21. ^ Lanham (1967:9)
  22. ^ "Week 18 (ii). Northern Ireland" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  23. ^ Rodrik Wade, MA Thesis, Ch 4: Structural characteristics of Zulu English at the Wayback Machine (archived May 17, 2008)‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  24. ^ Asu & Teras (2009:368–369)
  25. ^ Asu & Teras (2009:369)
  26. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993:73)
  27. ^ Shosted & Chikovani (2006:261–262)
  28. ^ Mangold (2005:37)
  29. ^ Kohler (1999:87)
  30. ^ Árnason (2011:60)
  31. ^ Einarsson (1945:10), cited in Gussmann (2011:73)
  32. ^ Haugen (1958:65)
  33. ^ Árnason (2011:57–60)
  34. ^ Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004:119)
  35. ^ Jolkesky (2009:676–677 and 682)
  36. ^ Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999:159)
  37. ^ Peters (2006:119)
  38. ^ Verhoeven (2007:221)
  39. ^ Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999:158)
  40. ^ Trouvain & Gilles (2009:75)
  41. ^ a b Gilles & Trouvain (2013:70)
  42. ^ Jassem (2003:105)
  43. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995:91)
  44. ^ Variação inter- e intra-dialetal no português brasileiro: um problema para a teoria fonológica – Seung-Hwa LEE & Marco A. de Oliveira
  45. ^ Lista das marcas dialetais e ouros fenómenos de variação (fonética e fonológica) identificados nas amostras do Arquivo Dialetal do CLUP
  46. ^ Pop (1938), p. 29.
  47. ^ Jones & Ward (1969:41)
  48. ^ Fast Mowitz (1975:2)
  49. ^ a b Zamora Vicente (1967:?)
  50. ^ a b Stone (2002:600)
  51. ^ Šewc-Schuster (1984:20)
  52. ^ Engstrand (1999:140)
  53. ^ a b Göksel & Kerslake (2005:10)
  54. ^ a b Zimmer & Organ (1999:155)
  55. ^ Bamgboṣe (1969:166)
  56. ^ Vanvik (1979:13)


  • Árnason, Kristján (2011), The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-922931-4 
  • Asu, Eva Liina; Teras, Pire (2009), "Estonian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 39 (3): 367–372, doi:10.1017/s002510030999017x 
  • Bamgboṣe, Ayọ (1966), A Grammar of Yoruba, [West African Languages Survey / Institute of African Studies], Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 
  • Basbøll, Hans (2005), The Phonology of Danish, ISBN 0-203-97876-5 
  • Bet Hashim, Suzanna; Brown, Adam (2000), "The [e] and [æ] vowels in Singapore English", in Brown, Adam; Deterding, David; Ling, Low Ee Ling, The English Language in Singapore: Research on Pronunciation, Singapore: Singapore Association for Applied Linguistics, pp. 84–92, ISBN 981-04-2598-8 
  • Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1992), "Catalan", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 22 (1–2): 53–56, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004618 
  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2003), The Phonetics of English and Dutch, Fifth Revised Edition (PDF), ISBN 9004103406 
  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 25 (2): 90–94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005223 
  • Dankovičová, Jana (1999), "Czech", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 70–74, ISBN 0-521-65236-7 
  • Dum-Tragut, Jasmine (2009), Armenian: Modern Eastern Armenian, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company 
  • Einarsson, Stefán (1945), Icelandic. Grammar texts glossary., Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, ISBN 978-0801863578 
  • Engstrand, Olle (1999), "Swedish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the usage of the International Phonetic Alphabet., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 140–142, ISBN 0-521-63751-1 
  • Fast Mowitz, Gerhard (1975), Sistema fonológico del idioma achual, Lima: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano 
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L. (1993), "French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 23 (2): 73–76, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004874 
  • Gilles, Peter; Trouvain, Jürgen (2013), "Luxembourgish" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (1): 67–74, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000278 
  • Göksel, Asli; Kerslake, Celia (2005), Turkish: a comprehensive grammar (PDF), Routledge, ISBN 978-0415114943, archived from the original (PDF) on 26 November 2014 
  • Grønnum, Nina (1998), "Illustrations of the IPA: Danish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 28 (1 & 2): 99–105, doi:10.1017/s0025100300006290 
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos (1992), "Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 22 (2): 45–47, doi:10.1017/S002510030000459X 
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos; Aarts, Flor (1999), "The dialect of Maastricht" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, University of Nijmegen, Centre for Language Studies, 29: 155–166, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006526 
  • Gussmann, Edmund (2011). "Getting your head around: the vowel system of Modern Icelandic" (PDF). Folia Scandinavica Posnaniensia. 12: 71–90. ISBN 978-83-232-2296-5. 
  • Haugen, Einar (1958). "The Phonemics of Modern Icelandic". Language. 34 (1): 55–88. doi:10.2307/411276. JSTOR 411276. 
  • Hughes, Arthur; Trudgill, Peter (1979), English Accents and Dialects: An Introduction to Social and Regional Varieties of British English, Baltimore: University Park Press 
  • Jassem, Wiktor (2003), "Polish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (1): 103–107, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001191 
  • Jolkesky, Marcelo Pinho de Valhery (2009), "Fonologia e prosódia do Kaingáng falado em Cacique Doble", Anais do SETA, Campinas: Editora do IEL-UNICAMP, 3: 675–685 
  • Jones, Daniel; Ward, Dennis (1969), The Phonetics of Russian, Cambridge University Press 
  • Kohler, Klaus J. (1999), "German", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 86–89, ISBN 0-521-65236-7 
  • Kráľ, Ábel (1988), Pravidlá slovenskej výslovnosti, Bratislava: Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo 
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19814-8. 
  • Lanham, Len W. (1967), The pronunciation of South African English, Cape Town: Balkema 
  • Lodge, Ken (2009), A Critical Introduction to Phonetics, Continuum International Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-8264-8873-2 
  • Mangold, Max (2005), Das Aussprachewörterbuch, Duden, p. 37, ISBN 9783411040667 
  • Mannell, R.; Cox, F.; Harrington, J. (2009a), An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology, Macquarie University 
  • Mannell, R.; Cox, F.; Harrington, J. (2009b), An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology, Macquarie University 
  • Peters, Jörg (2006), "The dialect of Hasselt", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 36 (1): 117–124, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002428 
  • Pop, Sever (1938), Micul Atlas Linguistic Român, Muzeul Limbii Române Cluj 
  • Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (1): 117–121, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001628 
  • Schmitt, Holger (2007), "The case for the epsilon symbol (ɛ) in RP DRESS", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (3): 321–328, doi:10.1017/S0025100307003131 
  • Scobbie, James M; Gordeeva, Olga B.; Matthews, Benjamin (2006), Acquisition of Scottish English Phonology: an overview, Edinburgh: QMU Speech Science Research Centre Working Papers 
  • Šewc-Schuster, Hinc (1984), Gramatika hornjo-serbskeje rěče, Budyšin: Ludowe nakładnistwo Domowina 
  • Shosted, Ryan K.; Chikovani, Vakhtang (2006), "Standard Georgian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 36 (2): 255–264, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002659 
  • Šimáčková, Šárka; Podlipský, Václav Jonáš; Chládková, Kateřina (2012), "Czech spoken in Bohemia and Moravia" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 42 (2): 225–232, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000102 
  • Stone, Gerald (2002), "Sorbian (Upper and Lower)", in Comrie, Bernard; Corbett, Greville G., The Slavonic Languages, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 593–685, ISBN 9780415280785 
  • Ternes, Elmer; Vladimirova-Buhtz, Tatjana (1999), "Bulgarian", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 55–57, ISBN 0-521-63751-1 
  • Traunmüller, Hartmut (1982), "Vokalismus in der westniederösterreichischen Mundart.", Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik, 2: 289–333 
  • Trouvain, Jürgen; Gilles, Peter (2009), PhonLaf - Phonetic Online Material for Luxembourgish as a Foreign Language 1 (PDF), pp. 74–77 
  • Vanvik, Arne (1979), Norsk fonetik, Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo, ISBN 82-990584-0-6 
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2007), "The Belgian Limburg dialect of Hamont", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (2): 219–225, doi:10.1017/S0025100307002940 
  • Watson, Kevin (2007), "Liverpool English" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (3): 351–360, doi:10.1017/s0025100307003180 
  • Watt, Dominic; Allen, William (2003), "Tyneside English", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (2): 267–271, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001397 
  • Zamora Vicente, Alonso (1967), Dialectología española (2nd ed.), Biblioteca Romanica Hispanica, Editorial Gredos 
  • Zimmer, Karl; Orgun, Orhan (1999), "Turkish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet (PDF), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 154–158, ISBN 0-521-65236-7