Open central rounded vowel

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Open central rounded vowel
IPA number313 415
Audio sample

The open central rounded vowel, or low central rounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound, used in few spoken languages. While the International Phonetic Alphabet officially has no dedicated letter for this sound between front [ɶ] and back [ɒ], it is normally written ⟨ɒ⟩. If precision is required, it can be specified by using diacritics, such as centralized ⟨ɒ̈⟩ or centralized ⟨ɶ̈⟩.


IPA: Vowels
Front Central Back

Paired vowels are: unrounded  rounded

  • Its vowel height is open, also known as low, which means the tongue is positioned as far as possible from the roof of the mouth – that is, as low as possible in the mouth.
  • Its vowel backness is central, which means the tongue is positioned halfway between a front vowel and a back vowel.
  • It is rounded, which means that the lips are rounded rather than spread or relaxed.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
English Middle Class London[2] lot [lɒ̈ʔ] 'lot' Can be back [ɒ] instead.[2] See English phonology
Irish Ring dialect[3] [example needed] Allophone of /aː/ between slender consonants.[3] See Irish phonology
Norwegian Østfold dialect[4] bada [bɒ̈ːdɐ] 'to bathe'


  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ a b Altendorf & Watt (2004:188). Note that authors differentiate between symbols [ɒ̟] and [ɒ̈]; the former denotes a more back vowel.
  3. ^ a b Breatnach (1947:12–13)
  4. ^ Jahr (1990:92)


  • Altendorf, Ulrike; Watt, Dominic (2004), "4. The Southeast", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 181–196, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
  • Breatnach, Risteard B. (1947), The Irish of Ring, Co. Waterford, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, ISBN 0-901282-50-2
  • Jahr, Ernst Håkon (1990), Den Store dialektboka, Oslo: Novus, ISBN 8270991678