Open front rounded vowel

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Open front rounded vowel
IPA number 312
Entity (decimal) ɶ
Unicode (hex) U+0276
Kirshenbaum a.
Braille ⠔ (braille pattern dots-35) ⠪ (braille pattern dots-246)

The open front rounded vowel, or low front rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, not confirmed to be phonemic in any spoken languages. Acoustically it is an open or low near-front rounded vowel, a rounded equivalent of [æ], rather than [a].[1] The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɶ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is &. The letter ⟨ɶ⟩ is a small caps rendition of ⟨Œ⟩. Note that ⟨œ⟩, the lowercase version of the ligature, is used for the open-mid front rounded vowel.

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".

Riad (2014) reports that [ɶː] in Stockholm Swedish is sometimes difficult to distinguish from [ɒː]. He states that it is "a sign that these vowels are phonetically very close".[2]


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
  • 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 front, which means the tongue is positioned as far forward as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Note that rounded front vowels are often centralized, which means that often they are in fact near-front.
  • It is rounded, which means that the lips are rounded rather than spread or relaxed.


A phoneme generally transcribed by this symbol is reported from the Amstetten dialect of Austro-Bavarian German. However, phonetically it is open-mid, i.e. [œ].[3]

It occurs allophonically in Danish, Weert Limburgish and some speakers of Swedish.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Danish Standard[4][5] grøn [ˈɡ̊ʁ̞ɶ̽nˀ] 'green' Near-open near-front;[4] allophone of /œ/ (and /ø/ when before /v/) after /r/.[6] Some speakers may realize it the same as [œ].[5] See Danish phonology
Limburgish Weert dialect[7] bùj [bɶj] 'shower' Allophone of /œ/ before /j/.[7]
Swedish Stockholm[2] öra [²ɶːra̠] 'ear' Pre-/r/ allophone of /œ/ and (more often) /øː/ for younger speakers.[2] Open-mid [œ, œː] for other speakers.[2] See Swedish phonology

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Geoff Lindsey (2013) The vowel space, Speech Talk
  2. ^ a b c d Riad (2014:38)
  3. ^ Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  4. ^ a b Grønnum (1998:100)
  5. ^ a b Basbøll (2005:46): "Nina Grønnum uses two different symbols for the vowels in these and similar words: gøre she transcribes with (...) [œ] (narrow transcription), and grøn she transcribes with (...) [ɶ̝] (narrow transcription). Clearly, there is variation within Standard Danish on this point (...)."
  6. ^ Grønnum (2005:288)
  7. ^ a b Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998:110)