Talk:Close-mid back rounded vowel

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The /o/ Turkish ?[edit]

The /o/ Turkish is ont the Close-mid back rounded vowel, is open-mid or mid. the lowering diacritic has been omitted for the sake of simplicity. i think.

Does /o/ occur in GenAm[edit]

Kwami keeps removing GenAm from this article, and doesn't site any sources on why /o/ doesn't occur in GenAm?
Could Kwami adequately explain why it doesn't occur and to include sorces?

I may have only one source for this information – I think he is quite a reliable source – but Ladefoged (1993, 1999) says /o/ does occur in GenAm. The GenAm article also says /o/ occurs, but as a monophthong not a diphthong. Could someone (perhaps an American linguist) clarify this for me and as to whether Ladefoged is a reliable source? :) Mark 08:14, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

/o/ occurs. [o] does not, so far as I know: it doesn't occur in my dialect, at least, and that's pretty close to GA. (The GenAm article discusses phonemes, not their phonetic realization. I've tried adding in this detail to various articles, but people editing each of them say it's too confusing to be precise, and that the info belongs in some other article.)
First of all, /o/ is a diphthong, as you can find in L's IPA Handbook article if you read closely enough. The question is where it starts. The onset is unrounded, or at least less rounded than the coda, so it can't be [o]. (Winston Marsalis played a piece where he said "echoing" with an echo, and it came out [ɛkʌwɛkʌwɛkʌwɪŋ].) The OED has [əʊ].
Ladefoged is generally a very good source. But while he's very precise with poorly described languages spoken by very few people, or for example when explaining the details of the Danish pronunciation of his name, he tends to gloss over English a bit, perhaps because he assumes an English speaking audience?
In L's "A Course in Phonetics" he uses both [oʊ] and [əʊ]. In Figure 4.2 (in my copy), he uses arrows to show the movement of the English diphthongs across a vowel chart. The start of the diphthong [oʊ/əʊ] is slightly fronter and lower than the start of [ɔɪ]. I've seen [ɔʊ] for this vowel in Japan; [ɔ] is less rounded than [o], and in any case [ɔʊ] might be capturing rounding assimilation. Anyway, even if /o/ is sometimes interpreted as having an [o] in it, it's not a very good example of this sound, and will confuse English speakers trying to figure out what [o] really is. kwami 09:30, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

OK, thankyou for the explaination. The figure you mentioned was what I was using, but I didn't realise that its onset was unrounded, which means /o/ seems very misleading to me, or maybe I still don't fully understand. So would the /o/ diphthong be phonetically written [ʌʊ]? I always thought [əʊ] was only used for RP? :) Mark 10:12, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Yes, it is misleading. Very often phonetic descriptions written in the language in question are rather imprecise. I've noticed this for French and Spanish as well. My guess is that there's no real push to make them precise when the intended audience already knows the language.
I don't know RP, so I can't tell you how similar they are. But Ladefoged says in Table 4.1 that he uses both [oʊ] and [əʊ] in that book. The diagram shows it being either [ʌʊ] or [ɔʊ] in GA, depending on how rounded it actually is. (One clue: unrounded vowels tend to be fronter than rounded vowels, and the onset of /o/ is fronter than [ɔ].) Either way, there's no [o] in it, except perhaps as a transition: [ɔoʊ]. (Actually, [ɔou̞], since he explains that the [ʊ] is wrong too!) It's hard to hear vowels when they're in transition, but the onset doesn't sound quite like the [ɔ] vowel in poor, pole, poi, nor quite the [ɐ] vowel in nut, so my best guess is that /o/ is [ʌu̞]. But again, the two elements might assimilate in rounding to produce [ɔu̞], at least some of the time. kwami 10:37, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

I now accept that [o] is wrong for GenAm, but I wonder if this could also be true for CaE, though as I don't know anything about CaE I can't really comment on it. Regarding RP the transcription used is definitely [əʊ] and that the onset [ə] is more central than in GenAm, so [ʌu̞] is probably a good guess for /o/ in GenAm. :) Mark 11:29, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

On a side note, I know an older monolingual GA speaker (Colorado-California) who has repeatedly asked a monolingual Spanish speaker (Mexico) to pronounce cómo está (good pure mid vowels there). Now, the e is frequently elided, but still, he repeats it as [kɑmɐ stɑ]. I'd think that if there were an [o] in GA, he'd pick up on that, but he doesn't - he doesn't hear an /o/ at all. kwami 18:12, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Final devoicing[edit]

The Ukrainian language doesn't have final devoicing. I reverted the example back. -Iopq 23:03, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

English example[edit]

Does it mean 'row' (to row, as in to argue) or 'row' (to row, as in to move oars in a boat) ? This should be specified. I suspect it is the latter, but I'm not so familiar with GA pronunciation. - Francis Tyers · 17:00, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Judging from the IPA spelling, it's the "row" that means "move oars in a boat".
You'd think they'd use an unambiguous example, maybe the word "go"?
Interestingly, the IPA spelling given here, [ɻoː], indicates a long "o" vowel, which IPA chart for English dialects does not list as occurring in any GA pronunciation, though it lists that as the Irish-English pronunciation for this vowel. I'd agree with that IPA page and spell this "row" as [ɹoʊ]. (I'm suspicious of the choice of the retroflex "r" too, though those IPA pages claim that both the alveolar and retroflex "r" are used in GA, so maybe it's ok.)
FWIW, the vowel in "row" (meaning "argument") would be a dipthong starting with an open "ah" sound and ending with a rounded back vowel: [aʊ] -- clearly not what was intended here.
Byako (talk) 10:30, 6 November 2009 (UTC)


What about the Spanish "o"? Why isn't that here? (talk) 20:46, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Scroll down to the second table. It's there. Spanish o is a mid vowel. Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 20:49, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. (talk) 02:05, 17 December 2007 (UTC)


This vowel sound is used in Cockney in words like thought. (talk) 17:57, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

Is it open-mid or mid? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 19:42, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
It is either a close-mid monophthong [oː] or a narrow diphthong [ɔo̯ ~ oʊ̯]. Peter238 (v̥ɪˑzɪʔ mɑˑɪ̯ tˢʰoˑk̚ pʰɛˑɪ̯d̥ʒ̊) 14:33, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

Sound Sample / Finnish[edit]

The Finnish (and Estonian) letter O does not match the sound sample on this page, but rather it matches the sound sample for [ɔ]. Even the sound sample for [ɤ] is closer to how it's pronounced in Finnish than the sample on this page. So either the Finnish/Estonian O is on the wrong vowel page, or the sound sample is wrong. Which is it? I'm pretty darn sure about this and I'm sure any Finn or Estonian would agree. In any case, the sound sample on this page just doesn't match the Finnish O. I listened to all three samples over and over and the sample on this page definitely doesn't sound right for the Finnish O. The sample for [ɔ] is pretty much bang on what the Finnish O sounds like. - FinnHawk (talk) 22:16, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

The sound sample is for the close-mid back rounded vowel, Finnish is in the "mid back rounded vowel" section. It's understandable that a mid vowel would be perceptually close to an open-mid vowel (just as it would be to a close-mid one). Heck, that's an issue in the transcription of Received Pronunciation where the vowel of bed is a mid vowel but variably transcribed as <ɛ> or <e>.
Finnish phonology doesn't have a vowel quadrangle that would indicate the vowels' formants in comparison to cardinal values, but it does have a note saying that the choice between using the close-mid and open-mid characters is somewhat arbitrary. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 23:27, 28 August 2008 (UTC)