Close Back Rounded Vowel
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Close Back Rounded Vowel
Close back rounded vowel
u
IPA number308
Encoding
Entity (decimal)u
Unicode (hex)U+0075
X-SAMPAu
Kirshenbaumu
Listen

The close back rounded vowel, or high back rounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound used in many spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨u⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is u.

In most languages, this rounded vowel is pronounced with protruded lips ('endolabial'). However, in a few cases the lips are compressed ('exolabial').

The close back rounded vowel is almost identical featurally to the labio-velar approximant [w]. [u] alternates with [w] in certain languages, such as French, and in the diphthongs of some languages, [u?] with the non-syllabic diacritic and [w] are used in different transcription systems to represent the same sound.

Close back protruded vowel

The close back protruded vowel is the most common variant of the close back rounded vowel. It is typically transcribed in IPA simply as ⟨u⟩, which is the convention used in this article. As there is no dedicated IPA diacritic for protrusion, the symbol for the close back rounded vowel with an old diacritic for labialization, ⟨  ?⟩, can be used as an ad hoc symbol ⟨u?⟩. Another possible transcription is ⟨u?⟩ or ⟨⟩ (a close back vowel modified by endolabialization), but that could be misread as a diphthong.

Features

IPA: Vowels

Paired vowels are: unrounded  rounded

  • Its vowel height is close, also known as high, which means the tongue is positioned as close as possible to the roof of the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.
  • Its vowel backness is back, which means the tongue is positioned as far back as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Unrounded back vowels tend to be centralized, which means that often they are in fact near-back.
  • Its roundedness is protruded, which means that the corners of the lips are drawn together, and the inner surfaces exposed.

Occurrence

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Afrikaans Standard[2] boek [bu?k] 'book' Only weakly rounded.[3] See Afrikaans phonology
Arabic Standard[4] ? [da'nu:b] 'south' See Arabic phonology
Armenian Eastern[5] ? [dur] 'door'
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[6] [example needed]
Bulgarian[7] ??? [?ut?] 'crazy' See Bulgarian phonology
Catalan[8] suc [s?uk] 'juice' See Catalan phonology
Chinese Mandarin[9][10] ? / t? [tu] 'earth' See Standard Chinese phonology
Cantonese[11] ? / f? 'man' See Cantonese phonology
Shanghainese[12] ? [ku?] 'melon' Height varies between close and close-mid; contrasts with a close to close-mid back compressed vowel.[12]
Danish Standard[13][14] du [d?u] 'you' See Danish phonology
Dutch Standard[15][16] voet 'foot' Somewhat fronted in Belgian Standard Dutch.[16]
English Australian[17] book [buk] 'book' Also described as near-close near-back ;[18][19] corresponds to in other accents. See Australian English phonology
Cape Flats[20] May be advanced to , or lowered and unrounded to .[20] See South African English phonology
Cultivated South African[21] boot [bu?:t] 'boot' Typically more front than cardinal [u]. Instead of being back, it may be central in Geordie and RP, and front in Multicultural London. See English phonology and South African English phonology
General American[22]
Geordie[23]
Multicultural London[24]
Received Pronunciation[25]
Welsh[26][27][28]
Pakistani[29] [bu:?]
Greater New York City [bu:t][30]
New Zealand[31][32] treacle ['ti:ku] 'treacle' Possible realization of the unstressed vowel /?/, which is variable in rounding and ranges from central to (more often) back and close to close-mid.[31][32] Corresponds to /?l/ in other accents. See New Zealand English phonology
Estonian[33] sule ['sule?] 'feather' (gen. sg.) See Estonian phonology
Finnish[34][35] kukka ['kuk:?] 'flower' See Finnish phonology
Faroese[36] gulur ['ku:l] 'yellow' See Faroese phonology
French[37][38] 'where' See French phonology
Georgian[39] ?? [?ud?] 'leather bag'
German Standard[40][41] Fuß 'foot' See Standard German phonology
Many speakers[42] Stunde ['?tund?] 'hour' The usual realization of /?/ in Switzerland, Austria and partially also in Western and Southwestern Germany (Palatinate, Swabia).[42] See Standard German phonology
Greek Modern Standard[43][44] ? / pu [pu] 'where' See Modern Greek phonology
Hungarian[45] út [u:t?] 'way' See Hungarian phonology
Icelandic[46][47] þú [u] 'you' See Icelandic phonology
Italian[48] tutta ['t?ut?t?ä] 'all' (sing. fem.) See Italian phonology
Kaingang[49] nduki ['nduk:i] 'in the belly'
Latin Classical[50] sus [su:s] 'pig'
Limburgish[51][52] sjoen [?u?n] 'beautiful' Back[52] or near-back,[51] depending on the dialect. The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Lower Sorbian[53] zub [z?up] 'tooth'
Luxembourgish[54] Luucht [lu:?t] 'air' See Luxembourgish phonology
Mongolian[55] ? [u:] 'nest'
Persian ??? [du?] 'far' See Persian phonology
Polish[56] buk 'beech tree' Also represented by ⟨ó⟩. See Polish phonology
Portuguese[57] tu ['tu] 'you' See Portuguese phonology
Romanian[58] unu ['un?u] 'one' See Romanian phonology
Russian[59] ?? 'narrow' See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatian[60] duga [d:?ä] 'rainbow' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Shiwiar[61] [example needed]
Spanish[62] curable [ku'?äle?] 'curable' See Spanish phonology
Sotho[63] tumo [t'um?] 'fame' Contrasts close, near-close and close-mid back rounded vowels.[63] See Sotho phonology
Swahili ubongo [ubongo] 'brain'
Thai[64] [sut] 'rearmost'
Turkish[65][66] uzak [u'z?äk] 'far' See Turkish phonology
Udmurt[67] ?? [urete] 'to divide'
Ukrainian[68] ??? [rux] 'motion' See Ukrainian phonology
Upper Sorbian[53][69] ?uk [?uk] 'beetle' See Upper Sorbian phonology
Yoruba[70] [example needed]
Zapotec Tilquiapan[71] gdu [?du] 'all'

Close back compressed vowel

Close back compressed vowel
u?
Listen

Some languages, such as Japanese and Swedish, have a close back vowel that has a distinct type of rounding, called compressed or exolabial.[72] Only Shanghainese is known to contrast it with the more typical protruded (endolabial) close back vowel, but the height of both vowels varies from close to close-mid.[12]

There is no dedicated diacritic for compression in the IPA. However, compression of the lips can be shown with the letter ⟨⟩ as ⟨?⟩ (simultaneous [?] and labial compression) or ⟨⟩ ([?] modified with labial compression). The spread-lip diacritic ⟨  ? ⟩ may also be used with a rounded vowel letter ⟨u?⟩ as an ad hoc symbol, but 'spread' technically means unrounded.

Features

  • Its vowel height is close, also known as high, which means the tongue is positioned as close as possible to the roof of the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.
  • Its vowel backness is back, which means the tongue is positioned as far back as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Unrounded back vowels tend to be centralized, which means that often they are in fact near-back.
  • Its roundedness is compressed, which means that the margins of the lips are tense and drawn together in such a way that the inner surfaces are not exposed.

Occurrence

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Chinese Shanghainese[12] ? [t] 'capital' Height varies between close and close-mid; contrasts with a close to close-mid back protruded vowel.[12]
Japanese[73] / k?ki 'air' Near-back; may be realized as central by younger speakers.[73] See Japanese phonology
Lizu[74] [Fm][clarification needed] 'feather' Near-back.[74]
Norwegian[75][76] mot [m:t] 'courage' The example word is from Urban East Norwegian, in which the vowel can be diphthongized to [?].[77] See Norwegian phonology
Swedish Central Standard[78][79] oro [²:r:] 'unease' Often realized as a sequence [?] or [][78] (hear the word: ). See Swedish phonology

See also

Notes

  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ Donaldson (1993), pp. 2, 5.
  3. ^ Donaldson (1993), p. 5.
  4. ^ Thelwall & Sa'Adeddin (1990), p. 38.
  5. ^ Dum-Tragut (2009), p. 13.
  6. ^ Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  7. ^ Ternes & Vladimirova-Buhtz (1999), p. 56.
  8. ^ Carbonell & Llisterri (1992), p. 54.
  9. ^ Lee & Zee (2003), pp. 110-111.
  10. ^ Duanmu (2007), pp. 35-36.
  11. ^ Zee (1999), pp. 59-60.
  12. ^ a b c d e Chen & Gussenhoven (2015), pp. 328-329.
  13. ^ Grønnum (1998), p. 100.
  14. ^ Basbøll (2005), p. 46.
  15. ^ Gussenhoven (1992), p. 47.
  16. ^ a b Verhoeven (2005), p. 245.
  17. ^ Cox & Palethorpe (2007), p. 344.
  18. ^ Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009a).
  19. ^ Lindsey (2012).
  20. ^ a b Finn (2004), p. 970.
  21. ^ Lass (2002), p. 116.
  22. ^ Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009b).
  23. ^ Watt & Allen (2003), p. 268.
  24. ^ Gimson (2014), p. 91.
  25. ^ Roach (2004), p. 242.
  26. ^ Collins & Mees (1990), p. 95.
  27. ^ Connolly (1990), p. 125.
  28. ^ Tench (1990), p. 135.
  29. ^ Mahboob & Ahmar (2004), p. 1007.
  30. ^ Labov, William; Ash, Sharon; Boberg, Charles (2006). The Atlas of North American English. chpt. 17.
  31. ^ a b "NZE Phonology" (PDF). Victoria University of Wellington. p. 3.
  32. ^ a b Bauer & Warren (2004), p. 585.
  33. ^ Asu & Teras (2009), p. 368.
  34. ^ Iivonen & Harnud (2005), pp. 60, 66.
  35. ^ Suomi, Toivanen & Ylitalo (2008), p. 21.
  36. ^ Árnason (2011), pp. 68, 74.
  37. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993), p. 73.
  38. ^ Collins & Mees (2013), p. 225.
  39. ^ Shosted & Chikovani (2006), pp. 261-262.
  40. ^ Hall (2003), pp. 87, 107.
  41. ^ Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 34.
  42. ^ a b Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 64.
  43. ^ Arvaniti (2007), p. 28.
  44. ^ Trudgill (2009), p. 81.
  45. ^ Szende (1994), p. 92.
  46. ^ Árnason (2011), p. 60.
  47. ^ Einarsson (1945:10), cited in Gussmann (2011:73)
  48. ^ Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004), p. 119.
  49. ^ Jolkesky (2009), pp. 676-677, 682.
  50. ^ Wheelock's Latin (1956).
  51. ^ a b Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999), p. 159.
  52. ^ a b Peters (2006), p. 119.
  53. ^ a b Stone (2002), p. 600.
  54. ^ Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 70.
  55. ^ Iivonen & Harnud (2005), pp. 62, 66-67.
  56. ^ Jassem (2003), p. 105.
  57. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995), p. 91.
  58. ^ Sarlin (2014), p. 18.
  59. ^ Jones & Ward (1969), p. 67.
  60. ^ Landau et al. (1999), p. 67.
  61. ^ Fast Mowitz (1975), p. 2.
  62. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003), p. 256.
  63. ^ a b Doke & Mofokeng (1974), p. ?.
  64. ^ Tingsabadh & Abramson (1993), p. 24.
  65. ^ Zimmer & Organ (1999), p. 155.
  66. ^ Göksel & Kerslake (2005), p. 11.
  67. ^ Iivonen & Harnud (2005), pp. 64, 68.
  68. ^ Danyenko & Vakulenko (1995), p. 4.
  69. ^ ?ewc-Schuster (1984), p. 20.
  70. ^ Bamgbo?e (1969), p. 166.
  71. ^ Merrill (2008), p. 109.
  72. ^ Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), p. 295.
  73. ^ a b Okada (1999), p. 118.
  74. ^ a b Chirkova & Chen (2013), p. 78.
  75. ^ Vanvik (1979), pp. 13, 17.
  76. ^ While Vanvik (1979) does not describe the exact type of rounding of this vowel, some other sources (e.g. Haugen (1974:40) and Kristoffersen (2000:16)) state explicitly that it is compressed.
  77. ^ Vanvik (1979), p. 17.
  78. ^ a b Engstrand (1999), p. 140.
  79. ^ Rosenqvist (2007), p. 9.

References


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