Open-mid Central Rounded Vowel
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Open-mid Central Rounded Vowel
Open-mid central rounded vowel
IPA Number395
Entity (decimal)ɞ
Unicode (hex)U+025E
Braille? (braille pattern dots-236)? (braille pattern dots-345)
Audio sample

The open-mid central rounded vowel, or low-mid central rounded vowel,[1] is a vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨?⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is 3\. The symbol is called closed reversed epsilon. It was added to the IPA in 1993; before that, this vowel was transcribed ⟨⟩.

IPA charts were first published with this vowel transcribed as a closed epsilon, ⟨?⟩ (that is, a closed variant of ⟨?⟩, much as the high-mid vowel letter ⟨?⟩ is a closed variant of ⟨e⟩), and this variant made its way into Unicode as ʚ LATIN SMALL LETTER CLOSED OPEN E. The IPA charts were later changed to the current closed reversed epsilon ⟨?⟩, and this was adopted into Unicode as ɞ LATIN SMALL LETTER CLOSED REVERSED OPEN E.



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Afrikaans Standard[2] lug [l] 'air' Also been described as mid , typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨oe⟩. Many speakers merge /oe/ with /?/, even in formal speech.[3] See Afrikaans phonology
English Irish[4] but [b] 'but' Corresponds to in other varieties. See English phonology
New Zealand[5] not [nt] 'not' Possible realization of /?/.[5] See New Zealand English phonology
Faroese[6] høgur ['h?:] 'high' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ø:⟩. See Faroese phonology
French Parisian[7] port 'port', 'harbour' Described variously as an allophone of /?/ before /?/[8] and as the default allophone of /?/.[7] See French phonology
Irish tomhail [t?:l?] 'consume' (imp.) See Irish phonology
Kashubian ptôch [pt?x] 'bird'
Limburgish Maastrichtian[9] väöl [v?:l] 'much' Front in other dialects.[10][11] Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨oe:⟩.
Navajo[12] tsosts'id [tssts'?t] 'seven' See Navajo phonology
Northern Tiwa Taos dialect ?cut'uonbo [?ã?tt?:'?u?nb?] 'his-garment-around' Allophone of /?/. See Taos phonology
Poitevin o doune [? dun] 'he gives'
Somali keenaysaa [ke:n?js?:] 'she brings' See Somali phonology
West Frisian Southwestern dialects[13] boare ['b?:r?] 'tomcat' Corresponds to [wa] in other dialects.[13] See West Frisian phonology


  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ Wissing (2012), p. 711.
  3. ^ Wissing (2016), section "The rounded and unrounded mid-central vowels".
  4. ^ Wells (1982), p. 422.
  5. ^ a b Bauer et al. (2007), p. 98.
  6. ^ Peterson (2000), cited in Árnason (2011:76)
  7. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2013), p. 225.
  8. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993), p. 73.
  9. ^ Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999), p. 159.
  10. ^ Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998), p. 110.
  11. ^ Peters (2006), p. 119.
  12. ^ McDonough, Ladefoged & George (1993). The authors gave a narrow transcription of [?], though at the time the IPA had only this one symbol for a mid central rounded vowel, and it is clear from the discussion and formant charts that this vowel a centralized open-mid vowel.
  13. ^ a b Hoekstra (2003:202), citing Hof (1933:14)


  • Árnason, Kristján (2011), The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0199229317
  • Bauer, Laurie; Warren, Paul; Bardsley, Dianne; Kennedy, Marianna; Major, George (2007), "New Zealand English", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (1): 97-102, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002830
  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2013) [First published 2003], Practical Phonetics and Phonology: A Resource Book for Students (3rd ed.), Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-50650-2
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L (1993), "French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 23 (2): 73-76, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004874
  • 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
  • Heijmans, Linda; Gussenhoven, Carlos (1998), "The Dutch dialect of Weert" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 28: 107-112, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006307
  • Hoekstra, Jarich (2003), "Frisian. Standardization in progress of a language in decay", Germanic Standardizations. Past to Present (PDF), 18, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 193-209, ISBN 978-90-272-1856-8
  • Hof, Jan Jelles (1933), Friesche Dialectgeographie (PDF), The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-07
  • McDonough, Joyce; Ladefoged, Peter; George, Helen (1993), "Navajo Vowels and Phonetic Universal Tendencies", UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics, Fieldwork Studies of Targeted Languages, 84: 143-150
  • Peters, Jörg (2006), "The dialect of Hasselt", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 36 (1): 117-124, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002428
  • Peterson, Hjalmar P. (2000), "Mátingar af sjálvljóðum í føruyskum", Málting, 28: 37-43
  • Wells, John C. (1982), Accents of English, II: The British Isles, Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-28541-0
  • Wissing, Daan (2012), "Integrasie van artikulatoriese en akoestiese eienskappe van vokale: 'n beskrywingsraamwerk", LitNet Akademies (in Afrikaans), Stellenbosch: LitNet, 9 (2): 701-743, ISSN 1995-5928, archived from the original on 15 April 2017, retrieved 2017
  • Wissing, Daan (2016). "Afrikaans phonology - segment inventory". Taalportaal. Archived from the original on 15 April 2017. Retrieved 2017.

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