Close central rounded vowel

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Template:Short description Template:Infobox IPA Template:IPA vowels

The close central rounded vowel, or high central rounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is Template:Angbr IPA, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is }. Both the symbol and the sound are commonly referred to as "barred u".

The close central rounded vowel is the vocalic equivalent of the rare labialized post-palatal approximant Template:IPA.[2]

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

Some languages feature the near-close central rounded vowel, which is slightly lower. It is most often transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA and Template:Angbr IPA, but other transcriptions such as Template:Angbr IPA and Template:Angbr IPA are also possible. The symbol Template:Angbr IPA, a conflation of Template:Angbr IPA and Template:Angbr IPA, is used as an unofficial extension of the IPA to represent this sound by a number of publications, such as Accents of English by John C. Wells. In the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, Template:Angbr IPA represents free variation between Template:IPA and Template:IPA.

Close central protruded vowel

The close central protruded vowel is typically transcribed in IPA simply as Template:Angbr IPA, and that is the convention used in this article. As there is no dedicated diacritic for protrusion in the IPA, symbol for the close central rounded vowel with an old diacritic for labialization, Template:Angbr IPA, can be used as an ad hoc symbol Template:Angbr IPA for the close central protruded vowel. Another possible transcription is Template:Angbr IPA or Template:Angbr IPA (a close central vowel modified by endolabialization), but this could be misread as a diphthong.


Template:Close vowel Template:Central vowel Template:Protruded vowel


Because central rounded vowels are assumed to have protrusion, and few descriptions cover the distinction, some of the following may actually have compression.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Angami KhonomaTemplate:Sfnp su Template:IPA 'deep' Allophone of Template:IPA after Template:IPA.Template:Sfnp
Armenian Some Eastern dialectsTemplate:Sfnp յուղ Template:IPA 'oil' Allophone of Template:IPA after Template:IPA.
Berber Ayt SeghrouchenTemplate:Sfnp ? Template:IPA 'he goes' Allophone of Template:IPA after velar consonants.
Dutch Standard NorthernTemplate:Sfnp nu Template:IPA 'now' Typically transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA; also described as close front Template:IPAblinkTemplate:Sfnp and near-close front Template:IPAblink.Template:Sfnp See Dutch phonology
Randstad[3] hut Template:IPA 'hut' Found in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. Lower Template:IPAblink in Standard Dutch.[3] See Dutch phonology
English AustralianTemplate:Sfnp goose Template:IPA 'goose' See Australian English phonology
EnglandTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp Can be back Template:IPAblink or front Template:IPAblink instead. The rounding is variable in some varieties.Template:Sfnp
New ZealandTemplate:Sfnp See New Zealand English phonology
Received PronunciationTemplate:Sfnp Realized as back Template:IPAblink in the conservative variety.Template:Sfnp
South AfricanTemplate:Sfnp Realized as back Template:IPAblink in the conservative variety and in many Black and Indian varieties.Template:Sfnp See South African English phonology
General AmericanTemplate:Sfnp Template:IPA Can be back Template:IPAblink instead.Template:Sfnp
EstuaryTemplate:Sfnp foot Template:IPA 'foot' The exact height, backness and roundedness is variable.Template:Sfnp
CockneyTemplate:Sfnp good Template:IPA 'good' Only in some words, particularly good, otherwise realized as near-back Template:IPAblink.Template:Sfnp
Rural white Southern AmericanTemplate:Sfnp Can be front Template:IPAblink instead.Template:Sfnp
Southeastern EnglishTemplate:Sfnp May be unrounded Template:IPAblink instead;Template:Sfnp it corresponds to Template:IPAblink in other dialects. See English phonology
Ulster[4] Short allophone of Template:IPA.[4]
ShetlandTemplate:Sfnp strut Template:IPA 'strut' Can be Template:IPAblink or Template:IPAblink instead.Template:Sfnp
German Upper SaxonTemplate:Sfnp Buden Template:IPA 'booths' The example word is from the Chemnitz dialect.
HausaTemplate:Sfnp Template:Example needed Allophone of Template:IPA.Template:Sfnp
Ibibio Dialect of the Uruan area and UyoTemplate:Sfnp fuuk Template:IPA 'cover many things/times' Allophone of Template:IPA between consonants.Template:Sfnp
Some dialectsTemplate:Sfnp Template:Example needed Phonemic; contrasts with Template:IPA.Template:Sfnp
Irish MunsterTemplate:Sfnp ciúin Template:IPA 'quiet' Allophone of Template:IPA between slender consonants.Template:Sfnp See Irish phonology
UlsterTemplate:Sfnp úllaí Template:IPA[stress?] 'apples' Often only weakly rounded;Template:Sfnp may be transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA.
Limburgish Some dialectsTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp bruudsje Template:IPA 'breadroll' Close Template:IPATemplate:Sfnp or near-close Template:IPA,Template:Sfnp depending on the dialect. Close front Template:IPAblink in other dialects.Template:Sfnp Typically transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA. The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect, in which the vowel is close.
LüsuTemplate:Sfnp Template:IPA 'Lüsu'
RussianTemplate:Sfnp кюрий Template:IPA 'curium' Allophone of Template:IPA between palatalized consonants. Near-close when unstressed.Template:Sfnp See Russian phonology
ScotsTemplate:Sfnp buit Template:IPA 'boot' May be more front Template:IPAblink instead.Template:Sfnp
Swedish BohuslänTemplate:Sfnp yla Template:IPA 'howl' A fricated vowel that corresponds to Template:IPAblink in Central Standard Swedish.Template:Sfnp See Swedish phonology
TamilTemplate:Sfnp வால் Template:IPA 'tail' Epenthetic vowel inserted in colloquial speech after word-final liquids; can be unrounded Template:IPAblink instead.Template:Sfnp See Tamil phonology

Close central compressed vowel

Template:Infobox IPA

As there is no official diacritic for compression in the IPA, the centering diacritic is used with the front rounded vowel Template:IPA, which is normally compressed. Other possible transcriptions are Template:Angbr IPA (simultaneous Template:IPA and labial compression) and Template:Angbr IPA (Template:IPA modified with labial compression[5]).


Template:Close vowel Template:Central vowel Template:Compressed vowel


This vowel is typically transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA. It occurs in some dialects of Swedish, but see also close front compressed vowel. The close back vowels of Norwegian and Swedish are also compressed. See close back compressed vowel. It also occurs in Japanese as an allophone. Medumba has a compressed central vowel Template:IPA where the corners of the mouth are not drawn together.[6]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Japanese Some younger speakersTemplate:Sfnp 空気 / Template:Transl Template:IPA 'air' Near-back Template:IPAblink for other speakers.Template:Sfnp
Standard Tokyo pronunciation 寿司 / Template:Transl Template:IPA 'sushi' Typically transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA. Allophone of Template:IPA after Template:IPA and palatalized consonants.[7] See Japanese phonology
Norwegian Urban EastTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp hus Template:IPA 'house' Typically transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA. Also described as front Template:IPAblink.Template:Sfnp See Norwegian phonology
Swedish Some dialects ful Template:IPA 'ugly' More front Template:IPA in Central Standard Swedish; typically transcribed in IPA as Template:Angbr IPA. See Swedish phonology

See also


  1. Template:Vowel terminology
  2. Instead of "post-palatal", it can be called "retracted palatal", "backed palatal", "palato-velar", "pre-velar", "advanced velar", "fronted velar" or "front-velar".
  3. 3.0 3.1 Template:Harvcoltxt. The source describes the Standard Dutch vowel as front-central Template:IPAblink, but more sources (e.g. Template:Harvcoltxt and Template:Harvcoltxt) describe it as central Template:IPAblink. As far as the raised varieties of this vowel are concerned, Collins and Mees do not describe their exact backness.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Jilka, Matthias. "Irish English and Ulster English" (PDF). Stuttgart: Institut für Linguistik/Anglistik, University of Stuttgart. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 April 2014. 
  5. e.g. in Flemming (2002) Auditory representations in phonology, p. 83.
  6. [1]
  7. Labrune, Laurence (2012). The Phonology of Japanese. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-19-954583-4. 


External links

Template:IPA navigation