Near-open central vowel

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

The near-open central vowel, or near-low central 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, a rotated lowercase letter a.

In English this vowel is most typically transcribed with the symbol Template:Angbr IPA, i.e. as if it were open-mid back. That pronunciation is still found in some dialects, but most speakers use a central vowel like Template:IPA.

Much like Template:Angbr IPA, Template:Angbr IPA is a versatile symbol that is not defined for roundednessTemplate:Sfnp and that can be used for vowels that are near-open central,Template:Sfnp near-open near-front,Template:Sfnp near-open near-back,Template:Sfnp open-mid central,Template:Sfnp open centralTemplate:Sfnp or a (often unstressed) vowel with variable height, backness and/or roundedness that is produced in that general area.Template:Sfnp For open central unrounded vowels transcribed with Template:Angbr IPA, see open central unrounded vowel.

When the usual transcription of the near-open near-front and the near-open near-back variants is different than Template:Angbr IPA, they are listed in near-open front unrounded vowel and open back unrounded vowel or open back rounded vowel, respectively.

The near-open central unrounded vowel is sometimes the only open vowel in a language.Template:Sfnp When that is the case, it is typically transcribed with Template:Angbr IPA.


Template:Near-open vowel Template:Central vowel

  • It is undefined for roundedness, which means that it can be either rounded or unrounded. In practice however, the unrounded variant is more common.


In the following list, Template:Angbr IPA is assumed to be unrounded. The rounded variant is transcribed as Template:Angbr IPA. Some instances of the latter may actually be fully open.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
BengaliTemplate:Sfnp পা / pa Template:IPA 'leg' Typically transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA. See Bengali phonology
BulgarianTemplate:Sfnp пара Template:IPA 'coin' Unstressed allophone of Template:IPA and Template:IPA.Template:Sfnp May be transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA. See Bulgarian phonology
BurmeseTemplate:Sfnp တ် Template:IPA 'vertical' Allophone of Template:IPA in syllables closed by a glottal stop and when nasalized; realized as fully open Template:IPAblink in open oral syllables.Template:Sfnp
Chinese CantoneseTemplate:Sfnp / sam1 Template:IPA 'heart' Open-mid.Template:Sfnp See Cantonese phonology
ShanghaineseTemplate:Sfnp Template:IPA 'to cut' Appears only in closed syllables; the exact height and backness is somewhat variable.Template:Sfnp
DanishTemplate:Sfnp fatter Template:IPA 'understands' Varies between near-open central unrounded Template:IPA, near-open near-back rounded Template:IPA and mid near-back unrounded Template:IPAblink.Template:Sfnp See Danish phonology
Dinka LuanyjangTemplate:Sfnp [orthographic
form needed
Template:IPA 'berry' Short allophone of Template:IPA; varies between near-open Template:IPA and open-mid Template:IPA.Template:Sfnp
English CaliforniaTemplate:Sfnp nut Template:IPA 'nut' See English phonology
CockneyTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp Template:IPA Near-front.Template:Sfnp
East AnglianTemplate:Sfnp Template:IPA Used in some places (e.g. Colchester) instead of the traditional Template:IPAblink.Template:Sfnp
New ZealandTemplate:Sfnp Template:IPA Varies between near-open near-front Template:IPA, near-open central Template:IPA, open near-front Template:IPAblink and open central Template:IPAblink.Template:Sfnp See New Zealand English phonology
Received PronunciationTemplate:Sfnp See English phonology
Inland Northern American[2] bet Template:IPA 'bet' Variation of Template:IPA used in some places whose accents have undergone the Northern cities vowel shift.
Middle Class London[3] lot Template:IPA 'lot' Rounded; can be back Template:IPAblink instead.[3] See English phonology
Galician Most dialects feita Template:IPA 'done' Realization of final unstressed Template:IPA.
Some dialects trapallada Template:IPA 'bullshit' Unstressed Template:IPA in any position.
German StandardTemplate:Sfnp oder Template:Audio-IPA 'or' The exact height, backness and roundedness is somewhere between Template:IPAblink and Template:IPAblink, depending on the environment. Sometimes, an opening diphthong of the Template:IPA-type is used instead.Template:Sfnp See Standard German phonology
Northern German accentsTemplate:Sfnp kommen Template:IPA 'to come' Varies between central Template:IPA and back Template:IPA; corresponds to an open-mid rounded Template:IPAblink in Standard German.Template:Sfnp See Standard German phonology
Greek Modern StandardTemplate:Sfnp ακακία / akaa Template:IPA 'acacia' Most often transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA. See Modern Greek phonology
HausaTemplate:Sfnp Template:Example needed Possible allophone of Template:IPA, which can be as close as Template:IPAblink and as open as Template:IPAblink.Template:Sfnp
HindustaniTemplate:Sfnp दस/دَس Template:IPA 'ten' Common realization of Template:IPA.Template:Sfnp See Hindustani phonology
KoreanTemplate:Sfnp 하나 / hana Template:IPA 'one' Typically transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA. See Korean phonology
KumzariTemplate:Sfnp [orthographic form?] Template:IPA 'large' Near-front.Template:Sfnp
LuxembourgishTemplate:Sfnp Kanner Template:IPA 'children' Near-back.Template:Sfnp See Luxembourgish phonology
MapudungunTemplate:Sfnp ka Template:IPA 'green' Open-mid;Template:Sfnp often transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA.
Norwegian Østfold dialect[4] bada Template:IPA 'to bathe' The example word illustrates both the rounded Template:IPA and the unrounded Template:IPA.
PortugueseTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp aja Template:IPA 'act' (subj.) Closer Template:IPA in European Portuguese than in Brazilian Portuguese (Template:IPA).Template:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp See Portuguese phonology
Romanian Moldavian dialectsTemplate:Sfnp bărbat Template:IPA 'man' Corresponds to Template:IPAblink in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Russian Standard MoscowTemplate:Sfnp голова Template:Audio-IPA 'head' Corresponds to Template:IPAblink in standard Saint Petersburg pronunciation;Template:Sfnp occurs mostly immediately before stressed syllables. See Russian phonology
Sabiny[5] Template:Example needed Contrasts overshort unrounded and overshort rounded near-open central vowels.[6]
UkrainianTemplate:Sfnp слива Template:IPA 'plum' See Ukrainian phonology
VietnameseTemplate:Sfnp chếch Template:IPA 'askance' Typically transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA. See Vietnamese phonology
XumiTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp Template:IPATemplate:What 'salt' Near-open Template:IPA in Lower Xumi, open-mid Template:IPA in Upper Xumi. The latter phone may be transcribed with Template:Angbr IPA. The example word is from Lower Xumi.Template:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp

See also


  1. Template:Vowel terminology
  2. Template:Citation
  3. 3.0 3.1 Template:Harvcoltxt. The authors differentiate between symbols Template:IPA and Template:IPA; the former denotes a more back vowel.
  4. Template:Harvcoltxt
  5. "UPSID 4)S". Retrieved 27 January 2016. 
  6. "UPSID SEBEI". Retrieved 27 January 2016. 


External links

Template:IPA navigation