Open central unrounded vowel

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

The open central unrounded vowel, or low central unrounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound, used in many spoken languages. While the International Phonetic Alphabet officially has no dedicated letter for this sound between front Template:IPAblink and back Template:IPAblink, it is normally written Template:Angbr IPA. If precision is required, it can be specified by using diacritics, such as centralized Template:Angbr IPA or retracted Template:Angbr IPA.

It is more common to use plain Template:Angbr IPA for an open central vowel and, if needed, Template:IPAalink (officially near-open front vowel) for an open front vowel. Alternatively, Sinologists may use the letter Template:Angbr IPA (small capital A). The IPA has voted against officially adopting this symbol in 1976, 1989, and 2012.Template:SfnpTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp

The Hamont dialect of Limburgish has been reported to contrast long open front, central and back unrounded vowels.Template:Sfnp This is extremely unusual.


Template:Open vowel Template:Central vowel This often subsumes open (low) front vowels, because the tongue does not have as much flexibility in positioning as it does for the close (high) vowels; the difference between an open front vowel and an open back vowel is equal to the difference between a close front and a close central vowel, or a close central and a close back vowel. Template:Unrounded vowel


Most languages have some form of an unrounded open vowel. Because the IPA uses Template:Angbr for both front and central unrounded open vowels, it is not always clear whether a particular language uses the former or the latter. However, there may not actually be a difference. (See Vowel#Acoustics.)

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
BurmeseTemplate:Sfnp မာ / ma Template:IPA 'hard' Oral allophone of Template:IPA in open syllables; realized as near-open Template:IPAblink in other environments.Template:Sfnp
Chinese MandarinTemplate:Sfnp / tā Template:Audio-IPA 'he' See Standard Chinese phonology
CzechTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp prach Template:IPA 'dust' See Czech phonology
Danish StandardTemplate:Sfnp barn Template:IPA 'child' Typically transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA. See Danish phonology
DutchTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp zaal Template:IPA 'hall' Ranges from front to central;Template:Sfnp in non-standard accents it may be back. See Dutch phonology
English AustralianTemplate:Sfnp bra Template:IPA 'bra' Typically transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA. See Australian English phonology
East AnglianTemplate:Sfnp Used mostly by middle-class speakers; can be front Template:IPAblink instead.Template:Sfnp
General AmericanTemplate:Sfnp Can be back Template:IPAblink instead.Template:Sfnp
New ZealandTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp Can be more front Template:IPAblink and/or higher Template:IPA instead.Template:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp It may be transcribed in IPA with Template:Angbr IPA. See New Zealand English phonology
Some Canadian speakersTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp trap Template:IPA 'trap' See Canadian Shift and English phonology
Some English English speakersTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp Template:IPA Used in Multicultural London English and Northern England English.Template:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp More front Template:IPA in other dialects.
French ParisianTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp patte Template:IPA 'paw' Older speakers have two contrastive open vowels: front Template:IPAslink and back Template:IPAslink.Template:Sfnp See French phonology
GermanTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp Katze Template:IPA 'cat' Can be more front or more back in regional Standard German.Template:Sfnp See Standard German phonology
HungarianTemplate:Sfnp láb Template:IPA 'leg' See Hungarian phonology
ItalianTemplate:Sfnp casa Template:IPA 'home' See Italian phonology
JapaneseTemplate:Sfnp ka Template:Audio-IPA 'mosquito' See Japanese phonology
Limburgish Hamont dialectTemplate:Sfnp zaak Template:IPA 'business' Contrasts with front Template:IPAblink and back Template:IPAblink.Template:Sfnp
PolishTemplate:Sfnp kat Template:Audio-IPA 'executioner' See Polish phonology
PortugueseTemplate:Sfnp vá Template:IPA 'go' See Portuguese phonology
RomanianTemplate:Sfnp cal Template:IPA 'horse' See Romanian phonology
Serbo-CroatianTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp пас / pas Template:IPA 'dog' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
SpanishTemplate:Sfnp rata Template:IPA 'rat' See Spanish phonology
Swedish Central StandardTemplate:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp bank Template:IPA 'bank' Also described as front Template:IPAblink.Template:SfnpTemplate:Sfnp See Swedish phonology
ThaiTemplate:Sfnp บางกอก Template:Audio-IPA 'bangkok' See Thai phonology
TurkishTemplate:Sfnp at Template:IPA 'horse' Also described as back Template:IPAblink.Template:Sfnp See Turkish phonology
YorubaTemplate:Sfnp Template:Example needed



External links

Template:IPA navigation