Close-mid central rounded vowel

The close-mid central rounded vowel, or high-mid central rounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɵ, a lowercase barred letter o.

Close-mid central rounded vowel
IPA Number323
Entity (decimal)ɵ
Unicode (hex)U+0275
Audio sample
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The character ɵ has been used in several Latin-derived alphabets such as the one for Yañalif, but in that language it denotes a different sound than it does in the IPA. The character is homographic with Cyrillic Ө. The Unicode code point is U+019F Ɵ LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH MIDDLE TILDE (HTML Ɵ).

This vowel occurs in Cantonese, Dutch, French, Russian and Swedish as well as in a number of English dialects as a realization of /ʊ/ (as in foot), /ɜː/ (as in nurse) or /oʊ/ (as in goat).

This sound rarely contrasts with the near-close front rounded vowel. For this reason, it may be sometimes transcribed with the symbol ʏ.

Close-mid central protruded vowel

The close-mid central protruded vowel is typically transcribed in IPA simply as ɵ, 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,   ̫, can be used as an ad hoc symbol ɵ̫ for the close central protruded vowel. Another possible transcription is ɵʷ or ɘʷ (a close central vowel modified by endolabialization), but this could be misread as a diphthong.


  • Its roundedness is protruded, which means that the corners of the lips are drawn together, and the inner surfaces exposed.


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

Asturian Some Western dialects[2] fuöra [ˈfwɵɾɐ] 'outside' Realization of o in the diphthong uo. May also be realized as [ø] or [œ].
AzerbaijaniTabriz[3]göz گؤز[dʒɵz]'eye'Typically transcribed as /œ/.
ChineseCantonese/ceot7[tsʰɵt˥]'to go out'See Cantonese phonology
DutchStandard[4][5]hut[ɦɵt]'hut'See Dutch phonology
EnglishCardiff[6]foot[fɵt]'foot'More often unrounded [ɘ];[7] corresponds to [ʊ] in other dialects. See English phonology
General South African[8]Younger, especially female speakers.[8] Other speakers have a less front vowel [ʊ]. May be transcribed in IPA with ʊ̟ or ʉ̞. See South African English phonology
Received Pronunciation[9][fɵʔt]Younger speakers. Others pronounce [ʊ]. See English phonology
Hull[10]goat[ɡɵːt]'goat'Corresponds to /oʊ/ in other dialects.
New Zealand[11]bird[bɵːd]'bird'Corresponds to /ɝ/ in other dialects. See New Zealand English phonology
French[12]je[ʒɵ]'I'May be transcribed in IPA with ə or ɵ. Also described as mid [ɵ̞].[13][14] May be more front for a number of speakers. See French phonology
GermanSwabian[15]wird[ʋɵʕ̞d̥]'becomes'Allophone of /i/ before /ʁ/.[15]
Upper Saxon[16]Wunder[ˈv̞ɵn(d̥)oˤ]'wonder'The example word is from the Chemnitz dialect.
IrishMunster[18]dúnadh[ˈd̪ˠuːn̪ˠө]'closing'Allophone of /ə/ adjacent to broad consonants, when the vowel in the preceding syllable is either /uː/ or /ʊ/.[18] See Irish phonology
LimburgishMost dialects[19][20][21]bluts[blɵts]'bump'Typically transcribed in IPA with ʏ. The example word is from the Weert dialect.[19][20][21]
Maastrichtian[20]beuk[bɵːk]'books'Sometimes realized as a narrow diphthong [ɵʉ̞];[20] typically transcribed in IPA with øː. Front [øː] in other dialects.[19][22]
Mongolian[23]өгөх[ɵɡɵx]'to give'
NorwegianUrban East[24]søt[sɵːt]'sweet'Also described as front [ø̫ː];[25] typically transcribed in IPA with øː. See Norwegian phonology
RipuarianKerkrade dialect[26]sjuts[ʃɵts]'marksman'
Russian[27]тётя[ˈtʲɵtʲə]'aunt'Allophone of /o/ following a palatalized consonant. See Russian phonology
Tajik[28]кӯҳ[kʰɵːh]'mountain'Merges with /u/ in central and southern dialects.
West FrisianStandard[29][30]put[pɵt]'well'Typically transcribed in IPA with ø. See West Frisian phonology
Southwestern dialects[31]fuotten[ˈfɵtn̩]'feet'Corresponds to [wo] in other dialects.[31] See West Frisian phonology
XumiLower[32][RPʎ̟ɐtsɵ]'to filter tea'Typically transcribed in IPA with ʉ.[32]
Upper[33][Htɵ]'way to do things'Allophone of /o/ after alveolar consonants; may be realized as [o] or [ɤ] instead.[33]

Close-mid central compressed vowel

Close-mid central compressed vowel

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


  • 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.


SwedishCentral Standard[34]full[fø̈lː]'full'More often described as mid [ɵ̞ᵝ].[35][36] See Swedish phonology

See also


  1. While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. García, Fernando Álvarez-Balbuena (2015-09-01). "Na frontera del asturllionés y el gallegoportugués: descripción y exame horiométricu de la fala de Fernidiellu (Forniella, Llión). Parte primera: fonética". Revista de Filoloxía Asturiana. 14 (14). ISSN 2341-1147.
  3. Mokari & Werner (2016).
  4. van Heuven & Genet (2002).
  5. Verhoeven (2005), p. 245.
  6. Collins & Mees (1990:92–93)
  7. Collins & Mees (1990:92)
  8. Lass (2002), pp. 115-116.
  9. "Received Pronunciation Phonology". The British Library.
  10. Williams & Kerswill (1999), pp. 143 and 146.
  11. Bauer et al. (2007), pp. 98–99.
  12. "english speech services | Le FOOT vowel". Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  13. Fougeron & Smith (1993), p. 73.
  14. Lodge (2009), p. 84.
  15. Khan & Weise (2013), p. 237.
  16. Khan & Weise (2013), p. 236.
  17. François (2013), p. 207.
  18. Ó Sé (2000).
  19. Verhoeven (2007), p. 221.
  20. Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999), p. 159.
  21. Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998), p. 110.
  22. Peters (2006), p. 119.
  23. Iivonen & Harnud (2005), pp. 62, 66–67.
  24. Kristoffersen (2000), pp. 16–17, 33–35, 37, 343.
  25. Vanvik (1979), pp. 13, 20.
  26. Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997:16). The source describes this vowel as the same as the short u in Standard Dutch lucht, which is close-mid central [ɵ] (van Heuven & Genet (2002)).
  27. Jones & Ward (1969), pp. 62–63.
  28. Ido (2014), pp. 91–92.
  29. Sipma (1913), pp. 6, 8, 10.
  30. Tiersma (1999), p. 11.
  31. Hoekstra (2003:202), citing Hof (1933:14)
  32. Chirkova & Chen (2013), pp. 369–370.
  33. Chirkova, Chen & Kocjančič Antolík (2013), p. 389.
  34. Andersson (2002), p. 272.
  35. Engstrand (1999), p. 140.
  36. Rosenqvist (2007), p. 9.


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