Close back unrounded vowel

The close back unrounded vowel, or high back unrounded 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 ɯ. Typographically a turned letter m, given its relation to the sound represented by the letter u it can be considered a u with an extra "bowl".

Close back unrounded vowel
ɯ
IPA Number316
Encoding
Entity (decimal)ɯ
Unicode (hex)U+026F
X-SAMPAM
Braille
Audio sample
source · help

Features

  • Its vowel height is close, also known as high, which means the tongue is positioned close to the roof of the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.
  • Its vowel backness is back, which means the tongue is positioned back in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Unrounded back vowels tend to be centralized, which means that often they are in fact near-back.
  • It is unrounded, which means that the lips are not rounded.

Occurrence

LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
Acehnese[2]eu[ɯ]'see'Also described as closer to [ɨ].[3][4]
Bashkirҡыҙ[qɯð]'girl'
ChineseHokkien Amoy dialects[tɯ]'pig'
Some Wu dialects[vɯ]'father'
Xiang[xɯ]'fire'
Crimean Tatarcanım[dʒanɯm]'please'
EnglishAfrican-American[5]hook[hɯ̞k]'hook'Near-close; possible realization of /ʊ/.[5]
Tidewater[6]Near-close; may be rounded [ʊ] instead.[6]
California[7]goose[ɡɯˑs]'goose'Corresponds to [] in other dialects.
New Zealand[8][9]treacle[ˈtɹ̝̊iːkɯ]'treacle'Possible realization of the unstressed vowel /ɯ/, which is variable in rounding and ranges from central to (more often) back and close to close-mid.[8][9] Corresponds to /əl/ in other accents. Develops from dark L; See New Zealand English phonology
Some Philadelphia speakers[10]plus[pɫ̥ɯs]'plus'Used particularly by male speakers; the exact height and backness is variable.[10] It corresponds to [ʌ] in other accents. See English phonology
South African[11]pill[pʰɯ̞ɫ]'pill'Near-close; possible allophone of /ɪ/ before the velarised allophone of /l/.[11] See South African English phonology
Estonian[12]kõrv[kɯrv]'ear'Typically transcribed in IPA with ɤ; can be close-mid central [ɘ] or close-mid back [ɤ] instead, depending on the speaker.[12] See Estonian phonology
IrishUlstercaol[kʰɯːl̪ˠ]'narrow'See Irish phonology
Japanese[13]空気 / kūki[kɯːki]'air'May be compressed [ɯᵝ].[14] See Japanese phonology
Korean[15]음식/飮食 eumsik[ɯːmɕik̚]'food'See Korean phonology
Kurdish[16][17][16][17] Kurmanji (Northern) dims [dɯms] 'molasses' Allophone of [ɨ] in Palewani and [ɪ] in Sorani and Kurmanji. See Kurdish phonology
Sorani (Central) دیمس
Palewani (Southern)
Kyrgyzкыз[qɯz]'girl'See Kyrgyz phonology
PortugueseEuropean[18]pegar[pɯ̞ˈɣäɾ]'to hold'Reduced vowel. Near-close.[18] Typically transcibred in IPA with ɨ or ə. See Portuguese phonology
Scottish Gaeliccaol[kʰɯːl̪ˠ]'thin'See Scottish Gaelic phonology
Tamil அழகு [əɻəgɯ] 'beauty'
Thai[19]ขึ้น[kʰɯn˥˩]'to go up'
Turkish[20]sığ[sɯː]'shallow'Described variously as close back [ɯ],[20] near-close near-back [ɯ̞][21] and close central [ɨ].[22] See Turkish phonology
Turkmenýaşyl[jäːˈʃɯl]'green'
Uyghurتىلىم[tɯlɯm]'my language'In complementary distribution with /ɪ/. See Uyghur phonology
Vietnamesetư[tɯ]'fourth'See Vietnamese phonology

See also

Notes

  1. While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. Mid-vowels in Acehnese Archived 2010-07-14 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Agreement System in Acehnese" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-07-30. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  4. Acehnese Coda Condition
  5. Wells (1982), p. 557.
  6. Wells (1982), p. 536.
  7. Ladefoged (1999), pp. 42–43.
  8. "NZE Phonology" (PDF). Victoria University of Wellington. p. 3.
  9. Bauer & Warren (2004), p. 585.
  10. Gordon (2004), p. 290.
  11. Bowerman (2004), p. 936.
  12. Asu & Teras (2009), p. 369.
  13. Labrune (2012), p. 25.
  14. Okada (1999), p. 118.
  15. Lee (1999), p. 122.
  16. Khan & Lescot (1970), pp. 8-16.
  17. Thackston (2006a), p. 1.
  18. Cruz-Ferreira (1995), p. 91.
  19. Tingsabadh & Abramson (1993), p. 24.
  20. Göksel & Kerslake (2005:10)
  21. Kılıç & Öğüt (2004)
  22. Zimmer & Organ (1999:155)

References

  • Asu, Eva Liina; Teras, Pire (2009). "Estonian". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 39 (3): 367–372. doi:10.1017/s002510030999017x.
  • Bauer, Laurie; Warren, Paul (2004), "New Zealand English: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 580–602, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
  • Bowerman, Sean (2004), "White South African English: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 931–942, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
  • Ladefoged, Peter (1999), "American English", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 41–44
  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 25 (2): 90–94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005223
  • Göksel, Asli; Kerslake, Celia (2005), Turkish: a comprehensive grammar (PDF), Routledge, ISBN 978-0415114943, archived from the original (PDF) on 26 November 2014
  • Gordon, Matthew J. (2004), "New York, Philadelphia, and other northern cities: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 282–299, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
  • International Phonetic Association (1999), Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-65236-7
  • Labrune, Laurence (2012), The Phonology of Japanese, Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-954583-4
  • Ladefoged, Peter (1999), "American English", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 41–44
  • Lee, Hyun Bok (1999), "Korean", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the Use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge University Press, pp. 120–123, ISBN 0-521-63751-1
  • Okada, Hideo (1999), "Japanese", in International Phonetic Association (ed.), Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the Use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge University Press, pp. 117–119, ISBN 978-0-52163751-0
  • Tingsabadh, M.R. Kalaya; Abramson, Arthur S. (1993). "Thai". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 23 (1): 24–26. doi:10.1017/S0025100300004746.
  • Wells, John C. (1982). Accents of English. Volume 3: Beyond the British Isles (pp. i–xx, 467–674). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-52128541-0.
  • Zimmer, Karl; Orgun, Orhan (1999), "Turkish" (PDF), Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 154–158, ISBN 0-521-65236-7
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