Open-mid central rounded vowel

The open-mid central rounded vowel, or low-mid central rounded vowel,[1] is a vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɞ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is 3\. The symbol is called closed reversed epsilon. It was added to the IPA in 1993; before that, this vowel was transcribed ɔ̈.

Open-mid central rounded vowel
IPA Number395
Entity (decimal)ɞ
Unicode (hex)U+025E
Audio sample
source · help

Due to either typographic or design error, IPA charts were published with this vowel transcribed as a closed epsilon, ʚ, and this graphic variant made its way into Unicode as U+029A ʚ LATIN SMALL LETTER CLOSED OPEN E. The form ɞ (U+025E ɞ LATIN SMALL LETTER CLOSED REVERSED OPEN E) is considered correct.


  • It is rounded, which means that the lips are rounded rather than spread or relaxed.


AfrikaansStandard[2]lug[lɞχ]'air'Also been described as mid [ɞ̝], typically transcribed in IPA with œ. Many speakers merge /œ/ with /ə/, even in formal speech.[3] See Afrikaans phonology
EnglishIrish[4]but[bɞθ̠]'but'Corresponds to [ʌ] in other varieties. See English phonology
New Zealand[5]not[nɞʔt]'not'Possible realization of /ɒ/.[5] See New Zealand English phonology
Irishtomhail[tɞːlʲ]'consume' (imp.)See Irish phonology
LimburgishMaastrichtian[6]väöl[vɞːl]'much'Front [œː] in other dialects.[7][8] Typically transcribed in IPA with œː.
Navajo[9]tsosts’id[tsʰɞstsʼɪt]'seven'See Navajo phonology
Northern TiwaTaos dialectącut'uonbo[ʔãˌtʃʊt̚ːˈʔuɞnbɑ]'his-garment-around'Allophone of /ɑ/. See Taos phonology
NorwegianStavangersk[10]topp[tʰɞpː]'top'See Norwegian phonology
Poitevino doune[ɞ dun]'he gives'
Somalikeenaysaa[keːnɞjsɑː]'she brings'See Somali phonology
West FrisianSouthwestern dialects[11]boare[ˈbɞːrə]'tomcat'Corresponds to [wa] in other dialects.[11] See West Frisian phonology


  1. While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. Wissing (2012), p. 711.
  3. Wissing (2016), section "The rounded and unrounded mid-central vowels".
  4. Wells (1982), p. 422.
  5. Bauer et al. (2007), p. 98.
  6. Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999), p. 159.
  7. Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998), p. 110.
  8. Peters (2006), p. 119.
  9. McDonough, Ladefoged & George (1993). The authors gave a narrow transcription of [ɵ], though at the time the IPA had only this one symbol for a mid central rounded vowel, and it is clear from the discussion and formant charts that this vowel a centralized open-mid vowel.
  10. Vanvik (1979), p. 17.
  11. Hoekstra (2003:202), citing Hof (1933:14)


  • Bauer, Laurie; Warren, Paul; Bardsley, Dianne; Kennedy, Marianna; Major, George (2007), "New Zealand English", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (1): 97–102, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002830
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos; Aarts, Flor (1999), "The dialect of Maastricht" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, University of Nijmegen, Centre for Language Studies, 29: 155–166, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006526
  • Heijmans, Linda; Gussenhoven, Carlos (1998), "The Dutch dialect of Weert" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 28: 107–112, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006307
  • Hoekstra, Jarich (2003), "Frisian. Standardization in progress of a language in decay", Germanic Standardizations. Past to Present (PDF), 18, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 193–209, ISBN 978-90-272-1856-8
  • Hof, Jan Jelles (1933), Friesche Dialectgeographie (PDF), The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-07
  • McDonough, Joyce; Ladefoged, Peter; George, Helen (1993), "Navajo Vowels and Phonetic Universal Tendencies", UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics, Fieldwork Studies of Targeted Languages, 84: 143–150
  • Peters, Jörg (2006), "The dialect of Hasselt", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 36 (1): 117–124, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002428
  • Vanvik, Arne (1979), Norsk fonetikk, Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo, ISBN 82-990584-0-6
  • Wells, John C. (1982), Accents of English, II: The British Isles, Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-28541-0
  • Wissing, Daan (2012), "Integrasie van artikulatoriese en akoestiese eienskappe van vokale: 'n beskrywingsraamwerk", LitNet Akademies (in Afrikaans), Stellenbosch: LitNet, 9 (2): 701–743, ISSN 1995-5928, archived from the original on 15 April 2017, retrieved 16 April 2017
  • Wissing, Daan (2016). "Afrikaans phonology – segment inventory". Taalportaal. Archived from the original on 15 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
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