Open-mid front unrounded vowel

The open-mid front unrounded vowel, or low-mid front 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 a Latinized variant of the Greek lowercase epsilon, ɛ.

Open-mid front unrounded vowel
ɛ
IPA Number303
Encoding
Entity (decimal)ɛ
Unicode (hex)U+025B
X-SAMPAE
Braille
Audio sample
source · help

Features

  • Its vowel backness is front, which means the tongue is positioned forward in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.
  • It is unrounded, which means that the lips are not rounded.

Occurrence

LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
Arabic See Imāla
ArmenianEastern[2]էջ[ɛd͡ʒ]'page'
BavarianAmstetten dialect[3]May be transcribed in IPA with æ.[3]
Bengali[4][ɛk]'one'See Bengali phonology
Bulgarian[5]пет[pɛt̪]'five'See Bulgarian phonology
Burmese[6][mɛ]'mother'
Catalan[7]mel[mɛɫ]'honey'See Catalan phonology
Chinese Mandarin[8] / tiān [tʰi̯ɛn˥] 'sky' Height varies between mid and open depending on the speaker. See Standard Chinese phonology
Czech[9][10]led[lɛt]'ice'In Bohemian Czech, this vowel varies between open-mid front [ɛ], open-mid near-front [ɛ̠] and mid near-front [ɛ̝̈].[9] See Czech phonology
DanishStandard[11][12]frisk[ˈfʁɛsɡ̊]'fresh'Most often transcribed in IPA with æ. See Danish phonology
DutchStandard[13]bed[bɛt] 'bed'See Dutch phonology
The Hague[14]jij[jɛ̞ː] 'you'Corresponds to [ɛi] in standard Dutch.
EnglishGeneral American[15]bed[bɛd] 'bed'
Northern England[16]May be somewhat lowered.[16]
Received Pronunciation[17][18]Older RP speakers pronounce a closer vowel []. See English phonology
Scottish[19]
Cockney[20]fat[fɛt]'fat'
Singaporean[21]
New Zealand[22]See New Zealand English phonology
Some Broad
South African speakers[23]
Other speakers realize this vowel as [æ] or [a]. See South African English phonology
Belfast[24]days[dɛːz]'days'Pronounced [iə] in closed syllables; corresponds to [eɪ] in RP.
Zulu[25]mate[mɛt]'mate'Speakers exhibit a met-mate merger.
Faroese[26]frekt[fɹɛʰkt]'greedy'See Faroese phonology
French[27][28]bête[bɛt̪] 'beast'See French phonology
Galicianferro[ˈfɛro̝]'iron'See Galician phonology
Georgian[29]გედი[ɡɛdi]'swan'
GermanStandard[30][31]Bett[b̥ɛt] 'bed'Also described as mid [ɛ̝].[32] See Standard German phonology
Franconian accent[33]oder[ˈoːdɛ]'or'Used instead of [ɐ].[33] See Standard German phonology
Coastal Northern accents[33]
Swabian accent[34]fett[fɛt]'fat'Contrasts with the close-mid [e].[34] See Standard German phonology
Western Swiss accents[35]See[z̥ɛː]'lake'Close-mid [] in other accents; contrasts with the near-open [æː].[36] See Standard German phonology
Italian[37]bene[ˈbɛːne] 'good'See Italian phonology
Kaingang[38]mbre[ˈᵐbɾɛ]'with'
Korean매미 / maemi[mɛːmi]'cicada'See Korean phonology
Kurdish Kurmanji (Northern) hevde [hɛvdɛ] 'seventeen' See Kurdish phonology
Sorani (Central) هه‌ڤده [hɛvdæ]
Palewani (Southern) [hɛvda]
Limburgish[39][40][41]crème[kʀ̝ɛːm]'cream'The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Lower Sorbian[42]serp[s̪ɛrp]'sickle'
Luxembourgish[43]Stär[ʃtɛːɐ̯]'star'Allophone of /eː/ before /ʀ/.[43] See Luxembourgish phonology
Macedonian[44][45]Standardмед[ˈmɛd̪]'honey'See Macedonian language § Vowels
NorwegianSognamål[46]pest[pʰɛst]'plagueSee Norwegian phonology
Polish[47]ten[t̪ɛn̪] 'this one' (nom. m.)See Polish phonology
PortugueseMost dialects[48][49]meleca[me̞ˈl̪ɛ̞kə]'goo'Stressed vowel might be lower [æ]. The presence and use of other unstressed ⟨e⟩ allophones, such as [ e ɪ i ɨ], varies according to dialect.
Some speakers[50]tempo[ˈt̪ɛ̃mpu]'time'Timbre differences for nasalized vowels are mainly kept in European Portuguese. See Portuguese phonology
RomanianTransylvanian dialects[51]vede[ˈvɛɟe]'(he) sees'Corresponds to mid [] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Russian[52]это[ˈɛt̪ə] 'this'See Russian phonology
Shiwiar[53]Allophone of /a/.
Slovenemet[mɛ́t]'throw' (n.)See Slovene phonology
SpanishEastern Andalusian[54]las madres[læ̞ː ˈmæ̞ːð̞ɾɛː]'the mothers'Corresponds to [] in other dialects, but in these dialects they're distinct. See Spanish phonology
Murcian[54]
Swahili shule [ʃulɛ] 'school'
SwedishCentral Standard[55]ät[ɛ̠ːt̪]'eat' (imp.)Somewhat retracted.[55] See Swedish phonology
Turkish[56][57]ülke[y̠l̠ˈcɛ]'country'Allophone of /e/ described variously as "word-final"[56] and "occurring in final open syllable of a phrase".[57] See Turkish phonology
Twi ɛyɛ 'it is good/fine' See Twi phonology
Ukrainian[58]день[dɛnʲ]'day'See Ukrainian phonology
Upper Sorbian[42][59]čelo[ˈt͡ʃɛlɔ]'calf'See Upper Sorbian phonology
West Frisian[60]beppe[ˈbɛpə]'grandma'See West Frisian phonology
Yoruba[61]sẹ̀[ɛ̄sɛ]'leg'

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. Dum-Tragut (2009), p. 13.
  3. Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  4. Khan (2010), p. 222.
  5. Ternes & Vladimirova-Buhtz (1999), p. 56.
  6. Watkins (2001), pp. 292–293.
  7. Carbonell & Llisterri (1992), p. 54.
  8. Lin (2007), p. 65.
  9. Dankovičová (1999), p. 72.
  10. Šimáčková, Podlipský & Chládková (2012), p. 228.
  11. Grønnum (1998), p. 100.
  12. Basbøll (2005), p. 45.
  13. Gussenhoven (1992), p. 47.
  14. Collins & Mees (2003), p. 136.
  15. Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009a).
  16. Lodge (2009), p. 163.
  17. Schmitt (2007), pp. 322–323.
  18. "Received Pronunciation". British Library. Retrieved 2013-05-26.
  19. Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006), p. 7.
  20. Hughes & Trudgill (1979), p. 35.
  21. Bet Hashim & Brown (2000).
  22. Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009b).
  23. Lanham (1967), p. 9.
  24. "Week 18 (ii). Northern Ireland" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-05-26.
  25. "Rodrik Wade, MA Thesis, Ch 4: Structural characteristics of Zulu English". Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-17.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  26. Árnason (2011), pp. 68, 75.
  27. Fougeron & Smith (1993), p. 73.
  28. Collins & Mees (2013), p. 225.
  29. Shosted & Chikovani (2006), pp. 261–262.
  30. Hall (2003), pp. 82, 107.
  31. Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 34.
  32. Kohler (1999), p. 87.
  33. Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 40.
  34. Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 64.
  35. Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 65.
  36. Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), pp. 34, 65.
  37. Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004), p. 119.
  38. Jolkesky (2009), pp. 676–677, 682.
  39. Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999), p. 159.
  40. Peters (2006), p. 119.
  41. Verhoeven (2007), p. 221.
  42. Stone (2002), p. 600.
  43. Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 70.
  44. Friedman (2001:10)
  45. Lunt (1952:10–11)
  46. Haugen (2004), p. 30.
  47. Jassem (2003), p. 105.
  48. Cruz-Ferreira (1995), p. 91.
  49. Variação inter- e intra-dialetal no português brasileiro: um problema para a teoria fonológica – Seung-Hwa LEE & Marco A. de Oliveira Archived 2014-12-15 at the Wayback Machine
  50. Lista das marcas dialetais e ouros fenómenos de variação (fonética e fonológica) identificados nas amostras do Arquivo Dialetal do CLUP
  51. Pop (1938), p. 29.
  52. Jones & Ward (1969), p. 41.
  53. Fast Mowitz (1975), p. 2.
  54. Zamora Vicente (1967), p. ?.
  55. Engstrand (1999), p. 140.
  56. Göksel & Kerslake (2005), p. 10.
  57. Zimmer & Organ (1999), p. 155.
  58. Danyenko & Vakulenko (1995), p. 4.
  59. Šewc-Schuster (1984), p. 20.
  60. Tiersma (1999), p. 10.
  61. Bamgboṣe (1969), p. 166.

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