Open front rounded vowel

The (near) open front rounded vowel, or (near) low front rounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound, not confirmed to be phonemic in any spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɶ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is &. The letter ɶ is a small caps rendition of Œ. œ, the lowercase version of the ligature, is used for the open-mid front rounded vowel.

Open front rounded vowel
IPA Number312
Entity (decimal)ɶ
Unicode (hex)U+0276
Audio sample
source · help

While the IPA chart lists it as a fully open vowel, the rounded equivalent of [a], Ladefoged[2] characterizes in as near-open, the rounded equivalent of [æ].

A phoneme generally transcribed by this symbol is reported from the Bavarian subdialect of Amstetten. However, phonetically it is open-mid, i.e. [œ].[3]

It occurs allophonically in Weert Limburgish[4] as well as in some speakers of Danish[5] and Swedish.[6] In certain transcriptions of Danish ɶ is used to denote an open-mid front rounded vowel [œ].[5]

Riad (2014) reports that [ɶː] in Stockholm Swedish is sometimes difficult to distinguish from [ɒː] (which is the main realization of the /ɑː/ phoneme), which is a sign that these vowels are phonetically very close.[6]


  • Its vowel height is open, also known as low, which means the tongue is positioned far from the roof of the mouth – that is, low in the mouth.
  • 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. Rounded front vowels are often centralized, which means that often they are in fact near-front.
  • It is rounded, which means that the lips are rounded rather than spread or relaxed.


DanishSome speakers[5]grøn[ˈɡ̊ʁɶ̝nˀ]'green'Near-open;[7] allophone of /œ/ after /r/.[8] Other speakers pronounce it the same as [œ].[5] See Danish phonology
LimburgishWeert dialect[4]bùj[bɶj]'shower'Allophone of /œ/ before /j/.[4]
SwedishStockholm[6]öra[ˇɶːra̠]'ear'Pre-/r/ allophone of /øː/ (sometimes also /œ/) for younger speakers.[6] Open-mid [œː, œ] for other speakers.[6] 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. Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. p. 290. ISBN 978-0-631-19815-4.
  3. Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  4. Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998:110)
  5. Basbøll (2005:46)
  6. Riad (2014:38)
  7. Grønnum (1998:100)
  8. Grønnum (2005:288)


This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.