Close-mid front rounded vowel

Close-mid front rounded vowel
IPA number 310
Entity (decimal) ø
Unicode (hex) U+00F8
Kirshenbaum Y
Braille ⠳ (braille pattern dots-1256)
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The close-mid front rounded vowel, or high-mid front rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. Acoustically it is a close-mid front-central rounded vowel.[1] The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ø, a lowercase letter o with a diagonal stroke through it, borrowed from the Danish, Norwegian, and Faroese languages, where the letter sometimes represents this sound. The symbol is commonly referred to as "o, slash" in English.

The IPA prefers terms "close" and "open" for vowels, and the name of the article follows this. However, a large number of linguists, perhaps a majority, prefer the terms "high" and "low".

Close-mid front compressed vowel

The close-mid front compressed vowel is typically transcribed in IPA simply as ø, which is the convention used in this article. There is no dedicated diacritic for compression in the IPA. However, the compression of the lips can be shown with the letter β̞ as e͡β̞ (simultaneous [e] and labial compression) or eᵝ ([e] modified with labial compression). The spread-lip diacritic   ͍ may also be used with a rounded vowel letter ø͍ as an ad hoc symbol, but 'spread' technically means unrounded.


IPA vowel chart
Front Near-front Central Near-back Back
i  y
ɨ  ʉ
ɯ  u
ɪ  ʏ
ɪ̈  ʊ̈
ɯ̽  ʊ
e  ø
ɘ  ɵ
ɤ  o
ə  ɵ̞
ɛ  œ
ɜ  ɞ
ʌ  ɔ
ɐ  ɞ̞
a  ɶ
ä  ɒ̈
ɑ  ɒ
Paired vowels are: unrounded  rounded
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IPA help  IPA key  chart   chart with audio  view


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[2] Near-front.[2]
Chinese Shanghainese[3] 肝/koe [kø̠¹] 'liver' Near-front. Realization of /ø/ in open syllables and /ʏ/ in closed syllables.[3]
Danish Standard[4][5] købe [ˈkʰø̠ːb̥ə] 'buy' Near-front.[4][5] See Danish phonology
Dutch Standard[6][7] hut [ɦø̠t] 'hut' Near-front;[6][7] typically transcribed in IPA with ʏ or, more rarely, with ʉ, ɵ or œ. Also described as close-mid central [ɵ][8] and near-close central [ʊ̈].[9] See Dutch phonology
Many accents[10] neus [nø̠ːs] 'nose' Near-front; present in many Eastern and Southern varieties, including Standard Belgian (in which it has also been described as mid central [ɵ̞ː]).[9][11] In the Standard Netherlandic variety, it is diphthongized to [ø̠ʏ̯].[10][6] See Dutch phonology
English Broad South African[12] bird [bø̠ːd] 'bird' Near-front.[12][13] May be lower [ø̞̈ː] in South Africa.[12] In Cultivated South African English, it is realized as [əː].[12] See English phonology
General South African[12]
Estuary[14] book [bø̠ʔk] 'book' Near-front; possible realization of /ʊ/.[14] See English phonology
Faroese øl [øːl] 'beer' See Faroese phonology
French[15] peu [pø] 'few' See French phonology
Franco-Provençal filye [ˈføʎə] 'daughter'
German Standard[16][17] schön  [ʃø̠ːn]  'beautiful' Near-front;[16][17] also described as mid [ø̞̈].[18] See German phonology
Hungarian[19] nő [nø̠ː] 'woman' Near-front.[19] See Hungarian phonology
Limburgish Most dialects[20][21][22] beuk [bø̠ːk] 'books' Near-front.[20][21][22] The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Rural Weerts[23] keuke [ˈkøːkə] 'kitchen' Corresponds to /yə/ in the city dialect. The vowel transcribed /øː/ in the city dialect is actually a centering diphthong /øə/.[24]
Lombard Western coeur [køːr] 'heart' Also written ö, particularly in Switzerland and Italy.
Luxembourgish[25][26] blöd [bløːt] 'stupid' Occurs only in loanwords.[25][26] See Luxembourgish phonology
Ngwe Mmockngie dialect [nøɣə̀] 'sun'
Portuguese Micaelense[27] boi [ˈbø] 'ox' Allophone of /o/. See Portuguese phonology
Some European speakers[28] dou [ˈd̪øw] 'I give'
Rotuman mösʻạki [møːsʔɔki] 'to put to bed'
West Frisian Standard[29] put [pøt] 'well' Also described as central [ɵ];[30] typically transcribed in IPA with ø or ʏ. See West Frisian phonology
Hindeloopers[31] beuch [bøːx] Diphthongized to [øʏ̯] in Standard West Frisian.[31] See West Frisian phonology

Close-mid front protruded vowel

Close-mid front protruded vowel

Catford notes that most languages with rounded front and back vowels use distinct types of labialization, protruded back vowels and compressed front vowels. However, a few languages, such as Scandinavian ones, have protruded front vowels. One of these, Swedish, even contrasts the two types of rounding in front vowels (see near-close near-front rounded vowel, with Swedish examples of both types of rounding).

As there are no diacritics in the IPA to distinguish protruded and compressed rounding, an old diacritic for labialization,   ̫, will be used here as an ad hoc symbol for protruded front vowels. Another possible transcription is øʷ or (a close-mid front vowel modified by endolabialization), but this could be misread as a diphthong.

Acoustically, this sound is "between" the more typical compressed close-mid front vowel [ø] and the unrounded close-mid front vowel [e].



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Norwegian Standard Eastern[32][33] søt [sø̫ːt̻] 'sweet' Near-front;[32] also described as close-mid central [ɵː],[34] mid near-front [ø̽ː][35] and ranging from mid near-front [ø̽ː] to open-mid near-front [œ̠ː].[36] See Norwegian phonology
Swedish Central Standard[37] öl  [ø̫ːl̪]  'beer' Near-front;[38] may be diphthongized to [øə̯]. See Swedish phonology

See also


  1. Geoff Lindsey (2013) The vowel space, Speech Talk
  2. 1 2 Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  3. 1 2 Chen & Gussenhoven (2015:328).
  4. 1 2 Grønnum (1998), p. 100.
  5. 1 2 Ladefoged & Johnson (2010), p. 227.
  6. 1 2 3 Gussenhoven (1992), p. 47.
  7. 1 2 Collins & Mees (2003), p. 128.
  8. Rietveld & Van Heuven (2009), p. 69.
  9. 1 2 Verhoeven (2005), p. 245.
  10. 1 2 Collins & Mees (2003), pp. 133–134.
  11. Collins & Mees (2003), pp. 133–135.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 Lass (2002), p. 116.
  13. 1 2 Watt & Allen (2003), pp. 268–269.
  14. 1 2 Altendorf & Watt (2004), pp. 188, 191–192.
  15. Fougeron & Smith (1993), p. 73.
  16. 1 2 Kohler (1999), p. 87.
  17. 1 2 Lodge (2009), p. 87.
  18. Mangold (2005), p. 37.
  19. 1 2 Szende (1994), p. 92.
  20. 1 2 Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999), p. 159.
  21. 1 2 Peters (2006), p. 119.
  22. 1 2 Verhoeven (2007), p. 221.
  23. Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998), p. 107.
  24. Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998), pp. 107, 109.
  25. 1 2 Trouvain & Gilles (2009), p. 75.
  26. 1 2 Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 72.
  27. Variação Linguística no Português Europeu: O Caso do Português dos Açores (Portuguese)
  28. Lista das marcas dialetais e outros fenómenos de variação (fonética e fonológica) identificados nas amostras do Arquivo Dialetal do CLUP (Portuguese)
  29. Tiersma (1999), p. 10.
  30. Sipma (1913), p. 10.
  31. 1 2 van der Veen (2001), p. 102.
  32. 1 2 Vanvik (1979), p. 13.
  33. While Vanvik (1979) does not describe the exact type of rounding of this vowel, some other sources (e.g. Haugen (1974:40) and Popperwell (2010:35)) state explicitly that it is protruded.
  34. Kristoffersen (2000), pp. 16–17, 33–35, 37, 343.
  35. Popperwell (2010), pp. 16, 35.
  36. Strandskogen (1979), p. 23.
  37. Engstrand (1999), pp. 140-141.
  38. Engstrand (1999), p. 140.


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