Close back unrounded vowel

Not to be confused with the Armenian letter ա or the Cyrillic letter ш.
Close back unrounded vowel
IPA number 316
Entity (decimal) ɯ
Unicode (hex) U+026F
Kirshenbaum u-
Braille ⠲ (braille pattern dots-256)⠥ (braille pattern dots-136)
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The close back unrounded vowel, or high back unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. Acoustically it is a close back-central unrounded vowel.[1] 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". It is not to be confused with , a sequence of the symbols u and ɪ (which represent the close back rounded vowel and the near-close near-front unrounded vowel, respectively), which may look very similar in some fonts.

Essentially, this sound is an ordinary French/Spanish/Italian [u] (as in Spanish nunca) pronounced with unrounded lips.

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


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
This table contains phonetic symbols, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]

IPA help  IPA key  chart   chart with audio  view


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Acehnese[2] eu [ɯ] 'see' Also described as closer to [ɨ].[3][4]
Alekano hanuva [hɑnɯβɑ] 'nothing'
Azeri qırx [gɯɾx] 'forty'
Bashkir ҡыҙ [qɯð] 'girl'
Chinese Hokkien Amoy dialects [tɯ] 'pig'
Some Wu dialects [vɯ] 'father'
Xiang [xɯ] 'fire'
Crimean Tatar canım [dʒanɯm] 'please'
English California[5] goose [ɡɯ̟ˑs] 'goose' Near-back;[5] corresponds to [] in other dialects.
South African[6] pill [pʰɯ̟ɫ] 'pill' Near-back; possible allophone of /ɪ/ before the velarised allophone of /l/.[6] Also described as close-mid [ɤ̟].[7]
Estonian[8] kõrv [kɯrv] 'ear' Typically transcribed in IPA with ɤ; can be mid central [ə] or mid back [ɤ̞] instead, depending on the speaker.[8] See Estonian phonology
Garifuna gürûgua [ɡɯˈɹɯɡwə] 'bite'
IrishUlster caol [kʰɯːl̪ˠ] 'narrow' See Irish phonology
Kensiu[9] [häjɯ̟p] 'to know' Near-back.[9]
Korean[10] 음식/飲食 eumsik [ɯːmɕik̚] 'food' See Korean phonology
Kyrgyz кыз [qɯz] 'girl' See Kyrgyz phonology
Ongota [kuˈbuːɯ] 'dry'
Scottish Gaelic caol [kʰɯːl̪ˠ] 'thin' See Scottish Gaelic phonology
Shipibo[11] [ˈkɯ̟ni̞] 'whisker' Near-back.[11]
Sundanese meunang [mɯnaŋ] 'get'
Thai[12] ขึ้น[13] [kʰɯ̟n˥˩] 'to go up' Near-back.[14]
Turkish[15][16] sığ  [sɯ̟ː] 'shallow' Near-back.[15] See Turkish phonology
Turkmen ýaşyl [jäːˈʃɯl] 'green'
Tuvan Кызыл [kɯˈzɯl] 'Kyzyl'
Vietnamese tư [tɯ] 'fourth' See Vietnamese phonology
Xumi Upper[17] [Hkɯ] 'to bake' Allophone of /ʉ/ after velar consonants.[17]
Yakut тыл [tɯl] 'tongue'

The symbol ɯ is sometimes used for Japanese /u/, but that sound is rounded, albeit with labial compression rather than protrusion. It is more accurately described as an exolabial close back vowel.

See also



This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/26/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.