Near-close central rounded vowel

Near-close central rounded vowel
IPA number 321 415
Entity (decimal) ʊ̈
Unicode (hex) U+028AU+0308
X-SAMPA U\ or }_o
Braille ⠷ (braille pattern dots-12356)⠈ (braille pattern dots-4)⠒ (braille pattern dots-25)

The near-close central rounded vowel, or near-high central rounded vowel, is a vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The International Phonetic Alphabet can represent this sound in a number of ways (see the box on the right), but the most common symbols are ʊ̈ (centralized [ʊ]) and ʉ̞ (lowered [ʉ]) for a protruded vowel, and ʏ̈ for a compressed vowel.

The third edition of the OED adopted an unofficial extension of the IPA, ᵿ, that is a conflation of ʊ and ʉ, and represents either [ʊ̈] or free variation between [ʊ] and [ə]. It is also used in a number of other publications, for example the well-known Accents of English written by John C. Wells, or the Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch,[1] one of the most popular pronunciation dictionaries for German.

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".

Near-close central protruded vowel

The near-close central protruded vowel is typically transcribed in IPA simply as ʊ̈ or ʉ̞. This article uses the first symbol. As there is no dedicated diacritic for protrusion in the IPA, symbol for the near-close central rounded vowel with an old diacritic for labialization,   ̫, can be used as an ad hoc symbol ʊ̫̈ or ʉ̫˕ for the near-close central protruded vowel. Another possible transcription is ʊ̈ʷ, ʉ̞ʷ, ɪ̈ʷ or ɨ̞ʷ (a near-close central vowel modified by endolabialization), but this could be misread as a diphthong.


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
Dutch Standard Belgian[2] hut [ɦʊ̈t] 'hut' Typically transcribed in IPA with ʏ or, more rarely, with ʉ, ɵ or œ. Also described as close-mid near-front [ø̠].[3] See Dutch phonology
Standard Netherlandic[4] fuut [ɦʊ̈t] 'grebe' Typically transcribed in IPA with y; also described as near-close near-front [ʏ].[5] See Dutch phonology
English Cockney[6] good [ɡʊ̈d] 'good' Only in some words, particularly good, otherwise realized as near-back [ʊ][6]
South African[7]
Younger, especially female speakers.[7] Other speakers have a less front vowel [ʊ]
Southeastern English[8] May be unrounded [ɪ̈] instead;[8] it corresponds to [ʊ] in other dialects. See English phonology
Ulster[9] Short allophone of /u/[9]
New Zealand[10][11] goose [ɡʊ̈ːs] 'goose' Possible realization of /ʉː/[10][11]
Irish Munster[12] giobal [ˈɟʊ̟bˠɰəɫ̪] 'rag' Slightly retracted;[12] allophone of /ʊ/ after a slender consonant.[12] See Irish phonology
Russian[13] ютиться [jʊ̈ˈtʲit̪͡s̪ə] 'to huddle' Occurs only between palatalized consonants and in unstressed syllables. See Russian phonology

Near-close central compressed vowel

Near-close central compressed vowel

As there is no official diacritic for compression in the IPA, the centering diacritic is used with the near-front rounded vowel [ʏ], which is normally compressed. Another possibility is ʏ̵, a centralized [ʏ] by analogy with the close central vowels, though this symbol may not display properly in all browsers. Other possible transcriptions are ɨ̞͡β̞ or ɪ̈͡β̞ (simultaneous [ɨ̞] or [ɪ̈] and labial compression) and ɨ̞ᵝ or ɪ̈ᵝ ([ɨ̞] or [ɪ̈] modified with labial compression).



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Norwegian Standard Eastern[14] gull [ɡʏ̈lː] 'gold' Somewhat fronted; can be transcribed in IPA with ʉ. See Norwegian phonology
Stavangersk[15] ond [ʏ̈nː] 'bad' See Norwegian phonology
Swedish[16] duell  [dʏ̈ˈɛ̝lː] 'duel' Unstressed allophone of /u/ in some environments;[17] can be transcribed in IPA with ʉ̞. See Swedish phonology


  1. Krech et al. (2009:171). The authors use that symbol to transcribe the vowel in Standard Eastern Norwegian that is otherwise normally transcribed as ʉ̞ or simply ʉ.
  2. Verhoeven (2005:245)
  3. Collins & Mees (2003:128)
  4. Gussenhoven (1992:47)
  5. Collins & Mees (2003:132)
  6. 1 2 Mott (2011:75)
  7. 1 2 Lass (2002:115-116)
  8. 1 2 Lodge (2009:174)
  9. 1 2 "Irish English and Ulster English" (PDF). p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 April 2014.
  10. 1 2 Bauer et al. (2007:98)
  11. 1 2 Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009)
  12. 1 2 3 Ó Sé (2000)
  13. Jones & Ward (1969:38)
  14. Vanvik (1979:13)
  15. Vanvik (1979:18)
  16. Riad (2014:28-29)
  17. Riad (2014:27)


  • 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 
  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2003), The Phonetics of English and Dutch, Fifth Revised Edition (PDF), ISBN 9004103406 
  • Jones, Daniel; Ward, Dennis (1969), The Phonetics of Russian, Cambridge University Press 
  • Krech, Eva Maria; Stock, Eberhard; Hirschfeld, Ursula; Anders, Lutz-Christian (2009), "7.3.10 Norwegisch", Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch, Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 978-3-11-018202-6 
  • Lass, Roger (2002), "South African English", in Mesthrie, Rajend, Language in South Africa, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521791052 
  • Lodge, Ken (2009), A Critical Introduction to Phonetics, Continuum International Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-8264-8873-2 
  • Mannell, Robert; Cox, Felicity; Harrington, Jonathan (2009), An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology, Macquarie University 
  • Mott, Brian (2011), "Traditional Cockney and Popular London Speech" (PDF), Dialectologia, 9: 69–94, ISSN 2013-2247 
  • Ó Sé, Diarmuid (2000), Gaeilge Chorca Dhuibhne (in Irish), Dublin: Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann, ISBN 0-946452-97-0 
  • Riad, Tomas (2014), The Phonology of Swedish, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-954357-1 
  • Vanvik, Arne (1979), Norsk fonetik, Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo, ISBN 82-990584-0-6 
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2005), "Belgian Standard Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 35 (2): 245, doi:10.1017/S0025100305002173 
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