Open-mid central rounded vowel

Open-mid central rounded vowel
IPA number 395
Entity (decimal) ɞ
Unicode (hex) U+025E
Kirshenbaum O"
Braille ⠦ (braille pattern dots-236)⠜ (braille pattern dots-345)
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The open-mid central rounded vowel, or low-mid central rounded vowel, is a vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɞ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is 3\. The symbol is called closed reversed epsilon. It was added to the IPA in 1993; before that, this vowel was transcribed ɔ̈.

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".

Due to either typographic or design error, IPA charts were published with this vowel transcribed as a closed epsilon, ʚ, and this graphic variant made its way into Unicode as U+029A ʚ LATIN SMALL LETTER CLOSED OPEN E. The form ɞ (U+025E ɞ LATIN SMALL LETTER CLOSED REVERSED OPEN E) is considered correct.


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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Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
English Irish[1] but [bɞθ̠] 'but' Corresponds to [ʌ] in other varieties. See English phonology
New Zealand[2] not [nɞʔt] 'not' Possible realization of /ɒ/.[2]
German Standard[3] Parfum [pʰäʁˈfɞ̃ː] 'perfume' Nasalized, somewhat fronted and lowered.[3] Most often transcribed in IPA with œ̃ː. Present only in loanwords. See German phonology
Icelandic[4][5][6] öld [ɞl̪t̪] 'age' Most often transcribed in IPA with œ. Often diphthongized to [ɵɞ] when long. See Icelandic phonology
Irish tomhail [tɞːlʲ] 'consume' (imp.) See Irish phonology
Navajo[7]tsosts’id [tsʰɞstsʼɪt]'seven' See Navajo phonology
Northern Tiwa Taos dialect [ʔãˌtʃʊt̚ːˈʔuɞnbɑ] 'his-garment-around' Allophone of /ɑ/. See Taos phonology
Norwegian Stavangersk[8] topp [tʰɞpː] 'top' See Norwegian phonology
Poitevin o doune [ɞ dun] 'he gives'
Somali keenaysaa [keːnɞjsɑː] 'she brings' See Somali phonology
West Frisian Southwestern dialects[9] boare [bɞːrə] 'tomcat' Corresponds to [wa] in other dialects.[9] See West Frisian phonology


  1. Wells (1982:422)
  2. 1 2 Bauer et al. (2007:98)
  3. 1 2 Mangold (2005:37)
  4. Einarsson (1945:10), cited in Gussmann (2011:73)
  5. Haugen (1958:65)
  6. "Icelandic Phonetic Transcription.PDF - ptg_ice.pdf" (PDF). Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  7. McDonough, Ladefoged & George (1993). Note that the authors gave a narrow transcription of [ɵ], though at the time the IPA had only this one symbol for a mid central rounded vowel, and it is clear from the discussion and formant charts that this vowel a centralized open-mid vowel.
  8. Vanvik (1979:17)
  9. 1 2 Hoekstra (2003:202), citing Hof (1933:14)


  • Árnason, Kristján (2011), The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-922931-4 
  • 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 
  • Einarsson, Stefán (1945), Icelandic. Grammar texts glossary., Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, ISBN 978-0801863578 
  • Gussmann, Edmund (2011). "Getting your head around: the vowel system of Modern Icelandic" (PDF). Folia Scandinavica Posnaniensia. 12: 71–90. ISBN 978-83-232-2296-5. 
  • Haugen, Einar (1958). "The Phonemics of Modern Icelandic". Language. 34 (1): 55–88. doi:10.2307/411276. JSTOR 411276. 
  • Hoekstra, Jarich (2003), "Frisian. Standardization in progress of a language in decay", Germanic Standardizations. Past to Present (PDF), 18, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 193–209, ISBN 978-90-272-1856-8 
  • Hof, Jan Jelles (1933), Friesche Dialectgeographie (PDF), The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff 
  • Mangold, Max (2005), Das Aussprachewörterbuch, Duden, ISBN 978-3411040667 
  • McDonough, Joyce; Ladefoged, Peter; George, Helen (1993), "Navajo Vowels and Phonetic Universal Tendencies", UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics, Fieldwork Studies of Targeted Languages, 84: 143–150 
  • Vanvik, Arne (1979), Norsk fonetik, Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo, ISBN 82-990584-0-6 
  • Wells, John C. (1982), Accents of English, II: The British Isles, Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-28541-0 
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