Open back rounded vowel
|Open back rounded vowel|
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The open back rounded vowel, or low back rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. Acoustically, it is a near-open or near-low back rounded vowel. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɒ⟩. It is called "turned script a", being a rotated version of "script (cursive) a", which is the variant of a that lacks the extra stroke on top of a "printed a". Turned script a ⟨ɒ⟩ has its linear stroke on the left, whereas "script a" ⟨ɑ⟩ (for its unrounded counterpart) has its linear stroke on the right.
A well-rounded [ɒ] is rare, but it is found in some varieties of English. In most languages with this vowel, such as English and Persian, the rounding of [ɒ] is slight, and in English at least, it is sulcal or "grooved". However, Assamese has an "over-rounded" [ɒ̹], with rounding as strong as that for [u].
According to the phonetician Geoff Lindsey, ⟨ɒ⟩ may be an entirely superfluous IPA symbol, as the sound it represents is far too similar to the open-mid back rounded vowel [ɔ], which makes it unlikely that any language would contrast these two vowels phonemically. He also writes that the contemporary Standard Southern British (SSB) accent lacks [ɒ], having replaced it with the more common [ɔ] (a realization that is also found in e.g. Australia, New Zealand and Scotland), and advocates for transcribing this vowel with the symbol ⟨ɔ⟩ in SSB.
This is not to be understood as /ɒ/ having the same quality as /ɔː/ (which Lindsey transcribes with ⟨oː⟩), as the latter vowel is true-mid [ɔ̝ː] in SSB, a pronunciation that was established decades ago. Lindsey also says that more open variants of /ɒ/ used formerly in SSB are satisfyingly represented by the symbols [ɔ̞] and [ɑ] in narrow phonetic transcription, and ⟨ɔ⟩ in phonemic/broad phonetic transcription. According to him, the endless repetition of the symbol ⟨ɒ⟩ in publications on BrE has given this vowel a familiarity out of all proportion to its scarcity in the world’s languages.
The IPA prefers terms "close" and "open" for vowels, as does the name of the article. However, a large number of linguists, perhaps a majority, prefer the terms "high" and "low".
|IPA vowel chart|
|Paired vowels are: unrounded • rounded|
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- Its vowel height is open, also known as low, which means the tongue is positioned as far as possible from the roof of the mouth – that is, as low as possible in the mouth.
- Its vowel backness is back, which means the tongue is positioned as far back as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Note that unrounded back vowels tend to be centralized, which means that often they are in fact near-back.
- It is rounded, which means that the lips are rounded rather than spread or relaxed.
|Afrikaans||Former Transvaal Province||daar||[dɒːr]||'there'||Higher [ɔː] for a very small number of speakers. It is unrounded [ɑː] in standard Afrikaans. See Afrikaans phonology|
|Assyrian Neo-Aramaic||χwara||[χwɒːra]||'white'||May be realised as [ɑ] in some speakers. Corresponds to [ɔ] in the Urmian dialect.|
|Catalan||Majorcan||soc||[ˈsɒk]||'clog'||Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔ⟩. See Catalan phonology|
|Some Valencian speakers||taula||[ˈt̪ɑ̟wɫɒ̝]||'table'||Can be realized as unrounded [ɑ].|
|Danish||Standard||ånd||[ɒ̜̽nˀ]||'spirit'||Weakly rounded near-open near-back vowel. Most often transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌ⟩. The vowel transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɒ⟩ has been described variously as near-open [ɒ̝] and open-mid [ɔ]. See Danish phonology|
|Dutch||Belgian||maar||[mɒːr]||'but'||Some dialects. Corresponds to [äː] in standard Dutch. See Dutch phonology|
|Leiden||bad||[bɒ̝t]||'bath'||Near-open fully back; may be unrounded [ɑ̝] instead. It corresponds to [ɑ] in standard Dutch.|
|Some dialects||bot||[bɒt]||'bone'||Some non-Randstad dialects, for example those of Den Bosch and Groningen. It is open-mid [ɔ] in standard Dutch.|
|Dutch Low Saxon||Gronings||op||[ɒp]||'up'||Pronounced [ɔ~o] in other dialects.|
|Some dialects||taol||[tɒːɫ]||'language'||Higher [ɔː] in other dialects.|
|English||Received Pronunciation||not||[nɒt]||'not'||Somewhat raised. Younger RP speakers may pronounce a closer vowel [ɔ]. See English phonology|
|Northern English||May be somewhat raised and fronted.|
|South African||[nɒ̜̈t]||Near-back; weakly rounded. Some younger speakers of the General variety may actually have a higher and fully unrounded vowel [ʌ̈].|
|General American||thought||[θɒt]||'thought'||Present in accents without the cot–caught merger. May be as high as [ɔː].|
|Inland Northern American||See Northern cities vowel shift|
|Indian||/ɒ/ and /ɔː/ differ entirely by length in Indian English.|
|Welsh||Open-mid in Cardiff; may merge with /oː/ in northern dialects.|
|French||Quebec||lézard||[lezɒːʁ]||'lizard'||Allophone of /ɑ/. See Quebec French phonology|
|German||Northern Bernese||grad||[ˈɡ̊rɒd̥]||'just now'||May be as high as [ɔ]. See Bernese German phonology|
|Zurich dialect||mane||[ˈmɒːnə]||'remind'||Allophone of /ɒ/, in free variation with [ɑ].|
|Hungarian||Standard||magyar||[ˈmɒ̜̽ɟɒ̜̽r]||'Hungarian'||Somewhat fronted and raised, with only slight rounding; sometimes transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔ⟩. Unrounded [ɑ] in some dialects. See Hungarian phonology|
|Ibibio||[dɒ̝́]||'marry'||Near-open; typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔ⟩.|
|Irish||Ulster||ólann||[ɒ̝ːɫ̪ən̪ˠ]||'(he) drinks'||Near-open; may be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔː⟩.|
|Korean||Jeju||서울/Seoul||[sʰɒ.ul]||'Seoul'||See Korean phonology|
|Lehali||dön̄||[ⁿdɒ̝ŋ]||'yam'||Raised vowel, being the back rounded counterpart of /æ/ in a symmetrical vowel inventory.|
|Lemerig||‘ān̄sār||[ʔɒ̝ŋsɒ̝r]||'person'||Raised vowel, being the back rounded counterpart of /æ/ in a symmetrical vowel inventory.|
|Limburgish||Maastrichtian||plaots||[plɒ̝ːts]||'place'||Near-open fully back; typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔː⟩. Corresponds to [ɔː] in other dialects.|
|Norwegian||Dialects along the Swedish border||hat||[hɒ̜ːt]||'hate'||Weakly rounded and fully back. See Norwegian phonology|
|Standard Eastern||topp||[t̻ʰɒ̽pː]||'top'||Mid-centralized, typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔ⟩. Also described as [ɔ̟] and [ɔ]. See Norwegian phonology|
|Limousin||Some northern dialects|
|Persian||آب||[ɒːb]||'water'||See Persian phonology|
|Romanian||Istro-Romanian||cap||[kɒp]||'head'||Corresponds to [ä] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology|
|Slovak||Some speakers||a||[ɒ]||'and'||Under Hungarian influence, some speakers realize the short /a/ as rounded. See Slovak phonology|
|Swedish||Central Standard||jаg||[jɒ̝ːɡ]||'I'||Near-open fully back weakly rounded vowel. Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɑː⟩. See Swedish phonology|
|Gothenburg||[jɒːɡ]||More rounded than in Central Standard Swedish.|
|Western Desert||Martu Wangka||waŋka||[wɒŋɡɑ]||'talk'|
|Yoruba||Most often transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔ⟩.|
- Geoff Lindsey (2013) The vowel space, Speech Talk
- Cox (2012:159)
- Horvath (2004:628)
- Hay, Maclagan & Gordon (2008:21). Note that some sources (e.g. Bauer et al. (2007:98)) describe it as more central [ɞ] than back.
- Geoff Lindsey (2012) Morgen — a suitable case for treatment, Speech Talk
- Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006:7)
- Gimson (2014:128–129)
- Wells (1982a:293). According to this source, open-mid [ɔː] was the standard pronunciation in the 1930s.
- Donaldson (1993), p. 6.
- Donaldson (1993), pp. 6–7.
- Recasens (1996:81 and 130–131)
- Rafel (1999:14)
- Saborit (2009:25–26)
- Grønnum (1998:100)
- Basbøll (2005:47)
- Collins & Mees (2003:131)
- Collins & Mees (2003:132)
- Roach (2004:242)
- Lodge (2009:163)
- Watson (2007:357)
- Watt & Allen (2003:268)
- Lass (2002:115)
- Wells (1982b:476)
- W. Labov, S. Ash and C. Boberg (1997), A national map of the regional dialects of American English, Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, retrieved May 27, 2013
- Sailaja (2009:24–25)
- Connolly (1990:125)
- Tench (1990:135)
- Fleischer & Schmid (2006), p. 248.
- Szende (1994:92)
- Vago (1980:1)
- Urua (2004:106)
- Ní Chasaide (1999:114)
- Ní Chasaide (1999)
- François (2011):194.
- François (2011):195, 208.
- Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999:158–159)
- Popperwell (2010:23)
- Vanvik (1979:13)
- Pop (1938), p. 29.
- Kráľ (1988:54)
- Engstrand (1999:140–141)
- Riad (2014:35–36)
- "Vastesi Language - Vastesi in the World". Vastesi in the World. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
- Bamgboṣe (1969:166)
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- Basbøll, Hans (2005), The Phonology of Danish, ISBN 0-203-97876-5
- 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
- Connolly, John H. (1990), "Port Talbot English", in Coupland, Nikolas; Thomas, Alan Richard, English in Wales: Diversity, Conflict, and Change, Multilingual Matters Ltd., pp. 121–129, ISBN 1-85359-032-0
- Cox, Felicity (2012), Australian English Pronunciation and Transcription, New York: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-14589-3
- Donaldson, Bruce C. (1993), "1. Pronunciation", A Grammar of Afrikaans, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 1–35, ISBN 9783110134261
- Engstrand, Olle (1999), "Swedish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the usage of the International Phonetic Alphabet., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 140–142, ISBN 0-521-63751-1
- Fleischer, Jürg; Schmid, Stephan (2006), "Zurich German" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 36 (2): 243–253, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002441
- François, Alexandre (2011), "Social ecology and language history in the northern Vanuatu linkage: A tale of divergence and convergence", Journal of Historical Linguistics, 1 (2): 175–246, doi:10.1075/jhl.1.2.03fra
- Gimson, Alfred Charles (2014), Cruttenden, Alan, ed., Gimson's Pronunciation of English (8th ed.), Routledge, ISBN 9781444183092
- Grønnum, Nina (1998), "Illustrations of the IPA: Danish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 28 (1 & 2): 99–105, doi:10.1017/s0025100300006290
- Gussenhoven, Carlos; Aarts, Flor (1999), "The dialect of Maastricht" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, University of Nijmegen, Centre for Language Studies, 29 (2): 155–166, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006526
- Hay, Jennifer; Maclagan, Margaret; Gordon, Elizabeth (2008), New Zealand English, Dialects of English, Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 978-0-7486-2529-1
- Horvath, Barbara M. (2004), "Australian English: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive, A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 625–644, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
- Kráľ, Ábel (1988), Pravidlá slovenskej výslovnosti, Bratislava: Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo
- 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
- Pop, Sever (1938), Micul Atlas Linguistic Român, Muzeul Limbii Române Cluj
- Ní Chasaide, Ailbhe (1999), "Irish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 111–16, ISBN 0-521-63751-1
- Popperwell, Ronald G. (2010) [First published 1963], Pronunciation of Norwegian, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-15742-1
- Rafel, Joaquim (1999), Aplicació al català dels principis de transcripció de l'Associació Fonètica Internacional (PDF) (3rd ed.), Barcelona: Institut d'Estudis Catalans, ISBN 84-7283-446-8
- Recasens, Daniel (1996), Fonètica descriptiva del català: assaig de caracterització de la pronúncia del vocalisme i el consonantisme català al segle XX (2nd ed.), Barcelona: Institut d'Estudis Catalans, ISBN 978-84-7283-312-8
- Riad, Tomas (2014), The Phonology of Swedish, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-954357-1
- Roach, Peter (2004), "British English: Received Pronunciation", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (2): 239–245, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001768
- Sailaja, Pingali (2009), Indian English, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd, pp. 17–38, ISBN 978 0 7486 2594 9
- Scobbie, James M.; Gordeeva, Olga B.; Matthews, Benjamin (2006), Acquisition of Scottish English Phonology: an overview, Edinburgh: QMU Speech Science Research Centre Working Papers
- Szende, Tamás (1994), "Hungarian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 24 (2): 91–94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005090
- Tench, Paul (1990), "The Pronunciation of English in Abercrave", in Coupland, Nikolas; Thomas, Alan Richard, English in Wales: Diversity, Conflict, and Change, Multilingual Matters Ltd., pp. 130–141, ISBN 1-85359-032-0
- Urua, Eno-Abasi E. (2004), "Ibibio", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (1): 105–109, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001550
- Vago, Robert M. (1980), The Sound Pattern of Hungarian, Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press
- Vanvik, Arne (1979), Norsk fonetik, Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo, ISBN 82-990584-0-6
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