Open-mid front rounded vowel

The open-mid front rounded vowel, or low-mid front rounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. Acoustically, it is an open-mid front-central rounded vowel.[2] The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the sound is ⟨œ⟩. The symbol œ is a lowercase ligature of the letters o and e. The sound ⟨ɶ⟩, a small capital version of the ⟨Œ⟩ ligature, is used for a distinct vowel sound: the open front rounded vowel.

Open-mid front rounded vowel
IPA number311
Entity (decimal)œ
Unicode (hex)U+0153
Braille⠪ (braille pattern dots-246)
Audio sample
source · help

Open-mid front compressed vowel

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


IPA: Vowels
Front Central Back

Paired vowels are: unrounded  rounded

  • Its vowel height is open-mid, also known as low-mid, which means the tongue is positioned halfway between an open vowel (a low vowel) and a mid vowel.
  • Its vowel backness is front, which means the tongue is positioned as far forward as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Note that rounded front vowels are often centralized, which means that often they are in fact near-front.
  • Its roundedness is compressed, which means that the margins of the lips are tense and drawn together in such a way that the inner surfaces are not exposed.


Note: Because front rounded vowels are assumed to have compression, and few descriptions cover the distinction, some of the following may actually have protrusion.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[3] Seil [sœː] 'rope' May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɶ⟩.[3]
Northern[4] I helfad [i ˈhœlʲfɐd̥] 'I'd help' Allophone of /ɛ/ before /l/.[4]
Breton All speakers[5] Short counterpart of /øː/.[6] May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ø⟩.
Bas-Léon[6] Long; contrasts with the short open-mid /œ/ and the long close-mid /øː/. Other speakers have only one mid front rounded vowel /øː/.[6]
Buwal[7] [kʷœ̄lɛ̄lɛ̄] 'fine' Allophone of /a/ when adjacent to a labialized consonant.[7]
Danish Standard[8][9] gøre [ˈɡ̊œːɐ] 'to do' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɶː⟩. Some speakers may have an additional [ɶ̝ː] allophone, in case of which the open-mid allophone is transcribed with ⟨œ̞ː⟩ and the near-open allophone is written ⟨ɶː⟩.[9] See Danish phonology
Dutch Standard[10][11] manoeuvre [maˈnœːvrə] 'manoeuvre' Occurs only in a few loanwords.[10][11] See Dutch phonology
Some speakers[12] parfum [pɑrˈfœ̃ː] 'perfume' Nasalized; occurs only in a few loanwords and it is used mainly in southern accents. Often nativized as [ʏm].[12] See Dutch phonology
The Hague dialect[13] uit [œːt] 'out' Corresponds to [œy] in standard Dutch.[14] See Dutch phonology
English General New Zealand[15][16] bird [bœːd] 'bird' May be mid [œ̝ː] instead. In broader varieties, it is close-mid or higher.[15][16][17] Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɵː⟩. See New Zealand English phonology
Scouse[18] Possible realization of the merged SQUARENURSE vowel /eː/.[18]
Southern Welsh[19] Also described as mid [œ̝ː][20] and close-mid [øː].[21][22]
General South African[23] go [ɡœː] 'go' Some speakers. Can be a diphthong of the type [œʉ̯]~[œɘ̯] instead. Other South African varieties do not monophthongize. See South African English phonology
Faroese[24] høgt [hœkt] 'high' See Faroese phonology
French[25][26] jeune [ʒœn] 'young' See French phonology
German Standard[27] Hölle [ˈhœlə] 'hell' See Standard German phonology
Western Swiss accents[28] schön [ʃœːn] 'beautiful' Close-mid [øː] in other accents.[29] See Standard German phonology
Limburgish Many dialects[30][31] mäö [mœː] 'sleeve' Central [ɞː] in Maastricht;[32] the example word is from the Hasselt dialect.
Low German[33] söss / zös [zœs] 'six'
Luxembourgish[34] Interieur [ˈɛ̃ːtəʀiœːʀ] 'interior' Occurs only in loanwords.[34] See Luxembourgish phonology
Saterland Frisian[35][36] bölkje [ˈbœlkjə] 'to rear'
West Frisian Hindeloopers[37] See West Frisian phonology
Súdwesthoeksk[37][38] skoalle [ˈskœlə] 'school'

Open-mid front protruded vowel

Open-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, such as Scandinavian languages, have protruded front vowels. One Scandinavian language, Swedish, even contrasts the two types of rounding in front vowels (see near-close 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 ⟨œʷ⟩ or ⟨ɛʷ⟩ (an open-mid front vowel modified by endolabialization), but it could be misread as a diphthong.

Acoustically, the sound is "between" the more typical compressed open-mid front vowel [œ] and the unrounded open-mid front vowel [ɛ].



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Norwegian[39][40] nøtt [nœ̫tː] 'nut' The example word is from Urban East Norwegian, in which the vowel has also been described as mid central [ɞ̝].[41] See Norwegian phonology
Swedish Central Standard[42][43][44] öra [²œ̫ːra̠]  'ear' Allophone of /œ/ and most often also /øː/ before /r/.[42][43][44] May be more open [ɶ, ɶː] for younger speakers from Stockholm.[44] See Swedish phonology
Younger Stockholm speakers[44] köpa [²ɕœ̫ːpa̠] 'to buy' Higher [øː] for other speakers. See Swedish phonology


  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ Geoff Lindsey (2013) The vowel space, Speech Talk
  3. ^ a b Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  4. ^ a b Rowley (1990), p. 422.
  5. ^ Ternes (1992), p. 433.
  6. ^ a b c Ternes (1992), pp. 431, 433.
  7. ^ a b Viljoen (2013), p. 50.
  8. ^ Grønnum (1998), p. 100.
  9. ^ a b Basbøll (2005:46): "Nina Grønnum uses two different symbols for the vowels in these and similar words: gøre she transcribes with (...) [œ] (narrow transcription), and grøn she transcribes with (...) [ɶ̝] (narrow transcription). Clearly, there is variation within Standard Danish on this point (...)."
  10. ^ a b Gussenhoven (1999), p. 76.
  11. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2003), p. 137.
  12. ^ a b van de Velde & van Hout (2002).
  13. ^ Collins & Mees (2003), p. 136.
  14. ^ Collins & Mees (2003), pp. 135–136.
  15. ^ a b Roca & Johnson (1999), p. 188.
  16. ^ a b Bauer & Warren (2004), pp. 582, 591.
  17. ^ Wells (1982), p. 607.
  18. ^ a b Gimson (2014), pp. 118, 138.
  19. ^ Penhallurick (2004), p. 104.
  20. ^ Wells (1982), p. 381.
  21. ^ Collins & Mees (1990), p. 95.
  22. ^ Connolly (1990), p. 125.
  23. ^ Lass (2002), p. 118.
  24. ^ Árnason (2011), pp. 68, 75.
  25. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993), p. 73.
  26. ^ Collins & Mees (2013), p. 225.
  27. ^ Hall (2003), pp. 97, 107.
  28. ^ Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 65.
  29. ^ Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), pp. 34, 65.
  30. ^ Peters (2006), p. 119.
  31. ^ Verhoeven (2007), p. 221.
  32. ^ Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999), p. 159.
  33. ^ Prehn (2012), p. 157.
  34. ^ a b Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 72.
  35. ^ Fort (2001), p. 411.
  36. ^ Peters (2017), p. ?.
  37. ^ a b van der Veen (2001), p. 102.
  38. ^ Hoekstra (2001), p. 83.
  39. ^ Vanvik (1979), pp. 13, 20.
  40. ^ Kvifte & Gude-Husken (2005), p. 2.
  41. ^ Kristoffersen (2000), pp. 16-17.
  42. ^ a b Eliasson (1986), p. 273.
  43. ^ a b Thorén & Petterson (1992), pp. 13–14.
  44. ^ a b c d Riad (2014), p. 38.


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  • Bauer, Laurie; Warren, Paul (2004), "New Zealand English: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 580–602, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
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  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2013) [First published 2003], Practical Phonetics and Phonology: A Resource Book for Students (3rd ed.), Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-50650-2
  • Connolly, John H. (1990), "Port Talbot English", in Coupland, Nikolas; Thomas, Alan Richard (eds.), English in Wales: Diversity, Conflict, and Change, Multilingual Matters Ltd., pp. 121–129, ISBN 1-85359-032-0
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  • Eliasson, Stig (1986), "Sandhi in Peninsular Scandinavian", in Anderson, Henning (ed.), Sandhi Phenomena in the Languages of Europe, Berlin: de Gruyter, pp. 271–300
  • Fort, Marron C. (2001), "36. Das Saterfriesische", in Munske, Horst Haider; Århammar, Hans (eds.), Handbook of Frisian studies, Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag GmbH, pp. 409–422, ISBN 3-484-73048-X
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L. (1993), "French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 23 (2): 73–76, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004874
  • Gilles, Peter; Trouvain, Jürgen (2013), "Luxembourgish" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (1): 67–74, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000278
  • 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 (1999), "Dutch", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 74–77, ISBN 0-521-65236-7
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos; Aarts, Flor (1999), "The dialect of Maastricht" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, University of Nijmegen, Centre for Language Studies, 29: 155–166, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006526
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  • Lass, Roger (2002), "South African English", in Mesthrie, Rajend (ed.), Language in South Africa, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521791052
  • Penhallurick, Robert (2004), "Welsh English: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 98–112, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
  • Peters, Jörg (2006), "The dialect of Hasselt", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 36 (1): 117–124, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002428
  • Peters, Jörg (2017), "Saterland Frisian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, doi:10.1017/S0025100317000226
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  • Riad, Tomas (2014), The Phonology of Swedish, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-954357-1
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External links

9 (disambiguation)

9 is a number, numeral, and glyph.

9 or nine may also refer to:

AD 9, the ninth year of the AD era

9 BC, the ninth year before the AD era

Cardinal vowels

Cardinal vowels are a set of reference vowels used by phoneticians in describing the sounds of languages. For instance, the vowel of the English word "feet" can be described with reference to cardinal vowel 1, [i], which is the cardinal vowel closest to it. It is often stated that to be able to use the cardinal vowel system effectively one must undergo training with an expert phonetician, working both on the recognition and the production of the vowels. Daniel Jones wrote "The values of cardinal vowels cannot be learnt from written descriptions; they should be learnt by oral instruction from a teacher who knows them".A cardinal vowel is a vowel sound produced when the tongue is in an extreme position, either front or back, high or low. The current system was systematised by Daniel Jones in the early 20th century, though the idea goes back to earlier phoneticians, notably Ellis and Bell.Cardinal vowels are not vowels of any particular language, but a measuring system. However, some languages contain vowel or vowels that are close to the cardinal vowel(s). An example of such language is Ngwe, which is spoken in Cameroon. It has been cited as a language with a vowel system that has 8 vowels which are rather similar to the 8 primary cardinal vowels (Ladefoged 1971:67).

Three of the cardinal vowels—[i], [ɑ] and [u]—have articulatory definitions. The vowel [i] is produced with the tongue as far forward and as high in the mouth as is possible (without producing friction), with spread lips. The vowel [u] is produced with the tongue as far back and as high in the mouth as is possible, with protruded lips. This sound can be approximated by adopting the posture to whistle a very low note, or to blow out a candle. And [ɑ] is produced with the tongue as low and as far back in the mouth as possible.

The other vowels are 'auditorily equidistant' between these three 'corner vowels', at four degrees of aperture or 'height': close (high tongue position), close-mid, open-mid, and open (low tongue position).

These degrees of aperture plus the front-back distinction define 8 reference points on a mixture of articulatory and auditory criteria. These eight vowels are known as the eight 'primary cardinal vowels', and vowels like these are common in the world's languages.

The lip positions can be reversed with the lip position for the corresponding vowel on the opposite side of the front-back dimension, so that e.g. Cardinal 1 can be produced with rounding somewhat similar to that of Cardinal 8 (though normally compressed rather than protruded); these are known as 'secondary cardinal vowels'. Sounds such as these are claimed to be less common in the world's languages. Other vowel sounds are also recognised on the vowel chart of the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Cyrillic alphabets

Numerous Cyrillic alphabets are based on the Cyrillic script. The early Cyrillic alphabet was developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 9th century AD at the Preslav Literary School by Saint Clement of Ohrid and Saint Naum and replaced the earlier Glagolitic script developed by the Byzantine theologians Cyril and Methodius. It is the basis of alphabets used in various languages, past and present, in parts of Southeastern Europe and Northern Eurasia, especially those of Slavic origin, and non-Slavic languages influenced by Russian. As of 2011, around 252 million people in Eurasia use it as the official alphabet for their national languages. About half of them are in Russia. Cyrillic is one of the most-used writing systems in the world.

Some of these are illustrated below; for others, and for more detail, see the links. Sounds are transcribed in the IPA. While these languages by and large have phonemic orthographies, there are occasional exceptions—for example, Russian ⟨г⟩ is pronounced /v/ in a number of words, an orthographic relic from when they were pronounced /ɡ/ (e.g. его yego 'him/his', is pronounced [jɪˈvo] rather than [jɪˈɡo]).

Spellings of names transliterated into the Roman alphabet may vary, especially й (y/j/i), but also (gh/g/h) and ж (zh/j).

Non-Slavic alphabets are generally modelled after Russian, but often bear striking differences, particularly when adapted for Caucasian languages. The first few of these alphabets were developed by Orthodox missionaries for the Finnic and Turkic peoples of Idel-Ural (Mari, Udmurt, Mordva, Chuvash, and Kerashen Tatars) in the 1870s. Later, such alphabets were created for some of the Siberian and Caucasus peoples who had recently converted to Christianity. In the 1930s, some of those languages were switched to the Uniform Turkic Alphabet. All of the peoples of the former Soviet Union who had been using an Arabic or other Asian script (Mongolian script etc.) also adopted Cyrillic alphabets, and during the Great Purge in the late 1930s, all of the Latin alphabets of the peoples of the Soviet Union were switched to Cyrillic as well (the Baltic Republics were annexed later, and were not affected by this change). The Abkhazian and Ossetian languages were switched to Georgian script, but after the death of Joseph Stalin, both also adopted Cyrillic. The last language to adopt Cyrillic was the Gagauz language, which had used Greek script before.

In Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, the use of Cyrillic to write local languages has often been a politically controversial issue since the collapse of the Soviet Union, as it evokes the era of Soviet rule and Russification. Some of Russia's peoples such as the Tatars have also tried to drop Cyrillic, but the move was halted under Russian law. A number of languages have switched from Cyrillic to other orthographies—either Roman‐based or returning to a former script.

Unlike the Latin script, which is usually adapted to different languages by adding diacritical marks/supplementary glyphs (such as accents, umlauts, fadas, tildes and cedillas) to standard Roman letters, the Cyrillic script is usually adapted by the creation of entirely new letter shapes. However, in some alphabets invented in the 19th century, such as Mari, Udmurt and Chuvash, umlauts and breves also were used.

Bulgarian and Bosnian Sephardim without Hebrew typefaces occasionally printed Judeo-Spanish in Cyrillic.

Front rounded vowel

A front rounded vowel is a particular type of vowel that is both front and rounded.

The front rounded vowels defined by the IPA include:

[y], a close front rounded vowel (or "high front rounded vowel")

[ʏ], a near-close front rounded vowel (or "near-high ...")

[ø], a close-mid front rounded vowel (or "high-mid ...")

[ø̞], a mid front rounded vowel

[œ], an open-mid front rounded vowel (or "low-mid ...")

[ɶ], an open front rounded vowel (or "low ...")Front rounded vowels are cross-linguistically relatively uncommon, but occur in a number of well-known languages, including French, German, Turkish and Chinese.

The high vowel [y] is the most common, while the low vowel [ɶ] is extremely rare. This is consistent with the general correlation between rounding and vowel height.

Language families in which front-rounded vowels are common are:

Sino-Tibetan languages (e.g. Standard Chinese, Standard Tibetan)

Various Indo-European languages:

Germanic languages

Gallo-Romance languages, a subset of the Romance languages (e.g. French, Occitan, Lombard)


Ancient Greek

Turkic languages (e.g. Turkish, Azerbaijani)

Mongolic languages

Uralic languages (e.g. Finnish, Hungarian)

List of Latin-script letters

This is a list of letters of the Latin script. The definition of a Latin-script letter for this list is a character encoded in the Unicode Standard that has a script property of 'Latin' and the general category of 'Letter'. An overview of the distribution of Latin-script letters in Unicode is given in Latin script in Unicode.

Mid front rounded vowel (disambiguation)

The International Phonetic Alphabet distinguishes three mid front rounded vowels:

The close-mid front rounded vowel [ø]

The mid front rounded vowel [ø̞] or [œ̝]

The open-mid front rounded vowel [œ]

Naming conventions of the International Phonetic Alphabet

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) requires specific names for the symbols and diacritics used in the alphabet.

It is often desirable to distinguish an IPA symbol from the sound it is intended to represent, since there is not a one-to-one correspondence between symbol and sound in broad transcription. The symbol's names and phonetic descriptions are described in the Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. The symbols also have nonce names in the Unicode standard. In some cases, the Unicode names and the IPA names do not agree. For example, IPA calls ɛ "epsilon", but Unicode calls it "small letter open E".

O with diaeresis (Cyrillic)

O with diaeresis (Ӧ ӧ; italics: Ӧ ӧ) is a letter of the Cyrillic script.

In all its forms it looks exactly like the Latin letter Ö (Ö ö Ö ö).

O with diaeresis is used in the alphabets of the Altay, Khakas, Komi, Kurdish, Mari, Shor and Udmurt languages.

Obsolete and nonstandard symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) possesses a variety of obsolete and nonstandard symbols. Throughout the history of the IPA, characters representing phonetic values have been modified or completely replaced. An example is ⟨ɷ⟩ for standard [ʊ]. Several symbols indicating secondary articulation have been dropped altogether, with the idea that such things should be indicated with diacritics: ʮ for z̩ʷ is one. In addition, the rare voiceless implosive series ƥ ƭ ƈ ƙ ʠ has been dropped.

Other characters have been added in for specific phonemes which do not possess a specific symbol in the IPA. Those studying modern Chinese phonology have used ⟨ɿ⟩ to represent the sound of -i in Pinyin hanzi which has been variously described as [ɨ], [ɹ̩], [z̩] or [ɯ]. (See the sections Vowels and Syllabic consonants of the article Standard Chinese phonology.)

There are also unsupported symbols from local traditions that find their way into publications that otherwise use the standard IPA. This is especially common with affricates such as ƛ, and many Americanist symbols.

While the IPA does not itself have a set of capital letters (the ones that look like capitals are actually small capitals), many languages have adopted symbols from the IPA as part of their orthographies, and in such cases they have invented capital variants of these. This is especially common in Africa. An example is Kabiyé of northern Togo, which has Ɔ Ɛ Ŋ Ɣ. Other pseudo-IPA capitals supported by Unicode are Ɓ/Ƃ Ƈ Ɗ/Ƌ Ə/Ǝ Ɠ Ħ Ɯ Ɲ Ɵ Ʃ (capital ʃ) Ʈ Ʊ Ʋ Ʒ. (See Case variants of IPA letters.)

Capital letters are also used as cover symbols in phonotactic descriptions: C=Consonant, V=Vowel, etc.

This list does not include commonplace extensions of the IPA, such as doubling a symbol for a greater degree of a feature ([aːː] extra-long [a], [ˈˈa] extra stress, [kʰʰ] strongly aspirated [k], and [a˞˞] extra-rhotic [a]), nor superscripting for a lesser degree of a feature ([ᵑɡ] slightly prenasalized [ɡ], [ᵗs] slightly affricated [s], and [ᵊ] epenthetic schwa). The asterisk, as in [k*] for the fortis stop of Korean, is the convention the IPA uses when it has no symbol for a phone or feature.

For symbols and values which were discarded by 1932, see History of the International Phonetic Alphabet.

The table below shows examples of expansion in the meaning of IPA symbols in broad transcription.

Open-mid vowel

An open-mid vowel (also mid-open vowel, low-mid vowel, mid-low vowel or half-open vowel) is any in a class of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of an open-mid vowel is that the tongue is positioned one third of the way from an open vowel to a close vowel.

Open front rounded vowel

The (near) open front rounded vowel, or (near) low front rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, not confirmed to be phonemic in any spoken languages. While traditionally characterized as a fully open (low) vowel, the rounded equivalent of [a], acoustically it is near-open (or near-low), the rounded equivalent of [æ]. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɶ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is &. The letter ⟨ɶ⟩ is a small caps rendition of ⟨Œ⟩. Note that ⟨œ⟩, the lowercase version of the ligature, is used for the open-mid front rounded vowel.

A phoneme generally transcribed by this symbol is reported from the Bavarian subdialect of Amstetten. However, phonetically it is open-mid, i.e. [œ].It occurs allophonically in Weert Limburgish as well as in some speakers of Danish and Swedish. In certain transcriptions of Danish ⟨ɶ⟩ is used to denote an open-mid front rounded vowel [œ].Riad (2014) reports that [ɶː] in Stockholm Swedish is sometimes difficult to distinguish from [ɒː] (which is the main realization of the /ɑː/ phoneme). He states that it is a sign that these vowels are phonetically very close.

SAMPA chart

The following show the typical symbols for consonants and vowels used in SAMPA, an ASCII-based system based on the International Phonetic Alphabet. Note that SAMPA is not a universal system as it varies from language to language.

Table of vowels

This table lists the vowel letters of the International Phonetic Alphabet.


The Extended Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet (X-SAMPA; , /%Eks"s{mp@/) is a variant of SAMPA developed in 1995 by John C. Wells, professor of phonetics at the University of London. It is designed to unify the individual language SAMPA alphabets, and extend SAMPA to cover the entire range of characters in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The result is a SAMPA-inspired remapping of the IPA into 7-bit ASCII.

SAMPA was devised as a hack to work around the inability of text encodings to represent IPA symbols. Later, as Unicode support for IPA symbols became more widespread, the necessity for a separate, computer-readable system for representing the IPA in ASCII decreased. However, X-SAMPA is still useful as the basis for an input method for true IPA.


Œ (minuscule: œ) is a Latin alphabet grapheme, a ligature of o and e. In medieval and early modern Latin, it was used to represent the Greek diphthong οι and in a few non-Greek words, usages that continue in English and French. In French, it is also used in some non-learned words, representing then mid-front rounded vowel-sounds, rather than sounding the same as é or è, those being its traditional French values in the words borrowed from or via Latin.

It is used in the modern orthography for Old West Norse and is used in the International Phonetic Alphabet to represent the open-mid front rounded vowel. In English runology, œ is used to transliterate the Runic letter odal ᛟ (Old English ēðel "estate, ancestral home").


Barred o (capital: Ɵ, lowercase: ɵ) is a letter in several Latin-script alphabets.

Historic examples include the Azerbaijani alphabet used between 1922 and 1933 and its successor, the Uniform Turkic Alphabet (including its versions like Jaꞑalif and the Azerbaijani alphabet used between 1933 and 1939), in which it represented the open-mid front rounded vowel [œ].

In many alphabets it was replaced by the Cyrillic letter Ө ө in 1939. In Azerbaijani, it was again replaced by the Latin letter Ö ö in 1991.

The Tatar Latin alphabet devised in the late 1990s by the Tatarstan authorities included the letter Ɵ ɵ. The letter is also part of the African reference alphabet.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, the lowercase [ɵ] represents the close-mid central rounded vowel.

The letter is not to be confused with the slashed zero, slashed O (Ø ø), the similar Latin letter Ꝋ ꝋ, the Cyrillic letter fita (Ѳ ѳ), or the Greek theta (Θ θ), despite their similar shapes.

Open-mid front rounded vowel (vector)
IPA topics

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