World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Close central rounded vowel

Article Id: WHEBN0000597163
Reproduction Date:

Title: Close central rounded vowel  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Close front rounded vowel, International Phonetic Alphabet chart for English dialects, Close central unrounded vowel, Table of vowels, Close back rounded vowel
Collection: Vowels
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Close central rounded vowel

Close central rounded vowel
IPA number 318
Entity (decimal) ʉ
Unicode (hex) U+0289
Kirshenbaum u"
Braille ⠴ (braille pattern dots-356) ⠥ (braille pattern dots-136)

The close central rounded vowel, or high central rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ʉ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is }. Both the symbol and the sound are commonly referred to as "barred u".

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".

In most languages this rounded vowel is pronounced with protruded lips (endolabial). However, in a few cases the lips are compressed (exolabial).

There is also a near-close central rounded vowel in some languages.


  • Close central protruded vowel 1
    • Features 1.1
    • Occurrence 1.2
  • Close central compressed vowel 2
    • Features 2.1
    • Occurrence 2.2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Bibliography 5

Close central protruded vowel


IPA vowel chart
Front Near-​front Central Near-​back Back
Paired vowels are: unrounded • rounded
This table contains phonetic symbols, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]

 •  • chart •  chart with audio •
  • Its vowel height is close, also known as high, which means the tongue is positioned as close as possible to the roof of the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.
  • Its vowel backness is central, which means the tongue is positioned halfway between a front vowel and a back vowel.
  • Its roundedness is protruded, which means that the corners of the lips are drawn together, and the inner surfaces exposed.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Armenian Some Eastern dialects[1] յուղ [jʉʁ] 'oil' Allophone of /u/ after /j/
Berber Ayt Seghrouchen[2] ? [lːæjˈɡːʉɾ] 'he goes' Allophone of /u/ after velar consonants.
English Australian[3] choose [t͡ʃʉːz] 'choose' In Australian English it's fronted [ʉ̟ː]. In Cockney and Estuary English it's often a diphthong [ʊʉ̯~əʉ̯]. In Scotland and the Scouse accent it can be more front, while in Geordie it can be more back. The exact length also varies between dialects. See Australian English phonology and English phonology
Central Eastern American[4]
Modern RP speakers[7]
New Zealand[8]
Some speakers of Geordie[12]
South African[13]
Southern American[14]
Ulster[15] Long allophone of /u/.[15] See English phonology
German Chemnitz dialect[16] Buden [ˈpʉːtn̩] 'booths' See Chemnitz dialect phonology
Irish Munster[17] ciúin [cʉ̠ːnʲ] 'quiet' Somewhat retracted;[17] allophone of /u/ between slender consonants.[17] See Irish phonology
Ulster[18] úllaí [ʉ̠ɫ̪i] 'apples' Somewhat retracted;[18] may be transcribed /u/.[19]
Russian[20] кюрий [ˈkʲʉrʲɪj] 'curium' Allophone of /u/ between palatalized consonants. See Russian phonology

Close central compressed vowel

Close central compressed vowel

As there is no official diacritic for compression in the IPA, the centering diacritic is used with the front rounded vowel [y], which is normally compressed. Another possibility is ɏ, a centralized [y] by analogy with the other close central vowels. Other possible transcriptions are ɨ͡β̞ (simultaneous [ɨ] and labial compression) and ɨᵝ ([ɨ] modified with labial compression[21]).


  • Its vowel height is close, also known as high, which means the tongue is positioned as close as possible to the roof of the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.
  • Its vowel backness is central, which means the tongue is positioned halfway between a front vowel and a back vowel.
  • 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.


This vowel is typically transcribed with ʉ. It also occurs in some dialects of Swedish, but see also close front compressed vowel. The close back vowels of Norwegian and Swedish are also compressed. See close back compressed vowel. Medumba has a compressed central vowel [ɨᵝ] where the corners of the mouth are not drawn together.[22]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Norwegian[23] hus [hÿːs] 'house' See Norwegian phonology
Swedish ful [fÿːl] 'ugly' See Swedish phonology

See also


  1. ^ Dum-Tragut (2009:14)
  2. ^ Abdel-Massih (1971:20)
  3. ^ Harrington, Cox & Evans (1997)
  4. ^ "North American English Dialects" (PDF). p. 12. 
  5. ^ Matthews (1938:78)
  6. ^ Przedlacka (2001:42)
  7. ^ "Received Pronunciation Phonology". 
  8. ^ Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009)
  9. ^ Lodge (2009:168)
  10. ^ Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006:7)
  11. ^ Watson (2007:357)
  12. ^ Watt & Allen (2003:269)
  13. ^ Lass (2002:116)
  14. ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006:?)
  15. ^ a b "Irish English and Ulster English" (PDF). p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 April 2014. 
  16. ^ Khan & Weise (2013:236)
  17. ^ a b c Ó Sé (2000)
  18. ^ a b Ní Chasaide (1999:114)
  19. ^ Ní Chasaide (1999)
  20. ^ Jones & Ward (1969:67–68)
  21. ^ e.g. in Flemming (2002) Auditory representations in phonology, p. 83.
  22. ^ [2]
  23. ^ Kristoffersen (2000:15)


  • Abdel-Massih, Ernest T. (1971), A Reference Grammar of Tamazight, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan 
  • Dum-Tragut, Jasmine (2009), Armenian: Modern Eastern Armenian, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company 
  • Harrington, J.; Cox, F.; Evans, Z. (1997), "An acoustic phonetic study of broad, general, and cultivated Australian English vowels" (PDF), Australian Journal of Linguistics 17: 155–184,  
  • Jones, Daniel; Ward, Dennis (1969), The Phonetics of Russian, Cambridge University Press 
  • Khan, Sameer ud Dowla; Weise, Constanze (2013), "Upper Saxon (Chemnitz dialect)" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association 43 (2): 231–241,  
  • Lass, Roger (2002), "South African English", in Mesthrie, Rajend, Language in South Africa, Cambridge University Press,  
  • Lodge, Ken (2009), A Critical Introduction to Phonetics,  
  • Mannell, R.; Cox, F.; Harrington, J. (2009), An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology, Macquarie University 
  • Matthews, William (1938), Cockney, Past and Present: a Short History of the Dialect of London, Detroit: Gale Research Company 
  • Ní Chasaide, Ailbhe (1999), "Irish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 111–16,  
  • Ó Sé, Diarmuid (2000), Gaeilge Chorca Dhuibhne (in Gaeilge), Dublin: Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann,  
  • Przedlacka, Joanna (2001), "Estuary English and RP: Some Recent Findings", Studia Anglica Posnaniensia 36: 35–50 
  • Scobbie, James M; Gordeeva, Olga B.; Matthews, Benjamin (2006). "Acquisition of Scottish English Phonology: an overview". Edinburgh: QMU Speech Science Research Centre Working Papers. 
  • Watson, Kevin (2007), "Liverpool English" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association 37 (3): 351–360,  
  • Watt, Dominic; Allen, William (2003), "Tyneside English", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (2): 267–271,  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.