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Near-close near-front rounded vowel

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Title: Near-close near-front rounded vowel  
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Subject: Sandnes-mål, Close front rounded vowel, Close-mid central rounded vowel, Table of vowels, Near-close near-back vowel
Collection: Vowels
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Near-close near-front rounded vowel

Near-close near-front rounded vowel
IPA number 320
Entity (decimal) ʏ
Unicode (hex) U+028F
Kirshenbaum I.
Braille ⠔ (braille pattern dots-35) ⠽ (braille pattern dots-13456)

The near-close near-front rounded vowel, or near-high near-front 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 ʏ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is Y.

The IPA prefers terms "close" and "open" for vowels, though many linguists prefer the terms "high" and "low".

In most languages this rounded vowel is pronounced with compressed lips (in an exolabial manner). However, in a few cases the lips are protruded (in an endolabial manner). This is the case with Swedish, which contrasts the two types of rounding.


  • Near-close near-front compressed vowel 1
    • Features 1.1
    • Occurrence 1.2
  • Near-close near-front protruded vowel 2
    • Features 2.1
    • Occurrence 2.2
  • References 3
  • Bibliography 4

Near-close near-front compressed 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 •


Note: Since 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
Armenian Western գիւղ [kʰʏʁ] 'village'
Chinese Wu /tseu [tsœʏ˩˧] 'walk' Occurs only in some dialects such as Ningbo dialect and Suzhou dialect
Dutch Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect[1] rug [rʏç] 'back' See Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect phonology
Standard[2] fuut [fʏt] 'grebe' Also described as central [ʉ̞][3] and close [ÿ].[4] See Dutch phonology
English Southern England[5] book [bʏk] 'book' Some dialects.[5] Corresponds to /ʊ/ in other English dialects. See English phonology
Ulster[6] mule [mjʏl] 'mule' Short allophone of /u/; occurs only after /j/.[6] See English phonology
Faroese krúss [kɹʏsː] 'mug'
French Quebec lune [lʏn] 'moon' Allophone of /y/ in closed syllables. See Quebec French phonology
German Southern Bernese Corresponds to [œi̯] in the city of Bern. See Bernese German phonology
Standard[7] schützen [ˈʃʏt͡sn̩] 'protect' May be somewhat lowered.[8] See German phonology
Limburgish Hamont dialect[9] bul [bʏl¹] 'a paper bag' May be transcribed /y/.[9] See Hamont dialect phonology
Weert dialect[10] Allophone of /øə/ before nasals.[10]
Lori tü [tʏ] 'you'
Portuguese Azorean[11] figura [fiˈɣʏ̝ɾə] 'figure' Stressed vowel, fronting of original /u/ in some dialects. Raised, i.e. fully close. See Portuguese phonology
Peninsular[12] tudo [ˈt̪ʏ̝ðu] 'all'
Ripuarian Colognian üch [ʏɧ] See Colognian phonology
Kerkrade dialect[13] kümme [ˈkʏmə] Realized as fully close [y] in the word-final position.[13]
Swedish Central Standard[14] ut     'out' May be central [ʉː] in other dialects. See Swedish phonology

Dutch short u is often transcribed as /ʏ/, but it is actually a central vowel, close-mid [ɵ] in the Netherlands,[3][15] and near-close [ʊ̈] in Belgium.[4]

Similarly, Icelandic u is often transcribed as /ʏ/, but it is actually close-mid central [ɵ].[16][17][18]

Near-close near-front protruded vowel

Near-close near-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 languages, such as Scandinavian ones, have protruded front vowels. One of these, Swedish, even contrasts the two types of rounding in front vowels (together with height and duration).[19]

As there are no diacritics in the IPA to distinguish protruded and compressed rounding, old diacritic for labialization, ◌̫, will be used here as an ad hoc symbol for protruded front vowels. Another possible transcription is ʏʷ or ɪʷ (a near-close near-front vowel modified by endolabialization), but this could be misread as a diphthong.



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Norwegian Standard Eastern[20] nytt [nʏ̫tː] 'new' Described variously as near-front[21] and front.[22] See Norwegian phonology
Swedish Central Standard[14] ylle     'wool' See Swedish phonology


  1. ^ Peters (2010:241)
  2. ^ Collins & Mees (2003:132)
  3. ^ a b Gussenhoven (1992:47)
  4. ^ a b Verhoeven (2005:245)
  5. ^ a b Altendorf & Watt (2004:188, 191–192)
  6. ^ a b "Irish English and Ulster English" (PDF). p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Kohler (1999:87), Mangold (2005:37)
  8. ^ Kohler (1999:87)
  9. ^ a b Verhoeven (2007), p. 221.
  10. ^ a b Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998), p. 110.
  11. ^ Variação Linguística no Português Europeu: O Caso do Português dos Açores (Portuguese)
  12. ^ Portuguese: A Linguistic Introduction – by Milton M. Azevedo Page 186.
  13. ^ a b Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997:16)
  14. ^ a b Engstrand (1999:140)
  15. ^ Rietveld & Van Heuven (2009:68)
  16. ^ Árnason (2011:60)
  17. ^ Einarsson (1945:10), cited in Gussmann (2011:73)
  18. ^ Haugen (1958:65)
  19. ^  
  20. ^ Vanvik (1979:13 and 20)
  21. ^ Strandskogen (1979:15 and 23)
  22. ^ Vanvik (1979:13)


  • Altendorf, Ulrike; Watt, Dominik (2004), "The dialects in the South of England: 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. 181–196,  
  • Árnason, Kristján (2011), The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese, Oxford University Press,  
  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2003), The Phonetics of English and Dutch, Fifth Revised Edition (PDF),  
  • Einarsson, Stefán (1945), Icelandic. Grammar texts glossary., Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press,  
  • 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,  
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos (1992), "Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (2): 45–47,  
  • Gussmann, Edmund (2011). "Getting your head around: the vowel system of Modern Icelandic" (PDF). Folia Scandinavica Posnaniensia 12: 71–90.  
  • Heijmans, Linda; Gussenhoven, Carlos (1998), "The Dutch dialect of Weert" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association 28: 107–112,  
  • Kohler, Klaus J. (1999), "German", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 86–89,  
  • Mangold, Max (2005), Das Aussprachewörterbuch, Duden,  
  • Peters, Jörg (2010), "The Flemish–Brabant dialect of Orsmaal–Gussenhoven", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 40 (2): 239–246,  
  • Rietveld, A.C.M.; Van Heuven, V.J. (2009), Algemene Fonetiek, Uitgeverij Coutinho 
  • Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (1997) [1987], Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer (2nd ed.), Kerkrade: Stichting Kirchröadsjer Dieksiejoneer,  
  • Strandskogen, Åse-Berit (1979), Norsk fonetikk for utlendinger, Oslo: Gyldendal,  
  • Vanvik, Arne (1979), Norsk fonetik, Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo,  
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2005), "Belgian Standard Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35 (2): 243–247,  
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2007), "The Belgian Limburg dialect of Hamont", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 37 (2): 219–225,  
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