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Open front rounded vowel

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Title: Open front rounded vowel  
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Subject: Swedish phonology, Open vowel, Front vowel, Mid central vowel, Near-close central unrounded vowel
Collection: Vowels
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Open front rounded vowel

Open front rounded vowel
IPA number 312
Entity (decimal) ɶ
Unicode (hex) U+0276
Kirshenbaum a.
Braille ⠔ (braille pattern dots-35) ⠪ (braille pattern dots-246)

The open front rounded vowel, or low front rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, not confirmed to be phonemic in any spoken languages. 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.

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".

Riad (2014) reports that [ɶː] in Stockholm Swedish is sometimes difficult to distinguish from [ɒː]. He states that it is "a sign that these vowels are phonetically very close".[1]


  • Features 1
  • Occurrence 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Bibliography 5


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 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 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.
  • It's rounded, which means that the lips are rounded rather than spread or relaxed.


A phoneme generally transcribed by this symbol is reported from the Amstetten dialect of Austro-Bavarian German. However, phonetically it is open-mid, i.e. [œ].[2]

It occurs allophonically in Danish, Weert Limburgish and some speakers of Swedish.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Danish Standard[3][4][5] børn [ˈb̥ɶ̽ɐ̯n] 'children' Near-open near-front;[3][4][5] allophone of /ø(ː)/ and /œ(ː)/ after /ʁ/, sometimes also before it. May vary between near-open and open-mid.[6] See Danish phonology
Limburgish Weert dialect[7] bùj [bɶj] 'shower' Allophone of /œ/ before /j/.[7]
Swedish Stockholm[1] öra [ˈɶ̂ːˈrâ] 'ear' Pre-/r/ allophone of /œ/ and (more often) /øː/ for younger speakers.[1] Open-mid [œ, œː] for other speakers.[1] See Swedish phonology

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Riad (2014:38)
  2. ^ Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  3. ^ a b Grønnum (1998:100)
  4. ^ a b Grønnum (2005:268)
  5. ^ a b Grønnum (2003)
  6. ^ Basbøll (2005:46): "Nina Grønnum uses two different symbols for the vowels in these and similar words: gøre she transcribes with [œ̞] (semi-narrow transcription) and [œ] (narrow transcription), and grøn she transcribes with [ɶ] (semi-narrow transcription) and [ɶ̝] (narrow transcription). Clearly, there is variation within Standard Danish on this point, cf. the end of the present s. 2.2."
  7. ^ a b Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998:110)


  • Grønnum, Nina (1998), "Danish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 28 (1–2): 99–105,  
  • Grønnum, Nina (2003), Why are the Danes so hard to understand? 
  • Grønnum, Nina (2005), Fonetik og fonologi, Almen og Dansk (3rd ed.), Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag,  
  • Heijmans, Linda; Gussenhoven, Carlos (1998), "The Dutch dialect of Weert" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association 28: 107–112,  
  • Riad, Tomas (2014), The Phonology of Swedish, Oxford University Press,  
  • Traunmüller, Hartmut (1982), "Vokalismus in der westniederösterreichischen Mundart.", Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik 2: 289–333,  
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