World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Open vowel

Article Id: WHEBN0000594780
Reproduction Date:

Title: Open vowel  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: American Theater Standard, Navajo phonology, Vowel, Neapolitan language, Biblical Hebrew
Collection: Vowels
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Open vowel

An open vowel is a vowel sound in which the tongue is positioned as far as possible from the roof of the mouth. Open vowels are sometimes also called low vowels in reference to the low position of the tongue.

In the context of the phonology of any particular language, a low vowel can be any vowel that is more open than a mid vowel. That is, open-mid vowels, near-open vowels, and open vowels can all be considered low vowels.


  • Partial list 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • Bibliography 4

Partial list

The open vowels with dedicated symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet are:

There also are central vowels that do not have dedicated symbols in the IPA:

There is not an unambiguous way of transcribing the open central vowels. The diaeresis indicates centralization, so ä could mean near-front and ɒ̈ could mean near-back. In practice, however, the diaeresis is assumed to mean actually central, while and ɒ̟ would be used for the latter articulations.

The extremely rare contrast between open front, central and back unrounded vowels has been reported to occur in the Hamont dialect of Limburgish, which features long versions of these sounds, as well as short versions of the open front and back vowels. The short versions do not contrast directly with the open central vowel, which can only be long.[2]

See also


  1. ^ This vowel is not known to occur as a phoneme distinct from /œ/ in any language.
  2. ^ Verhoeven (2007), p. 221.


  • Verhoeven, Jo (2007), "The Belgian Limburg dialect of Hamont", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 37 (2): 219–225,  
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.