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Open-mid central unrounded vowel
The open-mid central unrounded vowel, or low-mid central unrounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɜ⟩. The IPA symbol is not the digit ⟨3⟩ or the Cyrillic small letter Ze (з). The symbol is instead a reversed Latinized variant of the lowercase epsilon, ɛ. The value was specified only in 1993; until then, it had been transcribed ⟨ɛ̈⟩.
Open-mid central unrounded vowel
ɜ
IPA Number326
Encoding
Entity (decimal)ɜ
Unicode (hex)U+025C
X-SAMPA3
Braille
Image
Audio sample
IPA: Vowels
FrontCentralBack
Close
iy
ɨʉ
ɯu
Near-close
ɪʏ
Close-mid
eø
ɘɵ
ɤo
Mid
ø̞
ɤ̞
Open-mid
ɛœ
ɜɞ
ʌɔ
Near-open
Open
aɶ
ɑɒ
Vowels beside dots are: unrounded  rounded
The ⟨ɜ⟩ letter may be used with a raising diacritic ⟨ɜ̝⟩, to denote the mid central unrounded vowel. It may also be used with a lowering diacritic ⟨ɜ̞⟩, to denote the near-open central unrounded vowel.
Conversely, ⟨ə⟩, the symbol for the mid central vowel may be used with a lowering diacritic ⟨ə̞⟩ to denote the open-mid central unrounded vowel, although that is more accurately written with an additional unrounding diacritic ⟨ə̞͑⟩ to explicitly denote the lack of rounding (the canonical value of IPA ⟨ə⟩ is undefined for rounding).
Features
Occurrence
LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
AfrikaansStandard[2]
lig
[lə̞χ]'light'Also described as mid [ə],[3] typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ə⟩. See Afrikaans phonology
Cotabato Manobo[4][bätɜʔ]'child'Allophone of /a/ before glottal consonants; may be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌ⟩.[4]
Dutch[5]
grappig
[ˈχɾɑpə̞χ]'funny'Possible realization of /ə/.[5] See Dutch phonology
EmilianBolognesemétter[ˈmet̪ːɜr]'to put'[citation needed]
EnglishReceived Pronunciation[6]
bird
[bɜːd]'bird'Sulcalized (the tongue is grooved like in [ɹ]). "Upper Crust RP" speakers pronounce a more open vowel [ɐː], but for most other speakers it is actually mid ([ɜ̝ː]). This vowel corresponds to rhotacized[ɝ] in rhotic dialects.
Ohio[7]
bud
[bɜd]'bud'One realization of the vowel transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌ⟩ in American English, typical of Midland or Southern American English. It is not a standard pronunciation throughout the whole country.[6][7]
Most Texas speakers [7]
Northern Wales[8]Some speakers.[8] Corresponds to /ə/ or /ʌ/ in other Welsh dialects.[9]
Scottish[10][bɜ̠d]Somewhat retracted; may be more back /ʌ/ instead.
GermanChemnitz dialect[11]
passe
[ˈb̥ɜsə]'[I] pass'Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨a⟩.
Many speakers[12]
herrlich
[ˈhɜːlɪç]'fantastic'Common alternative to the diphthong [ɛɐ̯].[12] See Standard German phonology
Hausa[13][example needed]Possible allophone of /a/, which can be as close as [ə] and as open as [ä].[13]
Jebero[14][ˈkɘnmɜʔ]'indigenous person'Allophone of /a/ in closed syllables.[14]
Kaingang[15][ˈɾɜ]'mark'Varies between central [ɜ] and back [ʌ].[16]
Kalagan Kaagan[17][mɜˈt̪äs]'tall'Allophone of /a/; may be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌ⟩.[17]
Kallahan[18][example needed]
Paicî[19]rë[ɾɜ]'they' (prefix)May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌ⟩.
RomanianStandard[20]
măr
[mə̞r]'apple'Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ə⟩. See Romanian phonology
Transylvanian varieties of Romanian[21]
a
[aˈʂɜ]'such'Corresponds to [ä] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
SamaSibutu[22][ˈsäpɜw]'roof'Allophone of /a/; may be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌ⟩.[22]
Sindhi[23][sə̞rə̞]'funeral'Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ə⟩.
Temne[24]pȧs[pɜ́s]'brew'Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌ⟩.[24]
YiddishStandard[25]ענלעך[ˈɛnlɜχ]'similar'Unstressed vowel.[25] See Yiddish phonology
See also
R-colored vowel, a related phoneme in rhotic dialects of English
Notes
  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ Wissing (2012), p. 711.
  3. ^ Wissing (2016), section "The rounded and unrounded mid-central vowels".
  4. ^ a b Kerr (1988), pp. 110, 113.
  5. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2003), p. 129.
  6. ^ a b Ladefoged (1993), p. 82.
  7. ^ a b c Thomas (2001), pp. 27–28.
  8. ^ a b Tench (1990), p. 135.
  9. ^ Wells (1982), pp. 380–381.
  10. ^ Lodge (2009), p. 167.
  11. ^ Khan & Weise (2013), p. 236.
  12. ^ a b Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 52.
  13. ^ a b Schuh & Yalwa (1999), pp. 90–91.
  14. ^ a b Valenzuela & Gussenhoven (2013), p. 101.
  15. ^ Jolkesky (2009), pp. 676–677, 682.
  16. ^ Jolkesky (2009), pp. 676, 682.
  17. ^ a b Wendel & Wendel (1978), p. 198.
  18. ^ Santiago (2010), pp. 1, 8–10.
  19. ^ Gordon & Maddieson (1996), p. 118.
  20. ^ Sarlin (2014), p. 18.
  21. ^ Pop (1938), p. 30.
  22. ^ a b Allison (1979), p. 82.
  23. ^ Nihalani (1999), p. 132.
  24. ^ a b Kanu & Tucker (2010), p. 249.
  25. ^ a b Kleine (2003), p. 263.
References
External links
List of languages with [ɜ] on PHOIBLE
Last edited on 6 May 2021, at 16:21
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