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Open central unrounded vowel
The open central unrounded vowel, or low central unrounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound, used in many spoken languages. While the International Phonetic Alphabet officially has no dedicated letter for this sound between front [a] and back [ɑ], it is normally written ⟨a⟩. If precision is required, it can be specified by using diacritics, typically centralized ⟨ä⟩. However, it has been argued that the purported distinction between a front and central open vowel is based on outdated phonetic theories, and that cardinal [a] is the only open vowel, while [ɑ], like [æ], is a near-open vowel.[2]
Open central unrounded vowel
ä
IPA Number304 415
Encoding
Entity (decimal)a​̈
Unicode (hex)U+0061 U+0308
X-SAMPA
a_" or a
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
ä
ɑɒ
Vowels beside dots are: unrounded  rounded
It is usual to use plain ⟨a⟩ for an open central vowel and, if needed, ⟨æ⟩ for an open front vowel. Sinologists may use the letter ⟨ᴀ⟩ (small capital A). The IPA has voted against officially adopting this symbol in 1976, 1989, and 2012.[3][4][5]
The Hamont-Achel dialect of Limburgish has been reported to contrast long open front, central and back unrounded vowels.[6] This is extremely unusual.
Features
Occurrence
Most languages have some form of an unrounded open vowel. Because the IPA uses ⟨a⟩ for both front and central unrounded open vowels, it is not always clear whether a particular language uses the former or the latter. However, there may not actually be a difference. (See Vowel#Acoustics.)
LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
Burmese[7]မာ / ma[mä]'hard'Oral allophone of /a/ in open syllables; realized as near-open [ɐ] in other environments.[7]
ChineseMandarin[8] / tā[tʰä˥]'he'See Standard Chinese phonology
Czech[9][10]
prach
[präx]'dust'See Czech phonology
DanishStandard[11]
barn
[ˈpɑ̈ːˀn]'child'Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɑː⟩. See Danish phonology
Dutch[12][13]
zaal
[zäːɫ]'hall'Ranges from front to central;[12] in non-standard accents it may be back. See Dutch phonology
EnglishAustralian[14]
bra
[bɹɐ̞ː]'bra'Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɐː⟩. See Australian English phonology
East Anglian[15]Used mostly by middle-class speakers; can be front [] instead.[15]
General American[16]Can be back [ɑ̟ː] instead.[16]
New Zealand[17][18]Can be more front [a̠ː] and/or higher [ɐ̟ː ~ ɐː] instead.[17][18] It may be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɐː⟩. See New Zealand English phonology
Some Canadian speakers[19][20]
trap
[t̠ɹ̝̊äp̚]'trap'See Canadian Shift and English phonology
Some English English speakers[21][22][t̠ɹ̝̊äʔp]Used in Multicultural London English and Northern England English.[21][22] More front [æ ~ a] in other dialects.
FrenchParisian[23][24]
patte
[pät̪]'paw'Older speakers have two contrastive open vowels: front /a/ and back /ɑ/.[24] See French phonology
German[25][26]
Katze
[ˈkʰät͡sə]'cat'Can be more front or more back in regional Standard German.[27] See Standard German phonology
Hungarian[28]
láb
[läːb]'leg'See Hungarian phonology
Italian[29]
casa
[ˈkäːsä]'home'See Italian phonology
Japanese[30] / ka[kä]'mosquito'See Japanese phonology
LimburgishHamont-Achel dialect[6]zaak[ˈzǎ̠ːk]'business'Contrasts with front [] and back [ɑː].[6]
Lithuanian
ratas
[räːtɐs̪]'wheel'See Lithuanian phonology
MalayStandard Malaysianرق / rak[räʔ]'shelf'See Malay phonology
Polish[31]
kat
[kät̪]'executioner'See Polish phonology
Portuguese[32]
vá
[vä]'go'See Portuguese phonology
Romanian[33]
cal
[käl]'horse'See Romanian phonology
Serbo-Croatian[34][35]пас / pas[pâ̠s̪]'dog'See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Spanish[36]
rata
[ˈrät̪ä]'rat'See Spanish phonology
SwedishCentral Standard[37][38]
bank
[bäŋk]'bank'Also described as front [a].[39][40] See Swedish phonology
Thai[41]บางกอก / baang-gɔ̀ɔk[bǟːŋ.kɔ̀ːk̚] (help·info)'bangkok'See Thai phonology
Turkish[42]Standard
at
[ät̪]'horse'Also described as back [ɑ].[43] See Turkish phonology
Welshsiarad[ʃarad]'talk'See Welsh phonology
Yoruba[44][example needed]
Notes
  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ Geoff Lindsey, The vowel space, March 27, 2013
  3. ^ Wells (1976).
  4. ^ International Phonetic Association (1989), p. 74.
  5. ^ Keating (2012).
  6. ^ a b c Verhoeven (2007), p. 221.
  7. ^ a b Watkins (2001), pp. 292–293.
  8. ^ Lee & Zee (2003), pp. 110–111.
  9. ^ Dankovičová (1999), p. 72.
  10. ^ Šimáčková, Podlipský & Chládková (2012), p. 228.
  11. ^ Grønnum (1998), p. 100.
  12. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2003), p. 104.
  13. ^ Verhoeven (2005), p. 245.
  14. ^ Cox & Fletcher (2017), pp. 64–65.
  15. ^ a b Trudgill (2004), p. 172.
  16. ^ a b Wells (1982), p. 476.
  17. ^ a b Bauer et al. (2007), p. 98.
  18. ^ a b Hay, Maclagan & Gordon (2008), pp. 21–23.
  19. ^ Esling & Warkentyne (1993), p. ?.
  20. ^ Boberg (2004), pp. 361–362.
  21. ^ a b Boberg (2004), p. 361.
  22. ^ a b Kerswill, Torgerson & Fox (2006), p. 30.
  23. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993), p. 73.
  24. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2013), pp. 226–227.
  25. ^ Kohler (1999), p. 87.
  26. ^ Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 34.
  27. ^ Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 64.
  28. ^ Szende (1994), p. 92.
  29. ^ Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004), p. 119.
  30. ^ Okada (1999), p. 117.
  31. ^ Jassem (2003), p. 105.
  32. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995), p. 91.
  33. ^ Sarlin (2014), p. 18.
  34. ^ Kordić (2006), p. 4.
  35. ^ Landau et al. (1999), p. 67.
  36. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003), p. 256.
  37. ^ Engstrand (1999), p. 140.
  38. ^ Riad (2014), p. 35.
  39. ^ Bolander (2001), p. 55.
  40. ^ Rosenqvist (2007), p. 9.
  41. ^ Tingsabadh & Abramson (1993), p. 25.
  42. ^ Zimmer & Orgun (1999), p. 155.
  43. ^ Göksel & Kerslake (2005), p. 10.
  44. ^ Bamgboṣe (1969), p. 166.
References
External links
Last edited on 7 May 2021, at 21:45
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