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 U.S. terminology 
) in reference to the low position of the tongue.
There also are central vowels that do not have dedicated symbols in the IPA:
There is no unambiguous way of transcribing the open central vowels (but see obsolete/nonstandard IPA ᴀ
). The diaeresis indicates centralization
, so ⟨ä⟩ could mean near-front and ⟨ɒ̈⟩ could mean near-back. However, in practice the diaeresis is assumed to mean central, while ⟨a̠⟩ and ⟨ɒ̟⟩ are used for the front and back articulations, respectively.
The extremely rare contrast between open front, central and back unrounded vowels has been reported to occur in the Hamont-Achel dialect
, 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.
- ^ "VOWEL QUALITY". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
- ^ This vowel is not known to occur as a phoneme distinct from /œ/ in any language.
Verhoeven, Jo (2007), "The Belgian Limburg dialect of Hamont", Journal of the International Phonetic Association
(2): 219–225, doi
Last edited on 9 March 2021, at 12:35
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