Open-mid Back Rounded Vowel
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Open-mid Back Rounded Vowel
Open-mid back rounded vowel
IPA Number306
Entity (decimal)ɔ
Unicode (hex)U+0254
Braille? (braille pattern dots-126)
Audio sample

The open-mid back rounded vowel, or low-mid back rounded 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 ⟨?⟩. The IPA symbol is a turned letter c and both the symbol and the sound are commonly called "open-o". The name open-o represents the sound, in that it is like the sound represented by ⟨o⟩, the close-mid back rounded vowel, except it is more open. It also represents the symbol, which can be remembered as an o which has been "opened" by removing part of the closed circular shape.

In English, the symbol ⟨?⟩ (or ⟨?:⟩) is typically associated with the vowel in "thought", but in Received Pronunciation (standard British English), Australian English, New Zealand English and South African English that vowel is produced with considerably stronger lip rounding and higher tongue position than that of cardinal [?], i.e. as close-mid or somewhat lower. Open-mid [?:] or even open realizations are found in North American English (where this vowel is often indistinguishable from the open back unrounded vowel in "bra") and Scottish English as well as Hiberno-English, Northern England English and Welsh English, though in the last three accent groups closer, -like realizations are also found. In RP, the open-mid realization of /?:/ has been obsolete since the 1930s. Pronouncing that vowel as such is subject to correction for non-native speakers aiming at RP.[2][3][4][5]

In Received Pronunciation and Australian English, the open-mid back rounded vowel occurs as the main allophone of the LOT vowel /?/. The contrast between /?:/ and /?/ is thus strongly maintained, with the former vowel being realized as close-mid and the latter as open-mid [?], similarly to the contrast between /o/ and /?/ found in German, Italian and Portuguese.[2][3][6]



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Armenian Eastern[7] ?? ho?m [hm] 'storm'
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[8] wås [s] 'what' Contrasts close , near-close , close-mid and open-mid [?] back rounded vowels in addition to the open central unrounded .[8] Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨?⟩.
Bengali[9] ? ortho [?rto] 'meaning' See Bengali phonology
Bulgarian[10] ??? rod [r?t?] 'kin' See Bulgarian phonology
Catalan[11] soc ['s?k] 'clog' See Catalan phonology
Chinese Cantonese ? ngo5 [:] 'I, me, my' See Cantonese phonology
Cipu Tirisino dialect[12] kødø [k?] 'cut down!' Near-back.[13]
Danish Standard[14][15] kort ['k:t] 'map' Most often transcribed in IPA with ⟨?:⟩. See Danish phonology
Dutch Standard Belgian[16] och 'alas' 'Very tense, with strong lip-rounding',[17] strongly pharyngealized[18] (although less so in standard Belgian[19]) and somewhat fronted.[16][20] See Dutch phonology
Standard Northern[20]
English Australian[2] not 'not' See Australian English phonology
New Zealand[22] May be somewhat fronted.[23] Often transcribed in IPA with ⟨?⟩. See New Zealand English phonology
Received Pronunciation[3][6] /?/ has shifted up in emerging RP.
General American thought [:t] 'thought' Mainly in speakers without the cot-caught merger. It may be lower . (It is rarely lowered to /?/ in before liquids /l ?/, and may thus be more familiar to many North Americans in r-colored form, .)
Scottish[24] Many Scottish dialects exhibit the cot-caught merger, the outcome of which is a vowel of [?] quality.
Sheffield[25] goat [:t] 'goat' Common realization of the GOAT vowel particularly for males.
Newfoundland[26] but [b?t] 'but' Less commonly unrounded .[26] See English phonology
French Parisian[27] sotte [s?t] 'silly' (f.) The Parisian realization has been variously described as a back vowel [?] centralized to before /?/[27] and central .[28] See French phonology
Galician home ['?m?] 'man' See Galician phonology
Georgian[29] ? stsori [st?s'i] 'correct'
German Standard[30] voll 'full' See Standard German phonology
Hindustani Hindi kaun k?:n 'who' See Hindustani phonology
Urdu ?
Italian[31] parola 'word' Near-back.[31] See Italian phonology
Javanese / rasa [r?s?] taste, feeling
Kaingang[32] ['p?] 'stone'
Kera[33] [dl] 'hard earth' Near-back.[33]
Kokborok kwrwi [k?r?i] 'not'
Limburgish[34][35] mòn [m?:n] 'moon' Lower in the Maastrichtian dialect.[36] The example word is from the Hasselt dialect.
Lower Sorbian[37] p?osba ['pz?bä] 'a request'
Low German Most dialects stok [st?k] 'stick' May be more open [?] in the Netherlands or more closed [o?] in Low Prussian dialects.
Various dialects slaap [sl?:p] 'sleep' May be as low as [?:] and as high as [o:] in other dialects.
Southern Eastphalian brâd[38] [br?:t] 'bread' Corresponds to [o:], [ou?], [?u?], [?o?] in other dialects.
Luxembourgish[39] Sonn [z?n] 'son' Possible realization of /o/.[39] See Luxembourgish phonology
Malay Negeri Sembilan / kita [kit?] 'we' (inclusive) See Negeri Sembilan Malay
Kelantan-Pattani / biasa [b?s?] 'normal' See Kelatan-Pattani Malay
Norwegian Some dialects[40] så [s?:] 'so' Present e.g. in Telemark; realized as mid in other dialects.[40] See Norwegian phonology
Odia ?? atithi [?tit?i] 'guest'
Polish[41] kot 'cat' See Polish phonology
Portuguese Most dialects[42][43] fofoca [f?'fk?] 'gossip' Stressed vowel might be lower. The presence and use of other unstressed ?o? allophones, such as [o? o ? u], varies according to dialect.
Some speakers[44] bronca ['bk?] 'scolding' Stressed vowel, allophone of nasal vowel /õ?/. See Portuguese phonology
Russian Some speakers[45] ?? sukhoy [s'x?j] 'dry' More commonly realized as mid .[45] See Russian phonology
Slovak dom [d?m] 'house' See Slovak phonology
Spanish Some speakers sopa ['s?.pa] 'soup' More commonly realized as . See Spanish phonology
Some Chilean and Peruvian dialects noticia [n?'ti.sja] 'news'
Swedish Standard moll [m?l:] 'minor scale' See Swedish phonology
Thai ?? ngo [:?] 'to bend'
Temne[46] p?n [pn] 'swamp' Near-back.[46]
Ukrainian[47] ?? lyubov [l?u'b?w] 'love' See Ukrainian phonology
Upper Sorbian[37][48] pos [p?s?] 'dog' See Upper Sorbian phonology
Welsh siop [p] 'shop' See Welsh phonology
West Frisian[49] rôt [r?:t] 'rat' See West Frisian phonology
Yoruba[50] it?ju [it?ju] 'care' Nasalized; may be near-open instead.[50]

See also


  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ a b c Harrington, Cox & Evans (1997)
  3. ^ a b c Geoff Lindsey (2012) Morgen -- a suitable case for treatment, Speech Talk
  4. ^ Roach (2004:242)
  5. ^ Wells (1982)
  6. ^ a b Wikström (2013:45), "It seems to be the case that younger RP or near-RP speakers typically use a closer quality, possibly approaching Cardinal 6 considering that the quality appears to be roughly intermediate between that used by older speakers for the LOT vowel and that used for the THOUGHT vowel, while older speakers use a more open quality, between Cardinal Vowels 13 and 6."
  7. ^ Dum-Tragut (2009:13)
  8. ^ a b Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  9. ^ Khan (2010:222)
  10. ^ Ternes & Vladimirova-Buhtz (1999:56)
  11. ^ Carbonell & Llisterri (1992:54)
  12. ^ McGill (2014), pp. 308-309.
  13. ^ McGill (2014), p. 308.
  14. ^ Grønnum (1998:100)
  15. ^ Basbøll (2005:47)
  16. ^ a b Verhoeven (2005:245)
  17. ^ Collins & Mees (2003:132)
  18. ^ Collins & Mees (2003:132, 222 and 224)
  19. ^ Collins & Mees (2003:222)
  20. ^ a b Gussenhoven (1992:47)
  21. ^ Wells (1982:305)
  22. ^ Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009)
  23. ^ Bauer et al. (2007:98)
  24. ^ Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006:7)
  25. ^ Stoddart, Upton & Widdowson:74)
  26. ^ a b Wells (1982:498)
  27. ^ a b Fougeron & Smith (1993:73)
  28. ^ Collins & Mees (2013:225)
  29. ^ Shosted & Chikovani (2006:261-262)
  30. ^ Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015:34)
  31. ^ a b Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004:119)
  32. ^ Jolkesky (2009:676-677 and 682)
  33. ^ a b Pearce (2011:251)
  34. ^ Verhoeven (2007:221)
  35. ^ Peters (2006:118-119)
  36. ^ Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999:158-159)
  37. ^ a b Stone (2002:600)
  38. ^ Schambach, Gerog (1858), "Wörterbuch der niederdeutschen Mundart der Fürstenthümer Göttingen und Grubenhagen oder GöttingischGrubenhagen'sches Idiotikon", p. 30.
  39. ^ a b Gilles & Trouvain (2013:70)
  40. ^ a b Popperwell (2010:26)
  41. ^ Jassem (2003:105)
  42. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995:91)
  43. ^ Variação inter- e intra-dialetal no português brasileiro: um problema para a teoria fonológica - Seung-Hwa LEE & Marco A. de Oliveira Archived 2014-12-15 at the Wayback Machine
  44. ^ Lista das marcas dialetais e ouros fenómenos de variação (fonética e fonológica) identificados nas amostras do Arquivo Dialetal do CLUP (in Portuguese)
  45. ^ a b Jones & Ward (1969:56)
  46. ^ a b Kanu & Tucker (2010:249)
  47. ^ Danyenko & Vakulenko (1995), p. 4.
  48. ^ ?ewc-Schuster (1984:20)
  49. ^ Tiersma (1999), p. 10.
  50. ^ a b Bamgbo?e (1969:166)


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External links

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