Open-mid Back Unrounded Vowel
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Open-mid Back Unrounded Vowel
Open-mid back unrounded vowel
IPA Number314
Entity (decimal)ʌ
Unicode (hex)U+028C
Audio sample

The open-mid back unrounded vowel or low-mid back 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 ⟨?⟩, graphically a rotated lowercase "v" (called a turned V but created as a small-capital ⟨?⟩ without the crossbar). Both the symbol and the sound are commonly referred to as a "wedge", "caret" or "hat". In transcriptions for English, this symbol is commonly used for the near-open central unrounded vowel and in transcriptions for Danish, it is used for the (somewhat mid-centralized) open back rounded vowel.



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Catalan Solsonès[2] tarda ['ta?ð:] 'afternoon' Realization of final unstressed /?/
Danish ånd ['?n?] 'spirit' Also pronounced without the stress.

See Danish phonology.

Emilian-Romagnol [3] most Emilian dialects Bulåggna [bu'l:?] 'Bologna' It corresponds to a sound between /?/ a /ä/; written ò in some spellings
English Cape Town[4] lot [l?t] 'lot' It corresponds to a weakly rounded in all other South African dialects. See South African English phonology
Cardiff[5] thought [:t] 'thought' For some speakers it may be rounded and closer. See English phonology
General South African[6] no [n?:] 'no' May be a diphthong [] instead.[7] See South African English phonology
General American[8] gut 'gut' In most dialects, fronted to , or fronted and lowered to . See English phonology and Northern Cities Vowel Shift
Inland Northern American[9]
Multicultural London[10]
Northern East Anglian[12]
Some Estuary English speakers[15]
French Picardy[16] alors [a'l] 'so' Corresponding to /?/ in standard French.
German Chemnitz dialect[17] machen ['m?] 'to do' Allophone of /?, ?:/ (which phonetically are central [?, ?:])[18] before and after /?, k?, k, ?, ?/. Exact backness varies; it is most posterior before /?, ?/.[19]
Haida[20] ?waáay [q?á:j] 'the rock' Allophone of /a/ (sometimes also /a:/) after uvular and epiglottal consonants.[21]
Irish Ulster dialect[22] ola [?l] 'oil' See Irish phonology
Kaingang[23] ['] 'mark' Varies between back [?] and central .[24]
Kensiu[25] [h] 'stream'
Korean[26] ? / neo [n?] 'you' See Korean phonology
Lillooet [example needed] Retracted counterpart of /?/.
Mah Meri[27] [example needed] Allophone of /?/; can be mid central or close-mid back instead.[27]
Nepali /asal [?s?l] 'good' See Nepali phonology
O'odham Pima corresponds to [?] in Papago.
Russian Standard Saint Petersburg[28] ?/golová ['vä] 'head' Corresponds to in standard Moscow pronunciation;[28] occurs mostly immediately before stressed syllables. See Russian phonology
Tamil[29] [example needed] Nasalized. Phonetic realization of the sequence /am/, may be or instead.[29] See Tamil phonology

Before World War II, the /?/ of Received Pronunciation was phonetically close to a back vowel [?], which has since shifted forward towards (a near-open central unrounded vowel). Daniel Jones reported his speech (southern British) as having an advanced back vowel [] between his central /?/ and back /?/; however, he also reported that other southern speakers had a lower and even more advanced vowel that approached cardinal .[30] In American English varieties, such as in the West, the Midwest, and the urban South, the typical phonetic realization of the phoneme /?/ is an open-mid central .[31][32] Truly backed variants of /?/ that are phonetically [?] can occur in Inland Northern American English, Newfoundland English, Philadelphia English, some of African-American English, and (old-fashioned) white Southern English in coastal plain and Piedmont areas.[33][34] However, the letter ⟨?⟩ is still commonly used to indicate this phoneme, even in the more common varieties with central variants or . That may be because of both tradition and some other dialects retaining the older pronunciation.[35]


  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ "Anàlisi dialectològica d'uns parlars del Solsonès". Retrieved .
  3. ^ "Scrîver al bulgnai? cum và". (in Emilian).
  4. ^ a b Lass (2002), p. 115.
  5. ^ Collins & Mees (1990), p. 95.
  6. ^ Wells (1982), pp. 614, 621.
  7. ^ Wells (1982), p. 614.
  8. ^ Wells (1982), p. 485.
  9. ^ W. Labov, S. Ash and C. Boberg (1997), A national map of the regional dialects of American English, Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, retrieved 2013
  10. ^ Gimson (2014), p. 91.
  11. ^ Thomas (2001), pp. 27-28, 61-63.
  12. ^ Trudgill (2004), p. 167.
  13. ^ Thomas (2001), pp. 27-28, 73-74.
  14. ^ Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006), p. 7.
  15. ^ Altendorf & Watt (2004), p. 188.
  16. ^ "Picardie : phonétique". Retrieved 2015.
  17. ^ Khan & Weise (2013), pp. 235, 238.
  18. ^ Khan & Weise (2013), p. 236.
  19. ^ Khan & Weise (2013), p. 238.
  20. ^ Lawrence (1977), pp. 32-33.
  21. ^ Lawrence (1977), pp. 32-33, 36.
  22. ^ Ní Chasaide (1999), pp. 114-115.
  23. ^ Jolkesky (2009), pp. 676-677, 682.
  24. ^ Jolkesky (2009), pp. 676, 682.
  25. ^ Bishop (1996), p. 230.
  26. ^ Lee (1999).
  27. ^ a b Kruspe & Hajek (2009), p. 245.
  28. ^ a b Yanushevskaya & Bun?i? (2015), p. 225.
  29. ^ a b Keane (2004), p. 114.
  30. ^ Jones (1972), pp. 86-88.
  31. ^ Gordon (2004b), p. 340.
  32. ^ Tillery & Bailey (2004), p. 333.
  33. ^ Thomas (2001), pp. 27-28, 112-115, 121, 134, 174.
  34. ^ Gordon (2004a), pp. 294-296.
  35. ^ Roca & Johnson (1999), p. 135.


  • Altendorf, Ulrike; Watt, Dominic (2004), "The dialects in the South of England: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 181-196, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
  • Bishop, Nancy (1996), "A preliminary description of Kensiu (Maniq) phonology" (PDF), Mon-Khmer Studies Journal, 25
  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (1990), "The Phonetics of Cardiff English", in Coupland, Nikolas; Thomas, Alan Richard (eds.), English in Wales: Diversity, Conflict, and Change, Multilingual Matters Ltd., pp. 87-103, ISBN 1-85359-032-0
  • Gimson, Alfred Charles (2014), Cruttenden, Alan (ed.), Gimson's Pronunciation of English (8th ed.), Routledge, ISBN 9781444183092
  • Gordon, Matthew (2004a), "New York, Philadelphia and other Northern Cities", in Kortmann, Bernd; Schneider, Edgar W. (eds.), A Handbook of Varieties of English: Volume 1: Phonology, Walter de Gruyter, pp. 294-296, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
  • Gordon, Matthew (2004b), "The West and Midwest: phonology", in Kortmann, Bernd; Schneider, Edgar W. (eds.), A Handbook of Varieties of English: Volume 1: Phonology, Walter de Gruyter, p. 340, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
  • Jolkesky, Marcelo Pinho de Valhery (2009), "Fonologia e prosódia do Kaingáng falado em Cacique Doble", Anais do SETA, Campinas: Editora do IEL-UNICAMP, 3: 675-685
  • Jones, Daniel (1972), An outline of English phonetics (9th ed.), Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons Ltd.
  • Keane, Elinor (2004), "Tamil", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (1): 111-116, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001549
  • Khan, Sameer ud Dowla; Weise, Constanze (2013), "Upper Saxon (Chemnitz dialect)" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (2): 231-241, doi:10.1017/S0025100313000145
  • Kruspe, Nicole; Hajek, John (2009), "Mah Meri", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 39 (2): 241-248, doi:10.1017/S0025100309003946
  • Lass, Roger (2002), "South African English", in Mesthrie, Rajend (ed.), Language in South Africa, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521791052
  • Lawrence, Erma (1977), Haida dictionary, Fairbanks: Alaska Native Language Center
  • Lee, Hyun Bok (1999), "Korean", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 120-122, ISBN 0-521-63751-1
  • Ní Chasaide, Ailbhe (1999). "Irish". Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. Cambridge University Press. pp. 111-116. ISBN 0-521-63751-1.
  • Roca, Iggy; Johnson, Wyn (1999), Course in Phonology, Blackwell Publishing
  • Scobbie, James M; Gordeeva, Olga B.; Matthews, Benjamin (2006), Acquisition of Scottish English Phonology: an overview, Edinburgh: QMU Speech Science Research Centre Working Papers
  • Thomas, Erik R. (2001), "An acoustic analysis of vowel variation in New World English", Publication of the American Dialect Society, Duke University Press for the American Dialect Society, 85, ISSN 0002-8207
  • Tillery, Jan; Bailey, Guy (2004), "The urban South: phonology", in Kortmann, Bernd; Schneider, Edgar W. (eds.), A Handbook of Varieties of English: Volume 1: Phonology, Walter de Gruyter, p. 333, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
  • Trudgill, Peter (2004), "The dialect of East Anglia: Phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 163-177, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
  • Wells, J.C. (1982). Accents of English 3: Beyond the British Isles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-28541-0.
  • Yanushevskaya, Irena; Bun?i?, Daniel (2015), "Russian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 45 (2): 221-228, doi:10.1017/S0025100314000395

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