It has been suggested that some portions of this article should be split into articles titled Close-mid back unrounded vowel and Mid back unrounded vowel. (discuss) (December 2009)
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IPA Number315
Audio sample

The close-mid back unrounded vowel is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. Its symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet is ɤ, called "ram's horns". It is distinct from the symbol for the voiced velar fricative, ɣ, which has a descender.

Before 1989, the symbol for this sound was , sometimes called "baby gamma", which has a flat top. Now the symbol is , "ram's horns", with a rounded top. Unicode provides a space only for LATIN SMALL LETTER RAMS HORN (U+0264), but in some fonts this character may appear as a "baby gamma" instead.



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Alekano [[[Latin alphabet|gamó]]] Error: ((Lang)): text has italic markup (help) [ɣɑmɤʔ] 'cucumber'
Chinese Mandarin [[[Chinese characters|喝]]] Error: ((Lang)): unrecognized language tag: zh-cmn-Hani (help)/[[[Hanyu Pinyin|hē]]] Error: ((Lang)): text has italic markup (help) [xɤ˥] 'to drink' See Standard Mandarin
Taiwanese [[[Chinese characters|蚵]]] Error: ((Lang)): unrecognized language tag: zh-nan-Hani (help)/[[[Pe̍h-ōe-jī|ô]]] Error: ((Lang)): text has italic markup (help) [ɤ˧] 'oyster' Mostly southern Taiwanese speech
Estonian [[[Estonian alphabet|kõrv ]]] Error: ((Lang)): text has italic markup (help) [kɤrv] 'ear'
Irish [[[Irish orthography|Uladh ]]] Error: ((Lang)): text has italic markup (help) [ɤlˠu] 'Ulster' See Irish phonology
Korean 리다 [ɤɾida] 'young' See Korean phonology
Onge önge [ˈɤŋe] 'man'
Scottish Gaelic [[[Scottish Gaelic alphabet|doirbh ]]] Error: ((Lang)): text has italic markup (help) [d̪̊ɤrʲɤv] 'difficult'
Thai [[[Thai alphabet| ]]] Error: ((Lang)): text has italic markup (help) [tʰɤː] 'you/she'
Vietnamese [[[Vietnamese alphabet|tơ ]]] Error: ((Lang)): text has italic markup (help) [tɤ̄] 'silk' See Vietnamese phonology

Mid back unrounded vowel

Some languages have a mid back unrounded vowel, distinct from both the close-mid and open-mid vowels. However, since no language is known to distinguish all three, there is no separate IPA symbol for the mid vowel, and [ɤ] is generally used. If precision is desired, the lowering diacritic may be used: [ɤ̞].

Several of the languages listed above may have mid rather than close-mid vowels.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Bulgarian път [pɤ̞t] 'path' Somewhat fronted