Close-mid front unrounded vowel
IPA Number302
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)e
Unicode (hex)U+0065
Braille⠑ (braille pattern dots-15)
Spectrogram of e

The close-mid front unrounded vowel, or high-mid front 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 e.

For the close-mid front unrounded vowel that is usually transcribed with the symbol ɪ or i, see near-close front unrounded vowel. If the usual symbol is e, the vowel is listed here.



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Afrikaans Standard[2] bed [bet] 'bed' Typically transcribed in IPA with ɛ. The height varies between close-mid [e] and mid [ɛ̝].[2] See Afrikaans phonology
Arabic Standard مَجۡر۪ىٰهَا/majreha [mad͡ʒ.reː.haː] See imalah
Azerbaijani ge [ɟeˈd͡ʒæ] 'night'
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[3] [example needed]
Breton eget[4] [eˈɡet] 'than'
Catalan[5] séc [ˈsek] 'fold' See Catalan phonology
Chinese Shanghainese[6] /kè [ke̠ʔ˩] 'should' Near-front; realization of /ɛ/, which appears only in open syllables. Phonetically, it is nearly identical to /ɪ/ ([ɪ̞]), which appears only in closed syllables.[6]
Chuvash эрешмен/ereşmen [erɛʃ'mɛnʲ] 'spider'
Danish Standard[7][8] hæl [ˈheːˀl] 'heel' Typically transcribed in IPA with ɛː. See Danish phonology
Dutch Belgian[9] vreemd [vreːmt] 'strange' In the Netherlands often diphthongized to [eɪ]. See Dutch phonology
English Australian[10] bed [bed] 'bed' See Australian English phonology
New Zealand[11] The height varies from near-close in broad varieties to mid in the Cultivated variety.[11] See New Zealand English phonology
General American[12] may [meː] 'may' Most often a closing diphthong [eɪ].[12]
General Indian[13]
General Pakistani[14] Can be a diphthong [eɪ] instead, depending on speaker.
Ulster[18] Pronounced [ɛː~iə] in Belfast.
Some Cardiff speakers[19] square [skweː] 'square' More often open-mid [ɛː].[19]
Scouse[20] May (less commonly) be less open [ɪː] or more open [ɛː] instead[21]
Scottish[16] bit [bë̞ʔ] 'bit' Near-front,[16] may be [ɪ] (also [ə]) instead for other speakers.
Cockney[22] bird [bɛ̝̈ːd] 'bird' Near-front; occasional realization of /ɜː/. It can be rounded [œ̝ː] or, more often, unrounded central [ɜ̝ː] instead.[22] Typically transcribed in IPA with ɜː.
Estonian[23] keha [ˈkeɦɑ̝ˑ] 'body' See Estonian phonology
French[24][25] beauté [bot̪e] 'beauty' See French phonology
German Standard[26][27] Seele [ˈzeːlə] 'soul' See Standard German phonology
Many speakers[28] Jäger [ˈjeːɡɐ] 'hunter' Outcome of the /ɛː–eː/ merger found universally in Northern Germany, Eastern Germany and Eastern Austria (often even in formal speech) and in some other regions.[28] See Standard German phonology
Southern accents[29] Bett [b̥et] 'bed' Common realization of /ɛ/ in Southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria.[29] See Standard German phonology
Swabian accent[29] Contrasts with the open-mid [ɛ].[29] See Standard German phonology
Greek Sfakian[30] [example needed] Corresponds to mid [] in Modern Standard Greek.[31] See Modern Greek phonology
Hebrew[32] כן/ken [ke̞n] 'yes' Hebrew vowels are not shown in the script, see Niqqud and Modern Hebrew phonology
Hindustani Hindi के/ke [keː] 'of' See Hindustani phonology
Urdu کے/ke
Hungarian[33] hét [heːt̪] 'seven' Also described as mid [e̞ː].[34] See Hungarian phonology
Italian Standard[35] stelle [ˈs̪t̪elle] 'stars' See Italian phonology
Khmer ទុរេន / turen [tureːn] 'durian' See Khmer phonology
Korean 메아리 / meari [meɐɾi] 'echo' See Korean phonology
Limburgish Most dialects[36][37][38] leef [leːf] 'dear' The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Lithuanian tėtė [t̪eːt̪eː] 'father' 'Tete' and 'tėtis' are more commonly used than 'tėtė.'
Malay kecil [kə.t͡ʃel] 'small' Allophone of /i/ in closed-final syllables. May be [ɪ] or [] depending on the speaker. See Malay phonology
Malayalam ചെവി/čevi [ȶ͡ɕeʋi] 'ear' See Malayalam phonology
Marathi एक/ek [e:k] 'one' See Marathi phonology
Norwegian le [leː] 'laugh' The example word is from Urban East Norwegian.[39][40] See Norwegian phonology
Persian سه/se [se] 'three'
Polish[41] dzień [d͡ʑeɲ̟] 'day' Allophone of /ɛ/ between palatal or palatalized consonants. See Polish phonology
Portuguese[42] mesa [ˈmezɐ] 'table' See Portuguese phonology
Romanian umple [ˈumple] 'to fill' See Romanian phonology
Russian[43] шея/šeja [ˈʂejə] 'neck' Close-mid [e] before and between soft consonants, mid [e̞] after soft consonants.[43] See Russian phonology
Saterland Frisian[44] tään [te̠ːn] 'thin' Near-front; typically transcribed in IPA with ɛː. Phonetically, it is nearly identical to /ɪ/ ([ɪ̞]). The vowel typically transcribed in IPA with is actually near-close [e̝ː].[44]
Slovene[45] sedem [ˈsèːdəm] 'seven' See Slovene phonology
Sotho[46] ho jwetsa [hʊ̠ʒʷet͡sʼɑ̈] 'to tell' Contrasts close, near-close and close-mid front unrounded vowels.[46] See Sotho phonology
Swedish Central Standard[47][48] se [s̪eː] 'see' Often diphthongized to [eə̯] (hear the word: [s̪eə̯]). See Swedish phonology
Tahitian vahine [vahine] 'woman'
Tamil செவி/čevi [ȶ͡ɕeʋi] 'ear' See Tamil phonology
Ukrainian ефі́рний efirný [eˈfirnɪj] 'ethereal' See Ukrainian phonology
Welsh chwech [χweːχ] 'six' See Welsh phonology
Yoruba[49] [example needed]

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 Wissing (2016), section "The unrounded mid-front vowel /ɛ/".
  3. ^ Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  4. ^ Mikael Madeg, Traité de prononciation du breton du Nord-Ouest à l’usage des bretonnants, Emgleo Breiz, Brest, 2010
  5. ^ Carbonell & Llisterri (1992), p. 54.
  6. ^ a b Chen & Gussenhoven (2015), p. 328.
  7. ^ Grønnum (1998), p. 100.
  8. ^ Basbøll (2005), p. 45.
  9. ^ Verhoeven (2005), p. 245.
  10. ^ Harrington, Cox & Evans (1997).
  11. ^ a b Gordon & Maclagan (2004), p. 609.
  12. ^ a b Wells (1982), p. 487.
  13. ^ Wells (1982), p. 626.
  14. ^ Mahboob & Ahmar (2004), p. 1010.
  15. ^ Watt & Allen (2003), pp. 268–269.
  16. ^ a b c Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006), p. 7.
  17. ^ Deterding (2000), p. ?.
  18. ^ "Week 18 (ii). Northern Ireland" (PDF).
  19. ^ a b Collins & Mees (1990), p. 95.
  20. ^ Watson, Kevin (2007), "Liverpool English" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (3): 351–360, doi:10.1017/s0025100307003180, S2CID 232345844
  21. ^ Watson, Kevin (2007), "Liverpool English" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (3): 358, doi:10.1017/s0025100307003180, S2CID 232345844
  22. ^ a b Wells (1982), p. 305.
  23. ^ Asu & Teras (2009), p. 368.
  24. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993), p. 73.
  25. ^ Collins & Mees (2013), p. 225.
  26. ^ Kohler (1999), p. 87.
  27. ^ Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 34.
  28. ^ a b Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), pp. 64–65.
  29. ^ a b c d Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 64.
  30. ^ Trudgill (2009), pp. 83–84.
  31. ^ Trudgill (2009), p. 81.
  32. ^ Laufer (1999), p. 98.
  33. ^ Kráľ (1988), p. 92.
  34. ^ Szende (1994), p. 92.
  35. ^ Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004), p. 119.
  36. ^ Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999), p. 159.
  37. ^ Peters (2006), p. 119.
  38. ^ Verhoeven (2007), p. 221.
  39. ^ Vanvik (1979), pp. 13–14.
  40. ^ Kvifte & Gude-Husken (2005), p. 4.
  41. ^ Jassem (2003), p. 106.
  42. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995), p. 91.
  43. ^ a b Jones & Ward (1969), pp. 41, 44.
  44. ^ a b Peters (2019), p. ?.
  45. ^ Šuštaršič, Komar & Petek (1999), p. 137.
  46. ^ a b Doke & Mofokeng (1974), p. ?.
  47. ^ Engstrand (1999), p. 140.
  48. ^ Rosenqvist (2007), p. 9.
  49. ^ Bamgboṣe (1966), p. 166.


  • Asu, Eva Liina; Teras, Pire (2009), "Estonian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 39 (3): 367–372, doi:10.1017/s002510030999017x
  • Bamgboṣe, Ayọ (1966), A Grammar of Yoruba, [West African Languages Survey / Institute of African Studies], Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Basbøll, Hans (2005), The Phonology of Danish, ISBN 0-203-97876-5
  • Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1992), "Catalan", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 22 (1–2): 53–56, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004618, S2CID 249411809
  • Chen, Yiya; Gussenhoven, Carlos (2015), "Shanghai Chinese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 45 (3): 321–327, doi:10.1017/S0025100315000043
  • 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
  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2013) [First published 2003], Practical Phonetics and Phonology: A Resource Book for Students (3rd ed.), Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-50650-2
  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 25 (2): 90–94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005223, S2CID 249414876
  • Deterding, David (2000), "Measurements of the /eɪ/ and /oʊ/ vowels of young English speakers in Singapore", in Brown, Adam; Deterding, David; Low, Ee Ling (eds.), The English Language in Singapore: Research on Pronunciation, Singapore: Singapore Association for Applied Linguistics, pp. 93–99
  • Doke, Clement Martyn; Mofokeng, S. Machabe (1974), Textbook of Southern Sotho Grammar (3rd ed.), Cape Town: Longman Southern Africa, ISBN 0-582-61700-6
  • Dudenredaktion; Kleiner, Stefan; Knöbl, Ralf (2015) [First published 1962], Das Aussprachewörterbuch (in German) (7th ed.), Berlin: Dudenverlag, ISBN 978-3-411-04067-4
  • Engstrand, Olle (1999), "Swedish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the usage of the International Phonetic Alphabet., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 140–142, ISBN 0-521-63751-1
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L (1993), "French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 23 (2): 73–76, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004874, S2CID 249404451
  • Gordon, Elizabeth; Maclagan, Margaret (2004), "Regional and social differences in New Zealand: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, vol. 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 603–613, ISBN 978-3-11-017532-5
  • Grønnum, Nina (1998), "Illustrations of the IPA: Danish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 28 (1 & 2): 99–105, doi:10.1017/s0025100300006290, S2CID 249412109
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos; Aarts, Flor (1999), "The dialect of Maastricht" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 29 (2), University of Nijmegen, Centre for Language Studies: 155–166, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006526, S2CID 145782045
  • Harrington, Jonathan; Cox, Felicity; Evans, Zoe (1997), "An acoustic phonetic study of broad, general, and cultivated Australian English vowels", Australian Journal of Linguistics, 17 (2): 155–184, doi:10.1080/07268609708599550
  • Jassem, Wiktor (2003), "Polish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (1): 103–107, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001191
  • Jones, Daniel; Ward, Dennis (1969), The Phonetics of Russian, Cambridge University Press
  • Kohler, Klaus J. (1999), "German", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 86–89, ISBN 0-521-65236-7
  • Kráľ, Ábel (1988), Pravidlá slovenskej výslovnosti, Bratislava: Slovenské pedagogické nakladateľstvo
  • Kvifte, Bjørn; Gude-Husken, Verena (2005) [First published 1997], Praktische Grammatik der norwegischen Sprache (3rd ed.), Gottfried Egert Verlag, ISBN 3-926972-54-8
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19815-6.
  • Laufer, Asher (1999), "Hebrew", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, pp. 96–99
  • Mahboob, Ahmar; Ahmar, Nadra H. (2004), "Pakistani English: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W. (ed.), A handbook of varieties of English, vol. 1, Berlin; New York: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 1003–1015
  • Peters, Jörg (2006), "The dialect of Hasselt", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 36 (1): 117–124, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002428
  • Peters, Jörg (2019), "Saterland Frisian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 49 (2): 223–230, doi:10.1017/S0025100317000226, S2CID 232348873
  • Roca, Iggy; Johnson, Wyn (1999), A Course in Phonology, Blackwell Publishing
  • Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (1): 117–121, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001628
  • Rosenqvist, Håkan (2007), Uttalsboken: svenskt uttal i praktik och teori, Stockholm: Natur & Kultur, ISBN 978-91-27-40645-2
  • Scobbie, James M; Gordeeva, Olga B.; Matthews, Benjamin (2006), Acquisition of Scottish English Phonology: an overview, Edinburgh: QMU Speech Science Research Centre Working Papers
  • Šuštaršič, Rastislav; Komar, Smiljana; Petek, Bojan (1999), "Slovene", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 135–139, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004874, ISBN 978-0-521-65236-0, S2CID 249404451
  • Szende, Tamás (1994), "Illustrations of the IPA: Hungarian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 24 (2): 91–94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005090, S2CID 242632087
  • Ternes, Elmar (1992), "The Breton language", in MacAulay, Donald (ed.), The Celtic Languages, Cambridge University Press, pp. 371–452, ISBN 978-0-521-23127-5
  • Traunmüller, Hartmut (1982), "Vokalismus in der westniederösterreichischen Mundart.", Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik, 2: 289–333
  • Trudgill, Peter (2009), "Greek Dialect Vowel Systems, Vowel Dispersion Theory, and Sociolinguistic Typology" (PDF), Journal of Greek Linguistics, 9 (1): 80–97, doi:10.1163/156658409X12500896406041
  • Vanvik, Arne (1979), Norsk fonetikk, Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo, ISBN 82-990584-0-6
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2005), "Belgian Standard Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 35 (2): 243–247, doi:10.1017/S0025100305002173
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2007), "The Belgian Limburg dialect of Hamont", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (2): 219–225, doi:10.1017/S0025100307002940
  • Watt, Dominic; Allen, William (2003), "Tyneside English", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (2): 267–271, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001397
  • Wells, J. C. (1982), Accents of English 3: Beyond the British Isles, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-28541-0
  • Wissing, Daan (2016). "Afrikaans phonology – segment inventory". Taalportaal. Archived from the original on 15 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.