A near-open vowel or a near-low vowel is any in a class of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a near-open vowel is that the tongue is positioned similarly to an open vowel, but slightly more constricted.[1]

Other names for a near-open vowel are lowered open-mid vowel and raised open vowel,[2] though the former phrase may also be used to describe a vowel that is as low as open; likewise, the latter phrase may also be used to describe a vowel that is as high as open-mid.

Partial list

The near-open vowels with dedicated symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet are:

Other near-open vowels can be indicated with diacritics of relative articulation applied to letters for neighboring vowels, such as ⟨ɒ̽⟩ and ⟨ɑ̽⟩ for near-open near-back rounded and unrounded vowels.


  1. ^ Anderson, Catherine; Bjorkman, Bronwyn; Denis, Derek; Doner, Julianne; Grant, Margaret; Sanders, Nathan; Taniguchi, Ai (2022-02-28). "3.5 Describing vowels". ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ Pöchtrager, Markus A. (2021-05-07). "Towards a non-arbitrary account of affricates and affrication". Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics. 6 (1). doi:10.5334/gjgl.1116. ISSN 2397-1835. S2CID 236547770.