The open-mid back unrounded vowel or low-mid back unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʌ⟩, graphically a rotated lowercase "v" (called a turned V but created as a small-capital ⟨ᴀ⟩ 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.
||Realization of final unstressed /ə/
||most Emilian dialects
||It corresponds to a sound between /ɔ/ a /ä/; written ò in some spellings
||It corresponds to a weakly rounded [ɒ̈] in all other South African dialects. See South African English phonology
||For some speakers it may be rounded and closer. See English phonology
|General South African
||May be a diphthong [ʌʊ̯] instead. See South African English phonology
||In some dialects, fronted to [ɜ], or fronted and lowered to [ɐ]. See English phonology and Northern Cities Vowel Shift
|Inland Northern American
|Northern East Anglian
|Some Estuary English speakers
||Corresponding to /ɔ/ in standard French.
||Allophone of /ʌ, ʌː/ (which phonetically are central [ɜ, ɜː]) before and after /ŋ, kʰ, k, χ, ʁ/. Exact backness varies; it is most posterior before /χ, ʁ/.
||Allophone of /a/ (sometimes also /aː/) after uvular and epiglottal consonants.
||See Irish phonology
||Varies between back [ʌ] and central [ɜ].
||Allophone of [ɐ]. Used only in monosyllables. Typical of the Srinagar variety.
||너 / neo
||See Korean phonology
||Retracted counterpart of /ə/.
||Allophone of /ə/; can be mid central [ə] or close-mid back [ɤ] instead.
||See Nepali phonology
||corresponds to [ɨ] in Papago.
||Standard Saint Petersburg
||Corresponds to [ɐ] in standard Moscow pronunciation; occurs mostly immediately before stressed syllables. See Russian phonology
||Nasalized. Phonetic realization of the sequence /am/, may be [õ] or [ã] instead. See Tamil phonology
||The nasal version [ʌ̃] also occurs.
Before World War II, the /ʌ/ of Received Pronunciation was phonetically close to a back vowel [ʌ], which has since shifted forward towards [ɐ] (a near-open central unrounded vowel). Daniel Jones reported his speech (southern British) as having an advanced back vowel [ʌ̟] between his central /ə/ and back /ɔ/; however, he also reported that other southern speakers had a lower and even more advanced vowel that approached cardinal [a]. In American English varieties, such as in the West, the Midwest, and the urban South, the typical phonetic realization of the phoneme /ʌ/ is an open-mid central [ɜ]. Truly backed variants of /ʌ/ that are phonetically [ʌ] 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. However, the letter ⟨ʌ⟩ is still commonly used to indicate this phoneme, even in the more common varieties with central variants [ɐ] or [ɜ]. That may be because of both tradition and some other dialects retaining the older pronunciation.