Open-mid central rounded vowel
IPA Number395
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ɞ
Unicode (hex)U+025E
Braille⠦ (braille pattern dots-236)⠜ (braille pattern dots-345)

The open-mid central rounded vowel, or low-mid central rounded vowel,[1] is a vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɞ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is 3\. The symbol is called closed reversed epsilon. It was added to the IPA in 1993; before that, this vowel was transcribed ɔ̈.

IPA charts were first published with this vowel transcribed as a closed epsilon, ʚ (that is, a closed variant of ɛ, much as the high-mid vowel letter ɵ is a closed variant of e), and this variant made its way into Unicode as U+029A ʚ LATIN SMALL LETTER CLOSED OPEN E. The IPA charts were later changed to the current closed reversed epsilon ɞ, and this was adopted into Unicode as U+025E ɞ LATIN SMALL LETTER CLOSED REVERSED OPEN E.



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Afrikaans Standard[2] lug [lɞχ] 'air' Also been described as mid [ɞ̝], typically transcribed in IPA with œ. Many speakers merge /œ/ with /ə/, even in formal speech.[3] See Afrikaans phonology
English Irish[4] but [bɞθ̠] 'but' Corresponds to [ʌ] in other varieties. See English phonology
New Zealand[5] not [nɞʔt] 'not' Possible realization of /ɒ/.[5] See New Zealand English phonology
Faroese[6] høgur [ˈhɞːʋʊɹ] 'high' Typically transcribed in IPA with øː. See Faroese phonology
French Parisian[7] port [pɞːꭓ] 'port', 'harbour' Described variously as an allophone of /ɔ/ before /ʁ/[8] and as the default allophone of /ɔ/.[7] See French phonology
German Chemnitz dialect[9] Wonne [ˈv̞ɞnə] 'bliss' May be transcribed as ɞ̝ though ɞ is typically used.[9]
Irish tomhail [tɞːlʲ] 'consume' (imp.) See Irish phonology
Kashubian ptôch [ptɞx] 'bird'
Limburgish Maastrichtian[10] lui [lɞː] 'lazy' Allophone of /œy/ in words with Accent 2. May be slightly diphthongal [ɞɵ] itself. It contrasts with the near-open [ɐ̹ː] in words with Accent 2 ([ɐ̹ː] itself is always toneless).[11] It may be transcribed in IPA with œː, as it is a phonological front vowel.
Mwerlap[12] N̄wërlap [ŋʷɞrˈlap] 'Merelava'
Navajo[13] tsosts’id [tsʰɞstsˈɪt] 'seven' See Navajo phonology
Northern Tiwa Taos dialect ącut'uonbo [ʔãˌtʃʊt̚ːˈʔuɞnbɑ] 'his-garment-around' Allophone of /ɑ/. See Taos phonology
Panará[14] [kɾə'kɞ] 'trousers' Contrasts with [ə].[15]
Poitevin o doune dun] 'he gives'
West Frisian Southwestern dialects[16] boare [ˈbɞːrə] 'tomcat' Corresponds to [wa] in other dialects.[16] See West Frisian phonology


  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ Wissing (2012), p. 711.
  3. ^ Wissing (2016), section "The rounded and unrounded mid-central vowels".
  4. ^ Wells (1982), p. 422.
  5. ^ a b Bauer et al. (2007), p. 98.
  6. ^ Peterson (2000), cited in Árnason (2011:76)
  7. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2013), p. 225.
  8. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993), p. 73.
  9. ^ a b Khan & Weise (2013), p. 236.
  10. ^ Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999), pp. 159, 161–162.
  11. ^ Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999), pp. 159, 161–162, 164.
  12. ^ François (2005: 445, 460).
  13. ^ McDonough, Ladefoged & George (1993). The authors gave a narrow transcription of [ɵ], though at the time the IPA had only this one symbol for a mid central rounded vowel, and it is clear from the discussion and formant charts that this vowel a centralized open-mid vowel.
  14. ^ Vasconcelos (2013), pp. 182, 183.
  15. ^ Vasconcelos (2013), p. 182.
  16. ^ a b Hoekstra (2003:202), citing Hof (1933:14)


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  • Bauer, Laurie; Warren, Paul; Bardsley, Dianne; Kennedy, Marianna; Major, George (2007), "New Zealand English", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (1): 97–102, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002830
  • 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
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L (1993), "French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 23 (2): 73–76, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004874, S2CID 249404451
  • François, Alexandre (2005), "Unraveling the history of the vowels of seventeen northern Vanuatu languages" (PDF), Oceanic Linguistics, 44 (2): 443–504, doi:10.1353/ol.2005.0034, S2CID 131668754
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos; Aarts, Flor (1999), "The dialect of Maastricht" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, University of Nijmegen, Centre for Language Studies, 29 (2): 155–166, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006526, S2CID 145782045
  • Hoekstra, Jarich (2003), "Frisian. Standardization in progress of a language in decay" (PDF), Germanic Standardizations. Past to Present, vol. 18, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 193–209, ISBN 978-90-272-1856-8
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  • 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.
  • McDonough, Joyce; Ladefoged, Peter; George, Helen (1993), "Navajo Vowels and Phonetic Universal Tendencies", UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics, Fieldwork Studies of Targeted Languages, 84: 143–150
  • Peterson, Hjalmar P. (2000), "Mátingar af sjálvljóðum í føruyskum", Málting, 28: 37–43
  • Wells, John C. (1982), Accents of English, vol. II: The British Isles, Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-28541-0
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