Close-mid central unrounded vowel

Close-mid central unrounded vowel
IPA number 397
Entity (decimal) ɘ
Unicode (hex) U+0258
Kirshenbaum @<umd>
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The close-mid central unrounded vowel, or high-mid central 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 ɘ. This is a mirrored letter e, and should not be confused with the schwa ə, which is a turned e. It was added to the IPA in 1993; before that, this vowel was transcribed ë (Latin small letter e with umlaut, not Cyrillic small letter yo). Certain older sources[2] transcribe this vowel ɤ̈.

The ɘ letter may be used with a lowering diacritic ɘ̞, to denote the mid central unrounded vowel.

To type this symbol on Windows, press and hold the ALT key while typing "600" using the number pad keys.


IPA: Vowels
Front Central Back

Paired vowels are: unrounded  rounded

  • It is unrounded, which means that the lips are not rounded.


AzerbaijaniStandardqız[ɡɘz]'girl'Typically transcribed as /ɯ/.
Cotabato Manobo[3]May be transcribed in IPA with ə.
DinkaLuanyjang[4]ŋeŋ[ŋɘ́ŋ]'jawbone'Short allophone of /e/.[4]
EnglishAustralian[5][6]bird[bɘːd]'bird'Typically transcribed in IPA with ɜː. See Australian English phonology
Southern Michigan[7][bɘ˞ːd]Rhotacized.
Cardiff[8]foot[fɘt]'foot'Less often rounded [ɵ];[9] corresponds to [ʊ] in other dialects. See English phonology
New Zealand[10]bit[bɘt]'bit'Corresponds to /ɪ/ in other dialects. See New Zealand English phonology
Southern American[11]nut[nɘt]'nut'Some dialects.[11] Corresponds to /ʌ/ in other dialects. See English phonology
Estonian[12]kõrv[kɘrv]'ear'Typically transcribed in IPA with ɤ; can be close-mid back [ɤ] or close back [ɯ] instead, depending on the speaker.[12] See Estonian phonology
GermanStandard[13]bitte [ˈbɪtɘ] 'please'Also described as mid [ə].[14][15] See Standard German phonology
Many speakers[16]Irrtum[ˈɘːtuːm]'error'Common alternative to the centering diphthong [ɪɐ̯].[16] May be transcribed in IPA with ɨː. See Standard German phonology
IrishMunster[17]sáile[ˈsˠɰaːlʲɘ]'salt water'Usually transcribed in IPA with [ɪ̽]. It is an allophone of /ə/ next to non-palatal slender consonants.[17] See Irish phonology
Kaingang[19][ˈᵐbɘ]'tail'Varies between central [ɘ] and back [ɤ].[20]
Kalagan Kaagan[21][miˈwɘːʔ]'lost'Allophone of /ɨ/ in word-final stressed syllables before /ʔ/; can be transcribed in IPA with ə.[21]
Kensiu[22][ɟɘ˞h]'to trim'Rhotacized; may be transcribed in IPA with ɚ.[22]
Kera[23][t͡ʃɘ̄wā̠a̠]'fire'Allophone of /a/; typically transcribed in IPA with ə.[23]
Korean[24][ɘːɾɯ̽n]'senior'May be transcribed in IPA with əː. See Korean phonology
Lizu[25][Fkɘ]'eagle'Allophone of /ə/ after velar stops.[25]
Mapudungun[26]elün[ë̝ˈlɘn]'to leave (something)'
Mono[28]dœ[dɘ]'be (equative)'May be transcribed in IPA with ə.[28]
NorwegianUrban East[29]sterkeste[²stæɾkɘstɘ]'the strongest'Also described as mid [ə];[30] occurs only in unstressed syllables. Typically transcribed in IPA with ə. Some dialects (e.g. Trondheimsk) lack this sound.[31] See Norwegian phonology
Polish[32]tymczasowy [t̪ɘ̟mt͡ʂäˈs̪ɔvɘ̟] 'temporary'Somewhat fronted;[32] typically transcribed in IPA with ɨ. See Polish phonology
RomanianMoldavian dialects[33]casă[ˈkäsɘ]'house'Corresponds to [ə] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
RussianSome speakers[34]солнце [ˈs̪o̞n̪t̪͡s̪ɘ] 'sun'Unstressed allophone of /ɨ/ after /t͡s/; other speakers realize it as near-close [ɨ̞].[34] See Russian phonology
Temne[36]pər[pɘ́r]'incite'Typically transcribed in IPA with ə.[36]
Vietnamese[37]v[vɘ˨˩ˀ]'wife'Typically transcribed in IPA with ɤ. See Vietnamese phonology
XumiUpper[38][LPmɘ̃dɐ]'upstairs'Nasalized; occurs only in this word.[38] It is realized as mid [ə̃] in Lower Xumi.[39]
ZapotecTilquiapan[40]ne[nɘ]'and'Most common realization of /e/.[40]


  1. While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. For example Collins & Mees (1990).
  3. Kerr (1988:110)
  4. 1 2 Remijsen & Manyang (2009:117, 119)
  5. Cox (2006:?)
  6. Durie & Hajek (1994:?)
  7. Hillenbrand (2003:122)
  8. Collins & Mees (1990:93)
  9. Collins & Mees (1990:92)
  10. Bauer et al. (2007)
  11. 1 2 Roca & Johnson (1999:186)
  12. 1 2 Asu & Teras (2009), pp. 368–369.
  13. Collins & Mees (2013:234)
  14. Kohler (1999:87)
  15. Lodge (2009:87)
  16. 1 2 Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015:34, 52). The source transcribes this sound with the symbol ɨː, but describes it as a strongly centralized (not "raised and centralized") [ɪ], which it describes as close-mid.
  17. 1 2 Ó Sé (2000)
  18. Valenzuela & Gussenhoven (2013:101)
  19. Jolkesky (2009:676–677 and 682)
  20. Jolkesky (2009:676 and 682)
  21. 1 2 Wendel & Wendel (1978:198)
  22. 1 2 Bishop (1996:230)
  23. 1 2 Pearce (2011:251)
  24. Lee (1999:121)
  25. 1 2 Chirkova & Chen (2013a:79)
  26. Sadowsky et al. (2013:92)
  27. Iivonen & Harnud (2005:62, 66–67)
  28. 1 2 Olson (2004:235)
  29. Popperwell (2010), p. 16, 31–32.
  30. Vanvik (1979), pp. 13, 20.
  31. Vanvik (1979), p. 21.
  32. 1 2 Jassem (2003:105) The source transcribes this sound with the symbol /ɨ/ but one can see from the vowel chart at pag. 105 that the Polish sound is closer to [ɘ] than to [ɨ]
  33. Pop (1938), p. 29.
  34. 1 2 Jones & Ward (1969:38)
  35. Fast Mowitz (1975:2)
  36. 1 2 Kanu & Tucker (2010:249)
  37. Hoang (1965:24)
  38. 1 2 Chirkova, Chen & Kocjančič Antolík (2013:389)
  39. Chirkova & Chen (2013b:370)
  40. 1 2 Merrill (2008:109–110)


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