Near-close back unrounded vowel

Near-close back unrounded vowel
ɯ̽
ɯ̞
ʊ̜
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The near-close back unrounded vowel or near-high back unrounded vowel,[1] is a type of a vowel sound, used in a few spoken languages. Acoustically it is a near-close back-central unrounded vowel.[2] The International Phonetic Alphabet does not provide a separate symbol for this sound. By analogy to [ʊ], it can be transcribed as a mid-centralized close back unrounded vowel [ɯ] (ɯ̽), a symbol equivalent to a more complex ɯ̞̈ (lowered and centralized [ɯ]). However, acoustic analysis of cardinal vowels as produced by Daniel Jones and John C. Wells has shown that basically all cardinal back unrounded vowels but the open [ɑ] (so not just [ɯ] but also [ɤ] and [ʌ]) are near-back (or back-central) in their articulation, so that the vowel described in this article may be just a lowered cardinal [ɯ] ([ɯ̞]), a vowel intermediate between cardinal [ɯ] and cardinal [ɤ].[2] In his Accents of English, John C. Wells transcribes this vowel with a non-IPA symbol ω.

Theoretically it can also be represented in the IPA as ʊ̜ (less rounded [ʊ]), but because [ʊ] is defined by the Handbook of the International Phonetic Association as rounded (rather than unspecified for rounding as [ə] and [ɐ]),[3] the symbol ʊ̜ can also signify a weakly rounded [ʊ], rather than a fully unrounded vowel that is described in this article.

It is phonemic in Korean and European Portuguese, but it appears only in unstressed syllables in the latter.

Features

IPA: Vowels
Front Central Back

Paired vowels are: unrounded  rounded

  • Its vowel backness is back, which means the tongue is positioned as far back as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Unrounded back vowels tend to be centralized, which means that often they are in fact near-back.
  • It is unrounded, which means that the lips are not rounded.

Occurrence

LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
EnglishAfrican-American[4]hook[hɯ̽k]'hook'Possible realization of /ʊ/.[4]
California[5]Local realization of /ʊ/; often pronounced with spread lips.[5] See English phonology
Tidewater[6]May be rounded [ʊ] instead.[6]
Cardiff[7][ɯ̽k]Local realization of /ʊ/;[7] also described as close-mid central [ɘ ~ ɵ].[8]
New Zealand[9][10]treacle [ˈtɹ̝̊e̝kɯ̽]'treacle'Possible realization of the unstressed vowel /ɯ/, which is variable in rounding and ranges from central to (more often) back and close to close-mid.[9][10] It corresponds to /əl/ in other accents. See New Zealand English phonology
Some Philadelphia speakers[11]plus[pɫ̥ɯ̽s]'plus'Used particularly by male speakers; can be lower [ʌ̝ ~ ʌ] instead.[11] It corresponds to [ʌ] in other accents. See English phonology
IrishUlster[12]ag gail[ə ˈɡɯ̽lˠ]'boiling'Allophone of /ɪ/.[12] See Irish phonology
Korean[13]어른/eoreun[ɘːɾɯ̽n]'seniors'Typically transcribed in IPA with ɯ. See Korean phonology
Mirandesecebada[s̪ɯ̽ˈβ̞äð̞ə]'barley'Unstressed vowel; typically transcribed in IPA with ɨ.
PortugueseEuropean[14]pegar[pɯ̽ˈɣäɾ]'to hold'Unstressed vowel;[14] most often transcribed in IPA with ɨ, ɯ or ə. See Portuguese phonology
TurkishStandardacı[äˈd͡ʒɯ̽]'pain'Allophone of /ɯ/ in final open syllable of a phrase according to Zimmer and Orgun and in all positions according to Kılıç and Öğüt. See Turkish phonology
VietnameseHanoi[15]t[t̻ɯ̽˧˨]'word'Common allophone of /ɯ/.[15] See Vietnamese phonology
Yine[16][tɯ̽wɯ̽]'salt'Typically transcribed in IPA with ɯ.[16]

Notes

  1. While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. 1 2 Geoff Lindsey (2013) The vowel space, Speech Talk
  3. International Phonetic Association (1999:180)
  4. 1 2 Wells (1982), p. 557.
  5. 1 2 Ladefoged (1999), pp. 42–43.
  6. 1 2 Wells (1982), p. 536.
  7. 1 2 Wells (1982), p. 386.
  8. Collins & Mees (1990), pp. 92, 94.
  9. 1 2 "NZE Phonology" (PDF). Victoria University of Wellington. p. 3.
  10. 1 2 Bauer & Warren (2004), p. 585.
  11. 1 2 Gordon (2004), p. 290.
  12. 1 2 Ní Chasaide (1999), p. 114.
  13. Lee (1999), p. 121.
  14. 1 2 Cruz-Ferreira (1995), p. 91.
  15. 1 2 Kirby (2011), p. 384.
  16. 1 2 Urquía Sebastián & Marlett (2008), p. 366.

References

  • Bauer, Laurie; Warren, Paul (2004), "New Zealand English: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive, A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 580–602, ISBN 3-11-017532-0 
  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (1990), "The Phonetics of Cardiff English", in Coupland, Nikolas; Thomas, Alan Richard, English in Wales: Diversity, Conflict, and Change, Multilingual Matters Ltd., pp. 87–103, ISBN 1-85359-032-0 
  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 25 (2): 90–94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005223 
  • Gordon, Matthew J. (2004), "New York, Philadelphia, and other northern cities: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive, A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 282–299, ISBN 3-11-017532-0 
  • International Phonetic Association (1999), Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-65236-7 
  • Kirby, James P. (2011), "Vietnamese (Hanoi Vietnamese)" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 41 (3): 381–392, doi:10.1017/S0025100311000181 
  • Ladefoged, Peter (1999), "American English", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 41–44 
  • Lee, Hyun Bok (1999), "Korean", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 120–122, ISBN 0-521-63751-1 
  • Ní Chasaide, Ailbhe (1999), "Irish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 111–16, ISBN 0-521-63751-1 
  • Urquía Sebastián, Rittma; Marlett, Stephen A. (2008), "Yine", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 38 (3): 365–369, doi:10.1017/S0025100308003356 
  • Wells, John C. (1982). Accents of English. Volume 2: The British Isles (pp. i–xx, 279–466), Volume 3: Beyond the British Isles (pp. i–xx, 467–674). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-52128540-2 , 0-52128541-0 .
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