Near-close central unrounded vowel

Near-close central unrounded vowel
IPA number 319 415
Entity (decimal) ɪ̈
Unicode (hex) U+026AU+0308
X-SAMPA I\ or 1_o
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The near-close central unrounded vowel, or near-high central unrounded vowel,[1] is a vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The International Phonetic Alphabet can represent this sound in a number of ways (see the box on the right), but the most common symbols are ɪ̈ (centralized [ɪ]) and ɨ̞ (lowered [ɨ]). Other possible transcriptions are ɪ̠ (retracted [ɪ]) and ɘ̝ (raised [ɘ]), with the latter symbol being the least common. The X-SAMPA equivalents are, respectively, I\, 1_o, I_- and @\_r.

In many British dictionaries, this vowel has been transcribed ɪ, which captures its height; in the American tradition it is more often ɨ, which captures its centrality, or ,[2] which captures both. is also used in a number of other publications, such as Accents of English by John C. Wells. In the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, represents free variation between /ɪ/ and /ə/.


IPA: Vowels
Front Central Back

Paired vowels are: unrounded  rounded

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


Note: Because ɪ is commonly used for the close-mid near-front unrounded vowel (see near-close near-front unrounded vowel), some of the vowels transcribed with ɪ̈ can be actually close-mid as well. See close-mid central unrounded vowel.

Amharic[3]ሥር[sɨ̞r]'root'Often transcribed in IPA with ə.
BerberCentral Atlas Tamazight[4][χdɪ̈m]'to work'Epenthetically inserted into consonant clusters before labial and coronal consonants.
EnglishInland Southern American[5]good[ɡɪ̈d]'good'Corresponds to [ʊ] in other dialects. See English phonology
Southeastern English[6]May be rounded [ʊ̈] instead;[6] it corresponds to [ʊ] in other dialects. See English phonology
London[7][8]lip[lɪ̈ʔp]'lip'Possible realization of /ɪ/.[7][8]
South African[9][lɪ̈p]For some speakers it can be equal to [ə]. General and Broad varieties of SAE have an allophonic variation, with [ɪ] ([i] in Broad) occurring near velar and palatal consonants, and [ɪ̈~ə] elsewhere. See South African English phonology
Southern American[10]Allophone of /ɪ/ before labial consonants, sometimes also in other environments.[10]
IrishMunster[11]goirt[ɡɨ̞ɾˠtʲ]'salty'Allophone of /ɪ/ between broad consonants.[11] See Irish phonology
Ulster[12]Allophone of /ɪ/.[12]
Mah Meri[13][d͡ʑäbɨ̞ʔ͡k̚]'to be drunk'
Mapudungun[14]müṉa[mɘ̝ˈn̪ɐ̝]'male cousin on father's side'Unstressed allophone of /ɘ/.[14]
Russian[15]кожа [ˈkʷo̞ʐ̺ɨ̞]'skin'Occurs only after unpalatalized consonants and in unstressed syllables. See Russian phonology
Sema[16]sü[ʃɨ̞̀]'to hurt'Also described as close [ɨ].[17]
Tera[18]vur[vɨ̞r]'to give'Allophone of /ɨ/ in closed syllables.[18]
WelshNorthern dialects[19]pump[pɨ̞mp]'five'Merges with /ɪ/ in southern dialects. See Welsh phonology



  • Abdel-Massih, Ernest T. (1971), A Reference Grammar of Tamazight, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan 
  • Altendorf, Ulrike; Watt, Dominic (2004), "The dialects in the South of England: 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. 181–196, ISBN 3-11-017532-0 
  • Ball, Martin J. (1984), "Phonetics for phonology", in Ball, Martin J.; Jones, G.E, Welsh Phonology, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, ISBN 0-7083-0861-9 
  • Hayward, Katrina; Hayward, Richard J. (1999), "Amharic", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 45–50, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004874, ISBN 0-521-65236-7 
  • Jones, Daniel; Ward, Dennis (1969), The Phonetics of Russian, Cambridge University Press 
  • Kruspe, Nicole; Hajek, John (2009), "Mah Meri", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 39 (2): 241–248, doi:10.1017/S0025100309003946 
  • Lass, Roger (2002), "South African English", in Mesthrie, Rajend, Language in South Africa, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521791052 
  • Lodge, Ken (2009), A Critical Introduction to Phonetics, Continuum International Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-8264-8873-2 
  • Mott, Brian (2012), "Traditional Cockney and popular London speech", Dialectologia, RACO (Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert), 9: 69–94, ISSN 2013-2247 
  • Ní Chasaide, Ailbhe (1999), "Irish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 111–16, ISBN 0-521-63751-1 
  • Ó Sé, Diarmuid (2000), Gaeilge Chorca Dhuibhne (in Irish), Dublin: Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann, ISBN 0-946452-97-0 
  • Pullum, Geoffrey K.; Ladusaw, William A. (1996), Phonetic Symbol Guide, Chicago, IL, USA: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 9780226685366 
  • Sadowsky, Scott; Painequeo, Héctor; Salamanca, Gastón; Avelino, Heriberto (2013), "Mapudungun", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (1): 87–96, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000369 
  • Tench, Paul (2007), "Tera", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (1): 228–234, doi:10.1017/s0025100307002952 
  • Teo, Amos B. (2012), "Sumi (Sema)", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 42 (03): 365–373, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000254 
  • Teo, Amos B. (2014), A phonological and phonetic description of Sumi, a Tibeto-Burman language of Nagaland (PDF), Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics, ISBN 978-1-922185-10-5 
  • Wells, John C. (1982), Accents of English 3: Beyond the British Isles, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-28541-0 
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