Open front rounded vowel

Open front rounded vowel
IPA number 312
Entity (decimal) ɶ
Unicode (hex) U+0276
Kirshenbaum a.
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The (near) open front rounded vowel, or (near) low front rounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound, not confirmed to be phonemic in any spoken languages. While traditionally characterized as a fully open (low) vowel, the rounded equivalent of [a], acoustically it is near-open (or near-low), the rounded equivalent of [æ].[2] The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɶ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is &. The letter ɶ is a small caps rendition of Œ. Note that œ, the lowercase version of the ligature, is used for the open-mid front rounded vowel.

A phoneme generally transcribed by this symbol is reported from the Bavarian subdialect of Amstetten. However, phonetically it is open-mid, i.e. [œ].[3]

It occurs allophonically in Weert Limburgish[4] as well as in some speakers of Danish[5] and Swedish.[6] In certain transcriptions of Danish ɶ is used to denote an open-mid front rounded vowel [œ].[5]

Riad (2014) reports that [ɶː] in Stockholm Swedish is sometimes difficult to distinguish from [ɒː] (which is the main realization of the /ɑː/ phoneme). He states that it is a sign that these vowels are phonetically very close.[6]


IPA: Vowels
Front Central Back

Paired vowels are: unrounded  rounded

  • Its vowel height is open, also known as low, which means the tongue is positioned as far as possible from the roof of the mouth – that is, as low as possible in the mouth.
  • Its vowel backness is front, which means the tongue is positioned as far forward as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Note that rounded front vowels are often centralized, which means that often they are in fact near-front.
  • It is rounded, which means that the lips are rounded rather than spread or relaxed.


DanishSome speakers[5]grøn[ˈɡ̊ʁɶ̝nˀ]'green'Near-open;[7] allophone of /œ/ after /r/.[8] Other speakers pronounce it the same as [œ].[5] See Danish phonology
LimburgishWeert dialect[4]bùj[bɶj]'shower'Allophone of /œ/ before /j/.[4]
SwedishStockholm[6]öra[²ɶːra̠]'ear'Pre-/r/ allophone of /øː/ (sometimes also /œ/) for younger speakers.[6] Open-mid [œː, œ] for other speakers.[6] See Swedish phonology

See also



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