Open front rounded vowel

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Open front rounded vowel
IPA number 312
Entity (decimal) ɶ
Unicode (hex) U+0276
Kirshenbaum a.
Braille ⠔ (braille pattern dots-35) ⠪ (braille pattern dots-246)

The open front rounded vowel, or low front rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, not confirmed to be phonemic in any spoken languages. 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.

The IPA prefers terms "close" and "open" for vowels, and the name of the article follows this. However, a large number of linguists, perhaps a majority, prefer the terms "high" and "low".

Riad (2014) reports that [ɶː] in Stockholm Swedish is sometimes difficult to distinguish from [ɒː]. He states that it is "a sign that these vowels are phonetically very close".[1]


IPA vowel chart
Front Near-​front Central Near-​back Back
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
Paired vowels are: unrounded • rounded
This table contains phonetic symbols, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]

IPA help • IPA key • chart • Loudspeaker.svg chart with audio • view
  • 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's rounded, which means that the lips are rounded rather than spread or relaxed.


A phoneme generally transcribed by this symbol is reported from the Amstetten dialect of Austro-Bavarian German. However, phonetically it is open-mid, i.e. [œ].[2]

It occurs allophonically in Danish, Weert Limburgish and some speakers of Swedish.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Danish Standard[3][4][5] børn [ˈb̥ɶ̽ɐ̯n] 'children' Near-open near-front;[3][4][5] allophone of /ø(ː)/ and /œ(ː)/ after /ʁ/, sometimes also before it. May vary between near-open and open-mid.[6] See Danish phonology
Limburgish Weert dialect[7] bùj [bɶj] 'shower' Allophone of /œ/ before /j/.[7]
Swedish Stockholm[1] öra [ˈɶ̂ːˈrâ] 'ear' Pre-/r/ allophone of /œ/ and (more often) /øː/ for younger speakers.[1] Open-mid [œ, œː] for other speakers.[1] See Swedish phonology

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Riad (2014:38)
  2. Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Grønnum (1998:100)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Grønnum (2005:268)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Grønnum (2003)
  6. Basbøll (2005:46): "Nina Grønnum uses two different symbols for the vowels in these and similar words: gøre she transcribes with (...) [œ] (narrow transcription), and grøn she transcribes with (...) [ɶ̝] (narrow transcription). Clearly, there is variation within Standard Danish on this point (...)."
  7. 7.0 7.1 Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998:110)


  • Basbøll, Hans (2005), The Phonology of Danish, ISBN 0-203-97876-5<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Grønnum, Nina (1998), "Danish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 28 (1–2): 99–105, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006290<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Grønnum, Nina (2003), Why are the Danes so hard to understand?<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Grønnum, Nina (2005), Fonetik og fonologi, Almen og Dansk (3rd ed.), Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, ISBN 87-500-3865-6<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Heijmans, Linda; Gussenhoven, Carlos (1998), "The Dutch dialect of Weert" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 28: 107–112, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006307<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19814-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Riad, Tomas (2014), The Phonology of Swedish, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-954357-1<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Traunmüller, Hartmut (1982), "Vokalismus in der westniederösterreichischen Mundart.", Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik, 2: 289–333, doi:10.1017/S0025100300006290<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>