Close-mid back unrounded vowel

Close-mid back unrounded vowel
IPA Number315
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ɤ
Unicode (hex)U+0264
Braille⠲ (braille pattern dots-256)⠕ (braille pattern dots-135)

The close-mid back unrounded vowel, or high-mid back unrounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. Its symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet is ⟨ɤ⟩, called "ram's horns." This symbol is distinct from the symbol for the voiced velar fricative, ⟨ɣ⟩, which has a descender, but some texts[2] use this symbol for the voiced velar fricative.

Before the 1989 IPA Convention, the symbol for the close-mid back unrounded vowel was ⟨Latin letter small capital Gamma.svg⟩, sometimes called "baby gamma", which has a flat top; this symbol was in turn derived from and replaced the inverted small capital A, ⟨⟩, that represented the sound before the 1928 revision to the IPA.[3] The symbol was ultimately revised to be ⟨Ram's horns.svg⟩, "ram's horns", with a rounded top, in order to better differentiate it from the Latin gammaɣ⟩.[4] Unicode provides only U+0264 ɤ LATIN SMALL LETTER RAMS HORN, but in some fonts this character may appear as a "baby gamma" instead. The superscript IPA version is U+10791 𐞑 MODIFIER LETTER SMALL RAMS HORN.[5]

  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ Such as Booij (1999) and Nowikow (2012).
  3. ^ International Phonetic Association (1912). The principles of the International Phonetic Association. Paris, Association Phonétique Internationale. pp. 10.
  4. ^ Nicholas, Nick (2003). "Greek-derived IPA symbols". Greek Unicode Issues. University of California, Irvine. Archived from the original on 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2013-12-18.
  5. ^ Miller, Kirk; Ashby, Michael (2020-11-08). "L2/20-252R: Unicode request for IPA modifier-letters (a), pulmonic" (PDF).

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