Near-close near-front unrounded vowel

Near-close near-front unrounded vowel
IPA Number319
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ɪ
Unicode (hex)U+026A
Braille⠌ (braille pattern dots-34)
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The near-close front unrounded vowel, or near-high front unrounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɪ, i.e. a small capital version of the Latin letter i. The International Phonetic Association advises serifs on the symbol's ends.[2] Some sans-serif fonts do meet this typographic specification.[3] Prior to 1989, there was an alternate symbol for this sound: ɩ (the Latin iota), the use of which is no longer sanctioned by the IPA.[4] Despite that, some modern writings[5] still use it.

Handbook of the International Phonetic Association defines [ɪ] as a mid-centralized (lowered and centralized) close front unrounded vowel (transcribed [i̽] or [ï̞]), and the current official IPA name of the vowel transcribed with the symbol ɪ is a near-close near-front unrounded vowel.[6] However, some languages have the close-mid near-front unrounded vowel, a vowel that is somewhat lower than the canonical value of [ɪ], though it still fits the definition of a mid-centralized [i]. It occurs in some dialects of English (such as Californian, General American and modern Received Pronunciation)[7][8][9] as well as some other languages (such as Icelandic),[10][11] and it can be transcribed with the symbol ɪ̞ (a lowered ɪ) in narrow transcription. Certain sources[12] may even use ɪ for the close-mid front unrounded vowel, but that is rare. For the close-mid (near-)front unrounded vowel that is not usually transcribed with the symbol ɪ (or i), see close-mid front unrounded vowel.

In some other languages (such as Danish, Luxembourgish and Sotho)[13][14][15][16] there is a fully front near-close unrounded vowel (a sound between cardinal [i] and [e]), which can be transcribed in IPA with ɪ̟, or . There may be phonological reasons not to transcribe the fully front variant with the symbol ɪ, which may incorrectly imply a relation to the close [i].

Sometimes, especially in broad transcription, this vowel is transcribed with a simpler symbol i, which technically represents the close front unrounded vowel.

  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ "IPA Fonts: General Advice". International Phonetic Association. 2015. With any font you consider using, it is worth checking that the symbol for the centralized close front vowel (ɪ, U+026A) appears correctly with serifs top and bottom; that the symbol for the dental click (ǀ, U+01C0) is distinct from the lower-case L (l)
  3. ^ Sans-serif fonts with serifed ɪ (despite having serifless capital I) include Arial, FreeSans and Lucida Sans.
    On the other hand, Segoe and Tahoma place serifs on ɪ as well as capital I.
    Finally, both are serifless in Calibri.
  4. ^ International Phonetic Association (1999), p. 167.
  5. ^ Such as Árnason (2011)
  6. ^ International Phonetic Association (1999), pp. 13, 168, 180.
  7. ^ Ladefoged (1999), p. 42.
  8. ^ Wells (1982), p. 486.
  9. ^ Collins & Mees (2003), p. 90.
  10. ^ Árnason (2011), p. 60.
  11. ^ Einarsson (1945:10), cited in Gussmann (2011:73)
  12. ^ Such as Šimáčková, Podlipský & Chládková (2012).
  13. ^ Grønnum (1998), p. 100.
  14. ^ Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 70.
  15. ^ Basbøll (2005), p. 45.
  16. ^ Doke & Mofokeng (1974), p. ?.

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