Near-open central vowel

Near-open central vowel
IPA Number324
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ɐ
Unicode (hex)U+0250
Braille⠲ (braille pattern dots-256)⠁ (braille pattern dots-1)

The near-open central vowel, or near-low central 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 ⟨ɐ⟩, a rotated lowercase double-barrelled letter a.

In English this vowel is most typically transcribed with the symbol ⟨ʌ⟩, i.e. as if it were open-mid back. That pronunciation is still found in some dialects, but most speakers use a central vowel like [ɐ] or [ɜ].

Much like ⟨ə⟩, ⟨ɐ⟩ is a versatile symbol that is not defined for roundedness[2] and that can be used for vowels that are near-open central,[3] near-open near-front,[4] near-open near-back,[5] open-mid central,[6] open central[7] or a (often unstressed) vowel with variable height, backness and/or roundedness that is produced in that general area.[8] For open central unrounded vowels transcribed with ⟨ɐ⟩, see open central unrounded vowel.

When the usual transcription of the near-open near-front and the near-open near-back variants is different from ⟨ɐ⟩, they are listed in near-open front unrounded vowel and open back unrounded vowel or open back rounded vowel, respectively.

The near-open central unrounded vowel is sometimes the only open vowel in a language[9] and then is typically transcribed with ⟨a⟩.

  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ International Phonetic Association (1999), p. 166.
  3. ^ Roca & Johnson (1999), p. 186.
  4. ^ Anonby (2011), p. 378.
  5. ^ Gilles & Trouvain (2013), pp. 68, 70.
  6. ^ Ternes & Vladimirova-Buhtz (1999), p. 56.
  7. ^ Cox & Fletcher (2017), pp. 64–65.
  8. ^ Krech et al. (2009), p. 86.
  9. ^ Arvaniti (2007), p. 25.

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