Open back unrounded vowel

Open back unrounded vowel
ɑ
IPA Number305
Audio sample
Encoding
Entity (decimal)ɑ
Unicode (hex)U+0251
X-SAMPAA
Braille⠡ (braille pattern dots-16)
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The open back unrounded vowel, or low back 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 ⟨ɑ⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is A. The letter ⟨ɑ⟩ is called script a because it lacks the extra hook on top of a printed letter a, which corresponds to a different vowel, the open front unrounded vowel. Script a, which has its linear stroke on the bottom right, should not be confused with turned script a, ɒ, which has its linear stroke on the top left and corresponds to a rounded version of this vowel, the open back rounded vowel.

The open back unrounded vowel is the vocalic equivalent of the pharyngeal approximant [ʕ̞]. ⟨ɑ̯⟩ with the non-syllabic diacritic and ⟨ʕ̞⟩ are used in different transcription systems to represent the same sound.

In some languages (such as Azerbaijani, Estonian, Luxembourgish and Toda)[2][3][4][5] there is the near-open back unrounded vowel (a sound between cardinal [ɑ] and [ʌ]), which can be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɑ̝⟩ or ⟨ʌ̞⟩.

The Hamont-Achel dialect of Limburgish has been reported to contrast long open front, central and back unrounded vowels.[6] This is extremely unusual.

  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ Mokari & Werner (2016), p. 509.
  3. ^ Asu & Teras (2009), p. 368.
  4. ^ Gilles & Trouvain (2013), p. 70.
  5. ^ Shalev, Ladefoged & Bhaskararao (1993), p. 92.
  6. ^ Verhoeven (2007), p. 221.

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