Close-mid front rounded vowel

Close-mid front rounded vowel
IPA Number 310
Entity (decimal) ø
Unicode (hex) U+00F8
Braille ⠳ (braille pattern dots-1256)
Audio sample
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The close-mid front rounded vowel, or high-mid front rounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the sound is ⟨ø⟩, a lowercase letter o with a diagonal stroke through it, borrowed from Danish, Norwegian, and Faroese, which sometimes use the letter to represent the sound. The symbol is commonly referred to as "o, slash" in English.

For the close-mid front rounded vowel that is usually transcribed with the symbol ⟨ʏ⟩, see near-close front rounded vowel. If the usual symbol is ⟨ø⟩, the vowel is listed here.

Close-mid front compressed vowel

The close-mid front compressed vowel is typically transcribed in IPA simply as ⟨ø⟩, which is the convention used in this article. There is no dedicated diacritic for compression in the IPA. However, the compression of the lips can be shown with the letter ⟨β̞⟩ as ⟨e͡β̞⟩ (simultaneous [e] and labial compression) or ⟨eᵝ⟩ ([e] modified with labial compression). The spread-lip diacritic ⟨  ͍ ⟩ may also be used with a rounded vowel letter ⟨ø͍⟩ as an ad hoc symbol, but 'spread' technically means unrounded.

For the close-mid front compressed vowel that is usually transcribed with the symbol ⟨ʏ⟩, see near-close front compressed vowel. If the usual symbol is ⟨ø⟩, the vowel is listed here.


  • Its vowel height is close-mid, also known as high-mid, which means the tongue is positioned halfway between a close vowel (a high vowel) and a mid vowel.
  • Its vowel backness is front, which means the tongue is positioned forward in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant. Rounded front vowels are often centralized, which means that often they are in fact near-front.
  • Its roundedness is compressed, which means that the margins of the lips are tense and drawn together in such a way that the inner surfaces are not exposed.


Because front rounded vowels are assumed to have compression, and few descriptions cover the distinction, some of the following may actually have protrusion.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Asturian Some Western dialects [es][2] fuöra [ˈfwøɾɐ] 'outside' Realization of ⟨o⟩ in the diphthong ⟨uo⟩. May also be realized as [ɵ] or [œ].
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[3] [example needed] Contrasts close [y], near-close [ø̝], close-mid [ø] and open-mid [œ] front rounded vowels in addition to the open central unrounded [ä].[3] Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨œ⟩.
Northern[4] [example needed] Allophone of /e/ before /l/.[4]
Breton[5] eur [øːʁ] 'hour'
Danish Standard[6] købe [ˈkʰøːpə] 'buy' Also described as near-close [ø̝ː].[7] See Danish phonology
Dutch Standard Belgian[8][9] neus About this sound[nøːs] 'nose' Also described as central [ɵː].[10] In the Standard Northern variety, it is diphthongized to [øʏ̯].[9][11] See Dutch phonology
Many accents[9] Present in many Eastern and Southern varieties.[12] See Dutch phonology
English Broad New Zealand[13][14] bird [bøːd] 'bird' Possible realization of /ɵː/. Other speakers use a more open vowel [ø̞ː ~ œː].[13][15] See New Zealand English phonology
Cardiff[16] Lower [ø̞ː ~ œː] in other southern Welsh accents. It corresponds to mid central unrounded [ɜ̝ː] in other Welsh accents and in RP.[17][18][19]
Port Talbot[20]
Geordie[21][22] Can be mid central unrounded [ɜ̝ː] instead.[21]
South African[23] Used in General and Broad accents; may be mid [ø̞ː] instead. In the Cultivated variety, it is realized as mid central unrounded [ɜ̝ː].[23] See South African English phonology
Estonian[24] köök [køːk] 'kitchen' See Estonian phonology
Faroese Suðuroy dialect[25] bygdin [ˈpɪktøn] 'bridges' Realization of unstressed /i/ and /u/.[25] The stressed vowel typically transcribed with ⟨øː⟩ in IPA transcriptions of Faroese is open-mid [œː].[26] See Faroese phonology
French[27][28] peu [pø] 'few' See French phonology
German Standard[29][30] schön About this sound[ʃøːn]  'beautiful' See Standard German phonology
Southern accents[31] Hölle [ˈhølə] 'hell' Common realization of /œ/ in Southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria.[31] See Standard German phonology
Hungarian[32] nő [nøː] 'woman' See Hungarian phonology
Iaai[33] møøk [møːk] 'to close eyes'
Kurdish[34] Palewani (Southern) سۆر/sôr [søːɾ] 'wedding' See Kurdish phonology
Lemerig[35] lēlqö [lɪlk͡pʷøŋ] 'forget'
Limburgish Most dialects[36][37] beuk [ˈbø̌ːk] 'beech' Central [ɵː] in Maastricht;[38] the example word is from the Hamont-Achel dialect.
Lombard Most dialects[39] nööf / noeuv [nøːf] 'new'
Low German[40] sön / zeun [zøːn] 'son' May be realized as a narrow closing diphthong in certain dialects.[40]
Löyöp[41] nö‑qöy [nø k͡pʷøj] 'place haunted by spirits'
Luxembourgish[42] blöd [bløːt] 'stupid' Occurs only in loanwords.[42] See Luxembourgish phonology
Portuguese Micaelense[43] boi [bø] 'ox' Allophone of /o/. See Portuguese phonology
Some European speakers[44] dou [d̪øw] 'I give'
Ripuarian Kerkrade[45] meusj [ˈmøːʃ] 'sparrow' See Kerkrade dialect phonology
Cologne[46] Mösch [møɕ] 'sparrow' Can also appear long, as in pröve [pʁøː¹və] 'test'.
Saterland Frisian[47] Göäte [ˈɡøːtə] 'gutter' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨œː⟩. Phonetically, it is nearly identical to /ʏ/ ([ʏ̞]). The vowel typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨øː⟩ is actually near-close [ø̝ː].[47]
West Frisian Hindeloopers[48] beuch [bøːx] [translation needed] Diphthongized to [øy̑] in Standard West Frisian.[48] See West Frisian phonology

Close-mid front protruded vowel

Close-mid front protruded vowel

Catford notes[full citation needed] that most languages with rounded front and back vowels use distinct types of labialization, protruded back vowels and compressed front vowels. However, a few, such as the Scandinavian languages, have protruded front vowels. One of them, Swedish, even contrasts the two types of rounding in front vowels (see near-close near-front rounded vowel, with Swedish examples of both types of rounding).

As there are no diacritics in the IPA to distinguish protruded and compressed rounding, an old diacritic for labialization, ⟨  ̫⟩, will be used here as an ad hoc symbol for protruded front vowels. Another possible transcription is ⟨øʷ⟩ or ⟨⟩ (a close-mid front vowel modified by endolabialization), but that could be misread as a diphthong.

For the close-mid front protruded vowel that is usually transcribed with the symbol ⟨ʏ⟩, see near-close front protruded vowel. If the usual symbol is ⟨ø⟩, the vowel is listed here.

Acoustically, the sound is in between the more typical compressed close-mid front vowel [ø] and the unrounded close-mid front vowel [e].



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Norwegian[49][50] søt [sø̫ːt] 'sweet' The example word is from Urban East Norwegian, in which the vowel has also been described as central [ɵː].[51] See Norwegian phonology
Swedish Central Standard[52] öl About this sound[ø̫ːl̪]  'beer' May be diphthongized to [øə̯]. See Swedish phonology

See also