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Mid front unrounded vowel
|Mid front unrounded vowel|
|IPA Number||302 430|
|Unicode (hex)||U+0065 U+031E|
The mid front unrounded vowel is a type of vowel sound that is used in some spoken languages. There is no dedicated symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the exact mid front unrounded vowel between close-mid [e] and open-mid [ɛ], but it is normally written ⟨e⟩. If precision is required, diacritics may be used, such as ⟨e̞⟩ or ⟨ɛ̝⟩ (the former, indicating lowering, being more common). In Sinology and Koreanology, ⟨ᴇ⟩ is sometimes used, for example in the Zhengzhang Shangfang reconstructions.
For many of the languages that have only one phonemic front unrounded vowel in the mid-vowel area (neither close nor open), the vowel is pronounced as a true mid vowel and is phonetically distinct from either a close-mid or open-mid vowel. Examples are Basque, Spanish, Romanian, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Greek, Hejazi Arabic, Serbo-Croatian and Korean (Seoul dialect). A number of dialects of English also have such a mid front vowel. However, there is no general predisposition. Igbo and Egyptian Arabic, for example, have a close-mid [e], and Bulgarian has an open-mid [ɛ], but none of these languages have another phonemic mid front vowel.
Kensiu, spoken in Malaysia and Thailand, is claimed to be unique in having true-mid vowels that are phonemically distinct from both close-mid and open-mid vowels, without differences in other parameters such as backness or roundedness.
- Its vowel height is mid, which means the tongue is positioned halfway between a close vowel and an open 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.
- It is unrounded, which means that the lips are not rounded.
|Afrikaans||Standard||bed||[bɛ̝t]||'bed'||Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɛ⟩. The height varies between mid [ɛ̝] and close-mid [e]. See Afrikaans phonology|
|Arabic||Hejazi||بـيـت / bēt||[be̞ːt]||'home'||See Hejazi Arabic phonology|
|Breton||[example needed]||Possible realization of unstressed /ɛ/; can be open-mid [ɛ] or close-mid [e] instead.|
|Chinese||Mandarin||也 / yě||[je̞˨˩˦]||'also'||See Standard Chinese phonology|
|Czech||Bohemian||led||[lɛ̝̈t]||'ice'||Near-front; may be open-mid [ɛ] instead. See Czech phonology|
|Dutch||Some speakers||zet||[zɛ̝t]||'shove' (n.)||Open-mid [ɛ] in Standard Dutch. See Dutch phonology|
|English||Broad New Zealand||cat||[kʰɛ̝t]||'cat'||Lower in other New Zealand varieties; corresponds to [æ] in other accents. See New Zealand English phonology|
|Cockney||bird||[bɛ̝̈ːd]||'bird'||Near-front; occasional realization of /ɜː/. It can be rounded [œ̝ː] or, more often, unrounded central [ɜ̝ː] instead. Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɜː⟩.|
|Cultivated New Zealand||let||[le̞t]||'let'||Higher in other New Zealand varieties. See New Zealand English phonology|
|Received Pronunciation||Many speakers pronounce a more open vowel [ɛ] instead. See English phonology|
|Estonian||sule||[ˈsule̞ˑ]||'feather' (gen. sg.)||Common word-final allophone of /e/. See Estonian phonology|
|Finnish||menen||[ˈme̞ne̞n]||'I go'||See Finnish phonology|
|German||Standard||Bett||[b̥ɛ̝t]||'bed'||More often described as open-mid front [ɛ]. See Standard German phonology|
|Bernese dialect||rède||[ˈrɛ̝d̥ə]||'to speak'||Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɛ⟩. See Bernese German phonology|
|Greek||Modern Standard||πες / pes||[pe̞s̠]||'say!'||See Modern Greek phonology|
|Hebrew||כן/ken||[ke̞n]||'yes'||Hebrew vowels are not shown in the script, see Niqqud and Modern Hebrew phonology|
|Hungarian||hét||[he̞ːt̪]||'seven'||Also described as close-mid [eː]. See Hungarian phonology|
|Icelandic||kenna||[ˈcʰɛ̝nːä]||'to teach'||Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɛ⟩. The long allophone is often diphthongized to [eɛ]. See Icelandic phonology|
|Italian||Standard||crederci||[ˈkreːd̪e̞rt͡ʃi]||'to believe'||Common realization of the unstressed /e/. See Italian phonology|
|Northern accents||penso||[ˈpe̞ŋso]||'I think'||Common realization of /e/. See Italian phonology|
|Japanese||笑み/emi||[e̞mʲi] (help·info)||'smile'||See Japanese phonology|
|Jebero||[ˈiʃë̞k]||'bat'||Near-front; possible realization of /ɘ/.|
|Korean||내가 / naega||[nɛ̝ɡɐː]||'I'||Pronunciation of ⟨ɛ⟩. See Korean phonology|
|Latvian||ēst||[ê̞ːs̪t̪]||'to eat'||Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨e⟩.|
|Limburgish||Maastrichtian||bèd||[bɛ̝t]||'bed'||Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɛ⟩.|
|Weert dialect||zègke||[ˈzɛ̝ɡə]||'to say'|
|Malay||Standard||elok||[e̞ˈlo̞ʔ]||'good'||See Malay phonology|
|Norwegian||Urban East||nett||[nɛ̝tː]||'net'||See Norwegian phonology|
|Romanian||fete||[ˈfe̞t̪e̞]||'girls'||See Romanian phonology|
|Russian||человек||[t͡ɕɪlɐˈvʲe̞k]||'human'||Occurs only after soft consonants. See Russian phonology|
|Serbo-Croatian||тек / tek||[t̪ĕ̞k]||'only'||See Serbo-Croatian phonology|
|Slovak||Standard||behať||[ˈbɛ̝ɦäc̟]||'to run'||See Slovak phonology|
|Slovene||velikan||[ʋe̞liˈká̠ːn]||'giant'||Unstressed vowel, as well as an allophone of /e/ before /j/ when a vowel does not follow within the same word. See Slovene phonology|
|Spanish||bebé||[be̞ˈβ̞e̞]||'baby'||See Spanish phonology|
|Swedish||Central Standard||häll||[hɛ̝l̪]||'flat rock'||Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɛ⟩. Many dialects pronounce short /e/ and /ɛ/ the same. See Swedish phonology|
|Turkish||ev||[e̞v]||'house'||See Turkish phonology|
|Upper Sorbian||njebjo||[ˈɲ̟ɛ̝bʲɔ]||'sky'||Allophone of /ɛ/ between soft consonants and after a soft consonant, excluding /j/ in both cases. See Upper Sorbian phonology|
|Yoruba||[example needed]||Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɛ̃⟩. It is nasalized, and may be open-mid [ɛ̃] instead.|
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