Open-mid central unrounded vowel

Open-mid central unrounded vowel
IPA Number 326
Entity (decimal) ɜ
Unicode (hex) U+025C
Braille ⠲ (braille pattern dots-256)⠜ (braille pattern dots-345)
Audio sample
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The open-mid central unrounded vowel, or low-mid central 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 ⟨ɜ⟩ (formerly ⟨⟩). The IPA symbol is not the digit ⟨3⟩ or the Cyrillic small letter Ze (з). The symbol is instead a reversed Latinized variant of the lowercase epsilon, ɛ. The value was specified only in 1993; until then, it had been transcribed ⟨ɛ̈⟩.

The ⟨ɜ⟩ letter may be used with a raising diacriticɜ̝⟩, to denote the mid central unrounded vowel. It may also be used with a lowering diacritic ⟨ɜ̞⟩, to denote the near-open central unrounded vowel.

Conversely, ⟨ə⟩, the symbol for the mid central vowel may be used with a lowering diacritic ⟨ə̞⟩ to denote the open-mid central unrounded vowel, although that is more accurately written with an additional unrounding diacritic ⟨ə̞͑⟩ to explicitly denote the lack of rounding (the canonical value of IPA ⟨ə⟩ is undefined for rounding).



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Cotabato Manobo[2] [bätɜʔ] 'child' Allophone of /a/ before glottal consonants; may be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌ⟩.[2]
Emilian Bolognese métter [ˈmet̪ːɜr] 'to put' [citation needed]
English Received Pronunciation[3] bird [bɜːd] 'bird' Sulcalized (the tongue is grooved like in [ɹ]). "Upper Crust RP" speakers pronounce a more open vowel [ɐː], but for most other speakers it is actually mid ([ɜ̝ː]). This vowel corresponds to rhotacized [ɝ] in rhotic dialects.
Ohio[4] bud [bɜd] 'bud' One realization of the vowel transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌ⟩ in American English, typical of Midland or Southern American English. It is not a standard pronunciation throughout the whole country.[3][4]
Most Texas speakers [4]
Northern Wales[5] Some speakers.[5] Corresponds to /ə/ or /ʌ/ in other Welsh dialects.[6]
Scottish[7] [bɜ̠d] Somewhat retracted; may be more back /ʌ/ instead.
German Chemnitz dialect[8] passe [ˈb̥ɜsə] '[I] pass' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨a⟩.
Many speakers[9] herrlich [ˈhɜːlɪç] 'fantastic' Common alternative to the diphthong [ɛɐ̯].[9] See Standard German phonology
Hausa[10] [example needed] Possible allophone of /a/, which can be as close as [ə] and as open as [ä].[10]
Jebero[11] [ˈkɘnmɜʔ] 'indigenous person' Allophone of /a/ in closed syllables.[11]
Kaingang[12] [ˈɾɜ] 'mark' Varies between central [ɜ] and back [ʌ].[13]
Kalagan Kaagan[14] [mɜˈt̪äs] 'tall' Allophone of /a/; may be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌ⟩.[14]
Kallahan[15] [example needed]
Paicî[16] rë [ɾɜ] 'they' (prefix) May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌ⟩.
Romanian Standard[17] măr [mə̞r] 'apple' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ə⟩. See Romanian phonology
Transylvanian varieties of Romanian[18] a [aˈʂɜ] 'such' Corresponds to [ä] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Sama Sibutu[19] [ˈsäpɜw] 'roof' Allophone of /a/; may be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌ⟩.[19]
Temne[20] pȧs [pɜ́s] 'brew' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ʌ⟩.[20]
Yiddish Standard[21] ענלעך [ˈɛnlɜχ] 'similar' Unstressed vowel.[21] See Yiddish phonology

See also