Open main menu

The open central unrounded vowel, or low central unrounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound, used in many spoken languages. While the International Phonetic Alphabet officially has no dedicated letter for this sound between front [a] and back [ɑ], it is normally written ⟨a⟩. If precision is required, it can be specified by using diacritics, such as centralized ⟨ä⟩ or retracted ⟨⟩.

Open central unrounded vowel
ä
ɐ̞
ɑ̈
IPA Number304 415
Encoding
Entity (decimal)a​̈
Unicode (hex)U+0061 U+0308
X-SAMPAa_" or a_- or 6_o or A_"
Audio sample

It is more common to use plain ⟨a⟩ for an open central vowel and, if needed, ⟨æ⟩ (officially near-open front vowel) for an open front vowel. Alternatively, Sinologists may use the letter ⟨⟩ (small capital A). The IPA has voted against officially adopting this symbol in 1976, 1989, and 2012.[2][3][4]

The Hamont dialect of Limburgish has been reported to contrast long open front, central and back unrounded vowels.[5] This is extremely unusual.

Contents

FeaturesEdit

  • Its vowel height is open, also known as low, which means the tongue is positioned as far as possible from the roof of the mouth – that is, as low as possible in the mouth.
  • Its vowel backness is central, which means the tongue is positioned halfway between a front vowel and a back vowel. This often subsumes open (low) front vowels, because the tongue does not have as much flexibility in positioning as it does for the close (high) vowels; the difference between an open front vowel and an open back vowel is equal to the difference between a close front and a close central vowel, or a close central and a close back vowel.
  • It is unrounded, which means that the lips are not rounded.

OccurrenceEdit

Most languages have some form of an unrounded open vowel. Because the IPA uses ⟨a⟩ for both front and central unrounded open vowels, it is not always clear whether a particular language uses the former or the latter.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Burmese[6] မာ / ma [mä] 'hard' Oral allophone of /a/ in open syllables; realized as near-open [ɐ] in other environments.[6]
Chinese Mandarin[7] / tā  [tʰä˥] 'he' See Standard Chinese phonology
Czech[8][9] prach [präx] 'dust' See Czech phonology
Danish Standard[10] barn [ˈb̥ɑ̈ːˀn] 'child' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɑː⟩. See Danish phonology
Dutch[11][12] zaal [zäːɫ] 'hall' Ranges from front to central;[11] in non-standard accents it may be back. See Dutch phonology
English Australian[13] palm [pʰɐ̞ːm] 'palm' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɐː⟩. See Australian English phonology
East Anglian[14] Used mostly by middle-class speakers; can be front [] instead.[14]
General American[15] Can be back [ɑ̟ː] instead.[15]
New Zealand[16][17] Can be more front [a̠ː] and/or higher [ɐ̟ː ~ ɐː] instead.[16][17] It may be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɐː⟩. See New Zealand English phonology
Some Canadian speakers[18][19] trap [t̠ɹ̝̊äp̚] 'trap' See Canadian Shift and English phonology
Some English English speakers[20][21] [t̠ɹ̝̊äʔp] Used in Multicultural London English and Northern England English.[20][21] More front [æ ~ a] in other dialects.
French Parisian[22][23] patte [pät̪] 'paw' Older speakers have two contrastive open vowels: front /a/ and back /ɑ/.[23] See French phonology
German[24][25] Katze [ˈkʰät͡sə] 'cat' Can be more front or more back in regional Standard German.[26] See Standard German phonology
Hungarian[27] láb [läːb] 'leg' See Hungarian phonology
Italian[28] casa [ˈkäːsä] 'home' See Italian phonology
Japanese[29] ka  [kä] 'mosquito' See Japanese phonology
Limburgish Hamont dialect[5] zaak [zäːk²] 'business' Contrasts with front [æ̞ː] and back [ɑː].[5]
Polish[30] kat  [kät̪] 'executioner' See Polish phonology
Portuguese[31] vá [vä] 'go' See Portuguese phonology
Romanian[32] cal [käl] 'horse' See Romanian phonology
Serbo-Croatian[33][34] пас / pas [pâ̠s̪] 'dog' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Spanish[35] rata [ˈrät̪ä] 'rat' See Spanish phonology
Swedish Central Standard[36][37] bank [bäŋk] 'bank' Also described as front [a].[38][39] See Swedish phonology
Turkish[40] at [ät̪] 'horse' Also described as back [ɑ].[41] See Turkish phonology
Yoruba[42] [example needed]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ While the International Phonetic Association prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowel height, many linguists use "high" and "low".
  2. ^ Wells (1976).
  3. ^ International Phonetic Association (1989), p. 74.
  4. ^ Keating (2012).
  5. ^ a b c Verhoeven (2007), p. 221.
  6. ^ a b Watkins (2001), pp. 292–293.
  7. ^ Lee & Zee (2003), pp. 110–111.
  8. ^ Dankovičová (1999), p. 72.
  9. ^ Šimáčková, Podlipský & Chládková (2012), p. 228.
  10. ^ Grønnum (1998), p. 100.
  11. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2003), p. 104.
  12. ^ Verhoeven (2005), p. 245.
  13. ^ Cox & Fletcher (2017), pp. 64–65.
  14. ^ a b Trudgill (2004), p. 172.
  15. ^ a b Wells (1982), p. 476.
  16. ^ a b Bauer et al., p. 98.
  17. ^ a b Hay, Maclagan & Gordon (2008), pp. 21–23.
  18. ^ Esling & Warkentyne (1993), p. ?.
  19. ^ Boberg (2004), pp. 361–362.
  20. ^ a b Boberg (2004), p. 361.
  21. ^ a b Kerswill, Torgerson & Fox (2006), p. 30.
  22. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993), p. 73.
  23. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2013), pp. 226–227.
  24. ^ Kohler (1999), p. 87.
  25. ^ Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 34.
  26. ^ Dudenredaktion, Kleiner & Knöbl (2015), p. 64.
  27. ^ Szende (1994), p. 92.
  28. ^ Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004), p. 119.
  29. ^ Okada (1999), p. 117.
  30. ^ Jassem (2003), p. 105.
  31. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995), p. 91.
  32. ^ Sarlin (2014), p. 18.
  33. ^ Kordić (2006), p. 4.
  34. ^ Landau et al. (1999), p. 67.
  35. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003), p. 256.
  36. ^ Engstrand (1999), p. 140.
  37. ^ Riad (2014), p. 35.
  38. ^ Bolander (2001), p. 55.
  39. ^ Rosenqvist (2007), p. 9.
  40. ^ Zimmer & Orgun (1999), p. 155.
  41. ^ Göksel & Kerslake (2005), p. 10.
  42. ^ Bamgboṣe (1969), p. 166.

ReferencesEdit

  • Arvaniti, Amalia (2007), "Greek Phonetics: The State of the Art" (PDF), Journal of Greek Linguistics, 8: 97–208, CiteSeerX 10.1.1.692.1365, doi:10.1075/jgl.8.08arv, archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-11
  • Bamgboṣe, Ayọ (1966), A Grammar of Yoruba, [West African Languages Survey / Institute of African Studies], Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Bauer, Laurie; Warren, Paul; Bardsley, Dianne; Kennedy, Marianna; Major, George (2007), "New Zealand English", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (1): 97–102, doi:10.1017/S0025100306002830
  • Boberg, Charles (2004), "English in Canada: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 351–366, ISBN 978-3-11-017532-5
  • Bolander, Maria (2001), Funktionell svensk grammatik (1st ed.), Liber AB, ISBN 9789147050543
  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2003) [First published 1981], The Phonetics of English and Dutch (PDF) (5th ed.), Leiden: Brill Publishers, ISBN 978-9004103405
  • Collins, Beverley; Mees, Inger M. (2013) [First published 2003], Practical Phonetics and Phonology: A Resource Book for Students (3rd ed.), Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-50650-2
  • Cox, Felicity; Fletcher, Janet (2017) [First published 2012], Australian English Pronunciation and Transcription (2nd ed.), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-1-316-63926-9
  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 25 (2): 90–94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005223
  • Dankovičová, Jana (1999), "Czech", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 70–74
  • Dudenredaktion; Kleiner, Stefan; Knöbl, Ralf (2015) [First published 1962], Das Aussprachewörterbuch (in German) (7th ed.), Berlin: Dudenverlag, ISBN 978-3-411-04067-4
  • Engstrand, Olle (1999), "Swedish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the usage of the International Phonetic Alphabet., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 140–142, ISBN 978-0-521-63751-0
  • Esling, John H.; Warkentyne, Henry J. (1993), "Retracting of /æ/ in Vancouver English", in Clarke, Sandra (ed.), Focus on Canada, Varieties of English Around the World, John Benjamins Publishing Company, ISBN 978-1556194429
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L (1993), "French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 23 (2): 73–76, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004874
  • Göksel, Asli; Kerslake, Celia (2005), Turkish: a comprehensive grammar (PDF), Routledge, ISBN 978-0415114943, archived from the original (PDF) on 26 November 2014
  • Grønnum, Nina (1998), "Illustrations of the IPA: Danish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 28 (1 & 2): 99–105, doi:10.1017/s0025100300006290
  • Hay, Jennifer; Maclagan, Margaret; Gordon, Elizabeth (2008), New Zealand English, Dialects of English, Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 978-0-7486-2529-1
  • International Phonetic Association (1989), "Report on the 1989 Kiel Convention", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 19 (2): 67–80, doi:10.1017/S0025100300003868
  • Jassem, Wiktor (2003), "Polish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (1): 103–107, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001191
  • Keating, Patricia (2012), "IPA Council votes against new IPA symbol", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 42 (2): 245, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000114
  • Kerswill, Paul; Torgerson, Eivind; Fox, Sue (2006), "Innovation in inner‐London teenage speech", NWAV35, Columbus
  • Kohler, Klaus J. (1999), "German", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 86–89, ISBN 978-0-521-65236-0
  • Labov, William; Ash, Sharon; Boberg, Charles (2006), The Atlas of North American English, Berlin: Mouton-de Gruyter, ISBN 978-3-11-016746-7
  • Landau, Ernestina; Lončarića, Mijo; Horga, Damir; Škarić, Ivo (1999), "Croatian", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 66–69, ISBN 978-0-521-65236-0
  • Lee, Wai-Sum; Zee, Eric (2003), "Standard Chinese (Beijing)", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (1): 109–112, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001208
  • Mangold, Max (2005), Das Aussprachewörterbuch, Duden, p. 37, ISBN 9783411040667
  • Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (2): 255–259, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001373
  • Moosmüller, Sylvia; Schmid, Carolin; Brandstätter, Julia (2015), "Standard Austrian German", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 45 (3): 339–348, doi:10.1017/S0025100315000055
  • Okada, Hideo (1999), "Japanese", in International Phonetic Association (ed.), Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the Use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge University Press, pp. 117–119, ISBN 978-0-52163751-0
  • Riad, Tomas (2014), The Phonology of Swedish, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-954357-1
  • Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (1): 117–121, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001628
  • Rosenqvist, Håkan (2007), Uttalsboken: svenskt uttal i praktik och teori, Stockholm: Natur & Kultur, ISBN 978-91-27-40645-2
  • Sarlin, Mika (2014) [First published 2013], "Sounds of Romanian and their spelling", Romanian Grammar (2nd ed.), Helsinki: Books on Demand GmbH, pp. 16–37, ISBN 978-952-286-898-5
  • Šimáčková, Šárka; Podlipský, Václav Jonáš; Chládková, Kateřina (2012), "Czech spoken in Bohemia and Moravia" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 42 (2): 225–232, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000102
  • Szende, Tamás (1994), "Hungarian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 24 (2): 91–94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005090
  • Trudgill, Peter (2004), "The dialect of East Anglia: Phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 163–177, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2005), "Belgian Standard Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 35 (2): 245, doi:10.1017/S0025100305002173
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2007), "The Belgian Limburg dialect of Hamont", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 37 (2): 219–225, doi:10.1017/S0025100307002940
  • Watkins, Justin W. (2001), "Illustrations of the IPA: Burmese" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 31 (2): 291–295, doi:10.1017/S0025100301002122
  • Wells, John C. (1976), "The Association's Alphabet", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 6 (1): 2–3, doi:10.1017/S0025100300001420
  • Wells, John C. (1982). Accents of English. Volume 3: Beyond the British Isles (pp. i–xx, 467–674). Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-52128541-0 .
  • Zimmer, Karl; Orgun, Orhan (1999), "Turkish" (PDF), Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 154–158, ISBN 978-0-521-65236-0
  • Kordić, Snježana (2006), Serbo-Croatian, Languages of the World/Materials; 148, Munich & Newcastle: Lincom Europa, ISBN 978-3-89586-161-1

External linksEdit