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Close back rounded vowel

Close back rounded vowel
u
IPA Number308
Encoding
Entity (decimal)u
Unicode (hex)U+0075
X-SAMPAu
Audio sample
source · help
IPA: Vowels
FrontCentralBack
Close
i
•
y
ɨ
•
ʉ
ɯ
•
u
Near-close
ɪ
•
ʏ
•
ʊ
Close-mid
e
•
ø
ɘ
•
ɵ
ɤ
•
o
Mid
•
ø̞
ə
ɤ̞
•
Open-mid
ɛ
•
œ
ɜ
•
ɞ
ʌ
•
ɔ
Near-open
æ
•
ɐ
Open
a
•
ɶ
ä
•
ɑ
•
ɒ

Vowels beside dots are: unrounded  rounded

The close back rounded vowel, or high back rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound used in many spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨u⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is u.

In most languages, this rounded vowel is pronounced with protruded lips ('endolabial'). However, in a few cases the lips are compressed ('exolabial').

[u] alternates with labio-velar approximant [w] in certain languages, such as French, and in the diphthongs of some languages, [u̯] with the non-syllabic diacritic and [w] are used in different transcription systems to represent the same sound.

Close back protruded vowel

The close back protruded vowel is the most common variant of the close back rounded vowel. It is typically transcribed in IPA simply as ⟨u⟩ (the convention used in this article). As there is no dedicated IPA diacritic for protrusion, the symbol for the close back rounded vowel with an old diacritic for labialization, ⟨  ̫⟩, can be used as an ad hoc symbol ⟨⟩. Another possible transcription is ⟨⟩ or ⟨ɯʷ⟩ (a close back vowel modified by endolabialization), but that could be misread as a diphthong.

Features

Occurrence

LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
AfrikaansStandardboek[bu̜k]'book'Only weakly rounded. See Afrikaans phonology
ArabicStandardجنوب‎/ǧanuub[d͡ʒaˈnuːb]'south'See Arabic phonology
ArmenianEasternդուռ/dur[dur]'door'
BavarianAmstetten dialectund[und̥]'and'Contrasts close [u], near-close [o̝], close-mid [o] and open-mid [ɔ] back rounded vowels in addition to the open central unrounded [ä].
Bulgarianлуд/lud[ɫut̪]'crazy'See Bulgarian phonology
Catalansuc[s̺uk]'juice'See Catalan phonology
ChineseMandarin / tǔ[t̪ʰu˨˩˧]'earth'See Standard Chinese phonology
Cantonese / fūAbout this sound[fuː˥]'man'See Cantonese phonology
Shanghainese/ku[ku˩]'melon'Height varies between close and close-mid; contrasts with a close to close-mid back compressed vowel.
Chuvashурам[ur'am]'street'
DanishStandarddu[tu]'you'See Danish phonology
DutchStandardvoetAbout this sound[vut]'foot'Somewhat fronted in Belgian Standard Dutch.
EnglishAustralianbook[buk]'book'Also described as near-close near-back [ʊ]; corresponds to [ʊ] in other accents. See Australian English phonology
Cape FlatsMay be advanced to [ʉ], or lowered and unrounded to [ɤ]. See South African English phonology
Cultivated South Africanboot[bu̟ːt]'boot'Typically more front than cardinal [u]. Instead of being back, it may be central [ʉː] in Geordie and RP, and front [yː] in Multicultural London. See English phonology and South African English phonology
General American
Geordie
Multicultural London
Received Pronunciation
Welsh
Pakistani[buːʈ]
Greater New York City[buːt]
New Zealandtreacle[ˈtɹ̝̊iːku]'treacle'Possible realization of the unstressed vowel /ɯ/, which is variable in rounding and ranges from central to (more often) back and close to close-mid. Corresponds to /əl/ in other accents. See New Zealand English phonology
Estoniansule[ˈsule̞]'feather' (gen. sg.)See Estonian phonology
Finnishkukka[ˈkukːɑ]'flower'See Finnish phonology
Faroesegulur[ˈkuːlʊɹ]'yellow'See Faroese phonology
FrenchAbout this sound[u]'where'See French phonology
Georgianდა/guda[ɡudɑ]'leather bag'
GermanStandardFußAbout this sound[fuːs]'foot'See Standard German phonology
Many speakersStunde[ˈʃtundə]'hour'The usual realization of /ʊ/ in Switzerland, Austria and partially also in Western and Southwestern Germany (Palatinate, Swabia). See Standard German phonology
GreekModern Standardπου / pou[pu]'where'See Modern Greek phonology
Hungarianút[uːt̪]'way'See Hungarian phonology
Icelandicþú[θ̠u]'you'See Icelandic phonology
Italiantutto[ˈt̪ut̪t̪o]'all', 'everything'See Italian phonology
Kaingangnduki[ˈndukːi]'in the belly'
Korean / nun[nuːn]'snow'See Korean phonology
KurdishKurmanji (Northern)çû[t͡ʃʰuː]'wood'See Kurdish phonology
Sorani (Central)چوو/çû
Palewani (Southern)
LatinClassicalsus[suːs]'pig'
Limburgishsjoen[ʃu̟n]'beautiful'Back or near-back, depending on the dialect. The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Lower Sorbianzub[z̪up]'tooth'
LuxembourgishLuucht[luːχt]'air'See Luxembourgish phonology
MalayMalaysian Malayubat[u.bät]'medicine'See Malay phonology
Mongolianүүр/üür[uːɾɘ̆]'nest'
Persianدور/dur[duɾ]'far'See Persian phonology
PolishbukAbout this sound[buk]'beech tree'Also represented orthographically by ⟨ó⟩. See Polish phonology
Portuguesetu[ˈtu]'you'See Portuguese phonology
Romanianunu[ˈun̪u]'one'See Romanian phonology
Russianузкий/uzkiy/uzkijAbout this sound[ˈus̪kʲɪj]'narrow'See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatianдуга / duga[d̪ǔːɡä]'rainbow'See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Shiwiar
Spanishcurable[kuˈɾäβ̞le̞]'curable'See Spanish phonology
Sothotumo[tʼumɔ]'fame'Contrasts close, near-close and close-mid back rounded vowels. See Sotho phonology
Swahiliubongo[ubongo]'brain'
ThaiStandardชลบุรี/chonburiAbout this sound[tɕ͡ʰōn.bū.rīː] (help·info)'Chonburi'
Turkishuzak[uˈz̪äk]'far'See Turkish phonology
Udmurtурэтэ/urėtė[urete]'to divide'
Ukrainianрух/rukg[rux]'motion'See Ukrainian phonology
Upper Sorbianžuk[ʒuk]'beetle'See Upper Sorbian phonology
Urduدُور‎/dur[duɾ]'far'See Urdu phonology
Welshmwg[muːɡ]'smoke'See Welsh phonology
Yorubaitọju[itɔju]
ZapotecTilquiapangdu[ɡdu]'all'

Close back compressed vowel

Close back compressed vowel
ɯᵝ
Audio sample
source · help

Some languages, such as Japanese and Swedish, have a close back vowel that has a distinct type of rounding, called compressed or exolabial. Only Shanghainese is known to contrast it with the more typical protruded (endolabial) close back vowel, but the height of both vowels varies from close to close-mid.

There is no dedicated diacritic for compression in the IPA. However, compression of the lips can be shown with the letter ⟨β̞⟩ as ⟨ɯ͡β̞⟩ (simultaneous [ɯ] and labial compression) or ⟨ɯᵝ⟩ ([ɯ] modified with labial compression). The spread-lip diacritic ⟨  ͍ ⟩ may also be used with a rounded vowel letter ⟨⟩ as an ad hoc symbol, but 'spread' technically means unrounded.

Features

Occurrence

LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
ChineseShanghainese/tub[tɯᵝ˩]'capital'Height varies between close and close-mid; contrasts with a close to close-mid back protruded vowel.
Japanese空気 / kūkiAbout this sound[kɯ̟ᵝːki]'air'Near-back; may be realized as central [ɨᵝ] by younger speakers. See Japanese phonology
Lizu[mɯ̟ᵝ]'feather'Near-back.
Norwegianmot[mɯᵝːt]'courage'The example word is from Urban East Norwegian, in which the vowel can be diphthongized to [ɯᵝə̯]. See Norwegian phonology
SwedishCentral Standardoro[²ɯᵝːrɯᵝː]'unease'Often realized as a sequence [ɯᵝβ̞] or [ɯᵝβ] (hear the word: About this sound[²ɯᵝβrɯᵝβ]). See Swedish phonology

Other topics

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Close back rounded vowel, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (view authors).


Date of last edit: 2021-01-29T09:27:20.000Z