Near-back vowel


Near-back vowel
IPA vowel chart
Front Near-​front Central Near-​back Back
Close
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
iy
ɨʉ
ɯu
ɪʏ
ʊ
eø
ɘɵ
ɤo
ɛœ
ɜɞ
ʌɔ
æ
aɶ
ä
ɑɒ
Near-close
Close-mid
Mid
Open-mid
Near-open
Open
Paired vowels are: unrounded • rounded
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A near-back vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a near-back vowel is that the tongue is positioned as in a back vowel, but slightly further forward in the mouth. The near-back vowel identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet is:

  • near-close near-back rounded vowel [ʊ]

Examples for near-back vowels are the following:

General American English and Received Pronunciation: bull, bush, full, pull, push, put, book, brook, cook, foot, good, hood, hook, look, shook, stood, took, wood, wool, could, should, would

General American English only: hoof

There is an enormous variability in the vowels of these words all over the world. This variability is the basic appearance of what we call accents or differences in pronunciation depending on dialects.