Open back unrounded vowel


Open back unrounded vowel
Open back unrounded vowel
ɑ
IPA number 305
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ɑ
Unicode (hex) U+0251
X-SAMPA A
Kirshenbaum A
Sound

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The open back unrounded vowel, or low back unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɑ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is A. The symbol ɑ is called script a because it lacks the extra hook on top of a printed letter a, which corresponds to a different vowel, the open front unrounded vowel. Script a, which has its linear stroke on the bottom right, should not be confused with turned script a, ɒ, which has its linear stroke on the top left and corresponds to a rounded version of this vowel, the open back rounded vowel.

The IPA prefers terms "close" and "open" for vowels, and the name of the article follows this. However, a large number of linguists, perhaps a majority, prefer the terms "high" and "low", and these are the only terms found in introductory textbooks on phonetics such as those by Peter Ladefoged.

Contents

Features

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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IPA help • IPA key • chart • Loudspeaker.svg chart with audio • view
  • 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 back, which means the tongue is positioned as far back as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.
  • Its vowel roundedness is unrounded, which means that the lips are not rounded.

Occurrence

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Angor ape [ɑpe] 'father'
Arabic Standard[1] طويل [tˤɑˈwiːl] 'tall' Allophone of long and short /a/ near emphatic consonants. See Arabic phonology
Dutch bad [bɑt] 'bath' Backness varies among dialects. See Dutch phonology
English GA spa [spɑ̟ː] 'spa' See English phonology
RP
Finnish kana [kɑnɑ] 'hen' See Finnish phonology
French[2] pâte [pɑt] 'dough' Only in dialects that distinguish pâte from patte. See French phonology
Georgian[3] გუდ [ɡudɑ] 'leather bag'
German Tag [tɑːk] 'day' Some dialects. See German phonology.
Navajo ashkii [ɑʃkɪː] 'boy' See Navajo phonology
Norwegian hat [hɑːt] 'hate' See Norwegian phonology
Plautdietsch Gott [ɡɑ̽t] 'God'
Russian[4] палка [ˈpɑɫkə] 'stick' Occurs only both before /ɫ/ and after an unpalatalized consonant. See Russian phonology
Swedish hаt [ˈhɑːt] 'hate' See Swedish phonology
Ukrainian вона [wɔˈnɑ] 'she' See Ukrainian phonology
West Frisian lang [ɫɑŋ] 'long'

See also

References

Bibliography

  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L (1993), "Illustrations of the IPA:French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 23 (2): 73–76 
  • Jones, Daniel; Dennis, Ward (1969), The Phonetics of Russian, Cambridge University Press 
  • Shosted, Ryan K.; Vakhtang, Chikovani (2006), "Standard Georgian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 36 (2): 255–264 
  • Thelwall, Robin (1990), "Illustrations of the IPA: Arabic", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 20 (2): 37–41 

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