Mid back rounded vowel

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Mid back rounded vowel
IPA number 307 430
Entity (decimal) o​̞
Unicode (hex) U+006F U+031E
Braille ⠕ (braille pattern dots-135) ⠠ (braille pattern dots-6) ⠣ (braille pattern dots-126)

The mid back rounded vowel is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. While there is no dedicated symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the exact mid back rounded vowel between close-mid [o] and open-mid [ɔ], it is normally written ⟨o⟩. If precision is desired, diacritics may be used, such as ⟨⟩ or ⟨ɔ̝⟩, the former being more common. A non-IPA letter ⟨⟩ is also found.

Just because a language has only one non-close non-open back vowel, it still may not be a true-mid vowel. Sulawesi, Indonesia, has a language, Tukang Besi with a close-mid [o], and another language in Indonesia, in the Maluku Islands, Taba, has an open-mid [ɔ]; in both languages, there is no contrast with another mid (true-mid or close-mid) vowel.

Kensiu in Malaysia and Thailand is highly unusual in that it contrasts true-mid vowels with close-mid and open-mid vowels without differences in other parameters such as backness or roundedness.


IPA vowel chart
Front Near-​front Central Near-​back Back
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
Paired vowels are: unrounded • rounded
This table contains phonetic symbols, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]

IPA help • IPA key • chart • Loudspeaker.svg chart with audio • view
  • Its vowel height is mid, which means the tongue is positioned halfway between a close vowel and an open vowel.
  • 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. Note that unrounded back vowels tend to be centralized, which means that often they are in fact near-back.
  • Its roundedness is protruded, which means that the corners of the lips are drawn together, and the inner surfaces exposed.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Arabic Hejazi[1] فوق [fo̞ːg] 'up' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨⟩.
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic hoga [ho̞ːɡa] 'steam'
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[2] [example needed]
Catalan Modern Algherese[3] soc [ˈso̞k] 'clog' /ɔ/ and /o/ merge into [o̞] in these dialects. See Catalan phonology
Valencian[4] cançó [kanˈso̞] 'song' Allophone of final stressed /o/. Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨o⟩.
Chinese Mandarin /wǒ [wo̞˨˩˦] 'I' See Mandarin phonology
Shanghainese[5] [kö̞¹] 'tall' Near-back. Realization of /ɔ/ in open syllables and /ʊ/ in closed syllables.[5]
Czech[6][7] oko [ˈo̞ko̞] 'eye' In Bohemian Czech, the backness varies between back and near-back, whereas the height varies between mid [o̞] and close-mid [o].[6] See Czech phonology
Danish Standard[8][9] monolog [mo̞no̞ˈlo̞ːˀ] 'monologue' Described variously as near-back[8] and back[9] Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔ(ː)⟩. See Danish phonology
Dutch Amsterdam[10] och [o̞χ] 'alas' Corresponds to open-mid [ɔˁ] in standard Dutch. See Dutch phonology
Hasselt [o̞x]
Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect[11] mot [mo̞t] 'well' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔ⟩. See Orsmaal-Gussenhoven dialect phonology
English Cultivated
South African[12]
thought [θo̞ːt] 'thought' Close-mid [] for other speakers.
Geordie[13] Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔː⟩.
Some Cardiff speakers[15] Other speakers use a more open, advanced and unrounded vowel [ʌ̈ː].[15]
Received Pronunciation[16] May be as open as [ɔː] for older speakers, and is most often transcribed as such. See English phonology
Estuary[17] coat [kʰo̟ːʔ] 'coat' Rare; commonly a diphthong.[17] It corresponds to /əʊ/ in other British dialects. See English phonology
Yorkshire[18] [kʰo̟t] Corresponds to /əʊ/ in other British dialects. See English phonology
Estonian[19] tool [to̞ːlʲ] 'chair' See Estonian phonology
Finnish[20][21] kello [ˈke̞llo̞] 'clock' See Finnish phonology
German Standard[22] Pavillon [ˈpʰävɪljõ̞] 'pavilion' Nasalized.[22] Present only in loanwords. See German phonology
Bernese dialect[23] Òve [ˈo̞v̥ə] 'oven' Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔ⟩. See Bernese German phonology
Zurich dialect[24] do [d̥o̞] 'so' Allophone of /o/; reported to occur only in this word.[24]
Greek ωκεανός okeanós [o̞ˌce̞ɐˈno̞s] 'ocean' See Modern Greek phonology
Hebrew[25] שלום [ʃäˈlo̞m] 'peace' Hebrew vowels are not shown in the script. See Niqqud and Modern Hebrew phonology
Ibibio[26] [dó̞] 'there'
Inuit West Greenlandic[27] [example needed] Allophone of /u/ before and especially between uvulars.[27] See Inuit phonology
Italian Piedmont parola [päˈro̞ːlä] 'word' Corresponds to /ɔ/ and /o/ in standard Italian. See Italian phonology
Japanese[28] /ko [ko̞] 'child' See Japanese phonology
Korean[29] 보리/bori [po̞ˈɾi] 'barley' See Korean phonology
Limburgish Hasselt dialect[30] mok [mo̞k] 'mug' Typically transcribed IPA with ⟨ɔ⟩.[30]
Norwegian Standard Eastern[31][32][33] lov [lo̞ːʋ] 'law' May be diphthongized to [o̞ə̯]. See Norwegian phonology
Portuguese Brazilian pororoca [po̞ɾo̞ˈɾɔ̞kɐ] 'pororoca' Unstressed vowel.[34] See Portuguese phonology
Romanian copil [ko̞ˈpil] 'child' See Romanian phonology
Russian[35] сухой About this sound [s̪ʊˈxo̞j]  'dry' Some speakers realize it as open-mid [ɔ].[35] See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatian[36] čvȏr / чво̑р [t͡ʃʋô̞ːr] 'knot' See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Shipibo[37]  ? [ˈkö̞ni̞] 'eel' Near-back.[37]
Slovak Standard[38][39][40] ohúriť [ˈo̞ɦʊːrɪc̟] 'to stun' Backness varies between back and near-back.[40] See Slovak phonology
Slovene[41] oglas [o̞ˈɡlá̠s̪] 'advertisement' Unstressed vowel,[41] as well as an allophone of /o/ before /ʋ/ when a vowel does not follow within the same word.[42] See Slovene phonology
Spanish[43] todo [ˈt̪o̞ð̞o̞] 'all' See Spanish phonology
Tera[44] zo [zo̞ː] 'rope'
Turkish[45][46] kol [kʰo̞ɫ] 'arm' See Turkish phonology
Ukrainian поїзд [ˈpo̞jiz̪d̪] 'train' See Ukrainian phonology
Võro Võro [ˈvɤ̞ro̞] 'Võro'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[47] do [d̪o̞] 'corn tassel'


  1. Jarrah, Mohamed Ali Saleh (1993)
  2. Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Recasens (1996:59-60)
  4. Saborit (2009:11)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Chen & Gussenhoven (2015:328)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Dankovičová (1999:72)
  7. Šimáčková, Podlipský & Chládková (2012:228–230)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Grønnum (1998:100)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Ladefoged & Johnson (2010:227)
  10. Collins & Mees (2003:132)
  11. Peters (2010:241)
  12. Lass (2002:116)
  13. Watt & Allen (2003:268)
  14. Watson (2007:357)
  15. 15.0 15.1 Collins & Mees (1990:95)
  16. Roach (2004:242)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Przedlacka (2001:44)
  18. Roca & Johnson (1999:180)
  19. Asu & Teras (2009:368)
  20. Iivonen & Harnud (2005:60, 66)
  21. Suomi, Toivanen & Ylitalo (2008:21)
  22. 22.0 22.1 Mangold (2005:37)
  23. Marti (1985:?)
  24. 24.0 24.1 Fleischer & Schmid (2006:251)
  25. Laufer (1999:98)
  26. Urua (2004:106)
  27. 27.0 27.1 Fortescue (1990), p. 317.
  28. Okada (1991:94)
  29. Lee (1999:121)
  30. 30.0 30.1 Peters (2006), p. 119.
  31. Strandskogen (1979:15,19)
  32. Vanvik (1979:13, 17)
  33. Popperwell (2010:16, 25)
  34. Corresponds to /ɔ/, or /u/ (where Brazilian dialects have [u ~ ʊ ~ o̞]), in other national variants. May be lowered to [ɔ̝ ~ ɔ] in amazofonia, nordestino, mineiro (MG) and fluminense (RJ) if not nasalized ([õ̞] does not corresponds to phoneme /õ/), or be raised and merged to /o/ in sulista, paulistano, caipira and sertanejo.
  35. 35.0 35.1 Jones & Ward (1969:56)
  36. Landau et al. (1999:67)
  37. 37.0 37.1 Valenzuela, Márquez Pinedo & Maddieson (2001:282)
  38. Hanulíková & Hamann (2010:375)
  39. Kráľ (1988:92)
  40. 40.0 40.1 Pavlík (2004:94–95)
  41. 41.0 41.1 Tatjana Srebot-Rejec. "On the vowel system in present-day Slovene" (PDF).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  42. Šuštaršič, Komar & Petek (1999:138)
  43. Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:256)
  44. Tench (2007:230)
  45. Zimmer & Orgun (1999:155)
  46. Göksel & Kerslake (2005:11)
  47. Merrill (2008:109)


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