Close-mid central rounded vowel

The close-mid central rounded vowel, or high-mid central rounded vowel,[1] is a type of vowel sound. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɵ⟩, a lowercase barred letter o.

The character ɵ has been used in several Latin-derived alphabets such as the one for Yañalif, but in that language it denotes a different sound than it does in the IPA. The character is homographic with Cyrillic Ө. The Unicode code point is U+019F Ɵ LATIN CAPITAL LETTER O WITH MIDDLE TILDE (HTML Ɵ).

This vowel occurs in Cantonese, Dutch, French, Russian and Swedish as well as in a number of English dialects as a realization of /ʊ/ (as in foot), /ɜː/ (as in nurse) or /oʊ/ (as in goat).

This sound rarely contrasts with the near-close front rounded vowel. For this reason, it may be sometimes transcribed with the symbol ⟨ʏ⟩.

The close-mid central protruded vowel is typically transcribed in IPA simply as ⟨ɵ⟩, and that is the convention used in this article. As there is no dedicated diacritic for protrusion in the IPA, symbol for the close central rounded vowel with an old diacritic for labialization, ⟨  ̫⟩, can be used as an ad hoc symbol ⟨ɵ̫⟩ for the close central protruded vowel. Another possible transcription is ⟨ɵʷ⟩ or ⟨ɘʷ⟩ (a close central vowel modified by endolabialization), but this could be misread as a diphthong.

Because central rounded vowels are assumed to have protrusion, and few descriptions cover the distinction, some of the following may actually have compression.

As there is no official diacritic for compression in the IPA, the centering diacritic is used with the front rounded vowel [ø], which is normally compressed. Other possible transcriptions are ⟨ɘ͡β̞⟩ (simultaneous [ɘ] and labial compression) and ⟨ɘᵝ⟩ ([ɘ] modified with labial compression).