Close-mid front unrounded vowel

Close-mid front unrounded vowel
IPA number 302
Entity (decimal) e
Unicode (hex) U+0065
Kirshenbaum e
Braille ⠑ (braille pattern dots-15)
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The close-mid front unrounded vowel, or high-mid front 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 e.

The close-mid near-front unrounded vowel, which differs from its front counterpart in that it is somewhat centralized (but still more front than central [ɘ]), is in practice sometimes transcribed with the symbol ɪ.[1] In narrow transcription, it is equally correctly transcribed with ɪ̞, , ë or ɘ̟ (this article uses ).

The IPA prefers the terms "close" and "open" for vowels, and the name of this article follows this preference. However, a large number of linguists prefer the terms "high" and "low".


IPA vowel chart
Front Near-front Central Near-back Back
i  y
ɨ  ʉ
ɯ  u
ɪ  ʏ
ɪ̈  ʊ̈
ɯ̽  ʊ
e  ø
ɘ  ɵ
ɤ  o
ə  ɵ̞
ɛ  œ
ɜ  ɞ
ʌ  ɔ
ɐ  ɞ̞
a  ɶ
ä  ɒ̈
ɑ  ɒ
Paired vowels are: unrounded  rounded
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Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Afrikaans Standard[2] meter [ˈmëˑtɐr] 'meter' Near-front. Allophone of /eə/ in less stressed words and in stressed syllables of polysyllabic words. In the latter case, it is in free variation with the diphthongal realization [ëə̯ ~ ë̯ə ~ ëə].[2] See Afrikaans phonology
Arabic Egyptian ليه [leː] 'why' See Egyptian Arabic phonology
Gulf ليش [leːʃ] See Arabic phonology
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic h [heː] 'yes' Prominent in the Urmia, Nochiya and Jilu dialects. Can be closer to [i] for some speakers. Lowered to [] in other varieties.
Bavarian Amstetten dialect[3]
Bengali দেশ [d̪eʃ] 'country' See Bengali phonology
Catalan[4] séc [s̠ek] 'fold' See Catalan phonology
Chinese Cantonese /bei6 [pei˨˨] 'nose' See Cantonese phonology
Shanghainese[5] /ih [e̠ʔ˥] 'one' Near-front. Realization of /ɛ/ in open syllables and /ɪ/ in closed syllables.[5]
Czech Bohemian[6] byli [ˈbele] 'they were' Also described as near-close near-front [ɪ];[7] corresponds to close front [i] in Moravian Czech.[6] See Czech phonology
Brno accent[8] led [let] 'ice' Corresponds to [ɛ ~ ɛ̠ ~ ɛ̝̈] in standard Czech.[9] See Czech phonology
Danish Standard[10][11] hæl [ˈheːˀl] 'heel' Realized as mid [e̞ː] in the conservative variety;[12] most often, it is transcribed in IPA with ɛː. See Danish phonology
Dutch Belgian[13] vreemd [vreːmt] 'strange' In the Netherlands often diphthongized to [eɪ]. See Dutch phonology
English Australian[14] bed [bed] 'bed' See Australian English phonology
California[15] kid [kʰe̠d] 'kid' Near-front;[15][16] corresponds to [ɪ] in other dialects.
Some Estuary speakers[17] Near-front; other speakers realize it as [ɪ] or, less commonly, as [ɪ̟], [ɪ̈] or even [].[17]
Some speakers of West Midlands English[18] Near-front; other speakers realize it as [ɪ] or, less commonly, as [i].[18]
General Indian[19] play [pl̥e(ː)] 'play'
General Pakistani[20] Can be a diphthong [eɪ] instead, depending on speaker.
Multicultural London[21]
Ulster[25] Pronounced [ɛː~iə] in Belfast.
Faroese eg [eː] 'I' See Faroese phonology
French[26] beauté [bot̪e] 'beauty' See French phonology
Galician tres [t̪ɾes] 'three'
Georgian[27] მეფ [mɛpʰej] 'king'
German Standard[28] Seele  [ˈzeːlə] 'soul' See Standard German phonology
Hindustani दे / دے [d̪eː] 'give!' See Hindustani phonology
Hungarian[29] hét [heːt̪] 'seven' Also described as close-mid [e̞ː].[30] See Hungarian phonology
Icelandic[31][32][33] vinur [ˈveːnөr] 'friend' Most often transcribed in IPA with ɪ. See Icelandic phonology
Italian[34] stelle [ˈs̪t̪elle] 'stars' See Italian phonology
Kaingang[35] [ˈkɾe] 'thigh'
Korean 베다/beda [ˈpeːda] 'to cut' See Korean phonology
Limburgish Most dialects[36][37][38] leef [leːf] 'dear' The example word is from the Maastrichtian dialect.
Rural Weerts[39] beek [beːk] 'stream' Corresponds to /iə/ in the city dialect. The vowel transcribed /eː/ in the city dialect is actually a centering diphthong /eə/.[40]
Luxembourgish[41][42] drécken [ˈdʀekən] 'to push' Allophone of /e/ before velar consonants; in free variation with [ɛ].[42] See Luxembourgish phonology
Malay bebek [bebeʔ] 'duck' See Malay phonology
North Frisian ween [ʋeːn] 'blue'
Norwegian Standard Eastern[43] le [l̪eː] 'laugh' Often diphthongized to [eə̯]. See Norwegian phonology
Polish[44] dzień  [d͡ʑeɲ̟] 'day' Allophone of /ɛ/ between palatal or palatalized consonants. See Polish phonology
Portuguese[45] mesa [ˈmezɐ] 'table' See Portuguese phonology
Punjabi ਸੇਬ [seːb] 'apple'
Romanian Muntenian dialects[46] vezi [vezʲ] '(you) see' Corresponds to mid [] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Russian[47] шея  [ˈʂejə] 'neck' Occurs only before soft consonants. See Russian phonology
Shiwiar[48] Allophone of /a/.[48]
Slovak Standard[49] dcéra [ˈt͡seːrä] 'daughter' In standard Slovak, the backness varies between front and near-front; most commonly, it is realized as mid [e̞ː] instead.[50] See Slovak phonology
Dialects spoken near the river Ipeľ[29]
Sorbian Lower[51] měŕ [merʲ] 'measure!' Diphthongized to [i̯ɛ] in slow speech.[51][52] See Upper Sorbian phonology
Upper[51][53] wem [ɥem] 'I know'
Swedish se  [s̪eː] 'see' See Swedish phonology
Vietnamese tê [te] 'numb' See Vietnamese phonology
West Frisian[54] ik [ek] 'I' Also described as mid [];[55] typically transcribed in IPA with ɪ. See West Frisian phonology
Zapotec Tilquiapan[57] zied [zied̪] Allophone of /e/ that occurs mostly after /i/. In other environments, the most common realization is central [ɘ].[57]
Welsh peth [pe:θ] 'thing' See Welsh phonology

See also


  1. For example by Collins & Mees (1990:93) and Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999:159).
  2. 1 2 Lass (1987), p. 119.
  3. Traunmüller (1982), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:290)
  4. Carbonell & Llisterri (1992:54)
  5. 1 2 Chen & Gussenhoven (2015:328).
  6. 1 2 Šimáčková, Podlipský & Chládková (2012:228–229)
  7. Dankovičová (1999:72)
  8. Palková (1999:187)
  9. Dankovičová (1999:72)
  10. Grønnum (1998:100)
  11. Basbøll (2005:45)
  12. Ladefoged & Johnson (2010:227)
  13. Verhoeven (2005:245)
  14. Harrington, Cox & Evans (1997)
  15. 1 2 Ladefoged (1999:42)
  16. 1 2 Collins & Mees (1990:93)
  17. 1 2 Altendorf & Watt (2004:188)
  18. 1 2 Clark (2004:137)
  19. Wells (1982:626)
  20. Mahboob & Ahmar (2004:1010)
  21. Gimson (2014:91)
  22. Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006:7)
  23. Deterding (2000:?)
  24. Watt & Allen (2003:268–269)
  25. "Week 18 (ii). Northern Ireland" (PDF).
  26. Fougeron & Smith (1993:73)
  27. Shosted & Chikovani (2006:261–262)
  28. Kohler (1999:87), Mangold (2005:37)
  29. 1 2 Kráľ (1988:92)
  30. Szende (1994:92)
  31. Árnason (2011:60)
  32. Einarsson (1945:10), cited in Gussmann (2011:73)
  33. Haugen (1958:65)
  34. Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004:119)
  35. Jolkesky (2009:676–677 and 682)
  36. Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999:159)
  37. Peters (2006:119)
  38. Verhoeven (2007:221)
  39. Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998:107)
  40. Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998:107, 109)
  41. Trouvain & Gilles (2009:75)
  42. 1 2 Gilles & Trouvain (2013:70)
  43. Vanvik (1979:13)
  44. Jassem (2003:106)
  45. Cruz-Ferreira (1995:91)
  46. Pop (1938), p. 29.
  47. Jones & Ward (1969:44)
  48. 1 2 Fast Mowitz (1975:2)
  49. Pavlík (2004:95)
  50. Pavlík (2004:93, 95)
  51. 1 2 3 Stone (2002:600)
  52. Šewc-Schuster (1984:32–33)
  53. Šewc-Schuster (1984:20)
  54. Tiersma (1999:10)
  55. Sipma (1913:10)
  56. Bamgboṣe (1969:166)
  57. 1 2 Merrill (2008:109–110)


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