Close-mid front unrounded vowel: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

See also: IPA, Consonants
  Front Near- front Central Near- back Back
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
i · y
ɨ · ʉ
ɯ · u
ɪ · ʏ
ɪ̈ · ʊ̈
e · ø
ɘ · ɵ
ɤ · o
ɛ · œ
ɜ · ɞ
ʌ · ɔ
a · ɶ
ɑ · ɒ
Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents
a rounded vowel. Vowel length is indicated by appending  
IPA – number 302
IPA – text e
IPA – image {{{imagesize}}}
Entity e
Kirshenbaum e
About this sound Sound sample

The close-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, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is e.





Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Catalan[1] cec [sek] 'blind' See Catalan phonology
Dutch vreemd [vreːmt] 'strange' See Dutch phonology
English Australian bed [bed] 'bed' See Australian English phonology
North American play [pl̥eː] 'play' Some dialects. Many speakers have a diphthong of the type [eɪ] instead.
Faroese eg [eː] 'I'
French[2] beauté [bote] 'beauty' See French phonology
Georgian[3] მეფ [mɛpʰej] 'king'
German Seele [ˈzeːlə] 'soul' See German phonology
Italian[4] stell e [ˈstelle] 'stars' See Italian phonology
Korean 베다/peda [ˈpeːda] 'to cut' See Korean phonology
Norwegian le [leː] 'laugh' See Norwegian phonology
Polish dzień [dʑeɲ] 'day' See Polish phonology
Portuguese[5] mesa [mezɐ] 'table' See Portuguese phonology
Russian[6] шея [ˈʂejə] 'neck' Occurs only before soft consonants. See Russian phonology
Swedish se [seː] 'see' See Swedish phonology
Vietnamese tê [tē] 'numb' See Vietnamese phonology
Zapotec Tilquiapan[7] example needed [] Occurs mostly after [i], otherwise the vowel is central [ɘ]

Mid front unrounded vowel

Many languages, such as Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Greek and Turkish, have a mid front unrounded vowel that is clearly distinct to speakers from both the close-mid and open-mid vowels. A number of dialects of English also have such a mid front vowel. However, since no language is known to distinguish all three, there is no separate IPA symbol for the mid vowel, and [e] is generally used. If precision is desired, the lowering diacritic can be used: [e̞].

Although many languages have only one non-close, non-open front vowel, there is no predisposition for it being mid. Igbo, for example, has a close-mid [e], whereas Bulgarian has an open-mid [ɛ], even though these languages do not contrast said vowels with another mid front vowel.


In the following transcriptions, the lowering diacritic has been omitted for the sake of simplicity.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Albanian keq [kec] 'bad'
Croatian deset [deset] 'ten'
English Yorkshire[8] play [pleː] 'play' See English phonology
Hebrew חלק [χelek] 'part' Hebrew vowels are not shown in the script, see Niqqud and Hebrew phonology
Hungarian[9] hét [heːt] 'week, seven' See Hungarian phonology
Finnish[10] menen [menen] 'I (will) go'
Greek φαινόμενο [feˈnomeˌno] 'phenomenon' See Modern Greek phonology
Japanese 笑み [emi] 'smile' See Japanese phonology
Korean 베개 [peˈɡɛ] 'pillow' See Korean phonology
Romanian fete [ˈfete] 'girls' See Romanian phonology
Russian[11] человек [t͡ɕɪlɐˈvʲek] 'person' Occurs only after soft consonants. See Russian phonology
Serbian жена/žena [ʒena] 'woman'
Spanish[12] bebé [beˈβ̞e] 'baby' See Spanish phonology
Turkish ev [ev] 'house' See Turkish phonology



  • Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1992), "Catalan", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (1-2): 53–56  
  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 25 (2): 90–94  
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L (1993), "Illustrations of the IPA:French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 23 (2): 73–76  
  • Iivonen, Antti; Harnud, Huhe (2005), "Acoustical comparison of the monophthong systems in Finnish, Mongolian and Udmurt", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35 (1): 59–71  
  • Jones, Daniel; Dennis, Ward (1969). The Phonetics of Russian. Cambridge University Press.  
  • Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (2): 255–259  
  • Merrill, Elizabeth (2008), "Tilquipan Zapotec", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 38 (1): 107–114  
  • Roca, Iggy; Johnson, Wyn (1999). A Course in Phonology. Blackwell Publishing.  
  • Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (1): 117–121  
  • Shosted, Ryan K.; Vakhtang, Chikovani (2006), "Standard Georgian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 36 (2): 255–264  
  • Szende, Tamás (1994), "Illustrations of the IPA:Hungarian", Journal of the International Phonetic Alphabet 24 (2): 91–94  


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address