The Full Wiki

Close central 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 317
IPA – text ɨ
IPA – image {{{imagesize}}}
Entity ɨ
Kirshenbaum i"
About this sound Sound sample

The close central 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 ɨ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is 1. The IPA symbol is the letter i with a horizontal bar. Both the symbol and the sound are commonly referred to as "barred-i".

There is also a near-close central unrounded vowel in some languages.




/ɨ/ is rare as a phoneme in most Indo-European languages. However, it is very common as a separate phoneme in the indigenous languages of the Americas and is often in phonemic contrast with other close vowels such as /i/ and /u/ both in modern living languages as well as reconstructed proto-languages (e.g. proto-Uto-Aztecan). Campbell, Kaufman & Smith-Stark (1986) identify the presence of this vowel phoneme as an areal feature of a Mesoamerican Sprachbund (although this is not a defining feature of the entire area).

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Acehnese tupeue [tupɨʔɛ] 'to know Asyik[1] and Al-Ahmadi Al-Harbi[2] describe this sound as such while Durie[3] describes it as closer to [ɯ]
Amharic ሥር [sɨr] 'root' Often transcribed as <ə>
Angor hüfı [xɨβə] 'hot'
English roses [ˈɹoʊzɨz] 'roses' Reduced vowel in some dialects; corresponds to unstressed [ɪ] in other dialects. See English phonology.
Guaraní yvy [ɨʋɨ] 'earth'
Irish saol [sɨɫ] 'life' See Irish phonology
Kaingang fy [ɸɨ] 'seed'
Mapudungun trukür [tʴuˈkɨɹ] 'fog' See Mapudungun phonology
Mongolian[4] ? [xutʃʰɨɾɘ̆] 'difficult'
Muisca Hycha[5] hycha [hɨʂa] 'I'
Polish[6] mysz Mysz.ogg [mɨʂ] 'mouse' See Polish phonology
Romanian înot [ɨˈnot] 'I swim' See Romanian phonology
Russian[7] ты [tɨ] 'you' (singular) Occurs only after unpalatalized consonants. See Russian phonology
Sahaptin[8] [kʼsɨt] 'cold' Epenthetic; no lengthened equivalent.
Sirionó[9] [eˈsɨ] 'dry wood'
Swedish bi [bɨː] 'bee' Found in dialects in Närke and Bohuslän and in sociolects in Stockholm and Gothenburg.
Tupi yby [ɨβɨ] 'earth'
Udmurt[10] ? [ɨrete] 'to growl'
Võro sysar [sɨsarʲ] 'sister'
Welsh Northern dialects[11] llun [ɬɨːn] 'picture' See Welsh phonology
Zapotec Tilquiapan[12] nɨ [nɨ] 'be sour'



  • Al-Ahmadi Al-Harbi, Awwad Ahmad (2003), "Acehnese coda condition: An optimality-theoretic account", Umm Al-Qura University Journal of Educational and Social Sciences and Humanities 15: 9–21,  
  • Ball, Martin J. (1984), "Phonetics for phonology", in Ball, Martin J.; Jones, G.E, Welsh Phonology, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, ISBN 0-7083-0861-9  
  • Campbell, Lyle; Kaufman, Terrence; Smith-Stark, Thomas C (1986), "Meso-America as a linguistic area", Language 62 (3): 530–570  
  • Firestone, Homer L. (1965), "Description and classification of Sirionó: A Tupí-Guaraní language.", Janua linguarum, Series Practica, London: Mouton & Co  
  • Gómez, Paula. (1999). Huichol de San Andrés Cohamiata, Jalisco. Archivo de lenguas indígenas de México. México: El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios.
  • Hargus, Sharon; Beavert, Virginia (2002), "Predictable versus Underlying Vocalism in Yakima Sahaptin", International Journal of American Linguistics 68 (3): 316  
  • 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  
  • Jassem, Wiktor (2003), "Polish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (1): 103–107  
  • Jones, Daniel; Dennis, Ward (1969). The Phonetics of Russian. Cambridge University Press.  
  • Koehn, Edward; & Koehn, Sally. (1986). Apalai. In D. C. Derbyshire & G. K. Pullum (Eds.), Handbook of Amazonian linguistics (Vol. 1, pp. 33-127). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Merrill, Elizabeth (2008), "Tilquipan Zapotec", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 38 (1): 107–114  
  • Payne, Doris L.; & Payne, Thomas E. (1990). Yagua. In D. C. Derbyshire & G. K. Pullum (Eds.), Handbook of Amazonian linguistics (Vol. 2, pp. 252-474). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.


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