The open-mid front rounded vowel, or low-mid front rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. Acoustically, it is an open-mid front-central rounded vowel. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the sound is ⟨œ⟩. The symbol œ is a lowercase ligature of the letters o and e. The sound ⟨ɶ⟩, a small capital version of the ⟨Œ⟩ ligature, is used for a distinct vowel sound: the open front rounded vowel.
The open-mid front compressed vowel is typically transcribed in IPA simply as ⟨œ⟩, which is the convention used in this article. There is no dedicated IPA diacritic for compression. However, the compression of the lips can be shown by the letter ⟨β̞⟩ as ⟨ɛ͡β̞⟩ (simultaneous [ɛ] and labial compression) or ⟨ɛᵝ⟩ ([ɛ] modified with labial compression). The spread-lip diacritic ⟨ ͍ ⟩ may also be used with a rounded vowel letter ⟨œ͍⟩ as an ad hoc symbol, but 'spread' technically means unrounded.
Note: Because front rounded vowels are assumed to have compression, and few descriptions cover the distinction, some of the following may actually have protrusion.
|Bavarian||Amstetten dialect||Seil||[sœ̠ː]||'rope'||Near-front; may be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɶ⟩.|
|Northern||I helfad||[i ˈhœlʲfɐd̥]||'I'd help'||Allophone of /ɛ/ before /l/.|
|Breton||All speakers||[example needed]||Short counterpart of /øː/. May be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ø⟩.|
|Bas-Léon||[example needed]||Long; contrasts with the short open-mid /œ/ and the long close-mid /øː/. Other speakers have only one mid front rounded vowel /øː/.|
|Danish||Standard||gøre||[ˈɡ̊œ̠ːɐ]||'to do'||Near-front; typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɶː⟩. Some speakers may have an additional [ɶ̝ː] allophone, in case of which the open-mid allophone is transcribed with ⟨œ̞ː⟩ and the near-open allophone is written ⟨ɶː⟩. See Danish phonology|
|Dutch||Standard||manoeuvre||[maˈnœ̠ːvrə]||'manoeuvre'||Near-front; occurs only in a few loanwords. See Dutch phonology|
|Some southern accents||hut||[ɦœt]||'hut'||Also used by certain speakers of the Standard Northern accent; the prestigious realization is close-mid [ʏ̞ ~ ɵ]. See Dutch phonology|
|The Hague dialect||uit||[œːt]||'out'||Corresponds to [œy] in standard Dutch. See Dutch phonology|
|English||Cockney||bird||[bœ̠ːd]||'bird'||Near-front. May as well be unrounded [ɜ̟ː], or the RP variant /ɜː/.|
|New Zealand||Near-front; may be [ɵ̟ː] or [ø̞̈ː] instead. See New Zealand English phonology|
|Southern Welsh||Near-front; also described as mid [œ̝̈] and close-mid [øː].|
|go||[ɡœː]||'go'||Some speakers. Can be a diphthong of the type [œʉ̯]~[œɘ̯] instead. Other South African varieties don't monophthongize. See South African English phonology|
|Faroese||høgt||[hœkt]||'high'||See Faroese phonology|
|French||jeune||[ʒœn]||'young'||See French phonology|
|German||Standard||Hölle||[ˈhœ̠lə]||'hell'||Near-front. See Standard German phonology|
|Some dialects||[example needed]||Used by some dialect speakers in cognates of Standard German words.|
|Western Swiss accents||schön||[ʃœːn]||'beautiful'||Close-mid [øː] in other accents. See Standard German phonology|
|Limburgish||Maastrichtian||lui||[lœ̠́ː]||'lazy'||Allophone of /œy/ in words with Accent 2. More often a slight diphthong.|
|Many dialects||mèù||[mœ̠ː]||'sleeve'||Near-front. The example word is from the Hasselt dialect.|
|Low German||söss / zös||[zœs]||'six'|
|Luxembourgish||Interieur||[ˈɛ̃ːtə̹ʀiœːʀ]||'interior'||Occurs only in loanwords. See Luxembourgish phonology|
|Norwegian||Arendalsk||torn||[²tʰœːnə]||'thorn'||Phonetic realization of the sequence /ʉʀ/; may be an opening diphthong [ʉæ̯] instead. See Norwegian phonology|
|Ripuarian||Kerkrade dialect||mölle||[ˈmœlə]||[translation needed]|
|Saterland Frisian||bölkje||[ˈbœ̠lkjə]||'to rear'||Near-front.|
|West Frisian||Hindeloopers||[example needed]||See West Frisian phonology|
|Open-mid front protruded vowel|
Catford notes that most languages with rounded front and back vowels use distinct types of labialization, protruded back vowels and compressed front vowels. However, a few, such as Scandinavian languages, have protruded front vowels. One Scandinavian language, Swedish, even contrasts the two types of rounding in front vowels (see near-close near-front rounded vowel, with Swedish examples of both types of rounding).
As there are no diacritics in the IPA to distinguish protruded and compressed rounding, an old diacritic for labialization, ⟨ ̫⟩, will be used here as an ad hoc symbol for protruded front vowels. Another possible transcription is ⟨œʷ⟩ or ⟨ɛʷ⟩ (an open-mid front vowel modified by endolabialization), but it could be misread as a diphthong.
Acoustically, the sound is "between" the more typical compressed open-mid front vowel [œ] and the unrounded open-mid front vowel [ɛ].
|Norwegian||Urban East||nøtt||[nœ̫tː]||'nut'||Described variously as open-mid near-front [œ̠], ranging from open-mid near-front [œ̠] to mid near-front [ø̽] and mid central [ə]. See Norwegian phonology|
|Swedish||Central Standard||öra||[²œ̫ːra̠] (help·info)||'ear'||Allophone of /œ/ and most often also /øː/ before /r/. May be more open [ɶ, ɶː] for younger speakers from Stockholm. See Swedish phonology|
|Younger Stockholm speakers||köpa||[²ɕœ̫ːpa̠]||'to buy'||Higher [øː] for other speakers. See Swedish phonology|