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sunandshadow
01-04-2014, 11:57 AM
The IPA vowel chart does not have a symbol for a "near-open back vowel" (specifically a rounded one, but that part's not as important). Theoretically the symbol for such a thing might be ɔ̞ (this letter is called an open-o and the mark underneath it means "lowered tongue") or ɔɒ (as a digraph, not two separate letters). I am trying to find an audio or video recording of someone pronouncing this vowel, or any theory/explanation about why it isn't in the IPA chart, or anything like that. Anyone have any idea what I'm talking about? lol

Edit: ugh I had the wrong symbol there, that really doesn't help...

Cath
01-04-2014, 06:11 PM
Are there any words you can look up that use this sound?

King Neptune
01-04-2014, 06:22 PM
The IPA vowel chart does not have a symbol for a "near-open back vowel" (specifically a rounded one, but that part's not as important). Theoretically the symbol for such a thing might be ɔ̝ (this letter is called an open-o and the mark underneath it means "lowered tongue") or ɔɒ (as a digraph, not two separate letters). I am trying to find an audio or video recording of someone pronouncing this vowel, or any theory/explanation about why it isn't in the IPA chart, or anything like that. Anyone have any idea what I'm talking about? lol

It could be that no one uses that particular sound, or it might be lumped to together with something else. Are there any words that use it? Is it particular to some regional dialect.

I just did a search for >IPA "near-open back vowel"< and got two results, and one is for this thread.

I would guess that it is more commonly called something else.

benbenberi
01-04-2014, 10:07 PM
What language/dialect uses this sound? There may be specialized resources with that focus.

sunandshadow
01-05-2014, 06:15 AM
Hypothetically this vowel sound would be somewhere between uuuh and ahhh. Depending on the dialect of English you might hear this sound in bug and gut or bought and ought or oogie and boogie. But I don't have any written or authoritative statement from a linguist that this vowel occurs at all. There's probably a reason why a back near-open vowel doesn't occur in the IPA, which is the authoritative phonetic alphabet, and which has both a front near-open vowel, (in cat), and a mid near-open vowel, ɐ (ugh, up (in some dialects, others would use ɞ)). But what is that reason?

MaryMumsy
01-05-2014, 06:58 AM
I have nothing to offer. Just the comment that this is exactly the reason I dropped one of my anthro classes eons ago. We had to listen to tapes and write things down using those kinds of symbols. I *think* it was called linguistics. The purpose was so you could write otherwise unwritten dialects and languages. I could pronounce them and echo them back, but couldn't write them to save my life.

MM

books2thesky
01-05-2014, 09:21 PM
You could try asking about this in the Linguaphiles livejournal community:
http://linguaphiles.livejournal.com/
There's a good chance that some of the members are interested in this type of phonetics/linguistics problem.

TheNighSwan
01-06-2014, 12:53 AM
If there is no symbol for this sound in the IPA, it is likely that this is because no language contrast a near-open back vowel with both an open one and an open-mid one.

This doesn't mean the sound doesn't exist in any language, but, where it does exist, it is probably lumped together into "open" or "open-mid".

This is likely because there is less room for meaningfull articulatory distinction for open vowels, and doubly so for open back vowels.

It might correspond to the vowel "thought" in General American accents without the caught-cot merger, but wikipedia notes that even within this restricted context, the vowel in "thought" varies quite a lot depending on the speaker.

atthebeach
01-07-2014, 03:32 AM
Pretty much what TheNighSwan said. Here is one link to a discussion on this: http://www.incatena.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=42634

Basically, phonemic inventories vary across languages, and while there may be speakers who utter sounds between the vowels on the chart, the question is whether they create meaningful distinctions in each language. The chart represents what is generally observed, and is not meant to be symmetrical- although this bugs a lot of linguistic students :)

The truth is there are several "additional" symbols for vowels and consonants that can be used depending on what language is being studied, but the general charts gives you a good overall view of sounds that are likely to occur in different sound inventories, thus IPA represents sounds common in many languages.

And yeah, listening to tapes and writing things down using these symbols- I always thought was fun :) Overall I was trained where I could parachute into nowhere and compile a sound inventory of the language observed- I even know someone who did just that. Cool huh? Well, I'm a linguist, so yeah- but I know many who would fall asleep by now reading all this... Could it be, OP, with your curiosity, that you are a budding linguist at heart? :)