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|Open back rounded vowel|
The open back rounded vowel, or low back rounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. Acoustically, it is a near-open or near-low back rounded vowel. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɒ⟩. It is called "turned script a", being a rotated version of "script (cursive) a", which is the variant of a that lacks the extra stroke on top of a "printed a". Turned script a ⟨ɒ⟩ has its linear stroke on the left, whereas "script a" ⟨ɑ⟩ (for its unrounded counterpart) has its linear stroke on the right.
According to the phonetician Geoff Lindsey, ⟨ɒ⟩ may be an entirely superfluous IPA symbol, as the sound it represents is far too similar to the open-mid back rounded vowel [ɔ], which makes it unlikely that any language would contrast these two vowels phonemically. He also writes that the contemporary Standard Southern British (SSB) accent lacks [ɒ], having replaced it with the more common [ɔ] (a realization that is also found in e.g. Australia, New Zealand and Scotland), and advocates for transcribing this vowel with the symbol ⟨ɔ⟩ in SSB.
This is not to be understood as /ɒ/ having the same quality as /ɔː/ (which Lindsey transcribes with ⟨oː⟩), as the latter vowel is true-mid [ɔ̝ː] in SSB, a pronunciation that was established decades ago. Lindsey also says that more open variants of /ɒ/ used formerly in SSB are satisfyingly represented by the symbols [ɔ̞] and [ɑ] in narrow phonetic transcription, and ⟨ɔ⟩ in phonemic/broad phonetic transcription. According to him, the endless repetition of the symbol ⟨ɒ⟩ in publications on BrE has given this vowel a familiarity out of all proportion to its scarcity in the world’s languages.
Paired vowels are: unrounded • rounded
|Afrikaans||Standard||daar||[dɒːr]||'there'||Fully back. Used by some speakers, particularly young female speakers of northern accents. Other speakers use an unrounded vowel [ɑː ~ ɑ̟ː]. See Afrikaans phonology|
|Assamese||পোট্||[pɒ̹t]||'to bury'||Also described as close-mid near-back [ʊ̞].|
|Catalan||Majorcan||soc||[ˈsɒk]||'clog'||Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔ⟩. See Catalan phonology|
|Some Valencian speakers||taula||[ˈt̪ɑ̟wɫɒ̝]||'table'||Can be realized as unrounded [ɑ].|
|Dutch||Leiden||bad||[bɒ̝t]||'bath'||Near-open fully back; may be unrounded [ɑ̝] instead. It corresponds to [ɑ] in standard Dutch.|
|Some dialects||bot||[bɒt]||'bone'||Some non-Randstad dialects, for example those of Den Bosch and Groningen. It is open-mid [ɔ] in standard Dutch.|
|English||Received Pronunciation||not||[nɒt]||'not'||Somewhat raised. Younger RP speakers may pronounce a closer vowel [ɔ]. See English phonology|
|Northern English||May be somewhat raised and fronted.|
|South African||[nɒ̜̈t]||Near-back and weakly rounded. Some younger speakers of the General variety may actually have a higher and fully unrounded vowel [ʌ̈]. See South African English phonology|
|General American||thought||[θɒt] (help·info)||'thought'||Vowel /ɔ(:)/ is lowered (Phonetic realization of /ɔ(:)/ is much lower in GA than in RP).
However "Short o" before r before a vowel (a short o sound followed by r and then another vowel, as in orange, forest, moral, and warrant) is realized as [oɹ~ɔɹ].
|Inland Northern American||See Northern cities vowel shift|
|Indian||[t̪ʰɒʈ]||/ɒ/ and /ɔː/ differ entirely by length in Indian English.|
|Welsh||[θɒːt]||Open-mid in Cardiff; may merge with /oː/ in northern dialects.|
|German||Many speakers||Gourmand||[ɡ̊ʊʁˈmɒ̃ː]||'gourmand'||Nasalized; common phonetic realization of /ɑ̃ː/. See Standard German phonology|
|Many Swiss dialects||mane||[ˈmɒːnə]||'remind'||The example word is from the Zurich dialect, in which [ɒː] is in free variation with the unrounded [ɑː].|
|Hungarian||Standard||magyar||[ˈmɒ̜̽ɟɒ̜̽r]||'Hungarian'||Somewhat fronted and raised, with only slight rounding; sometimes transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔ⟩. Unrounded [ɑ] in some dialects. See Hungarian phonology|
|Ibibio||dọ||[dɒ̝́]||'marry'||Near-open; typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔ⟩.|
|Irish||Ulster||ólann||[ɒ̝ːɫ̪ən̪ˠ]||'(he) drinks'||Near-open; may be transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔː⟩.|
|Lehali||dön̄||[ⁿdɒ̝ŋ]||'yam'||Raised vowel, being the back rounded counterpart of /æ/ in a symmetrical vowel inventory.|
|Lemerig||‘ān̄sār||[ʔɒ̝ŋsɒ̝r]||'person'||Raised vowel, being the back rounded counterpart of /æ/ in a symmetrical vowel inventory.|
|Limburgish||Maastrichtian||plaots||[plɒ̝ːts]||'place'||Near-open fully back; typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔː⟩. Corresponds to [ɔː] in other dialects.|
|Norwegian||Urban East||topp||[tʰɒ̝pː]||'top'||Near-open, also described as close-mid back [o]. Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔ⟩. See Norwegian phonology|
|Dialects along the Swedish border||hat||[hɒ̜ːt]||'hate'||Weakly rounded and fully back. See Norwegian phonology|
|Romanian||Istro-Romanian||cap||[kɒp]||'head'||Corresponds to [ä] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology|
|Slovak||Some speakers||a||[ɒ]||'and'||Under Hungarian influence, some speakers realize the short /a/ as rounded. See Slovak phonology|
|Swedish||Central Standard||jаg||[jɒ̝ːɡ]||'I'||Near-open fully back weakly rounded vowel. Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɑː⟩. See Swedish phonology|
|Gothenburg||[jɒːɡ]||More rounded than in Central Standard Swedish.|
|Yoruba||[example needed]||Most often transcribed in IPA with ⟨ɔ⟩.|