Open front rounded vowel

The open front rounded vowel is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɶ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is &. The symbol ɶ is a small capital Œ. Note that œ, the lowercase version of the ligature, is used for the open-mid front rounded vowel.


  • Its vowel height is open, which means the tongue is positioned as far as possible from the roof of the mouth.
  • Its vowel backness is front, which means the tongue is positioned as far forward as possible in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.
  • Its vowel roundedness is rounded, which means that the lips are rounded.


[ɶ] is not confirmed to exist as a phoneme in any language. A phoneme generally transcribed by this symbol is reported from the Amstetten dialect of Bavarian German. It is the rounded equivalent of /æ/, not of open /a/, and so would be more narrowly transcribed as [œ̞] or [ɶ̝]. However, the vowel formants place Amstetten /æ/ and /œ/ one third of the way between /a/ and /i/, matching the IPA definition for open-mid vowels.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Danish ''bønne [bɶnɶ] 'bean' See Danish phonology
French Acadian honneur [ɔnɶʁ] -- Allophone of /œ/ before /ʁ/. See French phonology
German Amstetten dialect Seil 'rope' See German phonology
Swedish hört 'heard' (supine) See Swedish phonology

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