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Close central unrounded vowel
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".
- Its vowel height is close, which means the tongue is positioned as close as possible to the roof of the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant.
- Its vowel backness is central, which means the tongue is positioned halfway between a front vowel and a back vowel.
- Its vowel roundedness is unrounded, which means that the lips are not rounded.
For some dialects of English that distinguish between two reduced vowels, barred-i is used to transcribe the closer of the two vowels; the more open reduced vowel is transcribed with ə (schwa). For example, in those dialects that distinguish the words "roses" and "Rosa's", the sound of the 'e' in roses is [ɨ] and the sound of the 'a' in Rosa's is [ə] . Some transcription schemes use [ɪ] (the symbol for the near-close near-front unrounded vowel as in big ([bɪg]) for this vowel, but [ɨ] is used by those who prefer to keep the set of symbols used to transcribe reduced vowels separate from the symbols used to transcribe stressable vowels—the advantage being that if the reduced vowels are considered as distinct phonemes from the unreduced vowels, many words do not need to have stress placement explicitly marked in the lexicon. The actual phonetic quality of the reduced vowels can vary widely throughout the vowel space defined by [ɨ] and [ɪ], so neither symbol can be regarded as "more correct" on any basis other than tradition.
The symbol ɨ is also occasionally used to transcribe the unstressed vowel of English belly, when that vowel is analysed as a phoneme on its own (sometimes called schwi), in order to show that it is neither long /i/ nor lax /ɪ/. Schwi is not pronounced as a close central unrounded vowel, but is a short [i] or [ɪ], depending on dialect or idiolect.
- ılık [ɨlɨk] 'mild'
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