Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Open back unrounded vowel
The open back 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 ɑ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is A. The symbol ɑ is called script a because it lacks the extra hook on top of a printed letter 'a', which corresponds to a different vowel, the open front unrounded vowel. Script a, which has its linear stroke on the right, should not be confused with turned script a ɒ, which has its linear stroke on the left and corresponds to a rounded version of this vowel, the open back rounded vowel.
Features of this 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 back, which means the tongue is positioned as far back as possible in the mouth in the mouth without creating a constriction that would be classified as a consonant
- Its vowel roundedness is unrounded, which means that the lips are not rounded.
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