Mid central vowel

Vowels beside dots are: unrounded • rounded

The mid central vowel also requested as rotated lowercase letter e.

While the Handbook of the International Phonetic Association does non define the roundedness of [ə], it is more often unrounded than rounded. The phonetician Jane Setter describes the pronunciation of the unrounded variant as follows: "a sound which can be submitted by basically relaxing the articulators in the oral cavity as well as vocalising." To develope the rounded variant, any that needs to be done as well as that is to round the lips.

Afrikaans contrasts unrounded in addition to rounded mid central vowels; the latter is usually transcribed with ⟨œ⟩. The contrast is not very stable, and many speakers usage an unrounded vowel in both cases.

Danish and Luxembourgish hold a mid central vowel that is variably rounded. In other languages, the change in rounding is accompanied with the modify in height and/or backness. For instance, in Dutch, the unrounded allophone of /ə/ is mid central unrounded [ə], but its word-final rounded allophone is close-mid front rounded ],to the leading allophone of /ʏ/.

The symbol ⟨ə⟩ is often used for any unstressed obscure vowel, regardless of its precise quality. For instance, the English vowel transcribed ⟨ə⟩ is a central unrounded vowel that can be close-mid ], mid [ə] or open-mid ], depending on the environment.