The close-mid back unrounded vowel, or high-mid back unrounded vowel, is a type of vowel sound, used in some spoken languages. Its symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet is ⟨ɤ⟩, called "ram's horns". It is distinct from the symbol for the voiced velar fricative, ⟨ɣ⟩, which has a descender.
The IPA prefers terms "close" and "open" for vowels, and the name of the article follows this. However, a large number of linguists, perhaps a majority, prefer the terms "high" and "low", and these are the only terms found in introductory textbooks on phonetics such as those by Peter Ladefoged.
Before 1989, the symbol for this sound was , sometimes called "baby gamma", which has a flat top. Now the symbol is , "ram's horns", with a rounded top. Unicode provides only U+0264 ɤ latin small letter rams horn (HTML:
ɤ), but in some fonts this character may appear as a "baby gamma" instead.
- Tingsabadh, M. R. Kalaya; Abramson, Arthur S. (1993), "Thai", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 23 (1): 24–28, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004746