Near-back vowel

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A near-back vowel is a type of vowel sound used in some spoken languages. The defining characteristic of a near-back vowel is that the tongue is positioned as in a back vowel, but slightly further forward in the mouth. The near-back vowel identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet is:

Examples for near-back vowels are the following:

General American English and Received Pronunciation: bull, bush, full, pull, push, put, book, brook, cook, foot, good, hood, hook, look, shook, stood, took, wood, wool, could, should, would

General American English only: hoof

There is an enormous variability in the vowels of these words all over the world. This variability is the basic appearance of what we call accents or differences in pronunciation depending on dialects.

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