Vowels beside dots are: unrounded • rounded
A front vowel is a type of vowel. It is used some spoken languages. Front vowels are in the highest point in the tongue. It is as forwards in the mouth as far as possible. If it were any closer to the mouth, it would be consonant. Front vowels are also sometimes called bright vowels. This is because they are sound brighter than the back vowels.
Near-front vowels are basically a type of front vowel. There is no language where this a different between front and near-front vowels from backness alone.
Rounded front vowels are usually centralized. This means that they are usually near-front in their articulation. This is one of the reasons why they are written to the right of unrounded front vowels in the IPA vowel chart.
The front vowels that have symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet are:
- close front unrounded vowel [i]
- close front compressed vowel [y]
- near-close front unrounded vowel [ɪ]
- near-close front compressed vowel [ʏ]
- close-mid front unrounded vowel [e]
- close-mid front compressed vowel [ø]
- open-mid front unrounded vowel [ɛ]
- open-mid front compressed vowel [œ]
- near-open front unrounded vowel [æ]
- open front unrounded vowel [a]
- open front rounded vowel [ɶ]
There also are front vowels without symbols in the IPA:
- close front protruded vowel [yʷ]
- near-close front protruded vowel [ʏʷ]
- close-mid front protruded vowel [øʷ]
- mid front unrounded vowel [e̞] or [ɛ̝]
- mid front compressed vowel [ø̞] or [œ̝]
- mid front protruded vowel [ø̞ʷ] or [œ̝ʷ]
- open-mid front protruded vowel [œʷ]
Other front vowels can be written with symbols with relative articulation added to letters for vowels. These can be letters such as ⟨i̞⟩, ⟨e̝⟩ or ⟨ɪ̟⟩ for a near-close front unrounded vowel.