Pronunciation Of Vowel “ɜ“

A Vowels Pronunciation Vowels Pronunciation

Pronunciation Of Vowel “ɜ“


(Also Read What is IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)

Understanding of Pronunciation of Vowel, Pronunciation of Consonants & Pronunciation of Diphthong is very important for being healthy in English, especially in English Speaking. Wrong pronunciation can change the meaning of a sentence or situation for which the particular word is used. Generally, beginner of any language crams Vocabulary but without clear and right pronunciation or wrong pronunciation, meaning or sense of the sentence can differ for other people. That’s why pronunciation plays a major role in language learning.

In this American English pronunciation Article section, we’re going to learn how to make the ɜ=ur as in ‘bird’ sound.

People sometimes say this is the vowel version of the ɹ=r consonant.

It’s always followed by ɹ=r,  and there’s no distinction between the sounds in American English.

This sound will always be written with two different international phonetic alphabet, or IPA, symbols, but will be pronounced ɜɹ=rrrrrr,

Just one sound, ‘bird=[bɜɹd]’.

  • To make this sound, the corners of the lips come in, pushing the lips away from the face. ‘bird=[bɜɹd]’ ɜ=ur ɜ=ur
  • The middle part of the tongue lifts towards the roof of the mouth in the middle. ‘bird=[bɜɹd]’ ɜ=ur
  • The front of the tongue hangs down, but it’s drawn back a bit. ‘bird=[bɜɹd]’ ɜ=ur
  • So, it’s not touching anything. ɜ=ur
  • As the tongue lifts in the middle, it may be close to the roof of the mouth without touching it, ɜ=ur
  • Or it may touch the sides of the roof of the mouth, ɜ=ur
  • Or the insides or bottom of the top teeth, ɜ=ur, ɜ=ur.
  • This, along with the r consonant, is one of the hardest sounds to make in American English.
  • It’s especially hard because the lip position hides the tongue position.
  • Let’s feel it. ɜ=ur.
  • From the side, we can’t even feel the tongue.
  • The front view doesn’t help much either.
  • This is because the tongue goes back, but the lips flare forward. ɜ=ur
  • Here’s the word ‘hurt=[hɜɹt]’.
  • Feel the tongue pull back and up before coming forward for the t. ‘hurt=[hɜɹt]’
  • In a stressed syllable, the ɜ=ur vowel curves up then down. Hurt, ɜ=ur.
  • In an unstressed syllable, it’s lower in pitch, as well as quieter and quicker, ɜ=ur, ɜ=ur.
  • The vowel is unstressed in the word ‘research=[‘ɹi sɜɹtʃ]’, ɜ=ur.
  • Let’s feel this word up close and in slow motion.
  • The lips flare, but the jaw doesn’t drop as much.
  • Let’s compare the stressed ɜ=ur in ‘hurt=[hɜɹt]’, with the unstressed vowel in ‘research=[‘ɹi sɜɹtʃ]’.
  • The lips flare for both,
  • But in this case, there was much more jaw drop for the stressed version of this vowel.
  • This is typical.
  • Unstressed vowels are shorter, so there isn’t as much time to make the full mouth position.
  • The ɜ=ur vowel, stressed: hurt, ɜ=ur
  • Unstressed: research, ɜ=ur

Example words.



Circle=[‘sɜɹ kəl],



Outburst=[‘aʊt| bɛɹst].

I hope this article section helps you understand this sound.


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