I tried to specify what the name of the vowel "I" is in my dialect and it seems that the IPA table doesn't have it on it. Reading up on the definitions I believe that it should be called "near-close front unrounded vowel", since it is much like the "close front unrounded vowel, but the tongue and mouth are slightly more relaxed. I would say it is directly between the "near-close front unrounded vowel" and the "close-mid front unrounded vowel".
It can be heard in this video: Bairisch für Einsteiger ("Des is...")

So am I right to call it "near-close front unrounded vowel" or am I missing something?

  • 2
    I don't know the term "near-close". Your description "but the tongue and mouth are slightly more relaxed" suggests it might be a lax vowel. Lax vowels have less extreme articulations than the corresponding tense vowels.
    – Greg Lee
    Feb 7 '17 at 13:04
  • It does sound like /ɪ/ from the description, but I think I heard /i/ in the video. Maybe it's just my poor perception because I don't speak German though :P Feb 7 '17 at 15:40

The IPA name for the letter [ɪ], number 319, is "near-close near-front unrounded vowel" (p. 168 of the handbook). Regular capital I is not a letter of the IPA, which is why you can't find it. It's really not possible to take a single instance and give it an absolute characterization. However, the only plausible answers are [ɪ] and [i], at least as single letters. If there is no contrast between [ɪ] and [i], then the standard approach is to select the letter that the vowel most closely resembles, using standard IPA reference values (i.e. the values that IPA experts are trained on).

  • 1
    Thank you, your answer together with the comment from Greg Lee gave me what I was looking for. Feb 8 '17 at 10:09

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