French Corrective Phonetics Guide

The nasal vowel /õ/

The Nasal Vowel /õ/

The articulatory features of /õ/ are as follow: mid, back, rounded and nasal. Examples of words containing /õ/ are pont [põ] , tondre [tõdʁ] , ombre [õbʁ] , on [õ] . Be sure to fully round the vowel since otherwise it might be interpreted as /ã/. Note that you may also encounter the symbol /ɔ̃/ as a variant of /õ/. Both represent the same vowel.

Spelling of /õ/

As we saw in the general section on nasal vowels, two main contexts exist:

a) a vowel letter + "n" at the very end of a word, e.g.: bon [bõ];

b) a vowel letter + "n" or "m" followed by a consonant letter, par ex.: onde [õd], compte [kõt], etc.

It is important to note that when the vowel is nasal, there is no nasal consonant pronounced. Its only role is to indicate that one must use a nasal vowel, e.g.: tomber is pronounced [tõbe] and NOT [tõmbe] .

The  main spelling indication for /õ/ is "on", e.g.: ton, front, honte, conter).


Image result for heads up

While "on" in the context of a nasal vowel usually represents /õ/, there are some exceptions, e.g.:

● the word Monsieur is actually pronounced [møsjø]

● the words faon ("fawn") and paon ("peacock") are pronounced with /ã/ ([fã] and [pã]).

AppStore/Android AppStore
Android Market