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One recent vowel phoneme in English is /ɜ:/. It would seem that this sound only developed in a certain phonetic environment, or to phrase it differently: it only appeared under certain conditions.

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Can you give more information? I do not know that IPA symbol. –  phoog Dec 16 '11 at 21:04
@phoog: See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-mid_central_unrounded_vowel - it's found in words like bird and eternity. –  Ant Dec 16 '11 at 21:19
It doesn't occur in rhotic American English except with a rhotic hook [ɝ], representing the stressed vowel in burn or termite. Possibly [ɜ:] is a non-rhotic variant, but I don't know. –  John Lawler Dec 16 '11 at 21:40
What is this question asking? Please edit it and provide more details about what you are looking for. –  Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Dec 17 '11 at 3:47
/ɜ:/ is frequent in British English, but tracing its development is an ambitious undertaking and one on which you need to consult the relevant textbooks. Would it be uncharitable, Anla, to think you are looking for a short cut to complete an academic assignment? –  Barrie England Dec 17 '11 at 8:02
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closed as not a real question by simchona, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, Irene, FumbleFingers, Hugo Dec 17 '11 at 20:04

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