International Phonetic Alphabet

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For the ICAO spelling alphabet, see NATO spelling alphabet. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_0

International Phonetic Alphabet_table_infobox_0

International Phonetic AlphabetInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_0_0_0
TypeInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_0_1_0 Alphabet – partially featuralInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_0_1_1
LanguagesInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_0_2_0 Used for phonetic and phonemic transcription of any languageInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_0_2_1
Time periodInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_0_3_0 since 1888International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_0_3_1
Parent systemsInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_0_4_0 Palaeotype alphabet, English Phonotypic AlphabetInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_0_4_1
DirectionInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_0_5_0 Left-to-rightInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_0_5_1
ISO 15924International Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_0_6_0 Latn, 215International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_0_6_1
Unicode aliasInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_0_7_0 LatinInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_0_7_1

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin script. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_1

It was devised by the International Phonetic Association in the late 19th century as a standardized representation of the sounds of spoken language. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_2

The IPA is used by lexicographers, foreign language students and teachers, linguists, speech-language pathologists, singers, actors, constructed language creators and translators. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_3

The IPA is designed to represent those qualities of speech that are part of lexical (and to a limited extent prosodic) sounds in oral language: phones, phonemes, intonation and the separation of words and syllables. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_4

To represent additional qualities of speech, such as tooth gnashing, lisping, and sounds made with a cleft lip and cleft palate, an extended set of symbols, the extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet, may be used. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_5

IPA symbols are composed of one or more elements of two basic types, letters and diacritics. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_6

For example, the sound of the English letter ⟨t⟩ may be transcribed in IPA with a single letter, [t], or with a letter plus diacritics, [t̺ʰ], depending on how precise one wishes to be. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_7

Slashes are used to signal phonemic transcription; thus, /t/ is more abstract than either [t̺ʰ] or [t], and might refer to either, depending on the context and language. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_8

Occasionally letters or diacritics are added, removed or modified by the International Phonetic Association. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_9

As of the most recent change in 2005, there are 107 segmental letters, an indefinitely large number of suprasegmental letters, 44 diacritics (not counting composites) and four extra-lexical prosodic marks in the IPA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_10

These are shown in the current IPA chart, also posted below in this article and at the website of the IPA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_11

History International Phonetic Alphabet_section_0

Main article: History of the International Phonetic Alphabet International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_12

In 1886, a group of French and British language teachers, led by the French linguist Paul Passy, formed what would come to be known from 1897 onwards as the International Phonetic Association (in French, l'Association phonétique internationale). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_13

Their original alphabet was based on a spelling reform for English known as the Romic alphabet, but in order to make it usable for other languages, the values of the symbols were allowed to vary from language to language. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_14

For example, the sound ʃ (the sh in shoe) was originally represented with the letter ⟨c⟩ in English, but with the digraph ⟨ch⟩ in French. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_15

In 1888, the alphabet was revised so as to be uniform across languages, thus providing the base for all future revisions. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_16

The idea of making the IPA was first suggested by Otto Jespersen in a letter to Paul Passy. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_17

It was developed by Alexander John Ellis, Henry Sweet, Daniel Jones, and Passy. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_18

Since its creation, the IPA has undergone a number of revisions. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_19

After revisions and expansions from the 1890s to the 1940s, the IPA remained primarily unchanged until the Kiel Convention in 1989. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_20

A minor revision took place in 1993 with the addition of four letters for mid central vowels and the removal of letters for voiceless implosives. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_21

The alphabet was last revised in May 2005 with the addition of a letter for a labiodental flap. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_22

Apart from the addition and removal of symbols, changes to the IPA have consisted largely of renaming symbols and categories and in modifying typefaces. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_23

Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet for speech pathology were created in 1990 and officially adopted by the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association in 1994. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_24

Description International Phonetic Alphabet_section_1

The general principle of the IPA is to provide one letter for each distinctive sound (speech segment), although this practice is not followed if the sound itself is complex. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_25

This means that: International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_26

International Phonetic Alphabet_unordered_list_0

  • It does not normally use combinations of letters to represent single sounds, the way English does with ⟨sh⟩, ⟨th⟩ and ⟨ng⟩, or single letters to represent multiple sounds the way ⟨x⟩ represents /ks/ or /ɡz/ in English.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_0_0
  • There are no letters that have context-dependent sound values, as do "hard" and "soft" ⟨c⟩ or ⟨g⟩ in several European languages.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_0_1
  • The IPA does not usually have separate letters for two sounds if no known language makes a distinction between them, a property known as "selectiveness".International Phonetic Alphabet_item_0_2

The alphabet is designed for transcribing sounds (phones), not phonemes, though it is used for phonemic transcription as well. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_27

A few letters that did not indicate specific sounds have been retired (⟨ˇ⟩, once used for the 'compound' tone of Swedish and Norwegian, and ⟨ƞ⟩, once used for the moraic nasal of Japanese), though one remains: ⟨ɧ⟩, used for the sj-sound of Swedish. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_28

When the IPA is used for phonemic transcription, the letter–sound correspondence can be rather loose. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_29

For example, ⟨c⟩ and ⟨ɟ⟩ are used in the IPA Handbook for /t͡ʃ/ and /d͡ʒ/. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_30

Among the symbols of the IPA, 107 letters represent consonants and vowels, 31 diacritics are used to modify these, and 19 additional signs indicate suprasegmental qualities such as length, tone, stress, and intonation. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_31

These are organized into a chart; the chart displayed here is the as posted at the website of the IPA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_32

Letter forms International Phonetic Alphabet_section_2

The letters chosen for the IPA are meant to harmonize with the Latin alphabet. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_33

For this reason, most letters are either Latin or Greek, or modifications thereof. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_34

Some letters are neither: for example, the letter denoting the glottal stop, ⟨ʔ⟩, originally had the form of a dotless question mark, and derives from an apostrophe. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_35

A few letters, such as that of the voiced pharyngeal fricative, ⟨ʕ⟩, were inspired by other writing systems (in this case, the Arabic letter ‎ ʿayn, via the reversed apostrophe). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_36

Some letter forms derive from existing letters: International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_37

International Phonetic Alphabet_ordered_list_1

  1. The right-swinging tail, as in ⟨ɖ ɳ ʂ⟩ marks retroflex articulation. It derives from the hook of an r.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_1_3
  2. The top hook, as in ⟨ɠ ɗ ɓ⟩ marks implosion.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_1_4
  3. Several nasal consonants are based on the form ⟨n⟩: ⟨n ɲ ɳ ŋ⟩. ⟨ɲ⟩ and ⟨ŋ⟩ derive from ligatures of gn and ng, and ⟨ɱ⟩ is an ad hoc imitation of ⟨ŋ⟩.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_1_5
  4. Letters turned 180 degrees, such as ɐ ɔ ə ɟ ɓ ɥ ɾ ɯ ɹ ʇ ʊ ʌ ʍ ʎ (from a c e f ɡ h ᴊ m r t ꭥ v w y), when either the original letter (e.g. ɐ ə ɹ ʇ ʍ) or the turned one (e.g. ɔ ɟ ɓ ɥ ɾ ɯ ʌ ʎ) is reminiscent of the target sound. This was easily done in the era of mechanical typesetting, and had the advantage of not requiring the casting of special type for IPA symbols, much as the same type had often been used for b and q, d and p, n and u, 6 and 9 to cut down on expense.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_1_6

Capital letters International Phonetic Alphabet_section_3

Full capital letters are not used as IPA symbols. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_38

They are, however, often used in conjunction with the IPA in two cases: International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_39

International Phonetic Alphabet_ordered_list_2

  1. for archiphonemes and for natural classes of phonemes (that is, as wildcards). The extIPA chart, for example, uses wildcards in its illustrations.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_2_7
  2. as Voice Quality Symbols.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_2_8

Wildcards are commonly used in phonology to summarize syllable or word shapes, or to show the evolution of classes of sounds. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_40

For example, the possible syllable shapes of Mandarin can be abstracted as ranging from /V/ (an atonic vowel) to /CGVNᵀ/ (a consonant-glide-vowel-nasal syllable with tone), and word-final devoicing may be schematicized as C → C̥/_#. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_41

In speech pathology, capital letters represent indeterminate sounds, and may be superscripted to indicate they are weakly articulated: e.g. [ᴰ] is a weak indeterminate alveolar, [ᴷ] a weak indeterminate velar. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_42

There is a degree of variation between authors as to the capital letters used, but ⟨C⟩ for {consonant}, ⟨V⟩ for {vowel} and ⟨N⟩ for {nasal} are ubiquitous. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_43

Other common conventions are ⟨T⟩ for {tone/accent} (tonicity), ⟨P⟩ for {plosive}, ⟨F⟩ for {fricative}, ⟨S⟩ for {sibilant}, ⟨G⟩ for {glide/semivowel}, ⟨L⟩ for {lateral} or {liquid}, ⟨R⟩ for {rhotic} or {resonant/sonorant}, ⟨Ʞ⟩ for {click}, ⟨A, E, O, Ɨ, U⟩ for {open, front, back, close, rounded vowel} and ⟨B, D, J (or Ɉ), K, Q, Φ, H⟩ for {labial, alveolar, post-alveolar/palatal, velar, uvular, pharyngeal, glottal consonant}, respectively, and ⟨X⟩ for any sound. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_44

The letters can be modified with IPA diacritics, for example ⟨Cʼ⟩ for {ejective}, ⟨Ƈ⟩ for {implosive}, ⟨N͡C⟩ or ⟨ᴺC⟩ for {prenasalized consonant}, ⟨Ṽ⟩ for {nasal vowel}, ⟨CʰV́⟩ for {aspirated CV syllable with high tone}, ⟨S̬⟩ for {voiced sibilant}, ⟨N̥⟩ for {voiceless nasal}, ⟨P͡F⟩ or ⟨P⟩ for {affricate}, ⟨Cʲ⟩ for {palatalized consonant} and ⟨D̪⟩ for {dental consonant}. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_45

⟨H⟩, ⟨M⟩, ⟨L⟩ are also commonly used for high, mid and low tone, with ⟨HL⟩ (occasionally ⟨F⟩ 'falling'), ⟨LH⟩ (occasionally ⟨R⟩ 'rising'), etc., rather than transcribing them overly precisely with IPA tone letters or with digits. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_46

Typical examples of archiphonemic use of capital letters are ⟨I⟩ for the Turkish harmonic vowel set {i y ɯ u}, ⟨D⟩ for the conflated flapped middle consonant of American English writer and rider, and ⟨N⟩ for the homorganic syllable-coda nasal of languages such as Spanish and Japanese (essentially equivalent to the wild-card usage of the letter). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_47

⟨V⟩, ⟨F⟩ and ⟨C⟩ have completely different meanings as Voice Quality Symbols, where they stand for "voice" (though generally meaning secondary articulation, as in a 'nasal voice', rather than phonetic voicing), "falsetto" and "creak". International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_48

They may also take diacritics that indicate what kind of voice quality an utterance has, and may be used to extract a suprasegmental feature that occurs on all susceptible segments in a stretch of IPA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_49

For instance, the transcription of Scottish Gaelic [kʷʰuˣʷt̪ʷs̟ʷ] 'cat' and [kʷʰʉˣʷt͜ʃʷ] 'cats' (Islay dialect) can be made more economical by extracting the suprasegmental labialization of the words: Vʷ[kʰuˣt̪s̟] and Vʷ[kʰʉˣt͜ʃ]. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_50

The usual wildcard X or C might be used instead (Xʷ[...] for all segments labialized, Cʷ[...] for consonants labialized), or omitted altogether. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_51

(See Suprasegmentals below for some conventions.) International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_52

Typography and iconicity International Phonetic Alphabet_section_4

The International Phonetic Alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet, using as few non-Latin forms as possible. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_53

The Association created the IPA so that the sound values of most consonant letters taken from the Latin alphabet would correspond to "international usage". International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_54

Hence, the letters ⟨b⟩, ⟨d⟩, ⟨f⟩, (hard) ⟨ɡ⟩, (non-silent) ⟨h⟩, (unaspirated) ⟨k⟩, ⟨l⟩, ⟨m⟩, ⟨n⟩, (unaspirated) ⟨p⟩, (voiceless) ⟨s⟩, (unaspirated) ⟨t⟩, ⟨v⟩, ⟨w⟩, and ⟨z⟩ have the values used in English; and the vowel letters from the Latin alphabet (⟨a⟩, ⟨e⟩, ⟨i⟩, ⟨o⟩, ⟨u⟩) correspond to the (long) sound values of Latin: [i] is like the vowel in machine, [u] is as in rule, etc. Other letters may differ from English, but are used with these values in other European languages, such as ⟨j⟩, ⟨r⟩, and ⟨y⟩. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_55

This inventory was extended by using small-capital and cursive forms, diacritics and rotation. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_56

There are also several symbols derived or taken from the Greek alphabet, though the sound values may differ. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_57

For example, ⟨ʋ⟩ is a vowel in Greek, but an only indirectly related consonant in the IPA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_58

For most of these, subtly different glyph shapes have been devised for the IPA, namely ⟨ɑ⟩, ⟨ꞵ⟩, ⟨ɣ⟩, ⟨ɛ⟩, ⟨ɸ⟩, ⟨ꭓ⟩, and ⟨ʋ⟩, which are encoded in Unicode separately from their parent Greek letters, though one of them – ⟨θ⟩ – is not, while both Latin ⟨ꞵ⟩, ⟨ꭓ⟩ and Greek ⟨β⟩, ⟨χ⟩ are in common use. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_59

The sound values of modified Latin letters can often be derived from those of the original letters. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_60

For example, letters with a rightward-facing hook at the bottom represent retroflex consonants; and small capital letters usually represent uvular consonants. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_61

Apart from the fact that certain kinds of modification to the shape of a letter generally correspond to certain kinds of modification to the sound represented, there is no way to deduce the sound represented by a symbol from its shape (as for example in Visible Speech) nor even any systematic relation between signs and the sounds they represent (as in Hangul). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_62

Beyond the letters themselves, there are a variety of secondary symbols which aid in transcription. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_63

Diacritic marks can be combined with IPA letters to transcribe modified phonetic values or secondary articulations. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_64

There are also special symbols for suprasegmental features such as stress and tone that are often employed. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_65

Brackets and transcription delimiters International Phonetic Alphabet_section_5

There are two principal types of brackets used to set off (delimit) IPA transcriptions: International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_66

International Phonetic Alphabet_unordered_list_3

  • [square brackets] are used with phonetic notation, whether broad or narrow – that is, for actual pronunciation, possibly including details of the pronunciation that may not be used for distinguishing words in the language being transcribed, which the author nonetheless wishes to document. Such phonetic notation is the primary function of the IPA.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_3_9
  • /slashes/ are used for abstract phonemic notation, which note only features that are distinctive in the language, without any extraneous detail. For example, while the 'p' sounds of English pin and spin are pronounced differently (and this difference would be meaningful in some languages), the difference is not meaningful in English. Thus phonemically the words are usually analyzed as /pɪn/ and /spɪn/, with the same phoneme /p/. To capture the difference between them (the allophones of /p/), they can be transcribed phonetically as [pʰɪn] and [spɪn]. Phonemic notation commonly uses IPA symbols that are rather close to the default pronunciation of a phoneme, but for legibility or other reasons can use symbols for something that diverges from their designated values, such as /c, ɟ/ for affricates, as found in the Handbook, or /r/ (which according to the IPA is a trill) for English r.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_3_10

Other conventions are less commonly seen: International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_67

International Phonetic Alphabet_unordered_list_4

  • {Braces} are used for prosodic notation. See Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet for examples in this system.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_4_11
  • (Parentheses) are used for indistinguishable or unidentified utterances. They are also seen for silent articulation (mouthing), where the expected phonetic transcription is derived from lip-reading, and with periods to indicate silent pauses, for example (…) or (2 sec). The latter usage is made official in the extIPA, with unidentified segments circled.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_4_12
  • Double parentheses indicate an obscured sound, as in ⸨2σ⸩, two audible syllables obscured by another noise. The extIPA specifies double parentheses for extraneous noise (as a knock on a door), but the IPA Handbook identifies IPA and extIPA usage as equivalent.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_4_13

All three of the above are provided by the IPA Handbook. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_68

The following are not, but may be seen in IPA transcription: International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_69

International Phonetic Alphabet_unordered_list_5

  • Double square brackets ⟦...⟧ are used for extra-precise (especially narrow) transcription. This is consistent with the IPA convention of doubling a symbol to indicate greater degree. Double brackets may indicate that a letter has its cardinal IPA value. For example, ⟦a⟧ is an open front vowel, rather than the perhaps slightly different value (such as open central) that "[a]" may be used to transcribe in a particular language. Thus two vowels transcribed for easy legibility as ⟨[e]⟩ and ⟨[ɛ]⟩ may be clarified as actually being ⟦e̝⟧ and ⟦e⟧; ⟨[ð]⟩ may be more precisely ⟦ð̠̞ˠ⟧. Double brackets may also be used for a specific token or speaker, for example the pronunciation of a child as opposed to the adult phonetic pronunciation that is their target.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_5_14
  • Double slashes ⫽...⫽ are used for morphophonemic transcription. This is also consistent with the IPA convention of doubling a symbol to indicate greater degree (in this case, more abstract than phonemic transcription). Other symbols sometimes seen for morphophonemic transcription are pipes |...|, double pipes ‖...‖ (as in Americanist phonetic notation) and braces {...} (from set theory, especially when enclosing a set of member phonemes rather than a single letter), but all of these conflict with IPA indications of prosody.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_5_15
  • Angle brackets are used to mark orthography and transliteration. Within the IPA, they are used to indicate that the letters stand for themselves and not for the sound values that they carry. For example, ⟨cot⟩ would be used for the orthography of the English word cot, as opposed to its pronunciation /ˈkɒt/. Italics are more commonly used for this purpose when full words are being written (as "cot" just above), but italics may not be sufficiently clear when demarcating individual letters and digraphs. It may occasionally be useful to distinguish original orthography from transliteration with double angle brackets ⟪...⟫.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_5_16

Cursive forms International Phonetic Alphabet_section_6

Main article: Cursive forms of the International Phonetic Alphabet International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_70

IPA letters have cursive forms designed for use in manuscripts and when taking field notes, but the 1999 Handbook of the International Phonetic Association recommended against their use, as cursive IPA is "harder for most people to decipher." International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_71

Letter g International Phonetic Alphabet_section_7

In the early stages of the alphabet, the typographic variants of g, opentail ⟨ɡ⟩ () and looptail ⟨g⟩ (), represented different values, but are now regarded as equivalents. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_72

Opentail ⟨ɡ⟩ has always represented a voiced velar plosive, while ⟨⟩ was distinguished from ⟨ɡ⟩ and represented a voiced velar fricative from 1895 to 1900. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_73

Subsequently, ⟨ǥ⟩ represented the fricative, until 1931 when it was replaced again by ⟨ɣ⟩. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_74

In 1948, the Council of the Association recognized ⟨ɡ⟩ and ⟨⟩ as typographic equivalents, and this decision was reaffirmed in 1993. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_75

While the 1949 Principles of the International Phonetic Association recommended the use of ⟨⟩ for a velar plosive and ⟨ɡ⟩ for an advanced one for languages where it is preferable to distinguish the two, such as Russian, this practice never caught on. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_76

The 1999 Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, the successor to the Principles, abandoned the recommendation and acknowledged both shapes as acceptable variants. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_77

Modifying the IPA chart International Phonetic Alphabet_section_8

The International Phonetic Alphabet is occasionally modified by the Association. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_78

After each modification, the Association provides an updated simplified presentation of the alphabet in the form of a chart. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_79

(See History of the IPA.) International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_80

Not all aspects of the alphabet can be accommodated in a chart of the size published by the IPA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_81

The alveolo-palatal and epiglottal consonants, for example, are not included in the consonant chart for reasons of space rather than of theory (two additional columns would be required, one between the retroflex and palatal columns and the other between the pharyngeal and glottal columns), and the lateral flap would require an additional row for that single consonant, so they are listed instead under the catchall block of "other symbols". International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_82

The indefinitely large number of tone letters would make a full accounting impractical even on a larger page, and only a few examples are shown. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_83

The procedure for modifying the alphabet or the chart is to propose the change in the Journal of the IPA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_84

(See, for example, August 2008 on an open central unrounded vowel and August 2011 on central approximants.) International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_85

Reactions to the proposal may be published in the same or subsequent issues of the Journal (as in August 2009 on the open central vowel). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_86

A formal proposal is then put to the Council of the IPA – which is elected by the membership – for further discussion and a formal vote. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_87

Only changes to the alphabet or chart that have been approved by the Council can be considered part of the official IPA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_88

Nonetheless, many users of the alphabet, including the leadership of the Association itself, deviate from the official system. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_89

Usage International Phonetic Alphabet_section_9

Further information: Phonetic transcription International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_90

Of more than 160 IPA symbols, relatively few will be used to transcribe speech in any one language, with various levels of precision. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_91

A precise phonetic transcription, in which sounds are specified in detail, is known as a narrow transcription. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_92

A coarser transcription with less detail is called a broad transcription. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_93

Both are relative terms, and both are generally enclosed in square brackets. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_94

Broad phonetic transcriptions may restrict themselves to easily heard details, or only to details that are relevant to the discussion at hand, and may differ little if at all from phonemic transcriptions, but they make no theoretical claim that all the distinctions transcribed are necessarily meaningful in the language. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_95

For example, the English word little may be transcribed broadly as [ˈlɪtəl], approximately describing many pronunciations. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_96

A narrower transcription may focus on individual or dialectical details: [ˈɫɪɾɫ] in General American, [ˈlɪʔo] in Cockney, or [ˈɫɪːɫ] in Southern US English. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_97

Phonemic transcriptions, which express the conceptual counterparts of spoken sounds, are usually enclosed in slashes (/ /) and tend to use simpler letters with few diacritics. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_98

The choice of IPA letters may reflect theoretical claims of how speakers conceptualize sounds as phonemes, or they may be merely a convenience for typesetting. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_99

Phonemic approximations between slashes do not have absolute sound values. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_100

For instance, in English, either the vowel of pick or the vowel of peak may be transcribed as /i/, so that pick, peak would be transcribed as /pik, piːk/ or as /pɪk, pik/; and neither is identical to the vowel of the French pique which is also generally transcribed /i/. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_101

By contrast, a narrow phonetic transcription of pick, peak, pique could be: [pʰɪk], [pʰiːk], [pikʲ]. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_102

Linguists International Phonetic Alphabet_section_10

IPA is popular for transcription by linguists. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_103

Some American linguists, however, use a mix of IPA with Americanist phonetic notation or use some nonstandard symbols for various reasons. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_104

Authors who employ such nonstandard use are encouraged to include a chart or other explanation of their choices, which is good practice in general, as linguists differ in their understanding of the exact meaning of IPA symbols, and because common conventions change over time. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_105

Language study International Phonetic Alphabet_section_11

Some language study programs use the IPA to teach pronunciation. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_106

For example, in Russia (and earlier in the Soviet Union) and mainland China, textbooks for children and adults for studying English and French consistently use the IPA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_107

English teachers and textbooks in Taiwan tend to use the Kenyon and Knott system, a slight typographical variant of the IPA first used in the 1944 Pronouncing Dictionary of American English. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_108

Dictionaries International Phonetic Alphabet_section_12

English International Phonetic Alphabet_section_13

Many British dictionaries, including the Oxford English Dictionary and some learner's dictionaries such as the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary and the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, now use the International Phonetic Alphabet to represent the pronunciation of words. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_109

However, most American (and some British) volumes use one of a variety of pronunciation respelling systems, intended to be more comfortable for readers of English. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_110

For example, the respelling systems in many American dictionaries (such as Merriam-Webster) use ⟨y⟩ for IPA [j] and ⟨sh⟩ for IPA [ʃ], reflecting common representations of those sounds in written English, using only letters of the English Roman alphabet and variations of them. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_111

(In IPA, [y] represents the sound of the French ⟨u⟩ (as in tu), and [sh] represents the pair of sounds in grasshopper.) International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_112

Other languages International Phonetic Alphabet_section_14

The IPA is also not universal among dictionaries in languages other than English. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_113

Monolingual dictionaries of languages with generally phonemic orthographies generally do not bother with indicating the pronunciation of most words, and tend to use respelling systems for words with unexpected pronunciations. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_114

Dictionaries produced in Israel use the IPA rarely and sometimes use the Hebrew alphabet for transcription of foreign words. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_115

Bilingual dictionaries that translate from foreign languages into Russian usually employ the IPA, but monolingual Russian dictionaries occasionally use pronunciation respelling for foreign words. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_116

The IPA is more common in bilingual dictionaries, but there are exceptions here too. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_117

Mass-market bilingual Czech dictionaries, for instance, tend to use the IPA only for sounds not found in the Czech language. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_118

Standard orthographies and case variants International Phonetic Alphabet_section_15

Main article: Case variants of IPA letters International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_119

IPA letters have been incorporated into the alphabets of various languages, notably via the Africa Alphabet in many sub-Saharan languages such as Hausa, Fula, Akan, Gbe languages, Manding languages, Lingala, etc. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_120

This has created the need for capital variants. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_121

For example, Kabiyè of northern Togo has Ɖ ɖ, Ŋ ŋ, Ɣ ɣ, Ɔ ɔ, Ɛ ɛ, Ʋ ʋ. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_122

These, and others, are supported by Unicode, but appear in Latin ranges other than the IPA extensions. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_123

In the IPA itself, however, only lower-case letters are used. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_124

The 1949 edition of the IPA handbook indicated that an asterisk ⟨*⟩ may be prefixed to indicate that a word is a proper name, but this convention was not included in the 1999 Handbook. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_125

Classical singing International Phonetic Alphabet_section_16

IPA has widespread use among classical singers during preparation as they are frequently required to sing in a variety of foreign languages, in addition to being taught by vocal coach in order to perfect the diction of their students and to globally improve tone quality and tuning. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_126

Opera librettos are authoritatively transcribed in IPA, such as Nico Castel's volumes and Timothy Cheek's book Singing in Czech. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_127

Opera singers' ability to read IPA was used by the site Visual Thesaurus, which employed several opera singers "to make recordings for the 150,000 words and phrases in VT's lexical database ... for their vocal stamina, attention to the details of enunciation, and most of all, knowledge of IPA". International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_128

Letters International Phonetic Alphabet_section_17

See also: International Phonetic Alphabet chart International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_129

The International Phonetic Association organizes the letters of the IPA into three categories: pulmonic consonants, non-pulmonic consonants, and vowels. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_130

Pulmonic consonant letters are arranged singly or in pairs of voiceless (tenuis) and voiced sounds, with these then grouped in columns from front (labial) sounds on the left to back (glottal) sounds on the right. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_131

In official publications by the IPA, two columns are omitted to save space, with the letters listed among 'other symbols', and with the remaining consonants arranged in rows from full closure (occlusives: stops and nasals), to brief closure (vibrants: trills and taps), to partial closure (fricatives) and minimal closure (approximants), again with a row left out to save space. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_132

In the table below, a slightly different arrangement is made: All pulmonic consonants are included in the pulmonic-consonant table, and the vibrants and laterals are separated out so that the rows reflect the common lenition pathway of stop → fricative → approximant, as well as the fact that several letters pull double duty as both fricative and approximant; affricates may be created by joining stops and fricatives from adjacent cells. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_133

Shaded cells represent articulations that are judged to be impossible. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_134

Vowel letters are also grouped in pairs—of unrounded and rounded vowel sounds—with these pairs also arranged from front on the left to back on the right, and from maximal closure at top to minimal closure at bottom. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_135

No vowel letters are omitted from the chart, though in the past some of the mid central vowels were listed among the 'other symbols'. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_136

IPA number International Phonetic Alphabet_section_18

Each character, letter or diacritic, is assigned a number, to prevent confusion between similar characters (such as ɵ and θ, ɤ and ɣ, or ʃ and ʄ) in such situations as the printing of manuscripts. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_137

The categories of sounds are assigned different ranges of numbers. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_138

Consonants International Phonetic Alphabet_section_19

Main article: Consonant International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_139

Pulmonic consonants International Phonetic Alphabet_section_20

See also: IPA pulmonic consonant chart with audio International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_140

A pulmonic consonant is a consonant made by obstructing the glottis (the space between the vocal cords) or oral cavity (the mouth) and either simultaneously or subsequently letting out air from the lungs. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_141

Pulmonic consonants make up the majority of consonants in the IPA, as well as in human language. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_142

All consonants in the English language fall into this category. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_143

The pulmonic consonant table, which includes most consonants, is arranged in rows that designate manner of articulation, meaning how the consonant is produced, and columns that designate place of articulation, meaning where in the vocal tract the consonant is produced. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_144

The main chart includes only consonants with a single place of articulation. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_145

Notes International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_146

International Phonetic Alphabet_unordered_list_6

  • In rows where some letters appear in pairs (the obstruents), the letter to the right represents a voiced consonant (except breathy-voiced [ɦ]). In the other rows (the sonorants), the single letter represents a voiced consonant.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_6_17
  • While IPA provides a single letter for the coronal places of articulation (for all consonants but fricatives), these do not always have to be used exactly. When dealing with a particular language, the letters may be treated as specifically dental, alveolar, or post-alveolar, as appropriate for that language, without diacritics.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_6_18
  • Shaded areas indicate articulations judged to be impossible.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_6_19
  • The letters [ʁ, ʕ, ʢ] represent either voiced fricatives or approximants.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_6_20
  • In many languages, such as English, [h] and [ɦ] are not actually glottal, fricatives, or approximants. Rather, they are bare phonation.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_6_21
  • It is primarily the shape of the tongue rather than its position that distinguishes the fricatives [ʃ ʒ], [ɕ ʑ], and [ʂ ʐ].International Phonetic Alphabet_item_6_22
  • Some listed phones are not known to exist as phonemes in any language.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_6_23

Non-pulmonic consonants International Phonetic Alphabet_section_21

Non-pulmonic consonants are sounds whose airflow is not dependent on the lungs. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_147

These include clicks (found in the Khoisan languages and some neighboring Bantu languages of Africa), implosives (found in languages such as Sindhi, Hausa, Swahili and Vietnamese), and ejectives (found in many Amerindian and Caucasian languages). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_148

Notes International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_149

International Phonetic Alphabet_unordered_list_7

  • Clicks have traditionally been described as consisting of a forward place of articulation, commonly called the click 'type' or historically the 'influx', and a rear place of articulation, which when combined with the voicing, aspiration, nasalization, affrication, ejection, timing etc. of the click is commonly called the click 'accompaniment' or historically the 'efflux'. The IPA click letters indicate only the click type (forward articulation and release). Therefore all clicks require two letters for proper notation: ⟨k͡ǂ, ɡ͡ǂ, ŋ͡ǂ, q͡ǂ, ɢ͡ǂ, ɴ͡ǂ⟩ etc., or with the order reversed if both the forward and rear releases are audible. The letter for the rear articulation is frequently omitted, in which case a ⟨k⟩ may usually be assumed. However, some researcher dispute the idea that clicks should be analyzed as doubly articulated, as the traditional transcription implies, and analyze the rear occlusion as solely a part of the airstream mechanism. In transcriptions of such approaches, the click letter represents both places of articulation, with the different letters representing the different click types, and diacritics are used for the elements of the accompaniment: ⟨ǂ, ǂ̬, ǂ̃⟩ etc.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_7_24
  • Letters for the voiceless implosives ⟨ƥ, ƭ, ƈ, ƙ, ʠ⟩ are no longer supported by the IPA, though they remain in Unicode. Instead, the IPA typically uses the voiced equivalent with a voiceless diacritic: ⟨ɓ̥, ʛ̥⟩, etc..International Phonetic Alphabet_item_7_25
  • The letter for the retroflex implosive, ⟨ᶑ ⟩, is not "explicitly IPA approved" (Handbook, p. 166), but has the expected form if such a symbol were to be approved.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_7_26
  • The ejective diacritic is placed at the right-hand margin of the consonant, rather than immediately after the letter for the stop: ⟨t͜ʃʼ⟩, ⟨kʷʼ⟩. In imprecise transcription, it often stands in for a superscript glottal stop in glottalized but pulmonic sonorants, such as [mˀ], [lˀ], [wˀ], [aˀ] (also transcribable as creaky [m̰], [l̰], [w̰], [a̰]).International Phonetic Alphabet_item_7_27

Affricates International Phonetic Alphabet_section_22

Affricates and co-articulated stops are represented by two letters joined by a tie bar, either above or below the letters. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_150

The six most common affricates are optionally represented by ligatures (ʦ, ʣ, ʧ, ʤ, ʨ, ʥ), though this is no longer official IPA usage, because a great number of ligatures would be required to represent all affricates this way. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_151

Alternatively, a superscript notation for a consonant release is sometimes used to transcribe affricates, for example tˢ for t͡s, paralleling kˣ ~ k͡x. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_152

The letters for the palatal plosives c and ɟ are often used as a convenience for t͡ʃ and d͡ʒ or similar affricates, even in official IPA publications, so they must be interpreted with care. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_153

Co-articulated consonants International Phonetic Alphabet_section_23

Co-articulated consonants are sounds that involve two simultaneous places of articulation (are pronounced using two parts of the vocal tract). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_154

In English, the [w] in "went" is a coarticulated consonant, being pronounced by rounding the lips and raising the back of the tongue. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_155

Similar sounds are [ʍ] and [ɥ]. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_156

In some languages, plosives can be double-articulated, for example in the name of Laurent Gbagbo. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_157

Notes International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_158

International Phonetic Alphabet_unordered_list_8

  • [ɧ], the Swedish sj-sound, is described by the IPA as a "simultaneous [ʃ] and [x]", but it is unlikely such a simultaneous fricative actually exists in any language.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_8_28
  • Multiple tie bars can be used: ⟨a͡b͡c⟩ or ⟨a͜b͜c⟩. For instance, if a prenasalized stop is transcribed ⟨m͡b⟩, and a doubly articulated stop ⟨ɡ͡b⟩, then a prenasalized doubly articulated stop would be ⟨ŋ͡m͡ɡ͡b⟩International Phonetic Alphabet_item_8_29

Vowels International Phonetic Alphabet_section_24

Main article: Vowel International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_159

See also: IPA vowel chart with audio International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_160

The IPA defines a vowel as a sound which occurs at a syllable center. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_161

Below is a chart depicting the vowels of the IPA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_162

The IPA maps the vowels according to the position of the tongue. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_163

The vertical axis of the chart is mapped by vowel height. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_164

Vowels pronounced with the tongue lowered are at the bottom, and vowels pronounced with the tongue raised are at the top. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_165

For example, [ɑ] (the first vowel in father) is at the bottom because the tongue is lowered in this position. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_166

[i] (the vowel in "meet") is at the top because the sound is said with the tongue raised to the roof of the mouth. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_167

In a similar fashion, the horizontal axis of the chart is determined by vowel backness. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_168

Vowels with the tongue moved towards the front of the mouth (such as [ɛ], the vowel in "met") are to the left in the chart, while those in which it is moved to the back (such as [ʌ], the vowel in "but") are placed to the right in the chart. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_169

In places where vowels are paired, the right represents a rounded vowel (in which the lips are rounded) while the left is its unrounded counterpart. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_170

Diphthongs International Phonetic Alphabet_section_25

Diphthongs are typically specified with a non-syllabic diacritic, as in ⟨uɪ̯⟩ or ⟨u̯ɪ⟩, or with a superscript for the on- or off-glide, as in ⟨uᶦ⟩ or ⟨ᵘɪ⟩. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_171

Sometimes a tie bar is used, especially if it is difficult to tell if the diphthong is characterized by an on-glide, an off-glide or is variable: ⟨u͡ɪ⟩. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_172

Notes International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_173

International Phonetic Alphabet_unordered_list_9

  • ⟨a⟩ officially represents a front vowel, but there is little distinction between front and central open vowels, and ⟨a⟩ is frequently used for an open central vowel. If disambiguation is required, the retraction diacritic or the centralized diacritic may be added to indicate an open central vowel, as in ⟨a̠⟩ or ⟨ä⟩.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_9_30

Diacritics and prosodic notation International Phonetic Alphabet_section_26

Diacritics are used for phonetic detail. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_174

They are added to IPA letters to indicate a modification or specification of that letter's normal pronunciation. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_175

By being made superscript, any IPA letter may function as a diacritic, conferring elements of its articulation to the base letter. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_176

(See secondary articulation for a list of superscript IPA letters supported by Unicode.) International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_177

Those superscript letters listed below are specifically provided for by the IPA; others include ⟨tˢ⟩ ([t] with fricative release), ⟨ᵗs⟩ ([s] with affricate onset), ⟨ⁿd⟩ (prenasalized [d]), ⟨bʱ⟩ ([b] with breathy voice), ⟨mˀ⟩ (glottalized [m]), ⟨sᶴ⟩ ([s] with a flavor of [ʃ]), ⟨oᶷ⟩ ([o] with diphthongization), ⟨ɯᵝ⟩ (compressed [ɯ]). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_178

Superscript diacritics placed after a letter are ambiguous between simultaneous modification of the sound and phonetic detail at the end of the sound. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_179

For example, labialized ⟨kʷ⟩ may mean either simultaneous [k] and [w] or else [k] with a labialized release. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_180

Superscript diacritics placed before a letter, on the other hand, normally indicate a modification of the onset of the sound (⟨mˀ⟩ glottalized [m], ⟨ˀm⟩ [m] with a glottal onset). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_181

International Phonetic Alphabet_table_general_1

Syllabicity diacriticsInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_1_0_0
◌̩International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_1_0 ɹ̩ n̩International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_1_1 SyllabicInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_1_2 ◌̯International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_1_3 ɪ̯ ʊ̯International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_1_4 Non-syllabicInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_1_5
◌̍International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_2_0 ɻ̍ ŋ̍International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_2_1 ◌̑International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_2_2 International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_2_3
Consonant-release diacriticsInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_1_3_0
◌ʰInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_4_0 International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_4_1 AspiratedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_4_2 ◌̚International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_4_3 International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_4_4 No audible releaseInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_4_5
◌ⁿInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_5_0 dⁿInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_5_1 Nasal releaseInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_5_2 ◌ˡInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_5_3 International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_5_4 Lateral releaseInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_5_5
◌ᶿInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_6_0 tᶿInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_6_1 Voiceless dental fricative releaseInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_6_2 ◌ˣInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_6_3 International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_6_4 Voiceless velar fricative releaseInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_6_5
◌ᵊInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_7_0 dᵊInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_7_1 Mid central vowel releaseInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_7_2 International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_7_3
Phonation diacriticsInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_1_8_0
◌̥International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_9_0 n̥ d̥International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_9_1 VoicelessInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_9_2 ◌̬International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_9_3 s̬ t̬International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_9_4 VoicedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_9_5
◌̊International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_10_0 ɻ̊ ŋ̊International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_10_1
◌̤International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_11_0 b̤ a̤International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_11_1 Breathy voicedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_11_2 ◌̰International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_11_3 b̰ a̰International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_11_4 Creaky voicedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_11_5
Articulation diacriticsInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_1_12_0
◌̪International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_13_0 t̪ d̪International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_13_1 DentalInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_13_2 ◌̼International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_13_3 t̼ d̼International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_13_4 LinguolabialInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_13_5
◌͆International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_14_0 ɮ͆International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_14_1
◌̺International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_15_0 t̺ d̺International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_15_1 ApicalInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_15_2 ◌̻International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_15_3 t̻ d̻International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_15_4 LaminalInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_15_5
◌̟International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_16_0 u̟ t̟International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_16_1 AdvancedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_16_2 ◌̠International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_16_3 i̠ t̠International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_16_4 RetractedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_16_5
◌˖International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_17_0 ɡ˖International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_17_1 ◌˗International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_17_2 y˗ ŋ˗International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_17_3
◌̈International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_18_0 ë äInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_18_1 CentralizedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_18_2 ◌̽International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_18_3 e̽ ɯ̽International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_18_4 Mid-centralizedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_18_5
◌̝International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_19_0 e̝ r̝International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_19_1 RaisedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_19_2 ◌̞International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_19_3 e̞ β̞International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_19_4 LoweredInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_19_5
◌˔International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_20_0 ɭ˔International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_20_1 ◌˕International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_20_2 y˕ ɣ˕International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_20_3
Co-articulation diacriticsInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_1_21_0
◌̹International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_22_0 ɔ̹ x̹International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_22_1 More rounded

(over-rounding)International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_22_2

◌̜International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_22_3 ɔ̜ xʷ̜International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_22_4 Less rounded

(under-rounding)International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_22_5

◌͗International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_23_0 y͗ χ͗International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_23_1 ◌͑International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_23_2 y͑ χ͑ʷInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_23_3
◌ʷInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_24_0 tʷ dʷInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_24_1 LabializedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_24_2 ◌ʲInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_24_3 tʲ dʲInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_24_4 PalatalizedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_24_5
◌ˠInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_25_0 tˠ dˠInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_25_1 VelarizedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_25_2 ◌̴International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_25_3 ɫInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_25_4 Velarized or pharyngealizedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_25_5
◌ˤInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_26_0 tˤ aˤInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_26_1 PharyngealizedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_26_2
◌̘International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_27_0 e̘ o̘International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_27_1 Advanced tongue rootInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_27_2 ◌̙International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_27_3 e̙ o̙International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_27_4 Retracted tongue rootInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_27_5
◌̃International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_28_0 ẽ z̃International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_28_1 NasalizedInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_28_2 ◌˞International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_28_3 ɚ ɝInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_28_4 RhoticityInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_1_28_5

Notes International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_182

International Phonetic Alphabet_description_list_10

  • ^a With aspirated voiced consonants, the aspiration is usually also voiced (voiced aspirated – but see voiced consonants with voiceless aspiration). Many linguists prefer one of the diacritics dedicated to breathy voice over simple aspiration, such as ⟨b̤⟩. Some linguists restrict this diacritic to sonorants, and transcribe obstruents as ⟨bʱ⟩.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_10_31

International Phonetic Alphabet_description_list_11

  • ^l These are relative to the cardinal value of the letter. They can also apply to unrounded vowels: [ɛ̜] is more spread (less rounded) than cardinal [ɛ], and [ɯ̹] is less spread than cardinal [ɯ]. Since ⟨xʷ⟩ can mean that the [x] is labialized (rounded) throughout its articulation, and ⟨x̜⟩ makes no sense ([x] is already completely unrounded), ⟨x̜ʷ⟩ can only mean a less-labialized/rounded [xʷ]. However, readers might mistake ⟨x̜ʷ⟩ for "[x̜]" with a labialized off-glide, or might wonder if the two diacritics cancel each other out. Placing the 'less rounded' diacritic under the labialization diacritic, ⟨xʷ̜⟩, makes it clear that it is the labialization that is 'less rounded' than its cardinal IPA value.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_11_32

Subdiacritics (diacritics normally placed below a letter) may be moved above a letter to avoid conflict with a descender, as in voiceless ⟨ŋ̊⟩. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_183

The raising and lowering diacritics have optional forms ⟨˔⟩, ⟨˕⟩ that avoid descenders. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_184

The state of the glottis can be finely transcribed with diacritics. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_185

A series of alveolar plosives ranging from an open to a closed glottis phonation are: International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_186

International Phonetic Alphabet_table_general_2

Open glottisInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_2_0_0 [t]International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_0_1 voicelessInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_0_2
International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_1_0 [d̤]International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_1_1 breathy voice, also called murmuredInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_1_2
International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_2_0 [d̥]International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_2_1 slack voiceInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_2_2
Sweet spotInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_2_3_0 [d]International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_3_1 modal voiceInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_3_2
International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_4_0 [d̬]International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_4_1 stiff voiceInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_4_2
International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_5_0 [d̰]International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_5_1 creaky voiceInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_5_2
Closed glottisInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_2_6_0 [ʔ͡t]International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_6_1 glottal closureInternational Phonetic Alphabet_cell_2_6_2

Additional diacritics are provided by the Extensions to the IPA for speech pathology. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_187

Suprasegmentals International Phonetic Alphabet_section_27

These symbols describe the features of a language above the level of individual consonants and vowels, that is, at the level of syllable, word or phrase. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_188

These include prosody, pitch, length, stress, intensity, tone and gemination of the sounds of a language, as well as the rhythm and intonation of speech. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_189

Various ligatures of pitch/tone letters and diacritics are provided for by the Kiel convention and used in the IPA Handbook despite not being found in the summary of the IPA alphabet found on the one-page chart. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_190

Under Capital letters above we saw how a carrier letter may be used to indicate suprasegmental features such as labialization or nasalization. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_191

Some authors omit the carrier letter, for e.g. suffixed [kʰuˣt̪s̟]ʷ or prefixed [ʷkʰuˣt̪s̟], or place a spacing diacritic such as ⟨˔⟩ at the beginning of a word to indicate that the quality applies to the entire word. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_192

Stress International Phonetic Alphabet_section_28

Officially, the stress marks ⟨ˈ ˌ⟩ appear before the stressed syllable, and thus mark the syllable boundary as well as stress (though the syllable boundary may still be explicitly marked with a period). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_193

Occasionally the stress mark is placed immediately before the nucleus of the syllable, after any consonantal onset. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_194

In such transcriptions, the stress mark does not mark a syllable boundary. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_195

The primary stress mark may be doubled ⟨ˈˈ⟩ for extra stress (such as prosodic stress). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_196

The secondary stress mark is sometimes seen doubled ⟨ˌˌ⟩ for extra-weak stress, but this convention has not been adopted by the IPA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_197

Boundary markers International Phonetic Alphabet_section_29

There are three boundary markers: ⟨.⟩ for a syllable break, ⟨|⟩ for a minor prosodic break and ⟨‖⟩ for a major prosodic break. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_198

The tags 'minor' and 'major' are intentionally ambiguous. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_199

Depending on need, 'minor' may vary from a foot break to a break in list-intonation to a continuing–prosodic-unit boundary (equivalent to a comma), and while 'major' is often any intonation break, it may be restricted to a final–prosodic-unit boundary (equivalent to a period). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_200

The 'major' symbol may also be doubled, ⟨‖‖⟩, for a stronger break. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_201

Although not part of the IPA, the following additional boundary markers are often used in conjunction with the IPA: ⟨μ⟩ for a mora or mora boundary, ⟨σ⟩ for a syllable or syllable boundary, ⟨#⟩ for a word boundary, ⟨$⟩ for a phrase or intermediate boundary and ⟨%⟩ for a prosodic boundary. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_202

For example, C# is a word-final consonant, %V a post-pausa vowel, and T% an IU-final tone (edge tone). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_203

Pitch and tone International Phonetic Alphabet_section_30

⟨ꜛ ꜜ⟩ are defined in the Handbook as upstep and downstep, concepts from tonal languages. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_204

However, the 'upstep' could also be used for pitch reset, and the IPA Handbook illustration for Portuguese uses it for prosody in a non-tonal language. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_205

Phonetic pitch and phonemic tone may be indicated by either diacritics placed over the nucleus of the syllable or by Chao tone letters placed before or after the word or syllable. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_206

There are three graphic variants of the tone letters: with or without a stave (the latter obsolete), and facing left or facing right from a stave. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_207

Theoretically therefore there are seven ways to transcribe pitch/tone in the IPA, though in practice for a high pitch/tone only ⟨é⟩, ⟨˦e⟩, ⟨e˦⟩, ⟨e꜓⟩ and obsolete ⟨¯e⟩ are seen. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_208

Only left-facing staved letters and a few representative combinations are shown in the summary on the Chart, and in practice it is currently more common for tone letters to occur after the syllable/word than before, as in the Chao tradition. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_209

Placement before the word is a carry-over from the pre-Kiel IPA convention, as is still the case for the stress and upstep/downstep marks. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_210

The IPA endorses the Chao tradition of using the left-facing tone letters, ⟨˥ ˦ ˧ ˨ ˩⟩, for broad or underlying tone, and the right-facing letters, ⟨꜒ ꜓ ꜔ ꜕ ꜖⟩, for surface tone or phonetic detail, as in tone sandhi. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_211

In the Portuguese illustration in the 1999 Handbook, tone letters are placed before a word or syllable to indicate prosodic pitch (equivalent to [↗︎] global rise and [↘︎] global fall, but allowing more than a two-way contrast), and in the Cantonese illustration they are placed after a word/syllable to indicate lexical tone. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_212

Theoretically therefore prosodic pitch and lexical tone could be simultaneously transcribed in a single text, though this is not a formalized distinction. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_213

Rising and falling pitch, as in contour tones, are indicated by combining the pitch diacritics and letters in the table, such as grave plus acute for rising [ě] and acute plus grave for falling [ê]. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_214

Only six combinations of two diacritics are supported, and only across three levels (high, mid, low), despite the diacritics supporting five levels of pitch in isolation. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_215

The four other explicitly approved rising and falling diacritic combinations are high/mid rising [e᷄], low rising [e᷅], high falling [e᷇], and low/mid falling [e᷆]. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_216

The Chao tone letters, on the other hand, may be combined in any pattern, and are therefore used for more complex contours and finer distinctions than the diacritics allow, such as mid-rising [e˨˦], extra-high falling [e˥˦], etc. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_217

There are 20 such possibilities. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_218

However, in Chao's original proposal, which was adopted by the IPA in 1989, he stipulated that the half-high and half-low letters ⟨˦ ˨⟩ may be combined with each other, but not with the other three tone letters, so as not to create spuriously precise distinctions. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_219

With this restriction, there are 8 possibilities. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_220

The correspondence between tone diacritics and tone letters therefore breaks down once they start combining. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_221

For more complex tones, one may combine three or four tone diacritics in any permutation, though in practice only generic peaking (rising-falling) e᷈ and dipping (falling-rising) e᷉ combinations are used. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_222

Chao tone letters are required for finer detail (e˧˥˧, e˩˨˩, e˦˩˧, e˨˩˦, etc.). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_223

Although only 10 peaking and dipping tones were proposed in Chao's original, limited set of tone letters, phoneticians often make finer distinctions, and indeed an example is found on the IPA Chart. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_224

The system allows the transcription of 112 peaking and dipping pitch contours, including tones that are level for part of their length. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_225

International Phonetic Alphabet_table_general_3

Original (restricted) set of Chao tone lettersInternational Phonetic Alphabet_table_caption_3
RegisterInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_3_0_0 LevelInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_3_0_1 RisingInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_3_0_2 FallingInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_3_0_3 PeakingInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_3_0_4 DippingInternational Phonetic Alphabet_header_cell_3_0_5
International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_1_0 e˩˩International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_1_1 e˩˧International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_1_2 e˧˩International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_1_3 e˩˧˩International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_1_4 e˧˩˧International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_1_5
International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_2_0 e˨˨International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_2_1 e˨˦International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_2_2 e˦˨International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_2_3 e˨˦˨International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_2_4 e˦˨˦International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_2_5
International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_3_0 e˧˧International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_3_1 e˧˥International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_3_2 e˥˧International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_3_3 e˧˥˧International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_3_4 e˥˧˥International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_3_5
International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_4_0 e˦˦International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_4_1 International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_4_2 International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_4_3 e˧˥˩International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_4_4 e˧˩˥International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_4_5
International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_5_0 e˥˥International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_5_1 e˩˥International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_5_2 e˥˩International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_5_3 e˩˥˧International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_5_4 e˥˩˧International Phonetic Alphabet_cell_3_5_5

More complex contours are possible. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_226

Chao give an example of [꜔꜒꜖꜔] (mid-high-low-mid) from English prosody. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_227

Chao tone letters generally appear after each syllable, for a language with syllable tone (⟨a˧vɔ˥˩⟩), or after the phonological word, for a language with word tone (⟨avɔ˧˥˩⟩). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_228

The IPA gives the option of placing the tone letters before the word or syllable (⟨˧a˥˩vɔ⟩, ⟨˧˥˩avɔ⟩), but this is rare for lexical tone. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_229

(And indeed reversed tone letters may be used to clarify that they apply to the following rather than to the preceding syllable: ⟨꜔a꜒꜖vɔ⟩, ⟨꜔꜒꜖avɔ⟩.) International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_230

The staveless letters are effectively obsolete and are not supported by Unicode. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_231

They were not widely accepted even before 1989 when they were the sole option for indicating pitch in the IPA, and they only ever supported three pitch levels and a few contours. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_232

Comparative degree International Phonetic Alphabet_section_31

IPA diacritics may be doubled to indicate an extra degree of the feature indicated. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_233

This is a productive process, but apart from extra-high and extra-low tones ⟨ə̋, ə̏⟩ being marked by doubled high- and low-tone diacritics, and the major prosodic break ⟨‖⟩ being marked as a double minor break ⟨|⟩, it is not specifically regulated by the IPA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_234

(Note that transcription marks are similar: double slashes indicate extra (morpho)-phonemic, double square brackets especially precise, and double parentheses especially unintelligible.) International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_235

For example, the stress mark may be doubled to indicate an extra degree of stress, such as prosodic stress in English. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_236

An example in French, with a single stress mark for normal prosodic stress at the end of each prosodic unit (marked as a minor prosodic break), and a double stress mark for contrastive/emphatic stress: [ˈˈɑ̃ːˈtre | məˈsjø ‖ ˈˈvwala maˈdam ‖] Entrez monsieur, voilà madame. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_237

Similarly, a doubled secondary stress mark ⟨ˌˌ⟩ is commonly used for tertiary (extra-light) stress. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_238

In a similar vein, the effectively obsolete (though still official) staveless tone letters were once doubled for an emphatic rising intonation ⟨˶⟩ and an emphatic falling intonation ⟨˵⟩. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_239

Length is commonly extended by repeating the length mark, as in English shhh! International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_240

[ʃːːː], or for "overlong" segments in Estonian: International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_241

International Phonetic Alphabet_unordered_list_12

  • vere /vere/ 'blood []', veere /veːre/ 'edge []', veere /veːːre/ 'roll [imp. 2nd sg.]'International Phonetic Alphabet_item_12_33
  • lina /linɑ/ 'sheet', linna /linːɑ/ 'town [gen. sg.]', linna /linːːɑ/ 'town [ine. sg.]'International Phonetic Alphabet_item_12_34

(Normally additional degrees of length are handled by the extra-short or half-long diacritic, but the first two words in each of the Estonian examples are analyzed as simply short and long, requiring a different remedy for the final words.) International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_242

Occasionally other diacritics are doubled: International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_243

International Phonetic Alphabet_unordered_list_13

  • Rhoticity in Badaga /be/ "mouth", /be˞/ "bangle", and /be˞˞/ "crop".International Phonetic Alphabet_item_13_35
  • Mild and strong aspirations, [kʰ], [kʰʰ].International Phonetic Alphabet_item_13_36
  • Nasalization, as in Palantla Chinantec lightly nasalized /ẽ/ vs heavily nasalized /e͌/, though in extIPA the latter indicates velopharyngeal friction.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_13_37
  • Weak vs strong ejectives, [kʼ], [kˮ].International Phonetic Alphabet_item_13_38
  • Especially lowered, e.g. [t̞̞] (or [t̞˕], if the former symbol does not display properly) for /t/ as a weak fricative in some pronunciations of register.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_13_39
  • Especially retracted, e.g. [ø̠̠], though some care might be needed to distinguish this from indications of alveolar or alveolarized articulation in extIPA, e.g. [s͇].International Phonetic Alphabet_item_13_40
  • The transcription of strident and harsh voice as extra-creaky /a᷽/ may be motivated by the similarities of these phonations.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_13_41

Obsolete and nonstandard symbols International Phonetic Alphabet_section_32

Main articles: Obsolete and nonstandard symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet, Click letter, and Sinological extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_244

The IPA once had parallel symbols from alternative proposals, but in most cases eventually settled on one for each sound. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_245

The rejected symbols are now considered obsolete. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_246

An example is the vowel letter ⟨ɷ⟩, rejected in favor of ⟨ʊ⟩. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_247

Letters for affricates and sounds with inherent secondary articulation have also been mostly rejected, with the idea that such features should be indicated with tie bars or diacritics: ⟨ƍ⟩ for [zʷ] is one. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_248

In addition, the rare voiceless implosives, ⟨ƥ ƭ ƈ ƙ ʠ⟩, have been dropped and are now usually written ⟨ɓ̥ ɗ̥ ʄ̊ ɠ̊ ʛ̥⟩. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_249

A retired set of click letters, ⟨ʇ, ʗ, ʖ⟩, is still sometimes seen, as the official pipe letters ⟨ǀ, ǃ, ǁ⟩ may cause problems with legibility, especially when used with brackets ([ ] or / /), the letter ⟨l⟩, or the prosodic marks ⟨|, ‖⟩ (for this reason, some publications which use the current IPA pipe letters disallow IPA brackets). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_250

Individual non-IPA letters may find their way into publications that otherwise use the standard IPA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_251

This is especially common with: International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_252

International Phonetic Alphabet_unordered_list_14

  • Affricates, such as the Americanist barred lambda ⟨ƛ⟩ for [t͜ɬ] or ⟨č⟩ for [t͡ʃ].International Phonetic Alphabet_item_14_42
  • The Karlgren letters for Chinese vowels, ɿ, ʅ, ʮ, ʯInternational Phonetic Alphabet_item_14_43
  • Digits for tonal phonemes that have conventional numbers in a local tradition, such as the four tones of Standard Chinese. This may be more convenient for comparison between languages and dialects than a phonetic transcription because tones often vary more than segmental phonemes do.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_14_44
  • Digits for tone levels, which may improve readability and avoid confusion among similar tone values, though the lack of standardization can cause confusion (with e.g. "1" for high tone in some languages but for low tone in others).International Phonetic Alphabet_item_14_45
  • Iconic extensions of standard IPA letters that can be readily understood, such as retroflex ⟨ᶑ ⟩ and ⟨ꞎ⟩.International Phonetic Alphabet_item_14_46

In addition, there are typewriter substitutions for when IPA support is not available, such as capital ⟨I, E, U, O, A⟩ for [ɪ, ɛ, ʊ, ɔ, ɑ]. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_253

Extensions International Phonetic Alphabet_section_33

Main article: Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_254

The "Extensions to the IPA", often abbreviated as "extIPA" and sometimes called "Extended IPA", are symbols whose original purpose was to accurately transcribe disordered speech. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_255

At the Kiel Convention in 1989, a group of linguists drew up the initial extensions, which were based on the previous work of the PRDS (Phonetic Representation of Disordered Speech) Group in the early 1980s. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_256

The extensions were first published in 1990, then modified, and published again in 1994 in the Journal of the International Phonetic Association, when they were officially adopted by the ICPLA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_257

While the original purpose was to transcribe disordered speech, linguists have used the extensions to designate a number of sounds within standard communication, such as hushing, gnashing teeth, and smacking lips, as well as word sounds such as lateral fricatives that do not have regular IPA symbols. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_258

In addition to the Extensions to the IPA for disordered speech, there are the conventions of the Voice Quality Symbols, which include a number of symbols for additional airstream mechanisms and secondary articulations in which they call "voice quality". International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_259

Segments without letters International Phonetic Alphabet_section_34

The blank cells on the IPA chart can be filled without too much difficulty if the need arises. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_260

Some ad hoc letters have appeared in the literature for the retroflex lateral flap and the retroflex clicks (having the expected forms of ⟨ɺ⟩ and ⟨ǃ⟩ plus a retroflex tail; the analogous ⟨ᶑ⟩ for a retroflex implosive is even mentioned in the IPA Handbook), the voiceless lateral fricatives (now provided for by the extIPA), the epiglottal trill (arguably covered by the generally-trilled epiglottal "fricatives" ⟨ʜ ʢ⟩), the labiodental plosives (⟨ȹ ȸ⟩ in some old Bantuist texts) and the near-close central vowels (⟨ᵻ ᵿ⟩ in some publications). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_261

Diacritics can duplicate some of those, such as ⟨ɭ̆⟩ for the lateral flap, ⟨p̪ b̪⟩ for the labiodental plosives and ⟨ɪ̈ ʊ̈⟩ for the central vowels, and are able to fill in most of the remainder of the charts. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_262

If a sound cannot be transcribed, an asterisk ⟨*⟩ may be used, either as a letter or as a diacritic (as in ⟨k*⟩ sometimes seen for the Korean "fortis" velar). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_263

Consonants International Phonetic Alphabet_section_35

Representations of consonant sounds outside of the core set are created by adding diacritics to letters with similar sound values. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_264

The Spanish bilabial and dental approximants are commonly written as lowered fricatives, [β̞] and [ð̞] respectively. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_265

Similarly, voiced lateral fricatives would be written as raised lateral approximants, [ɭ˔ ʎ̝ ʟ̝]. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_266

A few languages such as Banda have a bilabial flap as the preferred allophone of what is elsewhere a labiodental flap. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_267

It has been suggested that this be written with the labiodental flap letter and the advanced diacritic, [ⱱ̟]. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_268

Similarly, a labiodental trill would be written [ʙ̪] (bilabial trill and the dental sign), and labiodental stops [p̪ b̪] rather than with the ad hoc letters sometimes found in the literature. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_269

Other taps can be written as extra-short plosives or laterals, e.g. [ɟ̆ ɢ̆ ʟ̆], though in some cases the diacritic would need to be written below the letter. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_270

A retroflex trill can be written as a retracted [r̠], just as non-subapical retroflex fricatives sometimes are. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_271

The remaining consonants, the uvular laterals (ʟ̠ etc.) and the palatal trill, while not strictly impossible, are very difficult to pronounce and are unlikely to occur even as allophones in the world's languages. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_272

Vowels International Phonetic Alphabet_section_36

The vowels are similarly manageable by using diacritics for raising, lowering, fronting, backing, centering, and mid-centering. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_273

For example, the unrounded equivalent of [ʊ] can be transcribed as mid-centered [ɯ̽], and the rounded equivalent of [æ] as raised [ɶ̝] or lowered [œ̞] (though for those who conceive of vowel space as a triangle, simple [ɶ] already is the rounded equivalent of [æ]). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_274

True mid vowels are lowered [e̞ ø̞ ɘ̞ ɵ̞ ɤ̞ o̞] or raised [ɛ̝ œ̝ ɜ̝ ɞ̝ ʌ̝ ɔ̝], while centered [ɪ̈ ʊ̈] and [ä] (or, less commonly, [ɑ̈]) are near-close and open central vowels, respectively. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_275

The only known vowels that cannot be represented in this scheme are vowels with unexpected roundedness, which would require a dedicated diacritic, such as protruded ⟨ʏʷ⟩ and compressed ⟨uᵝ⟩ (or protruded ⟨ɪʷ⟩ and compressed ⟨ɯᶹ⟩). International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_276

Symbol names International Phonetic Alphabet_section_37

Main article: Naming conventions of the International Phonetic Alphabet International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_277

An IPA symbol is often distinguished from the sound it is intended to represent, since there is not necessarily a one-to-one correspondence between letter and sound in broad transcription, making articulatory descriptions such as "mid front rounded vowel" or "voiced velar stop" unreliable. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_278

While the Handbook of the International Phonetic Association states that no official names exist for its symbols, it admits the presence of one or two common names for each. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_279

The symbols also have nonce names in the Unicode standard. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_280

In some cases, the Unicode names and the IPA names do not agree. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_281

For example, IPA calls ɛ "epsilon", but Unicode calls it "small letter open E". International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_282

The traditional names of the Latin and Greek letters are usually used for unmodified letters. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_283

Letters which are not directly derived from these alphabets, such as ʕ, may have a variety of names, sometimes based on the appearance of the symbol or on the sound that it represents. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_284

In Unicode, some of the letters of Greek origin have Latin forms for use in IPA; the others use the letters from the Greek section. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_285

For diacritics, there are two methods of naming. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_286

For traditional diacritics, the IPA notes the name in a well known language; for example, é is acute, based on the name of the diacritic in English and French. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_287

Non-traditional diacritics are often named after objects they resemble, so d̪ is called bridge. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_288

Geoffrey Pullum and William Ladusaw list a variety of names in use for IPA symbols, both current and retired, in addition to names of many other non-IPA phonetic symbols in their Phonetic Symbol Guide. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_289

Typefaces International Phonetic Alphabet_section_38

IPA typeface support is increasing, and nearly complete IPA support with good diacritic rendering is provided by a few typefaces that come pre-installed with various computer operating systems, such as Calibri, as well as some freely available but commercial fonts such as Brill, but most pre-installed fonts, such as the ubiquitous Arial, Noto Sans and Times New Roman, are neither complete nor render many diacritics properly. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_290

Typefaces that provide full IPA support, properly render diacritics and are freely available include: International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_291

International Phonetic Alphabet_unordered_list_15

  • Gentium PlusInternational Phonetic Alphabet_item_15_47
  • Charis SILInternational Phonetic Alphabet_item_15_48
  • Doulos SILInternational Phonetic Alphabet_item_15_49
  • AndikaInternational Phonetic Alphabet_item_15_50

Web browsers generally do not need any configuration to display IPA characters, provided that a typeface capable of doing so is available to the operating system. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_292

ASCII and keyboard transliterations International Phonetic Alphabet_section_39

Further information: Comparison of ASCII encodings of the International Phonetic Alphabet International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_293

Several systems have been developed that map the IPA symbols to ASCII characters. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_294

Notable systems include SAMPA and X-SAMPA. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_295

The usage of mapping systems in on-line text has to some extent been adopted in the context input methods, allowing convenient keying of IPA characters that would be otherwise unavailable on standard keyboard layouts. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_296

Computer input using on-screen keyboard International Phonetic Alphabet_section_40

Online IPA keyboard utilities are available, and they cover the complete range of IPA symbols and diacritics. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_297

In April 2019, Google's Gboard for Android added an IPA keyboard to its platform. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_298

For iOS there are multiple free keyboard layouts available, e.g. “IPA Phonetic Keyboard”. International Phonetic Alphabet_sentence_299

See also International Phonetic Alphabet_section_41

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Phonetic Alphabet.