I'm new to phonetics and confused about something when I to listen to recordings of IPA consonantal phonemes.

Here is the sound for p ... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Voiceless_bilabial_plosive.ogg .... In the recording, the narrator says like "pah ahhh pah"

So my question is, what is the function of the ahhh part that is found in the middle of the pronunciation?

1 Answer 1


The point is to utter the sound in two contexts, one ("pah") is what you could call the most basic context, where the consonant is supported just by a vowel that allows you to hear the release of the consonant, and the second ("ahh pah") puts the same vowel before the consonant, so that you can experience formant transitions into the consonant as well as out of the consonant. The recordings posted on Wiki are basically imitations of the IPA performances by Peter Ladefoged in his textbook recordings (online here), where you can click on the left and right sides of consonants, and hear [pa], [aˈpa] as separate recordings. The gentleman who composed the Wiki recordings simply merged the two into one utterance.


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