While for phones we use IPA but it seems that there is no equivalent for phonemes

  • 5
    Since every phonemic system is particular to one language or dialect, and therefore has its own unique structure, there can be no international standard.
    – jlawler
    Jan 10 '18 at 4:01
  • 1
    Incidentally, APA, a strange variation in my view, is still in use internationally. Does not contribute much to your hope for a standard. Jan 10 '18 at 5:42

IPA is neutral as to analysis: it is used to represent sound at any level, including underlying, intermediate form, phonemic transcription and surface realization.

  • 3
    There is no standard way to use IPA as a phonemic system for a given language in general, but there is also no good reason for there to be one, since a single language often has multiple possible analyses which are not just "different conventions" but represent different underlying assumptions about the language. For this reason, I think a standard would be actually detrimental.
    – LjL
    Jan 10 '18 at 3:35
  • Once you decide what the constituents of a phoneme are, you can represent them more or less unambiguously. But that decision is not the notation's to make. Jan 10 '18 at 5:37
  • 2
    There is: if a language has a high front round vowel as a phoneme, you use y. If it instead has a mid front round vowel as a phoneme, you use ø. All transcriptional decisions are decisions. IPA simply tells you what the conventional letters are. So ʃ is IPA, and š is not. IPA does not do the analysis for you.
    – user6726
    Jan 10 '18 at 5:39

As @user6726 points out, IPA can be used for phonemes, and in fact is.

The IPA guidelines (at least the 1948 version) suggests that if you're using IPA for a broad transcription (and a phonemic analysis is broad), you should prefer the more familiar-looking, Roman glyph over the less familiar. So if you have a choice of <e> or <ɛ> for a phoneme, use <e>.

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