I am not sure about the articulation of the sounds with diacritics [sʰ sʲ lʲ] and so on, since [s] is originally aspired; [sʲ] could be taken as [ɕ] in some documents.

Are there any books or texts describing diacritics in detail? So I can know the precise articulation of each combination.

1 Answer 1


An introductory textbook in phonetics will give an elementary description of the phonetic properties denoted by diacritics. This should include some information about how a "palatalized" consonant is produced. A more advanced treatment would come from Ladefoged & Maddieson's The sounds of the world's languages, where you would look up an articulatory term and see what they have to say about it.

However, this has limited applicability, in that you can look up articulatory facts about Archi but not Lushootseed – it just depends on what experimental work has already been done on a particular language. As far as I know, nobody did any articulatory studies on Lushootseed, so you can't know any articulatory details about Lushootseed . You especially cannot validly conclude that because someone wrote a particular sound as [sʲ] or as [ɕ], the sound has articulatory properties A vs B. You might be able to reasonably say that "since Ian Catford wrote this sound of Chechen as [ɕ] just as he did for Adyghe and Kabardian, and he conducted articulatory experiments on Adyghe and Kabardian establishing that those phonemes are pronounced in that manner, we believe that the Chechen sound is articulated the same as the Adyghe and Kabardian sounds". In fact, letter-plus-diacritic combinations do not have a uniform articulatory status across languages, they have at most a range of possible articulations.

You can observe certain phoneticians articulating certain IPA sounds here, though these are not sounds of languages, they are IPA performances. Unfortunately, none of the diacritic are included.

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