I have been trying to find an equivalent to this sound. The language is Canadian Plains Cree. It's not "i" as in bite or fight.

Is there an IPA symbol for it and is there a short word that could be used as an example?

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    I think this is a bad question for sevaral reasons: (1) The audio sample may change location or go away, making the whole question pointless (2) it does not provide help to later visitors of this site, being on par with language or writing identification questions that are explicitly off-topic. Feb 25, 2020 at 9:42

2 Answers 2


I would transcribe this phonetically as [ʔaiç ˈʔaiwɑk], but that doesn't say anything at all about the phonology, that is just how the specific recording sounds compared to IPA letter standard. There are a number of additional diacritics that could be added to tune up the specification of the pronunciation (typically to nudge the vowels a bit up or down). For example the initial 90 msc of the two utterances is not really the same. I suspect that there is no phonological fricative, instead that's a prepausal prosody that superimposes breathy voicing on the end of the utterance. You need a much larger corpus with e.g. repeated tokens of the same word in order to be able to start to talk about notions of "the same", which is a phonological notion unless you have sampled speech files where file 1 and file 2 are literally the same file, just different names.


I would transcribe this as something like /əj/: it starts a bit higher than the /aj/ in "bite", and a bit more forward than the /oj/ in "boil". This sound doesn't occur in General American English, but compare it to the Canadian or Scottish pronunciation of "bite".

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