in this following paper , if we go to page no- 126 we will find a table with all acoustic features of all german Phonemes.


can you kindly refer to any link or documentations where i can get the list of the similar features for english Phonemes.

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


The acoustic features are independent of the language used. Thus, phones that are common between German and English have the same features. Also, the features are typically based on their details from the IPA charts. The phones listed on that page are in X-SAMPA.

For a discussion of the feature-based model, you can check out the Virtual Linguistics Campus videos:

  1. Phonology - Distinctive Features I
  2. Phonology - Distinctive Features II

You can also find:

  1. a list of IPA phonemes for English at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:IPA_for_English
  2. the IPA consonant and vowel charts at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Phonetic_Alphabet
  3. the equivalent X-SAMPA at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-SAMPA

You can work out how the features map to the IPA consonant and vowel tables, then apply that to the phonemes from English not present in German.

You may need to define the feature set differently, as phoneme features are typically defined in a minimal way to express the phones in a given language, and may not accurately model the IPA. For example, the document defines ç as a mix of consonant and vowel terminology (high fricative) instead of consonant terminology (palatal fricative) -- this is because it uses coronal for s (alveolar) and palatal for ʃ (post-alveolar).

How you define the set of features depends on what information you want to preserve, and what information you want to ignore. It also depends on how many languages you want to support using the model.

If you want a feature set that covers the majority of IPA phonemes, you may want to look at Appendix A (feature abbreviations) of Evan Kirshenbaum's ASCII-IPA at http://www.kirshenbaum.net/IPA/faq.html. I am using an extension of this in my Cainteoir Engine application to support all IPA phonemes:

The feature codes I am using are Kirshenbaum's features, with the following extensions/modifications:

  • alp -- alveolo-palatal
  • con -- consonant (implicit if vwl is not listed; used for querying features)
  • epg -- epiglottal
  • sib -- sibilant
  • lbp -- labio-palatal
  • nsy -- non-syllabic diacritic (for diphthongs)
  • tie -- tiebar (this phone is tied to the next phone, for affricates and other co-articulated phones)
  • orl -- Kirshenbaum intended this for oral stop ({orl,stp}) vs nasal stop ({nas,stp}), but uses {stp} and {nas} for these instead, treating stp as a plosive, therefore I am ignoring it.

I also have additional features for missing diacritics, intonation, tones, stress and length. This allows me to encode the entire IPA code chart.

I don't have features for things like sonorants, liquids or glides (as used to describe some english phonemes in the SAMPA for English chart at http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/sampa/english.htm) as the IPA nomenclature covers these and I haven't encountered a situation where the additional features are useful.

The Kirshenbaum feature model differs from the other models as it labels each value with a 3 letter code. Thus, it will assign 2 features to a single binary feature (e.g. vcd for +voice and vls for -voice). I prefer the Kirshenbaum approach as the user-visible model as it is easier to implement (e.g. when processing phoneme set definitions) and allows the internal representation to be changed easier (so you don't have to modify anything using the feature labels).

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