Questions tagged [ipa]

The International Phonetic Alphabet: A Latin-based alphabet designed for transcribing all sounds of all languages.

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When should one use slashes or square brackets when transcribing in IPA?

When should one use /fubar/ and when [fubar] when transcribing in IPA? What are the differences?
Louis Rhys's user avatar
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67 votes
11 answers
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Is there an online tool to convert IPA symbols into audio sound?

As many amateurs and beginners know, IPA is difficult to memorize and internalize at first. Does software exist where one can paste in IPA text and hear synthesized speech (ideally in the form of a ...
Mike's user avatar
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34 votes
6 answers
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Is it hard for software speech synthesisers to handle IPA? If so, why?

Yesterday on ELU, the IPA sequence ˌoʊkeɪˈhiːɹjəˌgoʊ was posted in a comment. I'm not very familiar with IPA, so I thought the easiest way to "decode" that would be through a software speech ...
FumbleFingers's user avatar
25 votes
2 answers
4k views

What do you call an IPA symbol that lacks a name (e.g. ɲ)?

Some IPA symbols such as ɲ lack any name, and when I tried searching for the symbol online, the pages I got only showed palatal nasal. But I wonder what I should call it when I talk with others. Is ...
Blaszard's user avatar
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24 votes
7 answers
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Convert audio recording of word to IPA representation

Are the any open source tools/software libraries to convert an audio clip to its IPA representation? If so, are they accurate? If not, why not? Here is a Gaelic word I wish to convert: Ogg format: ...
Baz's user avatar
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21 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is the schwa sound consistent?

The first syllable in "about" (ə'baʊt) is schwa, so is the second one in the "salad" ('sæləd), but iv'e never heard them pronounced the same way. in salad it sounds more like the i in "trick". ...
Binyamin's user avatar
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20 votes
3 answers
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Can the IPA represent all languages' tones?

The IPA's current tone system can show five different tone levels, and any contours formed from them. Is there any language for which this is insufficient? In other words, is there any (known, ...
Draconis's user avatar
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18 votes
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Is there a difference between /d/ and /t̬/?

IPA contains diacritics for indicating voiceless (/x̥/) and voiced (/x̬/) sounds. There are also different symbols for many voiced/voiceless pairs, e.g. /d/ and /t/ or /g/ and /k/. Is there a ...
user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
42k views

Automated French/Italian/German to IPA transcription

I'm looking for a website or software that will take text written in a source language and produce a transcription in IPA. The languages I am interested in are French, Italian and German, but if you ...
Robin's user avatar
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17 votes
8 answers
3k views

Is it feasible to create an IPA adaptation for cats?

I was trying to transcribe my cat's noises into IPA. For example, her wanting to be petted is like [njæː] or [njaː]. But purring doesn't seem to fit any existing notation, except maybe [ʜ]. Has anyone ...
Dmiters's user avatar
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16 votes
1 answer
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How to split IPA spelling into syllables

First, please forgive my ignorance, I'm completely new to linguistics. Given the IPA spelling for word, is it possible to programmatically split it into its sounds? So, for example, given the word "...
skedly's user avatar
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16 votes
7 answers
6k views

Alternatives to IPA?

Are there any other graphic systems that attempt to be as complete as the International Phonetic Alphabet?
blunders's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
108k views

Does an IPA to 'English' translator exist?

IPA is really tricky to read, especially for beginners like me. Are there any online tools that can almost 'convert' pasted IPA into phonetic pronunciations or similar? I've tried Wolfram|Alpha ...
Jack's user avatar
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15 votes
10 answers
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Is there an easy way to type IPA?

I'm currently using the virtual IPA keyboard on TypeIt, but it takes forever. Is there an easy way to type IPA? I've found this list of Unicode keyboards on SIL.org but I'm not too sure how to ...
RECURSIVE FARTS's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
737 views

Why does Polish have male and female accents?

This is particularly interesting to me as I can't seem to find any information on the topic, but, having listened to numerous Polish speakers from both sexes, the male─female pronounciational split is ...
Max's user avatar
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14 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is there a difference between /ɕ/ and /sʲ/?

Are /ɕ/ and /ʑ/ simply shorthand for /sʲ/ and /zʲ/ as with many of the possible diacritic combinations in IPA or are they different sounds? If they are the same, is there any good reason to use one ...
Zifre's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
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Is there an IPA character for the sympathetic sucking in sound?

Is there an IPA symbol for the sound you might make when you burn yourself or someone tells you a story about an injury they have—when you suck your breath quickly through your teeth with your ...
Kazark's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
832 views

What's the difference between a syllabic consonant and a schwa followed by a consonant?

I'm a native speaker of a language which has syllabic consonants, here are the examples კლდე/k'lde, [kʼl̩dɛ] "cliff" ქრთამი/krtami, [kʰɾ̩tʰami] "bribe" ბრძენი/brdzeni, [bɾ̩d͡zɛni] &...
LinguisticsFanatic's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
474 views

What is the reasoning behind the selection of the IPA symbols?

There are many weird characters in IPA, like Glottal Stop symbol ʔ for example. Why these characters? Is there any reason for selecting them, or was their selection just arbitrary?
Saeed Neamati's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is the rarity of dental sounds explained by babies not immediately having teeth?

Dental consonants, which involve the corona of the tongue contacting the teeth (typically the upper teeth) are known to be rare throughout the world’s languages. More specifically, phonemic ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
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3 answers
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Is whispering transcribed in IPA?

When a language is being transcribed to IPA, is the whispering included in the transcription? If so, how? I saw the Wikipedia mention about not being anything for whispering, but I was wondering if ...
Alenanno's user avatar
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1 answer
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IPA transcription of the American English "bunched" /r/

There are 2 common articulations of /r/ and /r̩/ in American English, one retroflex, and the other dorsal. This phone is called the molar or bunched r. It can be described roughly as a back-palatal or ...
Mechanical snail's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do voiceless approximants exist? What is the consensus among phoneticians/phonologists?

Voiceless sounds that are produced with supralaryngeal configurations that would be considered approximants if voiced are attested in languages (i.e. [j̊], [l̥], etc.), but none are found to contrast ...
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11 votes
2 answers
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Why IPA does not indicate "soft" consonants in English?

I am a native Russian speaker. Sometimes I encounter English speakers who are trying to learn Russian and wonder how to pronounce "soft" consonants. At the same time while learning English I noticed ...
Anixx's user avatar
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What is the difference between /ʎ/ and /l̠ʲ/?

As far as I can find the descriptions it appears that they're the same. Why would 2 different IPA characters used then?
keke's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
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IPA, Why Is It Ordered That Way?

The IPA lists Plosives first, then Nasals, then Trills, then Taps, then Fricatives, then Approximants. Why is it ordered that way? I wondered if it was to do with ease of use. However, it doesn't ...
jamiestroud69's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
16k views

Does sample text exist that includes most English sounds represented by the International Phonetic Alphabet?

My understanding of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is that it aims to provide a set of letter-based values that represent and map to fundamental sounds present in human languages. My ...
chris50's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
665 views

How close are the Italian and the Romanian open central unrounded vowels?

The "a" sound in Italian and Romanian, is identified as the central unrounded vowel and represented as being practically identical, very close to [ä]. Although a is used in these images to ...
cipricus's user avatar
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1 answer
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IPA for Slender Irish /r'/ in Connemara Dialects

Edit: I would also be willing to reward the bounty if someone can partially answer the question by stating if my proposed IPA is possible based on the description or not. I am specifically asking ...
Robert Kaucher's user avatar
9 votes
7 answers
4k views

Does IPA notation ever get capitalized to match their written counterparts?

Some alphabets capitalize proper nouns, others capitalize all nouns. Does ipa notation ever get capitalized to match their written counterparts? I would assume not, as it might be sending mixed ...
Mou某's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
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Is there a reason that /w/ isn't represented on the IPA chart?

The sound that represents the English <w>, as in "week", is the voiced labio-velar approximant /w/. In the "Consonant" section of the Wiki page for the IPA, however, /w/ isn'...
Lou's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
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Is IPA machine-readable?

I saw that SAMPA was created to be machine-readable. Does that mean that IPA isn't? If it isn't, why is that so? EDIT: By machine-readable, I meant that it could be directly interpreted by a parser/...
apat's user avatar
  • 137
9 votes
3 answers
8k views

How can the IPA vowels be memorized?

Memorizing IPA consonants is trivially easy; each symbol represents one sound, and that sound can be described with a variety of parameters about manner of articulation, etc. The IPA vowels, however, ...
Nick Anderegg's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
4k views

/t͡ʃ/ vs. /ʧ/ vs. /tʃ/

In English for example, the "ch" sound (as in China) is sometimes written as /t͡ʃ/, other times as /ʧ/ or simply as /tʃ/. Similarly, I have seen the German "tz" (e.g. Katze) ...
E.E.S.'s user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why in English words is [o] followed by [ʊ]?

The close-mid back rounded vowel is usually diphthongized to [oʊ] or [əʊ] in North America and respectively, Britain. Examples: row, also. In fact, in the Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary I ...
Bogdan Lataianu's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
7k views

What's the difference between [ɚ], [ɹ̩], and [əɹ]?

I've seen the "-er" sound in English (like in butter) transcribed in all three of the above ways, but I've heard there are subtle differences between them. What are these differences, if there are ...
Joe Z.'s user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
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Should I use square brackets or slashes when transcribing an oral text in IPA?

I am transcribing an oral text into IPA in order to compare it with the "correct" pronunciation of words (e.g. according to the dictionary). I am using slashes for both versions, but it feels ...
furendaaa's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

What do the "less-than" and "greater-than" signs mean when used as IPA vowel diacritics?

I was recently reading an academic paper on Amdo Tibetan phonetics and the author uses IPA vowel diacritics that look like "less-than" and "greater-than" signs. Here is a picture so you know what I'm ...
Joshua's user avatar
  • 459
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is ʌ an open-mid back unrounded vowel?

Consider: I've been studying the vowel chart recently and I don't understand why ʌ is an open-mid back unrounded vowel. Shouldn’t it be a short low central unrounded vowel like in the chart picture I ...
Jooyoung Kim's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

How are syllabic consonants written in IPA?

Suppose that, in some hypothetical language, there were two different words: /tump/ /tump/ What's the difference?, you might ask. In the first one, the word is one syllable long. In the second one, ...
Peter Olson's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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What is "˥˩" in the IPA?

While reading the Wikipedia page on voiced bilabial trill, I came across a transcription in the occurrence section which looks like: [tʙ̩˥˩] The word is from Lizu language and means 'bean'. What is ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
717 views

What does it mean when a phoneme represented by one IPA is "phonetically" a different IPA?

I have been studying Hungarian and its pronunciation for a long time, using references such as the Hungarian Phonology Wikipedia page and comparing that to the General American Phonology page. The ...
David R's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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IPA for phonemes - does this make sense at all?

On the Wikipedia page for the International Phonetic Alphabet, slashes for phonemes are mentioned quite casually, without getting into the discussion of how or if it makes sense to use a phonetic ...
dainichi's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
437 views

Does the orientation of the voiced uvular fricative IPA symbol (ʁ) not matter, or are these fonts buggy?

The symbol for voiced uvular fricative in IPA is ʁ (an inverted small uppercase letter "R"), but I have noticed that this symbol is not displayed consistently depending on where it is pasted ...
Ella D.'s user avatar
  • 73
7 votes
1 answer
994 views

IPA Listening Training

Are there any programs that will play a sound and allow the user to choose which sound was played? The options would need to be IPA or some other descriptive method (e.g., voiceless alveolar stop). ...
Zach's user avatar
  • 173
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Language that uses IPA

Is there a language that uses the International Phonetic Alphabet as their official writing system? Basically, Is there a language using [a less strict version of] IPA as their writing system? Is ...
GamerGeek's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
4k views

/ / vs [ ] - when to use which? [duplicate]

I'm a university student studying sound structure. It's a first-year course. No matter how many times it's explained to me in lectures, tutorials, help labs, or office hours -- I don't understand all ...
University Student's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the IPA of the two-syllable r sound in English?

For example, the word "Emperor" in IPA on Wiktionary for General American is written /ˈɛmpɹɚ/. But that's kind of cheating because ɚ is basically /ɹ/ as far as I can tell. Yet, when you say ...
Lance's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
649 views

Why do IPA pronunciations pronounce phones in two ways? 1st on their own. 2nd with a vowel /ɑ/ or schwa in front?

I use IPA and oral cavity videos (is this the correct term?) to master phonemes, while I learn second languages. Examples are [ ʎ̝ ] voiced dorsal palatal lateral fricative, [ ʝ ] voiced dorsal ...
User's user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can we simulate the pronunciation of sounds that we can't make?

There's certain non-filled places in the IPA chart because we physically can't pronounce them. For example, a velar trill or glottal trill. Using computers, is it possible that we could simulate how ...
Featherball's user avatar

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