Hot answers tagged

30

Good question! IPA symbols generally fall into one of three categories, in common use: Some symbols have a conventional name: æ is "ash", θ is "theta", ŋ is "engma". Standard Latin letters would also fall into this group, like v being "vee". Some symbols are named based on their shape: ɤ is "rams-horns", ɔ is "open o", ħ is "h-bar". These are the names that ...


29

No, it is not. The English sound transcribed as "schwa" (ə) is known to be quite variable. There are a number of things that affect how it sounds. In American accents, it's common for a "schwa" to be more similar to an an [ɪ] sound (the "i" in "trick") when it's in the middle of a word. For many American English speakers, there is no consistently ...


24

Your basic premise is incorrect here: /w/ is listed in the Consonant section of the IPA page on Wikipedia, under Co-articulated consonants where it belongs. It doesn’t belong in the main table, because the main table orders consonants by place of articulation, and /w/ (like all co-articulated consonants) has multiple places of articulation: bilabial and ...


23

The concept of "capitalization" is not part of the official IPA The official chart showing the International Phonetic Alphabet is downloadable from the IPA website. IPA letters are not defined in cased pairs. Most of them look like lowercase letters (and I believe are treated as lowercase letters in Unicode encoding; I don't know if there are any ...


20

Almost every character that can be input and shown on modern computers is defined in Unicode and has a code point, so of course each IPA symbol has a name. <ɲ> is defined as "LATIN SMALL LETTER N WITH LEFT HOOK" in the Unicode code chart. Handbook of the International Phonetic Association (1999: 166–184) also has a list of symbols with descriptions, which ...


18

At the phoneme level, a text-to-speech system is usually tied to the phoneme set of the language a voice was built from. This is usually because modern speech synthesizers (MBROLA, Cepstral, AT&T, etc.) use recorded voice samples in a diphone database (sampling phoneme pairs from the recorded data). This allows them to sound more natural. As a result of ...


18

In addition to slashes and square brackets, sometimes also used are double-slashes, pipes, and angle brackets. Their uses are: Angle brackets — ⟨cats⟩ or cats or "cats" or cats — orthography Indicates a linguistic entity, like a word or grapheme, written according to a language's orthography. Alternatively, the orthography is often given in italics or ...


18

This is, in fact, possible! It's not trivial, but it is straightforward. Your goal seems to be to break an English word (written in phonemic IPA) into syllables. There's a bit of controversy about how useful the concept of a "syllable" is in English, and a few different theories about what exactly a "syllable" is if it does exist, but the following is ...


17

I'm currently using espeak, an open-source software. Not so bad, even if the voices sound artificial. Details here. E.g. : (Seneca, Epistulae ad Lucilium, 1.1.1) espeak -v eo --ipa -s120 -p60 -a20 "[['ita'fak'mi:lu:'ki:li:]]" i.e. speak with an Esperanto voice (-v eo), print the IPA on the console (--ipa), set the speed at 120 words per minute (-s120; ...


16

IPA doesn't make that decision. However, conventionally, stress is marked at the beginning of the syllable. The implication of transcribing the word as [gəˈʃtɔlt] is that the onset of the stressed syllable is [ʃt], not just [t]. If /t/ were at the beginning of a stressed syllable, it would be aspirated, thus *[gəʃˈtʰɔlt], which is wrong. Lack of aspiration ...


15

Your criticisms of the IPA seem to be mainly based on patent misapprehensions about how its notation is correctly used. In your first impungment of the IPA, you apparently are assuming two different notations of the same sound (in this case, a voiceless labio-velar approximant notated with [ʍ] and [w̥]) are both unanimously agreed upon transcriptions of ...


15

The IPA is useful for what it is: an alphabetic writing system biased towards "major European languages" for performing certain analyses/comparisons/descriptions based essentially on the typographical requirements and linguistic models and theory of 100 years ago. As such: it allows you to analyse and denote certain phonetic/phonological phenomena that it ...


14

Amazon Web Services' Polly text-to-speech service supports Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) and specifically its <phoneme> element. You will need to create an AWS account, but you can then use the 'get started' demo to hear the speech of any (supported) SSML. The demo is here. For example, I put in the IPA from the Wikipedia article for the ...


14

IPA is machine readable now, because the IPA characters are all in Unicode, the standard character set of today. At the time when SAMPA was created, character sets were either 7 bit (ASCII) or 8 bit (Latin-1, Latin-2 and the like) or specific to East Asian Scripts. Those character sets didn't incorporate IPA, and in this sense IPA wasn't machine readable at ...


14

The organisation of the consonant and vowel tables of the IPA is an approximation of the place and type of the phonemes' articulation. Hence the columns are arranged in order from left to right according to place of articulation in the mouth from the lips to the back of the throat, and the rows are sorted according to their manner of articulation by ...


14

The problem is, nobody is quite sure how PIE was pronounced! When we talk about PIE phonemes like /*d/, we don't mean it was actually IPA [d]. We mean that "there seems to have been a phoneme, which is pronounced [d] in a lot of descendant languages". But there are also many languages which don't pronounce it [d]: Germanic, Anatolian (an extremely ...


12

IPA can be used to render any dialect or accent you like. (Here's an example where IPA is used to show differences between two dialects of English.) It can be used in a narrow way, transcribing more precisely the sounds of a particular accent; or in a broad way, ignoring certain distinctions in favor of larger features. English itself has no standard ...


12

Sure, why not? The main problem you will run into is establishing contrastiveness. I strongly recommend reading ch. 4 of the Handbook of the IPA. You can hear two different cats purring at the wiki page, so the question is whether those are two different purr phonemes (technically known as "purreme") or one with a big variation in realization? You could ...


12

I don't think there are any attested languages that require more than five (5) phonemic levels of pitch to describe. However, there is one language Cori with six (6) surface pitch realizations, although it can be analyzed with a tone inventory of three level tones. I'm looking for some more non-Wikipedia sources and a better explanation of the situation in ...


11

IPA and IAST serve different purposes, as their respective names already suggest. IPA is an alphabet for phonetic rendering of speech (in the broad sense). To use it on Sanskrit we would have to agree first on how Sanskrit is pronounced correctly or have different renderings depending on traditions of pronounciation (Is, for example, भ् an aspirated stop or ...


11

IPA is not typically used for transliteration. It is often used for phonemic transcription, and sometimes for phonetic transcription. (Phonemic transcriptions are conventionally enclosed with slashes, and phonetic transcriptions are conventionally enclosed with square brackets.) I am not an expert on the IPA, but based on my experience reading linguistics ...


10

The most widely used reading passage in research on English phonetics and phonology is The North Wind and the Sun. It includes most English phonemes and is used, for example, in the Illustrations of the IPA (translated where necessary, although it is then not guaranteed to include all phonemes of the language in question). David Deterding argued that the ...


10

They are indeed articulated in the same place, namely the part of the palate called velum. These are, then, velar consonants. The difference lies in the manner of articulation. [kʰ] is an aspirated stop, whilst [x] is a fricative.


9

I haven't heard of the kind of program that you've described, but it might not matter, because there is no substitute for learning the IPA. You may find the following links to be helpful: First, here are some links that have sound files to go with the IPA characters so that you can hear how they're pronounced. Consonants: http://www.yorku.ca/...


9

You might try using mbrola. http://tcts.fpms.ac.be/synthesis/mbrola.html It's a downloadable speech synthesizer, where you type in a sound and it uses diphone synthesis to play it back. To play a given sound, you would type in something like this: _ 200 10 120 a 300 10 120 _ 200 10 120 The above text means, line by line "play silence for 200ms, and ...


9

IPA Reader is a nice front-end to Amazon's Polly service, configured specifically for IPA text. Click on the “Read” button for it to read the word “ad hoc” out loud.


9

The letter <’> is used in IPA to indicate an ejective consonant, which is quite distinct from <ʰ> which represents aspiration. The use of <’> to mark aspiration is not IPA usage (please note that IPA is just one of many traditions for phonetic transcription). Presumably you are looking at an older source, or a more language-specific source that isn'...


9

I don't know of any language that strictly meets these criteria, certainly not any major language, but there are some almost-but-not-quite cases: Many African languages use the African reference alphabet, which is based on IPA (see jknappen's answer). Ad-hoc orthographies created by linguists when describing a language. The Journal of the IPA (then known as ...


8

The point is to utter the sound in two contexts, one ("pah") is what you could call the most basic context, where the consonant is supported just by a vowel that allows you to hear the release of the consonant, and the second ("ahh pah") puts the same vowel before the consonant, so that you can experience formant transitions into the consonant as well as out ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible