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

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 ...
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29 votes
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Is the schwa sound consistent?

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 ...
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25 votes
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Is there a reason that /w/ isn't represented on the IPA chart?

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, ...
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25 votes
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/t͡ʃ/ vs. /ʧ/ vs. /tʃ/

"tʃ", "t͡ʃ", and "t͜ʃ" are the only representations of the affricate currently sanctioned by the International Phonetic Association. The ligature symbols "ʧ", &...
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23 votes
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Does IPA notation ever get capitalized to match their written counterparts?

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 ...
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20 votes
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How to split IPA spelling into syllables

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 ...
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20 votes

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

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 ...
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19 votes

/t͡ʃ/ vs. /ʧ/ vs. /tʃ/

In theory, the difference between /t͡ʃ/ with a tiebar and /tʃ/ without is that the former represents a single unit and the latter represents two units. This is sometimes important for theoretical ...
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18 votes

Is there an online tool to convert IPA symbols into audio sound?

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 "[...
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18 votes

Is there an online tool to convert IPA symbols into audio sound?

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.
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16 votes

Why does IPA have stress in /ɡəˈʃtɔlt/ before instead of after the /ʃ/?

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 ...
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16 votes
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What is "˥˩" in the IPA?

It's not a sound, but a contour tone letter applying to the whole word (or syllable). This case specifically is a high falling tone, like the fourth tone in Mandarin. The Pumi example from the same ...
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14 votes

Is there an online tool to convert IPA symbols into audio sound?

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 ...
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  • 141
14 votes
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Is IPA machine-readable?

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 (...
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14 votes
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IPA, Why Is It Ordered That Way?

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 ...
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14 votes

Proto-Indo-European (PIE) words with IPA

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 ...
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12 votes
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Is it feasible to create an IPA adaptation for cats?

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 ...
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12 votes

Can the IPA represent all languages' tones?

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, ...
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12 votes
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What is the difference between /ʎ/ and /l̠ʲ/?

/ʎ/ has the contact with the hard palate, /l̠ʲ/ has the contact with the alveolar ridge (albeit towards the back of the alveolar ridge, and with the body of the tongue raised towards the hard palate)
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12 votes

What is the difference between /ʎ/ and /l̠ʲ/?

Also note that even if they were the exact same thing, ʎ is a single symbol while l̠ʲ is a symbol with two diacritics; if a phoneme is common or high-profile enough, it will often get its own simplex ...
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  • 1,843
11 votes
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IPA for English: British or US standard?

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 ...
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11 votes
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Why does IAST exist when IPA is there?

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 ...
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11 votes
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Can /∅/ be used transliterate silent characters? (I.P.A.)

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

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 ...
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10 votes

Language that uses IPA

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 ...
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10 votes
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Is [x] any different from [kʰ]?

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 ...
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10 votes

When should I use /ə/ or /ɪ/ and why does it seem like they're not used correctly?

It's true that the symbol "/ə/" is used to transcribe a range of sounds that includes sounds close to [ɪ], so there may is overlap between the range of vowel qualities used for "/ə/" and "/ɪ/". In ...
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10 votes

Is it possible to have the same symbol for different sounds in IPA?

Yes, this is not only possible but regular practice. In general, one only notates the kind of features of a sound that are relevant for the transcription and it is left to reader to add the omitted ...
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10 votes

Why is ʌ an open-mid back unrounded vowel?

The short answer is that that is how the symbol is defined. The intermediate answer is that the picture you provide is wrong as a subset of the IPA chart (the vowel letters are not in their standard ...
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  • 67.7k
9 votes

Is there an online tool to convert IPA symbols into audio sound?

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 ...
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