International Phonetic Alphabet

IPAPronunciationdiacriticInternational Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)IPA:phonetic alphabet IPA [maláwitable of pulmonic consonantsvelar spirant ''x
The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet.wikipedia
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Phonetic transcription

phonetic alphabetbroad transcriptionphonetic symbol
The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet.
The most common type of phonetic transcription uses a phonetic alphabet, such as the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Mid central vowel

əmid central unrounded vowelmid-central vowel
A minor revision took place in 1993 with the addition of four letters for mid central vowels and the removal of letters for voiceless implosives.
The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is, a [[ə|rotated lowercase letter e]].

Glottal stop

ʔglottal stopsGlottal
Some letters are neither: for example, the letter denoting the glottal stop, has the form of a dotless question mark, and derives originally from an apostrophe.
The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is.

Latin script

LatinLatin alphabetRoman
For this reason, most letters are either Latin or Greek, or modifications thereof.
The Latin script is the basis of the International Phonetic Alphabet, and the 26 most widespread letters are the letters contained in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.

Intonation (linguistics)

intonationintonationalintonations
The IPA is designed to represent only those qualities of speech that are part of oral language: phones, phonemes, intonation and the separation of words and syllables. Among the symbols of the IPA, 107 letters represent consonants and vowels, 31 diacritics are used to modify these, and 19 additional signs indicate suprasegmental qualities such as length, tone, stress, and intonation.
However, for general purposes the International Phonetic Alphabet offers the two intonation marks shown in the box at the head of this article.

Consonant

consonantsCcontoid
Among the symbols of the IPA, 107 letters represent consonants and vowels, 31 diacritics are used to modify these, and 19 additional signs indicate suprasegmental qualities such as length, tone, stress, and intonation.
Since the number of possible sounds in all of the world's languages is much greater than the number of letters in any one alphabet, linguists have devised systems such as the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to assign a unique and unambiguous symbol to each attested consonant.

Implosive consonant

implosiveimplosivesvoiceless implosive
A minor revision took place in 1993 with the addition of four letters for mid central vowels and the removal of letters for voiceless implosives.
In the International Phonetic Alphabet, implosives are indicated by modifying the top of a letter (voiced stop) with a rightward-facing hook, for example:.

Click consonant

clicksclickclick consonants
For example, before 1989, the IPA letters for click consonants were,,, and, all of which were derived either from existing IPA letters, or from Latin and Greek letters.
The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents a click by placing the assigned symbol for the place of click articulation adjacent to a symbol for a non-click sound at the rear place of articulation.

History of the International Phonetic Alphabet

1993 IPA chart1928 revisionKiel Convention
After revisions and expansions from the 1890s to the 1940s, the IPA remained primarily unchanged until the Kiel Convention in 1989.
The International Phonetic Alphabet was created soon after the International Phonetic Association was established in the late 19th century.

Latin alphabet

LatinRomanLatin script
The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet.
More recently, linguists have also tended to prefer the Latin script or the International Phonetic Alphabet (itself largely based on the Latin script) when transcribing or creating written standards for non-European languages, such as the African reference alphabet.

Lisp

lispinglateral lispʪ
To represent additional qualities of speech, such as tooth gnashing, lisping, and sounds made with a cleft lip and cleft palate, an extended set of symbols, the extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet, may be used.
A frontal lisp occurs when the tongue is placed anterior of the target. Interdental lisping is produced when the tip of the tongue protrudes between the front teeth and dentalised lisping is produced when the tip of the tongue just touches the front teeth. The transcription in the International Phonetic Alphabet for interdental sibilants is and and for simple dental sibilants is and . When a fronted lisp does not have a sibilant quality, due to placing the lack of a grooved articulation, the IPA transcription would be or variants thereof.

Diacritic

diacriticsdiacritical markdiacritical marks
Among the symbols of the IPA, 107 letters represent consonants and vowels, 31 diacritics are used to modify these, and 19 additional signs indicate suprasegmental qualities such as length, tone, stress, and intonation. IPA symbols are composed of one or more elements of two basic types, letters and diacritics.
◌ː – triangular colon, used in the IPA to mark long vowels.

Syllable

codasyllable codasyllables
The IPA is designed to represent only those qualities of speech that are part of oral language: phones, phonemes, intonation and the separation of words and syllables.
In the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), the period marks syllable breaks, such as in the word "astronomical".

Voiced velar fricative

ɣvelar fricativepost-velar
Opentail has always represented a voiced velar plosive, while was distinguished from and represented a voiced velar fricative from 1895 to 1900.
The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is, a Latinized variant of the Greek letter gamma,, which has this sound in Modern Greek.

Voiced velar stop

voiced velar plosivegɡ
Opentail has always represented a voiced velar plosive, while was distinguished from and represented a voiced velar fricative from 1895 to 1900.
The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is.

Obsolete and nonstandard symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet

ƻƾʯ
Although IPA is popular for transcription by linguists, American linguists often alternate use of the IPA with Americanist phonetic notation or use the IPA together with some nonstandard symbols, for reasons including reducing the error rate on reading handwritten transcriptions or avoiding perceived awkwardness of IPA in some situations.
The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) possesses a variety of obsolete and nonstandard symbols.

Open central unrounded vowel

aäopen central unrounded
The procedure for modifying the alphabet or the chart is to propose the change in the Journal of the IPA. (See, for example, August 2008 on an open central unrounded vowel and August 2011 on central approximants.) Reactions to the proposal may be published in the same or subsequent issues of the Journal (as in August 2009 on the open central vowel).
While the International Phonetic Alphabet officially has no dedicated letter for this sound between front and back, it is normally written.

International Phonetic Association

IPAInternational Phonetic Congress
It was devised by the International Phonetic Association in the late 19th century as a standardized representation of the sounds of spoken language. In 1886, a group of French and British language teachers, led by the French linguist Paul Passy, formed what would come to be known from 1897 onwards as the International Phonetic Association (in French, l'Association phonétique internationale). Their original alphabet was based on a spelling reform for English known as the Romic alphabet, but in order to make it usable for other languages, the values of the symbols were allowed to vary from language to language.
The IPA’s major contribution to phonetics is the International Phonetic Alphabet—a notational standard for the phonetic representation of all languages.

Phoneme

phonemicphonemesphonemically
The IPA is designed to represent only those qualities of speech that are part of oral language: phones, phonemes, intonation and the separation of words and syllables.
The symbols used for particular phonemes are often taken from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), the same set of symbols that are most commonly used for phones.

IPA Extensions

IPA Extensions IPA Extensions (Unicode block)
These, and others, are supported by Unicode, but appear in Latin ranges other than the IPA extensions.
IPA Extensions is a block (0250–02AF) of the Unicode standard that contains full size letters used in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

Pronunciation respelling for English

diacritical respelling schemeEnglish Phonetic Alphabetrespelling systems
Many British dictionaries, including the Oxford English Dictionary and some learner's dictionaries such as the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary and the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, now use the International Phonetic Alphabet to represent the pronunciation of words.
"Phonemic" systems, as commonly found in American dictionaries, consistently use one symbol per English phoneme. These systems are conceptually equivalent to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) commonly used in bilingual dictionaries and scholarly writings, but tend to use symbols based on English rather than Romance-language spelling conventions (e.g. ē for IPA ) and avoid non-alphabetic symbols (e.g. sh for IPA ).

Romic alphabet

In 1886, a group of French and British language teachers, led by the French linguist Paul Passy, formed what would come to be known from 1897 onwards as the International Phonetic Association (in French, l'Association phonétique internationale). Their original alphabet was based on a spelling reform for English known as the Romic alphabet, but in order to make it usable for other languages, the values of the symbols were allowed to vary from language to language.
It descends from Ellis's Palaeotype alphabet and English Phonotypic Alphabet, and is the direct ancestor of the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Voice Quality Symbols

(The extIPA chart, for example, uses wildcards in its illustrations.) Capital letters are also basic to the Voice Quality Symbols sometimes used in conjunction with the IPA.
VoQS use mostly IPA or extended IPA diacritics on capital letters for the element being modified: V for 'voice', L for 'larynx', and J for 'jaw'.

Eng (letter)

ŋengŊ ŋ
For example, Kabiyè of northern Togo has Ɖ ɖ, Ŋ ŋ, Ɣ ɣ, Ɔ ɔ, Ɛ ɛ, [[Ʋ|Ʋ ʋ]].
Eng or engma (capital: Ŋ, lowercase: ŋ) is a letter of the Latin alphabet, used to represent a velar nasal (as in English sii) in the written form of some languages and in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Labiodental flap

labial flap
The alphabet was last revised in May 2005 with the addition of a letter for a labiodental flap.
The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is, which resembles Cyrillic izhitsa,, but is composed of a V and the hook of the flap.