Wiktionary:International Phonetic Alphabet

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The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system of phonetic notation devised by linguists to accurately and uniquely represent each of the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) used in spoken human language. It is intended as a notational standard for the phonemic and phonetic representation of all spoken languages.

This page gives a general overview of the symbols used in the IPA. As it is used for all languages, it would be impractical to explain to English speakers how to pronounce all of the sounds. Therefore, the symbols are grouped based on the features they have, or the parts of the mouth used to pronounce them. A dental consonant, for example, is pronounced using the teeth, while a bilabial consonant uses both lips.

Pages explaining the pronunciation of individual languages can be found in Category:Pronunciation by language.

Consonants (Pulmonic)[edit]

  Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Postalveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
Plosive p    b       t    d   ʈ    ɖ c    ɟ k    ɡ q    ɢ     ʔ  
Nasal m ɱ n   ɳ ɲ ŋ ɴ  
Trill ʙ   r         ʀ    
Tap or Flap ⱱ̟ ɾ̪ ɾ   ɽ     ɢ̆    
Lateral Tap or Flap     ɺ     ʎ̯ ʟ̆    
Fricative ɸ    β f    v θ    ð s    z ʃ    ʒ ʂ    ʐ ç    ʝ x    ɣ χ    ʁ ħ    ʕ h    ɦ
Lateral Fricative     ɬ    ɮ            
Approximant β̞ ʋ   ɹ   ɻ j ɰ      
Lateral Approximant   l   ɭ ʎ ʟ    
  • Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a voiced consonant.
  • Shaded areas denote articulations judged impossible.

Consonants (Non-pulmonic)[edit]

Clicks Voiced implosives Ejectives
ʘ Bilabial click ɓ Bilabial voiced implosive ʼ For example:
ǀ Dental click ɗ Dental/alveolar voiced implosive Bilabial ejective
ǃ (Post)alveolar click ʄ Palatal voiced implosive Dental/alveolar ejective
ǂ Palatoalveolar click ɠ Velar voiced implosive Velar ejective
ǁ Alveolar lateral click ʛ Uvular voiced implosive Alveolar fricative ejective

Vowels[edit]

Front N.-front Central N.-back Back
Close
Blank vowel trapezoid.svg
iy
ɨʉ
ɯu
ɪʏ
eø
ɘɵ
ɤo
ɛœ
ɜɞ
ʌɔ
aɶ
ɑɒ
Near-close
Close-mid
Mid
Open-mid
Near-open
Open
  • Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel.

Other Symbols[edit]

ʍ Voiceless labial-velar fricative
w Voiced labial-velar approximant
ɥ Voiced labial-palatal approximant
ʜ Voiceless epiglottal fricative
ʢ Voiced epiglottal fricative
ʡ Epiglottal plosive
ɕ ʑ Alveolo-palatal fricatives
ɧ Simultaneous ʃ and x
  • Affricates and double articulations can be represented by two symbols joined by a tie bar if necessary:
    k͡p   t͡s

Suprasegmentals[edit]

ˈ Primary stress
ˌ Secondary stress
ː Long
ˑ Half-long
˘ Extra-short
. Syllable break
ǀ Minor (foot) group
ǁ Major (intonation) group
Linking (absence of a break)

Tones & Word Accents[edit]

˥ Extra-high (top) tone
˦ High tone
˧ Mid tone
˨ Low tone
˩ Extra-low (bottom) tone

Diacritics[edit]

Diacritics may be placed above a symbol with a descender, e.g. ŋ̊
 ̥ Voiceless  ̤ Breathy voiced  ̪ Dental
 ̬ Voiced  ̰ Creaky voiced  ̺ Apical
ʰ Aspirated  ̼ Linguolabial  ̻ Laminal
˒ More rounded ʷ Labialized  ̃ Nasalized
˓ Less rounded ʲ Palatalized Nasal release
˖ Advanced ˠ Velarized ˡ Lateral release
˗ Retracted ˁ Pharyngealized  ̚ No audible release
 ̈ Centralized  ̴ Velarized or pharyngealized
 ̽ Mid-centralized  ̝ Raised (ɹ̝ = voiced alveolar fricative)
 ̩ Syllabic  ̞ Lowered (β̞ = voiced bilabial approximant)
 ̯ Non-syllabic  ̘ Advanced Tongue Root
˞ Rhoticity  ̙ Retracted Tongue Root
  ͍ Labial Spreading   ͈ Strong Articulation   ͊ Denasal
  ͆ Dentolabial   ͉ Weak Articulation   ͋ Nasal Escape
 ̪͆ Interdental/Bidental \ Reiterated Articulation   ͌ Velopharyngeal Friction
 ̳ Alveolar   ͎ Whistled Articulation  ↓ Ingressive Airflow
 ̼ Linguolabial   ͢ Sliding Articulation  ↑ Egressive Airflow

See also[edit]