Permanently protected page

Help:IPA for English

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Wikipedia:IPA for English)
Jump to: navigation, search
This page is about the pronunciation of words in English. For sounds not found in English, see Help:IPA. For a basic introduction to the IPA, see Help:IPA/Introduction.
Shortcuts:

Throughout Wikipedia, the pronunciation of words is indicated by means of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The following tables list the IPA symbols used for English words and pronunciations. Please note that several of these symbols are used in ways that are specific to Wikipedia and differ from those used by dictionaries.

If the IPA symbols are not displayed properly by your browser, see the links below.

Key

If the words illustrating two symbols sound the same to you (say, if you pronounce cot and caught the same, or do and dew, or marry and merry), you can ignore the difference between those symbols. Footnotes explain some of these mergers. (See also Dialect variation below.)

For a table listing all spellings of these sounds, see English orthography § Sound-to-spelling correspondences. For help converting spelling to pronunciation, see English orthography § Spelling-to-sound correspondences.

Consonants
IPA Examples
b buy, cab
d dye, cad, do
ð thy, breathe, father
giant, badge, jam
f fan, caff, phi
ɡ (ɡ)[1] guy, bag
h high, ahead
hw why[2]
j[3] yes, hallelujah
k sky, crack
l lie, sly, gal
m my, smile, cam
n nigh, snide, can
ŋ sang, sink, singer
θ thigh, math
p pie, spy, cap
r[4] rye, try, very
s sigh, mass
ʃ shy, cash, emotion
t tie, sty, cat, atom
china, catch
v vie, have
w wye, swine
z zoo, has
ʒ equation, pleasure, vision, beige[5]
Marginal consonants
x ugh, loch, Chanukah[6]
ʔ uh-oh /ˈʔʌʔoʊ/
 
Optional sounds
IPA Examples
ʃⁱ nasturtium (/i/ is frequently dropped)
Vowels
IPA Full vowels IPA ... followed by R[7]
ɑː PALM, father, bra ɑr START, bard, barn, snarl, star (= /ɑːr/)
ɒ LOT, pod, John[8] ɒr moral, forage
æ TRAP, pad, ban[9][10] ær barrow, marry[11]
PRICE, ride, file, fine, pie[12] aɪər Ireland, hire (= /aɪr/)
aɪ.ər higher, buyer[13]
MOUTH, loud, foul, down, how aʊər flour (= /aʊr/)
aʊ.ər flower[13]
ɛ DRESS, bet, fell, men[14] ɛr error, merry[14]
FACE, made, fail, vein, pay ɛər SQUARE, mare, scarce, cairn, Mary (= /eɪr/)[15]
eɪ.ər layer (one who lays)[13]
ɪ KIT, lid, fill, bin ɪr mirror, Sirius
FLEECE, seed, feel, mean, sea ɪər NEAR, beard, fierce, serious (= /iːr/)[16]
iː.ər freer
ɔː THOUGHT, Maud, dawn, fall, straw[17] ɔr NORTH, born, war, Laura (= /ɔːr/)[18][19]
ɔː.ər sawer
ɔɪ CHOICE, void, foil, coin, boy ɔɪər loir (= /ɔɪr/)
ɔɪ.ər employer[13]
GOAT, code, foal, bone, go[20] ɔər FORCE, more, boar, oral (= /oʊr/)[18][19]
oʊ.ər mower
ʊ FOOT, good, full, woman ʊr courier
GOOSE, food, fool, soon, chew, do ʊər boor, moor, tourist (= /uːr/)[18][19]
uː.ər truer
juː cute, mule, puny, beauty, huge, you, tune[21] jʊər cure (= /juːr/)
juː.ər fewer
ʌ STRUT, bud, dull, gun[22] ɜr NURSE, word, girl, fern, furry
ʌr hurry, nourish
Variable vowels
BATH, dance, laugh (either ɑː or æ) ɒː CLOTH, office, wrong (either ɒ or ɔː)
i HAPPY, serious[23] (either ɪ or i) u bedroom, roof, situation (either ʊ or )
reduced vowels
ə Rosa’s, a mission, quiet, focus ər LETTER, perceive
ɨ roses, emission[24] (either ɪ or ə) ʉ beautiful, curriculum ([jʉ])[25] (either ʊ or ə)
ɵ omission[26] (either or ə) əl bottle (either əl or )
ən button (either ən or ) əm rhythm (either əm or )
 
Stress Syllabification
IPA Examples IPA Examples
ˈ intonation /ˌɪntɵˈneɪʃən/,[27]
battleship /ˈbætəlʃɪp/[28]
. moai /ˈmoʊ.aɪ/
Windhoek /ˈvɪnt.hʊk/
Vancouveria /væn.kuːˈvɪəriə/
Mikey /ˈmaɪki/, Myki /ˈmaɪ.kiː/[29]
ˌ

Notes

  • The IPA stress mark (ˈ) comes before the syllable that has the stress, in contrast to stress marking in pronunciation keys of some dictionaries published in the United States.
  • Words in SMALL CAPITALS are the standard lexical sets. Words in the lexical sets BATH and CLOTH may be given two transcriptions, respectively one with /ɑː/ and one with /æ/, or one with /ɒ/ and one with /ɔː/, rather than with the variable-vowel symbols in the key above.

Dialect variation

This key represents diaphonemes, abstractions of speech sounds that accommodate General American (GenAm), Received Pronunciation (RP), Canadian English, South African, Australian, and New Zealand pronunciations. Therefore, not all of the distinctions shown here are relevant to a particular dialect:

  • If, for example, you pronounce cot /ˈkɒt/ and caught /ˈkɔːt/ the same, then you may simply ignore the difference between the symbols /ɒ/ and /ɔː/, just as you ignore the distinction between the written vowels o and au when pronouncing them.
  • In many dialects, /r/ occurs only before a vowel; if you speak such a dialect, simply ignore /r/ in the pronunciation guides where you would not pronounce it, as in cart /ˈkɑrt/.
  • In other dialects, /j/ (yes) cannot occur after /t, d, n/, etc., within the same syllable; if you speak such a dialect, then ignore the /j/ in transcriptions such as new /njuː/. For example, New York is transcribed /njuː ˈjɔrk/. For most people from England and for some New Yorkers, the /r/ in /ˈjɔrk/ is not pronounced; for most people from the United States, including some New Yorkers, the /j/ in /njuː/ is not pronounced and may be ignored.

On the other hand, there are some distinctions which you might make but which this key does not encode, as they are seldom reflected in the dictionaries used as sources for Wikipedia articles:

  • The difference between the vowels of fir, fur and fern, maintained in Scottish and Irish English but lost elsewhere.
  • The difference between the vowels of pain and pane found in some English, Welsh, and Newfoundland dialects.
  • The vowels of bad and had, distinguished in many parts of Australia and the Eastern United States.
  • The vowels of spider and spied her, distinguished in Scotland and some parts of North America.

Other words may have different vowels depending on the speaker.

The pronunciation of the /æ/ vowel in Scotland, Wales and northern England has always been closer to [a], even amongst educated speakers. BBC English is moving away from the older RP [æ] towards the more open vowel [a], and the Oxford English Dictionary transcribes the lad, bad, cat, trap vowel as /a/ in its updated entries.

For more extensive information on dialect variations, you may wish to see the IPA chart for English dialects.

Other transcriptions

If you feel it is necessary to add a pronunciation respelling using another convention, then please use the conventions of Wikipedia's pronunciation respelling key.

  • To compare the following IPA symbols with non-IPA American dictionary conventions that may be more familiar, see pronunciation respelling for English, which lists the pronunciation guides of fourteen English dictionaries published in the United States.
  • To compare the following IPA symbols with other IPA conventions that may be more familiar, see Help:IPA conventions for English, which lists the conventions of eight English dictionaries published in Britain, Australia, and the United States.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ If the two characters ɡ and Opentail g.svg do not match and if the first looks like a γ, then you have an issue with your default font. See Rendering issues.
  2. ^ The phoneme /hw/ is not distinguished from /w/ in the many dialects with the wine–whine merger, such as RP and most varieties of GenAm. For more information on this sound, see voiceless labio-velar approximant.
  3. ^ The IPA value of the letter j is counter-intuitive to many English speakers. However, it does occur with this sound in a few English words: Besides hallelujah, there's Jägermeister and jarlsberg cheese.
  4. ^ In most varieties of English, /r/ is pronounced as an approximant [ɹ]. Although the IPA symbol [r] represents a trill, /r/ is widely used instead of /ɹ/ in broad transcriptions of English.
  5. ^ A number of English words, such as genre and garage, are pronounced with either /ʒ/ or /dʒ/.
  6. ^ In most dialects, /x/ is replaced by /k/ in most words, including loch. Where the sound begins a word, such as Chanukah, it is sometimes replaced with /h/. In ugh, it is often replaced by /ɡ/ (a spelling pronunciation).
  7. ^ In non-rhotic accents like RP, /r/ is not pronounced unless followed by a vowel. In some Wikipedia articles, /ɪər/ etc. may not be distinguished from /ɪr/ etc. These should be fixed to correspond with the chart here.
  8. ^ /ɒ/ is not distinguished from /ɑː/ in dialects with the father–bother merger such as GenAm.
  9. ^ Some regions, such as New York City and Philadelphia, separate this into two phonemes, /æ/ and /eǝ/, so that the vowel in crash may be closer to that in mail than that in cat. In other dialects, such as General American, the two sounds are allophones. See /æ/ tensing.
  10. ^ In some regions, what would normally be [æŋ] or [æɡ] is pronounced as [eŋ] or [eɪŋ], [eɡ] or [eɪɡ], so that the a in rang and rag is closer to the ai in rain than the a in rat.
  11. ^ /ær/ is pronounced the same as /ɛr/ in accents with the Mary–marry–merry merger.
  12. ^ Many speakers, for example in most of Canada and much of the United States, have a different vowel in price and ride. Generally, an [aɪ] is used at the ends of words and before voiced sounds, as in ride, file, fine, pie, while an [ʌɪ] is used before voiceless sounds, as in price and write. Because /t/ and /d/ are often conflated in the middle of words in these dialects, derivatives of these words, such as rider and writer, may be distinguished only by their vowel: [ˈɹʷɾəɹ], [ˈɹʷʌɪɾəɹ]. However, even though the value of /aɪ/ is not predictable in some words, such as spider [ˈspʌɪɾəɹ],[citation needed] dictionaries do not generally record it, so it has not been allocated a separate transcription here.
  13. ^ a b c d Some speakers pronounce higher, flower, lawyer, layer (stratum) and mayor with two syllables, and hire, flour, loir, lair and mare with one. Others pronounce them the same.
  14. ^ a b /ɛ/ is transcribed as /e/ by many dictionaries.[ref 1]
  15. ^ /ɛər/ is pronounced the same as /ɛr/ in accents with the Mary–marry–merry merger. It is often transcribed as /eə/ by British dictionaries and as /er/ by American ones. The OED uses /ɛː/ for BrE and /ɛ(ə)r/ for AmE.[ref 2]
  16. ^ /ɪər/ is pronounced the same as /ɪr/ in accents with the mirror–nearer merger.
  17. ^ /ɔː/ is not distinguished from /ɒ/ (except before /r/) in dialects with the cot–caught merger such as some varieties of GenAm.
  18. ^ a b c /ɔər/ is not distinguished from /ɔr/ in dialects with the horse–hoarse merger, which include most dialects of modern English.
  19. ^ a b c /ʊər/ is not distinguished from /ɔr/ in dialects with the pour–poor merger, including many younger speakers.
  20. ^ /oʊ/ is commonly transcribed /əʊ/ or /oː/.
  21. ^ In dialects with yod dropping, /juː/ is pronounced the same as /uː/ after coronal consonants (/t/, /d/, /s/, /z/, /n/, /θ/, and /l/) in the same syllable, so that dew /djuː/ is pronounced the same as do /duː/. In dialects with yod coalescence, /tj/, /dj/, /sj/ and /zj/ are pronounced /tʃ/, /dʒ/, /ʃ/ and /ʒ/, so that the first syllable in Tuesday is pronounced the same as choose.
  22. ^ /ʌ/ is not used in the dialects of the northern half of England, some bordering parts of Wales, and some broad eastern Ireland accents. These words would take the ʊ vowel: there is no foot–strut split.
  23. ^ /i/ is pronounced [i] in dialects with the happy tensing, [ɪ] in other dialects. British convention used to transcribe it with ɪ, but the OED and other influential dictionaries recently converted to i.
  24. ^ /ɨ/ is pronounced [ə] in Australian and many US dialects, [ɪ] in Received Pronunciation. Many speakers freely alternate between a reduced [ɪ̈] and a reduced [ə]. Many phoneticians[ref 3] and the OED use the pseudo-IPA symbol ɪ,[ref 2] and Merriam–Webster uses ə̇.
  25. ^ /ʉ/ is pronounced [ʊ] in many dialects, [ə] in others. Many speakers freely alternate between a reduced [ʊ̈] and a reduced [ə]. The OED uses the pseudo-IPA symbol ʊ.[ref 2]
  26. ^ /ɵ/ is pronounced as [ə] in many dialects, and [ɵw] or [əw] before another vowel, as in cooperate. Sometimes pronounced as a full /oʊ/, especially in careful speech.[ref 4] Usually transcribed as /ə(ʊ)/ (or similar ways of showing variation between /oʊ/ and /ə/) in British dictionaries.
  27. ^ It is arguable that there is no phonemic distinction in English between primary and secondary stress,[ref 5] but it is conventional to notate them as here.
  28. ^ Full vowels following a stressed syllable, such as the ship in battleship, are marked with secondary stress in some dictionaries (Merriam-Webster), but not in others (the OED). Such syllables are not actually stressed.
  29. ^ Syllables are indicated sparingly, where necessary to avoid confusion, for example to break up sequences of vowels (moai) or consonant clusters which an English speaker might misread as a digraph (Vancouveria, Windhoek).
    Several dictionaries, such as the OED, do not indicate stress for words of one syllable. Thus hire /ˈhaɪər/ is transcribed haɪə(r), without a stress mark, contrasting with higher /ˈhaɪ.ər/, which is transcribed ˈhaɪə(r), without a syllable mark.

References

  1. ^ Wells, John (18 March 2009). "e and ɛ". John Wells’s phonetic blog. Blogspot. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c "Key to pronunciation". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  3. ^ vd. Olive & Greenwood 1993:322
  4. ^ Bolinger 1989
  5. ^ vd. Ladefoged 1993

External links