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Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet

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Extended IPA Chart for Disordered Speech, as of 2015

The Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet for Disordered Speech, commonly abbreviated extIPA /ɛkˈstpə/,[1] are a set of letters and diacritics devised by the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association to augment the International Phonetic Alphabet for the phonetic transcription of disordered speech. Some of the symbols are used for transcribing features of normal speech in IPA transcription, and are accepted as such by the International Phonetic Association.[a]

Many sounds found only in disordered speech are indicated with diacritics, though an increasing number of dedicated letters are used as well. Special letters are included to transcribe the speech of people with lisps and cleft palates. The extIPA repeats several standard-IPA diacritics that are unfamiliar to most people but transcribe features that are common in disordered speech. These include preaspirationʰ◌⟩, linguolabial◌̼⟩, laminal fricatives [s̻, z̻], and ⟨*⟩ for a sound (segment or feature) with no available symbol (letter or diacritic). The novel transcription ⟨ɹ̈⟩ is used for an English molar-r, as opposed to ⟨ɹ̺⟩ for an apical r; these articulations are indistinguishable in sound and so are rarely identified in non-disordered speech.

Sounds restricted to disordered speech include velopharyngeals, nasal fricatives (a.k.a. nareal fricatives) and some of the percussive consonants. Sounds sometimes found in the world's languages that do not have symbols in the basic IPA include denasals, the sublaminal percussive, post-alveolar lateral fricatives, and fricatives that are simultaneously lateral and sibilant.

ExtIPA was revised and expanded in 2015; the new symbols were added to Unicode in 2021.[2]


The non-IPA letters found in the extIPA are listed in the following table. VoQS letters may also be used, as in ⟨ↀ͡r̪͆⟩ for a buccal interdental trill (a raspberry), as VoQS started off as a subset of extIPA.

Several letters and superscript forms were added to Unicode 14 and 15. They are included in the free Gentium Plus and Andika fonts as of version 6.2 from February 2023.

Category Letter Superscript and example Unicode Description
Lateral ʪ 𐞙 [t𐞙] U+02AA, U+10799 Voiceless grooved lateral alveolar fricative, [ɬ͡s] (a laterally lisped /s/, with simultaneous airflow through the sibilant groove in the tongue and across the side of the tongue), intended for a lateral lisp
ʫ 𐞚 [d𐞚] U+02AB, U+1079A Voiced grooved lateral alveolar fricative, [ɮ͡z] (a laterally lisped /z/)
𐞝 [ʈ𐞝] U+A78E, U+1079D Voiceless retroflex lateral fricative, implicit in standard IPA.
𝼅 𐞟 [ɖ𐞟] U+1DF05, U+1079F Voiced retroflex lateral fricative, implicit in standard IPA.
𝼆 𐞡 [c𐞡] U+1DF06, U+107A1 Voiceless palatal lateral fricative. The voiced fricative may be ⟨𝼆̬⟩ or, in standard IPA, ⟨ʎ̝⟩.
𝼄 𐞜 [k𐞜] U+1DF04, U+1079C Voiceless velar lateral fricative. The voiced fricative may be ⟨𝼄̬⟩ or, in standard IPA, ⟨ʟ̝⟩.
Velo­pharyngeal ʩ 𐞐 [s𐞐] U+02A9, U+10790 Voiceless velopharyngeal fricative (often occurs with a cleft palate). The voiced fricative is ⟨ʩ̬⟩.
𝼀 𐞐𐞪 [s𐞐𐞪] U+1DF00, (U+10790+107AA) Voiceless velopharyngeal trill or 'snort'. (Velopharyngeal fricative accompanied by uvular trill. ⟨𝼀⟩ may be equivalent to ⟨ʩ𐞪⟩.)
Velo­dorsal 𝼃 U+1DF03 Voiceless velodorsal plosive. (The old IPA letter for a velar click, ⟨ʞ⟩, was used for a voiceless velodorsal plosive from 2008 to 2015.)
𝼁 U+1DF01 Voiced velodorsal plosive
𝼇 U+1DF07 Velodorsal nasal
Pharyn­geal U+A7AF Voiceless upper-pharyngeal plosive [q˗]
𝼂 U+1DF02 Voiced upper-pharyngeal plosive [ɢ̠]
Percussive ʬ U+02AC Bilabial percussive (smacking lips)
ʭ U+02AD Bidental percussive (gnashing teeth)
¡ [ǃꜞ], [ǂꜞ] U+00A1, U+A71E Sublaminal lower-alveolar percussive (tongue slap). This letter is used with the alveolar and palatal clicks for [ǃ¡] and [ǂ¡], clicks with percussive release, or "clucks".


The extIPA has widened the use of some of the regular IPA symbols, such as [ʰp] for pre-aspiration and [tʶ] for uvularization, and has added some new ones. Some of these extIPA diacritics are occasionally used for non-disordered speech, for example for the unusual airstream mechanisms of Damin.

One modification of regular IPA is the use of parentheses around the phonation diacritics to indicate partial phonation; a single parenthesis at the left or right of the voicing indicates that it is partially phonated at the beginning or end of the segment. These conventions may be convenient for representing various voice onset times. Phonation diacritics may also be prefixed or suffixed to represent relative timing beyond the segment (pre- and post-voicing etc.). The following are examples; in principle, any IPA or extIPA diacritic may be parenthesized or displaced in this manner.

Partial phonation (examples)
s̬᪽ partial/central voicing of [s] z̥᪽ ʒ̊᪻   partial/central devoicing of [z], [ʒ] subscript: U+1ABD; superscript: 1ABB
s̬᫃ initial voicing z̥᫃ initial devoicing subscript: U+1AC3; superscript: 1AC1
s̬᫄ final voicing z̥᫄ final devoicing subscript: U+1AC4; superscript: 1AC2
z̤᪽ partial murmuring of [z] n͊᪻ partially denasalized [n]
Displaced timing (examples)
ˬz pre-voiced [z] post-voiced [z] U+02EC
[a] with a creaky offglide [p] with extended voicelessness U+02F7 (˷), U+02F3 (˳)

The transcriptions for partial voicing and devoicing may be used in either the sense of degrees of voicing or in the sense that the voicing is discontinuous. For the former, both parentheses indicate the sound is mildly (partially) voiced throughout, and single parentheses mean a partial degree of voicing at the beginning or end of the sound. For the latter, both parentheses mean the sound is (de)voiced in the middle, while the single parentheses mean complete (de)voicing at the beginning or end of the sound. The implication is that such voicing or devoicing is atypical of the language being spoken. For example, ⟨⟩ would be used for the usual devoicing or partial devoicing of the language, while ⟨z̥᪽⟩ would indicate that the transcriber found the devoicing to be atypical, as in pathological speech. Similarly, ⟨z̥᫃⟩ would indicate atypical devoicing at the beginning of the segment.[3]

Altering the position of a diacritic relative to the letter indicates that the phonation begins before the consonant or vowel does or continues beyond it. The voiceless ring and other phonation diacritics can be used in the same way if needed. For example, ⟨p˳a⟩ indicates that voicelessness continues past the [p], equivalent to ⟨pʰa⟩.

Other extIPA diacritics are:

Airstream mechanism
ɬ↓, ə↓ U+2193 (after a letter) Ingressive airstream ʘ↑ U+2191 (after a letter) Egressive airstream[b]
(in isolation) inhalation[3] (in isolation) exhalation[3]
U+02ED[c] Unaspirated ʰp U+02B0 Pre-aspiration
[d] U+034B (on a nasal letter) Nareal fricative
Velopharyngeal friction (especially noisy nasal airstream caused by turbulent airflow through the velopharyngeal port)
(on an oral letter) nasal fricative escape (audible turbulent airflow through the nostrils, as with a nasal lisp) U+034A Denasal (as with a headcold; complements the nasal diacritic)
Articulatory strength
f͈, U+0348 Strong articulation (not necessarily fortis); ⟨⟩ may be used for a true glottal fricative U+0349 Weak articulation (not necessarily lenis)
U+0346 (on a labial letter) Dentolabial n̪͆ U+0346
(on a coronal letter) interdental
(on a coronal letter) class-3 occlusion (tongue protrudes past upper teeth, as with a severe underbite) h̪͆ (on a glottal letter) bidental
U+0347[f] (on a coronal letter) Alveolar[g] U+034D Labial spreading
(on a labial letter) labioalveolar (class-2 occlusion, as with a severe overbite) (complements the diacritics for rounding – see rounded vowel)[h]
U+034E Whistled U+033B laminal fricatives (including lowered tongue tip)[i]
(as IPA) bunched-r (molar-r),
and apical-r, respectively
, U+0355,
Offset to the left and right, respectively[j]
s͢θ  x͢ɕ U+0362 Slurred/sliding articulation (a consonantal diphthong, moving from one articulation to another within the time of a single segment) p\p\p U+005C Stutter (reiterated articulation)[k]

Diacritics may be placed within parentheses as the voicing diacritics are above. For example, ⟨m͊᪻⟩ indicates a partially denasalized [m].

The arrow for sliding articulation was first used for [wɑət̪s̪͢θ] for 'watch' and [z̪͢ðɪpʊə] for 'zipper'. It is most commonly observed in quick changes from the blade to the tip of the tongue (laminal to apical) in plosives and fricatives, such as [t̪͢t] and [t͢θ], or vice versa, but is not limited to that; the consonants may also be labial or dorsal, e.g. [ɸ͢f] and [k͢q].[6]

The slit-grooved distinction of the channel shape of front fricatives may be handled with these diacritics, with for example ⟨s̪ z̪⟩ for grooved (sibilant) dental fricatives, and ⟨θ͇ ð͇⟩ for ungrooved (non-sibilant) aveolar fricatives. This is a common topic in speech pathology, though ⟨s̪ z̪⟩ occur in non-pathological speech in some languages.[6]

Any IPA letter may be used in superscript form as a diacritic, to indicate the onset, release or 'flavor' of another letter. In extIPA, this is provided specifically for the fricative release of a plosive. For example, ⟨k𐞜⟩ is [k] with a lateral-fricative release (similar to the velar lateral affricate [k͜𝼄], but with less frication); ⟨d𐞚⟩ is [d] with lateral-plus-central release. Combining diacritics can be added to superscript diacritics, such as ⟨tʰ̪͆⟩ for [t] with bidental aspiration.

The VoQS (voice-quality symbols) take IPA and extIPA diacritics, as well as several additional diacritics that are potentially available for extIPA transcription. The subscript dot for 'whisper' is sometimes found in IPA transcription,[7] though in IPA the diacritic has also been used for apical-retroflex articulation.

Prosodic notation and indeterminate sounds[edit]

The Extended IPA has adopted bracket notation from conventions transcribing discourse. Parentheses are used to indicate mouthing (silent articulation), as in the common silent sign to hush (ʃːː). Parentheses are also used to indicate silent pauses, for example (...); the length of the pause may be indicated, as in (2.3 sec). A very short (.) may be used to indicate an absence of co-articulation between adjacent segments, for instance [t(.)weɫv̥] rather than [tʷw̥eɫv̥].[8]

Double parentheses indicate that transcription is uncertain because of extraneous noise or speech, as when one person talks over another. As much detail as possible may be included, as in ⸨2 syll.⸩ or ⸨2σ⸩ for two obscured syllables.[9] This is also IPA usage.[10] Sometimes the obscuring noise will be indicated instead, as in ⸨cough⸩ or ⸨knock⸩, as in the illustrative transcription below; this notation may be used for extraneous noise that does not obscure speech, but which the transcriber nonetheless wishes to notate (e.g. because someone says 'excuse me' after coughing, or verbally responds to the knock on the door, and the noise is thus required to understand the speech).

In the extIPA, indistinguishable/unidentifiable sounds are circled rather than placed in single parentheses as in IPA.[l] An empty circle, ◯, is used for an indeterminate segment,  σ  an indeterminate syllable, Ⓒ a segment identifiable only as a consonant, etc. Full capital letters, such as C in Ⓒ, are used as wild-cards for certain categories of sounds, and may combine with IPA and extIPA diacritics. For example,     indicates an undetermined or indeterminate voiceless plosive. Regular IPA and extIPA letters may also be circled to indicate that their identification is uncertain. For example, ⓚ indicates that the segment is judged to probably be [k]. This is effectively a copy-edit mark, and may be elongated into an oval for longer strings of symbols. This was illustrated in the 1997 edition of the chart, where the circle was typeset as ( ̲̅) and longer strings as e.g. (a̲̅a̲̅a̲̅). There is no way to typeset this in Unicode that does not require spurious characters between the letters (as here), but it may be graphically approximated with an unused set of brackets, such as ⦇aaa⦈.

Curly brackets with Italian musical terms are used for phonation and prosodic notation, such as [{falsetto ˈhɛlp falsetto}] and terms for the tempo and dynamics of connected speech. These are subscripted within a {curly brace} notation to indicate that they are comments on the intervening text. The VoQS conventions use similar notation for voice quality. These may be combined, for example with VoQS ⟨F⟩ for 'falsetto':

{allegro I {F {𝆏 didn't 𝆏} know that F} allegro}


[{allegro ə {F {𝆏 dɪn 𝆏} nəʊ ðæʔ F} allegro}][8]
(  ) Silent articulation: (ʃːː) a silent shhh!
(.) Short pause (..) Medium pause (...) Long pause (1.2) 1.2-second pause
𝆑 Loud speech
[{𝆑 ˈlaʊd 𝆑}] 𝆑𝆑 Louder speech
[{𝆑𝆑 ˈlaʊdɚ 𝆑𝆑}]
𝆏 Quiet speech
[{𝆏 ˈkwaɪət 𝆏}] 𝆏𝆏 Quieter speech
[{𝆏𝆏 ˈkwaɪətɚ 𝆏𝆏}]
allegro Fast speech [{allegro ˈfæst allegro}] lento Slow speech [{lento ˈsloʊ lento}]
crescendo, rallentando, and other musical terms may also be used.
Extraneous noise; speech obscured by extraneous noise
⸨  ⸩ ⸨2σ⸩ two syllables obscured; ⸨cough⸩ a cough
Unidentified and partially identified sounds in recordings
segment consonant fricative glide/approximant
[m] click liquid (or lateral) nasal plosive
rhotic (or resonant) sibilant tone/accent/stress vowel


Three rows appear in the extIPA chart that do not occur in the IPA chart: "fricative lateral + median" (simultaneous grooved and lateral frication), "fricative nasal" (a.k.a. nareal fricative) and "percussive". A denasal row is added here. Several new columns appear as well, though the linguolabial column is the result of a standard-IPA diacritic. Dorso-velar and velo-dorsal are combined here, as are upper and lower alveolar.

Consonants not appearing on the standard IPA chart
Plosive t̪͆ d̪͆ (𝼃 𝼁) 𝼂
Denasal ɳ͊ ɲ͊ ŋ͊
Nasal n̪͆ (𝼇)
Fricative nasal m̥͋ n̥͋ ɳ̥͋ ɳ͋ ɲ̥͋ ɲ͋ ŋ̥͋ ŋ͋
Trill r̪͆ 𝼀 (ʩ𐞪)
Median fricative h̪͆ ɦ̪͆ θ̼ ð̼ θ̪͆ ð̪͆ θ͇ ð͇ ʩ ʩ̬
Lateral fricative[n] ɬ̼ ɮ̼ ɬ̪͆ ɮ̪͆ 𝼅 𝼆 𝼆̬ 𝼄 𝼄̬
Median+lateral fricative ʪ ʫ
Lateral approximant l̪͆
Percussive ʬ ʭ (¡)

Superscript variants[edit]

The customary use of superscript IPA letters is formalized in the extIPA, specifically for fricative releases of plosives, as can be seen in the lower-left of the full chart.

Speech pathologists also often use superscripting to indicate that a target sound has not been reached – for example, [ˈtʃɪᵏən] for an instance of the word 'chicken' where the /k/ is incompletely articulated. However, due to the ambiguous meaning of superscripting in the IPA, this is not a convention supported by the ICPLA. An unambiguous transcription would mark the consonant more specifically as weakened ([ˈtʃɪk͉ən]) or silent ([ˈtʃɪ(k)ən]).

Sample text[edit]

A sample transcription of a written text read aloud, using extIPA and Voice Quality Symbols:[11]

[ð\ðːə̤ {V̰ ə\ə\ə V̰} ˈhw̥əɹld ˈkʌp ˈf̆\faɪnəlz əv ˈnaɪntin eəti {↓𝑝ˈtʉ̆ 𝑝↓} ˌɑɹ ˈh\hɛld ɪn sːp\ˈsːp\ʰeᵊn ˈðɪs jəɹ (3 sec) ð͈ːe wɪl ɪnv\ˈv͈ːɔlv ðə tˢˑ\tʴ̥ (.) {𝑝 tʼ\tʼ 𝑝} ʩ \ {𝑓 ʩ \ ʩ 𝑓}\ˈt͈ɒ̆p̚ ˈneʃənz əv ðə ˈwəɹld ɪnˑ ə̰ {𝑝𝑝 tʰˑəʃ\t̆ʰə\təʃ 𝑝𝑝}\ˈt͈ʉɹnəmənt ˈlastɪn ˌoʊvər ˈfɔɹ ˈwiks (..) ˈh͈ɛld ə\ ʔat ˈf\fɔɹtin (...) {𝑝𝑝 d\d 𝑝𝑝} \ ˈdɪfɹənt ˈsɛn{↓təɹʐ↓} ɪn ˈspeᵊn (3 sec) ə̰ (.) ˈɔl əv ðə fˑ\f ˈɔl əv ðə ˈfəɹʂt ˈɹaʉnd ˈɡeᵊmz wɪl bi (..) wɪl bi (.) ɪn ðə (.) w̰̆ə̰ː p\pɹəv\ˈvɪnʃəl {𝑝 tʼ\tʼ 𝑝} \ {𝑝𝑝 tʼ\tʼ 𝑝𝑝} (.) tʼ\tʼ (..) {𝑝𝑝 tʼ\tʼ 𝑝𝑝} ʩ \ ʩ \ {↓ˈtãʉ̃nz↓} wɪð ðə s͢ːsʼ\sʼ\ˈs{↓ɛmi ˈfaɪnəlz↓} and ˈf\faɪnəlz ˈhɛld ɪn (.) ⸨knock on door⸩ bɑɹsə{𝑝ˈloʊnə and ˈmədɹɪd 𝑝}]

Original text: "The World Cup Finals of 1982 are held in Spain this year. They will involve the top nations of the World in a tournament lasting over four weeks, held at fourteen different centers in Spain. All of the first-round games will be in the provincial towns with the semi-finals, and finals held in Barcelona and Madrid."[11]


  1. ^ For example, the !Xoon pre-voiced ejective ⟨ˬɡ̥xʼ⟩ in Bennett 2020, p. 102
  2. ^ The up-arrow for egressive airflow is no longer present in the 2016 extIPA chart but is mentioned in the accompanying article.
  3. ^ Distinct from the mathematical superscript equals sign, U+207C ⟨⁼⟩
  4. ^ The symbol for the nareal fricative ⟨⟩ is nearly indistinguishable from the denasal ⟨⟩ at small type sizes. If clarity is needed, a different diacritic such as ⟨⟩ (suggesting nasal escape) might be more distinctive.
  5. ^ This diacritic potentially conflicts with the occasional IPA use of a double tilde for a high degree of nasalization, as in Palantla Chinantec /ẽ̃/.[4] A double (stacked) nasal diacritic may have greater spacing than the single diacritic U+034C, depending on the font. A double nasal diacritic would occur on vowels, while a velopharyngeal diacritic typically occurs on consonants, though not always. For clarity, superscript ⟨◌𐞐⟩ may be used for the velopharyngeal.
  6. ^ This diacritic potentially conflicts with the occasional IPA use of a double minus for a highly retracted sound, as in Kwaza [s̠̠].[5] A double (stacked) minus may be narrower or have greater spacing than the single diacritic U+0347, depending on the font.
  7. ^ Normally in the IPA, a transcription with a coronal letter, such as [n], is assumed to be alveolar unless a diacritic is added to indicate otherwise (e.g. dental [n̪] or post-alveolar [n̠]). However, a speech pathologist may need to indicate whether the alveolar target is actually achieved, and so may overtly transcribe an alveolar nasal as [n͇].
  8. ^ Occasionally seen on rounded vowel letters to transcribe compressed vowels. This is not an obvious reading of the diacritic and was not the intention of the extIPA.
  9. ^ The latter could be specified by doubling the diacritic for extra laminal [s̻̻], [z̻̻].
  10. ^ Although not specified by the extIPA, the offset symbols are generally taken to refer to the interlocutor's left and right, not the speaker's.
  11. ^ Used in the transcription of Damin.
  12. ^ Unicode encodes a combining circle diacritic (U+20DD) that will work with any IPA letter, but as of 2020 it is not widely included in fonts. For example, ⟨σ⃝⟩ combines U+20DD with σ to represent an unidentifiable syllable.
  13. ^ Because a formatting trick has been used here, the symbol cannot be copied and pasted from this page. In a supporting font, the combining circle U+20DD will accept the click wildcard letter ⟨Ʞ⟩.
  14. ^ The dorsal lateral fricatives will not display unless you have an supporting font installed, such as the free fonts Gentium Plus or Andika.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ball 1993, pp. 39–41
  2. ^ Miller, Kirk; Ball, Martin J. (2020). "Unicode request for extIPA support" (PDF). Unicode. L2/20-039.
  3. ^ a b c Duckworth et al. 1990, pp. 277–278
  4. ^ Ladefoged 1971, p. 35
  5. ^ van der Voort 2005
  6. ^ a b Bernhardt & Ball (1993) Characteristics of Atypical Speech currently not included in the Extensions to the IPA. JIPA 23:1, p. 35–36.
  7. ^ Laver 1994
  8. ^ a b Duckworth et al. 1990, p. 279
  9. ^ Duckworth et al. 1990, p. 278
  10. ^ International Phonetic Association 1999, pp. 176, 192
  11. ^ a b Ball & Lowry 2001, p. 80


External links[edit]