Help talk:IPA/Introduction

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Hello, Kwami. I'm looking through of your edits [1] now, and its a lot of new material. In a certain sense I thought this would be almost entirely about vowels, have just the slightest intro to consonants, and be constrained to just the absolute basics, with links to the other Wikipedia IPA pages (which I note you've been active on). For a beginning intro, less is more, is what I'm thinking. That includes writing less caveats, which can be non-linear, and separating detailed descriptions to "notes" sections. What do you think? -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 00:05, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

PS: On second look (at the article itself, not the diff) it looks like its not too much after all. I'll look more closely at some of your re-wordings and see if they work better than the originals. Good work. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 01:54, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't see how we could have an intro without covering most of the vowels. And I only added one consonant, ng.kwami (talk) 02:34, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
Youre too modest - you forgot the trill. :) -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 03:49, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

I'm a bit confused by the variety in showing written (orthographic) English letters. The proposal uses the forms ‹a›, A, "a", and a in a way of which I cannot grasp the logic. Should we standardise on ‹a›, as proposed elsewhere? −Woodstone (talk) 08:18, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

You've just grasped the logic: There is no logic. Pick whichever you like. — kwami (talk) 11:46, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
I note that it was you Kwami who used the notation <a>, and I understood it to mean the letter "a." I knew this because I understood the other notation to be purposed otherwise. Hence /a/ represents the single IPA character, while [alfa] represents a transcribed word in IPA. These last two appear to be conventional, though there is some variation. Note that we should work on standardizing at least the IPA templates that use /alfa/ to [alfa] - there doesn't seem to be a good reason for the variance.
Your point is right though that these are not standardized, but for this help page the form we should use is the common one above. This means that using <a> doesn't work, even though it has echoes in programming, and hence we should use "a" instead. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 00:55, 17 June 2010 (UTC)
PS: I also don't think the terms "long vowels" and "short vowels" work here either, as they are confusing with the Usonian terms, and don't work well for English in particular anyway, which has a high degree of morphophonology —vowels have more than just long and short properties, and both terms "long" and "short" create the false impression of a simply dichotomy or duality. "Alphabetical pronunciation" or "alphaphonemic" deals with one particularly Usonian paradigm, which in any case just represents an orthographic-orthophonemic distinction, and the other vowel types are generally common to non-English phonologies. -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 06:10, 17 June 2010 (UTC)

Suggestions/ Quibbles[edit]

"Its purpose is to indicate how a word or name actually sounds" --> this is the IPA's purpose, not the article's purpose. Do we need the "actually"? How something sounds and how it actually sounds are the same, aren't they?

A nice thing the article does is help explain where the odd looking IPA glyphs came from, makes one feel more comfy with them.

"orthography" --> means spelling? Since this is supposed to be an intro, perhaps the simpler, more common word would suffice? if you must keep it, can it be linked to something?

"Alphaphonetic" --> the article that this links to isn't particularly clear, can this be rephrased? Seems like jargon.

"A, E, I, O, U, are in the IPA transcribed with two letters apiece: /eɪ/, /iː/, /aɪ/, /oʊ/, and /juː/" --> either I is one, or U is three.

"Several of these sounds are actually two vowel sounds combined, rather than pure vowel sounds as they are in Spanish or Italian" --> are you trying to say that what we call a vowel in english isn't the same as what speakers of another language call a vowel?

"Several of these sounds" --> well 4 out of 5

--Possible rephrase: English "vowels" are considered by phonetists to consist of two "pure" vowel sounds.

"closer to the Classical pronunciation" --> do you mean latin? (I am always a bit baffled about how we "know" how latin was pronounced but I'll pass for now)

the short vowel section --> can it be put into point form? Seems like several caveats, notes etc.

also the OO OY might as well do point form too.

not sure if "sofa" is a good example for the schwa sound. I tend to say "soh fah" (rhymes with bra) rather than "so feh". Not saying example is wrong, just with so many dialects, maybe a couple of others to be sure.

I can see where this starts to get tricky. I tend to say "tune" rhyming with "toon" rather than "tyune", so the "U" as ju might not apply, at least to me. HOwever, I suppose we have to draw a line somewhere.

I was a bit confused at first about why the J vs y was explained in the vowel section, but eventually it made sense. (because it explains the u sound)

just noticed the examples here don't match the ones on the main page... should they?

"As noted above, the OW sound of doubt or cow is written /aʊ/" --> except that it isn't noted above.

I liked the "sing" vs "finger" example. Nice clear example.

Any particular reason why slash is used around the IPA letter examples?

Feldercarb (talk) 05:23, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Most if not all of these remarks are sound enough to implement. I suggest Feldercarb, go ahead! -DePiep (talk) 11:46, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Root Accent[edit]

What accent of English is this based on? There is a lot of stuff on here that does not represent the English I and others around me speak here in Alberta, or what I hear Americans speaking on television and in films. In particular, /eɪ/ seems to be completely alien, especially after checking the pronunciation of those two sounds. I can hold a true a sound with my muscles locked in a single position and without audible transition when ending the sound. Likewise, the /oʊ/ only makes sense if you actually round the vowel with your lips, but most people around here make that sound entirely in the back of their throat with nearly no lip involvement whatsoever. (I can't even find a symbol to represent that.) Anyways, I recognize that, as an Albertan, I have a distinct and annoying accent, but I am curious what the "ur english" that these traditions are based from is. I think telling people which English is considered "default" would help in clarifying the logic behind the standards for anyone who does not speak that particular english. (talk) 19:12, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

vowel diagram[edit]

This article is missing one of the most powerful and helpful tools for understanding IPA, a vowel chart. Unfortunately the article vowel diagram only has a very strange basic one without the vowel "a" (with the caption "The standard IPA vowel trapezium") and a very detailed one that would only scare off beginners at first. --Espoo (talk) 06:55, 30 April 2017 (UTC)