International Phonetic Alphabet chart for English dialects

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This concise chart shows the most common applications of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to represent English language pronunciations.

See Pronunciation respelling for English for phonetic transcriptions used in different dictionaries.

Chart[edit]

This chart gives a partial system of diaphonemes for English. The symbols for the diaphonemes are given in bold, followed by their most common phonetic values. For the vowels, a separate phonetic value is given for each major dialect, and words used to name corresponding lexical sets are also given. The diaphonemes and lexical sets given here are based on RP and General American; they are not sufficient to express all of the distinctions found in other dialects, such as Australian English.

IPA: English consonants
Dia-
phoneme
[1]
Phones Examples
p , p pen, spin, tip
b b but, web
t , t, ɾ, ʔ[2] two, sting, bet
d d, ɾ[3] do, odd
t͡ʃ t͡ʃʰ, t͡ʃ chair, nature, teach
d͡ʒ d͡ʒ gin, joy, edge
k , k cat, kill, skin, queen, unique, thick
ɡ ɡ go, get, beg
f f fool, enough, leaf, off, photo
v v voice, have, of
θ θ, [4] thing, teeth
ð ð, [5] this, breathe, father
s s see, city, pass
z z zoo, rose
ʃ ʃ she, sure, session, emotion, leash
ʒ ʒ pleasure, beige, equation, seizure
h h, ɦ,[6] ç[7] ham
m m, ɱ[8] man, ham
n n no, tin
ŋ ŋ ringer, sing,[9] finger, drink
l l, ɫ,[10] ɤ[11] w, o, ʊ[12] left, bell, sable
r ɹʷ, ɹ, ɾ,[13] ɻ, ʋ[14] run, very
w w we, queen
j j yes, nyala
hw ʍ, w[15] what
 
IPA: Marginal consonants
ʔ ʔ uh-oh
x x loch (Scottish),[16] ugh[17]
 
IPA: Reduced vowels[18]
ə Reduced /ʌ, æ, ɑː, ɒ/
ɪ̈ (ɪ, ə) Reduced /ɪ, iː, ɛ, eɪ, aɪ/
ʊ̈ (ʊ, ə) Reduced /ʊ, uː/
ɵ (ə) Reduced /oʊ/
ɚ (ə) Reduced /ɜr, ɑr, ɔr/
IPA: English vowels and diphthongs
Dia-
phoneme
[1]
AuE[19]
Australia
CaE
Canada
GA[20][21][22]
United States
InE[23]
India
IrE[24]
Republic of Ireland
NZE[22][25]
New Zealand
RP[26][27]
United Kingdom
ScE[28]
Scotland
SAE[29][30]
South Africa
SSE
Singapore
WaE[31]
Wales
Keyword Examples
æ æ,
æː[32]
æ, ~ɛə[33] æ~ɛ ɑ~a~æ ɛ æ~a ɐ̟ a~æ~ɛ ɛ[34] a TRAP lad, bad, cat[35]
ɑː or æ äː äː ɐː ɑː äː~ɑː~
ɒː~ɔː
ɑ[36] BATH pass, path, sample
ɑː ɑ~ɒ ɑ~ä ɑː PALM father
ɒ ɔ ɒ~ä ɑ ɔ ɒ~ɔ ɔ ɒ̈~ʌ̈ ɔ ɒ LOT not, wasp
ɒ~ɔ~ɑ[37] ɒ̈~ʌ̈,
ɔː~
CLOTH off, loss, cloth, long, dog, chocolate[38]
ɔː ɒː ɔː ɔː~ ɒː THOUGHT law, caught, all, halt, talk
ə ə ə ə ə ɘ ə ə ə COMMA about
ɨ ɪ̈ ɪ ɨ ɨ KIT spotted
ɪ ɪ ɪ ɪ~i, ə[39] i, ɪ ɪ sit
i i i i ɪj e, i i HAPPY city
ɪi̯ ɘi̯ ɪj i FLEECE see
~ meat
æɪ̯ eɪ̯~e æe̯ ɛɪ̯ e eɪ̯~ɛɪ̯~
æɪ̯~äɪ̯~
ʌɪ̯
e[40] FACE date
ei day, pain, whey, rein
ɛ e ɛ e~ɪ e~ɛ ɛ ɛ~e~ɪ ɛ, e[41] ɛ DRESS bed[42]
ɜr ɵː(ɹ)~
ɘː(ɹ)
ɝ~ɚ~ɹ̩ ɜː(ɾ)~äɾ ɚː, ɔɹ~ʊɹ[43] ɵː(ɹ)~
ø̞̈ː(ɹ)~
œ̈ː(ɹ)
əː(ɹ)~
ɜː(ɹ)
ʌɾ[43] ø̈ː(ɹ)~
ø̞̈ː(ɹ)~
əː(ɹ)
ə(ɹ) ɜː(ɾ) NURSE burn
ɚː, ɛɹ[43] ɛɾ[43] herd, earth
ɚː, ɔɹ~ʊɹ[43] ɪɾ[43] bird
ər ə(ɹ) ɚ~ɹ̩ ə(ɾ) ɚ~ɹ̩ ɘ(ɹ) ə(ɹ) əɾ ə(ɹ) ə(ɾ) LETTER winner, donor, massacre[44]
Dia-
phoneme
[1]
AuE
Australia
CaE
Canada
GA
United States
InE
India
IrE
Republic of Ireland
NZE
New Zealand
RP
United Kingdom
ScE
Scotland
SAE
South Africa
SSE
Singapore
WaE
Wales
Keyword Examples
ʌ ä ʌ ʌ̈~ɐ̝ ə~ɜ ɞ, ʊ ɐ ə ~ ʌ ~ ɑ[45] ʌ ɐ~ä ɑ, ʌ ə~ɜ STRUT run, won, flood
ʊ ʊ ʊ~ɵ̠ ʊ~ɵ̠ ʉ ʊ~ʊ̈ u ʊ FOOT put
hood
ʉː ʉː ɵu̯ u̟ː~ʉː~
GOOSE through, you
ɪu[46] threw, yew
juː jʉː (j)u̟ juː jʉː ju̟ː~jʉː ju̟ː~jʉː~
jyː
ju cute, dew, ewe
ɑe̯~ɑɪ̯ aɪ̯, ɐɪ̯~əɪ̯[47] äɪ̯ ɔɪ̯ ɐe̯ ɑɪ̯ əi̯~ae̯ äɪ̯~äː~
ɑɪ̯~ɑ̟ː
ai̯, ɑ[48] ai̯ PRICE my, wise, high

flight, mice

ɔɪ oɪ̯ ɔɪ̯ ɔɪ̯~oɪ̯ ɒɪ̯ ɒɪ̯~oɪ̯, äɪ̯ oe̯ oɪ̯ oi̯ ɔɪ̯~ɒɪ̯ ɔi̯ ɒi̯ CHOICE boy, hoist
əʉ̯~ɐʉ̯ oʊ̯~o oʊ̯, ɑʉ̯ əʊ̯ o ɛʊ̯~œʊ̯~
œʉ̯~œɤ̯̈~
œː~ʌʊ̯
o[40] GOAT no, toe, soap
ou̯ tow, folk
ɔʊ̯ o~oə̯~oʊ̯ ɔʊ̯ əʊ̯~ɒʊ̯~ɔʊ̯ soul, roll, cold
æɔ̯~æʊ̯ äʊ̯, ʌu̯~əu̯[47] äʊ̯~æʊ̯ äʊ̯ æu̯~ɛu̯ æɔ̯ au̯ ɘʉ̯ äʊ̯~äː~
æʊ̯
au̯ MOUTH now, trout
ɑr äː(ɹ) ɑɹ äː(ɾ) aːɹ~

äːɹ

ɐː(ɹ) ɑː(ɹ) ɐ̟ɾ äː(ɹ)~ɑː(ɹ)~
ɒː(ɹ)~ɔː(ɹ)
ɑ(ɹ) aː(ɾ) START arm, car
ɪər ɪː(ɹ)~
ɪː.ä(ɹ)
ɪɹ ~
iə̯ɹ
ɪə̯(ɾ)~
iː(ɾ)
iːɹ iə̯(ɹ)~
ɪə̯(ɹ),
eə̯[49]
ɪə̯(ɹ)~
ɪː(ɹ)
ɪə̯(ɹ)~
ɪː(ɹ)
jə(ɹ) ɪə̯(ɾ) NEAR deer, here
ɛər eː(ɹ)~
eː.ä(ɹ)
ɛɹ ɛ(ə̯)ɹ~
ɛə̯(ɾ)~
eː(ɾ)
eːɹ iə̯(ɹ)~
eə̯(ɹ)
ɛə̯(ɹ)~
ɛː(ɹ)[50]
ɛə̯(ɹ)~
ɛː(ɹ)~
eː(ɹ)
ɛ(ɹ) ɛː(ɾ) SQUARE mare, there, bear
ɔr oː(ɹ) ɔɹ ɔɹ~ ɒː(ɾ) ɑɹ oː(ɹ) oː(ɹ) ɔɾ ɔː(ɹ)~
oː(ɹ)
ɔ(ɹ) ɒː(ɾ) NORTH sort, warm
ɔər oːɹ oː(ɾ) FORCE tore, boar, port
ʊər ʉː.ə(ɹ)~
oː(ɹ)
ʊɹ ʊɹ~ɔɹ~ ʊə̯(ɾ)~
uː(ɾ)
uːɹ,
oːɹ
ʊɐ̯(ɹ)~
ʉː.ɐ(ɹ)
ɵː(ɹ)~
oː(ɹ)[51]
ʊə̯(ɹ)~
oː(ɹ)
wə(ɹ) ʊə̯(ɾ) CURE tour, moor
jʊər jʉː.ə(ɹ)~
joː(ɹ)
jʊɹ, jɝ~jɚ jʊə̯(ɾ)~
juː(ɾ)
juɹ, joːɹ jʊɐ̯(ɹ),
jʉː.ɐ(ɹ)
jɵː(ɹ)~
joː(ɹ)
juɾ jʊə̯(ɹ),
joː(ɹ)
jɔ(ɹ) ɪʊə̯(ɾ) pure, Europe
Dia-
phoneme
[1]
AuE
Australia
CaE
Canada
GA
United States
InE
India
IrE
Republic of Ireland
NZE
New Zealand
RP
United Kingdom
ScE
Scotland
SAE
South Africa
SSE
Singapore
WaE
Wales
Keyword Examples
IPA: Other symbols used in transcription of English pronunciation
IPA Explanation
ˈ Primary stress indicator (placed before the stressed syllable); for example, rapping /ˈræpɪŋ/
ˌ Secondary stress/full vowel indicator (placed before the stressed syllable); for example, pronunciation /prəˌnʌnsiˈeɪʃən/
. Syllable separation indicator; for example, ice cream /ˈaɪs.kriːm/ vs. I scream /ˌaɪ.ˈskriːm/
̩ ̍ Syllabic consonant indicator (placed under the syllabic consonant); for example, ridden [ˈɹɪdn̩]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d This is a compromise IPA transcription, which covers most dialects of English.
  2. ^ Pronounced [ɾ] in some positions in GA and Australian English, and is possible in RP in words like butter, [ʔ] in some positions in Scottish English, English English, American English and Australian English, and [t̞] non-initially in Irish English.
  3. ^ Pronounced [ɾ] in some positions in GA and Australian English.
  4. ^ /θ/ is pronounced as a dental stop [t̪] in Irish English, Newfoundland English, and New York English, merges with /f/ in some varieties of English English, and merges with /t/ in some varieties of Caribbean English. The dental stop [t̪] also occurs in other dialects as an allophone of /θ/.
  5. ^ /ð/ is pronounced as a dental stop [d̪] in Irish English, Newfoundland English, and New York English, merges with /v/ in some varieties of English English, and merges with /d/ in some varieties of Caribbean English. [d̪] also occurs in other dialects as an allophone of /ð/.
  6. ^ The glottal fricative /h/ is often pronounced as voiced [ɦ] between vowel sounds and after voiced consonants.
  7. ^ /h/ is pronounced [ç] before the palatal approximant /j/, and sometimes before high front vowels.
  8. ^ The bilabial nasal /m/ is pronounced as labiodental [ɱ] before f and v, as in symphony [ˈsɪɱfəni], circumvent [ˌsɝkəɱˈvɛnt], some value [ˌsʌɱˈvæɫjuː].
  9. ^ In some dialects, such as Brummie, words like ringer, sing /ˈɹɪŋə ˈsɪŋ/, which have a velar nasal [ŋ] in most dialects, are pronounced with an additional /ɡ/, like "finger": /ˈɹɪŋɡə/.
  10. ^ Velarized [ɫ] traditionally does not occur in Irish English; clear or plain [l] does not occur in Australian, New Zealand, Scottish, or American English. RP, some other English accents, and South African English, however, have clear [l] in syllable onsets and dark [ɫ] in syllable rimes.
  11. ^ L-vocalization as [ɤ] is prevalent in Standard Singapore English.
  12. ^ L-vocalization as [w], [o], and [ʊ] occurs in New Zealand English and many regional accents not included in the chart, such as Cockney, New York English, Estuary English, Pittsburgh English, and African-American Vernacular English.
  13. ^ The tap [ɾ] is found in some varieties of Scottish and Irish English.
  14. ^ R-labialization as [ʋ] is found in some accents in Southern England.
  15. ^ Some dialects, such as Scottish English, Irish English, and many American South and New Englan dialects, distinguish voiceless [ʍ] from voiced [w]; see winewhine merger and voiceless labiovelar approximant.
  16. ^ Marginal in most accents, and otherwise merged with /k/, see Lock–loch merger.
  17. ^ This common English interjection is usually pronounced with [x] in unscripted spoken English, but it is most often read /ʌɡ/ or /ʌk/
  18. ^ /ɔː, aʊ, ɔɪ/ are never reduced. In some dialects, such as Australian, all reduced vowels become [ə].
  19. ^ Harrington, Cox & Evans (1997)
  20. ^ Kenyon & Knott (1953)
  21. ^ Kenyon (1950)
  22. ^ a b Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009)
  23. ^ Sailaja (2009:19–26)
  24. ^ Wells (1982:422)
  25. ^ Bauer et al. (2007:97–102)
  26. ^ Roach (2004:241–243). See Pronunciation respelling for English#International Phonetic Alphabet for the alternative system devised by Clive Upton for Oxford University Press dictionaries.
  27. ^ "Case Studies – Received Pronunciation Phonology – RP Vowel Sounds". British Library. 
  28. ^ Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006:7)
  29. ^ Bekker (2008)
  30. ^ Lass (2002:111–119)
  31. ^ Coupland (1990:93–136)
  32. ^ See bad–lad split for this distinction.
  33. ^ In most of the United States (with high dialectal variation), and to a lesser degree in Canada, special /æ/ tensing systems occur.
  34. ^ Suzanna Bet Hashim and Brown, Adam (2000) 'The [e] and [æ] vowels in Singapore English'. In Adam Brown, David Deterding and Low Ee Ling (eds.) The English Language in Singapore: Research on Pronunciation, Singapore: Singapore Association for Applied Linguistics ISBN 981-04-2598-8, pp. 84–92.
  35. ^ Often transcribed /a/ for RP, for example in dictionaries of the Oxford University Press.
  36. ^ Deterding, David (2003) 'An instrumental study of the monophthong vowels of Singapore English', English World Wide, 24(1), 1–16.
  37. ^ ɒ~ɔ occurs in American accents without the cot–caught merger (about half of today's speakers); the rest have ɑ.
  38. ^ In American accents without the cot–caught merger, the LOT vowel (generally written o) appears as ɒ~ɔ instead of ɑ before the fricatives /f/, /θ/ and /s/ and the velar nasal /ŋ/; also usually before /ɡ/, especially in single-syllable words (dog, log, frog, etc.), and occasionally before /k/ (as in chocolate). See lot–cloth split. In American accents with the cot–caught merger (about half of today's speakers), only ɑ occurs.
  39. ^ It is not clear whether this a true phonemic split, since the distribution of the two sounds is predictable; see Kit–bit split.
  40. ^ a b Deterding, David (2000) 'Measurements of the /eɪ/ and /oʊ/ vowels of young English speakers in Singapore'. In Adam Brown, David Deterding and Low Ee Ling (eds.), The English Language in Singapore: Research on Pronunciation, Singapore: Singapore Association for Applied Linguistics, pp. 93–99.
  41. ^ Mary W.J. Tay (1982). "'The phonology of educated Singapore English'". English World-Wide "3" ("2"): 135–45. doi:10.1075/eww.3.2.02tay. 
  42. ^ Often transcribed /e/ for RP, for example in Collins English Dictionary.
  43. ^ a b c d e f See Fern–fir–fur merger for this distinction in some varieties.
  44. ^ Sometimes transcribed for GA as [əɹ], especially in transcriptions that represent both rhotic and non-rhotic pronunciations, as [ə(ɹ)].
  45. ^ The STRUT vowel in BrE is highly variable in the triangle defined by ə, ʌ and ɑ, see 'STRUT for Dummies'
  46. ^ In Welsh English, you, yew and ewe are /juː/, /jɪu/ and /ɪu/ respectively; in most other varieties of English they are homophones.
  47. ^ a b Some dialects of North American English have a vowel shift called Canadian raising, in which the first element of the diphthongs /aɪ, aʊ/ is raised in certain cases, yielding [ɐɪ̯, ʌʊ̯] or [əi̯, əʊ̯]. Canadian English has raising of both diphthongs, but most dialects in the United States only have raising of /aɪ/. In monosyllables, raising occurs before voiceless consonants, so right [ɹʷɐi̯t] and out [ʌu̯t] have raised vowels, but eyes [aɪz] and loud [laʊd] do not.
  48. ^ Lee, Ee May and Lim, Lisa (2000) ' Diphthongs in Singaporean English: their realisations across different formality levels, and some attitudes of listeners towards them. In Adam Brown, David Deterding and Low Ee Ling (eds.), The English Language in Singapore: Research on Pronunciation, Singapore: Singapore Association for Applied Linguistics, pp. 100–111.
  49. ^ This is especially common amongst young speakers.
  50. ^ While the actual pronunciation is [ɛə(ɹ) ~ ɛː(ɹ)], it can also be transcribed /eə(ɹ)/.
  51. ^ Roach (2004) notes that many people in England use [] for this vowel, but also that RP traditionally distinguishes between maw /mɔː/ and moor /mʊə/, tore /tɔː/ and tour /tʊə/, as well as paw /pɔː/ and poor /pʊə/. If one wishes to make that distinction today it would be best to use ɵ instead of ʊə. This will lead to tore as toː and tour as tɵː.

References[edit]

  • Bauer, L.; Warren, P.; Bardsley, D.; Kennedy, M.; Major, G. (2007). "New Zealand English". Journal of the International Phonetic Association 37 (1): 97–102. doi:10.1017/S0025100306002830. 
  • Bekker, Ian (2008). "The vowels of South African English" (PDF). 
  • Coupland, Nikolas (1990). English in Wales: Diversity, Conflict, and Change. ISBN 1-85359-032-0. 
  • Gimson, A. C. (1980). An Introduction to the Pronunciation of English (3rd ed.). London: Edward Arnold. ISBN 0-7131-6287-2. 
  • Harrington, J.; Cox, F.; Evans, Z. (1997). "An acoustic phonetic study of broad, general, and cultivated Australian English vowels". Australian Journal of Linguistics 17: 155–84. doi:10.1080/07268609708599550. 
  • Kenyon, John S. (1950). American Pronunciation (10th ed.). Ann Arbor: George Wahr. 
  • Kenyon, John S.; Knott, Thomas A. (1953) [1944]. A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster. ISBN 0-87779-047-7. 
  • Lass, Roger (2002). "South African English". In Mesthrie, Rajend. Language in South Africa. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521791052. 
  • Mannell, R.; Cox, F.; Harrington, J. (2009). An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology. Macquarie University. 
  • Roach, Peter (2004). "British English: Received Pronunciation". Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (2): 239–245. doi:10.1017/S0025100304001768. 
  • Sailaja, Pingali (2009). Indian English. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press Ltd. pp. 17–38. ISBN 9780748625949. 
  • Schneider, Edgar W.; Kortmann, Bernd (2004). A Handbook of Varieties of English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-017532-0. 
  • Scobbie, James M.; Gordeeva, Olga B.; Matthews, Benjamin (2006). "Acquisition of Scottish English Phonology: an overview". Edinburgh: QMU Speech Science Research Centre Working Papers. 
  • Wells, John C. (2000). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (2nd ed.). Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Limited. ISBN 0-582-36468-X. 
  • Wells, John C. (1982). Accents of English. II: The British Isles. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-28541-0. 

External links[edit]