Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet chart

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SAMPA charts of consonants and vowels

Note that a font supporting the Unicode IPA Extensions is needed to see the IPA characters.

Note that SAMPA is not a universal system; it varies from language to language. This chart shows the typical symbols used. For a universal system, see X-SAMPA; For use specific to English, see SAMPA chart for English.


(the paired signs are voiceless/voiced consonants)
  Bilabial Labio-
Dental Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
Nasal m F   n   J N      
Plosive and affricate
p b
t d
ts dz
tS dZ
c J\
k g
q G\
p\ B
f v
s z
C j\
x G
X\ ?\
h h\
Approximant central H P   r\   j w      
Lateral       l   L 5      

Note: It is common, especially in Spanish and Italian, to represent the alveolar trill with [rr] and the alveolar flap with [r]. In Spanish, too, [jj] is used to represent the palatal fricative against the semivowel [j]. It has been proposed to use [4] for the alveolar flap, in which case [r] can be used to represent the trill (as its equivalent in the IPA system), and [j\] for the palatal fricative, keeping in this way the policy of using one letter per one IPA symbol (and a backslash for alternative symbols).

Consonant modifiers:

  • [ ` ] after a consonant indicates retroflex.
  • [ _a ] apical (IPA subscript inverted bridge): [s_a] apical 's'
  • [ _d ] dental (IPA subscript bridge)
  • [ _G ] velarized diacritic (IPA superscript gamma)
  • [ _h ] aspirated diacritic (IPA superscript h)
  • [ _j, ' ] palatalized. (IPA superscript j)
  • [ _m ] laminal (IPA subscript box)
  • [ _w ] labialized diacritic (IPA superscript w)
  • [ _< ] implosive (voiced stops) (IPA hooktop)
  • [ _> ] ejective (voiceless stops)
  • [ _=, = ] syllabic, as in US bird [br\=d] (also written [b3`d]), bottle ["bOtl=], button ["bVtn=]

Simplified list of consonants[edit]

SAMPA IPA Description Examples
p p voiceless bilabial plosive English pen, Croatian pas ('dog')
b b voiced bilabial plosive English but, Polish brat ('brother')
t t voiceless alveolar plosive English two, Spanish tomar ('capture')
d d voiced alveolar plosive English do, Polish dom ('house')
ts ts voiceless alveolar affricate Italian calza ('sock'), German Zeit ('time')
dz dz voiced alveolar affricate Italian zona ('zone'), Canadian French dur ('hard')
tS voiceless postalveolar affricate English chair, Spanish mucho ('many')
dZ voiced postalveolar affricate English gin, Italian giorno ('day')
c c voiceless palatal plosive Hungarian tyúk ('hen'), Dutch schatje ('darling')
J\ ɟ voiced palatal plosive Hungarian egy ('one'), Czech dítě ('child')
k k voiceless velar plosive English skill, Spanish casa ('house')
g ɡ voiced velar plosive English go, Hungarian gép ('machine')
q q voiceless uvular plosive Arabic qof, Somali qaab
p\ ɸ voiceless bilabial fricative Japanese fu, Ainu fuchi
B β voiced bilabial fricative Catalan roba 'clothes', Spanish huevo 'egg'
f f voiceless labiodental fricative English fool, Spanish fama ('fame')
v v voiced labiodental fricative English voice, German Welt 'world'
T θ voiceless dental fricative English thing, Castilian Spanish caza 'hunt'
D ð voiced dental fricative English this, Icelandic fræði 'science'
s s voiceless alveolar fricative English see, Spanish sí ('yes')
z z voiced alveolar fricative English zoo, German sein 'to be'
S ʃ voiceless postalveolar fricative English she, French chou 'cabbage'
Z ʒ voiced postalveolar fricative French jour 'day', English pleasure
C ç voiceless palatal fricative Standard German ich 'I', Icelandic hjá 'next to'
j\ (jj) ʝ voiced palatal fricative Standard Spanish ayuda
x x voiceless velar fricative Scots loch, Spanish ajo
G ɣ voiced velar fricative Greek γάλα ('milk'), Icelandic saga ('story')
  ɰ velar approximant Spanish algo
X\ ħ voiceless pharyngeal fricative Arabic h.â
?\ ʕ voiced pharyngeal fricative Arabic 'ayn
h h voiceless glottal fricative English ham, German Hand
h\ ɦ voiced glottal fricative Hungarian lehet 'it can be'
m m bilabial nasal English man, French main 'hand'
F ɱ labiodental nasal Spanish infierno, Hungarian mfor
n n alveolar nasal English, Spanish and Italian no
J ɲ palatal nasal Spanish año, French oignon, Hungarian ny
N ŋ velar nasal English ring, Tagalog ngayón
l l alveolar lateral approximant English left, Spanish largo
L ʎ palatal lateral approximant Italian aglio, Catalan colla
5 ɫ velarized dental lateral English meal Catalan alga
4 (r) ɾ alveolar tap Spanish pero, Italian essere
r (rr) r alveolar trill Spanish perro, Italian terra
r\ ɹ alveolar approximant English run
R ʀ uvular trill Standard German Reich
P ʋ labiodental approximant Dutch Waar, Finnish vesi
w w labial-velar approximant English we, French oui
H ɥ labial-palatal approximant French nuit
j j palatal approximant English yes, Polish j


front near-front central near-back back
close iy 1} Mu
near-close IY U
close-mid e2 @\8 7o
mid @
open-mid E9 33\ VO
near-open { 6
open a& AQ

Vowel modifiers:

  • [ ~, _~ ] after a vowel indicates that it is nasalised (e.g. French bon [bO~], Portuguese sim [si~] ).
  • [ : ] after a vowel indicates that it is lengthened (e.g. Japanese shōshō [So:So:], English see [si:] ).
  • [ ` ] after a vowel indicates rhoticity (e.g. US English bird [b3`d] ).
  • [ _^ ] non syllabic vowel (IPA subscript arch)
SAMPA: simplified list of vowels
SAMPA IPA Description Examples
i i front closed unrounded vowel English see, Spanish sí, French vie, German wie, Italian visto
I ɪ (small capital I) front closed unrounded vowel, but somewhat more

centralised and relaxed

English city, German mit, Canadian French vite
e e front half closed unrounded vowel US English bear, Spanish él, French année, German mehr, Italian rete, Catalan més
E ɛ front half open unrounded vowel English bed, French même, German Männer, Italian ferro, Catalan mes, Spanish perro
{ ae ligature, æ front open unrounded vowel English cat, Finnish mäki
y y front closed rounded vowel French du, German Tür, Hungarian fül, Finnish hy
2 slashed o, ø front half closed rounded vowel French deux (hence '2'), German Höhle, Danish købe
9 oe ligature, œ front half open rounded vowel French neuf (hence '9'), German Hölle
1 overstroked i, i central closed unrounded vowel Polish mysz
@ ə (turned down e) schwa central neutral unrounded vowel English about, German bitte, Swedish beredd
6 ɐ (turned down a) open schwa central neutral unrounded vowel German besser, Catalan mare
3 ɜ (Greek epsilon mirrored to the left) front half open unrounded vowel, but somewhat more

centralised and relaxed

English bird
a a central open vowel Spanish barra, French bateau, German Haar, Italian pazzo
} overstroked u, ʉ central closed rounded vowel Scottish English pool, Swedish sju
8 overstroked o, ɵ central neutral rounded vowel Swedish kust
& small capital OE ligature, ɶ front open rounded vowel Swedish öra
M ɯ (upside-down m) back closed unrounded vowel Japanese fuji, Korean geu
7 ɤ (squeezed Greek gamma) back half closed unrounded vowel Korean eoreum, Estonian kõrv
V ʌ (turned down v) back half open unrounded vowel RP and US English run, enough
A ɑ ('d' with no upper tail) back open unrounded vowel English arm, US English law, Canadian French âme, Finnish alku
u u back closed rounded vowel English soon, Spanish tú, French gt, German Hut, Italian tutto
U ʊ (turned down small capital Greek omega) back closed rounded vowel somewhat more centralised

and relaxed

English put, (non-US)Buddhist, German Mutter
o o back half closed rounded vowel US English sore, Scottish English boat, Spanish yo, French beau, German Sohle, Italian dove, Catalan ona
O ɔ (c mirrored to the left) back half open rounded vowel British English law, caught, Italian cosa, Catalan dona, Spanish ojo, German Wort
Q ɒ ('b' with no upper tail) back open rounded vowel British English not, cough, Hungarian kar

Stress is indicated by ["] for primary stress, and [%] for secondary stress, placed before the stressed syllable.[1]

SAMPA charts for specific languages[edit]