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
b b voiced bilabial plosive English but
t t voiceless alveolar plosive English two, Spanish toma ('capture')
d d voiced alveolar plosive English do, Italian cade
ts ts voiceless alveolar affricate Italian calza, German zeit
dz dz voiced alveolar affricate Italian zona ('zone')
tS voiceless postalveolar affricate English chair, , Spanish mucho ('many')
dZ voiced postalveolar affricate English gin, Italian giorno
c c voiceless palatal plosive Hungarian tyúk 'hen'
J\ ɟ voiced palatal plosive Hungarian egy 'one'
k k voiceless velar plosive English skill
g ɡ voiced velar plosive English go
q q voiceless uvular plosive Arabic qof
p\ ɸ voiceless bilabial fricative Japanese fu
B β voiced bilabial fricative Catalan roba 'clothes'
f f voiceless labiodental fricative English fool, Spanish and Italian falso ('false')
v v voiced labiodental fricative English voice, German Welt
T θ voiceless dental fricative English thing, Castilian Spanish caza
D ð voiced dental fricative English this
s s voiceless alveolar fricative English see, Spanish sí ('yes')
z z voiced alveolar fricative English zoo, German See
S ʃ voiceless postalveolar fricative English she, French chemin
Z ʒ voiced postalveolar fricative French jour, English pleasure
C ç voiceless palatal fricative Standard German Ich
j\ (jj) ʝ voiced palatal fricative Standard Spanish ayuda
x x voiceless velar fricative Scots loch, Castilian Spanish ajo
G ɣ voiced velar fricative Greek γάλα ('milk')
  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
m m bilabial nasal English man
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
N ŋ velar nasal English ring, Italian bianco, 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
r\ ɹ alveolar approximant English run
R ʀ uvular trill Standard German Reich
P ʋ labiodental approximant Dutch Waar
w w labial-velar approximant English we, French oui
H ɥ labial-palatal approximant French huit
j j palatal approximant English yes, French yeux


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~] ).
  • [ : ] 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 vite, German mi.e.ten, Italian visto
I ɪ (small capital I) front closed unrounded vowel, but somewhat more

centralised and relaxed

English city, German mit
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 Herr, Männer,

Italian ferro, Catalan mes, Spanish perro

{ ae ligature, æ front open unrounded vowel English cat
y y front closed rounded vowel French du, German Tür
2 slashed o, ø front half closed rounded vowel French deux (hence '2'), German Höhle
9 oe ligature, œ front half open rounded vowel French neuf (hence '9'), German Hölle
1 overstroked i, i central closed unrounded vowel Russian мыс [m1s] 'cape'
@ ə (turned down e) schwa central neutral unrounded vowel English about, winner,German bitte
6 ɐ (turned down a) open schwa central neutral unrounded vowel German besser
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 da, barra, French bateau,

lac, 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, Vietnamese ư Korean 으
7 ɤ (squeezed Greek gamma) back half closed unrounded vowel Vietnamese ơ Korean 어
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, standard French âme
u u back closed rounded vowel English soon, Spanish tú, French

gt, German Hut, Italian azzurro, 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

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

SAMPA charts for specific languages[edit]