Talk:History of the International Phonetic Alphabet

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Why is the 1900 year table in French? - 22:34, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

hi. that is the language it was published in. – ishwar  (speak) 04:25, 22 December 2005 (UTC)


I've written a bit about the history of IPA's use in dictionaries, at Pronunciation respelling for English, with a couple of online references. Might be useful for this article. Cheers. Michael Z. 2006-08-17 08:01 Z

Near-close vowels[edit]

The charts uniformly give /ɪ, ʊ/ as the symbols for the near-close vowels. I'm pretty sure they were officially /ɩ, ɷ/ before 1989. This is confirmed also by Obsolete and nonstandard symbols in the IPA, so I'm changing it accordingly. User:Angr 19:00, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, they were, I have a resource that shows the old forms in the 1949 version of the IPA. The ikiroid (talk·desk·Advise me) 20:00, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Unrounded o[edit]

Another thing that's changed in the IPA is the symbol for the close-mid back unrounded vowel. The symbol used to be "baby gamma", with a flat top, which looked exactly like ɣ except without a descender. At some point (1989? 1993?) it was changed to "ram's horns", with a rounded top. The problem with showing this is that Unicode doesn't have separate characters for these: U+0264 LATIN SMALL LETTER RAMS HORN ɤ can, despite its name, be either "baby gamma" or "ram's horns" depending on the font. User:Angr 19:29, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

Well, the article close-mid back unrounded vowel uses actual images to distinguish the two. We could do that, but it may be easier to just create a link to close-mid back unrounded vowel. The ikiroid (talk·desk·Advise me) 01:40, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Aims and goals[edit]

Where did the "Formation of Aims and Goals" section come from? It seems to be uncited. Would it be reasonable to assume that it comes from the 1888 article by Paul Passy, cited in the bibliography? --Siva 00:32, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I haven't looked at that section yet, but I would bet either Principles or Handbook would cover it. --Kjoonlee 16:57, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

History unclear[edit]

Hi, I think it would be better to use a more chronological format, kind of like a changelog. The 1989 section mentions what changed with the 1993 version; this can be confusing, IMHO. --Kjoonlee 15:32, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

I was thinking I would have to get Pullum's Phonetic Symbol Guide to polish up this article, but Handbook seems to cover a lot of the history (at least indirectly) in the appendices. I'll see what I can do... --Kjoonlee 16:56, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Foundation of IPA: Places of articulation as alphabet[edit]

The ancient Tamil Grammar Tolkappiyam defines alphabet as the names of the places of articulation. Each place of articulation can produce a number of phonemes. The foundation for IPA is this principle of "Places of artiulation". One of the major functions of IPA is to identify, decribe and represent all of the possible phonemes under the title "Phonetic Alphabet". Sisrivas (talk) 11:42, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

First work to use apply IPA throughout[edit]

I would have thought that A Grammar of the Dialect of Windhill in 1893 by Joseph Wright would be a contender for this title? Does anyone know of other early linguistic works that made practical use of IPA? Epa101 (talk) 21:19, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

revisions of 1938, 1947 and 1951[edit]

Tsutomu Akamatsu, "A critique of the IPA chart (revised to 1951, 1979 and 1989)" has a copy of the 1951 revision. Should we fix the following sentence?

The alphabet has undergone a number of revisions during its history, with the 1932 version used for over half a century, until the IPA Kiel Convention of 1989.
And replace it with the following :
The alphabet has undergone a number of revisions during its history, with the 1951 version used for almost thirty years, until the IPA Kiel Convention of 1989.

The differences with the 1932 revision are:

  • ʓ and ʆ are in IPA-1951, not in IPA-1932
  • ř (IPA-1932) is replaced by ɼ in IPA-1951
  • ƞ and ɧ are in IPA-1951, not in IPA-1932
  • already ɪ (small capital i) in IPA-1932
  • ƾ and ƻ as alternatives to ts and dz are in IPA-1951, not in IPA-1932
  • the r-coloured eɹ, aɹ, ɔɹ, ... and alternatives eʴ, aʴ, ɔʴ, ... and ᶒ, ᶏ, ᶗ, ... are in IPA-1951, not in IPA-1932
  • the r-coloured əɹ, əʴ, ᶕ or ɚ are in IPA-1951, not in IPA-1932
  • tongue raised e˔ or e̝ and tongue lowered e˕ or e̞ in IPA-1951, but only tongue slightly raised ˔ and tongue slightly lowered ˕ in IPA-1932
  • tongue advanced u˖ or u̟, t˖ or t̟ and tongue retracted i˗ or i̠, t˗ or t̠ are in IPA-1951, not in IPA-1932

--Moyogo/ (talk) 19:07, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

There's also revisions for 1938 and 1947 in Le Maître phonétique. I'll note the differences. --Moyogo/ (talk) 12:17, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

non IPA[edit]

A non-IPA chart from 1888. Many of the symbols would end up being used by the IPA, but others, such as Greek τ δ ν for dental [t̪ d̪ n̪] and π μ for [p̪ m̪], would not be. Script and rotated letters would be used by the IPA, but not bold or italic typeface. This system includes a level of phonetic detail in its letters that the IPA transcribes with diacritics.

I removed the illustration of Wulff 1888. There were many phonetic transcription systems back then, IPA borrowed from many. We are not going to illustrate all those here, at least not with full charts. --Moyogo/ (talk) 05:31, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

It was an example, to clarify that the IPA was not created ex nihilo. We don't need to list them all just because we have one example. If you have a better example, great, but otherwise better this than nothing. — kwami (talk) 08:06, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
It think including the full charts of Wulff is misleading, as it would be for the systems of Müller, Lepsius, Powell, Böhmer, Ascoli, Rousselot, or Lundell. Also is Wulff's system relevant? Did anybody use it? Did IPA actually borrow from it? An illustration from Sweet's Romic alphabet would be much more on point since IPA did borrow from it. --Moyogo/ (talk) 09:39, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

What about the 2015 revision?[edit]

The International Phonetic Alphabet (revised to 2015).pdf

I think someone should add a few notes on the latest revision of 2015. Love —LiliCharlie (talk) 22:42, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

What are the differences? — Sebastian 07:33, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
There are hardly any, see the Association's page Full IPA Chart: "The 2015 chart makes minor changes to wording and layout, but otherwise reproduces the appearance of the 2005 chart. A few symbol substitutions have been made: [...]" As far as wording is concerned, the line of text underneath the pulmonic consonant table now reads "Symbols to the right in a cell are voiced, to the left are voiceless. [...]" instead of "Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a voiced consonant. [...]" — Maybe the article should just mention that although a revised version was published in 2015 no symbols were added or withdrawn, but the appearance/glyphs of a few symbols has very slightly changed. Love —LiliCharlie (talk) 11:20, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
I see; the text you quote is at I like your wording and will add it to the 2005 revision section. I will also rename that to 2005 revision and 2015 chart in analogy to the preceding section, with "chart", rather than "revision" or "update", being the name used at the full-ipa-chart. — Sebastian 15:35, 11 April 2016 (UTC)