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Thank GOD this page exists. KIRSHENBAUM 4 LYFE -Branddobbe 08:22, Feb 5, 2004 (UTC)

Differences from X-SAMPA[edit]

Like the more common SAMPA, the system uses lower-case letters to represent the directly corresponding IPA character. However, the mapping used to represent other characters often differs. For example— (list including several characters identical in SAMPA and Kirshenbaum)
Shouldn’t this list focus on characters that differ from SAMPA, like the sentence says? —Frungi 03:36, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree, and am about to shrink it a little. —Felix the Cassowary (ɑe hɪː jɐ) 12:57, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

I've fixed the vowel chart[edit]

Or so I want to believe! Firstly, I'm not Evan Kirshenbaum. Secondly, the diacritics " and - allow one to create symbols for sounds that are not even identified by the IPA, which makes me feel somewhat uneasy. I've added symbols for those sounds that I know exist. (For example, the open central rounded vowel is a phoneme in my dialect of German, and the near-open back unrounded vowel is what I was taught to be the realization of English <uh> as in <but>, though other accents of English pronounce it as [V], [&"] or [@] -- Kirshenbaum's accent does the latter.)

David Marjanović 2005/9/29 14:54 CET-summertime


Can anyone confirm how (a) dental non-sibilant affricates and (b) the voiced palatal affricate are represented in Kirshenbaum? Is it OK to write tT, dD and JC or must one write t[T, d[D and JC<vcd>?


How is the name Kirshenbaum pronounced? Samples in IPA and/or Kirshenbaum would be very nice. --Kjoonlee 03:45, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

I have e-mailed Mr Evan Kirshenbaum for help. I'll post an update when I get a reply. --Kjoonlee 06:19, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
I don't recall getting that, but for the record, it's [KRSn-bAm], at least in my name. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Evank (talkcontribs) 17:57, 8 September 2011 (UTC)


In Kirshenbaum, [r] doesn't represent the alveolar trill like in IPA, but the alveolar approximant. -- Dissident (Talk) 04:20, 14 February 2007 (UTC)


Is the name of this system actually "Kirshenbaum"? That smacks of neologism to me. Among people who use it, I've only heard it called "ASCII-IPA". AJD 14:39, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

I gave up years ago trying to stop people from calling it "Kirshenbaum notation" or, worse "Kirshenbaum". I have always called it "ASCII/IPA" or some variant, and I'd wholeheartedly endorse changing the name of the article. Evank (talk) 17:51, 8 September 2011 (UTC)


The system uses almost all lower-case letters to represent the directly corresponding IPA character, but unlike X-SAMPA has the notable exception of the letter 'r'.

I am completely unable to determine what this means. How is 'r' excepted, and what makes this notable? — (talk) 20:16, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Why X-SAMPA and Kirshenbaum?[edit]

Could someone describe (in the article of course) why there are two systems? I'd expect that X-SAMPA could do for early-internet the same. -DePiep (talk) 21:20, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Why did we decide to design a new system in 1991 rather than simply adopting the one that would be developed in 1995? I suspect that that question may be better addressed to the developers of X-SAMPA. The earlier SAMPA (which is described on the X-SAMPA wikipedia page as "a hack") already existed, but the first mention of it in sci.lang wasn't until 1993, and none of us were familiar with it.
I've long felt that this page could use a history section, but I've kind of had the impression that I wasn't supposed to edit it. If somebody wanted to add one, they might want to take a look at [1], which should probably be added to the external links:
In August of 1992, some of the readers of the Usenet newsgroups sci.lang and alt.usage.english got fed up with common in which posters tried to describe how words were pronounced (by them or in dialects under discussion) by reference to how other words were pronounced (by the author). Since individuals pronounce different words differently, this tended to lead to (occasionally interesting, but often merely) long, fruitless threads.
There already was a scheme occasionally used for noting transcription, but it suffered from (among other things) the fact that it was highly skewed toward describing English. This made it less than useful for the denizens of sci.lang.
Since there already existed a notation (the International Phonetic Alphabet, or IPA) for precisely specifying phonemic and phonetic values, several of us decided that it couldn't be too hard to put together a reasonable transcription scheme of IPA into 7-bit ASCII characters. We naturally had to allow some of the IPA symbols to map onto multiple characters (since there are more IPA symbols than ASCII characters), but we finally settled on a scheme in which each segment is represented by a single character, potentially followed by some number of "diacritics", which can either be single characters or delimited tokens. [We also came up with a very narrow feature-based representation for use when precision is needed or when no symbol completely fits the bill.] Unlike some other such attempts, we took it as a given that this transcription had to be directly readable, so each character needed to be at least somewhat evocative of its IPA value.
Evank (talk) 18:15, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
FWIW, Evan, I say feel free to edit. You have more value to add here than 99.999% of people do; and if you did anything COI-ish, anyone is free to challenge the specifics. IMO it would be a simpleton-minded distortion of the proper spirit of COI rules to claim that they would be adding or preserving value by barring you from touching the edit button on this article. I know there's the issue of idiots not comprehending that. I say take the chance; if your edits are helpful, it is highly probable that they will live in peace—that no one will bother to find fault with them. /2¢ — ¾-10 01:54, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Evan. I started the Background section. And wow, both X-SAMPA and K'baum are under 20 yrs?! How did those phoneticians work in the typewriter age. -DePiep (talk) 10:21, 9 September 2011 (UTC)