IPA Sounds and Symbols

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IPA Sounds and Symbols - Page Text Content

S: Sounds and Symbols of American English

FC: IPA Sounds and Symbols by Margaret Trolard Clouse

1: The Stop Consonants: /p/ /b/ /t/ /d/ /k/ /g/ | Do you hear what I hear? Patty cake patty cake baker's man bake me a cake as fast as you can-roll it, pat it and mark it with a B and put it in the oven for baby and me.

2: /p/ Voiceless Bilabial Stop Consonant The lips are brought together and vocal folds are abducted. Breath pressure builds behind the lips and then the lips are parted and the sound is released. Tendency of non-native speakers to weaken this sound. Common deviations include /b/ for /p/ before a vowel and omission of word-final /p/ | Pig Apple Soup

3: /b/ Voiced Bilabial Stop Consonant The lips are brought together and the vocal folds are adducted. Breath pressure builds behind the lips and when lips are parted the sound is released. Common deviations include word final position /b/ may be devoiced. | BED baby tub

4: /t/ Voiceless (Lingua) Alveolar Stop Lips are neutral but slightly parted. Front and sides of tongue touch upper gum. The tip of tongue touches the alveolar ridge. (velopharyngeal port is closed) Breath pressure builds up behind the tongue and gum ridge-tongue-gum ridge contact is broken as the sound is released. The vocal folds are abducted. | Table | Buttons | Cat

5: /d/ Voiced (Lingua) Alveolar Stop Lips are neutral but slightly parted. Front and sides of tongue touch upper gum. The tip of tongue touches the alveolar ridge. (Velopharyngeal port is closed) Breath pressure builds up behind the tongue and alveolar ridge. Tongue-gum ridge contact is broken as the sound is released. Vocal folds are adducted. | dog ladder bed

6: /K/ Voiceless (Lingua) Velar Stop. Lips are parted and neutral. Tongue back is raised to create seal (across soft palate, back molars and back gum ridge). There is buildup of breath pressure behind tongue-soft palate seal. Tongue-soft palate contact is broken as sound is released. The vocal folds are abducted. | cat cookie cake

7: /g/ Voiced (Lingua) Velar Stop Lips are apart and neutral. The back of tongue is raised (to create seal) across soft palate, back molars and back gum ridge. There is buildup of breath pressure behind the tongue-soft palate seal. The tongue-soft palate contact is broken as the sound is released. The vocal folds are adducted. | girl wagon egg

8: The Fricative consonants /f/ /v/ /s/ /z/ | Do you hear what I hear? Doodle doodle doo the princess lost her shoe. Her highness hopped, the fiddler stopped, not knowing what to do.

9: /f/ Voiceless Labiodental Fricative consonant. Open the mouth a little so that the front teeth almost touch each other then bring the bottom lip back a little-so it lightly touches the top teeth. With the lip and teeth touching softly push air out fast and you can hear the air move past the lips. ( Vocal folds abducted). | foot elephant leaf

10: /v/ Voiced Labiodental Fricative The mouth is open slightly so that the bottom teeth almost touch each other then bring your bottom lip back a little until it touches the bottom of the front teeth. With the lip and teeth touching push air out past the light closure and this creates the friction. (The vocal folds are adducted). | Valentine television five

11: Voiceless Interdental Fricatvie The mouth should open slightly so the teeth are close to each other and then put the tip of the tongue between that space-the rest of the tongue is flattened out. Keep tongue in that spot and push out air quickly. The air flows through the constriction. (Vocal folds are abducted). | thumb toothbrush mouth

12: This or that mother smooth | Voiced Interdental Fricative Open mouth slightly and shift the tongue forward so that the tip of the tongue rests in the space between the top and bottom teeth-the sides of the tongue are flattened out. Turn on your voice as you push air out quickly while breathing out and the air will make a sound as it is forced between the tongue and front teeth. Velopharyngeal port is closed (vocal folds are adducted)

13: /s/ Voiceless (Lingua) Alveolar Fricative Slightly part the lips and bring the teeth close together (but not touching). Put the tip of the tongue on the spot behind the top front teeth, the sides of the tongue should be flat and spread out so that they touch the teeth on the top row. The Velopharyngeal port is closed and air flow is through the groove in tongue, alveolar ridge and front teeth. | soup | castle | mouse

14: /z/ Voiced (Lingua) Alveolar grooved Fricative. The lips are slightly apart and the teeth are very close together. Put the tip of the tongue behind the upper front teeth and the sides of the tongue are spread out and softly touching the upper teeth on top- Turn voice on and feel the tip of tongue vibrate or tickle. Velopharyngeal port is closed. vocal folds adducted for voicing. | zoo music nose

15: Voiceless (lingua) Palatal (grooved) Fricative consonant. Mouth is opened a little so that teeth are almost touching, then put the tip of tongue down behind bottom teeth in front so you can feel soft smooth spot below the back of front teeth. The back sides of the tongue should touch upper teeth on the top. Bring teeth close together-but don't close mouth-then push air quickly through mouth and front teeth. | shoe dishes fish

16: Voiced (Lingua) Palatal (grooved) Fricative Consonant. Open mouth slightly, lips are rounded and pushed out a little, put tip of tongue behind the lower front teeth and raise the front of tongue toward hard palate. Sides of tongue are flattened and touching upper teeth on sides. Velopharyngeal port is closed-vocal folds are adducted for voicing and air flows through mouth, against palate, gum ridge and teeth- sound is produced by turbulence. | treasure garage

17: /h/ Voiceless Glottal Fricative Consonant. Open mouth slightly-the lips and tongue are positioned for following sound-the velopharyngeal port is closed and the vocal folds are only slightly adducted-the vocal tract is tensed and the sound is produced by airflow through the vocal tract causing turbulence at the glottis or oral cavity. | hand grasshopper

18: The Affricate consonants | Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water-Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.

19: voiceless Alveo-Palatal Affricate Consonant. Mouth is slightly open-lips are apart and slightly rounded. Tongue is moved forward with the tip and blade touching the upper gum ridge, front, and sides; on release, the tongue flattens along the palate forming a channel. Airflow is momentarily blocked by the seal formed by tongue and alveolar ridge-when released turbulence is created. | chair ketchup witch

20: Alveo-Palatal Affricate Consonant. Open mouth slightly-with lips apart-slightly rounded. Tongue is moved forward with tip and blade touching the upper gum ridge, front and sides; when released the tongue flattens along the palate forming a slightly grooved channel. Airflow is blocked by the contact between tongue and upper gum ridge-on release turbulence is created | jelly magic cage

21: The man in the moon looked out of the moon, looked out of the moon and said, tis time for all the children on earth to think about going to bed. | The nasal Consonants

22: /m/ Voice Bilabial nasal Consonant. The lips are brought together-the velopharyngeal port is open-and air is pushed through the nasal cavity. Vocal folds are adducted. | man | mama | ice cream

23: /n/ Voiced (LIngua) Alveolar Nasal Consonant. Lips are slightly parted-front and sides of tongue contact the upper gum ridge in front and back. The velopharyngeal port is open-vocal folds are adducted. Airflow is through nasal cavity. | nose | penny | sun

24: Singer | Voiced Velar Nasal Consonant. Lips are apart and neutral-back of tongue is raised to touch the soft palate, back molars and back upper gum ridge. Velopharyngeal port is open. Vocal folds are adducted and airflow is through the nasal cavity. | wing | spring

25: The Glide, liquid, and Lateral Consonants /j/ /w/ /r/ /l/ | Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn, the cow's in the meadow, the sheep's in the corn. Where is the little boy who looks after the sheep? He's under the haystack fast asleep!

26: /j/ Voiced(Lingua) Palatal (on) Glide Semivowel Consonant Lips are apart and neutral. The tip of tongue is placed high behind the top front teeth and slightly flattened toward the roof of mouth. Airflow is through the oral cavity and the velopharyngeal port is closed and vocal folds are adducted. | yellow | onion

27: /w/ Voiced Bilabial (Lingua-Velar or Palatal). (on-) Glide Semivowel Lips are rounded and pushed out, the tongue is up high in the back and then moves into position for the next sound that follows-the velopharyngeal port is closed and the vocal folds are adducted. Airflow passes though the vocal tract. | one sandwich

28: /r/ Voiced alveopalatal Glide (liquid) (Semivowel) Consonant. Open mouth a little and separate teeth then push your tongue up in the back and spread it wide between the top teeth in the back, keep it pulled back, then while you hold it in place curl the tip of the tongue up so it feels like a little bowl, but don't touch the top of your mouth. Turn your voice on as you breathe out and round your lips a little. | rabbit carrot car

29: /l/ Voiced (Alveolar) Lateral Consonant or lateral Relax jaw and let it drop down a little. Put the tip of the tongue on the bumpy part behind front teeth on top and make your tongue pointy, so sides of tongue are not touching the sides of teeth. Keep tip in that spot and breath out and turn voice on. | lamb | jell-o | doll

30: The Front Vowels | /i/ /e/

31: /i/ High Front unrounded Vowel Lips are slightly parted and the tongue is shifted forward and raised toward roof of mouth. The edges of tongue are touching the upper teeth on the sides-the tip of tongue is placed behind lower front teeth-there is tension at the root of the tongue. The Velopharyngeal port is closed-Vocal folds are adducted for voicing. | eagle | feet | key

32: Lower High-Front Lax (unrounded) Vowel Open mouth slightly and lips are relaxed and apart. The tip of the tongue is behind the lower front teeth and the front and body are shifted forward and raised up toward the roof of the mouth-so that there is contact with the back upper molars and gum ridge on the sides. The velopharyngeal port is closed and the vocal folds are adducted-air flow is through the oral cavity. | indian | pig | baby

33: /e/ Mid-Front Tense (unrounded) Vowel Lips are apart, the tongue is raised to the mid plane and shifted forward and the tip is placed behind the lower front teeth. The tongue touches the sides of the upper gum ridge and molars. The velopharyngeal port is closed and the vocal folds are adducted for voicing. | apron | cake | day

34: Lower Mid-Front Lax (unrounded) Vowel Lips are apart and neutral and the tip of the tongue is behind the lower front teeth, the body is shifted forward and raised to the mid plane so that the tongue touches the upper molars in the back. The velopharyngeal port is closed and the vocal folds are adducted and airflow is through the oral cavity. | egg | bed

35: Low-Front Lax (unrounded) vowel Open mouth with lips widely separated and neutral but pulled back a little on the sides. The tongue is shifted slightly forward but is low in the mouth so that it doesn't make contact with the upper molars- the tip of the tongue is behind the lower front teeth. The velopharyngeal port is closed and vocal folds are adducted and the airflow is through the oral cavity. | apple | cat

36: The Central Vowels

37: Lower Mid-to-Back Central Lax (Unrounded) Vowel Lips are apart neutral, the tongue is in the central plane-almost flat with slight arching (in post-central area) put tip of tongue behind lower front teeth-the velopharyngeal port is closed and the vocal folds are adducted for voicing. Airflow is through the oral cavity. | Sun | Oven

38: The neutral or reduced Vowel (schwa) | Lower jaw slightly with lips apart and neutral-the tongue is in the central plane-almost flat with slight arch in back central area; the tip is resting behind lower front teeth. Velopharyngeal port is closed and vocal folds are adducted for voicing. Airflow is through the oral cavity. | asleep | balloon | zebra

39: Mid-Central r-colored Tense Vowel | Slightly lower jaw-the lips are apart and slightly rounded. The tongue is in the central plane, slightly raised (from neutral) with back slightly arching. Tip of tongue is behind lower front teeth. Velopharyngeal port is closed and vocal folds are adducted for voicing. Airflow is through oral cavity. | earth | bird | fur

40: Mid-Central r-colored Lax Vowel. Slightly lower jaw-the lips are apart and slightly rounded. The tongue is in the central plane, slightly raised (from neutral) with back slightly arching. Tip of tongue is behind lower front teeth. Velopharyngeal port is closed and vocal folds are adducted for voicing. Airflow is through oral cavity. | afternoon | farmer

41: The Back Vowels | /u/ | /o/ | /a/ | Old King Cole was a merry old soul, and a merry old soul was he. He called for his pipe, he called for bowl, and he called for his fiddlers three.

42: /u/ High Back Tense Rounded Vowel Lips are rounded and protruded with a slight opening. Front of tongue is depressed and the body is shifted back and pushed up. Velopharyngeal port is closed and vocal folds are adducted for voicing. Breath pressure sets vocal fold into vibration-causing the resonating cavities of vocal tract to produce the /u/ sound. | boot | two

43: High-Back Lax Rounded Vowel. | Lips are rounded and protruded with a slight opening. Front of tongue is depressed and the body is shifted back and pushed up and touching the upper back molars. Velopharyngeal port is closed and vocal folds are adducted for voicing. Breath pressure sets vocal fold into vibration-causing the resonating cavities of vocal tract to produce the sound. | book

44: /o/ Mid-Back Tense Rounded Vowel Lower jaw and separate teeth, the lips are rounded and slightly pushed out. Tip of tongue is behind lower front teeth and the body of tongue is shifted back and up in the middle. The velopharyngeal port is closed and the vocal folds are adducted. Airflow is through the oral cavity. | oatmeal | boat | toe

45: Low Mid-Back Lax Rounded Vowel Lower jaw slightly-lips are rounded and pushed out. The front of tongue is slightly depressed while the back is pushed up-but no contact is made with upper back teeth-not as much tension as for /o/. The velopharyngeal port is closed and vocal folds are adducted for voicing. | auto | ball | paw

46: /a/ Low-Back Lax (Unround) Vowel Lower jaw slightly and lips are apart and neutral-tongue is low and almost flat-there is no contact between tongue and upper teeth. Velopharyngeal port is closed and vocal folds are adducted for voicing. | arm | car | mama

47: The Diphthongs | /ju/ | How now brown cow?

48: Rising Low-Front to High Front (off-glide) Diphthong (onset) Jaw is lowered-lips apart and neutral-tongue is low and flat in mouth,shifted slightly forward-little or no contact w/upper teeth. (offset) Jaw is raised-lips are apart and neutral-tongue move to high front space, with tip remaining at lower front teeth-tongue makes contact w/upper molars. Velopharyngeal port is closed throughout and vocal folds are adducted for voicing. | kite

49: Rising Low-Front to HIgh Back (off-glide) Diphthong (onset) Lower jaw-lips are apart and relaxed-tongue is shifted slightly forward and low in the mouth w/no contact with upper teeth. (offset) Jaw is raised-lips are rounded and pushed out-tongue shifts to high-back position but tip stays at lower front teeth-contact is made with back upper teeth. | cow

50: Rising Mid-Back to High-Front (offglide) Diphthong onset-Jaw is lowered slightly and lips are pushed out and slightly rounded-tongue is in the low-mid plane and shifted back slightly. offset-Jaw is raised slightly and lips are apart and neutral-tongue moves to the high-front space and contacts the upper molars. Velopharyngeal port is closed and vocal folds are adducted for voicing. | toy

51: /ju/ High-Front to High-Back (on-glide) Diphthong onset-Jaw is slightly lowered-lips are apart and relaxed-tip of tongue is at the lower front teeth while the body is raised and flattened toward the roof of mouth (and shifted forward). Contact is made with the upper teeth during production. offset-Lips are rounded and pushed out-tongue tip remains behind lower front teeth and the body of tongue is shifted back to high position as when making /u/. The velopharyngeal port is closed and vocal folds are adducted for voicing. | blue

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  • Title: IPA Sounds and Symbols
  • IPA symbols with description of how to make each English sound.
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  • Published: about 4 years ago