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What do all these squiggly character mean?

From:Peter Clark <pc451@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 20, 2002, 14:46
Hash: SHA1

On Wednesday 20 March 2002 08:14 am, Clint Jackson Baker wrote:
> Having no background in linguistics, I don't know what > certain sounds like c, K, and all those numbers and > braces are supposed to represent. Could someone help > me? (I will do what it takes to take a phonetics > class in grad school!)
I was just going to reply to Chris, but since this is a common question, I thought I would just respond en masse to the group, for anyone else who is confused over ASCII representations of the IPA. 90% of the people use SAMPA/X-SAMPA on this list, although some throw in a couple of modifications (like /&/ for /{/, which is used for the vowel in "cat" -- personally, I like /&/ because the same vowel is in "ampersand", twice). Anywho, bookmark these sites: SAMPA: X-SAMPA: (X-SAMPA is a more complete version of SAMPA, so you will probably only need to refer to this page.) Comparisons of several ASCII transcription systems, accompanied by images of the actual IPA character: This is good if someone if using non-standard X-SAMPA, like using /&/ for /{/. Ok, so that answers half your question; what do they represent? But what do they sound like? For that, visit which has recordings of different sounds in mp3 format. In this case, since you learned that /c/ is a voiceless palative stop (plosive), you just click on the /c/ on the Consonants (Pulmonic) page. For /K/, which is a voiceless lateral fricative (and a very beautiful sound), click on the "l" with a loop through it. To produce this sound, pretend that you are going to say "pull" but say "push" instead. If you don't move your tongue from its "l' position, but try to say "sh", air will flow around your tongue, instead of over it. Hence, _lateral_ fricative. HTH, :Peter -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.0.6 (GNU/Linux) Comment: For info see iD8DBQE8mKCaevbW9GDdlVARAsFvAKC1Ux6CnCQ7gAQJRJNK7NCypsrF3wCggXmC EGHr3uoPtL1QzH8BOS76EaU= =ouSZ -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----