lunes, 4 de marzo de 2013

Symbols for American English Vowel Sounds


A typical dialect of American English has about 15 distinctive vowel sounds. Here their symbols are linked to Sun-style .au samples lifted from the ibiblio (Sunsite) archive (where they are listed without the .au extension).
  • The first symbol is the International Phonetic Association (IPA) symbol for the sound. (For the diphthongs, the American style of transcription is to use a -y where the standard IPA uses a 'j'.)
  • The second is the Sun name for the phoneme sample (which is in most cases the same as the symbol used by First Byte in Monologue for Windows and its DOS forebears).
  • The third symbol is the ipa-ascii symbol (an alphabet for use on Usenet groups and email).
  • The fourth column has the symbol that Rsynth displays in its verbose mode.
  • The fifth column contains the SAMPA symbol--as you can see, the differences among these alphabets are minor.
  • Each row concludes with a key word for the sound.

Front Vowels
IPA S u n IPAascii Rsynth Sampa KeyWord
h
i
g
h
l
o
w
IY i i i beet
IH IH I I I bit
EY EY eI eI e bait
EH EH E e E bet
AE & & { at
Back Vowels
IPA S u n IPAascii Rsynth Sampa KeyWord
h
i
g
h
.
l
o
w
UY u u u boot
UH U U U book
OW oU oU o boat
AO O O O cause
AA a/A A A cot 1
Central Vowels
IPA S u n IPAascii Rsynth Sampa KeyWord
AX @ @ @ about
AH V V V but2
Diphthongs
IPA S u n IPAascii Rsynth Sampa KeyWord
AY aI aI aI bite
OY OI OI OI boy
AW AU aU aU bough

Notes

Some would list "ju" (use not same as ooze

"R-colored" or rhoticized vowels (such as those in beard, heard, hard are hard to discriminate and are absent in "r-drop" or non-rhotic dialects such as those typical of the North American South and New England region, and Received Pronunciation in GB. In these latter dialects, the preceding vowel is usually lengthened and often glides toward the central schwa sound. IPA hangs a little "r-hook"diacritic off of the symbol for an r-colored vowel.

PhonAtlas logo A much higher level of magnification can be had from the Phonological Atlas of North America. Especially germane is the text and illustrations of William Labov's recent paper on acoustic analysis of data on variation, especially key Northern cities and Southern (US) vowel shifts. For the whole enchilada, see the National Map


 


An open mouth-from the side-looks something like this, the dotted line representing the space available between the top of the tongue and the roof of the mouth for producing vowel sounds.

The tongue moves up and down (aided by similar movement of the jaws), and forward and back, to change the size and shape of the mouth cavity, which acts as a resonant chamber to produce vowel sounds.

 

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