7 bit representation of the IPA

Representation of IPA with ASCII

The IPA is a relatively complex system of symbols, intended to facilitate the representation of every sound speakable by humans. It uses many symbols not in the latin alphabet, and as such is not directly renderable in 7-bit ASCII. For that matter, it's not even directly representable in ISO-Latin-1. So until Unicode becomes more standard, users of IPA on the internet have two options: make graphics or fake it up with ASCII. As for the former, check out my webfont, used to do these pages, but in email and in newsgroups and other text-only media, even graphics are out.

Unicode is a lot better supported now than when I first did these pages in 1997, but still not perfect. Recent-model web browsers can handle it (assuming the correct fonts are installed), though there are still a lot of people using older browsers, and of course mailing lists and newsgroups still have difficulty with it. In any case, to insert Unicode into HTML, you type � into your document, replacing "000" with the hex codes given below. For instance, if I type "ɐ", I get "ɐ"---that's a turned a, in case your browser doesn't display it right. Your own authoring software may give you a less painful way to do this. The leftmost column below has the IPA in this form, and is pasteable text on systems that support that. (I've left the graphical version in for those whose browsers don't do Unicode yet.)

For those who want to use a unicodeless forum, or appeal to a broader audience, then, we have ASCII-IPA. The problem is, no representation is perfect; different systems are better for different purposes. Here, though, are several commonly used ASCII-IPA systems: Kirshenbaum, Coutts-Barrett, Branner, Carrasquer, and SAMPA. Kirshenbaum is popular among hobbyists because it tries to stay close to the physical representation of ASCII, or else have a decent mnemonic, for most things. SAMPA seems more popular among professional linguists for reasons which elude me. And of course, in addition to these schemes you will see various home-grown schemes which may or may not be marked as such.

But notice that the most commonly used IPA symbols tend to be pretty uniform among all the schemes. Usually if an author uses one of the more esoteric bits of IPA, e will specify what scheme e's using to transcribe it to ASCII. And without further ado...

IPA Unicode Kirsh. CB Bran. Carr. SAMPA Description
a U+0061 a a a a a Cardinal vowel 4: open front unrounded ("lower-case a")
ɐ U+0250 ;a a& a" 6 Almost fully open central unrounded vowel ("turned a")
ɑ U+0251 A @ A A A Cardinal vowel 5: open back unrounded ("script a")
ɒ U+0252 A. ;@ A& A" Q Cardinal vowel 13: open back rounded ("turned script a")
U+00E6 & .ae ae) & { Almost fully open front unrounded vowel ("ash")
ʌ U+028C V ;v v& A* V Cardinal vowel 14: open mid back unrounded ("inverted v")
b U+0062 b b b b b Voiced bilabial stop ("lower-case b")
ɓ U+0253 b` (b b$ b" Voiced bilabial implosive ("hooktop b")
ʙ U+0299 b<trl> B B B" B\ Bilabial trill ("small capital b")
β U+03B2 B |B V B B Voiced bilabial fricative ("beta")
c U+0063 c c c c c Voiceless palatal stop ("lower-case c")
U+0063 U+02BC c' c` Palatal ejective
U+00E7 C >c c" C C Voiceless palatal fricative ("c cedilla")
ɕ U+0255 &c ci) c" s\ Voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative ("curly-tail c")
d U+0064 d d d d d Voiced alveolar stop ("lower-case d")
U+0064 U+032a d[ Voiced dental stop
ɗ U+0257 d` (d d$ d" Voiced dental/alveolar implosive ("hooktop d")
ɖ U+0256 d. <d dr) d. d` Voiced retroflex stop ("right-tail d")
U+00F0 D -d D D D Voiced dental fricative ("eth")
e U+0065 e e e e e Cardinal vowel 2: close-mid front unrounded ("lower-case e")
ə U+0259 @ ;e @ @ @ Mid central vowel ("schwa")
ɚ U+025a R Rhotic mid central vowel ("right-hook schwa")
ɘ U+0258 @ 9 e& e" @\ Close-mid central unrounded vowel ("reversed e")
ɛ U+025b E ;3 E E E Cardinal vowel 3: open-mid front unrounded ("epsilon")
E alt
ɜ U+025c V" 3 E& E" 3 Open-mid central unrounded vowel ("reversed epsilon")
;E alt
ɝ U+025d R<umd> Rhotic open-mid central unrounded vowel ("right-hook reversed epsilon")
ɞ U+025e O" W E" E* 3\ Open-mid central rounded vowel ("closed epsilon")
f U+0066 f f f f f Voiceless labiodental fricative ("lower-case f")
ɡ U+0261 g g g g g Voiced velar stop ("lower-case g")
d<lbv> g))b Voiced labiovelar stop ("g-b tie")
ɠ U+0260 g` (g g$ g" Voiced velar implosive ("hooktop g")
ɢ U+0262 G G G G" Voiced uvular stop ("small capital g")
ʛ U+029b G` (G G$ G* Voiced uvular implosive ("hooktop small capital g")
ɣ U+0263 Q &V g" G G Voiced velar fricative ("gamma")
ˠ U+02e0 ~ g^ _G Velarized diacritic ("superscript gamma")
ɤ U+0264 o- &v U" o* 7 Cardinal vowel 15: close-mid back unrounded ("baby gamma")
h U+0068 h h h h h Voiceless glottal fricative ("lower-case h")
ʰ U+02b0 <h> ^h h^ _h Aspirated diacritic ("superscript h")
ħ U+0127 H -h h- H X\ Voiceless pharyngeal fricative ("crossed h")
ɦ U+0266 h<?> (h h" h" h\ Voiced glottal fricative ("hooktop h")
ɧ U+0267 (h) Sx) S* x\ Simultaneous S and x ("hooktop heng")
ɥ U+0265 j<rnd> ;h h& w" H Voiced labial-palatal approximant ("turned h")
ʜ U+029c H H H" H\ Voiceless epiglottal fricative ("small capital h")
i U+0069 i i i i i Cardinal vowel 1: close front unrounded ("lower-case i")
ɨ U+0268 i" -i i- i" 1 Close central unrounded vowel ("barred i")
ɪ U+026a I I I I I Almost fully close front unrounded vowel ("small capital i")
j U+006a j j j j j Palatal approximant ("lower-case j")
ʲ U+02b2 ; ^j j^ ', _j Palatalized diacritic ("superscript j")
ʝ U+029d C<vcd> &j j" j" j\ Voiced palatal fricative ("curly-tail j")
ɟ U+025f J -j j- J Voiced palatal stop ("barred dotless j")
ʄ U+0284 J` j$ J" Voiced palatal implosive ("barred esh")
k U+006b k k k k k Voiceless velar stop ("lower-case k")
U+006B U+02BC k` k' k` k` Velar ejective
t<lbv> k))p Voiceless labiovelar stop ("k-p tie")
k! ("turned k")
l U+006c l l l l l Alveolar lateral approximant ("lower-case l")
U+006C U+032A l[ Dental lateral
<lat> ^l l^ _l Lateral release diacritic ("superscript l")
ɫ U+026b ~l 5 ("l with tilde")
ɬ U+026c s<lat> &l l- s* K Voiceless alveolar lateral fricative ("belted l")
ɭ U+026d l. <l lr) l. l` Retroflex lateral approximant ("l with right tail")
ɮ U+026e z<lat> .lZ Z" z* K\ Voiced alveolar lateral fricative ("l-ezh ligature")
ʟ U+029f L L L L" L\ Velar lateral approximant ("small capital l")
m U+006d m m m m m Bilabial nasal ("lower-case m")
ɱ U+0271 M m) M M F Labiodental nasal ("m with leftward tail at right")
ɯ U+026f u- ;m W U" Cardinal vowel 16: close back unrounded ("turned m")
m& Alternate
ɰ U+0270 j<vel> ;|m W" W" M\ Velar approximant ("turned m with long right leg")
n U+006e n n n n n Alveolar nasal ("lower-case n")
U+006E U+032A n[ Dental nasal
^n n^ _n Nasal release diacritic ("superscript n")
ɲ U+0272 n^ |n nj) n" J Palatal nasal ("n with leftward hook at left")
ŋ U+014b N n) ng) N N Velar nasal ("eng")
n<lbv> ng)))m Labiovelar nasal ("eng-m tie")
ɳ U+0273 n. <n nr) n. n` Retroflex nasal ("n with right tail")
ɴ U+0274 n" N N N" N\ Uvular nasal ("small capital n")
o U+006f o o o o o Cardinal vowel 7: close-mid back rounded ("lower-case o")
ʘ U+0298 p! !* p! p! O\ Bilabial click ("bull's eye")
ɵ U+0275 @. -o o- e* 8 Close-mid central rounded vowel ("barred o")
U+00f8 Y % o" o" 2 Cardinal vowel 10: close-mid front rounded ("slashed o")
œ U+0153 &. .oe oe) O" 9 Cardinal vowel 11: open-mid front founded (o-e ligature)
ɶ U+0276 W .OE OE) &* & Cardinal vowel 12: open front rounded ("small capital o-e ligature")
ɔ U+0254 O ;c O O O Cardinal vowel 6: open-mid back rounded ("turned c")
c& Alternate
p U+0070 p p p p p Voiceless bilabial stop ("lower-case p")
U+0070 U+02BC p` p' p` p` Bilabial ejective
ɸ U+0278 F |o F P Voiceless bilabial fricative ("phi")
q U+0071 q q q q q Voiceless uvular stop ("lower-case q")
U+0071 U+02BC q` q' q` Uvular ejective
r U+0072 r<trl> r r r r Alveolar trill ("lower-case r")
ɾ U+027e * ;J d" r" Alveolar flap ("fish-hook r")
ɼ U+027c Rr) r* Retroflex trill ("r with long leg")
ɽ U+027d *. <r r" r. Retroflex flap ("r with right tail")
ɹ U+0279 r ;r r& R r\ Alveolar approximant ("turned r")
U+0072 U+032A r[ Dental approximant
ɻ U+027b r. <;r jr) R. r\` Retroflex approximant ("turned r with right tail")
ɺ U+027a *<lat> ;|r l" l" l\ Alveolar lateral flap ("turned long-legged r")
ʀ U+0280 r" R R R" Uvular trill ("small capital r")
ʁ U+0281 g" ;R R& R* R Uvular fricative ("inverted small capital r")
s U+0073 s s s s s Voiceless alveolar fricative ("lower-case s")
U+0073 U+02BC s` s` Alveolar fricative ejective
ʂ U+0282 s. <s sr) s. s` Voiceless retroflex fricative ("s with right tail")
s!
ʃ U+0283 S S S S S Voiceless postalveolar fricative ("esh")
t U+0074 t t t t t Voiceless alveolar stop ("lower-case t")
U+0074 U+032A t[ Voiceless dental stop
t̪ʼ U+0074 U+032A U+02BC t[` Voiceless dental ejective
U+0074 U+02BC t` t' t` t` Dental/alveolar ejective
ʈ U+0288 t. <t tr) t. t` Voiceless retroflex stop ("t with right tail")
θ U+03b8 T -O T T T Voiceless dental fricative ("theta")
u U+0075 u u u u u Cardinal vowel 8: close back rounded ("lower-case u")
ʉ U+0289 u" -u u- u" } Close central rounded vowel ("barred u")
ʊ U+028a U U U U U Almost fully close back rounded vowel ("upsilon")
v U+0076 v v v v v Voiced labiodental fricative ("lower-case v")
ʋ U+028b r<lbd> V v" V P, v\ Labiodental approximant ("script v")
w U+0077 w w w w w Voiced labial-velar approximant ("lower-case w")
ʷ U+02b7 <w> ^w w^ _w Labialized diacritic ("superscript w")
ʍ U+028d w<vls> ;w w& W W Voiceless labial-velar fricative ("inverted w")
x U+0078 x x x x x Voiceless velar fricative ("lower-case x")
χ U+03c7 X X X X X Voiceless uvular fricative ("chi")
y U+0079 y y y y y Cardinal vowel 9: close front rounded ("lower-case y")
ʎ U+028e l^ ;y y& L L Palatal lateral approximant ("turned y")
ʏ U+028f I. Y Y Y Y Almost fully close front rounded vowel ("small capital y")
z U+007a z z z z z Voiced alveolar fricative ("lower-case z")
ʑ U+0291 &z zi) z" z\ Voiced alveolo-palatal fricative ("curly-tail z")
ʐ U+0290 z. <z zr) z. z` Voiced retroflex fricative ("z with right tail")
ʒ U+0292 Z Z Z Z Z Voiced postalveolar fricative ("ezh")
ʔ U+0294 ? ? ? ? ? Glottal stop
Q Glottal stop (optional substitute for ?)
ʡ U+02a1 -? ?- ?" >\ Epiglottal plosive ("barred glottal stop")
ʕ U+0295 H<vcd> ;? ?& # ?\ Voiced pharyngeal fricative ("reversed glottal stop")
ʢ U+02a2 -;? ?" #" <\ Voiced epiglottal fricative ("barred reversed glottal stop")
?&- Alternate
ˤ U+02e4 <H> ^;? ?&^ _?\ Pharyngealized diacritic ("superscript reversed glottal stop")
ǃ U+01c3 c! !P r! c! !\ (Post)alveolar click ("exclamation point")
ǀ U+01c0 t! !D t! t! |\ Dental click ("pipe")
ǂ U+01c2 c! !# c! c! =\ Palatoalveolar click ("double-barred pipe")
ǁ U+01c1 l! !! l! l! |\|\ Alveolar lateral click ("double pipe")
| | Minor (foot) group ("pipe")
|| || Major (intonation) group ("double pipe")
̠ U+0320 _ _ _- Retracted diacritic ("under-bar")
̪ U+032a [ [ _d Dental diacritic ("subscript bridge")
̺ U+033a ] ] _a Apical diacritic ("subscript inverted bridge")
̟ U+031f + + _+ Advanced diacritic ("subscript plus")
̝ U+031d = _r Raised diacritic ("raising sign")
̞ U+031e =" _o Lowered diacritic ("lowering sign")
ˈ U+02c8 ' ' ' " Primary stress ("superior vertical stroke")
ˌ U+02cc , , , % Secondary stress ("inferior vertical stroke")
̩ U+0329 - $ ,) =, _= Syllabic diacritic ("syllabicity mark")
̚ U+031a <o> ^7 .) _} No audible release diacritic ("corner")
. U+002e . . Syllable break ("period")
ˑ U+02d1 . " ; :\ Half-long ("half-length mark")
̈ U+0308 " "^ _" Centralized diacritic ("umlaut")
̤ U+0324 <?> ;" h") _t Breathy voiced diacritic ("subscript umlaut")
ː U+02d0 : : : : Long ("length mark")
ʼ U+02bc ` ` Ejective ("apostrophe")
̥ U+0325 <o> ^o V) _0 Voiceless diacritic ("under-ring")
̊ U+030a Voiceless diacritic (use if character has descender)
̜ U+031c < U) _c Less rounded diacritic ("subscript left half-ring")
̹ U+0339 > u) _O More rounded diacritic ("subscript right half-ring")
̃ U+0303 ~ ~ ~^ ~, _~ Nasalized diacritic ("superscript tilde")
̴ U+0334 ~ = ~) _e Velarized or pharyngealized diacritic ("superimposed tilde")
̰ U+0330 ;~ ~ _k Creaky voiced diacritic ("subscript tilde")
̬ U+032c ^v v) _v Voiced diacritic ("subscript wedge")
̆ U+0306 . ' (^ _X Extra-short ("breve")
̯ U+032f ;$ ( _^ Non-syllabic diacritic ("subscript arch")
. )) _ Tie bar ("top ligature")
=) -\ Linking (absence of a break) ("bottom ligature")
̽ U+033d ^x x^ Mid-centralized diacritic ("superscript x")
˞ U+02de <r> ^r r^ ` Rhoticity diacritic ("rhoticity mark")
̻ U+033b [] [] _m Laminal diacritic ("subscript box")
̘ U+0318 < _A Advanced tongue-root diacritic ("advancing sign")
̙ U+0319 > _q Retracted tongue-root diacritic ("retracting sign")
̼ U+033c } { _N Linguolabial diacritic ("subscript seagull")
U+2197 ^ / Global rise ("diagonal up arrow")
U+2191 /) ^ Upstep ("up arrow")
U+2198 ;^ \ Global fall ("diagonal down arrow")
U+2193 \) ! Downstep ("down arrow")
̏ U+030f 1 11 _B (tones)
13 (tones)
15 _R (tones)
̀ U+0300 2 22 _L (tones)
31 _B_L (tones)
̄ U+0304 3 33 _M (tones)
35 _H_T (tones)
́ U+0301 4 44 _H (tones)
51 _F (tones)
53 (tones)
̋ U+030b 5 55 _T (tones)

Don Blaheta / dpb@cs.brown.edu