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Throughout Wikipedia, the pronunciation of words is indicated by means of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The following tables list the IPA symbols used for English words and pronunciations. Please note that several of these symbols are used in ways that are specific to Wikipedia and differ from those used by dictionaries. If the IPA symbols are not displayed properly by your browser, see the links below. If you are adding a pronunciation using this key, such pronunciations should generally be formatted using the template . The template provides tooltips for each symbol in the pronunciation. See the template page for instructions.

Key

If there is an IPA symbol you are looking for that you do not see here, see Help:IPA, which is a more complete list. For a table listing all spellings of the sounds on this page, see . For help converting spelling to pronunciation, see . The words given as examples for two different symbols may sound the same to you. For example, you may pronounce ''cot'' and ''caught'' the same, ''do'' and ''dew'', or ''marry'' and ''merry''. This often happens because of dialect variation (see our articles English phonology and International Phonetic Alphabet chart for English dialects). If this is the case, you will pronounce those symbols the same for other words as well. Whether this is true for all words, or just when the sounds occur in the same context, depends on the merger.For example, if you have the ''marry–merry'' merger, you probably only merge and before . You would still distinguish ''man'' and ''men''. The footnotes explain some of these cases. | | style="text-align: left" | mirror |- | | style="text-align: left" | , pedigree, idea | | style="text-align: left" | , serious |- | | style="text-align: left" | | rowspan="2" | | style="text-align: left" | , hoarse |- | | | style="text-align: left" | | style="text-align: left" | , horse |- | | style="text-align: left" | | | style="text-align: left" | coir |- | | style="text-align: left" | | | style="text-align: left" | courier |- | | style="text-align: left" | , cruel | | style="text-align: left" | tour, |- | rowspan="2" | | rowspan="2" style="text-align: left" | , untidy, trustee | | style="text-align: left" | , blurry, urbane, foreword |- | | style="text-align: left" | hurry |- ! colspan="4" |Weak vowels |- ! IPA !! Examples !! IPA !! Examples |- | | style="text-align: left" | , abbot, bazaar | | style="text-align: left" | , forward, history |- | | style="text-align: left" | rabbit, bizarre, Latin, heating | | style="text-align: left" | motto, retroactive, follower |- | | style="text-align: left" | , mediocre | | style="text-align: left" | California |- | | style="text-align: left" | fruition | | style="text-align: left" | influence |- ! colspan="4" | Syllabic consonants |- ! IPA !! Examples !! IPA !! Examples |- | rowspan="2" | | rowspan="2" style="text-align: left" | bottle | | style="text-align: left" | button |- | | style="text-align: left" | rhythm |- | colspan="4" style="border-left: #fff solid 1px; border-right: #fff solid 1px; background:#fff" |   |- ! colspan="2" | Stress ! colspan="2" | Syllabification |- ! IPA !! Examples ! IPA !! Examples |- | | rowspan="2" style="text-align: left" | | rowspan="2" | | rowspan="2" style="text-align: left" | ,
|- | Notes * Words in are the standard lexical sets. * The length mark does not mean that the vowels transcribed with it are always longer than those without it. When unstressed, followed by a voiceless consonant, or in a polysyllabic word, a vowel in the former group is frequently shorter than the latter in other environments (see ).

Dialect variation

This key represents diaphonemes, abstractions of speech sounds that accommodate General American, Received Pronunciation (RP) and to a large extent also Australian, Canadian, Irish (including Ulster), New Zealand, Scottish, South African and Welsh pronunciations. Therefore, not all of the distinctions shown here are relevant to a particular dialect: * does not represent a phoneme but a variation between and in unstressed positions. Speakers of dialects with ''happy'' tensing (Australian English, General American, modern RP) should read it as an unstressed , whereas speakers of other dialects (e.g. some Northern England English) should treat it the same as . In Scotland, this vowel can be considered the same as the short allophone of , as in ''take''. Before within the same word, another possible pronunciation is as in ''yet''. * Many speakers of American and Canadian English pronounce ''cot'' and ''caught'' the same. You may simply ignore the difference between the symbols and , just as you ignore the distinction between the written vowels ''o'' and ''au'' when pronouncing them. * Speakers of rhotic dialects (Irish English, North American English, Scottish English) do not distinguish between the vowels of ''near'' , ''cure'' and ''square'' on the one hand and ''freerunning'' , ''Q-rating'' and ''dayroom'' on the other. If you speak such a dialect, read as . * In Northern Ireland, Scotland and many North American dialects the distinction between as in ''courier'' and the aforementioned and does not exist. If you speak such a dialect, ignore the difference between , and . ** In Northern Ireland and Scotland this merger occurs in all environments, which means that ''foot'' and ''goose'' also have the same vowel. If you speak such a dialect, ignore the difference between and in all contexts. ** In North America, the of ''courier'' and the of ''cure'' may instead merge with as in ''north'' or as in ''nurse''. No such merger is possible in the case of the sequence which we transcribe as as there is an implied morpheme boundary after the length mark. ** In North American dialects that do not distinguish between , and there is also no distinction between the of ''mirror'' and the aforementioned and . If you speak such a dialect, ignore the difference between , and . ** In many North American dialects there is also no distinction between the vowels in ''merry'' , ''Mary'' and ''marry'' . If you speak such a dialect, ignore the difference between , and . Some speakers keep ''marry'' and/or ''merry'' separate from the rest, but in the General American accent all three vowels are the same and may not be distinct from as in ''dayroom'' . ** In rhotic North American English there is no distinction between the vowels in ''nurse'' and ''letter'' . If you speak such a dialect, read as . The of ''hurry'' often joins this neutralization; if you have it in your speech, read , and as . * Some speakers from Northern England do not distinguish the vowel of ''square'' and ''nurse'' . If you speak such a dialect, ignore the difference between the symbols and . * In New Zealand English, the vowels of ''kit'' and ''focus'' have the same schwa-like quality. If you are from New Zealand, ignore the difference between the symbols and . * In contemporary New Zealand English and some other dialects, the vowels of ''near'' and ''square'' are not distinguished. If you speak such a dialect, ignore the difference between the symbols and . * In Northern England English, the vowels of ''foot'' and ''strut'' are not distinguished. If you are from Northern England, ignore the difference between the symbols and . * In Welsh English and some other dialects, the vowels of ''unorthodoxy'' and ''an orthodoxy'' are not distinguished. If you speak such a dialect, ignore the difference between the symbols and . * Depending on the dialect, vowels can be subject to various mergers before , so that e.g. ''fill'' and ''feel'' or ''pull'' and ''pool'' may not be distinguished. L-vocalization may trigger even more mergers, so that e.g. ''cord'' and ''called'' may be homophonous as in non-rhotic dialects of South East England. See English-language vowel changes before historic /l/ for more information. * In many dialects, occurs only before a vowel; if you speak such a dialect, simply ignore in the pronunciation guides where you would not pronounce it, as in ''cart'' . * In other dialects, (yes) cannot occur after , etc., within the same syllable; if you speak such a dialect, then ignore the in transcriptions such as ''new'' . For example, ''New York'' is transcribed . For most people from England and for some New Yorkers, the in is not pronounced; for most people from the United States, including some New Yorkers, the in is not pronounced and may be ignored. (See ''yod-dropping''.) On the other hand, there are some distinctions which you might make but which this key does not encode, as they are seldom reflected in the dictionaries used as sources for Wikipedia articles: * The vowels of ''kit'' and ''bit'', distinguished in South Africa. Both of them are transcribed as in stressed syllables and as or in unstressed syllables. * The difference between the vowels of ''fir'', ''fur'' and ''fern'', maintained in some Scottish and Irish English but lost elsewhere. All of them are transcribed as . * The vowels of ''north'' and ''force'', distinguished in Scottish English, Irish English and by a minority of American speakers. Both of them are transcribed as . * The vowels of ''pause'' and ''paws'', distinguished in Cockney and by some Estuary English speakers. Both of them are transcribed as when the spelling does not contain and or (depending on the word) when it does. * The vowels of ''manning'' and ''Manning'', distinguished in some parts of the United States (see raising). Both of them are transcribed as . * The difference between the vowels of ''pain'' and ''pane'' found in some English, Welsh, and Newfoundland dialects. Both of them are transcribed as . * The difference between the vowels of ''holy'' and ''wholly'' found in Cockney and many Estuary English speakers. Both of them are transcribed as . * Any allophonic distinctions, such as: ** The vowels of ''bad'' and ''lad'', distinguished in many parts of Australia. Both of them are transcribed as . ** The vowels of ''spider'' and ''spied her'', distinguished in many parts of Scotland, plus many parts of North America. Both of them are transcribed as . ** The vowels of ''rider'' and ''writer'', distinguished in most parts of Canada and many parts of the United States. Both of them are transcribed as . ** The vowels of ''powder'' and ''pouter'' distinguished in most parts of Canada and some parts of the United States. Both of them are transcribed as . ** Allophonic vowel length (including the Scottish vowel length rule), as in ''knife'' vs. ''knives'' . Phonemic vowel length, which exists in some dialects and involves pairs such as vs. and vs. is also not marked explicitly. and do not represent phonemes; see above. ** Flapping in words such as ''better'', which we write , rather than . ** Glottalization in words such as ''jetlag'' and, in some accents, ''daughter'', which we write and , rather than and . In this system, is used only for paralanguage or in loanwords where it occurs phonemically in the original language. ** L-vocalization in words such as ''bottle'' and ''Alps'', which we write and , rather than and . ** The difference between allophones of in ''balance'' () vs. the ones in ''about'' and ''Russia'' (and, in non-rhotic dialects, ''better''), both of which may be closer to in dialects with the foot-strut split (that is, ) vs. the one in ''button'' (the syllabicity of the following consonant). All are transcribed as in our system. ** The difference between the phonetic realization of English sounds (mostly vowels) in various dialects. ''Let's pick some grapes for Betty'' should be transcribed regardless of the variety of English and everyone should interpret that transcription according to their own dialect. Thus, a person from South East England will read it as something like , a Scot as , whereas someone from New Zealand will interpret that transcription as . Because we are transcribing diaphonemes rather than phones (actual sounds), it is irrelevant that, for example, the vowel in ''let's'' as pronounced by someone from New Zealand overlaps with how people with England and Scotland typically pronounce the first vowel in ''pick'', or that the Scottish realization of after overlaps with the New Zealand realization of between vowels. In other words, the symbol does not stand specifically for the open-mid front unrounded vowel in our system but ''any'' vowel that can be identified as the vowel in ''let's'', depending on the accent. This is also why we use the simple symbol for the second sound in ''grapes''. Other words may have different vowels depending on the speaker. The pronunciation of the vowel in most dialects of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Northern England and Wales has always been closer to . Received Pronunciation has moved away from the traditional near-open front realization towards almost fully open front realization , and both the ''Oxford English Dictionary'' and the 2014 edition of ''Gimson's Pronunciation of English'' transcribe the vowel in ''lad'', ''bad'', ''cat'', ''trap'' with . For more extensive information on dialect variations, you may wish to see the IPA chart for English dialects. Note that place names are not generally exempted from being transcribed in this abstracted system, so rules such as the above must be applied in order to recover the local pronunciation. Examples include place names in much of England ending ''‑ford'', which although locally pronounced are transcribed . This is best practice for editors. However, readers should be aware that not all editors may have followed this consistently, so for example if is encountered for such a place name, it should not be interpreted as a claim that the would be absent even in a rhotic dialect.

Other transcriptions

If you feel it is necessary to add a pronunciation respelling using another convention, then please use the conventions of Wikipedia's pronunciation respelling key. * To compare the following IPA symbols with non-IPA American dictionary conventions that may be more familiar, see Pronunciation respelling for English, which lists the pronunciation guides of fourteen English dictionaries published in the United States. * To compare the following IPA symbols with other IPA conventions that may be more familiar, see Help:IPA/Conventions for English, which lists the conventions of eight English dictionaries published in Britain, Australia, and the United States.

See also

* If your browser does not display IPA symbols, you probably need to install a font that includes the IPA (for good, free IPA fonts, see the download links in the articles for Gentium and the more complete Charis SIL; for a monospaced font, see the complete Everson Mono) * To add IPA pronunciations to Wikipedia articles, see the template * For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see . * Help:IPA/Conventions for English * Help:Pronunciation respelling key * Pronunciation respelling for English

Notes



References



Bibliography

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External links


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