International Phonetic Alphabet

phonemes

consonants vowels

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet. It was devised as a standardized representation of the sounds of all spoken languages. The IPA is designed to represent only those qualities of speech that are distinctive in spoken language: phonemes (‘a sound uttered,’ the smallest segmental unit of sound – e.g. the ‘k’ sound in ‘kite’), intonation (variation of pitch while speaking which is not used to distinguish words, unlike tone, which is), and the separation of words and syllables.

To represent additional qualities of speech such as tooth gnashing, lisping, and sounds made with a cleft palate, an extended set of symbols called the Extensions to the IPA may be used. The IPA currently contains 107 letters derived from thousands of languages.

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