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Ling 110, Section 7 (Phonetics)
April 14, 2006.

IPA fonts are available for download from Historical Linguistics course website.
1) go to www.fas.harvard.edu/~ling120
2) Click on “Resources” tab.
3) For PC, run silipa93.exe. The fonts will be automatically installed. You’re all set to write in IPAs!
4) For MAC, download HistoricalFonts.zip and put the contents in the Font folder. Restart your
computer and you should be all set.
5) You will be able to insert IPA fonts from “Insert Æ Symbol…” menu of MS-Word.

You can also download fonts from http://www.sil.org/computing/catalog/index.asp

I. American English Consonant Inventory (p.487-488, 520)

[p] as in pie [t] as in tie [k] as in kite
[b] as in buy [d] as in die [g] as in guy
[m] as in my [n] as in nose [n] as in hang
[f] as in finger [O] as in thigh [h] as in high
[v] as in vase [ð] as in these [tj] as in chin
[s] as in sigh [d¸] as in gin
[z] as in zoo [j] as in shy
[w] as in with [r] as in rye
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[¸] as in azure
[l] as in lie [j] as in you


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This notation deviates from the standard IPA in which [r] is reserved for a ‘trill’ sound. The English /r/ should
be transcribed with [+] according to the standard IPA. But, for convenience’s sake, we will use [r] for the
English sound.
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II. American English Vowel Inventory (p. 487-488, 520)

[i] as in easy: high tense front unrounded
[i] as in imitate: high lax front unrounded
[e] as in able: close-mid front unrounded
[c] as in edge: open-mid front unrounded
[æ] as in battle: low front unrounded
[a] as in father: low back unrounded
[5]
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as in fought: open-mid back rounded
[o] as in road: close-mid back rounded
[o] as in book, put: high lax back rounded
[u] as in food: high tense back rounded
[c] as in aroma: mid, central
[\] as in but, putt: open-mid back unrounded
[c·]as in bird: r-colored schwa
[ai] as in ride
[ao] as in house
[oi] as in boy



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The distinction between [a] and [5] is getting lost quickly in American English.
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III. Broad vs. Narrow Transcription

In broad transcription, only the minimal set of basic symbols is used. Allophonic variations
are not notated in broad transcription. In narrow transcription, additional details of
pronunciation are notated.

Allophonic consonants in English (used in narrow transcription)

[r] as in ‘latter’ or ‘ladder’ (never occurs before stressed vowels)
[1] as in ‘oh-oh!’ (in many dialects occurs as an allophone of [t] before
an alveolar nasal (e.g. [bi1n] ‘beaten’)

Some Diacritics (used in narrow transcription)

° aspirated noise in the glottis, especially at the end of a consonant ([p°])
syllabic a consonant without a vowel ( [l] )
dental upper teeth are passive articulator (used to modify basic symbols
in Alveolar column) ([ t ])
nasalized air flows through nose as well as mouth ([a])
unreleased release of consonant as mouth opens is not heard ([d])
voiceless partial or no vocal cord vibration in an otherwise voiced sound ([ l ])
velarized tongue backing during some other primary articulartion
(the so-called “dark” l in English [l])


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IV. Exercises

1.

2.


5


3. Words in each group below share a common property. For each group, give the
common feature and circle one member that does not belong in the group.

(a) n, m, b, n (share a nasal feature except for [b])
(b) t, b, s, k, g (share a stop feature except for [s])
(c) p, m, b, n (share a bilabial feature except for [n])
(alternatively, [p] is the odd man because all others are voiced)
(d) h, O, s, j, r (share a fricative feature except for [r])
(e) t, t, d, k, p (share a stop feature except for [tj])
(alternatively, [d] is the odd man because all others are voiceless)
(f) l, r, n (share an approximant feature)
(g) x, t, k, g (share a velar feature except for [t])
(h) tj, ¸, d¸, s (share a palato-alveolar feature except for [s])
(i) h, b, 1 (share a glottal feature except for [b])

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