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This article contains phonetic transcriptions in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA. For the distinction between [ ], / / and ⟨ ⟩, see IPA § Brackets and transcription delimiters.

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) possesses a variety of obsolete and nonstandard symbols. Throughout the history of the IPA, characters representing phonetic values have been modified or completely replaced. An example is ⟨ɷ⟩ for standard [ʊ]. Several symbols indicating secondary articulation have been dropped altogether, with the idea that such things should be indicated with diacritics: ʮ for z̩ʷ is one. In addition, the rare voiceless implosive series ƥ ƭ ƈ ƙ ʠ has been dropped.

Other characters have been added in for specific phonemes which do not possess a specific symbol in the IPA. Those studying modern Chinese phonology have used ⟨ɿ⟩ to represent the sound of -i in Pinyin hanzi which has been variously described as [ɨ], [ɹ̩], [z̩] or [ɯ]. (See the sections Vowels and Syllabic consonants of the article Standard Chinese phonology.)

There are also unsupported symbols from local traditions that find their way into publications that otherwise use the standard IPA. This is especially common with affricates such as ƛ, and many Americanist symbols.

While the IPA does not itself have a set of capital letters (the ones that look like capitals are actually small capitals), many languages have adopted symbols from the IPA as part of their orthographies, and in such cases they have invented capital variants of these. This is especially common in Africa. An example is Kabiyé of northern Togo, which has Ɔ Ɛ Ŋ Ɣ. Other pseudo-IPA capitals supported by Unicode are Ɓ/Ƃ Ƈ Ɗ/Ƌ Ə/Ǝ Ɠ Ħ Ɯ Ɲ Ɵ Ʃ (capital ʃ) Ʈ Ʊ Ʋ Ʒ. (See Case variants of IPA letters.)

Capital letters are also used as cover symbols in phonotactic descriptions: C=Consonant, V=Vowel, etc.

This list does not include commonplace extensions of the IPA, such as doubling a symbol for a greater degree of a feature ([aːː] extra-long [a], [ˈˈa] extra stress, [kʰʰ] strongly aspirated [k], and [a˞˞] extra-rhotic [a][1]), nor superscripting for a lesser degree of a feature ([ᵑɡ] slightly prenasalized [ɡ], [ᵗs] slightly affricated [s], and [ᵊ] epenthetic schwa). The asterisk, as in [k*] for the fortis stop of Korean, is the convention the IPA uses when it has no symbol for a phone or feature.

For symbols and values which were discarded by 1932, see History of the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Obsolete and/or nonstandard symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet
Symbol or
Name Meaning Standard IPA
? question mark glottal stop ʔ typewriter substitution
7 digit seven
ƍ turned small delta a voiced "labialized" alveolar or dental fricative ðʷ, zʷ, z͎ Intended for the voiced whistled sibilant, ɀ, of Shona and related languages[2]
σ small sigma a voiceless "labialized" alveolar or dental fricative θʷ, sʷ, s͎ Intended for the voiceless whistled sibilant, ȿ, of Shona and related languages[2]
ƺ ezh with tail labialized voiced postalveolar fricative ʒʷ, ʑᶣ Intended for w before front vowels in Twi;[2] may also be used for the lightly rounded English /ʒ/.
ƪ reversed esh with top loop labialized voiceless postalveolar fricative ʃʷ, ɕᶣ Intended for hw before front vowels in Twi;[2] may also be used for the lightly rounded English /ʃ/.
ƻ barred two voiced alveolar affricate d͡z withdrawn 1976
ƾ rotated epiglottal plosive (actually a vertical ts ligature) voiceless alveolar affricate t͡s withdrawn 1976
ƞ right-leg N (Latin eta, very similar to the lowercase Greek letter eta (η)) moraic ("syllabic") nasal m, n, ŋ Intended for the moraic nasal /N/ of Japanese.[2] withdrawn 1976
ᶀ ᶁ ᶂ ᶃ ᶄ ᶅ ᶆ ᶇ
ᶈ ᶉ ᶊ ᶋ ƫ ᶌ ᶍ ᶎ ʒ̡
letters with left hook palatalization bʲ dʲ fʲ ɡ̟ k̟ lʲ mʲ nʲ
pʲ rʲ sʲ ʃʲ tʲ vʲ x̟ zʲ
Typically used in the transcription of Slavic languages such as Russian. superseded 1989
reversed a near-open front unrounded vowel æ Proposal rejected 1989[3]
nv ligature close front rounded vowel y Proposal rejected 1989[4]
ᵿ˞ bared horsehoe u with hook back sulcal vowel Proposal rejected 1989[5]
w with left hook voiced labial-velar fricative Proposal rejected 1989[6]
letters with left-swinging top hook dentals Proposal rejected 1989[7]
long-leg g voiced velar lateral approximant ʟ Proposal rejected 1989[8]
hooktop ezh voiced velar fricative ɣ Proposal rejected 1989[9]
double-loop g voiced velar fricative ɣ From 1895 to 1900, [q] represented that consonant before 1895, [ǥ] after 1900
voiced velar plosive ɡ The standard Unicode Basic Latin/ASCII lower-case g (U+0067) may have a double-loop g glyph. The preferred IPA single-loop g (U+0261) is in the IPA Extensions Unicode block. For a time it was proposed that the double-loop g might be used for [ɡ] and the single-loop g for [ᶃ] (ɡ̟),[2] but the distinction never caught on.
single-loop g with stroke voiced velar fricative ɣ Superseded double-loop g in 1900, superseded by gamma [ɣ] between 1928 and 1930. The character ǥ may not have the single-loop shape in some fonts.
etc. subscript w labialization etc. Diacritic may appear above letters with descenders such as [ɡ] and [ŋ]. superseded 1989
ʓ curly-tail ezh voiced alveolo-palatal(ized) fricative ʒʲ Irregular, instead of ⟨ʒ⟩ with a tail. withdrawn 1989
ʆ curly-tail esh voiceless alveolo-palatal(ized) fricative ʃʲ Irregular, instead of ⟨ʃ⟩ with a tail. Used for Russian щ (now ⟨ɕ⟩). withdrawn 1989
ȵ, ȡ, ȶ curly-tail n, d and t Alveolo-palatal consonants n̠ʲ, d̠ʲ t̠ʲ used by some Sinologists.
ř r with caron voiced strident apico-alveolar trill Intended for ř in Czech and related languages. ⟨ř⟩ from 1909, replaced by ⟨ɼ⟩ in 1949, withdrawn 1989
ɼ long-leg r
λ lambda voiced alveolar lateral affricate d͡ɮ Used by Americanists
ƛ barred lambda voiceless alveolar lateral affricate t͡ɬ Used by Americanists
ł lowercase L with stroke voiceless alveolar lateral fricative ɬ Used by Americanists
š č ž s c z with caron postalveolars ʃ t͡ʃ ʒ; ʂ tʂ ʐ Used by Americanists, Uralicists, Semiticists, Slavicists
ǰ, ǧ, ǯ j, g, ezh with caron voiced postalveolar affricate d͡ʒ Used by Americanists, Slavicists etc.
x with dot voiceless uvular fricative χ Used by Americanists
baby gamma close-mid back unrounded vowel ɤ rejected 1989; Unicode LATIN SMALL LETTER RAMS HORN (U+0264) represents either glyph
ρ Greek rho bilabial trill ʙ in common use before an official letter was adopted
ᵻ / ᵿ barred small capital I / upsilon near-close central unrounded / rounded vowel ɨ̞ / ʉ̞, ɪ̈ / ʊ̈ used by the OED among others
ʚ closed epsilon open-mid front rounded vowel œ duplicate symbol[10] (from 1904 until the 1920s)
open-mid central rounded vowel ɞ superseded 1996
ɷ closed omega near-close near-back rounded vowel ʊ longstanding duplicate symbol; rejected 1989
ω omega near-close near-back unrounded vowel ʊ̜ or ɯ̽ Made iconically from the obsolete ɷ symbol. Also Bloch & Trager (1942) for [ɒ̝].
ɩ small iota near-close near-front unrounded vowel ɪ Longstanding duplicate symbol; rejected 1989
ı dotless small i near-close near-front unrounded vowel ɪ mistake or typographic substitute; or used by Americanists
ȹ ȸ voiceless and voiced labiodental plosive p̪ b̪ used by Africanists
or Ø slashed 0 or uppercase slashed O null initial Usually used in phonology to mean "no sound values". However, in Chinese linguistics, some scholars considered it as "weak" glottal stop or something similar as sound value of the "existent" first consonant of syllables started by a vowel (e.g. ān in Tiān'ānmén), and this opinion can be connected with ㅇ (ieung) in hangul. can be confusing with close-mid front rounded vowel [ø].
ƥ ƭ ƈ ƙ ʠ hooktop P, T, C, K, Q voiceless implosives ɓ̥ ɗ̥ ʄ̊ ɠ̊ ʛ̊ Short-term additions to the IPA; withdrawn 1993
ʇ turned T dental click ǀ superseded 1989; see click letters
ʗ stretched C alveolar click ǃ superseded 1989; see click letters
ʖ inverted glottal stop alveolar lateral click ǁ superseded 1989; see click letters
ʞ turned K velar click Proposed symbol withdrawn 1970; articulation judged impossible[11] but later reanalyzed and found paralinguistically. For several years used for a voiceless velodorsal stop in the extIPA.[12]
ȣ ou close-mid back unrounded vowel or voiced velar fricative ɤ or ɣ a mistake in either case
ʀ or R small capital R or capital R long vowel or prolonged moraic N ː Used by Japanologists. This symbol represents phonemic long vowel (such as //) or /aR/) or rarely prolonged moraic N (hatsuon). It is represented variously in the Japanese kana: Chōonpu () or others.
я reversed small capital R or Cyrillic ya voiced epiglottal trill ʀ̠ or ʢ rare
ɿ reversed fishhook R / turned iota syllabic denti-alveolar approximant ɹ̩[13][14] used by Sinologists, and by Japanologists studying the phonology of the Miyako language
ʅ squat reversed esh (actually ɿ with retroflex tail) syllabic retroflex approximant ɻ̩[14] used by Sinologists. See Chinese vowels
ʮ turned h with fishhook labialized syllabic denti-alveolar approximant ɹ̩ʷ used by Sinologists
ʯ turned h with fishhook and tail labialized syllabic retroflex approximant ɻ̩ʷ used by Sinologists
small capital A open central vowel ä, a̠, ɑ̈, ɑ̟, ɐ̞ used by Sinologists
small capital E mid front unrounded vowel e̞, ɛ̝ Bloch & Trager (1942). Used by Sinologists and some Koreanists
small capital turned E close-mid near-back unrounded vowel ɤ̘ used by some Koreanists who study Gyeongsang dialect, where there is no phonemic differentiation between /ʌ/ (RR eo; Hangul ㅓ) and /ɯ/ (RR eu; Hangul ㅡ).[citation needed]
ω, Ω omega mid back rounded vowel o̞, ɔ̝ Bloch & Trager (1942)
small capital U near-close near-back rounded vowel ʊ, ʊ̹ Americanist notation
G R Œ etc. uppercase letters ɢ ʀ ɶ etc. Uppercase alternatives to symbols shaped like small capitals
Q small capital Q pharyngeal stop ʡ Proposed for the pharyngeal stop of Formosan languages.
sokuon Used by Japanologists. This is a phonemic symbol for sokuon which written as Hiragana っ and Katakana ッ in Japanese Kana.
Q capital Q
ꞎ   belted Voiceless lateral fricatives (retroflex, palatal and velar) ɭ̥˔ ʎ̥˔ ʟ̥˔ now in the extIPA[12]
Retroflex lateral flap ɭ̆
ɑ̣ etc. underdot ("retroflex" or r-colored vowels) ɑ˞ etc.
ȡ ȶ ȵ ȴ etc.,
d̂ t̂ n̂ l̂ etc.
curl or circumflex alveolo-palatal d̠ʲ t̠ʲ n̠ʲ l̠ʲ etc. used by Sinologists
k', etc. no audible release , etc. Withdrawn
K P T etc. uppercase letters (not small capitals) fortis k͈ p͈ t͈, etc. used by some Koreanists
ɔ̗ / ɔ̖ etc. lower-pitched rising / falling tone contour In a language which distinguishes more than one rising or falling tone.
k‘ t‘, kʻ tʻ left quote or reversed comma "weak" (sometimes "normal") aspiration k t (sometimes kʰ tʰ) First symbol may be left single quotation mark (U+2018) or modifier letter apostrophe (U+02BC); second symbol may be single high-reversed-9 quotation mark (U+201B) or modifier letter reversed comma (U+02BD)
ʦ ʣ ʧ ʤ etc. ligatures affricates ts dz tʃ dʒ etc., t͡s d͡z t͡ʃ d͡ʒ etc. Formerly an acceptable variant[15]
p′ etc. prime palatalization etc. Traditional in accounts of Irish phonology
* asterisk syntactic gemination none Used in some Italian dictionaries
˹ open corner release/burst (none) IPA number 490
c or ȼ t͡s Americanist notation
ʒ d͡z Americanist notation
y j Americanist notation
ä ɛ or æ Uralicist notation
ö ø Americanist and Uralicist notation
ü y Americanist and Uralicist notation
k’ etc. Used by some Koreanists for fortis sounds; equivalent to ⟨k*⟩, etc. above.
◌⸋ box unreleased ◌̚ used where IPA ◌̚ would get confused with the corners used to indicate change of pitch in the Japanese pitch accent system
ˉ◌, ˗◌, ˍ◌ high, mid and low-level tone or intonation superseded ⟨◌⟩ is a placeholder
˭◌, ₌◌ extra-high and extra-low level tone or intonation superseded
ˋ◌, ˴◌, ˎ◌ falling or high falling, mid falling and low-falling tone or intonation superseded
ˊ◌, [NA], ˏ◌ (high) rising and low rising tone or intonation superseded
ˇ◌, ˬ◌ (high) dipping and low dipping (falling-rising) tone or intonation superseded
ˆ◌, ꞈ◌ peaking (rising-falling) tone or intonation superseded
˜◌, ̰◌ 'wavy' tone or intonation superseded
˙◌, ·◌, .◌ atonic syllable with high, mid and low pitch superseded
◌́, ◌̂, ◌̀, ◌̆ acute accent, circumflex, grave accent, breve primary stress, weakened primary stress, secondary stress and no stress ˈˈ◌, ˈ◌, ˌ◌, ◌ Some English phoneticians and phonologists use acute and grave accents as primary and secondary stress symbols. Some linguists[16] use the circumflex as weakened primary stress in compound words and the breve as no stress. These symbols are also written on the English spellings such as "élĕvàtŏr-ôpĕràtŏr".
◌̩, ◌̍ vertical line below or above moraic Used by Japanologists. In the standard IPA, these symbols represents syllabic sounds, but Japanologists use them for phonetic variants (except for nasal vowels) of the moraic N ([n̩, ɴ̩, ŋ̍ (or ŋ̩), m̩]).
Diacritics( ̄, ́, ̌, ̀) Tones in Chinese variants Standard IPA diacritics for tones or tone letters Sinologists uses tone marks which romanization systems like Hanyu Pinyin to represent tones bypassing the standard IPA specification.

The table below shows examples of expansion in the meaning of IPA symbols in broad transcription.

c t͡ʃ, t͡ɕ or sometimes t͡s.
ɟ d͡ʒ or d͡ʑ.
r Frequently used for any rhotic sound (including R-colored vowels), especially in phonological transcriptions.
a Often a substitute for ɑ in printing when the distinction between a and ɑ is not needed.
ɑ Often a substitute for a in handwriting when the distinction between a and ɑ is not needed.
ʃ ʒ t͡ʃ d͡ʒ ɕ, ʑ, t͡ɕ, and d͡ʑ respectively, especially by some Japanologists and Koreanists.
ɲ Sinologists, Japanologists and Koreanists uses this symbol as alveolo-palatal nasal letter ([ɲ̟] or [n̠ʲ]). Sinologists also use [ȵ], an unofficial IPA symbol.
l In Korean phonology, this symbol uses a phonemic symbol which covers phonetic variants of coronal lateral approximants and rhotic consonants. This phoneme is reprented by Hangul consonant in the Korean orthography.
ʎ Koreanists and sometimes Sinologists uses this symbol as alveolo-palatal lateral approximant letter ([ʎ̟] or [l̠ʲ]). Sinologists also use [ȴ], an unofficial IPA symbol.

See also

Footnotes or references

  1. ^ Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 313–314.
  2. ^ a b c d e f 1949 Principles of the IPA
  3. ^ Henton, C. G. (1988). 5. Individual symbols and diacritics. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 18(02), 85. doi:10.1017/s0025100300003686
  4. ^ Henton, C. G. (1988). 5. Individual symbols and diacritics. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 18(02), 85. doi:10.1017/s0025100300003686
  5. ^ Henton, C. G. (1988). 5. Individual symbols and diacritics. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 18(02), 85. doi:10.1017/s0025100300003686
  6. ^ Henton, C. G. (1988). 5. Individual symbols and diacritics. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 18(02), 85. doi:10.1017/s0025100300003686
  7. ^ Henton, C. G. (1988). 5. Individual symbols and diacritics. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 18(02), 85. doi:10.1017/s0025100300003686
  8. ^ Henton, C. G. (1988). 5. Individual symbols and diacritics. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 18(02), 85. doi:10.1017/s0025100300003686
  9. ^ Henton, C. G. (1988). 5. Individual symbols and diacritics. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 18(02), 85. doi:10.1017/s0025100300003686
  10. ^ 1912 Principles of the IPA
  11. ^ An impossible sound
  12. ^ a b "extIPA Symbols for Disordered Speech (Revised to 2015)" (PDF). Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  13. ^ Lee, Wai-Sum; Zee, Eric (June 2003). "Standard Chinese (Beijing)". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 33 (1): 109–112. doi:10.1017/S0025100303001208.
  14. ^ a b Lee-Kim, Sang-Im (December 2014). "Revisiting Mandarin 'apical vowels': An articulatory and acoustic study". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 44 (3): 261–282. doi:10.1017/S0025100314000267.
  15. ^ Pullum, Geoffrey K.; William A. Ladusaw (1996). Phonetic Symbol Guide (2nd ed.). University of Chicago Press. p. 180. ISBN 0-226-68535-7.
  16. ^ Trager, George L., and Henry Lee Smith Jr. 1951. An Outline of English Structure. Studies in Linguistics: Occasional Papers 3. Norman, Okla.: Battenburg Press.