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X-SAMPA

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The Extended Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet (X-SAMPA) is a variant of SAMPA developed in 1995 by John C. Wells, professor of phonetics at University College London.[1] It is designed to unify the individual language SAMPA alphabets, and extend SAMPA to cover the entire range of characters in the 1993 version of International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The result is a SAMPA-inspired remapping of the IPA into 7-bit ASCII.

SAMPA was devised as a hack to work around the inability of text encodings to represent IPA symbols. Later, as Unicode support for IPA symbols became more widespread, the necessity for a separate, computer-readable system for representing the IPA in ASCII decreased. However, X-SAMPA is still useful as the basis for an input method for true IPA.

Summary

Notes

  • The IPA symbols that are ordinary lower case letters have the same value in X-SAMPA as they do in the IPA.
  • X-SAMPA uses backslashes as modifying suffixes to create new symbols. For example, O is a distinct sound from O\, to which it bears no relation. Such use of the backslash character can be a problem, since many programs interpret it as an escape character for the character following it. For example, such X-SAMPA symbols do not work in EMU, so backslashes must be replaced with some other symbol (e.g., an asterisk: '*') when adding phonemic transcription to an EMU speech database. The backslash has no fixed meaning.
  • X-SAMPA diacritics follow the symbols they modify. Except for ~ for nasalization, = for syllabicity, and ` for retroflexion and rhotacization, diacritics are joined to the character with the underscore character _.
  • The underscore character is also used to encode the IPA tiebar: k_p codes for /k͡p/.
  • The numbers _1 to _6 are reserved diacritics as shorthand for language-specific tone numbers.
  • The IETF language tags registry has assigned fonxsamp as the subtag for text transcribed in X-SAMPA.[2]

Lower-case symbols

X-SAMPA IPA IPA image Description Examples
a a open front unrounded vowel French dame [dam]
b b voiced bilabial plosive English bed [bEd], French bon [bO~]
b_< ɓ voiced bilabial implosive Sindhi ɓarʊ [b_<arU]
c c voiceless palatal plosive Hungarian latyak ["lQcQk]
d d voiced alveolar plosive English dig [dIg], French doigt [dwa]
d` ɖ voiced retroflex plosive Swedish hord [hu:d`]
d_< ɗ voiced alveolar implosive Sindhi ɗarʊ [d_<arU]
e e close-mid front unrounded vowel French blé [ble]
f f voiceless labiodental fricative English five [faIv], French femme [fam]
g ɡ voiced velar plosive English game [geIm], French longue [lO~g]
g_< ɠ voiced velar implosive Sindhi ɠəro [g_<@ro]
h h voiceless glottal fricative English house [haUs]
h\ ɦ voiced glottal fricative Czech hrad [h\rat]
i i close front unrounded vowel English be [bi:], French oui [wi], Spanish si [si]
j j palatal approximant English yes [jEs], French yeux [j2]
j\ ʝ voiced palatal fricative Greek γειά [j\a]
k k voiceless velar plosive English skip [skIp], Spanish carro ["karo]
l l alveolar lateral approximant English lay [leI], French mal [mal]
l` ɭ retroflex lateral approximant Svealand Swedish sorl [so:l`]
l\ ɺ alveolar lateral flap Wayuu püülükü [pM:l\MkM]
m m bilabial nasal English mouse [maUs], French homme [Om]
n n alveolar nasal English nap [n{p], French non [nO~]
n` ɳ retroflex nasal Swedish rn [h2:n`]
o o close-mid back rounded vowel French veau [vo]
p p voiceless bilabial plosive English speak [spik], French pose [poz], Spanish perro ["pero]
p\ ɸ voiceless bilabial fricative Japanese fuku [p\M_0kM]
q q voiceless uvular plosive Arabic qasbah ["qQs_Gba]
r r alveolar trill Spanish perro ["pero]
r` ɽ retroflex flap Bengali gari [gar`i:]
r\ ɹ alveolar approximant English red [r\Ed]
r\` ɻ retroflex approximant Malayalam വഴി ["v@r\`i]
s s voiceless alveolar fricative English seem [si:m], French session [sE"sjO~]
s` ʂ voiceless retroflex fricative Swedish mars [mas`]
s\ ɕ voiceless alveolo-palatal fricative Polish świerszcz [s\v'ers`ts`]
t t voiceless alveolar plosive English stew [stju:], French raté [Ra"te]
t` ʈ voiceless retroflex plosive Swedish rt [m2t`]
u u close back rounded vowel English boom [bu:m], Spanish su [su]
v v voiced labiodental fricative English vest [vEst], French voix [vwa]
v\ (or P) ʋ labiodental approximant Dutch west [v\Est]/[PEst]
w w labial-velar approximant English west [wEst], French oui [wi]
x x voiceless velar fricative Scots loch [lOx] or [5Ox]; German Buch, Dach; Spanish caja, gestión
x\ ɧ voiceless palatal-velar fricative Swedish sjal [x\A:l]
y y close front rounded vowel French tu [ty] German über ["y:b6]
z z voiced alveolar fricative English zoo [zu:], French azote [a"zOt]
z` ʐ voiced retroflex fricative Mandarin Chinese rang [z`aN]
z\ ʑ voiced alveolo-palatal fricative Polish źrebak ["z\rEbak]

Capital symbols

X-SAMPA IPA IPA image Description Example
A ɑ open back unrounded vowel English father ["fA:D@(r\)] (RP and Gen.Am.)
B β voiced bilabial fricative Spanish lavar [la"Ba4]
B\ ʙ bilabial trill Reminiscent of shivering ("brrr")
C ç voiceless palatal fricative German ich [IC], English human ["Cjum@n] (broad transcription uses [hj-])
D ð voiced dental fricative English then [DEn]
E ɛ open-mid front unrounded vowel French même [mE:m], English met [mEt] (RP and Gen.Am.)
F ɱ labiodental nasal English emphasis ["EFf@sIs] (spoken quickly, otherwise uses [Emf-])
G ɣ voiced velar fricative Greek γωνία [Go"nia]
G\ ɢ voiced uvular plosive Inuktitut nirivvik [niG\ivvik]
G\_< ʛ voiced uvular implosive Mam ʛa [G\_<a]
H ɥ labial-palatal approximant French huit [Hit]
H\ ʜ voiceless epiglottal fricative Agul мехӀ [mEH\]
I ɪ near-close front unrounded vowel English kit [kIt]
I\ near-close central unrounded vowel (non-IPA) Polish ryba [rI\bA] 
J ɲ palatal nasal Spanish año ["aJo], English canyon ["k{J@n] (broad transcription uses [-nj-])
J\ ɟ voiced palatal plosive Hungarian egy [EJ\]
J\_< ʄ voiced palatal implosive Sindhi ʄaro [J\_<aro]
K ɬ voiceless alveolar lateral fricative Welsh llaw [KaU]
K\ ɮ voiced alveolar lateral fricative Mongolian долоо [tOK\O:]
L ʎ palatal lateral approximant Italian famiglia [fa"miLLa], Castilian: llamar [La"mar]
L\ ʟ velar lateral approximant Korean 구지 [t6L\gudz\i]
M ɯ close back unrounded vowel Korean [M:ms\_hik_}]
M\ ɰ velar approximant Spanish fuego ["fweM\o]
N ŋ velar nasal English thing [TIN]
N\ ɴ uvular nasal Japanese san [saN\]
O ɔ open-mid back rounded vowel American English off [O:f]
O\ ʘ bilabial click  
P (or v\) ʋ labiodental approximant Dutch west [PEst]/[v\Est], allophone of English phoneme /r\/
Q ɒ open back rounded vowel RP lot [lQt]
R ʁ voiced uvular fricative German rein [RaIn]
R\ ʀ uvular trill French roi [R\wa]
S ʃ voiceless postalveolar fricative English ship [SIp]
T θ voiceless dental fricative English thin [TIn]
U ʊ near-close back rounded vowel English foot [fUt]
U\ ᵿ near-close central rounded vowel (non-IPA) English euphoria [jU\"fO@r\i@]
V ʌ open-mid back unrounded vowel Scottish English strut [str\Vt]
W ʍ voiceless labial-velar fricative Scots when [WEn]
X χ voiceless uvular fricative Klallam sχaʔqʷaʔ [sXa?q_wa?]
X\ ħ voiceless pharyngeal fricative Arabic ح āʾ [X\A:]
Y ʏ near-close front rounded vowel German hübsch [hYpS]
Z ʒ voiced postalveolar fricative English vision ["vIZ@n]

Other symbols

X-SAMPA IPA IPA image Description Example
. . syllable break  
" ˈ primary stress  
% ˌ secondary stress American English pronunciation [pr\@%nVn.si."eI.S@n]
' (or _j) ʲ palatalized Russian Земля (Earth) [z'I"ml'a] or [z_jI"ml_ja]
: ː long  
:\ ˑ half long Estonian differentiates three vowel lengths
-   separator Polish trzy [t-S1] vs. czy [tS1] (affricate)
@ ə schwa English arena [@"r\i:n@]
@\ ɘ close-mid central unrounded vowel Paicĩ kɘ̄ɾɘ [k@\_M4@\_M]
@` ɚ r-coloured schwa American English color ["kVl@`]
{ æ near-open front unrounded vowel English trap [tr\{p]
} ʉ close central rounded vowel Swedish sju [x\}:]; AuE/NZE boot [b}:t]
1 ɨ close central unrounded vowel Welsh tu [t1], American English rose's ["r\oUz1z]
2 ø close-mid front rounded vowel Danish købe ["k2:b@], French deux [d2]
3 ɜ open-mid central unrounded vowel English nurse [n3:s] (RP) or [n3`s] (Gen.Am.)
3\ ɞ open-mid central rounded vowel Irish tomhail [t3\:l']
4 ɾ alveolar flap Spanish pero ["pe4o], American English better ["bE4@`]
5 ɫ velarized alveolar lateral approximant; also see _e English milk [mI5k], Portuguese livro ["5iv4u]
6 ɐ near-open central vowel German besser ["bEs6], Australian English mud [m6d]
7 ɤ close-mid back unrounded vowel Estonian kõik [k7ik], Vietnamese mơ [m7_M]
8 ɵ close-mid central rounded vowel Swedish buss [b8s]
9 œ open-mid front rounded vowel French neuf [n9f], Danish drømme [dR9m@]
& ɶ open front rounded vowel Swedish skörd [x\&d`]
? ʔ glottal stop Cockney English bottle ["bQ?o]
?\ ʕ voiced pharyngeal fricative Arabic ع ʿayn [?\Ajn]
*   undefined escape character, SAMPA's "conjunctor"  
/ / (a) French vowel archiphonemes or indeterminacies
(b) delimiter of phonemic transcriptions
maison /mE/zO~/
< begin nonsegmental notation, e.g., SAMPROSA[3]  
<\ ʢ voiced epiglottal fricative Siwi arˤbˤəʢa (four) [ar_?\b_?\@<\a]
> end nonsegmental notation  
>\ ʡ epiglottal plosive Archi гӀарз (complaint) [>\arz]
^ upstep  
! downstep  
!\ ǃ postalveolar click Zulu iqaqa (polecat) [i:!\a:!\a]
| | minor (foot) group  
|\ ǀ dental click Zulu icici (earring) [i:|\i:|\i]
|| major (intonation) group  
|\|\ ǁ alveolar lateral click Zulu xoxa (to converse) [|\|\O:|\|\a]
=\ ǂ palatal click  
-\ linking mark  

Diacritics

X-SAMPA IPA IPA image Description
_"   ̈ centralized
_+   ̟ advanced
_-   ̠ retracted
_/   ̌ rising tone
_0   ̥ voiceless
_<   implosive (IPA uses separate symbols for implosives)
= (or _=)   ̩ syllabic
_> ʼ ejective
_?\ ˤ pharyngealized
_\   ̂ falling tone
_^   ̯ non-syllabic
_}   ̚ no audible release
`  ˞ rhotacization in vowels, retroflexion in consonants (IPA uses separate symbols for consonants, see t` for an example)
~ (or _~)   ̃ nasalization
_A   ̘ advanced tongue root
_a   ̺ apical
_B   ̏ extra low tone
_B_L  ᷅ low rising tone
_c   ̜ less rounded
_d   ̪ dental
_e   ̴ velarized or pharyngealized; also see 5
<F> global fall
_F   ̂ falling tone
_G ˠ velarized
_H   ́ high tone
_H_T  ᷄ high rising tone
_h ʰ aspirated
_j (or ') ʲ palatalized
_k   ̰ creaky voice
_L   ̀ low tone
_l ˡ lateral release
_M   ̄ mid tone
_m   ̻ laminal
_N   ̼ linguolabial
_n nasal release
_O   ̹ more rounded
_o   ̞ lowered
_q   ̙ retracted tongue root
<R> global rise
_R   ̌ rising tone
_R_F  ᷈ rising falling tone
_r   ̝ raised
_T   ̋ extra high tone
_t   ̤ breathy voice
_v   ̬ voiced
_w ʷ labialized
_X   ̆ extra-short
_x   ̽ mid-centralized

Charts

Consonants

Consonants (pulmonic)
Place of articulation Labial Coronal Dorsal Laryngeal
Manner of articulation Bilabial Labio‐
dental
Dental Alveolar Post‐
alveolar
Retro‐
flex
Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyn‐
geal
Epi‐
glottal
Glottal
Nasal    m    F    n    n`    J    N    N\
Plosive p b p_d b_d t d t` d` c J\ k g q G\ >\ ?
Fricative p\ B f v T D s z S Z s` z` C j\ x G X R X\ ?\ H\ <\ h h\
Approximant    B_o    v\    r\    r\`    j    M\
Trill    B\    r    *    R\    *
Tap or Flap    *    *    4    r`    *
Lateral Fricative K K\ *    *    *   
Lateral Approximant    l    l`    L    L\
Lateral Flap    l\    *    *    *
  • Asterisks (*) mark sounds that do not have X-SAMPA symbols. Daggers (†) mark IPA symbols that have recently been added to Unicode. Since April 2008, the latter is the case of the labiodental flap, symbolized by a right-hook v in the IPA: . A convention for the labiodental flap does not yet exist in X-SAMPA.
Coarticulated
W Voiceless labialized velar approximant
w Voiced labialized velar approximant
H Voiced labialized palatal approximant
s\ Voiceless palatalized postalveolar (alveolo-palatal) fricative
z\ Voiced palatalized postalveolar (alveolo-palatal) fricative
x\ Voiceless "palatal-velar" fricative
Affricates and double articulation
ts voiceless alveolar affricate
dz voiced alveolar affricate
tS voiceless postalveolar affricate
dZ voiced postalveolar affricate
ts\ voiceless alveolo-palatal affricate
dz\ voiced alveolo-palatal affricate
tK voiceless alveolar lateral affricate
kp voiceless labial-velar plosive
gb voiced labial-velar plosive
Nm labial-velar nasal stop
Consonants (non-pulmonic)
Clicks Implosives Ejectives
O\ Bilabial b_< Bilabial _> For example:
|\ Laminal alveolar ("dental") d_< Alveolar p_> Bilabial
!\ Apical (post-) alveolar ("retroflex") J\_< Palatal t_> Alveolar
=\ Laminal postalveolar ("palatal") g_< Velar k_> Velar
|\|\ Lateral coronal ("lateral") G\_< Uvular s_> Alveolar fricative

Vowels

Front Central Back
Close
i • y
1 • }
M • u
I • Y
I\ • U\
• U
e • 2
@\ • 8
7 • o
e_o • 2_o
@
• o_o
E • 9
3 • 3\
V • O
{ •
6
a • &
A • Q
Near‑close
Close‑mid
Mid
Open‑mid
Near‑open
Open

See also

References

  1. ^ Wells, J.C. "Computer-coding the IPA: a proposed extension of SAMPA" (PDF). UCL Phonetics and Linguistics. University College London. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Language Subtag Registry" (text). IETF. 2022-08-08. Retrieved 12 November 2022.
  3. ^ For a summary of SAMPROSA, see Wells, J.C. (19 September 1995). "SAMPROSA (SAM Prosodic Transcription)". UCL Phonetics and Linguistics. University College London. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
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