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date: 25 March 2017

Values of phonetic symbols used in the Companion

Source:
Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language

Values of phonetic symbols used in the Companion

a

a as in ScoE pat and Parisian French patte

y and i-e as in RP and AmE try, write

ou and ow as in RP and AmE noun, now

ɑ

a as in RP fɑther; a and o as in AmE fɑther, bother

ɒ

a and o as in RP wash, odd

æ

a as in traditional RP and in AmE cat, trap

b

b as in back; bb as in rubber

ç

ch as in German ich; h as in Japanese hito; occasionally, h as in hue

d

d as in day; dd as in rudder

j and dge as in judge, and ge as in George; j as in Hindi raj

ð‎

th as in this, other; d as in Spanish nada

e

ay as in ScoE day; é as in French thé; e as in Italian pesca (fishing)

ay, a-e, and ea as in RP and AmE day, face, steak

ə

[the schwa or neutral vowel] a as in about, sofa, e as in hyphen, o as in reckon (ect.)

əʊ

o and oa as in RP go, goat

ɛ

e as in get, German Bett, and Italian pesca (peach)

ɛə

ai and a-e as in RP fair, square

ʔ

e, i, o, u as in RP and AmE her, stir, word, nurse

f

f as in few; ff as in puff

g

g as in got; gg as in bigger

h

h as in hot

i

e as in he, ee as in see; i as in Spanish and French si; ie as in German sie

ɪ

i as in ship and in German Schiff

ɪə

ea and e-e as in RP hear, here

j

y as in yet; j as in German ja

k

c as in car; k as in key; ck as in clock; kk as in trekked; qu as in quay

l

[clear l] l as in RP lip

[dark l] l as in RP all; as commonly in ScoE all, lip, hilly

ɬ

ll as in Welsh Llanelli

m

m as in much; mm as in hammer

n

n as in now; nn as in runner

ŋ

ng as in RP and AmE sing; n as in Spanish cinco

o

o as in ScoE no, in advanced RP force, and in Italian dove; eau as in French beau; oh as in German wohl

o and oa as in AmE go, goat

ø

eu as in French peu; ö as in German schön

œ

eu as in French veuve; ö as in German zwölf

ɔ

o as in north and in German Sonne; a as in war

ɔɪ

oi and oy as in noise, toy

p

p as in pen; pp as in pepper

r

generally, r as in round and rr as in sorry (however pronounced); strictly, the rolled r of traditional ScoE, and of Spanish and Italian

ˈR

uvular r as in Parisian French rue and the Northumbrian burr

s

s as in see; ss as in missed

ʃ

sh as in ship; ssi as in mission; ti as in motion; ch as in French chose; sch as in German Schiff

t

t as in ten; tt as in RP written

ch as in church; tch as in latch; c as in Italian cello, ciao; tsch as in German Deutsch

θ‎

th as in three, heath, and Greek thésis; c and z as in Castilian Spanish cerveza

υ‎

u as in lunar and oo as in RP pool; u as in Italian subito and German gut; ou as in French tout

ūī

ui, ou (etc.) in Scots puir (poor) and doun/doon (down), and as in Norwegian hus

ʊ

oo and u as in RP and AmE foot and put

ʊə‎

u and u-e as in RP pure

v

v as in very and in French vrai; w as in German wohl

ʌ

u, oo, and o-e as in RP and ScoE bud, blood, love

w

w as in will; ou as in French oui

hw

wh as in ScoE and IrE when, white

x

ch as in ScoE and German ach; j and g as in Spanish jabón and gente

y

u-e as in French lune; ü as in German über

γ‎

g as in Spanish luego

z

z as in zeal and French zèle; s as in position; ss as in scissors

ʒ

s as in decision and measure; j and g as in French Jacques and rouge

?

[glottal stop] tt as in Cockney and Glasgow pronunciations of better butter, and as a phoneme in Arabic and Hawaiian

ː

[the length mark] used to indicate a long vowel, as in /uː/, in RP loose, truce

˜

[the tilde] set over a symbol to indicate nasality

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