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International Phonetic Alphabet  -Vowels-






International Phonetic Alphabet  -Vowels-










 Vowel  

A speech sound made with your mouth open and your tongue in the middle of your mouth not touching your teeth, lips, etc. 

 Diphthong 

Two vowel sounds joined in one syllable to form one speech sound. 

 R-colored vowel 

Vocalic r refers to the phenomenon of a rhotic segment such as [r] or [ɹ] occurring as thesyllable nucleus. 






 Vowels, Diphthongs & R-colored vowels 

ɑː    balm, baht, father, bra

ɑr(ɑːr.)    bard, part, barn, snarl, star

ɒ    bot, pod, John, doll
(/ɒ/ is not distinguished from /ɑː/ in dialects with the father-bother merger such as Genal American.)

ɒr    moral, forage

æ    bat, pad, shall, ban

ær    barrow, marry


    bite, ride, file, fine, pie

aɪər    fire
Note that many speakers distinguish this rhotic vowel from non-rhotic vowels followed by an R.
( hire /ˈhaɪər/ from higher /ˈhaɪ.ər/)


    bout, loud, foul, down, how

aʊər    hour
Note that many speakers distinguish this rhotic vowel from non-rhotic vowels followed by an R.
(our /ˈaʊər/ from plougher /ˈplaʊ.ər/)


ɛ    bet, bed, fell, men

ɛr    error, merry


    bait, made, fail, vein, pay

ɛər(eɪr.)    scared, scarce, cairn, there, Mary 


ɪ    bit, lid, fill, bin

ɪr    mirror, Sirius


    beat, seed, feel, mean, sea

ɪər(iːr.)      beard, fierce, nearer, serious


ɔː    bought, Maud, dawn, fall, straw
/ɔː/ is not distinguished from /ɑː/ (except before /r/) in dialects with the cot-caught merger such as some varieties of General American.

ɔr(ɔːr.)    born, foraural


ɔɪ    exploit, void, foil, coin, boy 

ɔɪər    loir, coir
Note that many speakers distinguish this rhotic vowel from non-rhotic vowels followed by an R.
(loir /ˈlɔɪər/ from employer /ɪmˈplɔɪ.ər/)


    boat, code, foal, bone, go
Commonly transcribed /əʊ/ or /oː/.

ɔər(oʊr.)    boar , four, moreoral
(/ɔər/ is not distinguished from /ɔr/ in dialects with the horse-hoarse merger, which include most dialects of modern English.)


ʊ    foot, good, full, woman

ʊr    courier


    boot, food, fool, soon, chew

ʊər(uːr.)    boor, moor, tourist
(/ʊər/ is not distinguished from /ɔr/ in dialects with the pour-poor merger, including many younger speakers.)


juː    cued, cute, mule, tune, queue

In dialects with yod-dropping, /juː/ is pronounced the same as /uː/ after coronal consonants (/t/, /d/, /s/, /z/, /n/, /θ/, and /l/) in the same syllable, so that dew /djuː/ is pronounced the same as do /duː/. In dialects withyod-coalescence, /tj/, /dj/, /sj/ and /zj/ are pronounced /tʃ/, /dʒ/, /ʃ/ and /ʒ/, so that the first syllable in Tuesday is pronounced the same as choose.

jʊər    cure


ʌ    butt, mud, dull, gun
(This phoneme is not used in the northern half of England and some bordering parts of Wales. These words would take the ʊ vowel: there is no foot-strut split.)

ʌr    borough, hurry

ɜr(ɝː)    bird, hurt, curl, burn, furry
  ※ ɝ    Stressed 


 Reduced vowel (schwa) 

An unstressed mid-central vowel (as the usual sound of the first and last vowels of the English word America) 

 Reduced vowels (schwas) 

ə    Rosa’s, a mission 


ər(ɚ)    perform, mercer 

  ※ ɚ    Unstressed


ən    button


əm    rhythm


əl    bottle


ɨ, ɪ    roses, emission, is

・Pronounced [ə] in Australian and many US dialects, and [ɪ] in Received Pronunciation. Many speakers freely alternate between a reduced [ɪ̈] and a reduced [ə]. Many phoneticians (vd. Olive & Greenwood 1993:322) and the OED uses the pseudo-IPA symbol ɪ , and Merriam–Webster uses ə̇.


ɵ    kilogram, omission

・Pronounced [ə] in many dialects, and [ɵw] or [əw] before another vowel, as in cooperate. Sometimes pronounced as a full /oʊ/, especially in careful speech. (Bolinger 1989) Usually transcribed as /ə(ʊ)/ (or similar ways of showing variation between /əʊ/ and /ə/) in British dictionaries.


ʊ(jʊ)    beautiful, curriculum

・Pronounced [ʊ] in many dialects, [ə] in others. Many speakers freely alternate between a reduced [ʊ̈] and a reduced [ə]. The OED uses the pseudo-IPA symbol ʊ


i    happy, serious

・Pronounced /iː/ in dialects with the happy tensing, /ɪ/ in other dialects. British convention used to transcribe it with /ɪ/, but the OED and other influential dictionaries recently converted to /i/.


 Syllabification 

Syllabification is the separation of a word into syllables, whether spoken or written.

It is also used to describe the process of something like a consonant turning into a syllable.For example, in North Central American English, "can" is normally pronounced as /kən/, or even with the vowel reduced to a syllabification of the /n/ itself. 

. a

   shellfish /ˈʃɛl.fɪʃ/, selfish /ˈsɛlf.ɨʃ/

   nitrate /ˈnaɪ.treɪt/, night-rate /ˈnaɪt.reɪt/

   hire /ˈhaɪər/, higher /ˈhaɪ.ər/

   moai /ˈmoʊ.aɪ/

※ Syllables are indicated sparingly, where necessary to avoid confusion.