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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Subject: IPA transcription question
Question: One of my co-workers and I are having a disagreement regarding the IPA transcription
of the phrase ''Explore the Core''. One thought is that it is transcribed as: ɛkˈsplɔɚ ðə
kɔɝ and the other thought is that it is transcribed as: ɪk'splɔɚ ðə kɔɚ. Please let us
know the correct transcription (or let us know if we are both wrong). Thanks

Reply: To add to the replies, I would say you are both right...and wrong in your transcription.

To address your actual question, either [ɛ] or [ɪ] could be valid depending on dialect
and even how carefully the word is pronounced.

For the record, the underlying vowel is probably /ɛ/, but in many dialects, vowels in
unstressed syllables may be "reduced". This reduced vowel is often transcribed as [ə]
(similar to the "u" of "but").

However, in the U.S. there is a pattern that many vowels reduce to [ɨ] which is similar to
[ɪ]. I think that's what your co-worker may be trying to transcribe. With so much
variation, I see a lot of variant transcriptions in phonetic homework.
Reply From: Elizabeth J Pyatt      click here to access email
 
Date: 20-Dec-2013
 
Other Replies:
  1. Re: IPA transcription question    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (17-Dec-2013)
  2. Re: IPA transcription question    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (17-Dec-2013)
  3. Re: IPA transcription question    Madalena Cruz-Ferreira     (17-Dec-2013)

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