LINGUIST List 11.917

Fri Apr 21 2000

Sum: 19-Apr-2000 IPA on the Internet

Editor for this issue: Lydia Grebenyova <>


  1. Manfred Prokop, IPA on the Internet

Message 1: IPA on the Internet

Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000 06:44:39 -0600
From: Manfred Prokop <>
Subject: IPA on the Internet

For Query: Linguist 11.890

Dear colleagues,

in response to my query about rendering IPA symbols on web pages I have
received the following most helpful replies (my Gawd, what would we do
without helpful friends and colleagues and lists and internet and ...).
Thank you, everyone!


- ---------------------------------

Fonts can be found at IPA's web site:
Nicole Bocklet
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You may as well visit the following sites if you are a MS-Windows user.

IPA Symbols, Unicode and the Web at IPA's site:

Professor John Wells' web page

If you are a Mac user, I assume the methods introduced above may not work.
In the case of Unix system, there exist other problems.

Please also read "Displaying IPA "found in my website at
Yoshinari Fujino

- -----------------------

For an answer to your question on how to render ipa characters in html,
check out the thread 'on fonts' on the CreoList:

Vincent A. de Rooij
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You can download my fonts from my web site given below.
Henry Rogers
6072 Robarts Library

- ----------------

I have used the font Lucida Sans Unicode, which includes Greek, Cyrillic
and IPA characters. I believe I got this font as part of the Corel Office
Suite (WordPerfect).

- -----------------

1) Using graphic characters (small .GIF files) for each IPA symbol. James
K. Tauber, at , has a (quite good) set of graphic
characters called phonGIF -- public domain, I believe.

If you want to know how phonGIF looks in a document, you may go to an
article of mine, . Look at pp. 144-145 of the
document (no, it doesn't have so many pages, it's an article which starts
on p. 143).

2) If transcriptions are few, rendering each transcribed text as a graphic
file. You first display the transcription on your screen with your
wordprocessor, then capture the screen with any utility, crop the
transcription, insert it in HTML as a GIF file.

3) Perhaps (perhaps), if you use Internet Explorer, choosing the IPA font
(TrueType), with your HTML processor, then defining the character set for
the HTML page. This doesn't work for all users, though, as browsers may not
be able to display the font if it's not installed.

A few IPA characters can be rendered directly in HTML as "entities" --
theta, epsilon, etc.

Celso Alvarez C�ccamo 

- ---------------
Here are some sites you may wish to visit for information on Internet IPA 
 Richard S.

- --------------
Here are a couple of sites that may be useful to you. Both of the following
sites have discussions of issues relevant to your query.


SAMPA (Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet)

You might also want to search an index called Google at: Just search on International Phonetic Alphabet.

Wayne Cowart
- ---------------

I think if you go to the Summer Institute of Linguistics home page, they
have IPA fonts for the net.

- ------------------
There is a set of symbols as graphical files (GIF) which you can use. This
is OK if you need to make use of them only every once in a while, or if you
can automate inserting them. The whole collection is in a file called, which you can probably locate on the Internet; otherwise I'll
look for it and send it to you.

Jeroen van de Weijer

- ------------
I've been having the same problem myself. There are several things
available, none of which is perfect:

(1) Develop mini GIF files of various symbols and insert them as needed.
Remember to use the ALT attribute to give a text-based alternative to the
image. This may be your best bet. Photoshop 5.0 (if you can get it) lets
you edit text, then save the file as a GIF (don't save over the original).

(2) Use the <FONT FACE> tag to generate the right symbols. The problem is
that you'd have to point users to where they can download the font onto
their machine. If you have a small audience, such as a class, you may be
able to get away with this.

(3) Use Unicode encoding to generate the symbols. See Although many Windows users have the right Lucida
Sans Unicode font, it is difficult to find a shareware version
for the Mac. It's technically the right solution, but not one that's ready
from "prime time" yet. That may change in about 5 years.

(4) Use ASCII substitutions borrowing creatively from the
Symbol/Wingdings/Webdings fonts and using the strikethrough tag. Ugly but
probably readable.

Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.

- ---------------------
The best is to have Netscape 4.5 and to check Unicode options in Fonts Menu.

Miguel Rodriguez-Mondo�edo

- -------------

LhaXayEm! Qhata mayka?

As moderator of the CHINOOK list, I have experience in the process of
rendering phonetic alphabets in ASCII ("typewriter letters"). In this
case, the Grand Ronde Tribes of Oregon write Chinook Jargon in Americanist
phonetics, which includes letters like a barred lambda with an apostrophe
over it; a lowercase chi; and c with a hacek. Our group's consensus has
been pro tempore to render the exotic instances -- you say you've dealt
with the Greek letters, apparently -- as follows:

[glottalized sounds]:	<'> or <!> following consonant graph; the former
allows English-style punctuation
[hacek sounds]:		<h> following graph
[barred l]:		<L> or <lh>; the latter allows English-style capitalization
[barred lambda]:	<tl>
[schwa]:		<E> as opposed to <e> which is a different sound
[chi]:			<X> as opposed to <x> which is a different sound
[upsilon]:		<U> " " " <u> " " " " "
[iota]:			<I> " " " <i> " " " " "
[labialized sounds]:	<w> following consonant graph
[glottal stop]:		<7> or <?>; the former allows English-style
[(acute) accent]:	<'> following vowel graph; no confusion with
				glottalization marker is possible

It's been much like reinventing the wheel, since there already is a fine
alphabet for the language. I'm bemused that we've had, in order to keep up
with the technological "advance" of the Internet, to resort to many of the
graphic tricks the linguists of a hundred years ago resorted to when they
started writing down Northwest Indian languages. 

Dave Robertson
- ---------------------------------

I've puzzled over the same question. It seems it should be "hard-coded"
into a graphic, say as .gif or .jpg. BUt if anyone as other suggestions
then I'd be most interested. MAybe it's possible to define the characters
in XML and serve them up accordingly in HTML.(?)

Jennifer de Beer
- -----------------

Unfortunately IPA is not one of the encodings supported by HTML, so I
really don't think you can incorporate IPA characters as such in your HTML
code. Probably one solution could be to create mini GIFs (with the help of
a TrueType IPA font) one for each character, and then use them as is needed.

Mario Saraceni

- --------

I am interested in that question, too, so please post me any results. I
doubt, however, that it is possible. You need a font to do it, and anyone
who watches your site will need that font, too. There are some problems for
installing new fonts on some browsers. If the (true type) font is all you
want, I can send it to you.

Johannes Reese
- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Manfred Prokop (Prof. emeritus), MLCS 
Division of Germanic Languages, Literatures and Linguistics
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2E6
Tel. and Fax: (780) 467-6273
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