LINGUIST List 4.238

Thu 01 Apr 1993

Sum: Phonetic Alphabets

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Sandra Swagten, Phonetic Alphabets (your replies)

Message 1: Phonetic Alphabets (your replies)

Date: 31 Mar 1993 15:35:28 +0000Phonetic Alphabets (your replies)
From: Sandra Swagten <>
Subject: Phonetic Alphabets (your replies)


Some weeks ago I posted the following question(s) on Computer Phonetic

 > At SPEX we are currently trying to build up an speech archive. In this
 > archive we also want to store transcriptions. The problem with
 > transcriptions is that people deliver it in different alphabets.
 > We have the following questions:
 > - Which alphabet would you suggest we should use in this archive?
 > IPA seems to be the most extensive alphabet.
 > - Is there a (standard) computer representation available for IPA?
 > - Are there any mapping tables, methods, programs to convert the
 > different alphabets (COST-CPA, SAMPA, ...) into IPA?
 > Any help would be appreciated! Thanks in advance,

 > P.S.
 > I'm not a member of this group, I hope you don't mind that I "take
 > advantage" of your expertise this once. I promise, I'll post a resume
 > of your answers in the group.

I'm now keeping my P.S. promise and give you a resume of your answers
and the answers I've gotten from the newsgroup comp.speech.

I'd like to thank:
Christopher Bader
Nick Campbell (btw Bill Barry did not (yet) respond)
Christoph Draxler
Derk Ederveen
Harry Gaylord
John E. Koontz
Stavros Macrakis
Henry Rogers
Stephen P. Spackman
Helmer Strik (many times)
Graham Toal (and by his reference and Derk's: Evan Kirschenbaum)

Everybody seems to agree that IPA is the standard to be used, if one
needs a standard. There were several references to a meeting in Kiel
that standardized IPA. The exact date of that meeting is unsure, but I
understand that the ISO can give me a IPA chart. Christoph told that
he has solved the translation from one CPA to another in Prolog;
unfortunately, we at SPEX do not use Prolog, but who knows in the
future... Evan has a beautiful ASCII/IPA Representation system which
seems very complete. There are also some pointers to UNICODE; I'll
have to look into that one.
Anyway, even with a standard, there will always be problems about how
to encode specific characters/characteristics.
I've got enough information to get us started, I'm very grateful to all
those who've responded.
If new information pops up, I'll let you know.

Greeting, Sandra.
| Sandra Swagten E-mail: |
| Speech Processing EXpertise centre phone : +31 70 3326282 |
| P.O.Box 421 |
| 2260 AK Leidschendam The Netherlands |
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue