Friday, July 22, 2011

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Using the Phonetic Chart

Does the picture below scare or confuse you?

If the answer is yes, the you probably should watch this excellent video with Adrian Underhill that explains the phonetic chart.

For some more information about phonetics, see these previous posts about Phonetics & Pronunciation and my message written in phonetics to learners of English.  You could also try some of my Phonetic Film Quizzes.

And thanks to Adrian Underhill for making such a helpful video!  For more help from him you should read through his blog - Adrian's Pron Chart Blog.


  1. What do the diagonal lines and dash marks in the top right hand corner of the phonemic chart represent?

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  3. Good question. The arrows talk about intonation. For example, in a question, the last word in the sentence often goes up.

    However, in my language teaching I don't often use the arrows when writing phonetics.

    Here is a little more explanation about the arrows.

    The dashes refer to the stressed syllable. For example, 'addition' /əˈdɪʃən/. The top dash means we must make the /dɪ/ sound the strongest: aDDItion.

    The low dash is for longer words when there might be a second strong syllable. This is often for longer, scientific words. For example, 'macrobiotic' /ˌmækrəʊbɑɪˈɒtɪk/. The /ɒ/ is the strongest syllable but the /mæ/ is also strong.

    Here is a lot more explanation


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