A PHONEMIC TRANSCRIPTION KEY

Justin B Rye [MAIL] 1999–2013
(Real IPA edition)

FOREWORD

The function of this page has changed since it was first created in the nineties.  Originally, it was a transcription of my accent into Kirshenbaum ASCII IPA, the 7-bit encoding I was using as a substitute for raw phonetic symbols back in the days when web browsers couldn't be trusted to handle Unicode characters like ə and ʃ.  Now that (as of 2013) I no longer use ASCII IPA on any of my other pages, I have finally been able to retire it here too.

The part that's still applicable is that this page is intended to complement the rest of my site in two ways: for British non-linguists it's a rough guide to phonemic transcription, while for non-British linguists it's an introduction to my accent.  If you are already familiar with both the International Phonetic Alphabet and modern RP you're unlikely to find it very useful; and on the other hand if you don't know what I mean either by O as in bother or by ɒ as in ˈbɒðə then there's no convenient way I'm going to be able to get the leverage to explain either – or at any rate, not without knowing whether you're from Auckland, Kingston, or Chicago.

This page is fairly technical, but that can't be helped: attempts to explain details like this purely in terms of hard TH and long A sounds just spread confusion.  You may imagine that all I would need to do is add some audio examples; and indeed I may some day get round to doing that, but it's not a high priority, because the sad fact is that they wouldn't help much.  If you haven't been trained to listen, your ears wouldn't take in the unfamiliar features of my pronunciations any more than your eyes would be likely to notice a trivial typo you're not actively looking for – instead your mother-tongue perceptual filters automatically reinterpret everything to fit the phonological categories you're used to.

CONTENTS
FOREWORD (the above)
TERMINOLOGY (definitions)
INVENTORY (list of sounds)
COMPLICATIONS (more jargon)
WORDS (individual examples)
SENTENCES (longer examples)

TERMINOLOGY

Throughout this essay, example spellings and so forth are as usual marked out as follows…

Orthodox spellings: angle-bracketed like this
Phonemic transcriptions: IPA in slant-brackets lɑɪk ðɪs
Phonetic details: IPA in square-brackets lɑɪk ðɪs

(If you're wondering where the brackets are, sorry: it'll be because your browser doesn't support CSS…)

And before I get started I'll need to explain some of the labels I'm sticking on things:

Phonetic
Of or pertaining to the precise articulatory and acoustic properties of speech sounds, irrespective of the way they're used in particular languages; for instance, the K in key is usually a palatalised and aspirated kʲʰ, phonetically quite different from the K in ask.
Phonemic
(Here I go again trying to define phoneme in a nutshell… compare the attempts on my Espe-Ranto, Spelling Reform and Futurese pages)
Of or pertaining to phonemes, the sounds treated as basic units in a given lingo.  What the Ks in key, ask have in common is that both are forms of one English phoneme, k: the phonetic space between them is never used for telling English words apart (so English-speakers learn to disregard it).  The difference between cod and god, on the other hand, is that the first begins with k and the second with a voiced g – a subtle phonetic distinction that English does recognise as phonemically significant.
IPA
The alphabet of the International Phonetic Association, providing a standard notation of symbols and diacritics for representing the sounds of human languages, either on a phonemic level or in phonetic close-up.  Not to be confused with radiotelephony codes such as the so-called NATO Phonetic Alphabet on the one hand or with India Pale Ale (and indeed IsoPropyl Alcohol) on the other.
RP
Received Pronunciation, an accent better known perhaps as BBC English.  Like General American it is socially dominant as a standard educated accent; but unlike GA, RP is strongly associated with a particular region and social class, that of the southern English (upper-)middle class.
JBR RP
As the son of a Church of England vicar, I myself am definitively middle-class; I went to a primary school in rural Norfolk, then a public (i.e. private) secondary school in Norwich before coming to Edinburgh.  As a result my accent is fairly posh, though by no means up to Hollywood villain standards.  It has a few traceably East Anglian traits, and lacks several features becoming common in more southern areas; see the pronunciations of insolvencies, Norwich, quarter listed below.
Standard English
… Has nothing to do with this.  I'm not talking about correct grammar, or vocabulary, and certainly not spelling; I'm talking about accent, meaning how things are pronounced – you can quote Bob Marley or PG Wodehouse in any accent!
Voiced/voiceless
Standard labels for consonants, classifying them in terms of whether they are accompanied by vocal-cord buzzing.  If you don't recognise this idea, clutch your throat and go SSS-ZZZ-SSS-ZZZ!
Bilabial/dental/velar/etc.
Standard labels for consonants, classifying them in terms of the part of the mouth involved (teeth-ridge, soft palate, or whatever).  These you probably can just pick up from the examples.
Plosive/fricative/approximant
Standard labels for consonants, classifying them in terms of how thoroughly airflow is blocked.  During a plosive like T, no air can escape the mouth (until it's abruptly released); it scrapes through turbulently in fricatives like F; and approximants like W hardly impede the airflow at all.
Nasal/affricate/lateral
Three kinds of special exception to the above.  Nasals are like plosives, but involve air escaping through the nose (MMM); affricates turn from plosive to fricative (TCH); and laterals involve airflow around the sides of a central blockage (LLL).
Front/central/back
Standard labels for vowels, classifying them in terms of where in the mouth they are articulated; that is, whether the front or back of the tongue is held closer to the palate.  Again, you may never have noticed this; but say AY-OH-AY-OH and pay attention to what your tongue's doing.
Close/close-mid/open-mid/open
Standard labels for vowels, classifying them in terms of the gap between tongue and palate at its narrowest point – smallest in close vowels like OOO and greatest in open vowels like AAH.
Rounded/unrounded
Standard labels for vowels produced with or without lip-rounding.  This distinction is obvious in vowels like OOO-EEE, but trickier in the middle – Americans are likely to have trouble following my AW sounds.

INVENTORY

JBR RP features the following supply of consonants and vowels, here listed in an order which is more or less systematic rather than quasi-alphabetic.

b as in EBB, BIB
characteristically a voiced bilabial plosive
d as in ED, DID
characteristically a voiced alveolar plosive
as in EDGE, JUDGE
characteristically a voiced postalveolar affricate (counts as one item)
g as in EGG, GAG
characteristically a voiced velar plosive
 
p as in UP, PIP
characteristically a voiceless bilabial plosive
t as in AT, TOT
characteristically a voiceless alveolar plosive
as in ETCH, CHURCH
characteristically a voiceless postalveolar affricate (counts as one item)
k as in OAK, KICK
characteristically a voiceless velar plosive
 
v as in OF, VERVE
characteristically a voiced labiodental fricative
ð as in EITHER, THE
characteristically a voiced dental fricative (distinct from θ below)
z as in AS, ZOOS
characteristically a voiced alveolar fricative
ʒ as in SEIZURE, VISION
characteristically a voiced postalveolar fricative
 
f as in IF, FIFE
characteristically an unvoiced labiodental fricative
θ as in ETHER, THIRTIETH
characteristically an unvoiced dental fricative (distinct from ð above)
s as in US, SAUCE
characteristically an unvoiced alveolar fricative
ʃ as in ASH, SURE
characteristically an unvoiced postalveolar fricative
 
m as in AM, MUM
characteristically a voiced bilabial nasal
n as in AN, NUN
characteristically a voiced alveolar nasal
ŋ as in INK, HANGING
characteristically a voiced velar nasal
l as in ILL, LULL
characteristically a voiced alveolar lateral
 
r as in FRY, RAH‐RAH
characteristically a voiced alveolar approximant (not the US retroflex or the Scots rolled R; strictly speaking the phonetic symbol is ɹ)
w as in QUIT, WAH‐WAH
characteristically a voiced labiovelar approximant
j as in VIEW, YOYO
characteristically a voiced palatal approximant (not written y)
h as in HUE, HA‐HA
characteristically an unvoiced glottal approximant
 
ɪ as in IT, BID
characteristically a short close front unrounded vowel
ɛ as in EGG, BED
characteristically a short open-mid front unrounded vowel
ə (schwa) as in UP, BUD
characteristically a short open central unrounded vowel
æ as in AT, BAD
characteristically a short open front unrounded vowel
ʊ as in HOOD, BULL
characteristically a short close back rounded vowel
ɒ as in ON, BOD
characteristically a short open back rounded vowel
 
ɪə as in HERE, BEARD
characteristically a glide from ɪ towards ə
ɛə as in HAIR, BARED
characteristically a glide from ɛ towards ə, or long hybrid vowel
ɜː as in HER, BIRD
characteristically a long open-mid central unrounded vowel
ɑː as in HEART, BARD
characteristically a long open back unrounded vowel
ʊə as in MOOR, CURED – uncommon, often replaced by ɔː
characteristically a glide from ʊ towards ə, or long hybrid vowel
ɔː as in HAWK, BOARD
characteristically a long open-mid back rounded vowel
 
as in HEAT, BE
characteristically a long close front unrounded vowel
ɛɪ as in HATE, BAY
characteristically a glide from ɛ towards ɪ
ɑɪ as in HEIGHT, BY
characteristically a glide from ɑ towards ɪ
ɔɪ as in HOIST, BOY
characteristically a glide from ɔ towards ɪ
 
æʊ as in HOUSE, BOUGH
characteristically a glide from æ towards ʊ
as in HOOT, BOO
characteristically a long close back rounded vowel
əʊ as in HOSE, BEAU
characteristically a glide from ə towards ʊ

COMPLICATIONS

Characteristically
My use of this weasel-word signals that I'm ignoring some phonetic subtleties.  For example, while everyone more or less agrees on the prototypical phonetic realisation of t, there is some disagreement in specific contexts such as glottal.  Many US accents prescribe a flapped D there, and many UK accents use a glottal stop; JBR RP has a clearcut T in that particular context, but allows a glottalised t in a more limited family of words.
Phonetically Long
When I say something is stressed or long, that doesn't necessarily mean what you think.  Stressed vowels are loud and rather high-pitched; long vowels are characterised by prolonged duration; but the difference between, say, mad and made isn't one of stress or length – the two are simply different vowels (mæd, mɛɪd).
Phonemically Long
That said, the length-marker ː that forms part of the symbol for (e.g.) the phoneme ɔː does not mean that it always takes longer to say than (e.g.) the phoneme ɛ; only that length is one of its distinguishing features.  All other things being equal – as in the pair bought/bet – I take more time over the former; but other things very rarely are equal.
Complex and Compound Sounds
English has several other kinds of genuinely long sounds, including affricates like j (=) and diphthongs like oy (=ɔɪ).  A case could be made for splitting each of these into subcomponents, but at least for my own accent I find such analyses unnatural.
Conspicuously Absent
The typical pronunciations of the letters X and Q do not correspond to single phonemes (the sounds are transcribed as the sequences ks, kw).  Likewise, the sound of U as in unit is just YOO – j followed by  – and needs no separate sign of its own.
Stress-marking
The difference between the adjective ABstract and the verb abSTRACT is shown in my transcriptions by ˈ marks before stressed syllables: ˈæbstrækt, æbˈstrækt.  Secondary stress (not as emphatic as the word's main stress, but stronger than neighbouring syllables) receives a preceding ˌ mark – thus CHAracteRIStically is ˌkærəktəˈrɪstɪkliː.
Schwa
The symbol ə stands for three distinct sounds, each of which occurs in abundance, əˈbəndəns.  In phonetic terms, that's əˈbɐ̃ndn̩s; and for many accents it makes sense to consider the three forms as separate entities.  However, they don't seem to be used contrastively as phonemes in my own speech: the pronunciation of ə is always predictable from the surrounding context.  Accordingly, I am treating them as one phoneme, and standardising my phonemic notation here on the symbol for the neutral vowel known as the schwa.

WORDS

Please remember that this is an attempt at a representative selection of accurately reported spoken forms, not a prescriptive guide to how English should be spoken.  These may be what I normally say, but I'm not denying the existence of alternatives (even in BBC English); when people pronounce nuclear as noocular, that's not the end of the world.

absorption = əbˈzɔːbʃən
absurd = əbˈsɜːd
accomplished = əˈkəmplɪʃt – UM, not OM
actually = ˈæktʃəliː – but not ˈækʃliː
advertisement = ədˈvɜːtɪsmənt – n.b. stress
albino = ælˈbiːnəʊ
all = ɔːl
almond = ˈɑːmənd – no l
alto = ˈæltəʊ
ant = ænt – cf. aunt
anxious = ˈæŋkʃəs
arctic = ˈɑːktɪk artic is a lorry
aren't = ɑːnt – cf. aunt
Asia = ˈɛɪʒə
asphalt = ˈæʃfɛlt – unjustifiably
associated = əˈsəʊʃiːˌɛɪtɪd – with a SH
association = əˌsəʊsiːˈɛɪʃən – n.b. only one SH
asthma = ˈæsθmə – cf. isthmus
aunt = ɑːnt – cf. taunt
bachelor = ˈbætʃələ – three syllables
bald = bɔːld
balm = bɑːm – cf. bomb
band = bænd
basil = ˈbæzəl – like the name
bath = bɑːθ
beauty = ˈbjuːtiː
beta = ˈbiːtə – same as beater
bilabial = bɑɪˈlɛɪbiːəl
board = bɔːd – same as baud
bomb = bɒm – cf. balm
booth = buːð – like soothe
broom = brʊm
buckling = ˈbəklɪŋ – a young buck
buckling = ˈbəkəlɪŋ – starting to buckle
buddhist = ˈbʊdɪst – not ˈbuːdɪst
bumblebee = ˈbəmbəlˌbiː
buoy = bɔɪ – same as boy
burglar = ˈbɜːglə – no R
burial = ˈbɛriːəl
businessman = ˈbɪznɪsmən
butcher = ˈbʊtʃə
caches = ˈkæʃɪz
candidate = ˈkændɪˌdɛɪt – or ˈkændɪdət
caramel = ˈkærəˌmɛl
careless = ˈkɛələs
casualty = ˈkæʒʊltiː
caught = kɔːt – cf. cot
cautious = ˈkɔːʃəs – cf. nauseous
celebratory = ˌsɛliːˈbrɛɪtəriː
centenary = sɛnˈtiːnəriː
centrifugal = ˌsɛntrɪˈfjuːgəl – not -ˈtrɪf-
chance = tʃɑːns
charade = ʃəˈrɑːd
cheese = tʃiːz
children = ˈtʃʊldrən – or ˈtʃɪldrən
choice = tʃɔɪs
Chomsky = ˈtʃɒmskiː – not as Belorussian Хомскі
choral = ˈkɔːrəl – cf. coral
chorizo = tʃɒˈriːsəʊ – not -rɪts-
chrysanthemum = krɪˈsænθəməm
circumstances = ˈsɜːkəmˌstɑːnsɪz
clanger = ˈklæŋə
clangour = ˈklæŋgə
clerk = klɑːk – AH not UR
cloth = klɒθ
colonel = ˈkɜːnəl
colour = ˈkələ
comfortable = ˈkəmftəbəl – no OR
comma = ˈkɒmə
congratulate = kəŋˈgrætʃʊˌlɛɪt – never grædʒ
conjuror = ˈkəndʒərə
controversy = kənˈtrɒvəsiː – n.b. stress
cooed = kuːd – cf. cud
coral = ˈkɒrəl – cf. choral
cot = kɒt – cf. caught
could = kʊd – cf. cooed
coupon = ˈkuːpɒn
courgette = kʊəˈʒɛt – or kɔːˈʒɛt
court = kɔːt – same as caught
crass = kræs – cf. grass
crayon = ˈkrɛɪɒn – cf. mayonnaise
crescent = ˈkrɛzənt – rhymes with present
cud = kəd – cf. could
cumin = ˈkəmɪn – not ˈkjuːmən
cupboard = ˈkəbəd
cure = kjʊə – or kjɔː
curry = ˈkəriː
data = ˈdɛɪtə
dearly = ˈdɪəliː – cf. really
deity = ˈdɛɪətiː – like gaiety
delicious = dɪˈlɪʃəs
diamond = ˈdɑɪəmənd – three syllables
diphthong = ˈdɪfθɒŋ – not dip
do = duː – cf. due
docile = ˈdəʊsɑɪl
doesn't = ˈdəzənt
doll = dɒl – not like dole
dress = drɛs
due = djuː – cf. do
dully = ˈdəlliː – cf. sully
during = ˈdjʊərɪŋ – or dʒɔːrɪŋ
dynasty = ˈdɪnəstiː
ecosystem = ˈiːkəʊˌsɪstəm – eek!
Edinburgh = ˈɛdɪnbərə – or ˈɛdəmbrə
eighth = ɛɪtθ
either = ˈiːðə – or ˈɑɪðə
electric = ɪˈlɛktrɪk
English = ˈɪŋglɪʃ
entire = ɛnˈtɑɪə
ephemeral = ɪˈfiːmərəl
equinox = ˈɛkwɪˌnɒks
ether = ˈiːθə – cf. either
evolution = ˌiːvəˈluːʃən
example = ɛgˈzɑːmpəl
extraordinary = ɛkˈstrɔːdɪnˌɛriː
face = fɛɪs
falcon = ˈfɔːlkən
false = ˈfɔːls
February = ˈfɛbrəriː – or -ruːˌɛriː
figure = ˈfɪgə
financial = fɑɪˈnænʃəl
finger = ˈfɪŋgə – cf. ginger
fleece = fliːs
flourish = ˈflərɪʃ
force = fɔːs
forehead = ˈfɔːhɛd
from = frɒm – reduces to frəm
fully = ˈfʊliː – cf. dully
gala = ˈgɑːlə – cf. parlour
garage = ˈgærɪdʒ – or ˈgærɑːdʒ
gibberish = ˈdʒɪbərɪʃ soft G
gigabyte = ˈgɪgəbɑɪt hard G
ginger = ˈdʒɪndʒə – cf. singer
Glasgow = ˈglɑːzgəʊ
goat = gəʊt
goose = guːs
gradually = ˈgrædʒəliː
grass = grɑːs – cf. crass
grocery = ˈgrəʊsəriː
half‐mirrored = ˌhɑːfˈmɪrəd
Hallowe'en = ˌhæləʊˈiːn – not hollow
halt = hɔːlt
hanging = ˈhæŋɪŋ – no g
happiness = ˈhæpɪnɛs – cf. merriness
happy = ˈhæpiː
herb = hɜːb – initial consonant
historic = hɪˈstɒrɪk – initial consonant
hovercraft = ˈhɒvəˌkrɑːft
huge = hjuːdʒ
ideology = ˌɑɪdiːˈɒlədʒiː
insolvencies = ɪnˈsɒlvənˌsiːz
interadministrative = ˌɪntərədˈmɪnɪstrətɪv
inventory = ˈɪnvəntriː infantry with a v
ion = ˈɑɪɒn
IPA = ˌɑɪpiːˈɛɪ
iron = ˈɑɪən
isthmus = ˈɪsθməs – cf. asthma
jaguar = ˈdʒægjuːə – not as Spanish
jumped = ˈdʒəmpt
jury = ˈdʒʊəriː – or ˈdʒɔːriː
Kirshenbaum = ˈkɜːʃənˌbɔːm – not as German
kit = kɪt
labiovelar = ˌlɛɪbiːəʊˈviːlə – rhymes with tequila
laboratory = ləˈbɒrətriː
language = ˈlæŋgwɪdʒ
lather = ˈlɑːðə
laugh = lɑːf
lava = ˈlɑːvə – same as larva
lawyer = ˈlɔɪə – or (oddly) ˈlɔɪjə
leisure = ˈlɛʒə
length = lɛŋkθ – or lɛŋθ
letter = ˈlɛtə
lever = ˈliːvə
library = ˈlɑɪbriː – two syllables
lichen = ˈlɑɪkən – same as liken
lieutenant = lɛfˈtɛnənt – army only!
Linux = ˈlɪnəks
loch = lɒh – on loan from Scots
longitude = ˈlɒŋgɪˌtjuːd – yes, wrongly
lorry = ˈlɒriː
lot = lɒt
lure = ljɔː
luxury yacht = ˈləkʃəriːˌjɒt
machismo = məˈtʃɪzməʊ
mall = mɔːl
marry = ˈmæriː
Mary = ˈmɛəriː
mayonnaise = ˌmɛɪəˈnɛɪz – cf. crayon
merriness = ˈmɛriːnɛs – cf. happiness
merry = ˈmɛriː
mischievous = ˈmɪstʃəvəs – not mischevious
miscible = ˈmɪsɪbəl – cf. below
missable = ˈmɪsəbəl – cf. above
missile = ˈmɪsɑɪl
moustache = məˈstɑːʃ
mouth = mæʊð – verb
mouth = mæʊθ – noun
mum = məm
muslim = ˈmʊzlɪm – not mooselimb
mustn't = ˈməsənt
nauseous = ˈnɔːziːəs – cf. cautious
near = nɪə
necessary = ˈnɛsəˌsɛriː
nephew = ˈnɛfjuː – never ˈnɛvjuː
Newcastle = ˈnjuːkɑːsəl
newspaper = ˈnjuːspɛɪpə
niche = niːʃ – like leash
nodule = ˈnɒdjuːl
north = nɔːθ
Norwich = ˈnɒrɪdʒ – like porridge
nubile = ˈnjuːbɑɪl
nuclear = ˈnjuːkliːə
nurse = nɜːs
of = ɒv – reduces to əv, ə
often = ˈɒfən
ogle = ˈəʊgəl – like mogul
ominous = ˈɒmɪnəs
one = wən – same as won
onerous = ˈəʊnərəs
ongoing = ˈɒngəʊɪŋ – jocularly ˈɒŋˌɔɪŋ
oral = ˈɔːrəl – same as aural
orange = ˈɒrɪndʒ – doesn't rhyme with silver
ordinary = ˈɔːdɪnəriː – or ˈɔːdnəriː
oregano = ˌɒrɪˈgɑːnəʊ – rhymes with Arno
palm = pɑːm
paprika = pəˈpriːkə – rhymes with Eureka
parlour = ˈpɑːlə – cf. gala
pasta = ˈpæstə
patriot = ˈpɛɪtriːət
patronise = ˈpɛɪtrəˌnɑɪz
pen = pɛn
perpetual = ˌpɜːˈpɛtʃuːəl
phoneme = ˈfəʊniːm – not like phone me
phonemic = fəˈnɛmɪk – like academic
pidgin = ˈpɪdʒɪn
pin = pɪn
plosive = ˈpləʊzɪv – less often ˈpləʊsɪv
Polynesia = ˌpɒliːˈniːʒə – or -ˈniːziːə
poor = pɔː – not usually pʊə
pore = pɔː – same as paw
postalveolar = ˌpəʊstælˈviːələ
potato = pəˈtɛɪtəʊ
pour = pɔː – like the rest!
preferably = ˈprɛfrəbliː
premiere = ˈprɛmiːɛə
prestigious = prəˈstɪdʒəs
pretty = ˈprɪtiː
price = prɑɪs
primarily = prɑɪˈmɛrɪliː – n.b. stress
process = ˈprəʊsɛs
project = ˈprɒdʒɛkt – noun
pronunciation = prəˌnənsiːˈɛɪʃən – not proNOUNciation
puncture = ˈpəŋktʃə
pursuit = pəˈsjuːt
put = pʊt – cf. putt
putt = pət – cf. put
quagmire = ˈkwɒgmɑɪə
quarter = ˈkɔːtə – no w
question = ˈkwɛstʃən
questionnaire = kwɛstʃəˈnɛə
queue = kjuː
raspberry = ˈrɑːzbriː
real = ˈriːəl – same as reel
really = ˈriːəliː – cf. steely
restaurant = ˈrɛstəˌrɒnt – or ˈrɛstrənt
rhythm = ˈrɪðəm
room = rʊm – not ruːm
route = ruːt root not rout
sausage = ˈsɒsɪdʒ
says = sɛz
scallop = ˈskæləp – like gallop
scarce = skɛəs
schedule = ˈʃɛdjuːl
schwa = ʃwɑː
scone = skɒn on, not own
scythed = sɑɪðd
sentient = ˈsɛnʃiːənt – or ˈsɛnʃənt
shared = ʃɛəd – very like shed
shone = ʃɒn on, not own
shore = ʃɔː – same as Shaw
simultaneous = ˌsɪməlˈtɛɪniːəs
singer = ˈsɪŋə – cf. finger
situation = ˌsɪtʃuːˈɛɪʃən
sixths = sɪksθs
software = ˈsɒftwɛə
solder = ˈsəʊldə
soldier = ˈsəʊldʒə – cf. above
source = sɔːs – same as sauce
species = ˈspiːʃiːz
square = skwɛə
squirrel = ˈskwɪrəl – two syllables
start = stɑːt
status = ˈstɛɪtəs
steely = ˈstiːliː – cf. dearly
story = ˈstɔːriː
strut = strət
strychnine = ˈstrɪkniːn
succinct = səkˈsɪŋkt
suet = ˈsuːɪt
suggest = səˈdʒɛst – no g
suit = suːt
sully = ˈsəliː – cf. fully
taunt = tɔːnt – cf. aunt
taxes = ˈtæksɪz – cf. taxis
taxis = ˈtæksiːz – cf. taxes
than = ðæn – or unstressed ðən
theatre = ˈθiːətə
then = ðɛn – or unstressed ðən
thither = ˈðɪðə – twice ð
thorough = ˈθərə
thought = θɔːt
tomato = təˈmɑːtəʊ
tongue = təŋ
tortoise = ˈtɔːtəs – like porpoise
tourniquet = ˈtɔːnɪˌkɛɪ – no final T
toward = təˈwɔːd
trap = træp
truer = ˈtruːə
tune = tjuːn
turmeric = ˈtɜːmərɪk – not ˈtjuːmərɪk
uvula = ˈjuːvjʊlə – and likewise uvular
vacation = vɛɪˈkɛɪʃən
valid = ˈvælɪd
valleyed = ˈvæliːd
vase = vɑːz
vehicle = ˈviːɪkəl – no h
version = ˈvɜːʃən
virgin = ˈvɜːdʒɪn
vitamin = ˈvɪtəmɪn
voltage = ˈvəʊltɪdʒ
voluntarily = ˌvɒlənˈtɛrɪliː
walk = wɔːk
warrior = ˈwɒriːə – cf. worrier
wash = wɒʃ – like posh
Wednesday = ˈwɛnzdɛɪ
were = wɜː – reduces to
we're = wɪə – cf. were, where
where = wɛə – likewise there
whine = wɑɪn – same as wine
width = wɪtθ
with = wɪð
worrier = ˈwəriːə – cf. warrior
wrongly = ˈrɒŋliː
xylophone = ˈzɑɪləˌfəʊn
yoghurt = ˈjɒgət – not yo‐ghurt
your = jɔː – same as yaw
you're = jɔː – or jʊə
youths = juːðz
zebra = ˈziːbrə – less often ˈzɛbrə
zoology = zuːˈɒlədʒiː

SENTENCES

Some full-length case-studies – they may not be phrases that come up frequently in conversation, but all of them have been used before, and The North Wind and the Sun is often seen as a sample text in comparative studies.  In each case, I am speaking with normal levels of emphasis at ordinary conversational speeds.


With tenure, Suzie'd have all the more leisure for yachting, but her publications are no good.
wɪð ˈtɛnjə ˈsuːˌziːd hæv ɔːl ð mɔː ˈlɛʒə fə ˈjɒtɪŋ bət hɜː ˌpəblɪˈkɛɪʃənz ə nəʊ gʊd

For certain US accents and phonological analyses, that's a quick brown fox sentence, providing a full inventory of phonemes; for me, even if we ignore the somewhat marginal ʊə, it would require the addition of air thigh rear chow joy.  Eventually I found myself a perfect JBR-RP pangram, with exactly one use of each phoneme in my inventory:

Are those shy Eurasian footwear, cowboy chaps, or jolly earthmoving headgear?
ɑː  ð əʊ z  ʃ ɑɪ  j ʊə ˈr ɛɪ ʒ ə n  ˈf ʊ t w ɛə  ˈk æʊ b ɔɪ  tʃ æ p s  ɔː  ˈdʒ ɒ l iː  ˈɜː θ ˌm uː v ɪ ŋ  ˈh ɛ d g ɪə

Yes, I know there are far too many Rs in that for it to work for all you rhotic types!  Honestly, for me there's only one – I've increased the spaces between segments to make it easier if you want to double-check.  Now for some less elaborately contrived example sentences:

Bother, father caught hot coffee in the carpark
ˈbɒðə ˈfɑːðə kɔːt hɒt ˈkɒfiː ɪn ðə ˈkɑːˌpɑːk

I teach Ferdinand the calm cat to fetch cold cups of coffee.  Who knows more about tasting things?  He's used the book.
ɑɪ tiːtʃ ˈfɜːdɪˌnænd ðə kɑːm kæt tə fɛtʃ kəʊld kəps əv ˈkɒfiː   huː nəʊz mɔːr əbæʊt ˈtɛɪstɪŋ θɪŋz   hiːz juːzd ðə bʊk

The North Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger, when a traveller came along wrapped in a warm cloak.  They agreed that the one who first succeeded in making the traveller take his cloak off should be considered stronger than the other.
Then the North Wind blew as hard as he could, but the more he blew the more closely did the traveller fold his cloak around him, and at last the North Wind gave up the attempt; then the Sun shone out warmly, and immediately the traveller took off his cloak.
And so the North Wind was obliged to confess that the Sun was the stronger of the two.
ðə nɔːθ wɪnd ən ðə sən wə dɪsˈpjuːtɪŋ wɪtʃ wəz ðə ˈstrɒŋgə wɛn ə ˈtrævlə kɛɪm əˈlɒŋ ræpt ɪn ə wɔːm kləʊk   ðɛɪ əˈgriːd ðət ðə wən huː fɜːs səkˈsiːdɪd ɪn ˈmɛɪkɪŋ ðə ˈtrævlə tɛɪk ɪz kləʊk ɒf ʃʊb biː kənˈsɪdəd ˈstrɒŋgə ðən ðiː ˈəðə
ðɛn ðə nɔːθ wɪnd bluː əz hɑːd z iː kʊd bət ðə mɔːr iː bluː ðə mɔː ˈkləʊsliː dɪd ðə ˈtrævlə fəʊld hɪz kləʊk əˈræʊnd hɪm   ən ət lɑːs ðə nɔːθ wɪnd gɛɪv əp ðj əˈtɛmp   ðɛn ðə sən ʃɒn æʊt ˈwɔːmliː ən ɪˈmiːdʒətliː ðə ˈtrævlə tʊk ɒf ɪz kləʊk
ən səʊ ðə nɔːθ wɪnd wəz əˈblɑɪdʒ tə kənˈfɛs ðət ðə sən wəz ðə ˈstrɒŋgr əv ðə tuː

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FUTURESE | BABEL 2.0