Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet

Chart of the Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet (extIPA), as of 2015

The extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet, also extIPA symbols for disordered speech or simply extIPA /ɛkˈstpə/,[1] are a set of letters and diacritics devised by the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association to augment the International Phonetic Alphabet for the phonetic transcription of disordered speech. Some of the symbols are used for transcribing features of normal speech in IPA transcription, and are accepted as such by the International Phonetic Association.[2]

Many sounds found only in disordered speech are indicated with diacritics, though an increasing number of dedicated letters are used as well. Special letters are included to transcribe the speech of people with lisps and cleft palates. The extIPA repeats several standard-IPA diacritics that are unfamiliar to most people but transcribe features that are common in disordered speech. These include preaspirationʰ◌⟩, linguolabial◌̼⟩, laminal fricatives [s̻, z̻] and ⟨*⟩ for a sound (segment or feature) with no available symbol (letter or diacritic). The novel transcription ⟨ɹ̈⟩ is used for an English molar-r, as opposed to ⟨ɹ̺⟩ for an apical r; these articulations are indistinguishable in sound and so are rarely identified in non-disordered speech.

Sounds not found in non-disordered speech include velopharyngeals, nasal fricatives (a.k.a. nareal fricatives) and some of the percussive consonants. Sounds sometimes found in the world's languages that do not have symbols in the basic IPA include denasals, the sublaminal percussive, post-alveolar lateral fricatives and fricatives that are simultaneously lateral and sibilant.


The letters added by the extIPA are the following. The letters added in the 2015 expansion are scheduled to be added to Unicode in 2021.[3]

VoQS letters may also be used, as in ⟨ↀ͡r̪͆⟩ for a buccal interdental trill (a raspberry).

Lateral ʪ Voiceless grooved lateral alveolar fricative, [ɬ͡s] (a laterally lisped /s/, with simultaneous airflow through the sibilant groove in the tongue and across the side of the tongue) intended for a lateral lisp
ʫ Voiced grooved lateral alveolar fricative, [ɮ͡z] (a laterally lisped /z/)
Voiceless retroflex lateral fricative
𝼅 (l ) Voiced retroflex lateral fricative
𝼆 () [4] Voiceless palatal lateral fricative. The voiced fricative may be ⟨𝼆̬⟩ or, in standard IPA, ⟨ʎ̝⟩.
𝼄 () [5] Voiceless velar lateral fricative. The voiced fricative may be ⟨𝼄̬⟩ or, in standard IPA, ⟨ʟ̝⟩.
Velo­pharyngeal ʩ Voiceless velopharyngeal fricative (often occurs with a cleft palate). The voiced fricative is ⟨ʩ̬⟩.
𝼀 (F-eng trill.png)[6] Voiceless velopharyngeal trill or 'snort'. (Velopharyngeal fricative accompanied by uvular trill. Equivalent to ʩ𐞪 (ʩʀ).)
Velo­dorsal 𝼃 (k) [7] Voiceless velodorsal plosive
𝼁 (ɡ) Voiced velodorsal plosive
𝼇 (ŋ) Velodorsal nasal
Pharyn­geal (Q) Voiceless upper-pharyngeal plosive
𝼂 (ɢ) Voiced upper-pharyngeal plosive
Percussive ʬ Bilabial percussive (smacking lips)
ʭ Bidental percussive (gnashing teeth)
¡ Sublaminal lower-alveolar percussive (tongue slap). This letter is used with the alveolar click for [ǃ¡], an alveolar click with percussive release, a "cluck".


The extIPA has widened the use of some of the regular IPA symbols, such as ʰp for pre-aspiration, or for uvularization, as well as adding some new ones. Some of the extIPA diacritics are occasionally used for non-disordered speech, for example for the unusual airstream mechanisms of Damin.

One modification is the use of subscript parentheses around the phonation diacritics to indicate partial phonation; a single parenthesis at the left or right of the voicing indicates that it is partially phonated at the beginning or end of the segment. These conventions may be convenient for representing various voice onset times. Phonation diacritics may also be prefixed or suffixed to represent relative timing beyond the segment (pre- and post-voicing etc.).

Partial (de)voicing[8]
s̬᪽ partial/central voicing of [s] z̥᪽ ʒ̊᪻ partial/central devoicing of [z], [ʒ]
s̬᫃ initial voicing z̥᫃ initial devoicing
s̬᫄ final voicing z̥᫄ final devoicing
z̤᪽ partial murmuring of [z] (etc.)
 ̬z pre-voiced [z] z ̬ post-voiced [z]
a ̰ [a] with a creaky offglide (etc.)

The transcriptions for partial voicing and devoicing may be used in either the sense of degrees of voicing or in the sense that the voicing is discontinuous. For the former, both parentheses indicate the sound is mildly (partially) voiced throughout, and single parentheses mean a partial degree of voicing at the beginning or end of the sound. For the latter, both parentheses mean the sound is (de)voiced in the middle, while the single parentheses mean complete (de)voicing at the beginning or end of the sound.

Altering the position of a diacritic relative to the letter indicates that the phonation begins before the consonant or vowel does or continues beyond it. The voiceless ring and other phonation diacritics can be used in the same way if needed. For example, ⟨p˳a⟩ indicates that voicelessness continues past the [p], equivalent to ⟨pʰa⟩.

Other extIPA diacritics are:

Airstream mechanism
p↓ Ingressive airflow ʘ↑ Egressive airflow[9]
[10] Unaspirated ʰp Pre-aspiration
n͋    v͋ (on a nasal letter) Nareal fricative [11] Velopharyngeal friction (especially noisy nasal airstream, due to turbulent airflow through the velopharyngeal port)
(on an oral letter) nasal fricative escape (audible turbulent airflow through the nostrils, as with a nasal lisp) Denasal (as with a headcold; complements the nasal diacritic)
Articulatory strength
Strong articulation (not necessarily fortis) Weak articulation (not necessarily lenis)
v͆    t͆ (on a labial letter) Dentolabial n̪͆    h̪͆ (on a coronal letter) interdental
(on a coronal letter) class-3 occlusion (tongue protrudes past upper teeth, as with a severe underbite) (on a glottal letter) bidental
s͇    f͇[12] (on a coronal letter) Alveolar[13] Labial spreading (complements the diacritics for rounding – see rounded vowel)
(on a labial letter) labioalveolar (class-2 occlusion, as with a severe overbite)
Whistled s̻ z̻ laminal fricatives (including lowered tongue tip)[14]
ɹ̈    ɹ̺ bunched-r (molar-r) and apical-r, respectively s͕    s͔ Offset to the left and right, respectively[15]
s͢θ  x͢ɕ Slurred/sliding articulation (a consonantal diphthong, moving from one articulation to another within the time of a single segment) p\p\p Stutter (reiterated articulation)[16]

Diacritics may be placed within parentheses as the voicing diacritics are above. For example, ⟨⁽m͊⁾⟩ indicates a partially denasalized [m].

Following a longstanding tradition of the IPA not specified on the regular IPA chart, any IPA or extIPA letter may be used in superscript form as a diacritic, to indicate the onset, release or 'flavor' of another letter. For example, ⟨k⟩ for [k] with a lateral-fricative release (similar to the velar lateral affricate [k͜], but with less frication), or ⟨dʫ⟩ for [d] with lateral-plus-central release.[17] Combining diacritics can be added to superscript diacritics, such as ⟨tʰ̪͆⟩ for [t] with bidental aspiration.

The VoQS voice-quality symbols take IPA and extended-IPA diacritics, as well as several additional diacritics that are potentially available for the extIPA. At least the subscript dot for 'whisper' is sometimes found in IPA transcription,[18] though that diacritic is also commonly used for apical-retroflex articulation.

Prosodic notation and indeterminate sounds

The Extended IPA has adopted bracket notation from conventions transcribing discourse. Parentheses are used to indicate mouthing (silent articulation), as in (ʃːː), a silent sign to hush. Parentheses are also used to indicate silent pauses, for example (...). Double parentheses indicate extraneous noise, as in ⸨2 syll.⸩ or ⸨2σ⸩ for two extraneous syllables, though the IPA convention is that double parentheses indicate that a sound is obscured, as when one person talks over another, and this is identified as the extIPA usage.[19]

In the extIPA, indistinguishable/unidentifiable sounds are circled rather than placed in single parentheses.[20] An empty circle, ◯, is used for an indeterminate segment, σ  an indeterminate syllable, Ⓒ a segment identifiable only as a consonant, etc. Full capital letters, such as C in Ⓒ, are used as wild-cards for certain categories of sounds, and may be combined with IPA and extIPA diacritics. For example,   (a circled capital P with a voiceless diacritic) indicates an undetermined or indeterminate voiceless plosive. Regular IPA and extIPA letters may also be circled to indicate that their identification is uncertain. For example, ⓚ indicates that the segment is judged to probably be [k]. At least in handwriting, the circle may be elongated into an oval for longer strings of symbols.

Curly brackets with Italian musical terms are used for phonation and prosodic notation, such as [{falsetto ˈhɛlp falsetto}] and terms for the tempo and dynamics of connected speech. These are subscripted within a {curly brace} notation to indicate that they are comments on the intervening text. The VoQS conventions use similar notation for voice quality.

(.) Short pause (..) Medium pause (...) Long pause (1.2) 1.2-second pause
(ʃːː) Silent articulation ⸨2σ⸩ Extraneous noise
𝑓 Loud speech
[{𝑓 ˈlaʊd 𝑓}] 𝑓𝑓 Louder speech
[{𝑓𝑓 ˈlaʊdɚ 𝑓𝑓}]
𝑝 Quiet speech
[{𝑝 ˈkwaɪət 𝑝}] 𝑝𝑝 Quieter speech
[{𝑝𝑝 ˈkwaɪətɚ 𝑝𝑝}]
allegro Fast speech [{allegro ˈfæst allegro}] lento Slow speech [{lento ˈsloʊ lento}]
crescendo, rallentando, and other musical terms may also be used.
Unidentifiable/indeterminate sounds
segment consonant fricative glide/approximant
[21] click liquid or lateral nasal plosive
rhotic or resonant sibilant tone/accent/stress vowel


Three rows appear in the extIPA chart that do not occur in the IPA chart: "fricative lateral + median" (simultaneous grooved and lateral frication), "fricative nasal" (a.k.a. nareal fricative) and "percussive". A denasal row is added here. Several new columns appear as well, though the linguolabial column is the result of a standard-IPA diacritic.

Consonants not appearing on the standard IPA chart[22]
Plosive p̪ b̪ p͇ b͇ p͆ b͆ t̼ d̼ t̪͆ d̪͆ (k ɡ) Q ɢ
Denasal ɳ͊ ɲ͊ ŋ͊
Nasal n̪͆ (ŋ)
Fricative nasal m̥͋ m͋ n̥͋ n͋ ɳ̥͋ ɳ͋ ɲ̥͋ ɲ͋ ŋ̥͋ ŋ͋
Trill r̪͆ F-eng trill.png (ʩʀ/ʩᷢ)
Median fricative f͇ v͇ f͆ v͆ h̪͆ ɦ̪͆ θ̼ ð̼ θ̪͆ ð̪͆ θ͇ ð͇ ʩ ʩ̬
Lateral fricative[23] ɬ̼ ɮ̼ ɬ̪͆ ɮ̪͆ l  ̬  ̬
Median+lateral fricative ʪ ʫ
Lateral approximant l̪͆
Percussive ʬ ʭ (¡)

Superscript variants

The customary use of superscript IPA letters is formalized in the extIPA, specifically for fricative releases of plosives, as can be seen in the lower-left of the full chart.

Speech pathologists also often use superscripting to indicate that a target sound has not been reached – for example, [ˈtʃɪᵏən] for an instance of the word 'chicken' where the /k/ is incompletely articulated. However, due to the ambiguous meaning of superscripting in the IPA, this is not a convention supported by the ICPLA. An unambiguous transcription would mark the consonant more specifically as weakened ([ˈtʃɪk͉ən]) or silent ([ˈtʃɪ(k)ən]).

Sample text

A sample transcription, using extIPA and Voice Quality Symbols:[24]

[ð\ðːə̤ {V̰ ə\ə\ə V̰} ˈhw̥əɹld ˈkʌp ˈf̆\faɪnəlz əv ˈnaɪntin eəti {↓𝑝ˈtʉ̆ 𝑝↓} ˌɑɹ ˈh\hɛld ɪn sːp\ˈsːp\ʰeᵊn ˈðɪs jəɹ (3 sec) ð͈ːe wɪl ɪnv\ˈv͈ːɔlv ðə tˢˑ\tʴ̥ (.) {𝑝 tʼ\tʼ 𝑝} ʩ \ {𝑓 ʩ \ ʩ 𝑓}\ˈt͈ɒ̆p̚ ˈneʃənz əv ðə ˈwəɹld ɪnˑ ə̰ {𝑝𝑝 tʰˑəʃ\t̆ʰə\təʃ 𝑝𝑝}\ˈt͈ʉɹnəmənt ˈlastɪn ˌoʊvər ˈfɔɹ ˈwiks (..) ˈh͈ɛld ə\ ʔat ˈf\fɔɹtin (...) {𝑝𝑝 V̰ d\d V̰ 𝑝𝑝} \ ˈdɪfɹənt ˈsɛn{↓təɹʐ↓} ɪn ˈspeᵊn (3 sec) ə̰ (.) ˈɔl əv ðə fˑ\f ˈɔl əv ðə ˈfəɹʂt ˈɹaʉnd ˈɡeᵊmz wɪl bi (..) wɪl bi (.) ɪn ðə (.) w̰̆ə̰ː p\pɹəv\ˈvɪnʃəl {𝑝 tʼ\tʼ 𝑝} \ {𝑝𝑝 tʼ\tʼ 𝑝𝑝} (.) tʼ\tʼ (..) {𝑝𝑝 tʼ\tʼ 𝑝𝑝} ʩ \ ʩ \ {↓ˈtãʉ̃nz↓} wɪð ðə s͢ːsʼ\sʼ\ˈs{↓ɛmi ˈfaɪnəlz↓} and ˈf\faɪnəlz ˈhɛld ɪn (.) ⸨knock on door⸩ bɑɹsə{𝑝ˈloʊnə and ˈmədɹɪd 𝑝}]

Original: "The World Cup Finals of 1982 are held in Spain this year. They will involve the top nations of the World in a tournament lasting over four weeks, held at fourteen different centers in Spain. All of the first round games will be in the Provencal towns with the semi-finals, and finals held in Barcelona and Madrid."[25]


  1. ^ Ball, Martin J. (1993). "Further to Articulatory Force and the IPA Revisions". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 23 (1): 39–41. doi:10.1017/S0025100300004783.
  2. ^ For example, the !Xoon pre-voiced ejective ⟨ˬɡ̥xʼ⟩ in Bennett (fc) 'Click Phonology', in Sands (ed.) Click Consonants, Brill, p. 102.
  3. ^ 20039
  4. ^ ʎ⟩ with a belt
  5. ^ Small-capital ⟨⟩.
  6. ^ May be approximated with ʩ̑ or fŋ̑ in some fonts.
  7. ^ The old IPA letter for a velar click, ⟨ʞ⟩, was used for a voiceless velodorsal plosive from 2008 to 2015.
  8. ^ As of Unicode version 12, only paired parentheses, as in [s̬] and [z̥᪽], are encoded. The single paretheses are scheduled for Unicode 14.
  9. ^ The up-arrow for egressive airflow is no longer present in the 2016 extIPA chart, but is mentioned in the accompanying article.
  10. ^ distinct in Unicode from the superscript equals sign, ⟨⁼⟩
  11. ^ This diacritic conflicts with the occasional IPA use of a double tilde for a high degree of nasalization, as in Palantla Chinantec /e͌/ (Peter Ladefoged 1971 Preliminaries of Linguistic Phonetics, p. 35).
  12. ^ This diacritic conflicts with the occasional IPA use of a double macron for a highly retracted sound, as in Kwaza [s̠̠] (Hein van der Voort 2005 'Kwaza in a Comparative Perspective', IJAL 71:4).
  13. ^ Normally in the IPA, a transcription with a coronal letter, such as [n], is assumed to be alveolar unless a diacritic is added to indicate otherwise (e.g. dental or post-alveolar). However, a speech pathologist may need to indicate whether the alveolar target is actually achieved, and so may overtly transcribe an alveolar nasal as [n͇].
  14. ^ The latter could be specified by doubling the diacritic for extra laminal [s̻̻], [z̻̻].
  15. ^ Although not specified by the extIPA, these are generally taken to refer to the interlocutor's left and right, not the speaker's.
  16. ^ used in the transcription of Damin
  17. ^ See secondary articulation for the superscript letters that are supported by Unicode.
  18. ^ e.g. Laver (1994) Principles of Phonetics, CUP
  19. ^ IPA (1999) Handbook, p. 176, 192
  20. ^ Unicode encodes a combining circle diacritic (U+20DD) that will work with any IPA letter, but as of 2020 it is not widely included in fonts. For example, ⟨σ⃝⟩ combines U+20DD with σ to represent an unidentifiable syllable.
  21. ^ A formatting trick has been used here, so the symbol cannot be copied and pasted from this page, but in a supporting font, a combining circle will accept the click wildcard letter ⟨Ʞ⟩.
  22. ^ Several formatting tricks are used to display the letters not supported by Unicode. It is not possible to copy and paste them into another document as plain text.
  23. ^ The dorsal lateral fricatives will not display unless you have an SIL font such as Gentium Plus installed.
  24. ^ Ball & Lowry (2001) Methods in Clinical Phonetics, p. 80
  25. ^ Ball & Lowry (2001) Methods in Clinical Phonetics, p. 80

See also


  • Ball, Martin J.; Howard, Sara J.; Miller, Kirk (2018). "Revisions to the extIPA chart". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 48 (2): 155–164. doi:10.1017/S0025100317000147. S2CID 151863976.
  • Martin Ball, John Esling & B Craig Dickson (1995) "The VoQS system for the transcription of voice quality", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 25 (2): 71–80.
  • M Duckworth, G Allen, W Hardcastle & M Ball (1990) "Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet for the transcription of atypical speech", Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics 4: 273–280.
  • Barry Hesselwood & Sara Howard (2008) "Clinical Phonetic Transcription". In Ball et al. (eds.) The Handbook of Clinical Linguistics. Blackwell.
  • Martin Ball & Orla Lowry (2001, 2008) Methods in Clinical Phonetics, "Transcribing Disordered Speech".

External links

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