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IPA Braille

IPA Braille is the modern standard Braille encoding of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), as recognized by the International Council on English Braille.

A braille version of the IPA was first created by Merrick and Potthoff in 1934, and published in London. It was used in France, Germany, and anglophone countries. However, it was not updated as the IPA evolved, and by 1989 had become obsolete. In 1990 it was officially reissued by BAUK, but in a corrupted form that made it largely unworkable. In 1997 BANA created a completely new system for the United States and Canada. However, it was incompatible with braille IPA elsewhere in the world and in addition proved to be cumbersome and often inadequate. In 2008 Robert Englebretson revised the Merrick and Potthoff notation[1][2] and by 2011 this had been accepted by BANA.[3] It is largely true to the original in consonants and vowels, though the diacritics were completely reworked, as necessitated by the major revisions in print IPA diacritics since 1934. The diacritics were also made more systematic, and follow rather than precede the base letters. However, it has no general procedure for marking tone, and not all diacritics can be written.

IPA Braille does not use the conventions of English Braille. It is set off by slash or square brackets, which indicate that the intervening material is IPA rather than national orthography. Thus brackets are required in braille even when not used in print.

Basic letters

The 26 letters of the basic Latin alphabet are the same as in international braille:

Braille (image) 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px
Braille (font)
Print [[open front unrounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.a]]
[[voiced bilabial stop#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.b]]
[[voiceless palatal stop#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.c]]
[[voiced alveolar stop#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.d]]
[[close-mid front unrounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.e]]
[[voiceless labiodental fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.f]]
[[voiced velar stop#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɡ]]
[[voiceless glottal fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.h]]
[[close front unrounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.i]]
[[palatal approximant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.j]]
[[voiceless velar stop#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.k]]
[[alveolar lateral approximant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.l]]
[[bilabial nasal#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.m]]
40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px
[[alveolar nasal#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.n]]
[[close-mid back rounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.o]]
[[voiceless bilabial stop#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.p]]
[[voiceless uvular stop#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.q]]
[[alveolar trill#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.r]]
[[voiceless alveolar fricative#Voiceless alveolar sibilant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.s]]
[[voiceless alveolar stop#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.t]]
[[close back rounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.u]]
[[voiced labiodental fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.v]]
[[labio-velar approximant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.w]]
[[voiceless velar fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.x]]
[[close front rounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.y]]
[[voiced alveolar fricative#Voiced alveolar sibilant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.z]]

In addition, there are the following dedicated letters:

40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px
[[open back unrounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɑ]]
[[open-mid front unrounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɛ]]
[[open-mid back rounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɔ]]
[[close-mid front rounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ø]]
[[open-mid front rounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.œ]]
[[near-close near-front unrounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɪ]]
[[near-close near-back vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʊ]]
[[open-mid back unrounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʌ]]
[[mid central vowel#Mid-central unrounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ə]]
[[near-open front unrounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.æ]]
40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px40px
[[glottal stop#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʔ]]
[[palatal nasal#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɲ]]
[[velar nasal#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ŋ]]
[[voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʃ]]
[[voiced palato-alveolar sibilant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʒ]]
[[alveolar approximant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɹ]]
[[voiced dental fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ð]]
[[length (phonetics)#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ː]]
[[length (phonetics)#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ˑ]]

Following a pattern found in many national alphabets, a few braille letters are reversed to represent a similar letter: thus reversed n, s, z produces ŋ, ʃ, ʒ. The choice for ɹ may reflect the shape of that letter in print. Many of the vowels are used for modified vowels in national alphabets, such as French Braille.

A few other letters such as occur, but only as parts of digraphs.

Modified letters

Other IPA letters are indicated with digraphs or even trigraphs usinɡ 5th-decade letters (letters from the punctuation row). The component letter ".", for example, is equivalent to the tail of the retroflex consonants. This presumably derives from the old IPA practice of using a subscript dot for retroflex consonants. It also marks vowels which in print are formed by rotating the letter.[4]

40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px
[[voiced retroflex stop#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɖ]]
[[retroflex lateral approximant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɭ]]
[[retroflex nasal#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɳ]]
[[retroflex flap#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɽ]]
[[retroflex approximant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɻ]]
[[voiceless retroflex sibilant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʂ]]
[[voiceless retroflex stop#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʈ]]
[[voiced retroflex sibilant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʐ]]
40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px
[[near-open central vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɐ]]
[[open back rounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɒ]]
[[close-mid central unrounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɘ]]
[5]
[[open-mid central unrounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɜ]]
[[labialized palatal approximant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɥ]]
[[close-mid back unrounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɤ]]
[[close back unrounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɯ]]

Similarly, is used to derive small capital variants, as well as ʢ (from ʔ).[6]

40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px
[[bilabial trill#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʙ]]
[[voiced uvular stop#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɢ]]
[[voiceless epiglottal fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʜ]]
[[voiced palatal stop#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɟ]]
[[velar lateral approximant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʟ]]
[[uvular nasal#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɴ]]
40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px
[[open front rounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɶ]]
[[uvular trill#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʀ]]
[[voiced uvular fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʁ]]
[[near-close near-front rounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʏ]]
[[voiced epiglottal fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʢ]]

"?" is used for hook tops, curly tails, and other loops; turned letters with tails; closed ɞ (from ɛ), and ʡ.

40px40px 40px40px 40px40px40px 40px40px 40px40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px
[[voiced bilabial implosive#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɓ]]
[[voiced alveolar implosive#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɗ]]
[[voiced palatal implosive#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʄ]]
[[voiced velar implosive#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɠ]]
[[voiced uvular implosive#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʛ]]
[[voiced glottal fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɦ]]
[[sj-sound#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɧ]]
[[voiced palatal fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʝ]]
40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px
[[voiceless alveolar lateral fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɬ]]
[[voiceless alveolo-palatal sibilant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɕ]]
[[voiced alveolo-palatal sibilant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʑ]]
[[labiodental approximant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʋ]]
[[palatal lateral approximant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʎ]]
[[velar approximant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɰ]]
[[alveolar lateral flap#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɺ]]
[[open-mid central rounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɞ]]
[[epiglottal stop#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʡ]]

is used for fricatives written with Greek letters, using the English conventions for Greek letters in scientific notation. The basic braille letters and , which do not occur on their own in IPA usage, appear here.

40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px
[[voiceless bilabial fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɸ]]
[[voiced bilabial fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.β]]
[[voiceless dental fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.θ]]
[[voiced velar fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɣ]]
[[voiceless uvular fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.χ]]

is also used with letters of the fifth decade for transcriber-defined symbols, which need to be specified for each text, as they have no set meaning. These are , , , , , , , , , .

is used for barred vowels.

40px40px 40px40px 40px40px
[[close central unrounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɨ]]
[[close-mid central rounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɵ]]
[[close central rounded vowel#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʉ]]

is used for other hooks, as in flaps, as well as a couple barred and turned letters.

40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px
[[voiceless palatal fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ç]]
[[alveolar flap#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɾ]]
[[labiodental flap#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ⱱ]]
[[labiodental nasal#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɱ]]
[[voiceless pharyngeal fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ħ]]
[[alveolar lateral approximant#Velarized alveolar lateral approximant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ɫ]]
[[voiceless labio-velar approximant#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʍ]]
[[voiced pharyngeal fricative#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʕ]]

is used for click letters. These are far more legible in braille than in print, and there is no distinction from the old click letters.

40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px
[[tenuis bilabial click#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ʘ]]
[[tenuis dental click#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ǀ]]
[[tenuis alveolar click#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ǃ]]
[[tenuis palatal click#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ǂ]]
[[tenuis alveolar lateral click#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.ǁ]]

Ligatures, regardless of whether these are written with a tie bar or as actual ligatures in print, are indicated by dot 5, so t͜ʃ and ʧ are both . This includes the historic ligatures ɮ and ɚ . Ejectives are written as ligatures with an apostrophe, , so is .

Diacritics

IPA Braille diacritics are written in two cells. The first indicates the position: whether superscript, mid-line, or subscript. , for example, is the tilde. is therefore nasal ã, is creaky-voiced , and is pharyngealized . As noted above, dot 5 is used for the tie bar; the only diacritics which use it are the rhotic and ejective (apostrophe) diacritics seen above, and the velar/pharyngeal tilde just illustrated.

In other cases, such as the ring for voiceless l̥ ŋ̊, a diacritic may superscript or subscript with no change in meaning. The distinction is therefore not necessary in braille, but can be maintained if the text is to be transliterated into print. The wedge, which indicates voicing when below a letter, can be placed above to represent Americanist notation such as š and č. The placement dot distinguishes the tilde from the letter ð, and the ring from the letter ŋ.[7] Many diacritics are identical in form to the corresponding symbols in Unified English Braille, but always follow the letter in IPA Braille. When there is more than one diacritic, they are written in the order lowest to highest.

Superscript letters are simply the superscript placement dot plus the base letter. So: ◌ʰ, ◌ʲ, ◌ˡ, ◌ⁿ, ◌ʷ, ◌ˠ, ◌ˁ, etc., though not all superscript letters are possible.[8] The other diacritics are as follows; any of these may be modified by a change in placement:

40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px
◌͡◌ ◌ʼ ◌̥ ◌̊ ◌̬ ◌̌ ◌̤ ◌̈ ◌̰ ◌̴ ◌̃
40px40px 40px40px 40px40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px
◌̼ ◌̪ ◌̺ ◌̻ ◌̹ ◌̜ ◌̟ ◌̠ ◌̄
40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px 40px40px
◌̽ ◌̙ ◌̘ ◌̞ ◌̝ ◌˞ ◌̚ ◌̩ ◌̯ ◌̆
Template:Ifsubst Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA
Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell(?)
Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA

The high and low falling-tone diacritics are extrapolated from the rising-tone diacritics, the dipping tone by analogy with the peaking tone and the generic rising and falling tones.

Non-combining modifiers

Template:Bc marks tone letters, stress, and prosody.

Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA
Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA
Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA
Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell(?)
Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA

There is no general provision for IPA tone letters. Ligatures which did not happen to be chosen as illustrations in the 2005 edition of the IPA chart, such as the Mandarin dipping tone Template:IPA and various other tones used in the IPA Handbook, are not covered. The high and low falling tone letters above are extrapolated from the rising tone letters. Template:Bc transcribes peaking (rising–falling) tones in general, and so has no exact print equivalent; the parallel dipping tone may be expected from the patterns elsewhere. Since other tones are written as ligatures in print, the ligature mark Template:Bc would presumably be appropriate, so perhaps Mandarin Template:IPA could be written Template:Angle bracket.

Punctuation and code switching

The only punctuation which is defined is the period (syllable break, full stop), comma (pause), hyphen (morpheme break), and rightward arrow (phonological realization).

Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA

For all other punctuation, you must opt out of IPA coding.

The primary indication of IPA coding are the brackets, square or slash depending on whether the transcription is phonetic or phonemic. These are marked by Template:Bc:

Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:IPA Template:IPA Template:IPA

Template:Bc opts out of IPA. A single instance indicates that the following cell is to be read in the national orthography. Doubled, Template:Bc, it indicates that the following string is to be read in orthography, up to the opt-in indicator Template:Bc, which marks the end of the non-IPA passage. These are only used for non-IPA (or nonstandard IPA) strings within IPA brackets. An example is the use of parentheses to mark an optional consonant or vowel, since parentheses are not defined for IPA Braille.

Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell Template:Braille cell
(not IPA) (start non-IPA) (end non-IPA)

Notes and references

  1. ^ Template:Cite journal
  2. ^ Englebretson, 2008, IPA Braille: An Updated Tactile Representation of the International Phonetic Alphabet, CNIB
  3. ^ IPA Braille (BANA). According to the minutes of BAUK,[1] BANA had withdrawn its idiosyncratic system by 2008, and BAUK was considering adopting IPA Braille at that time.
  4. ^ For this purpose, Template:Angle bracket is treated as a rotated (script?) Template:Angle bracket, and Template:Angle bracket as a rotated Template:Angle bracket rather than Template:Angle bracket, perhaps facilitated by braille Template:Angle bracket and Template:Angle bracket themselves being a rotated pair
  5. ^ Schwa Template:Angle bracket has a dedicated letter
  6. ^ For this purpose, Template:Angle bracket is treated as a small capital J
  7. ^ It is therefore not possible to transcribe superscript Template:Angle bracket or Template:Angle bracket without some additional convention, such as the voiceless diacritic always being subscript, and the superscript indicating an engma in for example Template:Angbr. Or braille click notation could substitute the proper tilde and the voicing diacritics for the ad hoc superscript engma and gee generally used in print, as the diacritics do not have the legibility problems in braille that they have in print.
  8. ^ The IPA letters which duplicate diacritics and which therefore cannot be written as superscripts are Template:Angbr. Of these, superscript Template:Angbr are fairly common in print. Template:Bc is similarly potentially ambiguous between superscript Template:Angbr and the extra-IPA diacritic Template:Angbr that is sometimes seen in transcriptions of languages with four- or six-tone systems. See the previous note for two suggested solutions for rendering superscript Template:Angbr in braille.

Template:IPA navigation