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Phonetics and phonology

  • International Phonetic Association
    Phonetics information and resources (e.g. downloadable IPA charts and sound files).
  • Handbook of the International Phonetic Association
    Aside from documentation about the International Phonetic Association and its Alphabet, you can download sound files of utterances in a wide range of languages.
  • Online IPA charts
    Clickable charts allowing you to listen to the sounds of the International Phonetic Alphabet, and diphthongs in General American and British (RP) English. The best site of its type. Also available here.
  • IPA Sounds Search
    Finds IPA sounds on the web that are available for downloading or immediate playback. It currently lists the languages that contain the requested sound in the IPA Illustrations of Languages files and in the UCLA Phonetic Data Collection.
  • 'Sound Comparisons': Dialect and Language Comparison and Classification by Phonetic Similarity
    Based at the University of Edinburgh, this project seeks to 'develop and explore methods for measuring the degree of phonetic similarity between accents of English; English and other Germanic languages and varieties; Germanic and Romance languages; and varieties of the two main indigenous language families spoken in the Andes, Quechua and Aymara.
  • UCLA Phonetics Lab Language Archive
    For over half a century, the UCLA Phonetics Laboratory has collected recordings of hundreds of languages from around the world, providing source materials for phonetic and phonological research. This website, funded by the US National Science Foundation, aims to make the Lab's materials more easily accessible, serving the interests of scholars, speakers, and language learners everywhere.
  • Internet Institute for Speech and Hearing
    Described as 'a virtual centre of expertise in the science and technology of human spoken communication', this page links to dozens of interesting and useful tutorials, demonstrations and resources connected with the phonetic sciences.
  • Phon2: Phonetics Beyond the Basics
    An online phonetics course for more advanced students based at the University of Reading, and run under the 'Module for Europe' scheme.
  • Peter Ladefoged's Vowels and Consonants Pages
    Very useful for self-study in phonetics (clickable IPA charts, etc.)
  • Easily confused phonetic symbols
    John Wells' list of common errors when using the International Phonetic Alphabet. Note that to view all the symbols on this page you'll need to have Lucida Sans Unicode font installed on your computer (install from here), and that it may not display properly if you're using an Apple Mac.
  • PhonMap
    A convenient little piece of software which allows you to paste strings of IPA symbols into other applications using a clickable on-screen 'keyboard' interface - unlike those on the MS Word character map for SIL fonts, the characters are properly visible, and the program's far easier and faster to use than Keyman. Only a subset of IPA symbols is available, however, and those that are shown are geared towards entering transcriptions in RP English. This software is not free.
  • Vgrid
    A program needing a reasonably up-to-date-computer with sound output, the aim of which 'is to provide practice in the use of the vowel quadrilateral (also known as the cardinal vowel diagram)'. Authored by John Maidment at University College London.  
  • SOCRATES Thematic Network for Phonetics and Speech Communication
    Cumulative index of phonetics resources, organised by topic.
  • Speech Accent Archive
    283 samples of 'accented' English recorded from speakers of languages from Afrikaans to Zulu, with detailed transcriptions and notes on phonological features for each accent.
  • UCL Speech Data database
    A page with links to the UCL Speaker Database, SCRIBE, EUROM, and the UCL Dysfluency Database.
  • University of Iowa Phonetics Libraries
    The English and Spanish Phonetics libraries have the following features for the sounds of Spanish and American English: animated articulatory diagram of each consonant and vowel; step-by-step description of how the sound is produced; video and audio of the sound spoken in context; interactive diagram of the articulatory anatomy. Probably the best available example of multimedia web resources for self-study in phonetics. Click on Launch [Language] Library at top right to begin.
  • University of Sheffield IPA videos
    This site, designed by Andrew Linn and Sandra Whiteside, provides access to video recordings of the sounds of the International Phonetic Alphabet.
  • Rob Hagiwara's Mystery Spectrograms
    Includes tutorials on how to read spectrograms, and a new 'mystery' spectrogram to decipher every month.
  • Smalley's Manual of Articulatory Phonetics (MOAP)
    The Manual of Articulatory Phonetics contains a unique collection of audio-recorded exercises. The book is out of print and the tapes of the exercises that accompanied the book are no longer being produced. The sound files of these tapes are made available, for non-commercial educational purposes, by the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.
  • ToBI (Tones and Break Indices)
    An introduction to Ohio State's intonation labelling system, with a link to the accompanying sound file database (this can also be reached from the corpora and databases page on this site).
  • Jennifer Smith's List of Phonetics Links
    Hundreds of links to sources of information, online demonstrations, sound files, etc.
  • Karen Steffen Chung's Phonetics Links
    A very comprehensive list of links to phonetics-related resources worldwide.
  • UCSD Phonetics Resources
    A wide range of good links to resources on all aspects of phonetics is available here.
  • Sound Patterns of Spoken English
    Downloadable sound files exemplifying certain phonological processes common in spoken English (e.g. devoicing, H-dropping, L-vocalisation), to accompany Linda Shockey's book of the same name.
  • Multilingual sound files (to accompany Finegan 2004)
    Thomson Wadsworth have mounted a number of useful sound files exemplifying phonetic and phonological principles discussed in the 4th edition of Finegan's Language: Its Structure and Use.
  • Oral Dynamics Lab
    The ODL at the University of Toronto is a specialized facility for research in the area of oral motor control. Research at the ODL focuses on speech and swallowing behaviours in normal and disordered populations, including stroke patients with aphasia and verbal apraxia, people who stutter and patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
  • Anatomy and Physiology of the Larynx
    This excellent website from features Flash animations, tutorials and visual quizzes.
  • UCLA dissection manual for students of speech
    Some of the descriptions of how to dissect the vocal tract of a cadaver are rather grisly, but the anatomical information is very detailed, and the illustrations are understated pencil drawings rather than photographs (fortunately). In .pdf format.
  • Forensic Phonetics
    Information on applications of the speech sciences in the legal sphere, provided by Helen Fraser, University of New England, Australia.
  • YorkTalk© homepage
    Contains demonstrations of synthesised speech producing using the University of York's 'YorkTalk' system.
  • Online Speech Synthesis
    Synthesise vowels and simple syllables using a web interface to the Klatt Synthesizer system. Some knowledge of acoustic phonetics is helpful!
  • von Kempelen's Speaking Machine and other early speech synthesisers
    An interesting history of early mechanical speech synthesis, by Hartmut Traunmüller of the University of Stockholm.
  • Audio field recording equipment guide
    Prepared by Andy Kolovos and Scott Gillette of the Vermont Folklife Centre, and designed to offer guidance to researchers interested in obtaining audio recording equipment for conducting folklore, ethnomusicology, oral history and other ethnographic fieldwork projects.
  • Rotatable 3D image of the skull, brain and torso
    Online demonstration of UK 3B Scientific's anatomical Macromedia Shockwave movies. The skull movie, for instance, allows you to rotate a three-dimensional image of the skull using your PC mouse, and allows you to highlight its individual bones.
  • Can you break a glass using your voice?
    Interactive acoustics laboratory with informative graphics, colour photos, etc., but you need to be able to read German.
  • Kayaking terms in West Greenlandic (Inuit)
    A collection of audio files (in .wav format) of West Greenland kayak and kayak-related terms.
    Between 1940 and 1973, six American presidents from both political parties secretly recorded just under 5,000 hours of conversations. This site is designed as a service to the research community by making freely available all of the presidential recordings, along with relevant research materials, so that scholars, teachers, students, and the public can hear and use these remarkable tapes for themselves. The site is hosted and maintained by the Presidential Recordings Program at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs.
  • Interesting Sounds
    Whale songs, Shepard tones, etc. courtesy of the Acoustical Society of America.
  • Auditory scales of frequency representation
    Hartmut Traunmüller's useful page of conversion equations for transforming Hz values into various auditory scales (mel, Bark, ERB), and vice versa.
  • Build your own tilting larynx
    Template and instructions for a 3-D paper model of the larynx, provided by Vocal Process.
  • Phonoblog
    Claims to cover 'all things phonology'.

Useful tools

Free Software resources



Standardised Reading Passages

Standardised reading passages (PDF , 78kb)

Includes: The Rainbow Passage - Comma Gets a Cure - The North Wind and the Sun - Arthur the Rat - The Grandfather Passage

Useful utilities