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Department of Linguistics

ANDOSL PHONEMIC SYMBOLS

Robert Mannell (2009)

Phonetic fonts were once very difficult to display reliably over the web. Additionally, there was also a serious problem in the consistent encoding of phonetic characters in computer files of any kind until quite recently (with the more widespread adoption of Unicode). In order to avoid the numerous problems associated with web-based phonetic font display we chose, in the 1990's, to use a set of so-called "machine readable" phonetic symbols in early versions of many of our web pages. The symbols we used are the ones used by the Australian National Database of Spoken Language (ANDOSL). The characters on the US English keyboard (which is also used in Australia) are known as ASCII characters. This ANDOSL system replaces the non-ASCII phonetic characters used in the phonemic (broad) transcription of Australian English with a unique set of ASCII symbols. These symbols display reliably on all English-language web browsers without the need to install new fonts. Such a system was essential until recently but now Unicode phonetic fonts can be used quite reliably on web pages. This document is supplied because ANDOSL symbols might still be found on some web pages on this site (especially pages that don't deal directly with phonetic transcription, such as some acoustics pages).

The ANDOSL phonetic symbols described in this document are only designed for use in the broad transcription of Australian English.

Vowel Symbols

The IPA-based Australian English vowel phoneme symbols used throughout this site are those recommended by Harrington, Cox and Evans (1996). These symbols develop the proposals of Clark (1989) who strongly argued for the replacement of the symbols used by Mitchell (1946) and Mitchell & Delbridge (1965a, 1965b) and still persisting in the Macquarie Dictionary. The Mitchell symbols, it was argued, much more closely resemble the way that English is pronounced in urban south east England. The Clark system takes a narrow transcription of the vowels of an average speaker of General Aus.E. utilising Bernard's (Bernard, 1970; Bernard and Mannell, 1986) data and uses that narrow transcription as the phonemic representation for the vowels of Aus.E. generally. Harrington et al (1997) carried out a subsequent acoustic analysis of Australian English on more recent data, and from a larger number of phonetic contexts, and this prompted them to modify the Clark proposal. Additionally, they substituted the symbol " ", with the equivalent, but IPA-approved, symbol " ". Table 1 displays Harrington's and Clark's vowel notations next to that of Mitchell, as well as the ANDOSL vowel symbols and a set of sample words containing each phoneme.

Note that sometimes the length diacritic ":" may occasionally be omitted from ANDOSL representations of the long vowels, but only if this doesn't create any ambiguity (e.g. /i/ rather than /i:/ is not ambiguous).

Mitchell (1946)
(Macquarie
Dictionary)
Clark (1988)
Harrington et al (1997)
ANDOSL
(Computer
readable)
Example word
i:
"heed"
I
"hid"
E
"head"
A
"had"
a:
"hard"
V
"hut"
O
"hot"
o:
"hoard"
U
"hood"
u:
"hoot"
@:
"heard"
@
" awake"
ei
"hate"
ai
"hide"
au
"howl"
@u
"hope"
oi
"hoist"
i@
"hear"
e:
"hair"
u@
"tour"

Table 1 : Mitchell's (1946), Clark's (1988), and Harrington's et al (1997) Australian English vowel notations. Also included are a set of ASCII symbols for Australian English used by the open source speech database annotation package EMU and on the Australian National Database of Spoken English (ANDOSL) (Harrington et al., 1993). The ANDOSL symbols may be encountered on other parts of this web site, in particular on sites dealing with speech acoustics or speech technology.

Please Note: All of the phonetic symbols in the first three columns of this table are images. Being able to see phonetic characters on this page should not be taken as evidence that your computer is correctly set up to view the phonetic characters on this website.

Consonant Symbols

In table 2 consonant symbols are displayed only for those consonants for which ANDOSL substitutes an alternative symbol.

IPA
ANDOSL
Example word
T
"thin"
D
"then"
S
"ship"
Z
"pleasure"
tS
"church"
dZ
"judge"
N
"sing"

Please Note: All of the phonetic symbols in the first column of this table are images. Being able to see phonetic characters on this page should not be taken as evidence that your computer is correctly set up to view the phonetic characters on this website.

References

Bernard, J.R. (1970) "Toward the acoustic specification of Australian English", Zeitschrift fur Phonetik, Sprachwissenschaft und Kommunikationsforschung, Band 23, Heft 2/3

Bernard, J.R. and Mannell, R.H. (1986) "A study /h_d/ words in Australian English", Working Papers of the Speech, Hearing and Language Research Centre, Macquarie University

Clark, J.E. (1989) "Some proposals for a revised phonetic transcription of Australian English" in Collins, P. & Blair, D. (eds) Australian English: The Language of a New Society, Univ. Queensland Press.

Harrington, J., Cox, F., & Evans, Z. (1997) "An acoustic study of broad, general and cultivated Australian English vowels", Australian Journal of Linguistics, 17, 155-184.

Mitchell, A.G. (1946) The Pronunciation of English in Australia, Angus and Robertson.

Mitchell, A.G., & Delbridge, A. (revised edition, 1965(a)) The Pronunciation of English in Australia, Angus and Robertson.

Mitchell, A.G., & Delbridge, A. (1965(b)) The Speech of Australian Adolescents, Angus and Robertson.

Additional Reading on Transcribing ANDOSL

Croot, K. & Taylor, B. (1995) "Criteria for Acoustic-Phonetic Segmentation and Word Labelling in the Australian National Database of Spoken Language", Speech Hearing and Language Research Centre, Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University

Taylor, B. (1996) "SHLRC/ANDOSL Acoustic-Phonetic Labels", Speech Hearing and Language Research Centre, Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University