SAMPA chart

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The following show the typical symbols for consonants and vowels used in SAMPA, an ASCII-based system based on the International Phonetic Alphabet. Note that SAMPA is not a universal system as it varies from language to language.


Bilabial Labio-
Dental Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
Nasal m F n J N
plosive and affricate
p b t d
ts dz
tS dZ c J\ k g q G\ ?
Fricative p\ B f v T D s z S Z C j\ x G X R X\ ?\ h h\
Approximant central H P r\[a] j[b] w
lateral l L 5
Rhotic 4[a]
  1. ^ a b c It is common, especially in Spanish and Italian, to represent the alveolar trill with [rr] and the alveolar flap with [r]. It has been proposed to use [4] for the alveolar flap, in which case [r] can be used to represent the trill (as its equivalent in the IPA system), and [j\] for the palatal fricative, keeping in this way the policy of using one letter per one IPA symbol (and a backslash for alternative symbols).
  2. ^ Also in Spanish, [jj] is used to represent the palatal fricative against the semivowel [j].

Consonant modifiers[edit]

SAMPA IPA Description
` retroflex consonant (e.g. d` = /ɖ/)
_a ◌̺ apical consonant
_d ◌̪ dental consonant
_G ◌ˠ velarized consonant
_h ◌ʰ aspirated consonant
_j, ' ◌ʲ palatalized consonant
_m ◌̻ laminal consonant
_w ◌ʷ labialized consonant
_< implosive consonant (e.g. b_< = /ɓ/)
_> ʼ ejective consonant
_=, = ◌̩ syllabic consonant

Simplified list of consonants[edit]

SAMPA IPA Description Examples
p p voiceless bilabial plosive English pen, Croatian pas ('dog')
b b voiced bilabial plosive English but, Polish brat ('brother')
t t voiceless alveolar plosive English two, Spanish tomar ('capture')
d d voiced alveolar plosive English do, Polish dom ('house')
ts ts voiceless alveolar affricate Italian calza ('sock'), German Zeit ('time')
dz dz voiced alveolar affricate Italian zona ('zone'), Canadian French dur ('hard')
tS voiceless postalveolar affricate English chair, Spanish mucho ('many')
dZ voiced postalveolar affricate English gin, Italian giorno ('day')
c c voiceless palatal plosive Hungarian tyúk ('hen'), Dutch schatje ('darling')
J\ ɟ voiced palatal plosive Hungarian egy ('one'), Czech dítě ('child')
k k voiceless velar plosive English skill, Spanish casa ('house')
g ɡ voiced velar plosive English go, Hungarian gép ('machine')
q q voiceless uvular plosive Arabic qof, Somali qaab
p\ ɸ voiceless bilabial fricative Japanese fu, Ainu fuchi
B β voiced bilabial fricative Catalan roba 'clothes', Spanish huevo 'egg'
f f voiceless labiodental fricative English fool, Spanish fama ('fame')
v v voiced labiodental fricative English voice, German Welt 'world'
T θ voiceless dental fricative English thing, Castilian Spanish caza 'hunt'
D ð voiced dental fricative English this, Icelandic fræði 'science'
s s voiceless alveolar fricative English see, Spanish sí ('yes')
z z voiced alveolar fricative English zoo, German sein 'to be'
S ʃ voiceless postalveolar fricative English she, French chou 'cabbage'
Z ʒ voiced postalveolar fricative French jour 'day', English pleasure
C ç voiceless palatal fricative Standard German ich 'I', Icelandic hjá 'next to'
j\ (jj) ʝ voiced palatal fricative Standard Spanish ayuda
x x voiceless velar fricative Scots loch, Spanish ajo
G ɣ voiced velar fricative Greek γάλα ('milk'), Icelandic saga ('story')
  ɰ velar approximant Spanish algo
X\ ħ voiceless pharyngeal fricative Arabic h.â
?\ ʕ voiced pharyngeal fricative Arabic 'ayn
h h voiceless glottal fricative English ham, German Hand
h\ ɦ voiced glottal fricative Hungarian lehet 'it can be'
m m bilabial nasal English man, French main 'hand'
F ɱ labiodental nasal Spanish infierno, Hungarian mfor
n n alveolar nasal English, Spanish and Italian no
J ɲ palatal nasal Spanish año, French oignon, Hungarian ny
N ŋ velar nasal English ring, Tagalog ngayón
l l alveolar lateral approximant English left, Spanish largo
L ʎ palatal lateral approximant Italian aglio, Catalan colla
5 ɫ velarized dental lateral English meal Catalan alga
4 (r) ɾ alveolar tap Spanish pero, Italian essere
r (rr) r alveolar trill Spanish perro, Italian terra
r\ ɹ alveolar approximant English run
R ʀ uvular trill Standard German Reich
P ʋ labiodental approximant Dutch Waar, Finnish vesi
w w labial-velar approximant English we, French oui
H ɥ labial-palatal approximant French nuit
j j palatal approximant English yes, Polish j


front central back
close iy 1} Mu
near-close IY U
close-mid e2 @\8 7o
mid @
open-mid E9 33\ VO
near-open { 6
open a& AQ

Vowel modifiers[edit]

SAMPA IPA Description Examples
~, _~ ◌̃ nasalized vowel French bon [bO~], Portuguese sim [si~]
: ː long vowel English see [si:] )
`[a] ◌˞ r-colored vowel US English bird [b3`d]
_^ ◌̯ non-syllabic vowel
" ˈ primary stress
% ˌ secondary stress
  1. ^ Note that this symbol is also used for retroflex consonants (see above), but denotes rhoticity after vowel symbols.

Simplified list of vowels[edit]

SAMPA IPA Description Examples
i i close front unrounded vowel English see, Spanish sí, French vie, German wie, Italian visto
I ɪ near-close front unrounded vowel English city, German mit, Canadian French vite
e e close-mid front unrounded vowel US English bear, Spanish él, French année, German mehr, Italian rete, Catalan més
E ɛ open-mid front unrounded vowel English bed, French même, German Männer, Italian ferro, Catalan mes, Spanish perro
{ æ near-open front unrounded vowel English cat, Finnish mäki
y y close front rounded vowel French du, German Tür, Finnish hy
Y ʏ near-close front rounded vowel German hübsch, Swedish ylle
2 ø close-mid front rounded vowel French deux (hence '2'), German Höhle, Danish købe
9 œ open-mid front rounded vowel French neuf (hence '9'), German Hölle
1 ɨ close central unrounded vowel Polish mysz
@ ə mid central vowel English about, German bitte, Swedish beredd
6 ɐ near-open central unrounded vowel German besser, Catalan mare
3 ɜ open-mid central unrounded vowel English bird
a a~ä open front unrounded vowel/
open central unrounded vowel
Spanish barra, French bateau, German Haar, Italian pazzo
} ʉ close central rounded vowel Scottish English pool, Swedish sju
8 ɵ close-mid central rounded vowel Swedish kust
& ɶ open front rounded vowel Swedish öra
M ɯ close back unrounded vowel Japanese fuji, Korean geu
7 ɤ close-mid back unrounded vowel Korean eoreum, Estonian kõrv
V ʌ open-mid back unrounded vowel RP and US English run, enough
A ɑ open back unrounded vowel English arm, US English law, Canadian French âme, Finnish alku
u u close back rounded vowel English soon, Spanish tú, French gt, German Hut, Italian tutto
U ʊ near-close back rounded vowel English put, (non-US)Buddhist, German Mutter
o o close-mid back rounded vowel US English sore, Scottish English boat, Spanish yo, French beau, German Sohle, Italian dove, Catalan ona
O ɔ open-mid back rounded vowel British English law, caught, Italian cosa, Catalan dona, Spanish ojo, German Wort
Q ɒ open back rounded vowel British English not, cough, Hungarian kar

External links[edit]

See also[edit]