From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Spanish language pronunciations in Simple Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Simple Wikipedia articles, see {{IPA-es}}, {{IPAc-es}} and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

In general, Castilian Spanish is used in IPA transcriptions except for some words with /θ/ and /ʎ/:

  • For terms that are more relevant to regions that have undergone yeísmo (where words such as haya and halla are pronounced the same), words spelled with ⟨ll⟩ can be transcribed with [ʝ].
  • For terms that are more relevant to regions with seseo (where words such as caza and casa are pronounced the same), words spelled with ⟨z⟩ or ⟨c⟩ (the latter only before ⟨i⟩ or ⟨e⟩) can be transcribed with [s].

In all other cases, if a local pronunciation is made, it should be labeled as "local" (for example, {{IPA-es|...|local}}.

See Spanish phonology for a extensive look at the sounds of Spanish, and Spanish dialects and varieties for regional variation.

IPA Examples English approximation
b[1] bestia, embuste, vaca, envidia, fútbol about
β bebé, obtuso, vivir, curva, apto[2] about, but without the lips completely closed
d[1] dedo, cuando, aldaba today
ð diva, arder, admirar, atmósfera[2] this
f fase face
ɡ[1] gato, lengua, guerra again
ɣ trigo, amargo, signo, doctor[2] again, but without the tongue touching the roof of the mouth
ʝ[1][3] ayuno you
ɟʝ[1][3] cónyuge, yermo Not found in English; something like jeep
k caña, quise, kilo scan
l lino lean
ʎ[1][3] llave, pollo million
m[4] madre, campo mother
ɱ[4] anfibio comfort
n[4] nido, sin, álbum need
ɲ[4] ñandú, cónyuge canyon
ŋ[4] cinco, venga sing
p pozo spouse
r[5] rumbo, carro, honra, subrayar trilled r
ɾ[5] caro, bravo, partir autumn (with flapping)
s[6][7] saco, espita, xenón sack
θ[6] cereal, encima, zorro, jazmín[8] thing
t tamiz stand
chubasco choose
v[8] afgano van
x[9] jamón, general, México,[10] hámster[11] Scottish loch
z[8] isla, mismo, riesgo zoo
Marginal phonemes
IPA Examples English approximation
ʃ[12] show, Rocher, Freixenet, Gilda shack
ts abertzale, pizza cats
IPA Examples English approximation
a azahar father
e vehemente berry
i dimitir, mío, y see
o boscoso more
u cucurucho, dúo food
IPA Examples English approximation
j ciudad, rey yet
w[14] cuadro, Huila, auto wine
Stress and syllabification
IPA Examples English approximation
ˈ ciudad [θjuˈðað] domain
. o [ˈmi.o] Leo
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 /b, d, ɡ, ʝ/ are pronounced as fricatives or approximants [β, ð, ɣ, ʝ] in all places except after a pause, /n/, or /m/, or, in the case of /d/ and /ʝ/, after /l/. In the latter environments, they are stops [b, d, ɡ, ɟʝ] like English b, d, g, j but are fully voiced in all positions, unlike in English. When it is distinct from /ʝ/, /ʎ/ is realized as an approximant [ʎ] in all positions (Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté 2003:257-8).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The distinction between /p, t, k/ and /b, d, ɡ/ is lost in word-internal syllable-final positions. The resulting realization varies from [p, t, k] to [b, d, ɡ] to [β, ð, ɣ], with the latter being the usual form in conversational style (Hualde 2005:146).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Most speakers no longer distinguish /ʎ/ from /ʝ/; the actual realization depends on dialect, however. See yeísmo and Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:258) for more information.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Nasals always assimilate their place of articulation to that of the following consonant. Before velar consonants they are [ŋ], and before labial consonants they are [m]; the labiodental [ɱ] appears before /f/.
  5. 5.0 5.1 The rhotic consonants [r] and [ɾ] contrast only word-medially between vowels, where they are usually spelled ⟨rr⟩ and ⟨r⟩, respectively. Otherwise, they are in complementary distribution: Word-initially, stem-initially, and after /l, n, s/, only [r] is found; before a consonant or pause, the two are interchangeable, but [ɾ] is more common (hence so represented here); elsewhere, only [ɾ] is found. When two rhotics occur consecutively across a word or prefix boundary, they result in one long trill, which may be transcribed as [ɾr]: dar rocas [daɾ ˈrokas], super-rápido [supeɾˈrapiðo] (Hualde 2005:184).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Northern and Central Spain distinguish between ⟨s⟩ (/s/) and soft ⟨c⟩ or ⟨z⟩ (/θ/). Almost all other dialects treat the two as identical (which is called seseo) and pronounce them as /s/. Contrary to yeísmo, seseo is not a phonemic merger but the outcome of a different evolution of sibilants in southern Spain in comparison with northern and central dialects. There is a small number of speakers, mostly in southern Spain, who pronounce the soft ⟨c⟩, ⟨z⟩ and even ⟨s⟩ as /θ/, a phenomenon called ceceo. See phonological history of Spanish coronal fricatives and Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:258) for more information.
  7. In much of Hispanic America and in the southern half of Spain, /s/ in syllable-final positions is either pronounced as [h] or not pronounced at all. In transcriptions linked to this key, however, it is always represented by [s].
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 [v] and [z] are syllable-final allophones of /f/ and /s/, respectively, found before voiced consonants. /θ/ also becomes a voiced fricative [ð] in the same position, but since ⟨ð⟩ represents the approximant allophone of /d/ in transcriptions of Spanish, /θ/ is always transcribed with ⟨θ⟩ in this system.
  9. /x/ is pronounced as [h] in many accents such as those in the Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, Andalusia, and the Canary Islands (Hualde 2005:156).
  10. The letter ⟨x⟩ represents /x/ only in certain proper names like Ximena and some placenames in current or former Mexico (Oaxaca, Texas).
  11. The letter ⟨h⟩ represents /x/ only in loanwords; in native words, it is always silent.
  12. /ʃ/ is used only in loanwords and certain proper nouns. It is nonexistent in many dialects, being realized as [] or [s]; e.g. show [tʃou]~[sou].
  13. [j, w] are allophones of /i, u/ that manifest when unstressed and adjacent to another vowel. Mid vowels /e, o/ may also be realized as semivowels, as in [ˈpo̯eta, ˈmae̯stɾo] (poeta, maestro). Semivocalic realizations of /e, o/ may in addition be raised to [j, w], as in [ˈpweta, ˈmajstɾo], which is common in Latin America but stigmatized in Spain (Hualde, Simonet & Torreira 2008:1911). Since both these phenomena are optional and predictable, they are not reflected in transcription ([poˈeta, maˈestɾo]).
  14. Some speakers may pronounce word-initial [w] with an epenthetic [ɡ]; e.g. Huila [ˈɡwila]~[ˈwila].

References[change | change source]

  • Hualde, José Ignacio (2005), The Sounds of Spanish, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-54538-2
  • Hualde, José Ignacio; Simonet, Miquel; Torreira, Francisco (2008), "Postlexical contraction of nonhigh vowels in Spanish", Lingua, 118 (12): 1906–1925, doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2007.10.004
  • Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (2): 255–259, doi:10.1017/s0025100303001373