Friday, May 27, 2011

My IPA craft project

I don't normally cross-post content here and over at Superlinguo but I'm so excited that I've finally finished my Easter craft project that I want to share it with everyone.

I cross stitched the pulmonic consonants of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). It ended up taking so long not because of the individual characters but because it took forever to grey out the areas that aren't physiologically possible.

If you're not familiar with the IPA I'll give you my patented 30 second lesson. The vertical categories vary by the place of articulation - that is where in the mouth they are made. The first are 'bi-labial', made with the lips. The 'p' and 'b' are more or less exactly as you make them in English, by time you get to the question-marky think you're at your glottis, where you make sounds. If you say 'uh-oh' that gap in the middle is a glottal stop. See, you make them without even knowing! Good work you! On the horizontal the difference is manner of articulation - that is how you make the sounds. The first ones are 'stops', which you make by closing your mouth fully at some point and releasing it. below that are nasals, such as 'm' and 'n' and 'ng' in English. And so on. A chart with all those labels can be found here. Linguists, and especially phoneticians, use these symbols to accurately represent the same sounds across many different languages.

Next I'll have to start on the vowels!

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