::IPA for Old English


Style::center    IPAlink::english    Angbr::similar    Symbol::voicing    After::sonorant    Modern::doubled

The tables below show how the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Old English pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. Old English or Anglo-Saxon was an early form of English spoken in medieval England. It is different from Early Modern English, the language of Shakespeare and the King James Bible.

See Old English phonology for more detail on the sounds of Old English.

Consonants<ref>Old English had geminate (double) consonants, pronounced longer than single ones. They were written with double consonant letters. The double consonants in habban, missan can be transcribed with the length symbol ː or by doubling the consonant symbol: [ˈhɑbːɑn ˈmisːɑn] or [ˈhɑbbɑn ˈmissɑn]. The doubled affricate in wiċċe{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} should be transcribed as [ˈwittʃe] or [ˈwitːʃe], with the stop portion of the affricate doubled.</ref>
IPA Examples Modern English approximation
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}} busy
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ç]] main}} hue
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}} do
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ʒ]] main}}<ref name="palatalization">ċ ċġ sċ{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} with represent the postalveolar sibilants /tʃ dʒ ʃ/. The letter ġ{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} represents the palatal approximant /j/ in most cases, but /dʒ/ after n{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}. /tʃ ʃ/ developed from /k sk/ by palatalization in Anglo-Frisian, but /dʒ j/ developed partly from Proto-Germanic *j and partly from palatalization of /g/. In this help page and in some modern texts, the palatal and postalveolar consonants are marked with a dot above the letter, but in manuscripts they were written as k g sc{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, and were thus not distinguished from the velars [k g ɣ] and the cluster [sk].</ref> edge
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ð]] main}}<ref name="voicing">s f ð þ{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} represented voiceless fricatives /s f θ/ at the beginning and end of words, and when doubled, but voiced fricatives /z v ð/ when single between voiced sounds.</ref> other
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}}<ref name="voicing" /> father
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ɡ]] main}}<ref name="palatalization" /> good
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}} heaven
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}}<ref name="palatalization" /> year
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}}<ref name="palatalization" /><ref name="x">In Old English, as in Modern English, x{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} represents the cluster /ks/.</ref> king
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}} love
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ɫ]] main}}<ref name="velarized">/r/ and /l/ probably had velarized allophones [ɫ] and [rˠ] in certain cases, because front vowels [i iː eː æ æː] were broken (diphthongized) before them: *fællan > feallan [ˈfæɑɫɫɑn], *erþe > eorþe [ˈeorˠðe].</ref> peal
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}̥]] main}}<ref name="voiceless sonorant">The sonorants /r l n w/ had voiceless versions [l̥ r̥ n̥ ʍ], which developed from the consonant clusters [xl xr xn xw].</ref> similar to clap
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}} mother
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}} near
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}̥]] main}}<ref name="voiceless sonorant" /> similar to snort
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ŋ]] main}} young
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}} path
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}}<ref name="rhotic">The rhotic /r/ may have been a trill [[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}|r]]] or an approximant [[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}|ɹ]]] or [[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}|ɻ]]].</ref> read
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ˠ]] main}}<ref name="rhotic" /><ref name="velarized" />
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}̥]] main}}<ref name="voiceless sonorant" /> similar to trap
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}}<ref name="voicing" /><ref name="x" /> sun
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ʃ]] main}}<ref name="palatalization" /> shadow
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}} tide
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ʃ]] main}}<ref name="palatalization" /> cheese
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}}<ref name="voicing" /> over
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ɣ]] main}} similar to Baghdad (Arabic)
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}} wife
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ʍ]] main}}<ref name="voiceless sonorant" /> what (Scottish English)
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}} loch (Scottish English)
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}}<ref name="voicing" /> busy
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}θ]] main}}<ref name="voicing" /> through
Vowels<ref>Old English had a distinction between long and short vowels in stressed syllables. Long monophthongs are marked by placing the length symbol ː after the vowel symbol, and long diphthongs are marked by placing this symbol after the first vowel symbol. In unstressed syllables, only three vowels, /ɑ, e, u/, were distinguished, but /e, u/ were pronounced i, o in certain words.</ref>
IPA Examples Modern English approximation
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ɑ]] main}}<ref name="false diphthongs">Sometimes after the palatalized consonants ċ ġ sċ{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}, eo{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} represents /u/ or /o/ and ea{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} represents /ɑ/.</ref> cot (American English)
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ɑː]] main}} father
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}æ]] main}} cat
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}æː]] main}} similar to there
æɑ main}} similar to Cockney mouth
æːɑ main}} similar to pal
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}} similar to late
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ː]] main}} similar to made
eo main}}
eːo main}}
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}} quick
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ː]] main}} need
iy main}}<ref name="close diphthong">The diphthongs ie īe{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} occurred in West Saxon. They may have been pronounced /ie iːe/ or /iy iːy/.</ref>
iːy main}}<ref name="close diphthong" />
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}}<ref name="false diphthongs" />
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ː]] main}}
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}}<ref name="false diphthongs" /> root
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ː]] main}} mood
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}]] main}}
[[{{#invoke:IPA symbol|main}}ː]] main}}

Help:IPA for Old English sections
Intro   Notes