From: "Jonathan Johnson" <[log in to unmask]>
> Does [?] make a sound? or is it just a lack of sound? I've heard that [?]
> occurs in the English phrase "uh oh!". It seems like there is a subtle
> sound at the end of "uh" which makes it sound kind of like "uht". I've
> heard that some languages use [?] as a phoneme. This true?

Yes.  Actually the what makes it sound like "uht" _is_ the glottal stop--often
in English final -t does get pronounced as [?].

> Is [B\] the sound that English speakers sometimes make to mimic an airplane?

It mimics some things, although I dont think I've heard it for an airplane
before :x)

> What is a rhotic? I've heard somewhere that r sounds are called rhotics,
> but I rarely hear that term used. Are [r] [4] [r\] [r'] [r\'] [R\] and [R]
> all rhotics?

If it sounds like an r, it's rhotic.  I have no idea how this works.

> Is [X] the harsh "ch"/"kh" sound of Hebrew?
> Is [x] the Spanish "j" sound?
> Is [j\] the Spanish "y" sound?

Depends on the dialect of Spanish and Hebrew you're listening to....
[X], I think, is the same as the French R.  The Spanish "j" can be [x] or [X],
if you're not pronouncing it [h]...  as for "y", if you're hearing a sound
stronger than [j], odds are it is indeed [j\].

> [w] is described as labio-velar. Does that mean [w] is a rounded [M\]? (M\
> = velar approximant) If so, since [w] is the semi-vowel equivalent of [u],
> is [M\] the semi-vowel equivalent of [M]? (M = unrounded [u]) That would
> certainly explain the similar representation.

Yes, to everything.

> whats the difference between [a] and [A]? I've heard that [a] is the vowel
> in "father" while [A] is the vowel in "ought", but I think I pronounce
> these vowels the same way. Is this because "father" and "ought" use the
> same vowel in some dialects of English but not in others? Or is it just
> that the difference is very subtle? or what?

[A] is a back vowel, [a] is a front one.  [a] is not in General American
English, tho [A] is. Not everyone makes a distinction between the first vowel in
'father' and the one in 'ought', but IIRC the first is [A] and the second one is

[a] is the 'a' in Spanish.