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On 2/25/06, Yahya Abdal-Aziz <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > I could really do with a GOOD > website offering exact pronunciations of all vowels > recognised in the IPA in a number of different contexts. > Is there anything like that available anywhere? That's impossible. The IPA has a finite number of symbols, but the human speech apparatus is capable of producing a far greater range of nuances, so it's not possible to say that, for example, [e] is *exactly* this or that sound. As far as I know, IPA encodes only sounds which are considered distinctive/phonemic in at least one language. There is the cassette/CD "Sounds of the IPA" ( http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/cassette.htm ); however, even that notes that while they try to produce a "neutrally typical version of each" sound, their version "may not quite correspond to the typical sound of the language you may be interested in". > If the > IPA is an international standard, one might expect there > to be a website that freely promulgates it and makes it > accessible to all. Or have international standards also > been privatised in the name of economic rationalism? I don't know the reason, but ISO standards, for example, which are both international and standards, are *not* available free of charge, and are, in fact, rather expensive (from my point of view; for a company, the price of buying, say, ISO 8859 -- about 64 CHF for each section of the standard, whether in paper or PDF format --, is probably peanuts). Cheers, -- Philip Newton <[log in to unmask]>