International Phonetic Alphabet - Official Chart

Official Chart

The International Phonetic Alphabet is occasionally modified by the Association. After each modification, the Association provides an updated simplified presentation of the alphabet in the form of a chart. (See History of the IPA.) The most recent official chart, from 2005, is presented at right.

The procedure for modifying the alphabet or the chart is to propose the change in the Journal of the IPA (see, for example, August 2008 on a low central vowel and August 2011 on central approximants). Reactions to the proposal may be published in the same or subsequent issues of the Journal (as in August 2009 on the low central vowel). A formal proposal is then put to the Council of the IPA (which is elected by the membership ) for further discussion and a formal vote.

Only changes to the alphabet or chart that have been approved by the Council can be considered part of the official IPA. Nonetheless, many IPA users make personal changes in their own practice, either for convenience in working on a particular language (see, for example, "Illustrations of the IPA" for individual languages in the Handbook, which for example may use ⟨c⟩ for ), or because they object to some aspect of the official version. For example, the chart at the top of this article is reorganized in response to perceived shortcomings of the official version, and in places reflects the organization of the 1979 chart.

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