(X-)SAMPA symbol charts


A practical disadvantage of IPA is that as yet there is no universally agreed (or easy to use) ASCII representation available. SAMPA, which abbreviates Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet, is one proposal to represent (subsets of) the IPA in standard ASCII characters.

J.C. Wells has proposed to extend the current SAMPA, which more or less exists as a series of conventions for several individual languages, to X-SAMPA, which maps 1-to-1 to the symbols in the IPA inventory. The tables of pulmonic consonants and vowels below are based on this X-SAMPA, with the addition of the symbol [w] to represent the bilabial glide as in SAMPA-English. Tables with the other consonants, non-pulmonic consonants and diacritics will be added in the (near) future.

  • For more documentation on the SAMPA and X-SAMPA conventions and subsets for a number of languages click here:
  • For Peter Kleiweg's SAMPA-to-IPA translator, click here
  • For the corresponding IPA symbols, click here

Pulmonic consonants
... bilabial labiodental dental  alveolar postalveolar retroflex palatal velar uvular pharyngeal glottal
plosive p b ... t d t` d` c J\ k g q G\ ... ... ? ...
nasal m F n n` J N N\ ... ...
trill B\ ... r ... ... ... R\ ...
tap or flap ... ... 4 r` ... ... ...
fricative p\ B f v T D s z S Z s` z` C j\ x G X R X\ ?\ h h\
lateral fricative ... K K\ ... ... ... ... ...
approximant w v\ r\ r\` j M\ ... ... ...
lateral approximant ... l l` L L\ ... ...
Vowels
... front central back
close i y 1 } M u
(near-close) I Y ... U
close-mid e 2 @\ 8 7 o
(central) ... @ ...
open-mid E 9 3 3\ V O
(near open) { 6 ...
open a & ... A, Q