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The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a comprehensive system devised to represent all the sounds of every language. It proves invaluable to linguists and language learners alike, as each sound has only one unique symbol. Consider the symbol /θ/, which signifies the “th” sound in the English word “think,” or /ʒ/, representing the “s” sound in “measure.” By promoting consistent pronunciation across diverse languages, the IPA facilitates language documentation, analysis, and fosters a shared understanding of spoken communication.

 

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