American English Phoneme Representation (SAPI 5.3)

Microsoft Speech API 5.3

American English Phoneme Representation

This is a brief introduction to the use and implementation of the SAPI phoneme representations.

Symbolic and Numerical Representation

Application developers can create pronunciations for words that are not currently in the lexicon by using the English phonemes represented in the following table. The phoneme set is composed of a symbolic phonetic representation (SYM).

The application developer will be able to enter the SYM representation to create the pronunciation using the XML PRON tag, or by creating a new lexicon entry. Each phoneme entry should be space delimited.

Tag Description
PRON SYM Tag used to insert a pronunciation using symbolic representation.

Example: pronunciation for "hello":

  <PRON SYM = "h eh l ow"/>

For improved accuracy, the primary (1), secondary (2) stress markers, and the syllabic markers (-) can be added to the pronunciation.

Example: pronunciation for "hello" using the primary stress (1) and syllabic (-) markers:

  <PRON SYM = "h eh - l ow 1"/>

American English Phoneme Table

SYM Example PhoneID
- syllable boundary (hyphen) 1
! Sentence terminator (exclamation mark) 2
& word boundary 3
, Sentence terminator (comma) 4
. Sentence terminator (period) 5
? Sentence terminator (question mark) 6
_ Silence (underscore) 7
1 Primary stress 8
2 Secondary stress 9
aa father 10
ae cat 11
ah cut 12
ao dog 13
aw foul 14
ax ago 15
ay bite 16
b big 17
ch chin 18
d dig 19
dh then 20
eh pet 21
er fur 22
ey ate 23
f fork 24
g gut 25
h help 26
ih fill 27
iy feel 28
jh joy 29
k cut 30
l lid 31
m mat 32
n no 33
ng sing 34
ow go 35
oy toy 36
p put 37
r red 38
s sit 39
sh she 40
t talk 41
th thin 42
uh book 43
uw too 44
v vat 45
w with 46
y yard 47
z zap 48
zh pleasure 49

Please see International Phonemes for information on other phoneme sets.