Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet

The Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet (SAMPA) is a computer-readable phonetic script using 7-bit printable ASCII characters, based on the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).

It was originally developed in the late 1980s for six European languages by the EEC ESPRIT information technology research and development program. As many symbols as possible have been taken over from the IPA; where this is not possible, other signs that are available are used, e.g. for schwa (IPA ), for the vowel sound found in French deux (IPA ), and for the vowel sound found in French neuf (IPA ).

Today, officially, SAMPA has been developed for all the sounds of the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Bosnian
  • Bulgarian
  • Cantonese
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Estonian
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Hungarian
  • Italian
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Scots
  • Serbian
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Thai
  • Turkish

The characters represent the pronunciation of the name SAMPA in English. Like IPA, SAMPA is usually enclosed in square brackets or slashes, which are not part of the alphabet proper and merely signify that it is phonetic as opposed to regular text.

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Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet - Features
... developed in the late 1980s in the European Commission-funded ESPRIT project 2589 "Speech Assessment Methods" (SAM)—hence "SAM Phonetic Alphabet"—in order ... SAMPA and X-SAMPA are still widely used in computational phonetics and in speech technology ...

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