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Edinburgh IPA Archives  
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  • Most recent update: 22-04-2009.

This site contains 70 readings of the "North Wind and the Sun" in an equal number of different languages. Most of these materials were recorded by Elizabeth Uldall in the Phonetics Laboratory of Edinburgh University in the 1950s and 1960s and they were intended to serve as student illustrations of the languages in the 1949 edition of the 'Principles of the International Phonetic Association'. I accidentally uncovered these recordings while doing my PhD at Edinburgh University and I have used them ever since in my own phonetics classes to the benefit of my students. Since this collection is so intimately associated with the rich tradition of phonetic research at Edinburgh University, I have decided to name it the "Edinburgh IPA Archives".

The website is conceived as a series of factsheets about the different languages in the collection. For each language, there is information about its distribution, its consonants and vowels. In addition, there is a phonetic transcription of the passage to go with the original audio recording. Furthermore, there is an orthographic transcription of the text (to the extent that this is available) and there are references to a few publications on the phonetic characteristics of each language. I have also included the IPA comments on the phonetics of each language taken from the 1949 edition from the "Principles of the International Phonetic Association". At a later stage, I hope to implement a basic search facility so that it will become possible for students and interested speech scientists to identify languages illustrating specific sounds or sound classes.

Website status
This website is currently under construction and is updated regularly.

I would like to thank the University of Edinburgh's subject group of Linguistics and English Language within the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences to grant the permission to make these recordings available to a wider audience. Only in a number of instances, it has been possible to identify the speaker of the recordings and in these cases permission has been sought to include their voices.