International Phonetic Alphabet
The International Phonetic Alphabet is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association as a representation of the sounds of spoken language. The IPA is used by lexicographers, foreign students and teachers, speech-language pathologists, actors, constructed language creators. The IPA is designed to represent only those qualities of speech that are part of language, phonemes, intonation. IPA symbols are composed of one or more elements of two types and diacritics. For example, the sound of the English letter ⟨t⟩ may be transcribed in IPA with a letter, or with a letter plus diacritics. Often, slashes are used to signal broad or phonemic transcription, thus, /t/ is less specific than, occasionally letters or diacritics are added, removed, or modified by the International Phonetic Association. As of the most recent change in 2005, there are 107 letters,52 diacritics and these are shown in the current IPA chart, posted below in this article and at the website of the IPA.
In 1886, a group of French and British language teachers, led by the French linguist Paul Passy, for example, the sound was originally represented with the letter ⟨c⟩ in English, but with the digraph ⟨ch⟩ in French. However, in 1888, the alphabet was revised so as to be uniform across languages, the idea of making the IPA was first suggested by Otto Jespersen in a letter to Paul Passy. It was developed by Alexander John Ellis, Henry Sweet, Daniel Jones, since its creation, the IPA has undergone a number of revisions. After major revisions and expansions in 1900 and 1932, the IPA remained unchanged until the International Phonetic Association Kiel Convention in 1989, a minor revision took place in 1993 with the addition of four letters for mid central vowels and the removal of letters for voiceless implosives. The alphabet was last revised in May 2005 with the addition of a letter for a labiodental flap, apart from the addition and removal of symbols, changes to the IPA have consisted largely in renaming symbols and categories and in modifying typefaces.
Extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet for speech pathology were created in 1990, the general principle of the IPA is to provide one letter for each distinctive sound, although this practice is not followed if the sound itself is complex. There are no letters that have context-dependent sound values, as do hard, the IPA does not usually have separate letters for two sounds if no known language makes a distinction between them, a property known as selectiveness. These are organized into a chart, the chart displayed here is the chart as posted at the website of the IPA. The letters chosen for the IPA are meant to harmonize with the Latin alphabet, for this reason, most letters are either Latin or Greek, or modifications thereof. Some letters are neither, for example, the letter denoting the glottal stop, ⟨ʔ⟩, has the form of a question mark
Its pronunciation is based on the Beijing dialect, its vocabulary on the Mandarin dialects, and its grammar is based on written vernacular Chinese. Like other varieties of Chinese, Standard Chinese is a language with topic-prominent organization. It has more initial consonants but fewer vowels, final consonants, Standard Chinese is an analytic language, though with many compound words. There exist two standardised forms of the language, namely Putonghua in Mainland China and Guoyu in Taiwan, aside from a number of differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, Putonghua is written using simplified Chinese characters, while Guoyu is written using traditional Chinese characters. There are many characters that are identical between the two systems, in English, the governments of China and Hong Kong use Putonghua, Putonghua Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, and Mandarin, while those of Taiwan and Malaysia, use Mandarin. The name Putonghua has a long, albeit unofficial, history and it was used as early as 1906 in writings by Zhu Wenxiong to differentiate a modern, standard Chinese from classical Chinese and other varieties of Chinese.
For some linguists of the early 20th century, the Putonghua, or common tongue/speech, was different from the Guoyu. The former was a prestige variety, while the latter was the legal standard. Based on common understandings of the time, the two were, in fact, Guoyu was understood as formal vernacular Chinese, which is close to classical Chinese. By contrast, Putonghua was called the speech of the modern man. The use of the term Putonghua by left-leaning intellectuals such as Qu Qiubai, prior to this, the government used both terms interchangeably. In Taiwan, Guoyu continues to be the term for Standard Chinese. The term Putonghua, on the contrary, implies nothing more than the notion of a lingua franca, Huayu, or language of the Chinese nation, originally simply meant Chinese language, and was used in overseas communities to contrast Chinese with foreign languages. Over time, the desire to standardise the variety of Chinese spoken in these communities led to the adoption of the name Huayu to refer to Mandarin and it incorporates the notion that Mandarin is usually not the national or common language of the areas in which overseas Chinese live.
The term Mandarin is a translation of Guānhuà, which referred to the lingua franca of the late Chinese empire, in English, Mandarin may refer to the standard language, the dialect group as a whole, or to historic forms such as the late Imperial lingua franca. The name Modern Standard Mandarin is sometimes used by linguists who wish to distinguish the current state of the language from other northern. Chinese has long had considerable variation, hence prestige dialects have always existed. Confucius, for example, used yǎyán rather than colloquial regional dialects, rime books, which were written since the Northern and Southern dynasties, may have reflected one or more systems of standard pronunciation during those times