User:Ghoti/Initial Teaching Alphabet (images)

From Teflpedia

See Initial Teaching Alphabet in Wikipedia.

Here we represent i.t.a. symbols using similar (or not so similar) Unicode characters. Two characters are shown with images: "Half-hook a.png" and "Inverted z.png". If you want to copy and paste the text with no images see User:Ghoti/Initial Teaching Alphabet. For the correct symbols see Initial_Teaching_Alphabet_ITA_chart.svg in Wikipedia, or the chart in this reference.[1] You can install the Pitmanita font and see the correct i.t.a. symbols in User:Ghoti/Initial Teaching Alphabet (Pitmanita).

Example[edit]

Example using the i.t.a. alphabet

Ita example.png

Example using the Unicode adaptation invented in Teflpedia

tradiʃhonally wun ov ɟhe fiяst tHalf-hook a.pngsks ov ɟhe infant scຜl woInverted z.png tω tϵϵĉh ĉhildren tω rϵϵd. it iInverted z.png still, kwîet rîetly, a mæjor preoccûepæʃhon, sins rϵϵdiŋ iInverted z.png a kϵϵ tω muĉh ov ɟhe leяning ɟhat will cum læteя.

Alternative versions[edit]

i.t.a. has alternative versions. For example i.t.a. Correspondence Course prefers "ks" for "x",[2] and other references prefer "cs" (possibly because the transition form "cs" to "x" will be easier). In this article we use the recommendations of i.t.a. Correspondence Course.

Consonants[edit]

Double consonants mean exactly the same as single consonants. The same is valid for "ck", "tĉh", "dj",[3] "dʒ"[3] and "яr".[4]

ITA symbol IPA symbol Examples ITA symbol IPA symbol Examples ~ITA symbol Description IPA symbol Examples
b, bb /b/ back, job, rabbit p, pp /p/ problem, help, happen d, dd d with a short descender /d/ dog, end, address
c, cc, ck /k/ can, public, black, occæʒon r, rr /r/ red, car, carry ŋ ŋ with loop /ŋ/ loŋ, loŋger, baŋk
f, ff /f/ family, self, difficult s, ss /s/ still, yes, across, nekst я, яr r with left tail /r/ heя, biяd, tuяn, myяtl, fuяry
g, gg /g/ get, big, aggressiv t, tt /t/ tell, not, attack, presst Inverted z.png, Inverted z.pngInverted z.png Inverted z /z/ haInverted z.png, viInverted z.pngit, siInverted z.pngInverted z.pngorInverted z.png
h /h/ help, ahed v /v/ very, liv, level ĉh, tĉh Lowered C and h ligature /tʃ/ ĉheck, muĉh, catĉh, kitĉhen
j, dj, dʒ /dʒ/ job, adjust, bridʒ w /w/ will, aword, kwick ʃh ʃh ligature /ʃ/ ʃhop, maʃhϵϵn, condiʃhon
k /k/ kϵϵp, black, chicken, nekst y /j/ yes, yellœ ţh Lowered t and h ligature /θ/ ţhiŋk, helţh
l, ll /l/ lot, will, giяl, dollar z, zz /z/ zippeя, sitizen, dizzy ɟh Mirror image t and h ligature /ð/ ɟhis, boɟheя, brϵϵɟh
m, mm /m/ muĉh, problem, common ʒ /ʒ/ viʒon, massɑʒ ŵh wh ligature /ʍ/ ŵhen, ŵhispeя
n, nn /n/ not, man, dinneя

Vowels[edit]

Non-rhotic vowels[edit]

ITA symbol IPA symbol Examples ~ITA symbol Description IPA symbol Examples ~ITA symbol Description IPA symbol Examples
a /æ/ TRAP
/ə/ commA
trap
comma
æ ae ligature /eɪ/ FACE fæs, wæt Half-hook a.png "Half-hook a" (big-loop a) /æ, ɑː/ BATH bHalf-hook a.pngţh, Half-hook a.pngsk
e /e/ DRESS
/ɪ/
/ə/ commA
dress
befor
problem
ϵϵ ϵϵ ligature /iː/ FLEECE
/iː, ɪ/ happY
flϵϵs, ϵϵInverted z.pngy
coffϵϵ
ɑ ɑ, called "round a" or "one-storey a" /ɑː/ PALM pɑm, fɑţheя
i /ɪ/ KIT
/iː, ɪ/ happY
/ə/ commA
kit
taxi
family
îe ie ligature /aɪ/ PRICE prîes, nîet âu au ligature /ɔː/ THOUGHT ţhâut, dâuteя
o /ɒ/ LOT, CLOTH
/ə/ commA
lot, cloţh
lesson
œ oe ligature /əʊ/ GOAT gœt, gœld ôi oi ligature /ɔɪ/ CHOICE ĉhôis, bôi
u /ʌ/ STRUT
/ə/ commA
strut
album
ûe ue ligature /juː/ cute cûet, fûe ôu ou ligature /aʊ/ MOUTH môuţh, ôul
ω /ʊ/ FOOT fωt, pωll Omega with central loop /uː/ goose gຜs, sຜp y y /ɪ/ KIT
/iː, ɪ/ happY
/ə/ commA
myţh
happy
analysis

cute is a new lexical set, with the sequence /juː/.

goose is a new lexical set, with /uː/ not preceded by /j/.

GOOSE = goose + cute

Rhotic vowels[edit]

In this section there are many digraphs and trigraphs which are indicated with asterisks.

~ITA symbol IPA symbol Examples ~ITA symbol IPA symbol Examples ~ITA symbol IPA symbol Examples
ar /ə(r)/ lettER grammar ær(*) /eə/ SQUARE skwær, scæry Half-hook a.png See ɑr
eя(*) /ɜː(r)/ NURSE
/ə(r)/ lettER
teяm, refeяriŋ
letteя
ϵϵr(*) /ɪə(r)/ NEAR nϵϵr, sϵϵrious ɑr /ɑː/ START stɑrt, safɑri, stɑrry
iя(*) /ɜː(r)/ NURSE
/ə(r)/ lettER
giяl, stiяriŋ
confiяmæʃhon
îer(**) /aɪə/ fire fîer, fîeriŋ âur /ɔː/ NORTH dîenosâur, âura
or, orr(**) /ɔː(r)/ NORTH
/ɔː(r), oː(r)/ FORCE
/ə(r)/ lettER
norţh, abhorriŋ
fors, glory
actor
œ See or ôi
uя(*) /ɜː(r)/ NURSE
/ə(r)/ lettER
nuяs, fuяry
bîefuяcæt
ûer(*) /jʊə/ cure cûer, pûerity ôur(***) /aʊə/ sour sôur
ωr(**) /ʊə(r)/ poor pωr, tωrist See ωr yя(*) /ɜː(r)/ NURSE
/ə(r)/ lettER
myяtl
mɑrtyя

(*) Digraph or trigraph

(**)

  • Exceptionally "or" and "orr" are not digraphs/trigraphs.
  • General American and other American dialects, in these four words: sorry, sorrœ, borrœ, tomorrœ.
  • Received pronunciation: in words like torrid, forest, forein (including sorry, sorrœ, borrœ, tomorrœ). See Pronunciation exercises: /ɒrV/ vs /ɔːrV/.
  • ωr is a digraph only in dialects where tourist and guru have different initial vowels.
  • Exceptionally ôur is not a digraph in dôury (t.o. "dowry").
  • îer is not a digraph in words like spîeral, vîerus.

cure is a new lexical set, with the sequence /jʊə/.

poor is a new lexical set, with /ʊə/ not preceded by /j/.

CURE = poor + cure

Non-rhotic vowels followed by /r/[edit]

In these cases the vowel sounds with its normal sound, at least in Received Pronunciation. In General American there are exceptions for a, o and u (Mary-marry-merry merger, ɒr-ɔːr merger, and hurry-furry merger). These exceptions must be considered digraphs or trigraphs.

VrV
~ITA symbols IPA symbols Examples ~ITA symbols IPA symbols Examples ~ITA symbols IPA symbols Examples
ar, arr /ær,BrE AmE erAmE/ ĉharity, carry ær /eɪr/ pærœll Half-hook a.pngr /ɑːr,BrE ær,AmE erAmE/ senHalf-hook a.pngriœ
er, err /er/ very, cherry ϵϵr /iːr/ rϵϵrîet ɑ See ɑr
ir, irr
ir
/ɪr/
/iːr, ɪr/
spirit, mirror
multiræʃhial
îer /aɪr/ spîeral âu See âur
ur, urr /ʌ,BrE ɜːAmE/ curij, hurry ûer /(j)uːr/ ûerϵϵka ôir /ɔɪr/ jôirîed
ωr /ʊr/ gωrຜ ຜr /uːr/ ôur /aʊr/ dôury
or /ɒr,BrE ɔːrAmE/
/ɔːr/
forest, moral
glory, eksploreя
œr /əʊr/ ʃhœrຜm yr /ɪr/
/iːr, ɪr/
lyrics
copyrîet
orr /ɒr,BrE ɔːrAmE/
/ɒr,BrE ɑːrAmE/
torrid, porridʒ
sorry

r vs я[edit]

In i.t.a. in Received Pronunciation я and r (and яr and rr) are silent unless they are followed by a vowel. Below we can see all valid combinations of a vowel followed by r or я.

~ITA
symbol
Valid combinations ~ITA
symbol
Valid combinations ~ITA
symbol
Valid combinations
Normal sound [country] Digraph/trigraph [country, sound] Normal sound Digraph/trigraph [country] Normal sound Digraph/trigraph
a ar (grammar)
ar/arr (carry, ĉharity) [UK]
ar/arr (carry, ĉharity) [US, like ær] æ ær (pærœll) ær (skwær, scæry) Half-hook a.png Possibly only senHalf-hook a.pngriœ; see ɑr
e er/err (very, ĉherry) eя/eяr (teяm, refeяriŋ, letteя) /ɜː(r), ə(r)/ ϵϵ ϵϵr (rϵϵrîet) ϵϵr (nϵϵr, sϵϵrious) ɑ ɑr/ɑrr (stɑrt, safɑri, stɑrry)
i ir/irr (spirit, mirror) iя/iяr (giяl, stiяriŋ, confiяmæʃhon) /ɜː(r), ə(r)/ îe îer (spîeral) îer (fîer, fîeriŋ) âu âur (dîenosâur, âura)
o or/orr (forest, torrid, sorry) [UK, like âur]
orr (sorry) [US, like ɑr]
or/orr (norţh, abhorriŋ, actor, fors, glory), like âur
or/orr (forest, torrid) [US, like âur]
œ œr (shœrຜm) ôi ôir (jôirîed)
u ur/urr (curij, hurry) [UK] uя/uяr (nuяs, fuяry, bîefuяcæt) /ɜː(r), ə(r)/
ur/urr (curij, hurry) [US, /ɜː(r), ə(r)/]
ûe ûer (ûerϵϵka) ûer (cûer, pûerity) ôu ôur (dôury) ôur (sôur)
ω ωr (gωrຜ); ωr (pωr, tωrist) [US] ωr (pωr, tωrist) [UK, /ʊə/] ຜr y yr (lyrics) yя (mɑrtyя)

Suffixes[edit]

Words ending in "-ure" in traditional orthography are spelled with "-ûer" in i.t.a.[5]

Words ending in "-ion" in traditional orthography drop the "i". Other suffixes keep it.[6]

ITA spelling Alternative spelling (not used in books)
pictûer picĉheя
treʒûer treʒeя
speʃhial speʃhal

Uppercase letters[edit]

Uppercase letters are simply bigger versions of the lower case ones. However, since most letters look bold when made big (with <big>big>x</big></big>), in some cases it is preferable to use standard uppercase.

<big>big>x</big></big> Uppercase Comments
cat Cat
kit Kit
odd Odd
sun Sun
upon Upon Too different
vent Vent
win Win
yen Yen Too different
zap Zap
ʒondɑяm Ʒondɑrm

The BATH lexical set[edit]

The "half-hook a" is an "a" with a big loop and a small hook, which for the lack of a Unicode character, we represent as Half-hook a.png. This letter was added to i.t.a to account for the BATH lexical set, which is pronounced /ɑː,BrE æAmE/.

Half-hook a.png is used in print in words like bHalf-hook a.pngţh or Half-hook a.pngsk. Children and teachers are supposed to write bɑţh, ɑsk or baţh, ask according to their accent.[7]

BATH in American i.t.a.[edit]

The [American] Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation doesn't use the i.t.a. symbol "Half-hook a.png".[8] This means that their books are not useful in the UK or Australia (which doesn't matter, because i.t.a currently is used only in the United States) and also, that some American children will have problems.[9]

The CLOTH lexical set[edit]

i.t.a. added Half-hook a.png to be compatible across accents.

A similar situation happens with the CLOTH lexical set, pronounced /ɒ,BrE ɔːAmE/. The lack of special character is not problematic for several reasons:

  • Apparently there are no minimal pairs between CLOTH and LOT.
  • Words pronounced with /ɒ/ in Received Pronunciation and /ɔː/ in the United States can be divided in more than one set. Below we put some examples taken from Oxford Learner's Advanced Dictionary.
  • /ɔː/: belong, cloth, cost, cough, cross, dog, froth, gone, moth, soft, song, strong, wrong
  • /ɔː, ɑː/: across, albatross, alcohol, along, boss, catalogue, coffee, donkey, floss, fog, frog, furlong, loft, log, long, loss, lost, oblong, off, offer, office, often, quarrel, toss, warranty
  • /ɑː, ɔː/: broth, chocolate, diphthong, golf, gong, on, onset, ostrich, resolve, solve, squash, upon, wash
  • /ɒ/ as an innovation in Received Pronunciation:
  • BrE, ɔːAmE/: austerity, Australia, Austria, cauliflower, because, sausage
  • /ɔː,BrE ɒBrE, ɔːAmE/: auction, hydraulic, salt
We don't want to add five new letters for these five sets.
  • In the United States the Cot-caught merger is very common, and in that accent LOT and CLOTH are pronounced with the same vowel, /ɑː/.
  • All or almost all the words in the different CLOTH sets are spelled with "o" in t.o. and also with "o" in i.t.a.

The only problem generated by the lack of CLOTH vowel is the /ɒrV-ɔːrV/ split. The i.t.a. sequence "or" as in "forest" is o+r in Received Pronunciation and âu+r or a clipped version of œ+r in General American. Therefore, the children being taught i.t.a. in American English must know an exception, wich is that "or" actually sounds "âur" or "œr " (with the exception of "sorry", "sorrœ", "borrœ", and "tomorrœ", wich have a regular pronunciation).

An alternative would be to have another letter (e.g. "ø" to spell "førest"). In this case "or" could be used for "sorry". We even could use "ø" for all of the CLOTH lexical set (assuming we can agree on one).

CLOTH in current American i.t.a.[edit]

The [American] Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation uses "o" for octopus and ɑ for ostrich.[8] Since ostrich is in the CLOTH lexical set it seems the current i.t.a. Foundation decided to make their materials adapted for a subset of the American population.

The FORCE lexical set[edit]

i.t.a. can manage the FORCE lexical set very easily: "fœrs", "stœry", "fœr", "ov cœrs". However in "Winny ɟhe magpie"[10] we see the spelling "story". Similarly, in the cover of "StoriInverted z.png about jϵϵInverted z.pngus ɟhe helpeя"[11] we see "StoriInverted z.png " instead of "StœriInverted z.png". In indian tຜ fϵϵt and his hors "of course" is spelled "ov cors" instead of "ov cœrs".[12]

FORCE in current American i.t.a.[edit]

The [American] Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation shows a student that uses "œr" for the FORCE lexical set, as suggested above.[13]

National spellings[edit]

If i.t.a. were used in just one country (as it is now, because it is used only in the United States) it could be adapted to the local pronunciation. For a global alphabet this is absurd, because i.t.a. was modified (adding "Half-hook a.png") specially to accommodate for different accents.

The following national adaptations could be done. However accents are not uniform in all of the same country, so there is some risk of alienating even a minority of the local population.

i.t.a. symbols Examples Country, action Examples Comments
Half-hook a.png, ɑ, ɑr Half-hook a.pngsk, pɑm, stɑrt UK could use either ɑ or ɑr ɑsk, pɑm, stɑt
ɑrsk, pɑrm, stɑrt
Not a useful simplification because in the UK there are people with a rhotic accent, and others who pronounce "ask" as /æsk/. In Australia the accent is more uniform, but then Australian i.t.a. books would not be as useful in other countries.
a, Half-hook a.png trap, Half-hook a.pngsk US could drop Half-hook a.png (as the current ita Foundation already did) trap, ask See section BATH in American i.t.a.
ar, arr
er, err
ær
ĉharity, carry
cherry, very
skwær, scæry
US could use er, err ĉherity, kerry
cherry, very
skwer, skery
Not a useful simplification in the US, because 42% of people make the difference between "marry" and "merry" and 34% of people make the difference between "Mary" and "merry". Also, "carry" or "scærry" are preferable to "kerry" and "skerry"
ar, arr
er, err
ær
ĉharity, carry
cherry, very
skwær, scæry
US could use ær, ærr ĉhærity, cærry
chærry, væry
skwær, scæry
Not a useful simplification in the US, because 27% of people make the difference between "Mary" and "marry" and 34% of people make the difference between "Mary" and "merry".
o, ɑ, ɑr lot, pɑm, stɑrt US could use "o" for the non-rhotic vowel lot, pom, stɑrt Many Americans pronounce "father" and "bother" with different vowels.
ϵϵr
ir, irr
nϵϵr, sϵϵrious, spirit, mirror US could use either ϵϵr, ϵϵrr or ir, irr nϵϵr, sϵϵrious, spϵϵrit, mϵϵrror
nir, sirious, spirit, mirror
Not a useful simplification in the US, because some people make the difference between "serious" and "Sirius", and since the difference is made in t.o. it helps the students to know it in advance. Also, "carϵϵr" or "bϵϵrd" are preferable to carir or bird (career, beard).
or, œr norţh, fors In US the difference between NORTH and FORCE could be made. norţh, fœrs The FORCE vowel was not part of the original i.t.a. Students, according to their accent, can use the digraph "œr",[13] but "or" is preferred in printed texts.
ur, urr
uя, uяr
nuriʃh, hurry
fuяry
In US only uя, uяr could be used nuяiʃh, huяry
fuяry
May be a useful simplification in the US, but it makes American books less useful in the UK or Australia
ŵh ŵhen, ŵhîet The /ʍ/ phoneme stopped being used in most of the English speaking world wen, wîet May be a useful simplification, but "ŵh " is more similar to traditional orthography

Variant words[edit]

Some words don't follow a pattern, just like currently we have "carburettor" and "carburetor" (cɑrburettor and cɑrburætor in i.t.a). The following words either have different spellings in Received Pronunciation and General American, or a compromise spelling must be selected. See also American English v. British English § Variant words.

Received Pronunciation General American Observed or proposed common spelling
æpricot apricot N/A
bϵϵn bin bϵϵn
clɑrk cleяk N/A
et æt ate
fûetîel fûetil fûetile
ov uv ov
sanitry sanitæry sanitary
skwirrel skwiяrel skwirel
skejûel, ʃhejûel, ʃhedûel skejûel skejûel
vetrenary veterinæry veterinary
woInverted z.png wuInverted z.png woInverted z.png
(*)sorry, sorrœ, borrœ, tomorrœ sɑrry, sɑrrœ, bɑrrœ, tomɑrrœ sorry, sorrœ, borrœ, tomorrœ
(*)torrid, fo·rin/forrin torrid, forin torrid, forin
abhoriŋ abhoriŋ/abhorriŋ abhoriŋ
territry territory territory

(*)Since in i.t.a. "or" sounds /ɔː(r)/, there is no independent to represent /ɒr/. Here we propose "orr" and "o·r". A better solution would be that "oя" sounds /ɔː(r)/. In that hypothetical case we would have the following table.

Received Pronunciation General American Proposed common spelling
sorry, sorrœ, borrœ, tomorrœ sɑrry/sorry, sɑrrœ/sorrœ, bɑrrœ/borrœ, tomɑrrœ/tomorrœ sorry, sorrœ, borrœ, tomorrœ
torrid, forin toяrid, foяin torrid, forin
abhoяriŋ abhoяriŋ abhoяriŋ
territry territoяy territory

Redundant symbols[edit]

Several symbols are redundant, and the one preferred is the most similar to traditional spelling.

Redundant symbols
Redundant symbols Examples
Vowels
a, e, i, o, u (and nothing) as /ə/ comma, problem, family, lesson, album, ryɟhm, littl
Unstressed e, i as /ɪ/ befor, diInverted z.pngϵϵInverted z.png
Two vowels as /ə/ seяtain, môuntain, Mîecael, forein, sœʃhial, aŋkʃhous, neяvous
ar, eя, iя, or, uя, yя and r as /ə(r)/ grammar, actor, letteя, confiяmæʃhon, bîefuяcæt, mɑrtyя, sentr, lϵϵtr
eя, iя, uя, yя teяm, eяţh, giяl, nuяs, wuяd, myяtl
or, âur norţh, âura
ຜ, ûe ʃhຜ, ĉhຜInverted z.png, Jûen, ĉhûe, ĉhûeInverted z.png
ωr, ûer velωr, ʃhûer
y, i happy, taksi
yຜ, ûe yຜ, yຜţh, cûet, ɑrgûe, ûenϵϵk
Consonants
c, k, ck cat, cof, cຜl, cûet, soccr, mûeInverted z.pngic, karɑte, back, lωk
ĉh, tĉh ĉhîeld, catĉh
j, dj, dʒ job, adjust, bridʒ
z, Inverted z.png zຜ, ziŋc, frϵϵz, dizzi, dogInverted z.png, diInverted z.pngϵϵInverted z.png, siInverted z.pngInverted z.pngInverted z.png
Double consonants: bb, cc, dd, ff, gg, ll, mm, nn, pp, rr, ss, Inverted z.pngInverted z.png, tt, zz discrîebiŋ, grabbiŋ, nϵϵded, middl, hHalf-hook a.pngf, stHalf-hook a.pngff, tîegeя, biggeя

Homophones[edit]

Homophones
Traditional spelling 1 i.t.a. word 1 Traditional spelling 2 i.t.a. word 2
choose ĉhຜInverted z.png chews ĉhûeInverted z.png
chilly ĉhilly Chile ĉhile
freeze frϵϵz frees frϵϵInverted z.png
their, there ɟhær they're ɟhæ'r(*)

(*) speculation. Maybe they're is spelled ɟhær in i.t.a.

Contextual or ambiguous symbols[edit]

Several symbols have a different meaning depending on the context

  • i
Stressed it is /ɪ/: kit
Unstressed it is /i/ or /ɪ/ (the happY vowel): taxi, matϵϵrial
It can be /j/: opinion
  • y
Before a vowel it is /j/: yes, biyond
Stressed it is /ɪ/: myţh
Unstressed it is /i/ or /ɪ/ (the happY vowel): copy, polynœmial

Note that "polyandrous" (t.o.) either is ambiguous (polyandros = /pɒliːˈændrəs/ or /pɒlˈjændrəs/) or it must be written "poliandros").

In the following cases V is any vowel.

  • arV, arrV
In General American "a" is /æ/ and "arr" and "ar" are /eə/, as in "carry", "charity"
  • erV, errV
In General American "e" is /e/ and "err" and "er" are /eə/, as in "cherry", "very"
  • irV, irrV
In General American "i" is /ɪ/ and "irr" and "ir" can be /ɪə/, as in "mirror", "spirit"
  • orV
Normally it is /ɔː/: glory
It can be /ɒ,BrE ɔːAmE/: forist
  • orrV
Normally it is /ɒ,BrE ɔːAmE/: corridor, torrid
It can be /ɒ,BrE ɑːAmE/ in these four words: sorry, sorrœ, borrow, tomorrœ
It is /ɔː/ in-ing forms: abhorriŋ (this word probably was never printed in i.t.a.)
  • urV, urrV
In General American "u" is /ʌ/ and "ʌrr" and "ur" are /ɜː/, as in "hurry", "curij".

Heteronyms[edit]

Unfortunately there are heteronyms in i.t.a. because the stress is not represented.

i.t.a IPA 1 Meaning 1 IPA 2 Meaning 2
conflict /ˈkɒnflɪkt/ noun /kənˈflɪkt/ verb
invalid /ɪnˈvælɪd/ incorrect /ˈɪnvəlɪd/ disabled person
record /ˈrekɔːrd,BrE ˈrekərdAmE/ noun /rɪˈkɔːrd/ verb

Number of symbols[edit]

It is usually said that i.t.a. has 45 symbols, 24 letters of the alphabet and several special symbols and ligatures:

  • 24 letters of the alphabet: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, t, u, v, w, y, z
  • 8 special symbols: Half-hook a.png, ɑ, ω, ຜ, ŋ, я, Inverted z.png, ʒ
  • 13 ligatures: æ, ϵϵ, îe, œ, ûe, âu, ôi, ôu, ĉh, ʃh, ţh, ɟh, ŵh

In addition i.t.a. has several digraphs and trigraphs

  • Several vowels followed by the symbol я ("r" with left tail)
  • The combinations dj, dʒ, ck, яr and tĉh
  • The double letters of traditional orthography: bb, cc, dd, ff, gg, ll, mm, nn, pp, rr, ss, Inverted z.pngInverted z.png, tt, zz
  • Double letters used very seldom in traditional orthography: kk, vv

The "e" of "teяm" /ɜː/ is different from the "e" of "ĉheriʃh" /e/. This means that "eя" must be considered a digraph, and not two symbols. The same is valid for iя and uя. In the spirit of i.t.a. these digraphs could have been ligatures, and the "tail" that is part of the я symbol easily blends with the previous letter. However, since я was added later to i.t.a., probably it was thought it would be easier to ad one symbol instead of three ligatures.

Similarly the "o" of "north" /ɔː/ is different from the "o" of lot /ɒ,BrE ɑːAmE/, and the "o" of forest /ɒ,BrE ɔːAmE/. Therefore "or" should be considered a digraph. Since "or" is a digraph, we need to explicitly say that in Received Pronunciation "orr" is normally /ɒr/, as in "torrid". This means that "orr" is a trigraph.

  • 12 rhotic digraphs and trigraphs: eя, iя, or, orr, uя, ωr, yя, ær, ϵϵr, îer, ûer, ôur

In the case of "ɑr" and "âur" (start, dinosâur) the vowel sound is the same as "ɑ" and "âu" (fɑɟheя, dâuteя), and therefore it is not necessary to consider these as digraphs.

Additionally, children may use "œr" when i.t.a. prefers "or".[13]

i.t.a. IPA i.t.a. IPA i.t.a. IPA
æ, æя /eɪ, eə/ ɑ, ɑr /ɑː/
e, eя /e, ɜː/ ϵϵ, ϵϵr /iː, ɪə/ âu, âur /ɔː/
i, iя /ɪ, ɜː/ îe, îer /aɪ, aɪə/
o, or, orr /ɒ, ɔː, ɒ/ œ, œr[13] /oʊ,AmEAmE/
u, uя /ʌ, ɜː/ ûe, ûer /juː, jʊə/
ω, ωr /ʊ, ʊə/ ôu, ôur /aʊ, aʊə/

Conclusion[edit]

i.t.a. has 61 symbols, digraphs and trigraphs

  • 24 letters of the alphabet
  • 8 special symbols
  • 13 ligatures
  • 12 rhotic digraphs and trigraphs
  • 5 consonantal digraphs and trigraphs

The total is 76 if we add the double letters (78 with "kk" and "vv"). And we didn't count, œr, the optional digraph for children.

Number of sounds[edit]

Sometimes it is said that i.t.a has 44 symbols for 44 sounds. This count excludes the half-hook a (Half-hook a.png).

The following sections show the sounds supported by i.t.a.

Consonants[edit]

Consonants
Sound i.t.a Sound i.t.a. Sound i.t.a
/b/ b /l/ l /t/ t
/d/ d /m/ m /tʃ/ ĉh
/ðʒ/ ɟh /n/ n /θ/ ţh
/d/ d /ŋ/ ŋ /v/ v
/f/ f /p/ p /w/ w, ŵh
/g/ g /r/ r, яr /ʍ/* ŵh
/h/ h /s/ s /z/ z, Inverted z.png
/j/ y /ʃ/ ʃh /ʒ/ ʒ
/k/ c, ck, k

(*) /ʍ/ is normally merged with /w/

i.t.a. supports 25 consonants, but /ʍ/ is not present in most English dialects.

Vowels in Received Pronunciation[edit]

Vowels in Received Pronunciation
Sound i.t.a Sound i.t.a Sound i.t.a
/ɑː, ɑːr, ər/ ɑ, ɑr, Half-hook a.png /ɪ, ə, ər/ i, iя /ʊ/ ω
/æ, ə, ər/ a, ar /iː/ ϵϵ /uː/
/aɪ, aɪə/ îe, îer, îeeя /ɪə/ ϵϵr /ʊə/ ωr
/aʊ, aʊə/ ôu, ôur, ôueя /ɒ, ə/ o /juː/ ûe
/e, ɪ, ə, ər/ e, eя /ɔːr, ər/
/ɔː, ɔːr/
or
âu, âur
/jʊə/ ûer
/eə/ ær /ɔɪ/ ôi /ʌ, ə, ər/ u, uя
/eɪ/ æ /əʊ/ œ /ɜː/ eя, iя, uя

The total number is 21, but we must subtract /juː/ and /jʊə/, because /j/ is a separate symbol, already counted as a consonant.

Vowels in General American[edit]

Vowels in General American
Sound i.t.a Sound i.t.a Sound i.t.a
/ɑː, ɑːr, ər/
/ɑː, ə, ər/
ɑ, ɑr
o, or
/ɪ, ə, ər/ [ɪə] i, iя, ϵϵr /(j)ʊr/ ûer
/æ, ə, ər/ a, ar, Half-hook a.png /iː/ ϵϵ /uː/
/aɪ, aɪə/ îe, îer, îeeя /ɔːr, ər/
/ɔː, ɔːr/
or
âu, âur
/(j)uː/ ûe
/aʊ, aʊə/ ôu, ôur, ôueя /ɔɪ/ ôi /ʌ, ə, ər/ u, uя
/e, ɪ, ə, ər/ [eə] e, eя, ær /əʊ/ œ /ɜː/ eя, iя, uя
/eɪ/ æ /ʊ, ʊr/ [ʊər] ω, ωr

The total number is 19, but we must subtract /(j)uː/ and /(j)ʊr/, because /j/ is a separate symbol, already counted as a consonant.

Conclusion[edit]

i.t.a. supports 25 consonants, 21 British vowels and Half-hook a.png, a vowel for compatibility. In total i.t.a. supports 47 sounds, and it does not have a special symbol for /ə/.

Comma gets a cûer[edit]

Standard i.t.a. spelling[edit]

Well, hϵϵr’Inverted z.png a story for yຜ: Sara perry woInverted z.png a veterinary nuяs hຜ had bϵϵn wuяkiŋ dæly at an œld zຜ in a deInverted z.pngeяted district ov ɟhe territory, sœ ʃhϵϵ woInverted z.png very happy tω stɑrt a nûe job at a sûepeяb prîevit practis in norţh Skwær nϵϵr ɟhe dûek Strϵϵt tôueя. ɟhat æria woInverted z.png muĉh nϵϵreя for heя and mor tω heя lîekiŋ. ϵϵven sœ, on heя fiяst morniŋ, ʃhϵϵ felt stresst. ʃhϵϵ ate a bœl ov porridʒ, ĉheckt heяself in ɟhe mirror and woʃht heя fæs in a hurry. ɟhen ʃhϵϵ pωt on a plæn yelœ dress and a flϵϵs jacket, pickt up heя kit and heded for wuяk.

ŵhen ʃhϵϵ got ɟhær, ɟhær woInverted z.png a wωman wiɟh a gຜs wætiŋ for heя. ɟhe wωman gæv Sara an offiʃhial letteя from ɟhe vet. ɟhe letteя implîed ɟhat ɟhi animal cωd bi suffeяiŋ from a rær form ov fωt and môuţh diInverted z.pngϵϵInverted z.png, ŵhiĉh woInverted z.png suяprîeInverted z.pngiŋ, becoInverted z.png normally yຜ wωd œnly ekspect tω sϵϵ it in a dog or a gœt. Sara woInverted z.png sentimental, sœ ɟhis mæd heя fϵϵl sorry for ɟhe bûetiful biяd.

befor loŋ, ɟhat itĉhy gຜs began tω strut arôund ɟhi offis lîek a lຜnatic, ŵhiĉh mæd an unsanitary mess. ɟhe gຜs’Inverted z.png œneя, mæry harrison, kept câuliŋ, “Comma, Comma”, ŵhiĉh Sara ţhâut woInverted z.png an odd ĉhôis for a næm. Comma woInverted z.png stroŋ and hûej, sœ it wωd tæk sum fors tω trap heя, but Sara had a different îedϵϵa. fiяst ʃhϵϵ trîed jently strœkiŋ ɟhe gຜs’Inverted z.png lœeя back wiɟh heя pɑm, ɟhen siŋiŋ a tûen tω heя. fîenally, ʃhϵϵ administeяd ϵϵţheя. Heя efforts weя not fûetile. In nœ tîem, ɟhe gຜs began tω tîer, sœ Sara woInverted z.png æbl tω hœld ontω Comma and giv heя a relaksiŋ bHalf-hook a.pngţh.

Wuns Sara had manijd tω bæɟh ɟhe gຜs, ʃhϵϵ wîept heя off wiɟh a cloţh and læd heя on heя rîet sîed. ɟhen Sara confiяmd ɟhe vet’s dîeagnœsis. âulmœst immϵϵdiatly, ʃhϵϵ remembeяd an effectiv trϵϵtment ɟhat rekwîerd heя tω meʒuя ôut a lot ov medisin. Sara wornd ɟhat ɟhis cors ov trϵϵtment mîet bi ekspensiv-ϵϵɟheя fîev or siks tîemInverted z.png ɟhe cost ov penisilin. îe cHalf-hook a.pngn’t imajin pæiŋ sœ muĉh, but mrs. harrison-a millyonær lâuyeя-ţhâut it woInverted z.png a fær prîes for a cûer.

Comma gets a cûer and derivativ wuяks mæ bi ûeInverted z.pngd frϵϵly for eny puяpos wiɟhôut speʃhial peяmiʃhion provîeded ɟhe preInverted z.pngent sentens and ɟhe follœiŋ copirîet nœtificæʃhon accumpany ɟhe passij in print, if rϵϵprodûest in print, and in âudiœ format in ɟhe cæs ov a sôund recordiŋ: Copyright 2000 Douglas N. Honorof, Jill McCullough & Barbara Somerville. {âul rîets reInverted z.pngeяvd.

i.t.a. with a Received Pronunciation accent[edit]

In i.t.a. children can spell according to their accent. Here we show a text the way it could look if produced by a child who speaks with a Received Pronunciation accent (or, equivalently, with Estuary English accent).

Wel, hϵϵr’z a stâury fâur ûe: Sareя pery woz a vetrinery nuяs hຜ had bϵϵn wuяkiŋ dæly at an œld zຜ in a dizuяtid distrikt ov ɟhe teretry, sœ ʃhϵϵ woz very hapy tω stɑt a nûe job at a sûepuяb prîevit praktis in nâuţh Skwær nϵϵr ɟhe dûek Strϵϵt tôueя. ɟhat ærϵϵeя woz muĉh nϵϵreя fâur huя and mâur tω huя lîekiŋ. ϵϵven sœ, on huя fuяst mâuniŋ, ʃhϵϵ felt stresst. ʃhϵϵ et a bœl ov porij, ĉheckt huяself in ɟhe mireя and woʃht huя fæs in a hury. ɟhen ʃhϵϵ pωt on a plæn yelœ dres and a flϵϵs jakit, pikt up huя kit and hedid fâur wuяk.

Wen ʃhϵϵ got ɟhær, ɟhær woz a wωmen wiɟh a gຜs wætiŋ fâur huя. ɟhe wωmen gæv Sareя an efiʃhel leteя from ɟhe vet. ɟhe leteя implîed ɟhat ɟhi animel cωd bi sufeяiŋ from a rær fâum ov fωt and môuţh dizϵϵz, wiĉh woz seяprîeziŋ, bicoz nâumely ûe wωd œnly ikspekt tω sϵϵ it in a dog or a gœt. Sareя woz sentimentel, sœ ɟhis mæd huя fϵϵl sory fâur ɟhe bûetifel buяd.

befâur loŋ, ɟhat itĉhy gຜs bigan tω strut arôund ɟhi ofis lîek a lຜnetik, wiĉh mæd an unsanetry mes. ɟhe gຜs’z œneя, mæry harisen, kept câuliŋ, “Comeя, Comeя”, wiĉh Sareя ţhâut woz an od ĉhôis fâur a næm. Comeя woz stroŋ and hûej, sœ it wωd tæk sum fâus tω trap huя, but Sareя had a difrent îedϵϵeя. fuяst ʃhϵϵ trîed jentely strœkiŋ ɟhe gຜs’z lœeя bak wiɟh huя pɑm, ɟhen siŋiŋ a tûen tω huя. fîenely, ʃhϵϵ edministeяd ϵϵţheя. Huя efets wuя not fûetîel. In nœ tîem, ɟhe gຜs bigan tω tîer, sœ Sareя woz æbel tω hœld ontω Comeя and giv huя a rilaksiŋ bɑţh.

Wuns Sareя had manijd tω bæɟh ɟhe gຜs, ʃhϵϵ wîept huя of wiɟh a cloţh and læd huя on huя rîet sîed. ɟhen Sareя confuяmd ɟhe vet’s dîeagnœsis. âulmœst imϵϵdϵϵetly, ʃhϵϵ rimembeяd an ifectiv trϵϵtment ɟhat rikwîerd huя tω meʒuя ôut a lot ov medsen. Sareя wornd ɟhat ɟhis câus ov trϵϵtment mîet bi ikspensiv-ϵϵɟheя fîev or siks tîemz ɟhe cost ov penisilin. îe cɑn’t imajin pæiŋ sœ muĉh, but mrs. harisen-a milûenær lâuyeя-ţhâut it woz a fær prîes fâur a cûer.

Comeя gets a cûer and dirivativ wuяks mæ bi ûezd frϵϵly fâur eny puяpes wiɟhôut speʃhel peяmiʃhen prevîedid ɟhe prezent sentens and ɟhe folœiŋ copirîet nœtificæʃhen ecumpeny ɟhe pasij in print, if rϵϵpredûest in print, and in âudϵϵœ fâumat in ɟhe cæs ov a sôund ricâudiŋ: Copyright 2000 Douglas N. Honorof, Jill McCullough & Barbara Somerville. âul rîets rizuяvd.

i.t.a. with a General American accent[edit]

Here we show a text the way it could look if produced by a child who speaks with a General American accent.

Wel, hϵϵr’z a story for ûe: Sara pæry wuz a veterenæry nuяs hຜ had bin wuяkiŋ dæly at an œld zຜ in a dizuяtid distrikt uv ɟhe tæretory, sœ ʃhϵϵ wuz væry hapy tω stɑrt a nûe job at a sûepuяb prîevit praktis in norţh Skwær nϵϵr ɟhe dûek Strϵϵt tôueя. ɟhat ærϵϵa wuz muĉh nϵϵreя for huя and mor tω huя lîekiŋ. ϵϵven sœ, on huя fuяst morniŋ, ʃhϵϵ felt stresst. ʃhϵϵ æt a bœl uv porij, ĉheckt huяself in ɟhe mϵϵreя and woʃht huя fæs in a huяy. ɟhen ʃhϵϵ pωt on a plæn yelœ dres and a flϵϵs jakit, pikt up huя kit and hedid for wuяk.

Wen ʃhϵϵ got ɟhær, ɟhær wuz a wωmen wiɟh a gຜs wætiŋ for huя. ɟhe wωmen gæv Sara an efiʃhel leteя frum ɟhe vet. ɟhe leteя implîed ɟhat ɟhi animel cωd bi sufeяiŋ frum a rær form uv fωt and môuţh dizϵϵz, wiĉh wuz seяprîeziŋ, bicâuz normely ûe wωd œnly ikspekt tω sϵϵ it in a dâug or a gœt. Sara wuz sentimentel, sœ ɟhis mæd huя fϵϵl sɑry for ɟhe bûetifel buяd.

befor loŋ, ɟhat itĉhy gຜs bigan tω strut arôund ɟhi âufis lîek a lຜnetik, wiĉh mæd an unsanetæry mes. ɟhe gຜs’z œneя, mæry harisen, kept câuliŋ, “Coma, Coma”, wiĉh Sara ţhâut wuz an od ĉhôis for a næm. Coma wuz strâuŋ and hûej, sœ it wωd tæk sum fors tω trap huя, but Sara had a difrent îedϵϵa. fuяst ʃhϵϵ trîed jentely strœkiŋ ɟhe gຜs’z lœeя bak wiɟh huя pom, ɟhen siŋiŋ a tûen tω huя. fîenely, ʃhϵϵ edministeяd ϵϵţheя. Huя efeяts wuя not fûetel. In nœ tîem, ɟhe gຜs bigan tω tîer, sœ Sara wuz æbel tω hœld ontω Coma and giv huя a rilaksiŋ baţh.

Wuns Sara had manijd tω bæɟh ɟhe gຜs, ʃhϵϵ wîept huя âuf wiɟh a clâuţh and læd huя on huя rîet sîed. ɟhen Sara confuяmd ɟhe vet’s dîeagnœsis. âulmœst imϵϵdϵϵetly, ʃhϵϵ rimembeяd an ifectiv trϵϵtment ɟhat rikwîerd huя tω meʒuя ôut a lot uv medesen. Sara wornd ɟhat ɟhis cors uv trϵϵtment mîet bi ikspensiv-ϵϵɟheя fîev or siks tîemz ɟhe câust uv penisilin. îe can’t imajin pæiŋ sœ muĉh, but mrs. harisen-a milûenær lâuyeя-ţhâut it wuz a fær prîes for a cûer.

Coma gets a cûer and dirivativ wuяks mæ bi ûezd frϵϵly for eny puяpes wiɟhôut speʃhel peяmiʃhen prevîedid ɟhe prezent sentens and ɟhe folœiŋ copϵϵrîet nœtificæʃhen ecumpeny ɟhe pasij in print, if rϵϵpredûest in print, and in âudϵϵœ format in ɟhe cæs uv a sôund ricordiŋ: Copyright 2000 Douglas N. Honorof, Jill McCullough & Barbara Somerville. âul rîets rizuяvd.

Winny ɟhe magpie[edit]

See [10].

Original version[edit]

ɟhis feɟheя will not lie doun!” cried Winny ɟhe magpie tω heя frend Sylvia, ɟhe robin. “I hav tried tω keep it flat.” just ɟhen Winny spîed a spottid cat. ɟhe cat was scratĉhing its toe-nælInverted z.png on a garden hœ. Winny nûe ɟhis cat was heя foe. but Winny cried, “ɟhe cat cHalf-hook a.pngn’t creep up to ɟhis soft nest ov dried twigInverted z.png!"

fîend and copy from ɟhe story

was

wuяdInverted z.png with ie or oe in ɟhem

næm and copy ɟhe pictûerInverted z.png

hav yຜ seen a magpie? rîet abôut it.

Regularized version[edit]

ɟhis feɟheя will not lîe doun!” crîed Winny ɟhe magpîe tω heя frend Sylvia, ɟhe robin. “îe hav trîed tω kϵϵp it flat.” just ɟhen Winny spîed a spotted cat. ɟhe cat woInverted z.png scratĉhing its tœ-nælInverted z.png on a gɑrden hœ. Winny nûe ɟhis cat woInverted z.png heя foe. but Winny crîed, “ɟhe cat cHalf-hook a.pngn’t crϵϵp up to ɟhis soft nest ov drîed twigInverted z.png!"

fîend and copy from ɟhe story

woInverted z.png

wuяdInverted z.png with îe or œ in ɟhem

næm and copy ɟhe pictûerInverted z.png

hav yຜ sϵϵn a magpie? rîet abôut it.

References[edit]

i.t.a. Correspondence Course, Instructional Course for Teachers on the Initial Teaching Alphabet, 1966. Available in ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), i.t.a. Correspondence Course, Instructional Course for Teachers on the Initial Teaching Alphabet.

  1. Lars Törnqvist, Pitman’s Initial Teaching Alphabet, Pitman’s Initial Teaching Alphabet alphabet chart.
  2. i.t.a. Correspondence Course, p. 52 of the PDF, p. 59 of the document.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The principles of spelling in i.t.a., page dj dʒ. Posted by InitialTeachingAlphabet in Facebook. The principles of spelling in i.t.a. dj dʒ. This is the same reference as i.t.a. Correspondence Course, page 52 of the PDF, page 59 in the document.
  4. The principles of spelling in i.t.a., page r я. Posted by InitialTeachingAlphabet in Facebook. The principles of spelling in i.t.a. r я. This is the same reference as i.t.a. Correspondence Course, page 51 of the PDF, page 58 in the document.
  5. 'i.t.a. Correspondence Course, p. 51 of the PDF, item (7).
  6. 'i.t.a. Correspondence Course, p. 53 of the PDF, item (16).
  7. i.t.a. Correspondence Course, p. 42.
  8. 8.0 8.1 [American] Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation, The i.t.a. Chart.
  9. Wikipedia, Pronunciation of English ⟨a⟩ § TRAP-BATH split - North American accents.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Winnie the magpie, Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, available in Gallery.
  11. The Wee Web, Ladybird ITA Books
  12. {{{I}}}ndian tຜ fϵϵt and his hors. Posted by InitialTeachingAlphabet in Facebook. {{{I}}}ndian tຜ fϵϵt and his hors, page 15.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 YouTube, Introduction to the Initial Teaching Alphabet(i.t.a.), @9 min 2 sec. Linked from What is i.t.a.? in i.t.a. Foundation website.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]