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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Sound Comparisons: A New Resource for Exploring Phonetic Diversity across Language Families of the World

P. 280-284.
Heggarty P., Shimelman A., Abete G., Anderson C., Sadowsky S., Pasche L., Maguire W., Jocz L., Anina M. J., Wägerle L., Appelganz D., Pheula do Couto e Silva A., Lawyer L. C., Arruda Câmara Cabral A. S., Walworth M., Michalsky J., Koile E., Runge J., Bibiko H.

Sound Comparisons hosts over 90,000 individual
word recordings and 50,000 narrow phonetic
transcriptions from 600 language varieties from
eleven language families around the world. This
resource is designed to serve researchers in
phonetics, phonology and related fields.
Transcriptions follow new initiatives for
standardisation in usage of the IPA and Unicode. At
soundcomparisons.com, users can explore the
transcription datasets by phonetically-informed
search and filtering, customise selections of
languages and words, download any targeted data
subset (sound files and transcriptions) and cite it
through a custom URL. We present sample research
applications based on our extensive coverage of
regional and sociolinguistic variation within major
languages, and also of endangered languages, for
which Sound Comparisons provides a rapid first
documentation of their diversity in phonetics. The
multilingual interface and user-friendly, ‘hover-tohear’
maps likewise constitute an outreach tool,
where speakers can instantaneously hear and
compare the phonetic diversity and relationships of
their native languages.