Braille IPA

The image above shows the final words of the North Wind and the Sun in Braille IPA. The version is that for North American English from the IPA Handbook. In “inkform” it reads:

ˈstɹɑŋɡɚ əv ðə ˈtu

This post was prompted by an enquiry from a colleague in Spain, who will have a visually impaired student in the next academic year. If anyone out there has experience of using Braille IPA, or has any useful advice for my colleague, please let me know and I will pass the information on.

If you are interested, there is a PDF document which details the Braille encoding of IPA symbols. It can be found here.


A comment by Emilio Márquez on my post of March 26 reminded me that I need to do another EP tip on the subject of stranding. The one that is already there deals only with stranded auxiliary/modal verbs such as can and must.

Prepositions can also be stranded. When they are, they usually appear in their strong form, rather than have their vowel reduced to a weak vowel such as ə or u even though they are unstressed. This is most common with the words at from for of to.

I’ll do the tip soon, so won’t bother giving any examples here, but I can’t resist mentioning an interesting pair of sentences that popped into my mind. They illustrate the phenomenon of stranding nicely, I think.

What did you think of (=əv) yesterday?
What did you think of (=ɒv) yesterday?

Listen up!

Photo credit: David Benbennick
Used under this licence

It is a long time since I did anything to EP Tips. It was always my intention at the beginning of the saga to have sound clips attached to lots of the tips.

Well, now I have decided to start work on adding more of these. The first is already in place.

As always I will be grateful for any comments. You can post these on the EP Tips comments page. The link is in the side-bar under Pages. I have cleared out all the old comments from this. The link to the EP Tips page is also in the side-bar.


Photo credit: Mark O’Donald.
Used under this licence.

The woman in the picture is Lyse Doucet. She is a wholly admirable, and I think, a very brave person. She appears fequently on the BBC News, reporting from dangerous places such as Homs in Syria. She is often seen in heavy body armour.

Although I think the work she does is important, I have always found her accent somewhat strange. According to Wikipedia she was born into an English-speaking family in Bathurst, New Brunswick, Canada. However, her family is of Acadian descent. She also has Irish and Mi’kmaq ancestors.

I have never been able to put my finger on what is odd about her pronunciation, but a couple of nights ago I did notice one surprising thing. She pronounced the phrase last chance as lɑːst tʃæns. One would expect both vowels to be of the TRAP set, or possibly both of the BATH set. I shall be listening carefully next time she appears.

CLICK HERE to hear a short clip of Lyse Doucet.

Thomas Hallam Found!

The picture shows the tower of St Thomas Becket Church, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire. The churchyard here is where Thomas Hallam is buried and his tombstone reads:

Here rests the body of / Thomas Hallam / a member of the / Council of the / English Dialect Society / Born 26 December 1810 / at Raglow [Draglow] Chapel en le Frith Died 7th September 1895 / at Ardwick Manchester / He devoted the leisure moments / of a long and busy life / to a patient and diligent enquiry / into all that is noteworthy / in the various dialects / of Northern England / The results of his Studies are / placed in Bodley’s Library / in the University of Oxford.

There seems to be some doubt about the date of his birth, because the Chapel-en-le-Frith parish record of births baptisms has an entry: 30 Jan 1820 Thomas the son of John & Hannah HALLAM of Raglow, farmer and an entry for a burial: 11 Sep 1895 Thomas HALLAM of Ardwick, aged 75. I am trying to resolve this. The above information comes from the website of The Hallam Family of the Peak District. Many thanks to them.

The Bodleian Library does indeed have works by TH. Apart from the two works mentioned in my previous post, the catalogue also lists:

  • 1882 Three Great Dictionaries.
  • 1882 with Chamberlain, Edith L. A glossary of west Worcestershire words.
  • undated [Newspaper cuttings and printed items of the years 1838-94, chiefly of philological and biographical interest, collected by T. Hallam].

I am still trying to find information on TH’s profession, marriage and offspring if any.

Update: See the comment from Steven Hallam.

Photo credit: Tony Bacon. Used under this licence.