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full stops

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brittk:
Hello,

In the IPA spelling of various words, I have often come across versions that use full stops and colons.
E.g. I have seen 'county' spelled /kaʊnti/ and also /kaʊ.nti/
and 'courage' as spelled /kʌrɪdʒ/ as well as /kʌr.ɪdʒ/

Am I correct in thinking that It represents the break between syllables?

Thank you!

Daniel:
A period/full stop can be used to indicate a syllable break, but it isn't required or necessarily preferred to do so. (Similarly, words often are not written with spaces between them.)

A colon, however, is an easy/lazy typographical variant of the long vowel symbol "ː".

brittk:
Thankyou Daniel! This makes sense.
Also, is it correct that the transcription is enclosed in forward slashes, rather than brackets? I have read that forward slashes are used for phonetic translations and narrow transcriptions, whereas brackets are used for phonemic translation and broad transcriptions. Is this correct? And, what is "kʌrɪdʒ" considered to be: /kʌrɪdʒ/ or [kʌrɪdʒ]?

Daniel:

--- Quote ---I have read that forward slashes are used for phonetic translations and narrow transcriptions, whereas brackets are used for phonemic translation and broad transcriptions. Is this correct?
--- End quote ---
Yes, that is correct. The two different formats have different purposes.

If you are describing the lexical form of a word, as phonemes, use slashes. This is called a broad transcription.

If you are describing a specific phonetic pronunciation, after phonological changes have occurred, use brackets. This is called a narrow transcription. Note that there are different degrees of narrow transcriptions, but if you are using anything other than a broad phonemic transcription, you probably should consider it narrow.

As a very basic example, consider the phoneme /s/ in English, which has frequent allophones [s] and [z].

brittk:
So what is "kʌrɪdʒ" - broad or narrow?
I.e. /kʌrɪdʒ/ or [kʌrɪdʒ]

Are there ever times when both are correct?

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