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Three templates — Template:IPAc-mh, Template:IPAc1-mh and Template:IPAc2-mh — are used to produce a phonetic or phonemic representation (using the IPA system) of Marshallese words or sounds, using natural spelling to avoid the need to search for the correct phonetic symbols. The result is wikilinked to Help:IPA for Marshallese. Optionally, an audio file can also be specified.


Of the three templates:

  1. Template:IPAc1-mh presents a morphophonemic IPA transcription without accounting for allophony. By default, this transcription is enclosed using /slashes/.
  2. Template:IPAc2-mh presents a more articulate IPA transcription where allophones may have different symbols. It is not as briefly morphophonemic, but may be easier to read. By default, this transcription is enclosed using [brackets].
  3. Template:IPAc-mh presents both IPA transcription schemes at once.

All three templates have exactly the same argument syntax, and are interchangeable. The code format is designed to accommodate the interests of both IPA transcription schemes. The number of parameters is always limited to 50.

Normal usage:

With an audio file:

To change the delimiters (for example, if several instances of the template need to be strung together because of the limit on the number of parameters):

The full range of special values for the first parameter (changing the delimiters and/or specifying that the next parameter is an audio file) is as follows:

  • -- [- -] // /- -/ AUD -]AUD //AUD -/AUD


Spellings similar to Marshallese orthography are used for consonants. Velarized consonants (with cedilla below) are joined with ‹h›, and labio-velarized consonants are joined with ‹w› instead of ‹h›. The velar nasal is represented with ‹ng›, or if labialized, ‹ngw›. The approximants are represented with ‹h w y›. Marshallese words must have a consonant at the beginning and the end of a word and between two vowels, even if it is an approximant not indicated in writing.

  • b d j k kw l lh lw m mh n nh nw ng ngw p r rw t
Voiced obstruent allophones

The obstruents have voiced allophones word-internally when not geminated.

  • B J K KW P T
Unreleased obstruent allophones

When geminating an obstruent, use these codes for the unreleased first half of the cluster.

  • b' j' k' kw' p' t'
Plain approximants

The articulation of the plain approximants varies depending on neighboring vowels, so there are a variety of symbols for them. See the vowels section to see the corresponding vowel codes.

  • ha he ho hu wa we wo wu ya ye yo yu

These alternative codes are equivalent to those above.

  • ah eh oh uh aw ew ow uw ay ey oy uy
Morphophonemic but not articulated

When a consonant exists in the morphophonemic transcription but is not articulated in speech, use parentheses around the symbol in question.

  • (b) (d) (j) (k) (kw) (l) (lh) (lw) (m) (mh) (n) (nh) (nw) (ng) (ngw) (p) (r) (rw) (t)

For unarticulated plain approximants, use these:

  • (h) (w) (y)
Articulated but not morphophonemic

When a morphophonemic consonant ends up being pronounced a different way. This can be used in combination with the above symbols.

  • ^b ^d ^j ^k ^kw ^KW ^l ^lh ^lw ^m ^mh ^n ^nh ^nw ^ng ^ngw ^p ^r ^rw ^t


These are the main vowel codes.

  • hah haw hay wah waw way yah yaw yay
  • heh hew hey weh wew wey yeh yew yey
  • hoh how hoy woh wow woy yoh yow yoy
  • huh huw huy wuh wuw wuy yuh yuw yuy

Each of these codes is structured with any combination of ‹h w y› on both sides, and any combination of ‹a e o u› as the middle letter.

The ‹h w y› components represent the secondary articulation of the consonant on each side of the vowel.

  • For the consonants ‹d j l m n p y›, use ‹y›.
  • For the consonants ‹b h k lh mh nh ng r t›, use ‹h›.
  • For the consonants ‹kw lw nw ngw rw w›, use ‹w›.

The ‹a e o u› components only represent vowel height, regardless of backness or roundedness.

  • ‹u› is the close vowel.
  • ‹o› is the close-mid vowel.
  • ‹e› is the open-mid vowel.
  • ‹a› is the open vowel.

The letter ‹i› is not used in this system.

Asyllabic vowels

When a vowel phoneme must be pronounced asyllabically, add an apostrophe after the code.

  • hah' haw' hay' wah' waw' way' yah' yaw' yay'
  • heh' hew' hey' weh' wew' wey' yeh' yew' yey'
  • hoh' how' hoy' woh' wow' woy' yoh' yow' yoy'
  • huh' huw' huy' wuh' wuw' wuy' yuh' yuw' yuy'

If the consonant neighboring either side of the asyllabic vowel is a plain approximant, replace each neighboring approximant with parenthetical versions.

  • ‹ha ah he eh ho oh hu uh› should become ‹(h)›.
  • ‹wa aw we ew wo ow wu uw› should become ‹(w)›.
  • ‹ya ay ye ey yo oy yu uy› should become ‹(y)›.
Epenthetic vowels

For non-morphophonemic vowels that appear in articulation, prefix a vowel code with a carat.

  • ^hah ^haw ^hay ^wah ^waw ^way ^yah ^yaw ^yay
  • ^heh ^hew ^hey ^weh ^wew ^wey ^yeh ^yew ^yey
  • ^hoh ^how ^hoy ^woh ^wow ^woy ^yoh ^yow ^yoy
  • ^huh ^huw ^huy ^wuh ^wuw ^wuy ^yuh ^yuw ^yuy


The following parameters have special meanings:

  • _ (underscore) for a space between words
  • - (dash) is just a dash.
  • . (period) is just a syllable break.

The conversion system for the morphophonic transcription system is coded in Template:c1-mh. The conversion system for the articulate transcription system is coded in Template:c2-mh. Most codes are supported by both templates, but some codes will be ignored by one template or the other.

See also