University of Iowa Sounds of Speech

The Iowa “Sounds of Speech” app features animated libraries of the phonetic sounds of English and other languages. App versions for Android & iOS are available under the name Sounds of Speech. Iowa Sounds of Speech(Until Spring 2020, there was a free website version, but it relied on Adobe Flash, and will not be supported in the future, so now only the apps will be available, unfortunately.) In the apps, for each English consonant and vowel, you’ll find an animated articulatory diagram, a step-by-step description, and video-audio of the sound spoken in context. The animated side view of the mouth is particularly helpful for tongue placement and to see the difference between nasal and non-nasal sounds, e.g. /l/ and /n/.

If you’re not familiar with the categories on top, click on “voice,” because then you’ll have just two sets of consonant sounds to look at. “Manner” just means how the mouth obstructs the flow of air, and “place” just means where in the mouth that obstruction occurs. Vowels are listed separately: “monophthongs” is a fancy word for simple vowels with one sound (sometimes finishing in a glide), and “diphthongs” is another fancy word for combination vowels like /au/ in “house.”

This project was a collaborative effort of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Speech Pathology and Audiology, and Academic Technologies at The University of Iowa.