The Sounds of IPA – Better Hearing and Speech Month Contest!

Yes…I’m late to the game. May is Better Hearing and Speech month and we are going to have a contest! We all like contests, right? Even better when I say that we’re going to have a contest with PRIZES???

Right now, we have four prizes…maybe there will even be a couple more before we’re through. But I can almost guarantee that any one of the four will be fabulous…and it’ll be fun no matter what.

So…want to hear more? Here are the details!

BHSM Contest

This year we are having another photo contest.


1) For the purpose of this contest we will use the hashtag #BHSMPix. This hashtag must be used for the entry to count!

2) Each picture with the appropriate hashtag will be counted as an entry. We will choose all the winners at 6:00pm EST on May 31, 2014.  (That will give people time to do them that day AND time for any last minute vendors that want to participate *cough**cough*)

3)  The THEME of the contest is “The Sounds of IPA”

4) Upload a picture that represents a sound from the IPA chart (I’ll provide a list of the sounds here)…For instance, for /b/ the picture could be of a bear…or a ball …or a bat. You get the picture (sorry for the pun!).  You can upload to Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook (if it’s public)…but you MUST use the hashtag!

5) You MUST include some way for us to know what sound is being used – so put in the IPA for the sound and/or word. For instance:









These would both work for /m/ or /ɛ/ or one would work for /dʒ/ and the other for /ʒ/. Make sense? 

We have 41 sounds of American English (according to Bill at and only 17 days of the contest (we have to allow time for the post and all)…I realize I don’t do math often (or well) but to me that says we have to do more than 1 sound a day. And…to make it just a bit interesting, we’re going to see how well you remember your phoneme charts.

So…here are the days and the sounds!

15-May voiceless stops
16-May voiced stops
17-May voiceless fricatives
18-May voiced fricatives
19-May voiceless affricates
20-May voiced affricates
21-May nasals
22-May liquids
23-May glides
24-May high vowels
25-May high – mid vowels
26-May mid-vowels
27-May low-mid vowels
28-May low vowels
29-May diphthongs
30-May post-vocalic /r/
31-May catch up day!

For my purposes the list of phonemes comes from Clinical Phonetics – Third Edition by Lawrence Shriberg and Raymond Kent (2003). It will be cross referenced with the Sound-Finder data base created by as well…so if you have a question if a word fits, you might want to check there for some hints or ideas (soundfinder is free to use but the site is well worth the cost of the membership).

If you miss a day, that’s okay! You can either start from that day – or make them up, it’s up to you. The more entries – the more chances to win!

Want to keep watch all the creative entries (and check out your chances of winning)? No problem…You can see a compilation of all the pictures here at 

I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone’s pictures and I KNOW you will want to win the prizes. I’d love to hear if you’re going to participate. I may even throw in one of my own Smarty Ears app as a prize!

Until then…Adventure on!


5 thoughts on “The Sounds of IPA – Better Hearing and Speech Month Contest!

  1. Such a fun idea for BHSM! I’m participating on instagram! Hoping I remember my phoneme chart 🙂

  2. I will give it a try, I am not the most Instagram savvy nor do I know how to type phonetic symbols on a keyboard LOL. Thanks for the BSHM contest. Eve Dutkiewicz MS CCC-SLP

    • You don’t have to use instagram…you can load them on FB or twitter (I don’t do instagram either)… If you can get the IPA on – great…if not, just tag it somehow so we know what it is and which phoneme it’s supposed to represent.

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