On this page we explore a handful of the symbols from the diacritics section of the IPA chart. We plan to add more material to this section in the future.

Exploring voicing state and stop release

Each of the files below exemplifies different voicing states and types of stop release that can be achieved at a given place of articulation. Click on each file below to listen to a continuum of stop realisation covering the following: fully voiced; voiceless unaspirated; voiceless aspirated; affricated.

Clear and dark /l/

Clear [l] is produced with a primary articulation involving tongue tip and alveolar ridge, while dark [ɫ] has a secondary articulation which involves bunching of the back of the tongue towards the velo-pharyngeal area.

In English, a dark /l/ occurs at the end of a word such as full; but a clear /l/ occurs at the start of a word such as like.


Clear /l/ - [l]


Dark /l/ - [ɫ] (using the "velarized or pharyngealized" diacritic)


Nasals can be produced as voiceless by maintaining the oral closure while the air is released through the nose.