Some preliminaries…

Before you start, download Phon from the Phon Project website here.  The screencasts below were created using version 1.5.2 which was released on February 29, 2012.

You will also need OpenOffice for doing data analysis which you can download from here.  Phon is also compatible with LibreOffice and, in fact, LibreOffice is probably the better choice in future for a series of boring reasons that are not worth mentioning here.  Note that Microsoft Excel does not display IPA symbols properly when they are exported from Phon.  If you want, you can work in Excel once you’re at the stage of making pretty charts and graphs, but before that you will need the regular expression capability and font-friendliness of Open/LibreOffice.

Please note that your data must be transcribed in Unicode for it to display correctly in Phon.  For most people, this means using the Doulos SIL font which is free to download and install in the appropriate place on your computer.  If your data have been transcribed in SIL IPA93, you have to convert them to Doulos SIL.  SIL International explains how to convert data from SIL IPA93 on the SIL IPA93 Data Conversion page on their website.  It involves downloading their SIL Converter and installing it in MS Word 2003.  This is a straightforward process if you have MS Word 2003.  It is also possible to convert data in plain text files and Standard Format Marker text files.  Otherwise, contact SIL directly regarding conversion (and good luck!).

How to use Phon

Click on the links below to watch screencasts explaining how to use Phon on various topics.

1.  Preparing to use Phon

2.  Working in Phon

3.  Exporting data from Phon

How to analyze your data using spreadsheets

Whole word match and word shape analyses

Word length and stress analysis

Singleton consonant by word position analyses

Consonant cluster analysis

Feature analysis

There are a series of three templates (one for each word position) which automate, to a large extent, the calculation of the number of subjects in a group who show 90% accuracy or more in their production of a given phoneme.  It also calculates the percentage match by phoneme according to left and centre-right prominence.  The formulas used to do these calculations are complex.  Too complex, it turns out, to be converted from OpenOffice Spreadsheet to Excel without errors.  This is a problem because, while Excel spreadsheets can be uploaded to the blog, OpenOffice spreadsheets cannot.  If you are interested in trying out this template, please contact someone in the lab for a copy.  If you are curious about how they work and would like to see how to use them, watch the Tabulating consonant mastery by word position screencast.


The talented and helpful developers of Phon wrote a script for the SASS phonology lab to facilitate analysis of both singleton and consonant clusters according to word position and stress pattern.  Download the script and accompanying documentation in this zip file.  Once you have downloaded it, please refer to Installing the Phone Clusters script screencast for installation on Macs.  For installation on Windows, see the Phon script library page.

Several templates in the form of Excel spreadsheets that are compatible with Open/LibreOffice have been made to expediate data analysis.  The columns are already set up and formulas have been included so that calculations, such as percentage matches, can be done quickly and easily.  The templates are provided below and are organized by analysis type.  Please refer to the appropriate screencast for the various spreadsheet tips and tricks you will need to be able to make efficient use of the template.


5 thoughts on “Screencasts

  1. Great article! 🙂 I’ve added a link to it on the Phon website under ‘Community Created Tutorials.’ Please let me know if you would like to change/add to the description for the link.



    • Hi Greg. It has been helpful for our project participants. Perhaps the link could say University of British Columbia School of Audiology and Speech Sciences Crosslinguistic Project Materials Blog

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