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    Sound files and phonetic symbols

Handling sound files

At various points in this site you will see an ear symbol which you click to activate a sound file. How this is then played depends on the configuration of your computer. The sound files all have the extension .WAV (for wave, i.e. sound file) and the operating system of your computer, Microsoft Windows or that of an Apple Macintosh, will load the program which has been designated as default for playing files with this extension, i.e. for listening to sound files. On PC's this will probably be the Windows Media Player, but if you have installed other software, such as WaveLab, and specified this as default, then this overrides the Windows Media Player and your software will be loaded instead. Be aware that some programs, when installed, make themselves default without asking you.

To restore the Windows Media Player as default, you should load the Windows Explorer, then in the View menu under Folder Options, choose the tab File Type. Now locate wave files (near the end of the list) and then Remove. The next step is to find any wave file on your computer while still in the Windows Explorer (you can also search for such files here) and then double click on a wave file when you have found one. You are now asked to specify the program with which to open the file. Choose Other and select the file WMPLAYER.EXE (or MPLAYER2.EXE if you have an older version) in the Windows Media Player folder under the Program Files folder on drive C:. (newer versions of this program are regularly available and can be downloaded from the Microsoft website). The sound file you choose is now played with the Windows Media Player. Windows remembers that this is now the default program for listening to sound files and will keep this setting until any future date when you might change it, or when other audio software you might install on your computer alters it. If the latter is the case, for instance if you install a new sound card with software, then you must repeat the procedure just described.

Viewing phonetic symbols

Many of the texts in this website contain phonetic symbols and for these to be displayed correctly your computer must be able to use UniCode fonts. This will be in virtually all instances the case, so that you need not worry about configuring your system in any special way. However, you will have to ensure that your browser is setup for dispalying unicode fonts. To check this do the following:

Windows Internet Explorer

Click View (or Page), then Encoding and select Unicode (UTF-8)

Mozilla FireFox

Click View, then Character Encoding and select Unicode (UTF-8)

If you are using Windows Internet Explorer 6 then you are advised to avail of the free update to Version 7 (this has many additional advantages apart from character display).

The previous method of using a special phonetic font which users can download and install locally on their computer has now been superseded. However, if you still want the phonetic font (which you can use from within any word processor, such as Microsoft Word), then you can download it by clicking on the following link.

   Download the Phonetic Font

Once the font file “X_Times.ttf” has been stored in the Windows fonts directory and your computer has been restarted (for Windows to register the new font), all symbols of the phonetic font will be displayed correctly. The font will then appear in the font list of your word processor.

The phonetic font XPhon_Times was created by Raymond Hickey and is given to interested members of the academic public free of charge. If you use it for publications or for conference presentations or other such purposes you are kindly requested to acknowledge its source.