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A brief history of the IPDS

  • chair in phonetics set up in 1970
    • Klaus J. Kohler (lecturer and professor at the Institute of Phonetics and Communication Research at the University of Bonn) appointed to chair on 23.6.71
    • inaugural lecture "Was ist Phonetik eigentlich?" (What is phonetics?), 29.11.1972
    Institute of Phonetics Juli´71-´72, Dänische Str.15, Kiel
  • independent institute of phonetics set up in 1971
  • establishment of courses in phonetic studies
    • M.A. as principal or subsidiary subject
    • doctorate
    • additional subject for degrees in computer studies and psychology
  • service courses for
    • department "Deutsch für Ausländer" (German for foreigners)
    • department of Romance languages
    • German department
    • Department of General Linguistics
    • the Kiel Logopedics School
  • establishment of a laboratory for speech signal processing 1972-1978
  • acquisition of the first computer financed by the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) in 1978
  • construction of a network of phonetic workstations financed by the state of Schleswig-Holstein and the Federal Ministry for Research and Technology (BMFT) in 1985-1991
  • 1986 expansion of the institute's name to "Phonetics and Digital Speech Processing" to take into account the modern theoretical and methodological orientation of phonetics
  • several DFG-supported research projects 1971-1989
    • word- and sentence-level phonetics
      • of High German
      • of Low German
      • of English (also contrastively to German)
      • of French
    • for speech melody in German: development of the "Kiel Intonation Model" (KIM)


  • cooperation contracts with the Department of Speech Communication and Music Acoustics at the Technological University of Stockholm and the company Infovox/Stockholm (1987-1990) for the development of a machine for the automatic conversion of written German texts into speech sounds; application in dealing with the disabled, especially the blind.
  • integration into the VERBMOBIL project, financed by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology (BMBF), with participation of around 30 academic and industrial partners, for the development of a portable translating machine for German-English business dialogues (1990-1996)
  • HCM-project from the EU "Phrase Level Phonology": comparing phonetics of European languages 1994-1996
  • series of publications "Arbeitsberichte des Instituts für Phonetik und digitale Sprachverarbeitung" (AIPUK) (working papers from the IPDS) from 1973 (volume 32, November 1997)
  • publication of the database from Kiel on CD-ROM "The Kiel Corpus of Read/Spontaneous Speech" from 1994
  • 3 international conferences at the IPDS Kiel
    • 1979: financed by the DFG (German Research Council): interdisciplinary colloquium "Time in the Production and Perception of Speech"
    • 1989: financed by the state of Schleswig-Holstein: conference of the International Phonetic Association for the revision of the International Phonetic Alphabet; the meeting is known in the literature as "the Kiel Convention" and the revised IPA has become the new standard
    • 1996 (14/15 July) with finance from the DFG and the state of Schleswig-Holstein: symposium "Sound Patterns of Connected Speech"
    • 2000 (08.-11. Okt.) with finance from the DFG and the state of Schleswig-Holstein: Symposium "Patterns of speech sounds in unscripted communication: Production - Perception - Phonology"

    Participation in the Erasmus programme (continued under Socrates): European network "Phonetics and Speech Communication"; close cooperation with Scandinavia (Copenhagen, Stockholm - University/ KTH, Helsinki), France (Sorbonne - Paris III, ENST), United Kingdom (Cambridge, York)



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