History of the IPA

  • The Handbook of the International Phonetic Association(Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp 194-197.
  • M K C MacMahon: 'The International Phonetic Association: the first 100 years', Journal of the International Phonetic Association, Vol 16, 1986, pp 30-38
  • Principles of the International Phonetic Association, London: Department of Phonetics, University College London, 1949, inside covers. Also reproduced in: Journal of the International Phonetic Association, Vol 40, 3, 2010. pp 299-358.
  • R W Albright: The International Phonetic Alphabet: Its Backgrounds and Development (Publication Seven of the Indiana University Research Center in Anthropology, Folklore, and Linguistics, 1958); also Part III of International Journal of American Linguistics, Vol 24, No 1. B. 1958.
  • For reproductions of some earlier IPA charts, including the first one in 1888, see MacMahon, M K C, 'Phonetic notation', in Daniels, P T & Bright, W (eds), The World's Writing Systems, OUP: New York & Oxford, 1996, pp 821-46.
  • The part played by Paul Passy, Daniel Jones and other phoneticians in the development of the Association is set out in detail in Collins, Beverley & Mees, Inger, The Real Professor Higgins: the life and career of Daniel Jones, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1999.
  • Journal of the International Phonetic Association, Vol 40, 3, 2010. pp 299-358. This issue includes articles on the '40th anniversary of JIPA', 'Joining the IPA — 100 years ago', 'Sample articles from Le Maître Phonétique', and the 'Principles of the International Phonetic Association'.

Presidents of the IPA

2023-: Katerina Nicolaidis
2019-23: Michael Ashby
2015-19: Patricia Keating
2011-15: John Esling
2010-11: none
2007-10: Gösta Bruce (d. 2010)
2003-07: John Wells
1999-03: Klaus Kohler
1995-99: John Ohala
1991-95: John Laver
1985-91: Peter Ladefoged
1984-85: A. C. Gimson (d. 1985)
1977-83: none listed in JIPA issues
1969-77: S. K. (Suniti Kumar) Chatterji (d. May 1977)
1967-69: none listed in Le Maître Phonétique (MF) issues
1950-67: Daniel Jones
1940-50: none listed in MF issues
1927-40: Paul Passy (d. 1940)
1917-27: none
(MF was not published 1915-22)
1888-1917: Wilhelm Viëtor (d. 1917) [Henry Sweet, Honorary President, 1888-1912]
1886-88: Paul Passy [E. Oswald Kenyon, President of the Phonetic Teachers' Association (FTA), from January to April 1888]

For further information about any aspect of the history of the IPA, contact:

Michael K C MacMahon
Phonetics Laboratory
English Language
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ

tel: +44 141 330 6340
e-mail: mike.macmahon@glasgow.ac.uk