Statutes and By-Laws of the International Phonetic Association

Statutes of the International Phonetic Association (2019)

1. The name of the Association is ‘International Phonetic Association’. It is incorporated in the UK as a Private Company limited by guarantee.

2. The aim of the Association is to promote the scientific study of phonetics and the various practical applications of that science. In furtherance of this aim the Association publishes a journal entitled the Journal of the International Phonetic Association. The Association considers that in pursuing its aim it makes a contribution to friendly relations between peoples of different countries.

3. To become a member of the Association it is necessary to pay dues as fixed in the by-laws, and to
provide the information requested on the membership application form.

4. The Association is administered by a Council of 30 members, 20 of whom will be elected by direct vote of the members. The elected Council has the power to co-opt up to 10 further members, so as to ensure a suitable representation of phoneticians throughout the world. All Council members must be members of the Association throughout their terms.

5. Elections for the Council will be held every four years, in a manner as prescribed in the by-laws. If a Council member dies or resigns between elections, the Council may choose to co-opt a new member as replacement.

6. The Council elects from its members a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and an Editor; these officers form an Executive Committee, reporting to the Council, and running the current affairs of the Association. The Executive officers serve on a volunteer basis, though funds received from
the publisher of the Journal may be used to support the work of the Editor.

7. The President and Vice-President are each elected for a single term of four years only. The Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Editor are each elected for a four year term in the first place, and are eligible for re-election for not more than one further term of four years. If a member of the Executive dies or resigns, the Council elects a replacement as in #6.

8. The Editor has the authority to appoint any co-editors, review editors, and editorial board (who act
voluntarily), and to select editorial assistants for specific tasks (who may be paid at rates determined by
the Executive Council).

9. The Association holds a general business meeting at least once every four years, normally in conjunction with the four-yearly International Congress of Phonetic Sciences. At the request of any member present, any decisions taken at such a meeting are subject to ratification by mail ballot of the Association.

10. Modification of these statutes requires a mail ballot of the membership, with a two-thirds majority of those responding to the ballot.

By-Laws of the International Phonetic Association (2019)

1. The annual dues are 30 GBP payable to the Treasurer.

2. There are the following types of members:

  • Members, who pay annual dues.
  • Student members, who pay half the annual dues. When applying, and at each annual renewal, Student members must submit evidence of their current student status.
  • Life members, who pay no annual dues. Life memberships are no longer available for purchase, but any member who has paid annual dues for 30 years (including time spent as a Student member) will automatically become a Life member. Existing Life memberships will continue to be honored on the terms which applied when they were entered into. Life memberships beginning on or after 1 January 2016 do not include print copies of the Journal.

All of the above types of members are entitled to all the privileges of membership.

3. Elections to the Council will be by balloting procedures to be determined by the Council for each election. In the case of a tie (for either 20th place on the first-round ballot, or 30th place on the second-round ballot), the Council members elected so far may take a run-off vote.

The time schedule for the election of the Council of the IPA will be as follows:
(a) 12 months before an International Congress of Phonetic Sciences – the Secretary to request nominations for membership of the Council;
(b) 10 months before – closing date for receipt of nominations, and for members nominated to have notified the Secretary if they are willing for their names to appear on a ballot;
(c) 9 months before – ballot to be mailed to members;
(d) 8 months before – completed ballot to be received by the Secretary;
(e) 7 months before – the Secretary to request the new Council to make nominations for 10 co-opted members;
(f) 6 months before – closing date for the receipt of nominations for co-opted members;
(g) 5 months before – ballot for co-opted members to be mailed to Council;
(h) 4 months before – completed ballot to be received by the Secretary;
(i) 3 months before – the Secretary to request the new Council to make nominations for the posts of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Editor;
(j) 2 months before – closing date for the receipt of nominations for executive posts;
(k) 2 months before – ballot for executive posts to be mailed to Council;
(l) 1 month before – completed ballot to be received by the Secretary.

4. To promote International Congresses of Phonetic Sciences, a standing subcommittee – ‘The Permanent Council for the Organization of ICPhS’ – is affiliated to the IPA Council. Tasks, membership and elections are defined in the appended By-laws of the Permanent Council.

5. Modifications of these By-laws require a two-thirds majority of the votes cast in a ballot of the IPA Council.

By-Laws of the Permanent Council for the Organization of ICPhS

1. Functions

It is the function of the Permanent Council to safeguard the highest scientific standards in Phonetic Sciences. In fulfilling this goal it carries out two main tasks:
(a) it arranges for International Congresses of Phonetic Sciences by deciding the place, and appointing for each Congress an organization capable of assuming complete responsibility for that Congress in cooperation with the Permanent Council;
(b) it provides continuity between Congresses in an advisory capacity to the organizers of each Congress and in establishing relations with other scientific organizations in the field.

In connection with 1.(a), it helps to negotiate

  • start-up funds to the organizers through the International Phonetic Association
  • maximum discounts on registration fees at the ICPhS for IPA members.

In connection with 1.(b), it promotes record keeping of and for the Congresses.

2. Meetings

Meetings of the Permanent Council have to be held at each Congress and maybe held at other times.

3. Membership

The Permanent Council will consist of members from countries in which there are active groups of phoneticians; a spread across countries is to be considered.

The size of the committee will not exceed 25, with the following allocation of seats:

There will be ex officio membership of the IPA President and Vice-President (Group 1).

Six members will be nominated and elected by the IPA members in conjunction with the IPA Council elections every four years (Group 2).

For the remaining vacancies, up to the limit of the total of the Permanent Council, those members of the Permanent Council who are not ex officio members or who were not elected by the IPA will nominate candidates and elect members from among them, including one representative of the organizers of the next Congress.
In the latter case, election will take place at the Permanent Council meeting after the decision for the next Congress site has been taken. In the other cases, it will be by mail ballot preceding the Permanent Council statutory meetings (Group 3).

4. Elections

Election will be for two 4-year Congress periods, i.e., elected members will take office at the statutory Permanent Council meeting of the Congress in conjunction with which they have been elected and will resign before voting starts at the statutory Permanent Council meeting of the second Congress after that.
This means that the Permanent Council will, in addition to the 2 ex officio members, consist of a maximum of 12 voting members elected by the IPA membership and of a maximum of 11 voting members elected by the other Permanent Council members.
If Permanent Council members of any of the three membership groups vacate their seats between Congresses, they will be replaced in elections linked to the next Congress.

5. Voting

Decisions of the Council will be made by a simple majority, either of those attending a meeting, or, in between Congresses, of mail ballots returned on the basis of information gathered and circulated by the officers.

6. Officers

At its statutory meetings, the Permanent Council will nominate, from among its members, candidates for Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary, and elect these officers by a simple majority.
Election will be for one term of 4 years with the possibility of reelection for a second term.

7. Emeritus members

The Permanent Council can elect any of its past members to the status of non-voting emeritus member.

8. Modifications

Modifications of these by-laws require a two thirds majority of the Council voting in a mail ballot.