- Peter Ladefoged
Peter Nielsen Ladefoged (IPA-en|ˈlædɨfoʊɡɨd [Based on Ladefoged's own transcription in the 2001 edition of his book "Vowels and consonants: an introduction to the sounds of languages" (page 74).] ;
September 17, 1925– January 24, 2006) was an English-Americanlinguist and phonetician who traveled the world to document the distinct sounds of endangered languagesand pioneered ways to collect and study data. He was active at the universities of Edinburgh, Scotlandand Ibadan, Nigeria1953–61. At Edinburgh he studied phoneticswith David Abercrombie, who himself had studied with Daniel Jones and was thus connected to Henry Sweet.
At the time of his death, he was Professor of Phonetics Emeritus at
University of California, Los Angeles(UCLA), where he taught from 1962–1991. His book "A Course in Phonetics" is a common introductory text in phonetics, and "The Sounds of the World's Languages" (co-authored with Ian Maddieson) is widely regarded as a standard phonetics reference. Ladefoged also wrote several books on the phonetics of African languages.
Ladefoged married Jenny MacDonald in 1953, a marriage which lasted over 50 years. They had three children: Lise Friedman, Bookseller; Thegn Ladefoged [http://www.arts.auckland.ac.nz/staff/index.cfm?S=STAFF_tlad001] ,
Archaeologist, University of Auckland; and Katie Weiss, Attorney, Public Defender Nashville, Tennessee. He also had five grandchildren.
Ladefoged died on
January 24, 2006at the age of 80 in hospital. After a research trip to India, he had a safe flight from Bombayto London, England, but suffered a small stroke at Heathrow Airport. He was then taken to hospital, where he suffered a second, massive, stroke and died soon after.
Early life and education
Peter Ladefoged was born on
September 17, 1925, in Sutton (then in Surrey, now in Greater London), Englandto Niels, an importer of Danish bacon and cheese, and his wife, Marie Frances. He attended Haileybury College from 1938–43, and Caius College, a constituent college of Cambridge Universityfrom 1943–44. His university education was then interrupted by service in the Royal Sussex Regiment during World War IIfrom 1944–47. He resumed his education at the University of Edinburgh, intending to study English literature but soon became fascinated by the sounds of speech. He received an M.A. (1951) and a Ph.D. (1959) in Phonetics.
He was able to receive a first degree after only two years as an undergraduate at Edinburgh because returning World War II servicemen were allowed a year off from the usual three year requirement for an Ordinary degree. After receiving an M.A. (ordinary) (war emergency) in 1951, he went on to do a year's postgraduate work in phonetics. At the end of that year he got his first job, as a lab assistant cutting vinyl recordings. On January 1, 1953, he was promoted to Assistant Lecturer in Phonetics.
In the late 1950s, Ladefoged decided to work in the United States, but this required a Ph.D. degree. The university registrar allowed him to count the three years that he was a member of the faculty. All he needed was to complete a
thesis. Ladefoged's dissertationwas on the "nature of vowel quality," specifically on the cardinal vowels and their articulatory vs. auditory basis. After consultation with and advice from David Abercrombie, the head of the Phonetics Department, Ladefoged took three papers that he had already published on aspects of vowel quality, and added an introductory survey. He also appended some work that he had been doing on cardinal vowelswith Daniel Jones, who had recently retired from the chair of phonetics at University College London. Abercrombie arranged a grant enabling Jones to be a consultant on Ladefoged's project to study the acoustic quality of cardinal vowels, which enabled him an opportunity to work with the leading phonetician of the time. The sets of vowels recorded under Jones’s supervision were made by his former pupils. Although not very noteworthy, this part of his project provided an early example of the problems of analyzing vowels spectrographically.
After completing his thesis, Ladefoged received his Ph.D. upon completion of an oral exam that included
Walter Lawrence– the inventor of PAT, the first parametric speech synthesizer– as an outside examiner. It was through Lawrence that Ladefoged met Donald Broadbent, who was a psychologist working in Cambridge at the time. They teamed together to conduct experiments using synthetic speech, about the relative nature of vowel quality. This led to their working together on other aspects of speech perception, and through Broadbent he learned how to do work in perceptual psychology.
Another person whom Ladefoged was able to work with through David Abercrombie was
David Whitteridge, the Professor of Physiology, who was interested in the control of the respiratory system in speech. Ladefoged started working in Whitteridge's lab, at first every Saturday morning, then for days at a time, and then longer and longer as they realized that the control of the respiratory muscles was no simple matter. Said Ladefoged, "It was really Whitteridge who taught me to be a scientist."
At the same time, he began important research projects with Donald Broadbent, Walter Lawrence, Morris H. Draper, and David Whitteridge, with his first publications appearing in 1956. His 1957 paper with Donald Broadbent, "Information conveyed by vowels", was particularly influential.
Soon after moving to Los Angeles from Scotland to become an assistant professor at UCLA in 1962, Ladefoged had a brief career in Hollywood as the chief linguistic
consultanton the 1964 film "My Fair Lady." Director George Cukorwanted him to teach the film's star, Rex Harrison— who would win an Oscar for the role of Professor Henry Higgins — to behave like a phonetician. It is Ladefoged's voice that is heard producing the vowel sounds in the film.
Ladefoged was involved with the phonetics laboratory at UCLA, which he established in 1962. He also was interested in listening to and describing every sound used in spoken human language, which he estimated at 900
consonants and 200 vowels. This research formed the basis of much of "The Sounds of the World's Languages". In 1966 Ladefoged moved from the UCLA English Department to join the newly established Linguistics Department.
Ladefoged's opinion on studying endangered languages was that linguists should record languages but not necessarily try to save them, even though he predicted that all but a handful of the world's 6,500 languages would disappear over the next thousand years. He argued that preserving languages could weaken national unity, encourage tribalism, and absorb scarce resources that might otherwise be used for development.
Ladefoged was also a member of the
International Phonetic Associationfor a long time, and was involved in maintaining its International Phonetic Alphabet. He was also editor of the "Journal of the International Phonetic Association". Ladefoged served on the board of directors of the Endangered Language Fundsince its inception.
During his academic career, Ladefoged was a worldwide field linguist, as he visited Nigeria,
Botswana, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Senegal, India, Yemen, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Korea, Scotland, the Aleutians, and China. Much of his fieldwork remains unique to this day and he originated or refined many data collection and analytic techniques in the field. His classic 1996 "Sounds of the World's Languages" (with Ian Maddieson) summarized his knowledge of all the sounds he had studied and remains the definitive reference work. His 20 PhD students include such influential figures as Vicki Fromkin, John Ohala, Ian Maddieson, Louis Goldstein, and Cathe Browman. His textbook "A Course in Phonetics", which is in its fifth edition, is the standard in phonetics.
Ladefoged also pioneered the use of state-of-the-art equipment in the field. His first portable phonetics lab that included a tape recorder and various scientific instruments weighed 100 pounds and required a porter but enabled him to do more than listen: He could take quantitative measurements, such as gauging how much air escaped from the nose or throat when a sound was made.
In an earlier trip to India, he recorded the
Toda language, which is spoken by fewer than 1,000 people, as he documented its six trills produced by the tip of the tongue. In the Kalahari Desert, he studied the click sounds native to that part of Africa. In America, an Indian tribe, whose members knew their language was vanishing, refused to cooperate because they didn't want to reveal their culture to outsiders.
* 1953–5: Assistant Lecturer in Phonetics, University of Edinburgh
* 1955–59: Lecturer in Phonetics, University of Edinburgh
* 1959–60: Lecturer in Phonetics,
University of Ibadan, Nigeria
* 1960–61: Lecturer in Phonetics, University of Edinburgh
* 1961–62: Field fellow, Linguistic Survey of West Africa, Nigeria
* Summer 1960:
University of Michigan
* Summer 1961:
Royal Institute of Technology, [Kungliga Tekniska högskolan or KTH] , ( Stockholm, Sweden)
* 1962–63: Assistant Professor of Phonetics, [http://www.english.ucla.edu/ Department of English] , UCLA
* 1962: Established, and directed until 1991, the [http://www.humnet.ucla.edu/humnet/linguistics/faciliti/uclaplab.html UCLA Phonetics Laboratory]
* 1963–65: Associate Professor of Phonetics, [http://www.linguistics.ucla.edu/ Department of Linguistics] , UCLA
* 1965–91: Professor of Phonetics, Department of Linguistics, UCLA
* 1977–80: Chair, Department of Linguistics, UCLA
* 1991: “retired” to become UCLA Research Linguist, Distinguished Professor of Phonetics Emeritus
* 2005: Leverhulme Professor, University of Edinburgh
* 2005-06: Adjunct professor at the
University of Southern California(USC)
* Fellow of the
Acoustical Society of America
* Fellow of the
American Speech and Hearing Association
* Distinguished Teaching Award, UCLA 1972
Linguistic Society of America, 1978
* President of the Permanent Council for the Organization of International Congresses of Phonetic Sciences, 1983-1991
International Phonetic Association, 1987-1991
* UCLA Research Lecturer 1989
* Fellow of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences1990
* UCLA College of Letters and Science Faculty Research Lecturer 1991
* Gold medal, XIIth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences 1991
* Corresponding Fellow of the
* Honorary D.Litt., University of Edinburgh, 1993
* Foreign Member,
Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, 1993
* Silver medal,
Acoustical Society of America1994
* Corresponding Fellow,
Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2001
* Honorary D.Sc.
Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, 2002
Books and monographs
* Ladefoged (1962). "The nature of vowel quality". Monograph supplement to "Revista do Laboratório de Fonética Experimental da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Coimbra".
* Ladefoged (1962). "Elements of acoustic phonetics". University of Chicago Press. Paperback edition 1971. Translation into Japanese, Taishukan Publishing Company, 1976. Second edition, with added chapters on computational phonetics 1996. ISBN 0-226-46764-3
* Ladefoged (1964). "A phonetic study of west African languages". Cambridge: Cambridge University. Reprinted 1968. ISBN 0-521-06963-7
* Ladefoged (1967). "Three areas of experimental phonetics". London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-437110-7
* Ladefoged, Peter, Ruth Glick & Clive Criper (1969). "Language in Uganda". Nairobi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-436101-2
* Ladefoged (1971). "Preliminaries to linguistic phonetics". Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
* Ladefoged (1975). "A course in phonetics". Orlando: Harcourt Brace. 2nd ed 1982, 3rd ed. 1993, 4th ed. 2001, 5th ed. Boston: Thomson/Wadsworth 2006. Japanese translation 2000. ISBN 0-15-507319-2
* Ladefoged (2001). "Vowels and consonants: An introduction to the sounds of languages". Oxford: Blackwells. 2001, 2nd ed. 2004. ISBN 0-631-21412-7
* Ladefoged (2003). "Phonetic data analysis: An introduction to instrumental phonetic fieldwork". Oxford: Blackwells. ISBN 0-631-23270-2
* Ladefoged (2006). "Interactive CD-ROM for "A Course in Phonetics" ISBN 1-4130-1420-8
* Ladefoged (in progress before death). "Representing linguistic phonetic structure".
* over 140 other publications
Works involved in or about
George Cukor(director), Alan Jay Lerner(lyricist): "My Fair Lady". Motion picture film. (1964).
* Fromkin, Victoria A., editor (1985). "Phonetic linguistics: Essays in honor of Peter Ladefoged". Orlando: Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-268990-9
* on why he chose to pursue phonetics:
* on his becoming a scientist:
* on his consultant work on the set of "
My Fair Lady":
* on his response to Cukor's request to assist Rex Harrison to behave like a phonetician:
* on the preservation of languages:
* on his contribution to his field
* [http://www.linguistics.ucla.edu/people/ladefoge/ Peter Ladefoged's home page at UCLA]
* [http://www.linguistics.ucla.edu/people/ladefoge/remember/index.htm Remembering Peter Ladefoged]
* [http://www.linguistics.ucla.edu/faciliti/plbday/top_page.html Tribute to Peter Ladefoged: 80th birthday]
* [http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/page.asp?RelNum=6795 Obituary: Peter Ladefoged, UCLA Linguistics Professor]
* [http://linguistlist.org/issues/17/17-306.html Death of Peter Ladefoged] (Linguist List posting)
* [http://linguistlist.org/issues/17/17-307.html Some Memories of Peter Ladefoged] (notes by Dan Everett at Linguist List)
* [http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2006/tailenders/special_languages.html On Endangered Languages: Peter Ladefoged] (PBS interview - with video)
* [http://sapir.ling.yale.edu/~elf/ The Endangered Language Fund]
* [http://www.humnet.ucla.edu/humnet/linguistics/faciliti/uclaplab.html UCLA Phonetics Laboratory]
* [http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/IPA/ipa.html International Phonetic Association]
* [http://hctv.humnet.ucla.edu/departments/linguistics/VowelsandConsonants/course/contents.html CD supplements to "A Course in Phonetics"]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/sci/tech/specials/anaheim_99/262145.stm Goodbye Mother Tongue] (BBC news article plus audio interview with Peter Ladefoged; 24 January, 1999)
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Peter Ladefoged — [ˈlædɪfəʊgɪd] (* 17. September 1925 in Sutton (London); † 24. Januar 2006 in London) war ein britischer Phonetiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Ämter und Auszeichnungen … Deutsch Wikipedia
Ladefoged — Peter Ladefoged [ˈlædɪfəʊgɪd] (* 17. September 1925 in Sutton (London); † 24. Januar 2006 in London) war ein britischer Phonetiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Biografie 2 Ämter und Auszeichnungen … Deutsch Wikipedia
Ladefoged, Peter Nielsen — ▪ 2007 British born American linguist and phonetician (b. Sept. 17, 1925, Sutton, Eng. d. Jan. 24, 2006, London, Eng.), traveled to remote villages around the world in an effort to record and analyze some 60 endangered languages. He also… … Universalium
Vowel — In phonetics, a vowel is a sound in spoken language, such as English ah! IPA| [ɑː] or oh! IPA| [oʊ] , pronounced with an open vocal tract so that there is no build up of air pressure at any point above the glottis. This contrasts with consonants … Wikipedia
Vocal — Las vocales (no sordas) son mucho más visibles en un espectrograma que la mayoría de consonantes, porque su emisión va acompañada de la emisión de mayor energía sonora. En fonética, una vocal o monoptongo es un sonido de una lengua natural… … Wikipedia Español
International Phonetic Alphabet — Not to be confused with NATO phonetic alphabet. IPA redirects here. For other uses, see IPA (disambiguation). For usage of IPA in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:IPA or Wikipedia:IPA/Introduction International Phonetic Alphabet … Wikipedia
Fonetik — 1. exo … Deutsch Wikipedia
Phonetiker — 1. exo … Deutsch Wikipedia
Phonetisch — 1. exo … Deutsch Wikipedia
Sprechaktlautlehre — 1. exo … Deutsch Wikipedia