Fifty Years of JIPA

This year JIPA celebrates 50 years under its present title, and 20 years of publication with CUP. But that’s only part of a 134-year story. Under earlier titles (The Phonetic Teacher and Le Maître Phonétique) the journal dates back to 1886, and was printed entirely in IPA phonetic symbols for over 80 years. It switched to ordinary orthography in 1971 and at the same time adopted the title Journal of the International Phonetic Association, with the catchy acronym JIPA.

After a hundred years of conventional typesetting and printing, the journal went through an innovative era of desktop publishing in the 1980s and 90s. The partnership with CUP began with Volume 31 in 2001, and the journal acquired its striking black and orange cover. JIPA has gone from strength to strength, and is now published in three issues per year.

JIPA is not only the longest-established phonetics journal, but special too in that alongside general research papers on phonetics, it also publishes the “Illustrations of the IPA”, which are concise but detailed first-hand accounts of the phonetics of numerous languages and varieties (many of them under-described or endangered) based on fieldwork and original recordings. The growing corpus of Illustrations is now widely recognised as an important resource in phonetic documentation and typology. Three years after publication, Illustrations and the accompanying recordings become open to all – an important service to the language communities who provided them, as well as to students and teachers of phonetics everywhere.

The current Editor of JIPA is Marija Tabain, with co-editor Jody Kreiman. They and their editorial team are very proud and honoured to build on the legacy created by the long line of distinguished previous editors of the journal. We look forward to the next 50 years!

Read the latest issue of JIPA without charge until 15 December 2020.

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