Current situation and history

The Institute of Phonetics at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague, is the only scientific department specialized in phonetics in the Czech Republic, and the only department educating professionals at the bachelor, magisterial, and doctoral level. We provide phonetic courses not only for our students, but also for a range of other study programmes (Czech Language and Literature, English and American Studies, Czech for Foreigners etc.).


The phonetic laboratory at the Faculty of Arts in Prague belongs to the oldest ones in Europe. It was founded in 1919 and soon became an important centre of phonetics in Central Europe, especially for Slavic languages. At the end of the 1960s, the consequences of politically motivated restrictions became apparent, phonetics as an independent study programme was suspended, the Institute lost ist technical facilities essential for serious research, and as a non-ideological programme it could not admit young specialists.

At the beginning of 1990s, the Institute of Phonetics regained its independence, as well as the possibility to hire young professionals. A linguistics and phonetics study major was opened in 1990, and an independent phonetics programme in 2001. At the level of doctoral studies, the Institute of Phonetics trains not only its own specialists, but also for other universities within the Czech Republic.


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