Main research areas

With the advancement of modern technology, speech has become the primary means of public communication and it also serves significant socio-cultural functions. At the same time, spoken communication is also widely applied in speech technology. Both these aspects influence the research activities conducted at the Institute of Phonetics.

Basic research focuses predominantly on the acoustic analysis of speech, on the perceptual testing of the function of sound patterns in communication, and on articulatory modifications of ordinary speech. The topic of speech styles is most important in the application domain, along with phonetic analyses aimed at improving algorithms used in speech technology.

Major projects

  • a series of grants of the Czech Science Foundation with a linguistic-phonetic focus on current issues in prosody (e.g., Melodic structure of spoken Czech, Prosody of contemporary Czech).
  • technically oriented grants in which the Institute of Phonetics has participated under the supervision of the Czech Technical University and recently also the West Bohemian University in Pilsen (New innovative methods for high-quality synthesis of Czech speech).
  • the Sound to Sense project within the Marie Curie Research Training Networks scheme, along with 14 universities from the EU, supervised by the University of Cambridge


Since 1967, the Institute of Phonetics has been publishing the results of research in the series of Acta Universitatis Carolinae – Philologica, under the name Phonetica Pragensia.

Detailed information about bibliography may be found on the personal website of the individual members of the Institute.

Most important publications:

  • Volín, J. & Skarnitzl, R (2010). The strength of foreign accent in Czech English under adverse listening conditions. Speech Communication 52, pp. 1010-1021.
    a study on the perception of foreign accent
  • Volín, J. (2010). Fonetika a fonologie. In: V. Cvrček a kol., Mluvnice současné češtiny, pp. 35-64. Praha: Karolinum.
    a chapter in a grammar book for public and schools
  • Machač P. & Skarnitzl R. (2009). Principles of Phonetic Segmentation. Praha: Nakladatelství Epocha.
    a book dealing with the characteristics of speechsounds in the speech signal
  • Volín, J. (2007). Statistické metody ve fonetickém výzkumu. Praha: Nakladatelství Epocha.
    a book dedicated to the methodology of empirical research in phonetic sciences, specifically the application of statistic methods

Major conferences

Since 1992, the Institute of Phonetics has acted as one of the organizers of the Czech-German Workshop – Speech Processing.

In 2015, the Institute hosted the international conference English Pronunciation: Issues & Practices (EPIP4).

In 2005, we hosted the 16th conference of the Committee for phonetics and phonology of Slavic languages. Scientists from phonetic laboratories from ten Slavic countries participated in the conference and presented papers dealing with the sound patterns of most Slavic languages.

In 2008, the Institute of Phonetics organized a one-week meeting for the participants of the Sound to Sense project, which was also attended by major professionals not directly involved in the project.

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