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Professor John Laver

Emeritus Professor of Speech Sciences, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

British Academy appointments
Member of Council 1998 - 2001

general phonetic theory and speech science

John Laver spent most of his academic career at the University of Edinburgh (1966-2001) where he gained a PhD and DLitt in Phonetics. As Professor of Phonetics he was instrumental in setting up the Centre for Speech Technology Research of which he was Director (1984-89) and then Chairman (1991-94). He served for three years as Vice-Principal for Research.

From 2001 to his retirement in 2004 he was Research Professor of Speech Sciences and Vice-Principal at Queen Margaret University College (now QMU). He has honorary degrees from Sheffield, De Montfort and Queen Margaret Universities, and Trinity College, Dublin and has held honorary professorships at York and Dundee Universities.

A staunch advocate of the economic, social and cultural benefits of the Humanities and of interdisciplinary research, he was the founding Chairman of the British Academy's Humanities Research Board (1994-98), and played a key role in making the case for the establishment of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1994 he was awarded the Society's Bicentenary Medal in 2004 and its Royal Medal in 2007.

In 1999 he was awarded the CBE for services to Phonetics and the Humanities.

Past appointments
Professor of Phonetics University of Edinburgh (1985 - 2000)
Research Professor of Speech Sciences Queen Margaret University (2001 - )
Vice-Principal Queen Margaret University (2002 - )
Principal, Queen Margaret University College Queen Margaret University (2003 - )
Emeritus Professor of Speech Sciences, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh Queen Margaret University (2004 - )

Principal publications
The phonetic description of voice quality, 1980
The Gift of Speech: Papers in the Analysis of Speech and Voice, 1991
Principles of phonetics, 1994
Aspects of Speech Technology 2nd edition (with Mervyn Jack), 1988
The Handbook of Phonetic Sciences 2nd edition (with William J. Hardcastle and Fiona E. Gibbon),
The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Speech and Language, (with R. E. Asher et al),

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