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Ingemann, Frances

Ingemann, PhD
Year Inducted: 
Frances Ingemann
  • Pioneer in Acoustic Speech Research
  • Founder and Chair of the KU Linguistics Department
  • First person to formulate rules for speech synthesis
  • First person to do linguistic research on the Ipili language of Papua New Guinea
  • Chair of SenEx and twice presiding officer

Frances Ingemann came to KU in 1957 after earning a doctorate in linguistics from Indiana University and conducting pioneering research at Haskins Laboratories on speech synthesis. In 1967 she founded the University Of Kansas’s Linguistics Department and remained a prominent fixture there until her retirement. Although she formally retired in 2000, Ingemann continues to be an active member of the department, attending every departmental colloquy and traveling to Papua New Guinea to collect data about the Ipili language.

Dr. Ingemann’s career is truly a storied one. She was the first female president of the Association of University Professors as well as the first female presiding officer of the University Council and Senate at the University of Kansas.

 “Frances has been the most influential person in the history of the linguistics department,” said Allard Jongman, professor and chair of linguistics. “She started teaching linguistics when she arrived on campus 50 years ago and founded the department 40 years ago. The current department is to a large extent the fruit of her vision and persistence.”

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