From 18 to 21 August 1989 approximately 120 members of the Association (and a few guests) met in Kiel, West Germany, to work on revisions of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). There had been a great deal of preparation for this convention, involving the soliciting of opinion by mail on a wide range of topics, and considerable research on the present status of the IPA. A previous issue of this journal, JIPA 18(2), collected a number of these preparatory opinions. At the convention itself there were five major working groups which met almost continuously for the first two days. Three groups considered consonants, vowels and suprasegmentals; the other two considered computational aspects of the IPA, and the needs of speech pathologists and others for extensions of the IPA. In addition there were groups concerned with the principles on which the IPA should be based, the form of presentation of the IPA, past successes and failures, and methods of illustration of the IPA. The groups reported back to the whole at intervals, and on the last day the convention met in a series of plenary sessions to consider and vote on the final working reports. The following is a compilation of six of the group reports reflecting the results of the discussions and votes of the plenary sessions. The Association is very grateful to the co-ordinators and co-chairs of the groups. Most of the wording below is taken directly from their reports; in accordance with the traditions of the Association, this report is presented without attribution to particular authors.
1 The International Phonetic Association has a standard alphabet which is usually referred to by the initials IPA, or, in a number of non-English-speaking countries, API. It is designed primarily to meet practical linguistic needs, such as putting on record the phonetic or phonological structure of languages, providing learners of foreign languages with phonetic transcriptions to assist them in acquiring the pronunciation, and working Out roman orthographies for languages written in other systems or for languages previously unwritten. A large number of symbols and diacritics is also provided for representing fine distinctions of sound quality, making the EPA well suited for use in all disciplines in which the representation of speech sounds is required.