Lacerda’s chromographs (1930s-1950s): the circulation and appropriation of knowledge in Europe and the Americas

Quintino Lopes, Georg Brock-Nannestad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


From the 1930s to the early 1950s, chromography, a technique invented and developed by Armando de Lacerda, constituted an advanced method of investigation in the field of phonetics which overcame the limitations of kymography, the method predominantly used in experimental phonetics laboratories during the period. The new technique was first used by Lacerda in collaboration with Paul Menzerath in Bonn, its use later spreading to Portugal and Brazil. The existence of the most advanced cromographic equipment at the University of Coimbra Experimental Phonetics Laboratory since 1936 explains why Portugal became a global centre for Phonetics research and remained such up until the 1950s, attracting numerous scientists from abroad who, under the supervision of its head, Armando de Lacerda, received specialist training in the use of chromography. Later, the technique was used at the University of Bahia, where Lacerda and Nelson Rossi established the first experimental phonetics laboratory in South America in 1956-57, and where the first work on linguistic geography of Brazil, entitled Atlas Prévio dos Falares Baianos, was produced.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on the History of Speech Communication Research
EditorsJan Volín, Pavel Šturm
Place of PublicationDresden
PublisherTechnische Universität Dresden Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-3-95908-434-5
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event4th International Workshop on the HSCR: History of Speech Communication Research - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 27 Aug 202128 Aug 2021


Conference4th International Workshop on the HSCR
CountryCzech Republic


  • History of Experimental Phonetics
  • Chromography
  • Armando de Lacerda
  • Circulation of knowledge


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