It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our long-standing colleague Prof. Dr. Sylvia Moosmüller. As head of the Acoustic Phonetics Group, she played a significant role in the success of the Institute’s research and building its international reputation.
Sylvia Moosmüller studied General, Applied, English and Romance Linguistics at the University of Vienna. She received her doctorate in applied linguistics in 1984 for the dissertation “Soziale und psychosoziale Sprachvariation: eine quantitative und qualitative Untersuchung zum gegenwärtigen Wiener Deutsch”. Subsequently, she worked on a variety of projects about Viennese German, most often with Univ. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Dressler. At the same time she also conducted research in the area of feminist linguistics and gender studies. She started work at the Acoustics Research Institute (at that time the “Kommission für Schallforschung”) in 1992 as part of a project about forensic phonetics with Prof. Dr. Werner Deutsch, the then head of the Institute. She completed her habilitation "Vowels in Standard Austrian German. An Acoustic-Phonetic and Phonological Analysis" in 2008 and was awarded the venia legendi for applied linguistics, phonetics and phonology. Alongside her teaching at the University of Vienna and the University of Graz, she taught logopaedics, phoniatrics and audiology at a technical college.
Dr. Moosmüller built up the Acoustic Phonetics group at the Institute over many years, conducting many successful and respected national and international projects. She was the Deputy Director of the Institute from 2008 to 2015.
Her research focussed on phonetic and phonological variation in Austrian German, as well as the acoustic-phonetic description of vowels in as-yet insufficiently documented languages. She also researched in the area of forensic phonetics, sociophonetics and clinical phonetics. As General Secretary of the IAFPA (International Association for Forensic Phonetics and Acoustics) and a member of the ENFSI Expert Working Group Forensic Speech and Audio Analysis (FSAAWG), she was internationally respected in these fields.
She died on 17th April 2018 after a severe illness. The Acoustics Research Institute and its employees mourn her passing. She was an outstanding scientist and treasured colleague. Our thoughts are with her family with whom we express our greatest sympathy.