ĐORĐE KOSTIĆ                                                                        CSL

Đorđe Kostić with the corpus material (picture taken in 1959)

Đorđe Kostić (1909-1995) was a linguist with broad interests that encompassed different areas of linguistics – from experimental phonetics to speech pathology, from methodology of learning foreign languages to methodology of rehabilitation of hearing impaired, from automatic speech recognition to machine translation. He is the author of more than 30 books and more than 150 papers published in domestic and foreign journals.
* Kostić started with a research in experimental phonetics in the mid thirties at the University of London as a student of Daniel Jones, from whom he learned basics of research and methodology in experimental phonetics. As a student he published two books: one with Denis Fry (A Serbo-Croat Phonetic Reader, University of London Press, 1939) and the other with Isabel Garrido (English 

grammar for Foreign Students, Cambridge, 1935). Also, at that time Kostić published number of papers on experimental phonetics. In the late thirties he started to compile the frequency dictionary of Marko Miljanov, which he completed in the mid fifties.
* In 1949 Kostić founded the Institute for Experimental Phonetics and Speech Pathology, which was at that time part of the Serbian Academy of Science. He was the director of the Institute till his retirement in 1979. From the very start, the Institute was oriented not only towards research in experimental phonetics, but also towards speech pathology and the methodology of learning foreign languages. In 1953 Kostić established the first laboratory for learning foreign languages in former Yugoslavia. Within several years the Institute had more than 60 laboratories for learning foreign languages and some 40 centers for rehabilitation of hearing impaired in almost all parts of former Yugoslavia. Both in learning foreign languages and the rehabilitation of hearing impaired Kostić developed his own methodology and introduced new technological solutions (the KSAFA - Kostić Selective Auditory Filter Amplification).
* In the mid fifties Kostić formed a group of scientists of different profiles and started a project of automatic speech recognition and machine translation. This project engaged more than 500 collaborators (most of whom were technical staff working on the Corpus of Serbian Language). The project included automatic speech recognition, transfer of recognized speech into a textual format, machine translation and speech synthesis. The main part of the project was the grammatically tagged Corpus of Serbian language, consisting of 11,000,000 words. For reasons not yet fully unveiled, the project had to be suspended in 1962. Kostić published some of the results of this research in the following books: Probability of grammatical forms in Serbo-Croatian, IEPSP, 1965,  Probability of phonemic co-occurrences of Serbo-Croatian phonemes, IEPSP, 1965 and Functions and meanings of cases in Serbo-Croatian, IEPSP, 1965. 
* Alongside with this project Kostić started a project aimed at exhaustive description of how language was treated in the history of philosophy. With a group that included the most prominent philosophers in Belgrade he specified the methodology for this project. The result of this project is some forty volumes of philosophical texts dealing with language that span from Greek philosophy to the contemporary philosophy.
* In the late sixties Kostić started collaboration with world's leading statisticians (P. C. Mahalanobis and C. R. Rao) at the Indian Statistical Institute in Calcutta. This collaboration, which lasted for almost twenty years, included statistical research related to problems of morphology, phonology and phonetics. As a result of this collaboration Kostić published a number of books that deal with problems in the phonetics of the languages of India. At the same time he had close collaboration with University of Wisconsin (Superior) where he was a visiting professor and had collaboration with American scientists on developing aids for hearing impaired.

Đorđe Kostić: Drawing (1930)
Museum of Modern Art, Belgrade

In addition to his scientific work, Đorđe Kostić was also a poet and a painter. Being one of the founders of the Belgrade surrealist group, he had published a number of texts and drawings in Belgrade surrealist publications in the late twenties and early thirties. In the span of thirty years he had published nine books of poems and three books on Belgrade surrealism. Kostić had several individual exhibits of his paintings in India (1971), the US (1975) and 

France (1989). Some of his drawings and paintings are part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Belgrade, while some are reproduced in several monographs on contemporary Serbian painting (cf. M. Protić: The Contemporary Serbian Painting, Nolit, Belgrade, 1970).