Call for Papers – Special Collection on “Phonological Categories: Identification, representation, implementation”

Call for Papers – Special Collection on “Phonological Categories: Identification, representation, implementation”

Guest editors: Barbara Gili Fivela, Cinzia Avesani, Michelina Savino

Call for papers

In speech communication, the crucial role of phonological cues is widely recognized, both at the segmental and at the suprasegmental level, in the coding/decoding of meaning. Nevertheless, the complex relation between acoustic and kinetic/visual information is far from understood, even though it is skillfully used by speakers to convey the intended linguistic message, and by listeners to understand it. In particular, it is quite an open issue how speech variation is categorized (e.g., in relation to specific segmental or prosodic units), and how it is identified as related to other linguistic (e.g., geolinguistic background, educational level, etc.) and non-linguistic (e.g., speech pathology, etc.) factors. In this respect, investigating these aspects cross-linguistically would also shed light on these different phenomena, and therefore contribute to clarifying the issue.

According to this view, this special collection aims to collect papers that can deepen our understanding of how phonological categories are identified, represented, implemented, and perceived out of the continuous speech signal. The goal is to offer a manifold view of the issue as discussed across different languages and along different perspectives, such as multimodal versus unimodal analysis, acoustic and articulatory investigations, and behavioral and neurophysiological data. 

This special collection is inspired by fruitful discussions at the third Phonetics and Phonology in Europe Conference (PaPE 2019), held in Lecce, Italy, in June 2019. Conference participants, as well as others carrying out research on topics related to phonological category identification, representation, and implementation, both at the segmental and at the suprasegmental level, are warmly invited to submit a contribution to this Special Collection.

Example of research topics suitable for this special issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Phonological category formation and implementation in L2
  • Implementation of phonological categories in pathological speech 
  • Phonological categories in sign language
  • Integration of information in multimodal communication and phonological category implementation

Contributors are asked to submit a one-page abstract (plus one page for figures and references) to the guest editors at Abstracts will be evaluated on topic relevance for the special issue, and on overall quality. Contributors of selected abstracts will be invited to submit a full paper that will undergo the standard peer review process.

Contributions that do not fulfill the topic relevance criterium for this special issue can, of course, still be submitted to Laboratory Phonology as regular submissions.


 - abstract due by the 14th of February 2020

 - notification to authors by mid/end March 2020

 - full paper due by September 2020