Prosody and Speech Processing across Languages and Varieties

We are calling for high-quality contributions on the topic of “Prosody and Speech Processing across Languages and Varieties” for a Special Collection in Laboratory Phonology.

Guest editors: Sasha Calhoun, Paul Warren, and Janet Fletcher, with Olcay Turk and Mengzhu Yan.

Call for papers

As an integral part of spoken language, prosody has been shown to play an important role in many speech production and perception processes. However, our knowledge of the role of prosody in speech processing draws on a relatively narrow range of (mostly closely related) languages. There is an urgent need for more psycholinguistic research looking at commonalities and differences in the use of prosodic cues in speech processing across different languages, and also different varieties of major languages. This special collection aims to bring together research which advances our understanding of the role of prosody in speech processing, particularly beyond well-studied languages. We are especially interested in research on: (i) the role of prosody in semantic interpretation, including information structure; and (ii) prosody as an organizational structure for speech production and perception, including multimodal perspectives.

This special collection was inspired by the “Workshop on the Processing of Prosody across Languages and Varieties (ProsLang),” held in Wellington, New Zealand in November 2018. The special collection invites contributions from workshop participants, as well as others working in related areas.

Examples of research topics suitable for this collection include, but are not limited to, cross-linguistic and cross-varietal commonalities and differences in:

  • the role of prosody in signalling information structure, particularly in the activation and resolution of contrast and contrastive alternatives
  • the integration of prosody and morphosyntactic cues in speech comprehension, e.g., as cues to information structure
  • the role of prosody in the management and interpretation of discourse
  • prosodic structure as an organizational frame in speech production or perception
  • links between prosodic structure and multimodal speech cues such as gesture

As a first step, contributors are asked to submit a 1-page abstract to the guest editors at Contributions will be evaluated based on relevance for the topic of the special issue and overall quality and contribution to the field. Contributors of accepted abstracts will be invited to submit a full paper, which will undergo the standard peer review process. Contributions that do not fulfil the criteria for this special issue can, of course, still be submitted to Laboratory Phonology.


Deadline for submission of 1-page abstract: 15 May 2019
Invitation for full paper submission: 10 June 2019
Deadline for submission of full paper: 30 November 2019