Symposium: Comparative Perspectives on the Production and Processing of Prosody
This symposium on Comparative Perspectives on the Production and Processing of Prosody will feature five short presentations and a keynote address by Dr Carel ten Cate (Professor of Animal Behaviour, Leiden University, Holland).
9:30-11:10. Short presentations
- Oriana Kilbourn-Ceron: “The effect of phrasing and frequency on phonological variation”
- Jonathan A. Caballero: “From perception to action: How prosody influences decision making in social interaction contexts”
- Anastasia Glushko: “Neurophysiological correlates of prosodic phrase processing in humans”
- Megha Sharda: “From Speech to Song: The Role of Prosody in Autism”
- Logan James: “Experimental approaches uncover motor biases in production and prosody”
11:10-11:30. Coffee Break
11:30-12:30. Keynote speaker: Carel ten Cate, Institute of Biology Leiden, Leiden University, NL
“Are animals sensitive to prosodic patterns?”
Prosodic patterns contribute greatly to interpreting spoken language, varying from disambiguating word meanings to whether a sentence is a statement or a question. Given its universal prominence in human language, several questions arise. One is whether animal vocalizations also show evidence of prosodic patterns that can affect the messages of vocalizations. And if so, whether the acoustic features involved show a similarity to prosodic determinants in language. In the first part of my presentation, I will briefly discuss these topics. In the second part, I address the question whether animals are able to detect prosodic patterns in human speech utterances. Based on studies of others and on our own studies using zebra finches I discuss experimental evidence suggesting they can, and also what speech features might be used to detect such patterns. Prosodic cues also support learning of linguistic structures and I will discuss whether there is evidence for a comparable phenomenon in animals. I will end with some thoughts on what the animal studies may tell about human language evolution.
When: Thursday, July 5, 2018
Where: room 461, 2001 McGill-College
Coffee and snacks will be served.