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"Towards understanding prosody: Integrating performance and competence", Duane Watson (Vanderbilt University, Linguistics)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 01:00pm - 02:30pm

Busch Campus, Psych 105

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Abstract: One of the central debates in the language sciences is whether linguistic representations can be divided into those that represent competence, i.e. linguistic knowledge, and those that represent performance, i.e. the psychological and social contexts in which language is used.  Prosody, which includes the intonation, rhythm, and timing of language, seems to be strongly influenced by both.  In this talk, I will present work from my lab, as well as the prosody literature more generally, that suggests that prosodic choices in language are determined by both grammatical constraints and the timing of processes related to language production and comprehension.  These factors influence prosody in ways that make them difficult to separate.  I will argue that understanding both is critical for building models of how prosody works.