Intonation, or the melody of speech, plays a central role in human communication, since it can provide immediate cues to the start of new words or phrases in the speech stream, and to the meaning of utterances. Consequently, wrong intonation often leads to communication breakdown.

However, intonation is difficult to analyse, because it signals multiple functions simultaneously. Form and meaning are closely intertwined, and the relationship between them is difficult to formalise in a theoretical model.

The main objective of this research is to test the central principle of the predominant theoretical framework for intonation analysis (the ‘Autosegmental-Metrical approach’) which crucially distinguishes between categorical information in intonation and gradiently varying information. This allows the identification of critical intonational features, which can be used to define intonation’s role in speech perception and its neural substrates.

Combining experimental tasks with the latest scanning techniques, the project findings provide evidence not only for the key principle on which virtually all current research in intonation hinges, but also the first neurobiological evidence for a refined, linguistically informed model of the neural underpinnings of intonation. Our understanding of human communication and the neural and cognitive systems that support it crucially depends on such insights.

 



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Categories and gradience in intonation : an fMRI study

Author: Brechtje Post Date: 31 December 2013 Book chapter

Corpus annotation : methodology and transcription systems

Author: Élisabeth Delais-Roussarie Date: 25 December 2013 Book chapter

Intonation: from animal communication to grammatical encoding

Author: Brechtje Post Date: 17 October 2013 Presentation/lecture

Radio interview 'Tuning into the melody of speech'

Interviewer: Paul Stainton Date: 17 October 2013 Dissemination / Communication

Intonation: from animal communication to grammatical encoding

Author: Brechtje Post Date: 25 September 2013 Presentation/lecture

Tuning into the melody of speech

Author: Louise Walsh Date: 25 September 2013 Dissemination / Communication

Prosodic transcription

Author: Brechtje Post Date: 25 September 2013 Seminar/workshop

Quand frontières prosodiques et frontières syntaxiques se rencontrent

Author: Elisabeth Delais Date: 25 September 2013 Presentation/lecture

Working with annotated speech data for quantitative prosodic analysis

Author: Brechtje Post Date: 25 September 2013 Presentation/lecture

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Getting a handle on category membership in intonation

Speaker: Brechtje Post Date: 10 January 2013 Seminar/workshop

Intonation in the brain

Speaker: Brechtje Post Date: 21 December 2012 Dissemination / Communication

Phonology in speech processing 2009/10

Author: Brechtje Post Date: 21 December 2012 Seminar/workshop

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Categories and gradience : neural systems for speech communication

Organiser: Brechtje Post Date: 21 June 2012 Organised event

Intonation in discourse : gradient or categorical behavior?

Author: Margaret Zellers Date: 21 June 2012 Seminar/workshop

Question or surprise? : the neural correlates of linguistic and paralinguistic intonation

Author: Brechtje Post Date: 10 June 2012 Conference paper/presentation

Sound to sense : the melody of speech

Speaker: Meg Zellers Date: 27 April 2012 Dissemination / Communication

Disentangling linguistic and paralinguistic intonational information : an fMRI study

Author: Brechtje Post Date: 26 March 2012 Conference paper/presentation

Combining formal and functional approaches to topic structure

Co-author: Margaret Zellers Date: 01 March 2012 Journal article

Prosodic analysis

Author: Pilar Prieto Date: 08 December 2011 Book chapter

Anesthetic sedation modulates resting connectivity of the left inferior frontal gyrus

Author: Emmanuel Stamatakis Date: 26 June 2011 Conference paper/presentation

Categories and gradience in intonation : an fMRI study

Author: Brechtje Post Date: 21 June 2011 Conference paper/presentation

Quand frontières prosodiques et frontières syntaxiques se rencontrent

Author: Elisabeth Delais-Roussarie Date: 01 June 2011 Journal article

Redescribing intonational categories with functional data analysis

Co-author: Margaret Zellers Date: 01 March 2011 Conference proceedings

The multi-facetted relation between phrasing and intonation contours in French

Author: Brechtje Post Date: 26 January 2011 Book chapter

Metrical structure and the prosodic hierarchy

Author: Brechtje Post Date: 01 January 2011 Book chapter

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Start date
01 January 2009
End date
29 September 2012
Grant holder
Dr Brechtje Post
Co-applicants
Dr Emmanuel Stamatakis
Grant amount
£290,999.10
Grant reference
RES-061-25-0347
Discipline
No Lead Discipline
Grant type