LING712: Coordinating phonological and syntactic structures in production

  • Instructors: Kristine Yu & Shota Momma
  • Location: zoom
  • Time: TTh, 2:30-3:45

Course overview

Phonological and prosodic structures are critically involved in both understanding and speaking. There is a sizable body of literature investigating the role of prosodic and phonological structures in sentence comprehension research. However, how speakers generate phonological and prosodic structures and how phonological/prosodic structures shape sentence production mechanisms is less well-understood. In this course, building on recent models and findings on the relationship between prosody and sentence production, we aim to better understand how speakers generate prosodic structures, and how prosodic structures in turn shapes the architecture of sentence production mechanisms. Some issue we will discuss in the seminar includes (but not limited to):

  • Sentence production is often modeled as involving a minimal look-ahead, but some prosodic phenomena span across multiple constituents. How do speakers reconcile this tension?
  • How do syntactic planning and phonological/prosodic planning interact in sentence production?
  • How is the variability in phonological/prosodic processes shaped by sentence production?

Course objectives

  • To appreciate the current state-of-art research on prosody and sentence production.
  • To be exposed to linguistic phenomena at the syntax-prosody interface and how they can be probed from a sentence production point of view (e.g., French liaison, English coronal flapping/tapping, deletion, and glottalization, tone sandhi, rhythm rule, syntactic alternations, reductions, argument structure).
  • To gain hands-on experience in designing and running production experiments (online).
  • To gain hands-on experience in extracting and analyzing prosody-related data.


  • Class presentation x 2 (20%)
  • Lab report (10%)
  • Final project paper (40%)
  • Final project presentation (10%)
  • Attendance (20%)

Schedule (tentative)

1 (week of 8/24)Where is (are) the prosody box(es) in the production model?Levelt (1989): Chapter 10
Berg & Abd-El-Jawad (1996)
Alderete et al. (2019)
2 (week of 8/31)What is (not) prosody? Syntax-prosody mismatchesGussenhoven and Jacobs (2017), Ch. 12
Keating & Shattuck (2002)
3 (week of 9/7)Production Planning Hypothesis (PPH)Wagner (2012)
Kilbourn-Ceron (2018)
4 (week of 9/14)Production Planning Hypothesis (PPH)McKenzie (2016)
Kilbourn-Ceron et al. (2016)
Kilbourn-Ceron (2017)
5 (week of 9/21)Units of production planning – boundariesHimmelmann (2014)
Tamminga (2018)
6 (week of 9/28)Units of production planning
– stress and accents
Kratzer & Selkirk (2007)
Irwin (2011)
Gussenhoven (2011, under review)
Tilsen (2012), Kim & Tilsen (2020)
7 (week of 10/5)Lab 1: “that” variation phonetic/phonological analysisMomma & Wilson (2020)
Praat demo
8 (week of 10/12)Prosody and (in-)flexibility in syntaxSelkirk (1996, 2003)
Hirsch & Wagner (2015)
Gahl and Garnsey (2004) Moore-Cantwell (2013)
9 (week of 10/19)Prosody and (in-)flexibility in syntax
& Lab 2 discussion
Kandybowicz (2006)
Ritchart & Goodall (2016)
Zukowski & Larsen (2011)
Straub et al. (2011)
10 (week of 10/26)Syntax-prosody mismatches and the architecture of sentence production revisited
& Lab 2 discussion
Keating (2006)
Shattuck-Hufnagel (2019)
MacKenzie (2016)
Tamminga et al. (2016)
11 (week of 11/2)Lab II – running speech production experiment onlineData analysis demo (?)
12 (week of 11/9)Wrapping-up / buffer
13 (week of 11/16)Student presentation
Reserved for later
Wheeldon (2000)
Griffin (2013)
Schnur (2011)
Liberman & Pierrehumbert (1984)
Venditti & Yamashita (1994)