LINGUIST List 30.794

Mon Feb 18 2019

Calls: Phonetics, Phonology/Italy

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 15-Feb-2019
From: Stefan Baumann <>
Subject: Prominence between Cognitive Functions and Linguistic Structures
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Full Title: Prominence between Cognitive Functions and Linguistic Structures
Short Title: COFLIS

Date: 20-Jun-2019 - 20-Jun-2019
Location: Bari (Università di Bari, Dpt. Sc. della Formazione), Italy
Contact Person: Francesco Cangemi
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics; Phonology

Call Deadline: 15-Mar-2019

Meeting Description:

We would like to announce a workshop on ''Prominence between Cognitive Functions and Linguistic Structures'' (COFLIS), which is a satellite of PaPE 2019 and will be held immediately after PaPE on 20th June 2019 in Bari, a two-hour train ride from the venue of the main conference (Lecce).

In the workshop, we capitalise on several decades of research on prosodic prominence to unravel the key components of the notion of prominence. By exploring the contribution of the signal, of meaning and of linguistic structure to the definition of prominence, and by relating prominence to basic cognitive concepts such as chunking and attention, we aim to provide a renewed understanding of prominence. The workshop will feature four invited talks, covering the measurable, structural and functional components of prominence. Rather than share new experimental evidence, invited speakers will be asked to focus on the theoretical implications of their use of prominence in their research. Invited talks will be complemented by regularly submitted and peer-reviewed submissions for poster presentations on prominence in phonetics and phonology. Submissions emphasising the challenges in defining and using the notion of prominence will be particularly welcome.

Call for Papers:

Few concepts in phonetics and phonology research are as widely used and as vaguely defined, as is the notion of prosodic prominence. Situated at the crossroads of signal and structure, of stress and accent, and of production and perception, the notion of prosodic prominence has received a wide number of contradicting or unspecific definitions. Wagner et al. (2015), in exploring the variety of approaches to the study of prosodic prominence, suggest that the most successful definitions are the vaguest ones, since they are compatible with the various viewpoints adopted by researchers. The proposal by Terken and Hermes (2000), according to which “a linguistic entity is prosodically prominent when it stands out from its environment by virtue of its prosodic characteristics”, is sufficiently generic to encompass a wide number of cases. These cases range from stressed syllables standing out from the other syllables in a word by virtue of loudness and durational cues (e.g. Beckman 1986), to focussed constituents standing out from the other referents mentioned in an utterance by virtue of pitch accent choice and placement (e.g. Gussenhoven 1984, Ayers 1996).

Such a generic definition, in which “being prominent” is equated with “standing out from its environment”, begs the question of whether prominence is indeed a genuinely prosodic phenomenon, or even a phenomenon essentially relevant to phonetics and phonology (cf. Gussenhoven 2015 for discussion). For example, Himmelmann and Primus (2015) redefine prominence to encompass non-prosodic aspects of languages, for example by showing that referents with Agent role are the most prominent within a sentence (at the syntax-semantics interface). Similarly, at the discourse level, prominence relations between referents can be used for interpreting ambiguous pronouns (Arnold 2001). Perhaps more importantly, such a broader understanding of prominence intersects with research on cognition, in particular on the management of attention, which also focusses on entities standing out from their context. Thus, prominence relations operate not only at various levels within a language, but also at the intersection between language and cognition.

Please submit your abstract as a pdf file to pape-coflis(at) by 15-03-2019, 23:59 UTC-12.
Notification of acceptance: 25-03-2019.

If possible, please use the template (MS Office Word) to be found here:

If you cannot use the template, use the following format: 1 inch (2.54cm) margins, Times New Roman font, 12pt font size and single spacing. The text of the abstract must not exceed one page (~500 words). Please indicate authors and affiliations below the abstract title. A second page can be used for examples, figures and numbered references. Please use 0.5cm hanging indentation for bibliographic entries.

Page Updated: 18-Feb-2019