English Language & Linguistics

Amalia Arvaniti part of National Science Foundation-funded team

4 April 2014

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Professor Amalia Arvaniti, Head of English Language & Linguistics, is part of a team that has just won a US National Science Foundation (NSF) research grant under the direction of Dr Douglas H. Whalen (Haskins Laboratories, Yale University) and Dr Yi Xu (UCL). The title of the project is 'Common Prosody Platform for Testing Theories and Models of Speech Prosody'.

Prosody – the patterns of stress and intonation in language – plays an important role in the complex mapping between meaning and the spoken expression of words, phrases and sentences; it is critical to our understanding of human communication and to our ability to exploit prosodic information in both automated language production and meaning recognition. Prosody research has seen significant development in recent decades, and numerous theories and computational models have been proposed. However, many fundamental issues remain unresolved and some are still under heated debate. This lack of consensus has resulted in slow advances in developing speech applications with capabilities for processing prosody. This project is a collaborative effort to accelerate progress in prosody research by developing a Common Prosody Platform (CPP). The CPP will consist of an open-access website that hosts a collection of trainable models, each implementing a major theory of prosody.

The development of a CPP will help bridge the current gaps between theoretical conceptualization, empirical investigation and computational modelling. It is hoped that the resulting CPP will be readily transferable to applied areas, including speech technology, language teaching and speech communication disorders.

For full details of the award, please see the NSF page here:

English Language & Linguistics, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

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Last Updated: 23/01/2014