CFP: Integrating phonetics and phonology in the study of linguistic prominence

In the last decades of the 20th century, developments in linguistic theory have questioned the traditional divide between phonetics and phonology. Alongside studies carried out within the paradigm of Laboratory Phonology, theoretical phonologists are increasingly paying attention to quantifiable phonetic data, and at the same time experimental phoneticians are increasingly embedding their findings in a discussion of phonological categories and linguistic structure.
One key aspect of linguistic structure that calls for the integration of phonetics and phonology is the notion of prominence. Prominence can be seen as a relational property that refers to any unit of speech that somehow ”stands out” by virtue of a variety of factors relating to form and function. These include on the one hand prosodic highlighting and phrasing as they interact with syntactic structure, and on the other semantic-pragmatic importance and newsworthiness, as well as discourse-related expectations, the violation of which can also lead to prominence.

Both the production and perception of prominence are thus affected by a large number of factors relating to phonetic substance and to phonological form. For example, prosodic prominence can stem from both continuous manipulation of phonetic parameters (e.g. fundamental frequency, duration and spectral properties) and from the choice of phonological categories (e.g. pitch accent type and phrasing). The aim of the special issue is to provide a platform for the integration of phonetic and phonological insights into a comprehensive notion of prominence.

We invite two-page paper proposals on experimental and/or theoretical work on topics such as:
– Defining prominence in phonetics and phonology
– Perception of prominence (e.g. multimodal perception)
– Production of prominence (e.g. acoustics and articulation)
– Prosodic prominence (e.g. pitch accent types, boundary phenomena)
– Prominence in diachrony (e.g. lexical stress)
– Social value of prominence (e.g. final rise in uptalk)
– Cognitive aspects of prominence (e.g. attention)
– Influence of syntactic, semantic and pragmatic aspects on prosodic prominence (e.g. focus)

Proposals focusing on the exploration of both the phonetics and the phonology of prominence will receive special consideration. Two-page paper proposals should be submitted via email to

Important Dates

The call for two-page paper proposals ends December 1, 2017.

Authors of selected proposals will be invited to submit their full papers until March 15, 2018.

Please note that submitted full papers will undergo the regular Journal of Phonetics review process. Consequently, papers may be rejected if they are not able to fulfill reviewers’ recommendations or are unable to do so within the required time-frame.

To advance transparency and openness, we encourage full paper submissions to make all data and analysis code publicly available.