Tone and Intonation Reading Group

Organiser: Katrina Li (

The reading group welcomes anyone interested in the prosodic aspect of languages, from both the theoretical and experimental perspective. It was started by members of the phonetics laboratory, University of Cambridge, and we are excited to have you join us.

In this term we have planned five regular meetings, where we discuss one or two papers of the week. The topics cover prosodic typology, tone sandhi and tone acquisition. We are also planning two methodological sessions on more practical problems that are frequently encountered in prosodic investigations.

Our weekly meeting lasts about one hour. For the five regular meetings, there will be a 10-minute presentation summarising the content of the paper, followed by the free and open discussions. It is strongly recommended for everyone to read the paper beforehand. For the methodological sessions, the presentation may cover several papers and last a longer time.

The current programme is tentative. We welcome recommendations of papers that are relevant to the theme. We may be able to accommodate one or two additional meetings in December.

When to Meet

We meet weekly on 13:00-14:00 Monday, starting from 19 October.

How to Meet

The meeting will be held through Microsoft Teams. Links will be sent out.


19 October, Monday, 13:00, Prosodic typology

26 October, Monday, 13:00, Reduction in Intonation (and its potential correlation in tones)

  • Xu, Y., Chen, S., & Wang, B. (2012). Prosodic focus with and without post-focus compression: A typological divide within the same language family? The Linguistic Review, 29(1), 131–147.
  • Presenter: Katrina Li

2 November, Monday, 13:00, Methodology: Comparing f0 curves with one another or to a ‘Native Norm’

  • Wang, Y., Jongman, A., & Sereno, J. A. (2003). Acoustic and perceptual evaluation of Mandarin tone productions before and after perceptual training. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 113(2), 1033–1043.
  • Presenter: Tim Laméris

9 November, Monday, 13:00, Tone sandhi: Productivity

16 November, Monday, 13:00 Interaction of tone and intonation

  • DiCanio, C., Benn, J., & Castillo García, R. (2020). Disentangling the Effects of Position and Utterance-Level Declination on the Production of Complex Tones in Yoloxóchitl Mixtec. Language and Speech, 0023830920939132.
  • Presenter: Chenming Gao

23 November, Monday, 13:00, Methodology: Capturing the Interplay of multiple prosodic cues

30 November, Monday, 13:00, Tone acquisition

  • Caldwell-Harris, C. L., Lancaster, A., Ladd, D. R., Dediu, D., & Christiansen, M. H. (2015). Factors Influencing Sensitivity to Lexical Tone in an Artificial Language: Implications for Second Language Learning. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 37(2), 335–357.
  • Presenter: Tim Laméris

7 December, Monday, 13:00, Intonation of Arabic dialects

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