Please join us Friday April 23rd at 3:30pm for the final colloquium of the Winter 2021 semester.
Speaker: Duane Watson (Vanderbilt University)
Title: “Speaking for thinking: Understanding the link between cognition and speech”
One of the central debates in the language sciences is understanding whether linguistic representations can be divided into those that represent competence, i.e. linguistic knowledge, and those that represent performance, i.e. psychological processes that use that knowledge. Prosody, which is the tone, rhythm, and intonation of speech, is perhaps unique among linguistic representations in that it conveys information about both linguistic structure and psychological processes. In this talk, I will present work from my lab, as well as the language literature more generally, that suggests that prosody is used to optimize the speech signal for listeners as well as provide time for speakers to engage speech processes related to language production. By studying prosody, language scientists can gain insight into language structure (e.g. syntax, semantics, and discourse), psychological processes (e.g. production and comprehension), and how the two interact.