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Brain Scans


My main research interest lies in the nature and time course of brain responses to prosodic information at the micro and macro scales. I specifically investigate neuronal correlates indexing the extraction and integration of prosodic features that encode meaning at the lexical, sentence, and discourse levels. Below is a list of my main research lines, ordered according to their relevance.

Neurobiology and cognition of information structure

During the discourse, interlocutors arrange linguistic input in different information blocks to differentiate between given and new information. This dynamic information packaging process is referred to as Information Structure (IS). Linguistic devices that mark IS are diverse ranging from phonetic/phonological (e.g., prosodic marking), morphological/syntactic (e.g., clefting) to semantic/pragmatic means (e.g., conversational maxims). The aim of this research project is to investigate diverse marking strategies by studying populations speaking typologically distinct languages.

A Young woman in a recording studio

Prosodic marking

Prosodic marking is crucial for signalling the  focus (new) information. Focus information is typically pitch-accented. Pitch accent is used also phonologically as in lexical contrasts. The objective is to show how lexical and discourse functions of prosody are processed in parallel.

Communicating with Sign Language

Gesture marking

This project aims to investigate gesture as means of expressing IS and its interaction with prosody. The questions to be addressed include how interlocutors use gesture and prosody in an integrated way to mark IS, and whether and to what extent gestural marking aligns with prosodic marking. 


Discourse markers

In conversation, speakers use discourse markers and prosody to manage topicality. This project aims to investigate systematic associations between the presence of the discourse markers and prosody and their functions as predictive devices in the level of discourse.

Categorical and continuous aspects of speech signal

Categorical and continuous aspects of the speech signal remain central and yet controversial in the fields of phonetics and phonology. This division has particularly been relevant to the unraveling of diverse communicative functions of prosody. Prosody conveys not only lexical meanings encoded as discrete structures, but also signal post-lexical meanings at the phrasal level, allowing gradient pragmatic variations. The aim of this research project is to investigate physiological and psychological processes underlying the categorical and gradient uses of prosody.

Surface Sound

Crosstalk between intonation and lexical tones

The goal of this project is to address the crosstalk between categorical tone and gradient intonation from a wide range of perspectives, including general and applied linguistics, speech and hearing sciences, and cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

Statue holding ears closed

Exploring Tone “Deafness”

The present project aims to contribute to the understanding of the lexical status of tone by comparing non-tonal, semi-tonal, and tonal languages. An additional question concerns the extent to which results depended on phonological and phonetic properties of a language’s tone system

Assembly of books

Mapping prosody onto the lexicon

To understand the nature of lexical access, it is important to identify the kind of information that is stored in the long-term memory and to study how the brain uses such information.  The present study aims to investigate in  neural correlates of lexical stress in typologically distinct languages. 


Less me and more we!

I have been lucky to work with and learn from incredible researchers in the field. I have been involved in a broad range of  projects and initiated collaborations with interdisciplinary research teams from Sweden, Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands.

Are you interested in collaborating?

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