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Cambridge Language Sciences

Interdisciplinary Research Centre
Areas of Interest: 
Language psychology


My research centres on how linguistic systems exploit speech sounds to convey different types of meaning. My focus is primarily on prosody: intonation, accentuation, rhythm, and phrasing.

Drawing on a variety of disciplines (phonetics, phonology, psycholinguistics, cognitive neuroscience, and computational linguistics), this research addresses questions like:

  • How do prosodic structures differ cross-linguistically, and how do linguistic systems constrain prosodic structure?
  • What cross-linguistic variation can we expect to observe in the phonetic realisation of prosodic structure?
  • What are the neural and cognitive underpinnings of prosody?
  • How do children acquire the relevant mappings between phonetics, phonology, and other parts of the linguistic system that are at play?
  • What role does prosody play in language learning in early and late bilinguals?

I am currently working on the next phase of a project that explores the neural processing of categorical and gradient information in intonation (ESRC First Grant, and Cambridge Arts and Humanities Grant). Other current research includes an international collaboration investigating the acquisition of timing in child speech (British Academy/Leverhulme), the English Profile Pronunciation Project with Cambridge ESOL, EFCamDat (Isaac Newton Trust and EF Education First), and Empirical Foundations of Linguistics (Agence Nationale de la Recherche).


Key publications: 

Post, Brechtje, Emmanuel Stamatakis, Iwo Bohr, Francis Nolan, and Chris Cummins (2015). Categories and gradience in intonation. An fMRI study. In J. Romero and M. Riera (eds.) The Phonetics/Phonology Interface: Sounds, representations, methodologies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 259 – 284. doi 10.1075/cilt.335-13pos

Delais-Roussarie, Élisabeth, Brechtje Post, Mathieu Avanzi, Caroline Buthke, Albert Di Cristo, Ingo Feldhausen, Sun-Ah Jun, Philippe Martin, Trudel Meisenburg, Annie Rialland, Rafèu Sichel-Bazin, and Hi-Yon Yoo (2015). Developing a ToBI system for French. In  Frota, Sonia and Pilar Prieto (eds.) Intonational Variation in Romance. Oxford University Press, 63 – 100.

Schmidt, Anke-Elaine, and Brechtje Post (2015). The development of prosodic features and ambient language effects in simultaneous bilinguals. Language and Speech 58(1), 24 - 47. (doi:10.1177/0023830914565809)

Zellers, Meg and Brechtje Post (2012). Combining Formal and Functional Approaches to Discourse Structure. Language and Speech, 55: 119-139.

Post, Brechtje and Francis Nolan (2012). Data collection for prosodic analysis of continuous speech and dialectal variation. In Abigail C. Cohn, Cécile Fougeron, and Marie Huffman (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Laboratory Phonology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 538-547.

Payne, Elinor, Brechtje Post, Pilar Prieto, Maria del Mar Vanrell and Lluïsa Astruc (2012). Measuring child rhythm. Language and Speech. DOI: 10.1177/0023830911417687.

Delais-Roussarie, Élisabeth, Hi-Yon Yoo and Brechtje Post (2011). Quand frontières prosodiques et frontières syntaxiques se rencontrent. Langue Française, 170: 29-44.

Post, Brechtje (2011). The multi-faceted relation between phrasing and intonation in French. In Lleo, C. and C. Gabriel Hamburger Studies in Multilingualism 10. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 44-74.

Post, Brechtje, William Marslen-Wilson, Billi Randall and Lorraine K. Tyler (2008). The processing of English regular inflections: Phonological cues to morphological structure. Cognition, 109, 1–17.

Professor of Phonetics & Phonology
Departments and institutes: 
Dr Brechtje  Post

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