LabPhon 17 Satellite workshop: Situating phonological contrast within the production-perception loop


Abby Cohn, Cornell University

Jason Shaw, Yale University


The goal of this workshop is to bring together scholars with different perspectives on the relationship between phonological contrast and the production and perception of speech.

Foundational to the conversation is a shared understanding that:

  • abstract patterning of sounds and their lexical representations as well as their physical realization in time and space is something that speakers/hearers “know” about their language, that is “phonological” and “phonetic” knowledge
  • rich empirical data collection is the best way to advance our theoretical understanding of how phonological contrast relates to the perception and production of speech

We have invited researchers from different theoretical perspectives, including Articulatory Phonology, distinctive feature theory, Q-Theory, to take a broad view of how phonological contrast is situated within speech production and perception. One difference between these approaches is whether the temporal dimension of speech is viewed as internal or external to the system of phonological contrast. Another is the degree of explicitness with which phonological contrast is related to perception/production. Together we propose to discuss how different approaches can be integrated into a richer understanding of the relation between phonological contrast and the continuous spatial-temporal aspects of speech production and perception.

Invited speakers:

Matt Goldrick, Northwestern University

Daniel Currie Hall, Saint Mary’s University

Stephanie Shih, University of Southern California

Caitlin Smith, Johns Hopkins University

Call for lightning talks/posters:

We invite abstract submissions for lightning talks & posters, which address the aims of the workshop. The required format of the abstracts follows the guidelines of the main conference. We are particular interested in submissions that bring relevant empirical data from speech production and perception to bear on issues of phonological representation. Presenters are expected to present both a 4-minute lightening talk presentation of their research and a poster presentation. The poster session will immediately follow a round of lightening talks introducing the posters. Posters that are presented in the main LabPhon conference are also eligible for presentation at the workshop. To submit your abstract for consideration, please send to

Deadline for abstract submission: February 29, 2020

Notification of acceptance: March 11, 2020

Questions can be addressed to or

Workshop structure:

The workshop will consist of an introduction by co-organizer Shaw framing the questions we are addressing in the workshop.  This will be followed by three commentaries addressing the key issues from three perspectives (Smith, Hall, Shih).  There will then be a brief general discussion facilitated by co-organizer Cohn.  Following a coffee break, we will have lightning talks and poster presentations of 6-10 posters presenting empirical research directly relevant to the themes of the workshops.  We will then finish up the workshop with a synthesizing discussion by Goldrick with further general discussion facilitated by Cohn.

Tentative schedule:

9:00       Introduction, Jason Shaw (Yale)

Invited commentaries on contrast & the perception/production link

9:15       Articulatory Phonology (Caitlin Smith, Johns Hopkins)

9:35       Distinctive Feature Theory (Daniel Currie Hall, Saint Mary’s University)

9:55       Q-theory (Stephanie Shih, University of Southern California)

10:10     General discussion, facilitated by Abby Cohn (Cornell)

10:25     Break

10:45     Lightning talks of posters

11:20     Poster session continues discussion of lightning talks

11:50     Discussant, Matt Goldrick (Northwestern)

12:10     General discussion, facilitated by Abby Cohn (Cornell)

12:30     END