Associated Events

Computational approaches to mind and brain: How language is profoundly shaped by its neural substrate

A unique product of the human brain is language. The expressiveness of human language derives from the computational power of its grammar. The research to be presented derives from the radical premise that grammatical computation deeply reflects neural computation. This hypothesis has led to a ‘Kuhnian’ scientific revolution in linguistics, providing mathematically precise predictions about the neural encoding of grammar. Although developed in the context of language, this new theory is applicable to the many cognitive faculties in which information consists of diverse combinations of (approximately) discrete constituents.

When 6-8pm, Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Australian Hearing Hub, Lecture Theatre, Level 1,
16 University Drive
Macquarie University

Registration Please register before 1 December

Enquiries Ms Rosemary Eliott E:

Full details



Speech Science and Technology Conference will be held in Christchurch, New Zealand 3rd -5th December 2014 at Rydges Latimer Hotel.


Workshop on the Role of Prosody in Language Learning: Stress, Tone and Intonation

Australian Hearing Hub, Macquarie University

8th and 9th December 2014

Sponsored by: Centre for Language Sciences (CLaS), Macquarie University, ARC Australian Laureate*

Fellowships Scheme

Much of the research on language acquisition has focused primarily on the segmental level of structure. Much less is known about how and when learners develop perceptual sensitivity to suprasegmental aspects of language, and how this development varies as a function of the language being learned. The use of stress, tone, and/or intonation varies widely across languages, with implications for word segmentation, learning the lexicon, syntax, semantics and discourse pragmatics, depending on the language. Using these prosodic cues to break into language, and putting them to practice in everyday speech, is critical to becoming a competent speaker of a language. Listeners also more easily and quickly comprehend the fluent use of prosodic structures, facilitating efficient and effective communication. However, monolinguals can be slow to exploit and produce prosodic structures, and L2 learning adults, or those with hearing loss, may never fully acquire these structures.

The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers working on various aspects of stress, tone and intonation to discuss how these prosodic cues are exploited by learners, and put to use in language comprehension and production. The workshop will focus on both computational and empirical studies of both L1 and L2 language acquisition from a variety of languages and populations. It will include keynote addresses and invited talks by experts in the fields of linguistics, cognitive science, computer science, and psychology. We also invite submissions for posters related to the workshop theme.

Keynote Speakers

Denis Burnham (MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney) Anne Cutler (MARCS Institute, University of Western Sydney) Paul Smolensky (Department of Cognitive Science, Johns Hopkins University)

Invited Speakers

Dr Colleen Holt (University of Melbourne) Dr Chigusa Kurumada (University of Rochester) Professor Geraldine Legendre (Johns Hopkins University) Professor Reiko Mazuka (Riken Brain Science Institute)


The Workshop will be held in the Level 1 Theatre of the Australian Hearing Hub at Macquarie University, Sydney NSW Australia.

Important Dates

Poster submission deadline (extended): 15th October 2014 Posters should address questions related to prosody in language acquisition, including the use of prosodic cues to learn other aspects of language, and the acquisition of prosodic structure itself.

Poster notification date (extended): 22nd October 2014

Registration deadline: 1st December 2014

For further information, including the program, registration and poster abstract submission, please see:

Organising Committee: Katherine Demuth, Mark Johnson, John Pate, Ivan Yuen, Nan Xu, Tamara Schembri, Gretel Macdonald