I obtained my Master's Degree at the University of Bologna, defending an experimental thesis on Implicit Prosody Hypothesis (Fodor, 2002).
As a PhD student in Linguistics, I am investigating South Tyrol italian prosody and the link between the systems of speech perception and production. My main objective is to shed light on how prosodic features’ perception is reflected in production (a) of the same speakers and (b) of speakers with variable psycho-cognitive traits and language repertoires (a more detailed description of my PhD project is offered below).
I am also interested in syntax-prosody interface, linguistic acts theory, implicational phenomena, figurative speech, embodiment, semantic frame theory and semantic ambiguities.
Tutor: Prof. Alessandro Vietti (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)
Prosodic features and their mapping with pragmatic meaning have been proven to vary between different varieties of the same language. As far as Italian regional varieties are concerned, South Tyrol Italian (STI) prosody has not yet been described (Gili Fivela et al., 2015). Besides, recent studies show that prosody and its meaning also differ among native speakers of the same variety (Cangemi et al., 2015; Grice et al., 2017; Orrico and D’Imperio, 2020).
Given these kinds of variation, the link between the systems of speech perception and production has to be carefully considered in order to shed light on how prosodic features’ perception is reflected in production (and viceversa; Pierrehumbert, 2006). The investigation of a such a link is the main focus of my doctoral research.
Specifically, my research project aims at discovering whether, in the expression of certain information structures, prosodic phonological units and acoustic cues: (a) are differently distributed according to individual speakers’ (i) linguistic repertoire and (ii) psycho-cognitive traits; (b) are better understood if produced and perceived by speakers similar in (i) and (ii).
The psycho-cognitive traits at hand are empathy (assessed through the Empathy Quotient; Baron-Cohen and Wheelwright, 2004), musical training (Thompson et al., 2004) and perceptual accuracy (Perkell et al., 2004), while individual linguistic repertoires are characterized by means of several self-reported measures concerning language exposure and use (a. o. age of acquisition and language entropy; Gullifer and Titone, 2020).
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