Workshop: Prosody from a cross-domain perspective: How language speaks to music (and vice versa)

This workshop ('Arbeitsgruppe') will be held at the 41th Annual Meeting of the German Linguistics Society (DGfS) in Bremen, Germany (March 6-8, 2019), DGfS website:

To view the workshop program, click here and the abstracts can be found here.

Our AG-dinner will take place after the reception on Thursday, March 7th, 20.15 hrs. The place will be the South Tyrol Cottage (Südtiroler Hütte,

Bildergebnis für bremen

Call for Papers

Relations between language and music have been discussed for centuries. The antique perspective suggested a close affinity of the two domains, with poets considered singers, and poems equated with songs. Generative linguistic approaches, on the other hand, assume a separate language module. Recent research contributed substantially to the language-music debate, and we have now some evidence for shared as well as separate processing areas in the human brain. Surprisingly, despite the fact that both domains consider prosody as organizational principle of at least rhythm and intonation, and despite a possible joint origin, shared prosodic accounts of language and music are rare. Can linguistic theory entirely ignore shared prosodic principles in the two domains? Or can the new insights prove beneficial for advancing linguistic theories on prosody? This workshop intends to bring together interdisciplinary researchers in order to sparkle discussions how mutual exchange between language and music can be fruitful. We invite contributions focusing on general mechanisms and representations underlying the prosody of language and music, addressing questions such as: What are the key units of prosody? What do they share between language and music, what is specific to either domain? What cognitive and neural networks support linguistic and musical prosody? Moreover, we invite contributions that explore evolutionary and developmental aspects of linguistic and musical prosody, addressing questions such as: Did linguistic and musical prosody co-evolve? Is language and musical acquisition supported by transfer/interactions between the two domains? Welcome are, furthermore, contributions studying the immediate link between the two domains in poetry or text-setting, particularly if they address the role of underlying language-specific principles. The workshop also aims at incorporating a wide range of methodologies, reaching from generative accounts of prosody to brain imaging techniques establishing prosodic networks, in order to seek for a best-possible approach to a timely and very interesting cross-domain research topic.


Keynote speakers

Daniela Sammler (MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences)

Paul Kiparsky (Stanford University)


Abstract submission guidelines

Abstracts should be submitted for 30-minute slots (including discussion).

Abstract guidelines: max. 300 words, no more than five references. The final version will not include figures. Please submit two pdf files containing your abstract via email (to: one file should include title of talk, name(s) of author(s), affiliation(s), e-mail address(es); another one should be anonymous. Abstracts and presentations must be in English. A template for an abstract can be downloaded here.


Travel grants


There will be travel grants for DGfS members with an affiliation outside Germany and low income. Those who will be presenting a paper at the DGfS (including the present workshop) can apply for these travel grants.


Important dates

Abstract deadline: 31 August, 2018  

Notification of abstract acceptance: mid September, 2018

Conference dates: March 6-8, 2019


Looking forward to your participation!


Organizing Committee

Mathias Scharinger (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

Natalie Boll-Avetisyan (University of Potsdam)