Forms and representations in phonology: In HONOUR OF BOB LADD

JUNE 23rd, 2021 14:00-16:00 CET (UTC +1)

in conjunction with Phonetics and Phonology in Europe (PaPE 2021)

Presentations now live at https://vimeo.com/showcase/8566088!

This workshop is dedicated to the work of Bob Ladd, one of the pioneers of Laboratory Phonology and the first president of the Association of Laboratory Phonology. The theme of the workshop reflects Bob's interest in the form and nature of phonological representations and their relation "to the physical manifestations of speech and the cognitive processes that underlie them" (in his words). His research on this broad theme has dealt with a number of topics; though perhaps the best known has been his contribution to intonational phonology and the relation between abstract phonological representations of tone and their phonetic manifestation, his research has also addressed the more general issue of the role of phonetic evidence in phonology, the problematic nature of systematic phonetics, the treatment of gradience, and duality of patterning. Contributions to this workshop, from researchers who have collaborated with Bob during his career and/or been strongly influenced by his research, will focus on these themes.


About Bob

D. Robert "Bob" Ladd (* 5 March 1947) is a founding member of the Association for Laboratory Phonology, and served as its first President from 2010 to 2014. Bob received his BA in Linguistics from Brown University in 1968, followed by an MA from Cornell in 1972. After a year spent lecturing in Heidelberg, he returned to Cornell and was awarded a PhD in 1978 for his thesis "The structure of intonational meaning", a topic which proved to be the focus for much of his professional career.

Following a year as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Cluj in Romania, Bob held positions at Cornell (1979–80, 1984), the University of Pennsylvania (1980–81), the University of Giessen (1981–83) and the University of Sussex (1983–84) before being appointed Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh in 1985. Bob was summarily promoted to Reader in 1989 and held a professorship from 1997 until his retirement in 2011, when he was made Professor Emeritus. During that period, he held visiting affiliations with the Institute for Perception Research (IPO) in Eindhoven (1994), the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen (1995), the Department of Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins (2000), and the Department of Comparative Linguistics at the University of Zurich (2014).

Bob was Co-Editor of Language and Speech from 1994-2000 and has been an Associate Editor of Phonology since 1995. He is also a member of the editorial boards of Linguistics and Journal of Phonetics. In 2015, Bob was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.

Workshop structure

The workshop will consist of two types of contributions. Six invited participants who have collaborated with or been students of Bob will give scientific talks on the theme of forms and representations in phonology. We are pleased to confirm contributions from:


  • Mary Beckman, Ohio State University, "Defining prosody in relation to plurality of structuring"

  • Janet Fletcher, University of Melbourne, "Intonational phonetics and register variation in two Oceanic languages"

  • Martine Grice, University of Cologne, "Tune and text - chat or chatter?"

  • Carlos Gussenhoven, National Chiao Tung University / Radboud University Nijmegen, "Underpinnings of sentential pitch accents"

  • Haruo Kubozono, National Institute for Japanese Languages and Linguistics, "The tone-syllable relationship: A moraic account"

  • Jim Scobbie, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, "Me, You and Language too - why a language has multiple and multiply-overlapping phonetics and phonologies"

Abstracts for the talks can be viewed here. The talks themselves may be viewed here.

Please note that the presentations will not be screened during the workshop. The workshop itself will begin with an overview of Bob’s scientific, organisational and personal contributions to the field of (laboratory) phonology and tributes from Bob’s students and colleagues, and continue with discussion of the themes raised in the talks with Bob and the presenters. (This is similar to the format of last year's virtual LabPhon conference, for those who attended.)

For those who are not registered, the workshop will be livestreamed as part of the general PaPE 2021 livestream at https://pape2021.upf.edu/live/.

Organisers