Prosody in the Lab—LSA Institute 2011

This is the homepage of the class Prosody in the Lab at the LSA Institute 2011 in Boulder. I’ll post all lecture notes and other information here. If you’d like access to the materials posted here please contact us at

Instructor: Michael Wagner
Time and Location: CLARE 111, TF 1.30-3.15pm
TAs: Aron Hirsch, Erin Olson
Office Hours: Tuesday 9-10 and by appointment.
Location of office hours: Laughing Goat Coffee Shop (Norlin Library)

You can look at the syllabus here.

If you’re participating in this class, it would be very helpful if you filled out this form.

Note: This class is not an introduction to prosody. The main goal is for everyone to run an experiment, and in the process learn something about methodology and also become familiar with one particular aspect of prosody. The lectures do not give an overview of the field, they simply present some relevant issues and provides example studies from our lab that might inspire you to do one of your own.

Lectures and Background Readings

1. Introduction

2.1. Ethics

    If you’re interested in the ethics training, you can do it here (do the course called “Social Behavioral Research Investigators and Key Personnel”). If you send me the confirmation that you’ve done the training by Friday noon I’ll try to add you to the protocol.

2.2. Focus Prominence

3. Prosodic Phrasing

4. Prosody and Argument Structure


1. Example Spreadsheet (Input to matlab scripts)

2. We’ll annotate production data using forced alignment. While you don’t have to install the software for this on your machine, you might want to try anyway. Note that the aligner does not work yet with pc, you’ll need a mac or linux machine. You find more information and instructions how to install the prosodylab aligner here.

Running the experiments in CLARE 111

1. Open matlab by clicking on the link to the shell script in the dock. It’s probably under “Department Applications” and looks like this: “SHELL (Matlab_(…ommand))”

2. Download this file and open it in matlab. Click on green arrow to run it. Click on “change directory”, that’s it.

3. Download the experiment files.

Important to know:

To abort script, type APPLE+.

Then, type in blindly: clear screen

Then press enter.
You might have to enter clear screen twice.

This should get you back.