Lehrstuhl für Englische Sprachwissenschaft

Music-language alignment

Music-Language Alignment: Implications for Prosodic Typology

In this project we investigate the way language is set to music. Specifically, we aim to identify the musical parameters (metrical position: strong/weak, pitch: exalted/level, duration: long/short etc.) that language docks on to resulting in the alignment of music and prosody. The interaction between the alignment of different parameters will help enhance our understanding about the factors that condition the weight of these potential parameters in the “docking” process.

By examining music-prosody alignment in multiple languages and by interpreting our findings with reference to the prosodic systems languages employ we hope to answer more general questions about prosodic typology, particularly with regards to the physical properties as well as the functions of prominence patterns in different languages.


Prof. Dr. Barış Kabak
Dr. Christina Domene Moreno


Domeno Moreno, C. and B. Kabak. (in progress). Meter, melody, and stress in song: Theorizing prosody-music alignment through cross-linguistic evidence. For: M. Scharinger and R. Wiese (eds.), Prosody from a Cross-Domain Perspective: How Language Speaks to Music (and Vice Versa).

Domene Moreno, C. and B. Kabak. (2019). Stress-melody alignment reflects language-specific cues for accentual prominence. Paper presented at Generative Linguistics beyond Language: Shared Modules for Rhythm, Narration and Emotion across Domains, workshop at Generative Linguistics in the Old World (GLOW) 42. University of Oslo. 07-11.05.2019.

Domene Moreno, C. and B. Kabak. (2018). Psycho-typologizing word stress through prosody-music alignment in children’s songs. Paper presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Linguistics (DGfS). University of Stuttgart. 07-09.03.2018.

Kabak, B. and C. Domene Moreno. (2017). A cross-linguistic perspective on stress-meter alignment in music: Evidence from Turkish children's songs. Poster presented at Phonetics and Phonology in Europe, University of Cologne. 12-14.06.2017

Kabak, B. and C. Domene Moreno. (2017). What can accent-meter alignment in music say about prosodic typology? Talk given at Seminar in General Metrics, Meertens Instituut Amsterdam. 25.01.2017