MARCS Monday Meeting (MMM) Associate Professor Tamara Rathcke

Event Name MARCS Monday Meeting (MMM) Associate Professor Tamara Rathcke
Start Date 2 Sep 2019 11:00 am
End Date 2 Sep 2019 12:00 pm
Duration 1 hour

MARCS Monday Meeting (MMM) Room BA-3.G.55, Bankstown campus

Please join us as visiting Associate Professor Tamara Rathcke delves into the research question, 'Does language hit the beat?'

Topic: Does language hit the beat? Studying linguistic rhythm by means of sensorimotor synchronisation
Speaker: Associate Professor Tamara Rathcke (Kent, UK)
Co-authors: Chia-Yuan Lin (Kent, UK), Simone Falk (Montreal, Canada), Simone Dalla Bella (BRAMS, Canada)

Abstract: For decades, the concept of rhythm in language has been controversially debated (Roach 1982, Cummins 2012). There is a great deal of disagreement on the unit, the definition, the study method and the sheer existence of rhythm in language (cf. Nolan & Jeon 2014). However, it has also been noted that previous studies did not involve the core feature of rhythm – its ability to entrain movement (Cummins 2009, 2012). Rhythmic perception-action coupling through sensorimotor synchronization has been predominantly studied with non-verbal, simple and complex auditory signals like metronome and music (Repp 2005, Repp & Su 2013). Applications of the paradigm to language are relatively rare (Lidiji et al. 2011, Falk, Rathcke & Dalla Bella 2014, Rathcke, Falk & Dalla Bella 2019), and could provide a valuable tool for studying and understanding rhythmic properties of speech and language. In this talk, I will present an experiment with twenty-nine English-speaking (and maybe a few French-speaking) participants who tapped in synchrony with, and after listening to, sentences of different length. I will discuss if, and what, we can learn about language rhythm from movement-based paradigms.

Biography: Associate Professor Tamara Rathcke is a senior lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Kent, UK. As a phonetician, she studies spoken language and non-verbal means of communication. Her research focuses on prosodic aspects of speech, and she is particularly interested in understanding links that connect language with music.

Prior to the talk, please go to Name: PHONISTA) and answer the burning question: Will language hit the beat?

There will also be an opportunity for a publications update. If you are interested in lining up your paper, please contact

Thank you for your continued attendance at the MMM's.  Let's keep the momentum going.

MARCS staff and students are reminded that all meetings and workshops have an important role in building and maintaining the sense of community which is central to the success of MARCS as a cooperative and energetic research institute.  Your attendance is both welcomed and expected.

The zoom ID is: 627 146 998. Link to zoom