Analysis of phonetic and phonological systems

Research Projects:

Linguistic change and the Word

Description: This study has as theme phonological, morphological, and lexical aspects. Among the phenomena to be studied are: the emergence of case distinctions, the syncretism in a diachronic perspective. In Brazilian Portuguese, the spread of athematic participles and conqueísmo (idiosyncratic use of a preposition - in this case ‘with’ - or its absence besides ‘what’) is being studied.

Professor in charge: Paulo Chagas de Souza (


Experimental Phonology

Description: The Project investigates phenomena such as glottalization, nasalization and tonal prosody making use of experimental methods in the following languages: Karitiana, Dâw, Makuna, Tuyuka, Tukano, Waikhanã, Koitiria and Portuguese.

Professors in charge: Didier Demolin (, Luciana Storto (, Kristine Stenzel (UFRJ)


Description of phonological processes in the state of São Paulo

Description: In this project, we describe phonological processes that occur in the speech of Portuguese-speaking people of the state of São Paulo. Our objective is to discuss whether these processes are caused by phonological rules and to what extent we find dialect differences between: (a) different regions of the state; and (b) different states.

Professor in charge: Raquel Santana Santos (


The grammar of the Word

Description: Study focused primarily on phonology and morphology that aims to analyse the properties of the word. Among the issues analysed, in phonology there are: vowel reduction (mainly in Brazilian Portuguese, but bearing other languages in mind), the vowel harmony (mainly in Finno-Ugric and Turkic languages); and in morphology: the nominal and verbal inflectional syncretism and the patterns of formation of verbs, and the relationship of the lexicon with syntactic constructions, such as the adversative diathesis.

Professor in charge: Paulo Chagas de Souza (


Dynamics of Gesture in Phonological systems of natural languages

Description: The project analyses the time implementation of articulation gestures and discusses the consequences for phonological theories. The nasal, global, and labial gestures will be studied in multiple languages, such as Karitiana, Guarani, Wayoro, Waikhana, and French.

Professor in charge: Didier Sheila Jean-Marie Demolin (


Prosodic parsing in the phonology-syntax interface: syntactic ambiguity, prosodic ambiguity, and non-transparent mapping

Description: The objective of this research is to discuss the prosodic structure in Brazilian Portuguese (BP) above the level of the word, investigating what happens in cases in which the sentences are ambiguous and the syntactic structures are not phonologically transparent, and reviewing the current proposal in the literature that one of the prosodic levels (the clitic group) is not active in BP.

Professor in charge: Raquel Santana Santos (