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ISCApad Archive  »  2023  »  ISCApad #301  »  Journals  »  CfP MDPI: special issue on Prosody and Immigration in Languages

ISCApad #301

Thursday, July 06, 2023 by Chris Wellekens

7-10 CfP MDPI: special issue on Prosody and Immigration in Languages

Dear Speech Prosody SIG members,


Rajiv Rao is inviting submissions for a special issue on Prosody and Immigration in Languages, a MDPI Journal.  Please see for details.



Research on minority immigrant languages has gained significant traction in the last decade-plus, primarily due to a significant body of research on heritage languages (e.g., Montrul, 2015; Polinsky, 2018; Polinsky & Montrul, 2021; among many others). Developments in the phonetics and phonology of heritage languages have lagged behind those in other linguistic areas, but recent years have seen significant growth in work on sound systems as well (see, e.g., Chang, 2021; Rao, 2016, in press), especially in North America, thanks in large part to research on Spanish in the US (for an overview, see Rao, 2019) and studies based on the Heritage Language Variation and Change Corpus in Toronto (Nagy, 2011). However, within the fields of heritage (and, in general, minority immigrant language) phonetics and phonology, prosody remains relatively understudied, and within the realm of immigrant language prosody, we still know very little about issues such as cross-generational change, longitudinal outcomes, child versus adolescent versus adult data, older first-generation immigrants who have resided in the host country for multiple decades versus monolingual homeland speakers, the role of source input varieties, the influence of a wide range of social (level of education, age, gender, rural versus urban settings, etc.) and affective (e.g., attitudes, emotions, motivation) variables, speech rhythm, intonation across a variety of pragmatic contexts, variation in lexical tone, speakers of such languages outside of North America, and the effects of minority language prosody on local majority varieties (by no means is this an exhaustive list).

The goal of this Special Issue is to fill existing holes in the literature on prosody by addressing the topics listed above (among other possibilities), while highlighting the need for increased comparisons between first-generation immigrants and homeland speakers, as well as a wider range of coverage of languages and geographies in general (e.g., Calhoun, 2015 versus Calhoun et al., in press for data based in Oceania). Finally, this special issue complements other ones hosted by Languages:

Given that prosody is a key component of human communication (e.g., Gussenhoven & Chen, 2020) and that language and cultural contact caused by international movement are pervasive in many regions of the world, learning more about the interaction of these two concepts is important, not only to expand on the recent growth in heritage language sound systems, but also to gain a deeper understanding of the underpinnings of prosodic variation (for a recent contribution to this area, see Armstrong et al., 2022).

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400–600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the Guest Editor (Rajiv Rao; or to the Languages Editorial Office ( Abstracts will be reviewed by the Guest Editor for the purposes of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the Special Issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

Tentative completion schedule:

  • Abstract submission deadline: May 15, 2023
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: May 31, 2023
  • Full manuscript deadline: August 31, 2023

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