Forms and Representations in Phonology: In Honour of Bob Ladd


This workshop is dedicated to the work of Bob Ladd, one of the pioneers of Laboratory Phonology and the first president of the Association of Laboratory Phonology. The theme of the workshop reflects Bob’s interest in the form and nature of phonological representations and their relation “on the physical manifestations of speech and the cognitive processes that underlie them”; (in his words). His research on this road theme has dealt with a number of topics; though perhaps the best known has been his contribution to intonational phonology and the relation between abstract phonological representations of tone and their phonetic manifestation, his research has also addressed the more general issue of the role of phonetic evidence in phonology, the problematic nature of systematic phonetics, the treatment of gradience, and duality of patterning. We will invite contributions from researchers who have collaborated with him during his career and/or been strongly influenced by his research. Invited contributions will focus on these themes.
Workshop structure and method of soliciting contributions. The workshop will consist of around six approximately 20 minute presentations presenting research related to the scientific contributions of Bob Ladd on the theme of forms and representations in phonology. These will be by invited participants who have collaborated with or been students of Bob. These participants may also make short remarks about the personal contribution of Bob in their careers.

About Bob

D. Robert “Bob” Ladd (* 5 March 1947) is a founding member of the Association for Laboratory Phonology, and served as its first President from 2010 to 2014. Bob received his BA in Linguistics from Brown University in 1968, followed by an MA from Cornell in 1972. After a year spent lecturing in Heidelberg, he returned to Cornell and was awarded a PhD in 1978 for his thesis “The structure of intonational meaning”, a topic which proved to be the focus for much of his professional career.

Following a year as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Cluj in Romania, Bob held positions at Cornell (1979–80, 1984), the University of Pennsylvania (1980–81), the University of Giessen (1981–83) and the University of Sussex (1983–84) before being appointed Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh in 1985. Bob was summarily promoted to Reader in 1989 and held a professorship from 1997 until his retirement in 2011, when he was made Professor Emeritus. During that period, he held visiting affiliations with the Institute for Perception Research (IPO) in Eindhoven (1994), the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen (1995), the Department of Cognitive Science at Johns Hopkins (2000), and the Department of Comparative Linguistics at the University of Zurich (2014).

Bob was Co-Editor of Language and Speech from 1994-2000 and has been an Associate Editor of Phonology since 1995. He is also a member of the editorial boards of Linguistics and Journal of Phonetics. In 2015, Bob was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.

Workshop Structure

The workshop will consist of two types of contributions. Six invited participants who have collaborated with or been students of Bob will give scientific talks on the theme of form and representations in phonology. We are pleased to confirm contributions from:

In addition, members of the community who have worked with or been influenced by Bob have also been invited to contribute short video or text messages, which will be shown in a slide show and presented to Bob. These will address Bob’s scientific, organisational or personal contributions to the field of laboratory phonology.