Current Projects

Mental Representations of Prosody

Comprehending speech with unfamiliar characteristics is initially challenging but, if the variation is structured, listeners learn to map novel cues to preexisting categories, enabling understanding. I will call the knowledge used to establish this association a mapping model. Upon encountering new speakers whose speech exhibits the same traits, the listener recruits the mapping model to adjust their predictions about the characteristics of upcoming speech, thereby minimizing the need to undergo redundant perceptual adaption.

This main goal of the project is to explore the mental representation of prosody by deducing the structure and contents of mapping models, with the assumption that these will mirror the prototypical representation of prosody. This allows us to collect evidence about the nature of the mental representation of prosody, the cognitive costs and benefits of building and recruiting MMs, and how prosodic categories form and self-organize.

Bayesian Updating for Prosodic Categories

I use a distributional learning paradigm to explore how listeners integrate new and conflicting evidence for pitch accent / meaning parings. Participants are exposed to a pair of pitch accent distributions along an H* / L+H* continuum, which map to artificial dialects of English. After learning one distribution, listeners are exposed to a novel distribution which shares some, but not all, of the properties of the original. I observe trends in adaptation to infer the properties of the internalized distributions that the listeners are using for the task.

Past Projects

Perception of Pitch Contours in Speech & Nonspeech

The pitch perception literature has been largely built on experimental data collected using nonspeech stimuli, which has then been generalized to speech. In the present study, we compare the perceptibility of identical pitch movements in speech and nonspeech that vary in duration and in pitch range. For more information, please see: [OSF #1] & [OSF #2]

Typological Effects on Perceptual Facilitation of Pitch

As a logical extension to our other work in the domain of pitch perception, we will compare the responses of speech and nonspeech in native Mandarin speakers to data collected using the same stimuli from native English speakers. For more information, please see: [OSF]



Turner, D. R., Bradlow, A. R., & Cole, J. S. (2019). Perception of Pitch Contours in Speech and Nonspeech. Interspeech 2019, 2275–2279.



Park, C., & Turner, D. (2017). When Richard met CG: Reference-point and English copy-raising*. Language and Cognition, 9(3), 473–500. [PDF]



Cole, Jennifer S., Roettger, Timo B., Turner, Daniel R. (2020). Intonation processing in American English is incremental and supports forward-backward inference. Poster presentation at ASA 176. Vancouver, Canada.


Turner, Daniel R., Bradlow, Ann R., Cole, Jennifer S. (2019). “Speech complexity is not signal complexity. Oral presentation at Midphon 24. Milwaukee, WI.

Turner, Daniel R., Bradlow, Ann R., Cole, Jennifer S. (2019). Dynamic Pitch Discrimination in Speech & Nonspeech. Poster presentation at Psychonomics 60. Montreal, Canada.


Park, Chongwon, & Turner, Daniel R. (2015). A Hell of a Day: the referential identity of English binominal phrases. Oral presentation at ICLC 13. Newcastle, United Kingdom.


Park, Chongwon, & Turner, Daniel R. (2014). Active Zone and English Copy Raising. Oral presentation at UKCL 5. Lancaster, United Kingdom.

See also my CV page.