LabFon - Laboratório de Fonética e Fonologia




The Phonetics and Phonology Lab (LabFon - Laboratório de Fonética e Fonologia) is a research group that was founded in the 1960s in the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon. In 2005-2006 the group became a part of Onset (Center for Language Studies, FLUL) and in 2007 the group has joined the Center of Linguistics of the University of Lisbon. In line with the past history of the Lab, nowadays LabFon pursues its activities with three aims: (1) research (especially laboratory-phonology oriented), (2) education/training (at the undergraduate and graduate levels), and (3) services to the community.
In the last three years, two main lines of research have been developed: the study of frequency patterns in the phonology and phonetics of the language, and the study of the production and perception of prosody (prosodic phrasing, intonation, and rhythm). 
Knowledge of frequency patterns has been shown to be crucial to the characterization of language usage, the establishing of lexical representations, or the emergence and development of grammar. Available frequency data for phonological units and patterns in Portuguese was scarce, non-replicable and corpus dependent. The line of research initiated in 2007 aimed at providing large-scale frequency information for phonological units and patterns from the feature to the prosodic word level, together with tools and databases, that allowed a description of Portuguese from the frequency perspective and enabled to test hypothesis about frequency effects in adult and child grammar, as well as language processing.
European Portuguese is one of the languages which is particularly interesting to the study of prosody and of the perception and production of prosodic properties. This is due to the fact that (i) European Portuguese is different from other Romance languages in terms of the properties it displays in various prosodic levels, such as the Prosodic Word or the Phonological Phrase, (ii) its intonation stands out from the rest of the Romance languages due to the scarcity of pitch accents and its overall prosodic phrasing, and (iii) it has a rare combination of syllabic and accentual rhythmic properties, within Romance. The presence of both Romance and Germanic-like properties in the prosody of the language raises challenging questions for language acquisition (under the prosodic bootstrapping hypothesis) and for language typology. The research developed at LabFon aims at tackling some of these questions in the broader context of cross-linguistic research, focusing on prosodic variation, the acquisition of prosody and the role of prosody in language development and language processing. To this end, the group set up in 2010 the Lisbon Baby Lab.


Artigo em Revista
Frota, S. (2002). Nuclear falls and rises in European Portuguese: a phonological analysis of declarative and question intonation. Probus, (Special Issue On Intonation In Romance, 14.
Frota, S. (2002). Review of Intonation, word order, and focus projection in Serbo-Croatian. De Svetlana Godjevac. Glot International, 6.
Frota, S. (2001). Prosody and Focus in European Portuguese - a Summary by the Author. Glot International 5.
Frota, S., & Vigário, M. (2001). On the correlates of rhythmic distinctions: the European/Brazilian Portuguese case. Probus, 13, 247-273.
Martins, F., Simões, D., Brissos, F., & Rodrigues, C. (2014). A Fonética Forense na produção de prova no ordenamento jurídico português. Revista Virtual De Estudos Da Linguagem - Revel 12, 23, edição temática de Linguística Forense(70).
Vigário, M., & Frota, S. (2003). The intonation of Standard and Northern European Portuguese. Journal Of Portuguese Linguistics, Special Issue On Portuguese Phonology, 2.
Vigário, M., & Frota, S. (2002). Prosodic word deletion in coordinate structures. Journal Of Portuguese Linguistics 1.
Malho, A., Correia, S., & Frota, S. (2017). Emergência de sândi consonântico em Português Europeu: uma abordagem prosódica. Revista Da Associação Portuguesa De Linguística, 3, 177-190.
Pereira, C., Martins, R., de Lima, C., C., B., van den Berg, M., & Sousa, A. (2017). Perturbação do Desenvolvimento Intelectual / Incapacidade Intelectual: Experiência de um Centro de Neurodesenvolvimento de um Hospital de Nível III. Acta Pediátrica Portuguesa 2017, 48, 304-11.
Zhou, C., Cruz, M., & Frota, S. (2017). O ritmo da interlíngua na produção do Português Europeu por falantes chineses. Revista Da Associação Portuguesa De Linguística, 3, 423-435.
Cruz, M., Butler, J., Severino, C., Filipe, M., & Frota, S. (2020). Eyes or mouth? Exploring eye gaze patterns and their relation with early stress perception in European Portuguese. Journal Of Portuguese Linguistics, 19(1), 4.
Silva, S., Vigário, M., Fernandez, B. L., Jerónimo, R., Alter, K., & Frota, S. (2019). The Sense of Sounds: Brain Responses to Phonotactic Frequency, Phonological Grammar and Lexical Meaning. Frontiers In Psychology, 10.
Sundara, M., Molnar, M., & Frota, S. (2016). English-learning infants’ perception of boundary tones. Abstract published in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. Retrieved from