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.


Cruz, M., & Frota, S. Prosodic variation (with) in languages: Intonation, phrasing and segments. United Kingdom: Equinox Publishing.
(2011). Prosodic Categories: Production, Perception and Comprehension. (S. Frota, Elordieta, G., & Prieto, P., Eds.). Dordrecht: Springer.
(2007). The Linguistic Review – Special Issue on Prosodic Phrasing and Tunes. (S. Frota & Prieto, P., Eds.). Berlin/ New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
(2005). Prosodies. (S. Frota, Vigário, M., & Freitas, M. J., Eds.). Berlin/ New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Frota, S. (2000). Prosody and focus in European Portuguese. New York: Garland Publishing.
Mateus, M. H., Brito, A. M., Duarte, I., Faria, I. H., Frota, S., Matos, G., et al. (2003). Gramática da Língua Portuguesa. Lisboa: Caminho.
(2008). Textos seleccionados. XXIII Encontro da Associação Portuguesa de Linguística. (S. Frota & Santos, A. L., Eds.). Lisboa: APL / Edições Colibri.
(2006). Mostra de Linguística. (S. Frota & Colaço, M., Eds.). Lisboa: APL.
(2005). Prosodies with Special Reference to Iberian Languages. (S. Frota, Vigário, M., & Freitas, M. J., Eds.). Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Frota, S., & Prieto, P. (2015). Intonation in Romance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Viana, F. L., Cadime, I., Silva, C. M., Santos, A. L., Ribeiro, I., de Lima, C., et al. (2017). MacArthur-Bates Inventários de Desenvolvimento Comunicativo – Manual Técnico. Maia: Lusoinfo Multimédia SA.
Gussenhoven, C., Chen, Y., Frota, S., & Prieto, P. (2013). Intonation. Oxford Bibliographies Online: Linguistics. DOI: 10. Retrieved from
Cruz, M., & Frota, S. (2022). Prosodic variation (with)in languages: Intonation, phrasing and segments. Studies in Phonetics and Phonology (Martin J. Ball and Pascal van Lieshout). Equinox Publishing. Retrieved from
Capítulo de Livro
Frota, S., & Butler, J. (2018). Early development of intonation: perception and production. In The Development of Prosody in First Language Acquisition (Prieto, P. and Esteve-Gibert, N.). Philadelphia / USA: John Benjamins Publishing.
Frota, S., & Vigário, M. (2018). Syntax-Phonology Interface. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics (Aronoff, M.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kickofel, J., & Martins, F. (2018). O processo de sândi externo na aquisição da fonologia do português brasileiro e do português europeu. In CRV (Estudos em Fonética e Fonologia. Coletânea em Homenagem a Carmen Matzenauer. Curitiba). CRV.
Frota, S. (2014). The intonational phonology of European Portuguese, in Prosodic Typology II. In (pp. 6-42). Sun-Ah Jun, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Frota, S. (2012). A focus intonational morpheme in European Portuguese: Production and Perception, in Prosody and Meaning. In (pp. 163-196). Elordieta & P. Prieto. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Vigário, M., Frota, S., Martins, F., & Cruz, M. (2012). Frequência na Fonologia do Português: recursos e aplicações. In Nada na linguagem lhe é estranho. Estudos em homenagem a Isabel Hub Faria (pp. 613-631). A. Costa & I. Duarte. Porto: Edições Afrontamento.
Frota, S., D’Imperio, M., Elordieta, G., Prieto, P., & Vigário, M. (2007). The phonetics and phonology of intonational phrasing in Romance. In Prosodic and Segmental Issues in (Romance) Phonology (pp. 131-153). .
D’Imperio, M., Elordieta, G., Frota, S., Prieto, P., & Vigário, M. (2005). Intonational Phrasing in Romance: The role of prosodic and syntactic structure. In Prosodies. Phonetics & Phonology Series (pp. 59-97). S. Frota, M. Vigário & M. J. Freitas. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Frota, S. (2004). Constituintes prosódicos (introdução, sintagma fonológico, sintagma entoacional), in Gramática da Língua Portuguesa, 6ª edição revista e aumentada. In (pp. 1059-60). Mateus, A. M. Brito, I. Duarte, I. H. Faria, S. Frota, G. Matos, F. Oliveira, M. Vigário, A. Villava. Lisboa: Caminho.
Frota, S. (2003). Núcleos e Fronteiras: uma análise fonológica da interrogativa no Português Europeu. In Razões e Emoção (pp. 327-345). Miscelânia de estudos em homenagem a Maria Helena Mira Mateus, org. I. Castro & I. Duarte. Lisboa: Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda.
Frota, S. (2002). Tonal association and target alignment in European Portuguese nuclear falls. In Laboratory Phonology 7 (pp. 387-418). C. Gussenhoven & N. Warner. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Frota, S., & Vigário, M. (2002). Efeitos de peso no Português Europeu. In Saberes no Tempo (pp. 315-333). Homenagem à Professora Henriqueta Costa Campos, org. M. H. Mateus & C. N. Correia. Lisboa: Edições Colibri.
Martins, F., Rodrigues, C., & Brissos, F. (2014). Fronteiras de vozeamento na identificação do falante. In Textos selecionados do XXIX Encontro da APL (pp. 345-359). Porto: APL.
Castelo, J., & Frota, S. (2017). The yes-no question contour in Brazilian Portuguese: A geographical continuum. In Studies on Variation in Portuguese. (Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 14) (P. Barbosa and M. da C. de Paiva and C. Rodrigues, pp. 111-133). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing.
Cruz, M., Oliveira, P., Palma, N., ., B., & Frota, S. (2017). Building a prosodic profile of European Portuguese varieties: The challenge of mapping intonation and rhythm. In Studies on Variation in Portuguese. (Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 14) (P. Barbosa and M. da C. de Paiva and C. Rodrigues, pp. 81-110). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing. 1075/ihll.14
Filipe, M., Frota, S., Villagomez, A., & Vicente, S. (2016). Prosody in Portuguese children with high-functioning autism. In Intonational Grammar in Ibero-Romance: Approaches across linguistic subfields (M. E. Armstrong, N. C. Henriksen, & M. M. Vanrell, pp. 277-294). Philadelphia, USA: John Benjamins. Retrieved from
Frota, S., & de Moraes, J. A. (2016). Intonation in European and Brazilian Portuguese. In The Handbook of Portuguese Linguistics (W. L. Wetzels, J. Costa & S. Menuzzi, pp. 141-166). John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved from