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 Atas
Frota, S. (2001). European and Brazilian Portuguese Rhythm: Acoustic and Perceptual Evidence. In P. Blanchard, R. Lima, L. Streit e R. Vilela Mendes (eds) The Sciences of Complexity. Workshop on Rhythmic Patterns, Parameter Setting and Language Change: Why and How. Zentrum für Interdisziplinare Forschung der Universitat Bielefeld.
Freitas, M. J., Vigário, M., & Frota, S. (2004). The acquisition of the Prosodic Word in European Portuguese. In Second Lisbon Meeting on Language Acquisition. Lisboa.
Edição de Atas
Frota, S., Pejovic, J., Severino, C., & Vigário, M. (2020). Looking for the edge: emerging segmentation abilities in atypical development. 10th International Conference on Speech Prosody 2020. ISCA.
Frota, S., Butler, J., Lu, S., & Vigário, M. (2016). Infants' perception of native and non-native pitch contrasts. Speech Prosody 2016. ISCA.
Frota, S., Cruz, M., Martins, F., & Vigário, M. CDS_EP: A lexicon of Child Directed Speech from the FrePoP database (0;11 to 3;04) . Laboratório de Fonética, CLUL/FLUL.
Frota, S., Correia, S., Severino, C., Cruz, M. S., Vigário, M., & Cortês, S. PLEX5 – A production lexicon of child speech for European Portuguese / Um léxico infantil para o Português Europeu. Lisboa: Laboratório de Fonética CLUL/FLUL.
Frota, S., Cruz, M., & Vigário, M. (2012). Romance Languages Database. Online database for intonational phrasing in Romance, (updated version, now including data from Northern European Portuguese) . Retrieved from
Frota, S., Vigário, M., & Jordão, R. LumaLiDaOn - version 2 (with prosodic labelling). Lisboa: Lab. Fonética, CLUL/FLUL.
Vigário, M., Frota, S., Matos, N., Cruz, M., & Jordão, R. LumaLiDaAudy - Audio Child Speech Database with phonetic transcription and prosodic labelling. Lisboa: Lab. Fonética, CLUL/FLUL.
Frota, S., Vigário, M., & Jordão, R. (2008). LumaLiDaOn (version 1). Lisboa: Laboratório de Fonética da FLUL. Retrieved from
Frota, S., Vigário, M., & Jordão, R. LumaLiDaOnLexicon (versão 1). Lisboa: Laboratório de Fonética da FLUL. Retrieved from
Frota, S., Vigário, M., Cruz, M. S., & Martins, F. (2008). LumaLiDaAudyLexicon (versão 1). Lisboa: Laboratório de Fonética da FLUL. Retrieved from
Artigo em Revista
Butler, J., & Frota, S. (2018). Emerging word segmentation abilities in European Portuguese-learning infants: new evidence for the rhythmic unit and the edge factor. Journal Of Child Language, 45(6), 1294-1308+. (Original work published 2018/06/06)
Frota, S. (2012). Prosodic structure, constituents and their representations, in The Oxford Handbook of Laboratory Phonology. A. Cohn, C. Fougeron & M. Huffman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Chapter, 11, 255-265.
Frota, S., & Vigário, M. (2007). Intonational Phrasing in two varieties of European Portuguese. Tones And Tunes, I, 265-291.
Vigário, M., Frota, S., & Freitas, M. J. (2009). Phonetics and Phonology. Interactions And Interrelations. Current Issues In Linguistic Theory, 306.
Frota, S. (2017). Estudar o Desenvolvimento da Linguagem nos Bebés. Descubra As Diferenças (Electronic Journal), 26.
Frota, S. (2017). Horizonte 21 – Novas linhas de investigação em Trissomia 21. Descubra As Diferenças (Electronic Journal), 21.
Filipe, M., Frota, S., Castro, S. L., & Vicente, S. (2014). Atypical Prosody in Asperger Syndrome: Perceptual and Acoustic Measurements. Journal Of Autism And Developmental Disorders, Springer Us. Issn:, 0162-3257.
Frota, S., Butler, J., & Vigário, M. (2014). Infants Perception of Intonation: Is It a Statement or a Question?. Infancy 19.
Frota, S., & Vigário, M. (2013). Prosody Matters. Essays In Honor Of Elisabeth Selkirk.
Frota, S. (2013). Report: The 2nd Workshop on the Development of Prosody and Intonation. Iascl- Child Language Bulletin, 33.
Frota, S., Vigário, M., Galves, C., Gonzalez-Lopez, V., & Abaurre, B. (2012). The phonology of rhythm from Classical to Modern Portuguese. Journal Of Historical Linguistics 2.
Dupoux, E., Parlato, E., Frota, S., Hirose, Y., & Peperkamp, S. (2010). Where do illusory vowels come from? Journal of Memory and Language 64 (3): 199-210. .
Vigário, M., Freitas, M. J., & Frota, S. (2006). Grammar and frequency effects in the acquisition of prosodic words in European Portuguese. Language And Speech, Special Issue Crosslinguistic Perspectives On The Development Of Prosodic Words, 49(2), 175-204.
Elordieta, G., Frota, S., & Vigário, M. (2005). Subjects, objects and intonational phrasing in Spanish and Portuguese. Studia Linguistica 59.
Frota, S. (2003). The phonological status of initial peaks in European Portuguese. Catalan Journal Of Linguistics, 2, 133-152.
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.