Frequency patterns of Phonological Objects in Portuguese: Research and Applications
Information on the frequency of phonological objects in the languages of the world, Portuguese included, is still scarce. This kind of information is relevant for fundamental research on areas such as the phonology of particular languages, linguistic universals/general trends, acquisition and development of phonology, L2 learning, and bilingual studies. Frequency is also an obvious source for establishing regular and deviating patterns in language use. Knowledge of such patterns is essential in domains like the diagnostic, evaluation and therapy of deviant/pathological speech, evaluation of proficiency of first and second language learners, or forensics. This project aims at contributing to this field: (i) by continuing the development of FreP, an electronic tool that allows the automatic extraction of frequency information of phonological objects in Portuguese from written text; (ii) by building a database of frequency information of phonological objects (FrePOP) in different types of corpora, which may then be used as reference information; (iii) by exploring the use of FreP, and the frequency data made available by the tool, for the teaching/learning of Portuguese L1 grammar; (iv) by using the knowledge of frequency patterns in fundamental research on adult phonology and on language acquisition and development; (v) by exploring the use of FreP and the frequency data made available for forensic research; (vi) and by promoting new versions of FreP, and making the tool available to public use.
The project is a natural outcome of an informal project started in 2004, involving M.Vigário, F.Martins and S.Frota (see http://labfon.letras.ulisboa.pt/FreP/bef/ ). It has been developed within Laboratório de Fonética (Centro de Linguística da Universidade de Lisboa).