Explaining the PENTA model: A reply to Arvaniti and Ladd

Yi XU, Kwing Lok Albert LEE, Santitham PROM-ON, Fang LIU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an overview of the Parallel Encoding and Target Approximation (PENTA) model of speech prosody, in response to an extensive critique by Arvaniti & Ladd (2009). PENTA is a framework for conceptually and computationally linking communicative meanings to fine-grained prosodic details, based on an articulatory-functional view of speech. Target Approximation simulates the articulatory realisation of underlying pitch targets – the prosodic primitives in the framework. Parallel Encoding provides an operational scheme that enables simultaneous encoding of multiple communicative functions. We also outline how PENTA can be computationally tested with a set of software tools. With the help of one of the tools, we offer a PENTA-based hypothetical account of the Greek intonational patterns reported by Arvaniti & Ladd, showing how it is possible to predict the prosodic shapes of an utterance based on the lexical and postlexical meanings it conveys. Copyright © 2016 Cambridge University Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-535
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


Xu, Y., Lee, A., Prom-on, S., & Liu, F. (2015). Explaining the PENTA model: A reply to Arvaniti and Ladd. Phonology, 32(3), 505-535. doi: 10.1017/S0952675715000299


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