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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Dr Brechtje Post

Reader in Experimental Phonology
Theoretical and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)1223 767395 (Phonetics Laboratory)
+44 (0)1223 764952 (Jesus College)

Theoretical and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages 
University of Cambridge 
Raised Faculty Building
Sidgwick Avenue 


Brechtje's research centres on how linguistic systems exploit speech sounds to convey different types of meaning. Her focus is primarily on prosody: intonation, accentuation, rhythm, and phrasing.

Drawing on a variety of disciplines (phonetics, phonology, psycholinguistics, cognitive neuroscience, and computational linguistics), this research addresses questions like:

  • How do prosodic structures differ cross-linguistically, and how do linguistic systems constrain prosodic structure?
  • What cross-linguistic variation can we expect to observe in the phonetic realisation of prosodic structure?
  • What are the neural and cognitive underpinnings of prosody?
  • How do children acquire the relevant mappings between phonetics, phonology, and other parts of the linguistic system that are at play?
  • What role does prosody play in language learning in early and late bilinguals?

Her current research includes an international collaboration investigating the acquisition of timing in child speech (British Academy/Leverhulme), the English Profile Pronunciation Project with Cambridge ESOL, Empirical Foundations of Linguistics (Agence Nationale de la Recherche), and Neural Correlates of Intonation (ESRC and Cambridge Humanities Research Grant). 

Research projects

Recent publications include: 

  • Post, Brechtje and Elinor Payne (in press).  Speech rhythm in development : What is the child acquiring ? In Prieto, Pilar and Núria Esteve-Gibert (eds.). Prosodic Development in First Language Acquisition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Leemann, Adrian and Brechtje Post (2017). Multiplicity of cues and functions in prosody. Laboratory Phonology Special Collection
  • Avanzi, Mathieu, Anne Catherine Simon, and Brechtje Post (2016). La prosodie du français : accentuation et phrasé. Language Française, 191.
  • Post, Brechtje, Emmanuel Stamatakis, Iwo Bohr, Francis Nolan, and Chris Cummins (2015). Categories and gradience in intonation. An fMRI study. In J. Romero and M. Riera (eds.) The Phonetics/Phonology Interface: Sounds, representations, methodologies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 259 – 284. doi 10.1075/cilt.335-13pos
  • Lammertink, Imme; Casillas, Marisa; Benders, Titia; Post, Brechtje; and Fikkert, Paula. (2015). Dutch and English toddlers' use of linguistic cues in predicting upcoming turn transitions. Frontiers in Psychology: Language Sciences 6: 495.
  • Schmidt, Anke-Elaine, and Post, Brechtje. (2015). The development of prosodic features and ambient language effects in simultaneous bilinguals. Language and Speech 58(1), 24 - 47.
  • Li, Aike and Post, Brechtje (2014). L2 Acquisition of prosodic properties of speech rhythm: Evidence from L1 Mandarin and German learners of English. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 36(2), 223-255.

Details of Brechtje's graduate supervision can be found here.

More publications

Brechtje teaches phonetics, phonology, morphology, and psycholinguistics.

Dr Post welcomes inquiries from potential MPhil and PhD students with research interests relevant to her interests.