Antônio Roberto Monteiro Simões is an Associate Professor of Hispanic Linguistics and Portuguese. He started his graduate training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, before studying Phonetics for more than four years at the Institut de phonétique, now the CNRS’s Laboratoire Parole et Language, in Aix-en-Provence, France, and concluded his doctoral studies in Ibero-Romance Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught on different campuses in the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Spain and in mainland China.
Professor Simões’ view on teaching and learning may be summarized in two quotes. One from Edgar Allan Poe, ”Abstruseness is a quality appertaining to no subject of human consideration, per se. To him who approaches them by properly graduated steps, all topics are alike in facility of comprehension.” The other one was shared with him by a classmate at the University of North Carolina at Chapell Hill, “teaching is not saying, learning is not listening.” Given these quotes, it follows naturally that Professor Simões encourages his students to learn by “teaching” the topics discussed in class, under his supervision, and to have a hands-on experience in research planning and implementation.
Recently, in 2013, Professor Simões resumed his interest in speech prosody research. He studied speech prosody when he was a graduate student in France. The term prosody means everything that extends beyond vowels and consonants, namely intonation, word stress, sentence stress, speech timing, sound quality, duration and phonological processes such as linking.
In his research on speech prosody, Professor Simões is currently studying speech timing patterns in Spanish and Portuguese, using English as an interface. In 2016, he will expand his current work to study the rhythm and intonation of French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin.
One of the most resourceful aspects of his current research with speech timing or rhythm is the use of musical notation in the transcription of connected and spontaneous speech. As he continues to progress in his studies of rhythmic patterns, the promising potential of his research has become more evident. His main focus right now is on the insights gained through his research using musical notation that will help to predict currently unpredictable behaviors in speech prosody, especially in regards to intonation, and consequently lead to the improvement of current speech prosody models.
In his personal life, Professor Simões remains addicted to soccer and writing. He writes prose, especially short stories in Portuguese, Spanish and sometimes in English as a preliminary step to organize his ideas rendered in Portuguese and Spanish. He writes under the pseudonym Roberto Monteiro. One of his short stories just appeared in the 2015 issue of the Mexican literary magazine Azul, titled “C’est une affaire de coeur ou une affaire de cul?”