Antônio Roberto Monteiro Simões, Ph.D.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences - Spanish & Portuguese
Primary office:
Wescoe Hall, 2650
University of Kansas
1445 Jayhawk Boulevard
Lawrence, KS 66045-7590

I received my Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. Before UT-Austin, I was a graduate student in France, Université d”Aix-Marseille, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My Ph.D. dissertation adapted to Brazilian Portuguese Dennis Klatt’s model on segment duration of speech sounds for speech synthesis, developed for American English at MIT. My study of Klatt’s work showed me how models could reveal and predict speech patterns in discourse. Although Klatt’s work was developed for synthetic speech, my experience with his work taught me to have better-educated guesses of how natural languages work. I am currently interested in the study of speech prosody employing musical notation to describe and analyze human languages.


Ph.D., Ibero-Romance Linguistics, University of Texas at Austin

Diplôme d'études approfondies (D.E.A.), Experimental Phonetics, Universite' d'Aix-Marseille

M.A., Luso-Brazilian Literatures, Phonology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Certificate, Summer Institute, June-August, Linguistic Society of America (LSA), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

B.A., Liberal Arts, Central College


My teaching is related to my views in research. I use the classroom experience in my research and provide students with opportunities to experience the relationship of teaching and research. I subscribe to Edgar Allan Poe statement about learning: ”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.” I am indebted to my students because I learn a lot when I work with them. We learn by teaching, and my classes reflect this view. It follows naturally that my students must present or “teach” during classes the topics that we study.

I do not carry any particular cognitive banner. I direct my efforts to keeping abreast of all teaching and research trends and use good sense when applying a given trend to my classrooms.

Teaching Interests

  • Phonology and Phonetics
  • Musical notation
  • Hispanic Linguistics
  • Second Language Acquisition SLA
  • Spanish and Portuguese Applied Linguistics
  • Speech and language prosody
  • Intonation
  • Rhythm
  • Stress
  • Spanish
  • Portuguese



My current research focuses on the transcription and analysis of speech prosody using musical notation. Prosody is a cover term for intonation, tone or pitch, duration, amplitude or loudness, timing or rhythm, sound quality, stress, accent, and phonological processes. Musical notation and musical theory have been used in the past in the transcription of speech, e.g., the speech transcriptions of the British scholar Joshua Steele. My research using musical notation aims at a better understanding of how speech prosody works, as well as at the improvement of applications that depend on prosodic studies.


One of the main issues in studies of speech prosody is the different views of Schools of Thought and the resulting methodological views used for analyses. The development of prosodic studies reflects the elusive nature of speech prosody. The disparity of approaches to analyzing prosody and the proliferation of a non-standardized terminology in prosodic studies to date confirm the difficulty that we find when studying any area of prosody.


Musical notation, contrary to other transcription systems, is fairly universal, especially in the Western World. It can point out language behavior in a way that allows for effectively transcribing and searching speech patterns. Musical notation is designed to represent both the dynamic and quasi-static music events and by extension, speech prosody. This is so because we can interpret speech “notes” as quasi-static events, given the existence of micro-movements in speech. Note durations, however, are dynamic, since they represent time with exactitude. Even the dynamic intensity can be inferred in MIDI data through velocity, namely the greater the intensity, the greater the MIDI velocity. Musical notation can bring us insights to predict and understand prosodic patterns in speech.

Research Interests

  • Phonology and Phonetics
  • Musical notation, speech prosody, intonation, rhythm
  • Spanish and Portuguese
  • Romance languages
  • Applied Linguistics
  • SLA

Selected Presentations

Please see CV for Presentations.

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