Tamara Rathcke

Tamara Rathcke receives Sasakawa Foundation grant

Dr Tamara Rathcke, Senior Lecturer in Linguistics in the Department of English Language and Linguistics, has been awarded a grant by The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.

Tamara currently holds a research grant from the Leverhulme Trust for a project entitled “Does language have groove? Sensorimotor synchronisation for the study of linguistic rhythm”, to investigate entrainment with language by native listeners of French and English. This research is among the first attempts to apply the sensorimotor synchronization technique to the study of rhythm in language.

There are currently no existing three-way language comparisons of sensorimotor synchronisation patterns from rhythmically distinct languages, traditionally associated with the syllable-timed (French), stress-timed (English) and the mora-timed (Japanese) group. Funding from the Sasakawa Foundation will support a direct comparison of the sensorimotor synchronisation performance between native speakers of Japanese, English and French and will help illuminate the link between the acoustic signal and its rhythmic perception. This research will contribute to the controversially debated topic of language rhythm, potentially creating a fundamentally new ways of conceptualising the phenomenon.