Speech Prosody in Mental Disorders

Hongwei Ding, Yang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


In response to uncovering brain mechanisms underlying vocal communication and searching for biomarkers for mental illnesses, speech prosody has been increasingly studied in recent years in multiple disciplines, including psycholinguistics. In this article, we provide an up-to-date synthesis of the theoretical foundation and empirical evidence to profile linguistic and emotional prosody in the proper characterization of mental disorders, including schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer's disease, and depression. Our review reveals a need to develop theoretically motivated and methodologically integrated approaches to the study of context-driven comprehension and expression of pragmatic-affective prosody, which will help elucidate the core features of socio-communicative problems in individuals with mental disorders. We propose that comprehensive models within and across the conventional cognition-emotion-language trichotomy need to be developed to integrate current findings and guide future research. In particular, there needs to be due emphasis on investigating multisensory and cross-modal effects in normal and pathological prosody research. Our review calls for multidisciplinary efforts to address the challenging issues to inform and inspire the advancement of linguistic theories and psychiatric diagnosis and treatment.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-355
Number of pages21
JournalAnnual Review of Linguistics
StatePublished - Jan 17 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the author(s).


  • affective prosody
  • Mental disorders
  • pragmatic prosody
  • prosody production
  • prosody recognition
  • speech prosody


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