Displaying 1 - 39 of 39
  • Bosker, H. R., Tjiong, V., Quené, H., Sanders, T., & De Jong, N. H. (2015). Both native and non-native disfluencies trigger listeners' attention. In Disfluency in Spontaneous Speech: DISS 2015: An ICPhS Satellite Meeting. Edinburgh: DISS2015.

    Abstract

    Disfluencies, such as uh and uhm, are known to help the listener in speech comprehension. For instance, disfluencies may elicit prediction of less accessible referents and may trigger listeners’ attention to the following word. However, recent work suggests differential processing of disfluencies in native and non-native speech. The current study investigated whether the beneficial effects of disfluencies on listeners’ attention are modulated by the (non-)native identity of the speaker. Using the Change Detection Paradigm, we investigated listeners’ recall accuracy for words presented in disfluent and fluent contexts, in native and non-native speech. We observed beneficial effects of both native and non-native disfluencies on listeners’ recall accuracy, suggesting that native and non-native disfluencies trigger listeners’ attention in a similar fashion.
  • Bosker, H. R., & Reinisch, E. (2015). Normalization for speechrate in native and nonnative speech. In M. Wolters, J. Livingstone, B. Beattie, R. Smith, M. MacMahon, J. Stuart-Smith, & J. Scobbie (Eds.), Proceedings of the 18th International Congresses of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2015). London: International Phonetic Association.

    Abstract

    Speech perception involves a number of processes that deal with variation in the speech signal. One such process is normalization for speechrate: local temporal cues are perceived relative to the rate in the surrounding context. It is as yet unclear whether and how this perceptual effect interacts with higher level impressions of rate, such as a speaker’s nonnative identity. Nonnative speakers typically speak more slowly than natives, an experience that listeners take into account when explicitly judging the rate of nonnative speech. The present study investigated whether this is also reflected in implicit rate normalization. Results indicate that nonnative speech is implicitly perceived as faster than temporally-matched native speech, suggesting that the additional cognitive load of listening to an accent speeds up rate perception. Therefore, rate perception in speech is not dependent on syllable durations alone but also on the ease of processing of the temporal signal.
  • Brown-Schmidt, S., & Konopka, A. E. (2015). Processes of incremental message planning during conversation. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 22, 833-843. doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0714-2.

    Abstract

    Speaking begins with the formulation of an intended preverbal message and linguistic encoding of this information. The transition from thought to speech occurs incrementally, with cascading planning at subsequent levels of production. In this article, we aim to specify the mechanisms that support incremental message preparation. We contrast two hypotheses about the mechanisms responsible for incorporating message-level information into a linguistic plan. According to the Initial Preparation view, messages can be encoded as fluent utterances if all information is ready before speaking begins. By contrast, on the Continuous Incrementality view, messages can be continually prepared and updated throughout the production process, allowing for fluent production even if new information is added to the message while speaking is underway. Testing these hypotheses, eye-tracked speakers in two experiments produced unscripted, conjoined noun phrases with modifiers. Both experiments showed that new message elements can be incrementally incorporated into the utterance even after articulation begins, consistent with a Continuous Incrementality view of message planning, in which messages percolate to linguistic encoding immediately as that information becomes available in the mind of the speaker. We conclude by discussing the functional role of incremental message planning in conversational speech and the situations in which this continuous incremental planning would be most likely to be observed
  • Chen, A. (2015). Children’s use of intonation in reference and the role of input. In L. Serratrice, & S. E. M. Allen (Eds.), The acquisition of reference (pp. 83-104). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    Studies on children’s use of intonation in reference are few in number but are diverse in terms of theoretical frameworks and intonational parameters. In the current review, I present a re-analysis of the referents in each study, using a three-dimension approach (i.e. referential givenness-newness, relational givenness-newness, contrast), discuss the use of intonation at two levels (phonetic, phonological), and compare findings from different studies within a single framework. The patterns stemming from these studies may be limited in generalisability but can serve as initial hypotheses for future work. Furthermore, I examine the role of input as available in infant direct speech in the acquisition of intonational encoding of referents. In addition, I discuss how future research can advance our knowledge.

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  • Choi, J., Broersma, M., & Cutler, A. (2015). Enhanced processing of a lost language: Linguistic knowledge or linguistic skill? In Proceedings of Interspeech 2015: 16th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (pp. 3110-3114).

    Abstract

    Same-different discrimination judgments for pairs of Korean stop consonants, or of Japanese syllables differing in phonetic segment length, were made by adult Korean adoptees in the Netherlands, by matched Dutch controls, and Korean controls. The adoptees did not outdo either control group on either task, although the same individuals had performed significantly better than matched controls on an identification learning task. This suggests that early exposure to multiple phonetic systems does not specifically improve acoustic-phonetic skills; rather, enhanced performance suggests retained language knowledge.
  • Gilbers, S., Fuller, C., Gilbers, D., Broersma, M., Goudbeek, M., Free, R., & Başkent, D. (2015). Normal-hearing listeners' and cochlear implant users' perception of pitch cues in emotional speech. i-Perception, 6(5), 1-19. doi:0.1177/0301006615599139.

    Abstract

    In cochlear implants (CIs), acoustic speech cues, especially for pitch, are delivered in a degraded form. This study's aim is to assess whether due to degraded pitch cues, normal-hearing listeners and CI users employ different perceptual strategies to recognize vocal emotions, and, if so, how these differ. Voice actors were recorded pronouncing a nonce word in four different emotions: anger, sadness, joy, and relief. These recordings' pitch cues were phonetically analyzed. The recordings were used to test 20 normal-hearing listeners' and 20 CI users' emotion recognition. In congruence with previous studies, high-arousal emotions had a higher mean pitch, wider pitch range, and more dominant pitches than low-arousal emotions. Regarding pitch, speakers did not differentiate emotions based on valence but on arousal. Normal-hearing listeners outperformed CI users in emotion recognition, even when presented with CI simulated stimuli. However, only normal-hearing listeners recognized one particular actor's emotions worse than the other actors'. The groups behaved differently when presented with similar input, showing that they had to employ differing strategies. Considering the respective speaker's deviating pronunciation, it appears that for normal-hearing listeners, mean pitch is a more salient cue than pitch range, whereas CI users are biased toward pitch range cues
  • Hintz, F., & Huettig, F. (2015). The complexity of the visual environment modulates language-mediated eye gaze. In R. Mishra, N. Srinivasan, & F. Huettig (Eds.), Attention and Vision in Language Processing (pp. 39-55). Berlin: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-81-322-2443-3_3.

    Abstract

    Three eye-tracking experiments investigated the impact of the complexity of the visual environment on the likelihood of word-object mapping taking place at phonological, semantic and visual levels of representation during language-mediated visual search. Dutch participants heard spoken target words while looking at four objects embedded in displays of different complexity and indicated the presence or absence of the target object. During filler trials the target objects were present, but during experimental trials they were absent and the display contained various competitor objects. For example, given the target word “beaker”, the display contained a phonological (a beaver, bever), a shape (a bobbin, klos), a semantic (a fork, vork) competitor, and an unrelated distractor (an umbrella, paraplu). When objects were presented in simple four-object displays (Experiment 2), there were clear attentional biases to all three types of competitors replicating earlier research (Huettig and McQueen, 2007). When the objects were embedded in complex scenes including four human-like characters or four meaningless visual shapes (Experiments 1, 3), there were biases in looks to visual and semantic but not to phonological competitors. In both experiments, however, we observed evidence for inhibition in looks to phonological competitors, which suggests that the phonological forms of the objects nevertheless had been retrieved. These findings suggest that phonological word-object mapping is contingent upon the nature of the visual environment and add to a growing body of evidence that the nature of our visual surroundings induces particular modes of processing during language-mediated visual search.
  • Hintz, F. (2015). Predicting language in different contexts: The nature and limits of mechanisms in anticipatory language processing. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

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  • Hintz, F., & Meyer, A. S. (2015). Prediction and production of simple mathematical equations: Evidence from anticipatory eye movements. PLoS One, 10(7): e0130766. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130766.

    Abstract

    The relationship between the production and the comprehension systems has recently become a topic of interest for many psycholinguists. It has been argued that these systems are tightly linked and in particular that listeners use the production system to predict upcoming content. In this study, we tested how similar production and prediction processes are in a novel version of the visual world paradigm. Dutch speaking participants (native speakers in Experiment 1; German-Dutch bilinguals in Experiment 2) listened to mathematical equations while looking at a clock face featuring the numbers 1 to 12. On alternating trials, they either heard a complete equation ("three plus eight is eleven") or they heard the first part ("three plus eight is") and had to produce the result ("eleven") themselves. Participants were encouraged to look at the relevant numbers throughout the trial. Their eye movements were recorded and analyzed. We found that the participants' eye movements in the two tasks were overall very similar. They fixated the first and second number of the equations shortly after they were mentioned, and fixated the result number well before they named it on production trials and well before the recorded speaker named it on comprehension trials. However, all fixation latencies were shorter on production than on comprehension trials. These findings suggest that the processes involved in planning to say a word and anticipating hearing a word are quite similar, but that people are more aroused or engaged when they intend to respond than when they merely listen to another person.

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  • Huettig, F. (2015). Four central questions about prediction in language processing. Brain Research, 1626, 118-135. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2015.02.014.

    Abstract

    The notion that prediction is a fundamental principle of human information processing has been en vogue over recent years. The investigation of language processing may be particularly illuminating for testing this claim. Linguists traditionally have argued prediction plays only a minor role during language understanding because of the vast possibilities available to the language user as each word is encountered. In the present review I consider four central questions of anticipatory language processing: Why (i.e. what is the function of prediction in language processing)? What (i.e. what are the cues used to predict up-coming linguistic information and what type of representations are predicted)? How (what mechanisms are involved in predictive language processing and what is the role of possible mediating factors such as working memory)? When (i.e. do individuals always predict up-coming input during language processing)? I propose that prediction occurs via a set of diverse PACS (production-, association-, combinatorial-, and simulation-based prediction) mechanisms which are minimally required for a comprehensive account of predictive language processing. Models of anticipatory language processing must be revised to take multiple mechanisms, mediating factors, and situational context into account. Finally, I conjecture that the evidence considered here is consistent with the notion that prediction is an important aspect but not a fundamental principle of language processing.
  • Huettig, F., Srinivasan, N., & Mishra, R. (2015). Introduction to 'Attention and vision in language processing'. In R. Mishra, N. Srinivasan, & F. Huettig (Eds.), Attention and vision in language processing. (pp. V-IX). Berlin: Springer.
  • Huettig, F. (2015). Literacy influences cognitive abilities far beyond the mastery of written language. In I. van de Craats, J. Kurvers, & R. van Hout (Eds.), Adult literacy, second language, and cognition. LESLLA Proceedings 2014. Nijmegen: Centre for Language Studies.

    Abstract

    Recent experimental evidence from cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience shows that reading acquisition has non-trivial consequences for cognitive processes other than reading per se. In the present chapter I present evidence from three areas of cognition: phonological processing, prediction in language processing, and visual search. These findings suggest that literacy on cognition influences are far-reaching. This implies that a good understanding of the dramatic impact of literacy acquisition on the human mind is an important prerequisite for successful education policy development and guidance of educational support.
  • Huettig, F., & Brouwer, S. (2015). Delayed anticipatory spoken language processing in adults with dyslexia - Evidence from eye-tracking. Dyslexia, 21(2), 97-122. doi:10.1002/dys.1497.

    Abstract

    It is now well-established that anticipation of up-coming input is a key characteristic of spoken language comprehension. It has also frequently been observed that literacy influences spoken language processing. Here we investigated whether anticipatory spoken language processing is related to individuals’ word reading abilities. Dutch adults with dyslexia and a control group participated in two eye-tracking experiments. Experiment 1 was conducted to assess whether adults with dyslexia show the typical language-mediated eye gaze patterns. Eye movements of both adults with and without dyslexia closely replicated earlier research: spoken language is used to direct attention to relevant objects in the environment in a closely time-locked manner. In Experiment 2, participants received instructions (e.g., "Kijk naar deCOM afgebeelde pianoCOM", look at the displayed piano) while viewing four objects. Articles (Dutch “het” or “de”) were gender-marked such that the article agreed in gender only with the target and thus participants could use gender information from the article to predict the target object. The adults with dyslexia anticipated the target objects but much later than the controls. Moreover, participants' word reading scores correlated positively with their anticipatory eye movements. We conclude by discussing the mechanisms by which reading abilities may influence predictive language processing.
  • Jongman, S. R., Roelofs, A., & Meyer, A. S. (2015). Sustained attention in language production: An individual differences investigation. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68, 710-730. doi:10.1080/17470218.2014.964736.

    Abstract

    Whereas it has long been assumed that most linguistic processes underlying language production happen automatically, accumulating evidence suggests that some form of attention is required. Here, we investigated the contribution of sustained attention, which is the ability to maintain alertness over time. First, the sustained attention ability of participants was measured using auditory and visual continuous performance tasks. Next, the participants described pictures using simple noun phrases while their response times (RTs) and gaze durations were measured. Earlier research has suggested that gaze duration reflects language planning processes up to and including phonological encoding. Individual differences in sustained attention ability correlated with individual differences in the magnitude of the tail of the RT distribution, reflecting the proportion of very slow responses, but not with individual differences in gaze duration. These results suggest that language production requires sustained attention, especially after phonological encoding.
  • Jongman, S. R., Meyer, A. S., & Roelofs, A. (2015). The role of sustained attention in the production of conjoined noun phrases: An individual differences study. PLoS One, 10(9): e0137557. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0137557.

    Abstract

    It has previously been shown that language production, performed simultaneously with a nonlinguistic task, involves sustained attention. Sustained attention concerns the ability to maintain alertness over time. Here, we aimed to replicate the previous finding by showing that individuals call upon sustained attention when they plan single noun phrases (e.g., "the carrot") and perform a manual arrow categorization task. In addition, we investigated whether speakers also recruit sustained attention when they produce conjoined noun phrases (e.g., "the carrot and the bucket") describing two pictures, that is, when both the first and second task are linguistic. We found that sustained attention correlated with the proportion of abnormally slow phrase-production responses. Individuals with poor sustained attention displayed a greater number of very slow responses than individuals with better sustained attention. Importantly, this relationship was obtained both for the production of single phrases while performing a nonlinguistic manual task, and the production of noun phrase conjunctions in referring to two spatially separated objects. Inhibition and updating abilities were also measured. These scores did not correlate with our measure of sustained attention, suggesting that sustained attention and executive control are distinct. Overall, the results suggest that planning conjoined noun phrases involves sustained attention, and that language production happens less automatically than has often been assumed.
  • Konopka, A. E., & Kuchinsky, S. E. (2015). How message similarity shapes the timecourse of sentence formulation. Journal of Memory and Language, 84, 1-23. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2015.04.003.
  • Lev-Ari, S. (2015). Adjusting the manner of language processing to the social context: Attention allocation during interactions with non-native speakers. In R. K. Mishra, N. Srinivasan, & F. Huettig (Eds.), Attention and Vision in Language Processing (pp. 185-195). New York: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-81-322-2443-3_11.
  • Lev-Ari, S. (2015). Comprehending non-native speakers: Theory and evidence for adjustment in manner of processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 1546. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01546.

    Abstract

    Non-native speakers have lower linguistic competence than native speakers, which renders their language less reliable in conveying their intentions. We suggest that expectations of lower competence lead listeners to adapt their manner of processing when they listen to non-native speakers. We propose that listeners use cognitive resources to adjust by increasing their reliance on top-down processes and extracting less information from the language of the non-native speaker. An eye-tracking study supports our proposal by showing that when following instructions by a non-native speaker, listeners make more contextually-induced interpretations. Those with relatively high working memory also increase their reliance on context to anticipate the speaker’s upcoming reference, and are less likely to notice lexical errors in the non-native speech, indicating that they take less information from the speaker’s language. These results contribute to our understanding of the flexibility in language processing and have implications for interactions between native and non-native speakers

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  • Mishra, R., Srinivasan, N., & Huettig, F. (Eds.). (2015). Attention and vision in language processing. Berlin: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-81-322-2443-3.
  • Moers, C., Janse, E., & Meyer, A. S. (2015). Probabilistic reduction in reading aloud: A comparison of younger and older adults. In M. Wolters, J. Livingstone, B. Beattie, R. Smith, M. MacMahon, J. Stuart-Smith, & J. Scobbie (Eds.), Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2015). London: International Phonetics Association.

    Abstract

    Frequent and predictable words are generally pronounced with less effort and are therefore acoustically more reduced than less frequent or unpredictable words. Local predictability can be operationalised by Transitional Probability (TP), which indicates how likely a word is to occur given its immediate context. We investigated whether and how probabilistic reduction effects on word durations change with adult age when reading aloud content words embedded in sentences. The results showed equally large frequency effects on verb and noun durations for both younger (Mage = 20 years) and older (Mage = 68 years) adults. Backward TP also affected word duration for younger and older adults alike. ForwardTP, however, had no significant effect on word duration in either age group. Our results resemble earlier findings of more robust BackwardTP effects compared to ForwardTP effects. Furthermore, unlike often reported decline in predictive processing with aging, probabilistic reduction effects remain stable across adulthood.
  • Monaghan, P., Mattock, K., Davies, R., & Smith, A. C. (2015). Gavagai is as gavagai does: Learning nouns and verbs from cross-situational statistics. Cognitive Science, 39, 1099-1112. doi:10.1111/cogs.12186.

    Abstract

    Learning to map words onto their referents is difficult, because there are multiple possibilities for forming these mappings. Cross-situational learning studies have shown that word-object mappings can be learned across multiple situations, as can verbs when presented in a syntactic context. However, these previous studies have presented either nouns or verbs in ambiguous contexts and thus bypass much of the complexity of multiple grammatical categories in speech. We show that noun word-learning in adults is robust when objects are moving, and that verbs can also be learned from similar scenes without additional syntactic information. Furthermore, we show that both nouns and verbs can be acquired simultaneously, thus resolving category-level as well as individual word level ambiguity. However, nouns were learned more accurately than verbs, and we discuss this in light of previous studies investigating the noun advantage in word learning.
  • Norcliffe, E., Konopka, A. E., Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2015). Word order affects the time course of sentence formulation in Tzeltal. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 30(9), 1187-1208. doi:10.1080/23273798.2015.1006238.

    Abstract

    The scope of planning during sentence formulation is known to be flexible, as it can be influenced by speakers' communicative goals and language production pressures (among other factors). Two eye-tracked picture description experiments tested whether the time course of formulation is also modulated by grammatical structure and thus whether differences in linear word order across languages affect the breadth and order of conceptual and linguistic encoding operations. Native speakers of Tzeltal [a primarily verb–object–subject (VOS) language] and Dutch [a subject–verb–object (SVO) language] described pictures of transitive events. Analyses compared speakers' choice of sentence structure across events with more accessible and less accessible characters as well as the time course of formulation for sentences with different word orders. Character accessibility influenced subject selection in both languages in subject-initial and subject-final sentences, ruling against a radically incremental formulation process. In Tzeltal, subject-initial word orders were preferred over verb-initial orders when event characters had matching animacy features, suggesting a possible role for similarity-based interference in influencing word order choice. Time course analyses revealed a strong effect of sentence structure on formulation: In subject-initial sentences, in both Tzeltal and Dutch, event characters were largely fixated sequentially, while in verb-initial sentences in Tzeltal, relational information received priority over encoding of either character during the earliest stages of formulation. The results show a tight parallelism between grammatical structure and the order of encoding operations carried out during sentence formulation.
  • Norcliffe, E., & Konopka, A. E. (2015). Vision and language in cross-linguistic research on sentence production. In R. K. Mishra, N. Srinivasan, & F. Huettig (Eds.), Attention and vision in language processing (pp. 77-96). New York: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-81-322-2443-3_5.

    Abstract

    To what extent are the planning processes involved in producing sentences fine-tuned to grammatical properties of specific languages? In this chapter we survey the small body of cross-linguistic research that bears on this question, focusing in particular on recent evidence from eye-tracking studies. Because eye-tracking methods provide a very fine-grained temporal measure of how conceptual and linguistic planning unfold in real time, they serve as an important complement to standard psycholinguistic methods. Moreover, the advent of portable eye-trackers in recent years has, for the first time, allowed eye-tracking techniques to be used with language populations that are located far away from university laboratories. This has created the exciting opportunity to extend the typological base of vision-based psycholinguistic research and address key questions in language production with new language comparisons.
  • Piai, V., Roelofs, A., Rommers, J., & Maris, E. (2015). Beta oscillations reflect memory and motor aspects of spoken word production. Human brain mapping, 36(7), 2767-2780. doi:10.1002/hbm.22806.

    Abstract

    Two major components form the basis of spoken word production: the access of conceptual and lexical/phonological information in long-term memory, and motor preparation and execution of an articulatory program. Whereas the motor aspects of word production have been well characterized as reflected in alpha-beta desynchronization, the memory aspects have remained poorly understood. Using magnetoencephalography, we investigated the neurophysiological signature of not only motor but also memory aspects of spoken-word production. Participants named or judged pictures after reading sentences. To probe the involvement of the memory component, we manipulated sentence context. Sentence contexts were either constraining or nonconstraining toward the final word, presented as a picture. In the judgment task, participants indicated with a left-hand button press whether the picture was expected given the sentence. In the naming task, they named the picture. Naming and judgment were faster with constraining than nonconstraining contexts. Alpha-beta desynchronization was found for constraining relative to nonconstraining contexts pre-picture presentation. For the judgment task, beta desynchronization was observed in left posterior brain areas associated with conceptual processing and in right motor cortex. For the naming task, in addition to the same left posterior brain areas, beta desynchronization was found in left anterior and posterior temporal cortex (associated with memory aspects), left inferior frontal cortex, and bilateral ventral premotor cortex (associated with motor aspects). These results suggest that memory and motor components of spoken word production are reflected in overlapping brain oscillations in the beta band.

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  • Rommers, J., Meyer, A. S., & Huettig, F. (2015). Verbal and nonverbal predictors of language-mediated anticipatory eye movements. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 77(3), 720-730. doi:10.3758/s13414-015-0873-x.

    Abstract

    During language comprehension, listeners often anticipate upcoming information. This can draw listeners’ overt attention to visually presented objects before the objects are referred to. We investigated to what extent the anticipatory mechanisms involved in such language-mediated attention rely on specific verbal factors and on processes shared with other domains of cognition. Participants listened to sentences ending in a highly predictable word (e.g., “In 1969 Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon”) while viewing displays containing three unrelated distractor objects and a critical object, which was either the target object (e.g., a moon), or an object with a similar shape (e.g., a tomato), or an unrelated control object (e.g., rice). Language-mediated anticipatory eye movements to targets and shape competitors were observed. Importantly, looks to the shape competitor were systematically related to individual differences in anticipatory attention, as indexed by a spatial cueing task: Participants whose responses were most strongly facilitated by predictive arrow cues also showed the strongest effects of predictive language input on their eye movements. By contrast, looks to the target were related to individual differences in vocabulary size and verbal fluency. The results suggest that verbal and nonverbal factors contribute to different types of language-mediated eye movement. The findings are consistent with multiple-mechanism accounts of predictive language processing.
  • Scharenborg, O., Weber, A., & Janse, E. (2015). Age and hearing loss and the use of acoustic cues in fricative categorization. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 138(3), 1408-1417. doi:10.1121/1.4927728.

    Abstract

    This study examined the use of fricative noise information and coarticulatory cues for categorization of word-final fricatives [s] and [f] by younger and older Dutch listeners alike. Particularly, the effect of information loss in the higher frequencies on the use of these two cues for fricative categorization was investigated. If information in the higher frequencies is less strongly available, fricative identification may be impaired or listeners may learn to focus more on coarticulatory information. The present study investigates this second possibility. Phonetic categorization results showed that both younger and older Dutch listeners use the primary cue fricative noise and the secondary cue coarticulatory information to distinguish word-final [f] from [s]. Individual hearing sensitivity in the older listeners modified the use of fricative noise information, but did not modify the use of coarticulatory information. When high-frequency information was filtered out from the speech signal, fricative noise could no longer be used by the younger and older adults. Crucially, they also did not learn to rely more on coarticulatory information as a compensatory cue for fricative categorization. This suggests that listeners do not readily show compensatory use of this secondary cue to fricative identity when fricative categorization becomes difficult.
  • Scharenborg, O., Weber, A., & Janse, E. (2015). The role of attentional abilities in lexically guided perceptual learning by older listeners. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 77(2), 493-507. doi:10.3758/s13414-014-0792-2.

    Abstract

    This study investigates two variables that may modify lexically-guided perceptual learning: individual hearing sensitivity and attentional abilities. Older Dutch listeners (aged 60+, varying from good hearing to mild-to-moderate high-frequency hearing loss) were tested on a lexically-guided perceptual learning task using the contrast [f]-[s]. This contrast mainly differentiates between the two consonants in the higher frequencies, and thus is supposedly challenging for listeners with hearing loss. The analyses showed that older listeners generally engage in lexically-guided perceptual learning. Hearing loss and selective attention did not modify perceptual learning in our participant sample, while attention-switching control did: listeners with poorer attention-switching control showed a stronger perceptual learning effect. We postulate that listeners with better attention-switching control may, in general, rely more strongly on bottom-up acoustic information compared to listeners with poorer attention-switching control, making them in turn less susceptible to lexically-guided perceptual learning effects. Our results, moreover, clearly show that lexically-guided perceptual learning is not lost when acoustic processing is less accurate.
  • Schuerman, W. L., Meyer, A. S., & McQueen, J. M. (2015). Do we perceive others better than ourselves? A perceptual benefit for noise-vocoded speech produced by an average speaker. PLoS One, 10(7): e0129731. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0129731.

    Abstract

    In different tasks involving action perception, performance has been found to be facilitated when the presented stimuli were produced by the participants themselves rather than by another participant. These results suggest that the same mental representations are accessed during both production and perception. However, with regard to spoken word perception, evidence also suggests that listeners’ representations for speech reflect the input from their surrounding linguistic community rather than their own idiosyncratic productions. Furthermore, speech perception is heavily influenced by indexical cues that may lead listeners to frame their interpretations of incoming speech signals with regard to speaker identity. In order to determine whether word recognition evinces similar self-advantages as found in action perception, it was necessary to eliminate indexical cues from the speech signal. We therefore asked participants to identify noise-vocoded versions of Dutch words that were based on either their own recordings or those of a statistically average speaker. The majority of participants were more accurate for the average speaker than for themselves, even after taking into account differences in intelligibility. These results suggest that the speech representations accessed during perception of noise-vocoded speech are more reflective of the input of the speech community, and hence that speech perception is not necessarily based on representations of one’s own speech.
  • Schuerman, W. L., Nagarajan, S., & Houde, J. (2015). Changes in consonant perception driven by adaptation of vowel production to altered auditory feedback. In M. Wolters, J. Livingstone, B. Beattie, R. Smith, M. MacMahon, J. Stuart-Smith, & J. Scobbie (Eds.), Proceedings of the 18th International Congresses of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2015). London: International Phonetic Association.

    Abstract

    Adaptation to altered auditory feedback has been shown to induce subsequent shifts in perception. However, it is uncertain whether these perceptual changes may generalize to other speech sounds. In this experiment, we tested whether exposing the production of a vowel to altered auditory feedback affects perceptual categorization of a consonant distinction. In two sessions, participants produced CVC words containing the vowel /i/, while intermittently categorizing stimuli drawn from a continuum between "see" and "she." In the first session feedback was unaltered, while in the second session the formants of the vowel were shifted 20% towards /u/. Adaptation to the altered vowel was found to reduce the proportion of perceived /S/ stimuli. We suggest that this reflects an alteration to the sensorimotor mapping that is shared between vowels and consonants.
  • Shao, Z., Roelofs, A., Martin, R., & Meyer, A. S. (2015). Selective inhibition and naming performance in semantic blocking, picture-word interference, and color-word stroop tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 41, 1806-1820. doi:10.1037/a0039363.

    Abstract

    In two studies, we examined whether explicit distractors are necessary and sufficient toevoke selective inhibition in three naming tasks: the semantic blocking, picture-word interference, and color-word Stroop task. Delta plots were used to quantify the size of the interference effects as a function of reaction time (RT). Selective inhibition was operationalized as the decrease in the size of the interference effect as a function of naming RT. For all naming tasks, mean naming RTs were significantly longer in the interference condition than in a control condition. The slopes of the interference effects for the longest naming RTs correlated with the magnitude of the mean interference effect in both the semantic blocking task and the picture-word interference task, suggesting that selective inhibition was involved to reduce the interference from strong semantic competitors either invoked by a single explicit competitor or strong implicit competitors in picture naming. However, there was no correlation between the slopes and the mean interference effect in the Stroop task, suggesting less importance of selective inhibition in this task despite explicit distractors. Whereas the results of the semantic blocking task suggest that an explicit distractor is not necessary for triggering inhibition, the results of the Stroop task suggest that such a distractor is not sufficient for evoking inhibition either.
  • Sjerps, M. J., & Reinisch, E. (2015). Divide and conquer: How perceptual contrast sensitivity and perceptual learning cooperate in reducing input variation in speech perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 41(3), 710-722. doi:10.1037/a0039028.

    Abstract

    Listeners have to overcome variability of the speech signal that can arise, for example, because of differences in room acoustics, differences in speakers’ vocal tract properties, or idiosyncrasies in pronunciation. Two mechanisms that are involved in resolving such variation are perceptually contrastive effects that arise from surrounding acoustic context and lexically guided perceptual learning. Although both processes have been studied in great detail, little attention has been paid to how they operate relative to each other in speech perception. The present study set out to address this issue. The carrier parts of exposure stimuli of a classical perceptual learning experiment were spectrally filtered such that the acoustically ambiguous final fricatives sounded relatively more like the lexically intended sound (Experiment 1) or the alternative (Experiment 2). Perceptual learning was found only in the latter case. The findings show that perceptual contrast effects precede lexically guided perceptual learning, at least in terms of temporal order, and potentially in terms of cognitive processing levels as well
  • Sjerps, M. J., & Meyer, A. S. (2015). Variation in dual-task performance reveals late initiation of speech planning in turn-taking. Cognition, 136, 304-324. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2014.10.008.

    Abstract

    The smooth transitions between turns in natural conversation suggest that speakers often begin to plan their utterances while listening to their interlocutor. The presented study investigates whether this is indeed the case and, if so, when utterance planning begins. Two hypotheses were contrasted: that speakers begin to plan their turn as soon as possible (in our experiments less than a second after the onset of the interlocutor’s turn), or that they do so close to the end of the interlocutor’s turn. Turn-taking was combined with a finger tapping task to measure variations in cognitive load. We assumed that the onset of speech planning in addition to listening would be accompanied by deterioration in tapping performance. Two picture description experiments were conducted. In both experiments there were three conditions: (1) Tapping and Speaking, where participants tapped a complex pattern while taking over turns from a pre-recorded speaker, (2) Tapping and Listening, where participants carried out the tapping task while overhearing two pre-recorded speakers, and (3) Speaking Only, where participants took over turns as in the Tapping and Speaking condition but without tapping. The experiments differed in the amount of tapping training the participants received at the beginning of the session. In Experiment 2, the participants’ eye-movements were recorded in addition to their speech and tapping. Analyses of the participants’ tapping performance and eye movements showed that they initiated the cognitively demanding aspects of speech planning only shortly before the end of the turn of the preceding speaker. We argue that this is a smart planning strategy, which may be the speakers’ default in many everyday situations.
  • Smith, A. C. (2015). Modelling multimodal language processing. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

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  • Smorenburg, L., Rodd, J., & Chen, A. (2015). The effect of explicit training on the prosodic production of L2 sarcasm by Dutch learners of English. In M. Wolters, J. Livingstone, B. Beattie, R. Smith, M. MacMahon, J. Stuart-Smith, & J. Scobbie (Eds.), Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2015). Glasgow, UK: University of Glasgow.

    Abstract

    Previous research [9] suggests that Dutch learners of (British) English are not able to express sarcasm prosodically in their L2. The present study investigates whether explicit training on the prosodic markers of sarcasm in English can improve learners’ realisation of sarcasm. Sarcastic speech was elicited in short simulated telephone conversations between Dutch advanced learners of English and a native British English-speaking ‘friend’ in two sessions, fourteen days apart. Between the two sessions, participants were trained by means of (1) a presentation, (2) directed independent practice, and (3) evaluation of participants’ production and individual feedback in small groups. L1 British English-speaking raters subsequently evaluated the degree of sarcastic sounding in the participants’ responses on a five-point scale. It was found that significantly higher sarcasm ratings were given to L2 learners’ production obtained after the training than that obtained before the training; explicit training on prosody has a positive effect on learners’ production of sarcasm.
  • Tarenskeen, S., Broersma, M., & Geurts, B. (2015). Overspecification of color, pattern, and size: Salience, absoluteness, and consistency. Frontiers in Psychology, 6: 1703. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01703.

    Abstract

    The rates of overspecification of color, pattern, and size are compared, to investigate how salience and absoluteness contribute to the production of overspecification. Color and pattern are absolute and salient attributes, whereas size is relative and less salient. Additionally, a tendency toward consistent responses is assessed. Using a within-participants design, we find similar rates of color and pattern overspecification, which are both higher than the rate of size overspecification. Using a between-participants design, however, we find similar rates of pattern and size overspecification, which are both lower than the rate of color overspecification. This indicates that although many speakers are more likely to include color than pattern (probably because color is more salient), they may also treat pattern like color due to a tendency toward consistency. We find no increase in size overspecification when the salience of size is increased, suggesting that speakers are more likely to include absolute than relative attributes. However, we do find an increase in size overspecification when mentioning the attributes is triggered, which again shows that speakers tend to refer in a consistent manner, and that there are circumstances in which even size overspecification is frequently produced.
  • Van de Velde, M., Kempen, G., & Harbusch, K. (2015). Dative alternation and planning scope in spoken language: A corpus study on effects of verb bias in VO and OV clauses of Dutch. Lingua, 165, 92-108. doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2015.07.006.

    Abstract

    The syntactic structure of main and subordinate clauses is determined to a considerable extent by verb biases. For example, some English and Dutch ditransitive verbs have a preference for the prepositional object dative, whereas others are typically used with the double object dative. In this study, we compare the effect of these biases on structure selection in (S)VO and (S)OV dative clauses in the Corpus of Spoken Dutch (CGN). This comparison allowed us to make inferences about the size of the advance planning scope during spontaneous speaking: If the verb is an obligatory component of clause-level advance planning scope, as is claimed by the hypothesis of hierarchical incrementality, then biases should exert their influence on structure choices, regardless of early (VO) or late (OV) position of the verb in the clause. Conversely, if planning proceeds in a piecemeal fashion, strictly guided by lexical availability, as claimed by linear incrementality, then the verb and its associated biases can only influence structure choices in VO sentences. We tested these predictions by analyzing structure choices in the CGN, using mixed logit models. Our results support a combination of linear and hierarchical incrementality, showing a significant influence of verb bias on structure choices in VO, and a weaker (but still significant) effect in OV clauses
  • Van de Velde, M. (2015). Incrementality and flexibility in sentence production. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

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  • Veenstra, A., Meyer, A. S., & Acheson, D. J. (2015). Effects of parallel planning on agreement production. Acta Psychologica, 162, 29-39. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2015.09.011.

    Abstract

    An important issue in current psycholinguistics is how the time course of utterance planning affects the generation of grammatical structures. The current study investigated the influence of parallel activation of the components of complex noun phrases on the generation of subject-verb agreement. Specifically, the lexical interference account (Gillespie, M. and Pearlmutter, N. J., 2011b and Solomon, E. S. and Pearlmutter, N. J., 2004) predicts more agreement errors (i.e., attraction) for subject phrases in which the head and local noun mismatch in number (e.g., the apple next to the pears) when nouns are planned in parallel than when they are planned in sequence. We used a speeded picture description task that yielded sentences such as the apple next to the pears is red. The objects mentioned in the noun phrase were either semantically related or unrelated. To induce agreement errors, pictures sometimes mismatched in number. In order to manipulate the likelihood of parallel processing of the objects and to test the hypothesized relationship between parallel processing and the rate of agreement errors, the pictures were either placed close together or far apart. Analyses of the participants' eye movements and speech onset latencies indicated slower processing of the first object and stronger interference from the related (compared to the unrelated) second object in the close than in the far condition. Analyses of the agreement errors yielded an attraction effect, with more errors in mismatching than in matching conditions. However, the magnitude of the attraction effect did not differ across the close and far conditions. Thus, spatial proximity encouraged parallel processing of the pictures, which led to interference of the associated conceptual and/or lexical representation, but, contrary to the prediction, it did not lead to more attraction errors.
  • Verhees, M. W. F. T., Chwilla, D. J., Tromp, J., & Vissers, C. T. W. M. (2015). Contributions of emotional state and attention to the processing of syntactic agreement errors: evidence from P600. Frontiers in Psychology, 6: 388. doi:10.3389%2Ffpsyg.2015.00388.

    Abstract

    The classic account of language is that language processing occurs in isolation from other cognitive systems, like perception, motor action, and emotion. The central theme of this paper is the relationship between a participant’s emotional state and language comprehension. Does emotional context affect how we process neutral words? Recent studies showed that processing of word meaning – traditionally conceived as an automatic process – is affected by emotional state. The influence of emotional state on syntactic processing is less clear. One study reported a mood-related P600 modulation, while another study did not observe an effect of mood on syntactic processing. The goals of this study were: First, to clarify whether and if so how mood affects syntactic processing. Second, to shed light on the underlying mechanisms by separating possible effects of mood from those of attention on syntactic processing. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants read syntactically correct or incorrect sentences. Mood (happy vs. sad) was manipulated by presenting film clips. Attention was manipulated by directing attention to syntactic features vs. physical features. The mood induction was effective. Interactions between mood, attention and syntactic correctness were obtained, showing that mood and attention modulated P600. The mood manipulation led to a reduction in P600 for sad as compared to happy mood when attention was directed at syntactic features. The attention manipulation led to a reduction in P600 when attention was directed at physical features compared to syntactic features for happy mood. From this we draw two conclusions: First, emotional state does affect syntactic processing. We propose mood-related differences in the reliance on heuristics as the underlying mechanism. Second, attention can contribute to emotion-related ERP effects in syntactic language processing. Therefore, future studies on the relation between language and emotion will have to control for effects of attention

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