Displaying 1 - 43 of 43
Brehm, L., Jackson, C. N., & Miller, K. L. (2019). Incremental interpretation in the first and second language. In M. Brown, & B. Dailey (
Eds.), BUCLD 43: Proceedings of the 43rd annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 109-122). Sommerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Goldrick, M., Brehm, L., Pyeong Whan, C., & Smolensky, P. (2019). Transient blend states and discrete agreement-driven errors in sentence production. In G. J. Snover, M. Nelson, B. O'Connor, & J. Pater (
Eds.), Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics (SCiL 2019) (pp. 375-376). doi:10.7275/n0b2-5305.
Schuerman, W. L., McQueen, J. M., & Meyer, A. S. (2019). Speaker statistical averageness modulates word recognition in adverse listening conditions. In S. Calhoun, P. Escudero, M. Tabain, & P. Warren (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 20195) (pp. 1203-1207). Canberra, Australia: Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.
AbstractWe tested whether statistical averageness (SA) at the level of the individual speaker could predict a speaker’s intelligibility. 28 female and 21 male speakers of Dutch were recorded producing 336 sentences, each containing two target nouns. Recordings were compared to those of all other same-sex speakers using dynamic time warping (DTW). For each sentence, the DTW distance constituted a metric of phonetic distance from one speaker to all other speakers. SA comprised the average of these distances. Later, the same participants performed a word recognition task on the target nouns in the same sentences, under three degraded listening conditions. In all three conditions, accuracy increased with SA. This held even when participants listened to their own utterances. These findings suggest that listeners process speech with respect to the statistical properties of the language spoken in their community, rather than using their own speech as a reference
Wolf, M. C., Smith, A. C., Meyer, A. S., & Rowland, C. F. (2019). Modality effects in vocabulary acquisition. In A. K. Goel, C. M. Seifert, & C. Freksa (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2019) (pp. 1212-1218). Montreal, QB: Cognitive Science Society.
AbstractIt is unknown whether modality affects the efficiency with which humans learn novel word forms and their meanings, with previous studies reporting both written and auditory advantages. The current study implements controls whose absence in previous work likely offers explanation for such contradictory findings. In two novel word learning experiments, participants were trained and tested on pseudoword - novel object pairs, with controls on: modality of test, modality of meaning, duration of exposure and transparency of word form. In both experiments word forms were presented in either their written or spoken form, each paired with a pictorial meaning (novel object). Following a 20-minute filler task, participants were tested on their ability to identify the picture-word form pairs on which they were trained. A between subjects design generated four participant groups per experiment 1) written training, written test; 2) written training, spoken test; 3) spoken training, written test; 4) spoken training, spoken test. In Experiment 1 the written stimulus was presented for a time period equal to the duration of the spoken form. Results showed that when the duration of exposure was equal, participants displayed a written training benefit. Given words can be read faster than the time taken for the spoken form to unfold, in Experiment 2 the written form was presented for 300 ms, sufficient time to read the word yet 65% shorter than the duration of the spoken form. No modality effect was observed under these conditions, when exposure to the word form was equivalent. These results demonstrate, at least for proficient readers, that when exposure to the word form is controlled across modalities the efficiency with which word form-meaning associations are learnt does not differ. Our results therefore suggest that, although we typically begin as aural-only word learners, we ultimately converge on developing learning mechanisms that learn equally efficiently from both written and spoken materials.
Brand, J., Monaghan, P., & Walker, P. (2018). Changing Signs: Testing How Sound-Symbolism Supports Early Word Learning. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T. T. Rogers (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2018) (pp. 1398-1403). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
AbstractLearning a language involves learning how to map specific forms onto their associated meanings. Such mappings can utilise arbitrariness and non-arbitrariness, yet, our understanding of how these two systems operate at different stages of vocabulary development is still not fully understood. The Sound-Symbolism Bootstrapping Hypothesis (SSBH) proposes that sound-symbolism is essential for word learning to commence, but empirical evidence of exactly how sound-symbolism influences language learning is still sparse. It may be the case that sound-symbolism supports acquisition of categories of meaning, or that it enables acquisition of individualized word meanings. In two Experiments where participants learned form-meaning mappings from either sound-symbolic or arbitrary languages, we demonstrate the changing roles of sound-symbolism and arbitrariness for different vocabulary sizes, showing that sound-symbolism provides an advantage for learning of broad categories, which may then transfer to support learning individual words, whereas an arbitrary language impedes acquisition of categories of sound to meaning.
Raviv, L., Meyer, A. S., & Lev-Ari, S. (2018). The role of community size in the emergence of linguistic structure. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG XII) (pp. 402-404). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.096.
Bosker, H. R., & Kösem, A. (2017). An entrained rhythm's frequency, not phase, influences temporal sampling of speech. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2017 (pp. 2416-2420). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2017-73.
AbstractBrain oscillations have been shown to track the slow amplitude fluctuations in speech during comprehension. Moreover, there is evidence that these stimulus-induced cortical rhythms may persist even after the driving stimulus has ceased. However, how exactly this neural entrainment shapes speech perception remains debated. This behavioral study investigated whether and how the frequency and phase of an entrained rhythm would influence the temporal sampling of subsequent speech. In two behavioral experiments, participants were presented with slow and fast isochronous tone sequences, followed by Dutch target words ambiguous between as /ɑs/ “ash” (with a short vowel) and aas /a:s/ “bait” (with a long vowel). Target words were presented at various phases of the entrained rhythm. Both experiments revealed effects of the frequency of the tone sequence on target word perception: fast sequences biased listeners to more long /a:s/ responses. However, no evidence for phase effects could be discerned. These findings show that an entrained rhythm’s frequency, but not phase, influences the temporal sampling of subsequent speech. These outcomes are compatible with theories suggesting that sensory timing is evaluated relative to entrained frequency. Furthermore, they suggest that phase tracking of (syllabic) rhythms by theta oscillations plays a limited role in speech parsing.
Bosker, H. R. (2017). The role of temporal amplitude modulations in the political arena: Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2017 (pp. 2228-2232). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2017-142.
AbstractSpeech is an acoustic signal with inherent amplitude modulations in the 1-9 Hz range. Recent models of speech perception propose that this rhythmic nature of speech is central to speech recognition. Moreover, rhythmic amplitude modulations have been shown to have beneficial effects on language processing and the subjective impression listeners have of the speaker. This study investigated the role of amplitude modulations in the political arena by comparing the speech produced by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the three presidential debates of 2016. Inspection of the modulation spectra, revealing the spectral content of the two speakers’ amplitude envelopes after matching for overall intensity, showed considerably greater power in Clinton’s modulation spectra (compared to Trump’s) across the three debates, particularly in the 1-9 Hz range. The findings suggest that Clinton’s speech had a more pronounced temporal envelope with rhythmic amplitude modulations below 9 Hz, with a preference for modulations around 3 Hz. This may be taken as evidence for a more structured temporal organization of syllables in Clinton’s speech, potentially due to more frequent use of preplanned utterances. Outcomes are interpreted in light of the potential beneficial effects of a rhythmic temporal envelope on intelligibility and speaker perception.
Doumas, L. A. A., Hamer, A., Puebla, G., & Martin, A. E. (2017). A theory of the detection and learning of structured representations of similarity and relative magnitude. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. Davelaar (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2017) (pp. 1955-1960). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
AbstractResponding to similarity, difference, and relative magnitude (SDM) is ubiquitous in the animal kingdom. However, humans seem unique in the ability to represent relative magnitude (‘more’/‘less’) and similarity (‘same’/‘different’) as abstract relations that take arguments (e.g., greater-than (x,y)). While many models use structured relational representations of magnitude and similarity, little progress has been made on how these representations arise. Models that developuse these representations assume access to computations of similarity and magnitude a priori, either encoded as features or as output of evaluation operators. We detail a mechanism for producing invariant responses to “same”, “different”, “more”, and “less” which can be exploited to compute similarity and magnitude as an evaluation operator. Using DORA (Doumas, Hummel, & Sandhofer, 2008), these invariant responses can serve be used to learn structured relational representations of relative magnitude and similarity from pixel images of simple shapes
Lee, R., Chambers, C. G., Huettig, F., & Ganea, P. A. (2017). Children’s semantic and world knowledge overrides fictional information during anticipatory linguistic processing. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. Davelaar (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2017) (pp. 730-735). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
AbstractUsing real-time eye-movement measures, we asked how a fantastical discourse context competes with stored representations of semantic and world knowledge to influence children's and adults' moment-by-moment interpretation of a story. Seven-year- olds were less effective at bypassing stored semantic and world knowledge during real-time interpretation than adults. Nevertheless, an effect of discourse context on comprehension was still apparent.
Maslowski, M., Meyer, A. S., & Bosker, H. R. (2017). Whether long-term tracking of speech rate affects perception depends on who is talking. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2017 (pp. 586-590). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1517.
AbstractSpeech rate is known to modulate perception of temporally ambiguous speech sounds. For instance, a vowel may be perceived as short when the immediate speech context is slow, but as long when the context is fast. Yet, effects of long-term tracking of speech rate are largely unexplored. Two experiments tested whether long-term tracking of rate influences perception of the temporal Dutch vowel contrast /ɑ/-/a:/. In Experiment 1, one low-rate group listened to 'neutral' rate speech from talker A and to slow speech from talker B. Another high-rate group was exposed to the same neutral speech from A, but to fast speech from B. Between-group comparison of the 'neutral' trials revealed that the low-rate group reported a higher proportion of /a:/ in A's 'neutral' speech, indicating that A sounded faster when B was slow. Experiment 2 tested whether one's own speech rate also contributes to effects of long-term tracking of rate. Here, talker B's speech was replaced by playback of participants' own fast or slow speech. No evidence was found that one's own voice affected perception of talker A in larger speech contexts. These results carry implications for our understanding of the mechanisms involved in rate-dependent speech perception and of dialogue.
Popov, V., Ostarek, M., & Tenison, C. (2017). Inferential Pitfalls in Decoding Neural Representations. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. Davelaar (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2017) (pp. 961-966). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
AbstractA key challenge for cognitive neuroscience is to decipher the representational schemes of the brain. A recent class of decoding algorithms for fMRI data, stimulus-feature-based encoding models, is becoming increasingly popular for inferring the dimensions of neural representational spaces from stimulus-feature spaces. We argue that such inferences are not always valid, because decoding can occur even if the neural representational space and the stimulus-feature space use different representational schemes. This can happen when there is a systematic mapping between them. In a simulation, we successfully decoded the binary representation of numbers from their decimal features. Since binary and decimal number systems use different representations, we cannot conclude that the binary representation encodes decimal features. The same argument applies to the decoding of neural patterns from stimulus-feature spaces and we urge caution in inferring the nature of the neural code from such methods. We discuss ways to overcome these inferential limitations.
Bosker, H. R. (2016). Our own speech rate influences speech perception. In J. Barnes, A. Brugos, S. Stattuck-Hufnagel, & N. Veilleux (
Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2016 (pp. 227-231).
AbstractDuring conversation, spoken utterances occur in rich acoustic contexts, including speech produced by our interlocutor(s) and speech we produced ourselves. Prosodic characteristics of the acoustic context have been known to influence speech perception in a contrastive fashion: for instance, a vowel presented in a fast context is perceived to have a longer duration than the same vowel in a slow context. Given the ubiquity of the sound of our own voice, it may be that our own speech rate - a common source of acoustic context - also influences our perception of the speech of others. Two experiments were designed to test this hypothesis. Experiment 1 replicated earlier contextual rate effects by showing that hearing pre-recorded fast or slow context sentences alters the perception of ambiguous Dutch target words. Experiment 2 then extended this finding by showing that talking at a fast or slow rate prior to the presentation of the target words also altered the perception of those words. These results suggest that between-talker variation in speech rate production may induce between-talker variation in speech perception, thus potentially explaining why interlocutors tend to converge on speech rate in dialogue settings.
Supplementary materialpdf via conference website227
Bosker, H. R., Reinisch, E., & Sjerps, M. J. (2016). Listening under cognitive load makes speech sound fast. In H. van den Heuvel, B. Cranen, & S. Mattys (
Eds.), Proceedings of the Speech Processing in Realistic Environments [SPIRE] Workshop (pp. 23-24). Groningen.
Gannon, E., He, J., Gao, X., & Chaparro, B. (2016). RSVP Reading on a Smart Watch. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2016 Annual Meeting (pp. 1130-1134).
AbstractReading with Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) has shown promise for optimizing screen space and increasing reading speed without compromising comprehension. Given the wide use of small-screen devices, the present study compared RSVP and traditional reading on three types of reading comprehension, reading speed, and subjective measures on a smart watch. Results confirm previous studies that show faster reading speed with RSVP without detracting from comprehension. Subjective data indicate that Traditional is strongly preferred to RSVP as a primary reading method. Given the optimal use of screen space, increased speed and comparable comprehension, future studies should focus on making RSVP a more comfortable format.
Raviv, L., & Arnon, I. (2016). Language evolution in the lab: The case of child learners. In A. Papagrafou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1643-1648). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
AbstractRecent work suggests that cultural transmission can lead to the emergence of linguistic structure as speakers’ weak individual biases become amplified through iterated learning. However, to date, no published study has demonstrated a similar emergence of linguistic structure in children. This gap is problematic given that languages are mainly learned by children and that adults may bring existing linguistic biases to the task. Here, we conduct a large-scale study of iterated language learning in both children and adults, using a novel, child-friendly paradigm. The results show that while children make more mistakes overall, their languages become more learnable and show learnability biases similar to those of adults. Child languages did not show a significant increase in linguistic structure over time, but consistent mappings between meanings and signals did emerge on many occasions, as found with adults. This provides the first demonstration that cultural transmission affects the languages children and adults produce similarly.
Raviv, L., & Arnon, I. (2016). The developmental trajectory of children's statistical learning abilities. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1469-1474). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
AbstractInfants, children and adults are capable of implicitly extracting regularities from their environment through statistical learning (SL). SL is present from early infancy and found across tasks and modalities, raising questions about the domain generality of SL. However, little is known about its’ developmental trajectory: Is SL fully developed capacity in infancy, or does it improve with age, like other cognitive skills? While SL is well established in infants and adults, only few studies have looked at SL across development with conflicting results: some find age-related improvements while others do not. Importantly, despite its postulated role in language learning, no study has examined the developmental trajectory of auditory SL throughout childhood. Here, we conduct a large-scale study of children's auditory SL across a wide age-range (5-12y, N=115). Results show that auditory SL does not change much across development. We discuss implications for modality-based differences in SL and for its role in language acquisition.
Rodd, J., & Chen, A. (2016). Pitch accents show a perceptual magnet effect: Evidence of internal structure in intonation categories. In J. Barnes, A. Brugos, S. Shattuck-Hufnagel, & N. Veilleux (
Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2016 (pp. 697-701).
AbstractThe question of whether intonation events have a categorical mental representation has long been a puzzle in prosodic research, and one that experiments testing production and perception across category boundaries have failed to definitively resolve. This paper takes the alternative approach of looking for evidence of structure within a postulated category by testing for a Perceptual Magnet Effect (PME). PME has been found in boundary tones but has not previously been conclusively found in pitch accents. In this investigation, perceived goodness and discriminability of re-synthesised Dutch nuclear rise contours (L*H H%) were evaluated by naive native speakers of Dutch. The variation between these stimuli was quantified using a polynomial-parametric modelling approach (i.e. the SOCoPaSul model) in place of the traditional approach whereby excursion size, peak alignment and pitch register are used independently of each other to quantify variation between pitch accents. Using this approach to calculate the acoustic-perceptual distance between different stimuli, PME was detected: (1) rated goodness, decreased as acoustic-perceptual distance relative to the prototype increased, and (2) equally spaced items far from the prototype were less frequently generalised than equally spaced items in the neighbourhood of the prototype. These results support the concept of categorically distinct intonation events.
Supplementary materialLink to Speech Prosody Website
Speed, L., Chen, J., Huettig, F., & Majid, A. (2016). Do classifier categories affect or reflect object concepts? In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 2267-2272). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
AbstractWe conceptualize objects based on sensory and motor information gleaned from real-world experience. But to what extent is such conceptual information structured according to higher level linguistic features too? Here we investigate whether classifiers, a grammatical category, shape the conceptual representations of objects. In three experiments native Mandarin speakers (speakers of a classifier language) and native Dutch speakers (speakers of a language without classifiers) judged the similarity of a target object (presented as a word or picture) with four objects (presented as words or pictures). One object shared a classifier with the target, the other objects did not, serving as distractors. Across all experiments, participants judged the target object as more similar to the object with the shared classifier than distractor objects. This effect was seen in both Dutch and Mandarin speakers, and there was no difference between the two languages. Thus, even speakers of a non-classifier language are sensitive to object similarities underlying classifier systems, and using a classifier system does not exaggerate these similarities. This suggests that classifier systems simply reflect, rather than affect, conceptual structure.
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.
AbstractDisfluencies, 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.
AbstractSpeech 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.
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).
AbstractSame-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.
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.
AbstractFrequent 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.
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.
AbstractAdaptation 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.
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.
AbstractPrevious research  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.
Chen, A., Chen, A., Kager, R., & Wong, P. (2014). Rises and falls in Dutch and Mandarin Chinese. In C. Gussenhoven, Y. Chen, & D. Dediu (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Language (pp. 83-86).
AbstractDespite of the different functions of pitch in tone and nontone languages, rises and falls are common pitch patterns across different languages. In the current study, we ask what is the language specific phonetic realization of rises and falls. Chinese and Dutch speakers participated in a production experiment. We used contexts composed for conveying specific communicative purposes to elicit rises and falls. We measured both tonal alignment and tonal scaling for both patterns. For the alignment measurements, we found language specific patterns for the rises, but for falls. For rises, both peak and valley were aligned later among Chinese speakers compared to Dutch speakers. For all the scaling measurements (maximum pitch, minimum pitch, and pitch range), no language specific patterns were found for either the rises or the falls
Chen, A. (2014). Production-comprehension (A)Symmetry: Individual differences in the acquisition of prosodic focus-marking. In N. Campbell, D. Gibbon, & D. Hirst (
Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2014 (pp. 423-427).
AbstractPrevious work based on different groups of children has shown that four- to five-year-old children are similar to adults in both producing and comprehending the focus-toaccentuation mapping in Dutch, contra the alleged productionprecedes- comprehension asymmetry in earlier studies. In the current study, we addressed the question of whether there are individual differences in the production-comprehension (a)symmetricity. To this end, we examined the use of prosody in focus marking in production and the processing of focusrelated prosody in online language comprehension in the same group of 4- to 5-year-olds. We have found that the relationship between comprehension and production can be rather diverse at an individual level. This result suggests some degree of independence in learning to use prosody to mark focus in production and learning to process focus-related prosodic information in online language comprehension, and implies influences of other linguistic and non-linguistic factors on the production-comprehension (a)symmetricity
Guerra, E., Huettig, F., & Knoeferle, P. (2014). Assessing the time course of the influence of featural, distributional and spatial representations during reading. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014) (pp. 2309-2314). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. Retrieved from https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2014/papers/402/.
AbstractWhat does semantic similarity between two concepts mean? How could we measure it? The way in which semantic similarity is calculated might differ depending on the theoretical notion of semantic representation. In an eye-tracking reading experiment, we investigated whether two widely used semantic similarity measures (based on featural or distributional representations) have distinctive effects on sentence reading times. In other words, we explored whether these measures of semantic similarity differ qualitatively. In addition, we examined whether visually perceived spatial distance interacts with either or both of these measures. Our results showed that the effect of featural and distributional representations on reading times can differ both in direction and in its time course. Moreover, both featural and distributional information interacted with spatial distance, yet in different sentence regions and reading measures. We conclude that featural and distributional representations are distinct components of semantic representation.
Guerra, E., & Knoeferle, P. (2014). Spatial distance modulates reading times for sentences about social relations: evidence from eye tracking. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014) (pp. 2315-2320). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. Retrieved from https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2014/papers/403/.
AbstractRecent evidence from eye tracking during reading showed that non-referential spatial distance presented in a visual context can modulate semantic interpretation of similarity relations rapidly and incrementally. In two eye-tracking reading experiments we extended these findings in two important ways; first, we examined whether other semantic domains (social relations) could also be rapidly influenced by spatial distance during sentence comprehension. Second, we aimed to further specify how abstract language is co-indexed with spatial information by varying the syntactic structure of sentences between experiments. Spatial distance rapidly modulated reading times as a function of the social relation expressed by a sentence. Moreover, our findings suggest that abstract language can be co-indexed as soon as critical information becomes available for the reader.
Lev-Ari, S., & Peperkamp, S. (2014). Do people converge to the linguistic patterns of non-reliable speakers? Perceptual learning from non-native speakers. In S. Fuchs, M. Grice, A. Hermes, L. Lancia, & D. Mücke (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th International Seminar on Speech Production (ISSP) (pp. 261-264).
AbstractPeople's language is shaped by the input from the environment. The environment, however, offers a range of linguistic inputs that differ in their reliability. We test whether listeners accordingly weigh input from sources that differ in reliability differently. Using a perceptual learning paradigm, we show that listeners adjust their representations according to linguistic input provided by native but not by non-native speakers. This is despite the fact that listeners are able to learn the characteristics of the speech of both speakers. These results provide evidence for a disassociation between adaptation to the characteristic of specific speakers and adjustment of linguistic representations in general based on these learned characteristics. This study also has implications for theories of language change. In particular, it cast doubts on the hypothesis that a large proportion of non-native speakers in a community can bring about linguistic changes
Liu, Z., Chen, A., & Van de Velde, H. (2014). Prosodic focus marking in Bai. In N. Campbell, D. Gibbon, & D. Hirst (
Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2014 (pp. 628-631).
AbstractThis study investigates prosodic marking of focus in Bai, a Sino-Tibetan language spoken in the Southwest of China, by adopting a semi-spontaneous experimental approach. Our data show that Bai speakers increase the duration of the focused constituent and reduce the duration of the post-focus constituent to encode focus. However, duration is not used in Bai to distinguish focus types differing in size and contrastivity. Further, pitch plays no role in signaling focus and differentiating focus types. The results thus suggest that Bai uses prosody to mark focus, but to a lesser extent, compared to Mandarin Chinese, with which Bai has been in close contact for centuries, and Cantonese, to which Bai is similar in the tonal system, although Bai is similar to Cantonese in its reliance on duration in prosodic focus marking.
Smith, A. C., Monaghan, P., & Huettig, F. (2014). A comprehensive model of spoken word recognition must be multimodal: Evidence from studies of language-mediated visual attention. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
AbstractWhen processing language, the cognitive system has access to information from a range of modalities (e.g. auditory, visual) to support language processing. Language mediated visual attention studies have shown sensitivity of the listener to phonological, visual, and semantic similarity when processing a word. In a computational model of language mediated visual attention, that models spoken word processing as the parallel integration of information from phonological, semantic and visual processing streams, we simulate such effects of competition within modalities. Our simulations raised untested predictions about stronger and earlier effects of visual and semantic similarity compared to phonological similarity around the rhyme of the word. Two visual world studies confirmed these predictions. The model and behavioral studies suggest that, during spoken word comprehension, multimodal information can be recruited rapidly to constrain lexical selection to the extent that phonological rhyme information may exert little influence on this process.
Smith, A. C., Monaghan, P., & Huettig, F. (2014). Examining strains and symptoms of the ‘Literacy Virus’: The effects of orthographic transparency on phonological processing in a connectionist model of reading. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
AbstractThe effect of literacy on phonological processing has been described in terms of a virus that “infects all speech processing” (Frith, 1998). Empirical data has established that literacy leads to changes to the way in which phonological information is processed. Harm & Seidenberg (1999) demonstrated that a connectionist network trained to map between English orthographic and phonological representations display’s more componential phonological processing than a network trained only to stably represent the phonological forms of words. Within this study we use a similar model yet manipulate the transparency of orthographic-to-phonological mappings. We observe that networks trained on a transparent orthography are better at restoring phonetic features and phonemes. However, networks trained on non-transparent orthographies are more likely to restore corrupted phonological segments with legal, coarser linguistic units (e.g. onset, coda). Our study therefore provides an explicit description of how differences in orthographic transparency can lead to varying strains and symptoms of the ‘literacy virus’.
Yang, A., & Chen, A. (2014). Prosodic focus marking in child and adult Mandarin Chinese. In C. Gussenhoven, Y. Chen, & D. Dediu (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Language (pp. 54-58).
AbstractThis study investigates how Mandarin Chinese speaking children and adults use prosody to mark focus in spontaneous speech. SVO sentences were elicited from 4- and 8-year-olds and adults in a game setting. Sentence-medial verbs were acoustically analysed for both duration and pitch range in different focus conditions. We have found that like the adults, the 8-year-olds used both duration and pitch range to distinguish focus from non-focus. The 4-year-olds used only duration to distinguish focus from non-focus, unlike the adults and 8-year-olds. None of the three groups of speakers distinguished contrastive focus from non-contrastive focus using pitch range or duration. Regarding the distinction between narrow focus from broad focus, the 4- and 8-year-olds used both pitch range and duration for this purpose, while the adults used only duration
Yang, A., & Chen, A. (2014). Prosodic focus-marking in Chinese four- and eight-year-olds. In N. Campbell, D. Gibbon, & D. Hirst (
Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2014 (pp. 713-717).
AbstractThis study investigates how Mandarin Chinese speaking children use prosody to distinguish focus from non-focus, and focus types differing in size of constituent and contrastivity. SVO sentences were elicited from four- and eight-year-olds in a game setting. Sentence-medial verbs were acoustically analysed for both duration and pitch range in different focus conditions. The children started to use duration to differentiate focus from non-focus at the age of four. But their use of pitch range varied with age and depended on non-focus conditions (pre- vs. postfocus) and the lexical tones of the verbs. Further, the children in both age groups used pitch range but not duration to differentiate narrow focus from broad focus, and they did not differentiate contrastive narrow focus from non-contrastive narrow focus using duration or pitch range. The results indicated that Chinese children acquire the prosodic means (duration and pitch range) of marking focus in stages, and their acquisition of these two means appear to be early, compared to children speaking an intonation language, for example, Dutch.
Sauppe, S., Norcliffe, E., Konopka, A. E., Van Valin Jr., R. D., & Levinson, S. C. (2013). Dependencies first: Eye tracking evidence from sentence production in Tagalog. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2013) (pp. 1265-1270). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
AbstractWe investigated the time course of sentence formulation in Tagalog, a verb-initial language in which the verb obligatorily agrees with one of its arguments. Eye-tracked participants described pictures of transitive events. Fixations to the two characters in the events were compared across sentences differing in agreement marking and post-verbal word order. Fixation patterns show evidence for two temporally dissociated phases in Tagalog sentence production. The first, driven by verb agreement, involves early linking of concepts to syntactic functions; the second, driven by word order, involves incremental lexical encoding of these concepts. These results suggest that even the earliest stages of sentence formulation may be guided by a language's grammatical structure.
Smith, A. C., Monaghan, P., & Huettig, F. (2013). Modelling the effects of formal literacy training on language mediated visual attention. In M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, & I. Wachsmuth (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2013) (pp. 3420-3425). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
AbstractRecent empirical evidence suggests that language-mediated eye gaze is partly determined by level of formal literacy training. Huettig, Singh and Mishra (2011) showed that high-literate individuals' eye gaze was closely time locked to phonological overlap between a spoken target word and items presented in a visual display. In contrast, low-literate individuals' eye gaze was not related to phonological overlap, but was instead strongly influenced by semantic relationships between items. Our present study tests the hypothesis that this behavior is an emergent property of an increased ability to extract phonological structure from the speech signal, as in the case of high-literates, with low-literates more reliant on more coarse grained structure. This hypothesis was tested using a neural network model, that integrates linguistic information extracted from the speech signal with visual and semantic information within a central resource. We demonstrate that contrasts in fixation behavior similar to those observed between high and low literates emerge when models are trained on speech signals of contrasting granularity.
Timmer, K., Ganushchak, L. Y., Mitlina, Y., & Schiller, N. O. (2013). Choosing first or second language phonology in 125 ms [Abstract]. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25 Suppl., 164.
AbstractWe are often in a bilingual situation (e.g., overhearing a conversation in the train). We investigated whether first (L1) and second language (L2) phonologies are automatically activated. A masked priming paradigm was used, with Russian words as targets and either Russian or English words as primes. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while Russian (L1) – English (L2) bilinguals read aloud L1 target words (e.g. РЕЙС /reis/ ‘fl ight’) primed with either L1 (e.g. РАНА /rana/ ‘wound’) or L2 words (e.g. PACK). Target words were read faster when they were preceded by phonologically related L1 primes but not by orthographically related L2 primes. ERPs showed orthographic priming in the 125-200 ms time window. Thus, both L1 and L2 phonologies are simultaneously activated during L1 reading. The results provide support for non-selective models of bilingual reading, which assume automatic activation of the non-target language phonology even when it is not required by the task.
Haderlein, T., Moers, C., Möbius, B., & Nöth, E. (2012). Automatic rating of hoarseness by text-based cepstral and prosodic evaluation. In P. Sojka, A. Horák, I. Kopecek, & K. Pala (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Text, Speech and Dialogue (TSD 2012) (pp. 573-580). Heidelberg: Springer.
AbstractThe standard for the analysis of distorted voices is perceptual rating of read-out texts or spontaneous speech. Automatic voice evaluation, however, is usually done on stable sections of sustained vowels. In this paper, text-based and established vowel-based analysis are compared with respect to their ability to measure hoarseness and its subclasses. 73 hoarse patients (48.3±16.8 years) uttered the vowel /e/ and read the German version of the text “The North Wind and the Sun”. Five speech therapists and physicians rated roughness, breathiness, and hoarseness according to the German RBH evaluation scheme. The best human-machine correlations were obtained for measures based on the Cepstral Peak Prominence (CPP; up to |r | = 0.73). Support Vector Regression (SVR) on CPP-based measures and prosodic features improved the results further to r ≈0.8 and confirmed that automatic voice evaluation should be performed on a text recording.
Sjerps, M. J., McQueen, J. M., & Mitterer, H. (2012). Extrinsic normalization for vocal tracts depends on the signal, not on attention. In Proceedings of INTERSPEECH 2012: 13th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (pp. 394-397).
AbstractWhen perceiving vowels, listeners adjust to speaker-specific vocal-tract characteristics (such as F1) through "extrinsic vowel normalization". This effect is observed as a shift in the location of categorization boundaries of vowel continua. Similar effects have been found with non-speech. Non-speech materials, however, have consistently led to smaller effect-sizes, perhaps because of a lack of attention to non-speech. The present study investigated this possibility. Non-speech materials that had previously been shown to elicit reduced normalization effects were tested again, with the addition of an attention manipulation. The results show that increased attention does not lead to increased normalization effects, suggesting that vowel normalization is mainly determined by bottom-up signal characteristics.
Smith, A. C., & Monaghan, P. (2011). What are the functional units in reading? Evidence for statistical variation influencing word processing. In Connectionist Models of Neurocognition and Emergent Behavior: From Theory to Applications (pp. 159-172). Singapore: World Scientific.
AbstractComputational models of reading have differed in terms of whether they propose a single route forming the mapping between orthography and phonology or whether there is a lexical/sublexical route distinction. A critical test of the architecture of the reading system is how it deals with multi-letter graphemes. Rastle and Coltheart (1998) found that the presence of digraphs in nonwords but not in words led to an increase in naming times, suggesting that nonwords were processed via a distinct sequential route to words. In contrast Pagliuca, Monaghan, and McIntosh (2008) implemented a single route model of reading and showed that under conditions of visual noise the presence of digraphs in words did have an effect on naming accuracy. In this study, we investigated whether such digraph effects could be found in both words and nonwords under conditions of visual noise. If so it would suggest that effects on words and nonwords are comparable. A single route connectionist model of reading showed greater accuracy for both words and nonwords containing digraphs. Experimental results showed participants were more accurate in recognising words if they contained digraphs. However contrary to model predictions they were less accurate in recognising nonwords containing digraphs compared to controls. We discuss the challenges faced by both theoretical perspectives in interpreting these findings and in light of a psycholinguistic grain size theory of reading.
Van Hout, A., Veenstra, A., & Berends, S. (2011). All pronouns are not acquired equally in Dutch: Elicitation of object and quantitative pronouns. In M. Pirvulescu, M. C. Cuervo, A. T. Pérez-Leroux, J. Steele, & N. Strik (
Eds.), Selected proceedings of the 4th Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA 2010) (pp. 106-121). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
AbstractThis research reports the results of eliciting pronouns in two syntactic environments: Object pronouns and quantitative er (Q-er). Thus another type of language is added to the literature on subject and object clitic acquisition in the Romance languages (Jakubowicz et al., 1998; Hamann et al., 1996). Quantitative er is a unique pronoun in the Germanic languages; it has the same distribution as partitive clitics in Romance. Q-er is an N'-anaphor and occurs obligatorily with headless noun phrases with a numeral or weak quantifier. Q-er is licensed only when the context offers an antecedent; it binds an empty position in the NP. Data from typically-developing children aged 5;0-6;0 show that object and Q-er pronouns are not acquired equally; it is proposed that this is due to their different syntax. The use of Q-er involves more sophisticated syntactic knowledge: Q-er occurs at the left edge of the VP and binds an empty position in the NP, whereas object pronouns are simply stand-ins for full NPs and occur in the same position. These Dutch data reveal that pronouns are not used as exclusively as object clitics are in the Romance languages (Varlakosta, in prep.).
Vuong, L., Meyer, A. S., & Christiansen, M. H. (2011). Simultaneous online tracking of adjacent and non-adjacent dependencies in statistical learning. In L. Carlson, C. Hölscher, & T. Shipley (
Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 964-969). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.