Publications

Displaying 1 - 20 of 67
  • Baayen, H., & Danziger, E. (1993). Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics: Annual Report Nr.14 1993. Nijmegen: MPI for Psycholinguistics.
  • Botelho da Silva, T., & Cutler, A. (1993). Ill-formedness and transformability in Portuguese idioms. In C. Cacciari, & P. Tabossi (Eds.), Idioms: Processing, structure and interpretation (pp. 129-143). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Bowerman, M. (1993). Typological perspectives on language acquisition: Do crosslinguistic patterns predict development? In E. V. Clark (Ed.), Proceedings of the Twenty-fifth Annual Child Language Research Forum (pp. 7-15). Stanford, CA: Center for the Study of Language and Information.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (1993). 'Uphill' and 'downhill' in Tzeltal. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 3(1), 46-74. doi:10.1525/jlin.1993.3.1.46.

    Abstract

    In the face of the prevailing assumption among cognitive scientists that human spatial cognition is essentially egocentric, with objects located in reference to the orientation of ego's own body (hence left/right, up/down, and front/back oppositions), the Mayan language Tzeltal provides a telling counterexample. This article examines a set of conceptual oppositions in Tzeltal, uphill/downhill/across, that provides an absolute system of coordinates with respect to which the location of objects and their trajectories on both micro and macro scales are routinely described.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (1993). Linguistic and nonlinguistic coding of spatial arrays: Explorations in Mayan cognition. Working Paper 24. Nijmegen, Netherlands: Cognitive Anthropology Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Brown, P. (1993). Gender, politeness and confrontation in Tenejapa [reprint]. In D. Tannen (Ed.), Gender and conversational interaction (pp. 144-164). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Abstract

    This is a reprint of Brown 1990.
  • Brown, P. (1993). The role of shape in the acquisition of Tzeltal (Mayan) locatives. In E. V. Clark (Ed.), Proceedings of the 25th Annual Child Language Research Forum (pp. 211-220). Stanford, CA: CSLI/University of Chicago Press.

    Abstract

    In a critique of the current state of theories of language acquisition, Bowerman (1985) has argued forcibly for the need to take crosslinguistic variation in semantic structure seriously, in order to understand children's acquisition of semantic categories in the process of learning their language. The semantics of locative expressions in the Mayan language Tzeltal exemplifies this point, for no existing theory of spatial expressions provides an adequate basis for capturing the semantic structure of spatial description in this Mayan language. In this paper I describe some of the characteristics of Tzeltal locative descriptions, as a contribution to the growing body of data on crosslinguistic variation in this domain and as a prod to ideas about acquisition processes, confining myself to the topological notions of 'on' and 'in', and asking whether, and how, these notions are involved in the semantic distinctions underlying Tzeltal locatives.
  • Brown, C. M., & Hagoort, P. (1993). The processing nature of the N400: Evidence from masked priming. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 5, 34-44. doi:10.1162/jocn.1993.5.1.34.

    Abstract

    The N400 is an endogenous event-related brain potential (ERP) that is sensitive to semantic processes during language comprehension. The general question we address in this paper is which aspects of the comprehension process are manifest in the N400. The focus is on the sensitivity of the N400 to the automatic process of lexical access, or to the controlled process of lexical integration. The former process is the reflex-like and effortless behavior of computing a form representation of the linguistic signal, and of mapping this representation onto corresponding entries in the mental lexicon. The latter process concerns the integration of a spoken or written word into a higher-order meaning representation of the context within which it occurs. ERPs and reaction times (RTs) were acquired to target words preceded by semantically related and unrelated prime words. The semantic relationship between a prime and its target has been shown to modulate the amplitude of the N400 to the target. This modulation can arise from lexical access processes, reflecting the automatic spread of activation between words related in meaning in the mental lexicon. Alternatively, the N400 effect can arise from lexical integration processes, reflecting the relative ease of meaning integration between the prime and the target. To assess the impact of automatic lexical access processes on the N400, we compared the effect of masked and unmasked presentations of a prime on the N400 to a following target. Masking prevents perceptual identification, and as such it is claimed to rule out effects from controlled processes. It therefore enables a stringent test of the possible impact of automatic lexical access processes on the N400. The RT study showed a significant semantic priming effect under both unmasked and masked presentations of the prime. The result for masked priming reflects the effect of automatic spreading of activation during the lexical access process. The ERP study showed a significant N400 effect for the unmasked presentation condition, but no such effect for the masked presentation condition. This indicates that the N400 is not a manifestation of lexical access processes, but reflects aspects of semantic integration processes.
  • Cutler, A. (1993). Language-specific processing: Does the evidence converge? In G. T. Altmann, & R. C. Shillcock (Eds.), Cognitive models of speech processing: The Sperlonga Meeting II (pp. 115-123). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Cutler, A. (1993). Segmentation problems, rhythmic solutions. Lingua, 92, 81-104. doi:10.1016/0024-3841(94)90338-7.

    Abstract

    The lexicon contains discrete entries, which must be located in speech input in order for speech to be understood; but the continuity of speech signals means that lexical access from spoken input involves a segmentation problem for listeners. The speech environment of prelinguistic infants may not provide special information to assist the infant listeners in solving this problem. Mature language users in possession of a lexicon might be thought to be able to avoid explicit segmentation of speech by relying on information from successful lexical access; however, evidence from adult perceptual studies indicates that listeners do use explicit segmentation procedures. These procedures differ across languages and seem to exploit language-specific rhythmic structure. Efficient as these procedures are, they may not have been developed in response to statistical properties of the input, because bilinguals, equally competent in two languages, apparently only possess one rhythmic segmentation procedure. The origin of rhythmic segmentation may therefore lie in the infant's exploitation of rhythm to solve the segmentation problem and gain a first toehold on lexical acquisition. Recent evidence from speech production and perception studies with prelinguistic infants supports the claim that infants are sensitive to rhythmic structure and its relationship to lexical segmentation.
  • Cutler, A. (1993). Segmenting speech in different languages. The Psychologist, 6(10), 453-455.
  • Cutler, A. (1993). Phonological cues to open- and closed-class words in the processing of spoken sentences. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 22, 109-131.

    Abstract

    Evidence is presented that (a) the open and the closed word classes in English have different phonological characteristics, (b) the phonological dimension on which they differ is one to which listeners are highly sensitive, and (c) spoken open- and closed-class words produce different patterns of results in some auditory recognition tasks. What implications might link these findings? Two recent lines of evidence from disparate paradigms—the learning of an artificial language, and natural and experimentally induced misperception of juncture—are summarized, both of which suggest that listeners are sensitive to the phonological reflections of open- vs. closed-class word status. Although these correlates cannot be strictly necessary for efficient processing, if they are present listeners exploit them in making word class assignments. That such a use of phonological information is of value to listeners could be indirect evidence that open- vs. closed-class words undergo different processing operations. Parts of the research reported in this paper were carried out in collaboration with Sally Butterfield and David Carter, and supported by the Alvey Directorate (United Kingdom). Jonathan Stankler's master's research was supported by the Science and Engineering Research Council (United Kingdom). Thanks to all of the above, and to Merrill Garrett, Mike Kelly, James McQueen, and Dennis Norris for further assistance.
  • Cutler, A., Kearns, R., Norris, D., & Scott, D. R. (1993). Problems with click detection: Insights from cross-linguistic comparisons. Speech Communication, 13, 401-410. doi:10.1016/0167-6393(93)90038-M.

    Abstract

    Cross-linguistic comparisons may shed light on the levels of processing involved in the performance of psycholinguistic tasks. For instance, if the same pattern of results appears whether or not subjects understand the experimental materials, it may be concluded that the results do not reflect higher-level linguistic processing. In the present study, English and French listeners performed two tasks - click location and speeded click detection - with both English and French sentences, closely matched for syntactic and phonological structure. Clicks were located more accurately in open- than in closed-class words in both English and French; they were detected more rapidly in open- than in closed-class words in English, but not in French. The two listener groups produced the same pattern of responses, suggesting that higher-level linguistic processing was not involved in the listeners' responses. It is concluded that click detection tasks are primarily sensitive to low-level (e.g. acoustic) effects, and hence are not well suited to the investigation of linguistic processing.
  • Cutler, A., & Mehler, J. (1993). The periodicity bias. Journal of Phonetics, 21, 101-108.
  • Diesveld, P., & Kempen, G. (1993). Zinnen als bouwwerken: Computerprogramma's voor grammatica-oefeningen. MOER, Tijdschrift voor onderwijs in het Nederlands, 1993(4), 130-138.
  • Dietrich, R., Klein, W., & Noyau, C. (1993). The acquisition of temporality. In C. Perdue (Ed.), Adult language acquisition: Cross-linguistic perspectives: Vol. 2 The results (pp. 73-118). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Dijkstra, T., & Kempen, G. (Eds.). (1993). Einführung in die Psycholinguistik. München: Hans Huber.
  • Dijkstra, T. (1993). Taalpsychologie (G. Kempen, Ed.). Groningen: Wolters-Noordhoff.
  • Edwards, J., & Levelt, W. J. M. (1993). The control group study. In C. Perdue (Ed.), Adult language acquisition: Cross-linguistic perspectives. Vol. I Field methods (pp. 173-185). Cambridge University Press.
  • Frauenfelder, U. H., Baayen, R. H., Hellwig, F. M., & Schreuder, R. (1993). Neighborhood Density and Frequency Across Languages and Modalities. Journal of Memory and Language, 32(6), 781-804. doi:10.1006/jmla.1993.1039.

    Abstract

    This research exploits the English and Dutch CELEX lexical database to investigate the form similarity relations between words. Lexical statistics analyses replicate and extend the findings of Landauer and Streeter (1973) concerning the relation between a word′s frequency and the density and frequency of its similarity neighborhood. The results for both Dutch and English reveal only a weak tendency for high-frequency written and spoken words to have more neighbors than rare words and for these neighbors to be more frequent than those of rare words. However, the number of neighbors was found to correlate more highly with bigram frequency than with word frequency. To clarify the relations between these properties, a stochastic model is presented which captures the relevant effects of phonotactic structure on neighborhood similarities. The implications of these findings for models of language production and comprehension are considered.

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