Publications

Displaying 1 - 18 of 18
  • Bien, H. (2007). On the production of morphologically complex words with special attention to effects of frequency. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Brown, A. (2007). Crosslinguistic influence in first and second languages: Convergence in speech and gesture. PhD Thesis, Boston University, Boston.

    Abstract

    Research on second language acquisition typically focuses on how a first language (L1) influences a second language (L2) in different linguistic domains and across modalities. This dissertation, in contrast, explores interactions between languages in the mind of a language learner by asking 1) can an emerging L2 influence an established L1? 2) if so, how is such influence realized? 3) are there parallel influences of the L1 on the L2? These questions were investigated for the expression of Manner (e.g. climb, roll) and Path (e.g. up, down) of motion, areas where substantial crosslinguistic differences exist in speech and co-speech gesture. Japanese and English are typologically distinct in this domain; therefore, narrative descriptions of four motion events were elicited from monolingual Japanese speakers (n=16), monolingual English speakers (n=13), and native Japanese speakers with intermediate knowledge of English (narratives elicited in both their L1 and L2, n=28). Ways in which Path and Manner were expressed at the lexical, syntactic, and gestural levels were analyzed in monolingual and non-monolingual production. Results suggest mutual crosslinguistic influences. In their L1, native Japanese speakers with knowledge of English displayed both Japanese- and English-like use of morphosyntactic elements to express Path and Manner (i.e. a combination of verbs and other constructions). Consequently, non-monolingual L1 discourse contained significantly more Path expressions per clause, with significantly greater mention of Goal of motion than monolingual Japanese and English discourse. Furthermore, the gestures of non-monolingual speakers diverged from their monolingual counterparts with differences in depiction of Manner and gesture perspective (character versus observer). Importantly, non-monolingual production in the L1 was not ungrammatical, but simply reflected altered preferences. As for L2 production, many effects of L1 influence were seen, crucially in areas parallel to those described above. Overall, production by native Japanese speakers who knew English differed from that of monolingual Japanese and English speakers. But L1 and L2 production within non-monolingual individuals was similar. These findings imply a convergence of L1-L2 linguistic systems within the mind of a language learner. Theoretical and methodological implications for SLA research and language assessment with respect to the 'native speaker standard language' are discussed.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2011). The meaning and use of ideophones in Siwu. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Additional information

    http://thesis.ideophone.org/
  • Ellert, M. (2011). Ambiguous pronoun resolution in L1 and L2 German and Dutch. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    PhD defense on January, 7th, 2011
  • FitzPatrick, I. (2011). Lexical interactions in non-native speech comprehension: Evidence from electro-encephalography, eye-tracking, and functional magnetic resonance imaging. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Gipper, S. (2011). Evidentiality and intersubjectivity in Yurakaré: An interactional account. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Goudbeek, M. (2007). The acquisition of auditory categories. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    This doctoral dissertation investigated the learning of auditory categories by applying insights from child language learning, visual category learning and phonetic categorization by adults. The experiments in chapter 2 concern supervised learning of multidimensional non-speech categories varying in two dimensions: duration and a non speech analogue of formant frequency. In experiment 1, one dimension of variation determined category membership, variation in the other dimension was irrelevant. Listeners quickly learned to categorize according to this distinction. In experiment 2, both dimensions needed to be combined to categorize correctly. Performance was much lower, but most listeners succeeded in this task. However, in a maintenance phase without feedback or distributional information, listeners reverted to a unidimensional solution. In a maintenance phase with distributional information, listeners did use both dimensions correctly, arguing for the importance of distributional information in (auditory) category acquisition. In chapter 3, the listeners had to classify the same categories, but without feedback. In experiment 1, listeners succeeded to discover the relevant dimension of variation (and ignore the irrelevant one) without feedback. Much of this learning was lost in the maintenance phase, especially for the dimension formant frequency. With two relevant dimensions (Experiment 2), listeners were not able to learn to use both dimensions and reverted to a unidimensional solution. Chapter 4 applied the paradigms of chapter 2 and 3 to the learning of speech categories. Spanish native listeners learned Dutch vowel contrast with one relevant dimension of variation. With feedback, learning was swift, although was not well maintained without feedback or distributional information. Without feedback, Spanish listeners reverted to the dimensions best known in their native phonology, formant frequency, even when distributional information pointed to duration. The results are discussed in chapter 5. The implications for models of speech acquisition are discussed.
  • Haun, D. B. M. (2007). Cognitive cladistics and the relativity of spatial cognition. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    This thesis elaborates on a methodological approach to reliably infer cognitive preferences in an extinct evolutionary ancestor of modern humans. In attempts to understand cognitive evolution, humans have been compared to capuchin monkeys, tamarins, and chimpanzees to name but a few. But comparisons between humans and one other, maybe even distantly related primate, as interesting as they might be, will not tell us anything about an evolutionary ancestor to humans. To put it bluntly: None of the living primates, not even chimpanzees, are a human ancestor. With that in mind, we can still use a comparative approach to gain information about our evolutionary ancestors, as long as we are careful about whom we compare with whom. If a certain trait exists in all genera of a phylogenetic clade, it was most likely present in their common ancestor. The great apes are such a clade (Pongo, Gorilla, Pan and Homo). It follows that, if members of all great ape genera shared a particular cognitive preference or ability, it is most likely part of the evolutionary inheritance of the clade at least ever since their last common ancestor, and therefore also an evolutionarily old, inherited cognitive default in humans. This thesis contains studies comparing all 4 extant Hominid genera, including humans of 4 different age-groups and 2 different cultures. Results show that all great apes do indeed share some cognitive preferences, which they most likely inherited from an evolutionary ancestor. Additionally, human cognitive preferences can change away from such an inherited predisposition given ontogenetic factors, and are at least in part variably adaptable to cultural circumstance.
  • Junge, C. (2011). The relevance of early word recognition: Insights from the infant brain. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    Baby's begrijpen woorden eerder dan dat ze deze zeggen. Dit stadium is onderbelicht want moeilijk waarneembaar. Caroline Junge onderzocht de vaardigheden die nodig zijn voor het leren van de eerste woordjes: conceptherkenning, woordherkenning en het verbinden van woord aan betekenis. Daarvoor bestudeerde ze de hersenpotentialen van het babybrein tijdens het horen van woordjes. Junge stelt vast dat baby's van negen maanden al woordbegrip hebben. En dat is veel vroeger dan tot nu toe bekend was. Als baby's een woord hoorde dat niet klopte met het plaatje dat ze zagen, lieten ze een N400-effect zien, een klassiek hersenpotentiaal. Uit eerder Duits onderzoek is gebleken dat baby's van twaalf maanden dit effect nog niet laten zien, omdat de hersenen nog niet rijp zouden zijn. Het onderzoek van Junge weerlegt dit. Ook laat ze zien dat als baby's goed woorden kunnen herkennen binnen zinnetjes, dit belangrijk is voor hun latere taalontwikkeling, wat mogelijk tot nieuwe therapieën voor taalstoornissen zal leiden.
  • Kooijman, V. (2007). Continuous-speech segmentation at the beginning of language acquisition: Electrophysiological evidence. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    Word segmentation, or detecting word boundaries in continuous speech, is not an easy task. Spoken language does not contain silences to indicate word boundaries and words partly overlap due to coarticalution. Still, adults listening to their native language perceive speech as individual words. They are able to combine different distributional cues in the language, such as the statistical distribution of sounds and metrical cues, with lexical information, to efficiently detect word boundaries. Infants in the first year of life do not command these cues. However, already between seven and ten months of age, before they know word meaning, infants learn to segment words from speech. This important step in language acquisition is the topic of this dissertation. In chapter 2, the first Event Related Brain Potential (ERP) study on word segmentation in Dutch ten-month-olds is discussed. The results show that ten-month-olds can already segment words with a strong-weak stress pattern from speech and they need roughly the first half of a word to do so. Chapter 3 deals with segmentation of words beginning with a weak syllable, as a considerable number of words in Dutch do not follow the predominant strong-weak stress pattern. The results show that ten-month-olds still largely rely on the strong syllable in the language, and do not show an ERP response to the initial weak syllable. In chapter 4, seven-month-old infants' segmentation of strong-weak words was studied. An ERP response was found to strong-weak words presented in sentences. However, a behavioral response was not found in an additional Headturn Preference Procedure study. There results suggest that the ERP response is a precursor to the behavioral response that infants show at a later age.
  • Perniss, P. M. (2007). Space and iconicity in German sign language (DGS). PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.57482.

    Abstract

    This dissertation investigates the expression of spatial relationships in German Sign Language (Deutsche Gebärdensprache, DGS). The analysis focuses on linguistic expression in the spatial domain in two types of discourse: static scene description (location) and event narratives (location and motion). Its primary theoretical objectives are to characterize the structure of locative descriptions in DGS; to explain the use of frames of reference and perspective in the expression of location and motion; to clarify the interrelationship between the systems of frames of reference, signing perspective, and classifier predicates; and to characterize the interplay between iconicity principles, on the one hand, and grammatical and discourse constraints, on the other hand, in the use of these spatial devices. In more general terms, the dissertation provides a usage-based account of iconic mapping in the visual-spatial modality. The use of space in sign language expression is widely assumed to be guided by iconic principles, which are furthermore assumed to hold in the same way across sign languages. Thus, there has been little expectation of variation between sign languages in the spatial domain in the use of spatial devices. Consequently, perhaps, there has been little systematic investigation of linguistic expression in the spatial domain in individual sign languages, and less investigation of spatial language in extended signed discourse. This dissertation provides an investigation of spatial expressions in DGS by investigating the impact of different constraints on iconicity in sign language structure. The analyses have important implications for our understanding of the role of iconicity in the visual-spatial modality, the possible language-specific variation within the spatial domain in the visual-spatial modality, the structure of spatial language in both natural language modalities, and the relationship between spatial language and cognition
  • Pluymaekers, M. (2007). Affix reduction in spoken Dutch: Probabilistic effects in production and perception. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.58146.

    Abstract

    This dissertation investigates the roles of several probabilistic variables in the production and comprehension of reduced Dutch affixes. The central hypothesis is that linguistic units with a high probability of occurrence are more likely to be reduced (Jurafsky et al., 2001; Aylett & Turk, 2004). This hypothesis is tested by analyzing the acoustic realizations of affixes, which are meaning-carrying elements embedded in larger lexical units. Most of the results prove to be compatible with the main hypothesis, but some appear to run counter to its predictions. The final chapter of the thesis discusses the implications of these findings for models of speech production, models of speech perception, and probability-based accounts of reduction.
  • Robinson, S. (2011). Split intransitivity in Rotokas, a Papuan language of Bougainville. PhD Thesis, Radboud University, Nijmegen.
  • Sjerps, M. J. (2011). Adjusting to different speakers: Extrinsic normalization in vowel perception. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    Op een gemiddelde dag luisteren mensen naar spraak van heel veel verschillende mensen. Die hebben allemaal een ander stemgeluid, waardoor de woorden die zij uitspreken verschillend klinken. Luisteraars hebben daar echter weinig hinder van. Hoe is het mogelijk dat luisteraars zich zo gemakkelijk kunnen aanpassen aan verschillende sprekers? Matthias Sjerps onderzocht in zijn proefschrift een cognitief mechanisme dat luisteraars helpt om zich aan te passen aan de karakteristieken van verschillende sprekers. Hierbij maakt een luisteraar gebruik van informatie in de context. Dit mechanisme blijkt vroeg in de spraakverwerking plaats te vinden. Bovendien beïnvloedt dit mechanisme ook de perceptie van andere geluiden dan spraak. Dit laat zien dat het een zeer breed en algemeen perceptueel mechanisme betreft. Contexteffecten bleken echter sterker voor spraakgeluiden dan voor andere geluiden. Dit suggereert dat het onderzochte mechanisme, ook al is het algemeen en breed toepasbaar, versterkt kan worden door blootstelling aan taal.
  • Torreira, F. (2011). Speech reduction in spontaneous French and Spanish. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    Spraakklanken, lettergrepen en woorden worden vaak minder duidelijk uitgesproken in spontane conversaties dan in formelere spreekstijlen. Dit proefschrift presenteert onderzoek naar spraakreductie in spontaan Frans en Spaans. Naar deze talen is tot nu toe weinig spraakreductieonderzoek gedaan. Er worden twee nieuwe grote corpora met spontaan Frans en Spaans beschreven. Op basis van deze corpora heb ik enkele onderzoeken gedaan waarin ik de volgende belangrijke conclusies heb getrokken. Allereerst vond ik dat akoestische data van spontane spraak waardevolle informatie kan geven over de vraag of specifieke reductiefenomenen categoriaal of continu zijn. Verder vond ik, in tegenstelling tot onderzoek naar Germaanse talen, slechts gedeeltelijk bewijs dat spraakreductie in Romaanse talen als het Frans en het Spaans beïnvloed wordt door de eigenschappen en voorspelbaarheid van het woord. Ten derde vond ik door spontaan Frans en Spaans te vergelijken dat spraakreductie tussen talen meer kan verschillen dan je zou verwachten op basis van laboratoriumonderzoek
  • Tuinman, A. (2011). Processing casual speech in native and non-native language. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Van de Ven, M. A. M. (2011). The role of acoustic detail and context in the comprehension of reduced pronunciation variants. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Wang, L. (2011). The influence of information structure on language comprehension: A neurocognitive perspective. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

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