Displaying 1 - 20 of 20
  • Asaridou, S. S. (2015). An ear for pitch: On the effects of experience and aptitude in processing pitch in language and music. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Chen, J. (2008). The acquisition of verb compounding in Mandarin Chinese. PhD Thesis, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam.


    Seeing someone breaking a stick into two, an English speaks typically describes with a verb break, but a Mandarin speaker has to say bai1-duan4 ‘bend-be.broken’, a verb compound composed of two free verbs with each verb encoding one aspect of the breaking event. Verb compounding represents a typical and productive way to describe events of motion (e.g., zou3-chu1 ‘walk-exit’), and state change (e.g., bai1-duan4 ‘bendbe.broken’), the most common types of events that children of all languages are exposed to from an early age. Since languages vary in how events are linguistically encoded and categorized, the development of verb compounding provides a window to investigate the acquisition of form and meaning mapping for highly productive but constrained constructions and the interaction between children’s linguistic development and cognitive development. The theoretical analysis of verb compounds has been one of the central issues in Chinese linguistics, but the acquisition of this grammatical system has never been systematically studied. This dissertation constitutes the first in-depth study of this topic. It analyzes speech data from two longitudinal corpora as well as the data collected from five experiments on production and comprehension of verb compounds from children in P. R. China. It provides a description of the developmental process and unravels the complex learning tasks from the perspective of language production, comprehension, event categorization, and the interface of semantics and syntax. In showing how first-language learners acquire the Mandarin-specific way of representing and encoding causal events and motion events, this study has significance both for studies of language acquisition and for studies of cognition and event construal.
  • Gebre, B. G. (2015). Machine learning for gesture recognition from videos. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Gialluisi, A. (2015). Investigating the genetic basis of reading and language skills. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Gisladottir, R. S. (2015). Conversation electrified: The electrophysiology of spoken speech act recognition. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Hammond, J. (2015). Switch reference in Whitesands. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Hintz, F. (2015). Predicting language in different contexts: The nature and limits of mechanisms in anticipatory language processing. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Kuperman, V. (2008). Lexical processing of morphologically complex words: An information-theoretical perspective. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Kuzla, C. (2009). Prosodic structure in speech production and perception. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Magyari, L. (2015). Timing turns in conversation: A temporal preparation account. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Peeters, D. (2015). A social and neurobiological approach to pointing in speech and gesture. PhD Thesis, Radboud University, Nijmegen.
  • Rossi, G. (2015). The request system in Italian interaction. PhD Thesis, Radboud University, Nijmegen.


    People across the world make requests every day. We constantly rely on others to get by in the small and big practicalities of everyday life, be it getting the salt, moving a sofa, or cooking a meal. It has long been noticed that when we ask others for help we use a wide range of forms drawing on various resources afforded by our language and body. To get another to pass the salt, for example, we may say ‘Pass the salt’, or ask ‘Can you pass me the salt?’, or simply point to the salt. What do different forms of requesting give us? The short answer is that they allow us to manage different social relations. But what kind of relations? While prior research has mostly emphasised the role of long-term asymmetries like people’s social distance and relative power, this thesis puts at centre stage social relations and dimensions emerging in the moment-by-moment flow of everyday interaction. These include how easy or hard the action requested is to anticipate for the requestee, whether the action requested contributes to a joint project or serves an individual one, whether the requestee may be unwilling to do it, and how obvious or equivocal it is that a certain person or another should be involved in the action. The study focuses on requests made in everyday informal interactions among speakers of Italian. It involves over 500 instances of requests sampled from a diverse corpus of video recordings, and draws on methods from conversation analysis, linguistics and multimodal analysis. A qualitative analysis of the data is supported by quantitative measures of the distribution of linguistic and interactional features, and by the use of inferential statistics to test the generalizability of some of the patterns observed. The thesis aims to contribute to our understanding of both language and social interaction by showing that forms of requesting constitute a system, organised by a set of recurrent social-interactional concerns.

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  • Schimke, S. (2009). The acquisition of finiteness by Turkish learners of German and Turkish learners of French: Investigating knowledge of forms and functions in production and comprehension. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.


    Sarah Schimke onderzocht hoe mensen die op volwassen leeftijd naar een ander land verhuizen de taal van dit land leren, ook zonder veel taalinstructie te krijgen. Twee groepen werden onderzocht: Turkse immigranten in Frankrijk en Turkse immigranten in Duitsland. De resultaten laten zien dat volwassen leerlingen in het begin van het verwervingsproces een gemakkelijkere variatie van de doeltaal creëren. Er worden wel woorden van de doeltaal verworven en gebruikt, maar er wordt een gesimplificeerde grammatica toegepast. In het bijzonder gebruiken leerlingen in deze fase geen finietheid, dus geen morfologische variaties van werkwoorden. Schimke toont aan dat als finietheid wordt verworven, dit de grammatica van de leerlingen sterk verandert en dat deze veel sterker op de doeltaalgrammatica begint te lijken. Ook toont ze aan dat dit proces door karakteristieken van de doeltaal, zoals de woordvolgorde en de complexiteit van de morfologie, wordt beïnvloed
  • Smith, A. C. (2015). Modelling multimodal language processing. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Sumer, B. (2015). Acquisition of spatial language by signing and speaking children: A comparison of Turkish Sign Language (TID) and Turkish. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Van de Velde, M. (2015). Incrementality and flexibility in sentence production. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Van Leeuwen, E. J. C. (2015). Social learning dynamics in chimpanzees: Reflections on animal culture. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Wagner, A. (2008). Phoneme inventories and patterns of speech sound perception. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Wegener, C. (2008). A grammar of Savosavo: A Papuan language of the Solomon Islands. PhD Thesis.
  • Zhou, W. (2015). Assessing birth language memory in young adoptees. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

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