Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 918
  • Abdel Rahman, R., & Sommer, W. (2003). Does phonological encoding in speech production always follow the retrieval of semantic knowledge?: Electrophysiological evidence for parallel processing. Cognitive Brain Research, 16(3), 372-382. doi:10.1016/S0926-6410(02)00305-1.

    Abstract

    In this article a new approach to the distinction between serial/contingent and parallel/independent processing in the human cognitive system is applied to semantic knowledge retrieval and phonological encoding of the word form in picture naming. In two-choice go/nogo tasks pictures of objects were manually classified on the basis of semantic and phonological information. An additional manipulation of the duration of the faster and presumably mediating process (semantic retrieval) allowed to derive differential predictions from the two alternative models. These predictions were tested with two event-related brain potentials (ERPs), the lateralized readiness potential (LRP) and the N200. The findings indicate that phonological encoding can proceed in parallel to the retrieval of semantic features. A suggestion is made how to accommodate these findings with models of speech production.
  • Abdel Rahman, R., Van Turennout, M., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2003). Phonological encoding is not contingent on semantic feature retrieval: An electrophysiological study on object naming. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 29(5), 850-860. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.29.5.850.

    Abstract

    In the present study, the authors examined with event-related brain potentials whether phonological encoding in picture naming is mediated by basic semantic feature retrieval or proceeds independently. In a manual 2-choice go/no-go task the choice response depended on a semantic classification (animal vs. object) and the execution decision was contingent on a classification of name phonology (vowel vs. consonant). The introduction of a semantic task mixing procedure allowed for selectively manipulating the speed of semantic feature retrieval. Serial and parallel models were tested on the basis of their differential predictions for the effect of this manipulation on the lateralized readiness potential and N200 component. The findings indicate that phonological code retrieval is not strictly contingent on prior basic semantic feature processing.
  • Adank, P., Smits, R., & Van Hout, R. (2004). A comparison of vowel normalization procedures for language variation research. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 116(5), 3099-3109. doi:10.1121/1.1795335.

    Abstract

    An evaluation of vowel normalization procedures for the purpose of studying language variation is presented. The procedures were compared on how effectively they (a) preserve phonemic information, (b) preserve information about the talker's regional background (or sociolinguistic information), and (c) minimize anatomical/physiological variation in acoustic representations of vowels. Recordings were made for 80 female talkers and 80 male talkers of Dutch. These talkers were stratified according to their gender and regional background. The normalization procedures were applied to measurements of the fundamental frequency and the first three formant frequencies for a large set of vowel tokens. The normalization procedures were evaluated through statistical pattern analysis. The results show that normalization procedures that use information across multiple vowels ("vowel-extrinsic" information) to normalize a single vowel token performed better than those that include only information contained in the vowel token itself ("vowel-intrinsic" information). Furthermore, the results show that normalization procedures that operate on individual formants performed better than those that use information across multiple formants (e.g., "formant-extrinsic" F2-F1).
  • Adank, P., Van Hout, R., & Smits, R. (2004). An acoustic description of the vowels of Northern and Southern Standard Dutch. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 116(3), 1729-1738. doi:10.1121/1.1779271.
  • Adank, P., Smits, R., & Van Hout, R. (2003). Modeling perceived vowel height, advancement, and rounding. In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2003) (pp. 647-650). Adelaide: Causal Productions.
  • Akker, E., & Cutler, A. (2003). Prosodic cues to semantic structure in native and nonnative listening. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 6(2), 81-96. doi:10.1017/S1366728903001056.

    Abstract

    Listeners efficiently exploit sentence prosody to direct attention to words bearing sentence accent. This effect has been explained as a search for focus, furthering rapid apprehension of semantic structure. A first experiment supported this explanation: English listeners detected phoneme targets in sentences more rapidly when the target-bearing words were in accented position or in focussed position, but the two effects interacted, consistent with the claim that the effects serve a common cause. In a second experiment a similar asymmetry was observed with Dutch listeners and Dutch sentences. In a third and a fourth experiment, proficient Dutch users of English heard English sentences; here, however, the two effects did not interact. The results suggest that less efficient mapping of prosody to semantics may be one way in which nonnative listening fails to equal native listening.
  • Alario, F.-X., Schiller, N. O., Domoto-Reilly, K., & Caramazza, A. (2003). The role of phonological and orthographic information in lexical selection. Brain and Language, 84(3), 372-398. doi:10.1016/S0093-934X(02)00556-4.

    Abstract

    We report the performance of two patients with lexico-semantic deficits following left MCA CVA. Both patients produce similar numbers of semantic paraphasias in naming tasks, but presented one crucial difference: grapheme-to-phoneme and phoneme-to-grapheme conversion procedures were available only to one of them. We investigated the impact of this availability on the process of lexical selection during word production. The patient for whom conversion procedures were not operational produced semantic errors in transcoding tasks such as reading and writing to dictation; furthermore, when asked to name a given picture in multiple output modalities—e.g., to say the name of a picture and immediately after to write it down—he produced lexically inconsistent responses. By contrast, the patient for whom conversion procedures were available did not produce semantic errors in transcoding tasks and did not produce lexically inconsistent responses in multiple picture-naming tasks. These observations are interpreted in the context of the summation hypothesis (Hillis & Caramazza, 1991), according to which the activation of lexical entries for production would be made on the basis of semantic information and, when available, on the basis of form-specific information. The implementation of this hypothesis in models of lexical access is discussed in detail.
  • Alcock, K., Meints, K., & Rowland, C. F. (2020). The UK communicative development inventories: Words and gestures. Guilford, UK: J&R Press Ltd.
  • Alhama, R. G., Rowland, C. F., & Kidd, E. (2020). Evaluating word embeddings for language acquisition. In E. Chersoni, C. Jacobs, Y. Oseki, L. Prévot, & E. Santus (Eds.), Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics (pp. 38-42). Stroudsburg, PA, USA: Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).

    Abstract

    Continuous vector word representations (or word embeddings) have shown success in cap-turing semantic relations between words, as evidenced by evaluation against behavioral data of adult performance on semantic tasks (Pereira et al., 2016). Adult semantic knowl-edge is the endpoint of a language acquisition process; thus, a relevant question is whether these models can also capture emerging word representations of young language learners. However, the data for children’s semantic knowledge across development is scarce. In this paper, we propose to bridge this gap by using Age of Acquisition norms to evaluate word embeddings learnt from child-directed input. We present two methods that evaluate word embeddings in terms of (a) the semantic neighbourhood density of learnt words, and (b) con- vergence to adult word associations. We apply our methods to bag-of-words models, and find that (1) children acquire words with fewer semantic neighbours earlier, and (2) young learners only attend to very local context. These findings provide converging evidence for validity of our methods in understanding the prerequisite features for a distributional model of word learning.
  • Allen, S. E. M. (1998). A discourse-pragmatic explanation for the subject-object asymmetry in early null arguments. In A. Sorace, C. Heycock, & R. Shillcock (Eds.), Proceedings of the GALA '97 Conference on Language Acquisition (pp. 10-15). Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.

    Abstract

    The present paper assesses discourse-pragmatic factors as a potential explanation for the subject-object assymetry in early child language. It identifies a set of factors which characterize typical situations of informativeness (Greenfield & Smith, 1976), and uses these factors to identify informative arguments in data from four children aged 2;0 through 3;6 learning Inuktitut as a first language. In addition, it assesses the extent of the links between features of informativeness on one hand and lexical vs. null and subject vs. object arguments on the other. Results suggest that a pragmatics account of the subject-object asymmetry can be upheld to a greater extent than previous research indicates, and that several of the factors characterizing informativeness are good indicators of those arguments which tend to be omitted in early child language.
  • Allen, G. L., Kirasic, K. C., Rashotte, M. A., & Haun, D. B. M. (2004). Aging and path integration skill: Kinesthetic and vestibular contributions to wayfinding. Perception & Psychophysics, 66(1), 170-179.

    Abstract

    In a triangle completion task designed to assess path integration skill, younger and older adults performed similarly after being led, while blindfolded, along the route segments on foot, which provided both kinesthetic and vestibular information about the outbound path. In contrast, older adults’ performance was impaired, relative to that of younger adults, after they were conveyed, while blindfolded, along the route segments in a wheelchair, which limited them principally to vestibular information. Correlational evidence suggested that cognitive resources were significant factors in accounting for age-related decline in path integration performance.
  • Allen, S. E. M. (1998). Categories within the verb category: Learning the causative in Inuktitut. Linguistics, 36(4), 633-677.
  • Allen, S., Ozyurek, A., Kita, S., Brown, A., Turanli, R., & Ishizuka, T. (2003). Early speech about manner and path in Turkish and English: Universal or language-specific? In B. Beachley, A. Brown, & F. Conlin (Eds.), Proceedings of the 27th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 63-72). Somerville (MA): Cascadilla Press.
  • Allen, G. L., & Haun, D. B. M. (2004). Proximity and precision in spatial memory. In G. Allen (Ed.), Human spatial memory: Remembering where (pp. 41-63). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Ambridge, B., Rowland, C. F., Theakston, A. L., & Twomey, K. E. (2020). Introduction. In C. F. Rowland, A. L. Theakston, B. Ambridge, & K. E. Twomey (Eds.), Current Perspectives on Child Language Acquisition: How children use their environment to learn (pp. 1-7). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/tilar.27.int.
  • Ambridge, B., Rowland, C. F., & Gummery, A. (2020). Teaching the unlearnable: A training study of complex yes/no questions. Language and Cognition, 12(2), 385-410. doi:10.1017/langcog.2020.5.

    Abstract

    A central question in language acquisition is how children master sentence types that they have seldom, if ever, heard. Here we report the findings of a pre-registered, randomised, single-blind intervention study designed to test the prediction that, for one such sentence type, complex questions (e.g., Is the crocodile who’s hot eating?), children could combine schemas learned, on the basis of the input, for complex noun phrases (the [THING] who’s [PROPERTY]) and simple questions (Is [THING] [ACTION]ing?) to yield a complex-question schema (Is [the [THING] who’s [PROPERTY]] ACTIONing?). Children aged 4;2 to 6;8 (M = 5;6, SD = 7.7 months) were trained on simple questions (e.g., Is the bird cleaning?) and either (Experimental group, N = 61) complex noun phrases (e.g., the bird who’s sad) or (Control group, N = 61) matched simple noun phrases (e.g., the sad bird). In general, the two groups did not differ on their ability to produce novel complex questions at test. However, the Experimental group did show (a) some evidence of generalising a particular complex NP schema (the [THING] who’s [PROPERTY] as opposed to the [THING] that’s [PROPERTY]) from training to test, (b) a lower rate of auxiliary-doubling errors (e.g., *Is the crocodile who’s hot is eating?), and (c) a greater ability to produce complex questions on the first test trial. We end by suggesting some different methods – specifically artificial language learning and syntactic priming – that could potentially be used to better test the present account.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2003). 'Today is far: Situational anaphors in overlapping clause constructions in Ewe. In M. E. K. Dakubu, & E. K. Osam (Eds.), In Studies in the Languages of the Volta Baisin 1. Proceedings of the Legon-Trondheim Linguistics Project, December 4-6, 2002 (pp. 9-22). Legon: Department of Linguistics University of Ghana.
  • Ameka, F. K., & Breedveld, A. (2004). Areal cultural scripts for social interaction in West African communities. Intercultural Pragmatics, 1(2), 167-187. doi:10.1515/iprg.2004.1.2.167.

    Abstract

    Ways of interacting and not interacting in human societies have social, cognitive and cultural dimensions. These various aspects may be reflected in particular in relation to “taboos”. They reflect the ways of thinking and the values of a society. They are recognized as part of the communicative competence of the speakers and are learned in socialization. Some salient taboos are likely to be named in the language of the relevant society, others may not have a name. Interactional taboos can be specific to a cultural linguistic group or they may be shared across different communities that belong to a ‘speech area’ (Hymes 1972). In this article we describe a number of unnamed norms of communicative conduct which are widespread in West Africa such as the taboos on the use of the left hand in social interaction and on the use of personal names in adult address, and the widespread preference for the use of intermediaries for serious communication. We also examine a named avoidance (yaage) behavior specific to the Fulbe, a nomadic cattle-herding group spread from West Africa across the Sahel as far as Sudan. We show how tacit knowledge about these taboos and other interactive norms can be captured using the cultural scripts methodology.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2004). Grammar and cultural practices: The grammaticalization of triadic communication in West African languages. The Journal of West African Languages, 30(2), 5-28.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2003). Prepositions and postpositions in Ewe: Empirical and theoretical considerations. In A. Zibri-Hetz, & P. Sauzet (Eds.), Typologie des langues d'Afrique et universaux de la grammaire (pp. 43-66). Paris: L'Harmattan.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1998). Particules énonciatives en Ewe. Faits de langues, 6(11/12), 179-204.

    Abstract

    Particles are little words that speakers use to signal the illocutionary force of utterances and/or express their attitude towards elements of the communicative situation, e.g. the addresses. This paper presents an overview of the classification, meaning and use of utterance particles in Ewe. It argues that they constitute a grammatical word class on functional and distributional grounds. The paper calls for a cross-cultural investigation of particles, especially in Africa, where they have been neglected for far too long.
  • Amora, K. K., Garcia, R., & Gagarina, N. (2020). Tagalog adaptation of the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives: History, process and preliminary results. In N. Gagarina, & J. Lindgren (Eds.), New language versions of MAIN: Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives – Revised (pp. 221-233).

    Abstract

    This paper briefly presents the current situation of bilingualism in the Philippines, specifically that of Tagalog-English bilingualism. More importantly, it describes the process of adapting the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives (LITMUS-MAIN) to Tagalog, the basis of Filipino, which is the country’s national language. Finally, the results of a pilot study conducted on Tagalog-English bilingual children and adults (N=27) are presented. The results showed that Story Structure is similar across the two languages and that it develops significantly with age.
  • Anichini, M., De Heer Kloots, M., & Ravignani, A. (2020). Interactive rhythms in the wild, in the brain, and in silico. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 74(3), 170-175. doi:10.1037/cep0000224.

    Abstract

    There are some historical divisions in methods, rationales, and purposes between studies on comparative cognition and behavioural ecology. In turn, the interaction between these two branches and studies from mathematics, computation and neuroscience is not usual. In this short piece, we attempt to build bridges among these disciplines. We present a series of interconnected vignettes meant to illustrate how a more interdisciplinary approach looks like when successful, and its advantages. Concretely, we focus on a recent topic, namely animal rhythms in interaction, studied under different approaches. We showcase 5 research efforts, which we believe successfully link 5 particular Scientific areas of rhythm research conceptualized as: Social neuroscience, Detailed rhythmic quantification, Ontogeny, Computational approaches and Spontaneous interactions. Our suggestions will hopefully spur a ‘Comparative rhythms in interaction’ field, which can integrate and capitalize on knowledge from zoology, comparative psychology, neuroscience, and computation.
  • Arana, S., Marquand, A., Hulten, A., Hagoort, P., & Schoffelen, J.-M. (2020). Sensory modality-independent activation of the brain network for language. The Journal of Neuroscience, 40(14), 2914-2924. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2271-19.2020.

    Abstract

    The meaning of a sentence can be understood, whether presented in written or spoken form. Therefore it is highly probable that brain processes supporting language comprehension are at least partly independent of sensory modality. To identify where and when in the brain language processing is independent of sensory modality, we directly compared neuromagnetic brain signals of 200 human subjects (102 males) either reading or listening to sentences. We used multiset canonical correlation analysis to align individual subject data in a way that boosts those aspects of the signal that are common to all, allowing us to capture word-by-word signal variations, consistent across subjects and at a fine temporal scale. Quantifying this consistency in activation across both reading and listening tasks revealed a mostly left hemispheric cortical network. Areas showing consistent activity patterns include not only areas previously implicated in higher-level language processing, such as left prefrontal, superior & middle temporal areas and anterior temporal lobe, but also parts of the control-network as well as subcentral and more posterior temporal-parietal areas. Activity in this supramodal sentence processing network starts in temporal areas and rapidly spreads to the other regions involved. The findings do not only indicate the involvement of a large network of brain areas in supramodal language processing, but also indicate that the linguistic information contained in the unfolding sentences modulates brain activity in a word-specific manner across subjects.
  • Araújo, S., Huettig, F., & Meyer, A. S. (2020). What underlies the deficit in rapid automatized naming (RAN) in adults with dyslexia? Evidence from eye movements. Scientific Studies of Reading. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/10888438.2020.1867863.

    Abstract

    This eye-tracking study explored how phonological encoding and speech production planning for successive words are coordinated in adult readers with dyslexia (N = 22) and control readers (N = 25) during rapid automatized naming (RAN). Using an object-RAN task, we orthogonally manipulated the word-form frequency and phonological neighborhood density of the object names and assessed the effects on speech and eye movements and their temporal coordination. In both groups, there was a significant interaction between word frequency and neighborhood density: shorter fixations for dense than for sparse neighborhoods were observed for low-, but not for high-frequency words. This finding does not suggest a specific difficulty in lexical phonological access in dyslexia. However, in readers with dyslexia only, these lexical effects percolated to the late processing stages, indicated by longer offset eye-speech lags. We close by discussing potential reasons for this finding, including suboptimal specification of phonological representations and deficits in attention control or in multi-item coordination.
  • Arshamian, A., Manko, P., & Majid, A. (2020). Limitations in odour simulation may originate from differential sensory embodiment. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 375: 20190273. doi:10.1098/rstb.2019.0273.

    Abstract

    Across diverse lineages, animals communicate using chemosignals, but only humans communicate about chemical signals. Many studies have observed that compared with other sensory modalities, communication about smells is relatively rare and not always reliable. Recent cross-cultural studies, on the other hand, suggest some communities are more olfactorily oriented than previously supposed. Nevertheless, across the globe a general trend emerges where olfactory communication is relatively hard. We suggest here that this is in part because olfactory representations are different in kind: they have a low degree of embodiment, and are not easily expressed as primitives, thereby limiting the mental manipulations that can be performed with them. New exploratory data from Dutch children (9–12 year-olds) and adults support that mental imagery from olfaction is weak in comparison with vision and audition, and critically this is not affected by language development. Specifically, while visual and auditory imagery becomes more vivid with age, olfactory imagery shows no such development. This is consistent with the idea that olfactory representations are different in kind from representations from the other senses.

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  • Asano, Y., Yuan, C., Grohe, A.-K., Weber, A., Antoniou, M., & Cutler, A. (2020). Uptalk interpretation as a function of listening experience. In N. Minematsu, M. Kondo, T. Arai, & R. Hayashi (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2020 (pp. 735-739). Tokyo: ISCA. doi:10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-150.

    Abstract

    The term “uptalk” describes utterance-final pitch rises that carry no sentence-structural information. Uptalk is usually dialectal or sociolectal, and Australian English (AusEng) is particularly known for this attribute. We ask here whether experience with an uptalk variety affects listeners’ ability to categorise rising pitch contours on the basis of the timing and height of their onset and offset. Listeners were two groups of English-speakers (AusEng, and American English), and three groups of listeners with L2 English: one group with Mandarin as L1 and experience of listening to AusEng, one with German as L1 and experience of listening to AusEng, and one with German as L1 but no AusEng experience. They heard nouns (e.g. flower, piano) in the framework “Got a NOUN”, each ending with a pitch rise artificially manipulated on three contrasts: low vs. high rise onset, low vs. high rise offset and early vs. late rise onset. Their task was to categorise the tokens as “question” or “statement”, and we analysed the effect of the pitch contrasts on their judgements. Only the native AusEng listeners were able to use the pitch contrasts systematically in making these categorisations.
  • Azar, Z., Backus, A., & Ozyurek, A. (2020). Language contact does not drive gesture transfer: Heritage speakers maintain language specific gesture patterns in each language. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 23(2), 414-428. doi:10.1017/S136672891900018X.

    Abstract

    This paper investigates whether there are changes in gesture rate when speakers of two languages with different gesture rates (Turkish-high gesture; Dutch-low gesture) come into daily contact. We analyzed gestures produced by second-generation heritage speakers of Turkish in the Netherlands in each language, comparing them to monolingual baselines. We did not find differences between bilingual and monolingual speakers, possibly because bilinguals were proficient in both languages and used them frequently – in line with a usage-based approach to language. However, bilinguals produced more deictic gestures than monolinguals in both Turkish and Dutch, which we interpret as a bilingual strategy. Deictic gestures may help organize discourse by placing entities in gesture space and help reduce the cognitive load associated with being bilingual, e.g., inhibition cost. Therefore, gesture rate does not necessarily change in contact situations but might be modulated by frequency of language use, proficiency, and cognitive factors related to being bilingual.
  • Azar, Z., Ozyurek, A., & Backus, A. (2020). Turkish-Dutch bilinguals maintain language-specific reference tracking strategies in elicited narratives. International Journal of Bilingualism, 24(2), 376-409. doi:10.1177/1367006919838375.

    Abstract

    Aim: This paper examines whether second-generation Turkish heritage speakers in the Netherlands follow language-specific patterns of reference tracking in Turkish and Dutch, focusing on discourse status and pragmatic contexts as factors that may modulate the choice of referring expressions (REs), that is, the noun phrase (NP), overt pronoun and null pronoun. Methodology: Two short silent videos were used to elicit narratives from 20 heritage speakers of Turkish, both in Turkish and in Dutch. Monolingual baseline data were collected from 20 monolingually raised speakers of Turkish in Turkey and 20 monolingually raised speakers of Dutch in the Netherlands. We also collected language background data from bilinguals with an extensive survey. Data and analysis: Using generalised logistic mixed-effect regression, we analysed the influence of discourse status and pragmatic context on the choice of subject REs in Turkish and Dutch, comparing bilingual data to the monolingual baseline in each language. Findings: Heritage speakers used overt versus null pronouns in Turkish and stressed versus reduced pronouns in Dutch in pragmatically appropriate contexts. There was, however, a slight increase in the proportions of overt pronouns as opposed to NPs in Turkish and as opposed to null pronouns in Dutch. We suggest an explanation based on the degree of entrenchment of differential RE types in relation to discourse status as the possible source of the increase. Originality: This paper provides data from an understudied language pair in the domain of reference tracking in language contact situations. Unlike several studies of pronouns in language contact, we do not find differences across monolingual and bilingual speakers with regard to pragmatic constraints on overt pronouns in the minority pro-drop language. Significance: Our findings highlight the importance of taking language proficiency and use into account while studying bilingualism and combining formal approaches to language use with usage-based approaches for a more complete understanding of bilingual language production.
  • Azar, Z. (2020). Effect of language contact on speech and gesture: The case of Turkish-Dutch bilinguals in the Netherlands. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Baayen, R. H., McQueen, J. M., Dijkstra, T., & Schreuder, R. (2003). Frequency effects in regular inflectional morphology: Revisiting Dutch plurals. In R. H. Baayen, & R. Schreuder (Eds.), Morphological Structure in Language Processing (pp. 355-390). Berlin, Germany: Mouton De Gruyter.

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  • Baayen, R. H., McQueen, J. M., Dijkstra, T., & Schreuder, R. (2003). Frequency effects in regular inflectional morphology: Revisiting Dutch plurals. In R. H. Baayen, & R. Schreuder (Eds.), Morphological structure in language processing (pp. 355-390). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Baayen, R. H. (2003). Probabilistic approaches to morphology. In R. Bod, J. Hay, & S. Jannedy (Eds.), Probabilistic linguistics (pp. 229-287). Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Baayen, R. H., & Schreuder, R. (2003). Morphological structure in language processing. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Baayen, R. H., Moscoso del Prado Martín, F., Wurm, L., & Schreuder, R. (2003). When word frequencies do not regress towards the mean. In R. Baayen, & R. Schreuder (Eds.), Morphological structure in language processing (pp. 463-484). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Bailey, A., Hervas, A., Matthews, N., Palferman, S., Wallace, S., Aubin, A., Michelotti, J., Wainhouse, C., Papanikolaou, K., Rutter, M., Maestrini, E., Marlow, A., Weeks, D. E., Lamb, J., Francks, C., Kearsley, G., Scudder, P., Monaco, A. P., Baird, G., Cox, A. and 46 moreBailey, A., Hervas, A., Matthews, N., Palferman, S., Wallace, S., Aubin, A., Michelotti, J., Wainhouse, C., Papanikolaou, K., Rutter, M., Maestrini, E., Marlow, A., Weeks, D. E., Lamb, J., Francks, C., Kearsley, G., Scudder, P., Monaco, A. P., Baird, G., Cox, A., Cockerill, H., Nuffield, F., Le Couteur, A., Berney, T., Cooper, H., Kelly, T., Green, J., Whittaker, J., Gilchrist, A., Bolton, P., Schönewald, A., Daker, M., Ogilvie, C., Docherty, Z., Deans, Z., Bolton, B., Packer, R., Poustka, F., Rühl, D., Schmötzer, G., Bölte, S., Klauck, S. M., Spieler, A., Poustka., A., Van Engeland, H., Kemner, C., De Jonge, M., Den Hartog, I., Lord, C., Cook, E., Leventhal, B., Volkmar, F., Pauls, D., Klin, A., Smalley, S., Fombonne, E., Rogé, B., Tauber, M., Arti-Vartayan, E., Fremolle-Kruck., J., Pederson, L., Haracopos, D., Brondum-Nielsen, K., & Cotterill, R. (1998). A full genome screen for autism with evidence for linkage to a region on chromosome 7q. International Molecular Genetic Study of Autism Consortium. Human Molecular Genetics, 7(3), 571-578. doi:10.1093/hmg/7.3.571.

    Abstract

    Autism is characterized by impairments in reciprocal social interaction and communication, and restricted and sterotyped patterns of interests and activities. Developmental difficulties are apparent before 3 years of age and there is evidence for strong genetic influences most likely involving more than one susceptibility gene. A two-stage genome search for susceptibility loci in autism was performed on 87 affected sib pairs plus 12 non-sib affected relative-pairs, from a total of 99 families identified by an international consortium. Regions on six chromosomes (4, 7, 10, 16, 19 and 22) were identified which generated a multipoint maximum lod score (MLS) > 1. A region on chromosome 7q was the most significant with an MLS of 3.55 near markers D7S530 and D7S684 in the subset of 56 UK affected sib-pair families, and an MLS of 2.53 in all 87 affected sib-pair families. An area on chromosome 16p near the telomere was the next most significant, with an MLS of 1.97 in the UK families, and 1.51 in all families. These results are an important step towards identifying genes predisposing to autism; establishing their general applicability requires further study.
  • Baranova, J. (2020). Reasons for every-day activities. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Barendse, M. T., & Rosseel, Y. (2020). Multilevel modeling in the ‘wide format’ approach with discrete data: A solution for small cluster sizes. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 27(5), 696-721. doi:10.1080/10705511.2019.1689366.

    Abstract

    In multilevel data, units at level 1 are nested in clusters at level 2, which in turn may be nested in even larger clusters at level 3, and so on. For continuous data, several authors have shown how to model multilevel data in a ‘wide’ or ‘multivariate’ format approach. We provide a general framework to analyze random intercept multilevel SEM in the ‘wide format’ (WF) and extend this approach for discrete data. In a simulation study, we vary response scale (binary, four response options), covariate presence (no, between-level, within-level), design (balanced, unbalanced), model misspecification (present, not present), and the number of clusters (small, large) to determine accuracy and efficiency of the estimated model parameters. With a small number of observations in a cluster, results indicate that the WF approach is a preferable approach to estimate multilevel data with discrete response options.
  • Barthel, M., & Levinson, S. C. (2020). Next speakers plan word forms in overlap with the incoming turn: Evidence from gaze-contingent switch task performance. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 35(9), 1183-1202. doi:10.1080/23273798.2020.1716030.

    Abstract

    To ensure short gaps between turns in conversation, next speakers regularly start planning their utterance in overlap with the incoming turn. Three experiments investigate which stages of utterance planning are executed in overlap. E1 establishes effects of associative and phonological relatedness of pictures and words in a switch-task from picture naming to lexical decision. E2 focuses on effects of phonological relatedness and investigates potential shifts in the time-course of production planning during background speech. E3 required participants to verbally answer questions as a base task. In critical trials, however, participants switched to visual lexical decision just after they began planning their answer. The task-switch was time-locked to participants' gaze for response planning. Results show that word form encoding is done as early as possible and not postponed until the end of the incoming turn. Hence, planning a response during the incoming turn is executed at least until word form activation.

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  • Barthel, M. (2020). Speech planning in dialogue: Psycholinguistic studies of the timing of turn taking. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Bartolozzi, F., Jongman, S. R., & Meyer, A. S. (2020). Concurrent speech planning does not eliminate repetition priming from spoken words: Evidence from linguistic dual-tasking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/xlm0000944.

    Abstract

    In conversation, production and comprehension processes may overlap, causing interference. In 3 experiments, we investigated whether repetition priming can work as a supporting device, reducing costs associated with linguistic dual-tasking. Experiment 1 established the rate of decay of repetition priming from spoken words to picture naming for primes embedded in sentences. Experiments 2 and 3 investigated whether the rate of decay was faster when participants comprehended the prime while planning to name unrelated pictures. In all experiments, the primed picture followed the sentences featuring the prime on the same trial, or 10 or 50 trials later. The results of the 3 experiments were strikingly similar: robust repetition priming was observed when the primed picture followed the prime sentence. Thus, repetition priming was observed even when the primes were processed while the participants prepared an unrelated spoken utterance. Priming might, therefore, support utterance planning in conversation, where speakers routinely listen while planning their utterances.
  • Bastiaansen, M. C. M., & Hagoort, P. (2003). Event-induced theta responses as a window on the dynamics of memory. Cortex, 39(4-5), 967-972. doi:10.1016/S0010-9452(08)70873-6.

    Abstract

    An important, but often ignored distinction in the analysis of EEG signals is that between evoked activity and induced activity. Whereas evoked activity reflects the summation of transient post-synaptic potentials triggered by an event, induced activity, which is mainly oscillatory in nature, is thought to reflect changes in parameters controlling dynamic interactions within and between brain structures. We hypothesize that induced activity may yield information about the dynamics of cell assembly formation, activation and subsequent uncoupling, which may play a prominent role in different types of memory operations. We then describe a number of analysis tools that can be used to study the reactivity of induced rhythmic activity, both in terms of amplitude changes and of phase variability. We briefly discuss how alpha, gamma and theta rhythms are thought to be generated, paying special attention to the hypothesis that the theta rhythm reflects dynamic interactions between the hippocampal system and the neocortex. This hypothesis would imply that studying the reactivity of scalp-recorded theta may provide a window on the contribution of the hippocampus to memory functions. We review studies investigating the reactivity of scalp-recorded theta in paradigms engaging episodic memory, spatial memory and working memory. In addition, we review studies that relate theta reactivity to processes at the interface of memory and language. Despite many unknowns, the experimental evidence largely supports the hypothesis that theta activity plays a functional role in cell assembly formation, a process which may constitute the neural basis of memory formation and retrieval. The available data provide only highly indirect support for the hypothesis that scalp-recorded theta yields information about hippocampal functioning. It is concluded that studying induced rhythmic activity holds promise as an additional important way to study brain function.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2004). [Review of the book Pre-Indo-European by Winfred P. Lehmann]. Journal of Indo-European Studies, 32, 146-155.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2020). Appositive compounds in dialectal and sociolinguistic varieties of French. In M. Maiden, & S. Wolfe (Eds.), Variation and change in Gallo-Romance (pp. 326-346). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Bauer, B. L. M., & Pinault, G.-J. (2003). Introduction: Werner Winter, ad multos annos. In B. L. M. Bauer, & G.-J. Pinault (Eds.), Language in time and space: A festschrift for Werner Winter on the occasion of his 80th birthday (pp. xxiii-xxv). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

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  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1998). Impersonal verbs in Italic. Their development from an Indo-European perspective. Journal of Indo-European Studies, 26, 91-120.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1998). Language loss in Gaul: Socio-historical and linguistic factors in language conflict. Southwest Journal of Linguistics, 15, 23-44.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2020). Language sources and the reconstruction of early languages: Sociolinguistic discrepancies and evolution in Old French grammar. Diachronica, 37(3), 273-317. doi:10.1075/dia.18026.bau.

    Abstract

    This article argues that with the original emphasis on dialectal variation, using primarily literary texts from various regions, analysis of Old French has routinely neglected social variation, providing an incomplete picture of its grammar. Accordingly, Old French has been identified as typically featuring e.g. “pro-drop”, brace constructions, and single negation. Yet examination of these features in informal texts, as opposed to the formal texts typically dealt with, demonstrates that these documents do not corroborate the picture of Old French that is commonly presented in the linguistic literature. Our reconstruction of Old French grammar therefore needs adjustment and further refinement, in particular by implementing sociolinguistic data. With a broader scope, the call for inclusion of sociolinguistic variation may resonate in the investigation of other early languages, resulting in the reassessment of the sources used, and reopening the debate about social variation in dead languages and its role in language evolution.

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  • Bauer, B. L. M., & Pinault, G.-J. (Eds.). (2003). Language in time and space: A festschrift for Werner Winter on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2003). The adverbial formation in mente in Vulgar and Late Latin: A problem in grammaticalization. In H. Solin, M. Leiwo, & H. Hallo-aho (Eds.), Latin vulgaire, latin tardif VI (pp. 439-457). Hildesheim: Olms.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2004). Vigesimal numerals in Romance: An Indo-European perspective. General Linguistics, 41, 21-46.
  • Baumann, H., Dirksmeyer, R., & Wittenburg, P. (2004). Long-term archiving. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(2), 3-3.
  • Behnke, K. (1998). The acquisition of phonetic categories in young infants: A self-organising artificial neural network approach. PhD Thesis, University of Twente, Enschede. doi:10.17617/2.2057688.
  • Benazzo, S., Dimroth, C., Perdue, C., & Watorek, M. (2004). Le rôle des particules additives dans la construction de la cohésion discursive en langue maternelle et en langue étrangère. Langages, 155, 76-106.

    Abstract

    We compare the use of additive particles such as aussi ('also'), encore ('again, still'), and their 'translation équivalents', in a narrative task based on a séries of piclures performed by groups of children aged 4 years, 7 years and 10 years using their first language (L1 French, German, Polish), and by adult Polish and German learners of French as a second language (L2). From the cross-sectional analysis we propose developmental patterns which show remarkable similarities for ail types of learner, but which stem from différent determining factors. For the children, the patterns can best be explained by the development of their capacity to use available items in appropriate discourse contexts; for the adults, the limitations of their linguistic répertoire at différent levels of achievement détermines the possibility of incorporating thèse items into their utterance structure. Fïnally, we discuss to what extent thèse gênerai tendencies are influenced by the specificities of the différent languages used.
  • Bercelli, F., Viaro, M., & Rossano, F. (2004). Attività in alcuni generi di psicoterapia. Rivista di psicolinguistica applicata, IV (2/3), 111-127. doi:10.1400/19208.

    Abstract

    The main aim of our paper is to contribute to the outline of a general inventory of activities in psychotherapy, as a step towards a description of overall conversational organizations of diff erent therapeutic approaches. From the perspective of Conversation Analysis, we describe some activities commonly occurrring in a corpus of sessions conducted by cognitive and relational-systemic therapists. Two activities appear to be basic: (a) inquiry: therapists elicit information from patients on their problems and circumstances; (b) reworking: therapists say something designed as an elaboration of what patients have previously said, or as something that can be grounded on it; and patients are induced to confi rm/disprove and contribute to the elaboration. Furthermore, we describe other activities, which turn out to be auxiliary to the basic ones: storytelling, procedural arrangement, recalling, noticing, teaching. We fi nally show some ways in which these activities can be integrated through conversational interaction.
  • Bidgood, A., Pine, J. M., Rowland, C. F., & Ambridge, B. (2020). Syntactic representations are both abstract and semantically constrained: Evidence from children’s and adults’ comprehension and production/priming of the English passive. Cognitive Science, 44(9): e12892. doi:10.1111/cogs.12892.

    Abstract

    All accounts of language acquisition agree that, by around age 4, children’s knowledge of grammatical constructions is abstract, rather than tied solely to individual lexical items. The aim of the present research was to investigate, focusing on the passive, whether children’s and adults’ performance is additionally semantically constrained, varying according to the distance between the semantics of the verb and those of the construction. In a forced‐choice pointing study (Experiment 1), both 4‐ to 6‐year olds (N = 60) and adults (N = 60) showed support for the prediction of this semantic construction prototype account of an interaction such that the observed disadvantage for passives as compared to actives (i.e., fewer correct points/longer reaction time) was greater for experiencer‐theme verbs than for agent‐patient and theme‐experiencer verbs (e.g., Bob was seen/hit/frightened by Wendy). Similarly, in a production/priming study (Experiment 2), both 4‐ to 6‐year olds (N = 60) and adults (N = 60) produced fewer passives for experiencer‐theme verbs than for agent‐patient/theme‐experiencer verbs. We conclude that these findings are difficult to explain under accounts based on the notion of A(rgument) movement or of a monostratal, semantics‐free, level of syntax, and instead necessitate some form of semantic construction prototype account.

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  • Blumstein, S., & Cutler, A. (2003). Speech perception: Phonetic aspects. In W. Frawley (Ed.), International encyclopaedia of linguistics (pp. 151-154). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Bobadilla-Suarez, S., Guest, O., & Love, B. C. (2020). Subjective value and decision entropy are jointly encoded by aligned gradients across the human brain. Communications Biology, 3: 597. doi:10.1038/s42003-020-01315-3.

    Abstract

    Recent work has considered the relationship between value and confidence in both behavioural and neural representation. Here we evaluated whether the brain organises value and confidence signals in a systematic fashion that reflects the overall desirability of options. If so, regions that respond to either increases or decreases in both value and confidence should be widespread. We strongly confirmed these predictions through a model-based fMRI analysis of a mixed gambles task that assessed subjective value (SV) and inverse decision entropy (iDE), which is related to confidence. Purported value areas more strongly signalled iDE than SV, underscoring how intertwined value and confidence are. A gradient tied to the desirability of actions transitioned from positive SV and iDE in ventromedial prefrontal cortex to negative SV and iDE in dorsal medial prefrontal cortex. This alignment of SV and iDE signals could support retrospective evaluation to guide learning and subsequent decisions.

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  • Bock, K., Irwin, D. E., Davidson, D. J., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2003). Minding the clock. Journal of Memory and Language, 48, 653-685. doi:10.1016/S0749-596X(03)00007-X.

    Abstract

    Telling time is an exercise in coordinating language production with visual perception. By coupling different ways of saying times with different ways of seeing them, the performance of time-telling can be used to track cognitive transformations from visual to verbal information in connected speech. To accomplish this, we used eyetracking measures along with measures of speech timing during the production of time expressions. Our findings suggest that an effective interface between what has been seen and what is to be said can be constructed within 300 ms. This interface underpins a preverbal plan or message that appears to guide a comparatively slow, strongly incremental formulation of phrases. The results begin to trace the divide between seeing and saying -or thinking and speaking- that must be bridged during the creation of even the most prosaic utterances of a language.
  • De Boer, B., Thompson, B., Ravignani, A., & Boeckx, C. (2020). Analysis of mutation and fixation for language. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 56-58). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • De Boer, B., Thompson, B., Ravignani, A., & Boeckx, C. (2020). Evolutionary dynamics do not motivate a single-mutant theory of human language. Scientific Reports, 10: 451. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-57235-8.

    Abstract

    One of the most controversial hypotheses in cognitive science is the Chomskyan evolutionary conjecture that language arose instantaneously in humans through a single mutation. Here we analyze the evolutionary dynamics implied by this hypothesis, which has never been formalized before. The hypothesis supposes the emergence and fixation of a single mutant (capable of the syntactic operation Merge) during a narrow historical window as a result of frequency-independent selection under a huge fitness advantage in a population of an effective size no larger than ~15 000 individuals. We examine this proposal by combining diffusion analysis and extreme value theory to derive a probabilistic formulation of its dynamics. We find that although a macro-mutation is much more likely to go to fixation if it occurs, it is much more unlikely a priori than multiple mutations with smaller fitness effects. The most likely scenario is therefore one where a medium number of mutations with medium fitness effects accumulate. This precise analysis of the probability of mutations occurring and going to fixation has not been done previously in the context of the evolution of language. Our results cast doubt on any suggestion that evolutionary reasoning provides an independent rationale for a single-mutant theory of language.

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  • Bögels, S., Kendrick, K. H., & Levinson, S. C. (2020). Conversational expectations get revised as response latencies unfold. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 35(6), 766-779. doi:10.1080/23273798.2019.1590609.

    Abstract

    The present study extends neuro-imaging into conversation through studying dialogue comprehension. Conversation entails rapid responses, with negative semiotics for delay. We explored how expectations about the valence of the forthcoming response develop during the silence before the response and whether negative responses have mainly cognitive or social-emotional consequences. EEG-participants listened to questions from a spontaneous spoken corpus, cross-spliced with short/long gaps and “yes”/“no” responses. Preceding contexts biased listeners to expect the eventual response, which was hypothesised to translate to expectations for a shorter or longer gap. “No” responses showed a trend towards an early positivity, suggesting socio-emotional consequences. Within the long gap, expecting a “yes” response led to an earlier negativity, as well as a trend towards stronger theta-oscillations, after 300 milliseconds. This suggests that listeners anticipate/predict “yes” responses to come earlier than “no” responses, showing strong sensitivities to timing, which presumably promote hastening the pace of verbal interaction.

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  • Bögels, S. (2020). Neural correlates of turn-taking in the wild: Response planning starts early in free interviews. Cognition, 203: 104347. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104347.

    Abstract

    Conversation is generally characterized by smooth transitions between turns, with only very short gaps. This entails that responders often begin planning their response before the ongoing turn is finished. However, controversy exists about whether they start planning as early as they can, to make sure they respond on time, or as late as possible, to minimize the overlap between comprehension and production planning. Two earlier EEG studies have found neural correlates of response planning (positive ERP and alpha decrease) as soon as listeners could start planning their response, already midway through the current turn. However, in these studies, the questions asked were highly controlled with respect to the position where planning could start (e.g., very early) and required short and easy responses. The present study measured participants' EEG while an experimenter interviewed them in a spontaneous interaction. Coding the questions in the interviews showed that, under these natural circumstances, listeners can, in principle, start planning a response relatively early, on average after only about one third of the question has passed. Furthermore, ERP results showed a large positivity, interpreted before as an early neural signature of response planning, starting about half a second after the start of the word that allowed listeners to start planning a response. A second neural signature of response planning, an alpha decrease, was not replicated as reliably. In conclusion, listeners appear to start planning their response early during the ongoing turn, also under natural circumstances, presumably in order to keep the gap between turns short and respond on time. These results have several important implications for turn-taking theories, which need to explain how interlocutors deal with the overlap between comprehension and production, how they manage to come in on time, and the sources that lead to variability between conversationalists in the start of planning.

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  • Bohnemeyer, J. (2004). Argument and event structure in Yukatek verb classes. In J.-Y. Kim, & A. Werle (Eds.), Proceedings of The Semantics of Under-Represented Languages in the Americas. Amherst, Mass: GLSA.

    Abstract

    In Yukatek Maya, event types are lexicalized in verb roots and stems that fall into a number of different form classes on the basis of (a) patterns of aspect-mood marking and (b) priviledges of undergoing valence-changing operations. Of particular interest are the intransitive classes in the light of Perlmutter’s (1978) Unaccusativity hypothesis. In the spirit of Levin & Rappaport Hovav (1995) [L&RH], Van Valin (1990), Zaenen (1993), and others, this paper investigates whether (and to what extent) the association between formal predicate classes and event types is determined by argument structure features such as ‘agentivity’ and ‘control’ or features of lexical aspect such as ‘telicity’ and ‘durativity’. It is shown that mismatches between agentivity/control and telicity/durativity are even more extensive in Yukatek than they are in English (Abusch 1985; L&RH, Van Valin & LaPolla 1997), providing new evidence against Dowty’s (1979) reconstruction of Vendler’s (1967) ‘time schemata of verbs’ in terms of argument structure configurations. Moreover, contrary to what has been claimed in earlier studies of Yukatek (Krämer & Wunderlich 1999, Lucy 1994), neither agentivity/control nor telicity/durativity turn out to be good predictors of verb class membership. Instead, the patterns of aspect-mood marking prove to be sensitive only to the presence or absense of state change, in a way that supports the unified analysis of all verbs of gradual change proposed by Kennedy & Levin (2001). The presence or absence of ‘internal causation’ (L&RH) may motivate the semantic interpretation of transitivization operations. An explicit semantics for the valence-changing operations is proposed, based on Parsons’s (1990) Neo-Davidsonian approach.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (2003). Fictive motion questionnaire. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 81-85). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877601.

    Abstract

    Fictive Motion is the metaphoric use of path relators in the expression of spatial relations or configurations that are static, or at any rate do not in any obvious way involve physical entities moving in real space. The goal is to study the expression of such relations or configurations in the target language, with an eye particularly on whether these expressions exclusively/preferably/possibly involve motion verbs and/or path relators, i.e., Fictive Motion. Section 2 gives Talmy’s (2000: ch. 2) phenomenology of Fictive Motion construals. The researcher’s task is to “distill” the intended spatial relations/configurations from Talmy’s description of the particular Fictive Motion metaphors and elicit as many different examples of the relations/configurations as (s)he deems necessary to obtain a basic sense of whether and how much Fictive Motion the target language offers or prescribes for the encoding of the particular type of relation/configuration. As a first stab, the researcher may try to elicit natural translations of culturally appropriate adaptations of the examples Talmy provides with each type of Fictive Motion metaphor.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (2003). Invisible time lines in the fabric of events: Temporal coherence in Yukatek narratives. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 13(2), 139-162. doi:10.1525/jlin.2003.13.2.139.

    Abstract

    This article examines how narratives are structured in a language in which event order is largely not coded. Yucatec Maya lacks both tense inflections and temporal connectives corresponding to English after and before. It is shown that the coding of events in Yucatec narratives is subject to a strict iconicity constraint within paragraph boundaries. Aspectual viewpoint shifting is used to reconcile iconicity preservation with the requirements of a more flexible narrative structure.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (1998). Sententiale Topics im Yukatekischen. In Z. Dietmar (Ed.), Deskriptive Grammatik und allgemeiner Sprachvergleich (pp. 55-85). Tübingen, Germany: Max-Niemeyer-Verlag.

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  • Bohnemeyer, J., Burenhult, N., Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (2004). Landscape terms and place names elicitation guide. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 9 (pp. 75-79). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492904.

    Abstract

    Landscape terms reflect the relationship between geographic reality and human cognition. Are ‘mountains’, ‘rivers, ‘lakes’ and the like universally recognised in languages as naturally salient objects to be named? The landscape subproject is concerned with the interrelation between language, cognition and geography. Specifically, it investigates issues relating to how landforms are categorised cross-linguistically as well as the characteristics of place naming.
  • Bohnemeyer, J., Burenhult, N., Levinson, S. C., & Enfield, N. J. (2003). Landscape terms and place names questionnaire. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 60-63). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877604.

    Abstract

    Landscape terms reflect the relationship between geographic reality and human cognition. Are ‘mountains’, ‘rivers, ‘lakes’ and the like universally recognised in languages as naturally salient objects to be named? The landscape subproject is concerned with the interrelation between language, cognition and geography. Specifically, it investigates issues relating to how landforms are categorised cross-linguistically as well as the characteristics of place naming.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (1998). Temporale Relatoren im Hispano-Yukatekischen Sprachkontakt. In A. Koechert, & T. Stolz (Eds.), Convergencia e Individualidad - Las lenguas Mayas entre hispanización e indigenismo (pp. 195-241). Hannover, Germany: Verlag für Ethnologie.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (2003). The unique vector constraint: The impact of direction changes on the linguistic segmentation of motion events. In E. v. d. Zee, & J. Slack (Eds.), Axes and vectors in language and space (pp. 86-110). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Borgwaldt, S. R., Hellwig, F. M., & De Groot, A. M. B. (2004). Word-initial entropy in five langauges: Letter to sound, and sound to letter. Written Language & Literacy, 7(2), 165-184.

    Abstract

    Alphabetic orthographies show more or less ambiguous relations between spelling and sound patterns. In transparent orthographies, like Italian, the pronunciation can be predicted from the spelling and vice versa. Opaque orthographies, like English, often display unpredictable spelling–sound correspondences. In this paper we present a computational analysis of word-initial bi-directional spelling–sound correspondences for Dutch, English, French, German, and Hungarian, stated in entropy values for various grain sizes. This allows us to position the five languages on the continuum from opaque to transparent orthographies, both in spelling-to-sound and sound-to-spelling directions. The analysis is based on metrics derived from information theory, and therefore independent of any specific theory of visual word recognition as well as of any specific theoretical approach of orthography.
  • Bosker, H. R., & Cooke, M. (2020). Enhanced amplitude modulations contribute to the Lombard intelligibility benefit: Evidence from the Nijmegen Corpus of Lombard Speech. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 147: 721. doi:10.1121/10.0000646.

    Abstract

    Speakers adjust their voice when talking in noise, which is known as Lombard speech. These acoustic adjustments facilitate speech comprehension in noise relative to plain speech (i.e., speech produced in quiet). However, exactly which characteristics of Lombard speech drive this intelligibility benefit in noise remains unclear. This study assessed the contribution of enhanced amplitude modulations to the Lombard speech intelligibility benefit by demonstrating that (1) native speakers of Dutch in the Nijmegen Corpus of Lombard Speech (NiCLS) produce more pronounced amplitude modulations in noise vs. in quiet; (2) more enhanced amplitude modulations correlate positively with intelligibility in a speech-in-noise perception experiment; (3) transplanting the amplitude modulations from Lombard speech onto plain speech leads to an intelligibility improvement, suggesting that enhanced amplitude modulations in Lombard speech contribute towards intelligibility in noise. Results are discussed in light of recent neurobiological models of speech perception with reference to neural oscillators phase-locking to the amplitude modulations in speech, guiding the processing of speech.
  • Bosker, H. R., Peeters, D., & Holler, J. (2020). How visual cues to speech rate influence speech perception. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 73(10), 1523-1536. doi:10.1177/1747021820914564.

    Abstract

    Spoken words are highly variable and therefore listeners interpret speech sounds relative to the surrounding acoustic context, such as the speech rate of a preceding sentence. For instance, a vowel midway between short /ɑ/ and long /a:/ in Dutch is perceived as short /ɑ/ in the context of preceding slow speech, but as long /a:/ if preceded by a fast context. Despite the well-established influence of visual articulatory cues on speech comprehension, it remains unclear whether visual cues to speech rate also influence subsequent spoken word recognition. In two ‘Go Fish’-like experiments, participants were presented with audio-only (auditory speech + fixation cross), visual-only (mute videos of talking head), and audiovisual (speech + videos) context sentences, followed by ambiguous target words containing vowels midway between short /ɑ/ and long /a:/. In Experiment 1, target words were always presented auditorily, without visual articulatory cues. Although the audio-only and audiovisual contexts induced a rate effect (i.e., more long /a:/ responses after fast contexts), the visual-only condition did not. When, in Experiment 2, target words were presented audiovisually, rate effects were observed in all three conditions, including visual-only. This suggests that visual cues to speech rate in a context sentence influence the perception of following visual target cues (e.g., duration of lip aperture), which at an audiovisual integration stage bias participants’ target categorization responses. These findings contribute to a better understanding of how what we see influences what we hear.
  • Bosker, H. R., Sjerps, M. J., & Reinisch, E. (2020). Spectral contrast effects are modulated by selective attention in ‘cocktail party’ settings. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 82, 1318-1332. doi:10.3758/s13414-019-01824-2.

    Abstract

    Speech sounds are perceived relative to spectral properties of surrounding speech. For instance, target words ambiguous between /bɪt/ (with low F1) and /bɛt/ (with high F1) are more likely to be perceived as “bet” after a ‘low F1’ sentence, but as “bit” after a ‘high F1’ sentence. However, it is unclear how these spectral contrast effects (SCEs) operate in multi-talker listening conditions. Recently, Feng and Oxenham [(2018b). J.Exp.Psychol.-Hum.Percept.Perform. 44(9), 1447–1457] reported that selective attention affected SCEs to a small degree, using two simultaneously presented sentences produced by a single talker. The present study assessed the role of selective attention in more naturalistic ‘cocktail party’ settings, with 200 lexically unique sentences, 20 target words, and different talkers. Results indicate that selective attention to one talker in one ear (while ignoring another talker in the other ear) modulates SCEs in such a way that only the spectral properties of the attended talker influences target perception. However, SCEs were much smaller in multi-talker settings (Experiment 2) than those in single-talker settings (Experiment 1). Therefore, the influence of SCEs on speech comprehension in more naturalistic settings (i.e., with competing talkers) may be smaller than estimated based on studies without competing talkers.

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  • Bosker, H. R., Sjerps, M. J., & Reinisch, E. (2020). Temporal contrast effects in human speech perception are immune to selective attention. Scientific Reports, 10: 5607. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-62613-8.

    Abstract

    Two fundamental properties of perception are selective attention and perceptual contrast, but how these two processes interact remains unknown. Does an attended stimulus history exert a larger contrastive influence on the perception of a following target than unattended stimuli? Dutch listeners categorized target sounds with a reduced prefix “ge-” marking tense (e.g., ambiguous between gegaan-gaan “gone-go”). In ‘single talker’ Experiments 1–2, participants perceived the reduced syllable (reporting gegaan) when the target was heard after a fast sentence, but not after a slow sentence (reporting gaan). In ‘selective attention’ Experiments 3–5, participants listened to two simultaneous sentences from two different talkers, followed by the same target sounds, with instructions to attend only one of the two talkers. Critically, the speech rates of attended and unattended talkers were found to equally influence target perception – even when participants could watch the attended talker speak. In fact, participants’ target perception in ‘selective attention’ Experiments 3–5 did not differ from participants who were explicitly instructed to divide their attention equally across the two talkers (Experiment 6). This suggests that contrast effects of speech rate are immune to selective attention, largely operating prior to attentional stream segregation in the auditory processing hierarchy.

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  • Bosma, E., & Nota, N. (2020). Cognate facilitation in Frisian-Dutch bilingual children’s sentence reading: An eye-tracking study. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 189: 104699. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2019.104699.
  • Böttner, M. (1998). A collective extension of relational grammar. Logic Journal of the IGPL, 6(2), 175-793. doi:10.1093/jigpal/6.2.175.

    Abstract

    Relational grammar was proposed in Suppes (1976) as a semantical grammar for natural language. Fragments considered so far are restricted to distributive notions. In this article, relational grammar is extended to collective notions.
  • Botvinik-Nezer, R., Holzmeister, F., Camerer, C. F., Dreber, A., Huber, J., Johannesson, M., Kirchler, M., Iwanir, R., Mumford, J. A., Adcock, R. A., Avesani, P., Baczkowski, B., Bajracharya, A., Bakst, L., Ball, S., Barilari, M., Bault, N., Beaton, D., Beitner, J., Benoit, R. G. and 177 moreBotvinik-Nezer, R., Holzmeister, F., Camerer, C. F., Dreber, A., Huber, J., Johannesson, M., Kirchler, M., Iwanir, R., Mumford, J. A., Adcock, R. A., Avesani, P., Baczkowski, B., Bajracharya, A., Bakst, L., Ball, S., Barilari, M., Bault, N., Beaton, D., Beitner, J., Benoit, R. G., Berkers, R., Bhanji, J. P., Biswal, B. B., Bobadilla-Suarez, S., Bortolini, T., Bottenhorn, K. L., Bowring, A., Braem, S., Brooks, H. R., Brudner, E. G., Calderon, C. B., Camilleri, J. A., Castrellon, J. J., Cecchetti, L., Cieslik, E. C., Cole, Z. J., Collignon, O., Cox, R. W., Cunningham, W. A., Czoschke, S., Dadi, K., Davis, C. P., De Luca, A., Delgado, M. R., Demetriou, L., Dennison, J. B., Di, X., Dickie, E. W., Dobryakova, E., Donnat, C. L., Dukart, J., Duncan, N. W., Durnez, J., Eed, A., Eickhoff, S. B., Erhart, A., Fontanesi, L., Fricke, G. M., Fu, S., Galván, A., Gau, R., Genon, S., Glatard, T., Glerean, E., Goeman, J. J., Golowin, S. A. E., González-García, C., Gorgolewski, K. J., Grady, C. L., Green, M. A., Guassi Moreira, J. F., Guest, O., Hakimi, S., Hamilton, J. P., Hancock, R., Handjaras, G., Harry, B. B., Hawco, C., Herholz, P., Herman, G., Heunis, S., Hoffstaedter, F., Hogeveen, J., Holmes, S., Hu, C.-P., Huettel, S. A., Hughes, M. E., Iacovella, V., Iordan, A. D., Isager, P. M., Isik, A. I., Jahn, A., Johnson, M. R., Johnstone, T., Joseph, M. J. E., Juliano, A. C., Kable, J. W., Kassinopoulos, M., Koba, C., Kong, X., Koscik, T. R., Kucukboyaci, N. E., Kuhl, B. A., Kupek, S., Laird, A. R., Lamm, C., Langner, R., Lauharatanahirun, N., Lee, H., Lee, S., Leemans, A., Leo, A., Lesage, E., Li, F., Li, M. Y. C., Lim, P. C., Lintz, E. N., Liphardt, S. W., Losecaat Vermeer, A. B., Love, B. C., Mack, M. L., Malpica, N., Marins, T., Maumet, C., McDonald, K., McGuire, J. T., Melero, H., Méndez Leal, A. S., Meyer, B., Meyer, K. N., Mihai, P. G., Mitsis, G. D., Moll, J., Nielson, D. M., Nilsonne, G., Notter, M. P., Olivetti, E., Onicas, A. I., Papale, P., Patil, K. R., Peelle, J. E., Pérez, A., Pischedda, D., Poline, J.-B., Prystauka, Y., Ray, S., Reuter-Lorenz, P. A., Reynolds, R. C., Ricciardi, E., Rieck, J. R., Rodriguez-Thompson, A. M., Romyn, A., Salo, T., Samanez-Larkin, G. R., Sanz-Morales, E., Schlichting, M. L., Schultz, D. H., Shen, Q., Sheridan, M. A., Silvers, J. A., Skagerlund, K., Smith, A., Smith, D. V., Sokol-Hessner, P., Steinkamp, S. R., Tashjian, S. M., Thirion, B., Thorp, J. N., Tinghög, G., Tisdall, L., Tompson, S. H., Toro-Serey, C., Torre Tresols, J. J., Tozzi, L., Truong, V., Turella, L., van 't Veer, A. E., Verguts, T., Vettel, J. M., Vijayarajah, S., Vo, K., Wall, M. B., Weeda, W. D., Weis, S., White, D. J., Wisniewski, D., Xifra-Porxas, A., Yearling, E. A., Yoon, S., Yuan, R., Yuen, K. S. L., Zhang, L., Zhang, X., Zosky, J. E., Nichols, T. E., Poldrack, R. A., & Schonberg, T. (2020). Variability in the analysis of a single neuroimaging dataset by many teams. Nature, 582, 84-88. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2314-9.

    Abstract

    Data analysis workflows in many scientific domains have become increasingly complex and flexible. Here we assess the effect of this flexibility on the results of functional magnetic resonance imaging by asking 70 independent teams to analyse the same dataset, testing the same 9 ex-ante hypotheses1. The flexibility of analytical approaches is exemplified by the fact that no two teams chose identical workflows to analyse the data. This flexibility resulted in sizeable variation in the results of hypothesis tests, even for teams whose statistical maps were highly correlated at intermediate stages of the analysis pipeline. Variation in reported results was related to several aspects of analysis methodology. Notably, a meta-analytical approach that aggregated information across teams yielded a significant consensus in activated regions. Furthermore, prediction markets of researchers in the field revealed an overestimation of the likelihood of significant findings, even by researchers with direct knowledge of the dataset2,3,4,5. Our findings show that analytical flexibility can have substantial effects on scientific conclusions, and identify factors that may be related to variability in the analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging. The results emphasize the importance of validating and sharing complex analysis workflows, and demonstrate the need for performing and reporting multiple analyses of the same data. Potential approaches that could be used to mitigate issues related to analytical variability are discussed.
  • Bouhali, F., Mongelli, V., Thiebaut de Schotten, M., & Cohen, L. (2020). Reading music and words: The anatomical connectivity of musicians’ visual cortex. NeuroImage, 212: 116666. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116666.

    Abstract

    Musical score reading and word reading have much in common, from their historical origins to their cognitive foundations and neural correlates. In the ventral occipitotemporal cortex (VOT), the specialization of the so-called Visual Word Form Area for word reading has been linked to its privileged structural connectivity to distant language regions. Here we investigated how anatomical connectivity relates to the segregation of regions specialized for musical notation or words in the VOT. In a cohort of professional musicians and non-musicians, we used probabilistic tractography combined with task-related functional MRI to identify the connections of individually defined word- and music-selective left VOT regions. Despite their close proximity, these regions differed significantly in their structural connectivity, irrespective of musical expertise. The music-selective region was significantly more connected to posterior lateral temporal regions than the word-selective region, which, conversely, was significantly more connected to anterior ventral temporal cortex. Furthermore, musical expertise had a double impact on the connectivity of the music region. First, music tracts were significantly larger in musicians than in non-musicians, associated with marginally higher connectivity to perisylvian music-related areas. Second, the spatial similarity between music and word tracts was significantly increased in musicians, consistently with the increased overlap of language and music functional activations in musicians, as compared to non-musicians. These results support the view that, for music as for words, very specific anatomical connections influence the specialization of distinct VOT areas, and that reciprocally those connections are selectively enhanced by the expertise for word or music reading.

    Additional information

    Supplementary data
  • Bowerman, M. (2004). From universal to language-specific in early grammatical development [Reprint]. In K. Trott, S. Dobbinson, & P. Griffiths (Eds.), The child language reader (pp. 131-146). London: Routledge.

    Abstract

    Attempts to explain children's grammatical development often assume a close initial match between units of meaning and units of form; for example, agents are said to map to sentence-subjects and actions to verbs. The meanings themselves, according to this view, are not influenced by language, but reflect children's universal non-linguistic way of understanding the world. This paper argues that, contrary to this position, meaning as it is expressed in children's early sentences is, from the beginning, organized on the basis of experience with the grammar and lexicon of a particular language. As a case in point, children learning English and Korean are shown to express meanings having to do with directed motion according to language-specific principles of semantic and grammatical structuring from the earliest stages of word combination.
  • Bowerman, M., & Majid, A. (2003). Kids’ cut & break. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 70-71). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877607.

    Abstract

    Kids’ Cut & Break is a task inspired by the original Cut & Break task (see MPI L&C Group Field Manual 2001), but designed for use with children as well as adults. There are fewer videoclips to be described (34 as opposed to 61), and they are “friendlier” and more interesting: the actors wear colorful clothes, smile, and act cheerfully. The first 2 items are warm-ups and 4 more items are fillers (interspersed with test items), so only 28 of the items are actually “test items”. In the original Cut & Break, each clip is in a separate file. In Kids’ Cut & Break, all 34 clips are edited into a single file, which plays the clips successively with 5 seconds of black screen between each clip.

    Additional information

    2003_1_Kids_cut_and_break_films.zip
  • Bowerman, M. (2003). Rola predyspozycji kognitywnych w przyswajaniu systemu semantycznego [Reprint]. In E. Dabrowska, & W. Kubiński (Eds.), Akwizycja języka w świetle językoznawstwa kognitywnego [Language acquisition from a cognitive linguistic perspective]. Kraków: Uniwersitas.

    Abstract

    Reprinted from; Bowerman, M. (1989). Learning a semantic system: What role do cognitive predispositions play? In M.L. Rice & R.L Schiefelbusch (Ed.), The teachability of language (pp. 133-169). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
  • Bowerman, M., Gullberg, M., Majid, A., & Narasimhan, B. (2004). Put project: The cross-linguistic encoding of placement events. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 9 (pp. 10-24). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492916.

    Abstract

    How similar are the event concepts encoded by different languages? So far, few event domains have been investigated in any detail. The PUT project extends the systematic cross-linguistic exploration of event categorisation to a new domain, that of placement events (putting things in places and removing them from places). The goal of this task is to explore cross-linguistic universality and variability in the semantic categorisation of placement events (e.g., ‘putting a cup on the table’).

    Additional information

    2004_Put_project_video_stimuli.zip
  • Bowerman, M., & Choi, S. (2003). Space under construction: Language-specific spatial categorization in first language acquisition. In D. Gentner, & S. Goldin-Meadow (Eds.), Language in mind: Advances in the study of language and thought (pp. 387-427). Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Li, P., & Bowerman, M. (1998). The acquisition of lexical and grammatical aspect in Chinese. First Language, 18, 311-350. doi:10.1177/014272379801805404.

    Abstract

    This study reports three experiments on how children learning Mandarin Chinese comprehend and use aspect markers. These experiments examine the role of lexical aspect in children's acquisition of grammatical aspect. Results provide converging evidence for children's early sensitivity to (1) the association between atelic verbs and the imperfective aspect markers zai, -zhe, and -ne, and (2) the association between telic verbs and the perfective aspect marker -le. Children did not show a sensitivity in their use or understanding of aspect markers to the difference between stative and activity verbs or between semelfactive and activity verbs. These results are consistent with Slobin's (1985) basic child grammar hypothesis that the contrast between process and result is important in children's early acquisition of temporal morphology. In contrast, they are inconsistent with Bickerton's (1981, 1984) language bioprogram hypothesis that the distinctions between state and process and between punctual and nonpunctual are preprogrammed into language learners. We suggest new ways of looking at the results in the light of recent probabilistic hypotheses that emphasize the role of input, prototypes and connectionist representations.
  • Brehm, L., Hussey, E., & Christianson, K. (2020). The role of word frequency and morpho-orthography in agreement processing. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 35(1), 58-77. doi:10.1080/23273798.2019.1631456.

    Abstract

    Agreement attraction in comprehension (when an ungrammatical verb is read quickly if preceded by a feature-matching local noun) is well described by a cue-based retrieval framework. This suggests a role for lexical retrieval in attraction. To examine this, we manipulated two probabilistic factors known to affect lexical retrieval: local noun word frequency and morpho-orthography (agreement morphology realised with or without –s endings) in a self-paced reading study. Noun number and word frequency affected noun and verb region reading times, with higher-frequency words not eliciting attraction. Morpho-orthography impacted verb processing but not attraction: atypical plurals led to slower verb reading times regardless of verb number. Exploratory individual difference analyses further underscore the importance of lexical retrieval dynamics in sentence processing. This provides evidence that agreement operates via a cue-based retrieval mechanism over lexical representations that vary in their strength and association to number features.

    Additional information

    Supplemental material
  • Broeder, D. (2004). 40,000 IMDI sessions. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(4), 12-12.
  • Broeder, D., Declerck, T., Romary, L., Uneson, M., Strömqvist, S., & Wittenburg, P. (2004). A large metadata domain of language resources. In M. Lino, M. Xavier, F. Ferreira, R. Costa, & R. Silva (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2004) (pp. 369-372). Paris: European Language Resources Association.
  • Broeder, D., Nava, M., & Declerck, T. (2004). INTERA - a Distributed Domain of Metadata Resources. In M. Lino, M. Xavier, F. Ferreira, R. Costa, & R. Silva (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Spoken Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2004) (pp. 369-372). Paris: European Language Resources Association.
  • Broeder, D., & Offenga, F. (2004). IMDI Metadata Set 3.0. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(2), 3-3.
  • Broeder, D., Wittenburg, P., & Crasborn, O. (2004). Using Profiles for IMDI Metadata Creation. In M. Lino, M. Xavier, F. Ferreira, R. Costa, & R. Silva (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2004) (pp. 1317-1320). Paris: European Language Resources Association.
  • Broeder, D., Brugman, H., Oostdijk, N., & Wittenburg, P. (2004). Towards Dynamic Corpora: Workshop on compiling and processing spoken corpora. In M. Lino, M. Xavier, F. Ferreira, R. Costa, & R. Silva (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2004) (pp. 59-62). Paris: European Language Resource Association.
  • Broersma, M., & Kolkman, K. M. (2004). Lexical representation of non-native phonemes. In S. Kin, & M. J. Bae (Eds.), Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (Interspeech 2004-ICSLP) (pp. 1241-1244). Seoul: Sunjijn Printing Co.
  • Broersma, M., Carter, D., Donnelly, K., & Konopka, A. E. (2020). Triggered codeswitching: Lexical processing and conversational dynamics. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 23(2), 295-308. doi:10.1017/S1366728919000014.

    Abstract

    This study investigates the psycholinguistic process underlying triggered codeswitching – codeswitching facilitated by the occurrence of cognates – within the context of conversational dynamics. It confirms that, in natural bilingual speech, lexical selection of cognates can facilitate codeswitching by enhancing the activation of the non-selected language. Analyses of a large-scale corpus of Welsh–English conversational speech showed that 1) producing cognates facilitated codeswitching, 2) speakers who generally produced more cognates generally codeswitched more, even in clauses that did not contain cognates, 3) larger numbers of cognates in a clause increased the likelihood of codeswitching, 4) codeswitching temporarily remained facilitated after the production of cognates, and 5) hearing rather than producing cognates did not facilitate codeswitching. The findings confirm the validity of the proposed cognitive account of triggered codeswitching, and clarify the relation between the lexical activation of cognates and consecutive language choice, in accord with current insights in lexical processing.
  • Brown, P. (1998). [Review of the book by A.J. Wootton, Interaction and the development of mind]. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 4(4), 816-817.
  • Brown, P. (1998). Children's first verbs in Tzeltal: Evidence for an early verb category. Linguistics, 36(4), 713-753.

    Abstract

    A major finding in studies of early vocabulary acquisition has been that children tend to learn a lot of nouns early but make do with relatively few verbs, among which semantically general-purpose verbs like do, make, get, have, give, come, go, and be play a prominent role. The preponderance of nouns is explained in terms of nouns labelling concrete objects beings “easier” to learn than verbs, which label relational categories. Nouns label “natural categories” observable in the world, verbs label more linguistically and culturally specific categories of events linking objects belonging to such natural categories (Gentner 1978, 1982; Clark 1993). This view has been challenged recently by data from children learning certain non-Indo-European languges like Korean, where children have an early verb explosion and verbs dominate in early child utterances. Children learning the Mayan language Tzeltal also acquire verbs early, prior to any noun explosion as measured by production. Verb types are roughly equivalent to noun types in children’s beginning production vocabulary and soon outnumber them. At the one-word stage children’s verbs mostly have the form of a root stripped of affixes, correctly segmented despite structural difficulties. Quite early (before the MLU 2.0 point) there is evidence of productivity of some grammatical markers (although they are not always present): the person-marking affixes cross-referencing core arguments, and the completive/incompletive aspectual distinctions. The Tzeltal facts argue against a natural-categories explanation for childre’s early vocabulary, in favor of a view emphasizing the early effects of language-specific properties of the input. They suggest that when and how a child acquires a “verb” category is centrally influenced by the structural properties of the input, and that the semantic structure of the language - where the referential load is concentrated - plays a fundamental role in addition to distributional facts.
  • Brown, P. (1998). Conversational structure and language acquisition: The role of repetition in Tzeltal adult and child speech. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 8(2), 197-221. doi:10.1525/jlin.1998.8.2.197.

    Abstract

    When Tzeltal children in the Mayan community of Tenejapa, in southern Mexico, begin speaking, their production vocabulary consists predominantly of verb roots, in contrast to the dominance of nouns in the initial vocabulary of first‐language learners of Indo‐European languages. This article proposes that a particular Tzeltal conversational feature—known in the Mayanist literature as "dialogic repetition"—provides a context that facilitates the early analysis and use of verbs. Although Tzeltal babies are not treated by adults as genuine interlocutors worthy of sustained interaction, dialogic repetition in the speech the children are exposed to may have an important role in revealing to them the structural properties of the language, as well as in socializing the collaborative style of verbal interaction adults favor in this community.
  • Brown, P. (1998). Early Tzeltal verbs: Argument structure and argument representation. In E. Clark (Ed.), Proceedings of the 29th Annual Stanford Child Language Research Forum (pp. 129-140). Stanford: CSLI Publications.

    Abstract

    The surge of research activity focussing on children's acquisition of verbs (e.g., Tomasello and Merriman 1996) addresses some fundamental questions: Just how variable across languages, and across individual children, is the process of verb learning? How specific are arguments to particular verbs in early child language? How does the grammatical category 'Verb' develop? The position of Universal Grammar, that a verb category is early, contrasts with that of Tomasello (1992), Pine and Lieven and their colleagues (1996, in press), and many others, that children develop a verb category slowly, gradually building up subcategorizations of verbs around pragmatic, syntactic, and semantic properties of the language they are exposed to. On this latter view, one would expect the language which the child is learning, the cultural milieu and the nature of the interactions in which the child is engaged, to influence the process of acquiring verb argument structures. This paper explores these issues by examining the development of argument representation in the Mayan language Tzeltal, in both its lexical and verbal cross-referencing forms, and analyzing the semantic and pragmatic factors influencing the form argument representation takes. Certain facts about Tzeltal (the ergative/ absolutive marking, the semantic specificity of transitive and positional verbs) are proposed to affect the representation of arguments. The first 500 multimorpheme combinations of 3 children (aged between 1;8 and 2;4) are examined. It is argued that there is no evidence of semantically light 'pathbreaking' verbs (Ninio 1996) leading the way into word combinations. There is early productivity of cross-referencing affixes marking A, S, and O arguments (although there are systematic omissions). The paper assesses the respective contributions of three kinds of factors to these results - structural (regular morphology), semantic (verb specificity) and pragmatic (the nature of Tzeltal conversational interaction).
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2004). Frames of spatial reference and their acquisition in Tenejapan Tzeltal. In A. Assmann, U. Gaier, & G. Trommsdorff (Eds.), Zwischen Literatur und Anthropologie: Diskurse, Medien, Performanzen (pp. 285-314). Tübingen: Gunter Narr.

    Abstract

    This is a reprint of the Brown and Levinson 2000 article.

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