Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 324
  • Alibali, M. W., Flevares, L. M., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (1997). Assessing knowledge conveyed in gesture: Do teachers have the upper hand? Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(1), 183-193. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.89.1.183.

    Abstract

    Children's gestures can reveal important information about their problem-solving strategies. This study investigated whether the information children express only in gesture is accessible to adults not trained in gesture coding. Twenty teachers and 20 undergraduates viewed videotaped vignettes of 12 children explaining their solutions to equations. Six children expressed the same strategy in speech and gesture, and 6 expressed different strategies. After each vignette, adults described the child's reasoning. For children who expressed different strategies in speech and gesture, both teachers and undergraduates frequently described strategies that children had not expressed in speech. These additional strategies could often be traced to the children's gestures. Sensitivity to gesture was comparable for teachers and undergraduates. Thus, even without training, adults glean information, not only from children's words but also from their hands.
  • Allen, S. E. M. (1997). Towards a discourse-pragmatic explanation for the subject-object asymmetry in early null arguments. In NET-Bulletin 1997 (pp. 1-16). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Instituut voor Functioneel Onderzoek van Taal en Taalgebruik (IFOTT).
  • Allerhand, M., Butterfield, S., Cutler, A., & Patterson, R. (1992). Assessing syllable strength via an auditory model. In Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics: Vol. 14 Part 6 (pp. 297-304). St. Albans, Herts: Institute of Acoustics.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1999). [Review of M. E. Kropp Dakubu: Korle meets the sea: a sociolinguistic history of Accra]. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 62, 198-199. doi:10.1017/S0041977X0001836X.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1999). Interjections. In K. Brown, & J. Miller (Eds.), Concise encyclopedia of grammatical categories (pp. 213-216). Oxford: Elsevier.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1992). Interjections: The universal yet neglected part of speech. Journal of Pragmatics, 18(2/3), 101-118. doi:10.1016/0378-2166(92)90048-G.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1999). Partir c'est mourir un peu: Universal and culture specific features of leave taking. RASK International Journal of Language and Communication, 9/10, 257-283.
  • Ameka, F. K., De Witte, C., & Wilkins, D. (1999). Picture series for positional verbs: Eliciting the verbal component in locative descriptions. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Manual for the 1999 Field Season (pp. 48-54). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.2573831.

    Abstract

    How do different languages encode location and position meanings? In conjunction with the BowPed picture series and Caused Positions task, this elicitation tool is designed to help researchers (i) identify a language’s resources for encoding topological relations; (ii) delimit the pragmatics of use of such resources; and (iii) determine the semantics of select spatial terms. The task focuses on the exploration of the predicative component of topological expressions (e.g., ‘the cassavas are lying in the basket’), especially the contrastive elicitation of positional verbs. The materials consist of a set of photographs of objects (e.g., bottles, cloths, sticks) in specific configurations with various ground items (e.g., basket, table, tree).

    Additional information

    1999_Positional_verbs_stimuli.zip
  • Ameka, F. K. (1999). Spatial information packaging in Ewe and Likpe: A comparative perspective. Frankfurter Afrikanistische Blätter, 11, 7-34.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1992). The meaning of phatic and conative interjections. Journal of Pragmatics, 18(2/3), 245-271. doi:10.1016/0378-2166(92)90054-F.

    Abstract

    The purpose of this paper is to investigate the meanings of the members of two subclasses of interjections in Ewe: the conative/volitive which are directed at an auditor, and the phatic which are used in the maintenance of social and communicative contact. It is demonstrated that interjections like other linguistic signs have meanings which can be rigorously stated. In addition, the paper explores the differences and similarities between the semantic structures of interjections on one hand and formulaic words on the other. This is done through a comparison of the semantics and pragmatics of an interjection and a formulaic word which are used for welcoming people in Ewe. It is contended that formulaic words are speech acts qua speech acts while interjections are not fully fledged speech acts because they lack illocutionary dictum in their semantic structure.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1999). The typology and semantics of complex nominal duplication in Ewe. Anthropological Linguistics, 41, 75-106.
  • Baayen, R. H., Dijkstra, T., & Schreuder, R. (1997). Singulars and Plurals in Dutch: Evidence for a Parallel Dual-Route Model. Journal of Memory and Language, 37(1), 94-117. doi:10.1006/jmla.1997.2509.

    Abstract

    Are regular morphologically complex words stored in the mental lexicon? Answers to this question have ranged from full listing to parsing for every regular complex word. We investigated the roles of storage and parsing in the visual domain for the productive Dutch plural suffix -en.Two experiments are reported that show that storage occurs for high-frequency noun plurals. A mathematical formalization of a parallel dual-route race model is presented that accounts for the patterns in the observed reaction time data with essentially one free parameter, the speed of the parsing route. Parsing for noun plurals appears to be a time-costly process, which we attribute to the ambiguity of -en,a suffix that is predominantly used as a verbal ending. A third experiment contrasted nouns and verbs. This experiment revealed no effect of surface frequency for verbs, but again a solid effect for nouns. Together, our results suggest that many noun plurals are stored in order to avoid the time-costly resolution of the subcategorization conflict that arises when the -ensuffix is attached to nouns.

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  • Baayen, R. H., Lieber, R., & Schreuder, R. (1997). The morphological complexity of simplex nouns. Linguistics, 35, 861-877. doi:10.1515/ling.1997.35.5.861.
  • Baayen, R. H. (1997). The pragmatics of the 'tenses' in biblical Hebrew. Studies in Language, 21(2), 245-285. doi:10.1075/sl.21.2.02baa.

    Abstract

    In this paper, I present an analysis of the so-called tense forms of Biblical Hebrew. While there is fairly broad consensus on the interpretation of the yiqtol tense form, the interpretation of the qdtal tense form has led to considerable controversy. I will argue that the qātal form has no intrinsic semantic value and that it serves a pragmatic function only, namely, signaling to the hearer that the event or state expressed by the verb cannot be tightly integrated into the discourse representation of the hearer, given the speaker's estimate of their common ground.
  • Baayen, R. H., & Lieber, R. (1997). Word frequency distributions and lexical semantics. Computers and the Humanities, 30, 281-291.

    Abstract

    This paper addresses the relation between meaning, lexical productivity, and frequency of use. Using density estimation as a visualization tool, we show that differences in semantic structure can be reflected in probability density functions estimated for word frequency distributions. We call attention to an example of a bimodal density, and suggest that bimodality arises when distributions of well-entrenched lexical tems, which appear to be lognormal, are mixed with distributions of productively reated nonce formations
  • Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Böcker, K. B. E., Cluitmans, P. J. M., & Brunia, C. H. M. (1999). Event-related desynchronization related to the anticipation of a stimulus providing knowledge of results. Clinical Neurophysiology, 110, 250-260.

    Abstract

    In the present paper, event-related desynchronization (ERD) in the alpha and beta frequency bands is quantified in order to investigate the processes related to the anticipation of a knowledge of results (KR) stimulus. In a time estimation task, 10 subjects were instructed to press a button 4 s after the presentation of an auditory stimulus. Two seconds after the response they received auditory or visual feedback on the timing of their response. Preceding the button press, a centrally maximal ERD is found. Preceding the visual KR stimulus, an ERD is present that has an occipital maximum. Contrary to expectation, preceding the auditory KR stimulus there are no signs of a modalityspecific ERD. Results are related to a thalamo-cortical gating model which predicts a correspondence between negative slow potentials and ERD during motor preparation and stimulus anticipation.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1999). Aspects of impersonal constructions in Late Latin. In H. Petersmann, & R. Kettelmann (Eds.), Latin vulgaire – latin tardif V (pp. 209-211). Heidelberg: Winter.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1992). Du latin au français: Le passage d'une langue SOV à une langue SVO. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1992). Evolution in language: Evidence from the Romance auxiliary. In B. Chiarelli, J. Wind, A. Nocentini, & B. Bichakjian (Eds.), Language origin: A multidisciplinary approach (pp. 517-528). Dordrecht: Kluwer.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1999). Impersonal HABET constructions: At the cross-roads of Indo-European innovation. In E. Polomé, & C. Justus (Eds.), Language change and typological variation. Vol II. Grammatical universals and typology (pp. 590-612). Washington: Institute for the study of man.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1997). Response to David Lightfoot’s Review of The Emergence and Development of SVO Patterning in Latin and French: Diachronic and Psycholinguistic Perspectives. Language, 73(2), 352-358.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1997). Nominal syntax in Italic: A diachronic perspective. In Language change and functional explanations (pp. 273-301). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1997). The adjective in Italic and Romance: Genetic or areal factors affecting word order patterns?”. In B. Palek (Ed.), Proceedings of LP'96: Typology: Prototypes, item orderings and universals (pp. 295-306). Prague: Charles University Press.
  • Bierwisch, M. (1997). Universal Grammar and the Basic Variety. Second Language Research, 13(4), 348-366. doi:10.1177/026765839701300403.

    Abstract

    The Basic Variety (BV) as conceived by Klein and Perdue (K&P) is a relatively stable state in the process of spontaneous (adult) second language acquisition, characterized by a small set of phrasal, semantic and pragmatic principles. These principles are derived by inductive generalization from a fairly large body of data. They are considered by K&P as roughly equivalent to those of Universal Grammar (UG) in the sense of Chomsky's Minimalist Program, with the proviso that the BV allows for only weak (or unmarked) formal features. The present article first discusses the viability of the BV principles proposed by K&P, arguing that some of them are in need of clarification with learner varieties, and that they are, in any case, not likely to be part of UG, as they exclude phenomena (e.g., so-called psych verbs) that cannot be ruled out even from the core of natural language. The article also considers the proposal that learner varieties of the BV type are completely unmarked instantiations of UG. Putting aside problems arising from the Minimalist Program, especially the question whether a grammar with only weak features would be a factual possibility and what it would look like, it is argued that the BV as characterized by K&P must be considered as the result of a process that crucially differs from first language acquisition as furnished by UG for a number of reasons, including properties of the BV itself. As a matter of fact, several of the properties claimed for the BV by K&P are more likely the result of general learning strategies than of language-specific principles. If this is correct, the characterization of the BV is a fairly interesting result, albeit of a rather different type than K&P suggest.
  • Böcker, K. B. E., Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Vroomen, J., Brunia, C. H. M., & de Gelder, B. (1999). An ERP correlate of metrical stress in spoken word recognition. Psychophysiology, 36, 706-720. doi:10.1111/1469-8986.3660706.

    Abstract

    Rhythmic properties of spoken language such as metrical stress, that is, the alternation of strong and weak syllables, are important in speech recognition of stress-timed languages such as Dutch and English. Nineteen subjects listened passively to or discriminated actively between sequences of bisyllabic Dutch words, which started with either a weak or a strong syllable. Weak-initial words, which constitute 12% of the Dutch lexicon, evoked more negativity than strong-initial words in the interval between P2 and N400 components of the auditory event-related potential. This negativity was denoted as N325. The N325 was larger during stress discrimination than during passive listening. N325 was also larger when a weak-initial word followed sequence of strong-initial words than when it followed words with the same stress pattern. The latter difference was larger for listeners who performed well on stress discrimination. It was concluded that the N325 is probably a manifestation of the extraction of metrical stress from the acoustic signal and its transformation into task requirements.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (1999). A questionnaire on event integration. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Manual for the 1999 Field Season (pp. 87-95). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.3002691.

    Abstract

    How do we decide where events begin and end? Like the ECOM clips, this questionnaire is designed to investigate how a language divides and/or integrates complex scenarios into sub-events and macro-events. The questionnaire focuses on events of motion, caused state change (e.g., breaking), and transfer (e.g., giving). It provides a checklist of scenarios that give insight into where a language “draws the line” in event integration, based on known cross-linguistic differences.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (1999). Event representation and event complexity: General introduction. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Manual for the 1999 Field Season (pp. 69-73). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.3002741.

    Abstract

    How do we decide where events begin and end? In some languages it makes sense to say something like Dan broke the plate, but in other languages it is necessary to treat this action as a complex scenario composed of separate stages (Dan dropped the plate and then the plate broke). This document introduces issues concerning the linguistic and cognitive representations of event complexity and integration, and provides an overview of tasks that are relevant to this topic, including the ECOM clips, the Questionnaire on Event integration, and the Questionnaire on motion lexicalisation and motion description.
  • Bohnemeyer, J., & Caelen, M. (1999). The ECOM clips: A stimulus for the linguistic coding of event complexity. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Manual for the 1999 Field Season (pp. 74-86). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.874627.

    Abstract

    How do we decide where events begin and end? In some languages it makes sense to say something like Dan broke the plate, but in other languages it is necessary to treat this action as a complex scenario composed of separate stages (Dan dropped the plate and then the plate broke). The “Event Complexity” (ECOM) clips are designed to explore how languages differ in dividing and/or integrating complex scenarios into sub-events and macro-events. The stimuli consist of animated clips of geometric shapes that participate in different scenarios (e.g., a circle “hits” a triangle and “breaks” it). Consultants are asked to describe the scenes, and then to comment on possible alternative descriptions.

    Additional information

    1999_The_ECOM_clips.zip
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (1997). Yucatec Mayan Lexicalization Patterns in Time and Space. In M. Biemans, & J. van de Weijer (Eds.), Proceedings of the CLS opening of the academic year '97-'98. Tilburg, The Netherlands: University Center for Language Studies.
  • Böttner, M. (1997). Natural Language. In C. Brink, W. Kahl, & G. Schmidt (Eds.), Relational Methods in computer science (pp. 229-249). Vienna, Austria: Springer-Verlag.
  • Böttner, M. (1997). Visiting some relatives of Peirce's. In 3rd International Seminar on The use of Relational Methods in Computer Science.

    Abstract

    The notion of relational grammar is extented to ternary relations and illustrated by a fragment of English. Some of Peirce's terms for ternary relations are shown to be incorrect and corrected.
  • Bowden, J. (1997). The meanings of Directionals in Taba. In G. Senft (Ed.), Referring to Space: Studies in Austronesian and Papuan Languages (pp. 251-268). New York, NJ: Oxford University Press.
  • Bowerman, M. (1971). [Review of A. Bar Adon & W.F. Leopold (Eds.), Child language: A book of readings (Prentice Hall, 1971)]. Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 16, 808-809.
  • Bowerman, M. (1979). The acquisition of complex sentences. In M. Garman, & P. Fletcher (Eds.), Studies in language acquisition (pp. 285-305). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bowerman, M., & Pederson, E. (1992). Topological relations picture series. In S. C. Levinson (Ed.), Space stimuli kit 1.2 (pp. 51). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.883589.

    Abstract

    This task is designed to elicit expressions of spatial relations. It was originally designed by Melissa Bowerman for use with young children, but was then developed further by Bowerman in collaboration with Pederson for crosslinguistic comparison. It has been used in fieldsites all over the world and is commonly known as “BowPed” or “TPRS”. Older incarnations did not always come with instructions. This entry includes a one-page instruction sheet and high quality versions of the original pictures.
  • Brown, P. (1999). Anthropologie cognitive. Anthropologie et Sociétés, 23(3), 91-119.

    Abstract

    In reaction to the dominance of universalism in the 1970s and '80s, there have recently been a number of reappraisals of the relation between language and cognition, and the field of cognitive anthropology is flourishing in several new directions in both America and Europe. This is partly due to a renewal and re-evaluation of approaches to the question of linguistic relativity associated with Whorf, and partly to the inspiration of modern developments in cognitive science. This review briefly sketches the history of cognitive anthropology and surveys current research on both sides of the Atlantic. The focus is on assessing current directions, considering in particular, by way of illustration, recent work in cultural models and on spatial language and cognition. The review concludes with an assessment of how cognitive anthropology could contribute directly both to the broader project of cognitive science and to the anthropological study of how cultural ideas and practices relate to structures and processes of human cognition.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (1992). 'Left' and 'right' in Tenejapa: Investigating a linguistic and conceptual gap. Zeitschrift für Phonetik, Sprachwissenschaft und Kommunikationsforschung, 45(6), 590-611.

    Abstract

    From the perspective of a Kantian belief in the fundamental human tendency to cleave space along the three planes of the human body, Tenejapan Tzeltal exhibits a linguistic gap: there are no linguistic expressions that designate regions (as in English to my left) or describe the visual field (as in to the left of the tree) on the basis of a plane bisecting the body into a left and right side. Tenejapans have expressions for left and right hands (xin k'ab and wa'el k'ab), but these are basically body-part terms, they are not generalized to form a division of space. This paper describes the results of various elicited producton tasks in which concepts of left and right would provide a simple solution, showing that Tenejapan consultants use other notions even when the relevant linguistic distinctions could be made in Tzeltal (e.g. describing the position of one's limbs, or describing rotation of one's body). Instead of using the left-hand/right-hand distinction to construct a division of space, Tenejapans utilize a number of other systems: (i) an absolute, 'cardinal direction' system, supplemented by reference to other geographic or landmark directions, (ii) a generative segmentation of objects and places into analogic body-parts or other kinds of parts, and (iii) a rich system of positional adjectives to describe the exact disposition of things. These systems work conjointly to specify locations with precision and elegance. The overall system is not primarily egocentric, and it makes no essential reference to planes through the human body.
  • Brown, C. M., Hagoort, P., & Ter Keurs, M. (1999). Electrophysiological signatures of visual lexical processing: open en closed-class words. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 11(3), 261-281.

    Abstract

    In this paper presents evidence of the disputed existence of an electrophysiological marker for the lexical-categorical distinction between open- and closed-class words. Event-related brain potentials were recorded from the scalp while subjects read a story. Separate waveforms were computed for open- and closed-class words. Two aspects of the waveforms could be reliably related to vocabulary class. The first was an early negativity in the 230- to 350-msec epoch, with a bilateral anterior predominance. This negativity was elicited by open- and closed-class words alike, was not affected by word frequency or word length, and had an earlier peak latency for closed-class words. The second was a frontal slow negative shift in the 350- to 500-msec epoch, largest over the left side of the scalp. This late negativity was only elicited by closed-class words. Although the early negativity cannot serve as a qualitative marker of the open- and closed-class distinction, it does reflect the earliest electrophysiological manifestation of the availability of categorical information from the mental lexicon. These results suggest that the brain honors the distinction between open- and closed-class words, in relation to the different roles that they play in on-line sentence processing.
  • Brown, P. (1997). Isolating the CVC root in Tzeltal Mayan: A study of children's first verbs. In E. V. Clark (Ed.), Proceedings of the 28th Annual Child Language Research Forum (pp. 41-52). Stanford, CA: CSLI/University of Chicago Press.

    Abstract

    How do children isolate the semantic package contained in verb roots in the Mayan language Tzeltal? One might imagine that the canonical CVC shape of roots characteristic of Mayan languages would make the job simple, but the root is normally preceded and followed by affixes which mask its identity. Pye (1983) demonstrated that, in Kiche' Mayan, prosodic salience overrides semantic salience, and children's first words in Kiche' are often composed of only the final (stressed) syllable constituted by the final consonant of the CVC root and a 'meaningless' termination suffix. Intonation thus plays a crucial role in early Kiche' morphological development. Tzeltal presents a rather different picture: The first words of children around the age of 1;6 are bare roots, children strip off all prefixes and suffixes which are obligatory in adult speech. They gradually add them, starting with the suffixes (which receive the main stress), but person prefixes are omitted in some contexts past a child's third birthday, and one obligatory aspectual prefix (x-) is systematically omitted by the four children in my longitudinal study even after they are four years old. Tzeltal children's first verbs generally show faultless isolation of the root. An account in terms of intonation or stress cannot explain this ability (the prefixes are not all syllables; the roots are not always stressed). This paper suggests that probable clues include the fact that the CVC root stays constant across contexts (with some exceptions) whereas the affixes vary, that there are some linguistic contexts where the root occurs without any prefixes (relatively frequent in the input), and that the Tzeltal discourse convention of responding by repeating with appropriate deictic alternation (e.g., "I see it." "Oh, you see it.") highlights the root.
  • Brown, P. (1999). Repetition [Encyclopedia entry for 'Lexicon for the New Millenium', ed. Alessandro Duranti]. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 9(2), 223-226. doi:10.1525/jlin.1999.9.1-2.223.

    Abstract

    This is an encyclopedia entry describing conversational and interactional uses of linguistic repetition.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (1999). Politeness: Some universals in language usage [Reprint]. In A. Jaworski, & N. Coupland (Eds.), The discourse reader (pp. 321-335). London: Routledge.

    Abstract

    This article is a reprint of chapter 1, the introduction to Brown and Levinson, 1987, Politeness: Some universals in language usage (Cambridge University Press).
  • Brown, P., Senft, G., & Wheeldon, L. (Eds.). (1992). Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics: Annual report 1992. Nijmegen: MPI for Psycholinguistics.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (1979). Social structure, groups and interaction. In H. Giles, & K. R. Scherer (Eds.), Social markers in speech (pp. 291-341). Cambridge University Press.
  • Brown, P., & Fraser, C. (1979). Speech as a marker of situation. In H. Giles, & K. Scherer (Eds.), Social markers in speech (pp. 33-62). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Brown, C. M., & Hagoort, P. (1999). The cognitive neuroscience of language: Challenges and future directions. In C. M. Brown, & P. Hagoort (Eds.), The neurocognition of language (pp. 3-14). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Chen, H.-C., & Cutler, A. (1997). Auditory priming in spoken and printed word recognition. In H.-C. Chen (Ed.), Cognitive processing of Chinese and related Asian languages (pp. 77-81). Hong Kong: Chinese University Press.
  • Choi, S., McDonough, L., Bowerman, M., & Mandler, J. M. (1999). Early sensitivity to language-specific spatial categories in English and Korean. Cognitive Development, 14, 241-268. doi:10.1016/S0885-2014(99)00004-0.

    Abstract

    This study investigates young children’s comprehension of spatial terms in two languages that categorize space strikingly differently. English makes a distinction between actions resulting in containment (put in) versus support or surface attachment (put on), while Korean makes a cross-cutting distinction between tight-fit relations (kkita) versus loose-fit or other contact relations (various verbs). In particular, the Korean verb kkita refers to actions resulting in a tight-fit relation regardless of containment or support. In a preferential looking study we assessed the comprehension of in by 20 English learners and kkita by 10 Korean learners, all between 18 and 23 months. The children viewed pairs of scenes while listening to sentences with and without the target word. The target word led children to gaze at different and language-appropriate aspects of the scenes. We conclude that children are sensitive to language-specific spatial categories by 18–23 months.
  • Clifton, Jr., C., Cutler, A., McQueen, J. M., & Van Ooijen, B. (1999). The processing of inflected forms. [Commentary on H. Clahsen: Lexical entries and rules of language.]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 1018-1019.

    Abstract

    Clashen proposes two distinct processing routes, for regularly and irregularly inflected forms, respectively, and thus is apparently making a psychological claim. We argue his position, which embodies a strictly linguistic perspective, does not constitute a psychological processing model.
  • Coenen, J., & Klein, W. (1992). The acquisition of Dutch. In W. Klein, & C. Perdue (Eds.), Utterance structure: Developing grammars again (pp. 189-224). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Crago, M. B., Allen, S. E. M., & Hough-Eyamie, W. P. (1997). Exploring innateness through cultural and linguistic variation. In M. Gopnik (Ed.), The inheritance and innateness of grammars (pp. 70-90). New York City, NY, USA: Oxford University Press, Inc.
  • Crago, M. B., & Allen, S. E. M. (1997). Linguistic and cultural aspects of simplicity and complexity in Inuktitut child directed speech. In E. Hughes, M. Hughes, & A. Greenhill (Eds.), Proceedings of the 21st annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 91-102).
  • Cutler, A. (1971). [Review of the book Probleme der Aufgabenanalyse bei der Erstellung von Sprachprogrammen by K. Bung]. Babel, 7, 29-31.
  • Cutler, A. (1979). Beyond parsing and lexical look-up. In R. J. Wales, & E. C. T. Walker (Eds.), New approaches to language mechanisms: a collection of psycholinguistic studies (pp. 133-149). Amsterdam: North-Holland.
  • Cutler, A., & Norris, D. (1992). Detection of vowels and consonants with minimal acoustic variation. Speech Communication, 11, 101-108. doi:10.1016/0167-6393(92)90004-Q.

    Abstract

    Previous research has shown that, in a phoneme detection task, vowels produce longer reaction times than consonants, suggesting that they are harder to perceive. One possible explanation for this difference is based upon their respective acoustic/articulatory characteristics. Another way of accounting for the findings would be to relate them to the differential functioning of vowels and consonants in the syllabic structure of words. In this experiment, we examined the second possibility. Targets were two pairs of phonemes, each containing a vowel and a consonant with similar phonetic characteristics. Subjects heard lists of English words had to press a response key upon detecting the occurrence of a pre-specified target. This time, the phonemes which functioned as vowels in syllabic structure yielded shorter reaction times than those which functioned as consonants. This rules out an explanation for response time difference between vowels and consonants in terms of function in syllable structure. Instead, we propose that consonantal and vocalic segments differ with respect to variability of tokens, both in the acoustic realisation of targets and in the representation of targets by listeners.
  • Cutler, A. (1979). Contemporary reaction to Rudolf Meringer’s speech error research. Historiograpia Linguistica, 6, 57-76.
  • Cutler, A., & Otake, T. (1997). Contrastive studies of spoken-language processing. Journal of Phonetic Society of Japan, 1, 4-13.
  • Cutler, A. (1992). Cross-linguistic differences in speech segmentation. MRC News, 56, 8-9.
  • Cutler, A., & Clifton, Jr., C. (1999). Comprehending spoken language: A blueprint of the listener. In C. M. Brown, & P. Hagoort (Eds.), The neurocognition of language (pp. 123-166). Oxford University Press.
  • Cutler, A. (1999). Foreword. In Slips of the Ear: Errors in the perception of Casual Conversation (pp. xiii-xv). New York City, NY, USA: Academic Press.
  • Cutler, A. (1992). Proceedings with confidence. New Scientist, (1825), 54.
  • Cutler, A. (1992). Processing constraints of the native phonological repertoire on the native language. In Y. Tohkura, E. Vatikiotis-Bateson, & Y. Sagisaka (Eds.), Speech perception, production and linguistic structure (pp. 275-278). Tokyo: Ohmsha.
  • Cutler, A. (1999). Prosodische Struktur und Worterkennung bei gesprochener Sprache. In A. D. Friedrici (Ed.), Enzyklopädie der Psychologie: Sprachrezeption (pp. 49-83). Göttingen: Hogrefe.
  • Cutler, A. (1999). Prosody and intonation, processing issues. In R. A. Wilson, & F. C. Keil (Eds.), MIT encyclopedia of the cognitive sciences (pp. 682-683). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Cutler, A. (1997). Prosody and the structure of the message. In Y. Sagisaka, N. Campbell, & N. Higuchi (Eds.), Computing prosody: Computational models for processing spontaneous speech (pp. 63-66). Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Cutler, A., Dahan, D., & Van Donselaar, W. (1997). Prosody in the comprehension of spoken language: A literature review. Language and Speech, 40, 141-201.

    Abstract

    Research on the exploitation of prosodic information in the recognition of spoken language is reviewed. The research falls into three main areas: the use of prosody in the recognition of spoken words, in which most attention has been paid to the question of whether the prosodic structure of a word plays a role in initial contact with stored lexical representations; the use of prosody in the computation of syntactic structure, in which the resolution of global and local ambiguities has formed the central focus; and the role of prosody in the processing of discourse structure, in which there has been a preponderance of work on the contribution of accentuation and deaccentuation to integration of concepts with an existing discourse model. The review reveals that in each area progress has been made towards new conceptions of prosody's role in processing, and in particular this has involved abandonment of previously held deterministic views of the relationship between prosodic structure and other aspects of linguistic structure
  • Cutler, A. (1992). Psychology and the segment. In G. Docherty, & D. Ladd (Eds.), Papers in laboratory phonology II: Gesture, segment, prosody (pp. 290-295). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cutler, A., & Robinson, T. (1992). Response time as a metric for comparison of speech recognition by humans and machines. In J. Ohala, T. Neary, & B. Derwing (Eds.), Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Spoken Language Processing: Vol. 1 (pp. 189-192). Alberta: University of Alberta.

    Abstract

    The performance of automatic speech recognition systems is usually assessed in terms of error rate. Human speech recognition produces few errors, but relative difficulty of processing can be assessed via response time techniques. We report the construction of a measure analogous to response time in a machine recognition system. This measure may be compared directly with human response times. We conducted a trial comparison of this type at the phoneme level, including both tense and lax vowels and a variety of consonant classes. The results suggested similarities between human and machine processing in the case of consonants, but differences in the case of vowels.
  • Cutler, A., & Butterfield, S. (1992). Rhythmic cues to speech segmentation: Evidence from juncture misperception. Journal of Memory and Language, 31, 218-236. doi:10.1016/0749-596X(92)90012-M.

    Abstract

    Segmentation of continuous speech into its component words is a nontrivial task for listeners. Previous work has suggested that listeners develop heuristic segmentation procedures based on experience with the structure of their language; for English, the heuristic is that strong syllables (containing full vowels) are most likely to be the initial syllables of lexical words, whereas weak syllables (containing central, or reduced, vowels) are nonword-initial, or, if word-initial, are grammatical words. This hypothesis is here tested against natural and laboratory-induced missegmentations of continuous speech. Precisely the expected pattern is found: listeners erroneously insert boundaries before strong syllables but delete them before weak syllables; boundaries inserted before strong syllables produce lexical words, while boundaries inserted before weak syllables produce grammatical words.
  • Cutler, A., & Norris, D. (1999). Sharpening Ockham’s razor (Commentary on W.J.M. Levelt, A. Roelofs & A.S. Meyer: A theory of lexical access in speech production). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 40-41.

    Abstract

    Language production and comprehension are intimately interrelated; and models of production and comprehension should, we argue, be constrained by common architectural guidelines. Levelt et al.'s target article adopts as guiding principle Ockham's razor: the best model of production is the simplest one. We recommend adoption of the same principle in comprehension, with consequent simplification of some well-known types of models.
  • Cutler, A., & Otake, T. (1999). Pitch accent in spoken-word recognition in Japanese. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 105, 1877-1888.

    Abstract

    Three experiments addressed the question of whether pitch-accent information may be exploited in the process of recognizing spoken words in Tokyo Japanese. In a two-choice classification task, listeners judged from which of two words, differing in accentual structure, isolated syllables had been extracted ~e.g., ka from baka HL or gaka LH!; most judgments were correct, and listeners’ decisions were correlated with the fundamental frequency characteristics of the syllables. In a gating experiment, listeners heard initial fragments of words and guessed what the words were; their guesses overwhelmingly had the same initial accent structure as the gated word even when only the beginning CV of the stimulus ~e.g., na- from nagasa HLL or nagashi LHH! was presented. In addition, listeners were more confident in guesses with the same initial accent structure as the stimulus than in guesses with different accent. In a lexical decision experiment, responses to spoken words ~e.g., ame HL! were speeded by previous presentation of the same word ~e.g., ame HL! but not by previous presentation of a word differing only in accent ~e.g., ame LH!. Together these findings provide strong evidence that accentual information constrains the activation and selection of candidates for spoken-word recognition.
  • Cutler, A., Kearns, R., Norris, D., & Scott, D. (1992). Listeners’ responses to extraneous signals coincident with English and French speech. In J. Pittam (Ed.), Proceedings of the 4th Australian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology (pp. 666-671). Canberra: Australian Speech Science and Technology Association.

    Abstract

    English and French listeners performed two tasks - click location and speeded click detection - with both English and French sentences, closely matched for syntactic and phonological structure. Clicks were located more accurately in open- than in closed-class words in both English and French; they were detected more rapidly in open- than in closed-class words in English, but not in French. The two listener groups produced the same pattern of responses, suggesting that higher-level linguistic processing was not involved in these tasks.
  • Cutler, A., & Norris, D. (1979). Monitoring sentence comprehension. In W. E. Cooper, & E. C. T. Walker (Eds.), Sentence processing: Psycholinguistic studies presented to Merrill Garrett (pp. 113-134). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.
  • Cutler, A., & Chen, H.-C. (1997). Lexical tone in Cantonese spoken-word processing. Perception and Psychophysics, 59, 165-179. Retrieved from http://www.psychonomic.org/search/view.cgi?id=778.

    Abstract

    In three experiments, the processing of lexical tone in Cantonese was examined. Cantonese listeners more often accepted a nonword as a word when the only difference between the nonword and the word was in tone, especially when the F0 onset difference between correct and erroneous tone was small. Same–different judgments by these listeners were also slower and less accurate when the only difference between two syllables was in tone, and this was true whether the F0 onset difference between the two tones was large or small. Listeners with no knowledge of Cantonese produced essentially the same same-different judgment pattern as that produced by the native listeners, suggesting that the results display the effects of simple perceptual processing rather than of linguistic knowledge. It is argued that the processing of lexical tone distinctions may be slowed, relative to the processing of segmental distinctions, and that, in speeded-response tasks, tone is thus more likely to be misprocessed than is segmental structure.
  • Cutler, A. (1999). Spoken-word recognition. In R. A. Wilson, & F. C. Keil (Eds.), MIT encyclopedia of the cognitive sciences (pp. 796-798). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Cutler, A. (1997). The comparative perspective on spoken-language processing. Speech Communication, 21, 3-15. doi:10.1016/S0167-6393(96)00075-1.

    Abstract

    Psycholinguists strive to construct a model of human language processing in general. But this does not imply that they should confine their research to universal aspects of linguistic structure, and avoid research on language-specific phenomena. First, even universal characteristics of language structure can only be accurately observed cross-linguistically. This point is illustrated here by research on the role of the syllable in spoken-word recognition, on the perceptual processing of vowels versus consonants, and on the contribution of phonetic assimilation phonemena to phoneme identification. In each case, it is only by looking at the pattern of effects across languages that it is possible to understand the general principle. Second, language-specific processing can certainly shed light on the universal model of language comprehension. This second point is illustrated by studies of the exploitation of vowel harmony in the lexical segmentation of Finnish, of the recognition of Dutch words with and without vowel epenthesis, and of the contribution of different kinds of lexical prosodic structure (tone, pitch accent, stress) to the initial activation of candidate words in lexical access. In each case, aspects of the universal processing model are revealed by analysis of these language-specific effects. In short, the study of spoken-language processing by human listeners requires cross-linguistic comparison.
  • Cutler, A., Van Ooijen, B., & Norris, D. (1999). Vowels, consonants, and lexical activation. In J. Ohala, Y. Hasegawa, M. Ohala, D. Granville, & A. Bailey (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences: Vol. 3 (pp. 2053-2056). Berkeley: University of California.

    Abstract

    Two lexical decision studies examined the effects of single-phoneme mismatches on lexical activation in spoken-word recognition. One study was carried out in English, and involved spoken primes and visually presented lexical decision targets. The other study was carried out in Dutch, and primes and targets were both presented auditorily. Facilitation was found only for spoken targets preceded immediately by spoken primes; no facilitation occurred when targets were presented visually, or when intervening input occurred between prime and target. The effects of vowel mismatches and consonant mismatches were equivalent.
  • Cutler, A., Mehler, J., Norris, D., & Segui, J. (1992). The monolingual nature of speech segmentation by bilinguals. Cognitive Psychology, 24, 381-410.

    Abstract

    Monolingual French speakers employ a syllable-based procedure in speech segmentation; monolingual English speakers use a stress-based segmentation procedure and do not use the syllable-based procedure. In the present study French-English bilinguals participated in segmentation experiments with English and French materials. Their results as a group did not simply mimic the performance of English monolinguals with English language materials and of French monolinguals with French language materials. Instead, the bilinguals formed two groups, defined by forced choice of a dominant language. Only the French-dominant group showed syllabic segmentation and only with French language materials. The English-dominant group showed no syllabic segmentation in either language. However, the English-dominant group showed stress-based segmentation with English language materials; the French-dominant group did not. We argue that rhythmically based segmentation procedures are mutually exclusive, as a consequence of which speech segmentation by bilinguals is, in one respect at least, functionally monolingual.
  • Cutler, A. (1992). The perception of speech: Psycholinguistic aspects. In W. Bright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of language: Vol. 3 (pp. 181-183). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Cutler, A. (1992). The production and perception of word boundaries. In Y. Tohkura, E. Vatikiotis-Bateson, & Y. Sagisaka (Eds.), Speech perception, production and linguistic structure (pp. 419-425). Tokyo: Ohsma.
  • Cutler, A. (1992). Why not abolish psycholinguistics? In W. Dressler, H. Luschützky, O. Pfeiffer, & J. Rennison (Eds.), Phonologica 1988 (pp. 77-87). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cutler, A. (1997). The syllable’s role in the segmentation of stress languages. Language and Cognitive Processes, 12, 839-845. doi:10.1080/016909697386718.
  • Dijkstra, T., & Kempen, G. (1997). Het taalgebruikersmodel. In H. Hulshof, & T. Hendrix (Eds.), De taalcentrale. Amsterdam: Bulkboek.
  • Drozd, K., & Van de Weijer, J. (Eds.). (1997). Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics: Annual report 1997. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Drude, S. (1997). Wörterbücher, integrativ interpretiert, am Beispiel des Guaraní. Magister Thesis, Freie Universität Berlin.
  • Edlinger, G., Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Brunia, C., Neuper, C., & Pfurtscheller, G. (1999). Cortical oscillatory activity assessed by combined EEG and MEG recordings and high resolution ERD methods. Biomedizinische Technik, 44(2), 131-134.
  • Eisenbeiss, S., McGregor, B., & Schmidt, C. M. (1999). Story book stimulus for the elicitation of external possessor constructions and dative constructions ('the circle of dirt'). In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Manual for the 1999 Field Season (pp. 140-144). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.3002750.

    Abstract

    How involved in an event is a person that possesses one of the event participants? Some languages can treat such “external possessors” as very closely involved, even marking them on the verb along with core roles such as subject and object. Other languages only allow possessors to be expressed as non-core participants. This task explores possibilities for the encoding of possessors and other related roles such as beneficiaries. The materials consist of a sequence of thirty drawings designed to elicit target construction types.

    Additional information

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  • Enfield, N. J. (1997). Review of 'Give: a cognitive linguistic study', by John Newman. Australian Journal of Linguistics, 17(1), 89-92. doi:10.1080/07268609708599546.
  • Enfield, N. J. (1997). Review of 'Plastic glasses and church fathers: semantic extension from the ethnoscience tradition', by David Kronenfeld. Anthropological Linguistics, 39(3), 459-464. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/30028999.
  • Enfield, N. J. (1999). On the indispensability of semantics: Defining the ‘vacuous’. Rask: internationalt tidsskrift for sprog og kommunikation, 9/10, 285-304.
  • Enfield, N. J. (1999). Lao as a national language. In G. Evans (Ed.), Laos: Culture and society (pp. 258-290). Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books.
  • Essegbey, J. (1999). Inherent complement verbs revisited: Towards an understanding of argument structure in Ewe. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.2057668.
  • Eysenck, M. W., & Van Berkum, J. J. A. (1992). Trait anxiety, defensiveness, and the structure of worry. Personality and Individual Differences, 13(12), 1285-1290. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science//journal/01918869.

    Abstract

    A principal components analysis of the ten scales of the Worry Questionnaire revealed the existence of major worry factors or domains of social evaluation and physical threat, and these factors were confirmed in a subsequent item analysis. Those high in trait anxiety had much higher scores on the Worry Questionnaire than those low in trait anxiety, especially on those scales relating to social evaluation. Scores on the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale were negatively related to worry frequency. However, groups of low-anxious and repressed individucores did not differ in worry. It was concluded that worry, especals formed on the basis of their trait anxiety and social desirability sially in the social evaluation domain, is of fundamental importance to trait anxiety.
  • Fisher, S. E., Stein, J. F., & Monaco, A. P. (1999). A genome-wide search strategy for identifying quantitative trait loci involved in reading and spelling disability (developmental dyslexia). European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 8(suppl. 3), S47-S51. doi:10.1007/PL00010694.

    Abstract

    Family and twin studies of developmental dyslexia have consistently shown that there is a significant heritable component for this disorder. However, any genetic basis for the trait is likely to be complex, involving reduced penetrance, phenocopy, heterogeneity and oligogenic inheritance. This complexity results in reduced power for traditional parametric linkage analysis, where specification of the correct genetic model is important. One strategy is to focus on large multigenerational pedigrees with severe phenotypes and/or apparent simple Mendelian inheritance, as has been successfully demonstrated for speech and language impairment. This approach is limited by the scarcity of such families. An alternative which has recently become feasible due to the development of high-throughput genotyping techniques is the analysis of large numbers of sib-pairs using allele-sharing methodology. This paper outlines our strategy for conducting a systematic genome-wide search for genes involved in dyslexia in a large number of affected sib-pair familites from the UK. We use a series of psychometric tests to obtain different quantitative measures of reading deficit, which should correlate with different components of the dyslexia phenotype, such as phonological awareness and orthographic coding ability. This enable us to use QTL (quantitative trait locus) mapping as a powerful tool for localising genes which may contribute to reading and spelling disability.
  • Fisher, S. E., Marlow, A. J., Lamb, J., Maestrini, E., Williams, D. F., Richardson, A. J., Weeks, D. E., Stein, J. F., & Monaco, A. P. (1999). A quantitative-trait locus on chromosome 6p influences different aspects of developmental dyslexia. American Journal of Human Genetics, 64(1), 146-156. doi:10.1086/302190.

    Abstract

    Recent application of nonparametric-linkage analysis to reading disability has implicated a putative quantitative-trait locus (QTL) on the short arm of chromosome 6. In the present study, we use QTL methods to evaluate linkage to the 6p25-21.3 region in a sample of 181 sib pairs from 82 nuclear families that were selected on the basis of a dyslexic proband. We have assessed linkage directly for several quantitative measures that should correlate with different components of the phenotype, rather than using a single composite measure or employing categorical definitions of subtypes. Our measures include the traditional IQ/reading discrepancy score, as well as tests of word recognition, irregular-word reading, and nonword reading. Pointwise analysis by means of sib-pair trait differences suggests the presence, in 6p21.3, of a QTL influencing multiple components of dyslexia, in particular the reading of irregular words (P=.0016) and nonwords (P=.0024). A complementary statistical approach involving estimation of variance components supports these findings (irregular words, P=.007; nonwords, P=.0004). Multipoint analyses place the QTL within the D6S422-D6S291 interval, with a peak around markers D6S276 and D6S105 consistently identified by approaches based on trait differences (irregular words, P=.00035; nonwords, P=.0035) and variance components (irregular words, P=.007; nonwords, P=.0038). Our findings indicate that the QTL affects both phonological and orthographic skills and is not specific to phoneme awareness, as has been previously suggested. Further studies will be necessary to obtain a more precise localization of this QTL, which may lead to the isolation of one of the genes involved in developmental dyslexia.
  • Fisher, S. E., Ciccodicola, A., Tanaka, K., Curci, A., Desicato, S., D'urso, M., & Craig, I. W. (1997). Sequence-based exon prediction around the synaptophysin locus reveals a gene-rich area containing novel genes in human proximal Xp. Genomics, 45, 340-347. doi:10.1006/geno.1997.4941.

    Abstract

    The human Xp11.23-p11.22 interval has been implicated in several inherited diseases including Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome; three forms of X-linked hypercalciuric nephrolithiaisis; and the eye disorders retinitis pigmentosa 2, congenital stationary night blindness, and Aland Island eye disease. In constructing YAC contigs spanning Xp11. 23-p11.22, we have previously shown that the region around the synaptophysin (SYP) gene is refractory to cloning in YACs, but highly stable in cosmids. Preliminary analysis of the latter suggested that this might reflect a high density of coding sequences and we therefore undertook the complete sequencing of a SYP-containing cosmid. Sequence data were extensively analyzed using computer programs such as CENSOR (to mask repeats), BLAST (for homology searches), and GRAIL and GENE-ID (to predict exons). This revealed the presence of 29 putative exons, organized into three genes, in addition to the 7 exons of the complete SYP coding region, all mapping within a 44-kb interval. Two genes are novel, one (CACNA1F) showing high homology to alpha1 subunits of calcium channels, the other (LMO6) encoding a product with significant similarity to LIM-domain proteins. RT-PCR and Northern blot studies confirmed that these loci are indeed transcribed. The third locus is the previously described, but not previously localized, A4 differentiation-dependent gene. Given that the intron-exon boundaries predicted by the analysis are consistent with previous information where available, we have been able to suggest the genomic organization of the novel genes with some confidence. The region has an elevated GC content (>53%), and we identified CpG islands associated with the 5' ends of SYP, A4, and LMO6. The order of loci was Xpter-A4-LMO6-SYP-CACNA1F-Xcen, with intergenic distances ranging from approximately 300 bp to approximately 5 kb. The density of transcribed sequences in this area (>80%) is comparable to that found in the highly gene-rich chromosomal band Xq28. Further studies may aid our understanding of the long-range organization surrounding such gene-enriched regions.
  • Gullberg, M., & Holmqvist, K. (1999). Keeping an eye on gestures: Visual perception of gestures in face-to-face communication. Pragmatics & Cognition, 7(1), 35-63. doi:10.1075/pc.7.1.04gul.

    Abstract

    Since listeners usually look at the speaker's face, gestural information has to be absorbed through peripheral visual perception. In the literature, it has been suggested that listeners look at gestures under certain circumstances: 1) when the articulation of the gesture is peripheral; 2) when the speech channel is insufficient for comprehension; and 3) when the speaker him- or herself indicates that the gesture is worthy of attention. The research here reported employs eye tracking techniques to study the perception of gestures in face-to-face interaction. The improved control over the listener's visual channel allows us to test the validity of the above claims. We present preliminary findings substantiating claims 1 and 3, and relate them to theoretical proposals in the literature and to the issue of how visual and cognitive attention are related.
  • Hagoort, P., & Indefrey, P. (1997). De neurale architectuur van het menselijk taalvermogen. In H. Peters (Ed.), Handboek stem-, spraak-, en taalpathologie (pp. 1-36). Houten: Bohn Stafleu Van Loghum.
  • Hagoort, P. (1997). De rappe prater als gewoontedier [Review of the book Smooth talkers: The linguistic performance of auctioneers and sportscasters, by Koenraad Kuiper]. Psychologie, 16, 22-23.
  • Hagoort, P. (1999). De toekomstige eeuw zonder psychologie. Psychologie Magazine, 18, 35-36.
  • Hagoort, P., & Brown, C. M. (1999). Gender electrified: ERP evidence on the syntactic nature of gender processing. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 28(6), 715-728. doi:10.1023/A:1023277213129.

    Abstract

    The central issue of this study concerns the claim that the processing of gender agreement in online sentence comprehension is a syntactic rather than a conceptual/semantic process. This claim was tested for the grammatical gender agreement in Dutch between the definite article and the noun. Subjects read sentences in which the definite article and the noun had the same gender and sentences in which the gender agreement was violated, While subjects read these sentences, their electrophysiological activity was recorded via electrodes placed on the scalp. Earlier research has shown that semantic and syntactic processing events manifest themselves in different event-related brain potential (ERP) effects. Semantic integration modulates the amplitude of the so-called N400.The P600/SPS is an ERP effect that is more sensitive to syntactic processes. The violation of grammatical gender agreement was found to result in a P600/SPS. For violations in sentence-final position, an additional increase of the N400 amplitude was observed. This N400 effect is interpreted as resulting from the consequence of a syntactic violation for the sentence-final wrap-up. The overall pattern of results supports the claim that the on-line processing of gender agreement information is not a content driven but a syntactic-form driven process.

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