Publications

Displaying 1 - 56 of 56
  • Altvater-Mackensen, N. (2010). Do manners matter? Asymmetries in the acquisition of manner of articulation features. PhD Thesis, Radboud University of Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Bardhan, N. P. (2010). Adults’ self-directed learning of an artificial lexicon: The dynamics of neighborhood reorganization. PhD Thesis, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York.

    Abstract

    Artificial lexicons have previously been used to examine the time course of the learning and recognition of spoken words, the role of segment type in word learning, and the integration of context during spoken word recognition. However, in all of these studies the experimenter determined the frequency and order of the words to be learned. In three experiments, we asked whether adult learners choose to listen to novel words in a particular order based on their acoustic similarity. We use a new paradigm for learning an artificial lexicon in which the learner, rather than the experimenter, determines the order and frequency of exposure to items. We analyze both the proportions of selections and the temporal clustering of subjects' sampling of lexical neighborhoods during training as well as their performance during repeated testing phases (accuracy and reaction time) to determine the time course of learning these neighborhoods. In the first experiment, subjects sampled the high and low density neighborhoods randomly in early learning, and then over-sampled the high density neighborhood until test performance on both neighborhoods reached asymptote. A second experiment involved items similar to the first, but also neighborhoods that are not fully revealed at the start of the experiment. Subjects adjusted their training patterns to focus their selections on neighborhoods of increasing density was revealed; evidence of learning in the test phase was slower to emerge than in the first experiment, impaired by the presence of additional sets of items of varying density. Crucially, in both the first and second experiments there was no effect of dense vs. sparse neighborhood in the accuracy results, which is accounted for by subjects’ over-sampling of items from the dense neighborhood. The third experiment was identical in design to the second except for a second day of further training and testing on the same items. Testing at the beginning of the second day showed impaired, not improved, accuracy, except for the consistently dense items. Further training, however, improved accuracy for some items to above Day 1 levels. Overall, these results provide a new window on the time-course of learning an artificial lexicon and the role that learners’ implicit preferences, stemming from their self-selected experience with the entire lexicon, play in learning highly confusable words.
  • 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.
  • Brouwer, S. (2010). Processing strongly reduced forms in casual speech. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Brown, A. (2006). Cross-linguistic influence in first and second lanuages: Convergence in speech and gesture. PhD Thesis, Boston University, Boston.

    Abstract

    Research on second language acquisition typically focuses on how a first language (L1) influences a second language (L2) in different linguistic domains and across modalities. This dissertation, in contrast, explores interactions between languages in the mind of a language learner by asking 1) can an emerging L2 influence an established L1? 2) if so, how is such influence realized? 3) are there parallel influences of the L1 on the L2? These questions were investigated for the expression of Manner (e.g. climb, roll) and Path (e.g. up, down) of motion, areas where substantial crosslinguistic differences exist in speech and co-speech gesture. Japanese and English are typologically distinct in this domain; therefore, narrative descriptions of four motion events were elicited from monolingual Japanese speakers (n=16), monolingual English speakers (n=13), and native Japanese speakers with intermediate knowledge of English (narratives elicited in both their L1 and L2, n=28). Ways in which Path and Manner were expressed at the lexical, syntactic, and gestural levels were analyzed in monolingual and non-monolingual production. Results suggest mutual crosslinguistic influences. In their L1, native Japanese speakers with knowledge of English displayed both Japanese- and English-like use of morphosyntactic elements to express Path and Manner (i.e. a combination of verbs and other constructions). Consequently, non-monolingual L1 discourse contained significantly more Path expressions per clause, with significantly greater mention of Goal of motion than monolingual Japanese and English discourse. Furthermore, the gestures of non-monolingual speakers diverged from their monolingual counterparts with differences in depiction of Manner and gesture perspective (character versus observer). Importantly, non-monolingual production in the L1 was not ungrammatical, but simply reflected altered preferences. As for L2 production, many effects of L1 influence were seen, crucially in areas parallel to those described above. Overall, production by native Japanese speakers who knew English differed from that of monolingual Japanese and English speakers. But L1 and L2 production within non-monolingual individuals was similar. These findings imply a convergence of L1-L2 linguistic systems within the mind of a language learner. Theoretical and methodological implications for SLA research and language assessment with respect to the ‘native speaker standard language’ are discussed.
  • Cholin, J. (2004). Syllables in speech production: Effects of syllable preparation and syllable frequency. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.60589.

    Abstract

    The fluent production of speech is a very complex human skill. It requires the coordination of several articulatory subsystems. The instructions that lead articulatory movements to execution are the result of the interplay of speech production levels that operate above the articulatory network. During the process of word-form encoding, the groundwork for the articulatory programs is prepared which then serve the articulators as basic units. This thesis investigated whether or not syllables form the basis for the articulatory programs and in particular whether or not these syllable programs are stored, separate from the store of the lexical word-forms. It is assumed that syllable units are stored in a so-called 'mental syllabary'. The main goal of this thesis was to find evidence of the syllable playing a functionally important role in speech production and for the assumption that syllables are stored units. In a variant of the implicit priming paradigm, it was investigated whether information about the syllabic structure of a target word facilitates the preparation (advanced planning) of a to-be-produced utterance. These experiments yielded evidence for the functionally important role of syllables in speech production. In a subsequent row of experiments, it could be demonstrated that the production of syllables is sensitive to frequency. Syllable frequency effects provide strong evidence for the notion of a mental syllabary because only stored units are likely to exhibit frequency effects. In a last study, effects of syllable preparation and syllable frequency were investigated in a combined study to disentangle the two effects. The results of this last experiment converged with those reported for the other experiments and added further support to the claim that syllables play a core functional role in speech production and are stored in a mental syllabary.

    Additional information

    Full Text (via Radboud)
  • Defina, R. (2010). Aspect and modality in Avatime. Master Thesis, Leiden University.
  • Dietrich, C. (2006). The acquisition of phonological structure: Distinguishing contrastive from non-contrastive variation. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.57829.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2006). The body in Yoruba: A linguistic study. Master Thesis, Leiden University, Leiden.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2006). The semantics of Bantu noun classification: A review and comparison of three approaches. Master Thesis, Leiden University.
  • Eisner, F. (2006). Lexically-guided perceptual learning in speech processing. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.57407.

    Abstract

    During listening to spoken language, the perceptual system needs to adapt frequently to changes in talkers, and thus to considerable interindividual variability in the articulation of a given speech sound. This thesis investigated a learning process which allows listeners to use stored lexical representations to modify the interpretation of a speech sound when a talker's articulation of that sound is consistently unclear or ambiguous. The questions that were addressed in this research concerned the robustness of such perceptual learning, a potential role for sleep, and whether learning is specific to the speech of one talker or, alternatively, generalises to other talkers. A further study aimed to identify the underlying functional neuroanatomy by using magnetic resonance imaging methods. The picture that emerged for lexically-guided perceptual learning is that learning occurs very rapidly, is highly specific, and remains remarkably robust both over time and under exposure to speech from other talkers.
  • FitzPatrick, I. (2006). Effects of sentence context in L2 natural speech comprehension. Master Thesis, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Flecken, M. (2010). Event conceptualization in language production of early bilinguals. PhD Thesis, Heidelberg University and Radboud University Nijmegen. LOT dissertation series; 256.
  • Floyd, S. (2010). Discourse forms and social categorization in Cha'palaa. PhD Thesis, University of Texas, Austin, TX.

    Abstract

    This dissertation is an ethnographic study of race and other forms of social categorization as approached through the discourse of the indigenous Chachi people of northwestern lowland Ecuador and their Afro-descendant neighbors. It combines the ethnographic methods of social anthropology with the methods of descriptive linguistics, letting social questions about racial formation guide linguistic inquiry. It provides new information about the largely unstudied indigenous South American language Cha’palaa, and connects that information about linguistic form to problems of the study of race and ethnicity in Latin America. Individual descriptive chapters address how the Cha’palaa number system is based on collectivity rather than plurality according to an animacy hierarchy that codes only human and human-like social collectivities, how a nominal set of ethnonyms linked to Chachi oral history become the recipients of collective marking as human collectivities, how those collectivities are co-referentially linked to speech participants through the deployment of the pronominal system, and how the multi-modal resource of gesture adds to these rich resources supplied by the spoken language for the expression of social realities like race. The final chapters address Chachi and Afrodescendant discourses in dialogue with each other and examine naturally occurring speech data to show how the linguistic forms described in previous chapters are used in social interaction. The central argument advances a position that takes the socially constructed status of race seriously and considers that for such constructions to exist as more abstract macro-categories they must be constituted by instances of social interaction, where elements of the social order are observable at the micro-level. In this way localized articulations of social categories become vehicles for the broader circulation of discourses structured by a history of racialized social inequality, revealing the extreme depth of racialization in human social conditioning. This dissertation represents a contribution to the field of linguistic anthropology as well as to descriptive linguistics of South American languages and to critical approaches to race and ethnicity in Latin America.
  • Frank, S. L. (2004). Computational modeling of discourse comprehension. PhD Thesis, Tilburg University, Tilburg.
  • Gebre, B. G. (2010). Part of speech tagging for Amharic. Master Thesis, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton.
  • Grabe, E. (1998). Comparative intonational phonology: English and German. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.2057683.
  • Gullberg, M. (Ed.). (2006). Gestures and second language acquisition [Special Issue]. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 44(2).
  • Gullberg, M., & Indefrey, P. (Eds.). (2006). The cognitive neuroscience of second language acquisition [Special Issue]. Language Learning, 56(suppl. 1).
  • Gullberg, M., & Indefrey, P. (Eds.). (2010). The earliest stages of language learning [Special Issue]. Language Learning, 60(Supplement s2).
  • Hintz, F. (2010). Speech and speaker recognition in dyslexic individuals. Bachelor Thesis, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (Leipzig)/University of Leipzig.
  • Holler, J. (2004). Semantic and pragmatic aspects of representational gestures: Towards a unified model of communication in talk. PhD Thesis, University of Manchester, Manchester.
  • Kemps, R. J. J. K. (2004). Morphology in auditory lexical processing: Sensitivity to fine phonetic detail and insensitivity to suffix reduction. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.59193.

    Abstract

    This dissertation investigates two seemingly contradictory properties of the speech perception system. On the one hand, listeners are extremely sensitive to the fine phonetic details in the speech signal. These subtle acoustic cues can reduce the temporal ambiguity between words that show initial segmental overlap, and can guide lexical activation. On the other hand, comprehension does not seem to be hampered at all by the drastic reductions that typically occur in casual speech. Complete segments, and sometimes even complete syllables, may be missing, but comprehension is seemingly unaffected. This thesis aims at elucidating how words are represented and accessed in the mental lexicon, by investigating these contradictory phenomena for the domain of morphology

    Additional information

    Full Text (via Radboud)
  • Klein, W., & Winkler, S. (Eds.). (2010). Ambiguität [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 40(158).
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1980). Argumentation [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (38/39).
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1998). Kaleidoskop [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (112).
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1985). Schriftlichkeit [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (59).
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (2004). Philologie auf neuen Wegen [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 136.
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1986). Sprachverfall [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (62).
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (2004). Universitas [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik (LiLi), 134.
  • Lecumberri, M. L. G., Cooke, M., & Cutler, A. (Eds.). (2010). Non-native speech perception in adverse conditions [Special Issue]. Speech Communication, 52(11/12).
  • Levy, J. (2010). In cerebro unveiling unconscious mechanisms during reading. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Majid, A., Enfield, N. J., & Van Staden, M. (Eds.). (2006). Parts of the body: Cross-linguistic categorisation [Special Issue]. Language Sciences, 28(2-3).
  • Meeuwissen, M. (2004). Producing complex spoken numerals for time and space. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.60607.

    Abstract

    This thesis addressed the spoken production of complex numerals for time and space. The production of complex numerical expressions like those involved in telling time (e.g., 'quarter to four') or producing house numbers (e.g., 'two hundred forty-five') has been almost completely ignored. Yet, adult speakers produce such expressions on a regular basis in everyday communication. Thus, no theory on numerical cognition or speech production is complete without an account of the production of multi-morphemic utterances such as complex numeral expressions. The main question of this thesis is which particular speech planning levels are involved in the naming and reading of complex numerals for time and space. More specifically, this issue was investigated by examining different modes of response (clock times versus house numbers), alternative input formats (Arabic digit versus alphabetic format; analog versus digital clock displays), and different expression types (relative 'quarter to four' versus absolute 'three forty-five' time expressions).

    Additional information

    Full Text (via Radboud)
  • Menenti, L. (2010). The right language: Differential hemispheric contributions to language production and comprehension in context. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Meyer, A. S., & Wheeldon, L. (Eds.). (2006). Language production across the life span [Special Issue]. Language and Cognitive Processes, 21(1-3).
  • Müller, O. (2006). Retrieving semantic and syntactic word properties: ERP studies on the time course in language comprehension. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.57543.

    Abstract

    The present doctoral thesis investigates the temporal characteristics of the retrieval of semantic and syntactic word properties in language comprehension. In particular, an attempt is made to assess the retrieval order of semantic category and grammatical gender information, using the lateralized readiness potential and the inhibition-related N2 effect. Chapter 1 contains a general introduction. Chapter 2 reports an experiment that employs the two-choice go/nogo task in combination with EEG recordings to establish the retrieval order of semantic category and grammatical gender for written words presented in isolation. The results point to a time course where semantic information becomes available before syntactic information. Chapter 3 focuses on the retrieval of grammatical gender. In order to examine whether gender retrieval can be speeded up by context, nouns are presented in gender congruent and gender incongruent prime-target pairs and reaction times for gender decisions are measured. For stimulus onset asynchronies of 100 ms and 0 ms, gender congruent pairs show faster responses than incongruent ones, whereas there is no effect of gender congruity for a stimulus onset asynchrony of 300 ms. A simulation with a localist computational model that implements competition between gender representations (WEAVER; Roelofs, 1992) is able to capture these findings. In chapter 4, the gender congruency manipulation is transferred to another ERP experiment with the two-choice go/nogo task. As the time course of gender retrieval is altered through primes, the order relative to semantic category retrieval is assessed again. The results indicate that with gender congruent primes, grammatical gender becomes available before semantic category. Such a reversal of retrieval order, as compared to chapter 2, implies a parallel rather than a serial discrete arrangement of the retrieval processes, since the latter variant precludes changes in retrieval order. Finally, chapter 5 offers a summary and general discussion of the main findings.

    Additional information

    Full Text (via Radboud)
  • O'Connor, L. (2004). Motion, transfer, and transformation: The grammar of change in Lowland Chontal. PhD Thesis, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara.

    Abstract

    Typologies are critical tools for linguists, but typologies, like grammars, are known to leak. This book addresses the question of typological overlap from the perspective of a single language. In Lowland Chontal of Oaxaca, a language of southern Mexico, change events are expressed with three types of predicates, and each predicate type corresponds to a different language type in the well-known typology of lexicalization patterns established by Talmy and elaborated by others. O’Connor evaluates the predictive powers of the typology by examining the consequences of each predicate type in a variety of contexts, using data from narrative discourse, stimulus response, and elicitation. This is the first de­tailed look at the lexical and grammatical resources of the verbal system in Chontal and their relation to semantics of change. The analysis of how and why Chontal speakers choose among these verbal resources to achieve particular communicative and social goals serves both as a documentation of an endangered language and a theoretical contribution towards a typology of language use.
  • O'Shannessy, C. (2006). Language contact and children's bilingual acquisition: Learning a mixed language and Warlpiri in northern Australia. PhD Thesis, University of Sydney, Canberra.

    Abstract

    This dissertation documents the emergence of a new language, Light Warlpiri, in the multilingual community of Lajamanu in northern Australia. It then examines the acquisition of Light Warlpiri language, and of the heritage language, Lajamanu Warlpiri, by children. Light Warlpiri has arisen from contact between Lajamanu Warlpiri (a Pama-Nyungan language), Kriol (an English-based creole), and varieties of English. It is a Mixed Language, meaning that none of its source languages can be considered to be the sole parent language. Most verbs and the verbal morphology are from Aboriginal English or Kriol, while most nouns and the nominal morphology are from Warlpiri. The language input to children is complex. Adults older than about thirty speak Lajamanu Warlpiri and code-switch into Aboriginal English or Kriol. Younger adults, the parents of the current cohort of children, speak Light Warlpiri and code-switch into Lajamanu Warlpiri and into Aboriginal English or Kriol. Lajamanu Warlpiri and Light Warlpiri, the two main input languages to children, both indicate A arguments with ergative case-marking (and they share one allomorph of the marker), but Lajamanu Warlpiri includes the marker much more consistently than Light Warlpiri. Word order is variable in both languages. Children learn both languages from birth, but they target Light Warlpiri as the language of their everyday interactions, and they speak it almost exclusively until four to six years of age. Adults and children show similar patterns of ergative marking and word order in Light Warlpiri. But differences between age groups are found in ergative marking in Lajamanu Warlpiri - for the oldest group of adults, ergative marking is obligatory, but for younger adults and children, it is not. Determining when children differentiate between two input languages has been a major goal in the study of bilingual acquisition. The two languages in this study share lexical and grammatical properties, making distinctions between them quite subtle. Both adults and children distribute ergative marking differently in the two languages, but show similar word order patterns in both. However the children show a stronger correlation between ergative marking and word order patterns than do the adults, suggesting that they are spearheading processes of language change. In their comprehension of sentences in both Lajamanu Warlpiri and Light Warlpiri, adults use a case-marking strategy to identify the A argument (i.e. N+erg = A argument, N-erg = O argument). The children are not adult-like in using this strategy at age 5, when they also used a word order strategy, but they gradually move towards being adult-like with increased age.
  • Özdemir, R. (2006). The relationship between spoken word production and comprehension. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.59239.
  • Pijnacker, J. (2010). Defeasible inference in autism: A behavioral and electrophysiological approach. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Reinisch, E. (2010). Processing the fine temporal structure of spoken words. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Rossano, F. (2004). Per una semiotica dell'interazione: Analisi del rapporto tra sguardo, corpo e parola in alcune interazione faccia a faccia. Master Thesis, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
  • De Ruiter, J. P. (1998). Gesture and speech production. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.2057686.
  • De Ruiter, L. E. (2010). Studies on intonation and information structure in child and adult German. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Schmiedtová, B. (2004). At the same time.. The expression of simultaneity in learner varieties. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.59569.
  • Seyfeddinipur, M. (2006). Disfluency: Interrupting speech and gesture. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.59337.
  • Shatzman, K. B. (2006). Sensitivity to detailed acoustic information in word recognition. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.59331.
  • Snijders, T. M. (2010). More than words: Neural and genetic dynamics of syntactic unification. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Stehouwer, H. (2006). Cue phrase selection methods for textual classification problems. Master Thesis, Twente University, Enschede.

    Abstract

    The classification of texts and pieces of texts uses the occurrence of, combinations of, words as an important indicator. Not every word or each combination of words gives a clear indication of the classification of a piece of text. Research has been done on methods that select some words or combinations of words that are more indicative of the type of a piece of text. These words or combinations of words are selected from the words and word-groups as they occur in the texts. These more indicative words or combinations of words we call ¿cue-phrases¿. The goal of these methods is to select the most indicative cue-phrases first. The collection of selected words and/or combinations thereof can then be used for training the classification system. To test these selection methods, a number of experiments has been done on a corpus containing cookbook recipes and on a corpus of four-participant meetings. To perform these experiments, a computer program was written. On the recipe corpus we looked at classifying the sentences into different types. Some examples of these types include ¿requirement¿ and ¿instruction¿. On the four-person meeting corpus we tried to learn, using only lexical features, whether a sentence is addressed to an individual or a group. The experiments on the recipe corpus produced good results that showed that, a number of, the used cue-phrase selection methods are suitable for feature selection. The experiments on the four-person meeting corpus where less successful in terms of performance off the classification task. We did see comparable patterns in selection methods, and considering the results of Jovanovic we can conclude that different features are needed for this particular classification task. One of the original goals was to look at ¿addressee¿ in discussions. Are sentences more often addressed to individuals inside discussions compared to outside discussions? However, in order to be able to accomplish this, we must first identify the segments of the text that are discussions. It proved hard to come to a reliable specification of discussions, and our initial definition wasn¿t sufficient.
  • Stivers, T., Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (Eds.). (2010). Question-response sequences in conversation across ten languages [Special Issue]. Journal of Pragmatics, 42(10). doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2010.04.001.
  • Tabak, W. (2010). Semantics and (ir)regular inflection in morphological processing. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Van Gijn, E. (2006). A grammar of Yurakaré. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    This book provides an overview of the grammatical structure of the language Yurakaré, an unclassified and previously undescribed language of central Bolivia. It consists of 8 chapters, each describing different aspects of the language. Chapter 1 is an introduction to the Yurakaré people and their language. Chapter 2 describes the phonology of the language, from the individual sounds to the stress system. In chapter 3 the morphology of Yurakaré is introduced, i.e. the parts of speech, and the different morphological processes. Chapter 4 is a description of the noun phrase and contains information about nouns, adjectives, postpositions and quantifiers. It also discusses the categories associated with the noun phrase in Yurakaré, such as number, possession, collectivity/distributivity, diminutive. In chapter 5, called 'Verbal agreement, voice and valency' there is a description of the argument structure of predicates, how arguments are expressed and how argument structure can be altered by means of voice and valency-changing operations such as applicatives, causative and middle voice. In chapter 6 there is an overview of verbal morphology, apart from the morphology associated with voice, valency and cross-reference discussed in chapter 5. There is also a description of adverbs in the language in this chapter. Chapter 7 discusses formal and functional properties of modal and aspectual enclitics. In chapter 8, finally, the structure of the clause (both simplex and complex) is discussed, including the switch-reference system and word order. The book ends with two text samples.
  • Van den Brink, D. (2004). Contextual influences on spoken-word processing: An electrophysiological approach. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.57773.

    Abstract

    The aim of this thesis was to gain more insight into spoken-word comprehension and the influence of sentence-contextual information on these processes using ERPs. By manipulating critical words in semantically constraining sententes, in semantic or syntactic sense, and examining the consequences in the electrophysiological signal (e.g., elicitation of ERP components such as the N400, N200, LAN, and P600), three questions were tackled: I At which moment is context information used in the spoken-word recognition process? II What is the temporal relationship between lexical selection and integration of the meaning of a spoken word into a higher-order level representeation of the preceding sentence? III What is the time course of the processing of different sources of linguistic information obtained from the context, such as phonological, semantic and syntactic information, during spoken-word comprehension? From the results of this thesis it can be concluded that sentential context already exerts an influence on spoken-word processing at approximately 200 ms after word onset. In addition, semantic integration is attempted before a spoken word can be selected on the basis of the acoustic signal, i.e. before lexical selection is completed. Finally, knowledge of the syntactic category of a word is not needed before semantic integration can take place. These findings, therefore, were interpreted as providing evidence for an account of cascaded spoken-word processing that proclaims an optimal use of contextual information during spoken-word identification. Optimal use is accomplished by allowing for semantic and syntactic processing to take place in parallel after bottom-up activation of a set of candidates, and lexical integration to proceed with a limited number of candidates that still match the acoustic input

    Additional information

    Full Text (via Radboud)
  • Van Alphen, P. M. (2004). Perceptual relevance of prevoicing in Dutch. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.58551.

    Abstract

    In this dissertation the perceptual relevance of prevoicing in Dutch was investigated. Prevoicing is the presence of vocal fold vibration during the closure of initial voiced plosives (negative voice onset time). The presence or absence of prevoicing is generally used to describe the difference between voiced and voiceless Dutch plosives. The first experiment described in this dissertation showed that prevoicing is frequently absent in Dutch and that several factors affect the production of prevoicing. A detailed acoustic analysis of the voicing distinction identified several acoustic correlates of voicing. Prevoicing appeared to be by far the best predictor. Perceptual classification data revealed that prevoicing was indeed the strongest cue that listeners use when classifying plosives as voiced or voiceless. In the cases where prevoicing was absent, other acoustic cues influenced classification, such that some of these tokens were still perceived as being voiced. In the second part of this dissertation the influence of prevoicing variation on spoken-word recognition was examined. In several cross-modal priming experiments two types of prevoicing variation were contrasted: a difference between the presence and absence of prevoicing (6 versus 0 periods of prevoicing) and a difference in the amount of prevoicing (12 versus 6 periods). All these experiments indicated that primes with 12 and 6 periods of prevoicing had the same effect on lexical decisions to the visual targets. The primes without prevoicing had a different effect, but only when their voiceless counterparts were real words. Phonetic detail appears to influence lexical access only when it is useful: In Dutch, the presence versus absence of prevoicing is informative, while the amount of prevoicing is not.

    Additional information

    Full Text (via Radboud)
  • Van Dijk, H. (2010). The state of the brain: How alpha oscillations shape behavior and event-related responses. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

Share this page