Publications

Displaying 1 - 54 of 54
  • Yu, X. (2021). Foreign language learning in study-abroad and at-home contexts. PhD Thesis, Raboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • 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.
  • Bentum, M. (2021). Listening with great expectations: A study of predictive natural speech processing. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Brand, S. (2017). The processing of reduced word pronunciation variants by natives and learners: Evidence from French casual speech. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Cutler, A., Aslin, R. N., Gervain, J., & Nespor, M. (Eds.). (2021). Special issue in honor of Jacques Mehler, Cognition's founding editor [Special Issue]. Cognition, 213.
  • Evans, N., Levinson, S. C., & Sterelny, K. (Eds.). (2021). Thematic issue on evolution of kinship systems [Special Issue]. Biological theory, 16.
  • Eviatar, Z., & Huettig, F. (Eds.). (2021). Literacy and writing systems [Special Issue]. Journal of Cultural Cognitive Science.
  • Felker, E. R. (2021). Learning second language speech perception in natural settings. PhD Thesis, Radboud University, Nijmegen.
  • Frances, C. (2021). Semantic richness, semantic context, and language learning. PhD Thesis, Universidad del País Vasco-Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Donostia.

    Abstract

    As knowing a foreign language becomes a necessity in the modern world, a large portion of the population is faced with the challenge of learning a language in a classroom. This, in turn, presents a unique set of difficulties. Acquiring a language with limited and artificial exposure makes learning new information and vocabulary particularly difficult. The purpose of this thesis is to help us understand how we can compensate—at least partially—for these difficulties by presenting information in a way that aids learning. In particular, I focused on variables that affect semantic richness—meaning the amount and variability of information associated with a word. Some factors that affect semantic richness are intrinsic to the word and others pertain to that word’s relationship with other items and information. This latter group depends on the context around the to-be- learned items rather than the words themselves. These variables are easier to manipulate than intrinsic qualities, making them more accessible tools for teaching and understanding learning. I focused on two factors: emotionality of the surrounding semantic context and contextual diversity. Publication 1 (Frances, de Bruin, et al., 2020b) focused on content learning in a foreign language and whether the emotionality—positive or neutral—of the semantic context surrounding key information aided its learning. This built on prior research that showed a reduction in emotionality in a foreign language. Participants were taught information embedded in either positive or neutral semantic contexts in either their native or foreign language. When they were then tested on these embedded facts, participants’ performance decreased in the foreign language. But, more importantly, they remembered better the information from the positive than the neutral semantic contexts. In Publication 2 (Frances, de Bruin, et al., 2020a), I focused on how emotionality affected vocabulary learning. I taught participants the names of novel items described either in positive or neutral terms in either their native or foreign language. Participants were then asked to recall and recognize the object's name—when cued with its image. The effects of language varied with the difficulty of the task—appearing in recall but not recognition tasks. Most importantly, learning the words in a positive context improved learning, particularly of the association between the image of the object and its name. In Publication 3 (Frances, Martin, et al., 2020), I explored the effects of contextual diversity—namely, the number of texts a word appears in—on native and foreign language word learning. Participants read several texts that had novel pseudowords. The total number of encounters with the novel words was held constant, but they appeared in 1, 2, 4, or 8 texts in either their native or foreign language. Increasing contextual diversity—i.e., the number of texts a word appeared in—improved recall and recognition, as well as the ability to match the word with its meaning. Using a foreign language only affected performance when participants had to quickly identify the meaning of the word. Overall, I found that the tested contextual factors related to semantic richness—i.e., emotionality of the semantic context and contextual diversity—can be manipulated to improve learning in a foreign language. Using positive emotionality not only improved learning in the foreign language, but it did so to the same extent as in the native language. On a theoretical level, this suggests that the reduction in emotionality in a foreign language is not ubiquitous and might relate to the way in which that language as learned. The third article shows an experimental manipulation of contextual diversity and how this can affect learning of a lexical item, even if the amount of information known about the item is kept constant. As in the case of emotionality, the effects of contextual diversity were also the same between languages. Although deducing words from context is dependent on vocabulary size, this does not seem to hinder the benefits of contextual diversity in the foreign language. Finally, as a whole, the articles contained in this compendium provide evidence that some aspects of semantic richness can be manipulated contextually to improve learning and memory. In addition, the effects of these factors seem to be independent of language status—meaning, native or foreign—when learning new content. This suggests that learning in a foreign and a native language is not as different as I initially hypothesized, allowing us to take advantage of native language learning tools in the foreign language, as well.
  • Grabe, E. (1998). Comparative intonational phonology: English and German. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.2057683.
  • Greenfield, M. D., Honing, H., Kotz, S. A., & Ravignani, A. (Eds.). (2021). Synchrony and rhythm interaction: From the brain to behavioural ecology [Special Issue]. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 376.
  • Guadalupe, T. (2017). The biology of variation in anatomical brain asymmetries. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Hartung, F. (2017). Getting under your skin: The role of perspective and simulation of experience in narrative comprehension. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Heyselaar, E. (2017). Influences on the magnitude of syntactic priming. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Hoey, E. (2017). Lapse organization in interaction. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Huisman, J. L. A. (2021). Variation in form and meaning across the Japonic language family: With a focus on the Ryukyuan languages. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Kaufeld, G. (2021). Investigating spoken language comprehension as perceptual inference. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1995). Epoche [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (100).
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1998). Kaleidoskop [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (112).
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1983). Intonation [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (49).
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1987). Sprache und Ritual [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (65).
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1984). Textverständlichkeit - Textverstehen [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (55).
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1982). Zweitspracherwerb [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (45).
  • Kunert, R. (2017). Music and language comprehension in the brain. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Lam, N. H. L. (2017). Comprehending comprehension: Insights from neuronal oscillations on the neuronal basis of language. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Levshina, N., & Moran, S. (Eds.). (2021). Efficiency in human languages: Corpus evidence for universal principles [Special Issue]. Linguistics Vanguard, 7(s3).
  • Lewis, A. G. (2017). Explorations of beta-band neural oscillations during language comprehension: Sentence processing and beyond. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Little, H. (Ed.). (2017). Special Issue on the Emergence of Sound Systems [Special Issue]. The Journal of Language Evolution, 2(1).
  • Lockwood, G. (2017). Talking sense: The behavioural and neural correlates of sound symbolism. PhD Thesis, Radboud University, Nijmegen.
  • Lopopolo, A. (2021). Properties, structures and operations: Studies on language processing in the brain using computational linguistics and naturalistic stimuli. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Manhardt, F. (2021). A tale of two modalities. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Manrique, E. (2017). Achieving mutual understanding in Argentine Sign Language (LSA). PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Mickan, A. (2021). What was that Spanish word again? Investigations into the cognitive mechanisms underlying foreign language attrition. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Moers, C. (2017). The neighbors will tell you what to expect: Effects of aging and predictability on language processing. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Montero-Melis, G. (2017). Thoughts in Motion: The Role of Long-Term L1 and Short-Term L2 Experience when Talking and Thinking of Caused Motion. PhD Thesis, Stockholm University, Centre for Research on Bilingualism, Stockholm.

    Abstract

    This thesis is about whether language affects thinking. It deals with the linguistic relativity hypothesis, which proposes that the language we speak influences the way we think. This hypothesis is investigated in the domain of caused motion (e.g., ‘The man rolled the tyre into the garage’), by looking at Spanish and Swedish, two languages that show striking differences in how motion events are encoded. The thesis consists of four studies. The first two focus on native speakers of Spanish and Swedish. Study I compares how Spanish and Swedish speakers describe the same set of caused motion events, directing the spotlight at how variable the descriptions are in each language. The results confirm earlier findings from semantic typology regarding the dominant ways of expressing the events in each language: Spanish behaves like a verb-framed language and Swedish like a satellite-framed language (Talmy, 2000). Going beyond previous findings, the study demonstrates—using the tools of entropy and Monte Carlo simulations—that there is markedly more variability in Spanish than in Swedish descriptions. Study II tests whether differences in how Spanish and Swedish speakers describe caused motion events are reflected in how they think about such events. Using a novel similarity arrangement task, it is found that Spanish and Swedish speakers partly differ in how they represent caused motion events if they can access language during the task. However, the differences disappear when the possibility to use language is momentarily blocked by an interference task. The last two studies focus on Swedish learners of Spanish as a second language (L2). Study III explores how Swedish learners (compared to native Spanish speakers) adapt their Spanish motion descriptions to recently encountered input. Using insights from the literature on structural priming, we find that Swedish learners initially expect to encounter in their L2, Spanish, those verb types that are typical in Swedish (manner verbs like ‘roll’) but that, with increasing proficiency, their expectations become increasingly attuned to the typical Spanish pattern of using path verbs (like ‘enter’). These expectations are reflected in the way L2 learners adapt their own production to the Spanish input. Study IV asks whether recent linguistic experience in an L2 can affect how L2 learners think about motion events. It is found that encountering motion descriptions in the L2 that emphasize different types of information (path or manner) leads L2 speakers to perceive similarity along different dimensions in a subsequent similarity arrangement task. Taken together, the thesis argues that the study of the relation between language and thought affords more valuable insights when not posed as an either-or question (i.e., does language affect thought or not?). In this spirit, the thesis contributes to the wider aim of investigating the conditions under which language does or does not affect thought and explores what the different outcomes tell us about language, thought, and the intricate mechanisms that relate them.
  • Neger, T. M. (2017). Learning from the (un)expected: Age and individual differences in statistical learning and perceptual learning in speech. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.2482848.
  • Postema, M. (2021). Left-right asymmetry of the human brain: Associations with neurodevelopmental disorders and genetic factors. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Redl, T. (2021). Masculine generic pronouns: Investigating the processing of an unintended gender cue. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • De Ruiter, J. P. (1998). Gesture and speech production. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.2057686.
  • Sauppe, S. (2017). The role of voice and word order in incremental sentence processing: Studies on sentence production and comprehension in Tagalog and German. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Schoot, L. (2017). Language processing in a conversation context. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Schubotz, L. (2021). Effects of aging and cognitive abilities on multimodal language production and comprehension in context. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Schuerman, W. L. (2017). Sensorimotor experience in speech perception. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Todorova, L. (2021). Language bias in visually driven decisions: Computational neurophysiological mechanisms. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Trompenaars, T. (2021). Bringing stories to life: Animacy in narrative and processing. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Tsoukala, C. (2021). Bilingual sentence production and code-switching: Neural network simulations. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • De Vaan, L. (2017). Mental representations of Dutch regular morphologically complex neologisms. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Van Dijk, C. N. (2021). Cross-linguistic influence during real-time sentence processing in bilingual children and adults. PhD Thesis, Raboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Van Paridon, J. (2021). Speaking while listening: Language processing in speech shadowing and translation. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • van der Burght, C. L. (2021). The central contribution of prosody to sentence processing: Evidence from behavioural and neuroimaging studies. PhD Thesis, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig.
  • Vanlangendonck, F. (2017). Finding common ground: On the neural mechanisms of communicative language production. PhD Thesis, Radboud University, Nijmegen.
  • Verhoef, E. (2021). Why do we change how we speak? Multivariate genetic analyses of language and related traits across development and disorder. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Vernes, S. C., Janik, V. M., Fitch, W. T., & Slater, P. J. B. (Eds.). (2021). Vocal learning in animals and humans [Special Issue]. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 376.
  • De Zubicaray, G., & Fisher, S. E. (Eds.). (2017). Genes, brain and language [Special Issue]. Brain and Language, 172.

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