Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 346
  • Abdel Rahman, R., Sommer, W., & Schweinberger, S. R. (2002). Brain potential evidence for the time course of access to biographical facts and names of familiar persons. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 28(2), 366-373. doi:10.1037//0278-7393.28.2.366.

    Abstract

    On seeing familiar persons, biographical (semantic) information is typically retrieved faster and more accurately than name information. Serial stage models explain this pattern by suggesting that access to the name follows the retrieval of semantic information. In contrast, interactive activation and competition (IAC) models hold that both processes start together but name retrieval is slower because of structural peculiarities. With a 2-choice go/no-go procedure based on a semantic and a name-related classification, the authors tested differential predictions of the 2 alternative models for reaction times (RTs) and lateralized readiness potentials (LRP). Both LRP (Experiment 1) and RT (Experiment 2) results are in line with IAC models of face identification and naming.
  • Allen, S. E. M. (1998). Categories within the verb category: Learning the causative in Inuktitut. Linguistics, 36(4), 633-677.
  • Allen, S., Ozyurek, A., Kita, S., Brown, A., Furman, R., Ishizuka, T., & Fujii, M. (2007). Language-specific and universal influences in children's syntactic packaging of manner and path: A comparison of English, Japanese, and Turkish. Cognition, 102, 16-48. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2005.12.006.

    Abstract

    Different languages map semantic elements of spatial relations onto different lexical and syntactic units. These crosslinguistic differences raise important questions for language development in terms of how this variation is learned by children. We investigated how Turkish-, English-, and Japanese-speaking children (mean age 3;8) package the semantic elements of Manner and Path onto syntactic units when both the Manner and the Path of the moving Figure occur simultaneously and are salient in the event depicted. Both universal and language-specific patterns were evident in our data. Children used the semantic-syntactic mappings preferred by adult speakers of their own languages, and even expressed subtle syntactic differences that encode different relations between Manner and Path in the same way as their adult counterparts (i.e., Manner causing vs. incidental to Path). However, not all types of semantics-syntax mappings were easy for children to learn (e.g., expressing Manner and Path elements in two verbal clauses). In such cases, Turkish- and Japanese-speaking children frequently used syntactic patterns that were not typical in the target language but were similar to patterns used by English-speaking children, suggesting some universal influence. Thus, both language-specific and universal tendencies guide the development of complex spatial expressions.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2002). Cultural scripting of body parts for emotions: On 'jealousy' and related emotions in Ewe. Pragmatics and Cognition, 10(1-2), 27-55. doi:10.1075/pc.10.12.03ame.

    Abstract

    Different languages present a variety of ways of talking about emotional experience. Very commonly, feelings are described through the use of ‘body image constructions’ in which they are associated with processes in, or states of, specific body parts. The emotions and the body parts that are thought to be their locus and the kind of activity associated with these body parts vary cross-culturally. This study focuses on the meaning of three ‘body image constructions’ used to describe feelings similar to, but also different from, English ‘jealousy’, ‘envy’, and ‘covetousness’ in the West African language Ewe. It is demonstrated that a ‘moving body’, a pychologised eye, and red eyes are scripted for these feelings. It is argued that the expressions are not figurative and that their semantics provide good clues to understanding the cultural construction of emotions both emotions and the body.
  • Ameka, F. K., & Essegbey, J. (2007). Cut and break verbs in Ewe and the causative alternation construction. Cognitive Linguistics, 18(2), 241-250. doi:10.1515/COG.2007.011.

    Abstract

    Ewe verbs covering the cutting and breaking domain divide into four morpho-syntactic classes that can be ranked according to agentivity. We demonstrate that the highly non-agentive break verbs participate in the causative-inchoative alternation while the highly agentive cut verbs do not, as expected from Guerssel et al.'s (1985) hypothesis. However, four verbs tso 'cut with precision', 'cut', 'snap-off', and dze 'split', are used transitively when an instrument is required for the severance to be effected, and intransitively when not. We reject a lexicalist analysis that would postulate polysemy for these verbs and argue for a construction approach.
  • Ameka, F. K., & Levinson, S. C. (2007). Introduction-The typology and semantics of locative predicates: Posturals, positionals and other beasts. Linguistics, 45(5), 847-872. doi:10.1515/LING.2007.025.

    Abstract

    This special issue is devoted to a relatively neglected topic in linguistics, namely the verbal component of locative statements. English tends, of course, to use a simple copula in utterances like “The cup is on the table”, but many languages, perhaps as many as half of the world's languages, have a set of alternate verbs, or alternate verbal affixes, which contrast in this slot. Often these are classificatory verbs of 'sitting', 'standing' and 'lying'. For this reason, perhaps, Aristotle listed position among his basic (“noncomposite”) categories.
  • Ameka, F. K., & Osam, E. K. (2002). New directions in Ghanaian linguistics: Essays in honour of the 3Ds: M.E. Kropp Dakubu, Florence Abena Dolphyne, Alan Stewart Duthie. Accra: Black Mask Ltd.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1998). Particules énonciatives en Ewe. Faits de langues, 6(11/12), 179-204.

    Abstract

    Particles are little words that speakers use to signal the illocutionary force of utterances and/or express their attitude towards elements of the communicative situation, e.g. the addresses. This paper presents an overview of the classification, meaning and use of utterance particles in Ewe. It argues that they constitute a grammatical word class on functional and distributional grounds. The paper calls for a cross-cultural investigation of particles, especially in Africa, where they have been neglected for far too long.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2007). The coding of topological relations in verbs: The case of Likpe (SEkpEle). Linguistics, 45(5), 1065-1104. doi:10.1515/LING.2007.032.

    Abstract

    This article examines the grammar, use and meaning of fifteen verbs used in the Basic Locative Construction (BLC) of Likpe — a Ghana-Togo-Mountain language. The verbs fall into four semantic subclasses: (a) basic topological relations: t 'be.at', tk 'be.on', kpé 'be.in', and fi 'be.near'; (b) postural verbs: sí 'sit', ny 'stand', fáka 'hang', yóma 'hang', kps 'lean', fus 'squat', and labe 'lie'; (c) “distribution” verbs: kpó 'be spread, heaped,' and tí 'be covered'; and (d) “adhesion” verbs: má 'be griped, be fixed', mánkla 'be stuck to'. Likpe locative predications reflect an ontological commitment to the overall topological relation between Figure and Ground and are not focused just on the Figure or the Ground. Various factors determine the choice of “competing” verbs for particular scenarios: animacy, nonindividuation of the Figure, permanency of the configuration and the speaker's desire to be referentially precise or to present stereotypical information. It is demonstrated that in situations where there is a choice, speakers tend to use the more general verbs (stereotype information). The implications of this tendency for the development of a language from a multiverb language using several verbs (e.g., 15) in its BLC to using only a small-set of verbs in its BLC, just as some of Likpe's neighbors have done, are considered.
  • Ameka, F. K., & Dorvlo, K. (2007). The Ewe language. Verba Africana series - Video documentation and Digital Materials, 1.
  • Bailey, A., Hervas, A., Matthews, N., Palferman, S., Wallace, S., Aubin, A., Michelotti, J., Wainhouse, C., Papanikolaou, K., Rutter, M., Maestrini, E., Marlow, A., Weeks, D. E., Lamb, J., Francks, C., Kearsley, G., Scudder, P., Monaco, A. P., Baird, G., Cox, A. and 46 moreBailey, A., Hervas, A., Matthews, N., Palferman, S., Wallace, S., Aubin, A., Michelotti, J., Wainhouse, C., Papanikolaou, K., Rutter, M., Maestrini, E., Marlow, A., Weeks, D. E., Lamb, J., Francks, C., Kearsley, G., Scudder, P., Monaco, A. P., Baird, G., Cox, A., Cockerill, H., Nuffield, F., Le Couteur, A., Berney, T., Cooper, H., Kelly, T., Green, J., Whittaker, J., Gilchrist, A., Bolton, P., Schönewald, A., Daker, M., Ogilvie, C., Docherty, Z., Deans, Z., Bolton, B., Packer, R., Poustka, F., Rühl, D., Schmötzer, G., Bölte, S., Klauck, S. M., Spieler, A., Poustka., A., Van Engeland, H., Kemner, C., De Jonge, M., Den Hartog, I., Lord, C., Cook, E., Leventhal, B., Volkmar, F., Pauls, D., Klin, A., Smalley, S., Fombonne, E., Rogé, B., Tauber, M., Arti-Vartayan, E., Fremolle-Kruck., J., Pederson, L., Haracopos, D., Brondum-Nielsen, K., & Cotterill, R. (1998). A full genome screen for autism with evidence for linkage to a region on chromosome 7q. International Molecular Genetic Study of Autism Consortium. Human Molecular Genetics, 7(3), 571-578. doi:10.1093/hmg/7.3.571.

    Abstract

    Autism is characterized by impairments in reciprocal social interaction and communication, and restricted and sterotyped patterns of interests and activities. Developmental difficulties are apparent before 3 years of age and there is evidence for strong genetic influences most likely involving more than one susceptibility gene. A two-stage genome search for susceptibility loci in autism was performed on 87 affected sib pairs plus 12 non-sib affected relative-pairs, from a total of 99 families identified by an international consortium. Regions on six chromosomes (4, 7, 10, 16, 19 and 22) were identified which generated a multipoint maximum lod score (MLS) > 1. A region on chromosome 7q was the most significant with an MLS of 3.55 near markers D7S530 and D7S684 in the subset of 56 UK affected sib-pair families, and an MLS of 2.53 in all 87 affected sib-pair families. An area on chromosome 16p near the telomere was the next most significant, with an MLS of 1.97 in the UK families, and 1.51 in all families. These results are an important step towards identifying genes predisposing to autism; establishing their general applicability requires further study.
  • Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Posthuma, D., Groot, P. F. C., & De Geus, E. J. C. (2002). Event-related alpha and theta responses in a visuo-spatial working memory task. Clinical Neurophysiology, 113(12), 1882-1893. doi:10.1016/S1388-2457(02)00303-6.

    Abstract

    Objective: To explore the reactivity of the theta and alpha rhythms during visuo-spatial working memory. Methods: One hundred and seventy-four subjects performed a delayed response task. They had to remember the spatial location of a target stimulus on a computer screen for a 1 or a 4 s retention interval. The target either remained visible throughout the entire interval (sensory trials) or disappeared after 150 ms (memory trials). Changes in induced band power (IBP) in the electroencephalogram (EEG) were analyzed in 4 narrow, individually adjusted frequency bands between 4 and 12 Hz. Results: After presentation of the target stimulus, a phasic power increase was found, irrespective of condition and delay interval, in the lower (roughly, 4–8 Hz) frequency bands, with a posterior maximum. During the retention interval, sustained occipital–parietal alpha power increase and frontal theta power decrease were found. Most importantly, the memory trials showed larger IBP decreases in the theta band over frontal electrodes than the sensory trials. Conclusions: The phasic power increase following target onset is interpreted to reflect encoding of the target location. The sustained theta decrease, which is larger for memory trials, is tentatively interpreted to reflect visuo-spatial working memory processes.
  • Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Van Berkum, J. J. A., & Hagoort, P. (2002). Event-related theta power increases in the human EEG during online sentence processing. Neuroscience Letters, 323(1), 13-16. doi:10.1016/S0304-3940(01)02535-6.

    Abstract

    By analyzing event-related changes in induced band power in narrow frequency bands of the human electroencephalograph, the present paper explores a possible functional role of the alpha and theta rhythms during the processing of words and of sentences. The results show a phasic power increase in the theta frequency range, together with a phasic power decrease in the alpha frequency range, following the presentation of words in a sentence. These effects may be related to word processing, either lexical or in relation to sentence context. Most importantly, there is a slow and highly frequency-specific increase in theta power as a sentence unfolds, possibly related to the formation of an episodic memory trace, or to incremental verbal working memory load.
  • Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Böcker, K. B. E., & Brunia, C. H. M. (2002). ERD as an index of anticipatory attention? Effects of stimulus degradation. Psychophysiology, 39(1), 16-28. doi:10.1111/1469-8986.3910016.

    Abstract

    Previous research has suggested that the stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN) is largely independent of stimulus modality. In contrast, the scalp topography of the event related desynchronization (ERD) related to the anticipation of stimuli providing knowledge of results (KR) is modality dependent. These findings, combined with functional SPN research, lead to the hypothesis that anticipatory ERD reflects anticipatory attention, whereas the SPN mainly depends on the affective-motivational properties of the anticipated stimulus. To further investigate the prestimulus ERD, and compare this measure with the SPN, 12 participants performed a time-estimation task, and were informed about the quality of their time estimation by an auditory or a visual stimulus providing KR. The KR stimuli could be either intact or degraded. Auditory degraded KR stimuli were less effective than other KR stimuli in guiding subsequent behavior, and were preceded by a larger SPN. There were no effects of degradation on the SPN in the visual modality. Preceding auditory KR stimuli no ERD was present, whereas preceding visual stimuli an occipital ERD was found. However, contrary to expectation, the latter was larger preceding intact than preceding degraded stimuli. It is concluded that the data largely agree with an interpretation of the pre-KR SPN as a reflection of the anticipation of the affective-motivational value of KR stimuli, and of the prestimulus ERD as a perceptual anticipatory attention process.
  • Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Van Berkum, J. J. A., & Hagoort, P. (2002). Syntactic processing modulates the θ rhythm of the human EEG. NeuroImage, 17, 1479-1492. doi:10.1006/nimg.2002.1275.

    Abstract

    Changes in oscillatory brain dynamics can be studied by means of induced band power (IBP) analyses, which quantify event-related changes in amplitude of frequency-specific EEG rhythms. Such analyses capture EEG phenomena that are not part of traditional event-related potential measures. The present study investigated whether IBP changes in the δ, θ, and α frequency ranges are sensitive to syntactic violations in sentences. Subjects read sentences that either were correct or contained a syntactic violation. The violations were either grammatical gender agreement violations, where a prenominal adjective was not appropriately inflected for the head noun's gender, or number agreement violations, in which a plural quantifier was combined with a singular head noun. IBP changes of the concurrently measured EEG were computed in five frequency bands of 2-Hz width, individually adjusted on the basis of subjects' α peak, ranging approximately from 2 to 12 Hz. Words constituting a syntactic violation elicited larger increases in θ power than the same words in a correct sentence context, in an interval of 300–500 ms after word onset. Of all the frequency bands studied, this was true for the θ frequency band only. The scalp topography of this effect was different for different violations: following number violations a left-hemispheric dominance was found, whereas gender violations elicited a right-hemisphere dominance of the θ power increase. Possible interpretations of this effect are considered in closing.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2007). Report on the XVIth International Conference on Historical Linguistic. General Linguistics, 43, 145-149.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1998). Impersonal verbs in Italic. Their development from an Indo-European perspective. Journal of Indo-European Studies, 26, 91-120.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1998). Language loss in Gaul: Socio-historical and linguistic factors in language conflict. Southwest Journal of Linguistics, 15, 23-44.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2002). Variability in word order: Adjectives and comparatives in Latin, Romance, and Germanic. Southwest Journal of Linguistics, 20, 19-50.
  • Belke, E., & Meyer, A. S. (2007). Single and multiple object naming in healthy ageing. Language and Cognitive Processes, 22, 1178-1211. doi:10.1080/01690960701461541.

    Abstract

    We compared the performance of young (college-aged) and older (50+years) speakers in a single object and a multiple object naming task and assessed their susceptibility to semantic and phonological context effects when producing words amidst semantically or phonologically similar or dissimilar words. In single object naming, there were no performance differences between the age groups. In multiple object naming, we observed significant age-related slowing, expressed in longer gazes to the objects and slower speech. In addition, the direction of the phonological context effects differed for the two groups. The results of a supplementary experiment showed that young speakers, when adopting a slow speech rate, coordinated their eye movements and speech differently from the older speakers. Our results imply that age-related slowing in connected speech is not a direct consequence of a slowing of lexical retrieval processes. Instead, older speakers might allocate more processing capacity to speech monitoring processes, which would slow down their concurrent speech planning processes

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  • Belke, E., & Meyer, A. S. (2002). Tracking the time course of multidimensional stimulus discrimination: Analyses of viewing patterns and processing times during "same''-"different'' decisions. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 14(2), 237-266. doi:10.1080/09541440143000050.

    Abstract

    We investigated the time course of conjunctive ''same''-''different'' judgements for visually presented object pairs by means of combined reaction time and on-line eye movement measurements. The analyses of viewing patterns, viewing times, and reaction times showed that participants engaged in a parallel self-terminating search for differences. In addition, the results obtained for objects differing in only one dimension suggest that processing times may depend on the relative codability of the stimulus dimensions. The results are reviewed in a broader framework in view of higher-order processes. We propose that overspecifications of colour, often found in object descriptions, may have an ''early'' visual rather than a ''late'' linguistic origin. In a parallel assessment of the detection materials, participants overspecified the objects' colour substantially more often than their size. We argue that referential overspecifications of colour are largely attributable to mechanisms of visual discrimination.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (2002). [Review of the book Explorations in linguistic relativity ed. by Martin Pütz and Marjolijn H. Verspoor]. Language in Society, 31(3), 452-456. doi:DOI: 10.1017.S004740502020316502020316.
  • Bohnemeyer, J., Enfield, N. J., Essegbey, J., Ibarretxe-Antuñano, I., Kita, S., Lüpke, F., & Ameka, F. K. (2007). Principles of event segmentation in language: The case of motion events. Language, 83(3), 495-532. doi:10.1353/lan.2007.0116.

    Abstract

    We examine universals and crosslinguistic variation in constraints on event segmentation. Previous typological studies have focused on segmentation into syntactic (Pawley 1987) or intonational units (Givón 1991). We argue that the correlation between such units and semantic/conceptual event representations is language-specific. As an alternative, we introduce the MACRO-EVENT PROPERTY (MEP): a construction has the MEP if it packages event representations such that temporal operators necessarily have scope over all subevents. A case study on the segmentation of motion events into macro-event expressions in eighteen genetically and typologically diverse languages has produced evidence of two types of design principles that impact motion-event segmentation: language-specific lexicalization patterns and universal constraints on form-to-meaning mapping.
  • Bohnemeyer, J., Kelly, A., & Abdel Rahman, R. (2002). Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics: Annual Report 2002. Nijmegen: MPI for Psycholinguistics.
  • Bohnemeyer, J., & Brown, P. (2007). Standing divided: Dispositional verbs and locative predications in two Mayan languages. Linguistics, 45(5), 1105-1151. doi:0.1515/LING.2007.033.

    Abstract

    The Mayan languages Tzeltal and Yucatec have large form classes of “dispositional” roots which lexicalize spatial properties such as orientation, support/suspension/blockage of motion, and configurations of parts of an entity with respect to other parts. But speakers of the two languages deploy this common lexical resource quite differently. The roots are used in both languages to convey dispositional information (e.g., answering “how” questions), but Tzeltal speakers also use them in canonical locative descriptions (e.g., answering “where” questions), whereas Yucatec speakers only use dispositionals in locative predications when prompted by the context to focus on dispositional properties. We describe the constructions used in locative and dispositional descriptions in response to two different picture stimuli sets. Evidence against the proposal that Tzeltal uses dispositionals to compensate for its single, semantically generic preposition (Brown 1994; Grinevald 2006) comes from the finding that Tzeltal speakers use relational spatial nominals in the “Ground phrase” — the expression of the place at which an entity is located — about as frequently as Yucatec speakers. We consider several alternative hypotheses, including a possible larger typological difference that leads Tzeltal speakers, but not Yucatec speakers, to prefer “theme-specific” verbs not just in locative predications, but in any predication involving a theme argument.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (2002). The grammar of time reference in Yukatek Maya. Munich: LINCOM.
  • Böttner, M. (1998). A collective extension of relational grammar. Logic Journal of the IGPL, 6(2), 175-793. doi:10.1093/jigpal/6.2.175.

    Abstract

    Relational grammar was proposed in Suppes (1976) as a semantical grammar for natural language. Fragments considered so far are restricted to distributive notions. In this article, relational grammar is extended to collective notions.
  • Bowerman, M. (1974). Learning the structure of causative verbs: A study in the relationship of cognitive, semantic, and syntactic development. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, 8, 142-178.
  • Li, P., & Bowerman, M. (1998). The acquisition of lexical and grammatical aspect in Chinese. First Language, 18, 311-350. doi:10.1177/014272379801805404.

    Abstract

    This study reports three experiments on how children learning Mandarin Chinese comprehend and use aspect markers. These experiments examine the role of lexical aspect in children's acquisition of grammatical aspect. Results provide converging evidence for children's early sensitivity to (1) the association between atelic verbs and the imperfective aspect markers zai, -zhe, and -ne, and (2) the association between telic verbs and the perfective aspect marker -le. Children did not show a sensitivity in their use or understanding of aspect markers to the difference between stative and activity verbs or between semelfactive and activity verbs. These results are consistent with Slobin's (1985) basic child grammar hypothesis that the contrast between process and result is important in children's early acquisition of temporal morphology. In contrast, they are inconsistent with Bickerton's (1981, 1984) language bioprogram hypothesis that the distinctions between state and process and between punctual and nonpunctual are preprogrammed into language learners. We suggest new ways of looking at the results in the light of recent probabilistic hypotheses that emphasize the role of input, prototypes and connectionist representations.
  • Bramão, I., Mendonça, A., Faísca, L., Ingvar, M., Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A. (2007). The impact of reading and writing skills on a visuo-motor integration task: A comparison between illiterate and literate subjects. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 13(2), 359-364. doi:10.1017/S1355617707070440.

    Abstract

    Previous studies have shown a significant association between reading skills and the performance on visuo-motor tasks. In order to clarify whether reading and writing skills modulate non-linguistic domains, we investigated the performance of two literacy groups on a visuo-motor integration task with non-linguistic stimuli. Twenty-one illiterate participants and twenty matched literate controls were included in the experiment. Subjects were instructed to use the right or the left index finger to point to and touch a randomly presented target on the right or left side of a touch screen. The results showed that the literate subjects were significantly faster in detecting and touching targets on the left compared to the right side of the screen. In contrast, the presentation side did not affect the performance of the illiterate group. These results lend support to the idea that having acquired reading and writing skills, and thus a preferred left-to-right reading direction, influences visual scanning. (JINS, 2007, 13, 359–364
  • De Bree, E., Janse, E., & Van de Zande, A. M. (2007). Stress assignment in aphasia: Word and non-word reading and non-word repetition. Brain and Language, 103, 264-275. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2007.07.003.

    Abstract

    This paper investigates stress assignment in Dutch aphasic patients in non-word repetition, as well as in real-word and non-word reading. Performance on the non-word reading task was similar for the aphasic patients and the control group, as mainly regular stress was assigned to the targets. However, there were group differences on the real-word reading and non-word repetition tasks. Unlike the non-brain-damaged group, the patients showed a strong regularization tendency in their repetition of irregular patterns. The patients’ stress error patterns suggest an impairment in retention or retrieval of targets with irregular stress patterns. Limited verbal short-term memory is proposed as a possible underlying cause for the stress difficulties.
  • Brown, P. (2007). 'She had just cut/broken off her head': Cutting and breaking verbs in Tzeltal. Cognitive Linguistics, 18(2), 319-330. doi:10.1515/COG.2007.019.

    Abstract

    This paper describes the lexical resources for expressing events of cutting and breaking (C&B hereafter) in the Mayan language Tzeltal. This notional set of verbs is not a class in any grammatical sense; C&B verbs are formally undistinguishable from many other transitive state-change verbs. But they nicely reveal the characteristic specificity of Tzeltal verb semantics: C&B actions are finely differentiated according to the spatial and textural properties of the theme object, with no superordinate term meaning 'either cut in general' or 'break in general'. The paper characterizes the semantics of these verbs and shows that in the great majority of cases it does not predict their argument structure.
  • Brown, P. (1998). [Review of the book by A.J. Wootton, Interaction and the development of mind]. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 4(4), 816-817.
  • Brown, P. (1998). Children's first verbs in Tzeltal: Evidence for an early verb category. Linguistics, 36(4), 713-753.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    When Tzeltal children in the Mayan community of Tenejapa, in southern Mexico, begin speaking, their production vocabulary consists predominantly of verb roots, in contrast to the dominance of nouns in the initial vocabulary of first‐language learners of Indo‐European languages. This article proposes that a particular Tzeltal conversational feature—known in the Mayanist literature as "dialogic repetition"—provides a context that facilitates the early analysis and use of verbs. Although Tzeltal babies are not treated by adults as genuine interlocutors worthy of sustained interaction, dialogic repetition in the speech the children are exposed to may have an important role in revealing to them the structural properties of the language, as well as in socializing the collaborative style of verbal interaction adults favor in this community.
  • Brown, P. (1998). La identificación de las raíces verbales en Tzeltal (Maya): Cómo lo hacen los niños? Función, 17-18, 121-146.

    Abstract

    This is a Spanish translation of Brown 1997.
  • Byun, K.-S. (2007). Becoming friends with Korean Sign Language. Cheonan: Chungnam Association of the Deaf.
  • Cameron-Faulkner, T., & Kidd, E. (2007). I'm are what I'm are: The acquisition of first-person singular present BE. Cognitive Linguistics, 18(1), 1-22. doi:10.1515/COG.2007.001.

    Abstract

    The present study investigates the development of am in the speech of one English-speaking child, Scarlett (aged 4;6–5;6). We show that am is infrequent in the speech addressed to children; the acquisition of this form of BE presents a unique insight into the processes underlying language development because children have little evidence regarding its correct use. Scarlett produced a pervasive error where she overextended are to first-person singular contexts where am was required (e.g., I'm are trying, When are I'm finished?). Am gradually emerged in her speech on what appears to be a construction-specific basis. The findings of the study are used in support of a usage-based, constructivisit approach to language development.
  • Castro-Caldas, A., Petersson, K. M., Reis, A., Stone-Elander, S., & Ingvar, M. (1998). The illiterate brain: Learning to read and write during childhood influences the functional organization of the adult brain. Brain, 121, 1053-1063. doi:10.1093/brain/121.6.1053.

    Abstract

    Learning a specific skill during childhood may partly determine the functional organization of the adult brain. This hypothesis led us to study oral language processing in illiterate subjects who, for social reasons, had never entered school and had no knowledge of reading or writing. In a brain activation study using PET and statistical parametric mapping, we compared word and pseudoword repetition in literate and illiterate subjects. Our study confirms behavioural evidence of different phonological processing in illiterate subjects. During repetition of real words, the two groups performed similarly and activated similar areas of the brain. In contrast, illiterate subjects had more difficulty repeating pseudowords correctly and did not activate the same neural structures as literates. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that learning the written form of language (orthography) interacts with the function of oral language. Our results indicate that learning to read and write during childhood influences the functional organization of the adult human brain.
  • Chen, J. (2007). 'He cut-break the rope': Encoding and categorizing cutting and breaking events in Mandarin. Cognitive Linguistics, 18(2), 273-285. doi:10.1515/COG.2007.015.

    Abstract

    Abstract Mandarin categorizes cutting and breaking events on the basis of fine semantic distinctions in the causal action and the caused result. I demonstrate the semantics of Mandarin C&B verbs from the perspective of event encoding and categorization as well as argument structure alternations. Three semantically different types of predicates can be identified: verbs denoting the C&B action subevent, verbs encoding the C&B result subevent, and resultative verb compounds (RVC) that encode both the action and the result subevents. The first verb of an RVC is basically dyadic, whereas the second is monadic. RVCs as a whole are also basically dyadic, and do not undergo detransitivization.
  • Chen, X. S., Rozhdestvensky, T. S., Collins, L. J., Schmitz, J., & Penny, D. (2007). Combined experimental and computational approach to identify non-protein-coding RNAs in the deep-branching eukaryote Giardia intestinalis. Nucleic Acids Research, 35, 4619-4628. doi:10.1093/nar/gkm474.

    Abstract

    Non-protein-coding RNAs represent a large proportion of transcribed sequences in eukaryotes. These RNAs often function in large RNA–protein complexes, which are catalysts in various RNA-processing pathways. As RNA processing has become an increasingly important area of research, numerous non-messenger RNAs have been uncovered in all the model eukaryotic organisms. However, knowledge on RNA processing in deep-branching eukaryotes is still limited. This study focuses on the identification of non-protein-coding RNAs from the diplomonad parasite Giardia intestinalis, showing that a combined experimental and computational search strategy is a fast method of screening reduced or compact genomes. The analysis of our Giardia cDNA library has uncovered 31 novel candidates, including C/D-box and H/ACA box snoRNAs, as well as an unusual transcript of RNase P, and double-stranded RNAs. Subsequent computational analysis has revealed additional putative C/D-box snoRNAs. Our results will lead towards a future understanding of RNA metabolism in the deep-branching eukaryote Giardia, as more ncRNAs are characterized.
  • Chen, A., Den Os, E., & De Ruiter, J. P. (2007). Pitch accent type matters for online processing of information status: Evidence from natural and synthetic speech. The Linguistic Review, 24(2), 317-344. doi:10.1515/TLR.2007.012.

    Abstract

    Adopting an eyetracking paradigm, we investigated the role of H*L, L*HL, L*H, H*LH, and deaccentuation at the intonational phrase-final position in online processing of information status in British English in natural speech. The role of H*L, L*H and deaccentuation was also examined in diphonesynthetic speech. It was found that H*L and L*HL create a strong bias towards newness, whereas L*H, like deaccentuation, creates a strong bias towards givenness. In synthetic speech, the same effect was found for H*L, L*H and deaccentuation, but it was delayed. The delay may not be caused entirely by the difference in the segmental quality between synthetic and natural speech. The pitch accent H*LH, however, appears to bias participants' interpretation to the target word, independent of its information status. This finding was explained in the light of the effect of durational information at the segmental level on word recognition.
  • Cho, T., Jun, S.-A., & Ladefoged, P. (2002). Acoustic and aerodynamic correlates of Korean stops and fricatives. Journal of Phonetics, 30(2), 193-228. doi:10.1006/jpho.2001.0153.

    Abstract

    This study examines acoustic and aerodynamic characteristics of consonants in standard Korean and in Cheju, an endangered Korean language. The focus is on the well-known three-way distinction among voiceless stops (i.e., lenis, fortis, aspirated) and the two-way distinction between the voiceless fricatives /s/ and /s*/. While such a typologically unusual contrast among voiceless stops has long drawn the attention of phoneticians and phonologists, there is no single work in the literature that discusses a body of data representing a relatively large number of speakers. This study reports a variety of acoustic and aerodynamic measures obtained from 12 Korean speakers (four speakers of Seoul Korean and eight speakers of Cheju). Results show that, in addition to findings similar to those reported by others, there are three crucial points worth noting. Firstly, lenis, fortis, and aspirated stops are systematically differentiated from each other by the voice quality of the following vowel. Secondly, these stops are also differentiated by aerodynamic mechanisms. The aspirated and fortis stops are similar in supralaryngeal articulation, but employ a different relation between intraoral pressure and flow. Thirdly, our study suggests that the fricative /s/ is better categorized as “lenis” rather than “aspirated”. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of Korean data for theories of the voicing contrast and their phonological representations.
  • Cho, T., McQueen, J. M., & Cox, E. A. (2007). Prosodically driven phonetic detail in speech processing: The case of domain-initial strengthening in English. Journal of Phonetics, 35(2), 210-243. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2006.03.003.

    Abstract

    We explore the role of the acoustic consequences of domain-initial strengthening in spoken-word recognition. In two cross-modal identity-priming experiments, listeners heard sentences and made lexical decisions to visual targets, presented at the onset of the second word in two-word sequences containing lexical ambiguities (e.g., bus tickets, with the competitor bust). These sequences contained Intonational Phrase (IP) or Prosodic Word (Wd) boundaries, and the second word's initial Consonant and Vowel (CV, e.g., [tI]) was spliced from another token of the sequence in IP- or Wd-initial position. Acoustic analyses showed that IP-initial consonants were articulated more strongly than Wd-initial consonants. In Experiment 1, related targets were post-boundary words (e.g., tickets). No strengthening effect was observed (i.e., identity priming effects did not vary across splicing conditions). In Experiment 2, related targets were pre-boundary words (e.g., bus). There was a strengthening effect (stronger priming when the post-boundary CVs were spliced from IP-initial than from Wd-initial position), but only in Wd-boundary contexts. These were the conditions where phonetic detail associated with domain-initial strengthening could assist listeners most in lexical disambiguation. We discuss how speakers may strengthen domain-initial segments during production and how listeners may use the resulting acoustic correlates of prosodic strengthening during word recognition.
  • Cho, T. (2002). The effects of prosody on articulation in English. New York: Routledge.
  • Christoffels, I. K., Firk, C., & Schiller, N. O. (2007). Bilingual language control: An event-related brain potential study. Brain Research, 1147, 192-208. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2007.01.137.

    Abstract

    This study addressed how bilingual speakers switch between their first and second language when speaking. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) and naming latencies were measured while unbalanced German (L1)-Dutch (L2) speakers performed a picture-naming task. Participants named pictures either in their L1 or in their L2 (blocked language conditions), or participants switched between their first and second language unpredictably (mixed language condition). Furthermore, form similarity between translation equivalents (cognate status) was manipulated. A cognate facilitation effect was found for L1 and L2 indicating phonological activation of the non-response language in blocked and mixed language conditions. The ERP data also revealed small but reliable effects of cognate status. Language switching resulted in equal switching costs for both languages and was associated with a modulation in the ERP waveforms (time windows 275-375 ms and 375-475 ms). Mixed language context affected especially the L1, both in ERPs and in latencies, which became slower in L1 than L2. It is suggested that sustained and transient components of language control should be distinguished. Results are discussed in relation to current theories of bilingual language processing.
  • Christoffels, I. K., Formisano, E., & Schiller, N. O. (2007). The neural correlates of verbal feedback processing: An fMRI study employing overt speech. Human Brain Mapping, 28(9), 868-879. doi:10.1002/hbm.20315.

    Abstract

    Speakers use external auditory feedback to monitor their own speech. Feedback distortion has been found to increase activity in the superior temporal areas. Using fMRI, the present study investigates the neural correlates of processing verbal feedback without distortion. In a blocked design, the following conditions were presented: (1) overt picture-naming, (2) overt picture-naming while pink noise was presented to mask external feedback, (3) covert picture-naming, (4) listening to the picture names (previously recorded from participants' own voices), and (5) listening to pink noise. The results show that auditory feedback processing involves a network of different areas related to general performance monitoring and speech-motor control. These include the cingulate cortex and the bilateral insula, supplementary motor area, bilateral motor areas, cerebellum, thalamus and basal ganglia. Our findings suggest that the anterior cingulate cortex, which is often implicated in error-processing and conflict-monitoring, is also engaged in ongoing speech monitoring. Furthermore, in the superior temporal gyrus, we found a reduced response to speaking under normal feedback conditions. This finding is interpreted in the framework of a forward model according to which, during speech production, the sensory consequence of the speech-motor act is predicted to attenuate the sensitivity of the auditory cortex. Hum Brain Mapp 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
  • Chwilla, D., Hagoort, P., & Brown, C. M. (1998). The mechanism underlying backward priming in a lexical decision task: Spreading activation versus semantic matching. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 51A(3), 531-560. doi:10.1080/713755773.

    Abstract

    Koriat (1981) demonstrated that an association from the target to a preceding prime, in the absence of an association from the prime to the target, facilitates lexical decision and referred to this effect as "backward priming". Backward priming is of relevance, because it can provide information about the mechanism underlying semantic priming effects. Following Neely (1991), we distinguish three mechanisms of priming: spreading activation, expectancy, and semantic matching/integration. The goal was to determine which of these mechanisms causes backward priming, by assessing effects of backward priming on a language-relevant ERP component, the N400, and reaction time (RT). Based on previous work, we propose that the N400 priming effect reflects expectancy and semantic matching/integration, but in contrast with RT does not reflect spreading activation. Experiment 1 shows a backward priming effect that is qualitatively similar for the N400 and RT in a lexical decision task. This effect was not modulated by an ISI manipulation. Experiment 2 clarifies that the N400 backward priming effect reflects genuine changes in N400 amplitude and cannot be ascribed to other factors. We will argue that these backward priming effects cannot be due to expectancy but are best accounted for in terms of semantic matching/integration.
  • Cooper, N., Cutler, A., & Wales, R. (2002). Constraints of lexical stress on lexical access in English: Evidence from native and non-native listeners. Language and Speech, 45(3), 207-228.

    Abstract

    Four cross-modal priming experiments and two forced-choice identification experiments investigated the use of suprasegmental cues to stress in the recognition of spoken English words, by native (English-speaking) and non- native (Dutch) listeners. Previous results had indicated that suprasegmental information was exploited in lexical access by Dutch but not by English listeners. For both listener groups, recognition of visually presented target words was faster, in comparison to a control condition, after stress-matching spoken primes, either monosyllabic (mus- from MUsic /muSEum) or bisyl labic (admi- from ADmiral/admiRAtion). For native listeners, the effect of stress-mismatching bisyllabic primes was not different from that of control primes, but mismatching monosyllabic primes produced partial facilitation. For non-native listeners, both bisyllabic and monosyllabic stress-mismatching primes produced partial facilitation. Native English listeners thus can exploit suprasegmental information in spoken-word recognition, but information from two syllables is used more effectively than information from one syllable. Dutch listeners are less proficient at using suprasegmental information in English than in their native language, but, as in their native language, use mono- and bisyllabic information to an equal extent. In forced-choice identification, Dutch listeners outperformed native listeners at correctly assigning a monosyllabic fragment (e.g., mus-) to one of two words differing in stress.
  • Costa, A., Cutler, A., & Sebastian-Galles, N. (1998). Effects of phoneme repertoire on phoneme decision. Perception and Psychophysics, 60, 1022-1031.

    Abstract

    In three experiments, listeners detected vowel or consonant targets in lists of CV syllables constructed from five vowels and five consonants. Responses were faster in a predictable context (e.g., listening for a vowel target in a list of syllables all beginning with the same consonant) than in an unpredictable context (e.g., listening for a vowel target in a list of syllables beginning with different consonants). In Experiment 1, the listeners’ native language was Dutch, in which vowel and consonant repertoires are similar in size. The difference between predictable and unpredictable contexts was comparable for vowel and consonant targets. In Experiments 2 and 3, the listeners’ native language was Spanish, which has four times as many consonants as vowels; here effects of an unpredictable consonant context on vowel detection were significantly greater than effects of an unpredictable vowel context on consonant detection. This finding suggests that listeners’ processing of phonemes takes into account the constitution of their language’s phonemic repertoire and the implications that this has for contextual variability.
  • Crago, M. B., Chen, C., Genesee, F., & Allen, S. E. M. (1998). Power and deference. Journal for a Just and Caring Education, 4(1), 78-95.
  • Cutler, A. (2002). Native listeners. European Review, 10(1), 27-41. doi:10.1017/S1062798702000030.

    Abstract

    Becoming a native listener is the necessary precursor to becoming a native speaker. Babies in the first year of life undertake a remarkable amount of work; by the time they begin to speak, they have perceptually mastered the phonological repertoire and phoneme co-occurrence probabilities of the native language, and they can locate familiar word-forms in novel continuous-speech contexts. The skills acquired at this early stage form a necessary part of adult listening. However, the same native listening skills also underlie problems in listening to a late-acquired non-native language, accounting for why in such a case listening (an innate ability) is sometimes paradoxically more difficult than, for instance, reading (a learned ability).
  • Cutler, A., & Otake, T. (2002). Rhythmic categories in spoken-word recognition. Journal of Memory and Language, 46(2), 296-322. doi:10.1006/jmla.2001.2814.

    Abstract

    Rhythmic categories such as morae in Japanese or stress units in English play a role in the perception of spoken language. We examined this role in Japanese, since recent evidence suggests that morae may intervene as structural units in word recognition. First, we found that traditional puns more often substituted part of a mora than a whole mora. Second, when listeners reconstructed distorted words, e.g. panorama from panozema, responses were faster and more accurate when only a phoneme was distorted (panozama, panorema) than when a whole CV mora was distorted (panozema). Third, lexical decisions on the same nonwords were better predicted by duration and number of phonemes from nonword uniqueness point to word end than by number of morae. Our results indicate no role for morae in early spoken-word processing; we propose that rhythmic categories constrain not initial lexical activation but subsequent processes of speech segmentation and selection among word candidates.
  • Cutler, A., Demuth, K., & McQueen, J. M. (2002). Universality versus language-specificity in listening to running speech. Psychological Science, 13(3), 258-262. doi:10.1111/1467-9280.00447.

    Abstract

    Recognizing spoken language involves automatic activation of multiple candidate words. The process of selection between candidates is made more efficient by inhibition of embedded words (like egg in beg) that leave a portion of the input stranded (here, b). Results from European languages suggest that this inhibition occurs when consonants are stranded but not when syllables are stranded. The reason why leftover syllables do not lead to inhibition could be that in principle they might themselves be words; in European languages, a syllable can be a word. In Sesotho (a Bantu language), however, a single syllable cannot be a word. We report that in Sesotho, word recognition is inhibited by stranded consonants, but stranded monosyllables produce no more difficulty than stranded bisyllables (which could be Sesotho words). This finding suggests that the viability constraint which inhibits spurious embedded word candidates is not sensitive to language-specific word structure, but is universal.
  • Dahan, D., Tanenhaus, M. K., & Chambers, C. G. (2002). Accent and reference resolution in spoken-language comprehension. Journal of Memory and Language, 47(2), 292-314. doi:10.1016/S0749-596X(02)00001-3.

    Abstract

    The role of accent in reference resolution was investigated by monitoring eye fixations to lexical competitors (e.g., candy and candle ) as participants followed prerecorded instructions to move objects above or below fixed geometric shapes using a computer mouse. In Experiment 1, the first utterance instructed participants to move one object above or below a shape (e.g., “Put the candle/candy below the triangle”) and the second utterance contained an accented or deaccented definite noun phrase which referred to the same object or introduced a new entity (e.g., “Now put the CANDLE above the square” vs. “Now put the candle ABOVE THE SQUARE”). Fixations to the competitor (e.g., candy ) demonstrated a bias to interpret deaccented nouns as anaphoric and accented nouns as nonanaphoric. Experiment 2 used only accented nouns in the second instruction, varying whether the referent of this second instruction was the Theme of the first instruction (e.g., “Put the candle below the triangle”) or the Goal of the first instruction (e.g., “Put the necklace below the candle”). Participants preferred to interpret accented noun phrases as referring to a previously mentioned nonfocused entity (the Goal) rather than as introducing a new unmentioned entity.
  • Dahan, D., & Gaskell, M. G. (2007). The temporal dynamics of ambiguity resolution: Evidence from spoken-word recognition. Journal of Memory and Language, 57(4), 483-501. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2007.01.001.

    Abstract

    Two experiments examined the dynamics of lexical activation in spoken-word recognition. In both, the key materials were pairs of onset-matched picturable nouns varying in frequency. Pictures associated with these words, plus two distractor pictures were displayed. A gating task, in which participants identified the picture associated with gradually lengthening fragments of spoken words, examined the availability of discriminating cues in the speech waveforms for these pairs. There was a clear frequency bias in participants’ responses to short, ambiguous fragments, followed by a temporal window in which discriminating information gradually became available. A visual-world experiment examined speech contingent eye movements. Fixation analyses suggested that frequency influences lexical competition well beyond the point in the speech signal at which the spoken word has been fully discriminated from its competitor (as identified using gating). Taken together, these data support models in which the processing dynamics of lexical activation are a limiting factor on recognition speed, over and above the temporal unfolding of the speech signal.
  • Davidson, D. J., & Indefrey, P. (2007). An inverse relation between event-related and time–frequency violation responses in sentence processing. Brain Research, 1158, 81-92. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2007.04.082.

    Abstract

    The relationship between semantic and grammatical processing in sentence comprehension was investigated by examining event-related potential (ERP) and event-related power changes in response to semantic and grammatical violations. Sentences with semantic, phrase structure, or number violations and matched controls were presented serially (1.25 words/s) to 20 participants while EEG was recorded. Semantic violations were associated with an N400 effect and a theta band increase in power, while grammatical violations were associated with a P600 effect and an alpha/beta band decrease in power. A quartile analysis showed that for both types of violations, larger average violation effects were associated with lower relative amplitudes of oscillatory activity, implying an inverse relation between ERP amplitude and event-related power magnitude change in sentence processing.
  • Dediu, D., & Ladd, D. R. (2007). Linguistic tone is related to the population frequency of the adaptive haplogroups of two brain size genes, ASPM and Microcephalin. PNAS, 104, 10944-10949. doi:10.1073/pnas.0610848104.

    Abstract

    The correlations between interpopulation genetic and linguistic diversities are mostly noncausal (spurious), being due to historical processes and geographical factors that shape them in similar ways. Studies of such correlations usually consider allele frequencies and linguistic groupings (dialects, languages, linguistic families or phyla), sometimes controlling for geographic, topographic, or ecological factors. Here, we consider the relation between allele frequencies and linguistic typological features. Specifically, we focus on the derived haplogroups of the brain growth and development-related genes ASPM and Microcephalin, which show signs of natural selection and a marked geographic structure, and on linguistic tone, the use of voice pitch to convey lexical or grammatical distinctions. We hypothesize that there is a relationship between the population frequency of these two alleles and the presence of linguistic tone and test this hypothesis relative to a large database (983 alleles and 26 linguistic features in 49 populations), showing that it is not due to the usual explanatory factors represented by geography and history. The relationship between genetic and linguistic diversity in this case may be causal: certain alleles can bias language acquisition or processing and thereby influence the trajectory of language change through iterated cultural transmission.

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  • Den Os, E., & Boves, L. (2002). BabelWeb project develops multilingual guidelines. Multilingual Computing and Technologies, 13(1), 33-36.

    Abstract

    European cooperative effort seeks best practices architecture and procedures for international sites
  • Dietrich, R., & Klein, W. (1974). Einführung in die Computerlinguistik. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.
  • Dietrich, C., Swingley, D., & Werker, J. F. (2007). Native language governs interpretation of salient speech sound differences at 18 months. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 104(41), 16027-16031.

    Abstract

    One of the first steps infants take in learning their native language is to discover its set of speech-sound categories. This early development is shown when infants begin to lose the ability to differentiate some of the speech sounds their language does not use, while retaining or improving discrimination of language-relevant sounds. However, this aspect of early phonological tuning is not sufficient for language learning. Children must also discover which of the phonetic cues that are used in their language serve to signal lexical distinctions. Phonetic variation that is readily discriminable to all children may indicate two different words in one language but only one word in another. Here, we provide evidence that the language background of 1.5-year-olds affects their interpretation of phonetic variation in word learning, and we show that young children interpret salient phonetic variation in language-specific ways. Three experiments with a total of 104 children compared Dutch- and English-learning 18-month-olds' responses to novel words varying in vowel duration or vowel quality. Dutch learners interpreted vowel duration as lexically contrastive, but English learners did not, in keeping with properties of Dutch and English. Both groups performed equivalently when differentiating words varying in vowel quality. Thus, at one and a half years, children's phonological knowledge already guides their interpretation of salient phonetic variation. We argue that early phonological learning is not just a matter of maintaining the ability to distinguish language-relevant phonetic cues. Learning also requires phonological interpretation at appropriate levels of linguistic analysis.
  • Dimroth, C., & Klein, W. (2007). Den Erwachsenen überlegen: Kinder entwickeln beim Sprachenlernen besondere Techniken und sind erfolgreicher als ältere Menschen. Tagesspiegel, 19737, B6-B6.

    Abstract

    The younger - the better? This paper discusses second language learning at different ages and takes a critical look at generalizations of the kind ‘The younger – the better’. It is argued that these generalizations do not apply across the board. Age related differences like the amount of linguistic knowledge, prior experience as a language user, or more or less advanced communicative needs affect different components of the language system to different degrees, and can even be an advantage for the early development of simple communicative systems.
  • Dimroth, C., & Lasser, I. (2002). Finite options: How L1 and L2 learners cope with the acquisition of finiteness. Linguistics, 40(4), 647-651. doi:10.1515/ling.2002.027.
  • Dimroth, C. (1998). Indiquer la portée en allemand L2: Une étude longitudinale de l'acquisition des particules de portée. AILE (Acquisition et Interaction en Langue étrangère), 11, 11-34.
  • Dimroth, C. (2002). Topics, assertions and additive words: How L2 learners get from information structure to target-language syntax. Linguistics, 40(4), 891-923. doi:10.1515/ling.2002.033.

    Abstract

    The article compares the integration of topic-related additive words at different stages of untutored L2 acquisition. Data stem from an ‘‘additive-elicitation task’’ that was designed in order to capture topic-related additive words in a context that is at the same time controlled for the underlying information structure and nondeviant from other kinds of narrative discourse. We relate the distinction between stressed and nonstressed forms of the German scope particles and adverbials auch ‘also’, noch ‘another’, wieder ‘again’, and immer noch ‘still’ to a uniform, information-structure-based principle: the stressed variants have scope over the topic information of the relevant utterances. It is then the common function of these additive words to express the additive link between the topic of the present utterance and some previous topic for which the same state of affairs is claimed to hold. This phenomenon has often been referred to as ‘‘contrastive topic,’’ but contrary to what this term suggests, these topic elements are by no means deviant from the default in coherent discourse. In the underlying information structure, the validity of some given state of affairs for the present topic must be under discussion. Topic-related additive words then express that the state of affairs indeed applies to this topic, their function therefore coming close to the function of assertion marking. While this functional correspondence goes along with the formal organization of the basic stages of untutored second-language acquisition, its expression brings linguistic constraints into conflict when the acquisition of finiteness pushes learners to reorganize their utterances according to target-language syntax.
  • Duffield, N., Matsuo, A., & Roberts, L. (2007). Acceptable ungrammaticality in sentence matching. Second Language Research, 23(2), 155-177. doi:10.1177/0267658307076544.

    Abstract

    This paper presents results from a new set of experiments using the sentence matching paradigm (Forster, Kenneth (1979), Freedman & Forster (1985), also Bley-Vroman & Masterson (1989), investigating native-speakers’ and L2 learners’ knowledge of constraints on clitic placement in French.1 Our purpose is three-fold: (i) to shed more light on the contrasts between native-speakers and L2 learners observed in previous experiments, especially Duffield & White (1999), and Duffield, White, Bruhn de Garavito, Montrul & Prévost (2002); (ii), to address specific criticisms of the sentence-matching paradigm leveled by Gass (2001); (iii), to provide a firm empirical basis for follow-up experiments with L2 learners
  • Dunn, M., Margetts, A., Meira, S., & Terrill, A. (2007). Four languages from the lower end of the typology of locative predication. Linguistics, 45, 873-892. doi:10.1515/LING.2007.026.

    Abstract

    As proposed by Ameka and Levinson (this issue) locative verb systems can be classified into four types according to the number of verbs distinguished. This article addresses the lower extreme of this typology: languages which offer no choice of verb in the basic locative function (BLF). These languages have either a single locative verb, or do not use verbs at all in the basic locative construction (BLC, the construction used to encode the BLF). A close analysis is presented of the behavior of BLF predicate types in four genetically diverse languages: Chukchi (Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Russian Arctic), and Lavukaleve (Papuan isolate, Solomon Islands), which have BLC with the normal copula/existential verb for the language; Tiriyó (Cariban/Taranoan, Brazil), which has an optional copula in the BLC; and Saliba (Austronesian/Western Oceanic, Papua New Guinea), a language with a verbless clause as the BLC. The status of these languages in the typology of positional verb systems is reviewed, and other relevant typological generalizations are discussed
  • Dunn, M., & Ross, M. (2007). Is Kazukuru really non-Austronesian? Oceanic Linguistics, 46(1), 210-231. doi:10.1353/ol.2007.0018.

    Abstract

    Kazukuru is an extinct language, originally spoken in the inland of the western part of the island of New Georgia, Solomon Islands, and attested by very limited historical sources. Kazukuru has generally been considered to be a Papuan, that is, non-Austronesian, language, mostly on the basis of its lexicon. Reevaluation of the available data suggests a high likelihood that Kazukuru was in fact an Oceanic Austronesian language. Pronominal paradigms are clearly of Austronesian origin, and many other aspects of language structured retrievable from the limited data are also congruent with regional Oceanic Austronesian typology. The extent and possible causes of Kazukuru lexical deviations from the Austronesian norm are evaluated and discussed.
  • Dunn, M., Foley, R., Levinson, S. C., Reesink, G., & Terrill, A. (2007). Statistical reasoning in the evaluation of typological diversity in Island Melanesia. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 388-403.

    Abstract

    This paper builds on a previous work in which we attempted to retrieve a phylogenetic signal using abstract structural features alone, as opposed to cognate sets, drawn from a sample of Island Melanesian languages, both Oceanic (Austronesian) and (non-Austronesian) Papuan (Science 2005[309]: 2072-75 ). Here we clarify a number of misunderstandings of this approach, referring particularly to the critique by Mark Donohue and Simon Musgrave (in this same issue of Oceanic Linguistics), in which they fail to appreciate the statistical principles underlying computational phylogenetic methods. We also present new analyses that provide stronger evidence supporting the hypotheses put forward in our original paper: a reanalysis using Bayesian phylogenetic inference demonstrates the robustness of the data and methods, and provides a substantial improvement over the parsimony method used in our earlier paper. We further demonstrate, using the technique of spatial autocorrelation, that neither proximity nor Oceanic contact can be a major determinant of the pattern of structural variation of the Papuan languages, and thus that the phylogenetic relatedness of the Papuan languages remains a serious hypothesis.
  • Dunn, M., Reesink, G., & Terrill, A. (2002). The East Papuan languages: A preliminary typological appraisal. Oceanic Linguistics, 41(1), 28-62.

    Abstract

    This paper examines the Papuan languages of Island Melanesia, with a view to considering their typological similarities and differences. The East Papuan languages are thought to be the descendants of the languages spoken by the original inhabitants of Island Melanesia, who arrived in the area up to 50,000 years ago. The Oceanic Austronesian languages are thought to have come into the area with the Lapita peoples 3,500 years ago. With this historical backdrop in view, our paper seeks to investigate the linguistic relationships between the scattered Papuan languages of Island Melanesia. To do this, we survey various structural features, including syntactic patterns such as constituent order in clauses and noun phrases and other features of clause structure, paradigmatic structures of pronouns, and the structure of verbal morphology. In particular, we seek to discern similarities between the languages that might call for closer investigation, with a view to establishing genetic relatedness between some or all of the languages. In addition, in examining structural relationships between languages, we aim to discover whether it is possible to distinguish between original Papuan elements and diffused Austronesian elements of these languages. As this is a vast task, our paper aims merely to lay the groundwork for investigation into these and related questions.
  • Enard, W., Przeworski, M., Fisher, S. E., Lai, C. S. L., Wiebe, V., Kitano, T., Pääbo, S., & Monaco, A. P. (2002). Molecular evolution of FOXP2, a gene involved in speech and language [Letters to Nature]. Nature, 418, 869-872. doi:10.1038/nature01025.

    Abstract

    Language is a uniquely human trait likely to have been a prerequisite for the development of human culture. The ability to develop articulate speech relies on capabilities, such as fine control of the larynx and mouth, that are absent in chimpanzees and other great apes. FOXP2 is the first gene relevant to the human ability to develop language. A point mutation in FOXP2 co-segregates with a disorder in a family in which half of the members have severe articulation difficulties accompanied by linguistic and grammatical impairment. This gene is disrupted by translocation in an unrelated individual who has a similar disorder. Thus, two functional copies of FOXP2 seem to be required for acquisition of normal spoken language. We sequenced the complementary DNAs that encode the FOXP2 protein in the chimpanzee, gorilla, orang-utan, rhesus macaque and mouse, and compared them with the human cDNA. We also investigated intraspecific variation of the human FOXP2 gene. Here we show that human FOXP2 contains changes in amino-acid coding and a pattern of nucleotide polymorphism, which strongly suggest that this gene has been the target of selection during recent human evolution.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2007). [Comment on 'Agency' by Paul Kockelman]. Current Anthropology, 48(3), 392-392. doi:10.1086/512998.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2007). [review of the book Ethnopragmatics: Understanding discourse in cultural context ed. by Cliff Goddard]. Intercultural Pragmatics, 4(3), 419-433. doi:10.1515/IP.2007.021.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2007). A grammar of Lao. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    Abstract

    Lao is the national language of Laos, and is also spoken widely in Thailand and Cambodia. It is a tone language of the Tai-Kadai family (Southwestern Tai branch). Lao is an extreme example of the isolating, analytic language type. This book is the most comprehensive grammatical description of Lao to date. It describes and analyses the important structures of the language, including classifiers, sentence-final particles, and serial verb constructions. Special attention is paid to grammatical topics from a semantic, pragmatic, and typological perspective.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2007). Encoding three-participant events in the Lao clause. Linguistics, 45(3), 509-538. doi:10.1515/LING.2007.016.

    Abstract

    Any language will have a range of predicates that specify three core participants (e.g. 'put', 'show', 'give'), and will conventionally provide a range of constructional types for the expression of these three participants in a structured single-clause or single-sentence event description. This article examines the clausal encoding of three-participant events in Lao, a Tai language of Southeast Asia. There is no possibility in Lao for expression of three full arguments in the core of a single-verb clause (although it is possible to have a third argument in a noncore slot, marked as oblique with a prepositionlike element). Available alternatives include extraposing an argument using a topic-comment construction, incorporating an argument into the verb phrase, and ellipsing one or more contextually retrievable arguments. A more common strategy is verb serialization, for example, where a threeplace verb (e.g. 'put') is assisted by an additional verb (typically a verb of handling such as 'carry') that provides a slot for the theme argument (e.g. the transferred object in a putting scene). The event construal encoded by this type of structure decomposes the event into a first stage in which the agent comes into control over a theme, and a second in which the agent performs a controlled action (e.g. of transfer) with respect to that theme and a goal (and/or source). The particular set of strategies that Lao offers for encoding three-participant events — notably, topic-comment strategy, ellipsis strategy, serial verb strategy — conform with (and are presumably motivated by) the general typological profile of the language. The typological features of Lao are typical for the mainland Southeast Asia area (isolating, topic-prominent, verb-serializing, widespread nominal ellipsis).
  • Enfield, N. J., & Wierzbicka, A. (2002). Introduction: The body in description of emotion. Pragmatics and Cognition, 10(1), 1-24. doi:10.1075/pc.10.12.02enf.

    Abstract

    Anthropologists and linguists have long been aware that the body is explicitly referred to in conventional description of emotion in languages around the world. There is abundant linguistic data showing expression of emotions in terms of their imagined ‘locus’ in the physical body. The most important methodological issue in the study of emotions is language, for the ways people talk give us access to ‘folk descriptions’ of the emotions. ‘Technical terminology’, whether based on English or otherwise, is not excluded from this ‘folk’ status. It may appear to be safely ‘scientific’ and thus culturally neutral, but in fact it is not: technical English is a variety of English and reflects, to some extent, culture-specific ways of thinking (and categorising) associated with the English language. People — as researchers studying other people, or as people in real-life social association — cannot directly access the emotional experience of others, and language is the usual mode of ‘packaging’ one’s experience so it may be accessible to others. Careful description of linguistic data from as broad as possible a cross-linguistic base is thus an important part of emotion research. All people experience biological events and processes associated with certain thoughts (or, as psychologists say, ‘appraisals’), but there is more to ‘emotion’ than just these physiological phenomena. Speakers of some languages talk about their emotional experiences as if they are located in some internal organ such as ‘the liver’, yet they cannot localise feeling in this physical organ. This phenomenon needs to be understood better, and one of the problems is finding a method of comparison that allows us to compare descriptions from different languages which show apparently great formal and semantic variation. Some simple concepts including feel and body are universal or near-universal, and as such are good candidates for terms of description which may help to eradicate confusion and exoticism from cross-linguistic comparison and semantic typology. Semantic analysis reveals great variation in concepts of emotion across languages and cultures — but such analysis requires a sound and well-founded methodology. While leaving room for different approaches to the task, we suggest that such a methodology can be based on empirically established linguistic universal (or near-universal) concepts, and on ‘cognitive scenarios’ articulated in terms of these concepts. Also, we warn against the danger of exoticism involved in taking all body part references ‘literally’. Above all, we argue that what is needed is a combination of empirical cross-linguistic investigations and a theoretical and methodological awareness, recognising the impossibility of exploring other people’s emotions without keeping language in focus: both as an object and as a tool of study.
  • Enfield, N. J., Kita, S., & De Ruiter, J. P. (2007). Primary and secondary pragmatic functions of pointing gestures. Journal of Pragmatics, 39(10), 1722-1741. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2007.03.001.

    Abstract

    This article presents a study of a set of pointing gestures produced together with speech in a corpus of video-recorded “locality description” interviews in rural Laos. In a restricted set of the observed gestures (we did not consider gestures with special hand shapes, gestures with arc/tracing motion, or gestures directed at referents within physical reach), two basic formal types of pointing gesture are observed: B-points (large movement, full arm, eye gaze often aligned) and S-points (small movement, hand only, casual articulation). Taking the approach that speech and gesture are structurally integrated in composite utterances, we observe that these types of pointing gesture have distinct pragmatic functions at the utterance level. One type of gesture (usually “big” in form) carries primary, informationally foregrounded information (for saying “where” or “which one”). Infants perform this type of gesture long before they can talk. The second type of gesture (usually “small” in form) carries secondary, informationally backgrounded information which responds to a possible but uncertain lack of referential common ground. We propose that the packaging of the extra locational information into a casual gesture is a way of adding extra information to an utterance without it being on-record that the added information was necessary. This is motivated by the conflict between two general imperatives of communication in social interaction: a social-affiliational imperative not to provide more information than necessary (“Don’t over-tell”), and an informational imperative not to provide less information than necessary (“Don’t under-tell”).
  • Enfield, N. J. (2002). Semantic analysis of body parts in emotion terminology: Avoiding the exoticisms of 'obstinate monosemy' and 'online extension'. Pragmatics and Cognition, 10(1), 85-106. doi:10.1075/pc.10.12.05enf.

    Abstract

    Investigation of the emotions entails reference to words and expressions conventionally used for the description of emotion experience. Important methodological issues arise for emotion researchers, and the issues are of similarly central concern in linguistic semantics more generally. I argue that superficial and/or inconsistent description of linguistic meaning can have seriously misleading results. This paper is firstly a critique of standards in emotion research for its tendency to underrate and ill-understand linguistic semantics. It is secondly a critique of standards in some approaches to linguistic semantics itself. Two major problems occur. The first is failure to distinguish between conceptually distinct meanings of single words, neglecting the well-established fact that a single phonological string can signify more than one conceptual category (i.e., that words can be polysemous). The second error involves failure to distinguish between two kinds of secondary uses of words: (1) those which are truly active “online” extensions, and (2) those which are conventionalised secondary meanings and not active (qua “extensions”) at all. These semantic considerations are crucial to conclusions one may draw about cognition and conceptualisation based on linguistic evidence.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2002). How to define 'Lao', 'Thai', and 'Isan' language? A view from linguistic science. Tai Culture, 7(1), 62-67.

    Abstract

    This article argues that it is not possible to establish distinctions between 'Lao', 'Thai', and 'Isan' as seperate languages or dialects by appealing to objective criteria. 'Lao', 'Thai', and 'Isan' are conceived linguistics varieties, and the ground-level reality reveals a great deal of variation, much of it not coinciding with the geographical boundaries of the 'Laos', 'Isan', and 'non-Isan Thailand' areas. Those who promote 'Lao', 'Thai', and/or 'Isan' as distinct linguistic varieties have subjective (e.g. political and/or sentimental) reasons for doing so. Objective linguistic criteria are not sufficient
  • Enfield, N. J. (2007). Lao separation verbs and the logic of linguistic event categorization. Cognitive Linguistics, 18(2), 287-296. doi:10.1515/COG.2007.016.

    Abstract

    While there are infinite conceivable events of material separation, those actually encoded in the conventions of a given language's verb semantics number only a few. Furthermore, there appear to be crosslinguistic parallels in the native verbal analysis of this conceptual domain. What are the operative distinctions, and why these? This article analyses a key subset of the bivalent (transitive) verbs of cutting and breaking in Lao. I present a decompositional analysis of the verbs glossed 'cut (off)', 'cut.into.with.placed.blade', 'cut.into.with.moving.blade', and 'snap', pursuing the idea that the attested combinations of sub-events have a natural logic to them. Consideration of the nature of linguistic categories, as distinct from categories in general, suggests that the attested distinctions must have ethnographic and social interactional significance, raising new lines of research for cognitive semantics.
  • Enfield, N. J., & Stivers, T. (Eds.). (2007). Person reference in interaction: Linguistic, cultural, and social perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    How do we refer to people in everyday conversation? No matter the language or culture, we must choose from a range of options: full name ('Robert Smith'), reduced name ('Bob'), description ('tall guy'), kin term ('my son') etc. Our choices reflect how we know that person in context, and allow us to take a particular perspective on them. This book brings together a team of leading linguists, sociologists and anthropologists to show that there is more to person reference than meets the eye. Drawing on video-recorded, everyday interactions in nine languages, it examines the fascinating ways in which we exploit person reference for social and cultural purposes, and reveals the underlying principles of person reference across cultures from the Americas to Asia to the South Pacific. Combining rich ethnographic detail with cross-linguistic generalizations.
  • Ernestus, M., Van Mulken, M., & Baayen, R. H. (2007). Ridders en heiligen in tijd en ruimte: Moderne stylometrische technieken toegepast op Oud-Franse teksten. Taal en Tongval, 58, 1-83.

    Abstract

    This article shows that Old-French literary texts differ systematically in their relative frequencies of syntactic constructions. These frequencies reflect differences in register (poetry versus prose), region (Picardy, Champagne, and Esatern France), time period (until 1250, 1251 – 1300, 1301 – 1350), and genre (hagiography, romance of chivalry, or other).
  • Ernestus, M., & Baayen, R. H. (2007). Paradigmatic effects in auditory word recognition: The case of alternating voice in Dutch. Language and Cognitive Processes, 22(1), 1-24. doi:10.1080/01690960500268303.

    Abstract

    Two lexical decision experiments addressed the role of paradigmatic effects in auditory word recognition. Experiment 1 showed that listeners classified a form with an incorrectly voiced final obstruent more readily as a word if the obstruent is realised as voiced in other forms of that word's morphological paradigm. Moreover, if such was the case, the exact probability of paradigmatic voicing emerged as a significant predictor of the response latencies. A greater probability of voicing correlated with longer response latencies for words correctly realised with voiceless final obstruents. A similar effect of this probability was observed in Experiment 2 for words with completely voiceless or weakly voiced (incompletely neutralised) final obstruents. These data demonstrate the relevance of paradigmatically related complex words for the processing of morphologically simple words in auditory word recognition.
  • Ernestus, M., Baayen, R. H., & Schreuder, R. (2002). The recognition of reduced word forms. Brain and Language, 81(1-3), 162-173. doi:10.1006/brln.2001.2514.

    Abstract

    This article addresses the recognition of reduced word forms, which are frequent in casual speech. We describe two experiments on Dutch showing that listeners only recognize highly reduced forms well when these forms are presented in their full context and that the probability that a listener recognizes a word form in limited context is strongly correlated with the degree of reduction of the form. Moreover, we show that the effect of degree of reduction can only partly be interpreted as the effect of the intelligibility of the acoustic signal, which is negatively correlated with degree of reduction. We discuss the consequences of our findings for models of spoken word recognition and especially for the role that storage plays in these models.
  • Essegbey, J., & Ameka, F. K. (2007). "Cut" and "break" verbs in Gbe and Sranan. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 22(1), 37-55. doi:10.1075/jpcl.22.1.04ess.

    Abstract

    This paper compares “cut” and “break” verbs in four variants of Gbe, namely Anfoe, Anlo, Fon and Ayizo, with those of Sranan. “Cut” verbs are change-of-state verbs that co-lexicalize the type of action that brings about a change, the type of instrument or instrument part, and the manner in which a change occurs. By contrast, break verbs co-lexicalize either the type of object or the type of change. It has been hypothesized that “cut”-verbs are unergative while breaks verbs are unaccusatives. For example “break” verbs participate in the causative alternation constructions but “cut” verbs don’t. We show that although there are some differences in the meanings of “cut” and break verbs across the Gbe languages, significant generalizations can be made with regard to their lexicalization patterns. By contrast, the meanings of “cut” and break verbs in Sranan are closer to those of their etymons in English and Dutch. However, despite the differences in the meanings of “cut” and “break” verbs between the Gbe languages and Sranan, the syntax of the verbs in Sranan is similar to that of the Eastern Gbe variants, namely Fon and Ayizo. We look at the implications of our findings for the relexification hypothesis. (copyright Benjamins)
  • Faller, M. (2002). The evidential and validational licensing conditions for the Cusco Quechua enclitic-mi. Belgian Journal of Linguistics, 16, 7-21. doi:10.1075/bjl.16.02fa.
  • Felser, C., & Roberts, L. (2007). Processing wh-dependencies in a second language: A cross-modal priming study. Second Language Research, 23(1), 9-36. doi:10.1177/0267658307071600.

    Abstract

    This study investigates the real-time processing of wh-dependencies by advanced Greek-speaking learners of English using a cross-modal picture priming task. Participants were asked to respond to different types of picture target presented either at structurally defined gap positions, or at pre-gap control positions, while listening to sentences containing indirect-object relative clauses. Our results indicate that the learners processed the experimental sentences differently from both adult native speakers of English and monolingual English-speaking children. Contrary to what has been found for native speakers, the learners' response pattern was not influenced by individual working memory differences. Adult second language learners differed from native speakers with a relatively high reading or listening span in that they did not show any evidence of structurally based antecedent reactivation at the point of the indirect object gap. They also differed from low-span native speakers, however, in that they showed evidence of maintained antecedent activation during the processing of the experimental sentences. Whereas the localized priming effect observed in the high-span controls is indicative of trace-based antecedent reactivation in native sentence processing, the results from the Greek-speaking learners support the hypothesis that the mental representations built during non-native language processing lack abstract linguistic structure such as movement traces.
  • Fisher, S. E., Francks, C., McCracken, J. T., McGough, J. J., Marlow, A. J., MacPhie, I. L., Newbury, D. F., Crawford, L. R., Palmer, C. G. S., Woodward, J. A., Del’Homme, M., Cantwell, D. P., Nelson, S. F., Monaco, A. P., & Smalley, S. L. (2002). A genomewide scan for loci involved in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. American Journal of Human Genetics, 70(5), 1183-1196. doi:10.1086/340112.

    Abstract

    Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common heritable disorder with a childhood onset. Molecular genetic studies of ADHD have previously focused on examining the roles of specific candidate genes, primarily those involved in dopaminergic pathways. We have performed the first systematic genomewide linkage scan for loci influencing ADHD in 126 affected sib pairs, using a ∼10-cM grid of microsatellite markers. Allele-sharing linkage methods enabled us to exclude any loci with a λs of ⩾3 from 96% of the genome and those with a λs of ⩾2.5 from 91%, indicating that there is unlikely to be a major gene involved in ADHD susceptibility in our sample. Under a strict diagnostic scheme we could exclude all screened regions of the X chromosome for a locus-specific λs of ⩾2 in brother-brother pairs, demonstrating that the excess of affected males with ADHD is probably not attributable to a major X-linked effect. Qualitative trait maximum LOD score analyses pointed to a number of chromosomal sites that may contain genetic risk factors of moderate effect. None exceeded genomewide significance thresholds, but LOD scores were >1.5 for regions on 5p12, 10q26, 12q23, and 16p13. Quantitative-trait analysis of ADHD symptom counts implicated a region on 12p13 (maximum LOD 2.6) that also yielded a LOD >1 when qualitative methods were used. A survey of regions containing 36 genes that have been proposed as candidates for ADHD indicated that 29 of these genes, including DRD4 and DAT1, could be excluded for a λs of 2. Only three of the candidates—DRD5, 5HTT, and CALCYON—coincided with sites of positive linkage identified by our screen. Two of the regions highlighted in the present study, 2q24 and 16p13, coincided with the top linkage peaks reported by a recent genome-scan study of autistic sib pairs.
  • Fisher, S. E., & DeFries, J. C. (2002). Developmental dyslexia: Genetic dissection of a complex cognitive trait. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3, 767-780. doi:10.1038/nrn936.

    Abstract

    Developmental dyslexia, a specific impairment of reading ability despite adequate intelligence and educational opportunity, is one of the most frequent childhood disorders. Since the first documented cases at the beginning of the last century, it has become increasingly apparent that the reading problems of people with dyslexia form part of a heritable neurobiological syndrome. As for most cognitive and behavioural traits, phenotypic definition is fraught with difficulties and the genetic basis is complex, making the isolation of genetic risk factors a formidable challenge. Against such a background, it is notable that several recent studies have reported the localization of genes that influence dyslexia and other language-related traits. These investigations exploit novel research approaches that are relevant to many areas of human neurogenetics.
  • Fisher, S. E., Vargha-Khadem, F., Watkins, K. E., Monaco, A. P., & Pembrey, M. E. (1998). Localisation of a gene implicated in a severe speech and language disorder. Nature Genetics, 18, 168 -170. doi:10.1038/ng0298-168.

    Abstract

    Between 2 and 5% of children who are otherwise unimpaired have significant difficulties in acquiring expressive and/or receptive language, despite adequate intelligence and opportunity. While twin studies indicate a significant role for genetic factors in developmental disorders of speech and language, the majority of families segregating such disorders show complex patterns of inheritance, and are thus not amenable for conventional linkage analysis. A rare exception is the KE family, a large three-generation pedigree in which approximately half of the members are affected with a severe speech and language disorder which appears to be transmitted as an autosomal dominant monogenic trait. This family has been widely publicised as suffering primarily from a defect in the use of grammatical suffixation rules, thus supposedly supporting the existence of genes specific to grammar. The phenotype, however, is broader in nature, with virtually every aspect of grammar and of language affected. In addition, affected members have a severe orofacial dyspraxia, and their speech is largely incomprehensible to the naive listener. We initiated a genome-wide search for linkage in the KE family and have identified a region on chromosome 7 which co-segregates with the speech and language disorder (maximum lod score = 6.62 at theta = 0.0), confirming autosomal dominant inheritance with full penetrance. Further analysis of microsatellites from within the region enabled us to fine map the locus responsible (designated SPCH1) to a 5.6-cM interval in 7q31, thus providing an important step towards its identification. Isolation of SPCH1 may offer the first insight into the molecular genetics of the developmental process that culminates in speech and language.
  • Fisher, S. E., Francks, C., Marlow, A. J., MacPhie, I. L., Newbury, D. F., Cardon, L. R., Ishikawa-Brush, Y., Richardson, A. J., Talcott, J. B., Gayán, J., Olson, R. K., Pennington, B. F., Smith, S. D., DeFries, J. C., Stein, J. F., & Monaco, A. P. (2002). Independent genome-wide scans identify a chromosome 18 quantitative-trait locus influencing dyslexia. Nature Genetics, 30(1), 86-91. doi:10.1038/ng792.

    Abstract

    Developmental dyslexia is defined as a specific and significant impairment in reading ability that cannot be explained by deficits in intelligence, learning opportunity, motivation or sensory acuity. It is one of the most frequently diagnosed disorders in childhood, representing a major educational and social problem. It is well established that dyslexia is a significantly heritable trait with a neurobiological basis. The etiological mechanisms remain elusive, however, despite being the focus of intensive multidisciplinary research. All attempts to map quantitative-trait loci (QTLs) influencing dyslexia susceptibility have targeted specific chromosomal regions, so that inferences regarding genetic etiology have been made on the basis of very limited information. Here we present the first two complete QTL-based genome-wide scans for this trait, in large samples of families from the United Kingdom and United States. Using single-point analysis, linkage to marker D18S53 was independently identified as being one of the most significant results of the genome in each scan (P< or =0.0004 for single word-reading ability in each family sample). Multipoint analysis gave increased evidence of 18p11.2 linkage for single-word reading, yielding top empirical P values of 0.00001 (UK) and 0.0004 (US). Measures related to phonological and orthographic processing also showed linkage at this locus. We replicated linkage to 18p11.2 in a third independent sample of families (from the UK), in which the strongest evidence came from a phoneme-awareness measure (most significant P value=0.00004). A combined analysis of all UK families confirmed that this newly discovered 18p QTL is probably a general risk factor for dyslexia, influencing several reading-related processes. This is the first report of QTL-based genome-wide scanning for a human cognitive trait.
  • Fisher, S. E. (2007). Molecular windows into speech and language disorders. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, 59, 130-140. doi:10.1159/000101771.

    Abstract

    Why do some children fail to acquire speech and language skills despite adequate environmental input and overtly normal neurological and anatomical development? It has been suspected for several decades, based on indirect evidence, that the human genome might hold some answers to this enigma. These suspicions have recently received dramatic confirmation with the discovery of specific genetic changes which appear sufficient to derail speech and language development. Indeed, researchers are already using information from genetic studies to aid early diagnosis and to shed light on the neural pathways that are perturbed in these inherited forms of speech and language disorder. Thus, we have entered an exciting era for dissecting the neural bases of human communication, one which takes genes and molecules as a starting point. In the current article I explain how this recent paradigm shift has occurred and describe the new vistas that have opened up. I demonstrate ways of bridging the gaps between molecules, neurons and the brain, which will provide a new understanding of the aetiology of speech and language impairments.
  • FitzPatrick, I. (2007). Effects of sentence context in L2 natural speech comprehension. Nijmegen CNS, 2, 43-56.

    Abstract

    Electrophysiological studies consistently find N400 effects of semantic incongruity in non-native written language comprehension. Typically these N400 effects are later than N400 effects in native comprehension, suggesting that semantic processing in one’s second language (L2) may be delayed compared to one’s first language (L1). In this study we were firstly interested in replicating the semantic incongruity effect using natural auditory speech, which poses strong demands on the speed of processing. Secondly, we wished to investigate whether a possible delay in semantic processing might be due to bilinguals accessing lexical items from both their L1 and L2 (a more extensive lexical search). We recorded EEG from 30 Dutch-English bilinguals who listened to English sentences � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � ��� � � in which the sentence-final word was: (1) semantically fitting, (2) semantically incongruent, (3) initially congruent: semantically incongruent, but sharing initial phonemes with the most probable sentence completion within the L2, (4) semantically incongruent, but sharing initial phonemes with the L1 translation equivalent of the most probable sentence completion. We found an N400 effect in each of the semantically incongruent conditions. This N400 effect was significantly delayed to L2 words that were initially congruent with the sentence context. We found no effect of initial overlap with L1 translation equivalents. Taken together these findings firstly demonstrate that non-native listeners are sensitive to semantic incongruity in natural speech, secondly indicate that semantic integration in non-native listening can start on the basis of word initial phonemes, and finally suggest that during L2 sentence processing listeners do not access the L1 lexicon.
  • Flecken, M., & Schmiedtova, B. (2007). The expression of simultaneity in L1 Dutch. Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen, 77(1), 67-78.
  • Floyd, S. (2007). Changing times and local terms on the Rio Negro, Brazil: Amazonian ways of depolarizing epistemology, chronology and cultural Change. Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic studies, 2(2), 111-140. doi:10.1080/17442220701489548.

    Abstract

    Partway along the vast waterways of Brazil's middle Rio Negro, upstream from urban Manaus and downstream from the ethnographically famous Northwest Amazon region, is the town of Castanheiro, whose inhabitants skillfully negotiate a space between the polar extremes of 'traditional' and 'acculturated.' This paper takes an ethnographic look at the non-polarizing terms that these rural Amazonian people use for talking about cultural change. While popular and academic discourses alike have often framed cultural change in the Amazon as a linear process, Amazonian discourse provides resources for describing change as situated in shifting fields of knowledge of the social and physical environments, better capturing its non-linear complexity and ambiguity.
  • Francks, C., Fisher, S. E., MacPhie, I. L., Richardson, A. J., Marlow, A. J., Stein, J. F., & Monaco, A. P. (2002). A genomewide linkage screen for relative hand skill in sibling pairs. American Journal of Human Genetics, 70(3), 800-805. doi:10.1086/339249.

    Abstract

    Genomewide quantitative-trait locus (QTL) linkage analysis was performed using a continuous measure of relative hand skill (PegQ) in a sample of 195 reading-disabled sibling pairs from the United Kingdom. This was the first genomewide screen for any measure related to handedness. The mean PegQ in the sample was equivalent to that of normative data, and PegQ was not correlated with tests of reading ability (correlations between −0.13 and 0.05). Relative hand skill could therefore be considered normal within the sample. A QTL on chromosome 2p11.2-12 yielded strong evidence for linkage to PegQ (empirical P=.00007), and another suggestive QTL on 17p11-q23 was also identified (empirical P=.002). The 2p11.2-12 locus was further analyzed in an independent sample of 143 reading-disabled sibling pairs, and this analysis yielded an empirical P=.13. Relative hand skill therefore is probably a complex multifactorial phenotype with a heterogeneous background, but nevertheless is amenable to QTL-based gene-mapping approaches.
  • Francks, C., Fisher, S. E., Olson, R. K., Pennington, B. F., Smith, S. D., DeFries, J. C., & Monaco, A. P. (2002). Fine mapping of the chromosome 2p12-16 dyslexia susceptibility locus: Quantitative association analysis and positional candidate genes SEMA4F and OTX1. Psychiatric Genetics, 12(1), 35-41.

    Abstract

    A locus on chromosome 2p12-16 has been implicated in dyslexia susceptibility by two independent linkage studies, including our own study of 119 nuclear twin-based families, each with at least one reading-disabled child. Nonetheless, no variant of any gene has been reported to show association with dyslexia, and no consistent clinical evidence exists to identify candidate genes with any strong a priori logic. We used 21 microsatellite markers spanning 2p12-16 to refine our 1-LOD unit linkage support interval to 12cM between D2S337 and D2S286. Then, in quantitative association analysis, two microsatellites yielded P values<0.05 across a range of reading-related measures (D2S2378 and D2S2114). The exon/intron borders of two positional candidate genes within the region were characterized, and the exons were screened for polymorphisms. The genes were Semaphorin4F (SEMA4F), which encodes a protein involved in axonal growth cone guidance, and OTX1, encoding a homeodomain transcription factor involved in forebrain development. Two non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms were found in SEMA4F, each with a heterozygosity of 0.03. One intronic single nucleotide polymorphism between exons 12 and 13 of SEMA4F was tested for quantitative association, but no significant association was found. Only one single nucleotide polymorphism was found in OTX1, which was exonic but silent. Our data therefore suggest that linkage with reading disability at 2p12-16 is not caused by coding variants of SEMA4F or OTX1. Our study outlines the approach necessary for the identification of genetic variants causing dyslexia susceptibility in an epidemiological population of dyslexics.
  • Francks, C., Maegawa, S., Laurén, J., Abrahams, B. S., Velayos-Baeza, A., Medland, S. E., Colella, S., Groszer, M., McAuley, E. Z., Caffrey, T. M., Timmusk, T., Pruunsild, P., Koppel, I., Lind, P. A., Matsumoto-Itaba, N., Nicod, J., Xiong, L., Joober, R., Enard, W., Krinsky, B. and 22 moreFrancks, C., Maegawa, S., Laurén, J., Abrahams, B. S., Velayos-Baeza, A., Medland, S. E., Colella, S., Groszer, M., McAuley, E. Z., Caffrey, T. M., Timmusk, T., Pruunsild, P., Koppel, I., Lind, P. A., Matsumoto-Itaba, N., Nicod, J., Xiong, L., Joober, R., Enard, W., Krinsky, B., Nanba, E., Richardson, A. J., Riley, B. P., Martin, N. G., Strittmatter, S. M., Möller, H.-J., Rujescu, D., St Clair, D., Muglia, P., Roos, J. L., Fisher, S. E., Wade-Martins, R., Rouleau, G. A., Stein, J. F., Karayiorgou, M., Geschwind, D. H., Ragoussis, J., Kendler, K. S., Airaksinen, M. S., Oshimura, M., DeLisi, L. E., & Monaco, A. P. (2007). LRRTM1 on chromosome 2p12 is a maternally suppressed gene that is associated paternally with handedness and schizophrenia. Molecular Psychiatry, 12, 1129-1139. doi:10.1038/sj.mp.4002053.

    Abstract

    Left-right asymmetrical brain function underlies much of human cognition, behavior and emotion. Abnormalities of cerebral asymmetry are associated with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders. The molecular, developmental and evolutionary origins of human brain asymmetry are unknown. We found significant association of a haplotype upstream of the gene LRRTM1 (Leucine-rich repeat transmembrane neuronal 1) with a quantitative measure of human handedness in a set of dyslexic siblings, when the haplotype was inherited paternally (P=0.00002). While we were unable to find this effect in an epidemiological set of twin-based sibships, we did find that the same haplotype is overtransmitted paternally to individuals with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder in a study of 1002 affected families (P=0.0014). We then found direct confirmatory evidence that LRRTM1 is an imprinted gene in humans that shows a variable pattern of maternal downregulation. We also showed that LRRTM1 is expressed during the development of specific forebrain structures, and thus could influence neuronal differentiation and connectivity. This is the first potential genetic influence on human handedness to be identified, and the first putative genetic effect on variability in human brain asymmetry. LRRTM1 is a candidate gene for involvement in several common neurodevelopmental disorders, and may have played a role in human cognitive and behavioral evolution.
  • Francks, C., MacPhie, I. L., & Monaco, A. P. (2002). The genetic basis of dyslexia. The Lancet Neurology, 1(8), 483-490. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(02)00221-1.

    Abstract

    Dyslexia, a disorder of reading and spelling, is a heterogeneous neurological syndrome with a complex genetic and environmental aetiology. People with dyslexia differ in their individual profiles across a range of cognitive, physiological, and behavioural measures related to reading disability. Some or all of the subtypes of dyslexia might have partly or wholly distinct genetic causes. An understanding of the role of genetics in dyslexia could help to diagnose and treat susceptible children more effectively and rapidly than is currently possible and in ways that account for their individual disabilities. This knowledge will also give new insights into the neurobiology of reading and language cognition. Genetic linkage analysis has identified regions of the genome that might harbour inherited variants that cause reading disability. In particular, loci on chromosomes 6 and 18 have shown strong and replicable effects on reading abilities. These genomic regions contain tens or hundreds of candidate genes, and studies aimed at the identification of the specific causal genetic variants are underway.
  • Frank, S. L., Koppen, M., Noordman, L. G. M., & Vonk, W. (2007). Coherence-driven resolution of referential ambiguity: A computational model. Memory & Cognition, 35(6), 1307-1322.

    Abstract

    We present a computational model that provides a unified account of inference, coherence, and disambiguation. It simulates how the build-up of coherence in text leads to the knowledge-based resolution of referential ambiguity. Possible interpretations of an ambiguity are represented by centers of gravity in a high-dimensional space. The unresolved ambiguity forms a vector in the same space. This vector is attracted by the centers of gravity, while also being affected by context information and world knowledge. When the vector reaches one of the centers of gravity, the ambiguity is resolved to the corresponding interpretation. The model accounts for reading time and error rate data from experiments on ambiguous pronoun resolution and explains the effects of context informativeness, anaphor type, and processing depth. It shows how implicit causality can have an early effect during reading. A novel prediction is that ambiguities can remain unresolved if there is insufficient disambiguating information.

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