Publications

Displaying 1 - 32 of 32
  • Ameka, F. K., & Levinson, S. C. (Eds.). (2007). The typology and semantics of locative predication: Posturals, positionals and other beasts [Special Issue]. Linguistics, 45(5).

    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.
  • Bien, H. (2007). On the production of morphologically complex words with special attention to effects of frequency. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Brown, A. (2007). Crosslinguistic influence in first and second languages: Convergence in speech and gesture. PhD Thesis, Boston University, Boston.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

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  • Dediu, D. (2007). Non-spurious correlations between genetic and linguistic diversities in the context of human evolution. PhD Thesis, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
  • Frank, S. L. (2004). Computational modeling of discourse comprehension. PhD Thesis, Tilburg University, Tilburg.
  • Goudbeek, M. (2007). The acquisition of auditory categories. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    This doctoral dissertation investigated the learning of auditory categories by applying insights from child language learning, visual category learning and phonetic categorization by adults. The experiments in chapter 2 concern supervised learning of multidimensional non-speech categories varying in two dimensions: duration and a non speech analogue of formant frequency. In experiment 1, one dimension of variation determined category membership, variation in the other dimension was irrelevant. Listeners quickly learned to categorize according to this distinction. In experiment 2, both dimensions needed to be combined to categorize correctly. Performance was much lower, but most listeners succeeded in this task. However, in a maintenance phase without feedback or distributional information, listeners reverted to a unidimensional solution. In a maintenance phase with distributional information, listeners did use both dimensions correctly, arguing for the importance of distributional information in (auditory) category acquisition. In chapter 3, the listeners had to classify the same categories, but without feedback. In experiment 1, listeners succeeded to discover the relevant dimension of variation (and ignore the irrelevant one) without feedback. Much of this learning was lost in the maintenance phase, especially for the dimension formant frequency. With two relevant dimensions (Experiment 2), listeners were not able to learn to use both dimensions and reverted to a unidimensional solution. Chapter 4 applied the paradigms of chapter 2 and 3 to the learning of speech categories. Spanish native listeners learned Dutch vowel contrast with one relevant dimension of variation. With feedback, learning was swift, although was not well maintained without feedback or distributional information. Without feedback, Spanish listeners reverted to the dimensions best known in their native phonology, formant frequency, even when distributional information pointed to duration. The results are discussed in chapter 5. The implications for models of speech acquisition are discussed.
  • Haun, D. B. M. (2007). Cognitive cladistics and the relativity of spatial cognition. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    This thesis elaborates on a methodological approach to reliably infer cognitive preferences in an extinct evolutionary ancestor of modern humans. In attempts to understand cognitive evolution, humans have been compared to capuchin monkeys, tamarins, and chimpanzees to name but a few. But comparisons between humans and one other, maybe even distantly related primate, as interesting as they might be, will not tell us anything about an evolutionary ancestor to humans. To put it bluntly: None of the living primates, not even chimpanzees, are a human ancestor. With that in mind, we can still use a comparative approach to gain information about our evolutionary ancestors, as long as we are careful about whom we compare with whom. If a certain trait exists in all genera of a phylogenetic clade, it was most likely present in their common ancestor. The great apes are such a clade (Pongo, Gorilla, Pan and Homo). It follows that, if members of all great ape genera shared a particular cognitive preference or ability, it is most likely part of the evolutionary inheritance of the clade at least ever since their last common ancestor, and therefore also an evolutionarily old, inherited cognitive default in humans. This thesis contains studies comparing all 4 extant Hominid genera, including humans of 4 different age-groups and 2 different cultures. Results show that all great apes do indeed share some cognitive preferences, which they most likely inherited from an evolutionary ancestor. Additionally, human cognitive preferences can change away from such an inherited predisposition given ontogenetic factors, and are at least in part variably adaptable to cultural circumstance.
  • Hayano, K. (2007). Repetitional agreement and anaphorical agreement: negotiation of affiliation and disaffiliation in Japanese conversation. Master Thesis, University of California, Los Angeles.
  • Holler, J. (2004). Semantic and pragmatic aspects of representational gestures: Towards a unified model of communication in talk. PhD Thesis, University of Manchester, Manchester.
  • Jordan, F. (2007). A comparative phylogenetic approach to Austronesian cultural evolution. PhD Thesis, University College London, London.
  • Kelly, S. D., & Ozyurek, A. (Eds.). (2007). Gesture, language, and brain [Special Issue]. Brain and Language, 101(3).
  • Kemps, R. J. J. K. (2004). Morphology in auditory lexical processing: Sensitivity to fine phonetic detail and insensitivity to suffix reduction. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.59193.

    Abstract

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

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  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1983). Intonation [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (49).
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1985). Schriftlichkeit [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (59).
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (2004). Philologie auf neuen Wegen [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 136.
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1979). Sprache und Kontext [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (33).
  • Klein, W., & Von Stutterheim, C. (Eds.). (2007). Sprachliche Perspektivierung [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 145.
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1982). Zweitspracherwerb [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (45).
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (2004). Universitas [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik (LiLi), 134.
  • Kooijman, V. (2007). Continuous-speech segmentation at the beginning of language acquisition: Electrophysiological evidence. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    Word segmentation, or detecting word boundaries in continuous speech, is not an easy task. Spoken language does not contain silences to indicate word boundaries and words partly overlap due to coarticalution. Still, adults listening to their native language perceive speech as individual words. They are able to combine different distributional cues in the language, such as the statistical distribution of sounds and metrical cues, with lexical information, to efficiently detect word boundaries. Infants in the first year of life do not command these cues. However, already between seven and ten months of age, before they know word meaning, infants learn to segment words from speech. This important step in language acquisition is the topic of this dissertation. In chapter 2, the first Event Related Brain Potential (ERP) study on word segmentation in Dutch ten-month-olds is discussed. The results show that ten-month-olds can already segment words with a strong-weak stress pattern from speech and they need roughly the first half of a word to do so. Chapter 3 deals with segmentation of words beginning with a weak syllable, as a considerable number of words in Dutch do not follow the predominant strong-weak stress pattern. The results show that ten-month-olds still largely rely on the strong syllable in the language, and do not show an ERP response to the initial weak syllable. In chapter 4, seven-month-old infants' segmentation of strong-weak words was studied. An ERP response was found to strong-weak words presented in sentences. However, a behavioral response was not found in an additional Headturn Preference Procedure study. There results suggest that the ERP response is a precursor to the behavioral response that infants show at a later age.
  • Majid, A., & Bowerman, M. (Eds.). (2007). Cutting and breaking events: A crosslinguistic perspective [Special Issue]. Cognitive Linguistics, 18(2).

    Abstract

    This special issue of Cognitive Linguistics explores the linguistic encoding of events of cutting and breaking. In this article we first introduce the project on which it is based by motivating the selection of this conceptual domain, presenting the methods of data collection used by all the investigators, and characterizing the language sample. We then present a new approach to examining crosslinguistic similarities and differences in semantic categorization. Applying statistical modeling to the descriptions of cutting and breaking events elicited from speakers of all the languages, we show that although there is crosslinguistic variation in the number of distinctions made and in the placement of category boundaries, these differences take place within a strongly constrained semantic space: across languages, there is a surprising degree of consensus on the partitioning of events in this domain. In closing, we compare our statistical approach with more conventional semantic analyses, and show how an extensional semantic typological approach like the one illustrated here can help illuminate the intensional distinctions made by languages.
  • Meeuwissen, M. (2004). Producing complex spoken numerals for time and space. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.60607.

    Abstract

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

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  • Narasimhan, B., Eisenbeiss, S., & Brown, P. (Eds.). (2007). The linguistic encoding of multiple-participant events [Special Issue]. Linguistics, 45(3).

    Abstract

    This issue investigates the linguistic encoding of events with three or more participants from the perspectives of language typology and acquisition. Such “multiple-participant events” include (but are not limited to) any scenario involving at least three participants, typically encoded using transactional verbs like 'give' and 'show', placement verbs like 'put', and benefactive and applicative constructions like 'do (something for someone)', among others. There is considerable crosslinguistic and withinlanguage variation in how the participants (the Agent, Causer, Theme, Goal, Recipient, or Experiencer) and the subevents involved in multipleparticipant situations are encoded, both at the lexical and the constructional levels
  • O'Connor, L. (2004). Motion, transfer, and transformation: The grammar of change in Lowland Chontal. PhD Thesis, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara.

    Abstract

    Typologies are critical tools for linguists, but typologies, like grammars, are known to leak. This book addresses the question of typological overlap from the perspective of a single language. In Lowland Chontal of Oaxaca, a language of southern Mexico, change events are expressed with three types of predicates, and each predicate type corresponds to a different language type in the well-known typology of lexicalization patterns established by Talmy and elaborated by others. O’Connor evaluates the predictive powers of the typology by examining the consequences of each predicate type in a variety of contexts, using data from narrative discourse, stimulus response, and elicitation. This is the first de­tailed look at the lexical and grammatical resources of the verbal system in Chontal and their relation to semantics of change. The analysis of how and why Chontal speakers choose among these verbal resources to achieve particular communicative and social goals serves both as a documentation of an endangered language and a theoretical contribution towards a typology of language use.
  • Perniss, P. M. (2007). Space and iconicity in German sign language (DGS). PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.57482.

    Abstract

    This dissertation investigates the expression of spatial relationships in German Sign Language (Deutsche Gebärdensprache, DGS). The analysis focuses on linguistic expression in the spatial domain in two types of discourse: static scene description (location) and event narratives (location and motion). Its primary theoretical objectives are to characterize the structure of locative descriptions in DGS; to explain the use of frames of reference and perspective in the expression of location and motion; to clarify the interrelationship between the systems of frames of reference, signing perspective, and classifier predicates; and to characterize the interplay between iconicity principles, on the one hand, and grammatical and discourse constraints, on the other hand, in the use of these spatial devices. In more general terms, the dissertation provides a usage-based account of iconic mapping in the visual-spatial modality. The use of space in sign language expression is widely assumed to be guided by iconic principles, which are furthermore assumed to hold in the same way across sign languages. Thus, there has been little expectation of variation between sign languages in the spatial domain in the use of spatial devices. Consequently, perhaps, there has been little systematic investigation of linguistic expression in the spatial domain in individual sign languages, and less investigation of spatial language in extended signed discourse. This dissertation provides an investigation of spatial expressions in DGS by investigating the impact of different constraints on iconicity in sign language structure. The analyses have important implications for our understanding of the role of iconicity in the visual-spatial modality, the possible language-specific variation within the spatial domain in the visual-spatial modality, the structure of spatial language in both natural language modalities, and the relationship between spatial language and cognition
  • Pluymaekers, M. (2007). Affix reduction in spoken Dutch: Probabilistic effects in production and perception. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.58146.

    Abstract

    This dissertation investigates the roles of several probabilistic variables in the production and comprehension of reduced Dutch affixes. The central hypothesis is that linguistic units with a high probability of occurrence are more likely to be reduced (Jurafsky et al., 2001; Aylett & Turk, 2004). This hypothesis is tested by analyzing the acoustic realizations of affixes, which are meaning-carrying elements embedded in larger lexical units. Most of the results prove to be compatible with the main hypothesis, but some appear to run counter to its predictions. The final chapter of the thesis discusses the implications of these findings for models of speech production, models of speech perception, and probability-based accounts of reduction.
  • Rossano, F. (2004). Per una semiotica dell'interazione: Analisi del rapporto tra sguardo, corpo e parola in alcune interazione faccia a faccia. Master Thesis, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
  • Schmiedtová, B. (2004). At the same time.. The expression of simultaneity in learner varieties. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.59569.
  • Stevens, M. E. (2007). Perceptual adaptation to phonological differences between language varieties. PhD Thesis, University of Ghent, Ghent.
  • Van den Brink, D. (2004). Contextual influences on spoken-word processing: An electrophysiological approach. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.57773.

    Abstract

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

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

    Abstract

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

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