Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 142
  • Ambridge, B., Rowland, C. F., Theakston, A. L., & Twomey, K. E. (2020). Introduction. In C. F. Rowland, A. L. Theakston, B. Ambridge, & K. E. Twomey (Eds.), Current Perspectives on Child Language Acquisition: How children use their environment to learn (pp. 1-7). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/tilar.27.int.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2006). Ewe serial verb constructions in their grammatical context. In A. Y. Aikhenvald, & R. M. W. Dixon (Eds.), Serial verb constructions: A cross-linguistic typology (pp. 124-143). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2006). Elements of the grammar of space in Ewe. In S. C. Levinson, & D. P. Wilkins (Eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity (pp. 359-399). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2006). Grammars in contact in the Volta Basin (West Africa): On contact induced grammatical change in Likpe. In A. Y. Aikhenvald, & R. M. W. Dixon (Eds.), Grammars in contact: A crosslinguistic typology (pp. 114-142). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2006). Interjections. In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of language & linguistics (2nd ed., pp. 743-746). Oxford: Elsevier.
  • Ameka, F. K., & Wilkins, D. P. (2006). Interjections. In J.-O. Ostman, & J. Verschueren (Eds.), Handbook of pragmatics (pp. 1-22). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2006). Real descriptions: Reflections on native speaker and non-native speaker descriptions of a language. In F. K. Ameka, A. Dench, & N. Evans (Eds.), Catching language: The standing challenge of grammar writing (pp. 69-112). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2017). The Uselessness of the Useful: Language Standardisation and Variation in Multilingual Context. In I. Tieken-Boon van Ostade, & C. Percy (Eds.), Prescription and tradition in language: Establishing standards across the time and space (pp. 71-87). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
  • Amora, K. K., Garcia, R., & Gagarina, N. (2020). Tagalog adaptation of the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives: History, process and preliminary results. In N. Gagarina, & J. Lindgren (Eds.), New language versions of MAIN: Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives – Revised (pp. 221-233).

    Abstract

    This paper briefly presents the current situation of bilingualism in the Philippines, specifically that of Tagalog-English bilingualism. More importantly, it describes the process of adapting the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives (LITMUS-MAIN) to Tagalog, the basis of Filipino, which is the country’s national language. Finally, the results of a pilot study conducted on Tagalog-English bilingual children and adults (N=27) are presented. The results showed that Story Structure is similar across the two languages and that it develops significantly with age.
  • Bastiaansen, M. C. M., & Hagoort, P. (2006). Oscillatory neuronal dynamics during language comprehension. In C. Neuper, & W. Klimesch (Eds.), Event-related dynamics of brain oscillations (pp. 179-196). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

    Abstract

    Language comprehension involves two basic operations: the retrieval of lexical information (such as phonologic, syntactic, and semantic information) from long-term memory, and the unification of this information into a coherent representation of the overall utterance. Neuroimaging studies using hemo¬dynamic measures such as PET and fMRI have provided detailed information on which areas of the brain are involved in these language-related memory and unification operations. However, much less is known about the dynamics of the brain's language network. This chapter presents a literature review of the oscillatory neuronal dynamics of EEG and MEG data that can be observed during language comprehen¬sion tasks. From a detailed review of this (rapidly growing) literature the following picture emerges: memory retrieval operations are mostly accompanied by increased neuronal synchronization in the theta frequency range (4-7 Hz). Unification operations, in contrast, induce high-frequency neuronal synchro¬nization in the beta (12-30 Hz) and gamma (above 30 Hz) frequency bands. A desynchronization in the (upper) alpha frequency band is found for those studies that use secondary tasks, and seems to correspond with attentional processes, and with the behavioral consequences of the language comprehension process. We conclude that it is possible to capture the dynamics of the brain's language network by a careful analysis of the event-related changes in power and coherence of EEG and MEG data in a wide range of frequencies, in combination with subtle experimental manipulations in a range of language comprehension tasks. It appears then that neuronal synchrony is a mechanism by which the brain integrates the different types of information about language (such as phonological, orthographic, semantic, and syntactic infor¬mation) represented in different brain areas.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2006). ‘Synthetic’ vs. ‘analytic’ in Romance: The importance of varieties. In R. Gess, & D. Arteaga (Eds.), Historical Romance linguistics: Retrospective and perspectives (pp. 287-304). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2020). Appositive compounds in dialectal and sociolinguistic varieties of French. In M. Maiden, & S. Wolfe (Eds.), Variation and change in Gallo-Romance (pp. 326-346). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (1998). Sententiale Topics im Yukatekischen. In Z. Dietmar (Ed.), Deskriptive Grammatik und allgemeiner Sprachvergleich (pp. 55-85). Tübingen, Germany: Max-Niemeyer-Verlag.

    Files private

    Request files
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (1998). Temporale Relatoren im Hispano-Yukatekischen Sprachkontakt. In A. Koechert, & T. Stolz (Eds.), Convergencia e Individualidad - Las lenguas Mayas entre hispanización e indigenismo (pp. 195-241). Hannover, Germany: Verlag für Ethnologie.
  • Bosker, H. R. (2021). The contribution of amplitude modulations in speech to perceived charisma. In B. Weiss, J. Trouvain, M. Barkat-Defradas, & J. J. Ohala (Eds.), Voice attractiveness: Prosody, phonology and phonetics (pp. 165-181). Singapore: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-981-15-6627-1_10.

    Abstract

    Speech contains pronounced amplitude modulations in the 1–9 Hz range, correlating with the syllabic rate of speech. Recent models of speech perception propose that this rhythmic nature of speech is central to speech recognition and has beneficial effects on language processing. Here, we investigated the contribution of amplitude modulations to the subjective impression listeners have of public speakers. The speech from US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the three TV debates of 2016 was acoustically analyzed by means of modulation spectra. These indicated that Clinton’s speech had more pronounced amplitude modulations than Trump’s speech, particularly in the 1–9 Hz range. A subsequent perception experiment, with listeners rating the perceived charisma of (low-pass filtered versions of) Clinton’s and Trump’s speech, showed that more pronounced amplitude modulations (i.e., more ‘rhythmic’ speech) increased perceived charisma ratings. These outcomes highlight the important contribution of speech rhythm to charisma perception.
  • Brown, P. (2006). A sketch of the grammar of space in Tzeltal. In S. C. Levinson, & D. P. Wilkins (Eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity (pp. 230-272). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    This paper surveys the lexical and grammatical resources for talking about spatial relations in the Mayan language Tzeltal - for describing where things are located, where they are moving, and how they are distributed in space. Six basic sets of spatial vocabulary are presented: i. existential locative expressions with ay ‘exist’, ii. deictics (demonstratives, adverbs, presentationals), iii. dispositional adjectives, often in combination with (iv) and (v), iv. body part relational noun locatives, v. absolute (‘cardinal’) directions, and vi. motion verbs, directionals and auxiliaries. The first two are used in minimal locative descriptions, while the others constitute the core resources for specifying in detail the location, disposition, orientation, or motion of a Figure in relation to a Ground. We find that Tzeltal displays a relative de-emphasis on deixis and left/right asymmetry, and a detailed attention to the spatial properties of objects.
  • Brown, P. (2006). Cognitive anthropology. In C. Jourdan, & K. Tuite (Eds.), Language, culture and society: Key topics in linguistic anthropology (pp. 96-114). Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    This is an appropriate moment to review the state of the art in cognitive anthropology, construed broadly as the comparative study of human cognition in its linguistic and cultural context. In reaction to the dominance of universalism in the 1970s and '80s, there have recently been a number of reappraisals of the relation between language and cognition, and the field of cognitive anthropology is flourishing in several new directions in both America and Europe. This is partly due to a renewal and re-evaluation of approaches to the question of linguistic relativity associated with Whorf, and partly to the inspiration of modern developments in cognitive science. This review briefly sketches the history of cognitive anthropology and surveys current research on both sides of the Atlantic. The focus is on assessing current directions, considering in particular, by way of illustration, recent work in cultural models and on spatial language and cognition. The review concludes with an assessment of how cognitive anthropology could contribute directly both to the broader project of cognitive science and to the anthropological study of how cultural ideas and practices relate to structures and processes of human cognition.
  • Brown, P. (1998). Early Tzeltal verbs: Argument structure and argument representation. In E. Clark (Ed.), Proceedings of the 29th Annual Stanford Child Language Research Forum (pp. 129-140). Stanford: CSLI Publications.

    Abstract

    The surge of research activity focussing on children's acquisition of verbs (e.g., Tomasello and Merriman 1996) addresses some fundamental questions: Just how variable across languages, and across individual children, is the process of verb learning? How specific are arguments to particular verbs in early child language? How does the grammatical category 'Verb' develop? The position of Universal Grammar, that a verb category is early, contrasts with that of Tomasello (1992), Pine and Lieven and their colleagues (1996, in press), and many others, that children develop a verb category slowly, gradually building up subcategorizations of verbs around pragmatic, syntactic, and semantic properties of the language they are exposed to. On this latter view, one would expect the language which the child is learning, the cultural milieu and the nature of the interactions in which the child is engaged, to influence the process of acquiring verb argument structures. This paper explores these issues by examining the development of argument representation in the Mayan language Tzeltal, in both its lexical and verbal cross-referencing forms, and analyzing the semantic and pragmatic factors influencing the form argument representation takes. Certain facts about Tzeltal (the ergative/ absolutive marking, the semantic specificity of transitive and positional verbs) are proposed to affect the representation of arguments. The first 500 multimorpheme combinations of 3 children (aged between 1;8 and 2;4) are examined. It is argued that there is no evidence of semantically light 'pathbreaking' verbs (Ninio 1996) leading the way into word combinations. There is early productivity of cross-referencing affixes marking A, S, and O arguments (although there are systematic omissions). The paper assesses the respective contributions of three kinds of factors to these results - structural (regular morphology), semantic (verb specificity) and pragmatic (the nature of Tzeltal conversational interaction).
  • Brown, P. (1998). How and why are women more polite: Some evidence from a Mayan community. In J. Coates (Ed.), Language and gender (pp. 81-99). Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Brown, P. (2017). Politeness and impoliteness. In Y. Huang (Ed.), Oxford handbook of pragmatics (pp. 383-399). Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199697960.013.16.

    Abstract

    This article selectively reviews the literature on politeness across different disciplines—linguistics, anthropology, communications, conversation analysis, social psychology, and sociology—and critically assesses how both theoretical approaches to politeness and research on linguistic politeness phenomena have evolved over the past forty years. Major new developments include a shift from predominantly linguistic approaches to those examining politeness and impoliteness as processes that are embedded and negotiated in interactional and cultural contexts, as well as a greater focus on how both politeness and interactional confrontation and conflict fit into our developing understanding of human cooperation and universal aspects of human social interaction.

    Files private

    Request files
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (1998). Politeness, introduction to the reissue: A review of recent work. In A. Kasher (Ed.), Pragmatics: Vol. 6 Grammar, psychology and sociology (pp. 488-554). London: Routledge.

    Abstract

    This article is a reprint of chapter 1, the introduction to Brown and Levinson, 1987, Politeness: Some universals in language usage (Cambridge University Press).
  • Budwig, N., Narasimhan, B., & Srivastava, S. (2006). Interim solutions: The acquisition of early constructions in Hindi. In E. Clark, & B. Kelly (Eds.), Constructions in acquisition (pp. 163-185). Stanford: CSLI Publications.
  • Burenhult, N. (2020). Foraging and the history of languages in the Malay Peninsula. In T. Güldemann, P. McConvell, & R. Rhodes (Eds.), The language of Hunter-Gatherers (pp. 164-197). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Casillas, M., & Hilbrink, E. (2020). Communicative act development. In K. P. Schneider, & E. Ifantidou (Eds.), Developmental and Clinical Pragmatics (pp. 61-88). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

    Abstract

    How do children learn to map linguistic forms onto their intended meanings? This chapter begins with an introduction to some theoretical and analytical tools used to study communicative acts. It then turns to communicative act development in spoken and signed language acquisition, including both the early scaffolding and production of communicative acts (both non-verbal and verbal) as well as their later links to linguistic development and Theory of Mind. The chapter wraps up by linking research on communicative act development to the acquisition of conversational skills, cross-linguistic and individual differences in communicative experience during development, and human evolution. Along the way, it also poses a few open questions for future research in this domain.
  • Chen, J. (2006). The acquisition of verb compounding in Mandarin. In E. V. Clark, & B. F. Kelly (Eds.), Constructions in acquisition (pp. 111-136). Stanford: CSLI Publications.
  • Collins, J. (2017). Real and spurious correlations involving tonal languages. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Dependencies in language: On the causal ontology of linguistics systems (pp. 129-139). Berlin: Language Science Press.
  • Crago, M. B., & Allen, S. E. M. (1998). Acquiring Inuktitut. In O. L. Taylor, & L. Leonard (Eds.), Language Acquisition Across North America: Cross-Cultural And Cross-Linguistic Perspectives (pp. 245-279). San Diego, CA, USA: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.
  • Cutler, A. (2006). Rudolf Meringer. In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (vol. 8) (pp. 12-13). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

    Abstract

    Rudolf Meringer (1859–1931), Indo-European philologist, published two collections of slips of the tongue, annotated and interpreted. From 1909, he was the founding editor of the cultural morphology movement's journal Wörter und Sachen. Meringer was the first to note the linguistic significance of speech errors, and his interpretations have stood the test of time. This work, rather than his mainstream philological research, has proven his most lasting linguistic contribution
  • Cutler, A. (1998). Prosodic structure and word recognition. In A. D. Friederici (Ed.), Language comprehension: A biological perspective (pp. 41-70). Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Cutler, A. (2006). Van spraak naar woorden in een tweede taal. In J. Morais, & G. d'Ydewalle (Eds.), Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition (pp. 39-54). Brussels: Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten.
  • Dediu, D. (2017). From biology to language change and diversity. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Dependencies in language: On the causal ontology of linguistics systems (pp. 39-52). Berlin: Language Science Press.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2017). Brain-to-brain interfaces and the role of language in distributing agency. In N. J. Enfield, & P. Kockelman (Eds.), Distributed Agency (pp. 59-66). Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190457204.003.0007.

    Abstract

    Brain-to-brain interfaces, in which brains are physically connected without the intervention of language, promise new ways of collaboration and communication between humans. I examine the narrow view of language implicit in current conceptions of brain-to-brain interfaces and put forward a constructive alternative, stressing the role of language in organising joint agency. Two features of language stand out as crucial: its selectivity, which provides people with much-needed filters between public words and private worlds; and its negotiability, which provides people with systematic opportunities for calibrating understanding and expressing consent and dissent. Without these checks and balances, brain-to-brain interfaces run the risk of reducing people to the level of amoeba in a slime mold; with them, they may mature to become useful extensions of human agency
  • Dingemanse, M. (2017). On the margins of language: Ideophones, interjections and dependencies in linguistic theory. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Dependencies in language (pp. 195-202). Berlin: Language Science Press. doi:10.5281/zenodo.573781.

    Abstract

    Linguistic discovery is viewpoint-dependent, just like our ideas about what is marginal and what is central in language. In this essay I consider two supposed marginalia —ideophones and interjections— which provide some useful pointers for widening our field of view. Ideophones challenge us to take a fresh look at language and consider how it is that our communication system combines multiple modes of representation. Interjections challenge us to extend linguistic inquiry beyond sentence level, and remind us that language is social-interactive at core. Marginalia, then, are not the obscure, exotic phenomena that can be safely ignored: they represent opportunities for innovation and invite us to keep pushing the edges of linguistic inquiry.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2020). Recruiting assistance and collaboration: A West-African corpus study. In S. Floyd, G. Rossi, & N. J. Enfield (Eds.), Getting others to do things: A pragmatic typology of recruitments (pp. 369-241). Berlin: Language Science Press. doi:10.5281/zenodo.4018388.

    Abstract

    Doing things for and with others is one of the foundations of human social life. This chapter studies a systematic collection of 207 requests for assistance and collaboration from a video corpus of everyday conversations in Siwu, a Kwa language of Ghana. A range of social action formats and semiotic resources reveals how language is adapted to the interactional challenges posed by recruiting assistance. While many of the formats bear a language-specific signature, their sequential and interactional properties show important commonalities across languages. Two tentative findings are put forward for further cross-linguistic examination: a “rule of three” that may play a role in the organisation of successive response pursuits, and a striking commonality in animal-oriented recruitments across languages that may be explained by convergent cultural evolution. The Siwu recruitment system emerges as one instance of a sophisticated machinery for organising collaborative action that transcends language and culture.
  • Drude, S. (2006). On the position of the Awetí language in the Tupí family. In W. Dietrich, & H. Symeonidis (Eds.), Guarani y "Maweti-Tupi-Guarani. Estudios historicos y descriptivos sobre una familia lingüistica de America del Sur (pp. 11-45). Berlin: LIT Verlag.

    Abstract

    Conclusion In this study we have examined the evidence for the exact genetic position of the Awetí language in the large Tupí family, especially evidence for an internal classification of the larger branch of Tupí called “Mawetí-Guaraní” which comprises the Tupí-Guaraní family, Awetí and Sateré-Mawé. As it turns out, we did not find any clear example of an uncommon sound change which would have happened after the separation of the antecessor of one branch but before the split between the other two. There is some just probability that Awetí belongs somewhat closer to Tupí-Guaraní within Mawetí-Guaraní (configuration A in Table 1), but we did not find any conclusive evidence. All we have are some weak indications the majority of which, however, point in this direction: • a higher number of cognates found between Awetí and proto-Tupí-Guarani; • lexicostatistic results (number of cognates in a 100-item-word-list proposed by Swadesh); • loss of long vowels in Awetí and Tupí-Guaraní, but not in Sateré-Mawé; • some sound changes suggest that in the development to Awetí and to proto-Tupí-Guaraní velar segments changes to dental segments (cf. the discussion of the correspondence set j : t : w); • possibly some of the correspondence sets given in Table 20. We consider it to be too soon to conclude that there is a branch Awetí + Tupí-Guaraní of Mawetí-Guaraní, opposed to Sateré-Mawé, but if there is any grouping, this hypothesis is most promising. 29
  • Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I., Senft, B., & Senft, G. (1998). Trobriander (Ost-Neuguinea, Trobriand Inseln, Kaile'una) Fadenspiele 'ninikula'. In Ethnologie - Humanethologische Begleitpublikationen von I. Eibl-Eibesfeldt und Mitarbeitern. Sammelband I, 1985-1987. Göttingen: Institut für den Wissenschaftlichen Film.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2006). Heterosemy and the grammar-lexicon trade-off. In F. Ameka, A. Dench, & N. Evans (Eds.), Catching Language (pp. 297-320). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2006). Laos - language situation. In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (vol. 6) (pp. 698-700). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

    Abstract

    Laos features a high level of linguistic diversity, with more than 70 languages from four different major language families (Tai, Mon-Khmer, Hmong-Mien, Tibeto-Burman). Mon-Khmer languages were spoken in Laos earlier than other languages, with incoming migrations by Tai speakers (c. 2000 years ago) and Hmong-Mien speakers (c. 200 years ago). There is widespread language contact and multilingualism in upland minority communities, while lowland-dwelling Lao speakers are largely monolingual. Lao is the official national language. Most minority languages are endangered, with a few exceptions (notably Hmong and Kmhmu). There has been relatively little linguistic research on languages of Laos, due to problems of both infrastructure and administration.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2017). Language in the Mainland Southeast Asia Area. In R. Hickey (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Areal Linguistics (pp. 677-702). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781107279872.026.
  • Ernestus, M., & Baayen, R. H. (2006). The functionality of incomplete neutralization in Dutch: The case of past-tense formation. In L. Goldstein, D. Whalen, & C. Best (Eds.), Laboratory Phonology 8 (pp. 27-49). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Fisher, V. (2017). Dance as Embodied Analogy: Designing an Empirical Research Study. In M. Van Delft, J. Voets, Z. Gündüz, H. Koolen, & L. Wijers (Eds.), Danswetenschap in Nederland. Utrecht: Vereniging voor Dansonderzoek (VDO).
  • Fisher, S. E. (2006). How can animal studies help to uncover the roles of genes implicated in human speech and language disorders? In G. S. Fisch, & J. Flint (Eds.), Transgenic and knockout models of neuropsychiatric disorders (pp. 127-149). Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.

    Abstract

    The mysterious human propensity for acquiring speech and language has fascinated scientists for decades. A substantial body of evidence suggests that this capacity is rooted in aspects of neurodevelopment that are specified at the genomic level. Researchers have begun to identify genetic factors that increase susceptibility to developmental disorders of speech and language, thereby offering the first molecular entry points into neuronal mechanisms underlying human vocal communication. The identification of genetic variants influencing language acquisition facilitates the analysis of animal models in which the corresponding orthologs are disrupted. At face value, the situation raises aperplexing question: if speech and language are uniquely human, can any relevant insights be gained from investigations of gene function in other species? This chapter addresses the question using the example of FOXP2, a gene implicated in a severe monogenic speech and language disorder. FOXP2 encodes a transcription factor that is highly conserved in vertebrate species, both in terms of protein sequence and expression patterns. Current data suggest that an earlier version of this gene, present in the common ancestor of humans, rodents, and birds, was already involved in establishing neuronal circuits underlying sensory-motor integration and learning of complex motor sequences. This may have represented one of the factors providing a permissive neural environment for subsequent evolution of vocal learning. Thus, dissection of neuromolecular pathways regulated by Foxp2 in nonlinguistic species is a necessary prerequisite for understanding the role of the human version of the gene in speech and language.
  • Fitz, H. (2006). Church's thesis and physical computation. In A. Olszewski, J. Wolenski, & R. Janusz (Eds.), Church's Thesis after 70 years (pp. 175-219). Frankfurt a. M: Ontos Verlag.
  • Floyd, S. (2017). Requesting as a means for negotiating distributed agency. In N. J. Enfield, & P. Kockelman (Eds.), Distributed Agency (pp. 67-78). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Fox, E. (2020). Literary Jerry and justice. In M. E. Poulsen (Ed.), The Jerome Bruner Library: From New York to Nijmegen. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Frost, R., & Monaghan, P. (2020). Insights from studying statistical learning. In C. F. Rowland, A. L. Theakston, B. Ambridge, & K. E. Twomey (Eds.), Current Perspectives on Child Language Acquisition: How children use their environment to learn (pp. 65-89). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/tilar.27.03fro.

    Abstract

    Acquiring language is notoriously complex, yet for the majority of children this feat is accomplished with remarkable ease. Usage-based accounts of language acquisition suggest that this success can be largely attributed to the wealth of experience with language that children accumulate over the course of language acquisition. One field of research that is heavily underpinned by this principle of experience is statistical learning, which posits that learners can perform powerful computations over the distribution of information in a given input, which can help them to discern precisely how that input is structured, and how it operates. A growing body of work brings this notion to bear in the field of language acquisition, due to a developing understanding of the richness of the statistical information contained in speech. In this chapter we discuss the role that statistical learning plays in language acquisition, emphasising the importance of both the distribution of information within language, and the situation in which language is being learnt. First, we address the types of statistical learning that apply to a range of language learning tasks, asking whether the statistical processes purported to support language learning are the same or distinct across different tasks in language acquisition. Second, we expand the perspective on what counts as environmental input, by determining how statistical learning operates over the situated learning environment, and not just sequences of sounds in utterances. Finally, we address the role of variability in children’s input, and examine how statistical learning can accommodate (and perhaps even exploit) this during language acquisition.
  • Frost, R. L. A., & Casillas, M. (2021). Investigating statistical learning of nonadjacent dependencies: Running statistical learning tasks in non-WEIRD populations. In SAGE Research Methods Cases. doi:10.4135/9781529759181.

    Abstract

    Language acquisition is complex. However, one thing that has been suggested to help learning is the way that information is distributed throughout language; co-occurrences among particular items (e.g., syllables and words) have been shown to help learners discover the words that a language contains and figure out how those words are used. Humans’ ability to draw on this information—“statistical learning”—has been demonstrated across a broad range of studies. However, evidence from non-WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) societies is critically lacking, which limits theorizing on the universality of this skill. We extended work on statistical language learning to a new, non-WEIRD linguistic population: speakers of Yélî Dnye, who live on a remote island off mainland Papua New Guinea (Rossel Island). We performed a replication of an existing statistical learning study, training adults on an artificial language with statistically defined words, then examining what they had learnt using a two-alternative forced-choice test. Crucially, we implemented several key amendments to the original study to ensure the replication was suitable for remote field-site testing with speakers of Yélî Dnye. We made critical changes to the stimuli and materials (to test speakers of Yélî Dnye, rather than English), the instructions (we re-worked these significantly, and added practice tasks to optimize participants’ understanding), and the study format (shifting from a lab-based to a portable tablet-based setup). We discuss the requirement for acute sensitivity to linguistic, cultural, and environmental factors when adapting studies to test new populations.
  • Furman, R., & Ozyurek, A. (2006). The use of discourse markers in adult and child Turkish oral narratives: Şey, yani and işte. In S. Yagcioglu, & A. Dem Deger (Eds.), Advances in Turkish linguistics (pp. 467-480). Izmir: Dokuz Eylul University Press.
  • Goudbeek, M., Smits, R., Cutler, A., & Swingley, D. (2017). Auditory and phonetic category formation. In H. Cohen, & C. Lefebvre (Eds.), Handbook of categorization in cognitive science (2nd revised ed.) (pp. 687-708). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Güldemann, T., & Hammarström, H. (2020). Geographical axis effects in large-scale linguistic distributions. In M. Crevels, & P. Muysken (Eds.), Language Dispersal, Diversification, and Contact. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hagoort, P. (2017). It is the facts, stupid. In J. Brockman, F. Van der Wa, & H. Corver (Eds.), Wetenschappelijke parels: het belangrijkste wetenschappelijke nieuws volgens 193 'briljante geesten'. Amsterdam: Maven Press.
  • Hagoort, P. (2006). On Broca, brain and binding. In Y. Grodzinsky, & K. Amunts (Eds.), Broca's region (pp. 240-251). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hagoort, P. (2006). Het zwarte gat tussen brein en bewustzijn. In J. Janssen, & J. Van Vugt (Eds.), Brein en bewustzijn: Gedachtensprongen tussen hersenen en mensbeeld (pp. 9-24). Damon: Nijmegen.
  • Hagoort, P. (2020). Taal. In O. Van den Heuvel, Y. Van der Werf, B. Schmand, & B. Sabbe (Eds.), Leerboek neurowetenschappen voor de klinische psychiatrie (pp. 234-239). Amsterdam: Boom Uitgevers.
  • Hagoort, P. (2017). The neural basis for primary and acquired language skills. In E. Segers, & P. Van den Broek (Eds.), Developmental Perspectives in Written Language and Literacy: In honor of Ludo Verhoeven (pp. 17-28). Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi:10.1075/z.206.02hag.

    Abstract

    Reading is a cultural invention that needs to recruit cortical infrastructure that was not designed for it (cultural recycling of cortical maps). In the case of reading both visual cortex and networks for speech processing are recruited. Here I discuss current views on the neurobiological underpinnings of spoken language that deviate in a number of ways from the classical Wernicke-Lichtheim-Geschwind model. More areas than Broca’s and Wernicke’s region are involved in language. Moreover, a division along the axis of language production and language comprehension does not seem to be warranted. Instead, for central aspects of language processing neural infrastructure is shared between production and comprehension. Arguments are presented in favor of a dynamic network view, in which the functionality of a region is co-determined by the network of regions in which it is embedded at particular moments in time. Finally, core regions of language processing need to interact with other networks (e.g. the attentional networks and the ToM network) to establish full functionality of language and communication. The consequences of this architecture for reading are discussed.
  • Hagoort, P. (1998). The shadows of lexical meaning in patients with semantic impairments. In B. Stemmer, & H. Whitaker (Eds.), Handbook of neurolinguistics (pp. 235-248). New York: Academic Press.
  • Holler, J., & Bavelas, J. (2017). Multi-modal communication of common ground: A review of social functions. In R. B. Church, M. W. Alibali, & S. D. Kelly (Eds.), Why gesture? How the hands function in speaking, thinking and communicating (pp. 213-240). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    Until recently, the literature on common ground depicted its influence as a purely verbal phenomenon. We review current research on how common ground influences gesture. With informative exceptions, most experiments found that speakers used fewer gestures as well as fewer words in common ground contexts; i.e., the gesture/word ratio did not change. Common ground often led to more poorly articulated gestures, which parallels its effect on words. These findings support the principle of recipient design as well as more specific social functions such as grounding, the given-new contract, and Grice’s maxims. However, conceptual pacts or linking old with new information may maintain the original form. All together, these findings implicate gesture-speech ensembles rather than isolated effects on gestures alone.
  • Jordens, P. (1998). Defaultformen des Präteritums. Zum Erwerb der Vergangenheitsmorphologie im Niederlänidischen. In H. Wegener (Ed.), Eine zweite Sprache lernen (pp. 61-88). Tübingen, Germany: Verlag Gunter Narr.
  • Jordens, P., & Dimroth, C. (2006). Finiteness in children and adults learning Dutch. In N. Gagarina, & I. Gülzow (Eds.), The acquisition of verbs and their grammar: The effect of particular languages (pp. 173-200). Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Jordens, P. (2006). Inversion as an artifact: The acquisition of topicalization in child L1- and adult L2-Dutch. In S. H. Foster-Cohen, M. Medved Krajnovic, & J. Mihaljevic Djigunovic (Eds.), EUROSLA Yearbook 6 (pp. 101-120).
  • Kastens, K. (2020). The Jerome Bruner Library treasure. In M. E. Poulsen (Ed.), The Jerome Bruner Library: From New York to Nijmegen (pp. 29-34). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Kempen, G., & Harbusch, K. (2017). Frequential test of (S)OV as unmarked word order in Dutch and German clauses: A serendipitous corpus-linguistic experiment. In H. Reckman, L. L. S. Cheng, M. Hijzelendoorn, & R. Sybesma (Eds.), Crossroads semantics: Computation, experiment and grammar (pp. 107-123). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    In a paper entitled “Against markedness (and what to replace it with)”, Haspelmath argues “that the term ‘markedness’ is superfluous”, and that frequency asymmetries often explain structural (un)markedness asymmetries (Haspelmath 2006). We investigate whether this argument applies to Object and Verb orders in main (VO, marked) and subordinate (OV, unmarked) clauses of spoken and written German and Dutch, using English (without VO/OV alternation) as control. Frequency counts from six treebanks (three languages, two output modalities) do not support Haspelmath’s proposal. However, they reveal an unexpected phenomenon, most prominently in spoken Dutch and German: a small set of extremely high-frequent finite verbs with unspecific meanings populates main clauses much more densely than subordinate clauses. We suggest these verbs accelerate the start-up of grammatical encoding, thus facilitating sentence-initial output fluency
  • Kempen, G. (1998). Sentence parsing. In A. D. Friederici (Ed.), Language comprehension: A biological perspective (pp. 213-228). Berlin: Springer.
  • Kidd, E., Bigood, A., Donnelly, S., Durrant, S., Peter, M. S., & Rowland, C. F. (2020). Individual differences in first language acquisition and their theoretical implications. In C. F. Rowland, A. L. Theakston, B. Ambridge, & K. E. Twomey (Eds.), Current Perspectives on Child Language Acquisition: How children use their environment to learn (pp. 189-219). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/tilar.27.09kid.

    Abstract

    Much of Lieven’s pioneering work has helped move the study of individual differences to the centre of child language research. The goal of the present chapter is to illustrate how the study of individual differences provides crucial insights into the language acquisition process. In part one, we summarise some of the evidence showing how pervasive individual differences are across the whole of the language system; from gestures to morphosyntax. In part two, we describe three causal factors implicated in explaining individual differences, which, we argue, must be built into any theory of language acquisition (intrinsic differences in the neurocognitive learning mechanisms, the child’s communicative environment, and developmental cascades in which each new linguistic skill that the child has to acquire depends critically on the prior acquisition of foundational abilities). In part three, we present an example study on the role of the speed of linguistic processing on vocabulary development, which illustrates our approach to individual differences. The results show evidence of a changing relationship between lexical processing speed and vocabulary over developmental time, perhaps as a result of the changing nature of the structure of the lexicon. The study thus highlights the benefits of an individual differences approach in building, testing, and constraining theories of language acquisition.
  • Kidd, E. (2006). The acquisition of complement clause constructions. In E. V. Clark, & B. F. Kelly (Eds.), Constructions in acquisition (pp. 311-332). Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information.
  • Klamer, M., Trilsbeek, P., Hoogervorst, T., & Haskett, C. (2017). Creating a Language Archive of Insular South East Asia and West New Guinea. In J. Odijk, & A. Van Hessen (Eds.), CLARIN in the Low Countries (pp. 113-121). London: Ubiquity Press. doi:10.5334/bbi.10.

    Abstract

    The geographical region of Insular South East Asia and New Guinea is well-known as an area of mega-biodiversity. Less well-known is the extreme linguistic diversity in this area: over a quarter of the world’s 6,000 languages are spoken here. As small minority languages, most of them will cease to be spoken in the coming few generations. The project described here ensures the preservation of unique records of languages and the cultures encapsulated by them in the region. The language resources were gathered by twenty linguists at, or in collaboration with, Dutch universities over the last 40 years, and were compiled and archived in collaboration with The Language Archive (TLA) at the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen. The resulting archive constitutes a collection ofmultimediamaterials and written documents from 48 languages in Insular South East Asia and West New Guinea. At TLA, the data was archived according to state-of-the-art standards (TLA holds the Data Seal of Approval): the component metadata infrastructure CMDI was used; all metadata categories as well as relevant units of annotation were linked to the ISO data category registry ISOcat. This guaranteed proper integration of the language resources into the CLARIN framework. Through the archive, future speaker communities and researchers will be able to extensively search thematerials for answers to their own questions, even if they do not themselves know the language, and even if the language dies.
  • Klein, W. (1998). Assertion and finiteness. In N. Dittmar, & Z. Penner (Eds.), Issues in the theory of language acquisition: Essays in honor of Jürgen Weissenborn (pp. 225-245). Bern: Peter Lang.
  • Klein, W. (1998). Ein Blick zurück auf die Varietätengrammatik. In U. Ammon, K. Mattheier, & P. Nelde (Eds.), Sociolinguistica: Internationales Jahrbuch für europäische Soziolinguistik (pp. 22-38). Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  • Klein, W. (2006). On finiteness. In V. Van Geenhoven (Ed.), Semantics in acquisition (pp. 245-272). Dordrecht: Springer.

    Abstract

    The distinction between finite and non-finite verb forms is well-established but not particularly well-defined. It cannot just be a matter of verb morphology, because it is also made when there is hardly any morphological difference: by far most English verb forms can be finite as well as non-finite. More importantly, many structural phenomena are clearly associated with the presence or absence of finiteness, a fact which is clearly reflected in the early stages of first and second language acquisition. In syntax, these include basic word order rules, gapping, the licensing of a grammatical subject and the licensing of expletives. In semantics, the specific interpretation of indefinite noun phrases is crucially linked to the presence of a finite element. These phenomena are surveyed, and it is argued that finiteness (a) links the descriptive content of the sentence (the 'sentence basis') to its topic component (in particular, to its topic time), and (b) it confines the illocutionary force to that topic component. In a declarative main clause, for example, the assertion is confined to a particular time, the topic time. It is shown that most of the syntactic and semantic effects connected to finiteness naturally follow from this assumption.
  • Klein, W., & Vater, H. (1998). The perfect in English and German. In L. Kulikov, & H. Vater (Eds.), Typology of verbal categories: Papers presented to Vladimir Nedjalkov on the occasion of his 70th birthday (pp. 215-235). Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  • Kopecka, A. (2006). The semantic structure of motion verbs in French: Typological perspectives. In M. Hickmann, & Roberts S. (Eds.), Space in languages: Linguistic systems and cognitive categories (pp. 83-102). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Kuijpers, C. T., Coolen, R., Houston, D., & Cutler, A. (1998). Using the head-turning technique to explore cross-linguistic performance differences. In C. Rovee-Collier, L. Lipsitt, & H. Hayne (Eds.), Advances in infancy research: Vol. 12 (pp. 205-220). Stamford: Ablex.
  • Levelt, W. J. M. (1962). Motion breaking and the perception of causality. In A. Michotte (Ed.), Causalité, permanence et réalité phénoménales: Etudes de psychologie expérimentale (pp. 244-258). Louvain: Publications Universitaires.
  • Levelt, W. J. M. (2020). The alpha and omega of Jerome Bruner's contributions to the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. In M. E. Poulsen (Ed.), The Jerome Bruner Library: From New York to Nijmegen (pp. 11-18). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

    Abstract

    Presentation of the official opening of the Jerome Bruner Library, January 8th, 2020
  • Levinson, S. C. (1998). Deixis. In J. L. Mey (Ed.), Concise encyclopedia of pragmatics (pp. 200-204). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2006). Introduction: The evolution of culture in a microcosm. In S. C. Levinson, & P. Jaisson (Eds.), Evolution and culture: A Fyssen Foundation Symposium (pp. 1-41). Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2017). Living with Manny's dangerous idea. In G. Raymond, G. H. Lerner, & J. Heritage (Eds.), Enabling human conduct: Studies of talk-in-interaction in honor of Emanuel A. Schegloff (pp. 327-349). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Levinson, S. C. (1998). Minimization and conversational inference. In A. Kasher (Ed.), Pragmatics: Vol. 4 Presupposition, implicature and indirect speech acts (pp. 545-612). London: Routledge.
  • Levinson, S. C., & Wilkins, D. P. (2006). Patterns in the data: Towards a semantic typology of spatial description. In S. C. Levinson, & D. P. Wilkins (Eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity (pp. 512-552). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2017). Speech acts. In Y. Huang (Ed.), Oxford handbook of pragmatics (pp. 199-216). Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199697960.013.22.

    Abstract

    The essential insight of speech act theory was that when we use language, we perform actions—in a more modern parlance, core language use in interaction is a form of joint action. Over the last thirty years, speech acts have been relatively neglected in linguistic pragmatics, although important work has been done especially in conversation analysis. Here we review the core issues—the identifying characteristics, the degree of universality, the problem of multiple functions, and the puzzle of speech act recognition. Special attention is drawn to the role of conversation structure, probabilistic linguistic cues, and plan or sequence inference in speech act recognition, and to the centrality of deep recursive structures in sequences of speech acts in conversation

    Files private

    Request files
  • Levinson, S. C., & Wilkins, D. P. (2006). The background to the study of the language of space. In S. C. Levinson, & D. P. Wilkins (Eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity (pp. 1-23). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2006). The language of space in Yélî Dnye. In S. C. Levinson, & D. P. Wilkins (Eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity (pp. 157-203). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Liszkowski, U. (2006). Infant pointing at twelve months: Communicative goals, motives, and social-cognitive abilities. In N. J. Enfield, & S. C. Levinson (Eds.), Roots of human sociality: culture, cognition and interaction (pp. 153-178). New York: Berg.
  • Majid, A., & Enfield, N. J. (2017). Body. In H. Burkhardt, J. Seibt, G. Imaguire, & S. Gerogiorgakis (Eds.), Handbook of mereology (pp. 100-103). Munich: Philosophia.
  • Majid, A., Manko, P., & De Valk, J. (2017). Language of the senses. In S. Dekker (Ed.), Scientific breakthroughs in the classroom! (pp. 40-76). Nijmegen: Science Education Hub Radboud University.

    Abstract

    The project that we describe in this chapter has the theme ‘Language of the senses’. This theme is based on the research of Asifa Majid and her team regarding the influence of language and culture on sensory perception. The chapter consists of two sections. Section 2.1 describes how different sensory perceptions are spoken of in different languages. Teachers can use this section as substantive preparation before they launch this theme in the classroom. Section 2.2 describes how teachers can handle this theme in accordance with the seven phases of inquiry-based learning. Chapter 1, in which the general guideline of the seven phases is described, forms the basis for this. We therefore recommend the use of chapter 1 as the starting point for the execution of a project in the classroom. This chapter provides the thematic additions.

    Additional information

    Materials Language of the senses
  • Majid, A., Manko, P., & de Valk, J. (2017). Taal der Zintuigen. In S. Dekker, & J. Van Baren-Nawrocka (Eds.), Wetenschappelijke doorbraken de klas in! Molecuulbotsingen, Stress en Taal der Zintuigen (pp. 128-166). Nijmegen: Wetenschapsknooppunt Radboud Universiteit.

    Abstract

    Taal der zintuigen gaat over de invloed van taal en cultuur op zintuiglijke waarnemingen. Hoe omschrijf je wat je ziet, voelt, proeft of ruikt? In sommige culturen zijn er veel verschillende woorden voor kleur, in andere culturen juist weer heel weinig. Worden we geboren met deze verschillende kleurgroepen? En bepaalt hoe je ergens over praat ook wat je waarneemt?
  • McDonough, L., Choi, S., Bowerman, M., & Mandler, J. M. (1998). The use of preferential looking as a measure of semantic development. In C. Rovee-Collier, L. P. Lipsitt, & H. Hayne (Eds.), Advances in Infancy Research. Volume 12. (pp. 336-354). Stamford, CT: Ablex Publishing.
  • McQueen, J. M., & Cutler, A. (1998). Morphology in word recognition. In A. M. Zwicky, & A. Spencer (Eds.), The handbook of morphology (pp. 406-427). Oxford: Blackwell.
  • McQueen, J. M., & Dilley, L. C. (2020). Prosody and spoken-word recognition. In C. Gussenhoven, & A. Chen (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of language prosody (pp. 509-521). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Abstract

    This chapter outlines a Bayesian model of spoken-word recognition and reviews how prosody is part of that model. The review focuses on the information that assists the lis­ tener in recognizing the prosodic structure of an utterance and on how spoken-word recognition is also constrained by prior knowledge about prosodic structure. Recognition is argued to be a process of perceptual inference that ensures that listening is robust to variability in the speech signal. In essence, the listener makes inferences about the seg­ mental content of each utterance, about its prosodic structure (simultaneously at differ­ ent levels in the prosodic hierarchy), and about the words it contains, and uses these in­ ferences to form an utterance interpretation. Four characteristics of the proposed prosody-enriched recognition model are discussed: parallel uptake of different informa­ tion types, high contextual dependency, adaptive processing, and phonological abstrac­ tion. The next steps that should be taken to develop the model are also discussed.
  • Misersky, J., & Redl, T. (2020). A psycholinguistic view on stereotypical and grammatical gender: The effects and remedies. In C. D. J. Bulten, C. F. Perquin-Deelen, M. H. Sinninghe Damsté, & K. J. Bakker (Eds.), Diversiteit. Een multidisciplinaire terreinverkenning (pp. 237-255). Deventer: Wolters Kluwer.
  • Mitterer, H., & Cutler, A. (2006). Speech perception. In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (vol. 11) (pp. 770-782). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

    Abstract

    The goal of speech perception is understanding a speaker's message. To achieve this, listeners must recognize the words that comprise a spoken utterance. This in turn implies distinguishing these words from other minimally different words (e.g., word from bird, etc.), and this involves making phonemic distinctions. The article summarizes research on the perception of phonemic distinctions, on how listeners cope with the continuity and variability of speech signals, and on how phonemic information is mapped onto the representations of words. Particular attention is paid to theories of speech perception and word recognition.
  • Noordman, L. G., & Vonk, W. (1998). Discourse comprehension. In A. D. Friederici (Ed.), Language comprehension: a biological perspective (pp. 229-262). Berlin: Springer.

    Abstract

    The human language processor is conceived as a system that consists of several interrelated subsystems. Each subsystem performs a specific task in the complex process of language comprehension and production. A subsystem receives a particular input, performs certain specific operations on this input and yields a particular output. The subsystems can be characterized in terms of the transformations that relate the input representations to the output representations. An important issue in describing the language processing system is to identify the subsystems and to specify the relations between the subsystems. These relations can be conceived in two different ways. In one conception the subsystems are autonomous. They are related to each other only by the input-output channels. The operations in one subsystem are not affected by another system. The subsystems are modular, that is they are independent. In the other conception, the different subsystems influence each other. A subsystem affects the processes in another subsystem. In this conception there is an interaction between the subsystems.
  • O'Connor, L. (2006). Sobre los predicados complejos en el Chontal de la baja. In A. Oseguera (Ed.), Historia y etnografía entre los Chontales de Oaxaca (pp. 119-161). Oaxaca: Instituto Nacional de Antroplogía e Historia.
  • O'Meara, C., & Majid, A. (2017). El léxico olfativo en la lengua seri. In A. L. M. D. Ruiz, & A. Z. Pérez (Eds.), La Dimensión Sensorial de la Cultura: Diez contribuciones al estudio de los sentidos en México. (pp. 101-118). Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana.
  • Ozyurek, A. (2017). Function and processing of gesture in the context of language. In R. B. Church, M. W. Alibali, & S. D. Kelly (Eds.), Why gesture? How the hands function in speaking, thinking and communicating (pp. 39-58). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.

    Abstract

    Most research focuses function of gesture independent of its link to the speech it accompanies and the coexpressive functions it has together with speech. This chapter instead approaches gesture in relation to its communicative function in relation to speech, and demonstrates how it is shaped by the linguistic encoding of a speaker’s message. Drawing on crosslinguistic research with adults and children as well as bilinguals on iconic/pointing gesture production it shows that the specific language speakers use modulates the rate and the shape of the iconic gesture production of the same events. The findings challenge the claims aiming to understand gesture’s function for “thinking only” in adults and during development.
  • Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A. (2006). Characteristics of illiterate and literate cognitive processing: Implications of brain- behavior co-constructivism. In P. B. Baltes, P. Reuter-Lorenz, & F. Rösler (Eds.), Lifespan development and the brain: The perspective of biocultural co-constructivism (pp. 279-305). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    Literacy and education represent essential aspects of contemporary society and subserve important aspects of socialization and cultural transmission. The study of illiterate subjects represents one approach to investigate the interactions between neurobiological and cultural factors in cognitive development, individual learning, and their influence on the functional organization of the brain. In this chapter we review some recent cognitive, neuroanatomic, and functional neuroimaging results indicating that formal education influences important aspects of the human brain. Taken together this provides strong support for the idea that the brain is modulated by literacy and formal education, which in turn change the brains capacity to interact with its environment, including the individual's contemporary culture. In other words, the individual is able to participate in, interact with, and actively contribute to the process of cultural transmission in new ways through acquired cognitive skills.
  • Poletiek, F. H. (2006). Natural sampling of stimuli in (artificial) grammar learning. In K. Fiedler, & P. Juslin (Eds.), Information sampling and adaptive cognition (pp. 440-455). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Rietveld, T., & Chen, A. (2006). How to obtain and process perceptual judgements of intonational meaning. In S. Sudhoff, D. Lenertová, R. Meyer, S. Pappert, P. Augurzky, I. Mleinek, N. Richter, & J. Schliesser (Eds.), Methods in empirical prosody research (pp. 283-319). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Rojas-Berscia, L. M., & Shi, J. A. (2017). Hakka as spoken in Suriname. In K. Yakpo, & P. C. Muysken (Eds.), Boundaries and bridges: Language contact in multilingual ecologies (pp. 179-196). Berlin: De Gruyter.
  • Rossi, G., & Zinken, J. (2017). Social agency and grammar. In N. J. Enfield, & P. Kockelman (Eds.), Distributed agency: The sharing of intention, cause, and accountability (pp. 79-86). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Abstract

    One of the most conspicuous ways in which people distribute agency among each other is by asking another for help. Natural languages give people a range of forms to do this, the distinctions among which have consequences for how agency is distributed. Forms such as imperatives (e.g. ‘pass the salt’) and recurrent types of interrogatives (e.g. ‘can you pass the salt?’) designate another person as the doer of the action. In contrast to this, impersonal deontic statements (e.g. ‘it is necessary to get the salt’) express the need for an action without tying it to any particular individual. This can generate interactions in which the identity of the doer must be sorted out among participants, allowing us to observe the distribution of agency in vivo. The case of impersonal deontic statements demonstrates the importance of grammar as a resource for managing human action and sociality.

Share this page