Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 279
  • Aarts, E. (2009). Resisting temptation: The role of the anterior cingulate cortex in adjusting cognitive control. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2009). Access rituals in West Africa: An ethnopragmatic perspective. In G. Senft, & E. B. Basso (Eds.), Ritual communication (pp. 127-151). Oxford: Berg.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2008). Aspect and modality in Ewe: A survey. In F. K. Ameka, & M. E. Kropp Dakubu (Eds.), Aspect and modality in Kwa languages (pp. 135-194). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2008). He died old dying to be dead right: Transitivity and semantic shifts of 'die' in Ewe in crosslinguistic perspective. In M. Bowerman, & P. Brown (Eds.), Crosslinguistic perspectives on argument structure: Implications for learnability (pp. 231-254). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Abstract

    This paper examines some of the claims of the Unaccusativity hypothesis.It shows that the supposedly unaccusative ‘die’ verb in Ewe (Kwa), kú can appear as both a one-place and a two-place predicate and has three senses which do not correlate with the number of surface arguments of the verb. For instance, the same sense is involved in both a one-place construction (e.g. she died) and a two-place cognate object construction (she died a wicked death). By contrast, different senses are expressed by formally identical two-place constructions, e.g. ‘the garment die dirt’ (= the garment is dead dirty; intensity) vs., ‘he died ear (to the matter)’ (=he does not want to hear; negative desiderative). The paper explores the learnability problems posed by the non-predictability of the different senses of Ewe ‘die’ from its syntactic frame and suggests that since the meanings are indirectly related to the properties of the event participants, such as animacy, a learner must pay close attention to the properties of the verb’s participants. The paper concludes by demonstrating that the meaning shifts observed in Ewe are also attested in other typologically and genetically unrelated languages such as Japanese, Arrernte (Australian), Oluta (Mixean), Dutch and English.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2007). Grammatical borrowing in Likpe (Sɛkpɛlé). In Y. Matras, & J. Sakel (Eds.), Grammatical borrowing in cross-linguistic perspective (pp. 107-122). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Ameka, F. K., & Kropp Dakubu, M. E. (2008). Introduction. In F. K. Ameka, & M. E. Kropp Dakubu (Eds.), Aspect and modality in Kwa languages (pp. 1-7). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2009). Likpe. In G. J. Dimmendaal (Ed.), Coding participant marking: Construction types in twelve African languages (pp. 239-280). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Ameka, F. K., & Kropp Dakubu, M. E. (2008). Imperfective constructions: Progressive and prospective in Ewe and Dangme. In F. K. Ameka, & M. E. Kropp Dakubu (Eds.), Aspect and modality in Kwa languages (pp. 215-289). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Aslin, R., Clayards, M., & Bardhan, N. P. (2008). Mechanisms of auditory reorganization during development: From sounds to words. In C. Nelson, & M. Luciana (Eds.), Handbook of developmental cognitive neuroscience (2nd, pp. 97-116). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Baayen, R. H. (2007). Storage and computation in the mental lexicon. In G. Jarema, & G. Libben (Eds.), The mental lexicon: Core perspectives (pp. 81-104). Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Baggio, G. (2009). Semantics and the electrophysiology of meaning: Tense, aspect, event structure. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Basso, E. B., & Senft, G. (2009). Introduction. In G. Senft, & E. B. Basso (Eds.), Ritual communication (pp. 1-19). Oxford: Berg.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2009). Residues as an aid in internal reconstruction. In J. E. Rasmussen, & T. Olander (Eds.), Internal reconstruction in Indo-European: Methods, results, and problems (pp. 17-31). Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2009). Strategies of definiteness in Latin: Implications for early Indo-European. In V. Bubenik, J. Hewson, & S. Rose (Eds.), Grammatical change in Indo-European languages: Papers presented at the workshop on Indo-European Linguistics at the XVIIIth International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Montreal, 2007 (pp. 71-87). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2007). The definite article in Indo-European: Emergence of a new grammatical category? In E. Stark, E. Leiss, & W. Abraham (Eds.), Nominal determination: Typology, context constraints, and historical emergence (pp. 103-139). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2009). Word order. In P. Baldi, & P. Cuzzolin (Eds.), New Perspectives on Historical Latin Syntax: Vol 1: Syntax of the Sentence (pp. 241-316). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    Files private

    Request files
  • Behne, T., Carpenter, M., Gräfenhain, M., Liebal, K., Liszkowski, U., Moll, H., Rakoczy, H., Tomasello, M., Warneken, F., & Wyman, E. (2008). Cultural learning and cultural creation. In U. Müller, J. Carpendale, N. Budwig, & B. Sokol (Eds.), Social life and social knowledge: Toward a process account of development (pp. 65-102). Hove: Psychology Press.
  • Behnke, K. (1998). The acquisition of phonetic categories in young infants: A self-organising artificial neural network approach. PhD Thesis, University of Twente, Enschede. doi:10.17617/2.2057688.
  • Bercelli, F., Rossano, F., & Viaro, M. (2008). Clients' responses to therapists' reinterpretations. In A. Peräkylä, C. Antaki, S. Vehviläinen, & I. Leudar (Eds.), Conversation analysis and psychotherapy (pp. 43-61). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bien, H. (2007). On the production of morphologically complex words with special attention to effects of frequency. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • 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.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (2008). The pitfalls of getting from here to there. In M. Bowerman, & P. Brown (Eds.), Crosslinguistic Perspectives on Argument Structure: Implications for Learnability (pp. 49-68). New York City, NY, USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Boroditsky, L., Gaby, A., & Levinson, S. C. (2008). Time in space. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 11 (pp. 52-76). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492932.

    Abstract

    How do different languages and cultures conceptualise time? This question is part of a broader set of questions about how humans come to represent and reason about abstract entities – things we cannot see or touch. For example, how do we come to represent and reason about abstract domains like justice, ideas, kinship, morality, or politics? There are two aspects of this project: (1) Time arrangement tasks to assess the way people arrange time either as temporal progressions expressed in picture cards or done using small tokens or points in space. (2) A time & space language inventory to discover and document the linguistic coding of time and its relation to space, as well as the cultural knowledge structures related to time.

    Additional information

    2008_Time_in_space_stimuli.zip
  • Boroditsky, L., Gaby, A., & Levinson, S. C. (2007). Time in space. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 10 (pp. 59-80). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.468721.

    Abstract

    This Field Manual entry has been superceded by the 2008 version: https://doi.org/10.17617/2.492932

    Files private

    Request files
  • De Bot, K., Broersma, M., & Isurin, L. (2009). Sources of triggering in code-switching. In L. Isurin, D. Winford, & K. De Bot (Eds.), Multidisciplinary approaches to code switching (pp. 103-128). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Bowerman, M. (2007). Containment, support, and beyond: Constructing topological spatial categories in first language acquisition. In M. Aurnague, M. Hickmann, & L. Vieu (Eds.), The categorization of spatial entities in language and cognition (pp. 177-203). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    Among children’s earliest spatial words are topological forms like ‘in’ and ‘on’. Although these forms name spatial relationships, they also presuppose a classification of ground objects into entities such as “containers” and “surfaces”; hence their relevance for a volume on “spatial entities”. Traditionally, researchers have assumed that semantic categories of space are universal, reflecting a human way of nonlinguistically perceiving and cognizing space. But, as this chapter discusses, spatial categories in fact differ strikingly across languages, and children begin to home in on language-specific classifications extremely early, before age two. Learners do not, it seems, draw only on purely nonlinguistic spatial concepts; they can also actively construct spatial categories on the basis of the linguistic input. Evidence is drawn primarily from research on children learning Korean vs. English.
  • Bowerman, M., & Brown, P. (2008). Introduction. In M. Bowerman, & P. Brown (Eds.), Crosslinguistic perspectives on argument structure: Implications for learnability (pp. 1-26). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Abstract

    This chapter outlines two influential "bootstrapping" proposals that draw on presumed universals of argument structure to account for young children's acquisition of grammar (semantic bootstrapping) and verb meaning (syntactic bootstrapping), discusses controversial issues raised by these proposals, and summarizes the new insights contributed to the debate by each of the chapters in this volume.
  • Bowerman, M. (2009). Introduction (Part IV: Language and cognition: Universals and typological comparisons). In J. Guo, E. Lieven, N. Budwig, S. Ervin-Tripp, K. Nakamura, & S. Ozcaliskan (Eds.), Crosslinguistic approaches to the psychology of language: Research in the tradition of Dan Isaac Slobin (pp. 443-449).
  • Bowerman, M., & Choi, S. (2007). Kształtowanie znaczeń dla języka: Zjawiska uniwersalne i charakterystyczne dla danego języka w przyswajaniu kategorii semantycznych odnoszących się do przestrzeni [Reprint]. In B. Bokus, & G. W. Shugar (Eds.), Psychologia języka dziecka (pp. 386-424). Gdansk: Wydawnictwo Psychologiczne.

    Abstract

    Reprinted from: Bowerman, M. & Choi, S. (2001). Shaping meanings for language: Universal and language specific in the acquisition of spatial semantic categories. In M. Bowerman & S.L. Levinson (Eds.), Language acquisition and conceptual development (pp. 475-511). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bowerman, M., & Choi, S. (2007). Space under construction: Language-specific spatial categorization in first language acquisition [Reprint]. In V. Evans, B. K. Bergen, & J. Zinken (Eds.), The cognitive linguistic reader (pp. 849-879). London: Equinox Publishing.

    Abstract

    Reprinted from Bowerman, M. & Choi, S. (2003). Space under construction: Language-specific spatial categorization in first language acquisition. In D. Gentner & S. Goldin-Meadow (Eds.), Language in Mind (pp. 387-427). Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Bowerman, M., & Croft, W. (2008). The acquisition of the English causative alternation. In M. Bowerman, & P. Brown (Eds.), Crosslinguistic perspectives on argument structure: Implications for learnability (pp. 279-306). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Bresnan, J., Cueni, A., Nikitina, T., & Baayen, R. H. (2007). Predicting the dative alternation. In G. Bouma, I. Kraemer, & J. Zwarts (Eds.), Cognitive foundations of interpretation (pp. 69-94). Amsterdam: KNAW.

    Abstract

    Theoretical linguists have traditionally relied on linguistic intuitions such as grammaticality judgments for their data. But the massive growth of computer-readable texts and recordings, the availability of cheaper, more powerful computers and software, and the development of new probabilistic models for language have now made the spontaneous use of language in natural settings a rich and easily accessible alternative source of data. Surprisingly, many linguists believe that such ‘usage data’ are irrelevant to the theory of grammar. Four problems are repeatedly brought up in the critiques of usage data— 1. correlated factors seeming to support reductive theories, 2. pooled data invalidating grammatical inference, 3. syntactic choices reducing to lexical biases, and 4. cross-corpus differences undermining corpus studies. Presenting a case study of work on the English dative alternation, we show first,that linguistic intuitions of grammaticality are deeply flawed and seriously underestimate the space of grammatical possibility, and second, that the four problems in the critique of usage data are empirical issues that can be resolved by using modern statistical theory and modelling strategies widely used in other fields. The new models allow linguistic theory to solve more difficult problems than it has in the past, and to build convergent projects with psychology, computer science, and allied fields of cognitive science.
  • Broersma, M., Isurin, L., Bultena, S., & De Bot, K. (2009). Triggered code-switching: Evidence from Dutch-English and Russian-English bilinguals. In L. Isurin, D. Winford, & K. De Bot (Eds.), Multidisciplinary approaches to code switching (pp. 85-102). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Brouwer, S., Cornips, L., & Hulk, A. (2008). Misrepresentation of Dutch neuter gender in older bilingual children? In B. Hazdenar, & E. Gavruseva (Eds.), Current trends in child second language acquisition: A generative perspective (pp. 83-96). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • 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.
  • Brown, P. (2007). Culture-specific influences on semantic development Acquiring the Tzeltal 'benefactive' construction. In B. Pfeiler (Ed.), Learning indigenous languages: Child language acquisition in Mesoamerica (pp. 119-154). Mouton de Gruyter: Berlin.

    Abstract

    Three-place predicates are an important locus for examining how children acquire argument structure and how this process is influenced by the typology of the language they are learning as well as by culturally-specific semantic categories. From a typological perspective, there is reason to expect children to have some trouble expressing three-participant events, given the considerable variation across languages in how these are linguistically coded. Verbs of transfer (‘give’, ‘receive’, etc.) are often considered to be the verbs which canonically appear with three arguments (e.g., Slobin 1985, Gleitman 1990). Yet in the Mayan language Tzeltal, verbs other than transfer verbs appear routinely in the ditransitive construction. Although the three participants are rarely all overtly expressed as NPs, this construction ensures that the ‘recipient’ or or ‘affectee’ participant is overtly marked on the verb. Tzeltal children’s early acquisition of this construction (well before the age of 3;0) shows that they are sensitive to its abstract constructional meaning of ‘affected’ third participant: they do not go initially for ‘transfer’ meanings but are attuned to benefactive or malefactive uses despite the predominance of the verb ‘give’ in the input with this construction. This poses a challenge to acquisition theories (Goldberg 2001, Ninio 1999) that see construction meaning arising from the meaning of the verb most frequently used in a construction.
  • 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., & Levinson, S. C. (2007). Gesichtsbedrohende Akte [reprint: Face-threatening acts, 1987]. In S. K. Herrmann, S. Kraemer, & H. Kuch (Eds.), Verletzende Worte: Die Grammatik sprachlicher Missachtung (pp. 59-88). Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag.

    Abstract

    This article is a reprint of parts of chapters 2 and 3 from Brown and Levinson (1987) discussing the concept of 'Face Threatening Acts'.
  • 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., & 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).
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2009). Politeness: Some universals in language usage [chapter 1, reprint]. In N. Coupland, & A. Jaworski (Eds.), Sociolinguistics: critical concepts [volume III: Interactional sociolinguistics] (pp. 311-323). London: Routledge.
  • Brown, P. (2007). Principles of person reference in Tzeltal conversation. In N. Enfield, & T. Stivers (Eds.), Person reference in interaction: Linguistic, cultural, and social perspectives (pp. 172-202). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    This paper focuses on ‘minimality’ in initial references to persons in the Mayan language Tzeltal, spoken in southern Mexico. Inspection of initial person-referring expressions in 25 Tzeltal videotaped conversations reveals that, in this language, if speaker and/or recipient are related through ‘kinship’ to the referent, a kin term (or other relational term like ‘namesake’) is the default option for initial reference to persons. Additionally, further specification via names and/or geographical location (of home base) is also often used to home in on the referent (e.g. ‘your-cousin Alonzo’, ‘our mother’s brother behind the mountain’). And often (~ 70 cases in the data examined) initial references to persons combine more than one referring expression, for example: ‘this old man my brother-in-law old man Antonio here in the pines’, or ‘the father of that brother-in-law of yours the father-in-law of your elder-sister Xmaruch’. Seen in the light of Schegloff’s (1979, 1996) two basic preferences for referring to persons in conversation: (i.) for a recognitional form and (ii.) for a minimal form, these Tzeltal person-referring expressions seem to be relatively elaborated. This paper examines the sequential contexts where such combinations appear, and proposes a third preference operative in Tzeltal (and possibly in other kinship-term-based systems) for associating the referent as closely as possible to the participants.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2009). Language as mind tools: Learning how to think through speaking. In J. Guo, E. V. Lieven, N. Budwig, S. Ervin-Tripp, K. Nakamura, & S. Ozcaliskan (Eds.), Crosslinguistic approaches to the psychology of language: Research in the traditions of Dan Slobin (pp. 451-464). New York: Psychology Press.

    Abstract

    Speakers of the Mayan language Tzeltal use two frames of reference for spatial reckoning: an absolute system (based on the south/north axis abstracted from the overall slope of the land) and an intrinsic system utilizing spatial axes of the reference object to establish body parts. This paper examines the use of absolute, intrinsic, and landmark cues in descriptions of spatial relations by 22 pairs of Tzeltal children aged between 5 and 17. The data are drawn from interactive space games, where a Director describes a spatial layout in a photo and the Matcher reproduces it with toys. The paper distinguishes use of ad hoc landmarks ('Red Cliffs', 'the electricity post') from genuine absolute reference points ('uphill'/'downhill'/’across’), and shows that adults in this task use absolute ('cow uphill of horse'), intrinsic ('at the tree's side') and landmark ('cow facing Red Cliffs') descriptions to communicate the spatial relations depicted. The youngest children, however, do not use landmark cues at all but rely instead on deictics and on the absolute 'uphill/downhill' terms; landmark terms are still rare at age 8-10. Despite arguments that landmarks are a simpler, more natural, basis for spatial reckoning than absolute terms, there is no evidence for a developmental progression from landmark-based to absolute-based strategies. We relate these observations to Slobin’s ‘thinking for speaking’ argument.
  • Brown, P. (2008). Verb specificity and argument realization in Tzeltal child language. In M. Bowerman, & P. Brown (Eds.), Crosslinguistic perspectives on argument structure: Implications for learnability (pp. 167-189). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Abstract

    How do children learn a language whose arguments are freely ellipsed? The Mayan language Tzeltal, spoken in southern Mexico, is such a language. The acquisition pattern for Tzeltal is distinctive, in at least two ways: verbs predominate even in children’s very early production vocabulary, and these verbs are often very specific in meaning. This runs counter to the patterns found in most Indo-European languages, where nouns tend to predominate in early vocabulary and children’s first verbs tend to be ‘light’ or semantically general. Here I explore the idea that noun ellipsis and ‘heavy’ verbs are related: the ‘heavy’ verbs restrict the nominal reference and so allow recovery of the ‘missing’ nouns. Using data drawn from videotaped interaction of four Tzeltal children and their caregivers, I examined transitive clauses in an adult input sample and in child speech, and tested the hypothesis that direct object arguments are less likely to be realized overtly with semantically specific verbs than with general verbs. This hypothesis was confirmed, both for the adult input and for the speech of the children (aged 3;4-3;9). It is therefore possible that argument ellipsis could provide a clue to verb semantics (specific vs. general) for the Tzeltal child.
  • Burenhult, N., & Levinson, S. C. (2009). Semplates: A guide to identification and elicitation. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 12 (pp. 44-50). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.883556.

    Abstract

    Semplates are a new descriptive and theoretical concept in lexical semantics, borne out of recent L&C work in several domains. A semplate can be defined as a configuration consisting of distinct layers of lexemes, each layer drawn from a different form class, mapped onto the same abstract semantic template. Within such a lexical layer, the sense relations between the lexical items are inherited from the underlying template. Thus, the whole set of lexical layers and the underlying template form a cross-categorial configuration in the lexicon. The goal of this task is to find new kinds of macrostructure in the lexicon, with a view to cross-linguistic comparison.
  • Burkhardt, P. (2008). Dependency precedes independence: Online evidence from discourse processing. In A. Benz, & P. Kühnlein (Eds.), Constraints in discourse (pp. 141-158). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    This paper investigates the integration of definite determiner phrases (DPs) as a function of their contextual salience, which is reflected in the degree of dependency on prior information. DPs depend on previously established discourse referents or introduce a new, independent discourse referent. This paper presents a formal model that explains how discourse referents are represented in the language system and what kind of mechanisms are implemented during DP interpretation. Experimental data from an event-related potential study are discussed that demonstrate how definite DPs are integrated in real-time processing. The data provide evidence for two distinct mechanisms – Specify R and Establish Independent File Card – and substantiate a model that includes various processes and constraints at the level of discourse representation.
  • Carota, F. (2007). Collaborative use of contrastive markers Contextual and co-textual implications. In A. Fetzer (Ed.), Context and Appropriateness: Micro meets macro (pp. 235-260). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    The study presented in this paper examines the context-dependence and dialogue functions of the contrastive markers of Italian ma (but), invece (instead), mentre (while) and per (nevertheless) within task-oriented dialogues. Corpus data evidence their sensitivity to a acognitive interpersonal context, conceived as a common ground. Such a cognitive state - shared by co-participants through the coordinative process of grounding - interacts with the global dialogue structure, which is cognitively shaped by ``meta-negotiating{''} and grounding the dialogue topic. Locally, the relation between the current dialogue structural units and the global dialogue topic is said to be specified by information structure, in particular intra-utterance themes. It is argued that contrastive markers re-orient the co-participants' cognitive states towards grounding ungrounded topical aspects to be meta-negotiated. They offer a collaborative context-updating strategy, tracking the status of common ground during dialogue topic management.
  • Casasanto, D. (2009). Space for thinking. In V. Evans, & P. Chilton (Eds.), Language, cognition and space: State of the art and new directions (pp. 453-478). London: Equinox Publishing.
  • Casasanto, D. (2009). When is a linguistic metaphor a conceptual metaphor? In V. Evans, & S. Pourcel (Eds.), New directions in cognitive linguistics (pp. 127-145). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Casasanto, D. (2008). Who's afraid of the big bad Whorf? Crosslinguistic differences in temporal language and thought. In P. Indefrey, & M. Gullberg (Eds.), Time to speak: Cognitive and neural prerequisites for time in language (pp. 63-79). Oxford: Wiley.

    Abstract

    The idea that language shapes the way we think, often associated with Benjamin Whorf, has long been decried as not only wrong but also fundamentally wrong-headed. Yet, experimental evidence has reopened debate about the extent to which language influences nonlinguistic cognition, particularly in the domain of time. In this article, I will first analyze an influential argument against the Whorfian hypothesis and show that its anti-Whorfian conclusion is in part an artifact of conflating two distinct questions: Do we think in language? and Does language shape thought? Next, I will discuss crosslinguistic differences in spatial metaphors for time and describe experiments that demonstrate corresponding differences in nonlinguistic mental representations. Finally, I will sketch a simple learning mechanism by which some linguistic relativity effects appear to arise. Although people may not think in language, speakers of different languages develop distinctive conceptual repertoires as a consequence of ordinary and presumably universal neural and cognitive processes.
  • Chen, A. (2007). Language-specificity in the perception of continuation intonation. In C. Gussenhoven, & T. Riad (Eds.), Tones and tunes II: Phonetic and behavioural studies in word and sentence prosody (pp. 107-142). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    Abstract

    This paper addressed the question of how British English, German and Dutch listeners differ in their perception of continuation intonation both at the phonological level (Experiment 1) and at the level of phonetic implementation (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, preference scores of pitch contours to signal continuation at the clause-boundary were obtained from these listener groups. It was found that among contours with H%, British English listeners had a strong preference for H*L H%, as predicted. Unexpectedly, British English listeners rated H* H% noticeably more favourably than L*H H%; Dutch listeners largely rated H* H% more favourably than H*L H% and L*H H%; German listeners rated these contours similarly and seemed to have a slight preference for H*L H%. In Experiment 2, the degree to which a final rise was perceived to express continuation was established for each listener group in a made-up language. It was found that although all listener groups associated a higher end pitch with a higher degree of continuation likelihood, the perceived meaning difference for a given interval of end pitch heights varied with the contour shape of the utterance final syllable. When it was comparable to H* H%, British English and Dutch listeners perceived a larger meaning difference than German listeners; when it was comparable to H*L H%, British English listeners perceived a larger difference than German and Dutch listeners. This shows that language-specificity in continuation intonation at the phonological level affects the perception of continuation intonation at the phonetic level.
  • Chen, J. (2008). The acquisition of verb compounding in Mandarin Chinese. PhD Thesis, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam.

    Abstract

    Seeing someone breaking a stick into two, an English speaks typically describes with a verb break, but a Mandarin speaker has to say bai1-duan4 ‘bend-be.broken’, a verb compound composed of two free verbs with each verb encoding one aspect of the breaking event. Verb compounding represents a typical and productive way to describe events of motion (e.g., zou3-chu1 ‘walk-exit’), and state change (e.g., bai1-duan4 ‘bendbe.broken’), the most common types of events that children of all languages are exposed to from an early age. Since languages vary in how events are linguistically encoded and categorized, the development of verb compounding provides a window to investigate the acquisition of form and meaning mapping for highly productive but constrained constructions and the interaction between children’s linguistic development and cognitive development. The theoretical analysis of verb compounds has been one of the central issues in Chinese linguistics, but the acquisition of this grammatical system has never been systematically studied. This dissertation constitutes the first in-depth study of this topic. It analyzes speech data from two longitudinal corpora as well as the data collected from five experiments on production and comprehension of verb compounds from children in P. R. China. It provides a description of the developmental process and unravels the complex learning tasks from the perspective of language production, comprehension, event categorization, and the interface of semantics and syntax. In showing how first-language learners acquire the Mandarin-specific way of representing and encoding causal events and motion events, this study has significance both for studies of language acquisition and for studies of cognition and event construal.
  • Chen, A. (2009). The phonetics of sentence-initial topic and focus in adult and child Dutch. In M. Vigário, S. Frota, & M. Freitas (Eds.), Phonetics and Phonology: Interactions and interrelations (pp. 91-106). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • 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. (1998). Prosodic structure and word recognition. In A. D. Friederici (Ed.), Language comprehension: A biological perspective (pp. 41-70). Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Cutler, A. (2009). Psycholinguistics in our time. In P. Rabbitt (Ed.), Inside psychology: A science over 50 years (pp. 91-101). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Davids, N. (2009). Neurocognitive markers of phonological processing: A clinical perspective. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Dediu, D. (2007). Non-spurious correlations between genetic and linguistic diversities in the context of human evolution. PhD Thesis, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
  • Dimroth, C., & Haberzettl, S. (2008). Je älter desto besser: Der Erwerb der Verbflexion in Kindesalter. In B. Ahrenholz, U. Bredel, W. Klein, M. Rost-Roth, & R. Skiba (Eds.), Empirische Forschung und Theoriebildung: Beiträge aus Soziolinguistik, Gesprochene-Sprache- und Zweitspracherwerbsforschung: Festschrift für Norbert Dittmar (pp. 227-238). Frankfurt am Main: Lang.
  • Dimroth, C. (2008). Kleine Unterschiede in den Lernvoraussetzungen beim ungesteuerten Zweitspracherwerb: Welche Bereiche der Zielsprache Deutsch sind besonders betroffen? In B. Ahrenholz (Ed.), Kinder und Migrationshintergrund: Spracherwerb und Fördermöglichkeiten (pp. 117-133). Freiburg: Fillibach.
  • Dimroth, C. (2008). Perspectives on second language acquisition at different ages. In J. Philp, R. Oliver, & A. Mackey (Eds.), Second language acquisition and the younger learner: Child's play? (pp. 53-79). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    Empirical studies addressing the age factor in second language acquisition have mainly been concerned with a comparison of end state data (from learners before and after the closure of a putative Critical Period for language acquisition) to the native speaker norm. Based on longitudinal corpus data, this paper investigates the affect of age on end state, rate and the process of acquisition and addresses the question of whether different grammatical domains are equally affected. To this end, the paper presents summarized findings from the acquisition of word order and inflectional morphology in L2 German by Russian learners of different ages and discusses theoretical implications that can be drawn from this evidence.
  • Dimroth, C. (2009). Stepping stones and stumbling blocks: Why negation accelerates and additive particles delay the acquisition of finiteness in German. In C. Dimroth, & P. Jordens (Eds.), Functional Categories in Learner Language (pp. 137-170). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Dimroth, C. (2007). Zweitspracherwerb bei Kindern und Jugendlichen: Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede. In T. Anstatt (Ed.), Mehrsprachigkeit bei Kindern und Erwachsenen: Erwerb, Formen, Förderung (pp. 115-137). Tübingen: Attempto.

    Abstract

    This paper discusses the influence of age-related factors like stage of cognitive development, prior linguistic knowledge, and motivation and addresses the specific effects of these ‘age factors’ on second language acquisition as opposed to other learning tasks. Based on longitudinal corpus data from child and adolescent learners of L2 German (L1 = Russian), the paper studies the acquisition of word order (verb raising over negation, verb second) and inflectional morphology (subject-verb-agreement, tense, noun plural, and adjective-noun agreement). Whereas the child learner shows target-like production in all of these areas within the observation period (1½ years), the adolescent learner masters only some of them. The discussion addresses the question of what it is about clusters of grammatical features that make them particularly affected by age.
  • Dingemanse, M., Hill, C., Majid, A., & Levinson, S. C. (2008). Ethnography of the senses. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 11 (pp. 18-28). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492935.

    Abstract

    This entry provides some orientation and task suggestions on how to explore the perceptual world of your field site and the interaction between the cultural world and the sensory lexicon in your community. The material consists of procedural texts; soundscapes; other documentary and observational tasks. The goal of this task is to explore the perceptual world of your field site and the interaction between the cultural world and the sensory lexicon in your community.
  • Dirksmeyer, T. (2008). Spatial deixis in Chintang: Aspects of a grammar of space. Master Thesis, Universität Leipzig, Leipzig.

    Abstract

    This thesis examines the semantic structures underlying the encoding of space in Chintang, a Kiranti (Sino-Tibetan) language of Nepal. It provides a short general introduction to the history of thinking and speaking about space as well as to the notions of deixis and transposition, and sketches a state-of-the-art theory for categorizing spatial semantics (Levinson 2003). Drawing on targeted elicitation with native speakers, the empirical part then relates linguistic items of Chintang to the theoretical framework, with a focus on the nominal domain. After an analysis of deictic, topological, intrinsic and absolute spatial relations and their reflections in the language, the investigation concludes by comparing sets of Chintang deictics to those found in neighbouring Belhare (Bickel 2001). Despite striking formal resemblances, the semantic differences found indicate that even across closely related languages, meaning does not generalize easily.
  • Drude, S. (2008). Die Personenpräfixe des Guaraní und ihre lexikographische Behandlung. In W. Dietrich, & H. Symeonidis (Eds.), Geschichte und Aktualität der deutschsprachigen Guaraní-Philologie: Akten der Guaraní-Tagung in Kiel und Berlin 25.-27. Mai 2000 (pp. 198-234). Berlin: Lit Verlag.

    Abstract

    Der vorliegende Beitrag zum Kieler Symposium1 stellt die Resultate eines Teilbereichs meiner Arbeit zum Guarani vor, nämlich einen Vorschlag zur Analyse der Personenpräfixe dieser Sprache und der mit ihnen verbundenen grammatischen Kategorien. Die im Titel angedeutete lexikographische Fragestellung bedarf einer näheren Erläuterung, die ich im Zusammenhang mit einer kurzen Darstellung der Motivation für meine Untersuchungen geben will
  • Drude, S. (2008). Inflectional units and their effects: The case of verbal prefixes in Guaraní. In R. Sackmann (Ed.), Explorations in integrational linguistics: Four essays on German, French, and Guaraní (pp. 153-189). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    With the present essay I pursue a threefold aim as will be explained in the following paragraphs. Since I cannot expect my readers to be familiar with the language studied, Guaran´ı, more information about this language will be given in the next subsection.
  • Drude, S. (2008). Tense, aspect and mood in Awetí verb paradigms: Analytic and synthetic forms. In K. D. Harrison, D. S. Rood, & A. Dwyer (Eds.), Lessons from documented endangered languages (pp. 67-110). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    This paper describes the verbal Tense-Aspect-Mood system of Awetí (Tupian, Central Brazil) in a Word-and-Paradigm approach. One classification of Awetí verb forms contains clear aspect categories. A second set of independent classifications renders at least four moods and contains a third major TAM classification, factuality, that has one mainly temporal category Future, while others are partially or wholly modal. Structural categories reflect the formal composition of the forms. Some forms are synthetic, ‘marked’ only by means of affixes, but many are analytic, containing auxiliary particles. With selected sample forms we demonstrate in detail the interplay of structural and functional categories in Awetí verb paradigms.
  • Dunn, M. (2007). Vernacular literacy in the Touo language of the Solomon Islands. In A. J. Liddicoat (Ed.), Language planning and policy: Issues in language planning and literacy (pp. 209-220). Clevedon: Multilingual matters.

    Abstract

    The Touo language is a non-Austronesian language spoken on Rendova Island (Western Province, Solomon Islands). First language speakers of Touo are typically multilingual, and are likely to speak other (Austronesian) vernaculars, as well as Solomon Island Pijin and English. There is no institutional support of literacy in Touo: schools function in English, and church-based support for vernacular literacy focuses on the major Austronesian languages of the local area. Touo vernacular literacy exists in a restricted niche of the linguistic ecology, where it is utilised for symbolic rather than communicative goals. Competing vernacular orthographic traditions complicate the situation further.
  • 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.
  • Eisner, F., & Scott, S. K. (2008). Speech and auditory processing in the cortex: Evidence from functional neuroimaging. In A. Cacace, & D. McFarland (Eds.), Controversies in central auditory processing disorder. San Diego, Ca: Plural Publishing.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2009). 'Case relations' in Lao, a radically isolating language. In A. L. Malčukov, & A. Spencer (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of case (pp. 808-819). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Enfield, N. J., Levinson, S. C., De Ruiter, J. P., & Stivers, T. (2007). Building a corpus of multimodal interaction in your field site. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 10 (pp. 96-99). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.468728.

    Abstract

    Research on video- and audio-recordings of spontaneous naturally-occurring conversation in English has shown that conversation is a rule-guided, practice-oriented domain that can be investigated for its underlying mechanics or structure. Systematic study could yield something like a grammar for conversation. The goal of this task is to acquire a corpus of video-data, for investigating the underlying structure(s) of interaction cross-linguistically and cross-culturally.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2008). Common ground as a resource for social affiliation. In I. Kecskes, & J. L. Mey (Eds.), Intention, common ground and the egocentric speaker-hearer (pp. 223-254). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Enfield, N. J., & Majid, A. (2008). Constructions in 'language and perception'. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 11 (pp. 11-17). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492949.

    Abstract

    This field guide is for eliciting information about grammatical resources used in describing perceptual events and perception-based properties and states. A list of leading questions outlines an underlying semantic space for events/states of perception, against which language-specific constructions may be defined. It should be used as an entry point into a flexible exploration of the structures and constraints which are specific to the language you are working on. The goal is to provide a cross-linguistically comparable description of the constructions of a language used in describing perceptual events and states. The core focus is to discover any sensory asymmetries, i.e., ways in which different sensory modalities are treated differently with respect to these constructions.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2009). Everyday ritual in the residential world. In G. Senft, & E. B. Basso (Eds.), Ritual communication (pp. 51-80). Oxford: Berg.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2007). Repair sequences in interaction. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 10 (pp. 100-103). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.468724.

    Abstract

    This sub-project is concerned with analysis and cross-linguistic comparison of the mechanisms of signaling and redressing ‘trouble’ during conversation. Speakers and listeners constantly face difficulties with many different aspects of speech production and comprehension during conversation. A speaker may mispronounce a word, or may be unable to find a word, or be unable to formulate in words an idea he or she has in mind. A listener may have troubling hearing (part of) what was said, may not know who a speaker is referring to, may not be sure of the current relevance of what is being said. There may be problems in the organisation of turns at talk, for instance, two speakers’ speech may be in overlap. The goal of this task is to investigate the range of practices that a language uses to address problems of speaking, hearing and understanding in conversation.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2008). Lao linguistics in the 20th century and since. In Y. Goudineau, & M. Lorrillard (Eds.), Recherches nouvelles sur le Laos (pp. 435-452). Paris: EFEO.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2009). Language and culture. In L. Wei, & V. Cook (Eds.), Contemporary Applied Linguistics Volume 2 (pp. 83-97). London: Continuum.
  • Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (2009). Metalanguage for speech acts. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 12 (pp. 51-53). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.883559.

    Abstract

    People of all cultures have some degree of concern with categorizing types of communicative social action. All languages have words with meanings like speak, say, talk, complain, curse, promise, accuse, nod, wink, point and chant. But the exact distinctions they make will differ in both quantity and quality. How is communicative social action categorised across languages and cultures? The goal of this task is to establish a basis for cross-linguistic comparison of native metalanguages for social action.
  • Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (2008). Metalanguage for speech acts. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 11 (pp. 77-79). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492937.

    Abstract

    People of all cultures have some degree of concern with categorizing types of communicative social action. All languages have words with meanings like speak, say, talk, complain, curse, promise, accuse, nod, wink, point and chant. But the exact distinctions they make will differ in both quantity and quality. How is communicative social action categorised across languages and cultures? The goal of this task is to establish a basis for cross-linguistic comparison of native metalanguages for social action.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2007). Meanings of the unmarked: How 'default' person reference does more than just refer. In N. Enfield, & T. Stivers (Eds.), Person reference in interaction: Linguistic, cultural, and social perspectives (pp. 97-120). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Enfield, N. J., Levinson, S. C., & Stivers, T. (2009). Social action formulation: A "10-minutes" task. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 12 (pp. 54-55). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.883564.

    Abstract

    Human actions in the social world – like greeting, requesting, complaining, accusing, asking, confirming, etc. – are recognised through the interpretation of signs. Language is where much of the action is, but gesture, facial expression and other bodily actions matter as well. The goal of this task is to establish a maximally rich description of a representative, good quality piece of conversational interaction, which will serve as a reference point for comparative exploration of the status of social actions and their formulation across language
  • Enfield, N. J., Levinson, S. C., & Stivers, T. (2008). Social action formulation: A "10-minutes" task. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 11 (pp. 80-81). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492939.

    Abstract

    This Field Manual entry has been superceded by the 2009 version: https://doi.org/10.17617/2.883564

    Files private

    Request files
  • Enfield, N. J. (2008). Verbs and multi-verb construction in Lao. In A. V. Diller, J. A. Edmondson, & Y. Luo (Eds.), The Tai-Kadai languages (pp. 83-183). London: Routledge.
  • Ernestus, M., & Baayen, R. H. (2007). Intraparadigmatic effects on the perception of voice. In J. van de Weijer, & E. J. van der Torre (Eds.), Voicing in Dutch: (De)voicing-phonology, phonetics, and psycholinguistics (pp. 153-173). Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    In Dutch, all morpheme-final obstruents are voiceless in word-final position. As a consequence, the distinction between obstruents that are voiced before vowel-initial suffixes and those that are always voiceless is neutralized. This study adds to the existing evidence that the neutralization is incomplete: neutralized, alternating plosives tend to have shorter bursts than non-alternating plosives. Furthermore, in a rating study, listeners scored the alternating plosives as more voiced than the nonalternating plosives, showing sensitivity to the subtle subphonemic cues in the acoustic signal. Importantly, the participants who were presented with the complete words, instead of just the final rhymes, scored the alternating plosives as even more voiced. This shows that listeners’ perception of voice is affected by their knowledge of the obstruent’s realization in the word’s morphological paradigm. Apparently, subphonemic paradigmatic levelling is a characteristic of both production and perception. We explain the effects within an analogy-based approach.
  • Fedor, A., Pléh, C., Brauer, J., Caplan, D., Friederici, A. D., Gulyás, B., Hagoort, P., Nazir, T., & Singer, W. (2009). What are the brain mechanisms underlying syntactic operations? In D. Bickerton, & E. Szathmáry (Eds.), Biological foundations and origin of syntax (pp. 299-324). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Abstract

    This chapter summarizes the extensive discussions that took place during the Forum as well as the subsequent months thereafter. It assesses current understanding of the neuronal mechanisms that underlie syntactic structure and processing.... It is posited that to understand the neurobiology of syntax, it might be worthwhile to shift the balance from comprehension to syntactic encoding in language production
  • Fitz, H. (2009). Neural syntax. PhD Thesis, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Institute for Logic, Language, and Computation.

    Abstract

    Children learn their mother tongue spontaneously and effortlessly through communicative interaction with their environment; they do not have to be taught explicitly or learn how to learn first. The ambient language to which children are exposed, however, is highly variable and arguably deficient with regard to the learning target. Nonetheless, most normally developing children learn their native language rapidly and with ease. To explain this accomplishment, many theories of acquisition posit innate constraints on learning, or even a biological endowment for language which is specific to language. Usage-based theories, on the other hand, place more emphasis on the role of experience and domain-general learning mechanisms than on innate language-specific knowledge. But languages are lexically open and combinatorial in structure, so no amount of experience covers their expressivity. Usage-based theories therefore have to explain how children can generalize the properties of their linguistic input to an adult-like grammar. In this thesis I provide an explicit computational mechanism with which usage-based theories of language can be tested and evaluated. The focus of my work lies on complex syntax and the human ability to form sentences which express more than one proposition by means of relativization. This `capacity for recursion' is a hallmark of an adult grammar and, as some have argued, the human language faculty itself. The manuscript is organized as follows. In the second chapter, I give an overview of results that characterize the properties of neural networks as mathematical objects and review previous attempts at modelling the acquisition of complex syntax with such networks. The chapter introduces the conceptual landscape in which the current work is located. In the third chapter, I argue that the construction and use of meaning is essential in child language acquisition and adult processing. Neural network models need to incorporate this dimension of human linguistic behavior. I introduce the Dual-path model of sentence production and syntactic development which is able to represent semantics and learns from exposure to sentences paired with their meaning (cf. Chang et al. 2006). I explain the architecture of this model, motivate critical assumptions behind its design, and discuss existing research using this model. The fourth chapter describes and compares several extensions of the basic architecture to accommodate the processing of multi-clause utterances. These extensions are evaluated against computational desiderata, such as good learning and generalization performance and the parsimony of input representations. A single-best solution for encoding the meaning of complex sentences with restrictive relative clauses is identified, which forms the basis for all subsequent simulations. Chapter five analyzes the learning dynamics in more detail. I first examine the model's behavior for different relative clause types. Syntactic alternations prove to be particularly difficult to learn because they complicate the meaning-to-form mapping the model has to acquire. In the second part, I probe the internal representations the model has developed during learning. It is argued that the model acquires the argument structure of the construction types in its input language and represents the hierarchical organization of distinct multi-clause utterances. The juice of this thesis is contained in chapters six to eight. In chapter six, I test the Dual-path model's generalization capacities in a variety of tasks. I show that its syntactic representations are sufficiently transparent to allow structural generalization to novel complex utterances. Semantic similarities between novel and familiar sentence types play a critical role in this task. The Dual-path model also has a capacity for generalizing familiar words to novel slots in novel constructions (strong semantic systematicity). Moreover, I identify learning conditions under which the model displays recursive productivity. It is argued that the model's behavior is consistent with human behavior in that production accuracy degrades with depth of embedding, and right-branching is learned faster than center-embedding recursion. In chapter seven, I address the issue of learning complex polar interrogatives in the absence of positive exemplars in the input. I show that the Dual-path model can acquire the syntax of these questions from simpler and similar structures which are warranted in a child's linguistic environment. The model's errors closely match children's errors, and it is suggested that children might not require an innate learning bias to acquire auxiliary fronting. Since the model does not implement a traditional kind of language-specific universal grammar, these results are relevant to the poverty of the stimulus debate. English relative clause constructions give rise to similar performance orderings in adult processing and child language acquisition. This pattern matches the typological universal called the noun phrase accessibility hierarchy. I propose an input-based explanation of this data in chapter eight. The Dual-path model displays this ordering in syntactic development when exposed to plausible input distributions. But it is possible to manipulate and completely remove the ordering by varying properties of the input from which the model learns. This indicates, I argue, that patterns of interference and facilitation among input structures can explain the hierarchy when all structures are simultaneously learned and represented over a single set of connection weights. Finally, I draw conclusions from this work, address some unanswered questions, and give a brief outlook on how this research might be continued.

    Additional information

    http://dare.uva.nl/record/328271
  • Francks, C. (2009). 13 - LRRTM1: A maternally suppressed genetic effect on handedness and schizophrenia. In I. E. C. Sommer, & R. S. Kahn (Eds.), Cerebral lateralization and psychosis (pp. 181-196). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    The molecular, developmental, and evolutionary bases of human brain asymmetry are almost completely unknown. Genetic linkage and association mapping have pin-pointed a gene called LRRTM1 (leucine-rich repeat transmembrane neuronal 1) that may contribute to variability in human handedness. Here I describe how LRRTM1's involvement in handedness was discovered, and also the latest knowledge of its functions in brain development and disease. The association of LRRTM1 with handedness was derived entirely from the paternally inherited gene, and follow-up analysis of gene expression confirmed that LRRTM1 is one of a small number of genes that are imprinted in the human genome, for which the maternally inherited copy is suppressed. The same variation at LRRTM1 that was associated paternally with mixed-/left-handedness was also over-transmitted paternally to schizophrenic patients in a large family study. LRRTM1 is expressed in specific regions of the developing and adult forebrain by post-mitotic neurons, and the protein may be involved in axonal trafficking. Thus LRRTM1 has a probable role in neurodevelopment, and its association with handedness suggests that one of its functions may be in establishing or consolidating human brain asymmetry. LRRTM1 is the first gene for which allelic variation has been associated with human handedness. The genetic data also suggest indirectly that the epigenetic regulation of this gene may yet prove more important than DNA sequence variation for influencing brain development and disease. Intriguingly, the parent-of-origin activity of LRRTM1 suggests that men and women have had conflicting interests in relation to the outcome of lateralized brain development in their offspring.
  • Frank, S. L., Koppen, M., Noordman, L. G. M., & Vonk, W. (2007). Modeling multiple levels of text presentation. In F. Schmalhofer, & C. A. Perfetti (Eds.), Higher level language processes in the brain: Inference and comprehension processes (pp. 133-157). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Furuyama, N., & Sekine, K. (2007). Forgetful or strategic? The mystery of the systematic avoidance of reference in the cartoon story nsarrative. In S. D. Duncan, J. Cassel, & E. T. Levy (Eds.), Gesture and the Dynamic Dimension of Language: Essays in honor of David McNeill (pp. 75-81). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • Gentner, D., & Bowerman, M. (2009). Why some spatial semantic categories are harder to learn than others: The typological prevalence hypothesis. In J. Guo, E. Lieven, N. Budwig, S. Ervin-Tripp, K. Nakamura, & S. Ozcaliskan (Eds.), Crosslinguistic approaches to the psychology of language: Research in the tradition of Dan Isaac Slobin (pp. 465-480). New York: Psychology Press.
  • Goldin-Meadow, S., Ozyurek, A., Sancar, B., & Mylander, C. (2009). Making language around the globe: A cross-linguistic study of homesign in the United States, China, and Turkey. In J. Guo, E. Lieven, N. Budwig, S. Ervin-Tripp, K. Nakamura, & S. Ozcaliskan (Eds.), Crosslinguistic approaches to the psychology of language: Research in the tradition of Dan Isaac Slobin (pp. 27-39). New York: Psychology Press.
  • 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.
  • Grabe, E. (1998). Comparative intonational phonology: English and German. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.2057683.
  • Le Guen, O., Senft, G., & Sicoli, M. A. (2008). Language of perception: Views from anthropology. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 11 (pp. 29-36). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.446079.

    Abstract

    To understand the underlying principles of categorisation and classification of sensory input semantic analyses must be based on both language and culture. The senses are not only physiological phenomena, but they are also linguistic, cultural, and social. The goal of this task is to explore and describe sociocultural patterns relating language of perception, ideologies of perception, and perceptual practice in our speech communities.
  • Le Guen, O. (2009). The ethnography of emotions: A field worker's guide. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field manual volume 12 (pp. 31-34). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.446076.

    Abstract

    The goal of this task is to investigate cross-cultural emotion categories in language and thought. This entry is designed to provide researchers with some guidelines to describe the emotional repertoire of a community from an emic perspective. The first objective is to offer ethnographic tools and a questionnaire in order to understand the semantics of emotional terms and the local conception of emotions. The second objective is to identify the local display rules of emotions in communicative interactions.
  • Gullberg, M. (2008). A helping hand? Gestures, L2 learners, and grammar. In S. G. McCafferty, & G. Stam (Eds.), Gesture: Second language acquisition and classroom research (pp. 185-210). New York: Routledge.

    Abstract

    This chapter explores what L2 learners' gestures reveal about L2 grammar. The focus is on learners’ difficulties with maintaining reference in discourse caused by their incomplete mastery of pronouns. The study highlights the systematic parallels between properties of L2 speech and gesture, and the parallel effects of grammatical development in both modalities. The validity of a communicative account of interlanguage grammar in this domain is tested by taking the cohesive properties of the gesture-speech ensemble into account. Specifically, I investigate whether learners use gestures to compensate for and to license over-explicit reference in speech. The results rule out a communicative account for the spoken variety of maintained reference. In contrast, cohesive gestures are found to be multi-functional. While the presence of cohesive gestures is not communicatively motivated, their spatial realisation is. It is suggested that gestures are exploited as a grammatical communication strategy to disambiguate speech wherever possible, but that they may also be doing speaker-internal work. The methodological importance of considering L2 gestures when studying grammar is also discussed.
  • Gullberg, M., & Indefrey, P. (2008). Cognitive and neural prerequisites for time in language: Any answers? In P. Indefrey, & M. Gullberg (Eds.), Time to speak: Cognitive and neural prerequisites for time in language (pp. 207-216). Oxford: Blackwell.

Share this page