Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 781
  • Acerbi, A., Van Leeuwen, E. J. C., Haun, D. B. M., & Tennie, C. (2018). Reply to 'Sigmoidal acquisition curves are good indicators of conformist transmission'. Scientific Reports, 8(1): 14016. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-30382-0.

    Abstract

    In the Smaldino et al. study ‘Sigmoidal Acquisition Curves are Good Indicators of Conformist Transmission’, our original findings regarding the conditional validity of using population-level sigmoidal acquisition curves as means to evidence individual-level conformity are contested. We acknowledge the identification of useful nuances, yet conclude that our original findings remain relevant for the study of conformist learning mechanisms. Replying to: Smaldino, P. E., Aplin, L. M. & Farine, D. R. Sigmoidal Acquisition Curves Are Good Indicators of Conformist Transmission. Sci. Rep. 8, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-30248-5 (2018).
  • Acheson, D. J., Wells, J. B., & MacDonald, M. C. (2008). New and updated tests of print exposure and reading abilities in college students. Behavior Research Methods, 40(1), 278-289. doi:10.3758/BRM.40.1.278.

    Abstract

    The relationship between print exposure and measures of reading skill was examined in college students (N=99, 58 female; mean age=20.3 years). Print exposure was measured with several new self-reports of reading and writing habits, as well as updated versions of the Author Recognition Test and the Magazine Recognition Test (Stanovich & West, 1989). Participants completed a sentence comprehension task with syntactically complex sentences, and reading times and comprehension accuracy were measured. An additional measure of reading skill was provided by participants’ scores on the verbal portions of the ACT, a standardized achievement test. Higher levels of print exposure were associated with higher sentence processing abilities and superior verbal ACT performance. The relative merits of different print exposure assessments are discussed.
  • Agrawal, P., Bhaya Nair, R., Narasimhan, B., Chaudhary, N., & Keller, H. (2008). The development of facial expressions of emotion in Indian culture [meeting abstract]. International Journal of Psychology, 43(3/4), 82.

    Abstract

    The development of emotions in the offspring of any species, especially humans, is one of the most important and complex processes necessary to ensure their survival. Although other nonverbal expressions of emotion such as body movements provide valuable clues, facial expressions in human infants are arguably the most crucial component in tracking emotional responses. Tracing the developmental path of facial expressions is thus the aim of this longitudinal research study which explores mother-child interactions from infancy to pre-school in Indian culture via video-taped datasets recorded as part of multiple projects spanning Indian universities (IITD, JNU, DU), Osnabruck University and MPI-Netherlands.
  • Ahrenholz, B., Bredel, U., Klein, W., Rost-Roth, M., & Skiba, R. (Eds.). (2008). Empirische Forschung und Theoriebildung: Beiträge aus Soziolinguistik, Gesprochene-Sprache- und Zweitspracherwerbsforschung: Festschrift für Norbert Dittmar. Frankfurt am Main: Lang.
  • Alhama, R. G., & Zuidema, W. (2018). Pre-Wiring and Pre-Training: What Does a Neural Network Need to Learn Truly General Identity Rules? Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 61, 927-946. doi:10.1613/jair.1.11197.

    Abstract

    In an influential paper (“Rule Learning by Seven-Month-Old Infants”), Marcus, Vijayan, Rao and Vishton claimed that connectionist models cannot account for human success at learning tasks that involved generalization of abstract knowledge such as grammatical rules. This claim triggered a heated debate, centered mostly around variants of the Simple Recurrent Network model. In our work, we revisit this unresolved debate and analyze the underlying issues from a different perspective. We argue that, in order to simulate human-like learning of grammatical rules, a neural network model should not be used as a tabula rasa, but rather, the initial wiring of the neural connections and the experience acquired prior to the actual task should be incorporated into the model. We present two methods that aim to provide such initial state: a manipulation of the initial connections of the network in a cognitively plausible manner (concretely, by implementing a “delay-line” memory), and a pre-training algorithm that incrementally challenges the network with novel stimuli. We implement such techniques in an Echo State Network (ESN), and we show that only when combining both techniques the ESN is able to learn truly general identity rules. Finally, we discuss the relation between these cognitively motivated techniques and recent advances in Deep Learning.
  • Allen, S. E. M. (1998). A discourse-pragmatic explanation for the subject-object asymmetry in early null arguments. In A. Sorace, C. Heycock, & R. Shillcock (Eds.), Proceedings of the GALA '97 Conference on Language Acquisition (pp. 10-15). Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.

    Abstract

    The present paper assesses discourse-pragmatic factors as a potential explanation for the subject-object assymetry in early child language. It identifies a set of factors which characterize typical situations of informativeness (Greenfield & Smith, 1976), and uses these factors to identify informative arguments in data from four children aged 2;0 through 3;6 learning Inuktitut as a first language. In addition, it assesses the extent of the links between features of informativeness on one hand and lexical vs. null and subject vs. object arguments on the other. Results suggest that a pragmatics account of the subject-object asymmetry can be upheld to a greater extent than previous research indicates, and that several of the factors characterizing informativeness are good indicators of those arguments which tend to be omitted in early child language.
  • Allen, S. E. M. (1998). Categories within the verb category: Learning the causative in Inuktitut. Linguistics, 36(4), 633-677.
  • Ambridge, B., Rowland, C. F., & Pine, J. M. (2008). Is structure dependence an innate constraint? New experimental evidence from children's complex-question production. Cognitive Science, 32(1), 222-255. doi:10.1080/03640210701703766.

    Abstract

    According to Crain and Nakayama (1987), when forming complex yes/no questions, children do not make errors such as Is the boy who smoking is crazy? because they have innate knowledge of structure dependence and so will not move the auxiliary from the relative clause. However, simple recurrent networks are also able to avoid such errors, on the basis of surface distributional properties of the input (Lewis & Elman, 2001; Reali & Christiansen, 2005). Two new elicited production studies revealed that (a) children occasionally produce structure-dependence errors and (b) the pattern of children's auxiliary-doubling errors (Is the boy who is smoking is crazy?) suggests a sensitivity to surface co-occurrence patterns in the input. This article concludes that current data do not provide any support for the claim that structure dependence is an innate constraint, and that it is possible that children form a structure-dependent grammar on the basis of exposure to input that exhibits this property.
  • Ambridge, B., Pine, J. M., Rowland, C. F., & Young, C. R. (2008). The effect of verb semantic class and verb frequency (entrenchment) on children’s and adults’ graded judgements of argument-structure overgeneralization errors. Cognition, 106(1), 87-129. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2006.12.015.

    Abstract

    Participants (aged 5–6 yrs, 9–10 yrs and adults) rated (using a five-point scale) grammatical (intransitive) and overgeneralized (transitive causative)1 uses of a high frequency, low frequency and novel intransitive verb from each of three semantic classes [Pinker, S. (1989a). Learnability and cognition: the acquisition of argument structure. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press]: “directed motion” (fall, tumble), “going out of existence” (disappear, vanish) and “semivoluntary expression of emotion” (laugh, giggle). In support of Pinker’s semantic verb class hypothesis, participants’ preference for grammatical over overgeneralized uses of novel (and English) verbs increased between 5–6 yrs and 9–10 yrs, and was greatest for the latter class, which is associated with the lowest degree of direct external causation (the prototypical meaning of the transitive causative construction). In support of Braine and Brooks’s [Braine, M.D.S., & Brooks, P.J. (1995). Verb argument strucure and the problem of avoiding an overgeneral grammar. In M. Tomasello & W. E. Merriman (Eds.), Beyond names for things: Young children’s acquisition of verbs (pp. 352–376). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum] entrenchment hypothesis, all participants showed the greatest preference for grammatical over ungrammatical uses of high frequency verbs, with this preference smaller for low frequency verbs, and smaller again for novel verbs. We conclude that both the formation of semantic verb classes and entrenchment play a role in children’s retreat from argument-structure overgeneralization errors.
  • 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., & Kropp Dakubu, M. E. (Eds.). (2008). Aspect and modality in Kwa Languages. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    This book explores the thesis that in the Kwa languages of West Africa, aspect and modality are more central to the grammar of the verb than tense. Where tense marking has emerged it is invariably in the expression of the future, and therefore concerned with the impending actualization or potentiality of an event, hence with modality, rather than the purely temporal sequencing associated with tense. The primary grammatical contrasts are perfective versus imperfective. The main languages discussed are Akan, Dangme, Ewe, Ga and Tuwuli while Nzema-Ahanta, Likpe and Eastern Gbe are also mentioned. Knowledge about these languages has deepened considerably during the past decade or so and ideas about their structure have changed. The volume therefore presents novel analyses of grammatical forms like the so-called S-Aux-O-V-Other or “future” constructions, and provides empirical data for theorizing about aspect and modality. It should be of considerable interest to Africanist linguists, typologists, and creolists interested in substrate issues.
  • 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., & 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., & 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.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1998). Particules énonciatives en Ewe. Faits de langues, 6(11/12), 179-204.

    Abstract

    Particles are little words that speakers use to signal the illocutionary force of utterances and/or express their attitude towards elements of the communicative situation, e.g. the addresses. This paper presents an overview of the classification, meaning and use of utterance particles in Ewe. It argues that they constitute a grammatical word class on functional and distributional grounds. The paper calls for a cross-cultural investigation of particles, especially in Africa, where they have been neglected for far too long.
  • Arshamian, A., Iravani, B., Majid, A., & Lundström, J. N. (2018). Respiration modulates olfactory memory consolidation in humans. The Journal of Neuroscience, 38(48), 10286-10294. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3360-17.2018.

    Abstract

    In mammals, respiratory-locked hippocampal rhythms are implicated in the scaffolding and transfer of information between sensory and memory networks. These oscillations are entrained by nasal respiration and driven by the olfactory bulb. They then travel to the piriform cortex where they propagate further downstream to the hippocampus and modulate neural processes critical for memory formation. In humans, bypassing nasal airflow through mouth-breathing abolishes these rhythms and impacts encoding as well as recognition processes thereby reducing memory performance. It has been hypothesized that similar behavior should be observed for the consolidation process, the stage between encoding and recognition, were memory is reactivated and strengthened. However, direct evidence for such an effect is lacking in human and non-human animals. Here we tested this hypothesis by examining the effect of respiration on consolidation of episodic odor memory. In two separate sessions, female and male participants encoded odors followed by a one hour awake resting consolidation phase where they either breathed solely through their nose or mouth. Immediately after the consolidation phase, memory for odors was tested. Recognition memory significantly increased during nasal respiration compared to mouth respiration during consolidation. These results provide the first evidence that respiration directly impacts consolidation of episodic events, and lends further support to the notion that core cognitive functions are modulated by the respiratory cycle.
  • Ashby, J., & Martin, A. E. (2008). Prosodic phonological representations early in visual word recognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 34(1), 224-236. doi:10.1037/0096-1523.34.1.224.

    Abstract

    Two experiments examined the nature of the phonological representations used during visual word recognition. We tested whether a minimality constraint (R. Frost, 1998) limits the complexity of early representations to a simple string of phonemes. Alternatively, readers might activate elaborated representations that include prosodic syllable information before lexical access. In a modified lexical decision task (Experiment 1), words were preceded by parafoveal previews that were congruent with a target's initial syllable as well as previews that contained 1 letter more or less than the initial syllable. Lexical decision times were faster in the syllable congruent conditions than in the incongruent conditions. In Experiment 2, we recorded brain electrical potentials (electroencephalograms) during single word reading in a masked priming paradigm. The event-related potential waveform elicited in the syllable congruent condition was more positive 250-350 ms posttarget compared with the waveform elicited in the syllable incongruent condition. In combination, these experiments demonstrate that readers process prosodic syllable information early in visual word recognition in English. They offer further evidence that skilled readers routinely activate elaborated, speechlike phonological representations during silent reading. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
  • 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.
  • Aziz-Zadeh, L., Casasanto, D., Feldman, J., Saxe, R., & Talmy, L. (2008). Discovering the conceptual primitives. In B. C. Love, K. McRae, & V. M. Sloutsky (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 27-28). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
  • Baayen, R. H., Davidson, D. J., & Bates, D. M. (2008). Mixed-effects modeling with crossed random effects for subjects and items. Journal of Memory and Language, 59(4), 390-412. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2007.12.005.

    Abstract

    This paper provides an introduction to mixed-effects models for the analysis of repeated measurement data with subjects and items as crossed random effects. A worked-out example of how to use recent software for mixed-effects modeling is provided. Simulation studies illustrate the advantages offered by mixed-effects analyses compared to traditional analyses based on quasi-F tests, by-subjects analyses, combined by-subjects and by-items analyses, and random regression. Applications and possibilities across a range of domains of inquiry are discussed.
  • Baggio, G., Van Lambalgen, M., & Hagoort, P. (2008). Computing and recomputing discourse models: An ERP study. Journal of Memory and Language, 59, 36-53. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2008.02.005.

    Abstract

    While syntactic reanalysis has been extensively investigated in psycholinguistics, comparatively little is known about reanalysis in the semantic domain. We used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to keep track of semantic processes involved in understanding short narratives such as ‘The girl was writing a letter when her friend spilled coffee on the paper’. We hypothesize that these sentences are interpreted in two steps: (1) when the progressive clause is processed, a discourse model is computed in which the goal state (a complete letter) is predicted to hold; (2) when the subordinate clause is processed, the initial representation is recomputed to the effect that, in the final discourse structure, the goal state is not satisfied. Critical sentences evoked larger sustained anterior negativities (SANs) compared to controls, starting around 400 ms following the onset of the sentence-final word, and lasting for about 400 ms. The amplitude of the SAN was correlated with the frequency with which participants, in an offline probe-selection task, responded that the goal state was not attained. Our results raise the possibility that the brain supports some form of non-monotonic recomputation to integrate information which invalidates previously held assumptions.
  • Bai, C., Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I., Wang, L., Hung, Y.-C., Schlesewsky, M., & Burkhardt, P. (2008). Semantic composition engenders an N400: Evidence from Chinese compounds. NeuroReport, 19(6), 695-699. doi:10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282fc1eb7.

    Abstract

    This study provides evidence for the role of semantic composition in compound word processing. We examined the online processing of isolated two meaning unit compounds in Chinese, a language that uses compounding to ‘disambiguate’ meaning. Using auditory presentation, we manipulated the semantic meaning and syntactic category of the two meaning units forming a compound. Event-related brain potential-recordings revealed a significant influence of semantic information, which was reflected in an N400 signature for compounds whose meaning differed from the constituent meanings. This finding suggests that the combination of distinct constituent meanings to form an overall compound meaning consumes processing resources. By contrast, no comparable difference was observed based on syntactic category information. Our findings indicate that combinatory semantic processing at the word level correlates with N400 effects.
  • Bailey, A., Hervas, A., Matthews, N., Palferman, S., Wallace, S., Aubin, A., Michelotti, J., Wainhouse, C., Papanikolaou, K., Rutter, M., Maestrini, E., Marlow, A., Weeks, D. E., Lamb, J., Francks, C., Kearsley, G., Scudder, P., Monaco, A. P., Baird, G., Cox, A. and 46 moreBailey, A., Hervas, A., Matthews, N., Palferman, S., Wallace, S., Aubin, A., Michelotti, J., Wainhouse, C., Papanikolaou, K., Rutter, M., Maestrini, E., Marlow, A., Weeks, D. E., Lamb, J., Francks, C., Kearsley, G., Scudder, P., Monaco, A. P., Baird, G., Cox, A., Cockerill, H., Nuffield, F., Le Couteur, A., Berney, T., Cooper, H., Kelly, T., Green, J., Whittaker, J., Gilchrist, A., Bolton, P., Schönewald, A., Daker, M., Ogilvie, C., Docherty, Z., Deans, Z., Bolton, B., Packer, R., Poustka, F., Rühl, D., Schmötzer, G., Bölte, S., Klauck, S. M., Spieler, A., Poustka., A., Van Engeland, H., Kemner, C., De Jonge, M., Den Hartog, I., Lord, C., Cook, E., Leventhal, B., Volkmar, F., Pauls, D., Klin, A., Smalley, S., Fombonne, E., Rogé, B., Tauber, M., Arti-Vartayan, E., Fremolle-Kruck., J., Pederson, L., Haracopos, D., Brondum-Nielsen, K., & Cotterill, R. (1998). A full genome screen for autism with evidence for linkage to a region on chromosome 7q. International Molecular Genetic Study of Autism Consortium. Human Molecular Genetics, 7(3), 571-578. doi:10.1093/hmg/7.3.571.

    Abstract

    Autism is characterized by impairments in reciprocal social interaction and communication, and restricted and sterotyped patterns of interests and activities. Developmental difficulties are apparent before 3 years of age and there is evidence for strong genetic influences most likely involving more than one susceptibility gene. A two-stage genome search for susceptibility loci in autism was performed on 87 affected sib pairs plus 12 non-sib affected relative-pairs, from a total of 99 families identified by an international consortium. Regions on six chromosomes (4, 7, 10, 16, 19 and 22) were identified which generated a multipoint maximum lod score (MLS) > 1. A region on chromosome 7q was the most significant with an MLS of 3.55 near markers D7S530 and D7S684 in the subset of 56 UK affected sib-pair families, and an MLS of 2.53 in all 87 affected sib-pair families. An area on chromosome 16p near the telomere was the next most significant, with an MLS of 1.97 in the UK families, and 1.51 in all families. These results are an important step towards identifying genes predisposing to autism; establishing their general applicability requires further study.
  • Bakker-Marshall, I., Takashima, A., Schoffelen, J.-M., Van Hell, J. G., Janzen, G., & McQueen, J. M. (2018). Theta-band Oscillations in the Middle Temporal Gyrus Reflect Novel Word Consolidation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 30(5), 621-633. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_01240.

    Abstract

    Like many other types of memory formation, novel word learning benefits from an offline consolidation period after the initial encoding phase. A previous EEG study has shown that retrieval of novel words elicited more word-like-induced electrophysiological brain activity in the theta band after consolidation [Bakker, I., Takashima, A., van Hell, J. G., Janzen, G., & McQueen, J. M. Changes in theta and beta oscillations as signatures of novel word consolidation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27, 1286–1297, 2015]. This suggests that theta-band oscillations play a role in lexicalization, but it has not been demonstrated that this effect is directly caused by the formation of lexical representations. This study used magnetoencephalography to localize the theta consolidation effect to the left posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG), a region known to be involved in lexical storage. Both untrained novel words and words learned immediately before test elicited lower theta power during retrieval than existing words in this region. After a 24-hr consolidation period, the difference between novel and existing words decreased significantly, most strongly in the left pMTG. The magnitude of the decrease after consolidation correlated with an increase in behavioral competition effects between novel words and existing words with similar spelling, reflecting functional integration into the mental lexicon. These results thus provide new evidence that consolidation aids the development of lexical representations mediated by the left pMTG. Theta synchronization may enable lexical access by facilitating the simultaneous activation of distributed semantic, phonological, and orthographic representations that are bound together in the pMTG.
  • Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Oostenveld, R., Jensen, O., & Hagoort, P. (2008). I see what you mean: Theta power increases are involved in the retrieval of lexical semantic information. Brain and Language, 106(1), 15-28. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2007.10.006.

    Abstract

    An influential hypothesis regarding the neural basis of the mental lexicon is that semantic representations are neurally implemented as distributed networks carrying sensory, motor and/or more abstract functional information. This work investigates whether the semantic properties of words partly determine the topography of such networks. Subjects performed a visual lexical decision task while their EEG was recorded. We compared the EEG responses to nouns with either visual semantic properties (VIS, referring to colors and shapes) or with auditory semantic properties (AUD, referring to sounds). A time–frequency analysis of the EEG revealed power increases in the theta (4–7 Hz) and lower-beta (13–18 Hz) frequency bands, and an early power increase and subsequent decrease for the alpha (8–12 Hz) band. In the theta band we observed a double dissociation: temporal electrodes showed larger theta power increases in the AUD condition, while occipital leads showed larger theta responses in the VIS condition. The results support the notion that semantic representations are stored in functional networks with a topography that reflects the semantic properties of the stored items, and provide further evidence that oscillatory brain dynamics in the theta frequency range are functionally related to the retrieval of lexical semantic information.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2008). Nominal apposition in Vulgar and Late Latin: At the cross-roads of major linguistic changes. In R. Wright (Ed.), Latin vulgaire - latin tardif VIII (pp. 42-50). Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  • Bauer, B. L. M., & Mota, M. (2018). On language, cognition, and the brain: An interview with Peter Hagoort. Sobre linguagem, cognição e cérebro: Uma entrevista com Peter Hagoort. Revista da Anpoll, (45), 291-296. doi:10.18309/anp.v1i45.1179.

    Abstract

    Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, founding Director of the Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (DCCN, 1999), and professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Radboud University, all located in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, PETER HAGOORT examines how the brain controls language production and comprehension. He was one of the first to integrate psychological theory and models from neuroscience in an attempt to understand how the human language faculty is instantiated in the brain.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1998). Impersonal verbs in Italic. Their development from an Indo-European perspective. Journal of Indo-European Studies, 26, 91-120.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1998). Language loss in Gaul: Socio-historical and linguistic factors in language conflict. Southwest Journal of Linguistics, 15, 23-44.
  • Becker, M., Devanna, P., Fisher, S. E., & Vernes, S. C. (2018). Mapping of Human FOXP2 Enhancers Reveals Complex Regulation. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, 11: 47. doi:10.3389/fnmol.2018.00047.

    Abstract

    Mutations of the FOXP2 gene cause a severe speech and language disorder, providing a molecular window into the neurobiology of language. Individuals with FOXP2 mutations have structural and functional alterations affecting brain circuits that overlap with sites of FOXP2 expression, including regions of the cortex, striatum, and cerebellum. FOXP2 displays complex patterns of expression in the brain, as well as in non-neuronal tissues, suggesting that sophisticated regulatory mechanisms control its spatio-temporal expression. However, to date, little is known about the regulation of FOXP2 or the genomic elements that control its expression. Using chromatin conformation capture (3C), we mapped the human FOXP2 locus to identify putative enhancer regions that engage in long-range interactions with the promoter of this gene. We demonstrate the ability of the identified enhancer regions to drive gene expression. We also show regulation of the FOXP2 promoter and enhancer regions by candidate regulators – FOXP family and TBR1 transcription factors. These data point to regulatory elements that may contribute to the temporal- or tissue-specific expression patterns of human FOXP2. Understanding the upstream regulatory pathways controlling FOXP2 expression will bring new insight into the molecular networks contributing to human language and related disorders.
  • Becker, A., & Klein, W. (2008). Recht verstehen: Wie Laien, Juristen und Versicherungsagenten die "Riester-Rente" interpretieren. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.
  • Beckmann, N. S., Indefrey, P., & Petersen, W. (2018). Words count, but thoughts shift: A frame-based account to conceptual shifts in noun countability. Voprosy Kognitivnoy Lingvistiki (Issues of Cognitive Linguistics ), 2, 79-89. doi:10.20916/1812-3228-2018-2-79-89.

    Abstract

    The current paper proposes a frame-based account to conceptual shifts in the countability do-main. We interpret shifts in noun countability as syntactically driven metonymy. Inserting a noun in an incongruent noun phrase, that is combining it with a determiner of the other countability class, gives rise to a re-interpretation of the noun referent. We assume lexical entries to be three-fold frame com-plexes connecting conceptual knowledge representations with language-specific form representations via a lemma level. Empirical data from a lexical decision experiment are presented, that support the as-sumption of such a lemma level connecting perceptual input of linguistic signs to conceptual knowledge.
  • 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.
  • Belke, E., Humphreys, G. W., Watson, D. G., Meyer, A. S., & Telling, A. L. (2008). Top-down effects of semantic knowledge in visual search are modulated by cognitive but not perceptual load. Perception & Psychophysics, 70, 1444-1458. doi:10.3758/PP.70.8.1444.

    Abstract

    Moores, Laiti, and Chelazzi (2003) found semantic interference from associate competitors during visual object search, demonstrating the existence of top-down semantic influences on the deployment of attention to objects. We examined whether effects of semantically related competitors (same-category members or associates) interacted with the effects of perceptual or cognitive load. We failed to find any interaction between competitor effects and perceptual load. However, the competitor effects increased significantly when participants were asked to retain one or five digits in memory throughout the search task. Analyses of eye movements and viewing times showed that a cognitive load did not affect the initial allocation of attention but rather the time it took participants to accept or reject an object as the target. We discuss the implications of our findings for theories of conceptual short-term memory and visual attention.
  • Belpaeme, T., Vogt, P., Van den Berghe, R., Bergmann, K., Göksun, T., De Haas, M., Kanero, J., Kennedy, J., Küntay, A. C., Oudgenoeg-Paz, O., Papadopoulos, F., Schodde, T., Verhagen, J., Wallbridge, C. D., Willemsen, B., De Wit, J., Geçkin, V., Hoffmann, L., Kopp, S., Krahmer, E. and 4 moreBelpaeme, T., Vogt, P., Van den Berghe, R., Bergmann, K., Göksun, T., De Haas, M., Kanero, J., Kennedy, J., Küntay, A. C., Oudgenoeg-Paz, O., Papadopoulos, F., Schodde, T., Verhagen, J., Wallbridge, C. D., Willemsen, B., De Wit, J., Geçkin, V., Hoffmann, L., Kopp, S., Krahmer, E., Mamus, E., Montanier, J.-M., Oranç, C., & Pandey, A. K. (2018). Guidelines for designing social robots as second language tutors. International Journal of Social Robotics, 10(3), 325-341. doi:10.1007/s12369-018-0467-6.

    Abstract

    In recent years, it has been suggested that social robots have potential as tutors and educators for both children and adults. While robots have been shown to be effective in teaching knowledge and skill-based topics, we wish to explore how social robots can be used to tutor a second language to young children. As language learning relies on situated, grounded and social learning, in which interaction and repeated practice are central, social robots hold promise as educational tools for supporting second language learning. This paper surveys the developmental psychology of second language learning and suggests an agenda to study how core concepts of second language learning can be taught by a social robot. It suggests guidelines for designing robot tutors based on observations of second language learning in human–human scenarios, various technical aspects and early studies regarding the effectiveness of social robots as second language tutors.
  • Benítez-Burraco, A., & Dediu, D. (2018). Ancient DNA and language evolution: A special section. Journal of Language Evolution, 3(1), 47-48. doi:10.1093/jole/lzx024.
  • Bentz, C., Dediu, D., Verkerk, A., & Jäger, G. (2018). Language family trees reflect geography and demography beyond neutral drift. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG XII) (pp. 38-40). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.006.
  • Bentz, C., Dediu, D., Verkerk, A., & Jäger, G. (2018). The evolution of language families is shaped by the environment beyond neutral drift. Nature Human Behaviour, 2, 816-821. doi:10.1038/s41562-018-0457-6.

    Abstract

    There are more than 7,000 languages spoken in the world today1. It has been argued that the natural and social environment of languages drives this diversity. However, a fundamental question is how strong are environmental pressures, and does neutral drift suffice as a mechanism to explain diversification? We estimate the phylogenetic signals of geographic dimensions, distance to water, climate and population size on more than 6,000 phylogenetic trees of 46 language families. Phylogenetic signals of environmental factors are generally stronger than expected under the null hypothesis of no relationship with the shape of family trees. Importantly, they are also—in most cases—not compatible with neutral drift models of constant-rate change across the family tree branches. Our results suggest that language diversification is driven by further adaptive and non-adaptive pressures. Language diversity cannot be understood without modelling the pressures that physical, ecological and social factors exert on language users in different environments across the globe.
  • 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.
  • Bercelli, F., Rossano, F., & Viaro, M. (2008). Different place, different action: Clients' personal narratives in psychotherapy. Text and Talk, 28(3), 283-305. doi:10.1515/TEXT.2008.014.

    Abstract

    This paper deals with clients' personal narratives in psychotherapy. Using the method of conversation analysis, we focus on actions and tasks accomplished through clients' narratives. We identify, within the overall structural organization of therapeutic talk in our corpus, two different sequential placements of clients' narratives and describe some of their distinctive features. When they are placed within an inquiry phase of the session and are solicited by therapists' questions, the clients' narratives mainly provide information for therapists in the service of their inquiring agenda. When placed within an elaboration phase of the session, personal narratives are regularly volunteered by clients and produced as responses to therapists' reinterpretations, i.e., statements working up clients' circumstances as previously described by clients. In this latter placement, they mainly offer further evidence relevant to the therapists' reinterpretations, and thus show how clients understand therapists' reinterpretations and what they make of them. The import of these findings, for both an explication of therapeutic techniques and a better understanding of the therapeutic process, is also discussed.

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  • Bergmann, C., & Cristia, A. (2018). Environmental influences on infants’ native vowel discrimination: The case of talker number in daily life. Infancy, 23(4), 484-501. doi:10.1111/infa.12232.

    Abstract

    Both quality and quantity of speech from the primary caregiver have been found to impact language development. A third aspect of the input has been largely ignored: the number of talkers who provide input. Some infants spend most of their waking time with only one person; others hear many different talkers. Even if the very same words are spoken the same number of times, the pronunciations can be more variable when several talkers pronounce them. Is language acquisition affected by the number of people who provide input? To shed light on the possible link between how many people provide input in daily life and infants’ native vowel discrimination, three age groups were tested: 4-month-olds (before attunement to native vowels), 6-month-olds (at the cusp of native vowel attunement) and 12-month-olds (well attuned to the native vowel system). No relationship was found between talker number and native vowel discrimination skills in 4- and 6-month-olds, who are overall able to discriminate the vowel contrast. At 12 months, we observe a small positive relationship, but further analyses reveal that the data are also compatible with the null hypothesis of no relationship. Implications in the context of infant language acquisition and cognitive development are discussed.
  • Bergmann, C., Tsuji, S., Piccinini, P. E., Lewis, M. L., Braginsky, M. B., Frank, M. C., & Cristia, A. (2018). Promoting replicability in developmental research through meta-analyses: Insights from language acquisition research. Child Development, 89(6), 1996-2009. doi:10.1111/cdev.13079.

    Abstract

    Previous work suggests key factors for replicability, a necessary feature for theory building, include statistical power and appropriate research planning. These factors are examined by analyzing a collection of 12 standardized meta-analyses on language development between birth and 5 years. With a median effect size of Cohen's d= 0.45 and typical sample size of 18 participants, most research is underpowered (range: 6%-99%; median 44%); and calculating power based on seminal publications is not a suitable strategy. Method choice can be improved, as shown in analyses on exclusion rates and effect size as a function of method. The article ends with a discussion on how to increase replicability in both language acquisition studies specifically and developmental research more generally.
  • Berkers, R. M. W. J., Ekman, M., van Dongen, E. V., Takashima, A., Barth, M., Paller, K. A., & Fernández, G. (2018). Cued reactivation during slow-wave sleep induces brain connectivity changes related to memory stabilization. Scientific Reports, 8: 16958. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-35287-6.

    Abstract

    Memory reprocessing following acquisition enhances memory consolidation. Specifically, neural activity during encoding is thought to be ‘replayed’ during subsequent slow-wave sleep. Such memory replay is thought to contribute to the functional reorganization of neural memory traces. In particular, memory replay may facilitate the exchange of information across brain regions by inducing a reconfiguration of connectivity across the brain. Memory reactivation can be induced by external cues through a procedure known as “targeted memory reactivation”. Here, we analysed data from a published study with auditory cues used to reactivate visual object-location memories during slow-wave sleep. We characterized effects of memory reactivation on brain network connectivity using graph-theory. We found that cue presentation during slow-wave sleep increased global network integration of occipital cortex, a visual region that was also active during retrieval of object locations. Although cueing did not have an overall beneficial effect on the retention of cued versus uncued associations, individual differences in overnight memory stabilization were related to enhanced network integration of occipital cortex. Furthermore, occipital cortex displayed enhanced connectivity with mnemonic regions, namely the hippocampus, parahippocampal gyrus, thalamus and medial prefrontal cortex during cue sound presentation. Together, these results suggest a neural mechanism where cue-induced replay during sleep increases integration of task-relevant perceptual regions with mnemonic regions. This cross-regional integration may be instrumental for the consolidation and long-term storage of enduring memories.

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  • Berrettini, W., Yuan, X., Tozzi, F., Song, K., Francks, C., Chilcoat, H., Waterworth, D., Muglia, P., & Mooser, V. (2008). Alpha-5/alpha-3 nicotinic receptor subunit alleles increase risk for heavy smoking. Molecular Psychiatry, 13, 368-373. doi:10.1038/sj.mp.4002154.

    Abstract

    Twin studies indicate that additive genetic effects explain most of the variance in nicotine dependence (ND), a construct emphasizing habitual heavy smoking despite adverse consequences, tolerance and withdrawal. To detect ND alleles, we assessed cigarettes per day (CPD) regularly smoked, in two European populations via whole genome association techniques. In these approximately 7500 persons, a common haplotype in the CHRNA3-CHRNA5 nicotinic receptor subunit gene cluster was associated with CPD (nominal P=6.9 x 10(-5)). In a third set of European populations (n= approximately 7500) which had been genotyped for approximately 6000 SNPs in approximately 2000 genes, an allele in the same haplotype was associated with CPD (nominal P=2.6 x 10(-6)). These results (in three independent populations of European origin, totaling approximately 15 000 individuals) suggest that a common haplotype in the CHRNA5/CHRNA3 gene cluster on chromosome 15 contains alleles, which predispose to ND.

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  • Blythe, J. (2018). Genesis of the trinity: The convergent evolution of trirelational kinterms. In P. McConvell, & P. Kelly (Eds.), Skin, kin and clan: The dynamics of social categories in Indigenous Australia (pp. 431-471). Canberra: ANU EPress.
  • De Boer, B., & Thompson, B. (2018). Biology-culture co-evolution in finite populations. Scientific Reports, 8: 1209. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-18928-0.

    Abstract

    Language is the result of two concurrent evolutionary processes: Biological and cultural inheritance. An influential evolutionary hypothesis known as the moving target problem implies inherent limitations on the interactions between our two inheritance streams that result from a difference in pace: The speed of cultural evolution is thought to rule out cognitive adaptation to culturally evolving aspects of language. We examine this hypothesis formally by casting it as as a problem of adaptation in time-varying environments. We present a mathematical model of biology-culture co-evolution in finite populations: A generalisation of the Moran process, treating co-evolution as coupled non-independent Markov processes, providing a general formulation of the moving target hypothesis in precise probabilistic terms. Rapidly varying culture decreases the probability of biological adaptation. However, we show that this effect declines with population size and with stronger links between biology and culture: In realistically sized finite populations, stochastic effects can carry cognitive specialisations to fixation in the face of variable culture, especially if the effects of those specialisations are amplified through cultural evolution. These results support the view that language arises from interactions between our two major inheritance streams, rather than from one primary evolutionary process that dominates another. © 2018 The Author(s).

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  • Bögels, S., Casillas, M., & Levinson, S. C. (2018). Planning versus comprehension in turn-taking: Fast responders show reduced anticipatory processing of the question. Neuropsychologia, 109, 295-310. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2017.12.028.

    Abstract

    Rapid response latencies in conversation suggest that responders start planning before the ongoing turn is finished. Indeed, an earlier EEG study suggests that listeners start planning their responses to questions as soon as they can (Bögels, S., Magyari, L., & Levinson, S. C. (2015). Neural signatures of response planning occur midway through an incoming question in conversation. Scientific Reports, 5, 12881). The present study aimed to (1) replicate this early planning effect and (2) investigate whether such early response planning incurs a cost on participants’ concurrent comprehension of the ongoing turn. During the experiment participants answered questions from a confederate partner. To address aim (1), the questions were designed such that response planning could start either early or late in the turn. Our results largely replicate Bögels et al. (2015) showing a large positive ERP effect and an oscillatory alpha/beta reduction right after participants could have first started planning their verbal response, again suggesting an early start of response planning. To address aim (2), the confederate's questions also contained either an expected word or an unexpected one to elicit a differential N400 effect, either before or after the start of response planning. We hypothesized an attenuated N400 effect after response planning had started. In contrast, the N400 effects before and after planning did not differ. There was, however, a positive correlation between participants' response time and their N400 effect size after planning had started; quick responders showed a smaller N400 effect, suggesting reduced attention to comprehension and possibly reduced anticipatory processing. We conclude that early response planning can indeed impact comprehension processing.

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  • Bohnemeyer, J. (1998). Sententiale Topics im Yukatekischen. In Z. Dietmar (Ed.), Deskriptive Grammatik und allgemeiner Sprachvergleich (pp. 55-85). Tübingen, Germany: Max-Niemeyer-Verlag.

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  • 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.

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  • Bosker, H. R., & Ghitza, O. (2018). Entrained theta oscillations guide perception of subsequent speech: Behavioral evidence from rate normalization. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(8), 955-967. doi:10.1080/23273798.2018.1439179.

    Abstract

    This psychoacoustic study provides behavioral evidence that neural entrainment in the theta range (3-9 Hz) causally shapes speech perception. Adopting the ‘rate normalization’ paradigm (presenting compressed carrier sentences followed by uncompressed target words), we show that uniform compression of a speech carrier to syllable rates inside the theta range influences perception of subsequent uncompressed targets, but compression outside theta range does not. However, the influence of carriers – compressed outside theta range – on target perception is salvaged when carriers are ‘repackaged’ to have a packet rate inside theta. This suggests that the brain can only successfully entrain to syllable/packet rates within theta range, with a causal influence on the perception of subsequent speech, in line with recent neuroimaging data. Thus, this study points to a central role for sustained theta entrainment in rate normalization and contributes to our understanding of the functional role of brain oscillations in speech perception.
  • Bosker, H. R. (2018). Putting Laurel and Yanny in context. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 144(6), EL503-EL508. doi:10.1121/1.5070144.

    Abstract

    Recently, the world’s attention was caught by an audio clip that was perceived as “Laurel” or “Yanny”. Opinions were sharply split: many could not believe others heard something different from their perception. However, a crowd-source experiment with >500 participants shows that it is possible to make people hear Laurel, where they previously heard Yanny, by manipulating preceding acoustic context. This study is not only the first to reveal within-listener variation in Laurel/Yanny percepts, but also to demonstrate contrast effects for global spectral information in larger frequency regions. Thus, it highlights the intricacies of human perception underlying these social media phenomena.
  • Bosker, H. R., & Cooke, M. (2018). Talkers produce more pronounced amplitude modulations when speaking in noise. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 143(2), EL121-EL126. doi:10.1121/1.5024404.

    Abstract

    Speakers adjust their voice when talking in noise (known as Lombard speech), facilitating speech comprehension. Recent neurobiological models of speech perception emphasize the role of amplitude modulations in speech-in-noise comprehension, helping neural oscillators to ‘track’ the attended speech. This study tested whether talkers produce more pronounced amplitude modulations in noise. Across four different corpora, modulation spectra showed greater power in amplitude modulations below 4 Hz in Lombard speech compared to matching plain speech. This suggests that noise-induced speech contains more pronounced amplitude modulations, potentially helping the listening brain to entrain to the attended talker, aiding comprehension.
  • Böttner, M. (1998). A collective extension of relational grammar. Logic Journal of the IGPL, 6(2), 175-793. doi:10.1093/jigpal/6.2.175.

    Abstract

    Relational grammar was proposed in Suppes (1976) as a semantical grammar for natural language. Fragments considered so far are restricted to distributive notions. In this article, relational grammar is extended to collective notions.
  • Bowerman, M., & Brown, P. (Eds.). (2008). Crosslinguistic perspectives on argument structure: Implications for learnability. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Abstract

    This book offers an interdisciplinary perspective on verb argument structure and its role in language acquisition. Much contemporary work in linguistics and psychology assumes that argument structure is strongly constrained by a set of universal principles, and that these principles are innate, providing children with certain “bootstrapping” strategies that help them home in on basic aspects of the syntax and lexicon of their language. Drawing on a broad range of crosslinguistic data, this volume shows that languages are much more diverse in their argument structure properties than has been realized. This diversity raises challenges for many existing proposals about language acquisition, affects the range of solutions that can be considered plausible, and highlights new acquisition puzzles that until now have passed unnoticed. The volume is the outcome of an integrated research project and comprises chapters by both specialists in first language acquisition and field linguists working on a variety of lesser-known languages. The research draws on original fieldwork and on adult data, child data, or both from thirteen languages from nine different language families. Some chapters offer typological perspectives, examining the basic structures of a given language with language-learnability issues in mind. Other chapters investigate specific problems of language acquisition in one or more languages. Taken as a whole, the volume illustrates how detailed work on crosslinguistic variation is critical to the development of insightful theories of language acquisition.
  • 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.
  • Li, P., & Bowerman, M. (1998). The acquisition of lexical and grammatical aspect in Chinese. First Language, 18, 311-350. doi:10.1177/014272379801805404.

    Abstract

    This study reports three experiments on how children learning Mandarin Chinese comprehend and use aspect markers. These experiments examine the role of lexical aspect in children's acquisition of grammatical aspect. Results provide converging evidence for children's early sensitivity to (1) the association between atelic verbs and the imperfective aspect markers zai, -zhe, and -ne, and (2) the association between telic verbs and the perfective aspect marker -le. Children did not show a sensitivity in their use or understanding of aspect markers to the difference between stative and activity verbs or between semelfactive and activity verbs. These results are consistent with Slobin's (1985) basic child grammar hypothesis that the contrast between process and result is important in children's early acquisition of temporal morphology. In contrast, they are inconsistent with Bickerton's (1981, 1984) language bioprogram hypothesis that the distinctions between state and process and between punctual and nonpunctual are preprogrammed into language learners. We suggest new ways of looking at the results in the light of recent probabilistic hypotheses that emphasize the role of input, prototypes and connectionist representations.
  • 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.
  • Brand, J., Monaghan, P., & Walker, P. (2018). Changing Signs: Testing How Sound-Symbolism Supports Early Word Learning. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T. T. Rogers (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2018) (pp. 1398-1403). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Learning a language involves learning how to map specific forms onto their associated meanings. Such mappings can utilise arbitrariness and non-arbitrariness, yet, our understanding of how these two systems operate at different stages of vocabulary development is still not fully understood. The Sound-Symbolism Bootstrapping Hypothesis (SSBH) proposes that sound-symbolism is essential for word learning to commence, but empirical evidence of exactly how sound-symbolism influences language learning is still sparse. It may be the case that sound-symbolism supports acquisition of categories of meaning, or that it enables acquisition of individualized word meanings. In two Experiments where participants learned form-meaning mappings from either sound-symbolic or arbitrary languages, we demonstrate the changing roles of sound-symbolism and arbitrariness for different vocabulary sizes, showing that sound-symbolism provides an advantage for learning of broad categories, which may then transfer to support learning individual words, whereas an arbitrary language impedes acquisition of categories of sound to meaning.
  • Brand, S., & Ernestus, M. (2018). Listeners’ processing of a given reduced word pronunciation variant directly reflects their exposure to this variant: evidence from native listeners and learners of French. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 71(5), 1240-1259. doi:10.1080/17470218.2017.1313282.

    Abstract

    n casual conversations, words often lack segments. This study investigates whether listeners rely on their experience with reduced word pronunciation variants during the processing of single segment reduction. We tested three groups of listeners in a lexical decision experiment with French words produced either with or without word-medial schwa (e.g., /ʀəvy/ and /ʀvy/ for revue). Participants also rated the relative frequencies of the two pronunciation variants of the words. If the recognition accuracy and reaction times for a given listener group correlate best with the frequencies of occurrence holding for that given listener group, recognition is influenced by listeners’ exposure to these variants. Native listeners' relative frequency ratings correlated well with their accuracy scores and RTs. Dutch advanced learners' accuracy scores and RTs were best predicted by their own ratings. In contrast, the accuracy and RTs from Dutch beginner learners of French could not be predicted by any relative frequency rating; the rating task was probably too difficult for them. The participant groups showed behaviour reflecting their difference in experience with the pronunciation variants. Our results strongly suggest that listeners store the frequencies of occurrence of pronunciation variants, and consequently the variants themselves
  • Brand, S., & Ernestus, M. (2018). Reduction of word-final obstruent-liquid-schwa clusters in Parisian French. Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory. Advance online publication. doi:10.1515/cllt-2017-0067.

    Abstract

    This corpus study investigated pronunciation variants of word-final obstruent-liquid-schwa (OLS) clusters in nouns in casual Parisian French. Results showed that at least one phoneme was absent in 80.7% of the 291 noun tokens in the dataset, and that the whole cluster was absent (e.g., [mis] for ministre) in no less than 15.5% of the tokens. We demonstrate that phonemes are not always completely absent, but that they may leave traces on neighbouring phonemes. Further, the clusters display undocumented voice assimilation patterns. Statistical modelling showed that a phoneme is most likely to be absent if the following phoneme is also absent. The durations of the phonemes are conditioned particularly by the position of the word in the prosodic phrase. We argue, on the basis of three different types of evidence, that in French word-final OLS clusters, the absence of obstruents is mainly due to gradient reduction processes, whereas the absence of schwa and liquids may also be due to categorical deletion processes.

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  • Brand, J., Monaghan, P., & Walker, P. (2018). The changing role of sound‐symbolism for small versus large vocabularies. Cognitive Science, 42(S2), 578-590. doi:10.1111/cogs.12565.

    Abstract

    Natural language contains many examples of sound‐symbolism, where the form of the word carries information about its meaning. Such systematicity is more prevalent in the words children acquire first, but arbitrariness dominates during later vocabulary development. Furthermore, systematicity appears to promote learning category distinctions, which may become more important as the vocabulary grows. In this study, we tested the relative costs and benefits of sound‐symbolism for word learning as vocabulary size varies. Participants learned form‐meaning mappings for words which were either congruent or incongruent with regard to sound‐symbolic relations. For the smaller vocabulary, sound‐symbolism facilitated learning individual words, whereas for larger vocabularies sound‐symbolism supported learning category distinctions. The changing properties of form‐meaning mappings according to vocabulary size may reflect the different ways in which language is learned at different stages of development.

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  • Braun, B., Tagliapietra, L., & Cutler, A. (2008). Contrastive utterances make alternatives salient: Cross-modal priming evidence. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2008 (pp. 69-69).

    Abstract

    Sentences with contrastive intonation are assumed to presuppose contextual alternatives to the accented elements. Two cross-modal priming experiments tested in Dutch whether such contextual alternatives are automatically available to listeners. Contrastive associates – but not non- contrastive associates - were facilitated only when primes were produced in sentences with contrastive intonation, indicating that contrastive intonation makes unmentioned contextual alternatives immediately available. Possibly, contrastive contours trigger a “presupposition resolution mechanism” by which these alternatives become salient.
  • Braun, B., Lemhöfer, K., & Cutler, A. (2008). English word stress as produced by English and Dutch speakers: The role of segmental and suprasegmental differences. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2008 (pp. 1953-1953).

    Abstract

    It has been claimed that Dutch listeners use suprasegmental cues (duration, spectral tilt) more than English listeners in distinguishing English word stress. We tested whether this asymmetry also holds in production, comparing the realization of English word stress by native English speakers and Dutch speakers. Results confirmed that English speakers centralize unstressed vowels more, while Dutch speakers of English make more use of suprasegmental differences.
  • Braun, B., & Chen, A. (2008). Now move X into cell Y: intonation of 'now' in on-line reference resolution. In P. Barbosa, S. Madureira, & C. Reis (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Conferences on Speech Prosody (pp. 477-480). Campinas: Editora RG/CNPq.

    Abstract

    Prior work has shown that listeners efficiently exploit prosodic information both in the discourse referent and in the preceding modifier to identify the referent. This study investigated whether listeners make use of prosodic information prior to the ENTIRE referential expression, i.e. the intonational realization of the adverb 'now', to identify the upcoming referent. The adverb ‘now’ can be used to draw attention to contrasting information in the sentence. (e.g., ‘put the book on the bookshelf. Now put the pen on the bookshelf.’). It has been shown for Dutch that nu ('now') is realized prosodically differently in different information structural contexts though certain realizations occur across information structural contexts. In an eye-tracking experiment we tested two hypotheses regarding the role of the intonation of nu in online reference resolution in Dutch: the “irrelevant intonation” hypothesis, whereby listeners make no use of the intonation of nu, vs. the “linguistic intonation” hypothesis, whereby listeners are sensitive to the conditional probabilities between different intonational realizations of nu and the referent. Our findings show that listeners employ the intonation of nu to identify the upcoming referent. They are mislead by an accented nu but correctly interpret an unaccented nu as referring to a new, unmentioned entity.
  • De Bree, E., Van Alphen, P. M., Fikkert, P., & Wijnen, F. (2008). Metrical stress in comprehension and production of Dutch children at risk of dyslexia. In H. Chan, H. Jacob, & E. Kapia (Eds.), Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 60-71). Somerville, Mass: Cascadilla Press.

    Abstract

    The present study compared the role of metrical stress in comprehension and production of three-year-old children with a familial risk of dyslexia with that of normally developing children to further explore the phonological deficit in dyslexia. A visual fixation task with stress (mis-)matches in bisyllabic words, as well as a non-word repetition task with bisyllabic targets were presented to the control and at-risk children. Results show that the at-risk group was less sensitive to stress mismatches in word recognition than the control group. Correct production of metrical stress patterns did not differ significantly between the groups, but the percentages of phonemes produced correctly were lower for the at-risk than the control group. These findings suggest that processing of metrical stress is not impaired in at-risk children, but that this group cannot exploit metrical stress for speech in word recognition. This study demonstrates the importance of including suprasegmental skills in dyslexia research.
  • Brehm, L., & Goldrick, M. (2018). Connectionist principles in theories of speech production. In S.-A. Rueschemeyer, & M. G. Gaskell (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Psycholinguistics (2nd ed., pp. 372-397). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Abstract

    This chapter focuses on connectionist modeling in language production, highlighting how core principles of connectionism provide coverage for empirical observations about representation and selection at the phonological, lexical, and sentence levels. The first section focuses on the connectionist principles of localist representations and spreading activation. It discusses how these two principles have motivated classic models of speech production and shows how they cover results of the picture-word interference paradigm, the mixed error effect, and aphasic naming errors. The second section focuses on how newer connectionist models incorporate the principles of learning and distributed representations through discussion of syntactic priming, cumulative semantic interference, sequencing errors, phonological blends, and code-switching
  • Broeder, D., Nathan, D., Strömqvist, S., & Van Veenendaal, R. (2008). Building a federation of Language Resource Repositories: The DAM-LR project and its continuation within CLARIN. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2008).

    Abstract

    The DAM-LR project aims at virtually integrating various European language resource archives that allow users to navigate and operate in a single unified domain of language resources. This type of integration introduces Grid technology to the humanities disciplines and forms a federation of archives. The complete architecture is designed based on a few well-known components .This is considered the basis for building a research infrastructure for Language Resources as is planned within the CLARIN project. The DAM-LR project was purposefully started with only a small number of participants for flexibility and to avoid complex contract negotiations with respect to legal issues. Now that we have gained insights into the basic technology issues and organizational issues, it is foreseen that the federation will be expanded considerably within the CLARIN project that will also address the associated legal issues.
  • Broeder, D., Declerck, T., Hinrichs, E., Piperidis, S., Romary, L., Calzolari, N., & Wittenburg, P. (2008). Foundation of a component-based flexible registry for language resources and technology. In N. Calzorali (Ed.), Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2008) (pp. 1433-1436). European Language Resources Association (ELRA).

    Abstract

    Within the CLARIN e-science infrastructure project it is foreseen to develop a component-based registry for metadata for Language Resources and Language Technology. With this registry it is hoped to overcome the problems of the current available systems with respect to inflexible fixed schema, unsuitable terminology and interoperability problems. The registry will address interoperability needs by refering to a shared vocabulary registered in data category registries as they are suggested by ISO.
  • Broeder, D., Auer, E., Kemps-Snijders, M., Sloetjes, H., Wittenburg, P., & Zinn, C. (2008). Managing very large multimedia archives and their integration into federations. In P. Manghi, P. Pagano, & P. Zezula (Eds.), First Workshop in Very Large Digital Libraries (VLDL 2008).
  • Broersma, M. (2008). Flexible cue use in nonnative phonetic categorization (L). Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 124(2), 712-715. doi:10.1121/1.2940578.

    Abstract

    Native and nonnative listeners categorized final /v/ versus /f/ in English nonwords. Fricatives followed phonetically long originally /v/-preceding or short originally /f/-preceding vowels. Vowel duration was constant for each participant and sometimes mismatched other voicing cues. Previous results showed that English but not Dutch listeners whose L1 has no final voicing contrast nevertheless used the misleading vowel duration for /v/-/f/ categorization. New analyses showed that Dutch listeners did use vowel duration initially, but quickly reduced its use, whereas the English listeners used it consistently throughout the experiment. Thus, nonnative listeners adapted to the stimuli more flexibly than native listeners did.
  • Broersma, M., & Cutler, A. (2008). Phantom word activation in L2. System, 36(1), 22-34. doi:10.1016/j.system.2007.11.003.

    Abstract

    L2 listening can involve the phantom activation of words which are not actually in the input. All spoken-word recognition involves multiple concurrent activation of word candidates, with selection of the correct words achieved by a process of competition between them. L2 listening involves more such activation than L1 listening, and we report two studies illustrating this. First, in a lexical decision study, L2 listeners accepted (but L1 listeners did not accept) spoken non-words such as groof or flide as real English words. Second, a priming study demonstrated that the same spoken non-words made recognition of the real words groove, flight easier for L2 (but not L1) listeners, suggesting that, for the L2 listeners only, these real words had been activated by the spoken non-word input. We propose that further understanding of the activation and competition process in L2 lexical processing could lead to new understanding of L2 listening difficulty.
  • 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, P. (1998). [Review of the book by A.J. Wootton, Interaction and the development of mind]. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 4(4), 816-817.
  • Brown, A., & Gullberg, M. (2008). Bidirectional crosslinguistic influence in L1-L2 encoding of manner in speech and gesture. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 30(2), 225-251. doi:10.1017/S0272263108080327.

    Abstract

    Whereas most research in SLA assumes the relationship between the first language (L1) and the second language (L2) to be unidirectional, this study investigates the possibility of a bidirectional relationship. We examine the domain of manner of motion, in which monolingual Japanese and English speakers differ both in speech and gesture. Parallel influences of the L1 on the L2 and the L2 on the L1 were found in production from native Japanese speakers with intermediate knowledge of English. These effects, which were strongest in gesture patterns, demonstrate that (a) bidirectional interaction between languages in the multilingual mind can occur even with intermediate proficiency in the L2 and (b) gesture analyses can offer insights on interactions between languages beyond those observed through analyses of speech alone.
  • Brown, P. (1998). Children's first verbs in Tzeltal: Evidence for an early verb category. Linguistics, 36(4), 713-753.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    When Tzeltal children in the Mayan community of Tenejapa, in southern Mexico, begin speaking, their production vocabulary consists predominantly of verb roots, in contrast to the dominance of nouns in the initial vocabulary of first‐language learners of Indo‐European languages. This article proposes that a particular Tzeltal conversational feature—known in the Mayanist literature as "dialogic repetition"—provides a context that facilitates the early analysis and use of verbs. Although Tzeltal babies are not treated by adults as genuine interlocutors worthy of sustained interaction, dialogic repetition in the speech the children are exposed to may have an important role in revealing to them the structural properties of the language, as well as in socializing the collaborative style of verbal interaction adults favor in this community.
  • Brown, P. (1998). 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, A. (2008). Gesture viewpoint in Japanese and English: Cross-linguistic interactions between two languages in one speaker. Gesture, 8(2), 256-276. doi:10.1075/gest.8.2.08bro.

    Abstract

    Abundant evidence across languages, structures, proficiencies, and modalities shows that properties of first languages influence performance in second languages. This paper presents an alternative perspective on the interaction between established and emerging languages within second language speakers by arguing that an L2 can influence an L1, even at relatively low proficiency levels. Analyses of the gesture viewpoint employed in English and Japanese descriptions of motion events revealed systematic between-language and within-language differences. Monolingual Japanese speakers used significantly more Character Viewpoint than monolingual English speakers, who predominantly employed Observer Viewpoint. In their L1 and their L2, however, native Japanese speakers with intermediate knowledge of English patterned more like the monolingual English speakers than their monolingual Japanese counterparts. After controlling for effects of cultural exposure, these results offer valuable insights into both the nature of cross-linguistic interactions within individuals and potential factors underlying gesture viewpoint.
  • 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. (1998). La identificación de las raíces verbales en Tzeltal (Maya): Cómo lo hacen los niños? Función, 17-18, 121-146.

    Abstract

    This is a Spanish translation of Brown 1997.
  • 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.
  • Brown, P. (2008). Up, down, and across the land: Landscape terms and place names in Tzeltal. Language Sciences, 30(2/3), 151-181. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2006.12.003.

    Abstract

    The Tzeltal language is spoken in a mountainous region of southern Mexico by some 280,000 Mayan corn farmers. This paper focuses on landscape and place vocabulary in the Tzeltal municipio of Tenejapa, where speakers use an absolute system of spatial reckoning based on the overall uphill (southward)/downhill (northward) slope of the land. The paper examines the formal and functional properties of the Tenejapa Tzeltal vocabulary labelling features of the local landscape and relates it to spatial vocabulary for describing locative relations, including the uphill/downhill axis for spatial reckoning as well as body part terms for specifying parts of locative grounds. I then examine the local place names, discuss their semantic and morphosyntactic properties, and relate them to the landscape vocabulary, to spatial vocabulary, and also to cultural narratives about events associated with particular places. I conclude with some observations on the determinants of landscape and place terminology in Tzeltal, and what this vocabulary and how it is used reveal about the conceptualization of landscape and places.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2018). Tzeltal: The demonstrative system. In S. C. Levinson, S. Cutfield, M. Dunn, N. J. Enfield, & S. Meira (Eds.), Demonstratives in cross-linguistic perspective (pp. 150-177). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Brown-Schmidt, S., & Konopka, A. E. (2008). Little houses and casas pequenas: Message formulation and syntactic form in unscripted speech with speakers of English and Spanish. Cognition, 109(2), 274-280. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2008.07.011.

    Abstract

    During unscripted speech, speakers coordinate the formulation of pre-linguistic messages with the linguistic processes that implement those messages into speech. We examine the process of constructing a contextually appropriate message and interfacing that message with utterance planning in English (the small butterfly) and Spanish (la mariposa pequeña) during an unscripted, interactive task. The coordination of gaze and speech during formulation of these messages is used to evaluate two hypotheses regarding the lower limit on the size of message planning units, namely whether messages are planned in units isomorphous to entire phrases or units isomorphous to single lexical items. Comparing the planning of fluent pre-nominal adjectives in English and post-nominal adjectives in Spanish showed that size information is added to the message later in Spanish than English, suggesting that speakers can prepare pre-linguistic messages in lexically-sized units. The results also suggest that the speaker can use disfluency to coordinate the transition from thought to speech.
  • Brugman, H., Malaisé, V., & Hollink, L. (2008). A common multimedia annotation framework for cross linking cultural heritage digital collections. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2008).

    Abstract

    In the context of the CATCH research program that is currently carried out at a number of large Dutch cultural heritage institutions our ambition is to combine and exchange heterogeneous multimedia annotations between projects and institutions. As first step we designed an Annotation Meta Model: a simple but powerful RDF/OWL model mainly addressing the anchoring of annotations to segments of the many different media types used in the collections of the archives, museums and libraries involved. The model includes support for the annotation of annotations themselves, and of segments of annotation values, to be able to layer annotations and in this way enable projects to process each other’s annotation data as the primary data for further annotation. On basis of AMM we designed an application programming interface for accessing annotation repositories and implemented it both as a software library and as a web service. Finally, we report on our experiences with the application of model, API and repository when developing web applications for collection managers in cultural heritage institutions
  • Burenhult, N., & Levinson, S. C. (2008). Language and landscape: A cross-linguistic perspective. Language Sciences, 30(2/3), 135-150. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2006.12.028.

    Abstract

    This special issue is the outcome of collaborative work on the relationship between language and landscape, carried out in the Language and Cognition Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. The contributions explore the linguistic categories of landscape terms and place names in nine genetically, typologically and geographically diverse languages, drawing on data from first-hand fieldwork. The present introductory article lays out the reasons why the domain of landscape is of central interest to the language sciences and beyond, and it outlines some of the major patterns that emerge from the cross-linguistic comparison which the papers invite. The data point to considerable variation within and across languages in how systems of landscape terms and place names are ontologised. This has important implications for practical applications from international law to modern navigation systems.
  • Burenhult, N. (Ed.). (2008). Language and landscape: Geographical ontology in cross-linguistic perspective [Special Issue]. Language Sciences, 30(2/3).

    Abstract

    This special issue is the outcome of collaborative work on the relationship between language and landscape, carried out in the Language and Cognition Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. The contributions explore the linguistic categories of landscape terms and place names in nine genetically, typologically and geographically diverse languages, drawing on data from first-hand fieldwork. The present introductory article lays out the reasons why the domain of landscape is of central interest to the language sciences and beyond, and it outlines some of the major patterns that emerge from the cross-linguistic comparison which the papers invite. The data point to considerable variation within and across languages in how systems of landscape terms and place names are ontologised. This has important implications for practical applications from international law to modern navigation systems.
  • Burenhult, N. (2008). Spatial coordinate systems in demonstrative meaning. Linguistic Typology, 12(1), 99-142. doi:10.1515/LITY.2008.032.

    Abstract

    Exploring the semantic encoding of a group of crosslinguistically uncommon “spatial-coordinate demonstratives”, this work establishes the existence of demonstratives whose function is to project angular search domains, thus invoking proper coordinate systems (or “frames of reference”). What is special about these distinctions is that they rely on a spatial asymmetry in relativizing a demonstrative referent (representing the Figure) to the deictic center (representing the Ground). A semantic typology of such demonstratives is constructed based on the nature of the asymmetries they employ. A major distinction is proposed between asymmetries outside the deictic Figure-Ground array (e.g., features of the larger environment) and those within it (e.g., facets of the speaker/addressee dyad). A unique system of the latter type, present in Jahai, an Aslian (Mon-Khmer) language spoken by groups of hunter-gatherers in the Malay Peninsula, is introduced and explored in detail using elicited data as well as natural conversational data captured on video. Although crosslinguistically unusual, spatial-coordinate demonstratives sit at the interface of issues central to current discourse in semantic-pragmatic theory: demonstrative function, deictic layout, and spatial frames of reference.
  • Burenhult, N. (2008). Streams of words: Hydrological lexicon in Jahai. Language Sciences, 30(2/3), 182-199. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2006.12.005.

    Abstract

    This article investigates hydrological lexicon in Jahai, a Mon-Khmer language of the Malay Peninsula. Setting out from an analysis of the structural and semantic properties as well as the indigenous vs. borrowed origin of lexicon related to drainage, it teases out a set of distinct lexical systems for reference to and description of hydrological features. These include (1) indigenous nominal labels subcategorised by metaphor, (2) borrowed nominal labels, (3) verbals referring to properties and processes of water, (4) a set of motion verbs, and (5) place names. The lexical systems, functionally diverse and driven by different factors, illustrate that principles and strategies of geographical categorisation can vary systematically and profoundly within a single language.
  • 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.
  • Burkhardt, P., Avrutin, S., Piñango, M. M., & Ruigendijk, E. (2008). Slower-than-normal syntactic processing in agrammatic Broca's aphasia: Evidence from Dutch. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 21(2), 120-137. doi:10.1016/j.jneuroling.2006.10.004.

    Abstract

    Studies of agrammatic Broca's aphasia reveal a diverging pattern of performance in the comprehension of reflexive elements: offline, performance seems unimpaired, whereas online—and in contrast to both matching controls and Wernicke's patients—no antecedent reactivation is observed at the reflexive. Here we propose that this difference characterizes the agrammatic comprehension deficit as a result of slower-than-normal syntactic structure formation. To test this characterization, the comprehension of three Dutch agrammatic patients and matching control participants was investigated utilizing the cross-modal lexical decision (CMLD) interference task. Two types of reflexive-antecedent dependencies were tested, which have already been shown to exert distinct processing demands on the comprehension system as a function of the level at which the dependency was formed. Our hypothesis predicts that if the agrammatic system has a processing limitation such that syntactic structure is built in a protracted manner, this limitation will be reflected in delayed interpretation. Confirming previous findings, the Dutch patients show an effect of distinct processing demands for the two types of reflexive-antecedent dependencies but with a temporal delay. We argue that this delayed syntactic structure formation is the result of limited processing capacity that specifically affects the syntactic system.
  • Burkhardt, P. (2008). What inferences can tell us about the given-new distinction. In Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Linguists (pp. 219-220).
  • Burkhardt, P. (2008). Two types of definites: Evidence for presupposition cost. In A. Grønn (Ed.), Proceedings of SuB 12 (pp. 66-80). Oslo: ILOS.

    Abstract

    This paper investigates the notion of definiteness from a psycholinguistic perspective and addresses Löbner’s (1987) distinction between semantic and pragmatic definites. To this end inherently definite noun phrases, proper names, and indexicals are investigated as instances of (relatively) rigid designators (i.e. semantic definites) and contrasted with definite noun phrases and third person pronouns that are contingent on context to unambiguously determine their reference (i.e. pragmatic definites). Electrophysiological data provide support for this distinction and further substantiate the claim that proper names differ from definite descriptions. These findings suggest that certain expressions carry a feature of inherent definiteness, which facilitates their discourse integration (i.e. semantic definites), while others rely on the establishment of a relation with prior information, which results in processing cost.
  • Byun, K.-S., De Vos, C., Bradford, A., Zeshan, U., & Levinson, S. C. (2018). First encounters: Repair sequences in cross-signing. Topics in Cognitive Science, 10(2), 314-334. doi:10.1111/tops.12303.

    Abstract

    Most human communication is between people who speak or sign the same languages. Nevertheless, communication is to some extent possible where there is no language in common, as every tourist knows. How this works is of some theoretical interest (Levinson 2006). A nice arena to explore this capacity is when deaf signers of different languages meet for the first time, and are able to use the iconic affordances of sign to begin communication. Here we focus on Other-Initiated Repair (OIR), that is, where one signer makes clear he or she does not understand, thus initiating repair of the prior conversational turn. OIR sequences are typically of a three-turn structure (Schegloff 2007) including the problem source turn (T-1), the initiation of repair (T0), and the turn offering a problem solution (T+1). These sequences seem to have a universal structure (Dingemanse et al. 2013). We find that in most cases where such OIR occur, the signer of the troublesome turn (T-1) foresees potential difficulty, and marks the utterance with 'try markers' (Sacks & Schegloff 1979, Moerman 1988) which pause to invite recognition. The signers use repetition, gestural holds, prosodic lengthening and eyegaze at the addressee as such try-markers. Moreover, when T-1 is try-marked this allows for faster response times of T+1 with respect to T0. This finding suggests that signers in these 'first encounter' situations actively anticipate potential trouble and, through try-marking, mobilize and facilitate OIRs. The suggestion is that heightened meta-linguistic awareness can be utilized to deal with these problems at the limits of our communicational ability.
  • Byun, K.-S., De Vos, C., Roberts, S. G., & Levinson, S. C. (2018). Interactive sequences modulate the selection of expressive forms in cross-signing. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG XII) (pp. 67-69). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.012.
  • Carota, F., & Sirigu, A. (2008). Neural Bases of Sequence Processing in Action and Language. Language Learning, 58(1), 179-199. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2008.00470.x.

    Abstract

    Real-time estimation of what we will do next is a crucial prerequisite of purposive behavior. During the planning of goal-oriented actions, for instance, the temporal and causal organization of upcoming subsequent moves needs to be predicted based on our knowledge of events. A forward computation of sequential structure is also essential for planning contiguous discourse segments and syntactic patterns in language. The neural encoding of sequential event knowledge and its domain dependency is a central issue in cognitive neuroscience. Converging evidence shows the involvement of a dedicated neural substrate, including the prefrontal cortex and Broca's area, in the representation and the processing of sequential event structure. After reviewing major representational models of sequential mechanisms in action and language, we discuss relevant neuropsychological and neuroimaging findings on the temporal organization of sequencing and sequence processing in both domains, suggesting that sequential event knowledge may be modularly organized through prefrontal and frontal subregions.

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