Publications

Displaying 1 - 32 of 32
  • Ameka, F. K., Dench, A., & Evans, N. (Eds.). (2006). Catching language: The standing challenge of grammar writing. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    Abstract

    Descriptive grammars are our main vehicle for documenting and analysing the linguistic structure of the world's 6,000 languages. They bring together, in one place, a coherent treatment of how the whole language works, and therefore form the primary source of information on a given language, consulted by a wide range of users: areal specialists, typologists, theoreticians of any part of language (syntax, morphology, phonology, historical linguistics etc.), and members of the speech communities concerned. The writing of a descriptive grammar is a major intellectual challenge, that calls on the grammarian to balance a respect for the language's distinctive genius with an awareness of how other languages work, to combine rigour with readability, to depict structural regularities while respecting a corpus of real material, and to represent something of the native speaker's competence while recognising the variation inherent in any speech community. Despite a recent surge of awareness of the need to document little-known languages, there is no book that focusses on the manifold issues that face the author of a descriptive grammar. This volume brings together contributors who approach the problem from a range of angles. Most have written descriptive grammars themselves, but others represent different types of reader. Among the topics they address are: overall issues of grammar design, the complementary roles of outsider and native speaker grammarians, the balance between grammar and lexicon, cross-linguistic comparability, the role of explanation in grammatical description, the interplay of theory and a range of fieldwork methods in language description, the challenges of describing languages in their cultural and historical context, and the tensions between linguistic particularity, established practice of particular schools of linguistic description and the need for a universally commensurable analytic framework. This book will renew the field of grammaticography, addressing a multiple readership of descriptive linguists, typologists, and formal linguists, by bringing together a range of distinguished practitioners from around the world to address these questions.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2000). Archaic syntax in Indo-European: The spread of transitivity in Latin and French. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    Abstract

    Several grammatical features in early Indo-European traditionally have not been understood. Although Latin, for example, was a nominative language, a number of its inherited characteristics do not fit that typology and are difficult to account for, such as stative mihi est constructions to express possession, impersonal verbs, or absolute constructions. With time these archaic features have been replaced by transitive structures (e.g. possessive ‘have’). This book presents an extensive comparative and historical analysis of archaic features in early Indo-European languages and their gradual replacement in the history of Latin and early Romance, showing that the new structures feature transitive syntax and fit the patterns of a nominative language.
  • Brown, A. (2006). Cross-linguistic influence in first and second lanuages: Convergence in speech and gesture. PhD Thesis, Boston University, Boston.

    Abstract

    Research on second language acquisition typically focuses on how a first language (L1) influences a second language (L2) in different linguistic domains and across modalities. This dissertation, in contrast, explores interactions between languages in the mind of a language learner by asking 1) can an emerging L2 influence an established L1? 2) if so, how is such influence realized? 3) are there parallel influences of the L1 on the L2? These questions were investigated for the expression of Manner (e.g. climb, roll) and Path (e.g. up, down) of motion, areas where substantial crosslinguistic differences exist in speech and co-speech gesture. Japanese and English are typologically distinct in this domain; therefore, narrative descriptions of four motion events were elicited from monolingual Japanese speakers (n=16), monolingual English speakers (n=13), and native Japanese speakers with intermediate knowledge of English (narratives elicited in both their L1 and L2, n=28). Ways in which Path and Manner were expressed at the lexical, syntactic, and gestural levels were analyzed in monolingual and non-monolingual production. Results suggest mutual crosslinguistic influences. In their L1, native Japanese speakers with knowledge of English displayed both Japanese- and English-like use of morphosyntactic elements to express Path and Manner (i.e. a combination of verbs and other constructions). Consequently, non-monolingual L1 discourse contained significantly more Path expressions per clause, with significantly greater mention of Goal of motion than monolingual Japanese and English discourse. Furthermore, the gestures of non-monolingual speakers diverged from their monolingual counterparts with differences in depiction of Manner and gesture perspective (character versus observer). Importantly, non-monolingual production in the L1 was not ungrammatical, but simply reflected altered preferences. As for L2 production, many effects of L1 influence were seen, crucially in areas parallel to those described above. Overall, production by native Japanese speakers who knew English differed from that of monolingual Japanese and English speakers. But L1 and L2 production within non-monolingual individuals was similar. These findings imply a convergence of L1-L2 linguistic systems within the mind of a language learner. Theoretical and methodological implications for SLA research and language assessment with respect to the ‘native speaker standard language’ are discussed.
  • Cutler, A., McQueen, J. M., & Zondervan, R. (2000). Proceedings of SWAP (Workshop on Spoken Word Access Processes). Nijmegen: MPI for Psycholinguistics.
  • Dietrich, C. (2006). The acquisition of phonological structure: Distinguishing contrastive from non-contrastive variation. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.57829.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2006). The body in Yoruba: A linguistic study. Master Thesis, Leiden University, Leiden.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2006). The semantics of Bantu noun classification: A review and comparison of three approaches. Master Thesis, Leiden University.
  • Eisner, F. (2006). Lexically-guided perceptual learning in speech processing. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.57407.

    Abstract

    During listening to spoken language, the perceptual system needs to adapt frequently to changes in talkers, and thus to considerable interindividual variability in the articulation of a given speech sound. This thesis investigated a learning process which allows listeners to use stored lexical representations to modify the interpretation of a speech sound when a talker's articulation of that sound is consistently unclear or ambiguous. The questions that were addressed in this research concerned the robustness of such perceptual learning, a potential role for sleep, and whether learning is specific to the speech of one talker or, alternatively, generalises to other talkers. A further study aimed to identify the underlying functional neuroanatomy by using magnetic resonance imaging methods. The picture that emerged for lexically-guided perceptual learning is that learning occurs very rapidly, is highly specific, and remains remarkably robust both over time and under exposure to speech from other talkers.
  • FitzPatrick, I. (2006). Effects of sentence context in L2 natural speech comprehension. Master Thesis, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Gullberg, M., & Indefrey, P. (Eds.). (2006). The cognitive neuroscience of second language acquisition. Michigan: Blackwell.

    Abstract

    The papers in this volume explore the cognitive neuroscience of second language acquisition from the perspectives of critical/sensitive periods, maturational effects, individual differences, neural regions involved, and processing characteristics. The research methodologies used include functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and event related potentials (ERP). Questions addressed include: Which brain areas are reliably activated in second language processing? Are they the same or different from those activated in first language acquisition and use? What are the behavioral consequences of individual differences among brains? What are the consequences of anatomical and physiological differences, learner proficiency effects, critical/sensitive periods? What role does degeneracy, in which two different neural systems can produce the same behavioral output, play? What does it mean that learners' brains respond to linguistic distinctions that cannot be recognized or produced yet? The studies in this volume provide initial answers to all of these questions.
  • Hagoort, P. (2000). De toekomstige eeuw der cognitieve neurowetenschap [inaugural lecture]. Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    Rede uitgesproken op 12 mei 2000 bij de aanvaarding van het ambt van hoogleraar in de neuropsychologie aan de Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen KUN.
  • Krämer, I. (2000). Interpreting indefinites: An experimental study of children's language comprehension. PhD Thesis, University of Utrecht, Utrecht. doi:10.17617/2.2057626.
  • Levelt, W. J. M. (2006). Met het oog op de tijd. Nijmegen: Thieme Media Center.
  • Levelt, W. J. M. (2000). Met twee woorden spreken [Simon Dik Lezing 2000]. Amsterdam: Vossiuspers AUP.
  • Levinson, S. C., & Jaisson, P. (Eds.). (2006). Evolution and culture: A Fyssen Foundation Symposium. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Levinson, S. C., & Wilkins, D. P. (Eds.). (2006). Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2000). Presumptive meanings: The theory of generalized conversational implicature. Cambridge: MIT press.
  • Liszkowski, U. (2000). A belief about theory of mind: The relation between children's inhibitory control and their common sense psychological knowledge. Master Thesis, University of Essex.
  • Mitterer, H., & Stivers, T. (2006). Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics: Annual Report 2006. Nijmegen: MPI for Psycholinguistics.
  • Müller, O. (2006). Retrieving semantic and syntactic word properties: ERP studies on the time course in language comprehension. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.57543.

    Abstract

    The present doctoral thesis investigates the temporal characteristics of the retrieval of semantic and syntactic word properties in language comprehension. In particular, an attempt is made to assess the retrieval order of semantic category and grammatical gender information, using the lateralized readiness potential and the inhibition-related N2 effect. Chapter 1 contains a general introduction. Chapter 2 reports an experiment that employs the two-choice go/nogo task in combination with EEG recordings to establish the retrieval order of semantic category and grammatical gender for written words presented in isolation. The results point to a time course where semantic information becomes available before syntactic information. Chapter 3 focuses on the retrieval of grammatical gender. In order to examine whether gender retrieval can be speeded up by context, nouns are presented in gender congruent and gender incongruent prime-target pairs and reaction times for gender decisions are measured. For stimulus onset asynchronies of 100 ms and 0 ms, gender congruent pairs show faster responses than incongruent ones, whereas there is no effect of gender congruity for a stimulus onset asynchrony of 300 ms. A simulation with a localist computational model that implements competition between gender representations (WEAVER; Roelofs, 1992) is able to capture these findings. In chapter 4, the gender congruency manipulation is transferred to another ERP experiment with the two-choice go/nogo task. As the time course of gender retrieval is altered through primes, the order relative to semantic category retrieval is assessed again. The results indicate that with gender congruent primes, grammatical gender becomes available before semantic category. Such a reversal of retrieval order, as compared to chapter 2, implies a parallel rather than a serial discrete arrangement of the retrieval processes, since the latter variant precludes changes in retrieval order. Finally, chapter 5 offers a summary and general discussion of the main findings.

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  • O'Shannessy, C. (2006). Language contact and children's bilingual acquisition: Learning a mixed language and Warlpiri in northern Australia. PhD Thesis, University of Sydney, Canberra.

    Abstract

    This dissertation documents the emergence of a new language, Light Warlpiri, in the multilingual community of Lajamanu in northern Australia. It then examines the acquisition of Light Warlpiri language, and of the heritage language, Lajamanu Warlpiri, by children. Light Warlpiri has arisen from contact between Lajamanu Warlpiri (a Pama-Nyungan language), Kriol (an English-based creole), and varieties of English. It is a Mixed Language, meaning that none of its source languages can be considered to be the sole parent language. Most verbs and the verbal morphology are from Aboriginal English or Kriol, while most nouns and the nominal morphology are from Warlpiri. The language input to children is complex. Adults older than about thirty speak Lajamanu Warlpiri and code-switch into Aboriginal English or Kriol. Younger adults, the parents of the current cohort of children, speak Light Warlpiri and code-switch into Lajamanu Warlpiri and into Aboriginal English or Kriol. Lajamanu Warlpiri and Light Warlpiri, the two main input languages to children, both indicate A arguments with ergative case-marking (and they share one allomorph of the marker), but Lajamanu Warlpiri includes the marker much more consistently than Light Warlpiri. Word order is variable in both languages. Children learn both languages from birth, but they target Light Warlpiri as the language of their everyday interactions, and they speak it almost exclusively until four to six years of age. Adults and children show similar patterns of ergative marking and word order in Light Warlpiri. But differences between age groups are found in ergative marking in Lajamanu Warlpiri - for the oldest group of adults, ergative marking is obligatory, but for younger adults and children, it is not. Determining when children differentiate between two input languages has been a major goal in the study of bilingual acquisition. The two languages in this study share lexical and grammatical properties, making distinctions between them quite subtle. Both adults and children distribute ergative marking differently in the two languages, but show similar word order patterns in both. However the children show a stronger correlation between ergative marking and word order patterns than do the adults, suggesting that they are spearheading processes of language change. In their comprehension of sentences in both Lajamanu Warlpiri and Light Warlpiri, adults use a case-marking strategy to identify the A argument (i.e. N+erg = A argument, N-erg = O argument). The children are not adult-like in using this strategy at age 5, when they also used a word order strategy, but they gradually move towards being adult-like with increased age.
  • Özdemir, R. (2006). The relationship between spoken word production and comprehension. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.59239.
  • Rowland, C. F. (2000). The grammatical acquisition of wh-questions in early English multi-word speech. PhD Thesis, University of Nottingham, UK.

    Abstract

    Recent studies of wh-question acquisition have tended to come from the nativist side of the language acquisition debate with little input from a constructivist perspective. The present work was designed to redress the balance, first by presenting a detailed description of young children's wh-question acquisition data, second, by providing detailed critiques of two nativist theories of wh- question acquisition, and third, by presenting a preliminary account of young children's wh-question development from a constructivist perspective. Analyses of the data from twelve 2 to 3 year old children collected over a year and of data from an older child (Adam from the Brown corpus, 1973) are described and three conclusions are drawn. First it is argued that the data suggest that children's knowledge of how to form wh-questions builds up gradually as they learn how to combine lexical items such as wh-words and auxiliaries in specific ways. Second, it is concluded that two nativist theories of grammatical development (Radford, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, Valian, Lasser & Mandelbaum, 1992) fail to account successfully for the wh-question data produced by the children. Third, it is asserted that the lexically-specific nature of children's early wh-questions is compatible with a lexical constructivist view of development, which proposes that the language learning mechanism learns by picking up high frequency lexical patterns from the input. The implications of these conclusions for theories of language development and future research are discussed.
  • Schultze-Berndt, E. (2000). Simple and complex verbs in Jaminjung: A study of event categorisation in an Australian language. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.2057716.
  • Senft, G., & Smits, R. (Eds.). (2000). Max-Planck-Institute for Psycholinguistics: Annual report 2000. Nijmegen: MPI for Psycholinguistics.
  • Senft, G. (Ed.). (2000). Systems of nominal classification. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Seyfeddinipur, M. (2006). Disfluency: Interrupting speech and gesture. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.59337.
  • Shatzman, K. B. (2006). Sensitivity to detailed acoustic information in word recognition. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.59331.
  • Stehouwer, H. (2006). Cue phrase selection methods for textual classification problems. Master Thesis, Twente University, Enschede.

    Abstract

    The classification of texts and pieces of texts uses the occurrence of, combinations of, words as an important indicator. Not every word or each combination of words gives a clear indication of the classification of a piece of text. Research has been done on methods that select some words or combinations of words that are more indicative of the type of a piece of text. These words or combinations of words are selected from the words and word-groups as they occur in the texts. These more indicative words or combinations of words we call ¿cue-phrases¿. The goal of these methods is to select the most indicative cue-phrases first. The collection of selected words and/or combinations thereof can then be used for training the classification system. To test these selection methods, a number of experiments has been done on a corpus containing cookbook recipes and on a corpus of four-participant meetings. To perform these experiments, a computer program was written. On the recipe corpus we looked at classifying the sentences into different types. Some examples of these types include ¿requirement¿ and ¿instruction¿. On the four-person meeting corpus we tried to learn, using only lexical features, whether a sentence is addressed to an individual or a group. The experiments on the recipe corpus produced good results that showed that, a number of, the used cue-phrase selection methods are suitable for feature selection. The experiments on the four-person meeting corpus where less successful in terms of performance off the classification task. We did see comparable patterns in selection methods, and considering the results of Jovanovic we can conclude that different features are needed for this particular classification task. One of the original goals was to look at ¿addressee¿ in discussions. Are sentences more often addressed to individuals inside discussions compared to outside discussions? However, in order to be able to accomplish this, we must first identify the segments of the text that are discussions. It proved hard to come to a reliable specification of discussions, and our initial definition wasn¿t sufficient.
  • Van Gijn, E. (2006). A grammar of Yurakaré. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    This book provides an overview of the grammatical structure of the language Yurakaré, an unclassified and previously undescribed language of central Bolivia. It consists of 8 chapters, each describing different aspects of the language. Chapter 1 is an introduction to the Yurakaré people and their language. Chapter 2 describes the phonology of the language, from the individual sounds to the stress system. In chapter 3 the morphology of Yurakaré is introduced, i.e. the parts of speech, and the different morphological processes. Chapter 4 is a description of the noun phrase and contains information about nouns, adjectives, postpositions and quantifiers. It also discusses the categories associated with the noun phrase in Yurakaré, such as number, possession, collectivity/distributivity, diminutive. In chapter 5, called 'Verbal agreement, voice and valency' there is a description of the argument structure of predicates, how arguments are expressed and how argument structure can be altered by means of voice and valency-changing operations such as applicatives, causative and middle voice. In chapter 6 there is an overview of verbal morphology, apart from the morphology associated with voice, valency and cross-reference discussed in chapter 5. There is also a description of adverbs in the language in this chapter. Chapter 7 discusses formal and functional properties of modal and aspectual enclitics. In chapter 8, finally, the structure of the clause (both simplex and complex) is discussed, including the switch-reference system and word order. The book ends with two text samples.
  • De Vos, C. (2006). Mixed signals: Combining affective and linguistic functions of eyebrows in sign language of The Netherlands (Master's thesis). Nijmegen: Department of Linguistics, Radboud University.

    Abstract

    Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT) is a visual-gestural language in which linguistic information is conveyed through manual as well as non-manual channels; not only the hands, but also body position, head position and facial expression are important for the language structure. Facial expressions serve grammatical functions in the marking of topics, yes/no questions, and wh-questions (Coerts, 1992). Furthermore, facial expression is used nonlinguistically in the expression of affect (Ekman, 1979). Consequently, at the phonetic level obligatory marking of grammar using facial expression may conflict with the expression of affect. In this study, I investigated the interplay of linguistic and affective functions of brow movements in NGT. Three hypotheses were tested in this thesis. The first is that the affective markers of eyebrows would dominate over the linguistic markers. The second hypothesis predicts that the grammatical markers dominate over the affective brow movements. A third possibility is that a Phonetic Sum would occur in which both functions are combined simultaneously. I elicited sentences combining grammatical and affective functions of eyebrows using a randomised design. Five sentence types were included: declarative sentences, topic sentences, yes-no questions, wh-questions with the wh-sign sentence-final and wh-questions with the wh-sign sentence-initial. These sentences were combined with neutral, surprised, angry, and distressed affect. The brow movements were analysed using the Facial Action Coding System (Ekman, Friesen, & Hager, 2002a). In these sentences, the eyebrows serve a linguistic function, an affective function, or both. One of the possibilities in the latter cases was that a Phonetic Sum would occur that combines both functions simultaneously. Surprisingly, it was found that a Phonetic Sum occurs in which the phonetic weight of Action Unit 4 appears to play an important role. The results show that affect displays may alter question signals in NGT.
  • Zeshan, U. (Ed.). (2006). Interrogative and negative constructions in sign languages. Nijmegen: Ishara Press.

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