Publications

Displaying 1 - 32 of 32
  • Andics, A. (2013). Who is talking? Behavioural and neural evidence for norm-based coding in voice identity learning. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Bien, H. (2007). On the production of morphologically complex words with special attention to effects of frequency. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Broersma, M. (2005). Phonetic and lexical processing in a second language. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.58294.

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  • Brown, A. (2007). Crosslinguistic influence in first and second languages: Convergence in speech and gesture. PhD Thesis, Boston University, Boston.

    Abstract

    Research on second language acquisition typically focuses on how a first language (L1) influences a second language (L2) in different linguistic domains and across modalities. This dissertation, in contrast, explores interactions between languages in the mind of a language learner by asking 1) can an emerging L2 influence an established L1? 2) if so, how is such influence realized? 3) are there parallel influences of the L1 on the L2? These questions were investigated for the expression of Manner (e.g. climb, roll) and Path (e.g. up, down) of motion, areas where substantial crosslinguistic differences exist in speech and co-speech gesture. Japanese and English are typologically distinct in this domain; therefore, narrative descriptions of four motion events were elicited from monolingual Japanese speakers (n=16), monolingual English speakers (n=13), and native Japanese speakers with intermediate knowledge of English (narratives elicited in both their L1 and L2, n=28). Ways in which Path and Manner were expressed at the lexical, syntactic, and gestural levels were analyzed in monolingual and non-monolingual production. Results suggest mutual crosslinguistic influences. In their L1, native Japanese speakers with knowledge of English displayed both Japanese- and English-like use of morphosyntactic elements to express Path and Manner (i.e. a combination of verbs and other constructions). Consequently, non-monolingual L1 discourse contained significantly more Path expressions per clause, with significantly greater mention of Goal of motion than monolingual Japanese and English discourse. Furthermore, the gestures of non-monolingual speakers diverged from their monolingual counterparts with differences in depiction of Manner and gesture perspective (character versus observer). Importantly, non-monolingual production in the L1 was not ungrammatical, but simply reflected altered preferences. As for L2 production, many effects of L1 influence were seen, crucially in areas parallel to those described above. Overall, production by native Japanese speakers who knew English differed from that of monolingual Japanese and English speakers. But L1 and L2 production within non-monolingual individuals was similar. These findings imply a convergence of L1-L2 linguistic systems within the mind of a language learner. Theoretical and methodological implications for SLA research and language assessment with respect to the 'native speaker standard language' are discussed.
  • Dediu, D. (2007). Non-spurious correlations between genetic and linguistic diversities in the context of human evolution. PhD Thesis, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
  • Dolscheid, S. (2013). High pitches and thick voices: The role of language in space-pitch associations. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Filippi, P. (2005). Gilbert Ryle: Pensare la Mente. Master Thesis, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo.

    Abstract

    This study focuses on the main work of Gilbert Ryle, “The concept of Mind” (1949). Here the author demolishes what he refers to as the cartesian dogma of “the ghost in the machine”, highlighting the absurdity of categorical ordering in dualist systems, where mental activities are explained as separate from physical actions. Surprisingly, the Italian translator of “The concept of Mind”, Ferruccio Rossi-Landi, missed this key aspect of Ryle’s work, writing up what resulted into a significantly misleading translation. This can be clearly noticed from the title already: “Lo spirito come comportamento” [The ghost as behavior]. This erroneous translation affected the interpretation of “The concept of Mind” as a mere study on behavioral reductionism in Italy. Here, I argue in favor of the originality of Ryle’s approach in pointing out the socio-cultural dynamics as the non - physical dimensions of the human mind, and yet, linked to the human brain. In doing so, I trace the crucial influence of Wittgenstein’s philosophy in Ryle’s interpretation of the concept of mind, which helps in grasping a better understanding of his work. Wittgenstein’s influence shows clearly in Ryle’s conceptual operation of grounding the acquisition of dispositions and competences - which ultimately define the rational subjects as rational agents – in the shared background of social and cultural dynamics. In a nutshell, this social dimension is the defining characteristic of the human mind and of all human actions in Ryle’s philosophy. As Ryle argues in “On thinking” (1979), this intrinsic quality of human actions can reveal itself in actions that one performs absent-mindendly in everyday life, as well as in more complex ones: for instance, when the mind reflects upon itself.
  • Goudbeek, M. (2007). The acquisition of auditory categories. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    This doctoral dissertation investigated the learning of auditory categories by applying insights from child language learning, visual category learning and phonetic categorization by adults. The experiments in chapter 2 concern supervised learning of multidimensional non-speech categories varying in two dimensions: duration and a non speech analogue of formant frequency. In experiment 1, one dimension of variation determined category membership, variation in the other dimension was irrelevant. Listeners quickly learned to categorize according to this distinction. In experiment 2, both dimensions needed to be combined to categorize correctly. Performance was much lower, but most listeners succeeded in this task. However, in a maintenance phase without feedback or distributional information, listeners reverted to a unidimensional solution. In a maintenance phase with distributional information, listeners did use both dimensions correctly, arguing for the importance of distributional information in (auditory) category acquisition. In chapter 3, the listeners had to classify the same categories, but without feedback. In experiment 1, listeners succeeded to discover the relevant dimension of variation (and ignore the irrelevant one) without feedback. Much of this learning was lost in the maintenance phase, especially for the dimension formant frequency. With two relevant dimensions (Experiment 2), listeners were not able to learn to use both dimensions and reverted to a unidimensional solution. Chapter 4 applied the paradigms of chapter 2 and 3 to the learning of speech categories. Spanish native listeners learned Dutch vowel contrast with one relevant dimension of variation. With feedback, learning was swift, although was not well maintained without feedback or distributional information. Without feedback, Spanish listeners reverted to the dimensions best known in their native phonology, formant frequency, even when distributional information pointed to duration. The results are discussed in chapter 5. The implications for models of speech acquisition are discussed.
  • Hanique, I. (2013). Mental representation and processing of reduced words in casual speech. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

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  • Haun, D. B. M. (2007). Cognitive cladistics and the relativity of spatial cognition. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    This thesis elaborates on a methodological approach to reliably infer cognitive preferences in an extinct evolutionary ancestor of modern humans. In attempts to understand cognitive evolution, humans have been compared to capuchin monkeys, tamarins, and chimpanzees to name but a few. But comparisons between humans and one other, maybe even distantly related primate, as interesting as they might be, will not tell us anything about an evolutionary ancestor to humans. To put it bluntly: None of the living primates, not even chimpanzees, are a human ancestor. With that in mind, we can still use a comparative approach to gain information about our evolutionary ancestors, as long as we are careful about whom we compare with whom. If a certain trait exists in all genera of a phylogenetic clade, it was most likely present in their common ancestor. The great apes are such a clade (Pongo, Gorilla, Pan and Homo). It follows that, if members of all great ape genera shared a particular cognitive preference or ability, it is most likely part of the evolutionary inheritance of the clade at least ever since their last common ancestor, and therefore also an evolutionarily old, inherited cognitive default in humans. This thesis contains studies comparing all 4 extant Hominid genera, including humans of 4 different age-groups and 2 different cultures. Results show that all great apes do indeed share some cognitive preferences, which they most likely inherited from an evolutionary ancestor. Additionally, human cognitive preferences can change away from such an inherited predisposition given ontogenetic factors, and are at least in part variably adaptable to cultural circumstance.
  • Hayano, K. (2007). Repetitional agreement and anaphorical agreement: negotiation of affiliation and disaffiliation in Japanese conversation. Master Thesis, University of California, Los Angeles.
  • Hayano, K. (2013). Territories of knowledge in Japanese conversation. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    This thesis focuses on one aspect of interactional competence: competence to manage knowledge distribution in conversation. In order to be considered competent in everyday interaction, participants need not only to index one another's knowledge states but also to engage in dynamic negotiation of knowledge distribution. Adopting the methodology of conversation analysis, the thesis investigates how participants' orientations to knowledge distribution, 'epistemicity', are manifested. The thesis examines three interactional environments: assessment sequences, informing sequences and polar question-answer sequences. A systematic analysis reveals that interactants orient to different aspects of knowledge in different environments, employing different grammatical resources. When they assess an object, they are concerned about who possesses 'epistemic primacy'. Japanese final particles and the practices of intensification serve together to claim epistemic primacy and provide support for the claim. It is also reported that interactants are oriented to achieve 'epistemic congruence' − consensus regarding how knowledge is distributed among them. When one provides the other with new information, the exchange commonly develops into a four-turn sequence, instead of a minimal adjacency pair. It is shown that this sequence organization allows interactants to achieve a balance between territories of experience, affiliation and empathy. In polar question-answer sequences, how (un)expected or novel a given piece of information is becomes an issue. Answers are found to be formulated such that they adopt epistemic stances that are assertive enough to match the level of (un)certainty expressed by questioners. The thesis contributes to our understanding of how social interaction is organized. It becomes clear from the findings that a wide range of aspects of language use and interactional organization are dominated by interactants' orientations to epistemicity. Participants manage knowledge distribution in everyday interaction, which may be the most fundamental means of managing their social statuses and relations.
  • Jesse, A. (2005). Towards a lexical fuzzy logical model of perception: The time-course of information in lexical identification of face-to-face speech. PhD Thesis, University of California, Santa Cruz.

    Abstract

    In face-to-face communication, information from the face as well as from the voice contributes to the identification of spoken words. This dissertation investigates the time-course of the evaluation and integration of visual and auditory speech in audiovisual word identification. A large-scale audiovisual gating study extends previous research on this topic by (1) using a set of words that includes all possible initial consonants in English in three vowel contexts, (2) tracking the information processing for individual words not only across modalities, but also over time, and (3) testing quantitative models of the time-course of multimodal word recognition. There was an advantage in accuracy for audiovisual speech over auditory-only and visual-only speech. Auditory performance was, however, close to ceiling while performance on visual-only trials was near the floor of the scale, but well above chance. Visual information was used at all gates to identify the presented words. Information theoretic feature analyses of the confusion matrices revealed that the auditory signal is highly informative about voicing, manner, frication, duration, and place of articulation. Visual speech is mostly informative about place of articulation, but also about frication and duration. The auditory signal provides more information about the place of articulation for back consonants, whereas the visual signal provides more information for the labial consonants. The data were sufficient to discriminate between models of audiovisual word recognition. The Fuzzy Logical Model of Perception (FLMP; Massaro, 1998) gave a better account of the confusion matrix data than additive models of perception. A dynamic version of the FLMP was expanded to account for the evaluation and integration of information over time. This dynamic FLMP provided a better description of the data than dynamic additive competitor models. The present study builds a good foundation to investigate the role of the complex interplay between stimulus information and the structure of the lexicon. It provides an important step in building a formal representation of a lexical dynamic FLMP that can account not only for the time-course of speech information and its perceptual processing, but also for lexical influences.
  • Jordan, F. (2007). A comparative phylogenetic approach to Austronesian cultural evolution. PhD Thesis, University College London, London.
  • Kooijman, V. (2007). Continuous-speech segmentation at the beginning of language acquisition: Electrophysiological evidence. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    Word segmentation, or detecting word boundaries in continuous speech, is not an easy task. Spoken language does not contain silences to indicate word boundaries and words partly overlap due to coarticalution. Still, adults listening to their native language perceive speech as individual words. They are able to combine different distributional cues in the language, such as the statistical distribution of sounds and metrical cues, with lexical information, to efficiently detect word boundaries. Infants in the first year of life do not command these cues. However, already between seven and ten months of age, before they know word meaning, infants learn to segment words from speech. This important step in language acquisition is the topic of this dissertation. In chapter 2, the first Event Related Brain Potential (ERP) study on word segmentation in Dutch ten-month-olds is discussed. The results show that ten-month-olds can already segment words with a strong-weak stress pattern from speech and they need roughly the first half of a word to do so. Chapter 3 deals with segmentation of words beginning with a weak syllable, as a considerable number of words in Dutch do not follow the predominant strong-weak stress pattern. The results show that ten-month-olds still largely rely on the strong syllable in the language, and do not show an ERP response to the initial weak syllable. In chapter 4, seven-month-old infants' segmentation of strong-weak words was studied. An ERP response was found to strong-weak words presented in sentences. However, a behavioral response was not found in an additional Headturn Preference Procedure study. There results suggest that the ERP response is a precursor to the behavioral response that infants show at a later age.
  • Liszkowski, U. (2005). The role of infant pointing in the ontogeny of human communication and social cognition. PhD Thesis, University of Leipzig, Leipzig.
  • Lüpke, F. (2005). A grammar of Jalonke argument structure. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.59381.

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  • Mulder, K. (2013). Family and neighbourhood relations in the mental lexicon: A cross-language perspective. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    We lezen en horen dagelijks duizenden woorden zonder dat het ons enige moeite lijkt te kosten. Toch speelt zich in ons brein ondertussen een complex mentaal proces af, waarbij tal van andere woorden dan het aangeboden woord, ook actief worden. Dit gebeurt met name wanneer die andere woorden overeenkomen met de feitelijk aangeboden woorden in spelling, uitspraak of betekenis. Deze activatie als gevolg van gelijkenis strekt zich zelfs uit tot andere talen: ook daarin worden gelijkende woorden actief. Waar liggen de grenzen van dit activatieproces? Activeer je bij het verwerken van het Engelse woord 'steam' ook het Nederlandse woord 'stram'(een zogenaamd 'buurwoord)? En activeer je bij 'clock' zowel 'clockwork' als 'klokhuis' ( twee morfolologische familieleden uit verschillende talen)? Kimberley Mulder onderzocht hoe het leesproces van Nederlands-Engelse tweetaligen wordt beïnvloed door zulke relaties. In meerdere experimentele studies vond ze dat tweetaligen niet alleen morfologische familieleden en orthografische buren activeren uit de taal waarin ze op dat moment lezen, maar ook uit de andere taal die ze kennen. Het lezen van een woord beperkt zich dus geenszins tot wat je eigenlijk ziet, maar activeert een heel netwerk van woorden in je brein.
  • Ortega, G. (2013). Acquisition of a signed phonological system by hearing adults: The Role of sign structure and iconcity. PhD Thesis, University College London, London.

    Abstract

    The phonological system of a sign language comprises meaningless sub-lexical units that define the structure of a sign. A number of studies have examined how learners of a sign language as a first language (L1) acquire these components. However, little is understood about the mechanism by which hearing adults develop visual phonological categories when learning a sign language as a second language (L2). Developmental studies have shown that sign complexity and iconicity, the clear mapping between the form of a sign and its referent, shape in different ways the order of emergence of a visual phonology. The aim of the present dissertation was to investigate how these two factors affect the development of a visual phonology in hearing adults learning a sign language as L2. The empirical data gathered in this dissertation confirms that sign structure and iconicity are important factors that determine L2 phonological development. Non-signers perform better at discriminating the contrastive features of phonologically simple signs than signs with multiple elements. Handshape was the parameter most difficult to learn, followed by movement, then orientation and finally location which is the same order of acquisition reported in L1 sign acquisition. In addition, the ability to access the iconic properties of signs had a detrimental effect in phonological development because iconic signs were consistently articulated less accurately than arbitrary signs. Participants tended to retain the iconic elements of signs but disregarded their exact phonetic structure. Further, non-signers appeared to process iconic signs as iconic gestures at least at the early stages of sign language acquisition. The empirical data presented in this dissertation suggest that non-signers exploit their gestural system as scaffolding of the new manual linguistic system and that sign L2 phonological development is strongly influenced by the structural complexity of a sign and its degree of iconicity.
  • Perniss, P. M. (2007). Space and iconicity in German sign language (DGS). PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.57482.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    This dissertation investigates the roles of several probabilistic variables in the production and comprehension of reduced Dutch affixes. The central hypothesis is that linguistic units with a high probability of occurrence are more likely to be reduced (Jurafsky et al., 2001; Aylett & Turk, 2004). This hypothesis is tested by analyzing the acoustic realizations of affixes, which are meaning-carrying elements embedded in larger lexical units. Most of the results prove to be compatible with the main hypothesis, but some appear to run counter to its predictions. The final chapter of the thesis discusses the implications of these findings for models of speech production, models of speech perception, and probability-based accounts of reduction.
  • Poellmann, K. (2013). The many ways listeners adapt to reductions in casual speech. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Puccini, D. (2013). The use of deictic versus representational gestures in infancy. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Rommers, J. (2013). Seeing what's next: Processing and anticipating language referring to objects. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Salverda, A. P. (2005). Prosodically-conditioned detail in the recognition of spoken words. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.57311.

    Abstract

    The research presented in this dissertation examined the influence of prosodically-conditioned detail on the recognition of spoken words. The main finding is that subphonemic information in the speech signal that is conditioned by constituent-level prosodic structure can affect lexical processing systematically. It was shown that such information, as indicated by and estimated from the lengthening of speech sounds in the vicinity of prosodic boundaries, can help listeners to distinguish onset-embedded words (e.g. 'ham') from longer words that have this word embedded at their onset (e.g. 'hamster'). Furthermore, it was shown that variation in the realization of a spoken word that is associated with its position in the prosodic structure of an utterance can effect lexical processing. The pattern of competitor activation associated with the recognition of a monosyllabic spoken word in utterance-final position, where the realization of the word is strongly affected by the utterance boundary, is different from that associated with the recognition of the same word in utterance-medial position, where the realization of the word is less strongly affected by the following prosodic-word boundary. Taken together, the findings attest to the extraordinary sensitivity of the spoken-word recogntion system by demonstrating the relevance for lexical processing of very fine-grained phonetic detail conditioned by prosodic structure.

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  • Scharenborg, O. (2005). Narrowing the gap between automatic and human word recognition. PhD Thesis, [S.l.: s.n.].

    Abstract

    RU Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, 16 september 2005
  • Seifart, F. (2005). The structure and use of shape-based noun classes in Miraña (North West Amazon). PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.60378.

    Abstract

    Miraña, an endangered Witotoan language spoken in the Colombian Amazon region, has an inventory of over 60 noun class markers, most of which denote the shape of nominal referents. Class markers in this language are ubiquitous in their uses for derivational purposes in nouns and for agreement marking in virtually all other nominal expressions, such as pronouns, numerals, demonstratives, and relative clauses, as well as in verbs. This study provides a comprehensive analysis of this system by giving equal attention to its morphosyntactic, semantic, and discourse-pragmatic properties. The particular properties of this system raise issues in a number of ongoing theoretical discussions, in particular the typology of systems of nominal classification and the typology of reference tracking.

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  • Shao, Z. (2013). Contributions of executive control to individual differences in word production. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Stevens, M. E. (2007). Perceptual adaptation to phonological differences between language varieties. PhD Thesis, University of Ghent, Ghent.
  • Van der Zande, P. (2013). Hearing and seeing speech: Perceptual adjustments in auditory-visual speech processing. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    promotie op 5 september 2013

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  • Wassenaar, M. (2005). Agrammatic comprehension: An electrophysiological approach. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen. doi:10.17617/2.60340.

    Abstract

    This dissertation focuses on syntactic comprehension problems in patients with Broca's aphasia from an electrophysiological perspective. The central objective of this dissertation was to further explore what syntax-related event-related brain potential (ERP) effects can reveal about the nature of the deficit that underlies syntactic comprehension problems in patients with Broca's aphasia. Chapter two to four describe experiments in which event-related brain potentials were recorded while subjects (Broca patients, non-aphasic patients with a right-hemisphere lesion, and healthy elderly controls) were presented with sentences that contained either violations of syntactic constraints or were syntactically correct. Chapter two investigates ERP effects of subject-verb agreement violations in the different subject groups, and seeks to answer the following questions: Do agrammatic comprehenders show sensitivity to subject-verb agreement violations as indicated by a syntax-related ERP effect? In addition, does the severity of the syntactic comprehension impairment in the Broca patients affect the ERP responses? Chapter three describes an investigation of whether Broca patients show sensitivity to violations of word order as indicated by a syntax-related ERP effect, and whether the ERP responses in the Broca patients are affected by the severity of their syntactic comprehension impairment. Chapter four reports on ERP effects of violations of word-category. In addition, also a semantic violation condition was added to track possible dissociations in the sensitivity to semantic and syntactic information in the Broca patients. Chapter five describes the development of a paradigm in which the electrophysiological approach and the classical sentence-picture matching approach are combined. In this chapter, the ERP method is applied to study on-line thematic role assignment in Broca patients during sentence-picture matching. Also the relation between ERP effects and behavioral responses is pursued. Finally, Chapter 6 provides a summary of the main findings of the experiments and a general discussion.

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  • Witteman, M. J. (2013). Lexical processing of foreign-accented speech: Rapid and flexible adaptation. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

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