Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 101
  • Abdel Rahman, R., & Sommer, W. (2003). Does phonological encoding in speech production always follow the retrieval of semantic knowledge?: Electrophysiological evidence for parallel processing. Cognitive Brain Research, 16(3), 372-382. doi:10.1016/S0926-6410(02)00305-1.

    Abstract

    In this article a new approach to the distinction between serial/contingent and parallel/independent processing in the human cognitive system is applied to semantic knowledge retrieval and phonological encoding of the word form in picture naming. In two-choice go/nogo tasks pictures of objects were manually classified on the basis of semantic and phonological information. An additional manipulation of the duration of the faster and presumably mediating process (semantic retrieval) allowed to derive differential predictions from the two alternative models. These predictions were tested with two event-related brain potentials (ERPs), the lateralized readiness potential (LRP) and the N200. The findings indicate that phonological encoding can proceed in parallel to the retrieval of semantic features. A suggestion is made how to accommodate these findings with models of speech production.
  • Abdel Rahman, R., Van Turennout, M., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2003). Phonological encoding is not contingent on semantic feature retrieval: An electrophysiological study on object naming. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 29(5), 850-860. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.29.5.850.

    Abstract

    In the present study, the authors examined with event-related brain potentials whether phonological encoding in picture naming is mediated by basic semantic feature retrieval or proceeds independently. In a manual 2-choice go/no-go task the choice response depended on a semantic classification (animal vs. object) and the execution decision was contingent on a classification of name phonology (vowel vs. consonant). The introduction of a semantic task mixing procedure allowed for selectively manipulating the speed of semantic feature retrieval. Serial and parallel models were tested on the basis of their differential predictions for the effect of this manipulation on the lateralized readiness potential and N200 component. The findings indicate that phonological code retrieval is not strictly contingent on prior basic semantic feature processing.
  • Akker, E., & Cutler, A. (2003). Prosodic cues to semantic structure in native and nonnative listening. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 6(2), 81-96. doi:10.1017/S1366728903001056.

    Abstract

    Listeners efficiently exploit sentence prosody to direct attention to words bearing sentence accent. This effect has been explained as a search for focus, furthering rapid apprehension of semantic structure. A first experiment supported this explanation: English listeners detected phoneme targets in sentences more rapidly when the target-bearing words were in accented position or in focussed position, but the two effects interacted, consistent with the claim that the effects serve a common cause. In a second experiment a similar asymmetry was observed with Dutch listeners and Dutch sentences. In a third and a fourth experiment, proficient Dutch users of English heard English sentences; here, however, the two effects did not interact. The results suggest that less efficient mapping of prosody to semantics may be one way in which nonnative listening fails to equal native listening.
  • Alario, F.-X., Schiller, N. O., Domoto-Reilly, K., & Caramazza, A. (2003). The role of phonological and orthographic information in lexical selection. Brain and Language, 84(3), 372-398. doi:10.1016/S0093-934X(02)00556-4.

    Abstract

    We report the performance of two patients with lexico-semantic deficits following left MCA CVA. Both patients produce similar numbers of semantic paraphasias in naming tasks, but presented one crucial difference: grapheme-to-phoneme and phoneme-to-grapheme conversion procedures were available only to one of them. We investigated the impact of this availability on the process of lexical selection during word production. The patient for whom conversion procedures were not operational produced semantic errors in transcoding tasks such as reading and writing to dictation; furthermore, when asked to name a given picture in multiple output modalities—e.g., to say the name of a picture and immediately after to write it down—he produced lexically inconsistent responses. By contrast, the patient for whom conversion procedures were available did not produce semantic errors in transcoding tasks and did not produce lexically inconsistent responses in multiple picture-naming tasks. These observations are interpreted in the context of the summation hypothesis (Hillis & Caramazza, 1991), according to which the activation of lexical entries for production would be made on the basis of semantic information and, when available, on the basis of form-specific information. The implementation of this hypothesis in models of lexical access is discussed in detail.
  • Bastiaansen, M. C. M., & Hagoort, P. (2003). Event-induced theta responses as a window on the dynamics of memory. Cortex, 39(4-5), 967-972. doi:10.1016/S0010-9452(08)70873-6.

    Abstract

    An important, but often ignored distinction in the analysis of EEG signals is that between evoked activity and induced activity. Whereas evoked activity reflects the summation of transient post-synaptic potentials triggered by an event, induced activity, which is mainly oscillatory in nature, is thought to reflect changes in parameters controlling dynamic interactions within and between brain structures. We hypothesize that induced activity may yield information about the dynamics of cell assembly formation, activation and subsequent uncoupling, which may play a prominent role in different types of memory operations. We then describe a number of analysis tools that can be used to study the reactivity of induced rhythmic activity, both in terms of amplitude changes and of phase variability. We briefly discuss how alpha, gamma and theta rhythms are thought to be generated, paying special attention to the hypothesis that the theta rhythm reflects dynamic interactions between the hippocampal system and the neocortex. This hypothesis would imply that studying the reactivity of scalp-recorded theta may provide a window on the contribution of the hippocampus to memory functions. We review studies investigating the reactivity of scalp-recorded theta in paradigms engaging episodic memory, spatial memory and working memory. In addition, we review studies that relate theta reactivity to processes at the interface of memory and language. Despite many unknowns, the experimental evidence largely supports the hypothesis that theta activity plays a functional role in cell assembly formation, a process which may constitute the neural basis of memory formation and retrieval. The available data provide only highly indirect support for the hypothesis that scalp-recorded theta yields information about hippocampal functioning. It is concluded that studying induced rhythmic activity holds promise as an additional important way to study brain function.
  • Bock, K., Irwin, D. E., Davidson, D. J., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2003). Minding the clock. Journal of Memory and Language, 48, 653-685. doi:10.1016/S0749-596X(03)00007-X.

    Abstract

    Telling time is an exercise in coordinating language production with visual perception. By coupling different ways of saying times with different ways of seeing them, the performance of time-telling can be used to track cognitive transformations from visual to verbal information in connected speech. To accomplish this, we used eyetracking measures along with measures of speech timing during the production of time expressions. Our findings suggest that an effective interface between what has been seen and what is to be said can be constructed within 300 ms. This interface underpins a preverbal plan or message that appears to guide a comparatively slow, strongly incremental formulation of phrases. The results begin to trace the divide between seeing and saying -or thinking and speaking- that must be bridged during the creation of even the most prosaic utterances of a language.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (2003). Invisible time lines in the fabric of events: Temporal coherence in Yukatek narratives. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 13(2), 139-162. doi:10.1525/jlin.2003.13.2.139.

    Abstract

    This article examines how narratives are structured in a language in which event order is largely not coded. Yucatec Maya lacks both tense inflections and temporal connectives corresponding to English after and before. It is shown that the coding of events in Yucatec narratives is subject to a strict iconicity constraint within paragraph boundaries. Aspectual viewpoint shifting is used to reconcile iconicity preservation with the requirements of a more flexible narrative structure.
  • Burenhult, N. (2003). Attention, accessibility, and the addressee: The case of the Jahai demonstrative ton. Pragmatics, 13(3), 363-379.
  • Cozijn, R., Vonk, W., & Noordman, L. G. M. (2003). Afleidingen uit oogbewegingen: De invloed van het connectief 'omdat' op het maken van causale inferenties. Gramma/TTT, 9, 141-156.
  • Damian, M. F., & Abdel Rahman, R. (2003). Semantic priming in the naming of objects and famous faces. British Journal of Psychology, 94(4), 517-527.

    Abstract

    Researchers interested in face processing have recently debated whether access to the name of a known person occurs in parallel with retrieval of semantic-biographical codes, rather than in a sequential fashion. Recently, Schweinberger, Burton, and Kelly (2001) took a failure to obtain a semantic context effect in a manual syllable judgment task on names of famous faces as support for this position. In two experiments, we compared the effects of visually presented categorically related prime words with either objects (e.g. prime: animal; target: dog) or faces of celebrities (e.g. prime: actor; target: Bruce Willis) as targets. Targets were either manually categorized with regard to the number of syllables (as in Schweinberger et al.), or they were overtly named. For neither objects nor faces was semantic priming obtained in syllable decisions; crucially, however, priming was obtained when objects and faces were overtly named. These results suggest that both face and object naming are susceptible to semantic context effects
  • Dunn, M. (2003). Pioneers of Island Melanesia project. Oceania Newsletter, 30/31, 1-3.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2003). Demonstratives in space and interaction: Data from Lao speakers and implications for semantic analysis. Language, 79(1), 82-117.

    Abstract

    The semantics of simple (i.e. two-term) systems of demonstratives have in general hitherto been treated as inherently spatial and as marking a symmetrical opposition of distance (‘proximal’ versus ‘distal’), assuming the speaker as a point of origin. More complex systems are known to add further distinctions, such as visibility or elevation, but are assumed to build on basic distinctions of distance. Despite their inherently context-dependent nature, little previous work has based the analysis of demonstratives on evidence of their use in real interactional situations. In this article, video recordings of spontaneous interaction among speakers of Lao (Southwestern Tai, Laos) are examined in an analysis of the two Lao demonstrative determiners nii4 and nan4. A hypothesis of minimal encoded semantics is tested against rich contextual information, and the hypothesis is shown to be consistent with the data. Encoded conventional meanings must be kept distinct from contingent contextual information and context-dependent pragmatic implicatures. Based on examples of the two Lao demonstrative determiners in exophoric uses, the following claims are made. The term nii4 is a semantically general demonstrative, lacking specification of ANY spatial property (such as location or distance). The term nan4 specifies that the referent is ‘not here’ (encoding ‘location’ but NOT ‘distance’). Anchoring the semantic specification in a deictic primitive ‘here’ allows a strictly discrete intensional distinction to be mapped onto an extensional range of endless elasticity. A common ‘proximal’ spatial interpretation for the semantically more general term nii4 arises from the paradigmatic opposition of the two demonstrative determiners. This kind of analysis suggests a reappraisal of our general understanding of the semantics of demonstrative systems universally. To investigate the question in sufficient detail, however, rich contextual data (preferably collected on video) is necessary
  • Enfield, N. J. (2003). Producing and editing diagrams using co-speech gesture: Spatializing non-spatial relations in explanations of kinship in Laos. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 13(1), 7-50. doi:10.1525/jlin.2003.13.1.7.

    Abstract

    This article presents a description of two sequences of talk by urban speakers of Lao (a southwestern Tai language spoken in Laos) in which co-speech gesture plays a central role in explanations of kinship relations and terminology. The speakers spontaneously use hand gestures and gaze to spatially diagram relationships that have no inherent spatial structure. The descriptive sections of the article are prefaced by a discussion of the semiotic complexity of illustrative gestures and gesture diagrams. Gestured signals feature iconic, indexical, and symbolic components, usually in combination, as well as using motion and three-dimensional space to convey meaning. Such diagrams show temporal persistence and structural integrity despite having been projected in midair by evanescent signals (i.e., handmovements anddirected gaze). Speakers sometimes need or want to revise these spatial representations without destroying their structural integrity. The need to "edit" gesture diagrams involves such techniques as hold-and-drag, hold-and-work-with-free-hand, reassignment-of-old-chunk-tonew-chunk, and move-body-into-new-space.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2003). The definition of WHAT-d'you-call-it: Semantics and pragmatics of 'recognitional deixis'. Journal of Pragmatics, 35(1), 101-117. doi:10.1016/S0378-2166(02)00066-8.

    Abstract

    Words such as what -d'you-call-it raise issues at the heart of the semantics/pragmatics interface. Expressions of this kind are conventionalised and have meanings which, while very general, are explicitly oriented to the interactional nature of the speech context, drawing attention to a speaker's assumption that the listener can figure out what the speaker is referring to. The details of such meanings can account for functional contrast among similar expressions, in a single language as well as cross-linguistically. The English expressions what -d'you-call-it and you-know-what are compared, along with a comparable Lao expression meaning, roughly, ‘that thing’. Proposed definitions of the meanings of these expressions account for their different patterns of use. These definitions include reference to the speech act participants, a point which supports the view that what -d'you-call-it words can be considered deictic. Issues arising from the descriptive section of this paper include the question of how such terms are derived, as well as their degree of conventionality.
  • Ernestus, M., & Baayen, R. H. (2003). Predicting the unpredictable: The phonological interpretation of neutralized segments in Dutch. Language, 79(1), 5-38.

    Abstract

    Among the most fascinating data for phonology are those showing how speakers incorporate new words and foreign words into their language system, since these data provide cues to the actual principles underlying language. In this article, we address how speakers deal with neutralized obstruents in new words. We formulate four hypotheses and test them on the basis of Dutch word-final obstruents, which are neutral for [voice]. Our experiments show that speakers predict the characteristics ofneutralized segments on the basis ofphonologically similar morphemes stored in the mental lexicon. This effect of the similar morphemes can be modeled in several ways. We compare five models, among them STOCHASTIC OPTIMALITY THEORY and ANALOGICAL MODELING OF LANGUAGE; all perform approximately equally well, but they differ in their complexity, with analogical modeling oflanguage providing the most economical explanation.
  • Felser, C., Roberts, L., Marinis, T., & Gross, R. (2003). The processing of ambiguous sentences by first and second language learners of English. Applied Psycholinguistics, 24(3), 453-489.

    Abstract

    This study investigates the way adult second language (L2) learners of English resolve relative clause attachment ambiguities in sentences such as The dean liked the secretary of the professor who was reading a letter. Two groups of advanced L2 learners of English with Greek or German as their first language participated in a set of off-line and on-line tasks. The results indicate that the L2 learners do not process ambiguous sentences of this type in the same way as adult native speakers of English do. Although the learners’ disambiguation preferences were influenced by lexical–semantic properties of the preposition linking the two potential antecedent noun phrases (of vs. with), there was no evidence that they applied any phrase structure–based ambiguity resolution strategies of the kind that have been claimed to influence sentence processing in monolingual adults. The L2 learners’ performance also differs markedly from the results obtained from 6- to 7-year-old monolingual English children in a parallel auditory study, in that the children’s attachment preferences were not affected by the type of preposition at all. We argue that children, monolingual adults, and adult L2 learners differ in the extent to which they are guided by phrase structure and lexical–semantic information during sentence processing.
  • Fisher, S. E., Lai, C. S., & Monaco, a. A. P. (2003). Deciphering the genetic basis of speech and language disorders. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 26, 57-80. doi:10.1146/annurev.neuro.26.041002.131144.

    Abstract

    A significant number of individuals have unexplained difficulties with acquiring normal speech and language, despite adequate intelligence and environmental stimulation. Although developmental disorders of speech and language are heritable, the genetic basis is likely to involve several, possibly many, different risk factors. Investigations of a unique three-generation family showing monogenic inheritance of speech and language deficits led to the isolation of the first such gene on chromosome 7, which encodes a transcription factor known as FOXP2. Disruption of this gene causes a rare severe speech and language disorder but does not appear to be involved in more common forms of language impairment. Recent genome-wide scans have identified at least four chromosomal regions that may harbor genes influencing the latter, on chromosomes 2, 13, 16, and 19. The molecular genetic approach has potential for dissecting neurological pathways underlying speech and language disorders, but such investigations are only just beginning.
  • Francks, C., DeLisi, L. E., Fisher, S. E., Laval, S. H., Rue, J. E., Stein, J. F., & Monaco, A. P. (2003). Confirmatory evidence for linkage of relative hand skill to 2p12-q11 [Letter to the editor]. American Journal of Human Genetics, 72(2), 499-502. doi:10.1086/367548.
  • Francks, C., Fisher, S. E., Marlow, A. J., MacPhie, I. L., Taylor, K. E., Richardson, A. J., Stein, J. F., & Monaco, A. P. (2003). Familial and genetic effects on motor coordination, laterality, and reading-related cognition. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(11), 1970-1977. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.160.11.1970.

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVE: Recent research has provided evidence for a genetically mediated association between language or reading-related cognitive deficits and impaired motor coordination. Other studies have identified relationships between lateralization of hand skill and cognitive abilities. With a large sample, the authors aimed to investigate genetic relationships between measures of reading-related cognition, hand motor skill, and hand skill lateralization. METHOD: The authors applied univariate and bivariate correlation and familiality analyses to a range of measures. They also performed genomewide linkage analysis of hand motor skill in a subgroup of 195 sibling pairs. RESULTS: Hand motor skill was significantly familial (maximum heritability=41%), as were reading-related measures. Hand motor skill was weakly but significantly correlated with reading-related measures, such as nonword reading and irregular word reading. However, these correlations were not significantly familial in nature, and the authors did not observe linkage of hand motor skill to any chromosomal regions implicated in susceptibility to dyslexia. Lateralization of hand skill was not correlated with reading or cognitive ability. CONCLUSIONS: The authors confirmed a relationship between lower motor ability and poor reading performance. However, the genetic effects on motor skill and reading ability appeared to be largely or wholly distinct, suggesting that the correlation between these traits may have arisen from environmental influences. Finally, the authors found no evidence that reading disability and/or low general cognitive ability were associated with ambidexterity.
  • Francks, C., DeLisi, L. E., Shaw, S. H., Fisher, S. E., Richardson, A. J., Stein, J. F., & Monaco, A. P. (2003). Parent-of-origin effects on handedness and schizophrenia susceptibility on chromosome 2p12-q11. Human Molecular Genetics, 12(24), 3225-3230. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddg362.

    Abstract

    Schizophrenia and non-right-handedness are moderately associated, and both traits are often accompanied by abnormalities of asymmetrical brain morphology or function. We have found linkage previously of chromosome 2p12-q11 to a quantitative measure of handedness, and we have also found linkage of schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder to this same chromosomal region in a separate study. Now, we have found that in one of our samples (191 reading-disabled sibling pairs), the relative hand skill of siblings was correlated more strongly with paternal than maternal relative hand skill. This led us to re-analyse 2p12-q11 under parent-of-origin linkage models. We found linkage of relative hand skill in the RD siblings to 2p12-q11 with P=0.0000037 for paternal identity-by-descent sharing, whereas the maternally inherited locus was not linked to the trait (P>0.2). Similarly, in affected-sib-pair analysis of our schizophrenia dataset (241 sibling pairs), we found linkage to schizophrenia for paternal sharing with LOD=4.72, P=0.0000016, within 3 cM of the peak linkage to relative hand skill. Maternal linkage across the region was weak or non-significant. These similar paternal-specific linkages suggest that the causative genetic effects on 2p12-q11 are related. The linkages may be due to a single maternally imprinted influence on lateralized brain development that contains common functional polymorphisms.
  • Frank, S. L., Koppen, M., Noordman, L. G. M., & Vonk, W. (2003). Modeling knowledge-based inferences in story comprehension. Cognitive Science, 27(6), 875-910. doi:10.1016/j.cogsci.2003.07.002.

    Abstract

    A computational model of inference during story comprehension is presented, in which story situations are represented distributively as points in a high-dimensional “situation-state space.” This state space organizes itself on the basis of a constructed microworld description. From the same description, causal/temporal world knowledge is extracted. The distributed representation of story situations is more flexible than Golden and Rumelhart’s [Discourse Proc 16 (1993) 203] localist representation. A story taking place in the microworld corresponds to a trajectory through situation-state space. During the inference process, world knowledge is applied to the story trajectory. This results in an adjusted trajectory, reflecting the inference of propositions that are likely to be the case. Although inferences do not result from a search for coherence, they do cause story coherence to increase. The results of simulations correspond to empirical data concerning inference, reading time, and depth of processing. An extension of the model for simulating story retention shows how coherence is preserved during retention without controlling the retention process. Simulation results correspond to empirical data concerning story recall and intrusion.
  • Gisselgard, J., Petersson, K. M., Baddeley, A., & Ingvar, M. (2003). The irrelevant speech effect: A PET study. Neuropsychologia, 41, 1899-1911. doi:10.1016/S0028-3932(03)00122-2.

    Abstract

    Positron emission tomography (PET) was performed in normal volunteers during a serial recall task under the influence of irrelevant speech comprising both single item repetition and multi-item sequences. An interaction approach was used to identify brain areas specifically related to the irrelevant speech effect. We interpreted activations as compensatory recruitment of complementary working memory processing, and decreased activity in terms of suppression of task relevant areas invoked by the irrelevant speech. The interaction between the distractors and working memory revealed a significant effect in the left, and to a lesser extent in the right, superior temporal region, indicating that initial phonological processing was relatively suppressed. Additional areas of decreased activity were observed in an a priori defined cortical network related to verbalworking memory, incorporating the bilateral superior temporal and inferior/middle frontal corticesn extending into Broca’s area on the left. We also observed a weak activation in the left inferior parietal cortex, a region suggested to reflect the phonological store, the subcomponent where the interference is assumed to take place. The results suggest that the irrelevant speech effect is correlated with and thus tentatively may be explained in terms of a suppression of components of the verbal working memory network as outlined. The results can be interpreted in terms of inhibitory top–down attentional mechanisms attenuating the influence of the irrelevant speech, although additional studies are clearly necessary to more fully characterize the nature of this phenomenon and its theoretical implications for existing short-term memory models
  • Le Guen, O. (2003). Quand les morts reviennent, réflexion sur l'ancestralité chez les Mayas des Basses Terres. Journal de la Société des Américanistes, 89(2), 171-205.

    Abstract

    When the dead come home… Remarks on ancestor worship among the Lowland Mayas. In Amerindian ethnographical literature, ancestor worship is often mentioned but evidence of its existence is lacking. This article will try to demonstrate that some Lowland Maya do worship ancestors ; it will use precise criteria taken from ethnological studies of societies where ancestor worship is common, compared to maya beliefs and practices. The All Souls’ Day, or hanal pixan, seems to be the most significant manifestation of this cult. Our approach will be comparative, through time – using colonial and ethnographical data of the twentieth century, and space – contemplating uses and beliefs of two maya groups, the Yucatec and the Lacandon Maya.
  • Hagoort, P. (2003). How the brain solves the binding problem for language: A neurocomputational model of syntactic processing. NeuroImage, 20(suppl. 1), S18-S29. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2003.09.013.

    Abstract

    Syntax is one of the components in the architecture of language processing that allows the listener/reader to bind single-word information into a unified interpretation of multiword utterances. This paper discusses ERP effects that have been observed in relation to syntactic processing. The fact that these effects differ from the semantic N400 indicates that the brain honors the distinction between semantic and syntactic binding operations. Two models of syntactic processing attempt to account for syntax-related ERP effects. One type of model is serial, with a first phase that is purely syntactic in nature (syntax-first model). The other type of model is parallel and assumes that information immediately guides the interpretation process once it becomes available. This is referred to as the immediacy model. ERP evidence is presented in support of the latter model. Next, an explicit computational model is proposed to explain the ERP data. This Unification Model assumes that syntactic frames are stored in memory and retrieved on the basis of the spoken or written word form input. The syntactic frames associated with the individual lexical items are unified by a dynamic binding process into a structural representation that spans the whole utterance. On the basis of a meta-analysis of imaging studies on syntax, it is argued that the left posterior inferior frontal cortex is involved in binding syntactic frames together, whereas the left superior temporal cortex is involved in retrieval of the syntactic frames stored in memory. Lesion data that support the involvement of this left frontotemporal network in syntactic processing are discussed.
  • Hagoort, P. (2003). Interplay between syntax and semantics during sentence comprehension: ERP effects of combining syntactic and semantic violations. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 15(6), 883-899. doi:10.1162/089892903322370807.

    Abstract

    This study investigated the effects of combined semantic and syntactic violations in relation to the effects of single semantic and single syntactic violations on language-related event-related brain potential (ERP) effects (N400 and P600/ SPS). Syntactic violations consisted of a mismatch in grammatical gender or number features of the definite article and the noun in sentence-internal or sentence-final noun phrases (NPs). Semantic violations consisted of semantically implausible adjective–noun combinations in the same NPs. Combined syntactic and semantic violations were a summation of these two respective violation types. ERPs were recorded while subjects read the sentences with the different types of violations and the correct control sentences. ERP effects were computed relative to ERPs elicited by the sentence-internal or sentence-final nouns. The size of the N400 effect to the semantic violation was increased by an additional syntactic violation (the syntactic boost). In contrast, the size of the P600/ SPS to the syntactic violation was not affected by an additional semantic violation. This suggests that in the absence of syntactic ambiguity, the assignment of syntactic structure is independent of semantic context. However, semantic integration is influenced by syntactic processing. In the sentence-final position, additional global processing consequences were obtained as a result of earlier violations in the sentence. The resulting increase in the N400 amplitude to sentence-final words was independent of the nature of the violation. A speeded anomaly detection task revealed that it takes substantially longer to detect semantic than syntactic anomalies. These results are discussed in relation to the latency and processing characteristics of the N400 and P600/SPS effects. Overall, the results reveal an asymmetry in the interplay between syntax and semantics during on-line sentence comprehension.
  • Hagoort, P., Wassenaar, M., & Brown, C. M. (2003). Real-time semantic compensation in patients with agrammatic comprehension: Electrophysiological evidence for multiple-route plasticity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(7), 4340-4345. doi:10.1073/pnas.0230613100.

    Abstract

    To understand spoken language requires that the brain provides rapid access to different kinds of knowledge, including the sounds and meanings of words, and syntax. Syntax specifies constraints on combining words in a grammatically well formed manner. Agrammatic patients are deficient in their ability to use these constraints, due to a lesion in the perisylvian area of the languagedominant hemisphere. We report a study on real-time auditory sentence processing in agrammatic comprehenders, examining their ability to accommodate damage to the language system. We recorded event-related brain potentials (ERPs) in agrammatic comprehenders, nonagrammatic aphasics, and age-matched controls. When listening to sentences with grammatical violations, the agrammatic aphasics did not show the same syntax-related ERP effect as the two other subject groups. Instead, the waveforms of the agrammatic aphasics were dominated by a meaning-related ERP effect, presumably reflecting their attempts to achieve understanding by the use of semantic constraints. These data demonstrate that although agrammatic aphasics are impaired in their ability to exploit syntactic information in real time, they can reduce the consequences of a syntactic deficit by exploiting a semantic route. They thus provide evidence for the compensation of a syntactic deficit by a stronger reliance on another route in mapping sound onto meaning. This is a form of plasticity that we refer to as multiple-route plasticity.
  • Hagoort, P., Wassenaar, M., & Brown, C. M. (2003). Syntax-related ERP-effects in Dutch. Cognitive Brain Research, 16(1), 38-50. doi:10.1016/S0926-6410(02)00208-2.

    Abstract

    In two studies subjects were required to read Dutch sentences that in some cases contained a syntactic violation, in other cases a semantic violation. All syntactic violations were word category violations. The design excluded differential contributions of expectancy to influence the syntactic violation effects. The syntactic violations elicited an Anterior Negativity between 300 and 500 ms. This negativity was bilateral and had a frontal distribution. Over posterior sites the same violations elicited a P600/SPS starting at about 600 ms. The semantic violations elicited an N400 effect. The topographic distribution of the AN was more frontal than the distribution of the classical N400 effect, indicating that the underlying generators of the AN and the N400 are, at least to a certain extent, non-overlapping. Experiment 2 partly replicated the design of Experiment 1, but with differences in rate of presentation and in the distribution of items over subjects, and without semantic violations. The word category violations resulted in the same effects as were observed in Experiment 1, showing that they were independent of some of the specific parameters of Experiment 1. The discussion presents a tentative account of the functional differences in the triggering conditions of the AN and the P600/SPS.
  • Haun, D. B. M. (2003). What's so special about spatial cognition. De Psychonoom, 18, 3-4.
  • Hayano, K. (2003). Self-presentation as a face-threatening act: A comparative study of self-oriented topic introduction in English and Japanese. Veritas, 24, 45-58.
  • Holler, J., & Beattie, G. (2003). How iconic gestures and speech interact in the representation of meaning: are both aspects really integral to the process? Semiotica, 146, 81-116.
  • Holler, J., & Beattie, G. (2003). Pragmatic aspects of representational gestures: Do speakers use them to clarify verbal ambiguity for the listener? Gesture, 3, 127-154.
  • Janse, E., Nooteboom, S. G., & Quené, H. (2003). Word-level intelligibility of time-compressed speech: Prosodic and segmental factors. Speech Communication, 41, 287-301. doi:10.1016/S0167-6393(02)00130-9.

    Abstract

    In this study we investigate whether speakers, in line with the predictions of the Hyper- and Hypospeech theory, speed up most during the least informative parts and less during the more informative parts, when they are asked to speak faster. We expected listeners to benefit from these changes in timing, and our main goal was to find out whether making the temporal organisation of artificially time-compressed speech more like that of natural fast speech would improve intelligibility over linear time compression. Our production study showed that speakers reduce unstressed syllables more than stressed syllables, thereby making the prosodic pattern more pronounced. We extrapolated fast speech timing to even faster rates because we expected that the more salient prosodic pattern could be exploited in difficult listening situations. However, at very fast speech rates, applying fast speech timing worsens intelligibility. We argue that the non-uniform way of speeding up may not be due to an underlying communicative principle, but may result from speakers’ inability to speed up otherwise. As both prosodic and segmental information contribute to word recognition, we conclude that extrapolating fast speech timing to extremely fast rates distorts this balance between prosodic and segmental information.
  • Jescheniak, J. D., Levelt, W. J. M., & Meyer, A. S. (2003). Specific word frequency is not all that counts in speech production: Comments on Caramazza, Costa, et al. (2001) and new experimental data. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 29(3), 432-438. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.29.3.432.

    Abstract

    A. Caramazza, A. Costa, M. Miozzo, and Y. Bi(2001) reported a series of experiments demonstrating that the ease of producing a word depends only on the frequency of that specific word but not on the frequency of a homophone twin. A. Caramazza, A. Costa, et al. concluded that homophones have separate word form representations and that the absence of frequency-inheritance effects for homophones undermines an important argument in support of 2-stage models of lexical access, which assume that syntactic (lemma) representations mediate between conceptual and phonological representations. The authors of this article evaluate the empirical basis of this conclusion, report 2 experiments demonstrating a frequency-inheritance effect, and discuss other recent evidence. It is concluded that homophones share a common word form and that the distinction between lemmas and word forms should be upheld.
  • Johnson, E. K., Jusczyk, P. W., Cutler, A., & Norris, D. (2003). Lexical viability constraints on speech segmentation by infants. Cognitive Psychology, 46(1), 65-97. doi:10.1016/S0010-0285(02)00507-8.

    Abstract

    The Possible Word Constraint limits the number of lexical candidates considered in speech recognition by stipulating that input should be parsed into a string of lexically viable chunks. For instance, an isolated single consonant is not a feasible word candidate. Any segmentation containing such a chunk is disfavored. Five experiments using the head-turn preference procedure investigated whether, like adults, 12-month-olds observe this constraint in word recognition. In Experiments 1 and 2, infants were familiarized with target words (e.g., rush), then tested on lists of nonsense items containing these words in “possible” (e.g., “niprush” [nip + rush]) or “impossible” positions (e.g., “prush” [p + rush]). The infants listened significantly longer to targets in “possible” versus “impossible” contexts when targets occurred at the end of nonsense items (rush in “prush”), but not when they occurred at the beginning (tan in “tance”). In Experiments 3 and 4, 12-month-olds were similarly familiarized with target words, but test items were real words in sentential contexts (win in “wind” versus “window”). The infants listened significantly longer to words in the “possible” condition regardless of target location. Experiment 5 with targets at the beginning of isolated real words (e.g., win in “wind”) replicated Experiment 2 in showing no evidence of viability effects in beginning position. Taken together, the findings suggest that, in situations in which 12-month-olds are required to rely on their word segmentation abilities, they give evidence of observing lexical viability constraints in the way that they parse fluent speech.
  • Kempen, G., & Harbusch, K. (2003). An artificial opposition between grammaticality and frequency: Comment on Bornkessel, Schlesewsky & Friederici (2002). Cognition, 90(2), 205-210 [Rectification on p. 215]. doi:10.1016/S0010-0277(03)00145-8.

    Abstract

    In a recent Cognition paper (Cognition 85 (2002) B21), Bornkessel, Schlesewsky, and Friederici report ERP data that they claim “show that online processing difficulties induced by word order variations in German cannot be attributed to the relative infrequency of the constructions in question, but rather appear to reflect the application of grammatical principles during parsing” (p. B21). In this commentary we demonstrate that the posited contrast between grammatical principles and construction (in)frequency as sources of parsing problems is artificial because it is based on factually incorrect assumptions about the grammar of German and on inaccurate corpus frequency data concerning the German constructions involved.
  • Kidd, E. (2003). Relative clause comprehension revisited: Commentary on Eisenberg (2002). Journal of Child Language, 30(3), 671-679. doi:10.1017/S0305000903005683.

    Abstract

    Eisenberg (2002) presents data from an experiment investigating three- and four-year-old children's comprehension of restrictive relative clauses (RC). From the results she argues, contrary to Hamburger & Crain (1982), that children do not have discourse knowledge of the felicity conditions of RCs before acquiring the syntax of relativization. This note evaluates this conclusion on the basis of the methodology used, and proposes that an account of syntactic development needs to be sensitive to the real-time processing requirements acquisition places on the learner.
  • Kita, S., & Ozyurek, A. (2003). What does cross-linguistic variation in semantic coordination of speech and gesture reveal? Evidence for an interface representation of spatial thinking and speaking. Journal of Memory and Language, 48(1), 16-32. doi:10.1016/S0749-596X(02)00505-3.

    Abstract

    Gestures that spontaneously accompany speech convey information coordinated with the concurrent speech. There has been considerable theoretical disagreement about the process by which this informational coordination is achieved. Some theories predict that the information encoded in gesture is not influenced by how information is verbally expressed. However, others predict that gestures encode only what is encoded in speech. This paper investigates this issue by comparing informational coordination between speech and gesture across different languages. Narratives in Turkish, Japanese, and English were elicited using an animated cartoon as the stimulus. It was found that gestures used to express the same motion events were influenced simultaneously by (1) how features of motion events were expressed in each language, and (2) spatial information in the stimulus that was never verbalized. From this, it is concluded that gestures are generated from spatio-motoric processes that interact on-line with the speech production process. Through the interaction, spatio-motoric information to be expressed is packaged into chunks that are verbalizable within a processing unit for speech formulation. In addition, we propose a model of speech and gesture production as one of a class of frameworks that are compatible with the data.
  • Klein, W. (2003). Wozu braucht man eigentlich Flexionsmorphologie? Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 131, 23-54.
  • Lai, C. S. L., Gerrelli, D., Monaco, A. P., Fisher, S. E., & Copp, A. J. (2003). FOXP2 expression during brain development coincides with adult sites of pathology in a severe speech and language disorder. Brain, 126(11), 2455-2462. doi:10.1093/brain/awg247.

    Abstract

    Disruption of FOXP2, a gene encoding a forkhead-domain transcription factor, causes a severe developmental disorder of verbal communication, involving profound articulation deficits, accompanied by linguistic and grammatical impairments. Investigation of the neural basis of this disorder has been limited previously to neuroimaging of affected children and adults. The discovery of the gene responsible, FOXP2, offers a unique opportunity to explore the relevant neural mechanisms from a molecular perspective. In the present study, we have determined the detailed spatial and temporal expression pattern of FOXP2 mRNA in the developing brain of mouse and human. We find expression in several structures including the cortical plate, basal ganglia, thalamus, inferior olives and cerebellum. These data support a role for FOXP2 in the development of corticostriatal and olivocerebellar circuits involved in motor control. We find intriguing concordance between regions of early expression and later sites of pathology suggested by neuroimaging. Moreover, the homologous pattern of FOXP2/Foxp2 expression in human and mouse argues for a role for this gene in development of motor-related circuits throughout mammalian species. Overall, this study provides support for the hypothesis that impairments in sequencing of movement and procedural learning might be central to the FOXP2-related speech and language disorder.
  • Lausberg, H., Cruz, R. F., Kita, S., Zaidel, E., & Ptito, A. (2003). Pantomime to visual presentation of objects: Left hand dyspraxia in patients with complete callosotomy. Brain, 126(2), 343-360. doi:10.1093/brain/awg042.

    Abstract

    Investigations of left hand praxis in imitation and object use in patients with callosal disconnection have yielded divergent results, inducing a debate between two theoretical positions. Whereas Liepmann suggested that the left hemisphere is motor dominant, others maintain that both hemispheres have equal motor competences and propose that left hand apraxia in patients with callosal disconnection is secondary to left hemispheric specialization for language or other task modalities. The present study aims to gain further insight into the motor competence of the right hemisphere by investigating pantomime of object use in split-brain patients. Three patients with complete callosotomy and, as control groups, five patients with partial callosotomy and nine healthy subjects were examined for their ability to pantomime object use to visual object presentation and demonstrate object manipulation. In each condition, 11 objects were presented to the subjects who pantomimed or demonstrated the object use with either hand. In addition, six object pairs were presented to test bimanual coordination. Two independent raters evaluated the videotaped movement demonstrations. While object use demonstrations were perfect in all three groups, the split-brain patients displayed apraxic errors only with their left hands in the pantomime condition. The movement analysis of concept and execution errors included the examination of ipsilateral versus contralateral motor control. As the right hand/left hemisphere performances demonstrated retrieval of the correct movement concepts, concept errors by the left hand were taken as evidence for right hemisphere control. Several types of execution errors reflected a lack of distal motor control indicating the use of ipsilateral pathways. While one split-brain patient controlled his left hand predominantly by ipsilateral pathways in the pantomime condition, the error profile in the other two split-brain patients suggested that the right hemisphere controlled their left hands. In the object use condition, in all three split-brain patients fine-graded distal movements in the left hand indicated right hemispheric control. Our data show left hand apraxia in split-brain patients is not limited to verbal commands, but also occurs in pantomime to visual presentation of objects. As the demonstration with object in hand was unimpaired in either hand, both hemispheres must contain movement concepts for object use. However, the disconnected right hemisphere is impaired in retrieving the movement concept in response to visual object presentation, presumably because of a deficit in associating perceptual object representation with the movement concepts.
  • Lausberg, H., Kita, S., Zaidel, E., & Ptito, A. (2003). Split-brain patients neglect left personal space during right-handed gestures. Neuropsychologia, 41(10), 1317-1329. doi:10.1016/S0028-3932(03)00047-2.

    Abstract

    Since some patients with right hemisphere damage or with spontaneous callosal disconnection neglect the left half of space, it has been suggested that the left cerebral hemisphere predominantly attends to the right half of space. However, clinical investigations of patients having undergone surgical callosal section have not shown neglect when the hemispheres are tested separately. These observations question the validity of theoretical models that propose a left hemispheric specialisation for attending to the right half of space. The present study aims to investigate neglect and the use of space by either hand in gestural demonstrations in three split-brain patients as compared to five patients with partial callosotomy and 11 healthy subjects. Subjects were asked to demonstrate with precise gestures and without speaking the content of animated scenes with two moving objects. The results show that in the absence of primary perceptual or representational neglect, split-brain patients neglect left personal space in right-handed gestural demonstrations. Since this neglect of left personal space cannot be explained by directional or spatial akinesia, it is suggested that it originates at the conceptual level, where the spatial coordinates for right-hand gestures are planned. The present findings are at odds with the position that the separate left hemisphere possesses adequate mechanisms for acting in both halves of space and neglect results from right hemisphere suppression of this potential. Rather, the results provide support for theoretical models that consider the left hemisphere as specialised for processing the right half of space during the execution of descriptive gestures.
  • Lausberg, H., & Kita, S. (2003). The content of the message influences the hand choice in co-speech gestures and in gesturing without speaking. Brain and Language, 86(1), 57-69. doi:10.1016/S0093-934X(02)00534-5.

    Abstract

    The present study investigates the hand choice in iconic gestures that accompany speech. In 10 right-handed subjects gestures were elicited by verbal narration and by silent gestural demonstrations of animations with two moving objects. In both conditions, the left-hand was used as often as the right-hand to display iconic gestures. The choice of the right- or left-hands was determined by semantic aspects of the message. The influence of hemispheric language lateralization on the hand choice in co-speech gestures appeared to be minor. Instead, speaking seemed to induce a sequential organization of the iconic gestures.
  • Levelt, W. J. M., & Plomp, R. (1964). De waardering van muzikale intervallen. Hypothese: Orgaan van de Psychologische Faculteit der Leidse Studenten, 9(3/4), 30-39.
  • Levinson, S. C., & Meira, S. (2003). 'Natural concepts' in the spatial topological domain - adpositional meanings in crosslinguistic perspective: An exercise in semantic typology. Language, 79(3), 485-516.

    Abstract

    Most approaches to spatial language have assumed that the simplest spatial notions are (after Piaget) topological and universal (containment, contiguity, proximity, support, represented as semantic primitives suchas IN, ON, UNDER, etc.). These concepts would be coded directly in language, above all in small closed classes suchas adpositions—thus providing a striking example of semantic categories as language-specific projections of universal conceptual notions. This idea, if correct, should have as a consequence that the semantic categories instantiated in spatial adpositions should be essentially uniform crosslinguistically. This article attempts to verify this possibility by comparing the semantics of spatial adpositions in nine unrelated languages, with the help of a standard elicitation procedure, thus producing a preliminary semantic typology of spatial adpositional systems. The differences between the languages turn out to be so significant as to be incompatible withstronger versions of the UNIVERSAL CONCEPTUAL CATEGORIES hypothesis. Rather, the language-specific spatial adposition meanings seem to emerge as compact subsets of an underlying semantic space, withcertain areas being statistical ATTRACTORS or FOCI. Moreover, a comparison of systems withdifferent degrees of complexity suggests the possibility of positing implicational hierarchies for spatial adpositions. But such hierarchies need to be treated as successive divisions of semantic space, as in recent treatments of basic color terms. This type of analysis appears to be a promising approachfor future work in semantic typology.
  • Levinson, S. C., & Brown, P. (2003). Emmanuel Kant chez les Tenejapans: L'Anthropologie comme philosophie empirique [Translated by Claude Vandeloise for 'Langues et Cognition']. Langues et Cognition, 239-278.

    Abstract

    This is a translation of Levinson and Brown (1994).
  • Lundstrom, B. N., Petersson, K. M., Andersson, J., Johansson, M., Fransson, P., & Ingvar, M. (2003). Isolating the retrieval of imagined pictures during episodic memory: Activation of the left precuneus and left prefrontal cortex. Neuroimage, 20, 1934-1943. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2003.07.017.

    Abstract

    The posterior medial parietal cortex and the left prefrontal cortex have both been implicated in the recollection of past episodes. In order to clarify their functional significance, we performed this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, which employed event-related source memory and item recognition retrieval of words paired with corresponding imagined or viewed pictures. Our results suggest that episodic source memory is related to a functional network including the posterior precuneus and the left lateral prefrontal cortex. This network is activated during explicit retrieval of imagined pictures and results from the retrieval of item-context associations. This suggests that previously imagined pictures provide a context with which encoded words can be more strongly associated.
  • Mace, R., Jordan, F., & Holden, C. (2003). Testing evolutionary hypotheses about human biological adaptation using cross-cultural comparison. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A-Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 136(1), 85-94. doi:10.1016/S1095-6433(03)00019-9.

    Abstract

    Physiological data from a range of human populations living in different environments can provide valuable information for testing evolutionary hypotheses about human adaptation. By taking into account the effects of population history, phylogenetic comparative methods can help us determine whether variation results from selection due to particular environmental variables. These selective forces could even be due to cultural traits-which means that gene-culture co-evolution may be occurring. In this paper, we outline two examples of the use of these approaches to test adaptive hypotheses that explain global variation in two physiological traits: the first is lactose digestion capacity in adults, and the second is population sex-ratio at birth. We show that lower than average sex ratio at birth is associated with high fertility, and argue that global variation in sex ratio at birth has evolved as a response to the high physiological costs of producing boys in high fertility populations.
  • Magnuson, J. S., Tanenhaus, M. K., Aslin, R. N., & Dahan, D. (2003). The time course of spoken word learning and recognition: Studies with artificial lexicons. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 132(2), 202-227. doi:10.1037/0096-3445.132.2.202.

    Abstract

    The time course of spoken word recognition depends largely on the frequencies of a word and its competitors, or neighbors (similar-sounding words). However, variability in natural lexicons makes systematic analysis of frequency and neighbor similarity difficult. Artificial lexicons were used to achieve precise control over word frequency and phonological similarity. Eye tracking provided time course measures of lexical activation and competition (during spoken instructions to perform visually guided tasks) both during and after word learning, as a function of word frequency, neighbor type, and neighbor frequency. Apparent shifts from holistic to incremental competitor effects were observed in adults and neural network simulations, suggesting such shifts reflect general properties of learning rather than changes in the nature of lexical representations.
  • Magyari, L. (2003). Mit ne gondoljunk az állatokról? [What not to think about animals?] [Review of the book Wild Minds: What animals really think by M. Hauser]. Magyar Pszichológiai Szemle (Hungarian Psychological Review), 58(3), 417-424. doi:10.1556/MPSzle.58.2003.3.5.
  • Majid, A. (2003). Into the deep. The Psychologist, 16(6), 300-300.
  • Majid, A. (2003). Towards behavioural genomics. The Psychologist, 16(6), 298-298.
  • Mangione-Smith, R., Stivers, T., Elliott, M. N., McDonald, L., & Heritage, J. (2003). Online commentary during the physical examination: A communication tool for avoiding inappropriate antibiotic prescribing? Social Science and Medicine, 56(2), 313-320.
  • Marcus, G. F., & Fisher, S. E. (2003). FOXP2 in focus: What can genes tell us about speech and language? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7, 257-262. doi:10.1016/S1364-6613(03)00104-9.

    Abstract

    The human capacity for acquiring speech and language must derive, at least in part, from the genome. In 2001, a study described the first case of a gene, FOXP2, which is thought to be implicated in our ability to acquire spoken language. In the present article, we discuss how this gene was discovered, what it might do, how it relates to other genes, and what it could tell us about the nature of speech and language development. We explain how FOXP2 could, without being specific to the brain or to our own species, still provide an invaluable entry-point into understanding the genetic cascades and neural pathways that contribute to our capacity for speech and language.
  • Marlow, A. J., Fisher, S. E., Francks, C., MacPhie, I. L., Cherny, S. S., Richardson, A. J., Talcott, J. B., Stein, J. F., Monaco, A. P., & Cardon, L. R. (2003). Use of multivariate linkage analysis for dissection of a complex cognitive trait. American Journal of Human Genetics, 72(3), 561-570. doi:10.1086/368201.

    Abstract

    Replication of linkage results for complex traits has been exceedingly difficult, owing in part to the inability to measure the precise underlying phenotype, small sample sizes, genetic heterogeneity, and statistical methods employed in analysis. Often, in any particular study, multiple correlated traits have been collected, yet these have been analyzed independently or, at most, in bivariate analyses. Theoretical arguments suggest that full multivariate analysis of all available traits should offer more power to detect linkage; however, this has not yet been evaluated on a genomewide scale. Here, we conduct multivariate genomewide analyses of quantitative-trait loci that influence reading- and language-related measures in families affected with developmental dyslexia. The results of these analyses are substantially clearer than those of previous univariate analyses of the same data set, helping to resolve a number of key issues. These outcomes highlight the relevance of multivariate analysis for complex disorders for dissection of linkage results in correlated traits. The approach employed here may aid positional cloning of susceptibility genes in a wide spectrum of complex traits.
  • McQueen, J. M., Cutler, A., & Norris, D. (2003). Flow of information in the spoken word recognition system. Speech Communication, 41(1), 257-270. doi:10.1016/S0167-6393(02)00108-5.

    Abstract

    Spoken word recognition consists of two major component processes. First, at the prelexical stage, an abstract description of the utterance is generated from the information in the speech signal. Second, at the lexical stage, this description is used to activate all the words stored in the mental lexicon which match the input. These multiple candidate words then compete with each other. We review evidence which suggests that positive (match) and negative (mismatch) information of both a segmental and a suprasegmental nature is used to constrain this activation and competition process. We then ask whether, in addition to the necessary influence of the prelexical stage on the lexical stage, there is also feedback from the lexicon to the prelexical level. In two phonetic categorization experiments, Dutch listeners were asked to label both syllable-initial and syllable-final ambiguous fricatives (e.g., sounds ranging from [f] to [s]) in the word–nonword series maf–mas, and the nonword–word series jaf–jas. They tended to label the sounds in a lexically consistent manner (i.e., consistent with the word endpoints of the series). These lexical effects became smaller in listeners’ slower responses, even when the listeners were put under pressure to respond as fast as possible. Our results challenge models of spoken word recognition in which feedback modulates the prelexical analysis of the component sounds of a word whenever that word is heard
  • McQueen, J. M. (2003). The ghost of Christmas future: Didn't Scrooge learn to be good? Commentary on Magnuson, McMurray, Tanenhaus and Aslin (2003). Cognitive Science, 27(5), 795-799. doi:10.1207/s15516709cog2705_6.

    Abstract

    Magnuson, McMurray, Tanenhaus, and Aslin [Cogn. Sci. 27 (2003) 285] suggest that they have evidence of lexical feedback in speech perception, and that this evidence thus challenges the purely feedforward Merge model [Behav. Brain Sci. 23 (2000) 299]. This evidence is open to an alternative explanation, however, one which preserves the assumption in Merge that there is no lexical-prelexical feedback during on-line speech processing. This explanation invokes the distinction between perceptual processing that occurs in the short term, as an utterance is heard, and processing that occurs over the longer term, for perceptual learning.
  • Meeuwissen, M., Roelofs, A., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2003). Planning levels in naming and reading complex numerals. Memory & Cognition, 31(8), 1238-1249.

    Abstract

    On the basis of evidence from studies of the naming and reading of numerals, Ferrand (1999) argued that the naming of objects is slower than reading their names, due to a greater response uncertainty in naming than in reading, rather than to an obligatory conceptual preparation for naming, but not for reading. We manipulated the need for conceptual preparation, while keeping response uncertainty constant in the naming and reading of complex numerals. In Experiment 1, participants named three-digit Arabic numerals either as house numbers or clock times. House number naming latencies were determined mostly by morphophonological factors, such as morpheme frequency and the number of phonemes, whereas clock time naming latencies revealed an additional conceptual involvement. In Experiment 2, the numerals were presented in alphabetic format and had to be read aloud. Reading latencies were determined mostly by morphophonological factors in both modes. These results suggest that conceptual preparation, rather than response uncertainty, is responsible for the difference between naming and reading latencies.
  • Meyer, A. S., Roelofs, A., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2003). Word length effects in object naming: The role of a response criterion. Journal of Memory and Language, 48(1), 131-147. doi:10.1016/S0749-596X(02)00509-0.

    Abstract

    According to Levelt, Roelofs, and Meyer (1999) speakers generate the phonological and phonetic representations of successive syllables of a word in sequence and only begin to speak after having fully planned at least one complete phonological word. Therefore, speech onset latencies should be longer for long than for short words. We tested this prediction in four experiments in which Dutch participants named or categorized objects with monosyllabic or disyllabic names. Experiment 1 yielded a length effect on production latencies when objects with long and short names were tested in separate blocks, but not when they were mixed. Experiment 2 showed that the length effect was not due to a difference in the ease of object recognition. Experiment 3 replicated the results of Experiment 1 using a within-participants design. In Experiment 4, the long and short target words appeared in a phrasal context. In addition to the speech onset latencies, we obtained the viewing times for the target objects, which have been shown to depend on the time necessary to plan the form of the target names. We found word length effects for both dependent variables, but only when objects with short and long names were presented in separate blocks. We argue that in pure and mixed blocks speakers used different response deadlines, which they tried to meet by either generating the motor programs for one syllable or for all syllables of the word before speech onset. Computer simulations using WEAVER++ support this view.
  • Narasimhan, B. (2003). Motion events and the lexicon: The case of Hindi. Lingua, 113(2), 123-160. doi:10.1016/S0024-3841(02)00068-2.

    Abstract

    English, and a variety of Germanic languages, allow constructions such as the bottle floated into the cave , whereas languages such as Spanish, French, and Hindi are highly restricted in allowing manner of motion verbs to occur with path phrases. This typological observation has been accounted for in terms of the conflation of complex meaning in basic or derived verbs [Talmy, L., 1985. Lexicalization patterns: semantic structure in lexical forms. In: Shopen, T. (Ed.), Language Typology and Syntactic Description 3: Grammatical Categories and the Lexicon. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 57–149; Levin, B., Rappaport-Hovav, M., 1995. Unaccusativity: At the Syntax–Lexical Semantics Interface. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA], or the presence of path “satellites” with special grammatical properties in the lexicon of languages such as English, which allow such phrasal combinations [cf. Talmy, L., 1985. Lexicalization patterns: semantic structure in lexical forms. In: Shopen, T. (Ed.), Language Typology and Syntactic Description 3: Grammatical Categories and the Lexicon. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 57–149; Talmy, L., 1991. Path to realisation: via aspect and result. In: Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. Berkeley Linguistics Society, Berkeley, pp. 480–520]. I use data from Hindi to show that there is little empirical support for the claim that the constraint on the phrasal combination is correlated with differences in verb meaning or the presence of satellites in the lexicon of a language. However, proposals which eschew lexicalization accounts for more general aspectual constraints on the manner verb + path phrase combination in Spanish-type languages (Aske, J., 1989. Path Predicates in English and Spanish: A Closer look. In: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society. Berkeley Linguistics Society, Berkeley, pp. 1–14) cannot account for the full range of data in Hindi either. On the basis of these facts, I argue that an empirically adequate account can be formulated in terms of a general mapping constraint, formulated in terms of whether the lexical requirements of the verb strictly or weakly constrain its syntactic privileges of occurrence. In Hindi, path phrases can combine with manner of motion verbs only to the degree that they are compatible with the semantic profile of the verb. Path phrases in English, on the other hand, can extend the verb's “semantic profile” subject to certain constraints. I suggest that path phrases are licensed in English by the semantic requirements of the “construction” in which they appear rather than by the selectional requirements of the verb (Fillmore, C., Kay, P., O'Connor, M.C., 1988, Regularity and idiomaticity in grammatical constructions. Language 64, 501–538; Jackendoff, 1990, Semantic Structures. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA; Goldberg, 1995, Constructions: A Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London).
  • Norris, D., McQueen, J. M., & Cutler, A. (2003). Perceptual learning in speech. Cognitive Psychology, 47(2), 204-238. doi:10.1016/S0010-0285(03)00006-9.

    Abstract

    This study demonstrates that listeners use lexical knowledge in perceptual learning of speech sounds. Dutch listeners first made lexical decisions on Dutch words and nonwords. The final fricative of 20 critical words had been replaced by an ambiguous sound, between [f] and [s]. One group of listeners heard ambiguous [f]-final words (e.g., [WI tlo?], from witlof, chicory) and unambiguous [s]-final words (e.g., naaldbos, pine forest). Another group heard the reverse (e.g., ambiguous [na:ldbo?], unambiguous witlof). Listeners who had heard [?] in [f]-final words were subsequently more likely to categorize ambiguous sounds on an [f]–[s] continuum as [f] than those who heard [?] in [s]-final words. Control conditions ruled out alternative explanations based on selective adaptation and contrast. Lexical information can thus be used to train categorization of speech. This use of lexical information differs from the on-line lexical feedback embodied in interactive models of speech perception. In contrast to on-line feedback, lexical feedback for learning is of benefit to spoken word recognition (e.g., in adapting to a newly encountered dialect).
  • Nyberg, L., Marklund, P., Persson, J., Cabeza, R., Forkstam, C., Petersson, K. M., & Ingvar, M. (2003). Common prefrontal activations during working memory, episodic memory, and semantic memory. Neuropsychologia, 41(3), 371-377. doi:10.1016/S0028-3932(02)00168-9.

    Abstract

    Regions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) are typically activated in many different cognitive functions. In most studies, the focus has been on the role of specific PFC regions in specific cognitive domains, but more recently similarities in PFC activations across cognitive domains have been stressed. Such similarities may suggest that a region mediates a common function across a variety of cognitive tasks. In this study, we compared the activation patterns associated with tests of working memory, semantic memory and episodic memory. The results converged on a general involvement of four regions across memory tests. These were located in left frontopolar cortex, left mid-ventrolateral PFC, left mid-dorsolateral PFC and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex. These findings provide evidence that some PFC regions are engaged during many different memory tests. The findings are discussed in relation to theories about the functional contribition of the PFC regions and the architecture of memory.
  • Nyberg, L., Sandblom, J., Jones, S., Stigsdotter Neely, A., Petersson, K. M., Ingvar, M., & Bäckman, L. (2003). Neural correlates of training-related memory improvement in adulthood and aging. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100(23), 13728-13733. doi:10.1073/pnas.1735487100.

    Abstract

    Cognitive studies show that both younger and older adults can increase their memory performance after training in using a visuospatial mnemonic, although age-related memory deficits tend to be magnified rather than reduced after training. Little is known about the changes in functional brain activity that accompany training-induced memory enhancement, and whether age-related activity changes are associated with the size of training-related gains. Here, we demonstrate that younger adults show increased activity during memory encoding in occipito-parietal and frontal brain regions after learning the mnemonic. Older adults did not show increased frontal activity, and only those elderly persons who benefited from the mnemonic showed increased occipitoparietal activity. These findings suggest that age-related differences in cognitive reserve capacity may reflect both a frontal processing deficiency and a posterior production deficiency.
  • Ogdie, M. N., MacPhie, I. L., Minassian, S. L., Yang, M., Fisher, S. E., Francks, C., Cantor, R. M., McCracken, J. T., McGough, J. J., Nelson, S. F., Monaco, A. P., & Smalley, S. L. (2003). A genomewide scan for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in an extended sample: Suggestive linkage on 17p11. American Journal of Human Genetics, 72(5), 1268-1279. doi:10.1086/375139.

    Abstract

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD [MIM 143465]) is a common, highly heritable neurobehavioral disorder of childhood onset, characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, and/or inattention. As part of an ongoing study of the genetic etiology of ADHD, we have performed a genomewide linkage scan in 204 nuclear families comprising 853 individuals and 270 affected sibling pairs (ASPs). Previously, we reported genomewide linkage analysis of a “first wave” of these families composed of 126 ASPs. A follow-up investigation of one region on 16p yielded significant linkage in an extended sample. The current study extends the original sample of 126 ASPs to 270 ASPs and provides linkage analyses of the entire sample, using polymorphic microsatellite markers that define an ∼10-cM map across the genome. Maximum LOD score (MLS) analysis identified suggestive linkage for 17p11 (MLS=2.98) and four nominal regions with MLS values >1.0, including 5p13, 6q14, 11q25, and 20q13. These data, taken together with the fine mapping on 16p13, suggest two regions as highly likely to harbor risk genes for ADHD: 16p13 and 17p11. Interestingly, both regions, as well as 5p13, have been highlighted in genomewide scans for autism.
  • Paterson, K. B., Liversedge, S. P., Rowland, C. F., & Filik, R. (2003). Children's comprehension of sentences with focus particles. Cognition, 89(3), 263-294. doi:10.1016/S0010-0277(03)00126-4.

    Abstract

    We report three studies investigating children's and adults' comprehension of sentences containing the focus particle only. In Experiments 1 and 2, four groups of participants (6–7 years, 8–10 years, 11–12 years and adult) compared sentences with only in different syntactic positions against pictures that matched or mismatched events described by the sentence. Contrary to previous findings (Crain, S., Ni, W., & Conway, L. (1994). Learning, parsing and modularity. In C. Clifton, L. Frazier, & K. Rayner (Eds.), Perspectives on sentence processing. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum; Philip, W., & Lynch, E. (1999). Felicity, relevance, and acquisition of the grammar of every and only. In S. C. Howell, S. A. Fish, & T. Keith-Lucas (Eds.), Proceedings of the 24th annual Boston University conference on language development. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press) we found that young children predominantly made errors by failing to process contrast information rather than errors in which they failed to use syntactic information to restrict the scope of the particle. Experiment 3 replicated these findings with pre-schoolers.
  • Petersson, K. M., Sandblom, J., Elfgren, C., & Ingvar, M. (2003). Instruction-specific brain activations during episodic encoding: A generalized level of processing effect. Neuroimage, 20, 1795-1810. doi:10.1016/S1053-8119(03)00414-2.

    Abstract

    In a within-subject design we investigated the levels-of-processing (LOP) effect using visual material in a behavioral and a corresponding PET study. In the behavioral study we characterize a generalized LOP effect, using pleasantness and graphical quality judgments in the encoding situation, with two types of visual material, figurative and nonfigurative line drawings. In the PET study we investigate the related pattern of brain activations along these two dimensions. The behavioral results indicate that instruction and material contribute independently to the level of recognition performance. Therefore the LOP effect appears to stem both from the relative relevance of the stimuli (encoding opportunity) and an altered processing of stimuli brought about by the explicit instruction (encoding mode). In the PET study, encoding of visual material under the pleasantness (deep) instruction yielded left lateralized frontoparietal and anterior temporal activations while surface-based perceptually oriented processing (shallow instruction) yielded right lateralized frontoparietal, posterior temporal, and occipitotemporal activations. The result that deep encoding was related to the left prefrontal cortex while shallow encoding was related to the right prefrontal cortex, holding the material constant, is not consistent with the HERA model. In addition, we suggest that the anterior medial superior frontal region is related to aspects of self-referential semantic processing and that the inferior parts of the anterior cingulate as well as the medial orbitofrontal cortex is related to affective processing, in this case pleasantness evaluation of the stimuli regardless of explicit semantic content. Finally, the left medial temporal lobe appears more actively engaged by elaborate meaning-based processing and the complex response pattern observed in different subregions of the MTL lends support to the suggestion that this region is functionally segregated.
  • Reis, A., Guerreiro, M., & Petersson, K. M. (2003). A sociodemographic and neuropsychological characterization of an illiterate population. Applied Neuropsychology, 10, 191-204. doi:10.1207/s15324826an1004_1.

    Abstract

    The objectives of this article are to characterize the performance and to discuss the performance differences between literate and illiterate participants in a well-defined study population.We describe the participant-selection procedure used to investigate this population. Three groups with similar sociocultural backgrounds living in a relatively homogeneous fishing community in southern Portugal were characterized in terms of socioeconomic and sociocultural background variables and compared on a simple neuropsychological test battery; specifically, a literate group with more than 4 years of education (n = 9), a literate group with 4 years of education (n = 26), and an illiterate group (n = 31) were included in this study.We compare and discuss our results with other similar studies on the effects of literacy and illiteracy. The results indicate that naming and identification of real objects, verbal fluency using ecologically relevant semantic criteria, verbal memory, and orientation are not affected by literacy or level of formal education. In contrast, verbal working memory assessed with digit span, verbal abstraction, long-term semantic memory, and calculation (i.e., multiplication) are significantly affected by the level of literacy. We indicate that it is possible, with proper participant-selection procedures, to exclude general cognitive impairment and to control important sociocultural factors that potentially could introduce bias when studying the specific effects of literacy and level of formal education on cognitive brain function.
  • Reis, A., & Petersson, K. M. (2003). Educational level, socioeconomic status and aphasia research: A comment on Connor et al. (2001)- Effect of socioeconomic status on aphasia severity and recovery. Brain and Language, 87, 449-452. doi:10.1016/S0093-934X(03)00140-8.

    Abstract

    Is there a relation between socioeconomic factors and aphasia severity and recovery? Connor, Obler, Tocco, Fitzpatrick, and Albert (2001) describe correlations between the educational level and socioeconomic status of aphasic subjects with aphasia severity and subsequent recovery. As stated in the introduction by Connor et al. (2001), studies of the influence of educational level and literacy (or illiteracy) on aphasia severity have yielded conflicting results, while no significant link between socioeconomic status and aphasia severity and recovery has been established. In this brief note, we will comment on their findings and conclusions, beginning first with a brief review of literacy and aphasia research, and complexities encountered in these fields of investigation. This serves as a general background to our specific comments on Connor et al. (2001), which will be focusing on methodological issues and the importance of taking normative values in consideration when subjects with different socio-cultural or socio-economic backgrounds are assessed.
  • Roelofs, A. (2003). Goal-referenced selection of verbal action: Modeling attentional control in the Stroop task. Psychological Review, 110(1), 88-125.

    Abstract

    This article presents a new account of the color-word Stroop phenomenon ( J. R. Stroop, 1935) based on an implemented model of word production, WEAVER++ ( W. J. M. Levelt, A. Roelofs, & A. S. Meyer, 1999b; A. Roelofs, 1992, 1997c). Stroop effects are claimed to arise from processing interactions within the language-production architecture and explicit goal-referenced control. WEAVER++ successfully simulates 16 classic data sets, mostly taken from the review by C. M. MacLeod (1991), including incongruency, congruency, reverse-Stroop, response-set, semantic-gradient, time-course, stimulus, spatial, multiple-task, manual, bilingual, training, age, and pathological effects. Three new experiments tested the account against alternative explanations. It is shown that WEAVER++ offers a more satisfactory account of the data than other models.
  • Roelofs, A. (2003). Shared phonological encoding processes and representations of languages in bilingual speakers. Language and Cognitive Processes, 18(2), 175-204. doi:10.1080/01690960143000515.

    Abstract

    Four form-preparation experiments investigated whether aspects of phonological encoding processes and representations are shared between languages in bilingual speakers. The participants were Dutch--English bilinguals. Experiment 1 showed that the basic rightward incrementality revealed in studies for the first language is also observed for second-language words. In Experiments 2 and 3, speakers were given words to produce that did or did not share onset segments, and that came or did not come from different languages. It was found that when onsets were shared among the response words, those onsets were prepared, even when the words came from different languages. Experiment 4 showed that preparation requires prior knowledge of the segments and that knowledge about their phonological features yields no effect. These results suggest that both first- and second-language words are phonologically planned through the same serial order mechanism and that the representations of segments common to the languages are shared.
  • Rowland, C. F., Pine, J. M., Lieven, E. V., & Theakston, A. L. (2003). Determinants of acquisition order in wh-questions: Re-evaluating the role of caregiver speech. Journal of Child Language, 30(3), 609-635. doi:10.1017/S0305000903005695.

    Abstract

    Accounts that specify semantic and/or syntactic complexity as the primary determinant of the order in which children acquire particular words or grammatical constructions have been highly influential in the literature on question acquisition. One explanation of wh-question acquisition in particular suggests that the order in which English speaking children acquire wh-questions is determined by two interlocking linguistic factors; the syntactic function of the wh-word that heads the question and the semantic generality (or ‘lightness’) of the main verb (Bloom, Merkin & Wootten, 1982; Bloom, 1991). Another more recent view, however, is that acquisition is influenced by the relative frequency with which children hear particular wh-words and verbs in their input (e.g. Rowland & Pine, 2000). In the present study over 300 hours of naturalistic data from twelve two- to three-year-old children and their mothers were analysed in order to assess the relative contribution of complexity and input frequency to wh-question acquisition. The analyses revealed, first, that the acquisition order of wh-questions could be predicted successfully from the frequency with which particular wh-words and verbs occurred in the children's input and, second, that syntactic and semantic complexity did not reliably predict acquisition once input frequency was taken into account. These results suggest that the relationship between acquisition and complexity may be a by-product of the high correlation between complexity and the frequency with which mothers use particular wh-words and verbs. We interpret the results in terms of a constructivist view of language acquisition.
  • Rowland, C. F., & Pine, J. M. (2003). The development of inversion in wh-questions: a reply to Van Valin. Journal of Child Language, 30(1), 197-212. doi:10.1017/S0305000902005445.

    Abstract

    Van Valin (Journal of Child Language29, 2002, 161–75) presents a critique of Rowland & Pine (Journal of Child Language27, 2000, 157–81) and argues that the wh-question data from Adam (in Brown, A first language, Cambridge, MA, 1973) cannot be explained in terms of input frequencies as we suggest. Instead, he suggests that the data can be more successfully accounted for in terms of Role and Reference Grammar. In this note we re-examine the pattern of inversion and uninversion in Adam's wh-questions and argue that the RRG explanation cannot account for some of the developmental facts it was designed to explain.
  • De Ruiter, J. P., Rossignol, S., Vuurpijl, L., Cunningham, D. W., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2003). SLOT: A research platform for investigating multimodal communication. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 35(3), 408-419.

    Abstract

    In this article, we present the spatial logistics task (SLOT) platform for investigating multimodal communication between 2 human participants. Presented are the SLOT communication task and the software and hardware that has been developed to run SLOT experiments and record the participants’ multimodal behavior. SLOT offers a high level of flexibility in varying the context of the communication and is particularly useful in studies of the relationship between pen gestures and speech. We illustrate the use of the SLOT platform by discussing the results of some early experiments. The first is an experiment on negotiation with a one-way mirror between the participants, and the second is an exploratory study of automatic recognition of spontaneous pen gestures. The results of these studies demonstrate the usefulness of the SLOT platform for conducting multimodal communication research in both human– human and human–computer interactions.
  • Salverda, A. P., Dahan, D., & McQueen, J. M. (2003). The role of prosodic boundaries in the resolution of lexical embedding in speech comprehension. Cognition, 90(1), 51-89. doi:10.1016/S0010-0277(03)00139-2.

    Abstract

    Participants' eye movements were monitored as they heard sentences and saw four pictured objects on a computer screen. Participants were instructed to click on the object mentioned in the sentence. There were more transitory fixations to pictures representing monosyllabic words (e.g. ham) when the first syllable of the target word (e.g. hamster) had been replaced by a recording of the monosyllabic word than when it came from a different recording of the target word. This demonstrates that a phonemically identical sequence can contain cues that modulate its lexical interpretation. This effect was governed by the duration of the sequence, rather than by its origin (i.e. which type of word it came from). The longer the sequence, the more monosyllabic-word interpretations it generated. We argue that cues to lexical-embedding disambiguation, such as segmental lengthening, result from the realization of a prosodic boundary that often but not always follows monosyllabic words, and that lexical candidates whose word boundaries are aligned with prosodic boundaries are favored in the word-recognition process.
  • Scharenborg, O., Ten Bosch, L., & Boves, L. (2003). ‘Early recognition’ of words in continuous speech. Automatic Speech Recognition and Understanding, 2003 IEEE Workshop, 61-66. doi:10.1109/ASRU.2003.1318404.

    Abstract

    In this paper, we present an automatic speech recognition (ASR) system based on the combination of an automatic phone recogniser and a computational model of human speech recognition – SpeM – that is capable of computing ‘word activations’ during the recognition process, in addition to doing normal speech recognition, a task in which conventional ASR architectures only provide output after the end of an utterance. We explain the notion of word activation and show that it can be used for ‘early recognition’, i.e. recognising a word before the end of the word is available. Our ASR system was tested on 992 continuous speech utterances, each containing at least one target word: a city name of at least two syllables. The results show that early recognition was obtained for 72.8% of the target words that were recognised correctly. Also, it is shown that word activation can be used as an effective confidence measure.
  • Scharenborg, O., ten Bosch, L., Boves, L., & Norris, D. (2003). Bridging automatic speech recognition and psycholinguistics: Extending Shortlist to an end-to-end model of human speech recognition [Letter to the editor]. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 114, 3032-3035. doi:10.1121/1.1624065.

    Abstract

    This letter evaluates potential benefits of combining human speech recognition ~HSR! and automatic speech recognition by building a joint model of an automatic phone recognizer ~APR! and a computational model of HSR, viz., Shortlist @Norris, Cognition 52, 189–234 ~1994!#. Experiments based on ‘‘real-life’’ speech highlight critical limitations posed by some of the simplifying assumptions made in models of human speech recognition. These limitations could be overcome by avoiding hard phone decisions at the output side of the APR, and by using a match between the input and the internal lexicon that flexibly copes with deviations from canonical phonemic representations.
  • Schiller, N. O., & Caramazza, A. (2003). Grammatical feature selection in noun phrase production: Evidence from German and Dutch. Journal of Memory and Language, 48(1), 169-194. doi:10.1016/S0749-596X(02)00508-9.

    Abstract

    In this study, we investigated grammatical feature selection during noun phrase production in German and Dutch. More specifically, we studied the conditions under which different grammatical genders select either the same or different determiners or suffixes. Pictures of one or two objects paired with a gender-congruent or a gender-incongruent distractor word were presented. Participants named the pictures using a singular or plural noun phrase with the appropriate determiner and/or adjective in German or Dutch. Significant effects of gender congruency were only obtained in the singular condition where the selection of determiners is governed by the target’s gender, but not in the plural condition where the determiner is identical for all genders. When different suffixes were to be selected in the gender-incongruent condition, no gender congruency effect was obtained. The results suggest that the so-called gender congruency effect is really a determiner congruency effect. The overall pattern of results is interpreted as indicating that grammatical feature selection is an automatic consequence of lexical node selection and therefore not subject to interference from other grammatical features. This implies that lexical node and grammatical feature selection operate with distinct principles.
  • Schiller, N. O., Münte, T. F., Horemans, I., & Jansma, B. M. (2003). The influence of semantic and phonological factors on syntactic decisions: An event-related brain potential study. Psychophysiology, 40(6), 869-877. doi:10.1111/1469-8986.00105.

    Abstract

    During language production and comprehension, information about a word's syntactic properties is sometimes needed. While the decision about the grammatical gender of a word requires access to syntactic knowledge, it has also been hypothesized that semantic (i.e., biological gender) or phonological information (i.e., sound regularities) may influence this decision. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were measured while native speakers of German processed written words that were or were not semantically and/or phonologically marked for gender. Behavioral and ERP results showed that participants were faster in making a gender decision when words were semantically and/or phonologically gender marked than when this was not the case, although the phonological effects were less clear. In conclusion, our data provide evidence that even though participants performed a grammatical gender decision, this task can be influenced by semantic and phonological factors.
  • Schiller, N. O., Bles, M., & Jansma, B. M. (2003). Tracking the time course of phonological encoding in speech production: An event-related brain potential study on internal monitoring. Cognitive Brain Research, 17(3), 819-831. doi:10.1016/S0926-6410(03)00204-0.

    Abstract

    This study investigated the time course of phonological encoding during speech production planning. Previous research has shown that conceptual/semantic information precedes syntactic information in the planning of speech production and that syntactic information is available earlier than phonological information. Here, we studied the relative time courses of the two different processes within phonological encoding, i.e. metrical encoding and syllabification. According to one prominent theory of language production, metrical encoding involves the retrieval of the stress pattern of a word, while syllabification is carried out to construct the syllabic structure of a word. However, the relative timing of these two processes is underspecified in the theory. We employed an implicit picture naming task and recorded event-related brain potentials to obtain fine-grained temporal information about metrical encoding and syllabification. Results revealed that both tasks generated effects that fall within the time window of phonological encoding. However, there was no timing difference between the two effects, suggesting that they occur approximately at the same time.
  • Seifart, F. (2003). Marqueurs de classe généraux et spécifiques en Miraña. Faits de Langues, 21, 121-132.
  • Senft, G. (2003). [Review of the book Representing space in Oceania: Culture in language and mind ed. by Giovanni Bennardo]. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 112, 169-171.
  • Seuren, P. A. M. (1964). [Review of the book Set theory and syntactic descriptions by William S. Cooper]. Linguistics, 2(10), 73-80. doi:10.1515/ling.1964.2.10.61.
  • Seuren, P. A. M. (1964). Dupliek. Levende Talen, 227, 675-680.
  • Seuren, P. A. M. (1963). Naar aanleiding van Dr. F. Balk-Smit Duyzentkunst "De Grammatische Functie". Levende Talen, 219, 179-186.
  • Smits, R., Warner, N., McQueen, J. M., & Cutler, A. (2003). Unfolding of phonetic information over time: A database of Dutch diphone perception. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 113(1), 563-574. doi:10.1121/1.1525287.

    Abstract

    We present the results of a large-scale study on speech perception, assessing the number and type of perceptual hypotheses which listeners entertain about possible phoneme sequences in their language. Dutch listeners were asked to identify gated fragments of all 1179 diphones of Dutch, providing a total of 488 520 phoneme categorizations. The results manifest orderly uptake of acoustic information in the signal. Differences across phonemes in the rate at which fully correct recognition was achieved arose as a result of whether or not potential confusions could occur with other phonemes of the language ~long with short vowels, affricates with their initial components, etc.!. These data can be used to improve models of how acoustic phonetic information is mapped onto the mental lexicon during speech comprehension.
  • Spinelli, E., McQueen, J. M., & Cutler, A. (2003). Processing resyllabified words in French. Journal of Memory and Language, 48(2), 233-254. doi:10.1016/S0749-596X(02)00513-2.
  • Stivers, T., Mangione-Smith, R., Elliott, M. N., McDonald, L., & Heritage, J. (2003). Why do physicians think parents expect antibiotics? What parents report vs what physicians believe. Journal of Family Practice, 52(2), 140-147.
  • Swaab, T., Brown, C. M., & Hagoort, P. (2003). Understanding words in sentence contexts: The time course of ambiguity resolution. Brain and Language, 86(2), 326-343. doi:10.1016/S0093-934X(02)00547-3.

    Abstract

    Spoken language comprehension requires rapid integration of information from multiple linguistic sources. In the present study we addressed the temporal aspects of this integration process by focusing on the time course of the selection of the appropriate meaning of lexical ambiguities (“bank”) in sentence contexts. Successful selection of the contextually appropriate meaning of the ambiguous word is dependent upon the rapid binding of the contextual information in the sentence to the appropriate meaning of the ambiguity. We used the N400 to identify the time course of this binding process. The N400 was measured to target words that followed three types of context sentences. In the concordant context, the sentence biased the meaning of the sentence-final ambiguous word so that it was related to the target. In the discordant context, the sentence context biased the meaning so that it was not related to the target. In the unrelated control condition, the sentences ended in an unambiguous noun that was unrelated to the target. Half of the concordant sentences biased the dominant meaning, and the other half biased the subordinate meaning of the sentence-final ambiguous words. The ISI between onset of the target word and offset of the sentence-final word of the context sentence was 100 ms in one version of the experiment, and 1250 ms in the second version. We found that (i) the lexically dominant meaning is always partly activated, independent of context, (ii) initially both dominant and subordinate meaning are (partly) activated, which suggests that contextual and lexical factors both contribute to sentence interpretation without context completely overriding lexical information, and (iii) strong lexical influences remain present for a relatively long period of time.
  • Swingley, D. (2003). Phonetic detail in the developing lexicon. Language and Speech, 46(3), 265-294.

    Abstract

    Although infants show remarkable sensitivity to linguistically relevant phonetic variation in speech, young children sometimes appear not to make use of this sensitivity. Here, children's knowledge of the sound-forms of familiar words was assessed using a visual fixation task. Dutch 19-month-olds were shown pairs of pictures and heard correct pronunciations and mispronunciations of familiar words naming one of the pictures. Mispronunciations were word-initial in Experiment 1 and word-medial in Experiment 2, and in both experiments involved substituting one segment with [d] (a common sound in Dutch) or [g] (a rare sound). In both experiments, word recognition performance was better for correct pronunciations than for mispronunciations involving either substituted consonant. These effects did not depend upon children's knowledge of lexical or nonlexical phonological neighbors of the tested words. The results indicate the encoding of phonetic detail in words at 19 months.
  • Terrill, A. (2003). Linguistic stratigraphy in the central Solomon Islands: Lexical evidence of early Papuan/Austronesian interaction. Journal of the Polynesian Society, 112(4), 369-401.

    Abstract

    The extent to which linguistic borrowing can be used to shed light on the existence and nature of early contact between Papuan and Oceanic speakers is examined. The question is addressed by taking one Papuan language, Lavukaleve, spoken in the Russell Islands, central Solomon Islands and examining lexical borrowings between it and nearby Oceanic languages, and with reconstructed forms of Proto Oceanic. Evidence from ethnography, culture history and archaeology, when added to the linguistic evidence provided in this study, indicates long-standing cultural links between other (non-Russell) islands. The composite picture is one of a high degree of cultural contact with little linguistic mixing, i.e., little or no changes affecting the structure of the languages and actually very little borrowed vocabulary.
  • Terrill, A., & Dunn, M. (2003). Orthographic design in the Solomon Islands: The social, historical, and linguistic situation of Touo (Baniata). Written Language and Literacy, 6(2), 177-192. doi:10.1075/wll.6.2.03ter.

    Abstract

    This paper discusses the development of an orthography for the Touo language (Solomon Islands). Various orthographies have been proposed for this language in the past, and the paper discusses why they are perceived by the community to have failed. Current opinion about orthography development within the Touo-speaking community is divided along religious, political, and geographical grounds; and the development of a successful orthography must take into account a variety of opinions. The paper examines the social, historical, and linguistic obstacles that have hitherto prevented the development of an accepted Touo orthography, and presents a new proposal which has thus far gained acceptance with community leaders. The fundamental issue is that creating an orthography for a language takes place in a social, political, and historical context; and for an orthography to be acceptable for the speakers of a language, all these factors must be taken into account.
  • Van Gompel, R. P., & Majid, A. (2003). Antecedent frequency effects during the processing of pronouns. Cognition, 90(3), 255-264. doi:10.1016/S0010-0277(03)00161-6.

    Abstract

    An eye-movement reading experiment investigated whether the ease with which pronouns are processed is affected by the lexical frequency of their antecedent. Reading times following pronouns with infrequent antecedents were faster than following pronouns with frequent antecedents. We argue that this is consistent with a saliency account, according to which infrequent antecedents are more salient than frequent antecedents. The results are not predicted by accounts which claim that readers access all or part of the lexical properties of the antecedent during the processing of pronouns.
  • Van de Geer, J. P., & Levelt, W. J. M. (1963). Detection of visual patterns disturbed by noise: An exploratory study. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 15, 192-204. doi:10.1080/17470216308416324.

    Abstract

    An introductory study of the perception of stochastically specified events is reported. The initial problem was to determine whether the perceiver can split visual input data of this kind into random and determined components. The inability of subjects to do so with the stimulus material used (a filmlike sequence of dot patterns), led to the more general question of how subjects code this kind of visual material. To meet the difficulty of defining the subjects' responses, two experiments were designed. In both, patterns were presented as a rapid sequence of dots on a screen. The patterns were more or less disturbed by “noise,” i.e. the dots did not appear exactly at their proper places. In the first experiment the response was a rating on a semantic scale, in the second an identification from among a set of alternative patterns. The results of these experiments give some insight in the coding systems adopted by the subjects. First, noise appears to be detrimental to pattern recognition, especially to patterns with little spread. Second, this shows connections with the factors obtained from analysis of the semantic ratings, e.g. easily disturbed patterns show a large drop in the semantic regularity factor, when only a little noise is added.
  • Van Berkum, J. J. A., Brown, C. M., Hagoort, P., & Zwitserlood, P. (2003). Event-related brain potentials reflect discourse-referential ambiguity in spoken language comprehension. Psychophysiology, 40(2), 235-248. doi:10.1111/1469-8986.00025.

    Abstract

    In two experiments, we explored the use of event-related brain potentials to selectively track the processes that establish reference during spoken language comprehension. Subjects listened to stories in which a particular noun phrase like "the girl" either uniquely referred to a single referent mentioned in the earlier discourse, or ambiguously referred to two equally suitable referents. Referentially ambiguous nouns ("the girl" with two girls introduced in the discourse context) elicited a frontally dominant and sustained negative shift in brain potentials, emerging within 300–400 ms after acoustic noun onset. The early onset of this effect reveals that reference to a discourse entity can be established very rapidly. Its morphology and distribution suggest that at least some of the processing consequences of referential ambiguity may involve an increased demand on memory resources. Furthermore, because this referentially induced ERP effect is very different from that of well-known ERP effects associated with the semantic (N400) and syntactic (e.g., P600/SPS) aspects of language comprehension, it suggests that ERPs can be used to selectively keep track of three major processes involved in the comprehension of an unfolding piece of discourse.
  • Van Turennout, M., Bielamowicz, L., & Martin, A. (2003). Modulation of neural activity during object naming: Effects of time and practice. Cerebral Cortex, 13(4), 381-391.

    Abstract

    Repeated exposure to objects improves our ability to identify and name them, even after a long delay. Previous brain imaging studies have demonstrated that this experience-related facilitation of object naming is associated with neural changes in distinct brain regions. We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the modulation of neural activity in the object naming system as a function of experience and time. Pictures of common objects were presented repeatedly for naming at different time intervals (1 h, 6 h and 3 days) before scanning, or at 30 s intervals during scanning. The results revealed that as objects became more familiar with experience, activity in occipitotemporal and left inferior frontal regions decreased while activity in the left insula and basal ganglia increased. In posterior regions, reductions in activity as a result of multiple repetitions did not interact with time, whereas in left inferior frontal cortex larger decreases were observed when repetitions were spaced out over time. This differential modulation of activity in distinct brain regions provides support for the idea that long-lasting object priming is mediated by two neural mechanisms. The first mechanism may involve changes in object-specific representations in occipitotemporal cortices, the second may be a form of procedural learning involving a reorganization in brain circuitry that leads to more efficient name retrieval.
  • Van Berkum, J. J. A., Zwitserlood, P., Hagoort, P., & Brown, C. M. (2003). When and how do listeners relate a sentence to the wider discourse? Evidence from the N400 effect. Cognitive Brain Research, 17(3), 701-718. doi:10.1016/S0926-6410(03)00196-4.

    Abstract

    In two ERP experiments, we assessed the impact of discourse-level information on the processing of an unfolding spoken sentence. Subjects listened to sentences like Jane told her brother that he was exceptionally quick/slow, designed such that the alternative critical words were equally acceptable within the local sentence context. In Experiment 1, these sentences were embedded in a discourse that rendered one of the critical words anomalous (e.g. because Jane’s brother had in fact done something very quickly). Relative to the coherent alternative, these discourse-anomalous words elicited a standard N400 effect that started at 150–200 ms after acoustic word onset. Furthermore, when the same sentences were heard in isolation in Experiment 2, the N400 effect disappeared. The results demonstrate that our listeners related the unfolding spoken words to the wider discourse extremely rapidly, after having heard the first two or three phonemes only, and in many cases well before the end of the word. In addition, the identical nature of discourse- and sentence-dependent N400 effects suggests that from the perspective of the word-elicited comprehension process indexed by the N400, the interpretive context delineated by a single unfolding sentence and a larger discourse is functionally identical.
  • Verhoeven, L., Schreuder, R., & Baayen, R. H. (2003). Units of analysis in reading Dutch bisyllabic pseudowords. Scientific Studies of Reading, 7(3), 255-271. doi:10.1207/S1532799XSSR0703_4.

    Abstract

    Two experiments were carried out to explore the units of analysis is used by children to read Dutch bisyllabic pseudowords. Although Dutch orthography is highly regular, several deviations from a one-to-one correspondence occur. In polysyllabic words, the grapheme e may represent three different vowels:/∊/, /e/, or /λ/. In Experiment 1, Grade 6 elementary school children were presented lists of bisyllabic pseudowords containing the grapheme e in the initial syllable representing a content morpheme, a prefix, or a random string. On the basis of general word frequency data, we expected the interpretation of the initial syllable as a random string to elicit the pronunciation of a stressed /e/, the interpretation of the initial syllable as a content morpheme to elicit the pronunciation of a stressed /∊/, the interpretation of the initial syllable as a content morpheme to elicit the pronunciation of a stressed /∊/, and the interpretation as a prefix to elicit the pronunciation of an unstressed /&lamda;/. We found both the pronunciation and the stress assignment for pseudowords to depend on word type, which shows morpheme boundaries and prefixes to be identified. However, the identification of prefixes could also be explained by the correspondence of the prefix boundaries in the pseudowords to syllable boundaries. To exclude this alternative explanation, a follow-up experiment with the same group of children was conducted using bisyllabic pseudowords containing prefixes that did not coincide with syllable boundaries versus similar pseudowords with no prefix. The results of the first experiment were replicated. That is, the children identified prefixes and shifted their assignment of word stress accordingly. The results are discussed with reference to a parallel dual-route model of word decoding
  • Waller, D., & Haun, D. B. M. (2003). Scaling techniques for modeling directional knowledge. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 35(2), 285-293.

    Abstract

    A common way for researchers to model or graphically portray spatial knowledge of a large environment is by applying multidimensional scaling (MDS) to a set of pairwise distance estimations. We introduce two MDS-like techniques that incorporate people’s knowledge of directions instead of (or in addition to) their knowledge of distances. Maps of a familiar environment derived from these procedures were more accurate and were rated by participants as being more accurate than those derived from nonmetric MDS. By incorporating people’s relatively accurate knowledge of directions, these methods offer spatial cognition researchers and behavioral geographers a sharper analytical tool than MDS for studying cognitive maps.
  • Weber, A., & Cutler, A. (2003). Perceptual similarity co-existing with lexical dissimilarity [Abstract]. Abstracts of the 146th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 114(4 Pt. 2), 2422. doi:10.1121/1.1601094.

    Abstract

    The extreme case of perceptual similarity is indiscriminability, as when two second‐language phonemes map to a single native category. An example is the English had‐head vowel contrast for Dutch listeners; Dutch has just one such central vowel, transcribed [E]. We examine whether the failure to discriminate in phonetic categorization implies indiscriminability in other—e.g., lexical—processing. Eyetracking experiments show that Dutch‐native listeners instructed in English to ‘‘click on the panda’’ look (significantly more than native listeners) at a pictured pencil, suggesting that pan‐ activates their lexical representation of pencil. The reverse, however, is not the case: ‘‘click on the pencil’’ does not induce looks to a panda, suggesting that pen‐ does not activate panda in the lexicon. Thus prelexically undiscriminated second‐language distinctions can nevertheless be maintained in stored lexical representations. The problem of mapping a resulting unitary input to two distinct categories in lexical representations is solved by allowing input to activate only one second‐language category. For Dutch listeners to English, this is English [E], as a result of which no vowels in the signal ever map to words containing [ae]. We suggest that the choice of category is here motivated by a more abstract, phonemic, metric of similarity.
  • Wheeldon, L. (2003). Inhibitory from priming of spoken word production. Language and Cognitive Processes, 18(1), 81-109. doi:10.1080/01690960143000470.

    Abstract

    Three experiments were designed to examine the effect on picture naming of the prior production of a word related in phonological form. In Experiment 1, the latency to produce Dutch words in response to pictures (e.g., hoed , hat) was longer following the production of a form-related word (e.g., hond , dog) in response to a definition on a preceding trial, than when the preceding definition elicited an unrelated word (e.g., kerk , church). Experiment 2 demonstrated that the inhibitory effect disappears when one unrelated word is produced intervening prime and target productions (e.g., hond-kerk-hoed ). The size of the inhibitory effect was not significantly affected by the frequency of the prime words or the target picture names. In Experiment 3, facilitation was observed for word pairs that shared offset segments (e.g., kurk-jurk , cork-dress), whereas inhibition was observed for shared onset segments (e.g., bloed-bloem , blood-flower). However, no priming was observed for prime and target words with shared phonemes but no mismatching segments (e.g., oom-boom , uncle-tree; hex-hexs , fence-witch). These findings are consistent with a process of phoneme competition during phonological encoding.
  • Wittenburg, P. (2003). The DOBES model of language documentation. Language Documentation and Description, 1, 122-139.

Share this page