Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 179
  • Acheson, D. J., Wells, J. B., & MacDonald, M. C. (2008). New and updated tests of print exposure and reading abilities in college students. Behavior Research Methods, 40(1), 278-289. doi:10.3758/BRM.40.1.278.

    Abstract

    The relationship between print exposure and measures of reading skill was examined in college students (N=99, 58 female; mean age=20.3 years). Print exposure was measured with several new self-reports of reading and writing habits, as well as updated versions of the Author Recognition Test and the Magazine Recognition Test (Stanovich & West, 1989). Participants completed a sentence comprehension task with syntactically complex sentences, and reading times and comprehension accuracy were measured. An additional measure of reading skill was provided by participants’ scores on the verbal portions of the ACT, a standardized achievement test. Higher levels of print exposure were associated with higher sentence processing abilities and superior verbal ACT performance. The relative merits of different print exposure assessments are discussed.
  • Ambridge, B., Rowland, C. F., & Pine, J. M. (2008). Is structure dependence an innate constraint? New experimental evidence from children's complex-question production. Cognitive Science, 32(1), 222-255. doi:10.1080/03640210701703766.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    Participants (aged 5–6 yrs, 9–10 yrs and adults) rated (using a five-point scale) grammatical (intransitive) and overgeneralized (transitive causative)1 uses of a high frequency, low frequency and novel intransitive verb from each of three semantic classes [Pinker, S. (1989a). Learnability and cognition: the acquisition of argument structure. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press]: “directed motion” (fall, tumble), “going out of existence” (disappear, vanish) and “semivoluntary expression of emotion” (laugh, giggle). In support of Pinker’s semantic verb class hypothesis, participants’ preference for grammatical over overgeneralized uses of novel (and English) verbs increased between 5–6 yrs and 9–10 yrs, and was greatest for the latter class, which is associated with the lowest degree of direct external causation (the prototypical meaning of the transitive causative construction). In support of Braine and Brooks’s [Braine, M.D.S., & Brooks, P.J. (1995). Verb argument strucure and the problem of avoiding an overgeneral grammar. In M. Tomasello & W. E. Merriman (Eds.), Beyond names for things: Young children’s acquisition of verbs (pp. 352–376). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum] entrenchment hypothesis, all participants showed the greatest preference for grammatical over ungrammatical uses of high frequency verbs, with this preference smaller for low frequency verbs, and smaller again for novel verbs. We conclude that both the formation of semantic verb classes and entrenchment play a role in children’s retreat from argument-structure overgeneralization errors.
  • Ashby, J., & Martin, A. E. (2008). Prosodic phonological representations early in visual word recognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 34(1), 224-236. doi:10.1037/0096-1523.34.1.224.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    This study provides evidence for the role of semantic composition in compound word processing. We examined the online processing of isolated two meaning unit compounds in Chinese, a language that uses compounding to ‘disambiguate’ meaning. Using auditory presentation, we manipulated the semantic meaning and syntactic category of the two meaning units forming a compound. Event-related brain potential-recordings revealed a significant influence of semantic information, which was reflected in an N400 signature for compounds whose meaning differed from the constituent meanings. This finding suggests that the combination of distinct constituent meanings to form an overall compound meaning consumes processing resources. By contrast, no comparable difference was observed based on syntactic category information. Our findings indicate that combinatory semantic processing at the word level correlates with N400 effects.
  • Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Oostenveld, R., Jensen, O., & Hagoort, P. (2008). I see what you mean: Theta power increases are involved in the retrieval of lexical semantic information. Brain and Language, 106(1), 15-28. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2007.10.006.

    Abstract

    An influential hypothesis regarding the neural basis of the mental lexicon is that semantic representations are neurally implemented as distributed networks carrying sensory, motor and/or more abstract functional information. This work investigates whether the semantic properties of words partly determine the topography of such networks. Subjects performed a visual lexical decision task while their EEG was recorded. We compared the EEG responses to nouns with either visual semantic properties (VIS, referring to colors and shapes) or with auditory semantic properties (AUD, referring to sounds). A time–frequency analysis of the EEG revealed power increases in the theta (4–7 Hz) and lower-beta (13–18 Hz) frequency bands, and an early power increase and subsequent decrease for the alpha (8–12 Hz) band. In the theta band we observed a double dissociation: temporal electrodes showed larger theta power increases in the AUD condition, while occipital leads showed larger theta responses in the VIS condition. The results support the notion that semantic representations are stored in functional networks with a topography that reflects the semantic properties of the stored items, and provide further evidence that oscillatory brain dynamics in the theta frequency range are functionally related to the retrieval of lexical semantic information.
  • Belke, E., Humphreys, G. W., Watson, D. G., Meyer, A. S., & Telling, A. L. (2008). Top-down effects of semantic knowledge in visual search are modulated by cognitive but not perceptual load. Perception & Psychophysics, 70, 1444-1458. doi:10.3758/PP.70.8.1444.

    Abstract

    Moores, Laiti, and Chelazzi (2003) found semantic interference from associate competitors during visual object search, demonstrating the existence of top-down semantic influences on the deployment of attention to objects. We examined whether effects of semantically related competitors (same-category members or associates) interacted with the effects of perceptual or cognitive load. We failed to find any interaction between competitor effects and perceptual load. However, the competitor effects increased significantly when participants were asked to retain one or five digits in memory throughout the search task. Analyses of eye movements and viewing times showed that a cognitive load did not affect the initial allocation of attention but rather the time it took participants to accept or reject an object as the target. We discuss the implications of our findings for theories of conceptual short-term memory and visual attention.
  • Bercelli, F., Rossano, F., & Viaro, M. (2008). Different place, different action: Clients' personal narratives in psychotherapy. Text and Talk, 28(3), 283-305. doi:10.1515/TEXT.2008.014.

    Abstract

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

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

    Abstract

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

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  • Broersma, M. (2008). Flexible cue use in nonnative phonetic categorization (L). Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 124(2), 712-715. doi:10.1121/1.2940578.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    Whereas most research in SLA assumes the relationship between the first language (L1) and the second language (L2) to be unidirectional, this study investigates the possibility of a bidirectional relationship. We examine the domain of manner of motion, in which monolingual Japanese and English speakers differ both in speech and gesture. Parallel influences of the L1 on the L2 and the L2 on the L1 were found in production from native Japanese speakers with intermediate knowledge of English. These effects, which were strongest in gesture patterns, demonstrate that (a) bidirectional interaction between languages in the multilingual mind can occur even with intermediate proficiency in the L2 and (b) gesture analyses can offer insights on interactions between languages beyond those observed through analyses of speech alone.
  • Brown, A. (2008). Gesture viewpoint in Japanese and English: Cross-linguistic interactions between two languages in one speaker. Gesture, 8(2), 256-276. doi:10.1075/gest.8.2.08bro.

    Abstract

    Abundant evidence across languages, structures, proficiencies, and modalities shows that properties of first languages influence performance in second languages. This paper presents an alternative perspective on the interaction between established and emerging languages within second language speakers by arguing that an L2 can influence an L1, even at relatively low proficiency levels. Analyses of the gesture viewpoint employed in English and Japanese descriptions of motion events revealed systematic between-language and within-language differences. Monolingual Japanese speakers used significantly more Character Viewpoint than monolingual English speakers, who predominantly employed Observer Viewpoint. In their L1 and their L2, however, native Japanese speakers with intermediate knowledge of English patterned more like the monolingual English speakers than their monolingual Japanese counterparts. After controlling for effects of cultural exposure, these results offer valuable insights into both the nature of cross-linguistic interactions within individuals and potential factors underlying gesture viewpoint.
  • Brown, P. (2008). Up, down, and across the land: Landscape terms and place names in Tzeltal. Language Sciences, 30(2/3), 151-181. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2006.12.003.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    During unscripted speech, speakers coordinate the formulation of pre-linguistic messages with the linguistic processes that implement those messages into speech. We examine the process of constructing a contextually appropriate message and interfacing that message with utterance planning in English (the small butterfly) and Spanish (la mariposa pequeña) during an unscripted, interactive task. The coordination of gaze and speech during formulation of these messages is used to evaluate two hypotheses regarding the lower limit on the size of message planning units, namely whether messages are planned in units isomorphous to entire phrases or units isomorphous to single lexical items. Comparing the planning of fluent pre-nominal adjectives in English and post-nominal adjectives in Spanish showed that size information is added to the message later in Spanish than English, suggesting that speakers can prepare pre-linguistic messages in lexically-sized units. The results also suggest that the speaker can use disfluency to coordinate the transition from thought to speech.
  • Burenhult, N., & Levinson, S. C. (2008). Language and landscape: A cross-linguistic perspective. Language Sciences, 30(2/3), 135-150. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2006.12.028.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    Studies of agrammatic Broca's aphasia reveal a diverging pattern of performance in the comprehension of reflexive elements: offline, performance seems unimpaired, whereas online—and in contrast to both matching controls and Wernicke's patients—no antecedent reactivation is observed at the reflexive. Here we propose that this difference characterizes the agrammatic comprehension deficit as a result of slower-than-normal syntactic structure formation. To test this characterization, the comprehension of three Dutch agrammatic patients and matching control participants was investigated utilizing the cross-modal lexical decision (CMLD) interference task. Two types of reflexive-antecedent dependencies were tested, which have already been shown to exert distinct processing demands on the comprehension system as a function of the level at which the dependency was formed. Our hypothesis predicts that if the agrammatic system has a processing limitation such that syntactic structure is built in a protracted manner, this limitation will be reflected in delayed interpretation. Confirming previous findings, the Dutch patients show an effect of distinct processing demands for the two types of reflexive-antecedent dependencies but with a temporal delay. We argue that this delayed syntactic structure formation is the result of limited processing capacity that specifically affects the syntactic system.
  • Carota, F., & Sirigu, A. (2008). Neural Bases of Sequence Processing in Action and Language. Language Learning, 58(1), 179-199. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2008.00470.x.

    Abstract

    Real-time estimation of what we will do next is a crucial prerequisite of purposive behavior. During the planning of goal-oriented actions, for instance, the temporal and causal organization of upcoming subsequent moves needs to be predicted based on our knowledge of events. A forward computation of sequential structure is also essential for planning contiguous discourse segments and syntactic patterns in language. The neural encoding of sequential event knowledge and its domain dependency is a central issue in cognitive neuroscience. Converging evidence shows the involvement of a dedicated neural substrate, including the prefrontal cortex and Broca's area, in the representation and the processing of sequential event structure. After reviewing major representational models of sequential mechanisms in action and language, we discuss relevant neuropsychological and neuroimaging findings on the temporal organization of sequencing and sequence processing in both domains, suggesting that sequential event knowledge may be modularly organized through prefrontal and frontal subregions.
  • Casasanto, D. (2008). Similarity and proximity: When does close in space mean close in mind? Memory & Cognition, 36(6), 1047-1056. doi:10.3758/MC.36.6.1047.

    Abstract

    People often describe things that are similar as close and things that are dissimilar as far apart. Does the way people talk about similarity reveal something fundamental about the way they conceptualize it? Three experiments tested the relationship between similarity and spatial proximity that is encoded in metaphors in language. Similarity ratings for pairs of words or pictures varied as a function of how far apart the stimuli appeared on the computer screen, but the influence of distance on similarity differed depending on the type of judgments the participants made. Stimuli presented closer together were rated more similar during conceptual judgments of abstract entities or unseen object properties but were rated less similar during perceptual judgments of visual appearance. These contrasting results underscore the importance of testing predictions based on linguistic metaphors experimentally and suggest that our sense of similarity arises from our ability to combine available perceptual information with stored knowledge of experiential regularities.
  • Casasanto, D. (2008). Who's afraid of the big bad Whorf? Crosslinguistic differences in temporal language and thought. Language Learning, 58(suppl. 1), 63-79. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2008.00462.x.

    Abstract

    The idea that language shapes the way we think, often associated with Benjamin Whorf, has long been decried as not only wrong but also fundamentally wrong-headed. Yet, experimental evidence has reopened debate about the extent to which language influences nonlinguistic cognition, particularly in the domain of time. In this article, I will first analyze an influential argument against the Whorfian hypothesis and show that its anti-Whorfian conclusion is in part an artifact of conflating two distinct questions: Do we think in language? and Does language shape thought? Next, I will discuss crosslinguistic differences in spatial metaphors for time and describe experiments that demonstrate corresponding differences in nonlinguistic mental representations. Finally, I will sketch a simple learning mechanism by which some linguistic relativity effects appear to arise. Although people may not think in language, speakers of different languages develop distinctive conceptual repertoires as a consequence of ordinary and presumably universal neural and cognitive processes.
  • Casasanto, D., & Boroditsky, L. (2008). Time in the mind: Using space to think about time. Cognition, 106, 579-573. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2007.03.004.

    Abstract

    How do we construct abstract ideas like justice, mathematics, or time-travel? In this paper we investigate whether mental representations that result from physical experience underlie people’s more abstract mental representations, using the domains of space and time as a testbed. People often talk about time using spatial language (e.g., a long vacation, a short concert). Do people also think about time using spatial representations, even when they are not using language? Results of six psychophysical experiments revealed that people are unable to ignore irrelevant spatial information when making judgments about duration, but not the converse. This pattern, which is predicted by the asymmetry between space and time in linguistic metaphors, was demonstrated here in tasks that do not involve any linguistic stimuli or responses. These findings provide evidence that the metaphorical relationship between space and time observed in language also exists in our more basic representations of distance and duration. Results suggest that our mental representations of things we can never see or touch may be built, in part, out of representations of physical experiences in perception and motor action.
  • Chen, X. S., White, W. T. J., Collins, L. J., & Penny, D. (2008). Computational identification of four spliceosomal snRNAs from the deep-branch eukaryote Giardia intestinalis. PLoS One, 3(8), e3106. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003106.

    Abstract

    RNAs processing other RNAs is very general in eukaryotes, but is not clear to what extent it is ancestral to eukaryotes. Here we focus on pre-mRNA splicing, one of the most important RNA-processing mechanisms in eukaryotes. In most eukaryotes splicing is predominantly catalysed by the major spliceosome complex, which consists of five uridine-rich small nuclear RNAs (U-snRNAs) and over 200 proteins in humans. Three major spliceosomal introns have been found experimentally in Giardia; one Giardia U-snRNA (U5) and a number of spliceosomal proteins have also been identified. However, because of the low sequence similarity between the Giardia ncRNAs and those of other eukaryotes, the other U-snRNAs of Giardia had not been found. Using two computational methods, candidates for Giardia U1, U2, U4 and U6 snRNAs were identified in this study and shown by RT-PCR to be expressed. We found that identifying a U2 candidate helped identify U6 and U4 based on interactions between them. Secondary structural modelling of the Giardia U-snRNA candidates revealed typical features of eukaryotic U-snRNAs. We demonstrate a successful approach to combine computational and experimental methods to identify expected ncRNAs in a highly divergent protist genome. Our findings reinforce the conclusion that spliceosomal small-nuclear RNAs existed in the last common ancestor of eukaryotes.
  • Cho, T., & McQueen, J. M. (2008). Not all sounds in assimilation environments are perceived equally: Evidence from Korean. Journal of Phonetics, 36, 239-249. doi:doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2007.06.001.

    Abstract

    This study tests whether potential differences in the perceptual robustness of speech sounds influence continuous-speech processes. Two phoneme-monitoring experiments examined place assimilation in Korean. In Experiment 1, Koreans monitored for targets which were either labials (/p,m/) or alveolars (/t,n/), and which were either unassimilated or assimilated to a following /k/ in two-word utterances. Listeners detected unaltered (unassimilated) labials faster and more accurately than assimilated labials; there was no such advantage for unaltered alveolars. In Experiment 2, labial–velar differences were tested using conditions in which /k/ and /p/ were illegally assimilated to a following /t/. Unassimilated sounds were detected faster than illegally assimilated sounds, but this difference tended to be larger for /k/ than for /p/. These place-dependent asymmetries suggest that differences in the perceptual robustness of segments play a role in shaping phonological patterns.
  • Chu, M., & Kita, S. (2008). Spontaneous gestures during mental rotation tasks: Insights into the microdevelopment of the motor strategy. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 137, 706-723. doi:10.1037/a0013157.

    Abstract

    This study investigated the motor strategy involved in mental rotation tasks by examining 2 types of spontaneous gestures (hand–object interaction gestures, representing the agentive hand action on an object, vs. object-movement gestures, representing the movement of an object by itself) and different types of verbal descriptions of rotation. Hand–object interaction gestures were produced earlier than object-movement gestures, the rate of both types of gestures decreased, and gestures became more distant from the stimulus object over trials (Experiments 1 and 3). Furthermore, in the first few trials, object-movement gestures increased, whereas hand–object interaction gestures decreased, and this change of motor strategies was also reflected in the type of verbal description of rotation in the concurrent speech (Experiment 2). This change of motor strategies was hampered when gestures were prohibited (Experiment 4). The authors concluded that the motor strategy becomes less dependent on agentive action on the object, and also becomes internalized over the course of the experiment, and that gesture facilitates the former process. When solving a problem regarding the physical world, adults go through developmental processes similar to internalization and symbolic distancing in young children, albeit within a much shorter time span.
  • Clahsen, H., Sonnenstuhl, I., Hadler, M., & Eisenbeiss, S. (2008). Morphological paradigms in language processing and language disorders. Transactions of the Philological Society, 99(2), 247-277. doi:10.1111/1467-968X.00082.

    Abstract

    We present results from two cross‐modal morphological priming experiments investigating regular person and number inflection on finite verbs in German. We found asymmetries in the priming patterns between different affixes that can be predicted from the structure of the paradigm. We also report data from language disorders which indicate that inflectional errors produced by language‐impaired adults and children tend to occur within a given paradigm dimension, rather than randomly across the paradigm. We conclude that morphological paradigms are used by the human language processor and can be systematically affected in language disorders.
  • Cook, A. E., & Meyer, A. S. (2008). Capacity demands of phoneme selection in word production: New evidence from dual-task experiments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 34, 886-899. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.34.4.886.

    Abstract

    Three dual-task experiments investigated the capacity demands of phoneme selection in picture naming. On each trial, participants named a target picture (Task 1) and carried out a tone discrimination task (Task 2). To vary the time required for phoneme selection, the authors combined the targets with phonologically related or unrelated distractor pictures (Experiment 1) or words, which were clearly visible (Experiment 2) or masked (Experiment 3). When pictures or masked words were presented, the tone discrimination and picture naming latencies were shorter in the related condition than in the unrelated condition, which indicates that phoneme selection requires central processing capacity. However, when the distractor words were clearly visible, the facilitatory effect was confined to the picture naming latencies. This pattern arose because the visible related distractor words facilitated phoneme selection but slowed down speech monitoring processes that had to be completed before the response to the tone could be selected.
  • Cristia, A. (2008). Cue weighting at different ages. Purdue Linguistics Association Working Papers, 1, 87-105.
  • Cristia, A., & Seidl, A. (2008). Is infants' learning of sound patterns constrained by phonological features? Language Learning and Development, 4, 203-227. doi:10.1080/15475440802143109.

    Abstract

    Phonological patterns in languages often involve groups of sounds rather than individual sounds, which may be explained if phonology operates on the abstract features shared by those groups (Troubetzkoy, 193957. Troubetzkoy , N. 1939/1969 . Principles of phonology , Berkeley : University of California Press . View all references/1969; Chomsky & Halle, 19688. Chomsky , N. and Halle , M. 1968 . The sound pattern of English , New York : Harper and Row . View all references). Such abstract features may be present in the developing grammar either because they are part of a Universal Grammar included in the genetic endowment of humans (e.g., Hale, Kissock and Reiss, 200618. Hale , M. , Kissock , M. and Reiss , C. 2006 . Microvariation, variation, and the features of universal grammar . Lingua , 32 : 402 – 420 . View all references), or plausibly because infants induce features from their linguistic experience (e.g., Mielke, 200438. Mielke , J. 2004 . The emergence of distinctive features , Ohio State University : Unpublished doctoral dissertation . View all references). A first experiment tested 7-month-old infants' learning of an artificial grammar pattern involving either a set of sounds defined by a phonological feature, or a set of sounds that cannot be described with a single feature—an “arbitrary” set. Infants were able to induce the constraint and generalize it to a novel sound only for the set that shared the phonological feature. A second study showed that infants' inability to learn the arbitrary grouping was not due to their inability to encode a constraint on some of the sounds involved.
  • Cristia, A., & Seidl, A. (2008). Why cross-linguistic frequency cannot be equated with ease of acquisition. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, 14(1), 71-82. Retrieved from http://repository.upenn.edu/pwpl/vol14/iss1/6.
  • Cronin, K. A., & Snowdon, C. T. (2008). The effects of unequal reward distributions on cooperative problem solving by cottontop tamarins, Saguinus oedipus. Animal Behaviour, 75, 245-257. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.04.032.

    Abstract

    Cooperation among nonhuman animals has been the topic of much theoretical and empirical research, but few studies have examined systematically the effects of various reward payoffs on cooperative behaviour. Here, we presented heterosexual pairs of cooperatively breeding cottontop tamarins with a cooperative problem-solving task. In a series of four experiments, we examined how the tamarins’ cooperative performance changed under conditions in which (1) both actors were mutually rewarded, (2) both actors were rewarded reciprocally across days, (3) both actors competed for a monopolizable reward and (4) one actor repeatedly delivered a single reward to the other actor. The tamarins showed sensitivity to the reward structure, showing the greatest percentage of trials solved and shortest latency to solve the task in the mutual reward experiment and the lowest percentage of trials solved and longest latency to solve the task in the experiment in which one actor was repeatedly rewarded. However, even in the experiment in which the fewest trials were solved, the tamarins still solved 46 _ 12% of trials and little to no aggression was observed among partners following inequitable reward distributions. The tamarins did, however, show selfish motivation in each of the experiments. Nevertheless, in all experiments, unrewarded individuals continued to cooperate and procure rewards for their social partners.
  • Cutler, A., Garcia Lecumberri, M. L., & Cooke, M. (2008). Consonant identification in noise by native and non-native listeners: Effects of local context. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 124(2), 1264-1268. doi:10.1121/1.2946707.

    Abstract

    Speech recognition in noise is harder in second (L2) than first languages (L1). This could be because noise disrupts speech processing more in L2 than L1, or because L1 listeners recover better though disruption is equivalent. Two similar prior studies produced discrepant results: Equivalent noise effects for L1 and L2 (Dutch) listeners, versus larger effects for L2 (Spanish) than L1. To explain this, the latter experiment was presented to listeners from the former population. Larger noise effects on consonant identification emerged for L2 (Dutch) than L1 listeners, suggesting that task factors rather than L2 population differences underlie the results discrepancy.
  • Cutler, A. (2008). The abstract representations in speech processing. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61(11), 1601-1619. doi:10.1080/13803390802218542.

    Abstract

    Speech processing by human listeners derives meaning from acoustic input via intermediate steps involving abstract representations of what has been heard. Recent results from several lines of research are here brought together to shed light on the nature and role of these representations. In spoken-word recognition, representations of phonological form and of conceptual content are dissociable. This follows from the independence of patterns of priming for a word's form and its meaning. The nature of the phonological-form representations is determined not only by acoustic-phonetic input but also by other sources of information, including metalinguistic knowledge. This follows from evidence that listeners can store two forms as different without showing any evidence of being able to detect the difference in question when they listen to speech. The lexical representations are in turn separate from prelexical representations, which are also abstract in nature. This follows from evidence that perceptual learning about speaker-specific phoneme realization, induced on the basis of a few words, generalizes across the whole lexicon to inform the recognition of all words containing the same phoneme. The efficiency of human speech processing has its basis in the rapid execution of operations over abstract representations.
  • Davidson, D. J., Indefrey, P., & Gullberg, M. (2008). Words that second language learners are likely to hear, read, and use. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 11(1), 133-146. doi:10.1017/S1366728907003264.

    Abstract

    In the present study, we explore whether multiple data sources may be more effective than single sources at predicting the words that language learners are likely to know. Second language researchers have hypothesized that there is a relationship between word frequency and the likelihood that words will be encountered or used by second language learners, but it is not yet clear how this relationship should be effectively measured. An analysis of word frequency measures showed that spoken language frequency alone may predict the occurrence of words in learner textbooks, but that multiple corpora as well as textbook status can improve predictions of learner usage.
  • Dediu, D. (2008). The role of genetic biases in shaping the correlations between languages and genes. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 254, 400-407. doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2008.05.028.

    Abstract

    It has recently been proposed (Dediu, D., Ladd, D.R., 2007. Linguistic tone is related to the population frequency of the adaptive haplogroups of two brain size genes, ASPM and Microcephalin. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104, 10944-10949) that genetically coded linguistic biases can influence the trajectory of language change. However, the nature of such biases and the conditions under which they can become manifest have remained vague. The present paper explores computationally two plausible types of linguistic acquisition biases in a population of agents implementing realistic genetic, linguistic and demographic processes. One type of bias represents an innate asymmetric initial state (Initial Expectation bias) while the other an innate asymmetric facility of acquisition (Rate of Learning bias). It was found that only the second type of bias produces detectable effects on language through cultural transmission across generations and that such effects are produced even by weak biases present at low frequencies in the population. This suggests that learning preference asymmetries, very small at the individual level and not very frequent at the population level, can bias the trajectory of language change through the process of cultural transmission.
  • Deriziotis, P., & Tabrizi, S. J. (2008). Prions and the proteasome. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Molecular Basis of Disease, 1782(12), 713-722. doi:10.1016/j.bbadis.2008.06.011.

    Abstract

    Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders that include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and bovine spongiform encephalopathy in animals. They are unique in terms of their biology because they are caused by the conformational re-arrangement of a normal host-encoded prion protein, PrPC, to an abnormal infectious isoform, PrPSc. Currently the precise mechanism behind prion-mediated neurodegeneration remains unclear. It is hypothesised than an unknown toxic gain of function of PrPSc, or an intermediate oligomeric form, underlies neuronal death. Increasing evidence suggests a role for the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) in prion disease. Both wild-type PrPC and disease-associated PrP isoforms accumulate in cells after proteasome inhibition leading to increased cell death, and abnormal beta-sheet-rich PrP isoforms have been shown to inhibit the catalytic activity of the proteasome. Here we review potential interactions between prions and the proteasome outlining how the UPS may be implicated in prion-mediated neurodegeneration.
  • Dimroth, C. (2008). Age effects on the process of L2 acquisition? Evidence from the acquisition of negation and finiteness in L2 German. Language Learning, 58(1), 117-150. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2007.00436.x.

    Abstract

    It is widely assumed that ultimate attainment in adult second language (L2) learners often differs quite radically from ultimate attainment in child L2 learners. This article addresses the question of whether learners at different ages also show qualitative differences in the process of L2 acquisition. Longitudinal production data from two untutored Russian beginners (ages 8 and 14) acquiring German under roughly similar conditions are compared to published results on the acquisition of German by adult immigrants. The study focuses on the acquisition of negation and finiteness as core domains of German sentence grammar. Adult learners have been shown to produce an early nonfinite learner variety in which utterance organization relies on principles of information structure rather than on target language grammar. They then go through a couple of intermediate steps in which, first, semantically empty verbs (auxiliaries) serve as isolated carriers of finiteness before lexical verbs become finite. Whereas the 14-year-old learner of this case study basically shows a developmental pattern similar to that of adults, the 8-year-old child produces a different order of acquisition: Not only is the development of finite morphology faster, but finite lexical verbs are acquired before auxiliary constructions (Perfekt). Results suggest a stronger tendency for young learners to incrementally assimilate input patterns without relying on analytic steps guided by principles of information organization to the same extent as older learners.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2008). [Review of Phonology Assistant 3.0.1: From Sil International]. Language Documentation & Conversation, 2(2), 325-331. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10125/4350.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2008). [Review of the book Semantic assignment rules in Bantu classes: A reanalysis based on Kiswahili by Assibi A. Amidu]. Afrikanistik Online.
  • Dingemanse, M. (2008). WALS online [review]. Elanguage. Retrieved from http://elanguage.net/blogs/booknotices/?p=69.
  • Drude, S. (2008). Nasal harmony in Awetí and the Mawetí-Guarani family (Tupí). Amerindia, Revue d'Ethnolinguistique amérindienne, 32, 239-276.

    Abstract

    1. Object: Awetí and the ‘Mawetí-Guaraní’ subfamily “Mawetí-Guaraní” is a shorter designation of a branch of the large Tupí language family, alongside with eight other branches or subfamilies. This branch in turn consists internally of the languages (Sateré-) Mawé and Awetí and the large Tupí-Guaraní subfamily, and so its explicit but longish name could be “Mawé-Awetí-Tupí-Guaraní” (MTAG). This genetic grouping has already been suggested (without any specific designation) by A. D. Rodrigues (e.g., 1984/85; Rodrigues and Dietrich 1997), and, more recently, it has been confirmed by comparative studies (Corrêa da Silva 2007; Drude 2006; Meira and Drude in prep.), which also more reliably establish the most probable internal ramification, according to which Mawé separated first, whereas the differentiation between Awetí, on the one hand, and the precursor of the Tupí-Guaraní (TG) subfamily, proto-Tupí-Guaraní (pTG), on the other, would have been more recent. The intermediate branch could be named “Awetí-Tupí-Guaraní” (“Awetí-TG” or “ATG”). Figure 1 shows the internal grouping of the Tupí family according to results of the Tupí Comparative Project under D. Moore at the Museu Goeldi (2000–2006).
  • Duhaime, M. B., Alsheimer, S., Angelova, R., & FitzPatrick, I. (2008). In defense of Max Planck [Letters to the editor]. Science Magazine, 320(5878), 872. doi:10.1126/science.320.5878.872b.
  • Dunn, M., Levinson, S. C., Lindström, E., Reesink, G., & Terrill, A. (2008). Structural phylogeny in historical linguistics: Methodological explorations applied in Island Melanesia. Language, 84(4), 710-759. doi:10.1353/lan.0.0069.

    Abstract

    Using various methods derived from evolutionary biology, including maximum parsimony and Bayesian phylogenetic analysis, we tackle the question of the relationships among a group of Papuan isolate languages that have hitherto resisted accepted attempts at demonstration of interrelatedness. Instead of using existing vocabulary-based methods, which cannot be applied to these languages due to the paucity of shared lexemes, we created a database of STRUCTURAL FEATURES—abstract phonological and grammatical features apart from their form. The methods are first tested on the closely related Oceanic languages spoken in the same region as the Papuan languages in question. We find that using biological methods on structural features can recapitulate the results of the comparative method tree for the Oceanic languages, thus showing that structural features can be a valid way of extracting linguistic history. Application of the same methods to the otherwise unrelatable Papuan languages is therefore likely to be similarly valid. Because languages that have been in contact for protracted periods may also converge, we outline additional methods for distinguishing convergence from inherited relatedness.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2008). [Review of the book Constructions at work: The nature of generalization in language by Adele E. Goldberg]. Linguistic Typology, 12(1), 155-159. doi:10.1515/LITY.2008.034.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2008). It's a leopard [Review of the book Book review The origin of speech by Peter F. MacNeilage]. Times Literary Supplement, September 12, 2008, 12-13.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2008). Linguistic categories and their utilities: The case of Lao landscape terms. Language Sciences, 30(2/3), 227-255. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2006.12.030.

    Abstract

    Different domains of concrete referential semantics have provided testing grounds for investigation of the differential roles of perception, cognition, language, and culture in human categorization. A vast literature on semantics of biological classification, color, shape and topological relations, artifacts, and more, raises a range of theoretical and analytical debates. This article uses landscape terms to address a key debate from within research on ethnobiological classification: the opposition between so-called utilitarian and intellectualist accounts for patterns of lexicalization of the natural world [Berlin, B., 1992. Ethnobiological Classification: Principles of Categorization of Plants and Animals in Traditional Societies. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ]. ‘Utilitarianists’ argue that lexical categories reflect practical consequences of knowing certain category distinctions, related to cultural practice and functional affordances of referents. ‘Intellectualists’ argue that lexical categories reflect people’s innate interest in the natural world, combined with the perceptual discontinuities supplied by ‘Nature’s Plan’. The debate is generalizable to other domains, including landscape terminology, the topic of this special issue. This article brings landscape terminology into this larger debate, arguing in favor of a utilitarian account of linguistic categories in the domain of landscape, but proposing a significant revision to the concept of utility in linguistic categorization. The proposal is that for linguistic categorization, what is at issue is not (primarily) the utility of the referent (e.g. a river), but the utility of the word (e.g. the English word river). By considering how landscape terms are actually used in conversation, we see that they are deployed in communicative contexts which fit a rich, ‘functionalist’ semantics. A landscape term is not employed for mere referring, but functions to bring particular associated ideas into social discourse. In turn, language use reveals a range of evidence for the semantic content of any such term, of utility both to the language learner and to the semanticist. This kind of evidence can be argued to underlie the acquisition of semantic categories in language learning. The arguments are illustrated with examples from Lao, a Tai language of mainland Southeast Asia.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2008). Language as shaped by social interaction [Commentary on Christiansen and Chater]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31(5), 519-520. doi:10.1017/S0140525X08005104.

    Abstract

    Language is shaped by its environment, which includes not only the brain, but also the public context in which speech acts are effected. To fully account for why language has the shape it has, we need to examine the constraints imposed by language use as a sequentially organized joint activity, and as the very conduit for linguistic diffusion and change.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2008). Transmission biases in linguistic epidemiology. Journal of Language Contact, 2, 295-306.

    Abstract

    To develop a nuanced account for selection within an epidemiological, population-based model of language contact and change, it is useful to consider possible conduits and filters on linguistic transmission and distribution. Richerson & Boyd (2005) describe a number of candidate biases in their evolutionary analysis of culture as a biological phenomenon (cf. Cavalli-Sforza & Feldman 1981, Sperber 1985, 1999, Boyd & Richerson 2005). This paper explores some of these biases with reference to language, exploring a set of analytic distinctions for a proper understanding of population-level linguistic processes. In putting forward these ideas, this paper echoes recent attempts to combine linguistic and biological concepts in the analysis of language diversity and change.
  • Ernestus, M., & Neijt, A. (2008). Word length and the location of primary word stress in Dutch, German, and English. Linguistics, 46(3), 507-540. doi:10.1515/LING.2008.017.

    Abstract

    This study addresses the extent to which the location of primary stress in Dutch, German, and English monomorphemic words is affected by the syllables preceding the three final syllables. We present analyses of the monomorphemic words in the CELEX lexical database, which showed that penultimate primary stress is less frequent in Dutch and English trisyllabic than quadrisyllabic words. In addition, we discuss paper-and-pencil experiments in which native speakers assigned primary stress to pseudowords. These experiments provided evidence that in all three languages penultimate stress is more likely in quadrisyllabic than in trisyllabic words. We explain this length effect with the preferences in these languages for word-initial stress and for alternating patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables. The experimental data also showed important intra- and interspeaker variation, and they thus form a challenging test case for theories of language variation.
  • Escudero, P., Hayes-Harb, R., & Mitterer, H. (2008). Novel second-language words and asymmetric lexical access. Journal of Phonetics, 36(2), 345-360. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2007.11.002.

    Abstract

    The lexical and phonetic mapping of auditorily confusable L2 nonwords was examined by teaching L2 learners novel words and by later examining their word recognition using an eye-tracking paradigm. During word learning, two groups of highly proficient Dutch learners of English learned 20 English nonwords, of which 10 contained the English contrast /e/-æ/ (a confusable contrast for native Dutch speakers). One group of subjects learned the words by matching their auditory forms to pictured meanings, while a second group additionally saw the spelled forms of the words. We found that the group who received only auditory forms confused words containing /æ/ and /e/ symmetrically, i.e., both /æ/ and /e/ auditory tokens triggered looks to pictures containing both /æ/ and /e/. In contrast, the group who also had access to spelled forms showed the same asymmetric word recognition pattern found by previous studies, i.e., they only looked at pictures of words containing /e/ when presented with /e/ target tokens, but looked at pictures of words containing both /æ/ and /e/ when presented with /æ/ target tokens. The results demonstrate that L2 learners can form lexical contrasts for auditorily confusable novel L2 words. However, and most importantly, this study suggests that explicit information over the contrastive nature of two new sounds may be needed to build separate lexical representations for similar-sounding L2 words.
  • Falcaro, M., Pickles, A., Newbury, D. F., Addis, L., Banfield, E., Fisher, S. E., Monaco, A. P., Simkin, Z., Conti-Ramsden, G., & Consortium (2008). Genetic and phenotypic effects of phonological short-term memory and grammatical morphology in specific language impairment. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 7, 393-402. doi:10.1111/j.1601-183X.2007.00364.x.

    Abstract

    Deficits in phonological short-term memory and aspects of verb grammar morphology have been proposed as phenotypic markers of specific language impairment (SLI) with the suggestion that these traits are likely to be under different genetic influences. This investigation in 300 first-degree relatives of 93 probands with SLI examined familial aggregation and genetic linkage of two measures thought to index these two traits, non-word repetition and tense marking. In particular, the involvement of chromosomes 16q and 19q was examined as previous studies found these two regions to be related to SLI. Results showed a strong association between relatives' and probands' scores on non-word repetition. In contrast, no association was found for tense marking when examined as a continuous measure. However, significant familial aggregation was found when tense marking was treated as a binary measure with a cut-off point of -1.5 SD, suggestive of the possibility that qualitative distinctions in the trait may be familial while quantitative variability may be more a consequence of non-familial factors. Linkage analyses supported previous findings of the SLI Consortium of linkage to chromosome 16q for phonological short-term memory and to chromosome 19q for expressive language. In addition, we report new findings that relate to the past tense phenotype. For the continuous measure, linkage was found on both chromosomes, but evidence was stronger on chromosome 19. For the binary measure, linkage was observed on chromosome 19 but not on chromosome 16.
  • FitzPatrick, I., & Weber, K. (2008). “Il piccolo principe est allé”: Processing of language switches in auditory sentence comprehension. Journal of Neuroscience, 28(18), 4581-4582. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0905-08.2008.
  • Floyd, S. (2008). The Pirate media economy and the emergence of Quichua language media spaces in Ecuador. Anthropology of Work Review, 29(2), 34-41. doi:10.1111/j.1548-1417.2008.00012.x.

    Abstract

    This paper gives an account of the pirate media economy of Ecuador and its role in the emergence of indigenous Quichua-language media spaces, identifying the different parties involved in this economy, discussing their relationship to the parallel ‘‘legitimate’’ media economy, and considering the implications of this informal media market for Quichua linguistic and cultural reproduction. As digital recording and playback technology has become increasingly more affordable and widespread over recent years, black markets have grown up worldwide, based on cheap ‘‘illegal’’ reproduction of commercial media, today sold by informal entrepreneurs in rural markets, shops and street corners around Ecuador. Piggybacking on this pirate infrastructure, Quichua-speaking media producers and consumers have begun to circulate indigenous-language video at an unprecedented rate, helped by small-scale merchants who themselves profit by supplying market demands for positive images of indigenous people. In a context of a national media that has tended to silence indigenous voices rather than amplify them, informal media producers, consumers and vendors are developing relationships that open meaningful media spaces within the particular social, economic and linguistic contexts of Ecuador.
  • Folia, V., Uddén, J., Forkstam, C., Ingvar, M., Hagoort, P., & Petersson, K. M. (2008). Implicit learning and dyslexia. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1145, 132-150. doi:10.1196/annals.1416.012.

    Abstract

    Several studies have reported an association between dyslexia and implicit learning deficits. It has been suggested that the weakness in implicit learning observed in dyslexic individuals may be related to sequential processing and implicit sequence learning. In the present article, we review the current literature on implicit learning and dyslexia. We describe a novel, forced-choice structural "mere exposure" artificial grammar learning paradigm and characterize this paradigm in normal readers in relation to the standard grammaticality classification paradigm. We argue that preference classification is a more optimal measure of the outcome of implicit acquisition since in the preference version participants are kept completely unaware of the underlying generative mechanism, while in the grammaticality version, the subjects have, at least in principle, been informed about the existence of an underlying complex set of rules at the point of classification (but not during acquisition). On the basis of the "mere exposure effect," we tested the prediction that the development of preference will correlate with the grammaticality status of the classification items. In addition, we examined the effects of grammaticality (grammatical/nongrammatical) and associative chunk strength (ACS; high/low) on the classification tasks (preference/grammaticality). Using a balanced ACS design in which the factors of grammaticality (grammatical/nongrammatical) and ACS (high/low) were independently controlled in a 2 × 2 factorial design, we confirmed our predictions. We discuss the suitability of this task for further investigation of the implicit learning characteristics in dyslexia.
  • Forkstam, C., Elwér, A., Ingvar, M., & Petersson, K. M. (2008). Instruction effects in implicit artificial grammar learning: A preference for grammaticality. Brain Research, 1221, 80-92. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2008.05.005.

    Abstract

    Human implicit learning can be investigated with implicit artificial grammar learning, a paradigm that has been proposed as a simple model for aspects of natural language acquisition. In the present study we compared the typical yes–no grammaticality classification, with yes–no preference classification. In the case of preference instruction no reference to the underlying generative mechanism (i.e., grammar) is needed and the subjects are therefore completely uninformed about an underlying structure in the acquisition material. In experiment 1, subjects engaged in a short-term memory task using only grammatical strings without performance feedback for 5 days. As a result of the 5 acquisition days, classification performance was independent of instruction type and both the preference and the grammaticality group acquired relevant knowledge of the underlying generative mechanism to a similar degree. Changing the grammatical stings to random strings in the acquisition material (experiment 2) resulted in classification being driven by local substring familiarity. Contrasting repeated vs. non-repeated preference classification (experiment 3) showed that the effect of local substring familiarity decreases with repeated classification. This was not the case for repeated grammaticality classifications. We conclude that classification performance is largely independent of instruction type and that forced-choice preference classification is equivalent to the typical grammaticality classification.
  • Frank, S. L., Koppen, M., Noordman, L. G. M., & Vonk, W. (2008). World knowledge in computational models of discourse comprehension. Discourse Processes, 45(6), 429-463. doi:10.1080/01638530802069926.

    Abstract

    Because higher level cognitive processes generally involve the use of world knowledge, computational models of these processes require the implementation of a knowledge base. This article identifies and discusses 4 strategies for dealing with world knowledge in computational models: disregarding world knowledge, ad hoc selection, extraction from text corpora, and implementation of all knowledge about a simplified microworld. Each of these strategies is illustrated by a detailed discussion of a model of discourse comprehension. It is argued that seemingly successful modeling results are uninformative if knowledge is implemented ad hoc or not at all, that knowledge extracted from large text corpora is not appropriate for discourse comprehension, and that a suitable implementation can be obtained by applying the microworld strategy.
  • Franke, B., Hoogman, M., Vasquez, A. A., Heister, J., Savelkoul, P., Naber, M., Scheffer, H., Kiemeney, L., Kan, C., Kooij, J., & Buitelaar, J. (2008). Association of the dopamine transporter (SLC6A3/DAT1) gene 9-6 haplotype with adult ADHD. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 147, 1576-1579. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.30861.

    Abstract

    ADHD is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by chronic hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity, which affects about 5% of school-age children. ADHD persists into adulthood in at least 15% of cases. It is highly heritable and familial influences seem strongest for ADHD persisting into adulthood. However, most of the genetic research in ADHD has been carried out in children with the disorder. The gene that has received most attention in ADHD genetics is SLC6A3/DAT1 encoding the dopamine transporter. In the current study we attempted to replicate in adults with ADHD the reported association of a 10–6 SLC6A3-haplotype, formed by the 10-repeat allele of the variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphism in the 3′ untranslated region of the gene and the 6-repeat allele of the VNTR in intron 8 of the gene, with childhood ADHD. In addition, we wished to explore the role of a recently described VNTR in intron 3 of the gene. Two hundred sixteen patients and 528 controls were included in the study. We found a 9–6 SLC6A3-haplotype, rather than the 10–6 haplotype, to be associated with ADHD in adults. The intron 3 VNTR showed no association with adult ADHD. Our findings converge with earlier reports and suggest that age is an important factor to be taken into account when assessing the association of SLC6A3 with ADHD. If confirmed in other studies, the differential association of the gene with ADHD in children and in adults might imply that SLC6A3 plays a role in modulating the ADHD phenotype, rather than causing it
  • Ganushchak, L. Y., & Schiller, N. O. (2008). Brain error-monitoring activity is affected by semantic relatedness: An event-related brain potentials study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20(5), 927-940. doi:10.1162/jocn.2008.20514.

    Abstract

    Speakers continuously monitor what they say. Sometimes, self-monitoring malfunctions and errors pass undetected and uncorrected. In the field of action monitoring, an event-related brain potential, the error-related negativity (ERN), is associated with error processing. The present study relates the ERN to verbal self-monitoring and investigates how the ERN is affected by auditory distractors during verbal monitoring. We found that the ERN was largest following errors that occurred after semantically related distractors had been presented, as compared to semantically unrelated ones. This result demonstrates that the ERN is sensitive not only to response conflict resulting from the incompatibility of motor responses but also to more abstract lexical retrieval conflict resulting from activation of multiple lexical entries. This, in turn, suggests that the functioning of the verbal self-monitoring system during speaking is comparable to other performance monitoring, such as action monitoring.
  • Ganushchak, L. Y., & Schiller, N. O. (2008). Motivation and semantic context affect brain error-monitoring activity: An event-related brain potentials study. NeuroImage, 39, 395-405. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.09.001.

    Abstract

    During speech production, we continuously monitor what we say. In situations in which speech errors potentially have more severe consequences, e.g. during a public presentation, our verbal selfmonitoring system may pay special attention to prevent errors than in situations in which speech errors are more acceptable, such as a casual conversation. In an event-related potential study, we investigated whether or not motivation affected participants’ performance using a picture naming task in a semantic blocking paradigm. Semantic context of to-be-named pictures was manipulated; blocks were semantically related (e.g., cat, dog, horse, etc.) or semantically unrelated (e.g., cat, table, flute, etc.). Motivation was manipulated independently by monetary reward. The motivation manipulation did not affect error rate during picture naming. However, the highmotivation condition yielded increased amplitude and latency values of the error-related negativity (ERN) compared to the low-motivation condition, presumably indicating higher monitoring activity. Furthermore, participants showed semantic interference effects in reaction times and error rates. The ERN amplitude was also larger during semantically related than unrelated blocks, presumably indicating that semantic relatedness induces more conflict between possible verbal responses.
  • Goldin-Meadow, S., Chee So, W., Ozyurek, A., & Mylander, C. (2008). The natural order of events: how speakers of different languages represent events nonverbally. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 105(27), 9163-9168. doi:10.1073/pnas.0710060105.

    Abstract

    To test whether the language we speak influences our behavior even when we are not speaking, we asked speakers of four languages differing in their predominant word orders (English, Turkish, Spanish, and Chinese) to perform two nonverbal tasks: a communicative task (describing an event by using gesture without speech) and a noncommunicative task (reconstructing an event with pictures). We found that the word orders speakers used in their everyday speech did not influence their nonverbal behavior. Surprisingly, speakers of all four languages used the same order and on both nonverbal tasks. This order, actor–patient–act, is analogous to the subject–object–verb pattern found in many languages of the world and, importantly, in newly developing gestural languages. The findings provide evidence for a natural order that we impose on events when describing and reconstructing them nonverbally and exploit when constructing language anew.

    Additional information

    GoldinMeadow_2008_naturalSuppl.pdf
  • Goudbeek, M., Cutler, A., & Smits, R. (2008). Supervised and unsupervised learning of multidimensionally varying nonnative speech categories. Speech Communication, 50(2), 109-125. doi:10.1016/j.specom.2007.07.003.

    Abstract

    The acquisition of novel phonetic categories is hypothesized to be affected by the distributional properties of the input, the relation of the new categories to the native phonology, and the availability of supervision (feedback). These factors were examined in four experiments in which listeners were presented with novel categories based on vowels of Dutch. Distribution was varied such that the categorization depended on the single dimension duration, the single dimension frequency, or both dimensions at once. Listeners were clearly sensitive to the distributional information, but unidimensional contrasts proved easier to learn than multidimensional. The native phonology was varied by comparing Spanish versus American English listeners. Spanish listeners found categorization by frequency easier than categorization by duration, but this was not true of American listeners, whose native vowel system makes more use of duration-based distinctions. Finally, feedback was either available or not; this comparison showed supervised learning to be significantly superior to unsupervised learning.
  • Groszer, M., Keays, D. A., Deacon, R. M. J., De Bono, J. P., Prasad-Mulcare, S., Gaub, S., Baum, M. G., French, C. A., Nicod, J., Coventry, J. A., Enard, W., Fray, M., Brown, S. D. M., Nolan, P. M., Pääbo, S., Channon, K. M., Costa, R. M., Eilers, J., Ehret, G., Rawlins, J. N. P. and 1 moreGroszer, M., Keays, D. A., Deacon, R. M. J., De Bono, J. P., Prasad-Mulcare, S., Gaub, S., Baum, M. G., French, C. A., Nicod, J., Coventry, J. A., Enard, W., Fray, M., Brown, S. D. M., Nolan, P. M., Pääbo, S., Channon, K. M., Costa, R. M., Eilers, J., Ehret, G., Rawlins, J. N. P., & Fisher, S. E. (2008). Impaired synaptic plasticity and motor learning in mice with a point mutation implicated in human speech deficits. Current Biology, 18(5), 354-362. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.01.060.

    Abstract

    The most well-described example of an inherited speech and language disorder is that observed in the multigenerational KE family, caused by a heterozygous missense mutation in the FOXP2 gene. Affected individuals are characterized by deficits in the learning and production of complex orofacial motor sequences underlying fluent speech and display impaired linguistic processing for both spoken and written language. The FOXP2 transcription factor is highly similar in many vertebrate species, with conserved expression in neural circuits related to sensorimotor integration and motor learning. In this study, we generated mice carrying an identical point mutation to that of the KE family, yielding the equivalent arginine-to-histidine substitution in the Foxp2 DNA-binding domain. Homozygous R552H mice show severe reductions in cerebellar growth and postnatal weight gain but are able to produce complex innate ultrasonic vocalizations. Heterozygous R552H mice are overtly normal in brain structure and development. Crucially, although their baseline motor abilities appear to be identical to wild-type littermates, R552H heterozygotes display significant deficits in species-typical motor-skill learning, accompanied by abnormal synaptic plasticity in striatal and cerebellar neural circuits.

    Additional information

    mmc1.pdf
  • Le Guen, O. (2008). Ubèel pixan: El camino de las almas ancetros familiares y colectivos entre los Mayas Yacatecos. Penisula, 3(1), 83-120. Retrieved from http://www.revistas.unam.mx/index.php/peninsula/article/viewFile/44354/40086.

    Abstract

    The aim of this article is to analyze the funerary customs and ritual for the souls among contemporary Yucatec Maya in order to better understand their relations with pre-Hispanic burial patterns. It is suggested that the souls of the dead are considered as ancestors that can be distinguished between family and collective ancestors considering several criteria: the place of burial, the place of ritual performance and the ritual treatment. In this proposition, funerary practices as well as ritual categories of ancestors (family or collective), are considered as reminiscences of ancient practices whose traces can be found throughout historical sources. Through an analyze of the current funerary practices and their variations, this article aims to demonstrate that over the time and despite socio-economical changes, ancient funerary practices (specifically from the post-classic period) had kept some homogeneity, preserving some essential characteristics that can be observed in the actuality.
  • Gullberg, M., & Indefrey, P. (2008). Cognitive and neural prerequisites for time in language: Any answers? Language Learning, 58(suppl. 1), 207-216. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2008.00472.x.
  • Gullberg, M., De Bot, K., & Volterra, V. (2008). Gestures and some key issues in the study of language development. Gesture, 8(2), 149-179. doi:10.1075/gest.8.2.03gul.

    Abstract

    The purpose of the current paper is to outline how gestures can contribute to the study of some key issues in language development. Specifically, we (1) briefly summarise what is already known about gesture in the domains of first and second language development, and development or changes over the life span more generally; (2) highlight theoretical and empirical issues in these domains where gestures can contribute in important ways to further our understanding; and (3) summarise some common themes in all strands of research on language development that could be the target of concentrated research efforts.
  • Gullberg, M., & McCafferty, S. G. (2008). Introduction to gesture and SLA: Toward an integrated approach. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 30(2), 133-146. doi:10.1017/S0272263108080285.

    Abstract

    The title of this special issue, Gesture and SLA: Toward an Integrated Approach, stems in large part from the idea known as integrationism, principally set forth by Harris (2003, 2005), which posits that it is time to “demythologize” linguistics, moving away from the “orthodox exponents” that have idealized the notion of language. The integrationist approach intends a view that focuses on communication—that is, language in use, language as a “fact of life” (Harris, 2003, p. 50). Although not all gesture studies embrace an integrationist view—indeed, the field applies numerous theories across various disciplines—it is nonetheless true that to study gesture is to study what has traditionally been called paralinguistic modes of interaction, with the paralinguistic label given on the assumption that gesture is not part of the core meaning of what is rendered linguistically. However, arguably, most researchers within gesture studies would maintain just the opposite: The studies presented in this special issue reflect a view whereby gesture is regarded as a central aspect of language in use, integral to how we communicate (make meaning) both with each other and with ourselves.
  • Gullberg, M., Hendriks, H., & Hickmann, M. (2008). Learning to talk and gesture about motion in French. First Language, 28(2), 200-236. doi:10.1177/0142723707088074.

    Abstract

    This study explores how French adults and children aged four and six years talk and gesture about voluntary motion, examining (1) how they encode path and manner in speech, (2) how they encode this information in accompanying gestures; and (3) whether gestures are co-expressive with speech or express other information. When path and manner are equally relevant, children’s and adults’ speech and gestures both focus on path, rather than on manner. Moreover, gestures are predominantly co-expressive with speech at all ages. However, when they are non-redundant, adults tend to gesture about path while talking about manner, whereas children gesture about both path and manner while talking about path. The discussion highlights implications for our understanding of speakers’ representations and their development.
  • Li, X., Hagoort, P., & Yang, Y. (2008). Event-related potential evidence on the influence of accentuation in spoken discourse comprehension in Chinese. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20(5), 906-915. doi:10.1162/jocn.2008.20512.

    Abstract

    In an event-related potential experiment with Chinese discourses as material, we investigated how and when accentuation influences spoken discourse comprehension in relation to the different information states of the critical words. These words could either provide new or old information. It was shown that variation of accentuation influenced the amplitude of the N400, with a larger amplitude for accented than deaccented words. In addition, there was an interaction between accentuation and information state. The N400 amplitude difference between accented and deaccented new information was smaller than that between accented and deaccented old information. The results demonstrate that, during spoken discourse comprehension, listeners rapidly extract the semantic consequences of accentuation in relation to the previous discourse context. Moreover, our results show that the N400 amplitude can be larger for correct (new,accented words) than incorrect (new, deaccented words) information. This, we argue, proves that the N400 does not react to semantic anomaly per se, but rather to semantic integration load, which is higher for new information.
  • Hagoort, P. (2008). Mijn omweg naar de filosofie. Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte, 100(4), 303-310.
  • Hagoort, P. (2008). Should psychology ignore the language of the brain? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17(2), 96-101. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8721.2008.00556.x.

    Abstract

    Claims that neuroscientific data do not contribute to our understanding of psychological functions have been made recently. Here I argue that these criticisms are solely based on an analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. However, fMRI is only one of the methods in the toolkit of cognitive neuroscience. I provide examples from research on event-related brain potentials (ERPs) that have contributed to our understanding of the cognitive architecture of human language functions. In addition, I provide evidence of (possible) contributions from fMRI measurements to our understanding of the functional architecture of language processing. Finally, I argue that a neurobiology of human language that integrates information about the necessary genetic and neural infrastructures will allow us to answer certain questions that are not answerable if all we have is evidence from behavior.
  • Hagoort, P. (2008). The fractionation of spoken language understanding by measuring electrical and magnetic brain signals. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 363, 1055-1069. doi:10.1098/rstb.2007.2159.

    Abstract

    This paper focuses on what electrical and magnetic recordings of human brain activity reveal about spoken language understanding. Based on the high temporal resolution of these recordings, a fine-grained temporal profile of different aspects of spoken language comprehension can be obtained. Crucial aspects of speech comprehension are lexical access, selection and semantic integration. Results show that for words spoken in context, there is no ‘magic moment’ when lexical selection ends and semantic integration begins. Irrespective of whether words have early or late recognition points, semantic integration processing is initiated before words can be identified on the basis of the acoustic information alone. Moreover, for one particular event-related brain potential (ERP) component (the N400), equivalent impact of sentence- and discourse-semantic contexts is observed. This indicates that in comprehension, a spoken word is immediately evaluated relative to the widest interpretive domain available. In addition, this happens very quickly. Findings are discussed that show that often an unfolding word can be mapped onto discourse-level representations well before the end of the word. Overall, the time course of the ERP effects is compatible with the view that the different information types (lexical, syntactic, phonological, pragmatic) are processed in parallel and influence the interpretation process incrementally, that is as soon as the relevant pieces of information are available. This is referred to as the immediacy principle.
  • Haun, D. B. M., & Call, J. (2008). Imitation recognition in great apes. Current Biology, 18(7), 288-290. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.02.031.

    Abstract

    Human infants imitate not only to acquire skill, but also as a fundamental part of social interaction [1] , [2] and [3] . They recognise when they are being imitated by showing increased visual attention to imitators (implicit recognition) and by engaging in so-called testing behaviours (explicit recognition). Implicit recognition affords the ability to recognize structural and temporal contingencies between actions across agents, whereas explicit recognition additionally affords the ability to understand the directional impact of one's own actions on others' actions [1] , [2] and [3] . Imitation recognition is thought to foster understanding of social causality, intentionality in others and the formation of a concept of self as different from other [3] , [4] and [5] . Pigtailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) implicitly recognize being imitated [6], but unlike chimpanzees [7], they show no sign of explicit imitation recognition. We investigated imitation recognition in 11 individuals from the four species of non-human great apes. We replicated results previously found with a chimpanzee [7] and, critically, have extended them to the other great ape species. Our results show a general prevalence of imitation recognition in all great apes and thereby demonstrate important differences between great apes and monkeys in their understanding of contingent social interactions.
  • Hayano, K. (2008). Talk and body: Negotiating action framework and social relationship in conversation. Studies in English and American Literature, 43, 187-198.
  • Hervais-Adelman, A., Davis, M. H., Johnsrude, I. S., & Carlyon, R. P. (2008). Perceptual learning of noise vocoded words: Effects of feedback and lexicality. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 34(2), 460-474. doi:10.1037/0096-1523.34.2.460.

    Abstract

    Speech comprehension is resistant to acoustic distortion in the input, reflecting listeners' ability to adjust perceptual processes to match the speech input. This adjustment is reflected in improved comprehension of distorted speech with experience. For noise vocoding, a manipulation that removes spectral detail from speech, listeners' word report showed a significantly greater improvement over trials for listeners that heard clear speech presentations before rather than after hearing distorted speech (clear-then-distorted compared with distorted-then-clear feedback, in Experiment 1). This perceptual learning generalized to untrained words suggesting a sublexical locus for learning and was equivalent for word and nonword training stimuli (Experiment 2). These findings point to the crucial involvement of phonological short-term memory and top-down processes in the perceptual learning of noise-vocoded speech. Similar processes may facilitate comprehension of speech in an unfamiliar accent or following cochlear implantation.
  • Huettig, F., & Hartsuiker, R. J. (2008). When you name the pizza you look at the coin and the bread: Eye movements reveal semantic activation during word production. Memory & Cognition, 36(2), 341-360. doi:10.3758/MC.36.2.341.

    Abstract

    Two eyetracking experiments tested for activation of category coordinate and perceptually related concepts when speakers prepare the name of an object. Speakers saw four visual objects in a 2 × 2 array and identified and named a target picture on the basis of either category (e.g., "What is the name of the musical instrument?") or visual-form (e.g., "What is the name of the circular object?") instructions. There were more fixations on visual-form competitors and category coordinate competitors than on unrelated objects during name preparation, but the increased overt attention did not affect naming latencies. The data demonstrate that eye movements are a sensitive measure of the overlap between the conceptual (including visual-form) information that is accessed in preparation for word production and the conceptual knowledge associated with visual objects. Furthermore, these results suggest that semantic activation of competitor concepts does not necessarily affect lexical selection, contrary to the predictions of lexical-selection-by-competition accounts (e.g., Levelt, Roelofs, & Meyer, 1999).
  • Hunley, K., Dunn, M., Lindström, E., Reesink, G., Terrill, A., Healy, M. E., Koki, G., Friedlaender, F. R., & Friedlaender, J. S. (2008). Genetic and linguistic coevolution in Northern Island Melanesia. PLoS Genetics, 4(10): e1000239. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000239.

    Abstract

    Recent studies have detailed a remarkable degree of genetic and linguistic diversity in Northern Island Melanesia. Here we utilize that diversity to examine two models of genetic and linguistic coevolution. The first model predicts that genetic and linguistic correspondences formed following population splits and isolation at the time of early range expansions into the region. The second is analogous to the genetic model of isolation by distance, and it predicts that genetic and linguistic correspondences formed through continuing genetic and linguistic exchange between neighboring populations. We tested the predictions of the two models by comparing observed and simulated patterns of genetic variation, genetic and linguistic trees, and matrices of genetic, linguistic, and geographic distances. The data consist of 751 autosomal microsatellites and 108 structural linguistic features collected from 33 Northern Island Melanesian populations. The results of the tests indicate that linguistic and genetic exchange have erased any evidence of a splitting and isolation process that might have occurred early in the settlement history of the region. The correlation patterns are also inconsistent with the predictions of the isolation by distance coevolutionary process in the larger Northern Island Melanesian region, but there is strong evidence for the process in the rugged interior of the largest island in the region (New Britain). There we found some of the strongest recorded correlations between genetic, linguistic, and geographic distances. We also found that, throughout the region, linguistic features have generally been less likely to diffuse across population boundaries than genes. The results from our study, based on exceptionally fine-grained data, show that local genetic and linguistic exchange are likely to obscure evidence of the early history of a region, and that language barriers do not particularly hinder genetic exchange. In contrast, global patterns may emphasize more ancient demographic events, including population splits associated with the early colonization of major world regions.
  • Isaac, A., Schlobach, S., Matthezing, H., & Zinn, C. (2008). Integrated access to cultural heritage resources through representation and alignment of controlled vocabularies. Library Review, 57(3), 187-199.
  • Janse, E. (2008). Spoken-word processing in aphasia: Effects of item overlap and item repetition. Brain and Language, 105, 185-198. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2007.10.002.

    Abstract

    Two studies were carried out to investigate the effects of presentation of primes showing partial (word-initial) or full overlap on processing of spoken target words. The first study investigated whether time compression would interfere with lexical processing so as to elicit aphasic-like performance in non-brain-damaged subjects. The second study was designed to compare effects of item overlap and item repetition in aphasic patients of different diagnostic types. Time compression did not interfere with lexical deactivation for the non-brain-damaged subjects. Furthermore, all aphasic patients showed immediate inhibition of co-activated candidates. These combined results show that deactivation is a fast process. Repetition effects, however, seem to arise only at the longer term in aphasic patients. Importantly, poor performance on diagnostic verbal STM tasks was shown to be related to lexical decision performance in both overlap and repetition conditions, which suggests a common underlying deficit.
  • Janzen, G., Jansen, C., & Van Turennout, M. (2008). Memory consolidation of landmarks in good navigators. Hippocampus, 18, 40-47.

    Abstract

    Landmarks play an important role in successful navigation. To successfully find your way around an environment, navigationally relevant information needs to be stored and become available at later moments in time. Evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies shows that the human parahippocampal gyrus encodes the navigational relevance of landmarks. In the present event-related fMRI experiment, we investigated memory consolidation of navigationally relevant landmarks in the medial temporal lobe after route learning. Sixteen right-handed volunteers viewed two film sequences through a virtual museum with objects placed at locations relevant (decision points) or irrelevant (nondecision points) for navigation. To investigate consolidation effects, one film sequence was seen in the evening before scanning, the other one was seen the following morning, directly before scanning. Event-related fMRI data were acquired during an object recognition task. Participants decided whether they had seen the objects in the previously shown films. After scanning, participants answered standardized questions about their navigational skills, and were divided into groups of good and bad navigators, based on their scores. An effect of memory consolidation was obtained in the hippocampus: Objects that were seen the evening before scanning (remote objects) elicited more activity than objects seen directly before scanning (recent objects). This increase in activity in bilateral hippocampus for remote objects was observed in good navigators only. In addition, a spatial-specific effect of memory consolidation for navigationally relevant objects was observed in the parahippocampal gyrus. Remote decision point objects induced increased activity as compared with recent decision point objects, again in good navigators only. The results provide initial evidence for a connection between memory consolidation and navigational ability that can provide a basis for successful navigation.
  • Johnson, E. K., & Seidl, A. (2008). Clause segmentation by 6-month-olds: A crosslingusitic perspective. Infancy, 13, 440-455. doi:10.1080/15250000802329321.

    Abstract

    Each clause and phrase boundary necessarily aligns with a word boundary. Thus, infants’ attention to the edges of clauses and phrases may help them learn some of the language-specific cues defining word boundaries. Attention to prosodically wellformed clauses and phrases may also help infants begin to extract information important for learning the grammatical structure of their language. Despite the potentially important role that the perception of large prosodic units may play in early language acquisition, there has been little work investigating the extraction of these units from fluent speech by infants learning languages other than English. We report 2 experiments investigating Dutch learners’ clause segmentation abilities.In these studies, Dutch-learning 6-month-olds readily extract clauses from speech. However, Dutch learners differ from English learners in that they seem to be more reliant on pauses to detect clause boundaries. Two closely related explanations for this finding are considered, both of which stem from the acoustic differences in clause boundary realizations in Dutch versus English.
  • Kerkhofs, R., Vonk, W., Schriefers, H., & Chwilla, D. J. (2008). Sentence processing in the visual and auditory modality: Do comma and prosodic break have parallel functions? Brain Research, 1224, 102-118. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2008.05.034.

    Abstract

    Two Event-Related Potential (ERP) studies contrast the processing of locally ambiguous sentences in the visual and the auditory modality. These sentences are disambiguated by a lexical element. Before this element appears in a sentence, the sentence can also be disambiguated by a boundary marker: a comma in the visual modality, or a prosodic break in the auditory modality. Previous studies have shown that a specific ERP component, the Closure Positive Shift (CPS), can be elicited by these markers. The results of the present studies show that both the comma and the prosodic break disambiguate the ambiguous sentences before the critical lexical element, despite the fact that a clear CPS is only found in the auditory modality. Comma and prosodic break thus have parallel functions irrespective of whether they do or do not elicit a CPS.
  • Kho, K. H., Indefrey, P., Hagoort, P., Van Veelen, C. W. M., Van Rijen, P. C., & Ramsey, N. F. (2008). Unimpaired sentence comprehension after anterior temporal cortex resection. Neuropsychologia, 46(4), 1170-1178. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2007.10.014.

    Abstract

    Functional imaging studies have demonstrated involvement of the anterior temporal cortex in sentence comprehension. It is unclear, however, whether the anterior temporal cortex is essential for this function.We studied two aspects of sentence comprehension, namely syntactic and prosodic comprehension in temporal lobe epilepsy patients who were candidates for resection of the anterior temporal lobe. Methods: Temporal lobe epilepsy patients (n = 32) with normal (left) language dominance were tested on syntactic and prosodic comprehension before and after removal of the anterior temporal cortex. The prosodic comprehension test was also compared with performance of healthy control subjects (n = 47) before surgery. Results: Overall, temporal lobe epilepsy patients did not differ from healthy controls in syntactic and prosodic comprehension before surgery. They did perform less well on an affective prosody task. Post-operative testing revealed that syntactic and prosodic comprehension did not change after removal of the anterior temporal cortex. Discussion: The unchanged performance on syntactic and prosodic comprehension after removal of the anterior temporal cortex suggests that this area is not indispensable for sentence comprehension functions in temporal epilepsy patients. Potential implications for the postulated role of the anterior temporal lobe in the healthy brain are discussed.
  • Kidd, E., & Lum, J. A. (2008). Sex differences in past tense overregularization. Developmental Science, 11(6), 882-889. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7687.2008.00744.x.

    Abstract

    Hartshorne and Ullman (2006) presented naturalistic language data from 25 children (15 boys, 10 girls) and showed that girls produced more past tense overregularization errors than did boys. In particular, girls were more likely to overregularize irregular verbs whose stems share phonological similarities with regular verbs. It was argued that the result supported the Declarative/Procedural model of language, a neuropsychological analogue of the dual-route approach to language. In the current study we present experimental data that are inconsistent with these naturalistic data. Eighty children (40 males, 40 females) aged 5;0–6;9 completed a past tense elicitation task, a test of declarative memory, and a test of non-verbal intelligence. The results revealed no sex differences on any of the measures. Instead, the best predictors of overregularization rates were item-level features of the test verbs. We discuss the results within the context of dual versus single route debate on past tense acquisition
  • Kidd, E., & Cameron-Faulkner, T. (2008). The acquisition of the multiple senses of with. Linguistics, 46(1), 33-61. doi:10.1515/LING.2008.002.

    Abstract

    The present article reports on an investigation of one child's acquisition of the multiple senses of the preposition with from 2;0–4;0. Two competing claims regarding children's early representation and subsequent acquisition of with were investigated. The “multiple meanings” hypothesis predicts that children form individual form-meaning pairings for with as separate lexical entries. The “monosemy approach” (McKercher 2001) claims that children apply a unitary meaning by abstracting core features early in acquisition. The child's (“Brian”) speech and his input were coded according to eight distinguishable senses of with. The results showed that Brian first acquired the senses that were most frequent in the input (accompaniment, attribute, and instrument). Less common senses took much longer to emerge. A detailed analysis of the input showed that a variety of clues are available that potentially enable the child to distinguish among high frequency senses. The acquisition data suggested that the child initially applied a restricted one-to-one form-meaning mapping for with, which is argued to reflect the spatial properties of the preposition. On the basis of these results it is argued that neither the monosemy nor the multiple meanings approach can fully explain the data, but that the results are best explained by a combination of word learning principles and children's ability to categorize the contextual properties of each sense's use in the ambient language.
  • Kim, J., Davis, C., & Cutler, A. (2008). Perceptual tests of rhythmic similarity: II. Syllable rhythm. Language and Speech, 51(4), 343-359. doi:10.1177/0023830908099069.

    Abstract

    To segment continuous speech into its component words, listeners make use of language rhythm; because rhythm differs across languages, so do the segmentation procedures which listeners use. For each of stress-, syllable-and mora-based rhythmic structure, perceptual experiments have led to the discovery of corresponding segmentation procedures. In the case of mora-based rhythm, similar segmentation has been demonstrated in the otherwise unrelated languages Japanese and Telugu; segmentation based on syllable rhythm, however, has been previously demonstrated only for European languages from the Romance family. We here report two target detection experiments in which Korean listeners, presented with speech in Korean and in French, displayed patterns of segmentation like those previously observed in analogous experiments with French listeners. The Korean listeners' accuracy in detecting word-initial target fragments in either language was significantly higher when the fragments corresponded exactly to a syllable in the input than when the fragments were smaller or larger than a syllable. We conclude that Korean and French listeners can call on similar procedures for segmenting speech, and we further propose that perceptual tests of speech segmentation provide a valuable accompaniment to acoustic analyses for establishing languages' rhythmic class membership.
  • Klein, W. (2008). Die Werke der Sprache: Für ein neues Verhältnis zwischen Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 150, 8-32.

    Abstract

    All disciplines depend on language; but two of them also have language as an object – literary studies and linguistics. Their objectives are not the same – but they are sufficiently similar to invite close cooperation. This is not what we find; in fact, the development of research over the last decades has led to a relationship which is, in the typical case, characterised by friendly, and sometimes less friendly, ignorance and indifference. This article discusses some of the reasons for this development, and it suggests some conditions under which both sides would benefit from more cooperation.
  • Klein, W. (2008). De gustibus est disputandum! Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 152, 7-24.

    Abstract

    There are two core phenomena which any empirical investigation of beauty must account for: the existence of aesthetical experience, and the enormous variability of this experience across times, cultures, people. Hence, it would seem a hopeless enterprise to determine ‘the very nature’ of beauty, and in fact, none of the many attempts from the Antiquity to present days found general acceptance. But what we should be able to investigate and understand is how properties of people, for example their varying cultural experiences, are correlated with the properties of objects which we evaluate. Beauty is neither only in the eye of the observer nor only in the objects which it sees - it is in the way in which specific observers see specific objects.
  • Klein, W. (2008). Einleitung. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (152), 5-6.
  • Klein, W., & Schnell, R. (2008). Einleitung. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 150, 5-7.
  • Klein, W. (2008). Time in language, language in time. Language Learning, 58(suppl. 1), 1-12. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2008.00457.x.
  • Kuperman, V., Ernestus, M., & Baayen, R. H. (2008). Frequency distributions of uniphones, diphones, and triphones in spontaneous speech. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 124(6), 3897-3908. doi:10.1121/1.3006378.

    Abstract

    This paper explores the relationship between the acoustic duration of phonemic sequences and their frequencies of occurrence. The data were obtained from large (sub)corpora of spontaneous speech in Dutch, English, German, and Italian. Acoustic duration of an n-phone is shown to codetermine the n-phone's frequency of use, such that languages preferentially use diphones and triphones that are neither very long nor very short. The observed distributions are well approximated by a theoretical function that quantifies the concurrent action of the self-regulatory processes of minimization of articulatory effort and minimization of perception effort
  • Ladd, D. R., Dediu, D., & Kinsella, A. R. (2008). Reply to Bowles (2008). Biolinguistics, 2(2), 256-259.
  • Ladd, D. R., Dediu, D., & Kinsella, A. R. (2008). Languages and genes: reflections on biolinguistics and the nature-nurture question. Biolinguistics, 2(1), 114-126. Retrieved from http://www.biolinguistics.eu/index.php/biolinguistics/issue/view/7/showToc.
  • de Lange, F. P., Spronk, M., Willems, R. M., Toni, I., & Bekkering, H. (2008). Complementary systems for understanding action intentions. Current Biology, 18, 454-457. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.02.057.

    Abstract

    How humans understand the intention of others’ actions remains controversial. Some authors have suggested that intentions are recognized by means of a motor simulation of the observed action with the mirror-neuron system [1–3]. Others emphasize that intention recognition is an inferential process, often called ‘‘mentalizing’’ or employing a ‘‘theory of mind,’’ which activates areas well outside the motor system [4–6]. Here, we assessed the contribution of brain regions involved in motor simulation and mentalizing for understanding action intentions via functional brain imaging. Results show that the inferior frontal gyrus (part of the mirror-neuron system) processes the intentionality of an observed action on the basis of the visual properties of the action, irrespective of whether the subject paid attention to the intention or not. Conversely, brain areas that are part of a ‘‘mentalizing’’ network become active when subjects reflect about the intentionality of an observed action, but they are largely insensitive to the visual properties of the observed action. This supports the hypothesis that motor simulation and mentalizing have distinct but complementary functions for the recognition of others’ intentions.
  • De Lange, F. P., Koers, A., Kalkman, J. S., Bleijenberg, G., Hagoort, P., Van der Meer, J. W. M., & Toni, I. (2008). Increase in prefrontal cortical volume following cognitive behavioural therapy in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Brain, 131, 2172-2180. doi:10.1093/brain/awn140.

    Abstract

    Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disabling disorder, characterized by persistent or relapsing fatigue. Recent studies have detected a decrease in cortical grey matter volume in patients with CFS, but it is unclear whether this cerebral atrophy constitutes a cause or a consequence of the disease. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an effective behavioural intervention for CFS, which combines a rehabilitative approach of a graded increase in physical activity with a psychological approach that addresses thoughts and beliefs about CFS which may impair recovery. Here, we test the hypothesis that cerebral atrophy may be a reversible state that can ameliorate with successful CBT. We have quantified cerebral structural changes in 22 CFS patients that underwent CBT and 22 healthy control participants. At baseline, CFS patients had significantly lower grey matter volume than healthy control participants. CBT intervention led to a significant improvement in health status, physical activity and cognitive performance. Crucially, CFS patients showed a significant increase in grey matter volume, localized in the lateral prefrontal cortex. This change in cerebral volume was related to improvements in cognitive speed in the CFS patients. Our findings indicate that the cerebral atrophy associated with CFS is partially reversed after effective CBT. This result provides an example of macroscopic cortical plasticity in the adult human brain, demonstrating a surprisingly dynamic relation between behavioural state and cerebral anatomy. Furthermore, our results reveal a possible neurobiological substrate of psychotherapeutic treatment.
  • Lawson, D., Jordan, F., & Magid, K. (2008). On sex and suicide bombing: An evaluation of Kanazawa’s ‘evolutionary psychological imagination’. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 6(1), 73-84. doi:10.1556/JEP.2008.1002.

    Abstract

    Kanazawa (2007) proposes the ‘evolutionary psychological imagination’ (p.7) as an authoritative framework for understanding complex social and public issues. As a case study of this approach, Kanazawa addresses acts of international terrorism, specifically suicide bombings committed by Muslim men. It is proposed that a comprehensive explanation of such acts can be gained from taking an evolutionary perspective armed with only three points of cultural knowledge: 1. Muslims are exceptionally polygynous, 2. Muslim men believe they will gain reproductive access to 72 virgins if they die as a martyr and 3. Muslim men have limited access to pornography, which might otherwise relieve the tension built up from intra-sexual competition. We agree with Kanazawa that evolutionary models of human behaviour can contribute to our understanding of even the most complex social issues. However, Kanazawa’s case study, of what he refers to as ‘World War III’, rests on a flawed theoretical argument, lacks empirical backing, and holds little in the way of explanatory power.
  • 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.

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