Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 157
  • Ambridge, B., Rowland, C. F., Theakston, A. L., & Tomasello, M. (2006). Comparing different accounts of inversion errors in children's non-subject wh-questions: ‘What experimental data can tell us?’. Journal of Child Language, 33(3), 519-557. doi:10.1017/S0305000906007513.

    Abstract

    This study investigated different accounts of children's acquisition of non-subject wh-questions. Questions using each of 4 wh-words (what, who, how and why), and 3 auxiliaries (BE, DO and CAN) in 3sg and 3pl form were elicited from 28 children aged 3;6–4;6. Rates of non-inversion error (Who she is hitting?) were found not to differ by wh-word, auxiliary or number alone, but by lexical auxiliary subtype and by wh-word+lexical auxiliary combination. This finding counts against simple rule-based accounts of question acquisition that include no role for the lexical subtype of the auxiliary, and suggests that children may initially acquire wh-word+lexical auxiliary combinations from the input. For DO questions, auxiliary-doubling errors (What does she does like?) were also observed, although previous research has found that such errors are virtually non-existent for positive questions. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed.
  • Baayen, R. H., Feldman, L. B., & Schreuder, R. (2006). Morphological influences on the recognition of monosyllabic monomorphemic words. Journal of Memory and Language, 55(2), 290-313. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2006.03.008.

    Abstract

    Balota et al. [Balota, D., Cortese, M., Sergent-Marshall, S., Spieler, D., & Yap, M. (2004). Visual word recognition for single-syllable words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 283–316] studied lexical processing in word naming and lexical decision using hierarchical multiple regression techniques for a large data set of monosyllabic, morphologically simple words. The present study supplements their work by making use of more flexible regression techniques that are better suited for dealing with collinearity and non-linearity, and by documenting the contributions of several variables that they did not take into account. In particular, we included measures of morphological connectivity, as well as a new frequency count, the frequency of a word in speech rather than in writing. The morphological measures emerged as strong predictors in visual lexical decision, but not in naming, providing evidence for the importance of morphological connectivity even for the recognition of morphologically simple words. Spoken frequency was predictive not only for naming but also for visual lexical decision. In addition, it co-determined subjective frequency estimates and norms for age of acquisition. Finally, we show that frequency predominantly reflects conceptual familiarity rather than familiarity with a word’s form.
  • Bock, K., Butterfield, S., Cutler, A., Cutting, J. C., Eberhard, K. M., & Humphreys, K. R. (2006). Number agreement in British and American English: Disagreeing to agree collectively. Language, 82(1), 64-113.

    Abstract

    British andAmerican speakers exhibit different verb number agreement patterns when sentence subjects have collective headnouns. From linguistic andpsycholinguistic accounts of how agreement is implemented, three alternative hypotheses can be derived to explain these differences. The hypotheses involve variations in the representation of notional number, disparities in how notional andgrammatical number are used, and inequalities in the grammatical number specifications of collective nouns. We carriedout a series of corpus analyses, production experiments, andnorming studies to test these hypotheses. The results converge to suggest that British and American speakers are equally sensitive to variations in notional number andimplement subjectverb agreement in much the same way, but are likely to differ in the lexical specifications of number for collectives. The findings support a psycholinguistic theory that explains verb and pronoun agreement within a parallel architecture of lexical andsyntactic formulation.
  • Bod, R., Fitz, H., & Zuidema, W. (2006). On the structural ambiguity in natural language that the neural architecture cannot deal with [Commentary]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 29, 71-72. doi:10.1017/S0140525X06239025.

    Abstract

    We argue that van der Velde's & de Kamps's model does not solve the binding problem but merely shifts the burden of constructing appropriate neural representations of sentence structure to unexplained preprocessing of the linguistic input. As a consequence, their model is not able to explain how various neural representations can be assigned to sentences that are structurally ambiguous.
  • Bowerman, M. (1974). Learning the structure of causative verbs: A study in the relationship of cognitive, semantic, and syntactic development. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, 8, 142-178.
  • Braun, B., Kochanski, G., Grabe, E., & Rosner, B. S. (2006). Evidence for attractors in English intonation. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 119(6), 4006-4015. doi:10.1121/1.2195267.

    Abstract

    Although the pitch of the human voice is continuously variable, some linguists contend that intonation in speech is restricted to a small, limited set of patterns. This claim is tested by asking subjects to mimic a block of 100 randomly generated intonation contours and then to imitate themselves in several successive sessions. The produced f0 contours gradually converge towards a limited set of distinct, previously recognized basic English intonation patterns. These patterns are "attractors" in the space of possible intonation English contours. The convergence does not occur immediately. Seven of the ten participants show continued convergence toward their attractors after the first iteration. Subjects retain and use information beyond phonological contrasts, suggesting that intonational phonology is not a complete description of their mental representation of intonation.
  • Braun, B. (2006). Phonetics and phonology of thematic contrast in German. Language and Speech, 49(4), 451-493.

    Abstract

    It is acknowledged that contrast plays an important role in understanding discourse and information structure. While it is commonly assumed that contrast can be marked by intonation only, our understanding of the intonational realization of contrast is limited. For German there is mainly introspective evidence that the rising theme accent (or topic accent) is realized differently when signaling contrast than when not. In this article, the acoustic basis for the reported impressionistic differences is investigated in terms of the scaling (height) and alignment (positioning) of tonal targets. Subjects read target sentences in a contrastive and a noncontrastive context (Experiment 1). Prosodic annotation revealed that thematic accents were not realized with different accent types in the two contexts but acoustic comparison showed that themes in contrastive context exhibited a higher and later peak. The alignment and scaling of accents can hence be controlled in a linguistically meaningful way, which has implications for intonational phonology. In Experiment 2, nonlinguists' perception of a subset of the production data was assessed. They had to choose whether, in a contrastive context, the presumed contrastive or noncontrastive realization of a sentence was more appropriate. For some sentence pairs only, subjects had a clear preference. For Experiment 3, a group of linguists annotated the thematic accents of the contrastive and noncontrastive versions of the same data as used in Experiment 2. There was considerable disagreement in labels, but different accent types were consistently used when the two versions differed strongly in F0 excursion. Although themes in contrastive contexts were clearly produced differently than themes in noncontrastive contexts, this difference is not easily perceived or annotated.
  • Broeder, D., & Wittenburg, P. (2006). The IMDI metadata framework, its current application and future direction. International Journal of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies, 1(2), 119-132. doi:10.1504/IJMSO.2006.011008.

    Abstract

    The IMDI Framework offers next to a suitable set of metadata descriptors for language resources, a set of tools and an infrastructure to use these. This paper gives an overview of all these aspects and at the end describes the intentions and hopes for ensuring the interoperability of the IMDI framework within more general ones in development. An evaluation of the current state of the IMDI Framework is presented with an analysis of the benefits and more problematic issues. Finally we describe work on issues of long-term stability for IMDI by linking up to the work done within the ISO TC37/SC4 subcommittee (TC37/SC4).
  • Broeder, D., Auer, E., & Wittenburg, P. (2006). Unique resource identifiers. Language Archive Newsletter, no. 8, 8-9.
  • Broersma, M., & De Bot, K. (2006). Triggered codeswitching: A corpus-based evaluation of the original triggering hypothesis and a new alternative. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 9(1), 1-13. doi:10.1017/S1366728905002348.

    Abstract

    In this article the triggering hypothesis for codeswitching proposed by Michael Clyne is discussed and tested. According to this hypothesis, cognates can facilitate codeswitching of directly preceding or following words. It is argued that the triggering hypothesis in its original form is incompatible with language production models, as it assumes that language choice takes place at the surface structure of utterances, while in bilingual production models language choice takes place along with lemma selection. An adjusted version of the triggering hypothesis is proposed in which triggering takes place during lemma selection and the scope of triggering is extended to basic units in language production. Data from a Dutch–Moroccan Arabic corpus are used for a statistical test of the original and the adjusted triggering theory. The codeswitching patterns found in the data support part of the original triggering hypothesis, but they are best explained by the adjusted triggering theory.
  • Brown, P. (2006). Language, culture and cognition: The view from space. Zeitschrift für Germanistische Linguistik, 34, 64-86.

    Abstract

    This paper addresses the vexed questions of how language relates to culture, and what kind of notion of culture is important for linguistic explanation. I first sketch five perspectives - five different construals - of culture apparent in linguistics and in cognitive science more generally. These are: (i) culture as ethno-linguistic group, (ii) culture as a mental module, (iii) culture as knowledge, (iv) culture as context, and (v) culture as a process emergent in interaction. I then present my own work on spatial language and cognition in a Mayan languge and culture, to explain why I believe a concept of culture is important for linguistics. I argue for a core role for cultural explanation in two domains: in analysing the semantics of words embedded in cultural practices which color their meanings (in this case, spatial frames of reference), and in characterizing thematic and functional links across different domains in the social and semiotic life of a particular group of people.
  • Burenhult, N. (2006). Body part terms in Jahai. Language Sciences, 28(2-3), 162-180. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2005.11.002.

    Abstract

    This article explores the lexicon of body part terms in Jahai, a Mon-Khmer language spoken by a group of hunter–gatherers in the Malay Peninsula. It provides an extensive inventory of body part terms and describes their structural and semantic properties. The Jahai body part lexicon pays attention to fine anatomical detail but lacks labels for major, ‘higher-level’ categories, like ‘trunk’, ‘limb’, ‘arm’ and ‘leg’. In this lexicon it is therefore sometimes difficult to discern a clear partonomic hierarchy, a presumed universal of body part terminology.
  • Carlsson, K., Andersson, J., Petrovic, P., Petersson, K. M., Öhman, A., & Ingvar, M. (2006). Predictability modulates the affective and sensory-discriminative neural processing of pain. NeuroImage, 32(4), 1804-1814. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.05.027.

    Abstract

    Knowing what is going to happen next, that is, the capacity to predict upcoming events, modulates the extent to which aversive stimuli induce stress and anxiety. We explored this issue by manipulating the temporal predictability of aversive events by means of a visual cue, which was either correlated or uncorrelated with pain stimuli (electric shocks). Subjects reported lower levels of anxiety, negative valence and pain intensity when shocks were predictable. In addition to attenuate focus on danger, predictability allows for correct temporal estimation of, and selective attention to, the sensory input. With functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found that predictability was related to enhanced activity in relevant sensory-discriminative processing areas, such as the primary and secondary sensory cortex and posterior insula. In contrast, the unpredictable more aversive context was correlated to brain activity in the anterior insula and the orbitofrontal cortex, areas associated with affective pain processing. This context also prompted increased activity in the posterior parietal cortex and lateral prefrontal cortex that we attribute to enhanced alertness and sustained attention during unpredictability.
  • Carota, F. (2006). Derivational morphology of Italian: Principles for formalization. Literary and Linguistic Computing, 21(SUPPL. 1), 41-53. doi:10.1093/llc/fql007.

    Abstract

    The present paper investigates the major derivational strategies underlying the formation of suffixed words in Italian, with the purpose of tackling the issue of their formalization. After having specified the theoretical cognitive premises that orient the work, the interacting component modules of the suffixation process, i.e. morphonology, morphotactics and affixal semantics, are explored empirically, by drawing ample naturally occurring data on a Corpus of written Italian. A special attention is paid to the semantic mechanisms that are involved into suffixation. Some semantic nuclei are identified for the major suffixed word types of Italian, which are due to word formation rules active at the synchronic level, and a semantic configuration of productive suffixes is suggested. A general framework is then sketched, which combines classical finite-state methods with a feature unification-based word grammar. More specifically, the semantic information specified for the affixal material is internalised into the structures of the Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG). The formal model allows us to integrate the various modules of suffixation. In particular, it treats, on the one hand, the interface between morphonology/morphotactics and semantics and, on the other hand, the interface between suffixation and inflection. Furthermore, since LFG exploits a hierarchically organised lexicon in order to structure the information regarding the affixal material, affixal co-selectional restrictions are advatageously constrained, avoiding potential multiple spurious analysis/generations.
  • Cho, T., & McQueen, J. M. (2006). Phonological versus phonetic cues in native and non-native listening: Korean and Dutch listeners' perception of Dutch and English consonants. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 119(5), 3085-3096. doi:10.1121/1.2188917.

    Abstract

    We investigated how listeners of two unrelated languages, Korean and Dutch, process phonologically viable and nonviable consonants spoken in Dutch and American English. To Korean listeners, released final stops are nonviable because word-final stops in Korean are never released in words spoken in isolation, but to Dutch listeners, unreleased word-final stops are nonviable because word-final stops in Dutch are generally released in words spoken in isolation. Two phoneme monitoring experiments showed a phonological effect on both Dutch and English stimuli: Korean listeners detected the unreleased stops more rapidly whereas Dutch listeners detected the released stops more rapidly and/or more accurately. The Koreans, however, detected released stops more accurately than unreleased stops, but only in the non-native language they were familiar with (English). The results suggest that, in non-native speech perception, phonological legitimacy in the native language can be more important than the richness of phonetic information, though familiarity with phonetic detail in the non-native language can also improve listening performance.
  • Cholin, J., Levelt, W. J. M., & Schiller, N. O. (2006). Effects of syllable frequency in speech production. Cognition, 99, 205-235. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2005.01.009.

    Abstract

    In the speech production model proposed by [Levelt, W. J. M., Roelofs, A., Meyer, A. S. (1999). A theory of lexical access in speech production. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, pp. 1-75.], syllables play a crucial role at the interface of phonological and phonetic encoding. At this interface, abstract phonological syllables are translated into phonetic syllables. It is assumed that this translation process is mediated by a so-called Mental Syllabary. Rather than constructing the motor programs for each syllable on-line, the mental syllabary is hypothesized to provide pre-compiled gestural scores for the articulators. In order to find evidence for such a repository, we investigated syllable-frequency effects: If the mental syllabary consists of retrievable representations corresponding to syllables, then the retrieval process should be sensitive to frequency differences. In a series of experiments using a symbol-position association learning task, we tested whether highfrequency syllables are retrieved and produced faster compared to low-frequency syllables. We found significant syllable frequency effects with monosyllabic pseudo-words and disyllabic pseudo-words in which the first syllable bore the frequency manipulation; no effect was found when the frequency manipulation was on the second syllable. The implications of these results for the theory of word form encoding at the interface of phonological and phonetic encoding; especially with respect to the access mechanisms to the mental syllabary in the speech production model by (Levelt et al.) are discussed.
  • Cronin, K. A., Mitchell, M. A., Lonsdorf, E. V., & Thompson, S. D. (2006). One year later: Evaluation of PMC-Recommended births and transfers. Zoo Biology, 25, 267-277. doi:10.1002/zoo.20100.

    Abstract

    To meet their exhibition, conservation, education, and scientific goals, members of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) collaborate to manage their living collections as single species populations. These cooperative population management programs, Species Survival Planss (SSP) and Population Management Plans (PMP), issue specimen-by-specimen recommendations aimed at perpetuating captive populations by maintaining genetic diversity and demographic stability. Species Survival Plans and PMPs differ in that SSP participants agree to complete recommendations, whereas PMP participants need only take recommendations under advisement. We evaluated the effect of program type and the number of participating institutions on the success of actions recommended by the Population Management Center (PMC): transfers of specimens between institutions, breeding, and target number of offspring. We analyzed AZA studbook databases for the occurrence of recommended or unrecommended transfers and births during the 1-year period after the distribution of standard AZA Breeding-and-Transfer Plans. We had three major findings: 1) on average, both SSPs and PMPs fell about 25% short of their target; however, as the number of participating institutions increased so too did the likelihood that programs met or exceeded their target; 2) SSPs exhibited significantly greater transfer success than PMPs, although transfer success for both program types was below 50%; and 3) SSPs exhibited significantly greater breeding success than PMPs, although breeding success for both program types was below 20%. Together, these results indicate that the science and sophistication behind genetic and demographic management of captive populations may be compromised by the challenges of implementation.
  • Cutler, A., Weber, A., & Otake, T. (2006). Asymmetric mapping from phonetic to lexical representations in second-language listening. Journal of Phonetics, 34(2), 269-284. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2005.06.002.

    Abstract

    The mapping of phonetic information to lexical representations in second-language (L2) listening was examined using an eyetracking paradigm. Japanese listeners followed instructions in English to click on pictures in a display. When instructed to click on a picture of a rocket, they experienced interference when a picture of a locker was present, that is, they tended to look at the locker instead. However, when instructed to click on the locker, they were unlikely to look at the rocket. This asymmetry is consistent with a similar asymmetry previously observed in Dutch listeners’ mapping of English vowel contrasts to lexical representations. The results suggest that L2 listeners may maintain a distinction between two phonetic categories of the L2 in their lexical representations, even though their phonetic processing is incapable of delivering the perceptual discrimination required for correct mapping to the lexical distinction. At the phonetic processing level, one of the L2 categories is dominant; the present results suggest that dominance is determined by acoustic–phonetic proximity to the nearest L1 category. At the lexical processing level, representations containing this dominant category are more likely than representations containing the non-dominant category to be correctly contacted by the phonetic input.
  • Davidson, D. J. (2006). Strategies for longitudinal neurophysiology [commentary on Osterhout et al.]. Language Learning, 56(suppl. 1), 231-234. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2006.00362.x.
  • Desmet, T., De Baecke, C., Drieghe, D., Brysbaert, M., & Vonk, W. (2006). Relative clause attachment in Dutch: On-line comprehension corresponds to corpus frequencies when lexical variables are taken into account. Language and Cognitive Processes, 21(4), 453-485. doi:10.1080/01690960400023485.

    Abstract

    Desmet, Brysbaert, and De Baecke (2002a) showed that the production of relative clauses following two potential attachment hosts (e.g., ‘Someone shot the servant of the actress who was on the balcony’) was influenced by the animacy of the first host. These results were important because they refuted evidence from Dutch against experience-based accounts of syntactic ambiguity resolution, such as the tuning hypothesis. However, Desmet et al. did not provide direct evidence in favour of tuning, because their study focused on production and did not include reading experiments. In the present paper this line of research was extended. A corpus analysis and an eye-tracking experiment revealed that when taking into account lexical properties of the NP host sites (i.e., animacy and concreteness) the frequency pattern and the on-line comprehension of the relative clause attachment ambiguity do correspond. The implications for exposure-based accounts of sentence processing are discussed.
  • Drude, S. (2006). Documentação lingüística: O formato de anotação de textos. Cadernos de Estudos Lingüísticos, 35, 27-51.

    Abstract

    This paper presents the methods of language documentation as applied in the Awetí Language Documentation Project, one of the projects in the Documentation of Endangered Languages Programme (DOBES). It describes the steps of how a large digital corpus of annotated multi-media data is built. Special attention is devoted to the format of annotation of linguistic data. The Advanced Glossing format is presented and justified
  • Dunn, M. (2006). [Review of the book Comparative Chukotko-Kamchatkan dictionary by Michael Fortescue]. Anthropological Linguistics, 48(3), 296-298.
  • Eisner, F., & McQueen, J. M. (2006). Perceptual learning in speech: Stability over time (L). Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 119(4), 1950-1953. doi:10.1121/1.2178721.

    Abstract

    Perceptual representations of phonemes are flexible and adapt rapidly to accommodate idiosyncratic articulation in the speech of a particular talker. This letter addresses whether such adjustments remain stable over time and under exposure to other talkers. During exposure to a story, listeners learned to interpret an ambiguous sound as [f] or [s]. Perceptual adjustments measured after 12 h were as robust as those measured immediately after learning. Equivalent effects were found when listeners heard speech from other talkers in the 12 h interval, and when they had the opportunity to consolidate learning during sleep.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2006). [Review of the book A grammar of Semelai by Nicole Kruspe]. Linguistic Typology, 10(3), 452-455. doi:10.1515/LINGTY.2006.014.
  • Enfield, N. J., Majid, A., & Van Staden, M. (2006). Cross-linguistic categorisation of the body: Introduction. Language Sciences, 28(2-3), 137-147. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2005.11.001.

    Abstract

    The domain of the human body is an ideal focus for semantic typology, since the body is a physical universal and all languages have terms referring to its parts. Previous research on body part terms has depended on secondary sources (e.g. dictionaries), and has lacked sufficient detail or clarity for a thorough understanding of these terms’ semantics. The present special issue is the outcome of a collaborative project aimed at improving approaches to investigating the semantics of body part terms, by developing materials to elicit information that provides for cross-linguistic comparison. The articles in this volume are original fieldwork-based descriptions of terminology for parts of the body in ten languages. Also included are an elicitation guide and experimental protocol used in gathering data. The contributions provide inventories of body part terms in each language, with analysis of both intensional and extensional aspects of meaning, differences in morphological complexity, semantic relations among terms, and discussion of partonomic structure within the domain.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2006). Elicitation guide on parts of the body. Language Sciences, 28(2-3), 148-157. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2005.11.003.

    Abstract

    This document is intended for use as an elicitation guide for the field linguist consulting with native speakers in collecting terms for parts of the body, and in the exploration of their semantics.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2006). Languages as historical documents: The endangered archive in Laos. South East Asia Research, 14(3), 471-488.

    Abstract

    Abstract: This paper reviews current discussion of the issue of just what is lost when a language dies. Special reference is made to the current situation in Laos, a country renowned for its considerable cultural and linguistic diversity. It focuses on the historical, anthropological and ecological knowledge that a language can encode, and the social and cultural consequences of the loss of such traditional knowledge when a language is no longer passed on. Finally, the article points out the paucity of studies and obstacles to field research on minority languages in Laos, which seriously hamper their documentation.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2006). Lao body part terms. Language Sciences, 28(2-3), 181-200. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2005.11.011.

    Abstract

    This article presents a description of nominal expressions for parts of the human body conventionalised in Lao, a Southwestern Tai language spoken in Laos, Northeast Thailand, and Northeast Cambodia. An inventory of around 170 Lao expressions is listed, with commentary where some notability is determined, usually based on explicit comparison to the metalanguage, English. Notes on aspects of the grammatical and semantic structure of the set of body part terms are provided, including a discussion of semantic relations pertaining among members of the set of body part terms. I conclude that the semantic relations which pertain between terms for different parts of the body not only include part/whole relations, but also relations of location, connectedness, and general association. Calling the whole system a ‘partonomy’ attributes greater centrality to the part/whole relation than is warranted.
  • Ernestus, M., Lahey, M., Verhees, F., & Baayen, R. H. (2006). Lexical frequency and voice assimilation. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 120(2), 1040-1051. doi:10.1121/1.2211548.

    Abstract

    Acoustic duration and degree of vowel reduction are known to correlate with a word’s frequency of occurrence. The present study broadens the research on the role of frequency in speech production to voice assimilation. The test case was regressive voice assimilation in Dutch. Clusters from a corpus of read speech were more often perceived as unassimilated in lower-frequency words and as either completely voiced regressive assimilation or, unexpectedly, as completely voiceless progressive assimilation in higher-frequency words. Frequency did not predict the voice classifications over and above important acoustic cues to voicing, suggesting that the frequency effects on the classifications were carried exclusively by the acoustic signal. The duration of the cluster and the period of glottal vibration during the cluster decreased while the duration of the release noises increased with frequency. This indicates that speakers reduce articulatory effort for higher-frequency words, with some acoustic cues signaling more voicing and others less voicing. A higher frequency leads not only to acoustic reduction but also to more assimilation.
  • Ernestus, M. (2006). Statistically gradient generalizations for contrastive phonological features. The Linguistic Review, 23(3), 217-233. doi:10.1515/TLR.2006.008.

    Abstract

    In mainstream phonology, contrastive properties, like stem-final voicing, are simply listed in the lexicon. This article reviews experimental evidence that such contrastive properties may be predictable to some degree and that the relevant statistically gradient generalizations form an inherent part of the grammar. The evidence comes from the underlying voice specification of stem-final obstruents in Dutch. Contrary to received wisdom, this voice specification is partly predictable from the obstruent’s manner and place of articulation and from the phonological properties of the preceding segments. The degree of predictability, which depends on the exact contents of the lexicon, directs speakers’ guesses of underlying voice specifications. Moreover, existing words that disobey the generalizations are disadvantaged by being recognized and produced more slowly and less accurately, also under natural conditions.We discuss how these observations can be accounted for in two types of different approaches to grammar, Stochastic Optimality Theory and exemplar-based modeling.
  • Fisher, S. E., & Francks, C. (2006). Genes, cognition and dyslexia: Learning to read the genome. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10, 250-257. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2006.04.003.

    Abstract

    Studies of dyslexia provide vital insights into the cognitive architecture underpinning both disordered and normal reading. It is well established that inherited factors contribute to dyslexia susceptibility, but only very recently has evidence emerged to implicate specific candidate genes. In this article, we provide an accessible overview of four prominent examples--DYX1C1, KIAA0319, DCDC2 and ROBO1--and discuss their relevance for cognition. In each case correlations have been found between genetic variation and reading impairments, but precise risk variants remain elusive. Although none of these genes is specific to reading-related neuronal circuits, or even to the human brain, they have intriguing roles in neuronal migration or connectivity. Dissection of cognitive mechanisms that subserve reading will ultimately depend on an integrated approach, uniting data from genetic investigations, behavioural studies and neuroimaging.
  • Fisher, S. E. (2006). Tangled webs: Tracing the connections between genes and cognition. Cognition, 101, 270-297. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2006.04.004.

    Abstract

    The rise of molecular genetics is having a pervasive influence in a wide variety of fields, including research into neurodevelopmental disorders like dyslexia, speech and language impairments, and autism. There are many studies underway which are attempting to determine the roles of genetic factors in the aetiology of these disorders. Beyond the obvious implications for diagnosis, treatment and understanding, success in these efforts promises to shed light on the links between genes and aspects of cognition and behaviour. However, the deceptive simplicity of finding correlations between genetic and phenotypic variation has led to a common misconception that there exist straightforward linear relationships between specific genes and particular behavioural and/or cognitive outputs. The problem is exacerbated by the adoption of an abstract view of the nature of the gene, without consideration of molecular, developmental or ontogenetic frameworks. To illustrate the limitations of this perspective, I select two cases from recent research into the genetic underpinnings of neurodevelopmental disorders. First, I discuss the proposal that dyslexia can be dissected into distinct components specified by different genes. Second, I review the story of the FOXP2 gene and its role in human speech and language. In both cases, adoption of an abstract concept of the gene can lead to erroneous conclusions, which are incompatible with current knowledge of molecular and developmental systems. Genes do not specify behaviours or cognitive processes; they make regulatory factors, signalling molecules, receptors, enzymes, and so on, that interact in highly complex networks, modulated by environmental influences, in order to build and maintain the brain. I propose that it is necessary for us to fully embrace the complexity of biological systems, if we are ever to untangle the webs that link genes to cognition.
  • Fisher, S. E., & Marcus, G. (2006). The eloquent ape: Genes, brains and the evolution of language. Nature Reviews Genetics, 7, 9-20. doi:10.1038/nrg1747.

    Abstract

    The human capacity to acquire complex language seems to be without parallel in the natural world. The origins of this remarkable trait have long resisted adequate explanation, but advances in fields that range from molecular genetics to cognitive neuroscience offer new promise. Here we synthesize recent developments in linguistics, psychology and neuroimaging with progress in comparative genomics, gene-expression profiling and studies of developmental disorders. We argue that language should be viewed not as a wholesale innovation, but as a complex reconfiguration of ancestral systems that have been adapted in evolutionarily novel ways.
  • Forkstam, C., Hagoort, P., Fernandez, G., Ingvar, M., & Petersson, K. M. (2006). Neural correlates of artificial syntactic structure classification. NeuroImage, 32(2), 956-967. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.03.057.

    Abstract

    The human brain supports acquisition mechanisms that extract structural regularities implicitly from experience without the induction of an explicit model. It has been argued that the capacity to generalize to new input is based on the acquisition of abstract representations, which reflect underlying structural regularities in the input ensemble. In this study, we explored the outcome of this acquisition mechanism, and to this end, we investigated the neural correlates of artificial syntactic classification using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging. The participants engaged once a day during an 8-day period in a short-term memory acquisition task in which consonant-strings generated from an artificial grammar were presented in a sequential fashion without performance feedback. They performed reliably above chance on the grammaticality classification tasks on days 1 and 8 which correlated with a corticostriatal processing network, including frontal, cingulate, inferior parietal, and middle occipital/occipitotemporal regions as well as the caudate nucleus. Part of the left inferior frontal region (BA 45) was specifically related to syntactic violations and showed no sensitivity to local substring familiarity. In addition, the head of the caudate nucleus correlated positively with syntactic correctness on day 8 but not day 1, suggesting that this region contributes to an increase in cognitive processing fluency.
  • Gaby, A. R. (2006). The Thaayorre 'true man': Lexicon of the human body in an Australian language. Language Sciences, 28(2-3), 201-220. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2005.11.006.

    Abstract

    Segmentation (and, indeed, definition) of the human body in Kuuk Thaayorre (a Paman language of Cape York Peninsula, Australia) is in some respects typologically unusual, while at other times it conforms to cross-linguistic patterns. The process of deriving complex body part terms from monolexemic items is revealing of metaphorical associations between parts of the body. Associations between parts of the body and entities and phenomena in the broader environment are evidenced by the ubiquity of body part terms (in their extended uses) throughout Thaayorre speech. Understanding the categorisation of the body is therefore prerequisite to understanding the Thaayorre language and worldview.
  • Ganushchak, L. Y., & Schiller, N. (2006). Effects of time pressure on verbal self-monitoring: An ERP study. Brain Research, 1125, 104-115. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2006.09.096.

    Abstract

    The Error-Related Negativity (ERN) is a component of the event-related brain potential (ERP) that is associated with action monitoring and error detection. The present study addressed the question whether or not an ERN occurs after verbal error detection, e.g., during phoneme monitoring.We obtained an ERN following verbal errors which showed a typical decrease in amplitude under severe time pressure. This result demonstrates that the functioning of the verbal self-monitoring system is comparable to other performance monitoring, such as action monitoring. Furthermore, we found that participants made more errors in phoneme monitoring under time pressure than in a control condition. This may suggest that time pressure decreases the amount of resources available to a capacity-limited self-monitor thereby leading to more errors.
  • Gullberg, M. (2006). Handling discourse: Gestures, reference tracking, and communication strategies in early L2. Language Learning, 56(1), 155-196. doi:10.1111/j.0023-8333.2006.00344.x.

    Abstract

    The production of cohesive discourse, especially maintained reference, poses problems for early second language (L2) speakers. This paper considers a communicative account of overexplicit L2 discourse by focusing on the interdependence between spoken and gestural cohesion, the latter being expressed by anchoring of referents in gesture space. Specifically, this study investigates whether overexplicit maintained reference in speech (lexical noun phrases [NPs]) and gesture (anaphoric gestures) constitutes an interactional communication strategy. We examine L2 speech and gestures of 16 Dutch learners of French retelling stories to addressees under two visibility conditions. The results indicate that the overexplicit properties of L2 speech are not motivated by interactional strategic concerns. The results for anaphoric gestures are more complex. Although their presence is not interactionally
  • Gullberg, M., & Ozyurek, A. (2006). Report on the Nijmegen Lectures 2004: Susan Goldin-Meadow 'The Many Faces of Gesture'. Gesture, 6(1), 151-164.
  • Gullberg, M. (2006). Some reasons for studying gesture and second language acquisition (Hommage à Adam Kendon). International Review of Applied Linguistics, 44(2), 103-124. doi:10.1515/IRAL.2006.004.

    Abstract

    This paper outlines some reasons for why gestures are relevant to the study of SLA. First, given cross-cultural and cross-linguistic gestural repertoires, gestures can be treated as part of what learners can acquire in a target language. Gestures can therefore be studied as a developing system in their own right both in L2 production and comprehension. Second, because of the close link between gestures, language, and speech, learners' gestures as deployed in L2 usage and interaction can offer valuable insights into the processes of acquisition, such as the handling of expressive difficulties, the influence of the first language, interlanguage phenomena, and possibly even into planning and processing difficulties. As a form of input to learners and to their interlocutors alike, finally, gestures also play a potential role for comprehension and learning.
  • Gullberg, M., & Holmqvist, K. (2006). What speakers do and what addressees look at: Visual attention to gestures in human interaction live and on video. Pragmatics & Cognition, 14(1), 53-82.

    Abstract

    This study investigates whether addressees visually attend to speakers’ gestures in interaction and whether attention is modulated by changes in social setting and display size. We compare a live face-to-face setting to two video conditions. In all conditions, the face dominates as a fixation target and only a minority of gestures draw fixations. The social and size parameters affect gaze mainly when combined and in the opposite direction from the predicted with fewer gestures fixated on video than live. Gestural holds and speakers’ gaze at their own gestures reliably attract addressees’ fixations in all conditions. The attraction force of holds is unaffected by changes in social and size parameters, suggesting a bottom-up response, whereas speaker-fixated gestures draw significantly less attention in both video conditions, suggesting a social effect for overt gaze-following and visual joint attention. The study provides and validates a video-based paradigm enabling further experimental but ecologically valid explorations of cross-modal information processing.
  • Hagoort, P. (2006). Event-related potentials from the user's perspective [Review of the book An introduction to the event-related potential technique by Steven J. Luck]. Nature Neuroscience, 9(4), 463-463. doi:10.1038/nn0406-463.
  • Hagoort, P. (2006). What we cannot learn from neuroanatomy about language learning and language processing [Commentary on Uylings]. Language Learning, 56(suppl. 1), 91-97. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2006.00356.x.
  • Hald, L. A., Bastiaansen, M. C. M., & Hagoort, P. (2006). EEG theta and gamma responses to semantic violations in online sentence processing. Brain and Language, 96(1), 90-105. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2005.06.007.

    Abstract

    We explore the nature of the oscillatory dynamics in the EEG of subjects reading sentences that contain a semantic violation. More specifically, we examine whether increases in theta (≈3–7 Hz) and gamma (around 40 Hz) band power occur in response to sentences that were either semantically correct or contained a semantically incongruent word (semantic violation). ERP results indicated a classical N400 effect. A wavelet-based time-frequency analysis revealed a theta band power increase during an interval of 300–800 ms after critical word onset, at temporal electrodes bilaterally for both sentence conditions, and over midfrontal areas for the semantic violations only. In the gamma frequency band, a predominantly frontal power increase was observed during the processing of correct sentences. This effect was absent following semantic violations. These results provide a characterization of the oscillatory brain dynamics, and notably of both theta and gamma oscillations, that occur during language comprehension.
  • Haun, D. B. M., Rapold, C. J., Call, J., Janzen, G., & Levinson, S. C. (2006). Cognitive cladistics and cultural override in Hominid spatial cognition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(46), 17568-17573. doi:10.1073/pnas.0607999103.

    Abstract

    Current approaches to human cognition often take a strong nativist stance based on Western adult performance, backed up where possible by neonate and infant research and almost never by comparative research across the Hominidae. Recent research suggests considerable cross-cultural differences in cognitive strategies, including relational thinking, a domain where infant research is impossible because of lack of cognitive maturation. Here, we apply the same paradigm across children and adults of different cultures and across all nonhuman great ape genera. We find that both child and adult spatial cognition systematically varies with language and culture but that, nevertheless, there is a clear inherited bias for one spatial strategy in the great apes. It is reasonable to conclude, we argue, that language and culture mask the native tendencies in our species. This cladistic approach suggests that the correct perspective on human cognition is neither nativist uniformitarian nor ‘‘blank slate’’ but recognizes the powerful impact that language and culture can have on our shared primate cognitive biases.
  • Haun, D. B. M., Call, J., Janzen, G., & Levinson, S. C. (2006). Evolutionary psychology of spatial representations in the hominidae. Current Biology, 16(17), 1736-1740. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.07.049.

    Abstract

    Comparatively little is known about the inherited primate background underlying human cognition, the human cognitive “wild-type.” Yet it is possible to trace the evolution of human cognitive abilities and tendencies by contrasting the skills of our nearest cousins, not just chimpanzees, but all the extant great apes, thus showing what we are likely to have inherited from the common ancestor [1]. By looking at human infants early in cognitive development, we can also obtain insights into native cognitive biases in our species [2]. Here, we focus on spatial memory, a central cognitive domain. We show, first, that all nonhuman great apes and 1-year-old human infants exhibit a preference for place over feature strategies for spatial memory. This suggests the common ancestor of all great apes had the same preference. We then examine 3-year-old human children and find that this preference reverses. Thus, the continuity between our species and the other great apes is masked early in human ontogeny. These findings, based on both phylogenetic and ontogenetic contrasts, open up the prospect of a systematic evolutionary psychology resting upon the cladistics of cognitive preferences.
  • Heinemann, T. (2006). Will you or can't you? Displaying entitlement in interrogative requests. Journal of Pragmatics, 38(7), 1081-1104. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2005.09.013.

    Abstract

    Interrogative structures such as ‘Could you pass the salt? and ‘Couldn’t you pass the salt?’ can be used for making requests. A study of such pairs within a conversation analytic framework suggests that these are not used interchangeably, and that they have different impacts on the interaction. Focusing on Danish interactions between elderly care recipients and their home help assistants, I demonstrate how the care recipient displays different degrees of stance towards whether she is entitled to make a request or not, depending on whether she formats her request as a positive or a negative interrogative. With a positive interrogative request, the care recipient orients to her request as one she is not entitled to make. This is underscored by other features, such as the use of mitigating devices and the choice of verb. When accounting for this type of request, the care recipient ties the request to the specific situation she is in, at the moment in which the request is produced. In turn, the home help assistant orients to the lack of entitlement by resisting the request. With a negative interrogative request, the care recipient, in contrast, orients to her request as one she is entitled to make. This is strengthened by the choice of verb and the lack of mitigating devices. When such requests are accounted for, the requested task is treated as something that should be routinely performed, and hence as something the home help assistant has neglected to do. In turn, the home help assistant orients to the display of entitlement by treating the request as unproblematic, and by complying with it immediately.
  • Hoeks, J. C. J., Hendriks, P., Vonk, W., Brown, C. M., & Hagoort, P. (2006). Processing the noun phrase versus sentence coordination ambiguity: Thematic information does not completely eliminate processing difficulty. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59, 1581-1899. doi:10.1080/17470210500268982.

    Abstract

    When faced with the noun phrase (NP) versus sentence (S) coordination ambiguity as in, for example, The thief shot the jeweller and the cop hellip, readers prefer the reading with NP-coordination (e.g., "The thief shot the jeweller and the cop yesterday") over one with two conjoined sentences (e.g., "The thief shot the jeweller and the cop panicked"). A corpus study is presented showing that NP-coordinations are produced far more often than S-coordinations, which in frequency-based accounts of parsing might be taken to explain the NP-coordination preference. In addition, we describe an eye-tracking experiment investigating S-coordinated sentences such as Jasper sanded the board and the carpenter laughed, where the poor thematic fit between carpenter and sanded argues against NP-coordination. Our results indicate that information regarding poor thematic fit was used rapidly, but not without leaving some residual processing difficulty. This is compatible with claims that thematic information can reduce but not completely eliminate garden-path effects.
  • Huettig, F., Quinlan, P. T., McDonald, S. A., & Altmann, G. T. M. (2006). Models of high-dimensional semantic space predict language-mediated eye movements in the visual world. Acta Psychologica, 121(1), 65-80. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2005.06.002.

    Abstract

    In the visual world paradigm, participants are more likely to fixate a visual referent that has some semantic relationship with a heard word, than they are to fixate an unrelated referent [Cooper, R. M. (1974). The control of eye fixation by the meaning of spoken language. A new methodology for the real-time investigation of speech perception, memory, and language processing. Cognitive Psychology, 6, 813–839]. Here, this method is used to examine the psychological validity of models of high-dimensional semantic space. The data strongly suggest that these corpus-based measures of word semantics predict fixation behavior in the visual world and provide further evidence that language-mediated eye movements to objects in the concurrent visual environment are driven by semantic similarity rather than all-or-none categorical knowledge. The data suggest that the visual world paradigm can, together with other methodologies, converge on the evidence that may help adjudicate between different theoretical accounts of the psychological semantics.
  • Indefrey, P. (2006). A meta-analysis of hemodynamic studies on first and second language processing: Which suggested differences can we trust and what do they mean? Language Learning, 56(suppl. 1), 279-304. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2006.00365.x.

    Abstract

    This article presents the results of a meta-analysis of 30 hemodynamic experiments comparing first language (L1) and second language (L2) processing in a range of tasks. The results suggest that reliably stronger activation during L2 processing is found (a) only for task-specific subgroups of L2 speakers and (b) within some, but not all regions that are also typically activated in native language processing. A tentative interpretation based on the functional roles of frontal and temporal regions is suggested.
  • Indefrey, P. (2006). It is time to work toward explicit processing models for native and second language speakers. Journal of Applied Psycholinguistics, 27(1), 66-69. doi:10.1017/S0142716406060103.
  • Indefrey, P., & Gullberg, M. (2006). Introduction. Language Learning, 56(suppl. 1), 1-8. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2006.00352.x.

    Abstract

    This volume is a harvest of articles from the first conference in a series on the cognitive neuroscience of language. The first conference focused on the cognitive neuroscience of second language acquisition (henceforth SLA). It brought together experts from as diverse fields as second language acquisition, bilingualism, cognitive neuroscience, and neuroanatomy. The articles and discussion articles presented here illustrate state-of-the-art findings and represent a wide range of theoretical approaches to classic as well as newer SLA issues. The theoretical themes cover age effects in SLA related to the so-called Critical Period Hypothesis and issues of ultimate attainment and focus both on age effects pertaining to childhood and to aging. Other familiar SLA topics are the effects of proficiency and learning as well as issues concerning the difference between the end product and the process that yields that product, here discussed in terms of convergence and degeneracy. A topic more related to actual usage of a second language once acquired concerns how multilingual speakers control and regulate their two languages.
  • Janse, E. (2006). Auditieve woordherkenning bij afasie: Waarneming van mismatch items. Afasiologie, 28(4), 64-67.
  • Janse, E. (2006). Lexical competition effects in aphasia: Deactivation of lexical candidates in spoken word processing. Brain and Language, 97, 1-11. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2005.06.011.

    Abstract

    Research has shown that Broca’s and Wernicke’s aphasic patients show different impairments in auditory lexical processing. The results of an experiment with form-overlapping primes showed an inhibitory effect of form-overlap for control adults and a weak inhibition trend for Broca’s aphasic patients, but a facilitatory effect of form-overlap was found for Wernicke’s aphasic participants. This suggests that Wernicke’s aphasic patients are mainly impaired in suppression of once-activated word candidates and selection of one winning candidate, which may be related to their problems in auditory language comprehension.
  • Janzen, G. (2006). Memory for object location and route direction in virtual large-scale space. Ouarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59(3), 493-508. doi:10.1080/02724980443000746.

    Abstract

    In everyday life people have to deal with tasks such as finding a novel path to a certain goal location, finding one’s way back, finding a short cut, or making a detour. In all of these tasks people acquire route knowledge. For finding the same way back they have to remember locations of objects like buildings and additionally direction changes. In three experiments using recognition tasks as well as conscious and unconscious spatial priming paradigms memory processes underlying wayfinding behaviour were investigated. Participants learned a route through a virtual environment with objects either placed at intersections (i.e., decision points) where another route could be chosen or placed along the route (non-decision points). Analyses indicate first that objects placed at decision points are recognized faster than other objects. Second, they indicate that the direction in which a route is travelled is represented only at locations that are relevant for wayfinding (e.g., decision points). The results point out the efficient way in which memory for object location and memory for route direction interact.
  • Jones, S., Nyberg, L., Sandblom, J., Stigsdotter Neely, A., Ingvar, M., Petersson, K. M., & Bäckman, L. (2006). Cognitive and neural plasticity in aging: General and task-specific limitations. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 30(6), 864-871. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2006.06.012.

    Abstract

    There is evidence for cognitive as well as neural plasticity across the adult life span, although aging is associated with certain constraints on plasticity. In the current paper, we argue that the age-related reduction in cognitive plasticity may be due to (a) deficits in general processing resources, and (b) failure to engage in task-relevant cognitive operations. Memory-training research suggests that age-related processing deficits (e.g., executive functions, speed) hinder older adults from utilizing mnemonic techniques as efficiently as the young, and that this age difference is reflected by diminished frontal activity during mnemonic use. Additional constraints on memory plasticity in old age are related to difficulties that are specific to the task, such as creating visual images, as well as in binding together the information to be remembered. These deficiencies are paralleled by reduced activity in occipito-parietal and medial–temporal regions, respectively. Future attempts to optimize intervention-related gains in old age should consider targeting both general processing and task-specific origins of age-associated reductions in cognitive plasticity.
  • Kidd, E. (2006). [Review of the book Syntactic carpentry: An emergentist approach to syntax by William O'Grady]. Journal of Child Language, 33(4), 905-910. doi:10.1017/S030500090622782X.
  • Kidd, E., Lieven, E., & Tomasello, M. (2006). Examining the role of lexical frequency in children's acquisition of sentential complements. Cognitive Development, 21(2), 93-107. doi:10.1016/j.cogdev.2006.01.006.

    Abstract

    We present empirical data showing that the relative frequency with which a verb normally appears in a syntactic construction predicts young children's ability to remember and repeat sentences instantiating that construction. Children aged 2;10–5;8 years were asked to repeat grammatical and ungrammatical sentential complement sentences (e.g., ‘I think + S’). The sentences contained complement-taking verbs (CTVs) used with differing frequencies in children's natural speech. All children repeated sentences containing high frequency CTVs (e.g., think) more accurately than those containing low frequency CTVs (e.g., hear), and made more sophisticated corrections to ungrammatical sentences containing high frequency CTVs. The data suggest that, like adults, children are sensitive to lexico-constructional collocations. The implications for language acquisition are discussed.
  • Klassmann, A., Offenga, F., Broeder, D., & Skiba, R. (2006). IMDI metadata field usage at MPI. Language Archive Newsletter, no. 8, 6-8.
  • Klein, W. (1974). Critical remarks on generative metrics. Poetics, 12, 29-48.
  • Klein, W., & Von Stutterheim, C. (2006). How to solve a complex verbal task: Text structure, referential movement and the quaestio. Aquisição de Linguas Estrangeiras, 30/31, 29-67.
  • Koornneef, A. W., & Van Berkum, J. J. A. (2006). On the use of verb-based implicit causality in sentence comprehension: Evidence from self-paced reading and eye tracking. Journal of Memory and Language, 54(4), 445-465. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2005.12.003.

    Abstract

    In two experiments, we examined the recent claim (Stewart, Pickering, & Sanford, 2000) that verb-based implicit causality information is used during sentence–final clausal integration only. We did so by looking for mid-sentence reading delays caused by pronouns that are inconsistent with the bias of a preceding implicit causality verb (e.g., “David praised Linda because he…”). In a self-paced reading task, such pronouns immediately slowed down reading, at the two words immediately following the pronoun. In eye tracking, bias-inconsistent pronouns also immediately perturbed the reading process, as indexed by significant delays in various first pass measures at and shortly after the critical pronoun. Hence, readers can recruit verb-based implicit causality information in the service of comprehension rapidly enough to impact on the interpretation of a pronoun early in the subordinate clause. We take our results to suggest that implicit causality is used proactively, allowing readers to focus on, and perhaps even predict, who or what will be talked about next.
  • Korvorst, M., Roelofs, A., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2006). Incrementality in naming and reading complex numerals: Evidence from eyetracking. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59(2), 296-311. doi:10.1080/17470210500151691.

    Abstract

    Individuals speak incrementally when they interleave planning and articulation. Eyetracking, along with the measurement of speech onset latencies, can be used to gain more insight into the degree of incrementality adopted by speakers. In the current article, two eyetracking experiments are reported in which pairs of complex numerals were named (arabic format, Experiment 1) or read aloud (alphabetic format, Experiment 2) as house numbers and as clock times. We examined whether the degree of incrementality is differentially influenced by the production task (naming vs. reading) and mode (house numbers vs. clock time expressions), by comparing gaze durations and speech onset latencies. In both tasks and modes, dissociations were obtained between speech onset latencies (reflecting articulation) and gaze durations (reflecting planning), indicating incrementality. Furthermore, whereas none of the factors that determined gaze durations were reflected in the reading and naming latencies for the house numbers, the dissociation between gaze durations and response latencies for the clock times concerned mainly numeral length in both tasks. These results suggest that the degree of incrementality is influenced by the type of utterance (house number vs. clock time) rather than by task (reading vs. naming). The results highlight the importance of the utterance structure in determining the degree of incrementality.
  • Krott, A., Baayen, R. H., & Hagoort, P. (2006). The nature of anterior negativities caused by misapplications of morphological rules. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 18(10), 1616-1630. doi:10.1162/jocn.2006.18.10.1616.

    Abstract

    This study investigates functional interpretations of left anterior negativities (LANs), a language-related electroencephalogram effect that has been found for syntactic and morphological violations. We focus on three possible interpretations of LANs caused by the replacement of irregular affixes with regular affixes: misapplication of morphological rules, mismatch of the presented form with analogy-based expectations, and mismatch of the presented form with stored representations. Event-related brain potentials were recorded during the visual presentation of existing and novel Dutch compounds. Existing compounds contained correct or replaced interfixes (dame + s + salons > damessalons vs. *dame + n + salons > *damensalons ‘‘women’s hairdresser salons’’), whereas novel Dutch compounds contained interfixes that were either supported or not supported by analogy to similar existing compounds (kruidenkelken vs. ?kruidskelken ‘‘herb chalices’’); earlier studies had shown that interfixes are selected by analogy instead of rules. All compounds were presented with correct or incorrect regular plural suffixes (damessalons vs. *damessalonnen). Replacing suffixes or interfixes in existing compounds both led to increased (L)ANs between 400 and 700 msec without any evidence for different scalp distributions for interfixes and suffixes. There was no evidence for a negativity when manipulating the analogical support for interfixes in novel compounds. Together with earlier studies, these results suggest that LANs had been caused by the mismatch of the presented forms with stored forms. We discuss these findings with respect to the single/dual-route debate of morphology and LANs found for the misapplication of syntactic rules.
  • Kuggeleijn, J., & De Ruiter, J. P. (2006). Met de angst in de pen: Waarom ambtenaren zo merkwaardig schrijven. Onze Taal, 75(9), 236-237.
  • Küntay, A. C., & Ozyurek, A. (2006). Learning to use demonstratives in conversation: What do language specific strategies in Turkish reveal? Journal of Child Language, 33(2), 303-320. doi:10.1017/S0305000906007380.

    Abstract

    Pragmatic development requires the ability to use linguistic forms, along with non-verbal cues, to focus an interlocutor's attention on a referent during conversation. We investigate the development of this ability by examining how the use of demonstratives is learned in Turkish, where a three-way demonstrative system (bu, su, o) obligatorily encodes both distance contrasts (i.e. proximal and distal) and absence or presence of the addressee's visual attention on the referent. A comparison of the demonstrative use by Turkish children (6 four- and 6 six-year-olds) and 6 adults during conversation shows that adultlike use of attention directing demonstrative, su, is not mastered even at the age of six, while the distance contrasts are learned earlier. This language specific development reveals that designing referential forms in consideration of recipient's attentional status during conversation is a pragmatic feat that takes more than six years to develop.
  • Levelt, W. J. M. (1974). J.B. Carroll & R. Freedle (eds.), Language comprehension and the acquisition of knowledge [Book review]. The Quarterly journal of experimental psychology, 26(2), 325-326. doi:10.1080/14640747408400419.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2006). Cognition at the heart of human interaction. Discourse Studies, 8(1), 85-93. doi:10.1177/1461445606059557.

    Abstract

    Sometimes it is thought that there are serious differences between theories of discourse that turn on the role of cognition in the theory. This is largely a misconception: for example, with its emphasis on participants’ own understandings, its principles of recipient design and projection, Conversation Analysis is hardly anti-cognitive. If there are genuine disagreements they rather concern a preference for ‘lean’ versus ‘rich’ metalanguages and different methodologies. The possession of a multi-levelled model, separating out what the individual brings to interaction from the emergent properties of interaction, would make it easier to resolve some of these issues. Meanwhile, these squabbles on the margins distract us from a much more central and more interesting issue: is there a very special cognition-for-interaction, which underlies and underpins all language and discourse? Prime facie evidence suggests that there is, and different approaches can contribute to our understanding of it.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2006). Matrilineal clans and kin terms on Rossel Island. Anthropological Linguistics, 48, 1-43.

    Abstract

    Yélî Dnye, the language of Rossel Island, Louisiade archipelago, Papua New Guinea, is a non-Austronesian isolate of considerable interest for the prehistory of the area. The kin term, clan, and kinship systems have some superficial similarities with surrounding Austronesian ones, but many underlying differences. The terminology, here properly described for the first time, is highly complex, and seems adapted to a dual descent system, with Crow-type skewing reflecting matrilineal descent, but a system of reciprocals also reflecting the "unity of the patriline." It may be analyzed in three mutually consistent ways: as a system of classificatory reciprocals, as a clan-based sociocentric system, and as collapses and skewings across a genealogical net. It makes an interesting contrast to the Trobriand system, and suggests that the alternative types of account offered by Edmund Leach and Floyd Lounsbury for the Trobriand system both have application to the Rossel system. The Rossel system has features (e.g., patrilineal biases, dual descent, collective [dyadic] kin terms, terms for alternating generations) that may be indicative of pre-Austronesian social systems of the area
  • Levinson, S. C. (2006). Language in the 21st century. Language, 82, 1-2.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2006). Parts of the body in Yélî Dnye, the Papuan language of Rossel Island. Language Sciences, 28(2-3), 221-240. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2005.11.007.

    Abstract

    This paper describes the terminology used to describe parts of the body in Ye´lıˆ Dnye, the Papuan language of Rossel Island (Papua New Guinea). The terms are nouns, which display complex patterns of suppletion in possessive and locative uses. Many of the terms are compounds, many unanalysable. Semantically, visible body parts divide into three main types: (i) a partonomic subsystem dividing the body into nine major parts: head, neck, two upper limbs, trunk, two upper legs, two lower legs, (ii) designated surfaces (e.g. ‘lower belly’), (iii) collections of surface features (‘face’), (iv) taxonomic subsystems (e.g. ‘big toe’ being a kind of ‘toe’). With regards to (i), the lack of any designation for ‘foot’ or ‘hand’ is notable, as is the absence of a term for ‘leg’ as a whole (although this is a lexical not a conceptual gap, as shown by the alternate taboo vocabulary). Ye´lıˆ Dnye body part terms do not have major extensions to other domains (e.g. spatial relators). Indeed, a number of the terms are clearly borrowed from outside human biology (e.g. ‘wing butt’ for shoulder).
  • Lind, J., Persson, J., Ingvar, M., Larsson, A., Cruts, M., Van Broeckhoven, C., Adolfsson, R., Bäckman, L., Nilsson, L.-G., Petersson, K. M., & Nyberg, L. (2006). Reduced functional brain activity response in cognitively intact apolipoprotein E ε4 carriers. Brain, 129(5), 1240-1248. doi:10.1093/brain/awl054.

    Abstract

    The apolipoprotein E {varepsilon}4 (APOE {varepsilon}4) is the main known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Genetic assessments in combination with other diagnostic tools, such as neuroimaging, have the potential to facilitate early diagnosis. In this large-scale functional MRI (fMRI) study, we have contrasted 30 APOE {varepsilon}4 carriers (age range: 49–74 years; 19 females), of which 10 were homozygous for the {varepsilon}4 allele, and 30 non-carriers with regard to brain activity during a semantic categorization task. Test groups were closely matched for sex, age and education. Critically, both groups were cognitively intact and thus symptom-free of Alzheimer's disease. APOE {varepsilon}4 carriers showed reduced task-related responses in the left inferior parietal cortex, and bilaterally in the anterior cingulate region. A dose-related response was observed in the parietal area such that diminution was most pronounced in homozygous compared with heterozygous carriers. In addition, contrasts of processing novel versus familiar items revealed an abnormal response in the right hippocampus in the APOE {varepsilon}4 group, mainly expressed as diminished sensitivity to the relative novelty of stimuli. Collectively, these findings indicate that genetic risk translates into reduced functional brain activity, in regions pertinent to Alzheimer's disease, well before alterations can be detected at the behavioural level.
  • Liszkowski, U., Carpenter, M., Striano, T., & Tomasello, M. (2006). Twelve- and 18-month-olds point to provide information for others. JOURNAL OF COGNITION AND DEVELOPMENT, 7, 173-187. doi:10.1207/s15327647jcd0702_2.

    Abstract

    Classically, infants are thought to point for 2 main reasons: (a) They point imperatively when they want an adult to do something for them (e.g., give them something; “Juice!”), and (b) they point declaratively when they want an adult to share attention with them to some interesting event or object (“Look!”). Here we demonstrate the existence of another motive for infants' early pointing gestures: to inform another person of the location of an object that person is searching for. This informative motive for pointing suggests that from very early in ontogeny humans conceive of others as intentional agents with informational states and they have the motivation to provide such information communicatively
  • Majid, A. (2006). Body part categorisation in Punjabi. Language Sciences, 28(2-3), 241-261. doi:10.1016/j.langsci.2005.11.012.

    Abstract

    A key question in categorisation is to what extent people categorise in the same way, or differently. This paper examines categorisation of the body in Punjabi, an Indo-European language spoken in Pakistan and India. First, an inventory of body part terms is presented, illustrating how Punjabi speakers segment and categorise the body. There are some noteworthy terms in the inventory, which illustrate categories in Punjabi that are unusual when compared to other languages presented in this volume. Second, Punjabi speakers’ conceptualisation of the relationship between body parts is explored. While some body part terms are viewed as being partonomically related, others are viewed as being in a locative relationship. It is suggested that there may be key ways in which languages differ in both the categorisation of the body into parts, and in how these parts are related to one another.
  • Majid, A., Sanford, A. J., & Pickering, M. J. (2006). Covariation and quantifier polarity: What determines causal attribution in vignettes? Cognition, 99(1), 35-51. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2004.12.004.

    Abstract

    Tests of causal attribution often use verbal vignettes, with covariation information provided through statements quantified with natural language expressions. The effect of covariation information has typically been taken to show that set size information affects attribution. However, recent research shows that quantifiers provide information about discourse focus as well as covariation information. In the attribution literature, quantifiers are used to depict covariation, but they confound quantity and focus. In four experiments, we show that focus explains all (Experiment 1) or some (Experiments 2, 3 and 4) of the impact of covariation information on the attributions made, confirming the importance of the confound. Attribution experiments using vignettes that present covariation information with natural language quantifiers may overestimate the impact of set size information, and ignore the impact of quantifier-induced focus.
  • Mak, W. M., Vonk, W., & Schriefers, H. (2006). Animacy in processing relative clauses: The hikers that rocks crush. Journal of Memory and Language, 54(4), 466-490. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2006.01.001.

    Abstract

    For several languages, a preference for subject relative clauses over object relative clauses has been reported. However, Mak, Vonk, and Schriefers (2002) showed that there is no such preference for relative clauses with an animate subject and an inanimate object. A Dutch object relative clause as …de rots, die de wandelaars beklommen hebben… (‘the rock, that the hikers climbed’) did not show longer reading times than its subject relative clause counterpart …de wandelaars, die de rots beklommen hebben… (‘the hikers, who climbed the rock’). In the present paper, we explore the factors that might contribute to this modulation of the usual preference for subject relative clauses. Experiment 1 shows that the animacy of the antecedent per se is not the decisive factor. On the contrary, in relative clauses with an inanimate antecedent and an inanimate relative-clause-internal noun phrase, the usual preference for subject relative clauses is found. In Experiments 2 and 3, subject and object relative clauses were contrasted in which either the subject or the object was inanimate. The results are interpreted in a framework in which the choice for an analysis of the relative clause is based on the interplay of animacy with topichood and verb semantics. This framework accounts for the commonly reported preference for subject relative clauses over object relative clauses as well as for the pattern of data found in the present experiments.
  • Mangione-Smith, R., Elliott, M. N., Stivers, T., McDonald, L. L., & Heritage, J. (2006). Ruling out the need for antibiotics: Are we sending the right message? Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 160(9), 945-952.
  • McQueen, J. M., Norris, D., & Cutler, A. (2006). Are there really interactive processes in speech perception? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10(12), 533-533. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2006.10.004.
  • McQueen, J. M., Cutler, A., & Norris, D. (2006). Phonological abstraction in the mental lexicon. Cognitive Science, 30(6), 1113-1126. doi:10.1207/s15516709cog0000_79.

    Abstract

    A perceptual learning experiment provides evidence that the mental lexicon cannot consist solely of detailed acoustic traces of recognition episodes. In a training lexical decision phase, listeners heard an ambiguous [f–s] fricative sound, replacing either [f] or [s] in words. In a test phase, listeners then made lexical decisions to visual targets following auditory primes. Critical materials were minimal pairs that could be a word with either [f] or [s] (cf. English knife–nice), none of which had been heard in training. Listeners interpreted the minimal pair words differently in the second phase according to the training received in the first phase. Therefore, lexically mediated retuning of phoneme perception not only influences categorical decisions about fricatives (Norris, McQueen, & Cutler, 2003), but also benefits recognition of words outside the training set. The observed generalization across words suggests that this retuning occurs prelexically. Therefore, lexical processing involves sublexical phonological abstraction, not only accumulation of acoustic episodes.
  • McQueen, J. M., Norris, D., & Cutler, A. (2006). The dynamic nature of speech perception. Language and Speech, 49(1), 101-112.

    Abstract

    The speech perception system must be flexible in responding to the variability in speech sounds caused by differences among speakers and by language change over the lifespan of the listener. Indeed, listeners use lexical knowledge to retune perception of novel speech (Norris, McQueen, & Cutler, 2003). In that study, Dutch listeners made lexical decisions to spoken stimuli, including words with an ambiguous fricative (between [f] and [s]), in either [f]- or [s]-biased lexical contexts. In a subsequent categorization test, the former group of listeners identified more sounds on an [εf] - [εs] continuum as [f] than the latter group. In the present experiment, listeners received the same exposure and test stimuli, but did not make lexical decisions to the exposure items. Instead, they counted them. Categorization results were indistinguishable from those obtained earlier. These adjustments in fricative perception therefore do not depend on explicit judgments during exposure. This learning effect thus reflects automatic retuning of the interpretation of acoustic-phonetic information.
  • Menenti, L. (2006). L2-L1 word association in bilinguals: Direct evidence. Nijmegen CNS, 1, 17-24.

    Abstract

    The Revised Hierarchical Model (Kroll and Stewart, 1994) assumes that words in a bilingual’s languages have separate word form representations but shared conceptual representations. Two routes lead from an L2 word form to its conceptual representation: the word association route, where concepts are accessed through the corresponding L1 word form, and the concept mediation route, with direct access from L2 to concepts. To investigate word association, we presented proficient late German-Dutch bilinguals with L2 non-cognate word pairs in which the L1 translation of the first word rhymed with the second word (e.g. GRAP (joke) – Witz – FIETS (bike)). If the first word in a pair activated its L1 equivalent, then a phonological priming effect on the second word was expected. Priming was observed in lexical decision but not in semantic decision (living/non-living) on L2 words. In a control group of Dutch native speakers, no priming effect was found. This suggests that proficient bilinguals still make use of their L1 word form lexicon to process L2 in lexical decision.
  • Mitterer, H. (2006). Is vowel normalization independent of lexical processing? Phonetica, 63(4), 209-229. doi:10.1159/000097306.

    Abstract

    Vowel normalization in speech perception was investigated in three experiments. The range of the second formant in a carrier phrase was manipulated and this affected the perception of a target vowel in a compensatory fashion: A low F2 range in the carrier phrase made it more likely that the target vowel was perceived as a front vowel, that is, with a high F2. Recent experiments indicated that this effect might be moderated by the lexical status of the constituents of the carrier phrase. Manipulation of the lexical status in the present experiments, however, did not affect vowel normalization. In contrast, the range of vowels in the carrier phrase did influence vowel normalization. If the carrier phrase consisted of mid-to-high front vowels only, vowel categories shifted only for mid-to-high front vowels. It is argued that these results are a challenge for episodic models of word recognition.
  • Mitterer, H., & Ernestus, M. (2006). Listeners recover /t/s that speakers reduce: Evidence from /t/-lenition in Dutch. Journal of Phonetics, 34(1), 73-103. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2005.03.003.

    Abstract

    In everyday speech, words may be reduced. Little is known about the consequences of such reductions for spoken word comprehension. This study investigated /t/-lenition in Dutch in two corpus studies and three perceptual experiments. The production studies revealed that /t/-lenition is most likely to occur after [s] and before bilabial consonants. The perception experiments showed that listeners take into account both phonological context, phonetic detail, and the lexical status of the form in the interpretation of codas that may or may not contain a lenited word-final /t/. These results speak against models of word recognition that make hard decisions on a prelexical level.
  • Mitterer, H. (2006). On the causes of compensation for coarticulation: Evidence for phonological mediation. Perception & Psychophysics, 68(7), 1227-1240.

    Abstract

    This study examined whether compensation for coarticulation in fricative–vowel syllables is phonologically mediated or a consequence of auditory processes. Smits (2001a) had shown that compensation occurs for anticipatory lip rounding in a fricative caused by a following rounded vowel in Dutch. In a first experiment, the possibility that compensation is due to general auditory processing was investigated using nonspeech sounds. These did not cause context effects akin to compensation for coarticulation, although nonspeech sounds influenced speech sound identification in an integrative fashion. In a second experiment, a possible phonological basis for compensation for coarticulation was assessed by using audiovisual speech. Visual displays, which induced the perception of a rounded vowel, also influenced compensation for anticipatory lip rounding in the fricative. These results indicate that compensation for anticipatory lip rounding in fricative–vowel syllables is phonologically mediated. This result is discussed in the light of other compensation-for-coarticulation findings and general theories of speech perception.
  • Mitterer, H., Csépe, V., & Blomert, L. (2006). The role of perceptual integration in the recognition of assimilated word forms. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59(8), 1395-1424. doi:10.1080/17470210500198726.

    Abstract

    We investigated how spoken words are recognized when they have been altered by phonological assimilation. Previous research has shown that there is a process of perceptual compensation for phonological assimilations. Three recently formulated proposals regarding the mechanisms for compensation for assimilation make different predictions with regard to the level at which compensation is supposed to occur as well as regarding the role of specific language experience. In the present study, Hungarian words and nonwords, in which a viable and an unviable liquid assimilation was applied, were presented to Hungarian and Dutch listeners in an identification task and a discrimination task. Results indicate that viably changed forms are difficult to distinguish from canonical forms independent of experience with the assimilation rule applied in the utterances. This reveals that auditory processing contributes to perceptual compensation for assimilation, while language experience has only a minor role to play when identification is required.
  • Mitterer, H., Csépe, V., Honbolygo, F., & Blomert, L. (2006). The recognition of phonologically assimilated words does not depend on specific language experience. Cognitive Science, 30(3), 451-479. doi:10.1207/s15516709cog0000_57.

    Abstract

    In a series of 5 experiments, we investigated whether the processing of phonologically assimilated utterances is influenced by language learning. Previous experiments had shown that phonological assimilations, such as /lean#bacon/→[leam bacon], are compensated for in perception. In this article, we investigated whether compensation for assimilation can occur without experience with an assimilation rule using automatic event-related potentials. Our first experiment indicated that Dutch listeners compensate for a Hungarian assimilation rule. Two subsequent experiments, however, failed to show compensation for assimilation by both Dutch and Hungarian listeners. Two additional experiments showed that this was due to the acoustic properties of the assimilated utterance, confirming earlier reports that phonetic detail is important in compensation for assimilation. Our data indicate that compensation for assimilation can occur without experience with an assimilation rule, in line with phonetic–phonological theories that assume that speech production is influenced by speech-perception abilities.
  • Mortensen, L., Meyer, A. S., & Humphreys, G. W. (2006). Age-related effects on speech production: A review. Language and Cognitive Processes, 21, 238-290. doi:10.1080/01690960444000278.

    Abstract

    In discourse, older adults tend to be more verbose and more disfluent than young adults, especially when the task is difficult and when it places few constraints on the content of the utterance. This may be due to (a) language-specific deficits in planning the content and syntactic structure of utterances or in selecting and retrieving words from the mental lexicon, (b) a general deficit in inhibiting irrelevant information, or (c) the selection of a specific speech style. The possibility that older adults have a deficit in lexical retrieval is supported by the results of picture naming studies, in which older adults have been found to name objects less accurately and more slowly than young adults, and by the results of definition naming studies, in which older adults have been found to experience more tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) states than young adults. The available evidence suggests that these age differences are largely due to weakening of the connections linking word lemmas to phonological word forms, though adults above 70 years of age may have an additional deficit in lemma selection.
  • Müller, O., & Hagoort, P. (2006). Access to lexical information in language comprehension: Semantics before syntax. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 18(1), 84-96. doi:10.1162/089892906775249997.

    Abstract

    The recognition of a word makes available its semantic and syntactic properties. Using electrophysiological recordings, we investigated whether one set of these properties is available earlier than the other set. Dutch participants saw nouns on a computer screen and performed push-button responses: In one task, grammatical gender determined response hand (left/right) and semantic category determined response execution (go/no-go). In the other task, response hand depended on semantic category, whereas response execution depended on gender. During the latter task, response preparation occurred on no-go trials, as measured by the lateralized readiness potential: Semantic information was used for response preparation before gender information inhibited this process. Furthermore, an inhibition-related N2 effect occurred earlier for inhibition by semantics than for inhibition by gender. In summary, electrophysiological measures of both response preparation and inhibition indicated that the semantic word property was available earlier than the syntactic word property when participants read single words.
  • Murphy, S. K., Nolan, C. M., Huang, Z., Kucera, K. S., Freking, B. A., Smith, T. P., Leymaster, K. A., Weidman, J. R., & Jirtle, a. R. L. (2006). Callipyge mutation affects gene expression in cis: A potential role for chromatin structure. Genome Research, 16, 340-346. doi:10.1101/gr.4389306.

    Abstract

    Muscular hypertrophy in callipyge sheep results from a single nucleotide substitution located in the genomic interval between the imprinted Delta, Drosophila, Homolog-like 1 (DLK1) and Maternally Expressed Gene 3 (MEG3). The mechanism linking the mutation to muscle hypertrophy is unclear but involves DLK1 overexpression. The mutation is contained within CLPG1 transcripts produced from this region. Herein we show that CLPG1 is expressed prenatally in the hypertrophy-responsive longissimus dorsi muscle by all four possible genotypes, but postnatal expression is restricted to sheep carrying the mutation. Surprisingly, the mutation results in nonimprinted monoallelic transcription of CLPG1 from only the mutated allele in adult sheep, whereas it is expressed biallelically during prenatal development. We further demonstrate that local CpG methylation is altered by the presence of the mutation in longissimus dorsi of postnatal sheep. For 10 CpG sites flanking the mutation, methylation is similar prenatally across genotypes, but doubles postnatally in normal sheep. This normal postnatal increase in methylation is significantly repressed in sheep carrying one copy of the mutation, and repressed even further in sheep with two mutant alleles. The attenuation in methylation status in the callipyge sheep correlates with the onset of the phenotype, continued CLPG1 transcription, and high-level expression of DLK1. In contrast, normal sheep exhibit hypermethylation of this locus after birth and CLPG1 silencing, which coincides with DLK1 transcriptional repression. These data are consistent with the notion that the callipyge mutation inhibits perinatal nucleation of regional chromatin condensation resulting in continued elevated transcription of prenatal DLK1 levels in adult callipyge sheep. We propose a model incorporating these results that can also account for the enigmatic normal phenotype of homozygous mutant sheep.
  • Narasimhan, B., & Gullberg, M. (2006). Perspective-shifts in event descriptions in Tamil child language. Journal of Child Language, 33(1), 99-124. doi:10.1017/S0305000905007191.

    Abstract

    Children are able to take multiple perspectives in talking about entities and events. But the nature of children's sensitivities to the complex patterns of perspective-taking in adult language is unknown. We examine perspective-taking in four- and six-year-old Tamil-speaking children describing placement events, as reflected in the use of a general placement verb (veyyii ‘put’) versus two fine-grained caused posture expressions specifying orientation, either vertical (nikka veyyii ‘make stand’) or horizontal (paDka veyyii ‘make lie’). We also explore whether animacy systematically promotes shifts to a fine-grained perspective. The results show that four- and six-year-olds switch perspectives as flexibly and systematically as adults do. Animacy influences shifts to a fine-grained perspective similarly across age groups. However, unexpectedly, six-year-olds also display greater overall sensitivity to orientation, preferring the vertical over the horizontal caused posture expression. Despite early flexibility, the factors governing the patterns of perspective-taking on events are undergoing change even in later childhood, reminiscent of U-shaped semantic reorganizations observed in children's lexical knowledge. The present study points to the intriguing possibility that mechanisms that operate at the level of semantics could also influence subtle patterns of lexical choice and perspective-shifts.
  • Nieuwland, M. S., & Van Berkum, J. J. A. (2006). Individual differences and contextual bias in pronoun resolution: Evidence from ERPs. Brain Research, 1118(1), 155-167. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2006.08.022.

    Abstract

    Although we usually have no trouble finding the right antecedent for a pronoun, the co-reference relations between pronouns and antecedents in everyday language are often ‘formally’ ambiguous. But a pronoun is only really ambiguous if a reader or listener indeed perceives it to be ambiguous. Whether this is the case may depend on at least two factors: the language processing skills of an individual reader, and the contextual bias towards one particular referential interpretation. In the current study, we used event related brain potentials (ERPs) to explore how both these factors affect the resolution of referentially ambiguous pronouns. We compared ERPs elicited by formally ambiguous and non-ambiguous pronouns that were embedded in simple sentences (e.g., “Jennifer Lopez told Madonna that she had too much money.”). Individual differences in language processing skills were assessed with the Reading Span task, while the contextual bias of each sentence (up to the critical pronoun) had been assessed in a referential cloze pretest. In line with earlier research, ambiguous pronouns elicited a sustained, frontal negative shift relative to non-ambiguous pronouns at the group-level. The size of this effect was correlated with Reading Span score, as well as with contextual bias. These results suggest that whether a reader perceives a formally ambiguous pronoun to be ambiguous is subtly co-determined by both individual language processing skills and contextual bias.
  • Nieuwland, M. S., & Van Berkum, J. J. A. (2006). When peanuts fall in love: N400 evidence for the power of discourse. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 18(7), 1098-1111. doi:10.1162/jocn.2006.18.7.1098.

    Abstract

    In linguistic theories of how sentences encode meaning, a distinction is often made between the context-free rule-based combination of lexical–semantic features of the words within a sentence (‘‘semantics’’), and the contributions made by wider context (‘‘pragmatics’’). In psycholinguistics, this distinction has led to the view that listeners initially compute a local, context-independent meaning of a phrase or sentence before relating it to the wider context. An important aspect of such a two-step perspective on interpretation is that local semantics cannot initially be overruled by global contextual factors. In two spoken-language event-related potential experiments, we tested the viability of this claim by examining whether discourse context can overrule the impact of the core lexical–semantic feature animacy, considered to be an innate organizing principle of cognition. Two-step models of interpretation predict that verb–object animacy violations, as in ‘‘The girl comforted the clock,’’ will always perturb the unfolding interpretation process, regardless of wider context. When presented in isolation, such anomalies indeed elicit a clear N400 effect, a sign of interpretive problems. However, when the anomalies were embedded in a supportive context (e.g., a girl talking to a clock about his depression), this N400 effect disappeared completely. Moreover, given a suitable discourse context (e.g., a story about an amorous peanut), animacyviolating predicates (‘‘the peanut was in love’’) were actually processed more easily than canonical predicates (‘‘the peanut was salted’’). Our findings reveal that discourse context can immediately overrule local lexical–semantic violations, and therefore suggest that language comprehension does not involve an initially context-free semantic analysis.
  • Norris, D., Butterfield, S., McQueen, J. M., & Cutler, A. (2006). Lexically guided retuning of letter perception. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59(9), 1505-1515. doi:10.1080/17470210600739494.

    Abstract

    Participants made visual lexical decisions to upper-case words and nonwords, and then categorized an ambiguous N–H letter continuum. The lexical decision phase included different exposure conditions: Some participants saw an ambiguous letter “?”, midway between N and H, in N-biased lexical contexts (e.g., REIG?), plus words with unambiguousH(e.g., WEIGH); others saw the reverse (e.g., WEIG?, REIGN). The first group categorized more of the test continuum as N than did the second group. Control groups, who saw “?” in nonword contexts (e.g., SMIG?), plus either of the unambiguous word sets (e.g., WEIGH or REIGN), showed no such subsequent effects. Perceptual learning about ambiguous letters therefore appears to be based on lexical knowledge, just as in an analogous speech experiment (Norris, McQueen, & Cutler, 2003) which showed similar lexical influence in learning about ambiguous phonemes. We argue that lexically guided learning is an efficient general strategy available for exploitation by different specific perceptual tasks.
  • Norris, D., Cutler, A., McQueen, J. M., & Butterfield, S. (2006). Phonological and conceptual activation in speech comprehension. Cognitive Psychology, 53(2), 146-193. doi:10.1016/j.cogpsych.2006.03.001.

    Abstract

    We propose that speech comprehension involves the activation of token representations of the phonological forms of current lexical hypotheses, separately from the ongoing construction of a conceptual interpretation of the current utterance. In a series of cross-modal priming experiments, facilitation of lexical decision responses to visual target words (e.g., time) was found for targets that were semantic associates of auditory prime words (e.g., date) when the primes were isolated words, but not when the same primes appeared in sentence contexts. Identity priming (e.g., faster lexical decisions to visual date after spoken date than after an unrelated prime) appeared, however, both with isolated primes and with primes in prosodically neutral sentences. Associative priming in sentence contexts only emerged when sentence prosody involved contrastive accents, or when sentences were terminated immediately after the prime. Associative priming is therefore not an automatic consequence of speech processing. In no experiment was there associative priming from embedded words (e.g., sedate-time), but there was inhibitory identity priming (e.g., sedate-date) from embedded primes in sentence contexts. Speech comprehension therefore appears to involve separate distinct activation both of token phonological word representations and of conceptual word representations. Furthermore, both of these types of representation are distinct from the long-term memory representations of word form and meaning.
  • O'Connor, L. (2006). [Review of the book Toward a cognitive semantics: Concept structuring systems by Leonard Talmy]. Journal of Pragmatics, 38(7), 1126-1134. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2005.08.007.
  • Ogdie, M. N., Bakker, S. C., Fisher, S. E., Francks, C., Yang, M. H., Cantor, R. M., Loo, S. K., Van der Meulen, E., Pearson, P., Buitelaar, J., Monaco, A., Nelson, S. F., Sinke, R. J., & Smalley, S. L. (2006). Pooled genome-wide linkage data on 424 ADHD ASPs suggests genetic heterogeneity and a common risk locus at 5p13 [Letter to the editor]. Molecular Psychiatry, 11, 5-8. doi:10.1038/sj.mp.4001760.
  • Paracchini, S., Thomas, A., Castro, S., Lai, C., Paramasivam, M., Wang, Y., Keating, B. J., Taylor, J. M., Hacking, D. F., Scerri, T., Francks, C., Richardson, A. J., Wade-Martins, R., Stein, J. F., Knight, J. C., Copp, A. J., LoTurco, J., & Monaco, A. P. (2006). The chromosome 6p22 haplotype associated with dyslexia reduces the expression of KIAA0319, a novel gene involved in neuronal migration. Human Molecular Genetics, 15(10), 1659-1666. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddl089.

    Abstract

    Dyslexia is one of the most prevalent childhood cognitive disorders, affecting approximately 5% of school-age children. We have recently identified a risk haplotype associated with dyslexia on chromosome 6p22.2 which spans the TTRAP gene and portions of THEM2 and KIAA0319. Here we show that in the presence of the risk haplotype, the expression of the KIAA0319 gene is reduced but the expression of the other two genes remains unaffected. Using in situ hybridization, we detect a very distinct expression pattern of the KIAA0319 gene in the developing cerebral neocortex of mouse and human fetuses. Moreover, interference with rat Kiaa0319 expression in utero leads to impaired neuronal migration in the developing cerebral neocortex. These data suggest a direct link between a specific genetic background and a biological mechanism leading to the development of dyslexia: the risk haplotype on chromosome 6p22.2 down-regulates the KIAA0319 gene which is required for neuronal migration during the formation of the cerebral neocortex.
  • Parkes, L. M., Bastiaansen, M. C. M., & Norris, D. G. (2006). Combining EEG and fMRI to investigate the postmovement beta rebound. NeuroImage, 29(3), 685-696. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2005.08.018.

    Abstract

    The relationship between synchronous neuronal activity as measured with EEG and the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal as measured during fMRI is not clear. This work investigates the relationship by combining EEG and fMRI measures of the strong increase in beta frequency power following movement, the so-called post-movement beta rebound (PMBR). The time course of the PMBR, as measured by EEG, was included as a regressor in the fMRI analysis, allowing identification of a region of associated BOLD signal increase in the sensorimotor cortex, with the most significant region in the post-central sulcus. The increase in the BOLD signal suggests that the number of active neurons and/or their synaptic rate is increased during the PMBR. The duration of the BOLD response curve in the PMBR region is significantly longer than in the activated motor region, and is well fitted by a model including both motor and PMBR regressors. An intersubject correlation between the BOLD signal amplitude associated with the PMBR regressor and the PMBR strength as measured with EEG provides further evidence that this region is a source of the PMBR. There is a strong intra-subject correlation between the BOLD signal amplitude in the sensorimotor cortex during movement and the PMBR strength as measured by EEG, suggesting either that the motor activity itself, or somatosensory inputs associated with the motor activity, influence the PMBR. This work provides further evidence for a BOLD signal change associated with changes in neuronal synchrony, so opening up the possibility of studying other event-related oscillatory changes using fMRI.
  • Petersson, K. M., Gisselgard, J., Gretzer, M., & Ingvar, M. (2006). Interaction between a verbal working memory network and the medial temporal lobe. NeuroImage, 33(4), 1207-1217. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.07.042.

    Abstract

    The irrelevant speech effect illustrates that sounds that are irrelevant to a visually presented short-term memory task still interfere with neuronal function. In the present study we explore the functional and effective connectivity of such interference. The functional connectivity analysis suggested an interaction between the level of irrelevant speech and the correlation between in particular the left superior temporal region, associated with verbal working memory, and the left medial temporal lobe. Based on this psycho-physiological interaction, and to broaden the understanding of this result, we performed a network analysis, using a simple network model for verbal working memory, to analyze its interaction with the medial temporal lobe memory system. The results showed dissociations in terms of network interactions between frontal as well as parietal and temporal areas in relation to the medial temporal lobe. The results of the present study suggest that a transition from phonological loop processing towards an engagement of episodic processing might take place during the processing of interfering irrelevant sounds. We speculate that, in response to the irrelevant sounds, this reflects a dynamic shift in processing as suggested by a closer interaction between a verbal working memory system and the medial temporal lobe memory system.
  • Piekema, C., Kessels, R. P. C., Mars, R. B., Petersson, K. M., & Fernández, G. (2006). The right hippocampus participates in short-term memory maintenance of object–location associations. NeuroImage, 33(1), 374-382. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2006.06.035.

    Abstract

    Doubts have been cast on the strict dissociation between short- and long-term memory systems. Specifically, several neuroimaging studies have shown that the medial temporal lobe, a region almost invariably associated with long-term memory, is involved in active short-term memory maintenance. Furthermore, a recent study in hippocampally lesioned patients has shown that the hippocampus is critically involved in associating objects and their locations, even when the delay period lasts only 8 s. However, the critical feature that causes the medial temporal lobe, and in particular the hippocampus, to participate in active maintenance is still unknown. This study was designed in order to explore hippocampal involvement in active maintenance of spatial and non-spatial associations. Eighteen participants performed a delayed-match-to-sample task in which they had to maintain either object–location associations, color–number association, single colors, or single locations. Whole-brain activity was measured using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging and analyzed using a random effects model. Right lateralized hippocampal activity was evident when participants had to maintain object–location associations, but not when they had to maintain object–color associations or single items. The present results suggest a hippocampal involvement in active maintenance when feature combinations that include spatial information have to be maintained online.
  • Poletiek, F. H. (2006). De dwingende macht van een Goed Verhaal [Boekbespreking van Vincent plast op de grond:Nachtmerries in het Nederlands recht door W.A. Wagenaar]. De Psycholoog, 41, 460-462.

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