Publications

Displaying 1 - 57 of 57
  • Ameka, F. K. (1992). Interjections: The universal yet neglected part of speech. Journal of Pragmatics, 18(2/3), 101-118. doi:10.1016/0378-2166(92)90048-G.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1992). The meaning of phatic and conative interjections. Journal of Pragmatics, 18(2/3), 245-271. doi:10.1016/0378-2166(92)90054-F.

    Abstract

    The purpose of this paper is to investigate the meanings of the members of two subclasses of interjections in Ewe: the conative/volitive which are directed at an auditor, and the phatic which are used in the maintenance of social and communicative contact. It is demonstrated that interjections like other linguistic signs have meanings which can be rigorously stated. In addition, the paper explores the differences and similarities between the semantic structures of interjections on one hand and formulaic words on the other. This is done through a comparison of the semantics and pragmatics of an interjection and a formulaic word which are used for welcoming people in Ewe. It is contended that formulaic words are speech acts qua speech acts while interjections are not fully fledged speech acts because they lack illocutionary dictum in their semantic structure.
  • Bowerman, M. (1975). Commentary on L. Bloom, P. Lightbown, & L. Hood, “Structure and variation in child language”. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 40(2), 80-90. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1165986.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (1992). 'Left' and 'right' in Tenejapa: Investigating a linguistic and conceptual gap. Zeitschrift für Phonetik, Sprachwissenschaft und Kommunikationsforschung, 45(6), 590-611.

    Abstract

    From the perspective of a Kantian belief in the fundamental human tendency to cleave space along the three planes of the human body, Tenejapan Tzeltal exhibits a linguistic gap: there are no linguistic expressions that designate regions (as in English to my left) or describe the visual field (as in to the left of the tree) on the basis of a plane bisecting the body into a left and right side. Tenejapans have expressions for left and right hands (xin k'ab and wa'el k'ab), but these are basically body-part terms, they are not generalized to form a division of space. This paper describes the results of various elicited producton tasks in which concepts of left and right would provide a simple solution, showing that Tenejapan consultants use other notions even when the relevant linguistic distinctions could be made in Tzeltal (e.g. describing the position of one's limbs, or describing rotation of one's body). Instead of using the left-hand/right-hand distinction to construct a division of space, Tenejapans utilize a number of other systems: (i) an absolute, 'cardinal direction' system, supplemented by reference to other geographic or landmark directions, (ii) a generative segmentation of objects and places into analogic body-parts or other kinds of parts, and (iii) a rich system of positional adjectives to describe the exact disposition of things. These systems work conjointly to specify locations with precision and elegance. The overall system is not primarily egocentric, and it makes no essential reference to planes through the human body.
  • Cutler, A. (1992). Cross-linguistic differences in speech segmentation. MRC News, 56, 8-9.
  • Cutler, A., & Norris, D. (1992). Detection of vowels and consonants with minimal acoustic variation. Speech Communication, 11, 101-108. doi:10.1016/0167-6393(92)90004-Q.

    Abstract

    Previous research has shown that, in a phoneme detection task, vowels produce longer reaction times than consonants, suggesting that they are harder to perceive. One possible explanation for this difference is based upon their respective acoustic/articulatory characteristics. Another way of accounting for the findings would be to relate them to the differential functioning of vowels and consonants in the syllabic structure of words. In this experiment, we examined the second possibility. Targets were two pairs of phonemes, each containing a vowel and a consonant with similar phonetic characteristics. Subjects heard lists of English words had to press a response key upon detecting the occurrence of a pre-specified target. This time, the phonemes which functioned as vowels in syllabic structure yielded shorter reaction times than those which functioned as consonants. This rules out an explanation for response time difference between vowels and consonants in terms of function in syllable structure. Instead, we propose that consonantal and vocalic segments differ with respect to variability of tokens, both in the acoustic realisation of targets and in the representation of targets by listeners.
  • Cutler, A., Mehler, J., Norris, D., & Segui, J. (1988). Limits on bilingualism [Letters to Nature]. Nature, 340, 229-230. doi:10.1038/340229a0.

    Abstract

    SPEECH, in any language, is continuous; speakers provide few reliable cues to the boundaries of words, phrases, or other meaningful units. To understand speech, listeners must divide the continuous speech stream into portions that correspond to such units. This segmentation process is so basic to human language comprehension that psycholinguists long assumed that all speakers would do it in the same way. In previous research1,2, however, we reported that segmentation routines can be language-specific: speakers of French process spoken words syllable by syllable, but speakers of English do not. French has relatively clear syllable boundaries and syllable-based timing patterns, whereas English has relatively unclear syllable boundaries and stress-based timing; thus syllabic segmentation would work more efficiently in the comprehension of French than in the comprehension of English. Our present study suggests that at this level of language processing, there are limits to bilingualism: a bilingual speaker has one and only one basic language.
  • Cutler, A. (1992). Proceedings with confidence. New Scientist, (1825), 54.
  • Cutler, A., & Butterfield, S. (1992). Rhythmic cues to speech segmentation: Evidence from juncture misperception. Journal of Memory and Language, 31, 218-236. doi:10.1016/0749-596X(92)90012-M.

    Abstract

    Segmentation of continuous speech into its component words is a nontrivial task for listeners. Previous work has suggested that listeners develop heuristic segmentation procedures based on experience with the structure of their language; for English, the heuristic is that strong syllables (containing full vowels) are most likely to be the initial syllables of lexical words, whereas weak syllables (containing central, or reduced, vowels) are nonword-initial, or, if word-initial, are grammatical words. This hypothesis is here tested against natural and laboratory-induced missegmentations of continuous speech. Precisely the expected pattern is found: listeners erroneously insert boundaries before strong syllables but delete them before weak syllables; boundaries inserted before strong syllables produce lexical words, while boundaries inserted before weak syllables produce grammatical words.
  • Cutler, A., Mehler, J., Norris, D., & Segui, J. (1992). The monolingual nature of speech segmentation by bilinguals. Cognitive Psychology, 24, 381-410.

    Abstract

    Monolingual French speakers employ a syllable-based procedure in speech segmentation; monolingual English speakers use a stress-based segmentation procedure and do not use the syllable-based procedure. In the present study French-English bilinguals participated in segmentation experiments with English and French materials. Their results as a group did not simply mimic the performance of English monolinguals with English language materials and of French monolinguals with French language materials. Instead, the bilinguals formed two groups, defined by forced choice of a dominant language. Only the French-dominant group showed syllabic segmentation and only with French language materials. The English-dominant group showed no syllabic segmentation in either language. However, the English-dominant group showed stress-based segmentation with English language materials; the French-dominant group did not. We argue that rhythmically based segmentation procedures are mutually exclusive, as a consequence of which speech segmentation by bilinguals is, in one respect at least, functionally monolingual.
  • Cutler, A., & Norris, D. (1988). The role of strong syllables in segmentation for lexical access. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 14, 113-121. doi:10.1037/0096-1523.14.1.113.

    Abstract

    A model of speech segmentation in a stress language is proposed, according to which the occurrence of a strong syllable triggers segmentation of the speech signal, whereas occurrence of a weak syllable does not trigger segmentation. We report experiments in which listeners detected words embedded in nonsense bisyllables more slowly when the bisyllable had two strong syllables than when it had a strong and a weak syllable; mint was detected more slowly in mintayve than in mintesh. According to our proposed model, this result is an effect of segmentation: When the second syllable is strong, it is segmented from the first syllable, and successful detection of the embedded word therefore requires assembly of speech material across a segmentation position. Speech recognition models involving phonemic or syllabic recoding, or based on strictly left-to-right processes, do not predict this result. It is argued that segmentation at strong syllables in continuous speech recognition serves the purpose of detecting the most efficient locations at which to initiate lexical access. (C) 1988 by the American Psychological Association
  • Cutler, A., & Fay, D. (1975). You have a Dictionary in your Head, not a Thesaurus. Texas Linguistic Forum, 1, 27-40.
  • Eysenck, M. W., & Van Berkum, J. J. A. (1992). Trait anxiety, defensiveness, and the structure of worry. Personality and Individual Differences, 13(12), 1285-1290. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science//journal/01918869.

    Abstract

    A principal components analysis of the ten scales of the Worry Questionnaire revealed the existence of major worry factors or domains of social evaluation and physical threat, and these factors were confirmed in a subsequent item analysis. Those high in trait anxiety had much higher scores on the Worry Questionnaire than those low in trait anxiety, especially on those scales relating to social evaluation. Scores on the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale were negatively related to worry frequency. However, groups of low-anxious and repressed individucores did not differ in worry. It was concluded that worry, especals formed on the basis of their trait anxiety and social desirability sially in the social evaluation domain, is of fundamental importance to trait anxiety.
  • Hagoort, P. (1992). Vertraagde lexicale integratie bij afatisch taalverstaan. Stem, Spraak- en Taalpathologie, 1, 5-23.
  • Heeschen, C., Ryalls, J., & Hagoort, P. (1988). Psychological stress in Broca's versus Wernicke's aphasia. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 2, 309-316. doi:10.3109/02699208808985262.

    Abstract

    We advance the hypothesis here that the higher-than-average vocal pitch (FO) found for speech of Broca's aphasics in experimental settings is due, in part, to increased psychological stress. Two experiments were conducted which manipulated conversational constraints and the sentence forms to be produced by aphasic patients. Our study revealed significant differences between changes in vocal pitch of agrammatic Broca's aphasics versus those of Wernicke's aphasics and normal controls. It is suggested that the greater psychological stress experienced by the Broca's aphasics, but not by the Wernicke's aphasics, accounts for these observed differences.
  • Henderson, L., Coltheart, M., Cutler, A., & Vincent, N. (1988). Preface. Linguistics, 26(4), 519-520. doi:10.1515/ling.1988.26.4.519.
  • Kempen, G. (1975). De taalgebruiker in de mens: Schets van zijn bouw en funktie, toepassingen op moedertaal en vreemde taal verwerving. Forum der Letteren, 16, 132-158.
  • Kempen, G. (1992). Grammar based text processing. Document Management: Nieuwsbrief voor Documentaire Informatiekunde, 1(2), 8-10.
  • Kempen, G. (1988). Preface. Acta Psychologica, 69(3), 205-206. doi:10.1016/0001-6918(88)90032-7.
  • Kempen, G. (1975). Theoretiseren en experimenteren in de cognitieve psychologie. Gedrag: Tijdschrift voor Psychologie, 6, 341-347.
  • Klein, W. (1988). Einleitung. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik; Metzler, Stuttgart, 18(69), 7-8.
  • Klein, W. (1975). Einleitung. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik; Metzler, Stuttgart, 5(18), 7-8.
  • Klein, W. (1975). Eine Theorie der Wortstellungsveränderung: Einige kritische Bemerkungen zu Vennemanns Theorie der Sprachentwicklung. Linguistische Berichte, 37(75), 46-57.
  • Klein, W. (1992). Einleitung. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik; Metzler, Stuttgart, 22(86), 7-8.
  • Klein, W. (1992). Tempus, Aspekt und Zeitadverbien. Kognitionswissenschaft, 2, 107-118.
  • Klein, W. (1988). Sprache und Krankheit: Ein paar Anmerkungen. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 69, 9-20.
  • Klein, W., & Von Stutterheim, C. (1992). Textstruktur und referentielle Bewegung. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 86, 67-92.
  • Klein, W. (1992). The present perfect puzzle. Language, 68, 525-552.

    Abstract

    In John has left London, it is clear that the event in question, John's leaving London, has occurred in the past, for example yesterday at ten. Why is it impossible, then, to make this the event time more explicit by such an adverbial, as in Yesterday at ten, John has left London? Any solution of this puzzle crucially hinges on the meaning assigned to the perfect, and the present perfect in particular. Two such solutions, a scope solution and the 'current relevance'-solution, are discussed and shown to be inadequate. A new, strictly compositional analysis of the English perfect is suggested, and it is argued that the imcompatibility of the present perfect and most past tense adverbials has neither syntactic nor semantic reasons but follows from a simple pragmatical constraint, called here the 'position-definiteness constraint'. It is the very same constraint, which also makes an utterance such as At ten, John had left at nine pragmatically odd, even if John indeed had left at nine, and hence the utterance is true.
  • Klein, W. (1975). Zur Sprache ausländischer Arbeiter: Syntaktische Analysen und Aspekte des kommunikativen Verhaltens. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 18, 78-121.
  • Levelt, W. J. M. (1992). Accessing words in speech production: Stages, processes and representations. Cognition, 42, 1-22. doi:10.1016/0010-0277(92)90038-J.

    Abstract

    This paper introduces a special issue of Cognition on lexical access in speech production. Over the last quarter century, the psycholinguistic study of speaking, and in particular of accessing words in speech, received a major new impetus from the analysis of speech errors, dysfluencies and hesitations, from aphasiology, and from new paradigms in reaction time research. The emerging theoretical picture partitions the accessing process into two subprocesses, the selection of an appropriate lexical item (a “lemma”) from the mental lexicon, and the phonological encoding of that item, that is, the computation of a phonetic program for the item in the context of utterance. These two theoretical domains are successively introduced by outlining some core issues that have been or still have to be addressed. The final section discusses the controversial question whether phonological encoding can affect lexical selection. This partitioning is also followed in this special issue as a whole. There are, first, four papers on lexical selection, then three papers on phonological encoding, and finally one on the interaction between selection and phonological encoding.
  • Levelt, W. J. M. (1992). Fairness in reviewing: A reply to O'Connell. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 21, 401-403.
  • Levelt, W. J. M. (1988). Onder sociale wetenschappen. Mededelingen van de Afdeling Letterkunde, 51(2), 41-55.
  • Levelt, W. J. M. (1992). Sprachliche Musterbildung und Mustererkennung. Nova Acta Leopoldina NF, 67(281), 357-370.
  • Levelt, W. J. M. (1992). The perceptual loop theory not disconfirmed: A reply to MacKay. Consciousness and Cognition, 1, 226-230. doi:10.1016/1053-8100(92)90062-F.

    Abstract

    In his paper, MacKay reviews his Node Structure theory of error detection, but precedes it with a critical discussion of the Perceptual Loop theory of self-monitoring proposed in Levelt (1983, 1989). The present commentary is concerned with this latter critique and shows that there are more than casual problems with MacKay’s argumentation.
  • Levinson, S. C. (1992). Primer for the field investigation of spatial description and conception. Pragmatics, 2(1), 5-47.
  • Mehta, G., & Cutler, A. (1988). Detection of target phonemes in spontaneous and read speech. Language and Speech, 31, 135-156.

    Abstract

    Although spontaneous speech occurs more frequently in most listeners’ experience than read speech, laboratory studies of human speech recognition typically use carefully controlled materials read from a script. The phonological and prosodic characteristics of spontaneous and read speech differ considerably, however, which suggests that laboratory results may not generalize to the recognition of spontaneous and read speech materials, and their response time to detect word-initial target phonemes was measured. Response were, overall, equally fast in each speech mode. However analysis of effects previously reported in phoneme detection studies revealed significant differences between speech modes. In read speech but not in spontaneous speech, later targets were detected more rapidly than earlier targets, and targets preceded by long words were detected more rapidly than targets preceded by short words. In contrast, in spontaneous speech but not in read speech, targets were detected more rapidly in accented than unaccented words and in strong than in weak syllables. An explanation for this pattern is offered in terms of characteristic prosodic differences between spontaneous and read speech. The results support claim from previous work that listeners pay great attention to prosodic information in the process of recognizing speech.
  • Meyer, A. S. (1992). Investigation of phonological encoding through speech error analyses: Achievements, limitations, and alternatives. Cognition, 42, 181-211. doi:10.1016/0010-0277(92)90043-H.

    Abstract

    Phonological encoding in language production can be defined as a set of processes generating utterance forms on the basis of semantic and syntactic information. Most evidence about these processes stems from analyses of sound errors. In section 1 of this paper, certain important results of these analyses are reviewed. Two prominent models of phonological encoding, which are mainly based on speech error evidence, are discussed in section 2. In section 3, limitations of speech error analyses are discussed, and it is argued that detailed and comprehensive models of phonological encoding cannot be derived solely on the basis of error analyses. As is argued in section 4, a new research strategy is required. Instead of using the properties of errors to draw inferences about the generation of correct word forms, future research should directly investigate the normal process of phonological encoding.
  • Meyer, A. S., & Bock, K. (1992). The tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon: Blocking or partial activation? Memory and Cognition, 20, 181-211.

    Abstract

    Tip-of-the-tongue states may represent the momentary unavailability of an otherwise accessible word or the weak activation of an otherwise inaccessible word. In three experiments designed to address these alternative views, subjects attempted to retrieve rare target words from their definitions. The definitions were followed by cues that were related to the targets in sound, by cues that were related in meaning, and by cues that were not related to the targets. Experiment 1 found that compared with unrelated cues, related cue words that were presented immediately after target definitions helped rather than hindered lexical retrieval, and that sound cues were more effective retrieval aids than meaning cues. Experiment 2 replicated these results when cues were presented after an initial target-retrieval attempt. These findings reverse a previous one (Jones, 1989) that was reproduced in Experiment 3 and shown to stem from a small group of unusually difficult target definitions.
  • Norris, D., & Cutler, A. (1988). Speech recognition in French and English. MRC News, 39, 30-31.
  • Norris, D., & Cutler, A. (1988). The relative accessibility of phonemes and syllables. Perception and Psychophysics, 43, 541-550. Retrieved from http://www.psychonomic.org/search/view.cgi?id=8530.

    Abstract

    Previous research comparing detection times for syllables and for phonemes has consistently found that syllables are responded to faster than phonemes. This finding poses theoretical problems for strictly hierarchical models of speech recognition, in which smaller units should be able to be identified faster than larger units. However, inspection of the characteristics of previous experiments’stimuli reveals that subjects have been able to respond to syllables on the basis of only a partial analysis of the stimulus. In the present experiment, five groups of subjects listened to identical stimulus material. Phoneme and syllable monitoring under standard conditions was compared with monitoring under conditions in which near matches of target and stimulus occurred on no-response trials. In the latter case, when subjects were forced to analyze each stimulus fully, phonemes were detected faster than syllables.
  • Perdue, C., & Klein, W. (1992). Why does the production of some learners not grammaticalize? Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 14, 259-272. doi:10.1017/S0272263100011116.

    Abstract

    In this paper we follow two beginning learners of English, Andrea and Santo, over a period of 2 years as they develop means to structure the declarative utterances they produce in various production tasks, and then we look at the following problem: In the early stages of acquisition, both learners develop a common learner variety; during these stages, we see a picture of two learner varieties developing similar regularities determined by the minimal requirements of the tasks we examine. Andrea subsequently develops further morphosyntactic means to achieve greater cohesion in his discourse. But Santo does not. Although we can identify contexts where the grammaticalization of Andrea's production allows him to go beyond the initial constraints of his variety, it is much more difficult to ascertain why Santo, faced with the same constraints in the same contexts, does not follow this path. Some lines of investigation into this problem are then suggested.
  • Rösler, D., & Skiba, R. (1988). Möglichkeiten für den Einsatz einer Lehrmaterial-Datenbank in der Lehrerfortbildung. Deutsch lernen, 14(1), 24-31.
  • Schumacher, M., & Skiba, R. (1992). Prädikative und modale Ausdrucksmittel in den Lernervarietäten einer polnischen Migrantin: Eine Longitudinalstudie. Teil I. Linguistische Berichte, 141, 371-400.
  • Schumacher, M., & Skiba, R. (1992). Prädikative und modale Ausdrucksmittel in den Lernervarietäten einer polnischen Migrantin: Eine Longitudinalstudie. Teil II. Linguistische Berichte, 142, 451-475.
  • Senft, G. (1988). [Review of the book Functional syntax: Anaphora, discourse and empathy by Susumu Kuno]. Journal of Pragmatics, 12, 396-399. doi:10.1016/0378-2166(88)90040-9.
  • Senft, G. (1988). A grammar of Manam by Frantisek Lichtenberk [Book review]. Language and linguistics in Melanesia, 18, 169-173.
  • Senft, G. (1992). [Review of the book The Yimas language of New Guinea by William A. Foley]. Linguistics, 30, 634-639.
  • Senft, G. (1992). Bakavilisi Biga - or: What happens to English words in the Kilivila Language? Language and Linguistics in Melanesia, 23, 13-49.
  • Senft, G. (1992). Everything we always thought we knew about space - but did not bother to question. Working Papers of the Cognitive Anthropology Research group at the MPI for Psycholinguistics, 10.
  • Senft, G. (1992). What happened to "the fearless tailor" in Kilivila: A European fairy tale - from the South Seas. Anthropos, 87, 407-421.
  • Seuren, P. A. M. (1988). [Review of the Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary (Collins Birmingham University International Language Database)]. Journal of Semantics, 6, 169-174. doi:10.1093/jos/6.1.169.
  • Seuren, P. A. M. (1988). [Review of the book Pidgin and Creole linguistics by P. Mühlhäusler]. Studies in Language, 12(2), 504-513.
  • Seuren, P. A. M. (1963). Naar aanleiding van Dr. F. Balk-Smit Duyzentkunst "De Grammatische Functie". Levende Talen, 219, 179-186.
  • Seuren, P. A. M. (1988). Presupposition and negation. Journal of Semantics, 6(3/4), 175-226. doi:10.1093/jos/6.1.175.

    Abstract

    This paper is an attempt to show that given the available observations on the behaviour of negation and presuppositions there is no simpler explanation than to assume that natural language has two distinct negation operators, the minimal negation which preserves presuppositions and the radical negation which does not. The three-valued logic emerging from this distinction, and especially its model-theory, are discussed in detail. It is, however, stressed that the logic itself is only epiphenomenal on the structures and processes involved in the interpretation of sentences. Horn (1985) brings new observations to bear, related with metalinguistic uses of negation, and proposes a “pragmatic” ambiguity in negation to the effect that in descriptive (or “straight”) use negation is the classical bivalent operator, whereas in metalinguistic use it is non-truthfunctional but only pragmatic. Van der Sandt (to appear) accepts Horn's observations but proposes a different solution: he proposes an ambiguity in the argument clause of the negation operator (which, for him, too, is classical and bivalent), according to whether the negation takes only the strictly asserted proposition or covers also the presuppositions, the (scalar) implicatures and other implications (in particular of style and register) of the sentence expressing that proposition. These theories are discussed at some length. The three-valued analysis is defended on the basis of partly new observations, which do not seem to fit either Horn's or Van der Sandt's solution. It is then placed in the context of incremental discourse semantics, where both negations are seen to do the job of keeping increments out of the discourse domain, though each does so in its own specific way. The metalinguistic character of the radical negation is accounted for in terms of the incremental apparatus. The metalinguistic use of negation in denials of implicatures or implications of style and register is regarded as a particular form of minimal negation, where the negation denies not the proposition itself but the appropriateness of the use of an expression in it. This appropriateness negation is truth-functional and not pragmatic, but it applies to a particular, independently motivated, analysis of the argument clause. The ambiguity of negation in natural language is different from the ordinary type of ambiguity found in the lexicon. Normally, lexical ambiguities are idiosyncratic, highly contingent, and unpredictable from language to language. In the case of negation, however, the two meanings are closely related, both truth-conditionally and incrementally. Moreover, the mechanism of discourse incrementation automatically selects the right meaning. These properties are taken to provide a sufficient basis for discarding the, otherwise valid, objection that negation is unlikely to be ambiguous because no known language makes a lexical distinction between the two readings.
  • Skiba, R., & Dittmar, N. (1992). Pragmatic, semantic and syntactic constraints and grammaticalization: A longitudinal perspective. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 14, 323-349. doi:10.1017/S0272263100011141.
  • Van de Geer, J. P., & Levelt, W. J. M. (1963). Detection of visual patterns disturbed by noise: An exploratory study. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 15, 192-204. doi:10.1080/17470216308416324.

    Abstract

    An introductory study of the perception of stochastically specified events is reported. The initial problem was to determine whether the perceiver can split visual input data of this kind into random and determined components. The inability of subjects to do so with the stimulus material used (a filmlike sequence of dot patterns), led to the more general question of how subjects code this kind of visual material. To meet the difficulty of defining the subjects' responses, two experiments were designed. In both, patterns were presented as a rapid sequence of dots on a screen. The patterns were more or less disturbed by “noise,” i.e. the dots did not appear exactly at their proper places. In the first experiment the response was a rating on a semantic scale, in the second an identification from among a set of alternative patterns. The results of these experiments give some insight in the coding systems adopted by the subjects. First, noise appears to be detrimental to pattern recognition, especially to patterns with little spread. Second, this shows connections with the factors obtained from analysis of the semantic ratings, e.g. easily disturbed patterns show a large drop in the semantic regularity factor, when only a little noise is added.
  • Vonk, W., Hustinx, L. G., & Simons, W. H. (1992). The use of referential expressions in structuring discourse. Language and Cognitive Processes, 301-333. doi:10.1080/01690969208409389.

    Abstract

    Referential expressions that refer to entities that occur in a text differ in lexical specificity. It is claimed that if these anaphoric expressions are more specific than necessary for their identificational function, they not only relate the current information to the intended referent, but also contribute to the expression of the thematic structure of the discourse and to the comprehension of the thematic structure. In two controlled production experiments, it is demonstrated that thematic shifts are produced when one has to make use of such an overspecified expression, and that overspecified referential expressions are produced when one has to formulate a thematic shift. In two comprehension experiments, using a probe recognition technique, it is shown that an overspecified referential expression decreases the availability of information contained in a sentence that precedes the overspecification. This finding is interpreted in terms of the thematic structuring function of referential expressions in the understanding of discourse.

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