Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 185
  • Allen, S., Ozyurek, A., Kita, S., Brown, A., Furman, R., Ishizuka, T., & Fujii, M. (2007). Language-specific and universal influences in children's syntactic packaging of manner and path: A comparison of English, Japanese, and Turkish. Cognition, 102, 16-48. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2005.12.006.

    Abstract

    Different languages map semantic elements of spatial relations onto different lexical and syntactic units. These crosslinguistic differences raise important questions for language development in terms of how this variation is learned by children. We investigated how Turkish-, English-, and Japanese-speaking children (mean age 3;8) package the semantic elements of Manner and Path onto syntactic units when both the Manner and the Path of the moving Figure occur simultaneously and are salient in the event depicted. Both universal and language-specific patterns were evident in our data. Children used the semantic-syntactic mappings preferred by adult speakers of their own languages, and even expressed subtle syntactic differences that encode different relations between Manner and Path in the same way as their adult counterparts (i.e., Manner causing vs. incidental to Path). However, not all types of semantics-syntax mappings were easy for children to learn (e.g., expressing Manner and Path elements in two verbal clauses). In such cases, Turkish- and Japanese-speaking children frequently used syntactic patterns that were not typical in the target language but were similar to patterns used by English-speaking children, suggesting some universal influence. Thus, both language-specific and universal tendencies guide the development of complex spatial expressions.
  • Ameka, F. K., & Essegbey, J. (2007). Cut and break verbs in Ewe and the causative alternation construction. Cognitive Linguistics, 18(2), 241-250. doi:10.1515/COG.2007.011.

    Abstract

    Ewe verbs covering the cutting and breaking domain divide into four morpho-syntactic classes that can be ranked according to agentivity. We demonstrate that the highly non-agentive break verbs participate in the causative-inchoative alternation while the highly agentive cut verbs do not, as expected from Guerssel et al.'s (1985) hypothesis. However, four verbs tso 'cut with precision', 'cut', 'snap-off', and dze 'split', are used transitively when an instrument is required for the severance to be effected, and intransitively when not. We reject a lexicalist analysis that would postulate polysemy for these verbs and argue for a construction approach.
  • 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., & Levinson, S. C. (2007). Introduction-The typology and semantics of locative predicates: Posturals, positionals and other beasts. Linguistics, 45(5), 847-872. doi:10.1515/LING.2007.025.

    Abstract

    This special issue is devoted to a relatively neglected topic in linguistics, namely the verbal component of locative statements. English tends, of course, to use a simple copula in utterances like “The cup is on the table”, but many languages, perhaps as many as half of the world's languages, have a set of alternate verbs, or alternate verbal affixes, which contrast in this slot. Often these are classificatory verbs of 'sitting', 'standing' and 'lying'. For this reason, perhaps, Aristotle listed position among his basic (“noncomposite”) categories.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2007). The coding of topological relations in verbs: The case of Likpe (SEkpEle). Linguistics, 45(5), 1065-1104. doi:10.1515/LING.2007.032.

    Abstract

    This article examines the grammar, use and meaning of fifteen verbs used in the Basic Locative Construction (BLC) of Likpe — a Ghana-Togo-Mountain language. The verbs fall into four semantic subclasses: (a) basic topological relations: t 'be.at', tk 'be.on', kpé 'be.in', and fi 'be.near'; (b) postural verbs: sí 'sit', ny 'stand', fáka 'hang', yóma 'hang', kps 'lean', fus 'squat', and labe 'lie'; (c) “distribution” verbs: kpó 'be spread, heaped,' and tí 'be covered'; and (d) “adhesion” verbs: má 'be griped, be fixed', mánkla 'be stuck to'. Likpe locative predications reflect an ontological commitment to the overall topological relation between Figure and Ground and are not focused just on the Figure or the Ground. Various factors determine the choice of “competing” verbs for particular scenarios: animacy, nonindividuation of the Figure, permanency of the configuration and the speaker's desire to be referentially precise or to present stereotypical information. It is demonstrated that in situations where there is a choice, speakers tend to use the more general verbs (stereotype information). The implications of this tendency for the development of a language from a multiverb language using several verbs (e.g., 15) in its BLC to using only a small-set of verbs in its BLC, just as some of Likpe's neighbors have done, are considered.
  • Ameka, F. K., & Dorvlo, K. (2007). The Ewe language. Verba Africana series - Video documentation and Digital Materials, 1.
  • 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.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2007). Report on the XVIth International Conference on Historical Linguistic. General Linguistics, 43, 145-149.
  • Belke, E., & Meyer, A. S. (2007). Single and multiple object naming in healthy ageing. Language and Cognitive Processes, 22, 1178-1211. doi:10.1080/01690960701461541.

    Abstract

    We compared the performance of young (college-aged) and older (50+years) speakers in a single object and a multiple object naming task and assessed their susceptibility to semantic and phonological context effects when producing words amidst semantically or phonologically similar or dissimilar words. In single object naming, there were no performance differences between the age groups. In multiple object naming, we observed significant age-related slowing, expressed in longer gazes to the objects and slower speech. In addition, the direction of the phonological context effects differed for the two groups. The results of a supplementary experiment showed that young speakers, when adopting a slow speech rate, coordinated their eye movements and speech differently from the older speakers. Our results imply that age-related slowing in connected speech is not a direct consequence of a slowing of lexical retrieval processes. Instead, older speakers might allocate more processing capacity to speech monitoring processes, which would slow down their concurrent speech planning processes

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  • Bohnemeyer, J., Enfield, N. J., Essegbey, J., Ibarretxe-Antuñano, I., Kita, S., Lüpke, F., & Ameka, F. K. (2007). Principles of event segmentation in language: The case of motion events. Language, 83(3), 495-532. doi:10.1353/lan.2007.0116.

    Abstract

    We examine universals and crosslinguistic variation in constraints on event segmentation. Previous typological studies have focused on segmentation into syntactic (Pawley 1987) or intonational units (Givón 1991). We argue that the correlation between such units and semantic/conceptual event representations is language-specific. As an alternative, we introduce the MACRO-EVENT PROPERTY (MEP): a construction has the MEP if it packages event representations such that temporal operators necessarily have scope over all subevents. A case study on the segmentation of motion events into macro-event expressions in eighteen genetically and typologically diverse languages has produced evidence of two types of design principles that impact motion-event segmentation: language-specific lexicalization patterns and universal constraints on form-to-meaning mapping.
  • Bohnemeyer, J., & Brown, P. (2007). Standing divided: Dispositional verbs and locative predications in two Mayan languages. Linguistics, 45(5), 1105-1151. doi:0.1515/LING.2007.033.

    Abstract

    The Mayan languages Tzeltal and Yucatec have large form classes of “dispositional” roots which lexicalize spatial properties such as orientation, support/suspension/blockage of motion, and configurations of parts of an entity with respect to other parts. But speakers of the two languages deploy this common lexical resource quite differently. The roots are used in both languages to convey dispositional information (e.g., answering “how” questions), but Tzeltal speakers also use them in canonical locative descriptions (e.g., answering “where” questions), whereas Yucatec speakers only use dispositionals in locative predications when prompted by the context to focus on dispositional properties. We describe the constructions used in locative and dispositional descriptions in response to two different picture stimuli sets. Evidence against the proposal that Tzeltal uses dispositionals to compensate for its single, semantically generic preposition (Brown 1994; Grinevald 2006) comes from the finding that Tzeltal speakers use relational spatial nominals in the “Ground phrase” — the expression of the place at which an entity is located — about as frequently as Yucatec speakers. We consider several alternative hypotheses, including a possible larger typological difference that leads Tzeltal speakers, but not Yucatec speakers, to prefer “theme-specific” verbs not just in locative predications, but in any predication involving a theme argument.
  • Bramão, I., Mendonça, A., Faísca, L., Ingvar, M., Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A. (2007). The impact of reading and writing skills on a visuo-motor integration task: A comparison between illiterate and literate subjects. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 13(2), 359-364. doi:10.1017/S1355617707070440.

    Abstract

    Previous studies have shown a significant association between reading skills and the performance on visuo-motor tasks. In order to clarify whether reading and writing skills modulate non-linguistic domains, we investigated the performance of two literacy groups on a visuo-motor integration task with non-linguistic stimuli. Twenty-one illiterate participants and twenty matched literate controls were included in the experiment. Subjects were instructed to use the right or the left index finger to point to and touch a randomly presented target on the right or left side of a touch screen. The results showed that the literate subjects were significantly faster in detecting and touching targets on the left compared to the right side of the screen. In contrast, the presentation side did not affect the performance of the illiterate group. These results lend support to the idea that having acquired reading and writing skills, and thus a preferred left-to-right reading direction, influences visual scanning. (JINS, 2007, 13, 359–364
  • De Bree, E., Janse, E., & Van de Zande, A. M. (2007). Stress assignment in aphasia: Word and non-word reading and non-word repetition. Brain and Language, 103, 264-275. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2007.07.003.

    Abstract

    This paper investigates stress assignment in Dutch aphasic patients in non-word repetition, as well as in real-word and non-word reading. Performance on the non-word reading task was similar for the aphasic patients and the control group, as mainly regular stress was assigned to the targets. However, there were group differences on the real-word reading and non-word repetition tasks. Unlike the non-brain-damaged group, the patients showed a strong regularization tendency in their repetition of irregular patterns. The patients’ stress error patterns suggest an impairment in retention or retrieval of targets with irregular stress patterns. Limited verbal short-term memory is proposed as a possible underlying cause for the stress difficulties.
  • 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.
  • Brown, P. (2007). 'She had just cut/broken off her head': Cutting and breaking verbs in Tzeltal. Cognitive Linguistics, 18(2), 319-330. doi:10.1515/COG.2007.019.

    Abstract

    This paper describes the lexical resources for expressing events of cutting and breaking (C&B hereafter) in the Mayan language Tzeltal. This notional set of verbs is not a class in any grammatical sense; C&B verbs are formally undistinguishable from many other transitive state-change verbs. But they nicely reveal the characteristic specificity of Tzeltal verb semantics: C&B actions are finely differentiated according to the spatial and textural properties of the theme object, with no superordinate term meaning 'either cut in general' or 'break in general'. The paper characterizes the semantics of these verbs and shows that in the great majority of cases it does not predict their argument structure.
  • Cameron-Faulkner, T., & Kidd, E. (2007). I'm are what I'm are: The acquisition of first-person singular present BE. Cognitive Linguistics, 18(1), 1-22. doi:10.1515/COG.2007.001.

    Abstract

    The present study investigates the development of am in the speech of one English-speaking child, Scarlett (aged 4;6–5;6). We show that am is infrequent in the speech addressed to children; the acquisition of this form of BE presents a unique insight into the processes underlying language development because children have little evidence regarding its correct use. Scarlett produced a pervasive error where she overextended are to first-person singular contexts where am was required (e.g., I'm are trying, When are I'm finished?). Am gradually emerged in her speech on what appears to be a construction-specific basis. The findings of the study are used in support of a usage-based, constructivisit approach to language development.
  • Chen, J. (2007). 'He cut-break the rope': Encoding and categorizing cutting and breaking events in Mandarin. Cognitive Linguistics, 18(2), 273-285. doi:10.1515/COG.2007.015.

    Abstract

    Abstract Mandarin categorizes cutting and breaking events on the basis of fine semantic distinctions in the causal action and the caused result. I demonstrate the semantics of Mandarin C&B verbs from the perspective of event encoding and categorization as well as argument structure alternations. Three semantically different types of predicates can be identified: verbs denoting the C&B action subevent, verbs encoding the C&B result subevent, and resultative verb compounds (RVC) that encode both the action and the result subevents. The first verb of an RVC is basically dyadic, whereas the second is monadic. RVCs as a whole are also basically dyadic, and do not undergo detransitivization.
  • Chen, X. S., Rozhdestvensky, T. S., Collins, L. J., Schmitz, J., & Penny, D. (2007). Combined experimental and computational approach to identify non-protein-coding RNAs in the deep-branching eukaryote Giardia intestinalis. Nucleic Acids Research, 35, 4619-4628. doi:10.1093/nar/gkm474.

    Abstract

    Non-protein-coding RNAs represent a large proportion of transcribed sequences in eukaryotes. These RNAs often function in large RNA–protein complexes, which are catalysts in various RNA-processing pathways. As RNA processing has become an increasingly important area of research, numerous non-messenger RNAs have been uncovered in all the model eukaryotic organisms. However, knowledge on RNA processing in deep-branching eukaryotes is still limited. This study focuses on the identification of non-protein-coding RNAs from the diplomonad parasite Giardia intestinalis, showing that a combined experimental and computational search strategy is a fast method of screening reduced or compact genomes. The analysis of our Giardia cDNA library has uncovered 31 novel candidates, including C/D-box and H/ACA box snoRNAs, as well as an unusual transcript of RNase P, and double-stranded RNAs. Subsequent computational analysis has revealed additional putative C/D-box snoRNAs. Our results will lead towards a future understanding of RNA metabolism in the deep-branching eukaryote Giardia, as more ncRNAs are characterized.
  • Chen, A., Den Os, E., & De Ruiter, J. P. (2007). Pitch accent type matters for online processing of information status: Evidence from natural and synthetic speech. The Linguistic Review, 24(2), 317-344. doi:10.1515/TLR.2007.012.

    Abstract

    Adopting an eyetracking paradigm, we investigated the role of H*L, L*HL, L*H, H*LH, and deaccentuation at the intonational phrase-final position in online processing of information status in British English in natural speech. The role of H*L, L*H and deaccentuation was also examined in diphonesynthetic speech. It was found that H*L and L*HL create a strong bias towards newness, whereas L*H, like deaccentuation, creates a strong bias towards givenness. In synthetic speech, the same effect was found for H*L, L*H and deaccentuation, but it was delayed. The delay may not be caused entirely by the difference in the segmental quality between synthetic and natural speech. The pitch accent H*LH, however, appears to bias participants' interpretation to the target word, independent of its information status. This finding was explained in the light of the effect of durational information at the segmental level on word recognition.
  • Cho, T., McQueen, J. M., & Cox, E. A. (2007). Prosodically driven phonetic detail in speech processing: The case of domain-initial strengthening in English. Journal of Phonetics, 35(2), 210-243. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2006.03.003.

    Abstract

    We explore the role of the acoustic consequences of domain-initial strengthening in spoken-word recognition. In two cross-modal identity-priming experiments, listeners heard sentences and made lexical decisions to visual targets, presented at the onset of the second word in two-word sequences containing lexical ambiguities (e.g., bus tickets, with the competitor bust). These sequences contained Intonational Phrase (IP) or Prosodic Word (Wd) boundaries, and the second word's initial Consonant and Vowel (CV, e.g., [tI]) was spliced from another token of the sequence in IP- or Wd-initial position. Acoustic analyses showed that IP-initial consonants were articulated more strongly than Wd-initial consonants. In Experiment 1, related targets were post-boundary words (e.g., tickets). No strengthening effect was observed (i.e., identity priming effects did not vary across splicing conditions). In Experiment 2, related targets were pre-boundary words (e.g., bus). There was a strengthening effect (stronger priming when the post-boundary CVs were spliced from IP-initial than from Wd-initial position), but only in Wd-boundary contexts. These were the conditions where phonetic detail associated with domain-initial strengthening could assist listeners most in lexical disambiguation. We discuss how speakers may strengthen domain-initial segments during production and how listeners may use the resulting acoustic correlates of prosodic strengthening during word recognition.
  • Christoffels, I. K., Firk, C., & Schiller, N. O. (2007). Bilingual language control: An event-related brain potential study. Brain Research, 1147, 192-208. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2007.01.137.

    Abstract

    This study addressed how bilingual speakers switch between their first and second language when speaking. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) and naming latencies were measured while unbalanced German (L1)-Dutch (L2) speakers performed a picture-naming task. Participants named pictures either in their L1 or in their L2 (blocked language conditions), or participants switched between their first and second language unpredictably (mixed language condition). Furthermore, form similarity between translation equivalents (cognate status) was manipulated. A cognate facilitation effect was found for L1 and L2 indicating phonological activation of the non-response language in blocked and mixed language conditions. The ERP data also revealed small but reliable effects of cognate status. Language switching resulted in equal switching costs for both languages and was associated with a modulation in the ERP waveforms (time windows 275-375 ms and 375-475 ms). Mixed language context affected especially the L1, both in ERPs and in latencies, which became slower in L1 than L2. It is suggested that sustained and transient components of language control should be distinguished. Results are discussed in relation to current theories of bilingual language processing.
  • Christoffels, I. K., Formisano, E., & Schiller, N. O. (2007). The neural correlates of verbal feedback processing: An fMRI study employing overt speech. Human Brain Mapping, 28(9), 868-879. doi:10.1002/hbm.20315.

    Abstract

    Speakers use external auditory feedback to monitor their own speech. Feedback distortion has been found to increase activity in the superior temporal areas. Using fMRI, the present study investigates the neural correlates of processing verbal feedback without distortion. In a blocked design, the following conditions were presented: (1) overt picture-naming, (2) overt picture-naming while pink noise was presented to mask external feedback, (3) covert picture-naming, (4) listening to the picture names (previously recorded from participants' own voices), and (5) listening to pink noise. The results show that auditory feedback processing involves a network of different areas related to general performance monitoring and speech-motor control. These include the cingulate cortex and the bilateral insula, supplementary motor area, bilateral motor areas, cerebellum, thalamus and basal ganglia. Our findings suggest that the anterior cingulate cortex, which is often implicated in error-processing and conflict-monitoring, is also engaged in ongoing speech monitoring. Furthermore, in the superior temporal gyrus, we found a reduced response to speaking under normal feedback conditions. This finding is interpreted in the framework of a forward model according to which, during speech production, the sensory consequence of the speech-motor act is predicted to attenuate the sensitivity of the auditory cortex. Hum Brain Mapp 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
  • 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. (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.
  • Dahan, D., & Gaskell, M. G. (2007). The temporal dynamics of ambiguity resolution: Evidence from spoken-word recognition. Journal of Memory and Language, 57(4), 483-501. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2007.01.001.

    Abstract

    Two experiments examined the dynamics of lexical activation in spoken-word recognition. In both, the key materials were pairs of onset-matched picturable nouns varying in frequency. Pictures associated with these words, plus two distractor pictures were displayed. A gating task, in which participants identified the picture associated with gradually lengthening fragments of spoken words, examined the availability of discriminating cues in the speech waveforms for these pairs. There was a clear frequency bias in participants’ responses to short, ambiguous fragments, followed by a temporal window in which discriminating information gradually became available. A visual-world experiment examined speech contingent eye movements. Fixation analyses suggested that frequency influences lexical competition well beyond the point in the speech signal at which the spoken word has been fully discriminated from its competitor (as identified using gating). Taken together, these data support models in which the processing dynamics of lexical activation are a limiting factor on recognition speed, over and above the temporal unfolding of the speech signal.
  • Davidson, D. J., & Indefrey, P. (2007). An inverse relation between event-related and time–frequency violation responses in sentence processing. Brain Research, 1158, 81-92. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2007.04.082.

    Abstract

    The relationship between semantic and grammatical processing in sentence comprehension was investigated by examining event-related potential (ERP) and event-related power changes in response to semantic and grammatical violations. Sentences with semantic, phrase structure, or number violations and matched controls were presented serially (1.25 words/s) to 20 participants while EEG was recorded. Semantic violations were associated with an N400 effect and a theta band increase in power, while grammatical violations were associated with a P600 effect and an alpha/beta band decrease in power. A quartile analysis showed that for both types of violations, larger average violation effects were associated with lower relative amplitudes of oscillatory activity, implying an inverse relation between ERP amplitude and event-related power magnitude change in sentence processing.
  • Dediu, D., & Ladd, D. R. (2007). Linguistic tone is related to the population frequency of the adaptive haplogroups of two brain size genes, ASPM and Microcephalin. PNAS, 104, 10944-10949. doi:10.1073/pnas.0610848104.

    Abstract

    The correlations between interpopulation genetic and linguistic diversities are mostly noncausal (spurious), being due to historical processes and geographical factors that shape them in similar ways. Studies of such correlations usually consider allele frequencies and linguistic groupings (dialects, languages, linguistic families or phyla), sometimes controlling for geographic, topographic, or ecological factors. Here, we consider the relation between allele frequencies and linguistic typological features. Specifically, we focus on the derived haplogroups of the brain growth and development-related genes ASPM and Microcephalin, which show signs of natural selection and a marked geographic structure, and on linguistic tone, the use of voice pitch to convey lexical or grammatical distinctions. We hypothesize that there is a relationship between the population frequency of these two alleles and the presence of linguistic tone and test this hypothesis relative to a large database (983 alleles and 26 linguistic features in 49 populations), showing that it is not due to the usual explanatory factors represented by geography and history. The relationship between genetic and linguistic diversity in this case may be causal: certain alleles can bias language acquisition or processing and thereby influence the trajectory of language change through iterated cultural transmission.

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  • Dietrich, C., Swingley, D., & Werker, J. F. (2007). Native language governs interpretation of salient speech sound differences at 18 months. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 104(41), 16027-16031.

    Abstract

    One of the first steps infants take in learning their native language is to discover its set of speech-sound categories. This early development is shown when infants begin to lose the ability to differentiate some of the speech sounds their language does not use, while retaining or improving discrimination of language-relevant sounds. However, this aspect of early phonological tuning is not sufficient for language learning. Children must also discover which of the phonetic cues that are used in their language serve to signal lexical distinctions. Phonetic variation that is readily discriminable to all children may indicate two different words in one language but only one word in another. Here, we provide evidence that the language background of 1.5-year-olds affects their interpretation of phonetic variation in word learning, and we show that young children interpret salient phonetic variation in language-specific ways. Three experiments with a total of 104 children compared Dutch- and English-learning 18-month-olds' responses to novel words varying in vowel duration or vowel quality. Dutch learners interpreted vowel duration as lexically contrastive, but English learners did not, in keeping with properties of Dutch and English. Both groups performed equivalently when differentiating words varying in vowel quality. Thus, at one and a half years, children's phonological knowledge already guides their interpretation of salient phonetic variation. We argue that early phonological learning is not just a matter of maintaining the ability to distinguish language-relevant phonetic cues. Learning also requires phonological interpretation at appropriate levels of linguistic analysis.
  • Dimroth, C., & Klein, W. (2007). Den Erwachsenen überlegen: Kinder entwickeln beim Sprachenlernen besondere Techniken und sind erfolgreicher als ältere Menschen. Tagesspiegel, 19737, B6-B6.

    Abstract

    The younger - the better? This paper discusses second language learning at different ages and takes a critical look at generalizations of the kind ‘The younger – the better’. It is argued that these generalizations do not apply across the board. Age related differences like the amount of linguistic knowledge, prior experience as a language user, or more or less advanced communicative needs affect different components of the language system to different degrees, and can even be an advantage for the early development of simple communicative systems.
  • Duffield, N., Matsuo, A., & Roberts, L. (2007). Acceptable ungrammaticality in sentence matching. Second Language Research, 23(2), 155-177. doi:10.1177/0267658307076544.

    Abstract

    This paper presents results from a new set of experiments using the sentence matching paradigm (Forster, Kenneth (1979), Freedman & Forster (1985), also Bley-Vroman & Masterson (1989), investigating native-speakers’ and L2 learners’ knowledge of constraints on clitic placement in French.1 Our purpose is three-fold: (i) to shed more light on the contrasts between native-speakers and L2 learners observed in previous experiments, especially Duffield & White (1999), and Duffield, White, Bruhn de Garavito, Montrul & Prévost (2002); (ii), to address specific criticisms of the sentence-matching paradigm leveled by Gass (2001); (iii), to provide a firm empirical basis for follow-up experiments with L2 learners
  • Dunn, M., Margetts, A., Meira, S., & Terrill, A. (2007). Four languages from the lower end of the typology of locative predication. Linguistics, 45, 873-892. doi:10.1515/LING.2007.026.

    Abstract

    As proposed by Ameka and Levinson (this issue) locative verb systems can be classified into four types according to the number of verbs distinguished. This article addresses the lower extreme of this typology: languages which offer no choice of verb in the basic locative function (BLF). These languages have either a single locative verb, or do not use verbs at all in the basic locative construction (BLC, the construction used to encode the BLF). A close analysis is presented of the behavior of BLF predicate types in four genetically diverse languages: Chukchi (Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Russian Arctic), and Lavukaleve (Papuan isolate, Solomon Islands), which have BLC with the normal copula/existential verb for the language; Tiriyó (Cariban/Taranoan, Brazil), which has an optional copula in the BLC; and Saliba (Austronesian/Western Oceanic, Papua New Guinea), a language with a verbless clause as the BLC. The status of these languages in the typology of positional verb systems is reviewed, and other relevant typological generalizations are discussed
  • Dunn, M., & Ross, M. (2007). Is Kazukuru really non-Austronesian? Oceanic Linguistics, 46(1), 210-231. doi:10.1353/ol.2007.0018.

    Abstract

    Kazukuru is an extinct language, originally spoken in the inland of the western part of the island of New Georgia, Solomon Islands, and attested by very limited historical sources. Kazukuru has generally been considered to be a Papuan, that is, non-Austronesian, language, mostly on the basis of its lexicon. Reevaluation of the available data suggests a high likelihood that Kazukuru was in fact an Oceanic Austronesian language. Pronominal paradigms are clearly of Austronesian origin, and many other aspects of language structured retrievable from the limited data are also congruent with regional Oceanic Austronesian typology. The extent and possible causes of Kazukuru lexical deviations from the Austronesian norm are evaluated and discussed.
  • Dunn, M., Foley, R., Levinson, S. C., Reesink, G., & Terrill, A. (2007). Statistical reasoning in the evaluation of typological diversity in Island Melanesia. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 388-403.

    Abstract

    This paper builds on a previous work in which we attempted to retrieve a phylogenetic signal using abstract structural features alone, as opposed to cognate sets, drawn from a sample of Island Melanesian languages, both Oceanic (Austronesian) and (non-Austronesian) Papuan (Science 2005[309]: 2072-75 ). Here we clarify a number of misunderstandings of this approach, referring particularly to the critique by Mark Donohue and Simon Musgrave (in this same issue of Oceanic Linguistics), in which they fail to appreciate the statistical principles underlying computational phylogenetic methods. We also present new analyses that provide stronger evidence supporting the hypotheses put forward in our original paper: a reanalysis using Bayesian phylogenetic inference demonstrates the robustness of the data and methods, and provides a substantial improvement over the parsimony method used in our earlier paper. We further demonstrate, using the technique of spatial autocorrelation, that neither proximity nor Oceanic contact can be a major determinant of the pattern of structural variation of the Papuan languages, and thus that the phylogenetic relatedness of the Papuan languages remains a serious hypothesis.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2007). [Comment on 'Agency' by Paul Kockelman]. Current Anthropology, 48(3), 392-392. doi:10.1086/512998.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2007). [review of the book Ethnopragmatics: Understanding discourse in cultural context ed. by Cliff Goddard]. Intercultural Pragmatics, 4(3), 419-433. doi:10.1515/IP.2007.021.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2007). Encoding three-participant events in the Lao clause. Linguistics, 45(3), 509-538. doi:10.1515/LING.2007.016.

    Abstract

    Any language will have a range of predicates that specify three core participants (e.g. 'put', 'show', 'give'), and will conventionally provide a range of constructional types for the expression of these three participants in a structured single-clause or single-sentence event description. This article examines the clausal encoding of three-participant events in Lao, a Tai language of Southeast Asia. There is no possibility in Lao for expression of three full arguments in the core of a single-verb clause (although it is possible to have a third argument in a noncore slot, marked as oblique with a prepositionlike element). Available alternatives include extraposing an argument using a topic-comment construction, incorporating an argument into the verb phrase, and ellipsing one or more contextually retrievable arguments. A more common strategy is verb serialization, for example, where a threeplace verb (e.g. 'put') is assisted by an additional verb (typically a verb of handling such as 'carry') that provides a slot for the theme argument (e.g. the transferred object in a putting scene). The event construal encoded by this type of structure decomposes the event into a first stage in which the agent comes into control over a theme, and a second in which the agent performs a controlled action (e.g. of transfer) with respect to that theme and a goal (and/or source). The particular set of strategies that Lao offers for encoding three-participant events — notably, topic-comment strategy, ellipsis strategy, serial verb strategy — conform with (and are presumably motivated by) the general typological profile of the language. The typological features of Lao are typical for the mainland Southeast Asia area (isolating, topic-prominent, verb-serializing, widespread nominal ellipsis).
  • Enfield, N. J., Kita, S., & De Ruiter, J. P. (2007). Primary and secondary pragmatic functions of pointing gestures. Journal of Pragmatics, 39(10), 1722-1741. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2007.03.001.

    Abstract

    This article presents a study of a set of pointing gestures produced together with speech in a corpus of video-recorded “locality description” interviews in rural Laos. In a restricted set of the observed gestures (we did not consider gestures with special hand shapes, gestures with arc/tracing motion, or gestures directed at referents within physical reach), two basic formal types of pointing gesture are observed: B-points (large movement, full arm, eye gaze often aligned) and S-points (small movement, hand only, casual articulation). Taking the approach that speech and gesture are structurally integrated in composite utterances, we observe that these types of pointing gesture have distinct pragmatic functions at the utterance level. One type of gesture (usually “big” in form) carries primary, informationally foregrounded information (for saying “where” or “which one”). Infants perform this type of gesture long before they can talk. The second type of gesture (usually “small” in form) carries secondary, informationally backgrounded information which responds to a possible but uncertain lack of referential common ground. We propose that the packaging of the extra locational information into a casual gesture is a way of adding extra information to an utterance without it being on-record that the added information was necessary. This is motivated by the conflict between two general imperatives of communication in social interaction: a social-affiliational imperative not to provide more information than necessary (“Don’t over-tell”), and an informational imperative not to provide less information than necessary (“Don’t under-tell”).
  • Enfield, N. J. (2007). Lao separation verbs and the logic of linguistic event categorization. Cognitive Linguistics, 18(2), 287-296. doi:10.1515/COG.2007.016.

    Abstract

    While there are infinite conceivable events of material separation, those actually encoded in the conventions of a given language's verb semantics number only a few. Furthermore, there appear to be crosslinguistic parallels in the native verbal analysis of this conceptual domain. What are the operative distinctions, and why these? This article analyses a key subset of the bivalent (transitive) verbs of cutting and breaking in Lao. I present a decompositional analysis of the verbs glossed 'cut (off)', 'cut.into.with.placed.blade', 'cut.into.with.moving.blade', and 'snap', pursuing the idea that the attested combinations of sub-events have a natural logic to them. Consideration of the nature of linguistic categories, as distinct from categories in general, suggests that the attested distinctions must have ethnographic and social interactional significance, raising new lines of research for cognitive semantics.
  • Ernestus, M., Van Mulken, M., & Baayen, R. H. (2007). Ridders en heiligen in tijd en ruimte: Moderne stylometrische technieken toegepast op Oud-Franse teksten. Taal en Tongval, 58, 1-83.

    Abstract

    This article shows that Old-French literary texts differ systematically in their relative frequencies of syntactic constructions. These frequencies reflect differences in register (poetry versus prose), region (Picardy, Champagne, and Esatern France), time period (until 1250, 1251 – 1300, 1301 – 1350), and genre (hagiography, romance of chivalry, or other).
  • Ernestus, M., & Baayen, R. H. (2007). Paradigmatic effects in auditory word recognition: The case of alternating voice in Dutch. Language and Cognitive Processes, 22(1), 1-24. doi:10.1080/01690960500268303.

    Abstract

    Two lexical decision experiments addressed the role of paradigmatic effects in auditory word recognition. Experiment 1 showed that listeners classified a form with an incorrectly voiced final obstruent more readily as a word if the obstruent is realised as voiced in other forms of that word's morphological paradigm. Moreover, if such was the case, the exact probability of paradigmatic voicing emerged as a significant predictor of the response latencies. A greater probability of voicing correlated with longer response latencies for words correctly realised with voiceless final obstruents. A similar effect of this probability was observed in Experiment 2 for words with completely voiceless or weakly voiced (incompletely neutralised) final obstruents. These data demonstrate the relevance of paradigmatically related complex words for the processing of morphologically simple words in auditory word recognition.
  • Essegbey, J., & Ameka, F. K. (2007). "Cut" and "break" verbs in Gbe and Sranan. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 22(1), 37-55. doi:10.1075/jpcl.22.1.04ess.

    Abstract

    This paper compares “cut” and “break” verbs in four variants of Gbe, namely Anfoe, Anlo, Fon and Ayizo, with those of Sranan. “Cut” verbs are change-of-state verbs that co-lexicalize the type of action that brings about a change, the type of instrument or instrument part, and the manner in which a change occurs. By contrast, break verbs co-lexicalize either the type of object or the type of change. It has been hypothesized that “cut”-verbs are unergative while breaks verbs are unaccusatives. For example “break” verbs participate in the causative alternation constructions but “cut” verbs don’t. We show that although there are some differences in the meanings of “cut” and break verbs across the Gbe languages, significant generalizations can be made with regard to their lexicalization patterns. By contrast, the meanings of “cut” and break verbs in Sranan are closer to those of their etymons in English and Dutch. However, despite the differences in the meanings of “cut” and “break” verbs between the Gbe languages and Sranan, the syntax of the verbs in Sranan is similar to that of the Eastern Gbe variants, namely Fon and Ayizo. We look at the implications of our findings for the relexification hypothesis. (copyright Benjamins)
  • 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.
  • Felser, C., & Roberts, L. (2007). Processing wh-dependencies in a second language: A cross-modal priming study. Second Language Research, 23(1), 9-36. doi:10.1177/0267658307071600.

    Abstract

    This study investigates the real-time processing of wh-dependencies by advanced Greek-speaking learners of English using a cross-modal picture priming task. Participants were asked to respond to different types of picture target presented either at structurally defined gap positions, or at pre-gap control positions, while listening to sentences containing indirect-object relative clauses. Our results indicate that the learners processed the experimental sentences differently from both adult native speakers of English and monolingual English-speaking children. Contrary to what has been found for native speakers, the learners' response pattern was not influenced by individual working memory differences. Adult second language learners differed from native speakers with a relatively high reading or listening span in that they did not show any evidence of structurally based antecedent reactivation at the point of the indirect object gap. They also differed from low-span native speakers, however, in that they showed evidence of maintained antecedent activation during the processing of the experimental sentences. Whereas the localized priming effect observed in the high-span controls is indicative of trace-based antecedent reactivation in native sentence processing, the results from the Greek-speaking learners support the hypothesis that the mental representations built during non-native language processing lack abstract linguistic structure such as movement traces.
  • Fisher, S. E. (2007). Molecular windows into speech and language disorders. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, 59, 130-140. doi:10.1159/000101771.

    Abstract

    Why do some children fail to acquire speech and language skills despite adequate environmental input and overtly normal neurological and anatomical development? It has been suspected for several decades, based on indirect evidence, that the human genome might hold some answers to this enigma. These suspicions have recently received dramatic confirmation with the discovery of specific genetic changes which appear sufficient to derail speech and language development. Indeed, researchers are already using information from genetic studies to aid early diagnosis and to shed light on the neural pathways that are perturbed in these inherited forms of speech and language disorder. Thus, we have entered an exciting era for dissecting the neural bases of human communication, one which takes genes and molecules as a starting point. In the current article I explain how this recent paradigm shift has occurred and describe the new vistas that have opened up. I demonstrate ways of bridging the gaps between molecules, neurons and the brain, which will provide a new understanding of the aetiology of speech and language impairments.
  • FitzPatrick, I. (2007). Effects of sentence context in L2 natural speech comprehension. Nijmegen CNS, 2, 43-56.

    Abstract

    Electrophysiological studies consistently find N400 effects of semantic incongruity in non-native written language comprehension. Typically these N400 effects are later than N400 effects in native comprehension, suggesting that semantic processing in one’s second language (L2) may be delayed compared to one’s first language (L1). In this study we were firstly interested in replicating the semantic incongruity effect using natural auditory speech, which poses strong demands on the speed of processing. Secondly, we wished to investigate whether a possible delay in semantic processing might be due to bilinguals accessing lexical items from both their L1 and L2 (a more extensive lexical search). We recorded EEG from 30 Dutch-English bilinguals who listened to English sentences � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � ��� � � in which the sentence-final word was: (1) semantically fitting, (2) semantically incongruent, (3) initially congruent: semantically incongruent, but sharing initial phonemes with the most probable sentence completion within the L2, (4) semantically incongruent, but sharing initial phonemes with the L1 translation equivalent of the most probable sentence completion. We found an N400 effect in each of the semantically incongruent conditions. This N400 effect was significantly delayed to L2 words that were initially congruent with the sentence context. We found no effect of initial overlap with L1 translation equivalents. Taken together these findings firstly demonstrate that non-native listeners are sensitive to semantic incongruity in natural speech, secondly indicate that semantic integration in non-native listening can start on the basis of word initial phonemes, and finally suggest that during L2 sentence processing listeners do not access the L1 lexicon.
  • Flecken, M., & Schmiedtova, B. (2007). The expression of simultaneity in L1 Dutch. Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen, 77(1), 67-78.
  • Floyd, S. (2007). Changing times and local terms on the Rio Negro, Brazil: Amazonian ways of depolarizing epistemology, chronology and cultural Change. Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic studies, 2(2), 111-140. doi:10.1080/17442220701489548.

    Abstract

    Partway along the vast waterways of Brazil's middle Rio Negro, upstream from urban Manaus and downstream from the ethnographically famous Northwest Amazon region, is the town of Castanheiro, whose inhabitants skillfully negotiate a space between the polar extremes of 'traditional' and 'acculturated.' This paper takes an ethnographic look at the non-polarizing terms that these rural Amazonian people use for talking about cultural change. While popular and academic discourses alike have often framed cultural change in the Amazon as a linear process, Amazonian discourse provides resources for describing change as situated in shifting fields of knowledge of the social and physical environments, better capturing its non-linear complexity and ambiguity.
  • Francks, C., Maegawa, S., Laurén, J., Abrahams, B. S., Velayos-Baeza, A., Medland, S. E., Colella, S., Groszer, M., McAuley, E. Z., Caffrey, T. M., Timmusk, T., Pruunsild, P., Koppel, I., Lind, P. A., Matsumoto-Itaba, N., Nicod, J., Xiong, L., Joober, R., Enard, W., Krinsky, B. and 22 moreFrancks, C., Maegawa, S., Laurén, J., Abrahams, B. S., Velayos-Baeza, A., Medland, S. E., Colella, S., Groszer, M., McAuley, E. Z., Caffrey, T. M., Timmusk, T., Pruunsild, P., Koppel, I., Lind, P. A., Matsumoto-Itaba, N., Nicod, J., Xiong, L., Joober, R., Enard, W., Krinsky, B., Nanba, E., Richardson, A. J., Riley, B. P., Martin, N. G., Strittmatter, S. M., Möller, H.-J., Rujescu, D., St Clair, D., Muglia, P., Roos, J. L., Fisher, S. E., Wade-Martins, R., Rouleau, G. A., Stein, J. F., Karayiorgou, M., Geschwind, D. H., Ragoussis, J., Kendler, K. S., Airaksinen, M. S., Oshimura, M., DeLisi, L. E., & Monaco, A. P. (2007). LRRTM1 on chromosome 2p12 is a maternally suppressed gene that is associated paternally with handedness and schizophrenia. Molecular Psychiatry, 12, 1129-1139. doi:10.1038/sj.mp.4002053.

    Abstract

    Left-right asymmetrical brain function underlies much of human cognition, behavior and emotion. Abnormalities of cerebral asymmetry are associated with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders. The molecular, developmental and evolutionary origins of human brain asymmetry are unknown. We found significant association of a haplotype upstream of the gene LRRTM1 (Leucine-rich repeat transmembrane neuronal 1) with a quantitative measure of human handedness in a set of dyslexic siblings, when the haplotype was inherited paternally (P=0.00002). While we were unable to find this effect in an epidemiological set of twin-based sibships, we did find that the same haplotype is overtransmitted paternally to individuals with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder in a study of 1002 affected families (P=0.0014). We then found direct confirmatory evidence that LRRTM1 is an imprinted gene in humans that shows a variable pattern of maternal downregulation. We also showed that LRRTM1 is expressed during the development of specific forebrain structures, and thus could influence neuronal differentiation and connectivity. This is the first potential genetic influence on human handedness to be identified, and the first putative genetic effect on variability in human brain asymmetry. LRRTM1 is a candidate gene for involvement in several common neurodevelopmental disorders, and may have played a role in human cognitive and behavioral evolution.
  • Frank, S. L., Koppen, M., Noordman, L. G. M., & Vonk, W. (2007). Coherence-driven resolution of referential ambiguity: A computational model. Memory & Cognition, 35(6), 1307-1322.

    Abstract

    We present a computational model that provides a unified account of inference, coherence, and disambiguation. It simulates how the build-up of coherence in text leads to the knowledge-based resolution of referential ambiguity. Possible interpretations of an ambiguity are represented by centers of gravity in a high-dimensional space. The unresolved ambiguity forms a vector in the same space. This vector is attracted by the centers of gravity, while also being affected by context information and world knowledge. When the vector reaches one of the centers of gravity, the ambiguity is resolved to the corresponding interpretation. The model accounts for reading time and error rate data from experiments on ambiguous pronoun resolution and explains the effects of context informativeness, anaphor type, and processing depth. It shows how implicit causality can have an early effect during reading. A novel prediction is that ambiguities can remain unresolved if there is insufficient disambiguating information.
  • French, C. A., Groszer, M., Preece, C., Coupe, A.-M., Rajewsky, K., & Fisher, S. E. (2007). Generation of mice with a conditional Foxp2 null allele. Genesis, 45(7), 440-446. doi:10.1002/dvg.20305.

    Abstract

    Disruptions of the human FOXP2 gene cause problems with articulation of complex speech sounds, accompanied by impairment in many aspects of language ability. The FOXP2/Foxp2 transcription factor is highly similar in humans and mice, and shows a complex conserved expression pattern, with high levels in neuronal subpopulations of the cortex, striatum, thalamus, and cerebellum. In the present study we generated mice in which loxP sites flank exons 12-14 of Foxp2; these exons encode the DNA-binding motif, a key functional domain. We demonstrate that early global Cre-mediated recombination yields a null allele, as shown by loss of the loxP-flanked exons at the RNA level and an absence of Foxp2 protein. Homozygous null mice display severe motor impairment, cerebellar abnormalities and early postnatal lethality, consistent with other Foxp2 mutants. When crossed to transgenic lines expressing Cre protein in a spatially and/or temporally controlled manner, these conditional mice will provide new insights into the contributions of Foxp2 to distinct neural circuits, and allow dissection of roles during development and in the mature brain.
  • Furman, R., & Ozyurek, A. (2007). Development of interactional discourse markers: Insights from Turkish children's and adults' narratives. Journal of Pragmatics, 39(10), 1742-1757. doi:10.1016/j.pragma.2007.01.008.

    Abstract

    Discourse markers (DMs) are linguistic elements that index different relations and coherence between units of talk (Schiffrin, Deborah, 1987. Discourse Markers. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge). Most research on the development of these forms has focused on conversations rather than narratives and furthermore has not directly compared children's use of DMs to adult usage. This study examines the development of three DMs (şey ‘uuhh’, yani ‘I mean’, işte ‘y’know’) that mark interactional levels of discourse in oral Turkish narratives in 60 Turkish children (3-, 5- and 9-year-olds) and 20 Turkish-speaking adults. The results show that the frequency and functions of DMs change with age. Children learn şey, which mainly marks exchange level structures, earliest. However, yani and işte have multi-functions such as marking both information states and participation frameworks and are consequently learned later. Children also use DMs with different functions than adults. Overall, the results show that learning to use interactional DMs in narratives is complex and goes beyond age 9, especially for multi-functional DMs that index an interplay of discourse coherence at different levels.
  • Gisselgard, J., Uddén, J., Ingvar, M., & Petersson, K. M. (2007). Disruption of order information by irrelevant items: A serial recognition paradigm. Acta Psychologica, 124(3), 356-369. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2006.04.002.

    Abstract

    Irrelevant speech effect (ISE) is defined as a decrement in visually presented digit-list short-term memory performance due to exposure to irrelevant auditory material. Perhaps the most successful theoretical explanation of the effect is the changing state hypothesis. This hypothesis explains the effect in terms of confusion between amodal serial order cues, and represents a view based on the interference caused by the processing of similar order information of the visual and auditory materials. An alternative view suggests that the interference occurs as a consequence of the similarity between the visual and auditory contents of the stimuli. An important argument for the former view is the observation that ISE is almost exclusively observed in tasks that require memory for serial order. However, most short-term memory tasks require that both item and order information be retained in memory. An ideal task to investigate the sensitivity of maintenance of serial order to irrelevant speech would be one that calls upon order information but not item information. One task that is particularly suited to address this issue is serial recognition. In a typical serial recognition task, a list of items is presented and then probed by the same list in which the order of two adjacent items has been transposed. Due to the re-presentation of the encoding string, serial recognition requires primarily the serial order to be maintained while the content of the presented items is deemphasized. In demonstrating a highly significant ISE of changing versus steady-state auditory items in a serial recognition task, the present finding lends support for and extends previous empirical findings suggesting that irrelevant speech has the potential to interfere with the coding of the order of the items to be memorized.
  • Glaser, B., Nikolov, I., Chubb, D., Hamshere, M. L., Segurado, R., Moskvina, V., & Holmans, P. (2007). Analyses of single marker and pairwise effects of candidate loci for rheumatoid arthritis using logistic regression and random forests. BMC Proceedings, 1(Suppl 1): 54.

    Abstract

    Using parametric and nonparametric techniques, our study investigated the presence of single locus and pairwise effects between 20 markers of the Genetic Analysis Workshop 15 (GAW15) North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium (NARAC) candidate gene data set (Problem 2), analyzing 463 independent patients and 855 controls. Specifically, our work examined the correspondence between logistic regression (LR) analysis of single-locus and pairwise interaction effects, and random forest (RF) single and joint importance measures. For this comparison, we selected small but stable RFs (500 trees), which showed strong correlations (r~0.98) between their importance measures and those by RFs grown on 5000 trees. Both RF importance measures captured most of the LR single-locus and pairwise interaction effects, while joint importance measures also corresponded to full LR models containing main and interaction effects. We furthermore showed that RF measures were particularly sensitive to data imputation. The most consistent pairwise effect on rheumatoid arthritis was found between two markers within MAP3K7IP2/SUMO4 on 6q25.1, although LR and RFs assigned different significance levels. Within a hypothetical two-stage design, pairwise LR analysis of all markers with significant RF single importance would have reduced the number of possible combinations in our small data set by 61%, whereas joint importance measures would have been less efficient for marker pair reduction. This suggests that RF single importance measures, which are able to detect a wide range of interaction effects and are computationally very efficient, might be exploited as pre-screening tool for larger association studies. Follow-up analysis, such as by LR, is required since RFs do not indicate highrisk genotype combinations.
  • Hagoort, P., & Van Berkum, J. J. A. (2007). Beyond the sentence given. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Series B: Biological Sciences, 362, 801-811.

    Abstract

    A central and influential idea among researchers of language is that our language faculty is organized according to Fregean compositionality, which states that the meaning of an utterance is a function of the meaning of its parts and of the syntactic rules by which these parts are combined. Since the domain of syntactic rules is the sentence, the implication of this idea is that language interpretation takes place in a two-step fashion. First, the meaning of a sentence is computed. In a second step, the sentence meaning is integrated with information from prior discourse, world knowledge, information about the speaker and semantic information from extra-linguistic domains such as co-speech gestures or the visual world. Here, we present results from recordings of event-related brain potentials that are inconsistent with this classical two-step model of language interpretation. Our data support a one-step model in which knowledge about the context and the world, concomitant information from other modalities, and the speaker are brought to bear immediately, by the same fast-acting brain system that combines the meanings of individual words into a message-level representation. Underlying the one-step model is the immediacy assumption, according to which all available information will immediately be used to co-determine the interpretation of the speaker's message. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data that we collected indicate that Broca's area plays an important role in semantic unification. Language comprehension involves the rapid incorporation of information in a 'single unification space', coming from a broader range of cognitive domains than presupposed in the standard two-step model of interpretation.
  • Hagoort, P. (1992). Vertraagde lexicale integratie bij afatisch taalverstaan. Stem, Spraak- en Taalpathologie, 1, 5-23.
  • Hald, L. A., Steenbeek-Planting, E. G., & Hagoort, P. (2007). The interaction of discourse context and world knowledge in online sentence comprehension: Evidence from the N400. Brain Research, 1146, 210-218. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2007.02.054.

    Abstract

    In an ERP experiment we investigated how the recruitment and integration of world knowledge information relate to the integration of information within a current discourse context. Participants were presented with short discourse contexts which were followed by a sentence that contained a critical word that was correct or incorrect based on general world knowledge and the supporting discourse context, or was more or less acceptable based on the combination of general world knowledge and the specific local discourse context. Relative to the critical word in the correct world knowledge sentences following a neutral discourse, all other critical words elicited an N400 effect that began at about 300 ms after word onset. However, the magnitude of the N400 effect varied in a way that suggests an interaction between world knowledge and discourse context. The results indicate that both world knowledge and discourse context have an effect on sentence interpretation, but neither overrides the other.
  • Haller, S., Klarhoefer, M., Schwarzbach, J., Radue, E. W., & Indefrey, P. (2007). Spatial and temporal analysis of fMRI data on word and sentence reading. European Journal of Neuroscience, 26(7), 2074-2084. doi:10.1111/j.1460-9568.2007.05816.x.

    Abstract

    Written language comprehension at the word and the sentence level was analysed by the combination of spatial and temporal analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Spatial analysis was performed via general linear modelling (GLM). Concerning the temporal analysis, local differences in neurovascular coupling may confound a direct comparison of blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response estimates between regions. To avoid this problem, we parametrically varied linguistic task demands and compared only task-induced within-region BOLD response differences across areas. We reasoned that, in a hierarchical processing system, increasing task demands at lower processing levels induce delayed onset of higher-level processes in corresponding areas. The flow of activation is thus reflected in the size of task-induced delay increases. We estimated BOLD response delay and duration for each voxel and each participant by fitting a model function to the event-related average BOLD response. The GLM showed increasing activations with increasing linguistic demands dominantly in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and the left superior temporal gyrus (STG). The combination of spatial and temporal analysis allowed a functional differentiation of IFG subregions involved in written language comprehension. Ventral IFG region (BA 47) and STG subserve earlier processing stages than two dorsal IFG regions (BA 44 and 45). This is in accordance with the assumed early lexical semantic and late syntactic processing of these regions and illustrates the complementary information provided by spatial and temporal fMRI data analysis of the same data set.
  • Hamshere, M. L., Segurado, R., Moskvina, V., Nikolov, I., Glaser, B., & Holmans, P. A. (2007). Large-scale linkage analysis of 1302 affected relative pairs with rheumatoid arthritis. BMC Proceedings, 1 (Suppl 1), S100.

    Abstract

    Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common systematic autoimmune disease and its etiology is believed to have both strong genetic and environmental components. We demonstrate the utility of including genetic and clinical phenotypes as covariates within a linkage analysis framework to search for rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility loci. The raw genotypes of 1302 affected relative pairs were combined from four large family-based samples (North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium, United Kingdom, European Consortium on Rheumatoid Arthritis Families, and Canada). The familiality of the clinical phenotypes was assessed. The affected relative pairs were subjected to autosomal multipoint affected relative-pair linkage analysis. Covariates were included in the linkage analysis to take account of heterogeneity within the sample. Evidence of familiality was observed with age at onset (p <} 0.001) and rheumatoid factor (RF) IgM (p {< 0.001), but not definite erosions (p = 0.21). Genome-wide significant evidence for linkage was observed on chromosome 6. Genome-wide suggestive evidence for linkage was observed on chromosomes 13 and 20 when conditioning on age at onset, chromosome 15 conditional on gender, and chromosome 19 conditional on RF IgM after allowing for multiple testing of covariates.
  • Holler, J., & Stevens, R. (2007). The effect of common ground on how speakers use gesture and speech to represent size information. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 26, 4-27.
  • Hoogman, M., Weisfelt, M., van de Beek, D., de Gans, J., & Schmand, B. (2007). Cognitive outcome in adults after bacterial meningitis. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 78, 1092-1096. doi:10.1136/jnnp.2006.110023.

    Abstract

    Objective: To evaluate cognitive outcome in adult survivors of bacterial meningitis. Methods: Data from three prospective multicentre studies were pooled and reanalysed, involving 155 adults surviving bacterial meningitis (79 after pneumococcal and 76 after meningococcal meningitis) and 72 healthy controls. Results: Cognitive impairment was found in 32% of patients and this proportion was similar for survivors of pneumococcal and meningococcal meningitis. Survivors of pneumococcal meningitis performed worse on memory tasks (p<0.001) and tended to be cognitively slower than survivors of meningococcal meningitis (p = 0.08). We found a diffuse pattern of cognitive impairment in which cognitive speed played the most important role. Cognitive performance was not related to time since meningitis; however, there was a positive association between time since meningitis and self-reported physical impairment (p<0.01). The frequency of cognitive impairment and the numbers of abnormal test results for patients with and without adjunctive dexamethasone were similar. Conclusions: Adult survivors of bacterial meningitis are at risk of cognitive impairment, which consists mainly of cognitive slowness. The loss of cognitive speed is stable over time after bacterial meningitis; however, there is a significant improvement in subjective physical impairment in the years after bacterial meningitis. The use of dexamethasone was not associated with cognitive impairment.
  • Huettig, F., & McQueen, J. M. (2007). The tug of war between phonological, semantic and shape information in language-mediated visual search. Journal of Memory and Language, 57(4), 460-482. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2007.02.001.

    Abstract

    Experiments 1 and 2 examined the time-course of retrieval of phonological, visual-shape and semantic knowledge as Dutch participants listened to sentences and looked at displays of four pictures. Given a sentence with beker, `beaker', for example, the display contained phonological (a beaver, bever), shape (a bobbin, klos), and semantic (a fork, vork) competitors. When the display appeared at sentence onset, fixations to phonological competitors preceded fixations to shape and semantic competitors. When display onset was 200 ms before (e.g.) beker, fixations were directed to shape and then semantic competitors, but not phonological competitors. In Experiments 3 and 4, displays contained the printed names of the previously-pictured entities; only phonological competitors were fixated preferentially. These findings suggest that retrieval of phonological, shape and semantic knowledge in the spoken-word and picture-recognition systems is cascaded, and that visual attention shifts are co-determined by the time-course of retrieval of all three knowledge types and by the nature of the information in the visual environment.
  • Huettig, F., & Altmann, G. T. M. (2007). Visual-shape competition during language-mediated attention is based on lexical input and not modulated by contextual appropriateness. Visual Cognition, 15(8), 985-1018. doi:10.1080/13506280601130875.

    Abstract

    Visual attention can be directed immediately, as a spoken word unfolds, towards conceptually related but nonassociated objects, even if they mismatch on other dimensions that would normally determine which objects in the scene were appropriate referents for the unfolding word (Huettig & Altmann, 2005). Here we demonstrate that the mapping between language and concurrent visual objects can also be mediated by visual-shape relations. On hearing "snake", participants directed overt attention immediately, within a visual display depicting four objects, to a picture of an electric cable, although participants had viewed the visual display with four objects for approximately 5 s before hearing the target word - sufficient time to recognize the objects for what they were. The time spent fixating the cable correlated significantly with ratings of the visual similarity between snakes in general and this particular cable. Importantly, with sentences contextually biased towards the concept snake, participants looked at the snake well before the onset of "snake", but they did not look at the visually similar cable until hearing "snake". Finally, we demonstrate that such activation can, under certain circumstances (e.g., during the processing of dominant meanings of homonyms), constrain the direction of visual attention even when it is clearly contextually inappropriate. We conclude that language-mediated attention can be guided by a visual match between spoken words and visual objects, but that such a match is based on lexical input and may not be modulated by contextual appropriateness.
  • Huttar, G. L., Essegbey, J., & Ameka, F. K. (2007). Gbe and other West African sources of Suriname creole semantic structures: Implications for creole genesis. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 22(1), 57-72. doi:10.1075/jpcl.22.1.05hut.

    Abstract

    This paper reports on ongoing research on the role of various kinds of potential substrate languages in the development of the semantic structures of Ndyuka (Eastern Suriname Creole). A set of 100 senses of noun, verb, and other lexemes in Ndyuka were compared with senses of corresponding lexemes in three kinds of languages of the former Slave Coast and Gold Coast areas, and immediately adjoining hinterland: (a) Gbe languages; (b) other Kwa languages, specifically Akan and Ga; (c) non-Kwa Niger-Congo languages. The results of this process provide some evidence for the importance of the Gbe languages in the formation of the Suriname creoles, but also for the importance of other languages, and for the areal nature of some of the collocations studied, rendering specific identification of a single substrate source impossible and inappropriate. These results not only provide information about the role of Gbe and other languages in the formation of Ndyuka, but also give evidence for effects of substrate languages spoken by late arrivals some time after the "founders" of a given creole-speaking society. The conclusions are extrapolated beyond Suriname to creole genesis generally.
  • Janse, E., Nooteboom, S. G., & Quené, H. (2007). Coping with gradient forms of /t/-deletion and lexical ambiguity in spoken word recognition. Language and Cognitive Processes, 22(2), 161-200. doi:10.1080/01690960500371024.

    Abstract

    This study investigates how listeners cope with gradient forms of deletion of word-final /t/ when recognising words in a phonological context that makes /t/-deletion viable. A corpus study confirmed a high incidence of /t/-deletion in an /st#b/ context in Dutch. A discrimination study showed that differences between released /t/, unreleased /t/ and fully deleted /t/ in this specific /st#b/ context were salient. Two on-line experiments were carried out to investigate whether lexical activation might be affected by this form variation. Even though unreleased and released variants were processed equally fast by listeners, a detailed analysis of the unreleased condition provided evidence for gradient activation. Activating a target ending in /t/ is slowest for the most reduced variant because phonological context has to be taken into account. Importantly, activation for a target with /t/ in the absence of cues for /t/ is reduced if there is a surface-matching lexical competitor.
  • Janzen, G., Wagensveld, B., & Van Turennout, M. (2007). Neural representation of navigational relevance is rapidly induced and long lasting. Cerebral Cortex, 17(4), 975-981. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhl008.

    Abstract

    Successful navigation is facilitated by the presence of landmarks. Previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) evidence indicated that the human parahippocampal gyrus automatically distinguishes between landmarks placed at navigationally relevant (decision points) and irrelevant locations (nondecision points). This storage of navigational relevance can provide a neural mechanism underlying successful navigation. However, an efficient wayfinding mechanism requires that important spatial information is learned quickly and maintained over time. The present study investigates whether the representation of navigational relevance is modulated by time and practice. Participants learned 2 film sequences through virtual mazes containing objects at decision and at nondecision points. One maze was shown one time, and the other maze was shown 3 times. Twenty-four hours after study, event-related fMRI data were acquired during recognition of the objects. The results showed that activity in the parahippocampal gyrus was increased for objects previously placed at decision points as compared with objects placed at nondecision points. The decision point effect was not modulated by the number of exposures to the mazes and independent of explicit memory functions. These findings suggest a persistent representation of navigationally relevant information, which is stable after only one exposure to an environment. These rapidly induced and long-lasting changes in object representation provide a basis for successful wayfinding.
  • Janzen, G., & Weststeijn, C. G. (2007). Neural representation of object location and route direction: An event-related fMRI study. Brain Research, 1165, 116-125. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2007.05.074.

    Abstract

    The human brain distinguishes between landmarks placed at navigationally relevant and irrelevant locations. However, to provide a successful wayfinding mechanism not only landmarks but also the routes between them need to be stored. We examined the neural representation of a memory for route direction and a memory for relevant landmarks. Healthy human adults viewed objects along a route through a virtual maze. Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were acquired during a subsequent subliminal priming recognition task. Prime-objects either preceded or succeeded a target-object on a preciously learned route. Our results provide evidence that the parahippocampal gyri distinguish between relevant and irrelevant landmarks whereas the inferior parietal gyrus, the anterior cingulate gyrus as well as the right caudate nucleus are involved in the coding of route direction. These data show that separated memory systems store different spatial information. A memory for navigationally relevant object information and a memory for route direction exist.
  • Joergens, S., Kleiser, R., & Indefrey, P. (2007). Handedness and fMRI-activation patterns in sentence processing. NeuroReport, 18(13), 1339-1343.

    Abstract

    We investigate differences of cerebral activation in 12 right-handed and left-handed participants, respectively, using a sentence-processing task. Functional MRI shows activation of left-frontal and inferior-parietal speech areas (BA 44, BA9, BA 40) in both groups, but a stronger bilateral activation in left-handers. Direct group comparison reveals a stronger activation in right-frontal cortex (BA 47, BA 6) and left cerebellum in left-handers. Laterality indices for the inferior-frontal cortex are less asymmetric in left-handers and are not related to the degree of handedness. Thus, our results show that sentence-processing induced enhanced activation involving a bilateral network in left-handed participants.
  • Johns, T. G., Perera, R. M., Vernes, S. C., Vitali, A. A., Cao, D. X., Cavenee, W. K., Scott, A. M., & Furnari, F. B. (2007). The efficacy of epidermal growth factor receptor-specific antibodies against glioma xenografts is influenced by receptor levels, activation status, and heterodimerization. Clinical Cancer Research, 13, 1911-1925. doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-06-1453.

    Abstract

    Purpose: Factors affecting the efficacy of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAb) directed to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) remain relatively unknown, especially in glioma. Experimental Design: We examined the efficacy of two EGFR-specific mAbs (mAbs 806 and 528) against U87MG-derived glioma xenografts expressing EGFR variants. Using this approach allowed us to change the form of the EGFR while keeping the genetic background constant. These variants included the de2-7 EGFR (or EGFRvIII), a constitutively active mutation of the EGFR expressed in glioma. Results: The efficacy of the mAbs correlated with EGFR number; however, the most important factor was receptor activation. Whereas U87MG xenografts expressing the de2-7 EGFR responded to therapy, those exhibiting a dead kinase de2-7 EGFR were refractory. A modified de2-7 EGFR that was kinase active but autophosphorylation deficient also responded, suggesting that these mAbs function in de2-7 EGFR–expressing xenografts by blocking transphosphorylation. Because de2-7 EGFR–expressing U87MG xenografts coexpress the wild-type EGFR, efficacy of the mAbs was also tested against NR6 xenografts that expressed the de2-7 EGFR in isolation. Whereas mAb 806 displayed antitumor activity against NR6 xenografts, mAb 528 therapy was ineffective, suggesting that mAb 528 mediates its antitumor activity by disrupting interactions between the de2-7 and wild-type EGFR. Finally, genetic disruption of Src in U87MG xenografts expressing the de2-7 EGFR dramatically enhanced mAb 806 efficacy. Conclusions: The effective use of EGFR-specific antibodies in glioma will depend on identifying tumors with activated EGFR. The combination of EGFR and Src inhibitors may be an effective strategy for the treatment of glioma.
  • Jordan, F. (2007). Engaging in chit-chat (and all that). [Review of the book Why we talk: The evolutionary origins of language by Jean-Louis Dessalles]. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 5(1-4), 241-244. doi:10.1556/JEP.2007.1014.
  • Kempen, G. (1992). Grammar based text processing. Document Management: Nieuwsbrief voor Documentaire Informatiekunde, 1(2), 8-10.
  • Kennaway, J., Glauert, J., & Zwitserlood, I. (2007). Providing Signed Content on the Internet by Synthesized Animation. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 14(3), 15. doi:10.1145/1279700.1279705.

    Abstract

    Written information is often of limited accessibility to deaf people who use sign language. The eSign project was undertaken as a response to the need for technologies enabling efficient production and distribution over the Internet of sign language content. By using an avatar-independent scripting notation for signing gestures and a client-side web browser plug-in to translate this notation into motion data for an avatar, we achieve highly efficient delivery of signing, while avoiding the inflexibility of video or motion capture. Tests with members of the deaf community have indicated that the method can provide an acceptable quality of signing.
  • Kerkhofs, R., Vonk, W., Schriefers, H., & Chwilla, D. J. (2007). Discourse, syntax, and prosody: The brain reveals an immediate interaction. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19(9), 1421-1434. doi:10.1162/jocn.2007.19.9.1421.

    Abstract

    Speech is structured into parts by syntactic and prosodic breaks. In locally syntactic ambiguous sentences, the detection of a syntactic break necessarily follows detection of a corresponding prosodic break, making an investigation of the immediate interplay of syntactic and prosodic information impossible when studying sentences in isolation. This problem can be solved, however, by embedding sentences in a discourse context that induces the expectation of either the presence or the absence of a syntactic break right at a prosodic break. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were compared to acoustically identical sentences in these different contexts. We found in two experiments that the closure positive shift, an ERP component known to be elicited by prosodic breaks, was reduced in size when a prosodic break was aligned with a syntactic break. These results establish that the brain matches prosodic information against syntactic information immediately.
  • Kidd, E., & Bavin, E. L. (2007). Lexical and referential influences on on-line spoken language comprehension: A comparison of adults and primary-school-age children. First Language, 27(1), 29-52. doi:10.1177/0142723707067437.

    Abstract

    This paper reports on two studies investigating children's and adults' processing of sentences containing ambiguity of prepositional phrase (PP) attachment. Study 1 used corpus data to investigate whether cues argued to be used by adults to resolve PP-attachment ambiguities are available in child-directed speech. Study 2 was an on-line reaction time study investigating the role of lexical and referential biases in syntactic ambiguity resolution by children and adults. Forty children (mean age 8;4) and 37 adults listened to V-NP-PP sentences containing temporary ambiguity of PP-attachment. The sentences were manipulated for (i) verb semantics, (ii) the definiteness of the object NP, and (iii) PP-attachment site. The children and adults did not differ qualitatively from each other in their resolution of the ambiguity. A verb semantics by attachment interaction suggested that different attachment analyses were pursued depending on the semantics of the verb. There was no influence of the definiteness of the object NP in either children's or adults' parsing preferences. The findings from the on-line task matched up well with the corpus data, thus identifying a role for the input in the development of parsing strategies.
  • Kidd, E., Brandt, S., Lieven, E., & Tomasello, M. (2007). Object relatives made easy: A cross-linguistic comparison of the constraints influencing young children's processing of relative clauses. Language and Cognitive Processes, 22(6), 860-897. doi:10.1080/01690960601155284.

    Abstract

    We present the results from four studies, two corpora and two experimental, which suggest that English- and German-speaking children (3;1–4;9 years) use multiple constraints to process and produce object relative clauses. Our two corpora studies show that children produce object relatives that reflect the distributional and discourse regularities of the input. Specifically, the results show that when children produce object relatives they most often do so with (a) an inanimate head noun, and (b) a pronominal relative clause subject. Our experimental findings show that children use these constraints to process and produce this construction type. Moreover, when children were required to repeat the object relatives they most often use in naturalistic speech, the subject-object asymmetry in processing of relative clauses disappeared. We also report cross-linguistic differences in children's rate of acquisition which reflect properties of the input language. Overall, our results suggest that children are sensitive to the same constraints on relative clause processing as adults.
  • Kita, S., Ozyurek, A., Allen, S., Brown, A., Furman, R., & Ishizuka, T. (2007). Relations between syntactic encoding and co-speech gestures: Implications for a model of speech and gesture production. Language and Cognitive Processes, 22(8), 1212-1236. doi:10.1080/01690960701461426.

    Abstract

    Gestures that accompany speech are known to be tightly coupled with speech production. However little is known about the cognitive processes that underlie this link. Previous cross-linguistic research has provided preliminary evidence for online interaction between the two systems based on the systematic co-variation found between how different languages syntactically package Manner and Path information of a motion event and how gestures represent Manner and Path. Here we elaborate on this finding by testing whether speakers within the same language gesturally express Manner and Path differently according to their online choice of syntactic packaging of Manner and Path, or whether gestural expression is pre-determined by a habitual conceptual schema congruent with the linguistic typology. Typologically congruent and incongruent syntactic structures for expressing Manner and Path (i.e., in a single clause or multiple clauses) were elicited from English speakers. We found that gestural expressions were determined by the online choice of syntactic packaging rather than by a habitual conceptual schema. It is therefore concluded that speech and gesture production processes interface online at the conceptual planning phase. Implications of the findings for models of speech and gesture production are discussed
  • Klein, W., & Von Stutterheim, C. (2007). Einführung. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik; Metzler, Stuttgart, (145), 5-8.
  • Klein, W. (1992). Einleitung. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik; Metzler, Stuttgart, 22(86), 7-8.
  • Klein, W. (2007). Mechanismen des Erst- und Zweitspracherwerbs = Mechanisms of First and Second Language Acquisition. Sprache Stimme Gehör, 31, 138-143. doi:10.1055/s-2007-985818.

    Abstract

    Language acquisition is the transition between the language faculty, with which we are born as a part of our genetic endowment, to the mastery of one or more linguistic systems. There is a plethora of findings about this process; but these findings still do not form a coherent picture of the principles which underlie this process. There are at least six reasons for this situation. First, there is an enormous variability in the conditions under which this process occurs. Second, the learning capacity does not remain constant over time. Third, the process extends over many years and is therefore hard to study. Fourth, especially the investigation of the meaning side is problem-loaded. Fifth, many skills and types of knowledge must be learned in a more or less synchronised way. And sixth, our understanding of the functioning of linguistic systems is still very limited. Nevertheless, there are a few overarching results, three of which are discussed here: (1) There are salient differences between child and adult learners: While children normally end up with perfect mastery of the language to be learned, this is hardly ever the case for adults. On the hand, it could be shown for each linguistic property examined so far, that adults are in principle able to learn it up to perfection. So, adults can learn everything perfectly well, they just don’t. (2) Within childhood, age of onset plays no essential role for ultimate attainment. (3) Children care much more for formal correctness than adults - they are just better in mimicking existing systems. It is argued that age does not affect the „construction capacity”- the capacity to build up linguistic systems - but the „copying faculty”, i.e., the faculty to imitate an existing system.
  • Klein, W. (1992). Tempus, Aspekt und Zeitadverbien. Kognitionswissenschaft, 2, 107-118.
  • 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. (2007). Zwei Leitgedanken zu "Sprache und Erkenntnis". Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 145, 9-43.

    Abstract

    In a way, the entire history of linguistic thought from the Antiquity to present days is a series of variations on two key themes: 1. In a certain sense, language and cognition are the same, and 2. In a certain sense, all languages are the same. What varies is the way in which “in a certain sense” is spelled out. Interpretations oscillate between radical positions such as the idea that thinking without speaking is impossible to the idea that it is just language which vexes our cognition and hence makes it rather impossible, and similarly between the idea that all differences between natural languages are nothing but irrelevant variations in the “vox”, the “external form” to the idea that it our thought is massively shaped by the particular structural features of the language we happen to speak. It is remarkable how little agreement has been reached on these issues after more than 2500 years of discussion. This, it is argued, has mainly two reasons: (a) The entire argument is largely confined to a few lexical and morphological properties of human languages, and (b) the discussion is rarely based on empirical research on “language at work” - how do we manage to solve those many little tasks for which human languages are designed in the first place.
  • Korvorst, M., Roelofs, A., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2007). Telling time from analog and digital clocks: A multiple-route account. Experimental Psychology, 54(3), 187-191. doi:10.1027/1618-3169.54.3.187.

    Abstract

    Does the naming of clocks always require conceptual preparation? To examine this question, speakers were presented with analog and digital clocks that had to be named in Dutch using either a relative (e.g., “quarter to four”) or an absolute (e.g., “three forty-five”) clock time expression format. Naming latencies showed evidence of conceptual preparation when speakers produced relative time expressions to analog and digital clocks, but not when they used absolute time expressions. These findings indicate that conceptual mediation is not always mandatory for telling time, but instead depends on clock time expression format, supporting a multiple-route account of Dutch clock time naming.
  • Kristiansen, M., Deriziotis, P., Dimcheff, D. E., Jackson, G. S., Ovaa, H., Naumann, H., Clarke, A. R., van Leeuwen, F. W., Menéndez-Benito, V., Dantuma, N. P., Portis, J. L., Collinge, J., & Tabrizi, S. J. (2007). Disease-associated prion protein oligomers inhibit the 26S proteasome. Molecular Cell, 26, 175-188. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2007.04.001.

    Abstract

    * Kristiansen, M., Deriziotis, P. These authors contributed equally to this work.* - The mechanism of cell death in prion disease is unknown but is associated with the production of a misfolded conformer of the prion protein. We report that disease-associated prion protein specifically inhibits the proteolytic β subunits of the 26S proteasome. Using reporter substrates, fluorogenic peptides, and an activity probe for the β subunits, this inhibitory effect was demonstrated in pure 26S proteasome and three different cell lines. By challenge with recombinant prion and other amyloidogenic proteins, we demonstrate that only the prion protein in a nonnative β sheet conformation inhibits the 26S proteasome at stoichiometric concentrations. Preincubation with an antibody specific for aggregation intermediates abrogates this inhibition, consistent with an oligomeric species mediating this effect. We also present evidence for a direct relationship between prion neuropathology and impairment of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) in prion-infected UPS-reporter mice. Together, these data suggest a mechanism for intracellular neurotoxicity mediated by oligomers of misfolded prion protein.

    Additional information

    MolCellSup.pdf
  • Kuiper, K., Van Egmond, M.-E., Kempen, G., & Sprenger, S. A. (2007). Slipping on superlemmas: Multiword lexical items in speech production. The Mental Lexicon, 2(3), 313-357.

    Abstract

    Only relatively recently have theories of speech production concerned themselves with the part idioms and other multi-word lexical items (MLIs) play in the processes of speech production. Two theories of speech production which attempt to account for the accessing of idioms in speech production are those of Cutting and Bock (1997) and superlemma theory (Sprenger, 2003; Sprenger, Levelt, & Kempen, 2006). Much of the data supporting theories of speech production comes either from time course experiments or from slips of the tongue (Bock & Levelt, 1994). The latter are of two kinds: experimentally induced (Baars, 1992) or naturally observed (Fromkin, 1980). Cutting and Bock use experimentally induced speech errors while Sprenger et al. use time course experiments. The missing data type that has a bearing on speech production involving MLIs is that of naturally occurring slips. In this study the impact of data taken from naturally observed slips involving English and Dutch MLIs are brought to bear on these theories. The data are taken initially from a corpus of just over 1000 naturally observed English slips involving MLIs (the Tuggy corpus). Our argument proceeds as follows. First we show that slips occur independent of whether or not there are MLIs involved. In other words, speech production proceeds in certain of its aspects as though there were no MLI present. We illustrate these slips from the Tuggy data. Second we investigate the predictions of superlemma theory. Superlemma theory (Sprenger et al., 2006) accounts for the selection of MLIs and how their properties enter processes of speech production. It predicts certain activation patterns dependent on a MLI being selected. Each such pattern might give rise to slips of the tongue. This set of predictions is tested against the Tuggy data. Each of the predicted activation patterns yields a significant number of slips. These findings are therefore compatible with a view of MLIs as single units in so far as their activation by lexical concepts goes. However, the theory also predicts that some slips are likely not to occur. We confirm that such slips are not present in the data. These findings are further corroborated by reference a second smaller dataset of slips involving Dutch MLIs (the Kempen corpus). We then use slips involving irreversible binomials to distinguish between the predictions of superlemma theory which are supported by slips involving irreversible binomials and the Cutting and Bock model's predictions for slips involving these MLIs which are not
  • Kuperman, V., Pluymaekers, M., Ernestus, M., & Baayen, R. H. (2007). Morphological predictability and acoustic duration of interfixes in Dutch compounds. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 121(4), 2261-2271. doi:10.1121/1.2537393.

    Abstract

    This study explores the effects of informational redundancy, as carried by a word's morphological paradigmatic structure, on acoustic duration in read aloud speech. The hypothesis that the more predictable a linguistic unit is, the less salient its realization, was tested on the basis of the acoustic duration of interfixes in Dutch compounds in two datasets: One for the interfix -s- (1155 tokens) and one for the interfix -e(n)- (742 tokens). Both datasets show that the more probable the interfix is, given the compound and its constituents, the longer it is realized. These findings run counter to the predictions of information-theoretical approaches and can be resolved by the Paradigmatic Signal Enhancement Hypothesis. This hypothesis argues that whenever selection of an element from alternatives is probabilistic, the element's duration is predicted by the amount of paradigmatic support for the element: The most likely alternative in the paradigm of selection is realized longer.
  • Kuzla, C., Cho, T., & Ernestus, M. (2007). Prosodic strengthening of German fricatives in duration and assimilatory devoicing. Journal of Phonetics, 35(3), 301-320. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2006.11.001.

    Abstract

    This study addressed prosodic effects on the duration of and amount of glottal vibration in German word-initial fricatives /f, v, z/ in assimilatory and non-assimilatory devoicing contexts. Fricatives following /small schwa/ (non-assimilation context) were longer and were produced with less glottal vibration after higher prosodic boundaries, reflecting domain-initial prosodic strengthening. After /t/ (assimilation context), lenis fricatives (/v, z/) were produced with less glottal vibration than after /small schwa/, due to assimilatory devoicing. This devoicing was especially strong across lower prosodic boundaries, showing the influence of prosodic structure on sandhi processes. Reduction in glottal vibration made lenis fricatives more fortis-like (/f, s/). Importantly, fricative duration, another major cue to the fortis-lenis distinction, was affected by initial lengthening, but not by assimilation. Hence, at smaller boundaries, fricatives were more devoiced (more fortis-like), but also shorter (more lenis-like). As a consequence, the fortis and lenis fricatives remained acoustically distinct in all prosodic and segmental contexts. Overall, /z/ was devoiced to a greater extent than /v/. Since /z/ does not have a fortis counterpart in word-initial position, these findings suggest that phonotactic restrictions constrain phonetic processes. The present study illuminates a complex interaction of prosody, sandhi processes, and phonotactics, yielding systematic phonetic cues to prosodic structure and phonological distinctions.
  • Lehtonen, M., Cunillera, T., Rodríguez-Fornells, A., Hultén, A., Tuomainen, J., & Laine, M. (2007). Recognition of morphologically complex words in Finnish: Evidence from event-related potentials. Brain Research, 1148, 123-137. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2007.02.026.

    Abstract

    The temporal dynamics of processing morphologically complex words was investigated by recording event-related brain potentials (ERPs) when native Finnish-speakers performed a visual lexical decision task. Behaviorally, there is evidence that recognition of inflected nouns elicits a processing cost (i.e., longer reaction times and higher error rates) in comparison to matched monomorphemic words. We aimed to reveal whether the processing cost stems from decomposition at the early visual word form level or from recomposition at the later semantic–syntactic level. The ERPs showed no early effects for morphology, but revealed an interaction with word frequency at a late N400-type component, as well as a late positive component that was larger for inflected words. These results suggest that the processing cost stems mainly from the semantic–syntactic level. We also studied the features of the morphological decomposition route by investigating the recognition of pseudowords carrying real morphemes. The results showed no differences between inflected vs. uninflected pseudowords with a false stem, but differences in relation to those with a real stem, suggesting that a recognizable stem is needed to initiate the decomposition route.
  • 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. (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. (2007). Cut and break verbs in Yélî Dnye, the Papuan language of Rossel Island. Cognitive Linguistics, 18(2), 207-218. doi:10.1515/COG.2007.009.

    Abstract

    The paper explores verbs of cutting and breaking (C&B, hereafter) in Yeli Dnye, the Papuan language of Rossel Island. The Yeli Dnye verbs covering the C&B domain do not divide it in the expected way, with verbs focusing on special instruments and manners of action on the one hand, and verbs focusing on the resultant state on the other. Instead, just three transitive verbs and their intransitive counterparts cover most of the domain, and they are all based on 'exotic' distinctions in mode of severance[--]coherent severance with the grain vs. against the grain, and incoherent severance (regardless of grain).
  • Levinson, S. C. (1992). Primer for the field investigation of spatial description and conception. Pragmatics, 2(1), 5-47.
  • Liszkowski, U., Carpenter, M., & Tomasello, M. (2007). Pointing out new news, old news, and absent referents at 12 months of age. Developmental Science, 10(2), F1-F7. doi:0.1111/j.1467-7687.2006.00552.x.

    Abstract

    There is currently controversy over the nature of 1-year-olds' social-cognitive understanding and motives. In this study we investigated whether 12-month-old infants point for others with an understanding of their knowledge states and with a prosocial motive for sharing experiences with them. Declarative pointing was elicited in four conditions created by crossing two factors: an adult partner (1) was already attending to the target event or not, and (2) emoted positively or neutrally. Pointing was also coded after the event had ceased. The findings suggest that 12-month-olds point to inform others of events they do not know about, that they point to share an attitude about mutually attended events others already know about, and that they can point (already prelinguistically) to absent referents. These findings provide strong support for a mentalistic and prosocial interpretation of infants' prelinguistic communication
  • Liszkowski, U., Carpenter, M., & Tomasello, M. (2007). Reference and attitude in infant pointing. Journal of Child Language, 34(1), 1-20. doi:10.1017/S0305000906007689.

    Abstract

    We investigated two main components of infant declarative pointing, reference and attitude, in two experiments with a total of 106 preverbal infants at 1;0. When an experimenter (E) responded to the declarative pointing of these infants by attending to an incorrect referent (with positive attitude), infants repeated pointing within trials to redirect E’s attention, showing an understanding of E’s reference and active message repair. In contrast, when E identified infants’ referent correctly but displayed a disinterested attitude, infants did not repeat pointing within trials and pointed overall in fewer trials, showing an understanding of E’s unenthusiastic attitude about the referent. When E attended to infants’ intended referent AND shared interest in it, infants were most satisfied, showing no message repair within trials and pointing overall in more trials. These results suggest that by twelve months of age infant declarative pointing is a full communicative act aimed at sharing with others both attention to a referent and a specific attitude about that referent.
  • Majid, A., Gullberg, M., Van Staden, M., & Bowerman, M. (2007). How similar are semantic categories in closely related languages? A comparison of cutting and breaking in four Germanic languages. Cognitive Linguistics, 18(2), 179-194. doi:10.1515/COG.2007.007.

    Abstract

    Are the semantic categories of very closely related languages the same? We present a new methodology for addressing this question. Speakers of English, German, Dutch and Swedish described a set of video clips depicting cutting and breaking events. The verbs elicited were then subjected to cluster analysis, which groups scenes together based on similarity (determined by shared verbs). Using this technique, we find that there are surprising differences among the languages in the number of categories, their exact boundaries, and the relationship of the terms to one another[--]all of which is circumscribed by a common semantic space.

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