Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 306
  • Adank, P., Smits, R., & Van Hout, R. (2003). Modeling perceived vowel height, advancement, and rounding. In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2003) (pp. 647-650). Adelaide: Causal Productions.
  • Allen, S. E. M. (1998). A discourse-pragmatic explanation for the subject-object asymmetry in early null arguments. In A. Sorace, C. Heycock, & R. Shillcock (Eds.), Proceedings of the GALA '97 Conference on Language Acquisition (pp. 10-15). Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.

    Abstract

    The present paper assesses discourse-pragmatic factors as a potential explanation for the subject-object assymetry in early child language. It identifies a set of factors which characterize typical situations of informativeness (Greenfield & Smith, 1976), and uses these factors to identify informative arguments in data from four children aged 2;0 through 3;6 learning Inuktitut as a first language. In addition, it assesses the extent of the links between features of informativeness on one hand and lexical vs. null and subject vs. object arguments on the other. Results suggest that a pragmatics account of the subject-object asymmetry can be upheld to a greater extent than previous research indicates, and that several of the factors characterizing informativeness are good indicators of those arguments which tend to be omitted in early child language.
  • Allen, S., Ozyurek, A., Kita, S., Brown, A., Turanli, R., & Ishizuka, T. (2003). Early speech about manner and path in Turkish and English: Universal or language-specific? In B. Beachley, A. Brown, & F. Conlin (Eds.), Proceedings of the 27th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 63-72). Somerville (MA): Cascadilla Press.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2003). 'Today is far: Situational anaphors in overlapping clause constructions in Ewe. In M. E. K. Dakubu, & E. K. Osam (Eds.), In Studies in the Languages of the Volta Baisin 1. Proceedings of the Legon-Trondheim Linguistics Project, December 4-6, 2002 (pp. 9-22). Legon: Department of Linguistics University of Ghana.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2006). Ewe serial verb constructions in their grammatical context. In A. Y. Aikhenvald, & R. M. W. Dixon (Eds.), Serial verb constructions: A cross-linguistic typology (pp. 124-143). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2006). Elements of the grammar of space in Ewe. In S. C. Levinson, & D. P. Wilkins (Eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity (pp. 359-399). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2006). Grammars in contact in the Volta Basin (West Africa): On contact induced grammatical change in Likpe. In A. Y. Aikhenvald, & R. M. W. Dixon (Eds.), Grammars in contact: A crosslinguistic typology (pp. 114-142). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2006). Interjections. In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of language & linguistics (2nd ed., pp. 743-746). Oxford: Elsevier.
  • Ameka, F. K., & Wilkins, D. P. (2006). Interjections. In J.-O. Ostman, & J. Verschueren (Eds.), Handbook of pragmatics (pp. 1-22). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2003). Prepositions and postpositions in Ewe: Empirical and theoretical considerations. In A. Zibri-Hetz, & P. Sauzet (Eds.), Typologie des langues d'Afrique et universaux de la grammaire (pp. 43-66). Paris: L'Harmattan.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2006). Real descriptions: Reflections on native speaker and non-native speaker descriptions of a language. In F. K. Ameka, A. Dench, & N. Evans (Eds.), Catching language: The standing challenge of grammar writing (pp. 69-112). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Baayen, R. H., McQueen, J. M., Dijkstra, T., & Schreuder, R. (2003). Frequency effects in regular inflectional morphology: Revisiting Dutch plurals. In R. H. Baayen, & R. Schreuder (Eds.), Morphological Structure in Language Processing (pp. 355-390). Berlin, Germany: Mouton De Gruyter.

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  • Baayen, R. H., McQueen, J. M., Dijkstra, T., & Schreuder, R. (2003). Frequency effects in regular inflectional morphology: Revisiting Dutch plurals. In R. H. Baayen, & R. Schreuder (Eds.), Morphological structure in language processing (pp. 355-390). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Baayen, R. H. (2003). Probabilistic approaches to morphology. In R. Bod, J. Hay, & S. Jannedy (Eds.), Probabilistic linguistics (pp. 229-287). Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Baayen, R. H., Moscoso del Prado Martín, F., Wurm, L., & Schreuder, R. (2003). When word frequencies do not regress towards the mean. In R. Baayen, & R. Schreuder (Eds.), Morphological structure in language processing (pp. 463-484). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Bastiaansen, M. C. M., & Hagoort, P. (2006). Oscillatory neuronal dynamics during language comprehension. In C. Neuper, & W. Klimesch (Eds.), Event-related dynamics of brain oscillations (pp. 179-196). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

    Abstract

    Language comprehension involves two basic operations: the retrieval of lexical information (such as phonologic, syntactic, and semantic information) from long-term memory, and the unification of this information into a coherent representation of the overall utterance. Neuroimaging studies using hemo¬dynamic measures such as PET and fMRI have provided detailed information on which areas of the brain are involved in these language-related memory and unification operations. However, much less is known about the dynamics of the brain's language network. This chapter presents a literature review of the oscillatory neuronal dynamics of EEG and MEG data that can be observed during language comprehen¬sion tasks. From a detailed review of this (rapidly growing) literature the following picture emerges: memory retrieval operations are mostly accompanied by increased neuronal synchronization in the theta frequency range (4-7 Hz). Unification operations, in contrast, induce high-frequency neuronal synchro¬nization in the beta (12-30 Hz) and gamma (above 30 Hz) frequency bands. A desynchronization in the (upper) alpha frequency band is found for those studies that use secondary tasks, and seems to correspond with attentional processes, and with the behavioral consequences of the language comprehension process. We conclude that it is possible to capture the dynamics of the brain's language network by a careful analysis of the event-related changes in power and coherence of EEG and MEG data in a wide range of frequencies, in combination with subtle experimental manipulations in a range of language comprehension tasks. It appears then that neuronal synchrony is a mechanism by which the brain integrates the different types of information about language (such as phonological, orthographic, semantic, and syntactic infor¬mation) represented in different brain areas.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2006). ‘Synthetic’ vs. ‘analytic’ in Romance: The importance of varieties. In R. Gess, & D. Arteaga (Eds.), Historical Romance linguistics: Retrospective and perspectives (pp. 287-304). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Bauer, B. L. M., & Pinault, G.-J. (2003). Introduction: Werner Winter, ad multos annos. In B. L. M. Bauer, & G.-J. Pinault (Eds.), Language in time and space: A festschrift for Werner Winter on the occasion of his 80th birthday (pp. xxiii-xxv). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

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  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1993). L’auxiliaire roman: Le cas d'une double évolution. In R. Lorenzo (Ed.), Actas do XIX Congreso Internacional de Lingüística e Filoloxía Románicas. V. Gramática Histórica e Historia da Lingua (pp. 421-433). Coruna: Fundación Pedro Barrié de la Maza.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1993). The coalescence of the participle and the gerund/gerundive: An integrated change. In H. Aertsen, & R. J. Jeffers (Eds.), Historical Linguistics 1989. Papers of the 9th International Conference on Historical Linguistics (pp. 59-71). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2003). The adverbial formation in mente in Vulgar and Late Latin: A problem in grammaticalization. In H. Solin, M. Leiwo, & H. Hallo-aho (Eds.), Latin vulgaire, latin tardif VI (pp. 439-457). Hildesheim: Olms.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1993). The tendency towards right-branching in the development and acquisition of Latin and French. In J. Van Marle (Ed.), Historical Linguistics 1991. Papers of the 10th International Conference on Historical Linguistics (pp. 1-17). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Berck, P., Bibiko, H.-J., Kemps-Snijders, M., Russel, A., & Wittenburg, P. (2006). Ontology-based language archive utilization. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2006) (pp. 2295-2298).
  • Blumstein, S., & Cutler, A. (2003). Speech perception: Phonetic aspects. In W. Frawley (Ed.), International encyclopaedia of linguistics (pp. 151-154). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (2003). Fictive motion questionnaire. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 81-85). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877601.

    Abstract

    Fictive Motion is the metaphoric use of path relators in the expression of spatial relations or configurations that are static, or at any rate do not in any obvious way involve physical entities moving in real space. The goal is to study the expression of such relations or configurations in the target language, with an eye particularly on whether these expressions exclusively/preferably/possibly involve motion verbs and/or path relators, i.e., Fictive Motion. Section 2 gives Talmy’s (2000: ch. 2) phenomenology of Fictive Motion construals. The researcher’s task is to “distill” the intended spatial relations/configurations from Talmy’s description of the particular Fictive Motion metaphors and elicit as many different examples of the relations/configurations as (s)he deems necessary to obtain a basic sense of whether and how much Fictive Motion the target language offers or prescribes for the encoding of the particular type of relation/configuration. As a first stab, the researcher may try to elicit natural translations of culturally appropriate adaptations of the examples Talmy provides with each type of Fictive Motion metaphor.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (1998). Sententiale Topics im Yukatekischen. In Z. Dietmar (Ed.), Deskriptive Grammatik und allgemeiner Sprachvergleich (pp. 55-85). Tübingen, Germany: Max-Niemeyer-Verlag.

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  • Bohnemeyer, J., Burenhult, N., Levinson, S. C., & Enfield, N. J. (2003). Landscape terms and place names questionnaire. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 60-63). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877604.

    Abstract

    Landscape terms reflect the relationship between geographic reality and human cognition. Are ‘mountains’, ‘rivers, ‘lakes’ and the like universally recognised in languages as naturally salient objects to be named? The landscape subproject is concerned with the interrelation between language, cognition and geography. Specifically, it investigates issues relating to how landforms are categorised cross-linguistically as well as the characteristics of place naming.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (1998). Temporale Relatoren im Hispano-Yukatekischen Sprachkontakt. In A. Koechert, & T. Stolz (Eds.), Convergencia e Individualidad - Las lenguas Mayas entre hispanización e indigenismo (pp. 195-241). Hannover, Germany: Verlag für Ethnologie.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (2003). The unique vector constraint: The impact of direction changes on the linguistic segmentation of motion events. In E. v. d. Zee, & J. Slack (Eds.), Axes and vectors in language and space (pp. 86-110). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Botelho da Silva, T., & Cutler, A. (1993). Ill-formedness and transformability in Portuguese idioms. In C. Cacciari, & P. Tabossi (Eds.), Idioms: Processing, structure and interpretation (pp. 129-143). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Bowerman, M., & Majid, A. (2003). Kids’ cut & break. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 70-71). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877607.

    Abstract

    Kids’ Cut & Break is a task inspired by the original Cut & Break task (see MPI L&C Group Field Manual 2001), but designed for use with children as well as adults. There are fewer videoclips to be described (34 as opposed to 61), and they are “friendlier” and more interesting: the actors wear colorful clothes, smile, and act cheerfully. The first 2 items are warm-ups and 4 more items are fillers (interspersed with test items), so only 28 of the items are actually “test items”. In the original Cut & Break, each clip is in a separate file. In Kids’ Cut & Break, all 34 clips are edited into a single file, which plays the clips successively with 5 seconds of black screen between each clip.

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    2003_1_Kids_cut_and_break_films.zip
  • Bowerman, M. (2003). Rola predyspozycji kognitywnych w przyswajaniu systemu semantycznego [Reprint]. In E. Dabrowska, & W. Kubiński (Eds.), Akwizycja języka w świetle językoznawstwa kognitywnego [Language acquisition from a cognitive linguistic perspective]. Kraków: Uniwersitas.

    Abstract

    Reprinted from; Bowerman, M. (1989). Learning a semantic system: What role do cognitive predispositions play? In M.L. Rice & R.L Schiefelbusch (Ed.), The teachability of language (pp. 133-169). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
  • Bowerman, M., & Choi, S. (2003). Space under construction: Language-specific spatial categorization in first language acquisition. In D. Gentner, & S. Goldin-Meadow (Eds.), Language in mind: Advances in the study of language and thought (pp. 387-427). Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Bowerman, M. (1993). Typological perspectives on language acquisition: Do crosslinguistic patterns predict development? In E. V. Clark (Ed.), Proceedings of the Twenty-fifth Annual Child Language Research Forum (pp. 7-15). Stanford, CA: Center for the Study of Language and Information.
  • Broeder, D., Van Veenendaal, R., Nathan, D., & Strömqvist, S. (2006). A grid of language resource repositories. In Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE International Conference on e-Science and Grid Computing.
  • Broeder, D., Claus, A., Offenga, F., Skiba, R., Trilsbeek, P., & Wittenburg, P. (2006). LAMUS: The Language Archive Management and Upload System. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2006) (pp. 2291-2294).
  • Broeder, D., Offenga, F., Wittenburg, P., Van de Kamp, P., Nathan, D., & Strömqvist, S. (2006). Technologies for a federation of language resource archive. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2006) (pp. 2291-2294).
  • Broersma, M. (2006). Accident - execute: Increased activation in nonnative listening. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2006 (pp. 1519-1522).

    Abstract

    Dutch and English listeners’ perception of English words with partially overlapping onsets (e.g., accident- execute) was investigated. Partially overlapping words remained active longer for nonnative listeners, causing an increase of lexical competition in nonnative compared with native listening.
  • Broersma, M. (2006). Nonnative listeners rely less on phonetic information for phonetic categorization than native listeners. In Variation, detail and representation: 10th Conference on Laboratory Phonology (pp. 109-110).
  • Brown, P. (2006). A sketch of the grammar of space in Tzeltal. In S. C. Levinson, & D. P. Wilkins (Eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity (pp. 230-272). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    This paper surveys the lexical and grammatical resources for talking about spatial relations in the Mayan language Tzeltal - for describing where things are located, where they are moving, and how they are distributed in space. Six basic sets of spatial vocabulary are presented: i. existential locative expressions with ay ‘exist’, ii. deictics (demonstratives, adverbs, presentationals), iii. dispositional adjectives, often in combination with (iv) and (v), iv. body part relational noun locatives, v. absolute (‘cardinal’) directions, and vi. motion verbs, directionals and auxiliaries. The first two are used in minimal locative descriptions, while the others constitute the core resources for specifying in detail the location, disposition, orientation, or motion of a Figure in relation to a Ground. We find that Tzeltal displays a relative de-emphasis on deixis and left/right asymmetry, and a detailed attention to the spatial properties of objects.
  • Brown, P. (2006). Cognitive anthropology. In C. Jourdan, & K. Tuite (Eds.), Language, culture and society: Key topics in linguistic anthropology (pp. 96-114). Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    This is an appropriate moment to review the state of the art in cognitive anthropology, construed broadly as the comparative study of human cognition in its linguistic and cultural context. In reaction to the dominance of universalism in the 1970s and '80s, there have recently been a number of reappraisals of the relation between language and cognition, and the field of cognitive anthropology is flourishing in several new directions in both America and Europe. This is partly due to a renewal and re-evaluation of approaches to the question of linguistic relativity associated with Whorf, and partly to the inspiration of modern developments in cognitive science. This review briefly sketches the history of cognitive anthropology and surveys current research on both sides of the Atlantic. The focus is on assessing current directions, considering in particular, by way of illustration, recent work in cultural models and on spatial language and cognition. The review concludes with an assessment of how cognitive anthropology could contribute directly both to the broader project of cognitive science and to the anthropological study of how cultural ideas and practices relate to structures and processes of human cognition.
  • Brown, P. (1998). Early Tzeltal verbs: Argument structure and argument representation. In E. Clark (Ed.), Proceedings of the 29th Annual Stanford Child Language Research Forum (pp. 129-140). Stanford: CSLI Publications.

    Abstract

    The surge of research activity focussing on children's acquisition of verbs (e.g., Tomasello and Merriman 1996) addresses some fundamental questions: Just how variable across languages, and across individual children, is the process of verb learning? How specific are arguments to particular verbs in early child language? How does the grammatical category 'Verb' develop? The position of Universal Grammar, that a verb category is early, contrasts with that of Tomasello (1992), Pine and Lieven and their colleagues (1996, in press), and many others, that children develop a verb category slowly, gradually building up subcategorizations of verbs around pragmatic, syntactic, and semantic properties of the language they are exposed to. On this latter view, one would expect the language which the child is learning, the cultural milieu and the nature of the interactions in which the child is engaged, to influence the process of acquiring verb argument structures. This paper explores these issues by examining the development of argument representation in the Mayan language Tzeltal, in both its lexical and verbal cross-referencing forms, and analyzing the semantic and pragmatic factors influencing the form argument representation takes. Certain facts about Tzeltal (the ergative/ absolutive marking, the semantic specificity of transitive and positional verbs) are proposed to affect the representation of arguments. The first 500 multimorpheme combinations of 3 children (aged between 1;8 and 2;4) are examined. It is argued that there is no evidence of semantically light 'pathbreaking' verbs (Ninio 1996) leading the way into word combinations. There is early productivity of cross-referencing affixes marking A, S, and O arguments (although there are systematic omissions). The paper assesses the respective contributions of three kinds of factors to these results - structural (regular morphology), semantic (verb specificity) and pragmatic (the nature of Tzeltal conversational interaction).
  • Brown, P. (1993). Gender, politeness and confrontation in Tenejapa [reprint]. In D. Tannen (Ed.), Gender and conversational interaction (pp. 144-164). New York: Oxford University Press.

    Abstract

    This is a reprint of Brown 1990.
  • Brown, P. (1998). How and why are women more polite: Some evidence from a Mayan community. In J. Coates (Ed.), Language and gender (pp. 81-99). Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (1998). Politeness, introduction to the reissue: A review of recent work. In A. Kasher (Ed.), Pragmatics: Vol. 6 Grammar, psychology and sociology (pp. 488-554). London: Routledge.

    Abstract

    This article is a reprint of chapter 1, the introduction to Brown and Levinson, 1987, Politeness: Some universals in language usage (Cambridge University Press).
  • Brown, P. (2003). Multimodal multiperson interaction with infants aged 9 to 15 months. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 22-24). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877610.

    Abstract

    Interaction, for all that it has an ethological base, is culturally constituted, and how new social members are enculturated into the interactional practices of the society is of critical interest to our understanding of interaction – how much is learned, how variable is it across cultures – as well as to our understanding of the role of culture in children’s social-cognitive development. The goal of this task is to document the nature of caregiver infant interaction in different cultures, especially during the critical age of 9-15 months when children come to have an understanding of others’ intentions. This is of interest to all students of interaction; it does not require specialist knowledge of children.
  • Brown, P. (1993). The role of shape in the acquisition of Tzeltal (Mayan) locatives. In E. V. Clark (Ed.), Proceedings of the 25th Annual Child Language Research Forum (pp. 211-220). Stanford, CA: CSLI/University of Chicago Press.

    Abstract

    In a critique of the current state of theories of language acquisition, Bowerman (1985) has argued forcibly for the need to take crosslinguistic variation in semantic structure seriously, in order to understand children's acquisition of semantic categories in the process of learning their language. The semantics of locative expressions in the Mayan language Tzeltal exemplifies this point, for no existing theory of spatial expressions provides an adequate basis for capturing the semantic structure of spatial description in this Mayan language. In this paper I describe some of the characteristics of Tzeltal locative descriptions, as a contribution to the growing body of data on crosslinguistic variation in this domain and as a prod to ideas about acquisition processes, confining myself to the topological notions of 'on' and 'in', and asking whether, and how, these notions are involved in the semantic distinctions underlying Tzeltal locatives.
  • Brugman, H., Malaisé, V., & Gazendam, L. (2006). A web based general thesaurus browser to support indexing of television and radio programs. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2006) (pp. 1488-1491).
  • Budwig, N., Narasimhan, B., & Srivastava, S. (2006). Interim solutions: The acquisition of early constructions in Hindi. In E. Clark, & B. Kelly (Eds.), Constructions in acquisition (pp. 163-185). Stanford: CSLI Publications.
  • Caramazza, A., Miozzo, M., Costa, A., Schiller, N. O., & Alario, F.-X. (2003). Etude comparee de la production des determinants dans differentes langues. In E. Dupoux (Ed.), Les Langages du cerveau: Textes en l'honneur de Jacques Mehler (pp. 213-229). Paris: Odile Jacob.
  • Chen, A. (2006). Interface between information structure and intonation in Dutch wh-questions. In R. Hoffmann, & H. Mixdorff (Eds.), Speech Prosody 2006. Dresden: TUD Press.

    Abstract

    This study set out to investigate how accent placement is pragmatically governed in WH-questions. Central to this issue are questions such as whether the intonation of the WH-word depends on the information structure of the non-WH word part, whether topical constituents can be accented, and whether constituents in the non-WH word part can be non-topical and accented. Previous approaches, based either on carefully composed examples or on read speech, differ in their treatments of these questions and consequently make opposing claims on the intonation of WH-questions. We addressed these questions by examining a corpus of 90 naturally occurring WH-questions, selected from the Spoken Dutch Corpus. Results show that the intonation of the WH-word is related to the information structure of the non-WH word part. Further, topical constituents can get accented and the accents are not necessarily phonetically reduced. Additionally, certain adverbs, which have no topical relation to the presupposition of the WH-questions, also get accented. They appear to function as a device for enhancing speaker engagement.
  • Chen, A. (2003). Language dependence in continuation intonation. In M. Solé, D. Recasens, & J. Romero (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS.) (pp. 1069-1072). Rundle Mall, SA, Austr.: Causal Productions Pty.
  • Chen, A. (2003). Reaction time as an indicator to discrete intonational contrasts in English. In Proceedings of Eurospeech 2003 (pp. 97-100).

    Abstract

    This paper reports a perceptual study using a semantically motivated identification task in which we investigated the nature of two pairs of intonational contrasts in English: (1) normal High accent vs. emphatic High accent; (2) early peak alignment vs. late peak alignment. Unlike previous inquiries, the present study employs an on-line method using the Reaction Time measurement, in addition to the measurement of response frequencies. Regarding the peak height continuum, the mean RTs are shortest for within-category identification but longest for across-category identification. As for the peak alignment contrast, no identification boundary emerges and the mean RTs only reflect a difference between peaks aligned with the vowel onset and peaks aligned elsewhere. We conclude that the peak height contrast is discrete but the previously claimed discreteness of the peak alignment contrast is not borne out.
  • Chen, Y., & Braun, B. (2006). Prosodic realization in information structure categories in standard Chinese. In R. Hoffmann, & H. Mixdorff (Eds.), Speech Prosody 2006. Dresden: TUD Press.

    Abstract

    This paper investigates the prosodic realization of information structure categories in Standard Chinese. A number of proper names with different tonal combinations were elicited as a grammatical subject in five pragmatic contexts. Results show that both duration and F0 range of the tonal realizations were adjusted to signal the information structure categories (i.e. theme vs. rheme and background vs. focus). Rhemes consistently induced a longer duration and a more expanded F0 range than themes. Focus, compared to background, generally induced lengthening and F0 range expansion (the presence and magnitude of which, however, are dependent on the tonal structure of the proper names). Within the rheme focus condition, corrective rheme focus induced more expanded F0 range than normal rheme focus.
  • Chen, J. (2006). The acquisition of verb compounding in Mandarin. In E. V. Clark, & B. F. Kelly (Eds.), Constructions in acquisition (pp. 111-136). Stanford: CSLI Publications.
  • Chen, A. (2006). Variations in the marking of focus in child language. In Variation, detail and representation: 10th Conference on Laboratory Phonology (pp. 113-114).
  • Cho, T. (2003). Lexical stress, phrasal accent and prosodic boundaries in the realization of domain-initial stops in Dutch. In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhs 2003) (pp. 2657-2660). Adelaide: Causal Productions.

    Abstract

    This study examines the effects of prosodic boundaries, lexical stress, and phrasal accent on the acoustic realization of stops (/t, d/) in Dutch, with special attention paid to language-specificity in the phonetics-prosody interface. The results obtained from various acoustic measures show systematic phonetic variations in the production of /t d/ as a function of prosodic position, which may be interpreted as being due to prosodicallyconditioned articulatory strengthening. Shorter VOTs were found for the voiceless stop /t/ in prosodically stronger locations (as opposed to longer VOTs in this position in English). The results suggest that prosodically-driven phonetic realization is bounded by a language-specific phonological feature system.
  • Crago, M. B., & Allen, S. E. M. (1998). Acquiring Inuktitut. In O. L. Taylor, & L. Leonard (Eds.), Language Acquisition Across North America: Cross-Cultural And Cross-Linguistic Perspectives (pp. 245-279). San Diego, CA, USA: Singular Publishing Group, Inc.
  • Crago, M. B., Allen, S. E. M., & Pesco, D. (1998). Issues of Complexity in Inuktitut and English Child Directed Speech. In Proceedings of the twenty-ninth Annual Stanford Child Language Research Forum (pp. 37-46).
  • Crasborn, O., Sloetjes, H., Auer, E., & Wittenburg, P. (2006). Combining video and numeric data in the analysis of sign languages with the ELAN annotation software. In C. Vetoori (Ed.), Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign languages: Lexicographic matters and didactic scenarios (pp. 82-87). Paris: ELRA.

    Abstract

    This paper describes hardware and software that can be used for the phonetic study of sign languages. The field of sign language phonetics is characterised, and the hardware that is currently in use is described. The paper focuses on the software that was developed to enable the recording of finger and hand movement data, and the additions to the ELAN annotation software that facilitate the further visualisation and analysis of the data.
  • Cutler, A., & Otake, T. (1998). Assimilation of place in Japanese and Dutch. In R. Mannell, & J. Robert-Ribes (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing: vol. 5 (pp. 1751-1754). Sydney: ICLSP.

    Abstract

    Assimilation of place of articulation across a nasal and a following stop consonant is obligatory in Japanese, but not in Dutch. In four experiments the processing of assimilated forms by speakers of Japanese and Dutch was compared, using a task in which listeners blended pseudo-word pairs such as ranga-serupa. An assimilated blend of this pair would be rampa, an unassimilated blend rangpa. Japanese listeners produced significantly more assimilated than unassimilated forms, both with pseudo-Japanese and pseudo-Dutch materials, while Dutch listeners produced significantly more unassimilated than assimilated forms in each materials set. This suggests that Japanese listeners, whose native-language phonology involves obligatory assimilation constraints, represent the assimilated nasals in nasal-stop sequences as unmarked for place of articulation, while Dutch listeners, who are accustomed to hearing unassimilated forms, represent the same nasal segments as marked for place of articulation.
  • Cutler, A., Eisner, F., McQueen, J. M., & Norris, D. (2006). Coping with speaker-related variation via abstract phonemic categories. In Variation, detail and representation: 10th Conference on Laboratory Phonology (pp. 31-32).
  • Cutler, A., & Pasveer, D. (2006). Explaining cross-linguistic differences in effects of lexical stress on spoken-word recognition. In R. Hoffmann, & H. Mixdorff (Eds.), Speech Prosody 2006. Dresden: TUD press.

    Abstract

    Experiments have revealed differences across languages in listeners’ use of stress information in recognising spoken words. Previous comparisons of the vocabulary of Spanish and English had suggested that the explanation of this asymmetry might lie in the extent to which considering stress in spokenword recognition allows rejection of unwanted competition from words embedded in other words. This hypothesis was tested on the vocabularies of Dutch and German, for which word recognition results resemble those from Spanish more than those from English. The vocabulary statistics likewise revealed that in each language, the reduction of embeddings resulting from taking stress into account is more similar to the reduction achieved in Spanish than in English.
  • Cutler, A. (1998). How listeners find the right words. In Proceedings of the Sixteenth International Congress on Acoustics: Vol. 2 (pp. 1377-1380). Melville, NY: Acoustical Society of America.

    Abstract

    Languages contain tens of thousands of words, but these are constructed from a tiny handful of phonetic elements. Consequently, words resemble one another, or can be embedded within one another, a coup stick snot with standing. me process of spoken-word recognition by human listeners involves activation of multiple word candidates consistent with the input, and direct competition between activated candidate words. Further, human listeners are sensitive, at an early, prelexical, stage of speeeh processing, to constraints on what could potentially be a word of the language.
  • Cutler, A., & Butterfield, S. (2003). Rhythmic cues to speech segmentation: Evidence from juncture misperception. In J. Field (Ed.), Psycholinguistics: A resource book for students. (pp. 185-189). London: Routledge.
  • Cutler, A., Murty, L., & Otake, T. (2003). Rhythmic similarity effects in non-native listening? In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (PCPhS 2003) (pp. 329-332). Adelaide: Causal Productions.

    Abstract

    Listeners rely on native-language rhythm in segmenting speech; in different languages, stress-, syllable- or mora-based rhythm is exploited. This language-specificity affects listening to non- native speech, if native procedures are applied even though inefficient for the non-native language. However, speakers of two languages with similar rhythmic interpretation should segment their own and the other language similarly. This was observed to date only for related languages (English-Dutch; French-Spanish). We now report experiments in which Japanese listeners heard Telugu, a Dravidian language unrelated to Japanese, and Telugu listeners heard Japanese. In both cases detection of target sequences in speech was harder when target boundaries mismatched mora boundaries, exactly the pattern that Japanese listeners earlier exhibited with Japanese and other languages. These results suggest that Telugu and Japanese listeners use similar procedures in segmenting speech, and support the idea that languages fall into rhythmic classes, with aspects of phonological structure affecting listeners' speech segmentation.
  • Cutler, A. (2006). Rudolf Meringer. In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (vol. 8) (pp. 12-13). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

    Abstract

    Rudolf Meringer (1859–1931), Indo-European philologist, published two collections of slips of the tongue, annotated and interpreted. From 1909, he was the founding editor of the cultural morphology movement's journal Wörter und Sachen. Meringer was the first to note the linguistic significance of speech errors, and his interpretations have stood the test of time. This work, rather than his mainstream philological research, has proven his most lasting linguistic contribution
  • Cutler, A. (1993). Language-specific processing: Does the evidence converge? In G. T. Altmann, & R. C. Shillcock (Eds.), Cognitive models of speech processing: The Sperlonga Meeting II (pp. 115-123). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Cutler, A., Treiman, R., & Van Ooijen, B. (1998). Orthografik inkoncistensy ephekts in foneme detektion? In R. Mannell, & J. Robert-Ribes (Eds.), Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing: Vol. 6 (pp. 2783-2786). Sydney: ICSLP.

    Abstract

    The phoneme detection task is widely used in spoken word recognition research. Alphabetically literate participants, however, are more used to explicit representations of letters than of phonemes. The present study explored whether phoneme detection is sensitive to how target phonemes are, or may be, orthographically realised. Listeners detected the target sounds [b,m,t,f,s,k] in word-initial position in sequences of isolated English words. Response times were faster to the targets [b,m,t], which have consistent word-initial spelling, than to the targets [f,s,k], which are inconsistently spelled, but only when listeners’ attention was drawn to spelling by the presence in the experiment of many irregularly spelled fillers. Within the inconsistent targets [f,s,k], there was no significant difference between responses to targets in words with majority and minority spellings. We conclude that performance in the phoneme detection task is not necessarily sensitive to orthographic effects, but that salient orthographic manipulation can induce such sensitivity.
  • Cutler, A., Kim, J., & Otake, T. (2006). On the limits of L1 influence on non-L1 listening: Evidence from Japanese perception of Korean. In P. Warren, & C. I. Watson (Eds.), Proceedings of the 11th Australian International Conference on Speech Science & Technology (pp. 106-111).

    Abstract

    Language-specific procedures which are efficient for listening to the L1 may be applied to non-native spoken input, often to the detriment of successful listening. However, such misapplications of L1-based listening do not always happen. We propose, based on the results from two experiments in which Japanese listeners detected target sequences in spoken Korean, that an L1 procedure is only triggered if requisite L1 features are present in the input.
  • Cutler, A. (1998). Prosodic structure and word recognition. In A. D. Friederici (Ed.), Language comprehension: A biological perspective (pp. 41-70). Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Cutler, A. (1998). The recognition of spoken words with variable representations. In D. Duez (Ed.), Proceedings of the ESCA Workshop on Sound Patterns of Spontaneous Speech (pp. 83-92). Aix-en-Provence: Université de Aix-en-Provence.
  • Cutler, A. (2003). The perception of speech: Psycholinguistic aspects. In W. Frawley (Ed.), International encyclopaedia of linguistics (pp. 154-157). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Cutler, A. (2006). Van spraak naar woorden in een tweede taal. In J. Morais, & G. d'Ydewalle (Eds.), Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition (pp. 39-54). Brussels: Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten.
  • Declerck, T., Cunningham, H., Saggion, H., Kuper, J., Reidsma, D., & Wittenburg, P. (2003). MUMIS - Advanced information extraction for multimedia indexing and searching digital media - Processing for multimedia interactive services. 4th European Workshop on Image Analysis for Multimedia Interactive Services (WIAMIS), 553-556.
  • Dediu, D. (2006). Mostly out of Africa, but what did the others have to say? In A. Cangelosi, A. D. Smith, & K. Smith (Eds.), The evolution of language: proceedings of the 6th International Conference (EVOLANG6) (pp. 59-66). World Scientific.

    Abstract

    The Recent Out-of-Africa human evolutionary model seems to be generally accepted. This impression is very prevalent outside palaeoanthropological circles (including studies of language evolution), but proves to be unwarranted. This paper offers a short review of the main challenges facing ROA and concludes that alternative models based on the concept of metapopulation must be also considered. The implications of such a model for language evolution and diversity are briefly reviewed.
  • Dietrich, R., Klein, W., & Noyau, C. (1993). The acquisition of temporality. In C. Perdue (Ed.), Adult language acquisition: Cross-linguistic perspectives: Vol. 2 The results (pp. 73-118). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Dimitriadis, A., Kemps-Snijders, M., Wittenburg, P., Everaert, M., & Levinson, S. C. (2006). Towards a linguist's workbench supporting eScience methods. In Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE International Conference on e-Science and Grid Computing.
  • Dimroth, C., Gretsch, P., Jordens, P., Perdue, C., & Starren, M. (2003). Finiteness in Germanic languages: A stage-model for first and second language development. In C. Dimroth, & M. Starren (Eds.), Information structure and the dynamics of language acquisition (pp. 65-94). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Dimroth, C., & Starren, M. (2003). Introduction. In C. Dimroth, & M. Starren (Eds.), Information structure and the dynamics of language acquisition (pp. 1-14). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Drozd, K. F. (1998). No as a determiner in child English: A summary of categorical evidence. In A. Sorace, C. Heycock, & R. Shillcock (Eds.), Proceedings of the Gala '97 Conference on Language Acquisition (pp. 34-39). Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press,.

    Abstract

    This paper summarizes the results of a descriptive syntactic category analysis of child English no which reveals that young children use and represent no as a determiner and negatives like no pen as NPs, contra standard analyses.
  • Drude, S. (2003). Advanced glossing: A language documentation format and its implementation with Shoebox. In Proceedings of the 2002 International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2002). Paris: ELRA.

    Abstract

    This paper presents Advanced Glossing, a proposal for a general glossing format designed for language documentation, and a specific setup for the Shoebox-program that implements Advanced Glossing to a large extent. Advanced Glossing (AG) goes beyond the traditional Interlinear Morphemic Translation, keeping syntactic and morphological information apart from each other in separate glossing tables. AG provides specific lines for different kinds of annotation – phonetic, phonological, orthographical, prosodic, categorial, structural, relational, and semantic, and it allows for gradual and successive, incomplete, and partial filling in case that some information may be irrelevant, unknown or uncertain. The implementation of AG in Shoebox sets up several databases. Each documented text is represented as a file of syntactic glossings. The morphological glossings are kept in a separate database. As an additional feature interaction with lexical databases is possible. The implementation makes use of the interlinearizing automatism provided by Shoebox, thus obtaining the table format for the alignment of lines in cells, and for semi-automatic filling-in of information in glossing tables which has been extracted from databases
  • Drude, S. (2003). Digitizing and annotating texts and field recordings in the Awetí project. In Proceedings of the EMELD Language Digitization Project Conference 2003. Workshop on Digitizing and Annotating Text and Field Recordings, LSA Institute, Michigan State University, July 11th -13th.

    Abstract

    Digitizing and annotating texts and field recordings Given that several initiatives worldwide currently explore the new field of documentation of endangered languages, the E-MELD project proposes to survey and unite procedures, techniques and results in order to achieve its main goal, ''the formulation and promulgation of best practice in linguistic markup of texts and lexicons''. In this context, this year's workshop deals with the processing of recorded texts. I assume the most valuable contribution I could make to the workshop is to show the procedures and methods used in the Awetí Language Documentation Project. The procedures applied in the Awetí Project are not necessarily representative of all the projects in the DOBES program, and they may very well fall short in several respects of being best practice, but I hope they might provide a good and concrete starting point for comparison, criticism and further discussion. The procedures to be exposed include: * taping with digital devices, * digitizing (preliminarily in the field, later definitely by the TIDEL-team at the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen), * segmenting and transcribing, using the transcriber computer program, * translating (on paper, or while transcribing), * adding more specific annotation, using the Shoebox program, * converting the annotation to the ELAN-format developed by the TIDEL-team, and doing annotation with ELAN. Focus will be on the different types of annotation. Especially, I will present, justify and discuss Advanced Glossing, a text annotation format developed by H.-H. Lieb and myself designed for language documentation. It will be shown how Advanced Glossing can be applied using the Shoebox program. The Shoebox setup used in the Awetí Project will be shown in greater detail, including lexical databases and semi-automatic interaction between different database types (jumping, interlinearization). ( Freie Universität Berlin and Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, with funding from the Volkswagen Foundation.)
  • Drude, S. (2006). On the position of the Awetí language in the Tupí family. In W. Dietrich, & H. Symeonidis (Eds.), Guarani y "Maweti-Tupi-Guarani. Estudios historicos y descriptivos sobre una familia lingüistica de America del Sur (pp. 11-45). Berlin: LIT Verlag.

    Abstract

    Conclusion In this study we have examined the evidence for the exact genetic position of the Awetí language in the large Tupí family, especially evidence for an internal classification of the larger branch of Tupí called “Mawetí-Guaraní” which comprises the Tupí-Guaraní family, Awetí and Sateré-Mawé. As it turns out, we did not find any clear example of an uncommon sound change which would have happened after the separation of the antecessor of one branch but before the split between the other two. There is some just probability that Awetí belongs somewhat closer to Tupí-Guaraní within Mawetí-Guaraní (configuration A in Table 1), but we did not find any conclusive evidence. All we have are some weak indications the majority of which, however, point in this direction: • a higher number of cognates found between Awetí and proto-Tupí-Guarani; • lexicostatistic results (number of cognates in a 100-item-word-list proposed by Swadesh); • loss of long vowels in Awetí and Tupí-Guaraní, but not in Sateré-Mawé; • some sound changes suggest that in the development to Awetí and to proto-Tupí-Guaraní velar segments changes to dental segments (cf. the discussion of the correspondence set j : t : w); • possibly some of the correspondence sets given in Table 20. We consider it to be too soon to conclude that there is a branch Awetí + Tupí-Guaraní of Mawetí-Guaraní, opposed to Sateré-Mawé, but if there is any grouping, this hypothesis is most promising. 29
  • Duffield, N., & Matsuo, A. (2003). Factoring out the parallelism effect in ellipsis: An interactional approach? In J. Chilar, A. Franklin, D. Keizer, & I. Kimbara (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society (CLS) (pp. 591-603). Chicago: Chicago Linguistics Society.

    Abstract

    Traditionally, there have been three standard assumptions made about the Parallelism Effect on VP-ellipsis, namely that the effect is categorical, that it applies asymmetrically and that it is uniquely due to syntactic factors. Based on the results of a series of experiments involving online and offline tasks, it will be argued that the Parallelism Effect is instead noncategorical and interactional. The factors investigated include construction type, conceptual and morpho-syntactic recoverability, finiteness and anaphor type (to test VP-anaphora). The results show that parallelism is gradient rather than categorical, effects both VP-ellipsis and anaphora, and is influenced by both structural and non-structural factors.
  • Edwards, J., & Levelt, W. J. M. (1993). The control group study. In C. Perdue (Ed.), Adult language acquisition: Cross-linguistic perspectives. Vol. I Field methods (pp. 173-185). Cambridge University Press.
  • Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I., Senft, B., & Senft, G. (1998). Trobriander (Ost-Neuguinea, Trobriand Inseln, Kaile'una) Fadenspiele 'ninikula'. In Ethnologie - Humanethologische Begleitpublikationen von I. Eibl-Eibesfeldt und Mitarbeitern. Sammelband I, 1985-1987. Göttingen: Institut für den Wissenschaftlichen Film.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2003). “Fish traps” task. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 31). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877616.

    Abstract

    This task is designed to elicit virtual 3D ‘models’ created in gesture space using iconic and other representational gestures. This task has been piloted with Lao speakers, where two speakers were asked to explain the meaning of terms referring to different kinds of fish trap mechanisms. The task elicited complex performances involving a range of iconic gestures, and with especially interesting use of (a) the ‘model/diagram’ in gesture space as a virtual object, (b) the non-dominant hand as a prosodic/semiotic anchor, (c) a range of different techniques (indexical and iconic) for evoking meaning with the hand, and (d) the use of nearby objects and parts of the body as semiotic ‘props’.
  • Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (2003). Interview on kinship. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 64-65). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877629.

    Abstract

    We want to know how people think about their field of kin, on the supposition that it is quasi-spatial. To get some insights here, we need to video a discussion about kinship reckoning, the kinship system, marriage rules and so on, with a view to looking at both the linguistic expressions involved, and the gestures people use to indicate kinship groups and relations. Unlike the task in the 2001 manual, this task is a direct interview method.
  • Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (2006). Introduction: Human sociality as a new interdisciplinary field. In N. J. Enfield, & S. C. Levinson (Eds.), Roots of human sociality: Culture, cognition and interaction (pp. 1-35). Oxford: Berg.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2003). Introduction. In N. J. Enfield, Linguistic epidemiology: Semantics and grammar of language contact in mainland Southeast Asia (pp. 2-44). London: Routledge Curzon.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2003). Preface and priorities. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 3). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2006). Heterosemy and the grammar-lexicon trade-off. In F. Ameka, A. Dench, & N. Evans (Eds.), Catching Language (pp. 297-320). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2006). Laos - language situation. In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (vol. 6) (pp. 698-700). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

    Abstract

    Laos features a high level of linguistic diversity, with more than 70 languages from four different major language families (Tai, Mon-Khmer, Hmong-Mien, Tibeto-Burman). Mon-Khmer languages were spoken in Laos earlier than other languages, with incoming migrations by Tai speakers (c. 2000 years ago) and Hmong-Mien speakers (c. 200 years ago). There is widespread language contact and multilingualism in upland minority communities, while lowland-dwelling Lao speakers are largely monolingual. Lao is the official national language. Most minority languages are endangered, with a few exceptions (notably Hmong and Kmhmu). There has been relatively little linguistic research on languages of Laos, due to problems of both infrastructure and administration.
  • Enfield, N. J., De Ruiter, J. P., Levinson, S. C., & Stivers, T. (2003). Multimodal interaction in your field site: A preliminary investigation. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 10-16). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877638.

    Abstract

    Research on video- and audio-recordings of spontaneous naturally-occurring conversation in English has shown that conversation is a rule-guided, practice-oriented domain that can be investigated for its underlying mechanics or structure. Systematic study could yield something like a grammar for conversation. The goal of this task is to acquire a corpus of video-data, for investigating the underlying structure(s) of interaction cross-linguistically and cross-culturally
  • Enfield, N. J. (2006). Social consequences of common ground. In N. J. Enfield, & S. C. Levinson (Eds.), Roots of human sociality: Culture, cognition and interaction (pp. 399-430). Oxford: Berg.
  • Enfield, N. J., & De Ruiter, J. P. (2003). The diff-task: A symmetrical dyadic multimodal interaction task. In N. J. Enfield (Ed.), Field research manual 2003, part I: Multimodal interaction, space, event representation (pp. 17-21). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.877635.

    Abstract

    This task is a complement to the questionnaire ‘Multimodal interaction in your field site: a preliminary investigation’. The objective of the task is to obtain high quality video data on structured and symmetrical dyadic multimodal interaction. The features of interaction we are interested in include turn organization in speech and nonverbal behavior, eye-gaze behavior, use of composite signals (i.e. communicative units of speech-combined-with-gesture), and linguistic and other resources for ‘navigating’ interaction (e.g. words like okay, now, well, and um).

    Additional information

    2003_1_The_diff_task_stimuli.zip
  • Ernestus, M., & Baayen, R. H. (2006). The functionality of incomplete neutralization in Dutch: The case of past-tense formation. In L. Goldstein, D. Whalen, & C. Best (Eds.), Laboratory Phonology 8 (pp. 27-49). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Ernestus, M. (2003). The role of phonology and phonetics in Dutch voice assimilation. In J. v. d. Weijer, V. J. v. Heuven, & H. v. d. Hulst (Eds.), The phonological spectrum Volume 1: Segmental structure (pp. 119-144). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  • Fisher, S. E. (2006). How can animal studies help to uncover the roles of genes implicated in human speech and language disorders? In G. S. Fisch, & J. Flint (Eds.), Transgenic and knockout models of neuropsychiatric disorders (pp. 127-149). Totowa, NJ: Humana Press.

    Abstract

    The mysterious human propensity for acquiring speech and language has fascinated scientists for decades. A substantial body of evidence suggests that this capacity is rooted in aspects of neurodevelopment that are specified at the genomic level. Researchers have begun to identify genetic factors that increase susceptibility to developmental disorders of speech and language, thereby offering the first molecular entry points into neuronal mechanisms underlying human vocal communication. The identification of genetic variants influencing language acquisition facilitates the analysis of animal models in which the corresponding orthologs are disrupted. At face value, the situation raises aperplexing question: if speech and language are uniquely human, can any relevant insights be gained from investigations of gene function in other species? This chapter addresses the question using the example of FOXP2, a gene implicated in a severe monogenic speech and language disorder. FOXP2 encodes a transcription factor that is highly conserved in vertebrate species, both in terms of protein sequence and expression patterns. Current data suggest that an earlier version of this gene, present in the common ancestor of humans, rodents, and birds, was already involved in establishing neuronal circuits underlying sensory-motor integration and learning of complex motor sequences. This may have represented one of the factors providing a permissive neural environment for subsequent evolution of vocal learning. Thus, dissection of neuromolecular pathways regulated by Foxp2 in nonlinguistic species is a necessary prerequisite for understanding the role of the human version of the gene in speech and language.

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