Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 371
  • Adank, P., Smits, R., & Van Hout, R. (2004). A comparison of vowel normalization procedures for language variation research. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 116(5), 3099-3109. doi:10.1121/1.1795335.

    Abstract

    An evaluation of vowel normalization procedures for the purpose of studying language variation is presented. The procedures were compared on how effectively they (a) preserve phonemic information, (b) preserve information about the talker's regional background (or sociolinguistic information), and (c) minimize anatomical/physiological variation in acoustic representations of vowels. Recordings were made for 80 female talkers and 80 male talkers of Dutch. These talkers were stratified according to their gender and regional background. The normalization procedures were applied to measurements of the fundamental frequency and the first three formant frequencies for a large set of vowel tokens. The normalization procedures were evaluated through statistical pattern analysis. The results show that normalization procedures that use information across multiple vowels ("vowel-extrinsic" information) to normalize a single vowel token performed better than those that include only information contained in the vowel token itself ("vowel-intrinsic" information). Furthermore, the results show that normalization procedures that operate on individual formants performed better than those that use information across multiple formants (e.g., "formant-extrinsic" F2-F1).
  • Adank, P., Van Hout, R., & Smits, R. (2004). An acoustic description of the vowels of Northern and Southern Standard Dutch. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 116(3), 1729-1738. doi:10.1121/1.1779271.
  • Allen, G. L., Kirasic, K. C., Rashotte, M. A., & Haun, D. B. M. (2004). Aging and path integration skill: Kinesthetic and vestibular contributions to wayfinding. Perception & Psychophysics, 66(1), 170-179.

    Abstract

    In a triangle completion task designed to assess path integration skill, younger and older adults performed similarly after being led, while blindfolded, along the route segments on foot, which provided both kinesthetic and vestibular information about the outbound path. In contrast, older adults’ performance was impaired, relative to that of younger adults, after they were conveyed, while blindfolded, along the route segments in a wheelchair, which limited them principally to vestibular information. Correlational evidence suggested that cognitive resources were significant factors in accounting for age-related decline in path integration performance.
  • 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., & Breedveld, A. (2004). Areal cultural scripts for social interaction in West African communities. Intercultural Pragmatics, 1(2), 167-187. doi:10.1515/iprg.2004.1.2.167.

    Abstract

    Ways of interacting and not interacting in human societies have social, cognitive and cultural dimensions. These various aspects may be reflected in particular in relation to “taboos”. They reflect the ways of thinking and the values of a society. They are recognized as part of the communicative competence of the speakers and are learned in socialization. Some salient taboos are likely to be named in the language of the relevant society, others may not have a name. Interactional taboos can be specific to a cultural linguistic group or they may be shared across different communities that belong to a ‘speech area’ (Hymes 1972). In this article we describe a number of unnamed norms of communicative conduct which are widespread in West Africa such as the taboos on the use of the left hand in social interaction and on the use of personal names in adult address, and the widespread preference for the use of intermediaries for serious communication. We also examine a named avoidance (yaage) behavior specific to the Fulbe, a nomadic cattle-herding group spread from West Africa across the Sahel as far as Sudan. We show how tacit knowledge about these taboos and other interactive norms can be captured using the cultural scripts methodology.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1999). [Review of M. E. Kropp Dakubu: Korle meets the sea: a sociolinguistic history of Accra]. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 62, 198-199. doi:10.1017/S0041977X0001836X.
  • 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. (2004). Grammar and cultural practices: The grammaticalization of triadic communication in West African languages. The Journal of West African Languages, 30(2), 5-28.
  • 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. (1999). Partir c'est mourir un peu: Universal and culture specific features of leave taking. RASK International Journal of Language and Communication, 9/10, 257-283.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1999). Spatial information packaging in Ewe and Likpe: A comparative perspective. Frankfurter Afrikanistische Blätter, 11, 7-34.
  • 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. (1999). The typology and semantics of complex nominal duplication in Ewe. Anthropological Linguistics, 41, 75-106.
  • Ameka, F. K., & Levinson, S. C. (Eds.). (2007). The typology and semantics of locative predication: Posturals, positionals and other beasts [Special Issue]. Linguistics, 45(5).

    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.
  • Baayen, H., Levelt, W. J. M., Schreuder, R., & Ernestus, M. (2007). Paradigmatic structure in speech production. Proceedings from the Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, 43(1), 1-29.

    Abstract

    The main goal of the present study is to trace the consequences of local and global markedness for the processing of singular and plural nouns. Decompositional models such as proposed by (Pinker (1997); Pinker (1999)) and (Levelt et al. (1999)) predict a lexeme frequency effect and no effects of the frequencies of the singular and the plural forms. Experiments 1 and 4 reveal the expected lexeme frequency effect. Furthermore, in these experiments there are no clear independent effects of the frequencies of the inflected forms. However, the effects of Entropy and Relative Entropy that emerge from these experiments show that in production knowledge of the probabilities of the individual inflected forms do play a role, albeit indirectly. These entropy effects bear witness to the importance of paradigmatic organization of inflected forms in the mental lexicon, both at the level of individual lexemes (Entropy) and at the general level of the class of nouns (Relative Entropy).
  • Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Böcker, K. B. E., Cluitmans, P. J. M., & Brunia, C. H. M. (1999). Event-related desynchronization related to the anticipation of a stimulus providing knowledge of results. Clinical Neurophysiology, 110, 250-260.

    Abstract

    In the present paper, event-related desynchronization (ERD) in the alpha and beta frequency bands is quantified in order to investigate the processes related to the anticipation of a knowledge of results (KR) stimulus. In a time estimation task, 10 subjects were instructed to press a button 4 s after the presentation of an auditory stimulus. Two seconds after the response they received auditory or visual feedback on the timing of their response. Preceding the button press, a centrally maximal ERD is found. Preceding the visual KR stimulus, an ERD is present that has an occipital maximum. Contrary to expectation, preceding the auditory KR stimulus there are no signs of a modalityspecific ERD. Results are related to a thalamo-cortical gating model which predicts a correspondence between negative slow potentials and ERD during motor preparation and stimulus anticipation.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2004). [Review of the book Pre-Indo-European by Winfred P. Lehmann]. Journal of Indo-European Studies, 32, 146-155.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2007). Report on the XVIth International Conference on Historical Linguistic. General Linguistics, 43, 145-149.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2004). Vigesimal numerals in Romance: An Indo-European perspective. General Linguistics, 41, 21-46.
  • Baumann, H., Dirksmeyer, R., & Wittenburg, P. (2004). Long-term archiving. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(2), 3-3.
  • 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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  • Benazzo, S., Dimroth, C., Perdue, C., & Watorek, M. (2004). Le rôle des particules additives dans la construction de la cohésion discursive en langue maternelle et en langue étrangère. Langages, 155, 76-106.

    Abstract

    We compare the use of additive particles such as aussi ('also'), encore ('again, still'), and their 'translation équivalents', in a narrative task based on a séries of piclures performed by groups of children aged 4 years, 7 years and 10 years using their first language (L1 French, German, Polish), and by adult Polish and German learners of French as a second language (L2). From the cross-sectional analysis we propose developmental patterns which show remarkable similarities for ail types of learner, but which stem from différent determining factors. For the children, the patterns can best be explained by the development of their capacity to use available items in appropriate discourse contexts; for the adults, the limitations of their linguistic répertoire at différent levels of achievement détermines the possibility of incorporating thèse items into their utterance structure. Fïnally, we discuss to what extent thèse gênerai tendencies are influenced by the specificities of the différent languages used.
  • Bercelli, F., Viaro, M., & Rossano, F. (2004). Attività in alcuni generi di psicoterapia. Rivista di psicolinguistica applicata, IV (2/3), 111-127. doi:10.1400/19208.

    Abstract

    The main aim of our paper is to contribute to the outline of a general inventory of activities in psychotherapy, as a step towards a description of overall conversational organizations of diff erent therapeutic approaches. From the perspective of Conversation Analysis, we describe some activities commonly occurrring in a corpus of sessions conducted by cognitive and relational-systemic therapists. Two activities appear to be basic: (a) inquiry: therapists elicit information from patients on their problems and circumstances; (b) reworking: therapists say something designed as an elaboration of what patients have previously said, or as something that can be grounded on it; and patients are induced to confi rm/disprove and contribute to the elaboration. Furthermore, we describe other activities, which turn out to be auxiliary to the basic ones: storytelling, procedural arrangement, recalling, noticing, teaching. We fi nally show some ways in which these activities can be integrated through conversational interaction.
  • Böcker, K. B. E., Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Vroomen, J., Brunia, C. H. M., & de Gelder, B. (1999). An ERP correlate of metrical stress in spoken word recognition. Psychophysiology, 36, 706-720. doi:10.1111/1469-8986.3660706.

    Abstract

    Rhythmic properties of spoken language such as metrical stress, that is, the alternation of strong and weak syllables, are important in speech recognition of stress-timed languages such as Dutch and English. Nineteen subjects listened passively to or discriminated actively between sequences of bisyllabic Dutch words, which started with either a weak or a strong syllable. Weak-initial words, which constitute 12% of the Dutch lexicon, evoked more negativity than strong-initial words in the interval between P2 and N400 components of the auditory event-related potential. This negativity was denoted as N325. The N325 was larger during stress discrimination than during passive listening. N325 was also larger when a weak-initial word followed sequence of strong-initial words than when it followed words with the same stress pattern. The latter difference was larger for listeners who performed well on stress discrimination. It was concluded that the N325 is probably a manifestation of the extraction of metrical stress from the acoustic signal and its transformation into task requirements.
  • 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.
  • Borgwaldt, S. R., Hellwig, F. M., & De Groot, A. M. B. (2004). Word-initial entropy in five langauges: Letter to sound, and sound to letter. Written Language & Literacy, 7(2), 165-184.

    Abstract

    Alphabetic orthographies show more or less ambiguous relations between spelling and sound patterns. In transparent orthographies, like Italian, the pronunciation can be predicted from the spelling and vice versa. Opaque orthographies, like English, often display unpredictable spelling–sound correspondences. In this paper we present a computational analysis of word-initial bi-directional spelling–sound correspondences for Dutch, English, French, German, and Hungarian, stated in entropy values for various grain sizes. This allows us to position the five languages on the continuum from opaque to transparent orthographies, both in spelling-to-sound and sound-to-spelling directions. The analysis is based on metrics derived from information theory, and therefore independent of any specific theory of visual word recognition as well as of any specific theoretical approach of orthography.
  • Bowerman, M. (1976). Commentary on M.D.S. Braine, “Children's first word combinations”. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 41(1), 98-104. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1165959.
  • 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.
  • Broeder, D. (2004). 40,000 IMDI sessions. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(4), 12-12.
  • Broeder, D., & Offenga, F. (2004). IMDI Metadata Set 3.0. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(2), 3-3.
  • Brown, P. (1999). Anthropologie cognitive. Anthropologie et Sociétés, 23(3), 91-119.

    Abstract

    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. (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.
  • Brown, C. M., Hagoort, P., & Ter Keurs, M. (1999). Electrophysiological signatures of visual lexical processing: open en closed-class words. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 11(3), 261-281.

    Abstract

    In this paper presents evidence of the disputed existence of an electrophysiological marker for the lexical-categorical distinction between open- and closed-class words. Event-related brain potentials were recorded from the scalp while subjects read a story. Separate waveforms were computed for open- and closed-class words. Two aspects of the waveforms could be reliably related to vocabulary class. The first was an early negativity in the 230- to 350-msec epoch, with a bilateral anterior predominance. This negativity was elicited by open- and closed-class words alike, was not affected by word frequency or word length, and had an earlier peak latency for closed-class words. The second was a frontal slow negative shift in the 350- to 500-msec epoch, largest over the left side of the scalp. This late negativity was only elicited by closed-class words. Although the early negativity cannot serve as a qualitative marker of the open- and closed-class distinction, it does reflect the earliest electrophysiological manifestation of the availability of categorical information from the mental lexicon. These results suggest that the brain honors the distinction between open- and closed-class words, in relation to the different roles that they play in on-line sentence processing.
  • Brown, P. (1999). Repetition [Encyclopedia entry for 'Lexicon for the New Millenium', ed. Alessandro Duranti]. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 9(2), 223-226. doi:10.1525/jlin.1999.9.1-2.223.

    Abstract

    This is an encyclopedia entry describing conversational and interactional uses of linguistic repetition.
  • Brown, P. (1976). Women and politeness: A new perspective on language and society. Reviews in Anthropology, 3, 240-249.
  • Brugman, H. (2004). ELAN 2.2 now available. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(3), 13-14.
  • Brugman, H., Sloetjes, H., Russel, A., & Klassmann, A. (2004). ELAN 2.3 available. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(4), 13-13.
  • Brugman, H. (2004). ELAN Releases 2.0.2 and 2.1. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(2), 4-4.
  • Burenhult, N. (2004). Landscape terms and toponyms in Jahai: A field report. Lund Working Papers, 51, 17-29.
  • 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.
  • Carlsson, K., Petersson, K. M., Lundqvist, D., Karlsson, A., Ingvar, M., & Öhman, A. (2004). Fear and the amygdala: manipulation of awareness generates differential cerebral responses to phobic and fear-relevant (but nonfeared) stimuli. Emotion, 4(4), 340-353. doi:10.1037/1528-3542.4.4.340.

    Abstract

    Rapid response to danger holds an evolutionary advantage. In this positron emission tomography study, phobics were exposed to masked visual stimuli with timings that either allowed awareness or not of either phobic, fear-relevant (e.g., spiders to snake phobics), or neutral images. When the timing did not permit awareness, the amygdala responded to both phobic and fear-relevant stimuli. With time for more elaborate processing, phobic stimuli resulted in an addition of an affective processing network to the amygdala activity, whereas no activity was found in response to fear-relevant stimuli. Also, right prefrontal areas appeared deactivated, comparing aware phobic and fear-relevant conditions. Thus, a shift from top-down control to an affectively driven system optimized for speed was observed in phobic relative to fear-relevant aware processing.
  • 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.
  • Chen, A., Gussenhoven, C., & Rietveld, T. (2004). Language specificity in perception of paralinguistic intonational meaning. Language and Speech, 47(4), 311-349.

    Abstract

    This study examines the perception of paralinguistic intonational meanings deriving from Ohala’s Frequency Code (Experiment 1) and Gussenhoven’s Effort Code (Experiment 2) in British English and Dutch. Native speakers of British English and Dutch listened to a number of stimuli in their native language and judged each stimulus on four semantic scales deriving from these two codes: SELF-CONFIDENT versus NOT SELF-CONFIDENT, FRIENDLY versus NOT FRIENDLY (Frequency Code); SURPRISED versus NOT SURPRISED, and EMPHATIC versus NOT EMPHATIC (Effort Code). The stimuli, which were lexically equivalent across the two languages, differed in pitch contour, pitch register and pitch span in Experiment 1, and in pitch register, peak height, peak alignment and end pitch in Experiment 2. Contrary to the traditional view that the paralinguistic usage of intonation is similar across languages, it was found that British English and Dutch listeners differed considerably in the perception of “confident,” “friendly,” “emphatic,” and “surprised.” The present findings support a theory of paralinguistic meaning based on the universality of biological codes, which however acknowledges a languagespecific component in the implementation of these codes.
  • Cho, T. (2004). Prosodically conditioned strengthening and vowel-to-vowel coarticulation in English. Journal of Phonetics, 32(2), 141-176. doi:10.1016/S0095-4470(03)00043-3.

    Abstract

    The goal of this study is to examine how the degree of vowel-to-vowel coarticulation varies as a function of prosodic factors such as nuclear-pitch accent (accented vs. unaccented), level of prosodic boundary (Prosodic Word vs. Intermediate Phrase vs. Intonational Phrase), and position-in-prosodic-domain (initial vs. final). It is hypothesized that vowels in prosodically stronger locations (e.g., in accented syllables and at a higher prosodic boundary) are not only coarticulated less with their neighboring vowels, but they also exert a stronger influence on their neighbors. Measurements of tongue position for English /a i/ over time were obtained with Carsten’s electromagnetic articulography. Results showed that vowels in prosodically stronger locations are coarticulated less with neighboring vowels, but do not exert a stronger influence on the articulation of neighboring vowels. An examination of the relationship between coarticulation and duration revealed that (a) accent-induced coarticulatory variation cannot be attributed to a duration factor and (b) some of the data with respect to boundary effects may be accounted for by the duration factor. This suggests that to the extent that prosodically conditioned coarticulatory variation is duration-independent, there is no absolute causal relationship from duration to coarticulation. It is proposed that prosodically conditioned V-to-V coarticulatory reduction is another type of strengthening that occurs in prosodically strong locations. The prosodically driven coarticulatory patterning is taken to be part of the phonetic signatures of the hierarchically nested structure of prosody.
  • 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.
  • Choi, S., McDonough, L., Bowerman, M., & Mandler, J. M. (1999). Early sensitivity to language-specific spatial categories in English and Korean. Cognitive Development, 14, 241-268. doi:10.1016/S0885-2014(99)00004-0.

    Abstract

    This study investigates young children’s comprehension of spatial terms in two languages that categorize space strikingly differently. English makes a distinction between actions resulting in containment (put in) versus support or surface attachment (put on), while Korean makes a cross-cutting distinction between tight-fit relations (kkita) versus loose-fit or other contact relations (various verbs). In particular, the Korean verb kkita refers to actions resulting in a tight-fit relation regardless of containment or support. In a preferential looking study we assessed the comprehension of in by 20 English learners and kkita by 10 Korean learners, all between 18 and 23 months. The children viewed pairs of scenes while listening to sentences with and without the target word. The target word led children to gaze at different and language-appropriate aspects of the scenes. We conclude that children are sensitive to language-specific spatial categories by 18–23 months.
  • Cholin, J., Schiller, N. O., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2004). The preparation of syllables in speech production. Journal of Memory and Language, 50(1), 47-61. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2003.08.003.

    Abstract

    Models of speech production assume that syllables play a functional role in the process of word-form encoding in speech production. In this study, we investigate this claim and specifically provide evidence about the level at which syllables come into play. We report two studies using an odd-man-out variant of the implicit priming paradigm to examine the role of the syllable during the process of word formation. Our results show that this modified version of the implicit priming paradigm can trace the emergence of syllabic structure during spoken word generation. Comparing these results to prior syllable priming studies, we conclude that syllables emerge at the interface between phonological and phonetic encoding. The results are discussed in terms of the WEAVER++ model of lexical access.
  • 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.
  • Claus, A. (2004). Access management system. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(2), 5.
  • Clifton, Jr., C., Cutler, A., McQueen, J. M., & Van Ooijen, B. (1999). The processing of inflected forms. [Commentary on H. Clahsen: Lexical entries and rules of language.]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 1018-1019.

    Abstract

    Clashen proposes two distinct processing routes, for regularly and irregularly inflected forms, respectively, and thus is apparently making a psychological claim. We argue his position, which embodies a strictly linguistic perspective, does not constitute a psychological processing model.
  • Cutler, A. (1976). High-stress words are easier to perceive than low-stress words, even when they are equally stressed. Texas Linguistic Forum, 2, 53-57.
  • Cutler, A., & Norris, D. (1999). Sharpening Ockham’s razor (Commentary on W.J.M. Levelt, A. Roelofs & A.S. Meyer: A theory of lexical access in speech production). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 40-41.

    Abstract

    Language production and comprehension are intimately interrelated; and models of production and comprehension should, we argue, be constrained by common architectural guidelines. Levelt et al.'s target article adopts as guiding principle Ockham's razor: the best model of production is the simplest one. We recommend adoption of the same principle in comprehension, with consequent simplification of some well-known types of models.
  • Cutler, A., Weber, A., Smits, R., & Cooper, N. (2004). Patterns of English phoneme confusions by native and non-native listeners. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 116(6), 3668-3678. doi:10.1121/1.1810292.

    Abstract

    Native American English and non-native(Dutch)listeners identified either the consonant or the vowel in all possible American English CV and VC syllables. The syllables were embedded in multispeaker babble at three signal-to-noise ratios(0, 8, and 16 dB). The phoneme identification performance of the non-native listeners was less accurate than that of the native listeners. All listeners were adversely affected by noise. With these isolated syllables, initial segments were harder to identify than final segments. Crucially, the effects of language background and noise did not interact; the performance asymmetry between the native and non-native groups was not significantly different across signal-to-noise ratios. It is concluded that the frequently reported disproportionate difficulty of non-native listening under disadvantageous conditions is not due to a disproportionate increase in phoneme misidentifications.
  • Cutler, A. (1976). Phoneme-monitoring reaction time as a function of preceding intonation contour. Perception and Psychophysics, 20, 55-60. Retrieved from http://www.psychonomic.org/search/view.cgi?id=18194.

    Abstract

    An acoustically invariant one-word segment occurred in two versions of one syntactic context. In one version, the preceding intonation contour indicated that a stress would fall at the point where this word occurred. In the other version, the preceding contour predicted reduced stress at that point. Reaction time to the initial phoneme of the word was faster in the former case, despite the fact that no acoustic correlates of stress were present. It is concluded that a part of the sentence comprehension process is the prediction of upcoming sentence accents.
  • Cutler, A., & Otake, T. (1999). Pitch accent in spoken-word recognition in Japanese. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 105, 1877-1888.

    Abstract

    Three experiments addressed the question of whether pitch-accent information may be exploited in the process of recognizing spoken words in Tokyo Japanese. In a two-choice classification task, listeners judged from which of two words, differing in accentual structure, isolated syllables had been extracted ~e.g., ka from baka HL or gaka LH!; most judgments were correct, and listeners’ decisions were correlated with the fundamental frequency characteristics of the syllables. In a gating experiment, listeners heard initial fragments of words and guessed what the words were; their guesses overwhelmingly had the same initial accent structure as the gated word even when only the beginning CV of the stimulus ~e.g., na- from nagasa HLL or nagashi LHH! was presented. In addition, listeners were more confident in guesses with the same initial accent structure as the stimulus than in guesses with different accent. In a lexical decision experiment, responses to spoken words ~e.g., ame HL! were speeded by previous presentation of the same word ~e.g., ame HL! but not by previous presentation of a word differing only in accent ~e.g., ame LH!. Together these findings provide strong evidence that accentual information constrains the activation and selection of candidates for spoken-word recognition.
  • Cutler, A. (2004). On spoken-word recognition in a second language. Newsletter, American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, 47, 15-15.
  • Dahan, D., & Tanenhaus, M. K. (2004). Continuous mapping from sound to meaning in spoken-language comprehension: Immediate effects of verb-based thematic constraints. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 30(2), 498-513. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.30.2.498.

    Abstract

    The authors used 2 “visual-world” eye-tracking experiments to examine lexical access using Dutch constructions in which the verb did or did not place semantic constraints on its subsequent subject noun phrase. In Experiment 1, fixations to the picture of a cohort competitor (overlapping with the onset of the referent’s name, the subject) did not differ from fixations to a distractor in the constraining-verb condition. In Experiment 2, cross-splicing introduced phonetic information that temporarily biased the input toward the cohort competitor. Fixations to the cohort competitor temporarily increased in both the neutral and constraining conditions. These results favor models in which mapping from the input onto meaning is continuous over models in which contextual effects follow access of an initial form-based competitor set.
  • 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.
  • Dronkers, N. F., Wilkins, D. P., Van Valin Jr., R. D., Redfern, B. B., & Jaeger, J. J. (2004). Lesion analysis of the brain areas involved in language comprehension. Cognition, 92, 145-177. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2003.11.002.

    Abstract

    The cortical regions of the brain traditionally associated with the comprehension of language are Wernicke's area and Broca's area. However, recent evidence suggests that other brain regions might also be involved in this complex process. This paper describes the opportunity to evaluate a large number of brain-injured patients to determine which lesioned brain areas might affect language comprehension. Sixty-four chronic left hemisphere stroke patients were evaluated on 11 subtests of the Curtiss–Yamada Comprehensive Language Evaluation – Receptive (CYCLE-R; Curtiss, S., & Yamada, J. (1988). Curtiss–Yamada Comprehensive Language Evaluation. Unpublished test, UCLA). Eight right hemisphere stroke patients and 15 neurologically normal older controls also participated. Patients were required to select a single line drawing from an array of three or four choices that best depicted the content of an auditorily-presented sentence. Patients' lesions obtained from structural neuroimaging were reconstructed onto templates and entered into a voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM; Bates, E., Wilson, S., Saygin, A. P., Dick, F., Sereno, M., Knight, R. T., & Dronkers, N. F. (2003). Voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping. Nature Neuroscience, 6(5), 448–450.) analysis along with the behavioral data. VLSM is a brain–behavior mapping technique that evaluates the relationships between areas of injury and behavioral performance in all patients on a voxel-by-voxel basis, similar to the analysis of functional neuroimaging data. Results indicated that lesions to five left hemisphere brain regions affected performance on the CYCLE-R, including the posterior middle temporal gyrus and underlying white matter, the anterior superior temporal gyrus, the superior temporal sulcus and angular gyrus, mid-frontal cortex in Brodmann's area 46, and Brodmann's area 47 of the inferior frontal gyrus. Lesions to Broca's and Wernicke's areas were not found to significantly alter language comprehension on this particular measure. Further analysis suggested that the middle temporal gyrus may be more important for comprehension at the word level, while the other regions may play a greater role at the level of the sentence. These results are consistent with those seen in recent functional neuroimaging studies and offer complementary data in the effort to understand the brain areas underlying language comprehension.
  • 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.
  • Edlinger, G., Bastiaansen, M. C. M., Brunia, C., Neuper, C., & Pfurtscheller, G. (1999). Cortical oscillatory activity assessed by combined EEG and MEG recordings and high resolution ERD methods. Biomedizinische Technik, 44(2), 131-134.
  • 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. (1999). On the indispensability of semantics: Defining the ‘vacuous’. Rask: internationalt tidsskrift for sprog og kommunikation, 9/10, 285-304.
  • 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.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2004). Nominal classification in Lao: A sketch. Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung, 57(2/3), 117-143.
  • Enfield, N. J. (2004). On linear segmentation and combinatorics in co-speech gesture: A symmetry-dominance construction in Lao fish trap descriptions. Semiotica, 149(1/4), 57-123. doi:10.1515/semi.2004.038.
  • Ernestus, M., & Baayen, R. H. (2004). Analogical effects in regular past tense production in Dutch. Linguistics, 42(5), 873-903. doi:10.1515/ling.2004.031.

    Abstract

    This study addresses the question to what extent the production of regular past tense forms in Dutch is a¤ected by analogical processes. We report an experiment in which native speakers of Dutch listened to existing regular verbs over headphones, and had to indicate which of the past tense allomorphs, te or de, was appropriate for these verbs. According to generative analyses, the choice between the two su‰xes is completely regular and governed by the underlying [voice]-specification of the stem-final segment. In this approach, no analogical e¤ects are expected. In connectionist and analogical approaches, by contrast, the phonological similarity structure in the lexicon is expected to a¤ect lexical processing. Our experimental results support the latter approach: all participants created more nonstandard past tense forms, produced more inconsistency errors, and responded more slowly for verbs with stronger analogical support for the nonstandard form.
  • Ernestus, M., & Mak, W. M. (2004). Distinctive phonological features differ in relevance for both spoken and written word recognition. Brain and Language, 90(1-3), 378-392. doi:10.1016/S0093-934X(03)00449-8.

    Abstract

    This paper discusses four experiments on Dutch which show that distinctive phonological features differ in their relevance for word recognition. The relevance of a feature for word recognition depends on its phonological stability, that is, the extent to which that feature is generally realized in accordance with its lexical specification in the relevant word position. If one feature value is uninformative, all values of that feature are less relevant for word recognition, with the least informative feature being the least relevant. Features differ in their relevance both in spoken and written word recognition, though the differences are more pronounced in auditory lexical decision than in self-paced reading.
  • 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.
  • Ernestus, M., & Baayen, R. H. (2004). Kuchde, tobte, en turfte: Lekkage in 't kofschip. Onze Taal, 73(12), 360-361.
  • 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)
  • 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., Stein, J. F., & Monaco, A. P. (1999). A genome-wide search strategy for identifying quantitative trait loci involved in reading and spelling disability (developmental dyslexia). European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 8(suppl. 3), S47-S51. doi:10.1007/PL00010694.

    Abstract

    Family and twin studies of developmental dyslexia have consistently shown that there is a significant heritable component for this disorder. However, any genetic basis for the trait is likely to be complex, involving reduced penetrance, phenocopy, heterogeneity and oligogenic inheritance. This complexity results in reduced power for traditional parametric linkage analysis, where specification of the correct genetic model is important. One strategy is to focus on large multigenerational pedigrees with severe phenotypes and/or apparent simple Mendelian inheritance, as has been successfully demonstrated for speech and language impairment. This approach is limited by the scarcity of such families. An alternative which has recently become feasible due to the development of high-throughput genotyping techniques is the analysis of large numbers of sib-pairs using allele-sharing methodology. This paper outlines our strategy for conducting a systematic genome-wide search for genes involved in dyslexia in a large number of affected sib-pair familites from the UK. We use a series of psychometric tests to obtain different quantitative measures of reading deficit, which should correlate with different components of the dyslexia phenotype, such as phonological awareness and orthographic coding ability. This enable us to use QTL (quantitative trait locus) mapping as a powerful tool for localising genes which may contribute to reading and spelling disability.
  • Fisher, S. E., Marlow, A. J., Lamb, J., Maestrini, E., Williams, D. F., Richardson, A. J., Weeks, D. E., Stein, J. F., & Monaco, A. P. (1999). A quantitative-trait locus on chromosome 6p influences different aspects of developmental dyslexia. American Journal of Human Genetics, 64(1), 146-156. doi:10.1086/302190.

    Abstract

    Recent application of nonparametric-linkage analysis to reading disability has implicated a putative quantitative-trait locus (QTL) on the short arm of chromosome 6. In the present study, we use QTL methods to evaluate linkage to the 6p25-21.3 region in a sample of 181 sib pairs from 82 nuclear families that were selected on the basis of a dyslexic proband. We have assessed linkage directly for several quantitative measures that should correlate with different components of the phenotype, rather than using a single composite measure or employing categorical definitions of subtypes. Our measures include the traditional IQ/reading discrepancy score, as well as tests of word recognition, irregular-word reading, and nonword reading. Pointwise analysis by means of sib-pair trait differences suggests the presence, in 6p21.3, of a QTL influencing multiple components of dyslexia, in particular the reading of irregular words (P=.0016) and nonwords (P=.0024). A complementary statistical approach involving estimation of variance components supports these findings (irregular words, P=.007; nonwords, P=.0004). Multipoint analyses place the QTL within the D6S422-D6S291 interval, with a peak around markers D6S276 and D6S105 consistently identified by approaches based on trait differences (irregular words, P=.00035; nonwords, P=.0035) and variance components (irregular words, P=.007; nonwords, P=.0038). Our findings indicate that the QTL affects both phonological and orthographic skills and is not specific to phoneme awareness, as has been previously suggested. Further studies will be necessary to obtain a more precise localization of this QTL, which may lead to the isolation of one of the genes involved in developmental dyslexia.
  • 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., Paracchini, S., Smith, S. D., Richardson, A. J., Scerri, T. S., Cardon, L. R., Marlow, A. J., MacPhie, I. L., Walter, J., Pennington, B. F., Fisher, S. E., Olson, R. K., DeFries, J. C., Stein, J. F., & Monaco, A. P. (2004). A 77-kilobase region of chromosome 6p22.2 is associated with dyslexia in families from the United Kingdom and from the United States. American Journal of Human Genetics, 75(6), 1046-1058. doi:10.1086/426404.

    Abstract

    Several quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that influence developmental dyslexia (reading disability [RD]) have been mapped to chromosome regions by linkage analysis. The most consistently replicated area of linkage is on chromosome 6p23-21.3. We used association analysis in 223 siblings from the United Kingdom to identify an underlying QTL on 6p22.2. Our association study implicates a 77-kb region spanning the gene TTRAP and the first four exons of the neighboring uncharacterized gene KIAA0319. The region of association is also directly upstream of a third gene, THEM2. We found evidence of these associations in a second sample of siblings from the United Kingdom, as well as in an independent sample of twin-based sibships from Colorado. One main RD risk haplotype that has a frequency of ∼12% was found in both the U.K. and U.S. samples. The haplotype is not distinguished by any protein-coding polymorphisms, and, therefore, the functional variation may relate to gene expression. The QTL influences a broad range of reading-related cognitive abilities but has no significant impact on general cognitive performance in these samples. In addition, the QTL effect may be largely limited to the severe range of reading disability.
  • 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.

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