Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 1314
  • Abbot-Smith, K., Chang, F., Rowland, C. F., Ferguson, H., & Pine, J. (2017). Do two and three year old children use an incremental first-NP-as-agent bias to process active transitive and passive sentences?: A permutation analysis. PLoS One, 12(10): e0186129. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0186129.

    Abstract

    We used eye-tracking to investigate if and when children show an incremental bias to assume that the first noun phrase in a sentence is the agent (first-NP-as-agent bias) while processing the meaning of English active and passive transitive sentences. We also investigated whether children can override this bias to successfully distinguish active from passive sentences, after processing the remainder of the sentence frame. For this second question we used eye-tracking (Study 1) and forced-choice pointing (Study 2). For both studies, we used a paradigm in which participants simultaneously saw two novel actions with reversed agent-patient relations while listening to active and passive sentences. We compared English-speaking 25-month-olds and 41-month-olds in between-subjects sentence structure conditions (Active Transitive Condition vs. Passive Condition). A permutation analysis found that both age groups showed a bias to incrementally map the first noun in a sentence onto an agent role. Regarding the second question, 25-month-olds showed some evidence of distinguishing the two structures in the eye-tracking study. However, the 25-month-olds did not distinguish active from passive sentences in the forced choice pointing task. In contrast, the 41-month-old children did reanalyse their initial first-NP-as-agent bias to the extent that they clearly distinguished between active and passive sentences both in the eye-tracking data and in the pointing task. The results are discussed in relation to the development of syntactic (re)parsing.

    Additional information

    Data available from OSF
  • Acheson, D. J., & Hagoort, P. (2014). Twisting tongues to test for conflict monitoring in speech production. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8: 206. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00206.

    Abstract

    A number of recent studies have hypothesized that monitoring in speech production may occur via domain-general mechanisms responsible for the detection of response conflict. Outside of language, two ERP components have consistently been elicited in conflict-inducing tasks (e.g., the flanker task): the stimulus-locked N2 on correct trials, and the response-locked error-related negativity (ERN). The present investigation used these electrophysiological markers to test whether a common response conflict monitor is responsible for monitoring in speech and non-speech tasks. Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded while participants performed a tongue twister (TT) task and a manual version of the flanker task. In the TT task, people rapidly read sequences of four nonwords arranged in TT and non-TT patterns three times. In the flanker task, people responded with a left/right button press to a center-facing arrow, and conflict was manipulated by the congruency of the flanking arrows. Behavioral results showed typical effects of both tasks, with increased error rates and slower speech onset times for TT relative to non-TT trials and for incongruent relative to congruent flanker trials. In the flanker task, stimulus-locked EEG analyses replicated previous results, with a larger N2 for incongruent relative to congruent trials, and a response-locked ERN. In the TT task, stimulus-locked analyses revealed broad, frontally-distributed differences beginning around 50 ms and lasting until just before speech initiation, with TT trials more negative than non-TT trials; response-locked analyses revealed an ERN. Correlation across these measures showed some correlations within a task, but little evidence of systematic cross-task correlation. Although the present results do not speak against conflict signals from the production system serving as cues to self-monitoring, they are not consistent with signatures of response conflict being mediated by a single, domain-general conflict monitor
  • Acuna-Hidalgo, R., Deriziotis, P., Steehouwer, M., Gilissen, C., Graham, S. A., Van Dam, S., Hoover-Fong, J., Telegrafi, A. B., Destree, A., Smigiel, R., Lambie, L. A., Kayserili, H., Altunoglu, U., Lapi, E., Uzielli, M. L., Aracena, M., Nur, B. G., Mihci, E., Moreira, L. M. A., Ferreira, V. B. and 26 moreAcuna-Hidalgo, R., Deriziotis, P., Steehouwer, M., Gilissen, C., Graham, S. A., Van Dam, S., Hoover-Fong, J., Telegrafi, A. B., Destree, A., Smigiel, R., Lambie, L. A., Kayserili, H., Altunoglu, U., Lapi, E., Uzielli, M. L., Aracena, M., Nur, B. G., Mihci, E., Moreira, L. M. A., Ferreira, V. B., Horovitz, D. D. G., Da Rocha, K. M., Jezela-Stanek, A., Brooks, A. S., Reutter, H., Cohen, J. S., Fatemi, A., Smitka, M., Grebe, T. A., Di Donato, N., Deshpande, C., Vandersteen, A., Marques Lourenço, C., Dufke, A., Rossier, E., Andre, G., Baumer, A., Spencer, C., McGaughran, J., Franke, L., Veltman, J. A., De Vries, B. B. A., Schinzel, A., Fisher, S. E., Hoischen, A., & Van Bon, B. W. (2017). Overlapping SETBP1 gain-of-function mutations in Schinzel-Giedion syndrome and hematologic malignancies. PLoS Genetics, 13: e1006683. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006683.

    Abstract

    Schinzel-Giedion syndrome (SGS) is a rare developmental disorder characterized by multiple malformations, severe neurological alterations and increased risk of malignancy. SGS is caused by de novo germline mutations clustering to a 12bp hotspot in exon 4 of SETBP1. Mutations in this hotspot disrupt a degron, a signal for the regulation of protein degradation, and lead to the accumulation of SETBP1 protein. Overlapping SETBP1 hotspot mutations have been observed recurrently as somatic events in leukemia. We collected clinical information of 47 SGS patients (including 26 novel cases) with germline SETBP1 mutations and of four individuals with a milder phenotype caused by de novo germline mutations adjacent to the SETBP1 hotspot. Different mutations within and around the SETBP1 hotspot have varying effects on SETBP1 stability and protein levels in vitro and in in silico modeling. Substitutions in SETBP1 residue I871 result in a weak increase in protein levels and mutations affecting this residue are significantly more frequent in SGS than in leukemia. On the other hand, substitutions in residue D868 lead to the largest increase in protein levels. Individuals with germline mutations affecting D868 have enhanced cell proliferation in vitro and higher incidence of cancer compared to patients with other germline SETBP1 mutations. Our findings substantiate that, despite their overlap, somatic SETBP1 mutations driving malignancy are more disruptive to the degron than germline SETBP1 mutations causing SGS. Additionally, this suggests that the functional threshold for the development of cancer driven by the disruption of the SETBP1 degron is higher than for the alteration in prenatal development in SGS. Drawing on previous studies of somatic SETBP1 mutations in leukemia, our results reveal a genotype-phenotype correlation in germline SETBP1 mutations spanning a molecular, cellular and clinical phenotype.
  • 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.
  • Agus, T., Carrion Castillo, A., Pressnitzer, D., & Ramus, F. (2014). Perceptual learning of acoustic noise by individuals with dyslexia. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research., 57, 1069-1077. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/13-0020).

    Abstract

    Purpose: A phonological deficit is thought to affect most individuals with developmental dyslexia. The present study addresses whether the phonological deficit is caused by difficulties with perceptual learning of fine acoustic details. Method: A demanding test of nonverbal auditory memory, “noise learning,” was administered to both adults with dyslexia and control adult participants. On each trial, listeners had to decide whether a stimulus was a 1-s noise token or 2 abutting presentations of the same 0.5-s noise token (repeated noise). Without the listener’s knowledge, the exact same noise tokens were presented over many trials. An improved ability to perform the task for such “reference” noises reflects learning of their acoustic details. Results: Listeners with dyslexia did not differ from controls in any aspect of the task, qualitatively or quantitatively. They required the same amount of training to achieve discrimination of repeated from nonrepeated noises, and they learned the reference noises as often and as rapidly as the control group. However, they did show all the hallmarks of dyslexia, including a well-characterized phonological deficit. Conclusion: The data did not support the hypothesis that deficits in basic auditory processing or nonverbal learning and memory are the cause of the phonological deficit in dyslexia
  • Alday, P. M., Schlesewsky, M., & Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I. (2017). Commentary on Sanborn and Chater: Posterior Modes Are Attractor Basins. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 21(7), 491-492. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2017.04.003.
  • Alday, P. M., Schlesewsky, M., & Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I. (2017). Electrophysiology Reveals the Neural Dynamics of Naturalistic Auditory Language Processing: Event-Related Potentials Reflect Continuous Model Update. eNeuro, 4(6): e0311. doi:10.1523/ENEURO.0311-16.2017.

    Abstract

    The recent trend away from ANOVA-based analyses places experimental investigations into the neurobiology of cognition in more naturalistic and ecologically valid designs within reach. Using mixed-effects models for epoch-based regression, we demonstrate the feasibility of examining event-related potentials (ERPs), and in particular the N400, to study the neural dynamics of human auditory language processing in a naturalistic setting. Despite the large variability between trials during naturalistic stimulation, we replicated previous findings from the literature: the effects of frequency, animacy, word order and find previously unexplored interaction effects. This suggests a new perspective on ERPs, namely as a continuous modulation reflecting continuous stimulation instead of a series of discrete and essentially sequential processes locked to discrete events. Significance Statement Laboratory experiments on language often lack ecologicalal validity. In addition to the intrusive laboratory equipment, the language used is often highly constrained in an attempt to control possible confounds. More recent research with naturalistic stimuli has been largely confined to fMRI, where the low temporal resolution helps to smooth over the uneven finer structure of natural language use. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of using naturalistic stimuli with temporally sensitive methods such as EEG and MEG using modern computational approaches and show how this provides new insights into the nature of ERP components and the temporal dynamics of language as a sensory and cognitive process. The full complexity of naturalistic language use cannot be captured by carefully controlled designs alone.
  • Alday, P. M., Schlesewsky, M., & Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I. (2014). Towards a Computational Model of Actor-Based Language Comprehension. Neuroinformatics, 12(1), 143-179. doi:10.1007/s12021-013-9198-x.

    Abstract

    Neurophysiological data from a range of typologically diverse languages provide evidence for a cross-linguistically valid, actor-based strategy of understanding sentence-level meaning. This strategy seeks to identify the participant primarily responsible for the state of affairs (the actor) as quickly and unambiguously as possible, thus resulting in competition for the actor role when there are multiple candidates. Due to its applicability across languages with vastly different characteristics, we have proposed that the actor strategy may derive from more basic cognitive or neurobiological organizational principles, though it is also shaped by distributional properties of the linguistic input (e.g. the morphosyntactic coding strategies for actors in a given language). Here, we describe an initial computational model of the actor strategy and how it interacts with language-specific properties. Specifically, we contrast two distance metrics derived from the output of the computational model (one weighted and one unweighted) as potential measures of the degree of competition for actorhood by testing how well they predict modulations of electrophysiological activity engendered by language processing. To this end, we present an EEG study on word order processing in German and use linear mixed-effects models to assess the effect of the various distance metrics. Our results show that a weighted metric, which takes into account the weighting of an actor-identifying feature in the language under consideration outperforms an unweighted distance measure. We conclude that actor competition effects cannot be reduced to feature overlap between multiple sentence participants and thereby to the notion of similarity-based interference, which is prominent in current memory-based models of language processing. Finally, we argue that, in addition to illuminating the underlying neurocognitive mechanisms of actor competition, the present model can form the basis for a more comprehensive, neurobiologically plausible computational model of constructing sentence-level meaning.
  • Alferink, I., & Gullberg, M. (2014). French-Dutch bilinguals do not maintain obligatory semantic distinctions: Evidence from placement verbs. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 17, 22-37. doi:10.1017/S136672891300028X.

    Abstract

    It is often said that bilinguals are not the sum of two monolinguals but that bilingual systems represent a third pattern. This study explores the exact nature of this pattern. We ask whether there is evidence of a merged system when one language makes an obligatory distinction that the other one does not, namely in the case of placement verbs in French and Dutch, and whether such a merged system is realised as a more general or a more specific system. The results show that in elicited descriptions Belgian French-Dutch bilinguals drop one of the categories in one of the languages, resulting in a more general semantic system in comparison with the non-contact variety. They do not uphold the obligatory distinction in the verb nor elsewhere despite its communicative relevance. This raises important questions regarding how widespread these differences are and what drives these patterns
  • Alhama, R. G., & Zuidema, W. (2017). Segmentation as Retention and Recognition: the R&R model. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. Davelaar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2017) (pp. 1531-1536). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    We present the Retention and Recognition model (R&R), a probabilistic exemplar model that accounts for segmentation in Artificial Language Learning experiments. We show that R&R provides an excellent fit to human responses in three segmentation experiments with adults (Frank et al., 2010), outperforming existing models. Additionally, we analyze the results of the simulations and propose alternative explanations for the experimental findings.
  • Alhama, R. G., Scha, R., & Zuidema, W. (2014). Rule learning in humans and animals. In E. A. Cartmill, S. Roberts, H. Lyn, & H. Cornish (Eds.), The evolution of language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (EVOLANG 10) (pp. 371-372). Singapore: World Scientific.
  • Allen, S. E. M. (1998). A discourse-pragmatic explanation for the subject-object asymmetry in early null arguments. In A. Sorace, C. Heycock, & R. Shillcock (Eds.), Proceedings of the GALA '97 Conference on Language Acquisition (pp. 10-15). Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press.

    Abstract

    The present paper assesses discourse-pragmatic factors as a potential explanation for the subject-object assymetry in early child language. It identifies a set of factors which characterize typical situations of informativeness (Greenfield & Smith, 1976), and uses these factors to identify informative arguments in data from four children aged 2;0 through 3;6 learning Inuktitut as a first language. In addition, it assesses the extent of the links between features of informativeness on one hand and lexical vs. null and subject vs. object arguments on the other. Results suggest that a pragmatics account of the subject-object asymmetry can be upheld to a greater extent than previous research indicates, and that several of the factors characterizing informativeness are good indicators of those arguments which tend to be omitted in early child language.
  • Allen, 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. E. M. (1998). Categories within the verb category: Learning the causative in Inuktitut. Linguistics, 36(4), 633-677.
  • Allen, G. L., & Haun, D. B. M. (2004). Proximity and precision in spatial memory. In G. Allen (Ed.), Human spatial memory: Remembering where (pp. 41-63). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Ambridge, B., Pine, J. M., Rowland, C. F., Freudenthal, D., & Chang, F. (2014). Avoiding dative overgeneralisation errors: semantics, statistics or both? Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 29(2), 218-243. doi:10.1080/01690965.2012.738300.

    Abstract

    How do children eventually come to avoid the production of overgeneralisation errors, in particular, those involving the dative (e.g., *I said her “no”)? The present study addressed this question by obtaining from adults and children (5–6, 9–10 years) judgements of well-formed and over-general datives with 301 different verbs (44 for children). A significant effect of pre-emption—whereby the use of a verb in the prepositional-object (PO)-dative construction constitutes evidence that double-object (DO)-dative uses are not permitted—was observed for every age group. A significant effect of entrenchment—whereby the use of a verb in any construction constitutes evidence that unattested dative uses are not permitted—was also observed for every age group, with both predictors also accounting for developmental change between ages 5–6 and 9–10 years. Adults demonstrated knowledge of a morphophonological constraint that prohibits Latinate verbs from appearing in the DO-dative construction (e.g., *I suggested her the trip). Verbs’ semantic properties (supplied by independent adult raters) explained additional variance for all groups and developmentally, with the relative influence of narrow- vs broad-range semantic properties increasing with age. We conclude by outlining an account of the formation and restriction of argument-structure generalisations designed to accommodate these findings.
  • 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., & 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. (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. (1999). Interjections. In K. Brown, & J. Miller (Eds.), Concise encyclopedia of grammatical categories (pp. 213-216). Oxford: Elsevier.
  • Ameka, F. K., De Witte, C., & Wilkins, D. (1999). Picture series for positional verbs: Eliciting the verbal component in locative descriptions. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Manual for the 1999 Field Season (pp. 48-54). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.2573831.

    Abstract

    How do different languages encode location and position meanings? In conjunction with the BowPed picture series and Caused Positions task, this elicitation tool is designed to help researchers (i) identify a language’s resources for encoding topological relations; (ii) delimit the pragmatics of use of such resources; and (iii) determine the semantics of select spatial terms. The task focuses on the exploration of the predicative component of topological expressions (e.g., ‘the cassavas are lying in the basket’), especially the contrastive elicitation of positional verbs. The materials consist of a set of photographs of objects (e.g., bottles, cloths, sticks) in specific configurations with various ground items (e.g., basket, table, tree).

    Additional information

    1999_Positional_verbs_stimuli.zip
  • Ameka, F. K. (1998). Particules énonciatives en Ewe. Faits de langues, 6(11/12), 179-204.

    Abstract

    Particles are little words that speakers use to signal the illocutionary force of utterances and/or express their attitude towards elements of the communicative situation, e.g. the addresses. This paper presents an overview of the classification, meaning and use of utterance particles in Ewe. It argues that they constitute a grammatical word class on functional and distributional grounds. The paper calls for a cross-cultural investigation of particles, especially in Africa, where they have been neglected for far too long.
  • 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. (2017). The Uselessness of the Useful: Language Standardisation and Variation in Multilingual Context. In I. Tieken-Boon van Ostade, & C. Percy (Eds.), Prescription and tradition in language: Establishing standards across the time and space (pp. 71-87). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
  • Ameka, F. K. (1999). The typology and semantics of complex nominal duplication in Ewe. Anthropological Linguistics, 41, 75-106.
  • Aparicio, X., Heidlmayr, K., & Isel, F. (2017). Inhibition Efficiency in Highly Proficient Bilinguals and Simultaneous Interpreters: Evidence from Language Switching and Stroop Tasks. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 46, 1427-1451. doi:10.1007/s10936-017-9501-3.

    Abstract

    The present behavioral study aimed to examine the impact of language control expertise on two domain-general control processes, i.e. active inhibition of competing representations and overcoming of inhibition. We compared how Simultaneous Interpreters (SI) and Highly Proficient Bilinguals—two groups assumed to differ in language control capacity—performed executive tasks involving specific inhibition processes. In Experiment 1 (language decision task), both active and overcoming of inhibition processes are involved, while in Experiment 2 (bilingual Stroop task) only interference suppression is supposed to be required. The results of Experiment 1 showed a language switching effect only for the highly proficient bilinguals, potentially because overcoming of inhibition requires more cognitive resources than in SI. Nevertheless, both groups performed similarly on the Stroop task in Experiment 2, which suggests that active inhibition may work similarly in both groups. These contrasting results suggest that overcoming of inhibition may be harder to master than active inhibition. Taken together, these data indicate that some executive control processes may be less sensitive to the degree of expertise in bilingual language control than others. Our findings lend support to psycholinguistic models of bilingualism postulating a higher-order mechanism regulating language activation.
  • Araújo, S., Faísca, L., Bramão, I., Petersson, K. M., & Reis, A. (2014). Lexical and phonological processes in dyslexic readers: Evidences from a visual lexical decision task. Dyslexia, 20, 38-53. doi:10.1002/dys.1461.

    Abstract

    The aim of the present study was to investigate whether reading failure in the context of an orthography of intermediate consistency is linked to inefficient use of the lexical orthographic reading procedure. The performance of typically developing and dyslexic Portuguese-speaking children was examined in a lexical decision task, where the stimulus lexicality, word frequency and length were manipulated. Both lexicality and length effects were larger in the dyslexic group than in controls, although the interaction between group and frequency disappeared when the data were transformed to control for general performance factors. Children with dyslexia were influenced in lexical decision making by the stimulus length of words and pseudowords, whereas age-matched controls were influenced by the length of pseudowords only. These findings suggest that non-impaired readers rely mainly on lexical orthographic information, but children with dyslexia preferentially use the phonological decoding procedure—albeit poorly—most likely because they struggle to process orthographic inputs as a whole such as controls do. Accordingly, dyslexic children showed significantly poorer performance than controls for all types of stimuli, including words that could be considered over-learned, such as high-frequency words. This suggests that their orthographic lexical entries are less established in the orthographic lexicon
  • Armeni, K., Willems, R. M., & Frank, S. (2017). Probabilistic language models in cognitive neuroscience: Promises and pitfalls. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 83, 579-588. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.09.001.

    Abstract

    Cognitive neuroscientists of language comprehension study how neural computations relate to cognitive computations during comprehension. On the cognitive part of the equation, it is important that the computations and processing complexity are explicitly defined. Probabilistic language models can be used to give a computationally explicit account of language complexity during comprehension. Whereas such models have so far predominantly been evaluated against behavioral data, only recently have the models been used to explain neurobiological signals. Measures obtained from these models emphasize the probabilistic, information-processing view of language understanding and provide a set of tools that can be used for testing neural hypotheses about language comprehension. Here, we provide a cursory review of the theoretical foundations and example neuroimaging studies employing probabilistic language models. We highlight the advantages and potential pitfalls of this approach and indicate avenues for future research
  • Arnon, I., Casillas, M., Kurumada, C., & Estigarribia, B. (Eds.). (2014). Language in interaction: Studies in honor of Eve V. Clark. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Abstract

    Understanding how communicative goals impact and drive the learning process has been a long-standing issue in the field of language acquisition. Recent years have seen renewed interest in the social and pragmatic aspects of language learning: the way interaction shapes what and how children learn. In this volume, we bring together researchers working on interaction in different domains to present a cohesive overview of ongoing interactional research. The studies address the diversity of the environments children learn in; the role of para-linguistic information; the pragmatic forces driving language learning; and the way communicative pressures impact language use and change. Using observational, empirical and computational findings, this volume highlights the effect of interpersonal communication on what children hear and what they learn. This anthology is inspired by and dedicated to Prof. Eve V. Clark – a pioneer in all matters related to language acquisition – and a major force in establishing interaction and communication as crucial aspects of language learning.
  • Azar, Z., Backus, A., & Ozyurek, A. (2017). Highly proficient bilinguals maintain language-specific pragmatic constraints on pronouns: Evidence from speech and gesture. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. Davelaar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2017) (pp. 81-86). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    The use of subject pronouns by bilingual speakers using both a pro-drop and a non-pro-drop language (e.g. Spanish heritage speakers in the USA) is a well-studied topic in research on cross-linguistic influence in language contact situations. Previous studies looking at bilinguals with different proficiency levels have yielded conflicting results on whether there is transfer from the non-pro-drop patterns to the pro-drop language. Additionally, previous research has focused on speech patterns only. In this paper, we study the two modalities of language, speech and gesture, and ask whether and how they reveal cross-linguistic influence on the use of subject pronouns in discourse. We focus on elicited narratives from heritage speakers of Turkish in the Netherlands, in both Turkish (pro-drop) and Dutch (non-pro-drop), as well as from monolingual control groups. The use of pronouns was not very common in monolingual Turkish narratives and was constrained by the pragmatic contexts, unlike in Dutch. Furthermore, Turkish pronouns were more likely to be accompanied by localized gestures than Dutch pronouns, presumably because pronouns in Turkish are pragmatically marked forms. We did not find any cross-linguistic influence in bilingual speech or gesture patterns, in line with studies (speech only) of highly proficient bilinguals. We therefore suggest that speech and gesture parallel each other not only in monolingual but also in bilingual production. Highly proficient heritage speakers who have been exposed to diverse linguistic and gestural patterns of each language from early on maintain monolingual patterns of pragmatic constraints on the use of pronouns multimodally.
  • Baayen, R. H. (2014). Productivity in language production. In D. Sandra, & M. Taft (Eds.), Morphological Structure, Lexical Representation and Lexical Access: A Special Issue of Language and Cognitive Processes (pp. 447-469). London: Routledge.

    Abstract

    Lexical statistics and a production experiment are used to gauge the extent to which the linguistic notion of morphological productivity is relevant for psycholinguistic theories of speech production in languages such as Dutch and English. Lexical statistics of productivity show that despite the relatively poor morphology of Dutch, new words are created often enough for the marginalisation of word formation in theories of speech production to be theoretically unattractive. This conclusion is supported by the results of a production experiment in which subjects freely created hundreds of productive, but only a handful of unproductive, neologisms. A tentative solution is proposed as to why the opposite pattern has been observed in the speech of jargonaphasics.
  • Bailey, A., Hervas, A., Matthews, N., Palferman, S., Wallace, S., Aubin, A., Michelotti, J., Wainhouse, C., Papanikolaou, K., Rutter, M., Maestrini, E., Marlow, A., Weeks, D. E., Lamb, J., Francks, C., Kearsley, G., Scudder, P., Monaco, A. P., Baird, G., Cox, A. and 46 moreBailey, A., Hervas, A., Matthews, N., Palferman, S., Wallace, S., Aubin, A., Michelotti, J., Wainhouse, C., Papanikolaou, K., Rutter, M., Maestrini, E., Marlow, A., Weeks, D. E., Lamb, J., Francks, C., Kearsley, G., Scudder, P., Monaco, A. P., Baird, G., Cox, A., Cockerill, H., Nuffield, F., Le Couteur, A., Berney, T., Cooper, H., Kelly, T., Green, J., Whittaker, J., Gilchrist, A., Bolton, P., Schönewald, A., Daker, M., Ogilvie, C., Docherty, Z., Deans, Z., Bolton, B., Packer, R., Poustka, F., Rühl, D., Schmötzer, G., Bölte, S., Klauck, S. M., Spieler, A., Poustka., A., Van Engeland, H., Kemner, C., De Jonge, M., Den Hartog, I., Lord, C., Cook, E., Leventhal, B., Volkmar, F., Pauls, D., Klin, A., Smalley, S., Fombonne, E., Rogé, B., Tauber, M., Arti-Vartayan, E., Fremolle-Kruck., J., Pederson, L., Haracopos, D., Brondum-Nielsen, K., & Cotterill, R. (1998). A full genome screen for autism with evidence for linkage to a region on chromosome 7q. International Molecular Genetic Study of Autism Consortium. Human Molecular Genetics, 7(3), 571-578. doi:10.1093/hmg/7.3.571.

    Abstract

    Autism is characterized by impairments in reciprocal social interaction and communication, and restricted and sterotyped patterns of interests and activities. Developmental difficulties are apparent before 3 years of age and there is evidence for strong genetic influences most likely involving more than one susceptibility gene. A two-stage genome search for susceptibility loci in autism was performed on 87 affected sib pairs plus 12 non-sib affected relative-pairs, from a total of 99 families identified by an international consortium. Regions on six chromosomes (4, 7, 10, 16, 19 and 22) were identified which generated a multipoint maximum lod score (MLS) > 1. A region on chromosome 7q was the most significant with an MLS of 3.55 near markers D7S530 and D7S684 in the subset of 56 UK affected sib-pair families, and an MLS of 2.53 in all 87 affected sib-pair families. An area on chromosome 16p near the telomere was the next most significant, with an MLS of 1.97 in the UK families, and 1.51 in all families. These results are an important step towards identifying genes predisposing to autism; establishing their general applicability requires further study.
  • Bakker, I., Takashima, A., van Hell, J. G., Janzen, G., & McQueen, J. M. (2014). Competition from unseen or unheard novel words: Lexical consolidation across modalities. Journal of Memory and Language, 73, 116-139. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2014.03.002.

    Abstract

    In four experiments we investigated the formation of novel word memories across modalities, using competition between novel words and their existing phonological/orthographic neighbours as a test of lexical integration. Auditorily acquired novel words entered into competition both in the spoken modality (Experiment 1) and in the written modality (Experiment 4) after a consolidation period of 24 h. Words acquired from print, on the other hand, showed competition effects after 24 h in a visual word recognition task (Experiment 3) but required additional training and a consolidation period of a week before entering into spoken-word competition (Experiment 2). These cross-modal effects support the hypothesis that lexicalised rather than episodic representations underlie post-consolidation competition effects. We suggest that sublexical phoneme–grapheme conversion during novel word encoding and/or offline consolidation enables the formation of modality-specific lexemes in the untrained modality, which subsequently undergo the same cortical integration process as explicitly perceived word forms in the trained modality. Although conversion takes place in both directions, speech input showed an advantage over print both in terms of lexicalisation and explicit memory performance. In conclusion, the brain is able to integrate and consolidate internally generated lexical information as well as external perceptual input.
  • Barendse, M. T., Albers, C. J., Oort, F. J., & Timmerman, M. E. (2014). Measurement bias detection through Bayesian factor analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 5: 1087. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01087.

    Abstract

    Measurement bias has been defined as a violation of measurement invariance. Potential violators—variables that possibly violate measurement invariance—can be investigated through restricted factor analysis (RFA). The purpose of the present paper is to investigate a Bayesian approach to estimate RFA models with interaction effects, in order to detect uniform and nonuniform measurement bias. Because modeling nonuniform bias requires an interaction term, it is more complicated than modeling uniform bias. The Bayesian approach seems especially suited for such complex models. In a simulation study we vary the type of bias (uniform, nonuniform), the type of violator (observed continuous, observed dichotomous, latent continuous), and the correlation between the trait and the violator (0.0, 0.5). For each condition, 100 sets of data are generated and analyzed. We examine the accuracy of the parameter estimates and the performance of two bias detection procedures, based on the DIC fit statistic, in Bayesian RFA. Results show that the accuracy of the estimated parameters is satisfactory. Bias detection rates are high in all conditions with an observed violator, and still satisfactory in all other conditions.
  • Baron-Cohen, S., Murphy, L., Chakrabarti, B., Craig, I., Mallya, U., Lakatosova, S., Rehnstrom, K., Peltonen, L., Wheelwright, S., Allison, C., Fisher, S. E., & Warrier, V. (2014). A genome wide association study of mathematical ability reveals an association at chromosome 3q29, a locus associated with autism and learning difficulties: A preliminary study. PLoS One, 9(5): e96374. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096374.

    Abstract

    Mathematical ability is heritable, but few studies have directly investigated its molecular genetic basis. Here we aimed to identify specific genetic contributions to variation in mathematical ability. We carried out a genome wide association scan using pooled DNA in two groups of U.K. samples, based on end of secondary/high school national academic exam achievement: high (n = 419) versus low (n = 183) mathematical ability while controlling for their verbal ability. Significant differences in allele frequencies between these groups were searched for in 906,600 SNPs using the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Mapping version 6.0 array. After meeting a threshold of p<1.5×10−5, 12 SNPs from the pooled association analysis were individually genotyped in 542 of the participants and analyzed to validate the initial associations (lowest p-value 1.14 ×10−6). In this analysis, one of the SNPs (rs789859) showed significant association after Bonferroni correction, and four (rs10873824, rs4144887, rs12130910 rs2809115) were nominally significant (lowest p-value 3.278 × 10−4). Three of the SNPs of interest are located within, or near to, known genes (FAM43A, SFT2D1, C14orf64). The SNP that showed the strongest association, rs789859, is located in a region on chromosome 3q29 that has been previously linked to learning difficulties and autism. rs789859 lies 1.3 kbp downstream of LSG1, and 700 bp upstream of FAM43A, mapping within the potential promoter/regulatory region of the latter. To our knowledge, this is only the second study to investigate the association of genetic variants with mathematical ability, and it highlights a number of interesting markers for future study.
  • Barthel, M., Meyer, A. S., & Levinson, S. C. (2017). Next speakers plan their turn early and speak after turn-final ‘go-signals’. Frontiers in Psychology, 8: 393. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00393.

    Abstract

    In conversation, turn-taking is usually fluid, with next speakers taking their turn right after the end of the previous turn. Most, but not all, previous studies show that next speakers start to plan their turn early, if possible already during the incoming turn. The present study makes use of the list-completion paradigm (Barthel et al., 2016), analyzing speech onset latencies and eye-movements of participants in a task-oriented dialogue with a confederate. The measures are used to disentangle the contributions to the timing of turn-taking of early planning of content on the one hand and initiation of articulation as a reaction to the upcoming turn-end on the other hand. Participants named objects visible on their computer screen in response to utterances that did, or did not, contain lexical and prosodic cues to the end of the incoming turn. In the presence of an early lexical cue, participants showed earlier gaze shifts toward the target objects and responded faster than in its absence, whereas the presence of a late intonational cue only led to faster response times and did not affect the timing of participants' eye movements. The results show that with a combination of eye-movement and turn-transition time measures it is possible to tease apart the effects of early planning and response initiation on turn timing. They are consistent with models of turn-taking that assume that next speakers (a) start planning their response as soon as the incoming turn's message can be understood and (b) monitor the incoming turn for cues to turn-completion so as to initiate their response when turn-transition becomes relevant
  • Basnakova, J., Weber, K., Petersson, K. M., Van Berkum, J. J. A., & Hagoort, P. (2014). Beyond the language given: The neural correlates of inferring speaker meaning. Cerebral Cortex, 24(10), 2572-2578. doi:10.1093/cercor/bht112.

    Abstract

    Even though language allows us to say exactly what we mean, we often use language to say things indirectly, in a way that depends on the specific communicative context. For example, we can use an apparently straightforward sentence like "It is hard to give a good presentation" to convey deeper meanings, like "Your talk was a mess!" One of the big puzzles in language science is how listeners work out what speakers really mean, which is a skill absolutely central to communication. However, most neuroimaging studies of language comprehension have focused on the arguably much simpler, context-independent process of understanding direct utterances. To examine the neural systems involved in getting at contextually constrained indirect meaning, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging as people listened to indirect replies in spoken dialog. Relative to direct control utterances, indirect replies engaged dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, right temporo-parietal junction and insula, as well as bilateral inferior frontal gyrus and right medial temporal gyrus. This suggests that listeners take the speaker's perspective on both cognitive (theory of mind) and affective (empathy-like) levels. In line with classic pragmatic theories, our results also indicate that currently popular "simulationist" accounts of language comprehension fail to explain how listeners understand the speaker's intended message.
  • 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. (1999). Aspects of impersonal constructions in Late Latin. In H. Petersmann, & R. Kettelmann (Eds.), Latin vulgaire – latin tardif V (pp. 209-211). Heidelberg: Winter.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2017). Nominal apposition in Indo-European: Its forms and functions, and its evolution in Latin-Romance. Berlin: De Gruyter.

    Abstract

    Nominal apposition—the combining of two equivalent nouns—has been a neglected topic in (Indo-European) linguistics, despite its prominence in syntax and morphology (i.c. composition). This book presents an extensive comparative and diachronic analysis of nominal apposition in Indo-European, examining its occurrence, its syntactic and morphological characteristics and functions in the early languages, identifying parallels with similar phenomena elsewhere (e.g. noun classification and script determinatives), and tracing its evolution in Latin-Romance. While nominal apposition is not exclusive to Indo-European, its development fits the evolution of Indo-European grammar.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2014). Indefinite HOMO in the Gospels of the Vulgata. In P. Molinell, P. Cuzzoli, & C. Fedriani (Eds.), Latin vulgaire – latin tardif X (pp. 415-435). Bergamo: Bergamo University Press.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1999). Impersonal HABET constructions: At the cross-roads of Indo-European innovation. In E. Polomé, & C. Justus (Eds.), Language change and typological variation. Vol II. Grammatical universals and typology (pp. 590-612). Washington: Institute for the study of man.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1998). Impersonal verbs in Italic. Their development from an Indo-European perspective. Journal of Indo-European Studies, 26, 91-120.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1998). Language loss in Gaul: Socio-historical and linguistic factors in language conflict. Southwest Journal of Linguistics, 15, 23-44.
  • 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.
  • Bavin, E. L., Kidd, E., Prendergast, L., Baker, E., Dissanayake, C., & Prior, M. (2014). Severity of autism is related to children's language processing. Autism Research, 7(6), 687-694. doi:10.1002/aur.1410.

    Abstract

    Problems in language processing have been associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with some research attributing the problems to overall language skills rather than a diagnosis of ASD. Lexical access was assessed in a looking-while-listening task in three groups of 5- to 7-year-old children; two had high-functioning ASD (HFA), an ASD severe (ASD-S) group (n = 16) and an ASD moderate (ASD-M) group (n = 21). The third group were typically developing (TD) (n = 48). Participants heard sentences of the form “Where's the x?” and their eye movements to targets (e.g., train), phonological competitors (e.g., tree), and distractors were recorded. Proportions of looking time at target were analyzed within 200 ms intervals. Significant group differences were found between the ASD-S and TD groups only, at time intervals 1000–1200 and 1200–1400 ms postonset. The TD group was more likely to be fixated on target. These differences were maintained after adjusting for language, verbal and nonverbal IQ, and attention scores. An analysis using parent report of autistic-like behaviors showed higher scores to be associated with lower proportions of looking time at target, regardless of group. Further analysis showed fixation for the TD group to be significantly faster than for the ASD-S. In addition, incremental processing was found for all groups. The study findings suggest that severity of autistic behaviors will impact significantly on children's language processing in real life situations when exposed to syntactically complex material. They also show the value of using online methods for understanding how young children with ASD process language. Autism Res 2014, 7: 687–694.
  • Behnke, K. (1998). The acquisition of phonetic categories in young infants: A self-organising artificial neural network approach. PhD Thesis, University of Twente, Enschede. doi:10.17617/2.2057688.
  • Belke, E., Shao, Z., & Meyer, A. S. (2017). Strategic origins of early semantic facilitation in the blocked-cyclic naming paradigm. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(10), 1659-1668. doi:10.1037/xlm0000399.

    Abstract

    In the blocked-cyclic naming paradigm, participants repeatedly name small sets of objects that do or do not belong to the same semantic category. A standard finding is that, after a first presentation cycle where one might find semantic facilitation, naming is slower in related (homogeneous) than in unrelated (heterogeneous) sets. According to competitive theories of lexical selection, this is because the lexical representations of the object names compete more vigorously in homogeneous than in heterogeneous sets. However, Navarrete, del Prato, Peressotti, and Mahon (2014) argued that this pattern of results was not due to increased lexical competition but to weaker repetition priming in homogeneous compared to heterogeneous sets. They demonstrated that when homogeneous sets were not repeated immediately but interleaved with unrelated sets, semantic relatedness induced facilitation rather than interference. We replicate this finding but also show that the facilitation effect has a strategic origin: It is substantial when sets are separated by pauses, making it easy for participants to notice the relatedness within some sets and use it to predict upcoming items. However, the effect is much reduced when these pauses are eliminated. In our view, the semantic facilitation effect does not constitute evidence against competitive theories of lexical selection. It can be accounted for within any framework that acknowledges strategic influences on the speed of object naming in the blocked-cyclic naming paradigm.
  • 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.
  • Benyamin, B., St Pourcain, B., Davis, O. S., Davies, G., Hansell, N. K., Brion, M.-J., Kirkpatrick, R. M., Cents, R. A. M., Franić, S., Miller, M. B., Haworth, C. M. A., Meaburn, E., Price, T. S., Evans, D. M., Timpson, N., Kemp, J., Ring, S., McArdle, W., Medland, S. E., Yang, J. and 23 moreBenyamin, B., St Pourcain, B., Davis, O. S., Davies, G., Hansell, N. K., Brion, M.-J., Kirkpatrick, R. M., Cents, R. A. M., Franić, S., Miller, M. B., Haworth, C. M. A., Meaburn, E., Price, T. S., Evans, D. M., Timpson, N., Kemp, J., Ring, S., McArdle, W., Medland, S. E., Yang, J., Harris, S. E., Liewald, D. C., Scheet, P., Xiao, X., Hudziak, J. J., de Geus, E. J. C., Jaddoe, V. W. V., Starr, J. M., Verhulst, F. C., Pennell, C., Tiemeier, H., Iacono, W. G., Palmer, L. J., Montgomery, G. W., Martin, N. G., Boomsma, D. I., Posthuma, D., McGue, M., Wright, M. J., Davey Smith, G., Deary, I. J., Plomin, R., & Visscher, P. M. (2014). Childhood intelligence is heritable, highly polygenic and associated with FNBP1L. Molecular Psychiatry, 19(2), 253-258. doi:10.1038/mp.2012.184.

    Abstract

    Intelligence in childhood, as measured by psychometric cognitive tests, is a strong predictor of many important life outcomes, including educational attainment, income, health and lifespan. Results from twin, family and adoption studies are consistent with general intelligence being highly heritable and genetically stable throughout the life course. No robustly associated genetic loci or variants for childhood intelligence have been reported. Here, we report the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) on childhood intelligence (age range 6–18 years) from 17 989 individuals in six discovery and three replication samples. Although no individual single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were detected with genome-wide significance, we show that the aggregate effects of common SNPs explain 22–46% of phenotypic variation in childhood intelligence in the three largest cohorts (P=3.9 × 10−15, 0.014 and 0.028). FNBP1L, previously reported to be the most significantly associated gene for adult intelligence, was also significantly associated with childhood intelligence (P=0.003). Polygenic prediction analyses resulted in a significant correlation between predictor and outcome in all replication cohorts. The proportion of childhood intelligence explained by the predictor reached 1.2% (P=6 × 10−5), 3.5% (P=10−3) and 0.5% (P=6 × 10−5) in three independent validation cohorts. Given the sample sizes, these genetic prediction results are consistent with expectations if the genetic architecture of childhood intelligence is like that of body mass index or height. Our study provides molecular support for the heritability and polygenic nature of childhood intelligence. Larger sample sizes will be required to detect individual variants with genome-wide significance.
  • 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.
  • Bergmann, C., Ten Bosch, L., & Boves, L. (2014). A computational model of the headturn preference procedure: Design, challenges, and insights. In J. Mayor, & P. Gomez (Eds.), Computational Models of Cognitive Processes (pp. 125-136). World Scientific. doi:10.1142/9789814458849_0010.

    Abstract

    The Headturn Preference Procedure (HPP) is a frequently used method (e.g., Jusczyk & Aslin; and subsequent studies) to investigate linguistic abilities in infants. In this paradigm infants are usually first familiarised with words and then tested for a listening preference for passages containing those words in comparison to unrelated passages. Listening preference is defined as the time an infant spends attending to those passages with his or her head turned towards a flashing light and the speech stimuli. The knowledge and abilities inferred from the results of HPP studies have been used to reason about and formally model early linguistic skills and language acquisition. However, the actual cause of infants' behaviour in HPP experiments has been subject to numerous assumptions as there are no means to directly tap into cognitive processes. To make these assumptions explicit, and more crucially, to understand how infants' behaviour emerges if only general learning mechanisms are assumed, we introduce a computational model of the HPP. Simulations with the computational HPP model show that the difference in infant behaviour between familiarised and unfamiliar words in passages can be explained by a general learning mechanism and that many assumptions underlying the HPP are not necessarily warranted. We discuss the implications for conventional interpretations of the outcomes of HPP experiments.
  • Bergmann, C. (2014). Computational models of early language acquisition and the role of different voices. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Bergmann, C., Tsuji, S., & Cristia, A. (2017). Top-down versus bottom-up theories of phonological acquisition: A big data approach. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2017 (pp. 2103-2107).

    Abstract

    Recent work has made available a number of standardized meta- analyses bearing on various aspects of infant language processing. We utilize data from two such meta-analyses (discrimination of vowel contrasts and word segmentation, i.e., recognition of word forms extracted from running speech) to assess whether the published body of empirical evidence supports a bottom-up versus a top-down theory of early phonological development by leveling the power of results from thousands of infants. We predicted that if infants can rely purely on auditory experience to develop their phonological categories, then vowel discrimination and word segmentation should develop in parallel, with the latter being potentially lagged compared to the former. However, if infants crucially rely on word form information to build their phonological categories, then development at the word level must precede the acquisition of native sound categories. Our results do not support the latter prediction. We discuss potential implications and limitations, most saliently that word forms are only one top-down level proposed to affect phonological development, with other proposals suggesting that top-down pressures emerge from lexical (i.e., word-meaning pairs) development. This investigation also highlights general procedures by which standardized meta-analyses may be reused to answer theoretical questions spanning across phenomena.

    Additional information

    Scripts and data
  • Bidgood, A., Ambridge, B., Pine, J. M., & Rowland, C. F. (2014). The retreat from locative overgeneralisation errors: A novel verb grammaticality judgment study. PLoS One, 9(5): e97634. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097634.

    Abstract

    Whilst some locative verbs alternate between the ground- and figure-locative constructions (e.g. Lisa sprayed the flowers with water/Lisa sprayed water onto the flowers), others are restricted to one construction or the other (e.g. *Lisa filled water into the cup/*Lisa poured the cup with water). The present study investigated two proposals for how learners (aged 5–6, 9–10 and adults) acquire this restriction, using a novel-verb-learning grammaticality-judgment paradigm. In support of the semantic verb class hypothesis, participants in all age groups used the semantic properties of novel verbs to determine the locative constructions (ground/figure/both) in which they could and could not appear. In support of the frequency hypothesis, participants' tolerance of overgeneralisation errors decreased with each increasing level of verb frequency (novel/low/high). These results underline the need to develop an integrated account of the roles of semantics and frequency in the retreat from argument structure overgeneralisation.
  • Black, A., & Bergmann, C. (2017). Quantifying infants' statistical word segmentation: A meta-analysis. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. Davelaar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 124-129). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Theories of language acquisition and perceptual learning increasingly rely on statistical learning mechanisms. The current meta-analysis aims to clarify the robustness of this capacity in infancy within the word segmentation literature. Our analysis reveals a significant, small effect size for conceptual replications of Saffran, Aslin, & Newport (1996), and a nonsignificant effect across all studies that incorporate transitional probabilities to segment words. In both conceptual replications and the broader literature, however, statistical learning is moderated by whether stimuli are naturally produced or synthesized. These findings invite deeper questions about the complex factors that influence statistical learning, and the role of statistical learning in language acquisition.
  • Blasi, D. E., Christiansen, M. H., Wichmann, S., Hammarström, H., & Stadler, P. F. (2014). Sound symbolism and the origins of language. In E. A. Cartmill, S. Roberts, H. Lyn, & H. Cornish (Eds.), The evolution of language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (EVOLANG 10) (pp. 391-392). Singapore: World Scientific.
  • Bocanegra, B. R., Poletiek, F. H., & Zwaan, R. A. (2014). Asymmetrical feature binding across language and perception. In Proceedings of the 7th annual Conference on Embodied and Situated Language Processing (ESLP 2014).
  • 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.
  • Böckler, A., Hömke, P., & Sebanz, N. (2014). Invisible Man: Exclusion from shared attention affects gaze behavior and self-reports. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(2), 140-148. doi:10.1177/1948550613488951.

    Abstract

    Social exclusion results in lowered satisfaction of basic needs and shapes behavior in subsequent social situations. We investigated participants’ immediate behavioral response during exclusion from an interaction that consisted of establishing eye contact. A newly developed eye-tracker-based ‘‘looking game’’ was employed; participants exchanged looks with two virtual partners in an exchange where the player who had just been looked at chose whom to look at next. While some participants received as many looks as the virtual players (included), others were ignored after two initial looks (excluded). Excluded participants reported lower basic need satisfaction, lower evaluation of the interaction, and devaluated their interaction partners more than included participants, demonstrating that people are sensitive to epistemic ostracism. In line with William’s need-threat model, eye-tracking results revealed that excluded participants did not withdraw from the unfavorable interaction, but increased the number of looks to the player who could potentially reintegrate them.
  • De Boer, B., & Perlman, M. (2014). Physical mechanisms may be as important as brain mechanisms in evolution of speech [Commentary on Ackerman, Hage, & Ziegler. Brain Mechanisms of acoustic communication in humans and nonhuman primates: an evolutionary perspective]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37(6), 552-553. doi:10.1017/S0140525X13004007.

    Abstract

    We present two arguments why physical adaptations for vocalization may be as important as neural adaptations. First, fine control over vocalization is not easy for physical reasons, and modern humans may be exceptional. Second, we present an example of a gorilla that shows rudimentary voluntary control over vocalization, indicating that some neural control is already shared with great apes.
  • De Boer, M., Kokal, I., Blokpoel, M., Liu, R., Stolk, A., Roelofs, K., Van Rooij, I., & Toni, I. (2017). Oxytocin modulates human communication by enhancing cognitive exploration. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 86, 64-72. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.09.010.

    Abstract

    Oxytocin is a neuropeptide known to influence how humans share material resources. Here we explore whether oxytocin influences how we share knowledge. We focus on two distinguishing features of human communication, namely the ability to select communicative signals that disambiguate the many-to-many mappings that exist between a signal’s form and meaning, and adjustments of those signals to the presumed cognitive characteristics of the addressee (“audience design”). Fifty-five males participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled experiment involving the intranasal administration of oxytocin. The participants produced novel non-verbal communicative signals towards two different addressees, an adult or a child, in an experimentally-controlled live interactive setting. We found that oxytocin administration drives participants to generate signals of higher referential quality, i.e. signals that disambiguate more communicative problems; and to rapidly adjust those communicative signals to what the addressee understands. The combined effects of oxytocin on referential quality and audience design fit with the notion that oxytocin administration leads participants to explore more pervasively behaviors that can convey their intention, and diverse models of the addressees. These findings suggest that, besides affecting prosocial drive and salience of social cues, oxytocin influences how we share knowledge by promoting cognitive exploration
  • Bögels, S., & Levinson, S. C. (2017). The brain behind the response: Insights into turn-taking in conversation from neuroimaging. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 50, 71-89. doi:10.1080/08351813.2017.1262118.

    Abstract

    This paper reviews the prospects for the cross-fertilization of conversation-analytic (CA) and neurocognitive studies of conversation, focusing on turn-taking. Although conversation is the primary ecological niche for language use, relatively little brain research has focused on interactive language use, partly due to the challenges of using brain-imaging methods that are controlled enough to perform sound experiments, but still reflect the rich and spontaneous nature of conversation. Recently, though, brain researchers have started to investigate conversational phenomena, for example by using 'overhearer' or controlled interaction paradigms. We review neuroimaging studies related to turn-taking and sequence organization, phenomena historically described by CA. These studies for example show early action recognition and immediate planning of responses midway during an incoming turn. The review discusses studies with an eye to a fruitful interchange between CA and neuroimaging research on conversation and an indication of how these disciplines can benefit from each other.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (1999). A questionnaire on event integration. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Manual for the 1999 Field Season (pp. 87-95). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.3002691.

    Abstract

    How do we decide where events begin and end? Like the ECOM clips, this questionnaire is designed to investigate how a language divides and/or integrates complex scenarios into sub-events and macro-events. The questionnaire focuses on events of motion, caused state change (e.g., breaking), and transfer (e.g., giving). It provides a checklist of scenarios that give insight into where a language “draws the line” in event integration, based on known cross-linguistic differences.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (2004). Argument and event structure in Yukatek verb classes. In J.-Y. Kim, & A. Werle (Eds.), Proceedings of The Semantics of Under-Represented Languages in the Americas. Amherst, Mass: GLSA.

    Abstract

    In Yukatek Maya, event types are lexicalized in verb roots and stems that fall into a number of different form classes on the basis of (a) patterns of aspect-mood marking and (b) priviledges of undergoing valence-changing operations. Of particular interest are the intransitive classes in the light of Perlmutter’s (1978) Unaccusativity hypothesis. In the spirit of Levin & Rappaport Hovav (1995) [L&RH], Van Valin (1990), Zaenen (1993), and others, this paper investigates whether (and to what extent) the association between formal predicate classes and event types is determined by argument structure features such as ‘agentivity’ and ‘control’ or features of lexical aspect such as ‘telicity’ and ‘durativity’. It is shown that mismatches between agentivity/control and telicity/durativity are even more extensive in Yukatek than they are in English (Abusch 1985; L&RH, Van Valin & LaPolla 1997), providing new evidence against Dowty’s (1979) reconstruction of Vendler’s (1967) ‘time schemata of verbs’ in terms of argument structure configurations. Moreover, contrary to what has been claimed in earlier studies of Yukatek (Krämer & Wunderlich 1999, Lucy 1994), neither agentivity/control nor telicity/durativity turn out to be good predictors of verb class membership. Instead, the patterns of aspect-mood marking prove to be sensitive only to the presence or absense of state change, in a way that supports the unified analysis of all verbs of gradual change proposed by Kennedy & Levin (2001). The presence or absence of ‘internal causation’ (L&RH) may motivate the semantic interpretation of transitivization operations. An explicit semantics for the valence-changing operations is proposed, based on Parsons’s (1990) Neo-Davidsonian approach.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (1999). Event representation and event complexity: General introduction. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Manual for the 1999 Field Season (pp. 69-73). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.3002741.

    Abstract

    How do we decide where events begin and end? In some languages it makes sense to say something like Dan broke the plate, but in other languages it is necessary to treat this action as a complex scenario composed of separate stages (Dan dropped the plate and then the plate broke). This document introduces issues concerning the linguistic and cognitive representations of event complexity and integration, and provides an overview of tasks that are relevant to this topic, including the ECOM clips, the Questionnaire on Event integration, and the Questionnaire on motion lexicalisation and motion description.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (1998). Sententiale Topics im Yukatekischen. In Z. Dietmar (Ed.), Deskriptive Grammatik und allgemeiner Sprachvergleich (pp. 55-85). Tübingen, Germany: Max-Niemeyer-Verlag.
  • Bohnemeyer, J., Burenhult, N., Enfield, N. J., & Levinson, S. C. (2004). Landscape terms and place names elicitation guide. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 9 (pp. 75-79). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492904.

    Abstract

    Landscape terms reflect the relationship between geographic reality and human cognition. Are ‘mountains’, ‘rivers, ‘lakes’ and the like universally recognised in languages as naturally salient objects to be named? The landscape subproject is concerned with the interrelation between language, cognition and geography. Specifically, it investigates issues relating to how landforms are categorised cross-linguistically as well as the characteristics of place naming.
  • Bohnemeyer, J. (1998). Temporale Relatoren im Hispano-Yukatekischen Sprachkontakt. In A. Koechert, & T. Stolz (Eds.), Convergencia e Individualidad - Las lenguas Mayas entre hispanización e indigenismo (pp. 195-241). Hannover, Germany: Verlag für Ethnologie.
  • Bohnemeyer, J., & Caelen, M. (1999). The ECOM clips: A stimulus for the linguistic coding of event complexity. In D. Wilkins (Ed.), Manual for the 1999 Field Season (pp. 74-86). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.874627.

    Abstract

    How do we decide where events begin and end? In some languages it makes sense to say something like Dan broke the plate, but in other languages it is necessary to treat this action as a complex scenario composed of separate stages (Dan dropped the plate and then the plate broke). The “Event Complexity” (ECOM) clips are designed to explore how languages differ in dividing and/or integrating complex scenarios into sub-events and macro-events. The stimuli consist of animated clips of geometric shapes that participate in different scenarios (e.g., a circle “hits” a triangle and “breaks” it). Consultants are asked to describe the scenes, and then to comment on possible alternative descriptions.

    Additional information

    1999_The_ECOM_clips.zip
  • Bolton, J. L., Hayward, C., Direk, N., Lewis, J. G., Hammond, G. L., Hill, L. A., Anderson, A., Huffman, J., Wilson, J. F., Campbell, H., Rudan, I., Wright, A., Hastie, N., Wild, S. H., Velders, F. P., Hofman, A., Uitterlinden, A. G., Lahti, J., Räikkönen, K., Kajantie, E. and 37 moreBolton, J. L., Hayward, C., Direk, N., Lewis, J. G., Hammond, G. L., Hill, L. A., Anderson, A., Huffman, J., Wilson, J. F., Campbell, H., Rudan, I., Wright, A., Hastie, N., Wild, S. H., Velders, F. P., Hofman, A., Uitterlinden, A. G., Lahti, J., Räikkönen, K., Kajantie, E., Widen, E., Palotie, A., Eriksson, J. G., Kaakinen, M., Järvelin, M.-R., Timpson, N. J., Davey Smith, G., Ring, S. M., Evans, D. M., St Pourcain, B., Tanaka, T., Milaneschi, Y., Bandinelli, S., Ferrucci, L., van der Harst, P., Rosmalen, J. G. M., Bakker, S. J. L., Verweij, N., Dullaart, R. P. F., Mahajan, A., Lindgren, C. M., Morris, A., Lind, L., Ingelsson, E., Anderson, L. N., Pennell, C. E., Lye, S. J., Matthews, S. G., Eriksson, J., Mellstrom, D., Ohlsson, C., Price, J. F., Strachan, M. W. J., Reynolds, R. M., Tiemeier, H., Walker, B. R., & CORtisol NETwork (CORNET) Consortium (2014). Genome Wide Association Identifies Common Variants at the SERPINA6/SERPINA1 Locus Influencing Plasma Cortisol and Corticosteroid Binding Globulin. PLoS Genetics, 10(7): e1004474. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004474.

    Abstract

    Variation in plasma levels of cortisol, an essential hormone in the stress response, is associated in population-based studies with cardio-metabolic, inflammatory and neuro-cognitive traits and diseases. Heritability of plasma cortisol is estimated at 30-60% but no common genetic contribution has been identified. The CORtisol NETwork (CORNET) consortium undertook genome wide association meta-analysis for plasma cortisol in 12,597 Caucasian participants, replicated in 2,795 participants. The results indicate that <1% of variance in plasma cortisol is accounted for by genetic variation in a single region of chromosome 14. This locus spans SERPINA6, encoding corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG, the major cortisol-binding protein in plasma), and SERPINA1, encoding α1-antitrypsin (which inhibits cleavage of the reactive centre loop that releases cortisol from CBG). Three partially independent signals were identified within the region, represented by common SNPs; detailed biochemical investigation in a nested sub-cohort showed all these SNPs were associated with variation in total cortisol binding activity in plasma, but some variants influenced total CBG concentrations while the top hit (rs12589136) influenced the immunoreactivity of the reactive centre loop of CBG. Exome chip and 1000 Genomes imputation analysis of this locus in the CROATIA-Korcula cohort identified missense mutations in SERPINA6 and SERPINA1 that did not account for the effects of common variants. These findings reveal a novel common genetic source of variation in binding of cortisol by CBG, and reinforce the key role of CBG in determining plasma cortisol levels. In turn this genetic variation may contribute to cortisol-associated degenerative diseases.
  • 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.
  • Bosker, H. R. (2017). Accounting for rate-dependent category boundary shifts in speech perception. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 79, 333-343. doi:10.3758/s13414-016-1206-4.

    Abstract

    The perception of temporal contrasts in speech is known to be influenced by the speech rate in the surrounding context. This rate-dependent perception is suggested to involve general auditory processes since it is also elicited by non-speech contexts, such as pure tone sequences. Two general auditory mechanisms have been proposed to underlie rate-dependent perception: durational contrast and neural entrainment. The present study compares the predictions of these two accounts of rate-dependent speech perception by means of four experiments in which participants heard tone sequences followed by Dutch target words ambiguous between /ɑs/ “ash” and /a:s/ “bait”. Tone sequences varied in the duration of tones (short vs. long) and in the presentation rate of the tones (fast vs. slow). Results show that the duration of preceding tones did not influence target perception in any of the experiments, thus challenging durational contrast as explanatory mechanism behind rate-dependent perception. Instead, the presentation rate consistently elicited a category boundary shift, with faster presentation rates inducing more /a:s/ responses, but only if the tone sequence was isochronous. Therefore, this study proposes an alternative, neurobiologically plausible, account of rate-dependent perception involving neural entrainment of endogenous oscillations to the rate of a rhythmic stimulus.
  • Bosker, H. R., & Kösem, A. (2017). An entrained rhythm's frequency, not phase, influences temporal sampling of speech. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2017 (pp. 2416-2420). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2017-73.

    Abstract

    Brain oscillations have been shown to track the slow amplitude fluctuations in speech during comprehension. Moreover, there is evidence that these stimulus-induced cortical rhythms may persist even after the driving stimulus has ceased. However, how exactly this neural entrainment shapes speech perception remains debated. This behavioral study investigated whether and how the frequency and phase of an entrained rhythm would influence the temporal sampling of subsequent speech. In two behavioral experiments, participants were presented with slow and fast isochronous tone sequences, followed by Dutch target words ambiguous between as /ɑs/ “ash” (with a short vowel) and aas /a:s/ “bait” (with a long vowel). Target words were presented at various phases of the entrained rhythm. Both experiments revealed effects of the frequency of the tone sequence on target word perception: fast sequences biased listeners to more long /a:s/ responses. However, no evidence for phase effects could be discerned. These findings show that an entrained rhythm’s frequency, but not phase, influences the temporal sampling of subsequent speech. These outcomes are compatible with theories suggesting that sensory timing is evaluated relative to entrained frequency. Furthermore, they suggest that phase tracking of (syllabic) rhythms by theta oscillations plays a limited role in speech parsing.
  • Bosker, H. R., Reinisch, E., & Sjerps, M. J. (2017). Cognitive load makes speech sound fast, but does not modulate acoustic context effects. Journal of Memory and Language, 94, 166-176. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2016.12.002.

    Abstract

    In natural situations, speech perception often takes place during the concurrent execution of other cognitive tasks, such as listening while viewing a visual scene. The execution of a dual task typically has detrimental effects on concurrent speech perception, but how exactly cognitive load disrupts speech encoding is still unclear. The detrimental effect on speech representations may consist of either a general reduction in the robustness of processing of the speech signal (‘noisy encoding’), or, alternatively it may specifically influence the temporal sampling of the sensory input, with listeners missing temporal pulses, thus underestimating segmental durations (‘shrinking of time’). The present study investigated whether and how spectral and temporal cues in a precursor sentence that has been processed under high vs. low cognitive load influence the perception of a subsequent target word. If cognitive load effects are implemented through ‘noisy encoding’, increasing cognitive load during the precursor should attenuate the encoding of both its temporal and spectral cues, and hence reduce the contextual effect that these cues can have on subsequent target sound perception. However, if cognitive load effects are expressed as ‘shrinking of time’, context effects should not be modulated by load, but a main effect would be expected on the perceived duration of the speech signal. Results from two experiments indicate that increasing cognitive load (manipulated through a secondary visual search task) did not modulate temporal (Experiment 1) or spectral context effects (Experiment 2). However, a consistent main effect of cognitive load was found: increasing cognitive load during the precursor induced a perceptual increase in its perceived speech rate, biasing the perception of a following target word towards longer durations. This finding suggests that cognitive load effects in speech perception are implemented via ‘shrinking of time’, in line with a temporal sampling framework. In addition, we argue that our results align with a model in which early (spectral and temporal) normalization is unaffected by attention but later adjustments may be attention-dependent.
  • Bosker, H. R., & Reinisch, E. (2017). Foreign languages sound fast: evidence from implicit rate normalization. Frontiers in Psychology, 8: 1063. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01063.

    Abstract

    Anecdotal evidence suggests that unfamiliar languages sound faster than one’s native language. Empirical evidence for this impression has, so far, come from explicit rate judgments. The aim of the present study was to test whether such perceived rate differences between native and foreign languages have effects on implicit speech processing. Our measure of implicit rate perception was “normalization for speaking rate”: an ambiguous vowel between short /a/ and long /a:/ is interpreted as /a:/ following a fast but as /a/ following a slow carrier sentence. That is, listeners did not judge speech rate itself; instead, they categorized ambiguous vowels whose perception was implicitly affected by the rate of the context. We asked whether a bias towards long /a:/ might be observed when the context is not actually faster but simply spoken in a foreign language. A fully symmetrical experimental design was used: Dutch and German participants listened to rate matched (fast and slow) sentences in both languages spoken by the same bilingual speaker. Sentences were followed by nonwords that contained vowels from an /a-a:/ duration continuum. Results from Experiments 1 and 2 showed a consistent effect of rate normalization for both listener groups. Moreover, for German listeners, across the two experiments, foreign sentences triggered more /a:/ responses than (rate matched) native sentences, suggesting that foreign sentences were indeed perceived as faster. Moreover, this Foreign Language effect was modulated by participants’ ability to understand the foreign language: those participants that scored higher on a foreign language translation task showed less of a Foreign Language effect. However, opposite effects were found for the Dutch listeners. For them, their native rather than the foreign language induced more /a:/ responses. Nevertheless, this reversed effect could be reduced when additional spectral properties of the context were controlled for. Experiment 3, using explicit rate judgments, replicated the effect for German but not Dutch listeners. We therefore conclude that the subjective impression that foreign languages sound fast may have an effect on implicit speech processing, with implications for how language learners perceive spoken segments in a foreign language.

    Additional information

    data sheet 1.docx
  • Bosker, H. R. (2017). How our own speech rate influences our perception of others. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(8), 1225-1238. doi:10.1037/xlm0000381.

    Abstract

    In conversation, our own speech and that of others follow each other in rapid succession. Effects of the surrounding context on speech perception are well documented but, despite the ubiquity of the sound of our own voice, it is unknown whether our own speech also influences our perception of other talkers. This study investigated context effects induced by our own speech through six experiments, specifically targeting rate normalization (i.e., perceiving phonetic segments relative to surrounding speech rate). Experiment 1 revealed that hearing pre-recorded fast or slow context sentences altered the perception of ambiguous vowels, replicating earlier work. Experiment 2 demonstrated that talking at a fast or slow rate prior to target presentation also altered target perception, though the effect of preceding speech rate was reduced. Experiment 3 showed that silent talking (i.e., inner speech) at fast or slow rates did not modulate the perception of others, suggesting that the effect of self-produced speech rate in Experiment 2 arose through monitoring of the external speech signal. Experiment 4 demonstrated that, when participants were played back their own (fast/slow) speech, no reduction of the effect of preceding speech rate was observed, suggesting that the additional task of speech production may be responsible for the reduced effect in Experiment 2. Finally, Experiments 5 and 6 replicate Experiments 2 and 3 with new participant samples. Taken together, these results suggest that variation in speech production may induce variation in speech perception, thus carrying implications for our understanding of spoken communication in dialogue settings.
  • Bosker, H. R., Quené, H., Sanders, T. J. M., & de Jong, N. H. (2014). Native 'um's elicit prediction of low-frequency referents, but non-native 'um's do not. Journal of Memory and Language, 75, 104-116. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2014.05.004.

    Abstract

    Speech comprehension involves extensive use of prediction. Linguistic prediction may be guided by the semantics or syntax, but also by the performance characteristics of the speech signal, such as disfluency. Previous studies have shown that listeners, when presented with the filler uh, exhibit a disfluency bias for discourse-new or unknown referents, drawing inferences about the source of the disfluency. The goal of the present study is to study the contrast between native and non-native disfluencies in speech comprehension. Experiment 1 presented listeners with pictures of high-frequency (e.g., a hand) and low-frequency objects (e.g., a sewing machine) and with fluent and disfluent instructions. Listeners were found to anticipate reference to low-frequency objects when encountering disfluency, thus attributing disfluency to speaker trouble in lexical retrieval. Experiment 2 showed that, when participants listened to disfluent non-native speech, no anticipation of low-frequency referents was observed. We conclude that listeners can adapt their predictive strategies to the (non-native) speaker at hand, extending our understanding of the role of speaker identity in speech comprehension.
  • Bosker, H. R. (2017). The role of temporal amplitude modulations in the political arena: Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2017 (pp. 2228-2232). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2017-142.

    Abstract

    Speech is an acoustic signal with inherent amplitude modulations in the 1-9 Hz range. Recent models of speech perception propose that this rhythmic nature of speech is central to speech recognition. Moreover, rhythmic amplitude modulations have been shown to have beneficial effects on language processing and the subjective impression listeners have of the speaker. This study investigated the role of amplitude modulations in the political arena by comparing the speech produced by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the three presidential debates of 2016. Inspection of the modulation spectra, revealing the spectral content of the two speakers’ amplitude envelopes after matching for overall intensity, showed considerably greater power in Clinton’s modulation spectra (compared to Trump’s) across the three debates, particularly in the 1-9 Hz range. The findings suggest that Clinton’s speech had a more pronounced temporal envelope with rhythmic amplitude modulations below 9 Hz, with a preference for modulations around 3 Hz. This may be taken as evidence for a more structured temporal organization of syllables in Clinton’s speech, potentially due to more frequent use of preplanned utterances. Outcomes are interpreted in light of the potential beneficial effects of a rhythmic temporal envelope on intelligibility and speaker perception.
  • Bosker, H. R., Quené, H., Sanders, T. J. M., & de Jong, N. H. (2014). The perception of fluency in native and non-native speech. Language Learning, 64, 579-614. doi:10.1111/lang.12067.

    Abstract

    Where native speakers supposedly are fluent by default, non-native speakers often have to strive hard to achieve a native-like fluency level. However, disfluencies (such as pauses, fillers, repairs, etc.) occur in both native and non-native speech and it is as yet unclear ow luency raters weigh the fluency characteristics of native and non-native speech. Two rating experiments compared the way raters assess the luency of native and non-native speech. The fluency characteristics of native and non- native speech were controlled by using phonetic anipulations in pause (Experiment 1) and speed characteristics (Experiment 2). The results show that the ratings on manipulated native and on-native speech were affected in a similar fashion. This suggests that there is no difference in the way listeners weigh the fluency haracteristics of native and non-native speakers.
  • Bosker, H. R. (2014). The processing and evaluation of fluency in native and non-native speech. PhD Thesis, Utrecht University, Utrecht.

    Abstract

    Disfluency is a common characteristic of spontaneously produced speech. Disfluencies (e.g., silent pauses, filled pauses [uh’s and uhm’s], corrections, repetitions, etc.) occur in both native and non-native speech. There appears to be an apparent contradiction between claims from the evaluative and cognitive approach to fluency. On the one hand, the evaluative approach shows that non-native disfluencies have a negative effect on listeners’ subjective fluency impressions. On the other hand, the cognitive approach reports beneficial effects of native disfluencies on cognitive processes involved in speech comprehension, such as prediction and attention. This dissertation aims to resolve this apparent contradiction by combining the evaluative and cognitive approach. The reported studies target both the evaluation (Chapters 2 and 3) and the processing of fluency (Chapters 4 and 5) in native and non-native speech. Thus, it provides an integrative account of native and non-native fluency perception, informative to both language testing practice and cognitive psycholinguists. The proposed account of fluency perception testifies to the notion that speech performance matters: communication through spoken language does not only depend on what is said, but also on how it is said and by whom.
  • Bosking, W. H., Sun, P., Ozker, M., Pei, X., Foster, B. L., Beauchamp, M. S., & Yoshor, D. (2017). Saturation in phosphene size with increasing current levels delivered to human visual cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience, 37(30), 7188-7197. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2896-16.2017.

    Abstract

    Electrically stimulating early visual cortex results in a visual percept known as a phosphene. Although phosphenes can be evoked by a wide range of electrode sizes and current amplitudes, they are invariably described as small. To better understand this observation, we electrically stimulated 93 electrodes implanted in the visual cortex of 13 human subjects who reported phosphene size while stimulation current was varied. Phosphene size increased as the stimulation current was initially raised above threshold, but then rapidly reached saturation. Phosphene size also depended on the location of the stimulated site, with size increasing with distance from the foveal representation. We developed a model relating phosphene size to the amount of activated cortex and its location within the retinotopic map. First, a sigmoidal curve was used to predict the amount of activated cortex at a given current. Second, the amount of active cortex was converted to degrees of visual angle by multiplying by the inverse cortical magnification factor for that retinotopic location. This simple model accurately predicted phosphene size for a broad range of stimulation currents and cortical locations. The unexpected saturation in phosphene sizes suggests that the functional architecture of cerebral cortex may impose fundamental restrictions on the spread of artificially evoked activity and this may be an important consideration in the design of cortical prosthetic devices.
  • Bosman, A., Moisik, S. R., Dediu, D., & Waters-Rist, A. (2017). Talking heads: Morphological variation in the human mandible over the last 500 years in the Netherlands. HOMO - Journal of Comparative Human Biology, 68(5), 329-342. doi:10.1016/j.jchb.2017.08.002.

    Abstract

    The primary aim of this paper is to assess patterns of morphological variation in the mandible to investigate changes during the last 500 years in the Netherlands. Three-dimensional geometric morphometrics is used on data collected from adults from three populations living in the Netherlands during three time-periods. Two of these samples come from Dutch archaeological sites (Alkmaar, 1484-1574, n = 37; and Middenbeemster, 1829-1866, n = 51) and were digitized using a 3D laser scanner. The third is a modern sample obtained from MRI scans of 34 modern Dutch individuals. Differences between mandibles are dominated by size. Significant differences in size are found among samples, with on average, males from Alkmaar having the largest mandibles and females from Middenbeemster having the smallest. The results are possibly linked to a softening of the diet, due to a combination of differences in food types and food processing that occurred between these time-periods. Differences in shape are most noticeable between males from Alkmaar and Middenbeemster. Shape differences between males and females are concentrated in the symphysis and ramus, which is mostly the consequence of sexual dimorphism. The relevance of this research is a better understanding of the anatomical variation of the mandible that can occur over an evolutionarily short time, as well as supporting research that has shown plasticity of the mandibular form related to diet and food processing. This plasticity of form must be taken into account in phylogenetic research and when the mandible is used in sex estimation of skeletons.
  • Böttner, M. (1998). A collective extension of relational grammar. Logic Journal of the IGPL, 6(2), 175-793. doi:10.1093/jigpal/6.2.175.

    Abstract

    Relational grammar was proposed in Suppes (1976) as a semantical grammar for natural language. Fragments considered so far are restricted to distributive notions. In this article, relational grammar is extended to collective notions.
  • Bouhali, F., Mongelli, V., & Cohen, L. (2017). Musical literacy shifts asymmetries in the ventral visual cortex. NeuroImage, 156, 445-455. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.04.027.

    Abstract

    The acquisition of literacy has a profound impact on the functional specialization and lateralization of the visual cortex. Due to the overall lateralization of the language network, specialization for printed words develops in the left occipitotemporal cortex, allegedly inducing a secondary shift of visual face processing to the right, in literate as compared to illiterate subjects. Applying the same logic to the acquisition of high-level musical literacy, we predicted that, in musicians as compared to non-musicians, occipitotemporal activations should show a leftward shift for music reading, and an additional rightward push for face perception. To test these predictions, professional musicians and non-musicians viewed pictures of musical notation, faces, words, tools and houses in the MRI, and laterality was assessed in the ventral stream combining ROI and voxel-based approaches. The results supported both predictions, and allowed to locate the leftward shift to the inferior temporal gyrus and the rightward shift to the fusiform cortex. Moreover, these laterality shifts generalized to categories other than music and faces. Finally, correlation measures across subjects did not support a causal link between the leftward and rightward shifts. Thus the acquisition of an additional perceptual expertise extensively modifies the laterality pattern in the visual system

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    1-s2.0-S1053811917303208-mmc1.docx

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  • Bowerman, M. (1985). Beyond communicative adequacy: From piecemeal knowledge to an integrated system in the child's acquisition of language. In K. Nelson (Ed.), Children's language (pp. 369-398). Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Abstract

    (From the chapter) the first section considers very briefly the kinds of processes that can be inferred to underlie errors that do not set in until after a period of correct usage acquisition often seems to be a more extended process than we have envisioned summarize a currently influential model of how linguistic forms, meaning, and communication are interrelated in the acquisition of language, point out some challenging problems for this model, and suggest that the notion of "meaning" in language must be reconceptualized before we can hope to solve these problems evidence from several types of late errors is marshalled in support of these arguments (From the preface) provides many examples of new errors that children introduce at relatively advanced stages of mastery of semantics and syntax Bowerman views these seemingly backwards steps as indications of definite steps forward by the child achieving reflective, flexible and integrated systems of semantics and syntax (
  • Bowerman, M. (2004). From universal to language-specific in early grammatical development [Reprint]. In K. Trott, S. Dobbinson, & P. Griffiths (Eds.), The child language reader (pp. 131-146). London: Routledge.

    Abstract

    Attempts to explain children's grammatical development often assume a close initial match between units of meaning and units of form; for example, agents are said to map to sentence-subjects and actions to verbs. The meanings themselves, according to this view, are not influenced by language, but reflect children's universal non-linguistic way of understanding the world. This paper argues that, contrary to this position, meaning as it is expressed in children's early sentences is, from the beginning, organized on the basis of experience with the grammar and lexicon of a particular language. As a case in point, children learning English and Korean are shown to express meanings having to do with directed motion according to language-specific principles of semantic and grammatical structuring from the earliest stages of word combination.
  • Bowerman, M., Gullberg, M., Majid, A., & Narasimhan, B. (2004). Put project: The cross-linguistic encoding of placement events. In A. Majid (Ed.), Field Manual Volume 9 (pp. 10-24). Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. doi:10.17617/2.492916.

    Abstract

    How similar are the event concepts encoded by different languages? So far, few event domains have been investigated in any detail. The PUT project extends the systematic cross-linguistic exploration of event categorisation to a new domain, that of placement events (putting things in places and removing them from places). The goal of this task is to explore cross-linguistic universality and variability in the semantic categorisation of placement events (e.g., ‘putting a cup on the table’).

    Additional information

    2004_Put_project_video_stimuli.zip
  • Bowerman, M. (1979). The acquisition of complex sentences. In M. Garman, & P. Fletcher (Eds.), Studies in language acquisition (pp. 285-305). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Li, P., & Bowerman, M. (1998). The acquisition of lexical and grammatical aspect in Chinese. First Language, 18, 311-350. doi:10.1177/014272379801805404.

    Abstract

    This study reports three experiments on how children learning Mandarin Chinese comprehend and use aspect markers. These experiments examine the role of lexical aspect in children's acquisition of grammatical aspect. Results provide converging evidence for children's early sensitivity to (1) the association between atelic verbs and the imperfective aspect markers zai, -zhe, and -ne, and (2) the association between telic verbs and the perfective aspect marker -le. Children did not show a sensitivity in their use or understanding of aspect markers to the difference between stative and activity verbs or between semelfactive and activity verbs. These results are consistent with Slobin's (1985) basic child grammar hypothesis that the contrast between process and result is important in children's early acquisition of temporal morphology. In contrast, they are inconsistent with Bickerton's (1981, 1984) language bioprogram hypothesis that the distinctions between state and process and between punctual and nonpunctual are preprogrammed into language learners. We suggest new ways of looking at the results in the light of recent probabilistic hypotheses that emphasize the role of input, prototypes and connectionist representations.
  • Bowerman, M. (1985). What shapes children's grammars? In D. Slobin (Ed.), The crosslinguistic study of language acquisition (pp. 1257-1319). Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Brand, S. (2017). The processing of reduced word pronunciation variants by natives and learners: Evidence from French casual speech. PhD Thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.
  • Brandt, S., Nitschke, S., & Kidd, E. (2017). Priming the comprehension of German object relative clauses. Language Learning and Development, 13(3), 241-261. doi:10.1080/15475441.2016.1235500.

    Abstract

    Structural priming is a useful laboratory-based technique for investigating how children respond to temporary changes in the distribution of structures in their input. In the current study we investigated whether increasing the number of object relative clauses (RCs) in German-speaking children’s input changes their processing preferences for ambiguous RCs. Fifty-one 6-year-olds and 54 9-year-olds participated in a priming task that (i) gauged their baseline interpretations for ambiguous RC structures, (ii) primed an object-RC interpretation of ambiguous RCs, and (iii) determined whether priming persevered beyond immediate prime-target pairs. The 6-year old children showed no priming effect, whereas the 9-year-old group showed robust priming that was long lasting. Unlike in studies of priming in production, priming did not increase in magnitude when there was lexical overlap between prime and target. Overall, the results suggest that increased exposure to object RCs facilitates children’s interpretation of this otherwise infrequent structure, but only in older children. The implications for acquisition theory are discussed.
  • Brehm, L., & Goldrick, M. (2017). Distinguishing discrete and gradient category structure in language: Insights from verb-particle constructions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition., 43(10), 1537-1556. doi:10.1037/xlm0000390.

    Abstract

    The current work uses memory errors to examine the mental representation of verb-particle constructions (VPCs; e.g., make up the story, cut up the meat). Some evidence suggests that VPCs are represented by a cline in which the relationship between the VPC and its component elements ranges from highly transparent (cut up) to highly idiosyncratic (make up). Other evidence supports a multiple class representation, characterizing VPCs as belonging to discretely separated classes differing in semantic and syntactic structure. We outline a novel paradigm to investigate the representation of VPCs in which we elicit illusory conjunctions, or memory errors sensitive to syntactic structure. We then use a novel application of piecewise regression to demonstrate that the resulting error pattern follows a cline rather than discrete classes. A preregistered replication verifies these findings, and a final preregistered study verifies that these errors reflect syntactic structure. This provides evidence for gradient rather than discrete representations across levels of representation in language processing.
  • Brehm, L., & Bock, K. (2017). Referential and lexical forces in number agreement. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 32(2), 129-146. doi:10.1080/23273798.2016.1234060.

    Abstract

    In work on grammatical agreement in sentence production, there are accounts of verb number formulation that emphasise the role of whole-structure properties and accounts that emphasise the role of word-driven properties. To evaluate these alternatives, we carried out two experiments that examined a referential (wholistic) contributor to agreement along with two lexical-semantic (local) factors. Both experiments gauged the accuracy and latency of inflected-verb production in order to assess how variations in grammatical number interacted with the other factors. The accuracy of verb production was modulated both by the referential effect of notional number and by the lexical-semantic effects of relatedness and category membership. As an index of agreement difficulty, latencies were little affected by either factor. The findings suggest that agreement is sensitive to referential as well as lexical forces and highlight the importance of lexical-structural integration in the process of sentence production.
  • Brehm, L. (2014). Speed limits and red flags: Why number agreement accidents happen. PhD Thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana-Champaign, Il.

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