Publications

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  • 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
  • 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. (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., 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.
  • Alibali, M. W., Flevares, L. M., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (1997). Assessing knowledge conveyed in gesture: Do teachers have the upper hand? Journal of Educational Psychology, 89(1), 183-193. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.89.1.183.

    Abstract

    Children's gestures can reveal important information about their problem-solving strategies. This study investigated whether the information children express only in gesture is accessible to adults not trained in gesture coding. Twenty teachers and 20 undergraduates viewed videotaped vignettes of 12 children explaining their solutions to equations. Six children expressed the same strategy in speech and gesture, and 6 expressed different strategies. After each vignette, adults described the child's reasoning. For children who expressed different strategies in speech and gesture, both teachers and undergraduates frequently described strategies that children had not expressed in speech. These additional strategies could often be traced to the children's gestures. Sensitivity to gesture was comparable for teachers and undergraduates. Thus, even without training, adults glean information, not only from children's words but also from their hands.
  • 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, 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.
  • Allen, S. E. M. (1997). Towards a discourse-pragmatic explanation for the subject-object asymmetry in early null arguments. In NET-Bulletin 1997 (pp. 1-16). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Instituut voor Functioneel Onderzoek van Taal en Taalgebruik (IFOTT).
  • 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.
  • Ambridge, B., Rowland, C. F., Theakston, A. L., & Tomasello, M. (2006). Comparing different accounts of inversion errors in children's non-subject wh-questions: ‘What experimental data can tell us?’. Journal of Child Language, 33(3), 519-557. doi:10.1017/S0305000906007513.

    Abstract

    This study investigated different accounts of children's acquisition of non-subject wh-questions. Questions using each of 4 wh-words (what, who, how and why), and 3 auxiliaries (BE, DO and CAN) in 3sg and 3pl form were elicited from 28 children aged 3;6–4;6. Rates of non-inversion error (Who she is hitting?) were found not to differ by wh-word, auxiliary or number alone, but by lexical auxiliary subtype and by wh-word+lexical auxiliary combination. This finding counts against simple rule-based accounts of question acquisition that include no role for the lexical subtype of the auxiliary, and suggests that children may initially acquire wh-word+lexical auxiliary combinations from the input. For DO questions, auxiliary-doubling errors (What does she does like?) were also observed, although previous research has found that such errors are virtually non-existent for positive questions. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed.
  • 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., Dench, A., & Evans, N. (Eds.). (2006). Catching language: The standing challenge of grammar writing. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    Abstract

    Descriptive grammars are our main vehicle for documenting and analysing the linguistic structure of the world's 6,000 languages. They bring together, in one place, a coherent treatment of how the whole language works, and therefore form the primary source of information on a given language, consulted by a wide range of users: areal specialists, typologists, theoreticians of any part of language (syntax, morphology, phonology, historical linguistics etc.), and members of the speech communities concerned. The writing of a descriptive grammar is a major intellectual challenge, that calls on the grammarian to balance a respect for the language's distinctive genius with an awareness of how other languages work, to combine rigour with readability, to depict structural regularities while respecting a corpus of real material, and to represent something of the native speaker's competence while recognising the variation inherent in any speech community. Despite a recent surge of awareness of the need to document little-known languages, there is no book that focusses on the manifold issues that face the author of a descriptive grammar. This volume brings together contributors who approach the problem from a range of angles. Most have written descriptive grammars themselves, but others represent different types of reader. Among the topics they address are: overall issues of grammar design, the complementary roles of outsider and native speaker grammarians, the balance between grammar and lexicon, cross-linguistic comparability, the role of explanation in grammatical description, the interplay of theory and a range of fieldwork methods in language description, the challenges of describing languages in their cultural and historical context, and the tensions between linguistic particularity, established practice of particular schools of linguistic description and the need for a universally commensurable analytic framework. This book will renew the field of grammaticography, addressing a multiple readership of descriptive linguists, typologists, and formal linguists, by bringing together a range of distinguished practitioners from around the world to address these questions.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2006). Ewe serial verb constructions in their grammatical context. In A. Y. Aikhenvald, & R. M. W. Dixon (Eds.), Serial verb constructions: A cross-linguistic typology (pp. 124-143). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2006). Elements of the grammar of space in Ewe. In S. C. Levinson, & D. P. Wilkins (Eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity (pp. 359-399). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Ameka, F. K. (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. (2006). Grammars in contact in the Volta Basin (West Africa): On contact induced grammatical change in Likpe. In A. Y. Aikhenvald, & R. M. W. Dixon (Eds.), Grammars in contact: A crosslinguistic typology (pp. 114-142). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2006). Interjections. In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of language & linguistics (2nd ed., pp. 743-746). Oxford: Elsevier.
  • Ameka, F. K., & Wilkins, D. P. (2006). Interjections. In J.-O. Ostman, & J. Verschueren (Eds.), Handbook of pragmatics (pp. 1-22). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Ameka, F. K. (2006). Real descriptions: Reflections on native speaker and non-native speaker descriptions of a language. In F. K. Ameka, A. Dench, & N. Evans (Eds.), Catching language: The standing challenge of grammar writing (pp. 69-112). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Baayen, R. H., Feldman, L. B., & Schreuder, R. (2006). Morphological influences on the recognition of monosyllabic monomorphemic words. Journal of Memory and Language, 55(2), 290-313. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2006.03.008.

    Abstract

    Balota et al. [Balota, D., Cortese, M., Sergent-Marshall, S., Spieler, D., & Yap, M. (2004). Visual word recognition for single-syllable words. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 283–316] studied lexical processing in word naming and lexical decision using hierarchical multiple regression techniques for a large data set of monosyllabic, morphologically simple words. The present study supplements their work by making use of more flexible regression techniques that are better suited for dealing with collinearity and non-linearity, and by documenting the contributions of several variables that they did not take into account. In particular, we included measures of morphological connectivity, as well as a new frequency count, the frequency of a word in speech rather than in writing. The morphological measures emerged as strong predictors in visual lexical decision, but not in naming, providing evidence for the importance of morphological connectivity even for the recognition of morphologically simple words. Spoken frequency was predictive not only for naming but also for visual lexical decision. In addition, it co-determined subjective frequency estimates and norms for age of acquisition. Finally, we show that frequency predominantly reflects conceptual familiarity rather than familiarity with a word’s form.
  • Baayen, R. H., Dijkstra, T., & Schreuder, R. (1997). Singulars and Plurals in Dutch: Evidence for a Parallel Dual-Route Model. Journal of Memory and Language, 37(1), 94-117. doi:10.1006/jmla.1997.2509.

    Abstract

    Are regular morphologically complex words stored in the mental lexicon? Answers to this question have ranged from full listing to parsing for every regular complex word. We investigated the roles of storage and parsing in the visual domain for the productive Dutch plural suffix -en.Two experiments are reported that show that storage occurs for high-frequency noun plurals. A mathematical formalization of a parallel dual-route race model is presented that accounts for the patterns in the observed reaction time data with essentially one free parameter, the speed of the parsing route. Parsing for noun plurals appears to be a time-costly process, which we attribute to the ambiguity of -en,a suffix that is predominantly used as a verbal ending. A third experiment contrasted nouns and verbs. This experiment revealed no effect of surface frequency for verbs, but again a solid effect for nouns. Together, our results suggest that many noun plurals are stored in order to avoid the time-costly resolution of the subcategorization conflict that arises when the -ensuffix is attached to nouns.

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  • Baayen, R. H., Lieber, R., & Schreuder, R. (1997). The morphological complexity of simplex nouns. Linguistics, 35, 861-877. doi:10.1515/ling.1997.35.5.861.
  • Baayen, R. H. (1997). The pragmatics of the 'tenses' in biblical Hebrew. Studies in Language, 21(2), 245-285. doi:10.1075/sl.21.2.02baa.

    Abstract

    In this paper, I present an analysis of the so-called tense forms of Biblical Hebrew. While there is fairly broad consensus on the interpretation of the yiqtol tense form, the interpretation of the qdtal tense form has led to considerable controversy. I will argue that the qātal form has no intrinsic semantic value and that it serves a pragmatic function only, namely, signaling to the hearer that the event or state expressed by the verb cannot be tightly integrated into the discourse representation of the hearer, given the speaker's estimate of their common ground.
  • Baayen, R. H., & Lieber, R. (1997). Word frequency distributions and lexical semantics. Computers and the Humanities, 30, 281-291.

    Abstract

    This paper addresses the relation between meaning, lexical productivity, and frequency of use. Using density estimation as a visualization tool, we show that differences in semantic structure can be reflected in probability density functions estimated for word frequency distributions. We call attention to an example of a bimodal density, and suggest that bimodality arises when distributions of well-entrenched lexical tems, which appear to be lognormal, are mixed with distributions of productively reated nonce formations
  • 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.
  • 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., & Hagoort, P. (2006). Oscillatory neuronal dynamics during language comprehension. In C. Neuper, & W. Klimesch (Eds.), Event-related dynamics of brain oscillations (pp. 179-196). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

    Abstract

    Language comprehension involves two basic operations: the retrieval of lexical information (such as phonologic, syntactic, and semantic information) from long-term memory, and the unification of this information into a coherent representation of the overall utterance. Neuroimaging studies using hemo¬dynamic measures such as PET and fMRI have provided detailed information on which areas of the brain are involved in these language-related memory and unification operations. However, much less is known about the dynamics of the brain's language network. This chapter presents a literature review of the oscillatory neuronal dynamics of EEG and MEG data that can be observed during language comprehen¬sion tasks. From a detailed review of this (rapidly growing) literature the following picture emerges: memory retrieval operations are mostly accompanied by increased neuronal synchronization in the theta frequency range (4-7 Hz). Unification operations, in contrast, induce high-frequency neuronal synchro¬nization in the beta (12-30 Hz) and gamma (above 30 Hz) frequency bands. A desynchronization in the (upper) alpha frequency band is found for those studies that use secondary tasks, and seems to correspond with attentional processes, and with the behavioral consequences of the language comprehension process. We conclude that it is possible to capture the dynamics of the brain's language network by a careful analysis of the event-related changes in power and coherence of EEG and MEG data in a wide range of frequencies, in combination with subtle experimental manipulations in a range of language comprehension tasks. It appears then that neuronal synchrony is a mechanism by which the brain integrates the different types of information about language (such as phonological, orthographic, semantic, and syntactic infor¬mation) represented in different brain areas.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2006). ‘Synthetic’ vs. ‘analytic’ in Romance: The importance of varieties. In R. Gess, & D. Arteaga (Eds.), Historical Romance linguistics: Retrospective and perspectives (pp. 287-304). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2004). [Review of the book Pre-Indo-European by Winfred P. Lehmann]. Journal of Indo-European Studies, 32, 146-155.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1997). Nominal syntax in Italic: A diachronic perspective. In Language change and functional explanations (pp. 273-301). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (1997). Response to David Lightfoot’s Review of The Emergence and Development of SVO Patterning in Latin and French: Diachronic and Psycholinguistic Perspectives. Language, 73(2), 352-358.
  • 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. (1997). The adjective in Italic and Romance: Genetic or areal factors affecting word order patterns?”. In B. Palek (Ed.), Proceedings of LP'96: Typology: Prototypes, item orderings and universals (pp. 295-306). Prague: Charles University Press.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Berck, P., Bibiko, H.-J., Kemps-Snijders, M., Russel, A., & Wittenburg, P. (2006). Ontology-based language archive utilization. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2006) (pp. 2295-2298).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bierwisch, M. (1997). Universal Grammar and the Basic Variety. Second Language Research, 13(4), 348-366. doi:10.1177/026765839701300403.

    Abstract

    The Basic Variety (BV) as conceived by Klein and Perdue (K&P) is a relatively stable state in the process of spontaneous (adult) second language acquisition, characterized by a small set of phrasal, semantic and pragmatic principles. These principles are derived by inductive generalization from a fairly large body of data. They are considered by K&P as roughly equivalent to those of Universal Grammar (UG) in the sense of Chomsky's Minimalist Program, with the proviso that the BV allows for only weak (or unmarked) formal features. The present article first discusses the viability of the BV principles proposed by K&P, arguing that some of them are in need of clarification with learner varieties, and that they are, in any case, not likely to be part of UG, as they exclude phenomena (e.g., so-called psych verbs) that cannot be ruled out even from the core of natural language. The article also considers the proposal that learner varieties of the BV type are completely unmarked instantiations of UG. Putting aside problems arising from the Minimalist Program, especially the question whether a grammar with only weak features would be a factual possibility and what it would look like, it is argued that the BV as characterized by K&P must be considered as the result of a process that crucially differs from first language acquisition as furnished by UG for a number of reasons, including properties of the BV itself. As a matter of fact, several of the properties claimed for the BV by K&P are more likely the result of general learning strategies than of language-specific principles. If this is correct, the characterization of the BV is a fairly interesting result, albeit of a rather different type than K&P suggest.
  • 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).
  • Bock, K., Butterfield, S., Cutler, A., Cutting, J. C., Eberhard, K. M., & Humphreys, K. R. (2006). Number agreement in British and American English: Disagreeing to agree collectively. Language, 82(1), 64-113.

    Abstract

    British andAmerican speakers exhibit different verb number agreement patterns when sentence subjects have collective headnouns. From linguistic andpsycholinguistic accounts of how agreement is implemented, three alternative hypotheses can be derived to explain these differences. The hypotheses involve variations in the representation of notional number, disparities in how notional andgrammatical number are used, and inequalities in the grammatical number specifications of collective nouns. We carriedout a series of corpus analyses, production experiments, andnorming studies to test these hypotheses. The results converge to suggest that British and American speakers are equally sensitive to variations in notional number andimplement subjectverb agreement in much the same way, but are likely to differ in the lexical specifications of number for collectives. The findings support a psycholinguistic theory that explains verb and pronoun agreement within a parallel architecture of lexical andsyntactic formulation.
  • 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.
  • Bod, R., Fitz, H., & Zuidema, W. (2006). On the structural ambiguity in natural language that the neural architecture cannot deal with [Commentary]. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 29, 71-72. doi:10.1017/S0140525X06239025.

    Abstract

    We argue that van der Velde's & de Kamps's model does not solve the binding problem but merely shifts the burden of constructing appropriate neural representations of sentence structure to unexplained preprocessing of the linguistic input. As a consequence, their model is not able to explain how various neural representations can be assigned to sentences that are structurally ambiguous.
  • 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.
  • 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., 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. (1997). Yucatec Mayan Lexicalization Patterns in Time and Space. In M. Biemans, & J. van de Weijer (Eds.), Proceedings of the CLS opening of the academic year '97-'98. Tilburg, The Netherlands: University Center for Language Studies.
  • 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., 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., 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.
  • Böttner, M. (1997). Natural Language. In C. Brink, W. Kahl, & G. Schmidt (Eds.), Relational Methods in computer science (pp. 229-249). Vienna, Austria: Springer-Verlag.
  • Böttner, M. (1997). Visiting some relatives of Peirce's. In 3rd International Seminar on The use of Relational Methods in Computer Science.

    Abstract

    The notion of relational grammar is extented to ternary relations and illustrated by a fragment of English. Some of Peirce's terms for ternary relations are shown to be incorrect and corrected.
  • Bowden, J. (1997). The meanings of Directionals in Taba. In G. Senft (Ed.), Referring to Space: Studies in Austronesian and Papuan Languages (pp. 251-268). New York, NJ: Oxford University Press.
  • 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.
  • Braun, B., Kochanski, G., Grabe, E., & Rosner, B. S. (2006). Evidence for attractors in English intonation. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 119(6), 4006-4015. doi:10.1121/1.2195267.

    Abstract

    Although the pitch of the human voice is continuously variable, some linguists contend that intonation in speech is restricted to a small, limited set of patterns. This claim is tested by asking subjects to mimic a block of 100 randomly generated intonation contours and then to imitate themselves in several successive sessions. The produced f0 contours gradually converge towards a limited set of distinct, previously recognized basic English intonation patterns. These patterns are "attractors" in the space of possible intonation English contours. The convergence does not occur immediately. Seven of the ten participants show continued convergence toward their attractors after the first iteration. Subjects retain and use information beyond phonological contrasts, suggesting that intonational phonology is not a complete description of their mental representation of intonation.
  • Braun, B. (2006). Phonetics and phonology of thematic contrast in German. Language and Speech, 49(4), 451-493.

    Abstract

    It is acknowledged that contrast plays an important role in understanding discourse and information structure. While it is commonly assumed that contrast can be marked by intonation only, our understanding of the intonational realization of contrast is limited. For German there is mainly introspective evidence that the rising theme accent (or topic accent) is realized differently when signaling contrast than when not. In this article, the acoustic basis for the reported impressionistic differences is investigated in terms of the scaling (height) and alignment (positioning) of tonal targets. Subjects read target sentences in a contrastive and a noncontrastive context (Experiment 1). Prosodic annotation revealed that thematic accents were not realized with different accent types in the two contexts but acoustic comparison showed that themes in contrastive context exhibited a higher and later peak. The alignment and scaling of accents can hence be controlled in a linguistically meaningful way, which has implications for intonational phonology. In Experiment 2, nonlinguists' perception of a subset of the production data was assessed. They had to choose whether, in a contrastive context, the presumed contrastive or noncontrastive realization of a sentence was more appropriate. For some sentence pairs only, subjects had a clear preference. For Experiment 3, a group of linguists annotated the thematic accents of the contrastive and noncontrastive versions of the same data as used in Experiment 2. There was considerable disagreement in labels, but different accent types were consistently used when the two versions differed strongly in F0 excursion. Although themes in contrastive contexts were clearly produced differently than themes in noncontrastive contexts, this difference is not easily perceived or annotated.
  • Brehm, L. (2014). Speed limits and red flags: Why number agreement accidents happen. PhD Thesis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana-Champaign, Il.
  • Broeder, D. (2004). 40,000 IMDI sessions. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(4), 12-12.
  • Broeder, D., Van Veenendaal, R., Nathan, D., & Strömqvist, S. (2006). A grid of language resource repositories. In Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE International Conference on e-Science and Grid Computing.
  • Broeder, D., Declerck, T., Romary, L., Uneson, M., Strömqvist, S., & Wittenburg, P. (2004). A large metadata domain of language resources. In M. Lino, M. Xavier, F. Ferreira, R. Costa, & R. Silva (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2004) (pp. 369-372). Paris: European Language Resources Association.
  • Broeder, D., & Lannom, L. (2014). Data Type Registries: A Research Data Alliance Working Group. D-Lib Magazine, 20, 1. doi:10.1045/january2014-broeder.

    Abstract

    Automated processing of large amounts of scientific data, especially across domains, requires that the data can be selected and parsed without human intervention. Precise characterization of that data, as in typing, is needed once the processing goes beyond the realm of domain specific or local research group assumptions. The Research Data Alliance (RDA) Data Type Registries Working Group (DTR-WG) was assembled to address this issue through the creation of a Data Type Registry methodology, data model, and prototype. The WG was approved by the RDA Council during March of 2013 and will complete its work in mid-2014, in between the third and fourth RDA Plenaries.
  • Broeder, D., Schuurman, I., & Windhouwer, M. (2014). Experiences with the ISOcat Data Category Registry. In N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, T. Declerck, H. Loftsson, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, A. Moreno, J. Odijk, & S. Piperidis (Eds.), Proceedings of LREC 2014: 9th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (pp. 4565-4568).
  • Broeder, D., Nava, M., & Declerck, T. (2004). INTERA - a Distributed Domain of Metadata Resources. In M. Lino, M. Xavier, F. Ferreira, R. Costa, & R. Silva (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Spoken Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2004) (pp. 369-372). Paris: European Language Resources Association.
  • Broeder, D., & Offenga, F. (2004). IMDI Metadata Set 3.0. Language Archive Newsletter, 1(2), 3-3.
  • Broeder, D., Claus, A., Offenga, F., Skiba, R., Trilsbeek, P., & Wittenburg, P. (2006). LAMUS: The Language Archive Management and Upload System. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2006) (pp. 2291-2294).
  • Broeder, D., & Van Uytvanck, D. (2014). Metadata formats. In J. Durand, U. Gut, & G. Kristoffersen (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Corpus Phonology (pp. 150-165). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Broeder, D., Offenga, F., Wittenburg, P., Van de Kamp, P., Nathan, D., & Strömqvist, S. (2006). Technologies for a federation of language resource archive. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2006) (pp. 2291-2294).
  • Broeder, D., & Wittenburg, P. (2006). The IMDI metadata framework, its current application and future direction. International Journal of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies, 1(2), 119-132. doi:10.1504/IJMSO.2006.011008.

    Abstract

    The IMDI Framework offers next to a suitable set of metadata descriptors for language resources, a set of tools and an infrastructure to use these. This paper gives an overview of all these aspects and at the end describes the intentions and hopes for ensuring the interoperability of the IMDI framework within more general ones in development. An evaluation of the current state of the IMDI Framework is presented with an analysis of the benefits and more problematic issues. Finally we describe work on issues of long-term stability for IMDI by linking up to the work done within the ISO TC37/SC4 subcommittee (TC37/SC4).
  • Broeder, D., Wittenburg, P., & Crasborn, O. (2004). Using Profiles for IMDI Metadata Creation. In M. Lino, M. Xavier, F. Ferreira, R. Costa, & R. Silva (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2004) (pp. 1317-1320). Paris: European Language Resources Association.
  • Broeder, D., Brugman, H., Oostdijk, N., & Wittenburg, P. (2004). Towards Dynamic Corpora: Workshop on compiling and processing spoken corpora. In M. Lino, M. Xavier, F. Ferreira, R. Costa, & R. Silva (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2004) (pp. 59-62). Paris: European Language Resource Association.
  • Broeder, D., Auer, E., & Wittenburg, P. (2006). Unique resource identifiers. Language Archive Newsletter, no. 8, 8-9.
  • Broersma, M. (2006). Accident - execute: Increased activation in nonnative listening. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2006 (pp. 1519-1522).

    Abstract

    Dutch and English listeners’ perception of English words with partially overlapping onsets (e.g., accident- execute) was investigated. Partially overlapping words remained active longer for nonnative listeners, causing an increase of lexical competition in nonnative compared with native listening.
  • Broersma, M., & Kolkman, K. M. (2004). Lexical representation of non-native phonemes. In S. Kin, & M. J. Bae (Eds.), Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (Interspeech 2004-ICSLP) (pp. 1241-1244). Seoul: Sunjijn Printing Co.
  • Broersma, M. (2006). Nonnative listeners rely less on phonetic information for phonetic categorization than native listeners. In Variation, detail and representation: 10th Conference on Laboratory Phonology (pp. 109-110).
  • Broersma, M., & De Bot, K. (2006). Triggered codeswitching: A corpus-based evaluation of the original triggering hypothesis and a new alternative. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 9(1), 1-13. doi:10.1017/S1366728905002348.

    Abstract

    In this article the triggering hypothesis for codeswitching proposed by Michael Clyne is discussed and tested. According to this hypothesis, cognates can facilitate codeswitching of directly preceding or following words. It is argued that the triggering hypothesis in its original form is incompatible with language production models, as it assumes that language choice takes place at the surface structure of utterances, while in bilingual production models language choice takes place along with lemma selection. An adjusted version of the triggering hypothesis is proposed in which triggering takes place during lemma selection and the scope of triggering is extended to basic units in language production. Data from a Dutch–Moroccan Arabic corpus are used for a statistical test of the original and the adjusted triggering theory. The codeswitching patterns found in the data support part of the original triggering hypothesis, but they are best explained by the adjusted triggering theory.
  • Brouwer, S., & Bradlow, A. R. (2014). Contextual variability during speech-in-speech recognition. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 136(1), EL26-EL32. doi:10.1121/1.4881322.

    Abstract

    This study examined the influence of background language variation on speech recognition. English listeners performed an English sentence recognition task in either “pure” background conditions in which all trials had either English or Dutch background babble or in mixed background conditions in which the background language varied across trials (i.e., a mix of English and Dutch or one of these background languages mixed with quiet trials). This design allowed the authors to compare performance on identical trials across pure and mixed conditions. The data reveal that speech-in-speech recognition is sensitive to contextual variation in terms of the target-background language (mis)match depending on the relative ease/difficulty of the test trials in relation to the surrounding trials.
  • Brown, P. (2006). A sketch of the grammar of space in Tzeltal. In S. C. Levinson, & D. P. Wilkins (Eds.), Grammars of space: Explorations in cognitive diversity (pp. 230-272). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

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

    Abstract

    This is an appropriate moment to review the state of the art in cognitive anthropology, construed broadly as the comparative study of human cognition in its linguistic and cultural context. In reaction to the dominance of universalism in the 1970s and '80s, there have recently been a number of reappraisals of the relation between language and cognition, and the field of cognitive anthropology is flourishing in several new directions in both America and Europe. This is partly due to a renewal and re-evaluation of approaches to the question of linguistic relativity associated with Whorf, and partly to the inspiration of modern developments in cognitive science. This review briefly sketches the history of cognitive anthropology and surveys current research on both sides of the Atlantic. The focus is on assessing current directions, considering in particular, by way of illustration, recent work in cultural models and on spatial language and cognition. The review concludes with an assessment of how cognitive anthropology could contribute directly both to the broader project of cognitive science and to the anthropological study of how cultural ideas and practices relate to structures and processes of human cognition.
  • Brown, A. (2006). Cross-linguistic influence in first and second lanuages: Convergence in speech and gesture. PhD Thesis, Boston University, Boston.

    Abstract

    Research on second language acquisition typically focuses on how a first language (L1) influences a second language (L2) in different linguistic domains and across modalities. This dissertation, in contrast, explores interactions between languages in the mind of a language learner by asking 1) can an emerging L2 influence an established L1? 2) if so, how is such influence realized? 3) are there parallel influences of the L1 on the L2? These questions were investigated for the expression of Manner (e.g. climb, roll) and Path (e.g. up, down) of motion, areas where substantial crosslinguistic differences exist in speech and co-speech gesture. Japanese and English are typologically distinct in this domain; therefore, narrative descriptions of four motion events were elicited from monolingual Japanese speakers (n=16), monolingual English speakers (n=13), and native Japanese speakers with intermediate knowledge of English (narratives elicited in both their L1 and L2, n=28). Ways in which Path and Manner were expressed at the lexical, syntactic, and gestural levels were analyzed in monolingual and non-monolingual production. Results suggest mutual crosslinguistic influences. In their L1, native Japanese speakers with knowledge of English displayed both Japanese- and English-like use of morphosyntactic elements to express Path and Manner (i.e. a combination of verbs and other constructions). Consequently, non-monolingual L1 discourse contained significantly more Path expressions per clause, with significantly greater mention of Goal of motion than monolingual Japanese and English discourse. Furthermore, the gestures of non-monolingual speakers diverged from their monolingual counterparts with differences in depiction of Manner and gesture perspective (character versus observer). Importantly, non-monolingual production in the L1 was not ungrammatical, but simply reflected altered preferences. As for L2 production, many effects of L1 influence were seen, crucially in areas parallel to those described above. Overall, production by native Japanese speakers who knew English differed from that of monolingual Japanese and English speakers. But L1 and L2 production within non-monolingual individuals was similar. These findings imply a convergence of L1-L2 linguistic systems within the mind of a language learner. Theoretical and methodological implications for SLA research and language assessment with respect to the ‘native speaker standard language’ are discussed.
  • Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (2004). Frames of spatial reference and their acquisition in Tenejapan Tzeltal. In A. Assmann, U. Gaier, & G. Trommsdorff (Eds.), Zwischen Literatur und Anthropologie: Diskurse, Medien, Performanzen (pp. 285-314). Tübingen: Gunter Narr.

    Abstract

    This is a reprint of the Brown and Levinson 2000 article.
  • Brown, P. (2014). Gestures in native Mexico and Central America. In C. Müller, A. Cienki, E. Fricke, S. Ladewig, D. McNeill, & J. Bressem (Eds.), Body -language – communication: An international handbook on multimodality in human interaction. Volume 2 (pp. 1206-1215). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    Abstract

    The systematic study of kinesics, gaze, and gestural aspects of communication in Central American cultures is a recent phenomenon, most of it focussing on the Mayan cultures of southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. This article surveys ethnographic observations and research reports on bodily aspects of speaking in three domains: gaze and kinesics in social interaction, indexical pointing in adult and caregiver-child interactions, and co-speech gestures associated with “absolute” (geographically-based) systems of spatial reference. In addition, it reports how the indigenous co-speech gesture repertoire has provided the basis for developing village sign languages in the region. It is argued that studies of the embodied aspects of speech in the Mayan areas of Mexico and Central America have contributed to the typology of gestures and of spatial frames of reference. They have refined our understanding of how spatial frames of reference are invoked, communicated, and switched in conversational interaction and of the importance of co-speech gestures in understanding language use, language acquisition, and the transmission of culture-specific cognitive styles.
  • Brown, P. (1997). Isolating the CVC root in Tzeltal Mayan: A study of children's first verbs. In E. V. Clark (Ed.), Proceedings of the 28th Annual Child Language Research Forum (pp. 41-52). Stanford, CA: CSLI/University of Chicago Press.

    Abstract

    How do children isolate the semantic package contained in verb roots in the Mayan language Tzeltal? One might imagine that the canonical CVC shape of roots characteristic of Mayan languages would make the job simple, but the root is normally preceded and followed by affixes which mask its identity. Pye (1983) demonstrated that, in Kiche' Mayan, prosodic salience overrides semantic salience, and children's first words in Kiche' are often composed of only the final (stressed) syllable constituted by the final consonant of the CVC root and a 'meaningless' termination suffix. Intonation thus plays a crucial role in early Kiche' morphological development. Tzeltal presents a rather different picture: The first words of children around the age of 1;6 are bare roots, children strip off all prefixes and suffixes which are obligatory in adult speech. They gradually add them, starting with the suffixes (which receive the main stress), but person prefixes are omitted in some contexts past a child's third birthday, and one obligatory aspectual prefix (x-) is systematically omitted by the four children in my longitudinal study even after they are four years old. Tzeltal children's first verbs generally show faultless isolation of the root. An account in terms of intonation or stress cannot explain this ability (the prefixes are not all syllables; the roots are not always stressed). This paper suggests that probable clues include the fact that the CVC root stays constant across contexts (with some exceptions) whereas the affixes vary, that there are some linguistic contexts where the root occurs without any prefixes (relatively frequent in the input), and that the Tzeltal discourse convention of responding by repeating with appropriate deictic alternation (e.g., "I see it." "Oh, you see it.") highlights the root.

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