Publications

Displaying 1 - 87 of 87
  • Adank, P., Smits, R., & Van Hout, R. (2003). Modeling perceived vowel height, advancement, and rounding. In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2003) (pp. 647-650). Adelaide: Causal Productions.
  • Alday, P. M. (2016). Towards a rigorous motivation for Ziph's law. In S. G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Feher, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/178.html.

    Abstract

    Language evolution can be viewed from two viewpoints: the development of a communicative system and the biological adaptations necessary for producing and perceiving said system. The communicative-system vantage point has enjoyed a wealth of mathematical models based on simple distributional properties of language, often formulated as empirical laws. However, be- yond vague psychological notions of “least effort”, no principled explanation has been proposed for the existence and success of such laws. Meanwhile, psychological and neurobiological mod- els have focused largely on the computational constraints presented by incremental, real-time processing. In the following, we show that information-theoretic entropy underpins successful models of both types and provides a more principled motivation for Zipf’s Law
  • Alhama, R. G., & Zuidema, W. (2016). Generalization in Artificial Language Learning: Modelling the Propensity to Generalize. In Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Cognitive Aspects of Computational Language Learning (pp. 64-72). Association for Computational Linguistics. doi:10.18653/v1/W16-1909.

    Abstract

    Experiments in Artificial Language Learn-
    ing have revealed much about the cogni-
    tive mechanisms underlying sequence and
    language learning in human adults, in in-
    fants and in non-human animals. This pa-
    per focuses on their ability to generalize
    to novel grammatical instances (i.e., in-
    stances consistent with a familiarization
    pattern). Notably, the propensity to gen-
    eralize appears to be negatively correlated
    with the amount of exposure to the artifi-
    cial language, a fact that has been claimed
    to be contrary to the predictions of statis-
    tical models (Pe
    ̃
    na et al. (2002); Endress
    and Bonatti (2007)). In this paper, we pro-
    pose to model generalization as a three-
    step process, and we demonstrate that the
    use of statistical models for the first two
    steps, contrary to widespread intuitions in
    the ALL-field, can explain the observed
    decrease of the propensity to generalize
    with exposure time.
  • Alhama, R. G., & Zuidema, W. (2016). Pre-Wiring and Pre-Training: What does a neural network need to learn truly general identity rules? In T. R. Besold, A. Bordes, & A. D'Avila Garcez (Eds.), CoCo 2016 Cognitive Computation: Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Computation: Integrating neural and symbolic approaches 2016. CEUR Workshop Proceedings.

    Abstract

    In an influential paper, Marcus et al. [1999] claimed that connectionist models
    cannot account for human success at learning tasks that involved generalization
    of abstract knowledge such as grammatical rules. This claim triggered a heated
    debate, centered mostly around variants of the Simple Recurrent Network model
    [Elman, 1990]. In our work, we revisit this unresolved debate and analyze the
    underlying issues from a different perspective. We argue that, in order to simulate
    human-like learning of grammatical rules, a neural network model should not be
    used as a
    tabula rasa
    , but rather, the initial wiring of the neural connections and
    the experience acquired prior to the actual task should be incorporated into the
    model. We present two methods that aim to provide such initial state: a manipu-
    lation of the initial connections of the network in a cognitively plausible manner
    (concretely, by implementing a “delay-line” memory), and a pre-training algorithm
    that incrementally challenges the network with novel stimuli. We implement such
    techniques in an Echo State Network [Jaeger, 2001], and we show that only when
    combining both techniques the ESN is able to learn truly general identity rules.
  • Azar, Z., Backus, A., & Ozyurek, A. (2016). Pragmatic relativity: Gender and context affect the use of personal pronouns in discourse differentially across languages. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 1295-1300). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Speakers use differential referring expressions in pragmatically appropriate ways to produce coherent narratives. Languages, however, differ in a) whether REs as arguments can be dropped and b) whether personal pronouns encode gender. We examine two languages that differ from each other in these two aspects and ask whether the co-reference context and the gender encoding options affect the use of REs differentially. We elicited narratives from Dutch and Turkish speakers about two types of three-person events, one including people of the same and the other of mixed-gender. Speakers re-introduced referents into the discourse with fuller forms (NPs) and maintained them with reduced forms (overt or null pronoun). Turkish speakers used pronouns mainly to mark emphasis and only Dutch speakers used pronouns differentially across the two types of videos. We argue that linguistic possibilities available in languages tune speakers into taking different principles into account to produce pragmatically coherent narratives
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2003). The adverbial formation in mente in Vulgar and Late Latin: A problem in grammaticalization. In H. Solin, M. Leiwo, & H. Hallo-aho (Eds.), Latin vulgaire, latin tardif VI (pp. 439-457). Hildesheim: Olms.
  • Bergmann, C., Cristia, A., & Dupoux, E. (2016). Discriminability of sound contrasts in the face of speaker variation quantified. In Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. (pp. 1331-1336). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    How does a naive language learner deal with speaker variation irrelevant to distinguishing word meanings? Experimental data is contradictory, and incompatible models have been proposed. Here, we examine basic assumptions regarding the acoustic signal the learner deals with: Is speaker variability a hurdle in discriminating sounds or can it easily be ignored? To this end, we summarize existing infant data. We then present machine-based discriminability scores of sound pairs obtained without any language knowledge. Our results show that speaker variability decreases sound contrast discriminability, and that some contrasts are affected more than others. However, chance performance is rare; most contrasts remain discriminable in the face of speaker variation. We take our results to mean that speaker variation is not a uniform hurdle to discriminating sound contrasts, and careful examination is necessary when planning and interpreting studies testing whether and to what extent infants (and adults) are sensitive to speaker differences.

    Additional information

    Scripts and data
  • Bosker, H. R., Reinisch, E., & Sjerps, M. J. (2016). Listening under cognitive load makes speech sound fast. In H. van den Heuvel, B. Cranen, & S. Mattys (Eds.), Proceedings of the Speech Processing in Realistic Environments [SPIRE] Workshop (pp. 23-24). Groningen.
  • Bosker, H. R. (2016). Our own speech rate influences speech perception. In J. Barnes, A. Brugos, S. Stattuck-Hufnagel, & N. Veilleux (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2016 (pp. 227-231).

    Abstract

    During conversation, spoken utterances occur in rich acoustic contexts, including speech produced by our interlocutor(s) and speech we produced ourselves. Prosodic characteristics of the acoustic context have been known to influence speech perception in a contrastive fashion: for instance, a vowel presented in a fast context is perceived to have a longer duration than the same vowel in a slow context. Given the ubiquity of the sound of our own voice, it may be that our own speech rate - a common source of acoustic context - also influences our perception of the speech of others. Two experiments were designed to test this hypothesis. Experiment 1 replicated earlier contextual rate effects by showing that hearing pre-recorded fast or slow context sentences alters the perception of ambiguous Dutch target words. Experiment 2 then extended this finding by showing that talking at a fast or slow rate prior to the presentation of the target words also altered the perception of those words. These results suggest that between-talker variation in speech rate production may induce between-talker variation in speech perception, thus potentially explaining why interlocutors tend to converge on speech rate in dialogue settings.

    Additional information

    pdf via conference website227
  • Bruggeman, L., & Cutler, A. (2016). Lexical manipulation as a discovery tool for psycholinguistic research. In C. Carignan, & M. D. Tyler (Eds.), Proceedings of the 16th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology (SST2016) (pp. 313-316).
  • Chen, A. (2003). Language dependence in continuation intonation. In M. Solé, D. Recasens, & J. Romero (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS.) (pp. 1069-1072). Rundle Mall, SA, Austr.: Causal Productions Pty.
  • Chen, A. (2003). Reaction time as an indicator to discrete intonational contrasts in English. In Proceedings of Eurospeech 2003 (pp. 97-100).

    Abstract

    This paper reports a perceptual study using a semantically motivated identification task in which we investigated the nature of two pairs of intonational contrasts in English: (1) normal High accent vs. emphatic High accent; (2) early peak alignment vs. late peak alignment. Unlike previous inquiries, the present study employs an on-line method using the Reaction Time measurement, in addition to the measurement of response frequencies. Regarding the peak height continuum, the mean RTs are shortest for within-category identification but longest for across-category identification. As for the peak alignment contrast, no identification boundary emerges and the mean RTs only reflect a difference between peaks aligned with the vowel onset and peaks aligned elsewhere. We conclude that the peak height contrast is discrete but the previously claimed discreteness of the peak alignment contrast is not borne out.
  • Cho, T. (2003). Lexical stress, phrasal accent and prosodic boundaries in the realization of domain-initial stops in Dutch. In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhs 2003) (pp. 2657-2660). Adelaide: Causal Productions.

    Abstract

    This study examines the effects of prosodic boundaries, lexical stress, and phrasal accent on the acoustic realization of stops (/t, d/) in Dutch, with special attention paid to language-specificity in the phonetics-prosody interface. The results obtained from various acoustic measures show systematic phonetic variations in the production of /t d/ as a function of prosodic position, which may be interpreted as being due to prosodicallyconditioned articulatory strengthening. Shorter VOTs were found for the voiceless stop /t/ in prosodically stronger locations (as opposed to longer VOTs in this position in English). The results suggest that prosodically-driven phonetic realization is bounded by a language-specific phonological feature system.
  • Croijmans, I., & Majid, A. (2016). Language does not explain the wine-specific memory advantage of wine experts. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 141-146). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Although people are poor at naming odors, naming a smell helps to remember that odor. Previous studies show wine experts have better memory for smells, and they also name smells differently than novices. Is wine experts’ odor memory is verbally mediated? And is the odor memory advantage that experts have over novices restricted to odors in their domain of expertise, or does it generalize? Twenty-four wine experts and 24 novices smelled wines, wine-related odors and common odors, and remembered these. Half the participants also named the smells. Wine experts had better memory for wines, but not for the other odors, indicating their memory advantage is restricted to wine. Wine experts named odors better than novices, but there was no relationship between experts’ ability to name odors and their memory for odors. This suggests experts’ odor memory advantage is not linguistically mediated, but may be the result of differential perceptual learning
  • Ip, M., & Cutler, A. (2016). Cross-language data on five types of prosodic focus. In J. Barnes, A. Brugos, S. Shattuck-Hufnagel, & N. Veilleux (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2016 (pp. 330-334).

    Abstract

    To examine the relative roles of language-specific and language-universal mechanisms in the production of prosodic focus, we compared production of five different types of focus by native speakers of English and Mandarin. Two comparable dialogues were constructed for each language, with the same words appearing in focused and unfocused position; 24 speakers recorded each dialogue in each language. Duration, F0 (mean, maximum, range), and rms-intensity (mean, maximum) of all critical word tokens were measured. Across the different types of focus, cross-language differences were observed in the degree to which English versus Mandarin speakers use the different prosodic parameters to mark focus, suggesting that while prosody may be universally available for expressing focus, the means of its employment may be considerably language-specific
  • Cutler, A., & Butterfield, S. (1989). Natural speech cues to word segmentation under difficult listening conditions. In J. Tubach, & J. Mariani (Eds.), Proceedings of Eurospeech 89: European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology: Vol. 2 (pp. 372-375). Edinburgh: CEP Consultants.

    Abstract

    One of a listener's major tasks in understanding continuous speech is segmenting the speech signal into separate words. When listening conditions are difficult, speakers can help listeners by deliberately speaking more clearly. In three experiments, we examined how word boundaries are produced in deliberately clear speech. We found that speakers do indeed attempt to mark word boundaries; moreover, they differentiate between word boundaries in a way which suggests they are sensitive to listener needs. Application of heuristic segmentation strategies makes word boundaries before strong syllables easiest for listeners to perceive; but under difficult listening conditions speakers pay more attention to marking word boundaries before weak syllables, i.e. they mark those boundaries which are otherwise particularly hard to perceive.
  • Cutler, A., Murty, L., & Otake, T. (2003). Rhythmic similarity effects in non-native listening? In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (PCPhS 2003) (pp. 329-332). Adelaide: Causal Productions.

    Abstract

    Listeners rely on native-language rhythm in segmenting speech; in different languages, stress-, syllable- or mora-based rhythm is exploited. This language-specificity affects listening to non- native speech, if native procedures are applied even though inefficient for the non-native language. However, speakers of two languages with similar rhythmic interpretation should segment their own and the other language similarly. This was observed to date only for related languages (English-Dutch; French-Spanish). We now report experiments in which Japanese listeners heard Telugu, a Dravidian language unrelated to Japanese, and Telugu listeners heard Japanese. In both cases detection of target sequences in speech was harder when target boundaries mismatched mora boundaries, exactly the pattern that Japanese listeners earlier exhibited with Japanese and other languages. These results suggest that Telugu and Japanese listeners use similar procedures in segmenting speech, and support the idea that languages fall into rhythmic classes, with aspects of phonological structure affecting listeners' speech segmentation.
  • Declerck, T., Cunningham, H., Saggion, H., Kuper, J., Reidsma, D., & Wittenburg, P. (2003). MUMIS - Advanced information extraction for multimedia indexing and searching digital media - Processing for multimedia interactive services. 4th European Workshop on Image Analysis for Multimedia Interactive Services (WIAMIS), 553-556.
  • Dediu, D., & Moisik, S. (2016). Defining and counting phonological classes in cross-linguistic segment databases. In N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, T. Declerck, S. Goggi, M. Grobelnik, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, H. Mazo, A. Moreno, J. Odijk, & S. Piperidis (Eds.), Proceedings of LREC 2016: 10th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (pp. 1955-1962). Paris: European Language Resources Association (ELRA).

    Abstract

    Recently, there has been an explosion in the availability of large, good-quality cross-linguistic databases such as WALS (Dryer & Haspelmath, 2013), Glottolog (Hammarstrom et al., 2015) and Phoible (Moran & McCloy, 2014). Databases such as Phoible contain the actual segments used by various languages as they are given in the primary language descriptions. However, this segment-level representation cannot be used directly for analyses that require generalizations over classes of segments that share theoretically interesting features. Here we present a method and the associated R (R Core Team, 2014) code that allows the exible denition of such meaningful classes and that can identify the sets of segments falling into such a class for any language inventory. The method and its results are important for those interested in exploring cross-linguistic patterns of phonetic and phonological diversity and their relationship to extra-linguistic factors and processes such as climate, economics, history or human genetics.
  • Dediu, D., & Moisik, S. R. (2016). Anatomical biasing of click learning and production: An MRI and 3d palate imaging study. In S. G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Feher, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/57.html.

    Abstract

    The current paper presents results for data on click learning obtained from a larger imaging study (using MRI and 3D intraoral scanning) designed to quantify and characterize intra- and inter-population variation of vocal tract structures and the relation of this to speech production. The aim of the click study was to ascertain whether and to what extent vocal tract morphology influences (1) the ability to learn to produce clicks and (2) the productions of those that successfully learn to produce these sounds. The results indicate that the presence of an alveolar ridge certainly does not prevent an individual from learning to produce click sounds (1). However, the subtle details of how clicks are produced may indeed be driven by palate shape (2).
  • Doumas, L. A., & Martin, A. E. (2016). Abstraction in time: Finding hierarchical linguistic structure in a model of relational processing. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 2279-2284). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Abstract mental representation is fundamental for human cognition. Forming such representations in time, especially from dynamic and noisy perceptual input, is a challenge for any processing modality, but perhaps none so acutely as for language processing. We show that LISA (Hummel & Holyaok, 1997) and DORA (Doumas, Hummel, & Sandhofer, 2008), models built to process and to learn structured (i.e., symbolic) rep resentations of conceptual properties and relations from unstructured inputs, show oscillatory activation during processing that is highly similar to the cortical activity elicited by the linguistic stimuli from Ding et al.(2016). We argue, as Ding et al.(2016), that this activation reflects formation of hierarchical linguistic representation, and furthermore, that the kind of computational mechanisms in LISA/DORA (e.g., temporal binding by systematic asynchrony of firing) may underlie formation of abstract linguistic representations in the human brain. It may be this repurposing that allowed for the generation or mergence of hierarchical linguistic structure, and therefore, human language, from extant cognitive and neural systems. We conclude that models of thinking and reasoning and models of language processing must be integrated —not only for increased plausiblity, but in order to advance both fields towards a larger integrative model of human cognition
  • Drozdova, P., Van Hout, R., & Scharenborg, O. (2016). Processing and adaptation to ambiguous sounds during the course of perceptual learning. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2016: The 17th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (pp. 2811-2815). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2016-814.

    Abstract

    Listeners use their lexical knowledge to interpret ambiguous sounds, and retune their phonetic categories to include this ambiguous sound. Although there is ample evidence for lexically-guided retuning, the adaptation process is not fully understood. Using a lexical decision task with an embedded auditory semantic priming task, the present study investigates whether words containing an ambiguous sound are processed in the same way as “natural” words and whether adaptation to the ambiguous sound tends to equalize the processing of “ambiguous” and natural words. Analyses of the yes/no responses and reaction times to natural and “ambiguous” words showed that words containing an ambiguous sound were accepted as words less often and were processed slower than the same words without ambiguity. The difference in acceptance disappeared after exposure to approximately 15 ambiguous items. Interestingly, lower acceptance rates and slower processing did not have an effect on the processing of semantic information of the following word. However, lower acceptance rates of ambiguous primes predict slower reaction times of these primes, suggesting an important role of stimulus-specific characteristics in triggering lexically-guided perceptual learning.
  • Drude, S. (2003). Digitizing and annotating texts and field recordings in the Awetí project. In Proceedings of the EMELD Language Digitization Project Conference 2003. Workshop on Digitizing and Annotating Text and Field Recordings, LSA Institute, Michigan State University, July 11th -13th.

    Abstract

    Digitizing and annotating texts and field recordings Given that several initiatives worldwide currently explore the new field of documentation of endangered languages, the E-MELD project proposes to survey and unite procedures, techniques and results in order to achieve its main goal, ''the formulation and promulgation of best practice in linguistic markup of texts and lexicons''. In this context, this year's workshop deals with the processing of recorded texts. I assume the most valuable contribution I could make to the workshop is to show the procedures and methods used in the Awetí Language Documentation Project. The procedures applied in the Awetí Project are not necessarily representative of all the projects in the DOBES program, and they may very well fall short in several respects of being best practice, but I hope they might provide a good and concrete starting point for comparison, criticism and further discussion. The procedures to be exposed include: * taping with digital devices, * digitizing (preliminarily in the field, later definitely by the TIDEL-team at the Max Planck Institute in Nijmegen), * segmenting and transcribing, using the transcriber computer program, * translating (on paper, or while transcribing), * adding more specific annotation, using the Shoebox program, * converting the annotation to the ELAN-format developed by the TIDEL-team, and doing annotation with ELAN. Focus will be on the different types of annotation. Especially, I will present, justify and discuss Advanced Glossing, a text annotation format developed by H.-H. Lieb and myself designed for language documentation. It will be shown how Advanced Glossing can be applied using the Shoebox program. The Shoebox setup used in the Awetí Project will be shown in greater detail, including lexical databases and semi-automatic interaction between different database types (jumping, interlinearization). ( Freie Universität Berlin and Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, with funding from the Volkswagen Foundation.)
  • Drude, S. (2003). Advanced glossing: A language documentation format and its implementation with Shoebox. In Proceedings of the 2002 International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2002). Paris: ELRA.

    Abstract

    This paper presents Advanced Glossing, a proposal for a general glossing format designed for language documentation, and a specific setup for the Shoebox-program that implements Advanced Glossing to a large extent. Advanced Glossing (AG) goes beyond the traditional Interlinear Morphemic Translation, keeping syntactic and morphological information apart from each other in separate glossing tables. AG provides specific lines for different kinds of annotation – phonetic, phonological, orthographical, prosodic, categorial, structural, relational, and semantic, and it allows for gradual and successive, incomplete, and partial filling in case that some information may be irrelevant, unknown or uncertain. The implementation of AG in Shoebox sets up several databases. Each documented text is represented as a file of syntactic glossings. The morphological glossings are kept in a separate database. As an additional feature interaction with lexical databases is possible. The implementation makes use of the interlinearizing automatism provided by Shoebox, thus obtaining the table format for the alignment of lines in cells, and for semi-automatic filling-in of information in glossing tables which has been extracted from databases
  • Duffield, N., & Matsuo, A. (2003). Factoring out the parallelism effect in ellipsis: An interactional approach? In J. Chilar, A. Franklin, D. Keizer, & I. Kimbara (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society (CLS) (pp. 591-603). Chicago: Chicago Linguistics Society.

    Abstract

    Traditionally, there have been three standard assumptions made about the Parallelism Effect on VP-ellipsis, namely that the effect is categorical, that it applies asymmetrically and that it is uniquely due to syntactic factors. Based on the results of a series of experiments involving online and offline tasks, it will be argued that the Parallelism Effect is instead noncategorical and interactional. The factors investigated include construction type, conceptual and morpho-syntactic recoverability, finiteness and anaphor type (to test VP-anaphora). The results show that parallelism is gradient rather than categorical, effects both VP-ellipsis and anaphora, and is influenced by both structural and non-structural factors.
  • Eryilmaz, K., Little, H., & De Boer, B. (2016). Using HMMs To Attribute Structure To Artificial Languages. In S. G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Feher, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/125.html.

    Abstract

    We investigated the use of Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) as a way of representing repertoires of continuous signals in order to infer their building blocks. We tested the idea on a dataset from an artificial language experiment. The study demonstrates using HMMs for this purpose is viable, but also that there is a lot of room for refinement such as explicit duration modeling, incorporation of autoregressive elements and relaxing the Markovian assumption, in order to accommodate specific details.
  • Filippi, P., Congdon, J. V., Hoang, J., Bowling, D. L., Reber, S., Pašukonis, A., Hoeschele, M., Ocklenburg, S., de Boer, B., Sturdy, C. B., Newen, A., & Güntürkün, O. (2016). Humans Recognize Vocal Expressions Of Emotional States Universally Across Species. In The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/91.html.

    Abstract

    The perception of danger in the environment can induce physiological responses (such as a heightened state of arousal) in animals, which may cause measurable changes in the prosodic modulation of the voice (Briefer, 2012). The ability to interpret the prosodic features of animal calls as an indicator of emotional arousal may have provided the first hominins with an adaptive advantage, enabling, for instance, the recognition of a threat in the surroundings. This ability might have paved the ability to process meaningful prosodic modulations in the emerging linguistic utterances.
  • Filippi, P., Ocklenburg, S., Bowling, D. L., Heege, L., Newen, A., Güntürkün, O., & de Boer, B. (2016). Multimodal Processing Of Emotional Meanings: A Hypothesis On The Adaptive Value Of Prosody. In The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/90.html.

    Abstract

    Humans combine multiple sources of information to comprehend meanings. These sources can be characterized as linguistic (i.e., lexical units and/or sentences) or paralinguistic (e.g. body posture, facial expression, voice intonation, pragmatic context). Emotion communication is a special case in which linguistic and paralinguistic dimensions can simultaneously denote the same, or multiple incongruous referential meanings. Think, for instance, about when someone says “I’m sad!”, but does so with happy intonation and a happy facial expression. Here, the communicative channels express very specific (although conflicting) emotional states as denotations. In such cases of intermodal incongruence, are we involuntarily biased to respond to information in one channel over the other? We hypothesize that humans are involuntary biased to respond to prosody over verbal content and facial expression, since the ability to communicate socially relevant information such as basic emotional states through prosodic modulation of the voice might have provided early hominins with an adaptive advantage that preceded the emergence of segmental speech (Darwin 1871; Mithen, 2005). To address this hypothesis, we examined the interaction between multiple communicative channels in recruiting attentional resources, within a Stroop interference task (i.e. a task in which different channels give conflicting information; Stroop, 1935). In experiment 1, we used synonyms of “happy” and “sad” spoken with happy and sad prosody. Participants were asked to identify the emotion expressed by the verbal content while ignoring prosody (Word task) or vice versa (Prosody task). Participants responded faster and more accurately in the Prosody task. Within the Word task, incongruent stimuli were responded to more slowly and less accurately than congruent stimuli. In experiment 2, we adopted synonyms of “happy” and “sad” spoken in happy and sad prosody, while a happy or sad face was displayed. Participants were asked to identify the emotion expressed by the verbal content while ignoring prosody and face (Word task), to identify the emotion expressed by prosody while ignoring verbal content and face (Prosody task), or to identify the emotion expressed by the face while ignoring prosody and verbal content (Face task). Participants responded faster in the Face task and less accurately when the two non-focused channels were expressing an emotion that was incongruent with the focused one, as compared with the condition where all the channels were congruent. In addition, in the Word task, accuracy was lower when prosody was incongruent to verbal content and face, as compared with the condition where all the channels were congruent. Our data suggest that prosody interferes with emotion word processing, eliciting automatic responses even when conflicting with both verbal content and facial expressions at the same time. In contrast, although processed significantly faster than prosody and verbal content, faces alone are not sufficient to interfere in emotion processing within a three-dimensional Stroop task. Our findings align with the hypothesis that the ability to communicate emotions through prosodic modulation of the voice – which seems to be dominant over verbal content - is evolutionary older than the emergence of segmental articulation (Mithen, 2005; Fitch, 2010). This hypothesis fits with quantitative data suggesting that prosody has a vital role in the perception of well-formed words (Johnson & Jusczyk, 2001), in the ability to map sounds to referential meanings (Filippi et al., 2014), and in syntactic disambiguation (Soderstrom et al., 2003). This research could complement studies on iconic communication within visual and auditory domains, providing new insights for models of language evolution. Further work aimed at how emotional cues from different modalities are simultaneously integrated will improve our understanding of how humans interpret multimodal emotional meanings in real life interactions.
  • Frost, R. L. A., Monaghan, P., & Christiansen, M. H. (2016). Using Statistics to Learn Words and Grammatical Categories: How High Frequency Words Assist Language Acquisition. In A. Papafragou, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 81-86). Austin, Tx: Cognitive Science Society. Retrieved from https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2016/papers/0027/index.html.

    Abstract

    Recent studies suggest that high-frequency words may benefit speech segmentation (Bortfeld, Morgan, Golinkoff, & Rathbun, 2005) and grammatical categorisation (Monaghan, Christiansen, & Chater, 2007). To date, these tasks have been examined separately, but not together. We familiarised adults with continuous speech comprising repetitions of target words, and compared learning to a language in which targets appeared alongside high-frequency marker words. Marker words reliably preceded targets, and distinguished them into two otherwise unidentifiable categories. Participants completed a 2AFC segmentation test, and a similarity judgement categorisation test. We tested transfer to a word-picture mapping task, where words from each category were used either consistently or inconsistently to label actions/objects. Participants segmented the speech successfully, but only demonstrated effective categorisation when speech contained high-frequency marker words. The advantage of marker words extended to the early stages of the transfer task. Findings indicate the same high-frequency words may assist speech segmentation and grammatical categorisation.
  • Gannon, E., He, J., Gao, X., & Chaparro, B. (2016). RSVP Reading on a Smart Watch. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2016 Annual Meeting (pp. 1130-1134).

    Abstract

    Reading with Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) has shown promise for optimizing screen space and increasing reading speed without compromising comprehension. Given the wide use of small-screen devices, the present study compared RSVP and traditional reading on three types of reading comprehension, reading speed, and subjective measures on a smart watch. Results confirm previous studies that show faster reading speed with RSVP without detracting from comprehension. Subjective data indicate that Traditional is strongly preferred to RSVP as a primary reading method. Given the optimal use of screen space, increased speed and comparable comprehension, future studies should focus on making RSVP a more comfortable format.
  • Gerwien, J., & Flecken, M. (2016). First things first? Top-down influences on event apprehension. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 2633-2638). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Not much is known about event apprehension, the earliest stage of information processing in elicited language production studies, using pictorial stimuli. A reason for our lack of knowledge on this process is that apprehension happens very rapidly (<350 ms after stimulus onset, Griffin & Bock 2000), making it difficult to measure the process directly. To broaden our understanding of apprehension, we analyzed landing positions and onset latencies of first fixations on visual stimuli (pictures of real-world events) given short stimulus presentation times, presupposing that the first fixation directly results from information processing during apprehension
  • Hendricks, I., Lefever, E., Croijmans, I., Majid, A., & Van den Bosch, A. (2016). Very quaffable and great fun: Applying NLP to wine reviews. In Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Vol 2 (pp. 306-312). Stroudsburg, PA: Association for Computational Linguistics.

    Abstract

    We automatically predict properties of
    wines on the basis of smell and flavor de-
    scriptions from experts’ wine reviews. We
    show wine experts are capable of describ-
    ing their smell and flavor experiences in
    wine reviews in a sufficiently consistent
    manner, such that we can use their descrip-
    tions to predict properties of a wine based
    solely on language. The experimental re-
    sults show promising F-scores when using
    lexical and semantic information to predict
    the color, grape variety, country of origin,
    and price of a wine. This demonstrates,
    contrary to popular opinion, that wine ex-
    perts’ reviews really are informative.
  • Hintz, F., & Scharenborg, O. (2016). Neighbourhood density influences word recognition in native and non-native speech recognition in noise. In H. Van den Heuvel, B. Cranen, & S. Mattys (Eds.), Proceedings of the Speech Processing in Realistic Environments (SPIRE) workshop (pp. 46-47). Groningen.
  • Hintz, F., & Scharenborg, O. (2016). The effect of background noise on the activation of phonological and semantic information during spoken-word recognition. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2016: The 17th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (pp. 2816-2820).

    Abstract

    During spoken-word recognition, listeners experience phonological competition between multiple word candidates, which increases, relative to optimal listening conditions, when speech is masked by noise. Moreover, listeners activate semantic word knowledge during the word’s unfolding. Here, we replicated the effect of background noise on phonological competition and investigated to which extent noise affects the activation of semantic information in phonological competitors. Participants’ eye movements were recorded when they listened to sentences containing a target word and looked at three types of displays. The displays either contained a picture of the target word, or a picture of a phonological onset competitor, or a picture of a word semantically related to the onset competitor, each along with three unrelated distractors. The analyses revealed that, in noise, fixations to the target and to the phonological onset competitor were delayed and smaller in magnitude compared to the clean listening condition, most likely reflecting enhanced phonological competition. No evidence for the activation of semantic information in the phonological competitors was observed in noise and, surprisingly, also not in the clear. We discuss the implications of the lack of an effect and differences between the present and earlier studies.
  • Irivine, E., & Roberts, S. G. (2016). Deictic tools can limit the emergence of referential symbol systems. In S. G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Feher, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/99.html.

    Abstract

    Previous experiments and models show that the pressure to communicate can lead to the emergence of symbols in specific tasks. The experiment presented here suggests that the ability to use deictic gestures can reduce the pressure for symbols to emerge in co-operative tasks. In the 'gesture-only' condition, pairs built a structure together in 'Minecraft', and could only communicate using a small range of gestures. In the 'gesture-plus' condition, pairs could also use sound to develop a symbol system if they wished. All pairs were taught a pointing convention. None of the pairs we tested developed a symbol system, and performance was no different across the two conditions. We therefore suggest that deictic gestures, and non-referential means of organising activity sequences, are often sufficient for communication. This suggests that the emergence of linguistic symbols in early hominids may have been late and patchy with symbols only emerging in contexts where they could significantly improve task success or efficiency. Given the communicative power of pointing however, these contexts may be fewer than usually supposed. An approach for identifying these situations is outlined.
  • Janse, E. (2003). Word perception in natural-fast and artificially time-compressed speech. In M. SolÉ, D. Recasens, & J. Romero (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences (pp. 3001-3004).
  • Janssen, R., Dediu, D., & Moisik, S. R. (2016). Simple agents are able to replicate speech sounds using 3d vocal tract model. In S. G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Feher, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/97.html.

    Abstract

    Many factors have been proposed to explain why groups of people use different speech sounds in their language. These range from cultural, cognitive, environmental (e.g., Everett, et al., 2015) to anatomical (e.g., vocal tract (VT) morphology). How could such anatomical properties have led to the similarities and differences in speech sound distributions between human languages?

    It is known that hard palate profile variation can induce different articulatory strategies in speakers (e.g., Brunner et al., 2009). That is, different hard palate profiles might induce a kind of bias on speech sound production, easing some types of sounds while impeding others. With a population of speakers (with a proportion of individuals) that share certain anatomical properties, even subtle VT biases might become expressed at a population-level (through e.g., bias amplification, Kirby et al., 2007). However, before we look into population-level effects, we should first look at within-individual anatomical factors. For that, we have developed a computer-simulated analogue for a human speaker: an agent. Our agent is designed to replicate speech sounds using a production and cognition module in a computationally tractable manner.

    Previous agent models have often used more abstract (e.g., symbolic) signals. (e.g., Kirby et al., 2007). We have equipped our agent with a three-dimensional model of the VT (the production module, based on Birkholz, 2005) to which we made numerous adjustments. Specifically, we used a 4th-order Bezier curve that is able to capture hard palate variation on the mid-sagittal plane (XXX, 2015). Using an evolutionary algorithm, we were able to fit the model to human hard palate MRI tracings, yielding high accuracy fits and using as little as two parameters. Finally, we show that the samples map well-dispersed to the parameter-space, demonstrating that the model cannot generate unrealistic profiles. We can thus use this procedure to import palate measurements into our agent’s production module to investigate the effects on acoustics. We can also exaggerate/introduce novel biases.

    Our agent is able to control the VT model using the cognition module.

    Previous research has focused on detailed neurocomputation (e.g., Kröger et al., 2014) that highlights e.g., neurobiological principles or speech recognition performance. However, the brain is not the focus of our current study. Furthermore, present-day computing throughput likely does not allow for large-scale deployment of these architectures, as required by the population model we are developing. Thus, the question whether a very simple cognition module is able to replicate sounds in a computationally tractable manner, and even generalize over novel stimuli, is one worthy of attention in its own right.

    Our agent’s cognition module is based on running an evolutionary algorithm on a large population of feed-forward neural networks (NNs). As such, (anatomical) bias strength can be thought of as an attractor basin area within the parameter-space the agent has to explore. The NN we used consists of a triple-layered (fully-connected), directed graph. The input layer (three neurons) receives the formants frequencies of a target-sound. The output layer (12 neurons) projects to the articulators in the production module. A hidden layer (seven neurons) enables the network to deal with nonlinear dependencies. The Euclidean distance (first three formants) between target and replication is used as fitness measure. Results show that sound replication is indeed possible, with Euclidean distance quickly approaching a close-to-zero asymptote.

    Statistical analysis should reveal if the agent can also: a) Generalize: Can it replicate sounds not exposed to during learning? b) Replicate consistently: Do different, isolated agents always converge on the same sounds? c) Deal with consolidation: Can it still learn new sounds after an extended learning phase (‘infancy’) has been terminated? Finally, a comparison with more complex models will be used to demonstrate robustness.
  • Janssen, R., Winter, B., Dediu, D., Moisik, S. R., & Roberts, S. G. (2016). Nonlinear biases in articulation constrain the design space of language. In S. G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Feher, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/86.html.

    Abstract

    In Iterated Learning (IL) experiments, a participant’s learned output serves as the next participant’s learning input (Kirby et al., 2014). IL can be used to model cultural transmission and has indicated that weak biases can be amplified through repeated cultural transmission (Kirby et al., 2007). So, for example, structural language properties can emerge over time because languages come to reflect the cognitive constraints in the individuals that learn and produce the language. Similarly, we propose that languages may also reflect certain anatomical biases. Do sound systems adapt to the affordances of the articulation space induced by the vocal tract?
    The human vocal tract has inherent nonlinearities which might derive from acoustics and aerodynamics (cf. quantal theory, see Stevens, 1989) or biomechanics (cf. Gick & Moisik, 2015). For instance, moving the tongue anteriorly along the hard palate to produce a fricative does not result in large changes in acoustics in most cases, but for a small range there is an abrupt change from a perceived palato-alveolar [ʃ] to alveolar [s] sound (Perkell, 2012). Nonlinearities such as these might bias all human speakers to converge on a very limited set of phonetic categories, and might even be a basis for combinatoriality or phonemic ‘universals’.
    While IL typically uses discrete symbols, Verhoef et al. (2014) have used slide whistles to produce a continuous signal. We conducted an IL experiment with human subjects who communicated using a digital slide whistle for which the degree of nonlinearity is controlled. A single parameter (α) changes the mapping from slide whistle position (the ‘articulator’) to the acoustics. With α=0, the position of the slide whistle maps Bark-linearly to the acoustics. As α approaches 1, the mapping gets more double-sigmoidal, creating three plateaus where large ranges of positions map to similar frequencies. In more abstract terms, α represents the strength of a nonlinear (anatomical) bias in the vocal tract.
    Six chains (138 participants) of dyads were tested, each chain with a different, fixed α. Participants had to communicate four meanings by producing a continuous signal using the slide-whistle in a ‘director-matcher’ game, alternating roles (cf. Garrod et al., 2007).
    Results show that for high αs, subjects quickly converged on the plateaus. This quick convergence is indicative of a strong bias, repelling subjects away from unstable regions already within-subject. Furthermore, high αs lead to the emergence of signals that oscillate between two (out of three) plateaus. Because the sigmoidal spaces are spatially constrained, participants increasingly used the sequential/temporal dimension. As a result of this, the average duration of signals with high α was ~100ms longer than with low α. These oscillations could be an expression of a basis for phonemic combinatoriality.
    We have shown that it is possible to manipulate the magnitude of an articulator-induced non-linear bias in a slide whistle IL framework. The results suggest that anatomical biases might indeed constrain the design space of language. In particular, the signaling systems in our study quickly converged (within-subject) on the use of stable regions. While these conclusions were drawn from experiments using slide whistles with a relatively strong bias, weaker biases could possibly be amplified over time by repeated cultural transmission, and likely lead to similar outcomes.
  • Jeske, J., Kember, H., & Cutler, A. (2016). Native and non-native English speakers' use of prosody to predict sentence endings. In Proceedings of the 16th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology (SST2016).
  • Johnson, E. K. (2003). Speaker intent influences infants' segmentation of potentially ambiguous utterances. In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (PCPhS 2003) (pp. 1995-1998). Adelaide: Causal Productions.
  • Kember, H., Choi, J., & Cutler, A. (2016). Processing advantages for focused words in Korean. In J. Barnes, A. Brugos, S. Shattuck-Hufnagel, & N. Veilleux (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2016 (pp. 702-705).

    Abstract

    In Korean, focus is expressed in accentual phrasing. To ascertain whether words focused in this manner enjoy a processing advantage analogous to that conferred by focus as expressed in, e.g, English and Dutch, we devised sentences with target words in one of four conditions: prosodic focus, syntactic focus, prosodic + syntactic focus, and no focus as a control. 32 native speakers of Korean listened to blocks of 10 sentences, then were presented visually with words and asked whether or not they had heard them. Overall, words with focus were recognised significantly faster and more accurately than unfocused words. In addition, words with syntactic focus or syntactic + prosodic focus were recognised faster than words with prosodic focus alone. As for other languages, Korean focus confers processing advantage on the words carrying it. While prosodic focus does provide an advantage, however, syntactic focus appears to provide the greater beneficial effect for recognition memory
  • Kempen, G., & Harbusch, K. (2003). A corpus study into word order variation in German subordinate clauses: Animacy affects linearization independently of function assignment. In Proceedings of AMLaP 2003 (pp. 153-154). Glasgow: Glasgow University.
  • Klein, W., & Franceschini, R. (Eds.). (2003). Einfache Sprache [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 131.
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1989). Kindersprache [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (73).
  • Kuzla, C. (2003). Prosodically-conditioned variation in the realization of domain-final stops and voicing assimilation of domain-initial fricatives in German. In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2003) (pp. 2829-2832). Adelaide: Causal Productions.
  • De Lange, F. P., Hagoort, P., & Toni, I. (2003). Differential fronto-parietal contributions to visual and motor imagery. NeuroImage, 19(2), e2094-e2095.

    Abstract

    Mental imagery is a cognitive process crucial to human reasoning. Numerous studies have characterized specific
    instances of this cognitive ability, as evoked by visual imagery (VI) or motor imagery (MI) tasks. However, it
    remains unclear which neural resources are shared between VI and MI, and which are exclusively related to MI.
    To address this issue, we have used fMRI to measure human brain activity during performance of VI and MI
    tasks. Crucially, we have modulated the imagery process by manipulating the degree of mental rotation necessary
    to solve the tasks. We focused our analysis on changes in neural signal as a function of the degree of mental
    rotation in each task.
  • De Lange, F. P., Hagoort, P., & Toni, I. (2003). Visual and motor imagery: How distinct are they? [poster abstract]. Cognitive Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting Program 2003 [Supplement of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience ], B 122, p. 65.
  • Levelt, C. C., Fikkert, P., & Schiller, N. O. (2003). Metrical priming in speech production. In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2003) (pp. 2481-2485). Adelaide: Causal Productions.

    Abstract

    In this paper we report on four experiments in which we attempted to prime the stress position of Dutch bisyllabic target nouns. These nouns, picture names, had stress on either the first or the second syllable. Auditory prime words had either the same stress as the target or a different stress (e.g., WORtel – MOtor vs. koSTUUM – MOtor; capital letters indicate stressed syllables in prime – target pairs). Furthermore, half of the prime words were semantically related, the other half were unrelated. In none of the experiments a stress priming effect was found. This could mean that stress is not stored in the lexicon. An additional finding was that targets with initial stress had a faster response than targets with a final stress. We hypothesize that bisyllabic words with final stress take longer to be encoded because this stress pattern is irregular with respect to the lexical distribution of bisyllabic stress patterns, even though it can be regular in terms of the metrical stress rules of Dutch.
  • Little, H., Eryılmaz, K., & De Boer, B. (2016). Differing signal-meaning dimensionalities facilitates the emergence of structure. In S. G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Feher, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/25.html.

    Abstract

    Structure of language is not only caused by cognitive processes, but also by physical aspects of the signalling modality. We test the assumptions surrounding the role which the physical aspects of the signal space will have on the emergence of structure in speech. Here, we use a signal creation task to test whether a signal space and a meaning space having similar dimensionalities will generate an iconic system with signal-meaning mapping and whether, when the topologies differ, the emergence of non-iconic structure is facilitated. In our experiments, signals are created using infrared sensors which use hand position to create audio signals. We find that people take advantage of signal-meaning mappings where possible. Further, we use trajectory probabilities and measures of variance to show that when there is a dimensionality mismatch, more structural strategies are used.
  • Little, H., Eryılmaz, K., & De Boer, B. (2016). Emergence of signal structure: Effects of duration constraints. In S. G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Feher, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/25.html.

    Abstract

    Recent work has investigated the emergence of structure in speech using experiments which use artificial continuous signals. Some experiments have had no limit on the duration which signals can have (e.g. Verhoef et al., 2014), and others have had time limitations (e.g. Verhoef et al., 2015). However, the effect of time constraints on the structure in signals has never been experimentally investigated.
  • Little, H., & de Boer, B. (2016). Did the pressure for discrimination trigger the emergence of combinatorial structure? In Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics (pp. 109-110).
  • Little, H. (2016). Nahran Bhannamz: Language Evolution in an Online Zombie Apocalypse Game. In Createvolang: creativity and innovation in language evolution.
  • Lockwood, G., Hagoort, P., & Dingemanse, M. (2016). Synthesized Size-Sound Sound Symbolism. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 1823-1828). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Studies of sound symbolism have shown that people can associate sound and meaning in consistent ways when presented with maximally contrastive stimulus pairs of nonwords such as bouba/kiki (rounded/sharp) or mil/mal (small/big). Recent work has shown the effect extends to antonymic words from natural languages and has proposed a role for shared cross-modal correspondences in biasing form-to-meaning associations. An important open question is how the associations work, and particularly what the role is of sound-symbolic matches versus mismatches. We report on a learning task designed to distinguish between three existing theories by using a spectrum of sound-symbolically matching, mismatching, and neutral (neither matching nor mismatching) stimuli. Synthesized stimuli allow us to control for prosody, and the inclusion of a neutral condition allows a direct test of competing accounts. We find evidence for a sound-symbolic match boost, but not for a mismatch difficulty compared to the neutral condition.
  • Macuch Silva, V., & Roberts, S. G. (2016). Language adapts to signal disruption in interaction. In S. G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Feher, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/20.html.

    Abstract

    Linguistic traits are often seen as reflecting cognitive biases and constraints (e.g. Christiansen & Chater, 2008). However, language must also adapt to properties of the channel through which communication between individuals occurs. Perhaps the most basic aspect of any communication channel is noise. Communicative signals can be blocked, degraded or distorted by other sources in the environment. This poses a fundamental problem for communication. On average, channel disruption accompanies problems in conversation every 3 minutes (27% of cases of other-initiated repair, Dingemanse et al., 2015). Linguistic signals must adapt to this harsh environment. While modern language structures are robust to noise (e.g. Piantadosi et al., 2011), we investigate how noise might have shaped the early emergence of structure in language. The obvious adaptation to noise is redundancy. Signals which are maximally different from competitors are harder to render ambiguous by noise. Redundancy can be increased by adding differentiating segments to each signal (increasing the diversity of segments). However, this makes each signal more complex and harder to learn. Under this strategy, holistic languages may emerge. Another strategy is reduplication - repeating parts of the signal so that noise is less likely to disrupt all of the crucial information. This strategy does not increase the difficulty of learning the language - there is only one extra rule which applies to all signals. Therefore, under pressures for learnability, expressivity and redundancy, reduplicated signals are expected to emerge. However, reduplication is not a pervasive feature of words (though it does occur in limited domains like plurals or iconic meanings). We suggest that this is due to the pressure for redundancy being lifted by conversational infrastructure for repair. Receivers can request that senders repeat signals only after a problem occurs. That is, robustness is achieved by repeating the signal across conversational turns (when needed) instead of within single utterances. As a proof of concept, we ran two iterated learning chains with pairs of individuals in generations learning and using an artificial language (e.g. Kirby et al., 2015). The meaning space was a structured collection of unfamiliar images (3 shapes x 2 textures x 2 outline types). The initial language for each chain was the same written, unstructured, fully expressive language. Signals produced in each generation formed the training language for the next generation. Within each generation, pairs played an interactive communication game. The director was given a target meaning to describe, and typed a word for the matcher, who guessed the target meaning from a set. With a 50% probability, a contiguous section of 3-5 characters in the typed word was replaced by ‘noise’ characters (#). In one chain, the matcher could initiate repair by requesting that the director type and send another signal. Parallel generations across chains were matched for the number of signals sent (if repair was initiated for a meaning, then it was presented twice in the parallel generation where repair was not possible) and noise (a signal for a given meaning which was affected by noise in one generation was affected by the same amount of noise in the parallel generation). For the final set of signals produced in each generation we measured the signal redundancy (the zip compressibility of the signals), the character diversity (entropy of the characters of the signals) and systematic structure (z-score of the correlation between signal edit distance and meaning hamming distance). In the condition without repair, redundancy increased with each generation (r=0.97, p=0.01), and the character diversity decreased (r=-0.99,p=0.001) which is consistent with reduplication, as shown below (part of the initial and the final language): Linear regressions revealed that generations with repair had higher overall systematic structure (main effect of condition, t = 2.5, p < 0.05), increasing character diversity (interaction between condition and generation, t = 3.9, p = 0.01) and redundancy increased at a slower rate (interaction between condition and generation, t = -2.5, p < 0.05). That is, the ability to repair counteracts the pressure from noise, and facilitates the emergence of compositional structure. Therefore, just as systems to repair damage to DNA replication are vital for the evolution of biological species (O’Brien, 2006), conversational repair may regulate replication of linguistic forms in the cultural evolution of language. Future studies should further investigate how evolving linguistic structure is shaped by interaction pressures, drawing on experimental methods and naturalistic studies of emerging languages, both spoken (e.g Botha, 2006; Roberge, 2008) and signed (e.g Senghas, Kita, & Ozyurek, 2004; Sandler et al., 2005).
  • McQueen, J. M., & Cho, T. (2003). The use of domain-initial strengthening in segmentation of continuous English speech. In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2003) (pp. 2993-2996). Adelaide: Causal Productions.
  • Meeuwissen, M., Roelofs, A., & Levelt, W. J. M. (2003). Naming analog clocks conceptually facilitates naming digital clocks. In Proceedings of XIII Conference of the European Society of Cognitive Psychology (ESCOP 2003) (pp. 271-271).
  • Meyer, A. S., & Huettig, F. (Eds.). (2016). Speaking and Listening: Relationships Between Language Production and Comprehension [Special Issue]. Journal of Memory and Language, 89.
  • Micklos, A. (2016). Interaction for facilitating conventionalization: Negotiating the silent gesture communication of noun-verb pairs. In S. G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Feher, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG11). Retrieved from http://evolang.org/neworleans/papers/143.html.

    Abstract

    This study demonstrates how interaction – specifically negotiation and repair – facilitates the emergence, evolution, and conventionalization of a silent gesture communication system. In a modified iterated learning paradigm, partners communicated noun-verb meanings using only silent gesture. The need to disambiguate similar noun-verb pairs drove these "new" language users to develop a morphology that allowed for quicker processing, easier transmission, and improved accuracy. The specific morphological system that emerged came about through a process of negotiation within the dyad, namely by means of repair. By applying a discourse analytic approach to the use of repair in an experimental methodology for language evolution, we are able to determine not only if interaction facilitates the emergence and learnability of a new communication system, but also how interaction affects such a system
  • Moscoso del Prado Martín, F., & Baayen, R. H. (2003). Using the structure found in time: Building real-scale orthographic and phonetic representations by accumulation of expectations. In H. Bowman, & C. Labiouse (Eds.), Connectionist Models of Cognition, Perception and Emotion: Proceedings of the Eighth Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop (pp. 263-272). Singapore: World Scientific.
  • Mulder, K., Ten Bosch, L., & Boves, L. (2016). Comparing different methods for analyzing ERP signals. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2016: The 17th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (pp. 1373-1377). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2016-967.
  • Oostdijk, N., & Broeder, D. (2003). The Spoken Dutch Corpus and its exploitation environment. In A. Abeille, S. Hansen-Schirra, & H. Uszkoreit (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on linguistically interpreted corpora (LINC-03) (pp. 93-101).
  • Ortega, G., & Ozyurek, A. (2016). Generalisable patterns of gesture distinguish semantic categories in communication without language. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 1182-1187). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    There is a long-standing assumption that gestural forms are geared by a set of modes of representation (acting, representing, drawing, moulding) with each technique expressing speakers’ focus of attention on specific aspects of referents (Müller, 2013). Beyond different taxonomies describing the modes of representation, it remains unclear what factors motivate certain depicting techniques over others. Results from a pantomime generation task show that pantomimes are not entirely idiosyncratic but rather follow generalisable patterns constrained by their semantic category. We show that a) specific modes of representations are preferred for certain objects (acting for manipulable objects and drawing for non-manipulable objects); and b) that use and ordering of deictics and modes of representation operate in tandem to distinguish between semantically related concepts (e.g., “to drink” vs “mug”). This study provides yet more evidence that our ability to communicate through silent gesture reveals systematic ways to describe events and objects around us
  • Ouni, S., Cohen, M. M., Young, K., & Jesse, A. (2003). Internationalization of a talking head. In M. Sole, D. Recasens, & J. Romero (Eds.), Proceedings of 15th International Congress of Phonetics Sciences (pp. 2569-2572). Barcelona: Casual Productions.

    Abstract

    In this paper we describe a general scheme for internationalization of our talking head, Baldi, to speak other languages. We describe the modular structure of the auditory/visual synthesis software. As an example, we have created a synthetic Arabic talker, which is evaluated using a noisy word recognition task comparing this talker with a natural one.
  • Peeters, D. (2016). Processing consequences of onomatopoeic iconicity in spoken language comprehension. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 1632-1647). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Iconicity is a fundamental feature of human language. However its processing consequences at the behavioral and neural level in spoken word comprehension are not well understood. The current paper presents the behavioral and electrophysiological outcome of an auditory lexical decision task in which native speakers of Dutch listened to onomatopoeic words and matched control words while their electroencephalogram was recorded. Behaviorally, onomatopoeic words were processed as quickly and accurately as words with an arbitrary mapping between form and meaning. Event-related potentials time-locked to word onset revealed a significant decrease in negative amplitude in the N2 and N400 components and a late positivity for onomatopoeic words in comparison to the control words. These findings advance our understanding of the temporal dynamics of iconic form-meaning mapping in spoken word comprehension and suggest interplay between the neural representations of real-world sounds and spoken words.
  • Raviv, L., & Arnon, I. (2016). Language evolution in the lab: The case of child learners. In A. Papagrafou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1643-1648). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Recent work suggests that cultural transmission can lead to the emergence of linguistic structure as speakers’ weak individual biases become amplified through iterated learning. However, to date, no published study has demonstrated a similar emergence of linguistic structure in children. This gap is problematic given that languages are mainly learned by children and that adults may bring existing linguistic biases to the task. Here, we conduct a large-scale study of iterated language learning in both children and adults, using a novel, child-friendly paradigm. The results show that while children make more mistakes overall, their languages become more learnable and show learnability biases similar to those of adults. Child languages did not show a significant increase in linguistic structure over time, but consistent mappings between meanings and signals did emerge on many occasions, as found with adults. This provides the first demonstration that cultural transmission affects the languages children and adults produce similarly.
  • Raviv, L., & Arnon, I. (2016). The developmental trajectory of children's statistical learning abilities. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1469-1474). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Infants, children and adults are capable of implicitly extracting regularities from their environment through statistical learning (SL). SL is present from early infancy and found across tasks and modalities, raising questions about the domain generality of SL. However, little is known about its’ developmental trajectory: Is SL fully developed capacity in infancy, or does it improve with age, like other cognitive skills? While SL is well established in infants and adults, only few studies have looked at SL across development with conflicting results: some find age-related improvements while others do not. Importantly, despite its postulated role in language learning, no study has examined the developmental trajectory of auditory SL throughout childhood. Here, we conduct a large-scale study of children's auditory SL across a wide age-range (5-12y, N=115). Results show that auditory SL does not change much across development. We discuss implications for modality-based differences in SL and for its role in language acquisition.
  • Rodd, J., & Chen, A. (2016). Pitch accents show a perceptual magnet effect: Evidence of internal structure in intonation categories. In J. Barnes, A. Brugos, S. Shattuck-Hufnagel, & N. Veilleux (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2016 (pp. 697-701).

    Abstract

    The question of whether intonation events have a categorical mental representation has long been a puzzle in prosodic research, and one that experiments testing production and perception across category boundaries have failed to definitively resolve. This paper takes the alternative approach of looking for evidence of structure within a postulated category by testing for a Perceptual Magnet Effect (PME). PME has been found in boundary tones but has not previously been conclusively found in pitch accents. In this investigation, perceived goodness and discriminability of re-synthesised Dutch nuclear rise contours (L*H H%) were evaluated by naive native speakers of Dutch. The variation between these stimuli was quantified using a polynomial-parametric modelling approach (i.e. the SOCoPaSul model) in place of the traditional approach whereby excursion size, peak alignment and pitch register are used independently of each other to quantify variation between pitch accents. Using this approach to calculate the acoustic-perceptual distance between different stimuli, PME was detected: (1) rated goodness, decreased as acoustic-perceptual distance relative to the prototype increased, and (2) equally spaced items far from the prototype were less frequently generalised than equally spaced items in the neighbourhood of the prototype. These results support the concept of categorically distinct intonation events.

    Additional information

    Link to Speech Prosody Website
  • Romberg, A., Zhang, Y., Newman, B., Triesch, J., & Yu, C. (2016). Global and local statistical regularities control visual attention to object sequences. In Proceedings of the 2016 Joint IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EpiRob) (pp. 262-267).

    Abstract

    Many previous studies have shown that both infants and adults are skilled statistical learners. Because statistical learning is affected by attention, learners' ability to manage their attention can play a large role in what they learn. However, it is still unclear how learners allocate their attention in order to gain information in a visual environment containing multiple objects, especially how prior visual experience (i.e., familiarly of objects) influences where people look. To answer these questions, we collected eye movement data from adults exploring multiple novel objects while manipulating object familiarity with global (frequencies) and local (repetitions) regularities. We found that participants are sensitive to both global and local statistics embedded in their visual environment and they dynamically shift their attention to prioritize some objects over others as they gain knowledge of the objects and their distributions within the task.
  • Scharenborg, O., McQueen, J. M., Ten Bosch, L., & Norris, D. (2003). Modelling human speech recognition using automatic speech recognition paradigms in SpeM. In Proceedings of Eurospeech 2003 (pp. 2097-2100). Adelaide: Causal Productions.

    Abstract

    We have recently developed a new model of human speech recognition, based on automatic speech recognition techniques [1]. The present paper has two goals. First, we show that the new model performs well in the recognition of lexically ambiguous input. These demonstrations suggest that the model is able to operate in the same optimal way as human listeners. Second, we discuss how to relate the behaviour of a recogniser, designed to discover the optimum path through a word lattice, to data from human listening experiments. We argue that this requires a metric that combines both path-based and word-based measures of recognition performance. The combined metric varies continuously as the input speech signal unfolds over time.
  • Scharenborg, O., ten Bosch, L., & Boves, L. (2003). Recognising 'real-life' speech with SpeM: A speech-based computational model of human speech recognition. In Eurospeech 2003 (pp. 2285-2288).

    Abstract

    In this paper, we present a novel computational model of human speech recognition – called SpeM – based on the theory underlying Shortlist. We will show that SpeM, in combination with an automatic phone recogniser (APR), is able to simulate the human speech recognition process from the acoustic signal to the ultimate recognition of words. This joint model takes an acoustic speech file as input and calculates the activation flows of candidate words on the basis of the degree of fit of the candidate words with the input. Experiments showed that SpeM outperforms Shortlist on the recognition of ‘real-life’ input. Furthermore, SpeM performs only slightly worse than an off-the-shelf full-blown automatic speech recogniser in which all words are equally probable, while it provides a transparent computationally elegant paradigm for modelling word activations in human word recognition.
  • Schiller, N. O. (2003). Metrical stress in speech production: A time course study. In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2003) (pp. 451-454). Adelaide: Causal Productions.

    Abstract

    This study investigated the encoding of metrical information during speech production in Dutch. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to judge whether bisyllabic picture names had initial or final stress. Results showed significantly faster decision times for initially stressed targets (e.g., LEpel 'spoon') than for targets with final stress (e.g., liBEL 'dragon fly'; capital letters indicate stressed syllables) and revealed that the monitoring latencies are not a function of the picture naming or object recognition latencies to the same pictures. Experiments 2 and 3 replicated the outcome of the first experiment with bi- and trisyllabic picture names. These results demonstrate that metrical information of words is encoded rightward incrementally during phonological encoding in speech production. The results of these experiments are in line with Levelt's model of phonological encoding.
  • Seidl, A., & Johnson, E. K. (2003). Position and vowel quality effects in infant's segmentation of vowel-initial words. In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2003) (pp. 2233-2236). Adelaide: Causal Productions.
  • Shi, R., Werker, J., & Cutler, A. (2003). Function words in early speech perception. In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (pp. 3009-3012).

    Abstract

    Three experiments examined whether infants recognise functors in phrases, and whether their representations of functors are phonetically well specified. Eight- and 13- month-old English infants heard monosyllabic lexical words preceded by real functors (e.g., the, his) versus nonsense functors (e.g., kuh); the latter were minimally modified segmentally (but not prosodically) from real functors. Lexical words were constant across conditions; thus recognition of functors would appear as longer listening time to sequences with real functors. Eightmonth- olds' listening times to sequences with real versus nonsense functors did not significantly differ, suggesting that they did not recognise real functors, or functor representations lacked phonetic specification. However, 13-month-olds listened significantly longer to sequences with real functors. Thus, somewhere between 8 and 13 months of age infants learn familiar functors and represent them with segmental detail. We propose that accumulated frequency of functors in input in general passes a critical threshold during this time.
  • Sloetjes, H., & Seibert, O. (2016). Measuring by marking; the multimedia annotation tool ELAN. In A. Spink, G. Riedel, L. Zhou, L. Teekens, R. Albatal, & C. Gurrin (Eds.), Measuring Behavior 2016, 10th International Conference on Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research (pp. 492-495).

    Abstract

    ELAN is a multimedia annotation tool developed by the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. It is applied in a variety of research areas. This paper presents a general overview of the tool and new developments as the calculation of inter-rater reliability, a commentary framework, semi-automatic segmentation and labeling and export to Theme.
  • Speed, L., Chen, J., Huettig, F., & Majid, A. (2016). Do classifier categories affect or reflect object concepts? In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 2267-2272). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    We conceptualize objects based on sensory and motor information gleaned from real-world experience. But to what extent is such conceptual information structured according to higher level linguistic features too? Here we investigate whether classifiers, a grammatical category, shape the conceptual representations of objects. In three experiments native Mandarin speakers (speakers of a classifier language) and native Dutch speakers (speakers of a language without classifiers) judged the similarity of a target object (presented as a word or picture) with four objects (presented as words or pictures). One object shared a classifier with the target, the other objects did not, serving as distractors. Across all experiments, participants judged the target object as more similar to the object with the shared classifier than distractor objects. This effect was seen in both Dutch and Mandarin speakers, and there was no difference between the two languages. Thus, even speakers of a non-classifier language are sensitive to object similarities underlying classifier systems, and using a classifier system does not exaggerate these similarities. This suggests that classifier systems simply reflect, rather than affect, conceptual structure.
  • Speed, L., & Majid, A. (2016). Grammatical gender affects odor cognition. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 1451-1456). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Language interacts with olfaction in exceptional ways. Olfaction is believed to be weakly linked with language, as demonstrated by our poor odor naming ability, yet olfaction seems to be particularly susceptible to linguistic descriptions. We tested the boundaries of the influence of language on olfaction by focusing on a non-lexical aspect of language (grammatical gender). We manipulated the grammatical gender of fragrance descriptions to test whether the congruence with fragrance gender would affect the way fragrances were perceived and remembered. Native French and German speakers read descriptions of fragrances containing ingredients with feminine or masculine grammatical gender, and then smelled masculine or feminine fragrances and rated them on a number of dimensions (e.g., pleasantness). Participants then completed an odor recognition test. Fragrances were remembered better when presented with descriptions whose grammatical gender matched the gender of the fragrance. Overall, results suggest grammatical manipulations of odor descriptions can affect odor cognition
  • Sumer, B., Perniss, P. M., & Ozyurek, A. (2016). Viewpoint preferences in signing children's spatial descriptions. In J. Scott, & D. Waughtal (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD 40) (pp. 360-374). Boston, MA: Cascadilla Press.
  • Ten Bosch, L., Boves, L., & Ernestus, M. (2016). Combining data-oriented and process-oriented approaches to modeling reaction time data. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2016: The 17th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (pp. 2801-2805). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2016-1072.

    Abstract

    This paper combines two different approaches to modeling reaction time data from lexical decision experiments, viz. a dataoriented statistical analysis by means of a linear mixed effects model, and a process-oriented computational model of human speech comprehension. The linear mixed effect model is implemented by lmer in R. As computational model we apply DIANA, an end-to-end computational model which aims at modeling the cognitive processes underlying speech comprehension. DIANA takes as input the speech signal, and provides as output the orthographic transcription of the stimulus, a word/non-word judgment and the associated reaction time. Previous studies have shown that DIANA shows good results for large-scale lexical decision experiments in Dutch and North-American English. We investigate whether predictors that appear significant in an lmer analysis and processes implemented in DIANA can be related and inform both approaches. Predictors such as ‘previous reaction time’ can be related to a process description; other predictors, such as ‘lexical neighborhood’ are hard-coded in lmer and emergent in DIANA. The analysis focuses on the interaction between subject variables and task variables in lmer, and the ways in which these interactions can be implemented in DIANA.
  • Ten Bosch, L., Giezenaar, G., Boves, L., & Ernestus, M. (2016). Modeling language-learners' errors in understanding casual speech. In G. Adda, V. Barbu Mititelu, J. Mariani, D. Tufiş, & I. Vasilescu (Eds.), Errors by humans and machines in multimedia, multimodal, multilingual data processing. Proceedings of Errare 2015 (pp. 107-121). Bucharest: Editura Academiei Române.

    Abstract

    In spontaneous conversations, words are often produced in reduced form compared to formal careful speech. In English, for instance, ’probably’ may be pronounced as ’poly’ and ’police’ as ’plice’. Reduced forms are very common, and native listeners usually do not have any problems with interpreting these reduced forms in context. Non-native listeners, however, have great difficulties in comprehending reduced forms. In order to investigate the problems in comprehension that non-native listeners experience, a dictation experiment was conducted in which sentences were presented auditorily to non-natives either in full (unreduced) or reduced form. The types of errors made by the L2 listeners reveal aspects of the cognitive processes underlying this dictation task. In addition, we compare the errors made by these human participants with the type of word errors made by DIANA, a recently developed computational model of word comprehension.
  • Trilsbeek, P., & Windhouwer, M. (2016). FLAT: A CLARIN-compatible repository solution based on Fedora Commons. In Proceedings of the CLARIN Annual Conference 2016. Clarin ERIC.

    Abstract

    This paper describes the development of a CLARIN-compatible repository solution that fulfils
    both the long-term preservation requirements as well as the current day discoverability and usability
    needs of an online data repository of language resources. The widely used Fedora Commons
    open source repository framework, combined with the Islandora discovery layer, forms
    the basis of the solution. On top of this existing solution, additional modules and tools are developed
    to make it suitable for the types of data and metadata that are used by the participating
    partners.

    Additional information

    link to pdf on CLARIN site
  • Wagner, A., & Braun, A. (2003). Is voice quality language-dependent? Acoustic analyses based on speakers of three different languages. In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2003) (pp. 651-654). Adelaide: Causal Productions.
  • Weber, A., & Smits, R. (2003). Consonant and vowel confusion patterns by American English listeners. In Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2003) (pp. 1437-1440). Adelaide: Causal Productions.

    Abstract

    This study investigated the perception of American English phonemes by native listeners. Listeners identified either the consonant or the vowel in all possible English CV and VC syllables. The syllables were embedded in multispeaker babble at three signalto-noise ratios (0 dB, 8 dB, and 16 dB). Effects of syllable position, signal-to-noise ratio, and articulatory features on vowel and consonant identification are discussed. The results constitute the largest source of data that is currently available on phoneme confusion patterns of American English phonemes by native listeners.
  • Weber, A., & Smits, R. (2003). Consonant and vowel confusion patterns by American English listeners. In M. J. Solé, D. Recasens, & J. Romero (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences.

    Abstract

    This study investigated the perception of American English phonemes by native listeners. Listeners identified either the consonant or the vowel in all possible English CV and VC syllables. The syllables were embedded in multispeaker babble at three signal-to-noise ratios (0 dB, 8 dB, and 16 dB). Effects of syllable position, signal-to-noise ratio, and articulatory features on vowel and consonant identification are discussed. The results constitute the largest source of data that is currently available on phoneme confusion patterns of American English phonemes by native listeners.
  • Wilson, J. J., & Little, H. (2016). A Neo-Peircean framework for experimental semiotics. In Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics (pp. 171-173).
  • Windhouwer, M., Kemps-Snijders, M., Trilsbeek, P., Moreira, A., Van der Veen, B., Silva, G., & Von Rhein, D. (2016). FLAT: Constructing a CLARIN Compatible Home for Language Resources. In K. Choukri, T. Declerck, S. Goggi, M. Grobelnik, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, H. Mazo, & A. Moreno (Eds.), Proccedings of LREC 2016: 10th International Conference on Language Resources and Evalution (pp. 2478-2483). Paris: European Language Resources Association (ELRA).

    Abstract

    Language resources are valuable assets, both for institutions and researchers. To safeguard these resources requirements for repository systems and data management have been specified by various branch organizations, e.g., CLARIN and the Data Seal of Approval. This paper describes these and some additional ones posed by the authors’ home institutions. And it shows how they are met by FLAT, to provide a new home for language resources. The basis of FLAT is formed by the Fedora Commons repository system. This repository system can meet many of the requirements out-of-the box, but still additional configuration and some development work is needed to meet the remaining ones, e.g., to add support for Handles and Component Metadata. This paper describes design decisions taken in the construction of FLAT’s system architecture via a mix-and-match strategy, with a preference for the reuse of existing solutions. FLAT is developed and used by the a Institute and The Language Archive, but is also freely available for anyone in need of a CLARIN-compliant repository for their language resources.
  • Wnuk, E. (2016). Specificity at the basic level in event taxonomies: The case of Maniq verbs of ingestion. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016) (pp. 2687-2692). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Previous research on basic-level object categories shows there is cross-cultural variation in basic-level concepts, arguing against the idea that the basic level reflects an objective reality. In this paper, I extend the investigation to the domain of events. More specifically, I present a case study of verbs of ingestion in Maniq illustrating a highly specific categorization of ingestion events at the basic level. A detailed analysis of these verbs reveals they tap into culturally salient notions. Yet, cultural salience alone cannot explain specificity of basic-level verbs, since ingestion is a domain of universal human experience. Further analysis reveals, however, that another key factor is the language itself. Maniq’s preference for encoding specific meaning in basic-level verbs is not a peculiarity of one domain, but a recurrent characteristic of its verb lexicon, pointing to the significant role of the language system in the structure of event concepts
  • Zhang, Y., & Yu, C. (2016). Examining referential uncertainty in naturalistic contexts from the child’s view: Evidence from an eye-tracking study with infants. In A. Papafragou, D. Grodner, D. Mirman, & J. Trueswell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2016). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2027-2032). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Young Infants are prolific word learners even though they are facing the challenge of referential uncertainty (Quine, 1960). Many laboratory studies have shown that infants are skilled at inferring correct referents of words from ambiguous contexts (Swingley, 2009). However, little is known regarding how they visually attend to and select the target object among many other objects in view when parents name it during everyday interactions. By investigating the looking pattern of 12-month-old infants using naturalistic first-person images with varying degrees of referential ambiguity, we found that infants’ attention is selective and they only select a small subset of objects to attend to at each learning instance despite the complexity of the data in the real world. This work allows us to better understand how perceptual properties of objects in infants’ view influence their visual attention, which is also related to how they select candidate objects to build word-object mappings.

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