Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 107
  • Alhama, R. G., Scha, R., & Zuidema, W. (2014). Rule learning in humans and animals. In E. A. Cartmill, S. Roberts, H. Lyn, & H. Cornish (Eds.), The evolution of language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (EVOLANG 10) (pp. 371-372). Singapore: World Scientific.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2014). Indefinite HOMO in the Gospels of the Vulgata. In P. Molinell, P. Cuzzoli, & C. Fedriani (Eds.), Latin vulgaire – latin tardif X (pp. 415-435). Bergamo: Bergamo University Press.
  • Bentz, C., Dediu, D., Verkerk, A., & Jäger, G. (2018). Language family trees reflect geography and demography beyond neutral drift. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG XII) (pp. 38-40). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.006.
  • Bergmann, C., Ten Bosch, L., & Boves, L. (2014). A computational model of the headturn preference procedure: Design, challenges, and insights. In J. Mayor, & P. Gomez (Eds.), Computational Models of Cognitive Processes (pp. 125-136). World Scientific. doi:10.1142/9789814458849_0010.

    Abstract

    The Headturn Preference Procedure (HPP) is a frequently used method (e.g., Jusczyk & Aslin; and subsequent studies) to investigate linguistic abilities in infants. In this paradigm infants are usually first familiarised with words and then tested for a listening preference for passages containing those words in comparison to unrelated passages. Listening preference is defined as the time an infant spends attending to those passages with his or her head turned towards a flashing light and the speech stimuli. The knowledge and abilities inferred from the results of HPP studies have been used to reason about and formally model early linguistic skills and language acquisition. However, the actual cause of infants' behaviour in HPP experiments has been subject to numerous assumptions as there are no means to directly tap into cognitive processes. To make these assumptions explicit, and more crucially, to understand how infants' behaviour emerges if only general learning mechanisms are assumed, we introduce a computational model of the HPP. Simulations with the computational HPP model show that the difference in infant behaviour between familiarised and unfamiliar words in passages can be explained by a general learning mechanism and that many assumptions underlying the HPP are not necessarily warranted. We discuss the implications for conventional interpretations of the outcomes of HPP experiments.
  • Blasi, D. E., Christiansen, M. H., Wichmann, S., Hammarström, H., & Stadler, P. F. (2014). Sound symbolism and the origins of language. In E. A. Cartmill, S. Roberts, H. Lyn, & H. Cornish (Eds.), The evolution of language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (EVOLANG 10) (pp. 391-392). Singapore: World Scientific.
  • Bocanegra, B. R., Poletiek, F. H., & Zwaan, R. A. (2014). Asymmetrical feature binding across language and perception. In Proceedings of the 7th annual Conference on Embodied and Situated Language Processing (ESLP 2014).
  • Bowerman, M., de León, L., & Choi, S. (1995). Verbs, particles, and spatial semantics: Learning to talk about spatial actions in typologically different languages. In E. V. Clark (Ed.), Proceedings of the Twenty-seventh Annual Child Language Research Forum (pp. 101-110). Stanford, CA: Center for the Study of Language and Information.
  • Brand, J., Monaghan, P., & Walker, P. (2018). Changing Signs: Testing How Sound-Symbolism Supports Early Word Learning. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T. T. Rogers (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2018) (pp. 1398-1403). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Learning a language involves learning how to map specific forms onto their associated meanings. Such mappings can utilise arbitrariness and non-arbitrariness, yet, our understanding of how these two systems operate at different stages of vocabulary development is still not fully understood. The Sound-Symbolism Bootstrapping Hypothesis (SSBH) proposes that sound-symbolism is essential for word learning to commence, but empirical evidence of exactly how sound-symbolism influences language learning is still sparse. It may be the case that sound-symbolism supports acquisition of categories of meaning, or that it enables acquisition of individualized word meanings. In two Experiments where participants learned form-meaning mappings from either sound-symbolic or arbitrary languages, we demonstrate the changing roles of sound-symbolism and arbitrariness for different vocabulary sizes, showing that sound-symbolism provides an advantage for learning of broad categories, which may then transfer to support learning individual words, whereas an arbitrary language impedes acquisition of categories of sound to meaning.
  • Broeder, D., Schuurman, I., & Windhouwer, M. (2014). Experiences with the ISOcat Data Category Registry. In N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, T. Declerck, H. Loftsson, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, A. Moreno, J. Odijk, & S. Piperidis (Eds.), Proceedings of LREC 2014: 9th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (pp. 4565-4568).
  • Byun, K.-S., De Vos, C., Roberts, S. G., & Levinson, S. C. (2018). Interactive sequences modulate the selection of expressive forms in cross-signing. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG XII) (pp. 67-69). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.012.
  • Chen, A. (2014). Production-comprehension (A)Symmetry: Individual differences in the acquisition of prosodic focus-marking. In N. Campbell, D. Gibbon, & D. Hirst (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2014 (pp. 423-427).

    Abstract

    Previous work based on different groups of children has shown that four- to five-year-old children are similar to adults in both producing and comprehending the focus-toaccentuation mapping in Dutch, contra the alleged productionprecedes- comprehension asymmetry in earlier studies. In the current study, we addressed the question of whether there are individual differences in the production-comprehension (a)symmetricity. To this end, we examined the use of prosody in focus marking in production and the processing of focusrelated prosody in online language comprehension in the same group of 4- to 5-year-olds. We have found that the relationship between comprehension and production can be rather diverse at an individual level. This result suggests some degree of independence in learning to use prosody to mark focus in production and learning to process focus-related prosodic information in online language comprehension, and implies influences of other linguistic and non-linguistic factors on the production-comprehension (a)symmetricity
  • Chen, A., Chen, A., Kager, R., & Wong, P. (2014). Rises and falls in Dutch and Mandarin Chinese. In C. Gussenhoven, Y. Chen, & D. Dediu (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Language (pp. 83-86).

    Abstract

    Despite of the different functions of pitch in tone and nontone languages, rises and falls are common pitch patterns across different languages. In the current study, we ask what is the language specific phonetic realization of rises and falls. Chinese and Dutch speakers participated in a production experiment. We used contexts composed for conveying specific communicative purposes to elicit rises and falls. We measured both tonal alignment and tonal scaling for both patterns. For the alignment measurements, we found language specific patterns for the rises, but for falls. For rises, both peak and valley were aligned later among Chinese speakers compared to Dutch speakers. For all the scaling measurements (maximum pitch, minimum pitch, and pitch range), no language specific patterns were found for either the rises or the falls
  • Clark, N., & Perlman, M. (2014). Breath, vocal, and supralaryngeal flexibility in a human-reared gorilla. In B. De Boer, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of Evolang X, Workshop on Signals, Speech, and Signs (pp. 11-15).

    Abstract

    “Gesture-first” theories dismiss ancestral great apes’ vocalization as a substrate for language evolution based on the claim that extant apes exhibit minimal learning and volitional control of vocalization. Contrary to this claim, we present data of novel learned and voluntarily controlled vocal behaviors produced by a human-fostered gorilla (G. gorilla gorilla). These behaviors demonstrate varying degrees of flexibility in the vocal apparatus (including diaphragm, lungs, larynx, and supralaryngeal articulators), and are predominantly performed in coordination with manual behaviors and gestures. Instead of a gesture-first theory, we suggest that these findings support multimodal theories of language evolution in which vocal and gestural forms are coordinated and supplement one another
  • Crasborn, O., Hulsbosch, M., Lampen, L., & Sloetjes, H. (2014). New multilayer concordance functions in ELAN and TROVA. In Proceedings of the Tilburg Gesture Research Meeting [TiGeR 2013].

    Abstract

    Collocations generated by concordancers are a standard instrument in the exploitation of text corpora for the analysis of language use. Multimodal corpora show similar types of patterns, activities that frequently occur together, but there is no tool that offers facilities for visualising such patterns. Examples include timing of eye contact with respect to speech, and the alignment of activities of the two hands in signed languages. This paper describes recent enhancements to the standard CLARIN tools ELAN and TROVA for multimodal annotation to address these needs: first of all the query and concordancing functions were improved, and secondly the tools now generate visualisations of multilayer collocations that allow for intuitive explorations and analyses of multimodal data. This will provide a boost to the linguistic fields of gesture and sign language studies, as it will improve the exploitation of multimodal corpora.
  • Crasborn, O., & Sloetjes, H. (2014). Improving the exploitation of linguistic annotations in ELAN. In N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, T. Declerck, H. Loftsson, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, A. Moreno, J. Odijk, & S. Piperidis (Eds.), Proceedings of LREC 2014: 9th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (pp. 3604-3608).

    Abstract

    This paper discusses some improvements in recent and planned versions of the multimodal annotation tool ELAN, which are targeted at improving the usability of annotated files. Increased support for multilingual documents is provided, by allowing for multilingual vocabularies and by specifying a language per document, annotation layer (tier) or annotation. In addition, improvements in the search possibilities and the display of the results have been implemented, which are especially relevant in the interpretation of the results of complex multi-tier searches.
  • Cristia, A., Ganesh, S., Casillas, M., & Ganapathy, S. (2018). Talker diarization in the wild: The case of child-centered daylong audio-recordings. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2018 (pp. 2583-2587). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2018-2078.

    Abstract

    Speaker diarization (answering 'who spoke when') is a widely researched subject within speech technology. Numerous experiments have been run on datasets built from broadcast news, meeting data, and call centers—the task sometimes appears close to being solved. Much less work has begun to tackle the hardest diarization task of all: spontaneous conversations in real-world settings. Such diarization would be particularly useful for studies of language acquisition, where researchers investigate the speech children produce and hear in their daily lives. In this paper, we study audio gathered with a recorder worn by small children as they went about their normal days. As a result, each child was exposed to different acoustic environments with a multitude of background noises and a varying number of adults and peers. The inconsistency of speech and noise within and across samples poses a challenging task for speaker diarization systems, which we tackled via retraining and data augmentation techniques. We further studied sources of structured variation across raw audio files, including the impact of speaker type distribution, proportion of speech from children, and child age on diarization performance. We discuss the extent to which these findings might generalize to other samples of speech in the wild.
  • Ip, M. H. K., & Cutler, A. (2018). Asymmetric efficiency of juncture perception in L1 and L2. In K. Klessa, J. Bachan, A. Wagner, M. Karpiński, & D. Śledziński (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2018 (pp. 289-296). Baixas, France: ISCA. doi:10.21437/SpeechProsody.2018-59.

    Abstract

    In two experiments, Mandarin listeners resolved potential syntactic ambiguities in spoken utterances in (a) their native language (L1) and (b) English which they had learned as a second language (L2). A new disambiguation task was used, requiring speeded responses to select the correct meaning for structurally ambiguous sentences. Importantly, the ambiguities used in the study are identical in Mandarin and in English, and production data show that prosodic disambiguation of this type of ambiguity is also realised very similarly in the two languages. The perceptual results here showed however that listeners’ response patterns differed for L1 and L2, although there was a significant increase in similarity between the two response patterns with increasing exposure to the L2. Thus identical ambiguity and comparable disambiguation patterns in L1 and L2 do not lead to immediate application of the appropriate L1 listening strategy to L2; instead, it appears that such a strategy may have to be learned anew for the L2.
  • Ip, M. H. K., & Cutler, A. (2018). Cue equivalence in prosodic entrainment for focus detection. In J. Epps, J. Wolfe, J. Smith, & C. Jones (Eds.), Proceedings of the 17th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology (pp. 153-156).

    Abstract

    Using a phoneme detection task, the present series of experiments examines whether listeners can entrain to different combinations of prosodic cues to predict where focus will fall in an utterance. The stimuli were recorded by four female native speakers of Australian English who happened to have used different prosodic cues to produce sentences with prosodic focus: a combination of duration cues, mean and maximum F0, F0 range, and longer pre-target interval before the focused word onset, only mean F0 cues, only pre-target interval, and only duration cues. Results revealed that listeners can entrain in almost every condition except for where duration was the only reliable cue. Our findings suggest that listeners are flexible in the cues they use for focus processing.
  • Cutler, A., Burchfield, L. A., & Antoniou, M. (2018). Factors affecting talker adaptation in a second language. In J. Epps, J. Wolfe, J. Smith, & C. Jones (Eds.), Proceedings of the 17th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology (pp. 33-36).

    Abstract

    Listeners adapt rapidly to previously unheard talkers by adjusting phoneme categories using lexical knowledge, in a process termed lexically-guided perceptual learning. Although this is firmly established for listening in the native language (L1), perceptual flexibility in second languages (L2) is as yet less well understood. We report two experiments examining L1 and L2 perceptual learning, the first in Mandarin-English late bilinguals, the second in Australian learners of Mandarin. Both studies showed stronger learning in L1; in L2, however, learning appeared for the English-L1 group but not for the Mandarin-L1 group. Phonological mapping differences from the L1 to the L2 are suggested as the reason for this result.
  • Cutler, A., & Chen, H.-C. (1995). Phonological similarity effects in Cantonese word recognition. In K. Elenius, & P. Branderud (Eds.), Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences: Vol. 1 (pp. 106-109). Stockholm: Stockholm University.

    Abstract

    Two lexical decision experiments in Cantonese are described in which the recognition of spoken target words as a function of phonological similarity to a preceding prime is investigated. Phonological similaritv in first syllables produced inhibition, while similarity in second syllables led to facilitation. Differences between syllables in tonal and segmental structure had generally similar effects.
  • Cutler, A. (1995). Universal and Language-Specific in the Development of Speech. Biology International, (Special Issue 33).
  • Dediu, D., & Levinson, S. C. (2014). Language and speech are old: A review of the evidence and consequences for modern linguistic diversity. In E. A. Cartmill, S. G. Roberts, H. Lyn, & H. Cornish (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (pp. 421-422). Singapore: World Scientific.
  • Delgado, T., Ravignani, A., Verhoef, T., Thompson, B., Grossi, T., & Kirby, S. (2018). Cultural transmission of melodic and rhythmic universals: Four experiments and a model. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG XII) (pp. 89-91). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.019.
  • Dingemanse, M., Verhoef, T., & Roberts, S. G. (2014). The role of iconicity in the cultural evolution of communicative signals. In B. De Boer, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of Evolang X, Workshop on Signals, Speech, and Signs (pp. 11-15).
  • Dingemanse, M., Torreira, F., & Enfield, N. J. (2014). Conversational infrastructure and the convergent evolution of linguistic items. In E. A. Cartmill, S. G. Roberts, H. Lyn, & H. Cornish (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (pp. 425-426). Singapore: World Scientific.
  • Dolscheid, S., Willems, R. M., Hagoort, P., & Casasanto, D. (2014). The relation of space and musical pitch in the brain. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014) (pp. 421-426). Austin, Tx: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Numerous experiments show that space and musical pitch are closely linked in people's minds. However, the exact nature of space-pitch associations and their neuronal underpinnings are not well understood. In an fMRI experiment we investigated different types of spatial representations that may underlie musical pitch. Participants judged stimuli that varied in spatial height in both the visual and tactile modalities, as well as auditory stimuli that varied in pitch height. In order to distinguish between unimodal and multimodal spatial bases of musical pitch, we examined whether pitch activations were present in modality-specific (visual or tactile) versus multimodal (visual and tactile) regions active during spatial height processing. Judgments of musical pitch were found to activate unimodal visual areas, suggesting that space-pitch associations may involve modality-specific spatial representations, supporting a key assumption of embodied theories of metaphorical mental representation.
  • Drozdova, P., Van Hout, R., & Scharenborg, O. (2014). Phoneme category retuning in a non-native language. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2014: 15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (pp. 553-557).

    Abstract

    Previous studies have demonstrated that native listeners modify their interpretation of a speech sound when a talker produces an ambiguous sound in order to quickly tune into a speaker, but there is hardly any evidence that non-native listeners employ a similar mechanism when encountering ambiguous pronunciations. So far, one study demonstrated this lexically-guided perceptual learning effect for nonnatives, using phoneme categories similar in the native language of the listeners and the non-native language of the stimulus materials. The present study investigates the question whether phoneme category retuning is possible in a nonnative language for a contrast, /l/-/r/, which is phonetically differently embedded in the native (Dutch) and nonnative (English) languages involved. Listening experiments indeed showed a lexically-guided perceptual learning effect. Assuming that Dutch listeners have different phoneme categories for the native Dutch and non-native English /r/, as marked differences between the languages exist for /r/, these results, for the first time, seem to suggest that listeners are not only able to retune their native phoneme categories but also their non-native phoneme categories to include ambiguous pronunciations.
  • Duarte, R., Uhlmann, M., Van den Broek, D., Fitz, H., Petersson, K. M., & Morrison, A. (2018). Encoding symbolic sequences with spiking neural reservoirs. In Proceedings of the 2018 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN). doi:10.1109/IJCNN.2018.8489114.

    Abstract

    Biologically inspired spiking networks are an important tool to study the nature of computation and cognition in neural systems. In this work, we investigate the representational capacity of spiking networks engaged in an identity mapping task. We compare two schemes for encoding symbolic input, one in which input is injected as a direct current and one where input is delivered as a spatio-temporal spike pattern. We test the ability of networks to discriminate their input as a function of the number of distinct input symbols. We also compare performance using either membrane potentials or filtered spike trains as state variable. Furthermore, we investigate how the circuit behavior depends on the balance between excitation and inhibition, and the degree of synchrony and regularity in its internal dynamics. Finally, we compare different linear methods of decoding population activity onto desired target labels. Overall, our results suggest that even this simple mapping task is strongly influenced by design choices on input encoding, state-variables, circuit characteristics and decoding methods, and these factors can interact in complex ways. This work highlights the importance of constraining computational network models of behavior by available neurobiological evidence.
  • Ergin, R., Senghas, A., Jackendoff, R., & Gleitman, L. (2018). Structural cues for symmetry, asymmetry, and non-symmetry in Central Taurus Sign Language. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG XII) (pp. 104-106). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.025.
  • Ernestus, M., Kočková-Amortová, L., & Pollak, P. (2014). The Nijmegen corpus of casual Czech. In N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, T. Declerck, H. Loftsson, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, A. Moreno, J. Odijk, & S. Piperidis (Eds.), Proceedings of LREC 2014: 9th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (pp. 365-370).

    Abstract

    This article introduces a new speech corpus, the Nijmegen Corpus of Casual Czech (NCCCz), which contains more than 30 hours of high-quality recordings of casual conversations in Common Czech, among ten groups of three male and ten groups of three female friends. All speakers were native speakers of Czech, raised in Prague or in the region of Central Bohemia, and were between 19 and 26 years old. Every group of speakers consisted of one confederate, who was instructed to keep the conversations lively, and two speakers naive to the purposes of the recordings. The naive speakers were engaged in conversations for approximately 90 minutes, while the confederate joined them for approximately the last 72 minutes. The corpus was orthographically annotated by experienced transcribers and this orthographic transcription was aligned with the speech signal. In addition, the conversations were videotaped. This corpus can form the basis for all types of research on casual conversations in Czech, including phonetic research and research on how to improve automatic speech recognition. The corpus will be freely available
  • Filippi, P. (2014). Linguistic animals: understanding language through a comparative approach. In E. A. Cartmill, S. Roberts, H. Lyn, & H. Crnish (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (pp. 74-81). doi:10.1142/9789814603638_0082.

    Abstract

    With the aim to clarify the definition of humans as “linguistic animals”, in the present paper I functionally distinguish three types of language competences: i) language as a general biological tool for communication, ii) “perceptual syntax”, iii) propositional language. Following this terminological distinction, I review pivotal findings on animals' communication systems, which constitute useful evidence for the investigation of the nature of three core components of humans' faculty of language: semantics, syntax, and theory of mind. In fact, despite the capacity to process and share utterances with an open-ended structure is uniquely human, some isolated components of our linguistic competence are in common with nonhuman animals. Therefore, as I argue in the present paper, the investigation of animals' communicative competence provide crucial insights into the range of cognitive constraints underlying humans' ability of language, enabling at the same time the analysis of its phylogenetic path as well as of the selective pressures that have led to its emergence.
  • Filippi, P., Gingras, B., & Fitch, W. T. (2014). The effect of pitch enhancement on spoken language acquisition. In E. A. Cartmill, S. Roberts, H. Lyn, & H. Crnish (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (pp. 437-438). doi:10.1142/9789814603638_0082.

    Abstract

    The aim of this study is to investigate the word-learning phenomenon utilizing a new model that integrates three processes: a) extracting a word out of a continuous sounds sequence, b) inducing referential meanings, c) mapping a word onto its intended referent, with the possibility to extend the acquired word over a potentially infinite sets of objects of the same semantic category, and over not-previously-heard utterances. Previous work has examined the role of statistical learning and/or of prosody in each of these processes separately. In order to examine the multilayered word-learning task, we integrate these two strands of investigation into a single approach. We have conducted the study on adults and included six different experimental conditions, each including specific perceptual manipulations of the signal. In condition 1, the only cue to word-meaning mapping was the co-occurrence between words and referents (“statistical cue”). This cue was present in all the conditions. In condition 2, we added infant-directed-speech (IDS) typical pitch enhancement as a marker of the target word and of the statistical cue. In condition 3 we placed IDS typical pitch enhancement on random words of the utterances, i.e. inconsistently matching the statistical cue. In conditions 4, 5 and 6 we manipulated respectively duration, a non-prosodic acoustic cue and a visual cue as markers of the target word and of the statistical cue. Systematic comparisons between learning performance in condition 1 with the other conditions revealed that the word-learning process is facilitated only when pitch prominence consistently marks the target word and the statistical cue…
  • Francisco, A. A., Jesse, A., Groen, M. a., & McQueen, J. M. (2014). Audiovisual temporal sensitivity in typical and dyslexic adult readers. In Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (INTERSPEECH 2014) (pp. 2575-2579).

    Abstract

    Reading is an audiovisual process that requires the learning of systematic links between graphemes and phonemes. It is thus possible that reading impairments reflect an audiovisual processing deficit. In this study, we compared audiovisual processing in adults with developmental dyslexia and adults without reading difficulties. We focused on differences in cross-modal temporal sensitivity both for speech and for non-speech events. When compared to adults without reading difficulties, adults with developmental dyslexia presented a wider temporal window in which unsynchronized speech events were perceived as synchronized. No differences were found between groups for the non-speech events. These results suggests a deficit in dyslexia in the perception of cross-modal temporal synchrony for speech events.
  • Ganushchak, L. Y., & Acheson, D. J. (Eds.). (2014). What's to be learned from speaking aloud? - Advances in the neurophysiological measurement of overt language production. [Research topic] [Special Issue]. Frontiers in Language Sciences. Retrieved from http://www.frontiersin.org/Language_Sciences/researchtopics/What_s_to_be_Learned_from_Spea/1671.

    Abstract

    Researchers have long avoided neurophysiological experiments of overt speech production due to the suspicion that artifacts caused by muscle activity may lead to a bad signal-to-noise ratio in the measurements. However, the need to actually produce speech may influence earlier processing and qualitatively change speech production processes and what we can infer from neurophysiological measures thereof. Recently, however, overt speech has been successfully investigated using EEG, MEG, and fMRI. The aim of this Research Topic is to draw together recent research on the neurophysiological basis of language production, with the aim of developing and extending theoretical accounts of the language production process. In this Research Topic of Frontiers in Language Sciences, we invite both experimental and review papers, as well as those about the latest methods in acquisition and analysis of overt language production data. All aspects of language production are welcome: i.e., from conceptualization to articulation during native as well as multilingual language production. Focus should be placed on using the neurophysiological data to inform questions about the processing stages of language production. In addition, emphasis should be placed on the extent to which the identified components of the electrophysiological signal (e.g., ERP/ERF, neuronal oscillations, etc.), brain areas or networks are related to language comprehension and other cognitive domains. By bringing together electrophysiological and neuroimaging evidence on language production mechanisms, a more complete picture of the locus of language production processes and their temporal and neurophysiological signatures will emerge.
  • Gebre, B. G., Wittenburg, P., Heskes, T., & Drude, S. (2014). Motion history images for online speaker/signer diarization. In Proceedings of the 2014 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing (ICASSP) (pp. 1537-1541). Piscataway, NJ: IEEE.

    Abstract

    We present a solution to the problem of online speaker/signer diarization - the task of determining "who spoke/signed when?". Our solution is based on the idea that gestural activity (hands and body movement) is highly correlated with uttering activity. This correlation is necessarily true for sign languages and mostly true for spoken languages. The novel part of our solution is the use of motion history images (MHI) as a likelihood measure for probabilistically detecting uttering activities. MHI is an efficient representation of where and how motion occurred for a fixed period of time. We conducted experiments on 4.9 hours of a publicly available dataset (the AMI meeting data) and 1.4 hours of sign language dataset (Kata Kolok data). The best performance obtained is 15.70% for sign language and 31.90% for spoken language (measurements are in DER). These results show that our solution is applicable in real-world applications like video conferences.

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  • Gebre, B. G., Wittenburg, P., Drude, S., Huijbregts, M., & Heskes, T. (2014). Speaker diarization using gesture and speech. In H. Li, & P. Ching (Eds.), Proceedings of Interspeech 2014: 15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (pp. 582-586).

    Abstract

    We demonstrate how the problem of speaker diarization can be solved using both gesture and speaker parametric models. The novelty of our solution is that we approach the speaker diarization problem as a speaker recognition problem after learning speaker models from speech samples corresponding to gestures (the occurrence of gestures indicates the presence of speech and the location of gestures indicates the identity of the speaker). This new approach offers many advantages: comparable state-of-the-art performance, faster computation and more adaptability. In our implementation, parametric models are used to model speakers' voice and their gestures: more specifically, Gaussian mixture models are used to model the voice characteristics of each person and all persons, and gamma distributions are used to model gestural activity based on features extracted from Motion History Images. Tests on 4.24 hours of the AMI meeting data show that our solution makes DER score improvements of 19% on speech-only segments and 4% on all segments including silence (the comparison is with the AMI system).
  • Gebre, B. G., Crasborn, O., Wittenburg, P., Drude, S., & Heskes, T. (2014). Unsupervised feature learning for visual sign language identification. In Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Vol 2 (pp. 370-376). Redhook, NY: Curran Proceedings.

    Abstract

    Prior research on language identification focused primarily on text and speech. In this paper, we focus on the visual modality and present a method for identifying sign languages solely from short video samples. The method is trained on unlabelled video data (unsupervised feature learning) and using these features, it is trained to discriminate between six sign languages (supervised learning). We ran experiments on video samples involving 30 signers (running for a total of 6 hours). Using leave-one-signer-out cross-validation, our evaluation on short video samples shows an average best accuracy of 84%. Given that sign languages are under-resourced, unsupervised feature learning techniques are the right tools and our results indicate that this is realistic for sign language identification.
  • Gentzsch, W., Lecarpentier, D., & Wittenburg, P. (2014). Big data in science and the EUDAT project. In Proceeding of the 2014 Annual SRII Global Conference.
  • Guerra, E., & Knoeferle, P. (2014). Spatial distance modulates reading times for sentences about social relations: evidence from eye tracking. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014) (pp. 2315-2320). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. Retrieved from https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2014/papers/403/.

    Abstract

    Recent evidence from eye tracking during reading showed that non-referential spatial distance presented in a visual context can modulate semantic interpretation of similarity relations rapidly and incrementally. In two eye-tracking reading experiments we extended these findings in two important ways; first, we examined whether other semantic domains (social relations) could also be rapidly influenced by spatial distance during sentence comprehension. Second, we aimed to further specify how abstract language is co-indexed with spatial information by varying the syntactic structure of sentences between experiments. Spatial distance rapidly modulated reading times as a function of the social relation expressed by a sentence. Moreover, our findings suggest that abstract language can be co-indexed as soon as critical information becomes available for the reader.
  • Guerra, E., Huettig, F., & Knoeferle, P. (2014). Assessing the time course of the influence of featural, distributional and spatial representations during reading. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014) (pp. 2309-2314). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. Retrieved from https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2014/papers/402/.

    Abstract

    What does semantic similarity between two concepts mean? How could we measure it? The way in which semantic similarity is calculated might differ depending on the theoretical notion of semantic representation. In an eye-tracking reading experiment, we investigated whether two widely used semantic similarity measures (based on featural or distributional representations) have distinctive effects on sentence reading times. In other words, we explored whether these measures of semantic similarity differ qualitatively. In addition, we examined whether visually perceived spatial distance interacts with either or both of these measures. Our results showed that the effect of featural and distributional representations on reading times can differ both in direction and in its time course. Moreover, both featural and distributional information interacted with spatial distance, yet in different sentence regions and reading measures. We conclude that featural and distributional representations are distinct components of semantic representation.
  • Heyselaar, E., Hagoort, P., & Segaert, K. (2014). In dialogue with an avatar, syntax production is identical compared to dialogue with a human partner. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014) (pp. 2351-2356). Austin, Tx: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    The use of virtual reality (VR) as a methodological tool is becoming increasingly popular in behavioural research due to its seemingly limitless possibilities. This new method has not been used frequently in the field of psycholinguistics, however, possibly due to the assumption that humancomputer interaction does not accurately reflect human-human interaction. In the current study we compare participants’ language behaviour in a syntactic priming task with human versus avatar partners. Our study shows comparable priming effects between human and avatar partners (Human: 12.3%; Avatar: 12.6% for passive sentences) suggesting that VR is a valid platform for conducting language research and studying dialogue interactions.
  • Hoffmann, C. W. G., Sadakata, M., Chen, A., Desain, P., & McQueen, J. M. (2014). Within-category variance and lexical tone discrimination in native and non-native speakers. In C. Gussenhoven, Y. Chen, & D. Dediu (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Language (pp. 45-49). Nijmegen: Radboud University Nijmegen.

    Abstract

    In this paper, we show how acoustic variance within lexical tones in disyllabic Mandarin Chinese pseudowords affects discrimination abilities in both native and non-native speakers of Mandarin Chinese. Within-category acoustic variance did not hinder native speakers in discriminating between lexical tones, whereas it precludes Dutch native speakers from reaching native level performance. Furthermore, the influence of acoustic variance was not uniform but asymmetric, dependent on the presentation order of the lexical tones to be discriminated. An exploratory analysis using an active adaptive oddball paradigm was used to quantify the extent of the perceptual asymmetry. We discuss two possible mechanisms underlying this asymmetry and propose possible paradigms to investigate these mechanisms
  • Hopman, E., Thompson, B., Austerweil, J., & Lupyan, G. (2018). Predictors of L2 word learning accuracy: A big data investigation. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T. T. Rogers (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2018) (pp. 513-518). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    What makes some words harder to learn than others in a second language? Although some robust factors have been identified based on small scale experimental studies, many relevant factors are difficult to study in such experiments due to the amount of data necessary to test them. Here, we investigate what factors affect the ease of learning of a word in a second language using a large data set of users learning English as a second language through the Duolingo mobile app. In a regression analysis, we test and confirm the well-studied effect of cognate status on word learning accuracy. Furthermore, we find significant effects for both cross-linguistic semantic alignment and English semantic density, two novel predictors derived from large scale distributional models of lexical semantics. Finally, we provide data on several other psycholinguistically plausible word level predictors. We conclude with a discussion of the limits, benefits and future research potential of using big data for investigating second language learning.
  • Huettig, F., Kolinsky, R., & Lachmann, T. (Eds.). (2018). The effects of literacy on cognition and brain functioning [Special Issue]. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 33(3).
  • Isbilen, E., Frost, R. L. A., Monaghan, P., & Christiansen, M. (2018). Bridging artificial and natural language learning: Comparing processing- and reflection-based measures of learning. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T. T. Rogers (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2018) (pp. 1856-1861). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    A common assumption in the cognitive sciences is that artificial and natural language learning rely on shared mechanisms. However, attempts to bridge the two have yielded ambiguous results. We suggest that an empirical disconnect between the computations employed during learning and the methods employed at test may explain these mixed results. Further, we propose statistically-based chunking as a potential computational link between artificial and natural language learning. We compare the acquisition of non-adjacent dependencies to that of natural language structure using two types of tasks: reflection-based 2AFC measures, and processing-based recall measures, the latter being more computationally analogous to the processes used during language acquisition. Our results demonstrate that task-type significantly influences the correlations observed between artificial and natural language acquisition, with reflection-based and processing-based measures correlating within – but not across – task-type. These findings have fundamental implications for artificial-to-natural language comparisons, both methodologically and theoretically.
  • Janssen, R., Moisik, S. R., & Dediu, D. (2018). Agent model reveals the influence of vocal tract anatomy on speech during ontogeny and glossogeny. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG XII) (pp. 171-174). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.042.
  • Jung, D., Klessa, K., Duray, Z., Oszkó, B., Sipos, M., Szeverényi, S., Várnai, Z., Trilsbeek, P., & Váradi, T. (2014). Languagesindanger.eu - Including multimedia language resources to disseminate knowledge and create educational material on less-resourced languages. In N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, T. Declerck, H. Loftsson, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, A. Moreno, J. Odijk, & S. Piperidis (Eds.), Proceedings of LREC 2014: 9th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (pp. 530-535).

    Abstract

    The present paper describes the development of the languagesindanger.eu interactive website as an example of including multimedia language resources to disseminate knowledge and create educational material on less-resourced languages. The website is a product of INNET (Innovative networking in infrastructure for endangered languages), European FP7 project. Its main functions can be summarized as related to the three following areas: (1) raising students' awareness of language endangerment and arouse their interest in linguistic diversity, language maintenance and language documentation; (2) informing both students and teachers about these topics and show ways how they can enlarge their knowledge further with a special emphasis on information about language archives; (3) helping teachers include these topics into their classes. The website has been localized into five language versions with the intention to be accessible to both scientific and non-scientific communities such as (primarily) secondary school teachers and students, beginning university students of linguistics, journalists, the interested public, and also members of speech communities who speak minority languages
  • Kanero, J., Franko, I., Oranç, C., Uluşahin, O., Koskulu, S., Adigüzel, Z., Küntay, A. C., & Göksun, T. (2018). Who can benefit from robots? Effects of individual differences in robot-assisted language learning. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Development and Learning and Epigenetic Robotics (ICDL-EpiRob) (pp. 212-217). Piscataway, NJ, USA: IEEE.

    Abstract

    It has been suggested that some individuals may benefit more from social robots than do others. Using second language (L2) as an example, the present study examined how individual differences in attitudes toward robots and personality traits may be related to learning outcomes. Preliminary results with 24 Turkish-speaking adults suggest that negative attitudes toward robots, more specifically thoughts and anxiety about the negative social impact that robots may have on the society, predicted how well adults learned L2 words from a social robot. The possible implications of the findings as well as future directions are also discussed
  • Klatter-Folmer, J., Van Hout, R., Van den Heuvel, H., Fikkert, P., Baker, A., De Jong, J., Wijnen, F., Sanders, E., & Trilsbeek, P. (2014). Vulnerability in acquisition, language impairments in Dutch: Creating a VALID data archive. In N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, T. Declerck, H. Loftsson, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, A. Moreno, J. Odijk, & S. Piperidis (Eds.), Proceedings of LREC 2014: 9th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (pp. 357-364).

    Abstract

    The VALID Data Archive is an open multimedia data archive (under construction) with data from speakers suffering from language impairments. We report on a pilot project in the CLARIN-NL framework in which five data resources were curated. For all data sets concerned, written informed consent from the participants or their caretakers has been obtained. All materials were anonymized. The audio files were converted into wav (linear PCM) files and the transcriptions into CHAT or ELAN format. Research data that consisted of test, SPSS and Excel files were documented and converted into CSV files. All data sets obtained appropriate CMDI metadata files. A new CMDI metadata profile for this type of data resources was established and care was taken that ISOcat metadata categories were used to optimize interoperability. After curation all data are deposited at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen where persistent identifiers are linked to all resources. The content of the transcriptions in CHAT and plain text format can be searched with the TROVA search engine
  • Klein, W. (1995). A simplest analysis of the English tense-aspect system. In W. Riehle, & H. Keiper (Eds.), Proceedings of the Anglistentag 1994 (pp. 139-151). Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  • Klein, W. (Ed.). (1995). Epoche [Special Issue]. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, (100).
  • Latrouite, A., & Van Valin Jr., R. D. (2014). Event existentials in Tagalog: A Role and Reference Grammar account. In W. Arka, & N. L. K. Mas Indrawati (Eds.), Argument realisations and related constructions in Austronesian languages: papers from 12-ICAL (pp. 161-174). Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  • Lattenkamp, E. Z., Vernes, S. C., & Wiegrebe, L. (2018). Mammalian models for the study of vocal learning: A new paradigm in bats. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG XII) (pp. 235-237). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.056.
  • Lefever, E., Hendrickx, I., Croijmans, I., Van den Bosch, A., & Majid, A. (2018). Discovering the language of wine reviews: A text mining account. In N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, C. Cieri, T. Declerck, S. Goggi, K. Hasida, H. Isahara, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, H. Mazo, A. Moreno, J. Odijk, S. Piperidis, & T. Tokunaga (Eds.), Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018) (pp. 3297-3302). Paris: LREC.

    Abstract

    It is widely held that smells and flavors are impossible to put into words. In this paper we test this claim by seeking predictive patterns in wine reviews, which ostensibly aim to provide guides to perceptual content. Wine reviews have previously been critiqued as random and meaningless. We collected an English corpus of wine reviews with their structured metadata, and applied machine learning techniques to automatically predict the wine's color, grape variety, and country of origin. To train the three supervised classifiers, three different information sources were incorporated: lexical bag-of-words features, domain-specific terminology features, and semantic word embedding features. In addition, using regression analysis we investigated basic review properties, i.e., review length, average word length, and their relationship to the scalar values of price and review score. Our results show that wine experts do share a common vocabulary to describe wines and they use this in a consistent way, which makes it possible to automatically predict wine characteristics based on the review text alone. This means that odors and flavors may be more expressible in language than typically acknowledged.
  • Lenkiewicz, P., Drude, S., Lenkiewicz, A., Gebre, B. G., Masneri, S., Schreer, O., Schwenninger, J., & Bardeli, R. (2014). Application of audio and video processing methods for language research and documentation: The AVATecH Project. In Z. Vetulani, & J. Mariani (Eds.), 5th Language and Technology Conference, LTC 2011, Poznań, Poland, November 25-27, 2011, Revised Selected Papers (pp. 288-299). Berlin: Springer.

    Abstract

    Evolution and changes of all modern languages is a wellknown fact. However, recently it is reaching dynamics never seen before, which results in loss of the vast amount of information encoded in every language. In order to preserve such rich heritage, and to carry out linguistic research, properly annotated recordings of world languages are necessary. Since creating those annotations is a very laborious task, reaching times 100 longer than the length of the annotated media, innovative video processing algorithms are needed, in order to improve the efficiency and quality of annotation process. This is the scope of the AVATecH project presented in this article
  • Lenkiewicz, P., Shkaravska, O., Goosen, T., Windhouwer, M., Broeder, D., Roth, S., & Olsson, O. (2014). The DWAN framework: Application of a web annotation framework for the general humanities to the domain of language resources. In N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, T. Declerck, H. Loftsson, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, A. Moreno, J. Odijk, & S. Piperidis (Eds.), Proceedings of LREC 2014: 9th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (pp. 3644-3649).
  • Lev-Ari, S., & Peperkamp, S. (2014). Do people converge to the linguistic patterns of non-reliable speakers? Perceptual learning from non-native speakers. In S. Fuchs, M. Grice, A. Hermes, L. Lancia, & D. Mücke (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th International Seminar on Speech Production (ISSP) (pp. 261-264).

    Abstract

    People's language is shaped by the input from the environment. The environment, however, offers a range of linguistic inputs that differ in their reliability. We test whether listeners accordingly weigh input from sources that differ in reliability differently. Using a perceptual learning paradigm, we show that listeners adjust their representations according to linguistic input provided by native but not by non-native speakers. This is despite the fact that listeners are able to learn the characteristics of the speech of both speakers. These results provide evidence for a disassociation between adaptation to the characteristic of specific speakers and adjustment of linguistic representations in general based on these learned characteristics. This study also has implications for theories of language change. In particular, it cast doubts on the hypothesis that a large proportion of non-native speakers in a community can bring about linguistic changes
  • Lew, A. A., Hall-Lew, L., & Fairs, A. (2014). Language and Tourism in Sabah, Malaysia and Edinburgh, Scotland. In B. O'Rourke, N. Bermingham, & S. Brennan (Eds.), Opening New Lines of Communication in Applied Linguistics: Proceedings of the 46th Annual Meeting of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (pp. 253-259). London, UK: Scitsiugnil Press.
  • Little, H., & Silvey, C. (2014). Interpreting emerging structures: The interdependence of combinatoriality and compositionality. In Proceedings of the First Conference of the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics (IACS 2014) (pp. 113-114).
  • Little, H., & Eryilmaz, K. (2014). The effect of physical articulation constraints on the emergence of combinatorial structure. In B. De Boer, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of Evolang X, Workshop on Signals, Speech, and Signs (pp. 11-17).
  • Little, H., & De Boer, B. (2014). The effect of size of articulation space on the emergence of combinatorial structure. In E. Cartmill A., S. Roberts, H. Lyn, & H. Cornish (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 10th international conference (EvoLangX) (pp. 479-481). Singapore: World Scientific.
  • Liu, Z., Chen, A., & Van de Velde, H. (2014). Prosodic focus marking in Bai. In N. Campbell, D. Gibbon, & D. Hirst (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2014 (pp. 628-631).

    Abstract

    This study investigates prosodic marking of focus in Bai, a Sino-Tibetan language spoken in the Southwest of China, by adopting a semi-spontaneous experimental approach. Our data show that Bai speakers increase the duration of the focused constituent and reduce the duration of the post-focus constituent to encode focus. However, duration is not used in Bai to distinguish focus types differing in size and contrastivity. Further, pitch plays no role in signaling focus and differentiating focus types. The results thus suggest that Bai uses prosody to mark focus, but to a lesser extent, compared to Mandarin Chinese, with which Bai has been in close contact for centuries, and Cantonese, to which Bai is similar in the tonal system, although Bai is similar to Cantonese in its reliance on duration in prosodic focus marking.
  • Lopopolo, A., Frank, S. L., Van den Bosch, A., Nijhof, A., & Willems, R. M. (2018). The Narrative Brain Dataset (NBD), an fMRI dataset for the study of natural language processing in the brain. In B. Devereux, E. Shutova, & C.-R. Huang (Eds.), Proceedings of LREC 2018 Workshop "Linguistic and Neuro-Cognitive Resources (LiNCR) (pp. 8-11). Paris: LREC.

    Abstract

    We present the Narrative Brain Dataset, an fMRI dataset that was collected during spoken presentation of short excerpts of three stories in Dutch. Together with the brain imaging data, the dataset contains the written versions of the stimulation texts. The texts are accompanied with stochastic (perplexity and entropy) and semantic computational linguistic measures. The richness and unconstrained nature of the data allows the study of language processing in the brain in a more naturalistic setting than is common for fMRI studies. We hope that by making NBD available we serve the double purpose of providing useful neural data to researchers interested in natural language processing in the brain and to further stimulate data sharing in the field of neuroscience of language.
  • Lupyan, G., Wendorf, A., Berscia, L. M., & Paul, J. (2018). Core knowledge or language-augmented cognition? The case of geometric reasoning. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG XII) (pp. 252-254). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.062.
  • Matic, D., & Nikolaeva, I. (2014). Focus feature percolation: Evidence from Tundra Nenets and Tundra Yukaghir. In S. Müller (Ed.), Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG 2014) (pp. 299-317). Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.

    Abstract

    Two Siberian languages, Tundra Nenets and Tundra Yukaghir, do not obey strong island constraints in questioning: any sub-constituent of a relative or adverbial clause can be questioned. We argue that this has to do with how focusing works in these languages. The focused sub-constituent remains in situ, but there is abundant morphosyntactic evidence that the focus feature is passed up to the head of the clause. The result is the formation of a complex focus structure in which both the head and non head daughter are overtly marked as focus, and they are interpreted as a pairwise list such that the focus background is applicable to this list, but not to other alternative lists
  • Micklos, A. (2014). The nature of language in interaction. In E. Cartmill, S. Roberts, H. Lyn, & H. Cornish (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference.
  • Micklos, A., Macuch Silva, V., & Fay, N. (2018). The prevalence of repair in studies of language evolution. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG XII) (pp. 316-318). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.075.
  • Mizera, P., Pollak, P., Kolman, A., & Ernestus, M. (2014). Impact of irregular pronunciation on phonetic segmentation of Nijmegen corpus of Casual Czech. In P. Sojka, A. Horák, I. Kopecek, & K. Pala (Eds.), Text, Speech and Dialogue: 17th International Conference, TSD 2014, Brno, Czech Republic, September 8-12, 2014. Proceedings (pp. 499-506). Heidelberg: Springer.

    Abstract

    This paper describes the pilot study of phonetic segmentation applied to Nijmegen Corpus of Casual Czech (NCCCz). This corpus contains informal speech of strong spontaneous nature which influences the character of produced speech at various levels. This work is the part of wider research related to the analysis of pronunciation reduction in such informal speech. We present the analysis of the accuracy of phonetic segmentation when canonical or reduced pronunciation is used. The achieved accuracy of realized phonetic segmentation provides information about general accuracy of proper acoustic modelling which is supposed to be applied in spontaneous speech recognition. As a byproduct of presented spontaneous speech segmentation, this paper also describes the created lexicon with canonical pronunciations of words in NCCCz, a tool supporting pronunciation check of lexicon items, and finally also a minidatabase of selected utterances from NCCCz manually labelled on phonetic level suitable for evaluation purposes
  • Mulder, K., Ten Bosch, L., & Boves, L. (2018). Analyzing EEG Signals in Auditory Speech Comprehension Using Temporal Response Functions and Generalized Additive Models. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2018 (pp. 1452-1456). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1676.

    Abstract

    Analyzing EEG signals recorded while participants are listening to continuous speech with the purpose of testing linguistic hypotheses is complicated by the fact that the signals simultaneously reflect exogenous acoustic excitation and endogenous linguistic processing. This makes it difficult to trace subtle differences that occur in mid-sentence position. We apply an analysis based on multivariate temporal response functions to uncover subtle mid-sentence effects. This approach is based on a per-stimulus estimate of the response of the neural system to speech input. Analyzing EEG signals predicted on the basis of the response functions might then bring to light conditionspecific differences in the filtered signals. We validate this approach by means of an analysis of EEG signals recorded with isolated word stimuli. Then, we apply the validated method to the analysis of the responses to the same words in the middle of meaningful sentences.
  • Ortega, G., Sumer, B., & Ozyurek, A. (2014). Type of iconicity matters: Bias for action-based signs in sign language acquisition. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014) (pp. 1114-1119). Austin, Tx: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Early studies investigating sign language acquisition claimed that signs whose structures are motivated by the form of their referent (iconic) are not favoured in language development. However, recent work has shown that the first signs in deaf children’s lexicon are iconic. In this paper we go a step further and ask whether different types of iconicity modulate learning sign-referent links. Results from a picture description task indicate that children and adults used signs with two possible variants differentially. While children signing to adults favoured variants that map onto actions associated with a referent (action signs), adults signing to another adult produced variants that map onto objects’ perceptual features (perceptual signs). Parents interacting with children used more action variants than signers in adult-adult interactions. These results are in line with claims that language development is tightly linked to motor experience and that iconicity can be a communicative strategy in parental input.
  • Otake, T., Davis, S. M., & Cutler, A. (1995). Listeners’ representations of within-word structure: A cross-linguistic and cross-dialectal investigation. In J. Pardo (Ed.), Proceedings of EUROSPEECH 95: Vol. 3 (pp. 1703-1706). Madrid: European Speech Communication Association.

    Abstract

    Japanese, British English and American English listeners were presented with spoken words in their native language, and asked to mark on a written transcript of each word the first natural division point in the word. The results showed clear and strong patterns of consensus, indicating that listeners have available to them conscious representations of within-word structure. Orthography did not play a strongly deciding role in the results. The patterns of response were at variance with results from on-line studies of speech segmentation, suggesting that the present task taps not those representations used in on-line listening, but levels of representation which may involve much richer knowledge of word-internal structure.
  • Peeters, D., Azar, Z., & Ozyurek, A. (2014). The interplay between joint attention, physical proximity, and pointing gesture in demonstrative choice. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014) (pp. 1144-1149). Austin, Tx: Cognitive Science Society.
  • Perlman, M., Clark, N., & Tanner, J. (2014). Iconicity and ape gesture. In E. A. Cartmill, S. G. Roberts, H. Lyn, & H. Cornish (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (pp. 236-243). New Jersey: World Scientific.

    Abstract

    Iconic gestures are hypothesized to be c rucial to the evolution of language. Yet the important question of whether apes produce iconic gestures is the subject of considerable debate. This paper presents the current state of research on iconicity in ape gesture. In particular, it describes some of the empirical evidence suggesting that apes produce three different kinds of iconic gestures; it compares the iconicity hypothesis to other major hypotheses of ape gesture; and finally, it offers some directions for future ape gesture research
  • Räsänen, O., Seshadri, S., & Casillas, M. (2018). Comparison of syllabification algorithms and training strategies for robust word count estimation across different languages and recording conditions. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2018 (pp. 1200-1204). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1047.

    Abstract

    Word count estimation (WCE) from audio recordings has a number of applications, including quantifying the amount of speech that language-learning infants hear in their natural environments, as captured by daylong recordings made with devices worn by infants. To be applicable in a wide range of scenarios and also low-resource domains, WCE tools should be extremely robust against varying signal conditions and require minimal access to labeled training data in the target domain. For this purpose, earlier work has used automatic syllabification of speech, followed by a least-squares-mapping of syllables to word counts. This paper compares a number of previously proposed syllabifiers in the WCE task, including a supervised bi-directional long short-term memory (BLSTM) network that is trained on a language for which high quality syllable annotations are available (a “high resource language”), and reports how the alternative methods compare on different languages and signal conditions. We also explore additive noise and varying-channel data augmentation strategies for BLSTM training, and show how they improve performance in both matching and mismatching languages. Intriguingly, we also find that even though the BLSTM works on languages beyond its training data, the unsupervised algorithms can still outperform it in challenging signal conditions on novel languages.
  • Ravignani, A., Bowling, D., & Kirby, S. (2014). The psychology of biological clocks: A new framework for the evolution of rhythm. In E. A. Cartmill, S. G. Roberts, & H. Lyn (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (pp. 262-269). Singapore: World Scientific.
  • Ravignani, A., Garcia, M., Gross, S., de Reus, K., Hoeksema, N., Rubio-Garcia, A., & de Boer, B. (2018). Pinnipeds have something to say about speech and rhythm. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG XII) (pp. 399-401). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.095.
  • Raviv, L., Meyer, A. S., & Lev-Ari, S. (2018). The role of community size in the emergence of linguistic structure. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG XII) (pp. 402-404). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.096.
  • Roberts, S. G., Dediu, D., & Levinson, S. C. (2014). Detecting differences between the languages of Neandertals and modern humans. In E. A. Cartmill, S. G. Roberts, H. Lyn, & H. Cornish (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (pp. 501-502). Singapore: World Scientific.

    Abstract

    Dediu and Levinson (2013) argue that Neandertals had essentially modern language and speech, and that they were in genetic contact with the ancestors of modern humans during our dispersal out of Africa. This raises the possibility of cultural and linguistic contact between the two human lineages. If such contact did occur, then it might have influenced the cultural evolution of the languages. Since the genetic traces of contact with Neandertals are limited to the populations outside of Africa, Dediu & Levinson predict that there may be structural differences between the present-day languages derived from languages in contact with Neanderthals, and those derived from languages that were not influenced by such contact. Since the signature of such deep contact might reside in patterns of features, they suggested that machine learning methods may be able to detect these differences. This paper attempts to test this hypothesis and to estimate particular linguistic features that are potential candidates for carrying a signature of Neandertal languages.
  • Roberts, S. G., & De Vos, C. (2014). Gene-culture coevolution of a linguistic system in two modalities. In B. De Boer, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of Evolang X, Workshop on Signals, Speech, and Signs (pp. 23-27).

    Abstract

    Complex communication can take place in a range of modalities such as auditory, visual, and tactile modalities. In a very general way, the modality that individuals use is constrained by their biological biases (humans cannot use magnetic fields directly to communicate to each other). The majority of natural languages have a large audible component. However, since humans can learn sign languages just as easily, it’s not clear to what extent the prevalence of spoken languages is due to biological biases, the social environment or cultural inheritance. This paper suggests that we can explore the relative contribution of these factors by modelling the spontaneous emergence of sign languages that are shared by the deaf and hearing members of relatively isolated communities. Such shared signing communities have arisen in enclaves around the world and may provide useful insights by demonstrating how languages evolve as the deaf proportion of its members has strong biases towards the visual language modality. In this paper we describe a model of cultural evolution in two modalities, combining aspects that are thought to impact the emergence of sign languages in a more general evolutionary framework. The model can be used to explore hypotheses about how sign languages emerge.
  • Roberts, S. G., Thompson, B., & Smith, K. (2014). Social interaction influences the evolution of cognitive biases for language. In E. A. Cartmill, S. G. Roberts, & H. Lyn (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (pp. 278-285). Singapore: World Scientific. doi:0.1142/9789814603638_0036.

    Abstract

    Models of cultural evolution demonstrate that the link between individual biases and population- level phenomena can be obscured by the process of cultural transmission (Kirby, Dowman, & Griffiths, 2007). However, recent extensions to these models predict that linguistic diversity will not emerge and that learners should evolve to expect little linguistic variation in their input (Smith & Thompson, 2012). We demonstrate that this result derives from assumptions that privilege certain kinds of social interaction by exploring a range of alternative social models. We find several evolutionary routes to linguistic diversity, and show that social interaction not only influences the kinds of biases which could evolve to support language, but also the effects those biases have on a linguistic system. Given the same starting situation, the evolution of biases for language learning and the distribution of linguistic variation are affected by the kinds of social interaction that a population privileges.
  • Schmidt, J., Janse, E., & Scharenborg, O. (2014). Age, hearing loss and the perception of affective utterances in conversational speech. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2014: 15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (pp. 1929-1933).

    Abstract

    This study investigates whether age and/or hearing loss influence the perception of the emotion dimensions arousal (calm vs. aroused) and valence (positive vs. negative attitude) in conversational speech fragments. Specifically, this study focuses on the relationship between participants' ratings of affective speech and acoustic parameters known to be associated with arousal and valence (mean F0, intensity, and articulation rate). Ten normal-hearing younger and ten older adults with varying hearing loss were tested on two rating tasks. Stimuli consisted of short sentences taken from a corpus of conversational affective speech. In both rating tasks, participants estimated the value of the emotion dimension at hand using a 5-point scale. For arousal, higher intensity was generally associated with higher arousal in both age groups. Compared to younger participants, older participants rated the utterances as less aroused, and showed a smaller effect of intensity on their arousal ratings. For valence, higher mean F0 was associated with more negative ratings in both age groups. Generally, age group differences in rating affective utterances may not relate to age group differences in hearing loss, but rather to other differences between the age groups, as older participants' rating patterns were not associated with their individual hearing loss.
  • Seuren, P. A. M. (2014). Scope and external datives. In B. Cornillie, C. Hamans, & D. Jaspers (Eds.), Proceedings of a mini-symposium on Pieter Seuren's 80th birthday organised at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea.

    Abstract

    In this study it is argued that scope, as a property of scope‐creating operators, is a real and important element in the semantico‐grammatical description of languages. The notion of scope is illustrated and, as far as possible, defined. A first idea is given of the ‘grammar of scope’, which defines the relation between scope in the logically structured semantic analysis (SA) of sentences on the one hand and surface structure on the other. Evidence is adduced showing that peripheral preposition phrases (PPPs) in the surface structure of sentences represent scope‐creating operators in SA, and that external datives fall into this category: they are scope‐creating PPPs. It follows that, in English and Dutch, the internal dative (I gave John a book) and the external dative (I gave a book to John) are not simple syntactic variants expressing the same meaning. Instead, internal datives are an integral part of the argument structure of the matrix predicate, whereas external datives represent scope‐creating operators in SA. In the Romance languages, the (non‐pronominal) external dative has been re‐analysed as an argument type dative, but this has not happened in English and Dutch, which have many verbs that only allow for an external dative (e.g. donate, reveal). When both datives are allowed, there are systematic semantic differences, including scope differences.
  • Shkaravska, O., Van Eekelen, M., & Tamalet, A. (2014). Collected size semantics for strict functional programs over general polymorphic lists. In U. Dal Lago, & R. Pena (Eds.), Foundational and Practical Aspects of Resource Analysis: Third International Workshop, FOPARA 2013, Bertinoro, Italy, August 29-31, 2013, Revised Selected Papers (pp. 143-159). Berlin: Springer.

    Abstract

    Size analysis can be an important part of heap consumption analysis. This paper is a part of ongoing work about typing support for checking output-on-input size dependencies for function definitions in a strict functional language. A significant restriction for our earlier results is that inner data structures (e.g. in a list of lists) all must have the same size. Here, we make a big step forwards by overcoming this limitation via the introduction of higher-order size annotations such that variate sizes of inner data structures can be expressed. In this way the analysis becomes applicable for general, polymorphic nested lists.
  • De Smedt, K., Hinrichs, E., Meurers, D., Skadiņa, I., Sanford Pedersen, B., Navarretta, C., Bel, N., Lindén, K., Lopatková, M., Hajič, J., Andersen, G., & Lenkiewicz, P. (2014). CLARA: A new generation of researchers in common language resources and their applications. In N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, T. Declerck, H. Loftsson, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, A. Moreno, J. Odijk, & S. Piperidis (Eds.), Proceedings of LREC 2014: 9th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (pp. 2166-2174).
  • Smith, A. C., Monaghan, P., & Huettig, F. (2014). Examining strains and symptoms of the ‘Literacy Virus’: The effects of orthographic transparency on phonological processing in a connectionist model of reading. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    The effect of literacy on phonological processing has been described in terms of a virus that “infects all speech processing” (Frith, 1998). Empirical data has established that literacy leads to changes to the way in which phonological information is processed. Harm & Seidenberg (1999) demonstrated that a connectionist network trained to map between English orthographic and phonological representations display’s more componential phonological processing than a network trained only to stably represent the phonological forms of words. Within this study we use a similar model yet manipulate the transparency of orthographic-to-phonological mappings. We observe that networks trained on a transparent orthography are better at restoring phonetic features and phonemes. However, networks trained on non-transparent orthographies are more likely to restore corrupted phonological segments with legal, coarser linguistic units (e.g. onset, coda). Our study therefore provides an explicit description of how differences in orthographic transparency can lead to varying strains and symptoms of the ‘literacy virus’.
  • Smith, A. C., Monaghan, P., & Huettig, F. (2014). A comprehensive model of spoken word recognition must be multimodal: Evidence from studies of language-mediated visual attention. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    When processing language, the cognitive system has access to information from a range of modalities (e.g. auditory, visual) to support language processing. Language mediated visual attention studies have shown sensitivity of the listener to phonological, visual, and semantic similarity when processing a word. In a computational model of language mediated visual attention, that models spoken word processing as the parallel integration of information from phonological, semantic and visual processing streams, we simulate such effects of competition within modalities. Our simulations raised untested predictions about stronger and earlier effects of visual and semantic similarity compared to phonological similarity around the rhyme of the word. Two visual world studies confirmed these predictions. The model and behavioral studies suggest that, during spoken word comprehension, multimodal information can be recruited rapidly to constrain lexical selection to the extent that phonological rhyme information may exert little influence on this process.
  • Speed, L., & Majid, A. (2018). Music and odor in harmony: A case of music-odor synaesthesia. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T. T. Rogers (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2018) (pp. 2527-2532). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    We report an individual with music-odor synaesthesia who experiences automatic and vivid odor sensations when she hears music. S’s odor associations were recorded on two days, and compared with those of two control participants. Overall, S produced longer descriptions, and her associations were of multiple odors at once, in comparison to controls who typically reported a single odor. Although odor associations were qualitatively different between S and controls, ratings of the consistency of their descriptions did not differ. This demonstrates that crossmodal associations between music and odor exist in non-synaesthetes too. We also found that S is better at discriminating between odors than control participants, and is more likely to experience emotion, memories and evaluations triggered by odors, demonstrating the broader impact of her synaesthesia.

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  • Sumer, B., Perniss, P., Zwitserlood, I., & Ozyurek, A. (2014). Learning to express "left-right" & "front-behind" in a sign versus spoken language. In P. Bello, M. Guarini, M. McShane, & B. Scassellati (Eds.), Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2014) (pp. 1550-1555). Austin, Tx: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Developmental studies show that it takes longer for children learning spoken languages to acquire viewpointdependent spatial relations (e.g., left-right, front-behind), compared to ones that are not viewpoint-dependent (e.g., in, on, under). The current study investigates how children learn to express viewpoint-dependent relations in a sign language where depicted spatial relations can be communicated in an analogue manner in the space in front of the body or by using body-anchored signs (e.g., tapping the right and left hand/arm to mean left and right). Our results indicate that the visual-spatial modality might have a facilitating effect on learning to express these spatial relations (especially in encoding of left-right) in a sign language (i.e., Turkish Sign Language) compared to a spoken language (i.e., Turkish).
  • Ten Bosch, L., Ernestus, M., & Boves, L. (2018). Analyzing reaction time sequences from human participants in auditory experiments. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2018 (pp. 971-975). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1728.

    Abstract

    Sequences of reaction times (RT) produced by participants in an experiment are not only influenced by the stimuli, but by many other factors as well, including fatigue, attention, experience, IQ, handedness, etc. These confounding factors result in longterm effects (such as a participant’s overall reaction capability) and in short- and medium-time fluctuations in RTs (often referred to as ‘local speed effects’). Because stimuli are usually presented in a random sequence different for each participant, local speed effects affect the underlying ‘true’ RTs of specific trials in different ways across participants. To be able to focus statistical analysis on the effects of the cognitive process under study, it is necessary to reduce the effect of confounding factors as much as possible. In this paper we propose and compare techniques and criteria for doing so, with focus on reducing (‘filtering’) the local speed effects. We show that filtering matters substantially for the significance analyses of predictors in linear mixed effect regression models. The performance of filtering is assessed by the average between-participant correlation between filtered RT sequences and by Akaike’s Information Criterion, an important measure of the goodness-of-fit of linear mixed effect regression models.
  • Ten Bosch, L., Ernestus, M., & Boves, L. (2014). Comparing reaction time sequences from human participants and computational models. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2014: 15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (pp. 462-466).

    Abstract

    This paper addresses the question how to compare reaction times computed by a computational model of speech comprehension with observed reaction times by participants. The question is based on the observation that reaction time sequences substantially differ per participant, which raises the issue of how exactly the model is to be assessed. Part of the variation in reaction time sequences is caused by the so-called local speed: the current reaction time correlates to some extent with a number of previous reaction times, due to slowly varying variations in attention, fatigue etc. This paper proposes a method, based on time series analysis, to filter the observed reaction times in order to separate the local speed effects. Results show that after such filtering the between-participant correlations increase as well as the average correlation between participant and model increases. The presented technique provides insights into relevant aspects that are to be taken into account when comparing reaction time sequences
  • Ten Bosch, L., & Boves, L. (2018). Information encoding by deep neural networks: what can we learn? In Proceedings of Interspeech 2018 (pp. 1457-1461). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2018-1896.

    Abstract

    The recent advent of deep learning techniques in speech tech-nology and in particular in automatic speech recognition hasyielded substantial performance improvements. This suggeststhat deep neural networks (DNNs) are able to capture structurein speech data that older methods for acoustic modeling, suchas Gaussian Mixture Models and shallow neural networks failto uncover. In image recognition it is possible to link repre-sentations on the first couple of layers in DNNs to structuralproperties of images, and to representations on early layers inthe visual cortex. This raises the question whether it is possi-ble to accomplish a similar feat with representations on DNNlayers when processing speech input. In this paper we presentthree different experiments in which we attempt to untanglehow DNNs encode speech signals, and to relate these repre-sentations to phonetic knowledge, with the aim to advance con-ventional phonetic concepts and to choose the topology of aDNNs more efficiently. Two experiments investigate represen-tations formed by auto-encoders. A third experiment investi-gates representations on convolutional layers that treat speechspectrograms as if they were images. The results lay the basisfor future experiments with recursive networks.
  • Thompson, B., & Lupyan, G. (2018). Automatic estimation of lexical concreteness in 77 languages. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T. T. Rogers (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2018) (pp. 1122-1127). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    We estimate lexical Concreteness for millions of words across 77 languages. Using a simple regression framework, we combine vector-based models of lexical semantics with experimental norms of Concreteness in English and Dutch. By applying techniques to align vector-based semantics across distinct languages, we compute and release Concreteness estimates at scale in numerous languages for which experimental norms are not currently available. This paper lays out the technique and its efficacy. Although this is a difficult dataset to evaluate immediately, Concreteness estimates computed from English correlate with Dutch experimental norms at $\rho$ = .75 in the vocabulary at large, increasing to $\rho$ = .8 among Nouns. Our predictions also recapitulate attested relationships with word frequency. The approach we describe can be readily applied to numerous lexical measures beyond Concreteness
  • Thompson, B., Roberts, S., & Lupyan, G. (2018). Quantifying semantic similarity across languages. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T. T. Rogers (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2018) (pp. 2551-2556). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Do all languages convey semantic knowledge in the same way? If language simply mirrors the structure of the world, the answer should be a qualified “yes”. If, however, languages impose structure as much as reflecting it, then even ostensibly the “same” word in different languages may mean quite different things. We provide a first pass at a large-scale quantification of cross-linguistic semantic alignment of approximately 1000 meanings in 55 languages. We find that the translation equivalents in some domains (e.g., Time, Quantity, and Kinship) exhibit high alignment across languages while the structure of other domains (e.g., Politics, Food, Emotions, and Animals) exhibits substantial cross-linguistic variability. Our measure of semantic alignment correlates with known phylogenetic distances between languages: more phylogenetically distant languages have less semantic alignment. We also find semantic alignment to correlate with cultural distances between societies speaking the languages, suggesting a rich co-adaptation of language and culture even in domains of experience that appear most constrained by the natural world
  • Torreira, F., Roberts, S. G., & Hammarström, H. (2014). Functional trade-off between lexical tone and intonation: Typological evidence from polar-question marking. In C. Gussenhoven, Y. Chen, & D. Dediu (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Tonal Aspects of Language (pp. 100-103).

    Abstract

    Tone languages are often reported to make use of utterancelevel intonation as well as of lexical tone. We test the alternative hypotheses that a) the coexistence of lexical tone and utterance-level intonation in tone languages results in a diminished functional load for intonation, and b) that lexical tone and intonation can coexist in tone languages without undermining each other’s functional load in a substantial way. In order to do this, we collected data from two large typological databases, and performed mixed-effects and phylogenetic regression analyses controlling for genealogical and areal factors to estimate the probability of a language exhibiting grammatical devices for encoding polar questions given its status as a tonal or an intonation-only language. Our analyses indicate that, while both tone and intonational languages tend to develop grammatical devices for marking polar questions above chance level, tone languages do this at a significantly higher frequency, with estimated probabilities ranging between 0.88 and .98. This statistical bias provides cross-linguistic empirical support to the view that the use of tonal features to mark lexical contrasts leads to a diminished functional load for utterance-level intonation.
  • Torreira, F., Simonet, M., & Hualde, J. I. (2014). Quasi-neutralization of stress contrasts in Spanish. In N. Campbell, D. Gibbon, & D. Hirst (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2014 (pp. 197-201).

    Abstract

    We investigate the realization and discrimination of lexical stress contrasts in pitch-unaccented words in phrase-medial position in Spanish, a context in which intonational pitch accents are frequently absent. Results from production and perception experiments show that in this context durational and intensity cues to stress are produced by speakers and used by listeners above chance level. However, due to substantial amounts of phonetic overlap between stress categories in production, and of numerous errors in the identification of stress categories in perception, we suggest that, in the absence of intonational cues, Spanish speakers engaged in online language use must rely on contextual information in order to distinguish stress contrasts.
  • Tourtouri, E. N., Delogu, F., & Crocker, M. W. (2018). Specificity and entropy reduction in situated referential processing. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. Davelaar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2017) (pp. 3356-3361). Austin: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    In situated communication, reference to an entity in the shared visual context can be established using eitheranexpression that conveys precise (minimally specified) or redundant (over-specified) information. There is, however, along-lasting debate in psycholinguistics concerningwhether the latter hinders referential processing. We present evidence from an eyetrackingexperiment recordingfixations as well asthe Index of Cognitive Activity –a novel measure of cognitive workload –supporting the view that over-specifications facilitate processing. We further present originalevidence that, above and beyond the effect of specificity,referring expressions thatuniformly reduce referential entropyalso benefitprocessing
  • Trippel, T., Broeder, D., Durco, M., & Ohren, O. (2014). Towards automatic quality assessment of component metadata. In N. Calzolari, K. Choukri, T. Declerck, H. Loftsson, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, A. Moreno, J. Odijk, & S. Piperidis (Eds.), Proceedings of LREC 2014: 9th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (pp. 3851-3856).

    Abstract

    Measuring the quality of metadata is only possible by assessing the quality of the underlying schema and the metadata instance. We propose some factors that are measurable automatically for metadata according to the CMD framework, taking into account the variability of schemas that can be defined in this framework. The factors include among others the number of elements, the (re-)use of reusable components, the number of filled in elements. The resulting score can serve as an indicator of the overall quality of the CMD instance, used for feedback to metadata providers or to provide an overview of the overall quality of metadata within a reposi-tory. The score is independent of specific schemas and generalizable. An overall assessment of harvested metadata is provided in form of statistical summaries and the distribution, based on a corpus of harvested metadata. The score is implemented in XQuery and can be used in tools, editors and repositories
  • Valtersson, E., & Torreira, F. (2014). Rising intonation in spontaneous French: How well can continuation statements and polar questions be distinguished? In N. Campbell, D. Gibbon, & D. Hirst (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2014 (pp. 785-789).

    Abstract

    This study investigates whether a clear distinction can be made between the prosody of continuation statements and polar questions in conversational French, which are both typically produced with final rising intonation. We show that the two utterance types can be distinguished over chance level by several pitch, duration, and intensity cues. However, given the substantial amount of phonetic overlap and the nature of the observed differences between the two utterance types (i.e. overall F0 scaling, final intensity drop and degree of final lengthening), we propose that variability in the phonetic detail of intonation rises in French is due to the effects of interactional factors (e.g. turn-taking context, type of speech act) rather than to the existence of two distinct rising intonation contour types in this language.
  • Vernes, S. C. (2018). Vocal learning in bats: From genes to behaviour. In C. Cuskley, M. Flaherty, H. Little, L. McCrohon, A. Ravignani, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG XII) (pp. 516-518). Toruń, Poland: NCU Press. doi:10.12775/3991-1.128.
  • Von Holzen, K., & Bergmann, C. (2018). A Meta-Analysis of Infants’ Mispronunciation Sensitivity Development. In C. Kalish, M. Rau, J. Zhu, & T. T. Rogers (Eds.), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2018) (pp. 1159-1164). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Before infants become mature speakers of their native language, they must acquire a robust word-recognition system which allows them to strike the balance between allowing some variation (mood, voice, accent) and recognizing variability that potentially changes meaning (e.g. cat vs hat). The current meta-analysis quantifies how the latter, termed mispronunciation sensitivity, changes over infants’ first three years, testing competing predictions of mainstream language acquisition theories. Our results show that infants were sensitive to mispronunciations, but accepted them as labels for target objects. Interestingly, and in contrast to predictions of mainstream theories, mispronunciation sensitivity was not modulated by infant age, suggesting that a sufficiently flexible understanding of native language phonology is in place at a young age.

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