Publications

Displaying 1 - 100 of 1508
  • Levshina, N. (2023). Communicative efficiency: Language structure and use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Abstract

    All living beings try to save effort, and humans are no exception. This groundbreaking book shows how we save time and energy during communication by unconsciously making efficient choices in grammar, lexicon and phonology. It presents a new theory of 'communicative efficiency', the idea that language is designed to be as efficient as possible, as a system of communication. The new framework accounts for the diverse manifestations of communicative efficiency across a typologically broad range of languages, using various corpus-based and statistical approaches to explain speakers' bias towards efficiency. The author's unique interdisciplinary expertise allows her to provide rich evidence from a broad range of language sciences. She integrates diverse insights from over a hundred years of research into this comprehensible new theory, which she presents step-by-step in clear and accessible language. It is essential reading for language scientists, cognitive scientists and anyone interested in language use and communication.
  • Akamine, S., Kohatsu, T., Niikuni, K., Schafer, A. J., & Sato, M. (2022). Emotions in language processing: Affective priming in embodied cognition. In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of Japanese Cognitive Science Society (pp. 326-332). Tokyo: Japanese Cognitive Science Society.
  • Bauer, B. L. M. (2022). Finite verb + infinite + object in later Latin: Early brace constructions? In G. V. M. Haverling (Ed.), Studies on Late and Vulgar Latin in the Early 21st Century: Acts of the 12th International Colloquium "Latin vulgaire – Latin tardif (pp. 166-181). Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.
  • Bruggeman, L., Yu, J., & Cutler, A. (2022). Listener adjustment of stress cue use to fit language vocabulary structure. In S. Frota, M. Cruz, & M. Vigário (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2022 (pp. 264-267). doi:10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-54.

    Abstract

    In lexical stress languages, phonemically identical syllables can differ suprasegmentally (in duration, amplitude, F0). Such stress
    cues allow listeners to speed spoken-word recognition by rejecting mismatching competitors (e.g., unstressed set- in settee
    rules out stressed set- in setting, setter, settle). Such processing effects have indeed been observed in Spanish, Dutch and German, but English listeners are known to largely ignore stress cues. Dutch and German listeners even outdo English listeners in distinguishing stressed versus unstressed English syllables. This has been attributed to the relative frequency across the stress languages of unstressed syllables with full vowels; in English most unstressed syllables contain schwa, instead, and stress cues on full vowels are thus least often informative in this language. If only informativeness matters, would English listeners who encounter situations where such cues would pay off for them (e.g., learning one of those other stress languages) then shift to using stress cues? Likewise, would stress cue users with English as L2, if mainly using English, shift away from
    using the cues in English? Here we report tests of these two questions, with each receiving a yes answer. We propose that
    English listeners’ disregard of stress cues is purely pragmatic.
  • Bujok, R., Meyer, A. S., & Bosker, H. R. (2022). Visible lexical stress cues on the face do not influence audiovisual speech perception. In S. Frota, M. Cruz, & M. Vigário (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2022 (pp. 259-263). doi:10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-53.

    Abstract

    Producing lexical stress leads to visible changes on the face, such as longer duration and greater size of the opening of the mouth. Research suggests that these visual cues alone can inform participants about which syllable carries stress (i.e., lip-reading silent videos). This study aims to determine the influence of visual articulatory cues on lexical stress perception in more naturalistic audiovisual settings. Participants were presented with seven disyllabic, Dutch minimal stress pairs (e.g., VOORnaam [first name] & voorNAAM [respectable]) in audio-only (phonetic lexical stress continua without video), video-only (lip-reading silent videos), and audiovisual trials (e.g., phonetic lexical stress continua with video of talker saying VOORnaam or voorNAAM). Categorization data from video-only trials revealed that participants could distinguish the minimal pairs above chance from seeing the silent videos alone. However, responses in the audiovisual condition did not differ from the audio-only condition. We thus conclude that visual lexical stress information on the face, while clearly perceivable, does not play a major role in audiovisual speech perception. This study demonstrates that clear unimodal effects do not always generalize to more naturalistic multimodal communication, advocating that speech prosody is best considered in multimodal settings.
  • Cambier, N., Miletitch, R., Burraco, A. B., & Raviv, L. (2022). Prosociality in swarm robotics: A model to study self-domestication and language evolution. In A. Ravignani, R. Asano, D. Valente, F. Ferretti, S. Hartmann, M. Hayashi, Y. Jadoul, M. Martins, Y. Oseki, E. D. Rodrigues, O. Vasileva, & S. Wacewicz (Eds.), The evolution of language: Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE) (pp. 98-100). Nijmegen: Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE).
  • Cheung, C.-Y., Yakpo, K., & Coupé, C. (2022). A computational simulation of the genesis and spread of lexical items in situations of abrupt language contact. In A. Ravignani, R. Asano, D. Valente, F. Ferretti, S. Hartmann, M. Hayashi, Y. Jadoul, M. Martins, Y. Oseki, E. D. Rodrigues, O. Vasileva, & S. Wacewicz (Eds.), The evolution of language: Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE) (pp. 115-122). Nijmegen: Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE).

    Abstract

    The current study presents an agent-based model which simulates the innovation and
    competition among lexical items in cases of language contact. It is inspired by relatively
    recent historical cases in which the linguistic ecology and sociohistorical context are highly complex. Pidgin and creole genesis offers an opportunity to obtain linguistic facts, social dynamics, and historical demography in a highly segregated society. This provides a solid ground for researching the interaction of populations with different pre-existing language systems, and how different factors contribute to the genesis of the lexicon of a newly generated mixed language. We take into consideration the population dynamics and structures, as well as a distribution of word frequencies related to language use, in order to study how social factors may affect the developmental trajectory of languages. Focusing on the case of Sranan in Suriname, our study shows that it is possible to account for the
    composition of its core lexicon in relation to different social groups, contact patterns, and
    large population movements.
  • Dingemanse, M., Liesenfeld, A., & Woensdregt, M. (2022). Convergent cultural evolution of continuers (mhmm). In A. Ravignani, R. Asano, D. Valente, F. Ferretti, S. Hartmann, M. Hayashi, Y. Jadoul, M. Martins, Y. Oseki, E. D. Rodrigues, O. Vasileva, & S. Wacewicz (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE) (pp. 160-167). Nijmegen: Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE). doi:10.31234/osf.io/65c79.

    Abstract

    Continuers —words like mm, mmhm, uhum and the like— are among the most frequent types of responses in conversation. They play a key role in joint action coordination by showing positive evidence of understanding and scaffolding narrative delivery. Here we investigate the hypothesis that their functional importance along with their conversational ecology places selective pressures on their form and may lead to cross-linguistic similarities through convergent cultural evolution. We compare continuer tokens in linguistically diverse conversational corpora and find languages make available highly similar forms. We then approach the causal mechanism of convergent cultural evolution using exemplar modelling, simulating the process by which a combination of effort minimization and functional specialization may push continuers to a particular region of phonological possibility space. By combining comparative linguistics and computational modelling we shed new light on the question of how language structure is shaped by and for social interaction.
  • Fletcher, J., Kidd, E., Stoakes, H., & Nordlinger, R. (2022). Prosodic phrasing, pitch range, and word order variation in Murrinhpatha. In R. Billington (Ed.), Proceedings of the 18th Australasian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology (pp. 201-205). Canberra: Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association.

    Abstract

    Like many Indigenous Australian languages, Murrinhpatha has flexible word order with no apparent configurational syntax. We analyzed an experimental corpus of Murrinhpatha utterances for associations between different thematic role orders, intonational phrasing patterns and pitch downtrends. We found that initial constituents (Agents or Patients) tend to carry the highest pitch targets (HiF0), followed by patterns of downstep and declination. Sentence-final verbs always have lower Hif0 values than either initial or medial Agents or Patients. Thematic role order does not influence intonational
    patterns, with the results suggesting that Murrinhpatha has positional prosody, although final nominals can disrupt global
    pitch downtrends regardless of thematic role.
  • Galke, L., & Scherp, A. (2022). Bag-of-words vs. graph vs. sequence in text classification: Questioning the necessity of text-graphs and the surprising strength of a wide MLP. In S. Muresan, P. Nakov, & A. Villavicencio (Eds.), Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (pp. 4038-4051). Dublin: Association for Computational Linguistics. doi:10.18653/v1/2022.acl-long.279.
  • Galke, L., Cuber, I., Meyer, C., Nölscher, H. F., Sonderecker, A., & Scherp, A. (2022). General cross-architecture distillation of pretrained language models into matrix embedding. In Proceedings of the IEEE Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN 2022), part of the IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence (WCCI 2022). doi:10.1109/IJCNN55064.2022.9892144.

    Abstract

    Large pretrained language models (PreLMs) are rev-olutionizing natural language processing across all benchmarks. However, their sheer size is prohibitive for small laboratories or for deployment on mobile devices. Approaches like pruning and distillation reduce the model size but typically retain the same model architecture. In contrast, we explore distilling PreLMs into a different, more efficient architecture, Continual Multiplication of Words (CMOW), which embeds each word as a matrix and uses matrix multiplication to encode sequences. We extend the CMOW architecture and its CMOW/CBOW-Hybrid variant with a bidirectional component for more expressive power, per-token representations for a general (task-agnostic) distillation during pretraining, and a two-sequence encoding scheme that facilitates downstream tasks on sentence pairs, such as sentence similarity and natural language inference. Our matrix-based bidirectional CMOW/CBOW-Hybrid model is competitive to DistilBERT on question similarity and recognizing textual entailment, but uses only half of the number of parameters and is three times faster in terms of inference speed. We match or exceed the scores of ELMo for all tasks of the GLUE benchmark except for the sentiment analysis task SST-2 and the linguistic acceptability task CoLA. However, compared to previous cross-architecture distillation approaches, we demonstrate a doubling of the scores on detecting linguistic acceptability. This shows that matrix-based embeddings can be used to distill large PreLM into competitive models and motivates further research in this direction.
  • Gamba, M., De Gregorio, C., Valente, D., Raimondi, T., Torti, V., Miaretsoa, L., Carugati, F., Friard, O., Giacoma, C., & Ravignani, A. (2022). Primate rhythmic categories analyzed on an individual basis. In A. Ravignani, R. Asano, D. Valente, F. Ferretti, S. Hartmann, M. Hayashi, Y. Jadoul, M. Martins, Y. Oseki, E. D. Rodrigues, O. Vasileva, & S. Wacewicz (Eds.), The evolution of language: Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE) (pp. 229-236). Nijmegen: Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE).

    Abstract

    Rhythm is a fundamental feature characterizing communicative displays, and recent studies showed that primate songs encompass categorical rhythms falling on small integer ratios observed in humans. We individually assessed the presence and sexual dimorphism of rhythmic categories, analyzing songs emitted by 39 wild indris. Considering the intervals between the units given during each song, we extracted 13556 interval ratios and found three peaks (at around 0.33, 0.47, and 0.70). Two peaks indicated rhythmic categories corresponding to small integer ratios (1:1, 2:1). All individuals showed a peak at 0.70, and
    most showed those at 0.47 and 0.33. In addition, we found sex differences in the peak at 0.47 only, with males showing lower values than females. This work investigates the presence of individual rhythmic categories in a non-human species; further research may highlight the significance of rhythmicity and untie selective pressures that guided its evolution across species, including humans.
  • Hintz, F., Voeten, C. C., McQueen, J. M., & Meyer, A. S. (2022). Quantifying the relationships between linguistic experience, general cognitive skills and linguistic processing skills. In J. Culbertson, A. Perfors, H. Rabagliati, & V. Ramenzoni (Eds.), Proceedings of the 44th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2022) (pp. 2491-2496). Toronto, Canada: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Humans differ greatly in their ability to use language. Contemporary psycholinguistic theories assume that individual differences in language skills arise from variability in linguistic experience and in general cognitive skills. While much previous research has tested the involvement of select verbal and non-verbal variables in select domains of linguistic processing, comprehensive characterizations of the relationships among the skills underlying language use are rare. We contribute to such a research program by re-analyzing a publicly available set of data from 112 young adults tested on 35 behavioral tests. The tests assessed nine key constructs reflecting linguistic processing skills, linguistic experience and general cognitive skills. Correlation and hierarchical clustering analyses of the test scores showed that most of the tests assumed to measure the same construct correlated moderately to strongly and largely clustered together. Furthermore, the results suggest important roles of processing speed in comprehension, and of linguistic experience in production.
  • Hoeksema, N., Hagoort, P., & Vernes, S. C. (2022). Piecing together the building blocks of the vocal learning bat brain. In A. Ravignani, R. Asano, D. Valente, F. Ferretti, S. Hartmann, M. Hayashi, Y. Jadoul, M. Martins, Y. Oseki, E. D. Rodrigues, O. Vasileva, & S. Wacewicz (Eds.), The evolution of language: Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE) (pp. 294-296). Nijmegen: Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE).
  • Kan, U., Gökgöz, K., Sumer, B., Tamyürek, E., & Ozyurek, A. (2022). Emergence of negation in a Turkish homesign system: Insights from the family context. In A. Ravignani, R. Asano, D. Valente, F. Ferretti, S. Hartmann, M. Hayashi, Y. Jadoul, M. Martins, Y. Oseki, E. D. Rodrigues, O. Vasileva, & S. Wacewicz (Eds.), The evolution of language: Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE) (pp. 387-389). Nijmegen: Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE).
  • Kohatsu, T., Akamine, S., Sato, M., & Niikuni, K. (2022). Individual differences in empathy affect perspective adoption in language comprehension. In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of Japanese Cognitive Science Society (pp. 652-656). Tokyo: Japanese Cognitive Science Society.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2022). A grammar of Yélî Dnye: The Papuan language of Rossel Island. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. doi:10.1515/9783110733853.

    Abstract

    This is a comprehensive description of a language spoken some 450 km offshore from the mainland of Papua New Guinea. The language is remarkable for its phonological, morphological and syntactic complexity. As the sole surviving member of its language family, and with little historical contact with surrounding languages, the language provides evidence of the kind of languages spoken in this part of the world before the Austronesian expansion.

    The grammar provides detailed information on the phoneme inventory, morphology, syntax and select semantic fields. Remarkable features include a 90 phoneme inventory including unique sounds, a morphology with thousands of non-compositional portmanteau elements, complex rules for negation, and extensive ergative syntax. Unusual patterns are also found in the organization of semantic fields, for example in partonymies of the body, taxonomies of the natural world, verbal semantics and kinship terms. The combination of linguistic ‘rara’ suggest that linguistic evolution under low contact can yield baroque and unusual patterns. The volume should be of special interest to linguists, typologists, sociolinguists, anthropologists and researchers in Oceania and Melanesia.
  • Merkx, D., Frank, S. L., & Ernestus, M. (2022). Seeing the advantage: Visually grounding word embeddings to better capture human semantic knowledge. In E. Chersoni, N. Hollenstein, C. Jacobs, Y. Oseki, L. Prévot, & E. Santus (Eds.), Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics (CMCL 2022) (pp. 1-11). Stroudsburg, PA, USA: Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).

    Abstract

    Distributional semantic models capture word-level meaning that is useful in many natural language processing tasks and have even been shown to capture cognitive aspects of word meaning. The majority of these models are purely text based, even though the human sensory experience is much richer. In this paper we create visually grounded word embeddings by combining English text and images and compare them to popular text-based methods, to see if visual information allows our model to better capture cognitive aspects of word meaning. Our analysis shows that visually grounded embedding similarities are more predictive of the human reaction times in a large priming experiment than the purely text-based embeddings. The visually grounded embeddings also correlate well with human word similarity ratings.Importantly, in both experiments we show that he grounded embeddings account for a unique portion of explained variance, even when we include text-based embeddings trained on huge corpora. This shows that visual grounding allows our model to capture information that cannot be extracted using text as the only source of information.
  • Mishra, C., & Skantze, G. (2022). Knowing where to look: A planning-based architecture to automate the gaze behavior of social robots. In Proceedings of the 31st IEEE International Conference on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN) (pp. 1201-1208). doi:10.1109/RO-MAN53752.2022.9900740.

    Abstract

    Gaze cues play an important role in human communication and are used to coordinate turn-taking and joint attention, as well as to regulate intimacy. In order to have fluent conversations with people, social robots need to exhibit humanlike gaze behavior. Previous Gaze Control Systems (GCS) in HRI have automated robot gaze using data-driven or heuristic approaches. However, these systems tend to be mainly reactive in nature. Planning the robot gaze ahead of time could help in achieving more realistic gaze behavior and better eye-head coordination. In this paper, we propose and implement a novel planning-based GCS. We evaluate our system in a comparative within-subjects user study (N=26) between a reactive system and our proposed system. The results show that the users preferred the proposed system and that it was significantly more interpretable and better at regulating intimacy.
  • Raviv, L., Jacobson, S. L., Plotnik, J. M., Bowman, J., Lynch, V., & Benítez-Burraco, A. (2022). Elephants as a new animal model for studying the evolution of language as a result of self-domestication. In A. Ravignani, R. Asano, D. Valente, F. Ferretti, S. Hartmann, M. Hayashi, Y. Jadoul, M. Martins, Y. Oseki, E. D. Rodrigues, O. Vasileva, & S. Wacewicz (Eds.), The evolution of language: Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE) (pp. 606-608). Nijmegen: Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE).
  • de Reus, K., Carlson, D., Lowry, A., Gross, S., Garcia, M., Rubio-García, A., Salazar-Casals, A., & Ravignani, A. (2022). Body size predicts vocal tract size in a mammalian vocal learner. In A. Ravignani, R. Asano, D. Valente, F. Ferretti, S. Hartmann, M. Hayashi, Y. Jadoul, M. Martins, Y. Oseki, E. D. Rodrigues, O. Vasileva, & S. Wacewicz (Eds.), The evolution of language: Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE) (pp. 154-156). Nijmegen: Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE).
  • Scholman, M., Tianai, D., Yung, F., & Demberg, V. (2022). DiscoGeM: A crowdsourced corpus of genre-mixed implicit discourse relations. In Proceedings of the 13th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC 2022) (pp. 3281-3290). Marseille, France: European Language Resources Association.

    Abstract

    We present DiscoGeM, a crowdsourced corpus of 6,505 implicit discourse relations from three genres: political speech,
    literature, and encyclopedic texts. Each instance was annotated by 10 crowd workers. Various label aggregation methods
    were explored to evaluate how to obtain a label that best captures the meaning inferred by the crowd annotators. The results
    show that a significant proportion of discourse relations in DiscoGeM are ambiguous and can express multiple relation senses.
    Probability distribution labels better capture these interpretations than single labels. Further, the results emphasize that text
    genre crucially affects the distribution of discourse relations, suggesting that genre should be included as a factor in automatic
    relation classification. We make available the newly created DiscoGeM corpus, as well as the dataset with all annotator-level
    labels. Both the corpus and the dataset can facilitate a multitude of applications and research purposes, for example to
    function as training data to improve the performance of automatic discourse relation parsers, as well as facilitate research into
    non-connective signals of discourse relations.
  • Senft, G. (2022). Understanding Pragmatics (Japanese edition) (2nd ed.). Tokyo: Kaitaku-Sha.
  • Severijnen, G. G., Bosker, H. R., & McQueen, J. M. (2022). Acoustic correlates of Dutch lexical stress re-examined: Spectral tilt is not always more reliable than intensity. In S. Frota, M. Cruz, & M. Vigário (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2022 (pp. 278-282). doi:10.21437/SpeechProsody.2022-57.

    Abstract

    The present study examined two acoustic cues in the production
    of lexical stress in Dutch: spectral tilt and overall intensity.
    Sluijter and Van Heuven (1996) reported that spectral tilt is a
    more reliable cue to stress than intensity. However, that study
    included only a small number of talkers (10) and only syllables
    with the vowels /aː/ and /ɔ/.
    The present study re-examined this issue in a larger and
    more variable dataset. We recorded 38 native speakers of Dutch
    (20 females) producing 744 tokens of Dutch segmentally
    overlapping words (e.g., VOORnaam vs. voorNAAM, “first
    name” vs. “respectable”), targeting 10 different vowels, in
    variable sentence contexts. For each syllable, we measured
    overall intensity and spectral tilt following Sluijter and Van
    Heuven (1996).
    Results from Linear Discriminant Analyses showed that,
    for the vowel /aː/ alone, spectral tilt showed an advantage over
    intensity, as evidenced by higher stressed/unstressed syllable
    classification accuracy scores for spectral tilt. However, when
    all vowels were included in the analysis, the advantage
    disappeared.
    These findings confirm that spectral tilt plays a larger role
    in signaling stress in Dutch /aː/ but show that, for a larger
    sample of Dutch vowels, overall intensity and spectral tilt are
    equally important.
  • Slonimska, A., Ozyurek, A., & Capirci, O. (2022). Simultaneity as an emergent property of sign languages. In A. Ravignani, R. Asano, D. Valente, F. Ferretti, S. Hartmann, M. Hayashi, Y. Jadoul, M. Martins, Y. Oseki, E. D. Rodrigues, O. Vasileva, & S. Wacewicz (Eds.), The evolution of language: Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE) (pp. 678-680). Nijmegen: Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE).
  • Tsutsui, S., Wang, X., Weng, G., Zhang, Y., Crandall, D., & Yu, C. (2022). Action recognition based on cross-situational action-object statistics. In Proceedings of the 2022 IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL 2022).

    Abstract

    Machine learning models of visual action recognition are typically trained and tested on data from specific situations where actions are associated with certain objects. It is an open question how action-object associations in the training set influence a model's ability to generalize beyond trained situations. We set out to identify properties of training data that lead to action recognition models with greater generalization ability. To do this, we take inspiration from a cognitive mechanism called cross-situational learning, which states that human learners extract the meaning of concepts by observing instances of the same concept across different situations. We perform controlled experiments with various types of action-object associations, and identify key properties of action-object co-occurrence in training data that lead to better classifiers. Given that these properties are missing in the datasets that are typically used to train action classifiers in the computer vision literature, our work provides useful insights on how we should best construct datasets for efficiently training for better generalization.
  • Woensdregt, M., Jara-Ettinger, J., & Rubio-Fernandez, P. (2022). Language universals rely on social cognition: Computational models of the use of this and that to redirect the receiver’s attention. In J. Culbertson, A. Perfors, H. Rabagliati, & V. Ramenzoni (Eds.), Proceedings of the 44th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2022) (pp. 1382-1388). Toronto, Canada: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Demonstratives—simple referential devices like this and that—are linguistic universals, but their meaning varies cross-linguistically. In languages like English and Italian, demonstratives are thought to encode the referent’s distance from the producer (e.g., that one means “the one far away from me”),
    while in others, like Portuguese and Spanish, they encode relative distance from both producer and receiver (e.g., aquel means “the one far away from both of us”). Here we propose that demonstratives are also sensitive to the receiver’s focus of attention, hence requiring a deeper form of social cognition
    than previously thought. We provide initial empirical and computational evidence for this idea, suggesting that producers use
    demonstratives to redirect the receiver’s attention towards the intended referent, rather than only to indicate its physical distance.
  • Zhang, Y., & Yu, C. (2022). Examining real-time attention dynamics in parent-infant picture book reading. In J. Culbertson, A. Perfors, H. Rabagliati, & V. Ramenzoni (Eds.), Proceedings of the 44th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2022) (pp. 1367-1374). Toronto, Canada: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Picture book reading is a common word-learning context from which parents repeatedly name objects to their child and it has been found to facilitate early word learning. To learn the correct word-object mappings in a book-reading context, infants need to be able to link what they see with what they hear. However, given multiple objects on every book page, it is not clear how infants direct their attention to objects named by parents. The aim of the current study is to examine how infants mechanistically discover the correct word-object mappings during book reading in real time. We used head-mounted eye-tracking during parent-infant picture book reading and measured the infant's moment-by-moment visual attention to the named referent. We also examined how gesture cues provided by both the child and the parent may influence infants' attention to the named target. We found that although parents provided many object labels during book reading, infants were not able to attend to the named objects easily. However, their abilities to follow and use gestures to direct the other social partner’s attention increase the chance of looking at the named target during parent naming.
  • Amatuni, A., Schroer, S. E., Zhang, Y., Peters, R. E., Reza, M. A., Crandall, D., & Yu, C. (2021). In-the-moment visual information from the infant's egocentric view determines the success of infant word learning: A computational study. In T. Fitch, C. Lamm, H. Leder, & K. Teßmar-Raible (Eds.), Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2021) (pp. 265-271). Vienna: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Infants learn the meaning of words from accumulated experiences of real-time interactions with their caregivers. To study the effects of visual sensory input on word learning, we recorded infant's view of the world using head-mounted eye trackers during free-flowing play with a caregiver. While playing, infants were exposed to novel label-object mappings and later learning outcomes for these items were tested after the play session. In this study we use a classification based approach to link properties of infants' visual scenes during naturalistic labeling moments to their word learning outcomes. We find that a model which integrates both highly informative and ambiguous sensory evidence is a better fit to infants' individual learning outcomes than models where either type of evidence is taken alone, and that raw labeling frequency is unable to account for the word learning differences we observe. Here we demonstrate how a computational model, using only raw pixels taken from the egocentric scene image, can derive insights on human language learning.
  • Bodur, K., Branje, S., Peirolo, M., Tiscareno, I., & German, J. S. (2021). Domain-initial strengthening in Turkish: Acoustic cues to prosodic hierarchy in stop consonants. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2021 (pp. 1459-1463). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2021-2230.

    Abstract

    Studies have shown that cross-linguistically, consonants at the left edge of higher-level prosodic boundaries tend to be more forcefully articulated than those at lower-level boundaries, a phenomenon known as domain-initial strengthening. This study tests whether similar effects occur in Turkish, using the Autosegmental-Metrical model proposed by Ipek & Jun [1, 2] as the basis for assessing boundary strength. Productions of /t/ and /d/ were elicited in four domain-initial prosodic positions corresponding to progressively higher-level boundaries: syllable, word, intermediate phrase, and Intonational Phrase. A fifth position, nuclear word, was included in order to better situate it within the prosodic hierarchy. Acoustic correlates of articulatory strength were measured, including closure duration for /d/ and /t/, as well as voice onset time and burst energy for /t/. Our results show that closure duration increases cumulatively from syllable to intermediate phrase, while voice onset time and burst energy are not influenced by boundary strength. These findings provide corroborating evidence for Ipek & Jun’s model, particularly for the distinction between word and intermediate phrase boundaries. Additionally, articulatory strength at the left edge of the nuclear word patterned closely with word-initial position, supporting the view that the nuclear word is not associated with a distinct phrasing domain
  • Coopmans, C. W., De Hoop, H., Kaushik, K., Hagoort, P., & Martin, A. E. (2021). Structure-(in)dependent interpretation of phrases in humans and LSTMs. In Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics (SCiL 2021) (pp. 459-463).

    Abstract

    In this study, we compared the performance of a long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network to the behavior of human participants on a language task that requires hierarchically structured knowledge. We show that humans interpret ambiguous noun phrases, such as second blue ball, in line with their hierarchical constituent structure. LSTMs, instead, only do
    so after unambiguous training, and they do not systematically generalize to novel items. Overall, the results of our simulations indicate that a model can behave hierarchically without relying on hierarchical constituent structure.
  • Cutler, A., Aslin, R. N., Gervain, J., & Nespor, M. (Eds.). (2021). Special issue in honor of Jacques Mehler, Cognition's founding editor [Special Issue]. Cognition, 213.
  • Evans, N., Levinson, S. C., & Sterelny, K. (Eds.). (2021). Thematic issue on evolution of kinship systems [Special Issue]. Biological theory, 16.
  • Eviatar, Z., & Huettig, F. (Eds.). (2021). Literacy and writing systems [Special Issue]. Journal of Cultural Cognitive Science.
  • Falk, J. J., Zhang, Y., Scheutz, M., & Yu, C. (2021). Parents adaptively use anaphora during parent-child social interaction. In T. Fitch, C. Lamm, H. Leder, & K. Teßmar-Raible (Eds.), Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2021) (pp. 1472-1478). Vienna: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Anaphora, a ubiquitous feature of natural language, poses a particular challenge to young children as they first learn language due to its referential ambiguity. In spite of this, parents and caregivers use anaphora frequently in child-directed speech, potentially presenting a risk to effective communication if children do not yet have the linguistic capabilities of resolving anaphora successfully. Through an eye-tracking study in a naturalistic free-play context, we examine the strategies that parents employ to calibrate their use of anaphora to their child's linguistic development level. We show that, in this way, parents are able to intuitively scaffold the complexity of their speech such that greater referential ambiguity does not hurt overall communication success.
  • Galke, L., Franke, B., Zielke, T., & Scherp, A. (2021). Lifelong learning of graph neural networks for open-world node classification. In Proceedings of the 2021 International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN). Piscataway, NJ: IEEE. doi:10.1109/IJCNN52387.2021.9533412.

    Abstract

    Graph neural networks (GNNs) have emerged as the standard method for numerous tasks on graph-structured data such as node classification. However, real-world graphs are often evolving over time and even new classes may arise. We model these challenges as an instance of lifelong learning, in which a learner faces a sequence of tasks and may take over knowledge acquired in past tasks. Such knowledge may be stored explicitly as historic data or implicitly within model parameters. In this work, we systematically analyze the influence of implicit and explicit knowledge. Therefore, we present an incremental training method for lifelong learning on graphs and introduce a new measure based on k-neighborhood time differences to address variances in the historic data. We apply our training method to five representative GNN architectures and evaluate them on three new lifelong node classification datasets. Our results show that no more than 50% of the GNN's receptive field is necessary to retain at least 95% accuracy compared to training over the complete history of the graph data. Furthermore, our experiments confirm that implicit knowledge becomes more important when fewer explicit knowledge is available.
  • Galke, L., Seidlmayer, E., Lüdemann, G., Langnickel, L., Melnychuk, T., Förstner, K. U., Tochtermann, K., & Schultz, C. (2021). COVID-19++: A citation-aware Covid-19 dataset for the analysis of research dynamics. In Y. Chen, H. Ludwig, Y. Tu, U. Fayyad, X. Zhu, X. Hu, S. Byna, X. Liu, J. Zhang, S. Pan, V. Papalexakis, J. Wang, A. Cuzzocrea, & C. Ordonez (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2021 IEEE International Conference on Big Data (pp. 4350-4355). Piscataway, NJ: IEEE.

    Abstract

    COVID-19 research datasets are crucial for analyzing research dynamics. Most collections of COVID-19 research items do not to include cited works and do not have annotations
    from a controlled vocabulary. Starting with ZB MED KE data on COVID-19, which comprises CORD-19, we assemble a new dataset that includes cited work and MeSH annotations for all records. Furthermore, we conduct experiments on the analysis of research dynamics, in which we investigate predicting links in a co-annotation graph created on the basis of the new dataset. Surprisingly, we find that simple heuristic methods are better at
    predicting future links than more sophisticated approaches such as graph neural networks.
  • Greenfield, M. D., Honing, H., Kotz, S. A., & Ravignani, A. (Eds.). (2021). Synchrony and rhythm interaction: From the brain to behavioural ecology [Special Issue]. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 376.
  • Hintz, F., Voeten, C. C., McQueen, J. M., & Scharenborg, O. (2021). The effects of onset and offset masking on the time course of non-native spoken-word recognition in noise. In T. Fitch, C. Lamm, H. Leder, & K. Teßmar-Raible (Eds.), Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2021) (pp. 133-139). Vienna: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Using the visual-word paradigm, the present study investigated the effects of word onset and offset masking on the time course of non-native spoken-word recognition in the presence of background noise. In two experiments, Dutch non-native listeners heard English target words, preceded by carrier sentences that were noise-free (Experiment 1) or contained intermittent noise (Experiment 2). Target words were either onset- or offset-masked or not masked at all. Results showed that onset masking delayed target word recognition more than offset masking did, suggesting that – similar to natives – non-native listeners strongly rely on word onset information during word recognition in noise.

    Additional information

    Link to Preprint on BioRxiv
  • Karadöller, D. Z., Sumer, B., Ünal, E., & Ozyurek, A. (2021). Spatial language use predicts spatial memory of children: Evidence from sign, speech, and speech-plus-gesture. In T. Fitch, C. Lamm, H. Leder, & K. Teßmar-Raible (Eds.), Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2021) (pp. 672-678). Vienna: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    There is a strong relation between children’s exposure to
    spatial terms and their later memory accuracy. In the current
    study, we tested whether the production of spatial terms by
    children themselves predicts memory accuracy and whether
    and how language modality of these encodings modulates
    memory accuracy differently. Hearing child speakers of
    Turkish and deaf child signers of Turkish Sign Language
    described pictures of objects in various spatial relations to each
    other and later tested for their memory accuracy of these
    pictures in a surprise memory task. We found that having
    described the spatial relation between the objects predicted
    better memory accuracy. However, the modality of these
    descriptions in sign, speech, or speech-plus-gesture did not
    reveal differences in memory accuracy. We discuss the
    implications of these findings for the relation between spatial
    language, memory, and the modality of encoding.
  • Levshina, N., & Moran, S. (Eds.). (2021). Efficiency in human languages: Corpus evidence for universal principles [Special Issue]. Linguistics Vanguard, 7(s3).
  • Mamus, E., Speed, L. J., Ozyurek, A., & Majid, A. (2021). Sensory modality of input influences encoding of motion events in speech but not co-speech gestures. In T. Fitch, C. Lamm, H. Leder, & K. Teßmar-Raible (Eds.), Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2021) (pp. 376-382). Vienna: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Visual and auditory channels have different affordances and
    this is mirrored in what information is available for linguistic
    encoding. The visual channel has high spatial acuity, whereas
    the auditory channel has better temporal acuity. These
    differences may lead to different conceptualizations of events
    and affect multimodal language production. Previous studies of
    motion events typically present visual input to elicit speech and
    gesture. The present study compared events presented as audio-
    only, visual-only, or multimodal (visual+audio) input and
    assessed speech and co-speech gesture for path and manner of
    motion in Turkish. Speakers with audio-only input mentioned
    path more and manner less in verbal descriptions, compared to
    speakers who had visual input. There was no difference in the
    type or frequency of gestures across conditions, and gestures
    were dominated by path-only gestures. This suggests that input
    modality influences speakers’ encoding of path and manner of
    motion events in speech, but not in co-speech gestures.
  • Merkx, D., & Frank, S. L. (2021). Human sentence processing: Recurrence or attention? In E. Chersoni, N. Hollenstein, C. Jacobs, Y. Oseki, L. Prévot, & E. Santus (Eds.), Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics (CMCL 2021) (pp. 12-22). Stroudsburg, PA, USA: Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL). doi:10.18653/v1/2021.cmcl-1.2.

    Abstract

    Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) have long been an architecture of interest for computational models of human sentence processing. The recently introduced Transformer architecture outperforms RNNs on many natural language processing tasks but little is known about its ability to model human language processing. We compare Transformer- and RNN-based language models’ ability to account for measures of human reading effort. Our analysis shows Transformers to outperform RNNs in explaining self-paced reading times and neural activity during reading English sentences, challenging the widely held idea that human sentence processing involves recurrent and immediate processing and provides evidence for cue-based retrieval.
  • Merkx, D., Frank, S. L., & Ernestus, M. (2021). Semantic sentence similarity: Size does not always matter. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2021 (pp. 4393-4397). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2021-1464.

    Abstract

    This study addresses the question whether visually grounded speech recognition (VGS) models learn to capture sentence semantics without access to any prior linguistic knowledge. We produce synthetic and natural spoken versions of a well known semantic textual similarity database and show that our VGS model produces embeddings that correlate well with human semantic similarity judgements. Our results show that a model trained on a small image-caption database outperforms two models trained on much larger databases, indicating that database size is not all that matters. We also investigate the importance of having multiple captions per image and find that this is indeed helpful even if the total number of images is lower, suggesting that paraphrasing is a valuable learning signal. While the general trend in the field is to create ever larger datasets to train models on, our findings indicate other characteristics of the database can just as important.
  • Mudd, K., Lutzenberger, H., De Vos, C., & De Boer, B. (2021). Social structure and lexical uniformity: A case study of gender differences in the Kata Kolok community. In T. Fitch, C. Lamm, H. Leder, & K. Teßmar-Raible (Eds.), Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2021) (pp. 2692-2698). Vienna: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Language emergence is characterized by a high degree of lex-
    ical variation. It has been suggested that the speed at which
    lexical conventionalization occurs depends partially on social
    structure. In large communities, individuals receive input from
    many sources, creating a pressure for lexical convergence.
    In small, insular communities, individuals can remember id-
    iolects and share common ground with interlocuters, allow-
    ing these communities to retain a high degree of lexical vari-
    ation. We look at lexical variation in Kata Kolok, a sign lan-
    guage which emerged six generations ago in a Balinese vil-
    lage, where women tend to have more tightly-knit social net-
    works than men. We test if there are differing degrees of lexical
    uniformity between women and men by reanalyzing a picture
    description task in Kata Kolok. We find that women’s produc-
    tions exhibit less lexical uniformity than men’s. One possible
    explanation of this finding is that women’s more tightly-knit
    social networks allow for remembering idiolects, alleviating
    the pressure for lexical convergence, but social network data
    from the Kata Kolok community is needed to support this ex-
    planation.
  • Pouw, W., Wit, J., Bögels, S., Rasenberg, M., Milivojevic, B., & Ozyurek, A. (2021). Semantically related gestures move alike: Towards a distributional semantics of gesture kinematics. In V. G. Duffy (Ed.), Digital human modeling and applications in health, safety, ergonomics and risk management. human body, motion and behavior:12th International Conference, DHM 2021, Held as Part of the 23rd HCI International Conference, HCII 2021 (pp. 269-287). Berlin: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-77817-0_20.
  • Vernes, S. C., Janik, V. M., Fitch, W. T., & Slater, P. J. B. (Eds.). (2021). Vocal learning in animals and humans [Special Issue]. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 376.
  • Zhang, Y., Ding, R., Frassinelli, D., Tuomainen, J., Klavinskis-Whiting, S., & Vigliocco, G. (2021). Electrophysiological signatures of second language multimodal comprehension. In T. Fitch, C. Lamm, H. Leder, & K. Teßmar-Raible (Eds.), Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2021) (pp. 2971-2977). Vienna: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Language is multimodal: non-linguistic cues, such as prosody,
    gestures and mouth movements, are always present in face-to-
    face communication and interact to support processing. In this
    paper, we ask whether and how multimodal cues affect L2
    processing by recording EEG for highly proficient bilinguals
    when watching naturalistic materials. For each word, we
    quantified surprisal and the informativeness of prosody,
    gestures, and mouth movements. We found that each cue
    modulates the N400: prosodic accentuation, meaningful
    gestures, and informative mouth movements all reduce N400.
    Further, effects of meaningful gestures but not mouth
    informativeness are enhanced by prosodic accentuation,
    whereas effects of mouth are enhanced by meaningful gestures
    but reduced by beat gestures. Compared with L1, L2
    participants benefit less from cues and their interactions, except
    for meaningful gestures and mouth movements. Thus, in real-
    world language comprehension, L2 comprehenders use
    multimodal cues just as L1 speakers albeit to a lesser extent.
  • Zhang, Y., Amatuni, A., Cain, E., Wang, X., Crandall, D., & Yu, C. (2021). Human learners integrate visual and linguistic information cross-situational verb learning. In T. Fitch, C. Lamm, H. Leder, & K. Teßmar-Raible (Eds.), Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2021) (pp. 2267-2273). Vienna: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Learning verbs is challenging because it is difficult to infer the precise meaning of a verb when there are a multitude of relations that one can derive from a single event. To study this verb learning challenge, we used children's egocentric view collected from naturalistic toy-play interaction as learning materials and investigated how visual and linguistic information provided in individual naming moments as well as cross-situational information provided from multiple learning moments can help learners resolve this mapping problem using the Human Simulation Paradigm. Our results show that learners benefit from seeing children's egocentric views compared to third-person observations. In addition, linguistic information can help learners identify the correct verb meaning by eliminating possible meanings that do not belong to the linguistic category. Learners are also able to integrate visual and linguistic information both within and across learning situations to reduce the ambiguity in the space of possible verb meanings.
  • Alcock, K., Meints, K., & Rowland, C. F. (2020). The UK communicative development inventories: Words and gestures. Guilford, UK: J&R Press Ltd.
  • Alhama, R. G., Rowland, C. F., & Kidd, E. (2020). Evaluating word embeddings for language acquisition. In E. Chersoni, C. Jacobs, Y. Oseki, L. Prévot, & E. Santus (Eds.), Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics (pp. 38-42). Stroudsburg, PA, USA: Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL). doi:10.18653/v1/2020.cmcl-1.4.

    Abstract

    Continuous vector word representations (or
    word embeddings) have shown success in cap-turing semantic relations between words, as evidenced by evaluation against behavioral data of adult performance on semantic tasks (Pereira et al., 2016). Adult semantic knowl-edge is the endpoint of a language acquisition process; thus, a relevant question is whether these models can also capture emerging word
    representations of young language learners. However, the data for children’s semantic knowledge across development is scarce. In this paper, we propose to bridge this gap by using Age of Acquisition norms to evaluate word embeddings learnt from child-directed input. We present two methods that evaluate word embeddings in terms of (a) the semantic neighbourhood density of learnt words, and (b) con-
    vergence to adult word associations. We apply our methods to bag-of-words models, and find that (1) children acquire words with fewer semantic neighbours earlier, and (2) young learners only attend to very local context. These findings provide converging evidence for validity of our methods in understanding the prerequisite features for a distributional model of word learning.
  • Asano, Y., Yuan, C., Grohe, A.-K., Weber, A., Antoniou, M., & Cutler, A. (2020). Uptalk interpretation as a function of listening experience. In N. Minematsu, M. Kondo, T. Arai, & R. Hayashi (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2020 (pp. 735-739). Tokyo: ISCA. doi:10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-150.

    Abstract

    The term “uptalk” describes utterance-final pitch rises that carry no sentence-structural information. Uptalk is usually dialectal or sociolectal, and Australian English (AusEng) is particularly known for this attribute. We ask here whether experience with an uptalk variety affects listeners’ ability to categorise rising pitch contours on the basis of the timing and height of their onset and offset. Listeners were two groups of English-speakers (AusEng, and American English), and three groups of listeners with L2 English: one group with Mandarin as L1 and experience of listening to AusEng, one with German as L1 and experience of listening to AusEng, and one with German as L1 but no AusEng experience. They heard nouns (e.g. flower, piano) in the framework “Got a NOUN”, each ending with a pitch rise artificially manipulated on three contrasts: low vs. high rise onset, low vs. high rise offset and early vs. late rise onset. Their task was to categorise the tokens as “question” or “statement”, and we analysed the effect of the pitch contrasts on their judgements. Only the native AusEng listeners were able to use the pitch contrasts systematically in making these categorisations.
  • De Boer, B., Thompson, B., Ravignani, A., & Boeckx, C. (2020). Analysis of mutation and fixation for language. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 56-58). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • Doumas, L. A. A., Martin, A. E., & Hummel, J. E. (2020). Relation learning in a neurocomputational architecture supports cross-domain transfer. In S. Denison, M. Mack, Y. Xu, & B. C. Armstrong (Eds.), Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Virtual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2020) (pp. 932-937). Montreal, QB: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Humans readily generalize, applying prior knowledge to novel situations and stimuli. Advances in machine learning have begun to approximate and even surpass human performance, but these systems struggle to generalize what they have learned to untrained situations. We present a model based on wellestablished neurocomputational principles that demonstrates human-level generalisation. This model is trained to play one video game (Breakout) and performs one-shot generalisation to a new game (Pong) with different characteristics. The model
    generalizes because it learns structured representations that are functionally symbolic (viz., a role-filler binding calculus) from unstructured training data. It does so without feedback, and without requiring that structured representations are specified a priori. Specifically, the model uses neural co-activation to discover which characteristics of the input are invariant and to learn relational predicates, and oscillatory regularities in network firing to bind predicates to arguments. To our knowledge,
    this is the first demonstration of human-like generalisation in a machine system that does not assume structured representa-
    tions to begin with.
  • Ergin, R., Raviv, L., Senghas, A., Padden, C., & Sandler, W. (2020). Community structure affects convergence on uniform word orders: Evidence from emerging sign languages. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 84-86). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • Hashemzadeh, M., Kaufeld, G., White, M., Martin, A. E., & Fyshe, A. (2020). From language to language-ish: How brain-like is an LSTM representation of nonsensical language stimuli? In T. Cohn, Y. He, & Y. Liu (Eds.), Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020 (pp. 645-655). Association for Computational Linguistics.

    Abstract

    The representations generated by many mod-
    els of language (word embeddings, recurrent
    neural networks and transformers) correlate
    to brain activity recorded while people read.
    However, these decoding results are usually
    based on the brain’s reaction to syntactically
    and semantically sound language stimuli. In
    this study, we asked: how does an LSTM (long
    short term memory) language model, trained
    (by and large) on semantically and syntac-
    tically intact language, represent a language
    sample with degraded semantic or syntactic
    information? Does the LSTM representation
    still resemble the brain’s reaction? We found
    that, even for some kinds of nonsensical lan-
    guage, there is a statistically significant rela-
    tionship between the brain’s activity and the
    representations of an LSTM. This indicates
    that, at least in some instances, LSTMs and the
    human brain handle nonsensical data similarly.
  • De Heer Kloots, M., Carlson, D., Garcia, M., Kotz, S., Lowry, A., Poli-Nardi, L., de Reus, K., Rubio-García, A., Sroka, M., Varola, M., & Ravignani, A. (2020). Rhythmic perception, production and interactivity in harbour and grey seals. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 59-62). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • Hoeksema, N., Wiesmann, M., Kiliaan, A., Hagoort, P., & Vernes, S. C. (2020). Bats and the comparative neurobiology of vocal learning. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 165-167). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • Hoeksema, N., Villanueva, S., Mengede, J., Salazar Casals, A., Rubio-García, A., Curcic-Blake, B., Vernes, S. C., & Ravignani, A. (2020). Neuroanatomy of the grey seal brain: Bringing pinnipeds into the neurobiological study of vocal learning. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 162-164). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • Khoe, Y. H., Tsoukala, C., Kootstra, G. J., & Frank, S. L. (2020). Modeling cross-language structural priming in sentence production. In T. C. Stewart (Ed.), Proceedings of the 18th Annual Meeting of the International Conference on Cognitive Modeling (pp. 131-137). University Park, PA, USA: The Penn State Applied Cognitive Science Lab.

    Abstract

    A central question in the psycholinguistic study of multilingualism is how syntax is shared across languages. We implement a model to investigate whether error-based implicit learning can provide an account of cross-language structural priming. The model is based on the Dual-path model of
    sentence-production (Chang, 2002). We implement our model using the Bilingual version of Dual-path (Tsoukala, Frank, & Broersma, 2017). We answer two main questions: (1) Can structural priming of active and passive constructions occur between English and Spanish in a bilingual version of the Dual-
    path model? (2) Does cross-language priming differ quantitatively from within-language priming in this model? Our results show that cross-language priming does occur in the model. This finding adds to the viability of implicit learning as an account of structural priming in general and cross-language
    structural priming specifically. Furthermore, we find that the within-language priming effect is somewhat stronger than the cross-language effect. In the context of mixed results from
    behavioral studies, we interpret the latter finding as an indication that the difference between cross-language and within-
    language priming is small and difficult to detect statistically.
  • Lattenkamp, E. Z., Linnenschmidt, M., Mardus, E., Vernes, S. C., Wiegrebe, L., & Schutte, M. (2020). Impact of auditory feedback on bat vocal development. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 249-251). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • Lei, L., Raviv, L., & Alday, P. M. (2020). Using spatial visualizations and real-world social networks to understand language evolution and change. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 252-254). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • Levinson, S. C. (2020). On technologies of the intellect: Goody Lecture 2020. Halle: Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology.
  • Levshina, N. (2020). How tight is your language? A semantic typology based on Mutual Information. In K. Evang, L. Kallmeyer, R. Ehren, S. Petitjean, E. Seyffarth, & D. Seddah (Eds.), Proceedings of the 19th International Workshop on Treebanks and Linguistic Theories (pp. 70-78). Düsseldorf, Germany: Association for Computational Linguistics. doi:10.18653/v1/2020.tlt-1.7.

    Abstract

    Languages differ in the degree of semantic flexibility of their syntactic roles. For example, Eng-
    lish and Indonesian are considered more flexible with regard to the semantics of subjects,
    whereas German and Japanese are less flexible. In Hawkins’ classification, more flexible lan-
    guages are said to have a loose fit, and less flexible ones are those that have a tight fit. This
    classification has been based on manual inspection of example sentences. The present paper
    proposes a new, quantitative approach to deriving the measures of looseness and tightness from
    corpora. We use corpora of online news from the Leipzig Corpora Collection in thirty typolog-
    ically and genealogically diverse languages and parse them syntactically with the help of the
    Universal Dependencies annotation software. Next, we compute Mutual Information scores for
    each language using the matrices of lexical lemmas and four syntactic dependencies (intransi-
    tive subjects, transitive subject, objects and obliques). The new approach allows us not only to
    reproduce the results of previous investigations, but also to extend the typology to new lan-
    guages. We also demonstrate that verb-final languages tend to have a tighter relationship be-
    tween lexemes and syntactic roles, which helps language users to recognize thematic roles early
    during comprehension.

    Additional information

    full text via ACL website
  • MacDonald, K., Räsänen, O., Casillas, M., & Warlaumont, A. S. (2020). Measuring prosodic predictability in children’s home language environments. In S. Denison, M. Mack, Y. Xu, & B. C. Armstrong (Eds.), Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Virtual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2020) (pp. 695-701). Montreal, QB: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Children learn language from the speech in their home environment. Recent work shows that more infant-directed speech
    (IDS) leads to stronger lexical development. But what makes IDS a particularly useful learning signal? Here, we expand on an attention-based account first proposed by Räsänen et al. (2018): that prosodic modifications make IDS less predictable, and thus more interesting. First, we reproduce the critical finding from Räsänen et al.: that lab-recorded IDS pitch is less predictable compared to adult-directed speech (ADS). Next, we show that this result generalizes to the home language environment, finding that IDS in daylong recordings is also less predictable than ADS but that this pattern is much less robust than for IDS recorded in the lab. These results link experimental work on attention and prosodic modifications of IDS to real-world language-learning environments, highlighting some challenges of scaling up analyses of IDS to larger datasets that better capture children’s actual input.
  • Yu, J., Mailhammer, R., & Cutler, A. (2020). Vocabulary structure affects word recognition: Evidence from German listeners. In N. Minematsu, M. Kondo, T. Arai, & R. Hayashi (Eds.), Proceedings of Speech Prosody 2020 (pp. 474-478). Tokyo: ISCA. doi:10.21437/SpeechProsody.2020-97.

    Abstract

    Lexical stress is realised similarly in English, German, and
    Dutch. On a suprasegmental level, stressed syllables tend to be
    longer and more acoustically salient than unstressed syllables;
    segmentally, vowels in unstressed syllables are often reduced.
    The frequency of unreduced unstressed syllables (where only
    the suprasegmental cues indicate lack of stress) however,
    differs across the languages. The present studies test whether
    listener behaviour is affected by these vocabulary differences,
    by investigating German listeners’ use of suprasegmental cues
    to lexical stress in German and English word recognition. In a
    forced-choice identification task, German listeners correctly
    assigned single-syllable fragments (e.g., Kon-) to one of two
    words differing in stress (KONto, konZEPT). Thus, German
    listeners can exploit suprasegmental information for
    identifying words. German listeners also performed above
    chance in a similar task in English (with, e.g., DIver, diVERT),
    i.e., their sensitivity to these cues also transferred to a nonnative
    language. An English listener group, in contrast, failed
    in the English fragment task. These findings mirror vocabulary
    patterns: German has more words with unreduced unstressed
    syllables than English does.
  • Mengede, J., Devanna, P., Hörpel, S. G., Firzla, U., & Vernes, S. C. (2020). Studying the genetic bases of vocal learning in bats. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 280-282). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • Mudd, K., Lutzenberger, H., De Vos, C., Fikkert, P., Crasborn, O., & De Boer, B. (2020). How does social structure shape language variation? A case study of the Kata Kolok lexicon. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 302-304). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • Ozyurek, A. (2020). From hands to brains: How does human body talk, think and interact in face-to-face language use? In K. Truong, D. Heylen, & M. Czerwinski (Eds.), ICMI '20: Proceedings of the 2020 International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (pp. 1-2). New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery. doi:10.1145/3382507.3419442.
  • Poulsen, M.-E. (Ed.). (2020). The Jerome Bruner Library: From New York to Nijmegen. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

    Abstract

    Published in September 2020 by the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics to commemorate the arrival and the new beginning of the Jerome Bruner Library in Nijmegen
  • Rasenberg, M., Dingemanse, M., & Ozyurek, A. (2020). Lexical and gestural alignment in interaction and the emergence of novel shared symbols. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 356-358). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • Raviv, L., Meyer, A. S., & Lev-Ari, S. (2020). Network structure and the cultural evolution of linguistic structure: A group communication experiment. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 359-361). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • de Reus, K., Carlson, D., Jadoul, Y., Lowry, A., Gross, S., Garcia, M., Salazar Casals, A., Rubio-García, A., Haas, C. E., De Boer, B., & Ravignani, A. (2020). Relationships between vocal ontogeny and vocal tract anatomy in harbour seals (Phoca vitulina). In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 63-66). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • Rowland, C. F., Theakston, A. L., Ambridge, B., & Twomey, K. E. (Eds.). (2020). Current Perspectives on Child Language Acquisition: How children use their environment to learn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi:10.1075/tilar.27.

    Abstract

    In recent years the field has seen an increasing realisation that the full complexity of language acquisition demands theories that (a) explain how children integrate information from multiple sources in the environment, (b) build linguistic representations at a number of different levels, and (c) learn how to combine these representations in order to communicate effectively. These new findings have stimulated new theoretical perspectives that are more centered on explaining learning as a complex dynamic interaction between the child and her environment. This book is the first attempt to bring some of these new perspectives together in one place. It is a collection of essays written by a group of researchers who all take an approach centered on child-environment interaction, and all of whom have been influenced by the work of Elena Lieven, to whom this collection is dedicated.
  • Seidlmayer, E., Voß, J., Melnychuk, T., Galke, L., Tochtermann, K., Schultz, C., & Förstner, K. U. (2020). ORCID for Wikidata. Data enrichment for scientometric applications. In L.-A. Kaffee, O. Tifrea-Marciuska, E. Simperl, & D. Vrandečić (Eds.), Proceedings of the 1st Wikidata Workshop (Wikidata 2020). Aachen, Germany: CEUR Workshop Proceedings.

    Abstract

    Due to its numerous bibliometric entries of scholarly articles and connected information Wikidata can serve as an open and rich
    source for deep scientometrical analyses. However, there are currently certain limitations: While 31.5% of all Wikidata entries represent scientific articles, only 8.9% are entries describing a person and the number
    of entries researcher is accordingly even lower. Another issue is the frequent absence of established relations between the scholarly article item and the author item although the author is already listed in Wikidata.
    To fill this gap and to improve the content of Wikidata in general, we established a workflow for matching authors and scholarly publications by integrating data from the ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) database. By this approach we were able to extend Wikidata by more than 12k author-publication relations and the method can be
    transferred to other enrichments based on ORCID data. This is extension is beneficial for Wikidata users performing bibliometrical analyses or using such metadata for other purposes.
  • Ter Bekke, M., Drijvers, L., & Holler, J. (2020). The predictive potential of hand gestures during conversation: An investigation of the timing of gestures in relation to speech. In Proceedings of the 7th GESPIN - Gesture and Speech in Interaction Conference. Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

    Abstract

    In face-to-face conversation, recipients might use the bodily movements of the speaker (e.g. gestures) to facilitate language processing. It has been suggested that one way through which this facilitation may happen is prediction. However, for this to be possible, gestures would need to precede speech, and it is unclear whether this is true during natural conversation.
    In a corpus of Dutch conversations, we annotated hand gestures that represent semantic information and occurred during questions, and the word(s) which corresponded most closely to the gesturally depicted meaning. Thus, we tested whether representational gestures temporally precede their lexical affiliates. Further, to see whether preceding gestures may indeed facilitate language processing, we asked whether the gesture-speech asynchrony predicts the response time to the question the gesture is part of.
    Gestures and their strokes (most meaningful movement component) indeed preceded the corresponding lexical information, thus demonstrating their predictive potential. However, while questions with gestures got faster responses than questions without, there was no evidence that questions with larger gesture-speech asynchronies get faster responses. These results suggest that gestures indeed have the potential to facilitate predictive language processing, but further analyses on larger datasets are needed to test for links between asynchrony and processing advantages.
  • Thompson, B., Raviv, L., & Kirby, S. (2020). Complexity can be maintained in small populations: A model of lexical variability in emerging sign languages. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 440-442). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • Tsoukala, C., Frank, S. L., Van den Bosch, A., Kroff, J. V., & Broersma, M. (2020). Simulating Spanish-English code-switching: El modelo está generating code-switches. In E. Chersoni, C. Jacobs, Y. Oseki, L. Prévot, & E. Santus (Eds.), Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics (pp. 20-29). Stroudsburg, PA, USA: Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).

    Abstract

    Multilingual speakers are able to switch from
    one language to the other (“code-switch”) be-
    tween or within sentences. Because the under-
    lying cognitive mechanisms are not well un-
    derstood, in this study we use computational
    cognitive modeling to shed light on the pro-
    cess of code-switching. We employed the
    Bilingual Dual-path model, a Recurrent Neu-
    ral Network of bilingual sentence production
    (Tsoukala et al., 2017) and simulated sentence
    production in simultaneous Spanish-English
    bilinguals. Our first goal was to investigate
    whether the model would code-switch with-
    out being exposed to code-switched training
    input. The model indeed produced code-
    switches even without any exposure to such
    input and the patterns of code-switches are
    in line with earlier linguistic work (Poplack,
    1980). The second goal of this study was to
    investigate an auxiliary phrase asymmetry that
    exists in Spanish-English code-switched pro-
    duction. Using this cognitive model, we ex-
    amined a possible cause for this asymmetry.
    To our knowledge, this is the first computa-
    tional cognitive model that aims to simulate
    code-switched sentence production.
  • Van den Heuvel, H., Oostdijk, N., Rowland, C. F., & Trilsbeek, P. (2020). The CLARIN Knowledge Centre for Atypical Communication Expertise. In N. Calzolari, F. Béchet, P. Blache, K. Choukri, C. Cieri, T. Declerck, S. Goggi, H. Isahara, B. Maegaard, J. Mariani, H. Mazo, A. Moreno, J. Odijk, & S. Piperidis (Eds.), Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC 2020) (pp. 3312-3316). Marseille, France: European Language Resources Association.

    Abstract

    This paper introduces a new CLARIN Knowledge Center which is the K-Centre for Atypical Communication Expertise (ACE for short) which has been established at the Centre for Language and Speech Technology (CLST) at Radboud University. Atypical communication is an umbrella term used here to denote language use by second language learners, people with language disorders or those suffering from language disabilities, but also more broadly by bilinguals and users of sign languages. It involves multiple modalities (text, speech, sign, gesture) and encompasses different developmental stages. ACE closely collaborates with The Language Archive (TLA) at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in order to safeguard GDPR-compliant data storage and access. We explain the mission of ACE and show its potential on a number of showcases and a use case.
  • Van Arkel, J., Woensdregt, M., Dingemanse, M., & Blokpoel, M. (2020). A simple repair mechanism can alleviate computational demands of pragmatic reasoning: simulations and complexity analysis. In R. Fernández, & T. Linzen (Eds.), Proceedings of the 24th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL 2020) (pp. 177-194). Stroudsburg, PA, USA: The Association for Computational Linguistics. doi:10.18653/v1/2020.conll-1.14.

    Abstract

    How can people communicate successfully while keeping resource costs low in the face of ambiguity? We present a principled theoretical analysis comparing two strategies for disambiguation in communication: (i) pragmatic reasoning, where communicators reason about each other, and (ii) other-initiated repair, where communicators signal and resolve trouble interactively. Using agent-based simulations and computational complexity analyses, we compare the efficiency of these strategies in terms of communicative success, computation cost and interaction cost. We show that agents with a simple repair mechanism can increase efficiency, compared to pragmatic agents, by reducing their computational burden at the cost of longer interactions. We also find that efficiency is highly contingent on the mechanism, highlighting the importance of explicit formalisation and computational rigour.
  • Van Dooren, A. (2020). The temporal perspective of epistemics in Dutch. In M. Franke, N. Kompa, M. Liu, J. L. Mueller, & J. Schwab (Eds.), Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 24 (pp. 143-160). Osnabrück: Osnabrück University.

    Abstract

    A series of experiments is conducted on naïve native speakers of Dutch and English to study the scope relation between tense and epistemic modality. The results are consistent with the claim that epistemics scope over tense (Stowell 2004, Hacquard 2006, a.o.), and challenge recent research that states that epistemics can, or must, scope under tense (von Fintel and Gillies 2007, Rullmann & Matthewson 2018): Dutch and English participants in a Truth Value Judgment Task judge sentences to be false when the past tense forms of the modals have to and moeten 'have to' are used to make an epistemic claim that held at a time before speech time, and true when they are used to make an epistemic claim that holds at speech time. Moreover, English participants in an Acceptability Judgment Task judge sentences to be infelicitous when the same past tense form of have to is used to make an epistemic claim that held at a time before speech time. Besides these general patterns, the results show variation within and across the two languages, which leads to interesting new questions about the interaction between tense and (epistemic) modality.
  • Vernes, S. C. (2020). Understanding bat vocal learning to gain insight into speech and language. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 6). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • Woensdregt, M., & Dingemanse, M. (2020). Other-initiated repair can facilitate the emergence of compositional language. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 474-476). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.
  • Yang, J., Van den Bosch, A., & Frank, S. L. (2020). Less is Better: A cognitively inspired unsupervised model for language segmentation. In M. Zock, E. Chersoni, A. Lenci, & E. Santus (Eds.), Proceedings of the Workshop on the Cognitive Aspects of the Lexicon ( 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics) (pp. 33-45). Stroudsburg: Association for Computational Linguistics.

    Abstract

    Language users process utterances by segmenting them into many cognitive units, which vary in their sizes and linguistic levels. Although we can do such unitization/segmentation easily, its cognitive mechanism is still not clear. This paper proposes an unsupervised model, Less-is-Better (LiB), to simulate the human cognitive process with respect to language unitization/segmentation. LiB follows the principle of least effort and aims to build a lexicon which minimizes the number of unit tokens (alleviating the effort of analysis) and number of unit types (alleviating the effort of storage) at the same time on any given corpus. LiB’s workflow is inspired by empirical cognitive phenomena. The design makes the mechanism of LiB cognitively plausible and the computational requirement light-weight. The lexicon generated by LiB performs the best among different types of lexicons (e.g. ground-truth words) both from an information-theoretical view and a cognitive view, which suggests that the LiB lexicon may be a plausible proxy of the mental lexicon.

    Additional information

    full text via ACL website
  • Zhang, Y., Amatuni, A., Crain, E., & Yu, C. (2020). Seeking meaning: Examining a cross-situational solution to learn action verbs using human simulation paradigm. In S. Denison, M. Mack, Y. Xu, & B. C. Armstrong (Eds.), Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2020) (pp. 2854-2860). Montreal, QB: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    To acquire the meaning of a verb, language learners not only need to find the correct mapping between a specific verb and an action or event in the world, but also infer the underlying relational meaning that the verb encodes. Most verb naming instances in naturalistic contexts are highly ambiguous as many possible actions can be embedded in the same scenario and many possible verbs can be used to describe those actions. To understand whether learners can find the correct verb meaning from referentially ambiguous learning situations, we conducted three experiments using the Human Simulation Paradigm with adult learners. Our results suggest that although finding the right verb meaning from one learning instance is hard, there is a statistical solution to this problem. When provided with multiple verb learning instances all referring to the same verb, learners are able to aggregate information across situations and gradually converge to the correct semantic space. Even in cases where they may not guess the exact target verb, they can still discover the right meaning by guessing a similar verb that is semantically close to the ground truth.
  • Alhama, R. G., Siegelman, N., Frost, R., & Armstrong, B. C. (2019). The role of information in visual word recognition: A perceptually-constrained connectionist account. In A. Goel, C. Seifert, & C. Freksa (Eds.), Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2019) (pp. 83-89). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Proficient readers typically fixate near the center of a word, with a slight bias towards word onset. We explore a novel account of this phenomenon based on combining information-theory with visual perceptual constraints in a connectionist model of visual word recognition. This account posits that the amount of information-content available for word identification varies across fixation locations and across languages, thereby explaining the overall fixation location bias in different languages, making the novel prediction that certain words are more readily identified when fixating at an atypical fixation location, and predicting specific cross-linguistic differences. We tested these predictions across several simulations in English and Hebrew, and in a pilot behavioral experiment. Results confirmed that the bias to fixate closer to word onset aligns with maximizing information in the visual signal, that some words are more readily identified at atypical fixation locations, and that these effects vary to some degree across languages.
  • Bentum, M., Ten Bosch, L., Van den Bosch, A., & Ernestus, M. (2019). Listening with great expectations: An investigation of word form anticipations in naturalistic speech. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2019 (pp. 2265-2269). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2741.

    Abstract

    The event-related potential (ERP) component named phonological mismatch negativity (PMN) arises when listeners hear an unexpected word form in a spoken sentence [1]. The PMN is thought to reflect the mismatch between expected and perceived auditory speech input. In this paper, we use the PMN to test a central premise in the predictive coding framework [2], namely that the mismatch between prior expectations and sensory input is an important mechanism of perception. We test this with natural speech materials containing approximately 50,000 word tokens. The corresponding EEG-signal was recorded while participants (n = 48) listened to these materials. Following [3], we quantify the mismatch with two word probability distributions (WPD): a WPD based on preceding context, and a WPD that is additionally updated based on the incoming audio of the current word. We use the between-WPD cross entropy for each word in the utterances and show that a higher cross entropy correlates with a more negative PMN. Our results show that listeners anticipate auditory input while processing each word in naturalistic speech. Moreover, complementing previous research, we show that predictive language processing occurs across the whole probability spectrum.
  • Bentum, M., Ten Bosch, L., Van den Bosch, A., & Ernestus, M. (2019). Quantifying expectation modulation in human speech processing. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2019 (pp. 2270-2274). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2685.

    Abstract

    The mismatch between top-down predicted and bottom-up perceptual input is an important mechanism of perception according to the predictive coding framework (Friston, [1]). In this paper we develop and validate a new information-theoretic measure that quantifies the mismatch between expected and observed auditory input during speech processing. We argue that such a mismatch measure is useful for the study of speech processing. To compute the mismatch measure, we use naturalistic speech materials containing approximately 50,000 word tokens. For each word token we first estimate the prior word probability distribution with the aid of statistical language modelling, and next use automatic speech recognition to update this word probability distribution based on the unfolding speech signal. We validate the mismatch measure with multiple analyses, and show that the auditory-based update improves the probability of the correct word and lowers the uncertainty of the word probability distribution. Based on these results, we argue that it is possible to explicitly estimate the mismatch between predicted and perceived speech input with the cross entropy between word expectations computed before and after an auditory update.
  • Brehm, L., Jackson, C. N., & Miller, K. L. (2019). Incremental interpretation in the first and second language. In M. Brown, & B. Dailey (Eds.), BUCLD 43: Proceedings of the 43rd annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 109-122). Sommerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
  • Bruggeman, L., & Cutler, A. (2019). The dynamics of lexical activation and competition in bilinguals’ first versus second language. In S. Calhoun, P. Escudero, M. Tabain, & P. Warren (Eds.), Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 20195) (pp. 1342-1346). Canberra, Australia: Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.

    Abstract

    Speech input causes listeners to activate multiple
    candidate words which then compete with one
    another. These include onset competitors, that share a
    beginning (bumper, butter), but also, counterintuitively,
    rhyme competitors, sharing an ending
    (bumper, jumper). In L1, competition is typically
    stronger for onset than for rhyme. In L2, onset
    competition has been attested but rhyme competition
    has heretofore remained largely unexamined. We
    assessed L1 (Dutch) and L2 (English) word
    recognition by the same late-bilingual individuals. In
    each language, eye gaze was recorded as listeners
    heard sentences and viewed sets of drawings: three
    unrelated, one depicting an onset or rhyme competitor
    of a word in the input. Activation patterns revealed
    substantial onset competition but no significant
    rhyme competition in either L1 or L2. Rhyme
    competition may thus be a “luxury” feature of
    maximally efficient listening, to be abandoned when
    resources are scarcer, as in listening by late
    bilinguals, in either language.
  • Cutler, A., Burchfield, A., & Antoniou, M. (2019). A criterial interlocutor tally for successful talker adaptation? In S. Calhoun, P. Escudero, M. Tabain, & P. Warren (Eds.), Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 20195) (pp. 1485-1489). Canberra, Australia: Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.

    Abstract

    Part of the remarkable efficiency of listening is
    accommodation to unfamiliar talkers’ specific
    pronunciations by retuning of phonemic intercategory
    boundaries. Such retuning occurs in second
    (L2) as well as first language (L1); however, recent
    research with emigrés revealed successful adaptation
    in the environmental L2 but, unprecedentedly, not in
    L1 despite continuing L1 use. A possible explanation
    involving relative exposure to novel talkers is here
    tested in heritage language users with Mandarin as
    family L1 and English as environmental language. In
    English, exposure to an ambiguous sound in
    disambiguating word contexts prompted the expected
    adjustment of phonemic boundaries in subsequent
    categorisation. However, no adjustment occurred in
    Mandarin, again despite regular use. Participants
    reported highly asymmetric interlocutor counts in the
    two languages. We conclude that successful retuning
    ability requires regular exposure to novel talkers in
    the language in question, a criterion not met for the
    emigrés’ or for these heritage users’ L1.
  • Dideriksen, C., Fusaroli, R., Tylén, K., Dingemanse, M., & Christiansen, M. H. (2019). Contextualizing Conversational Strategies: Backchannel, Repair and Linguistic Alignment in Spontaneous and Task-Oriented Conversations. In A. K. Goel, C. M. Seifert, & C. Freksa (Eds.), Proceedings of the 41st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2019) (pp. 261-267). Montreal, QB: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Do interlocutors adjust their conversational strategies to the specific contextual demands of a given situation? Prior studies have yielded conflicting results, making it unclear how strategies vary with demands. We combine insights from qualitative and quantitative approaches in a within-participant experimental design involving two different contexts: spontaneously occurring conversations (SOC) and task-oriented conversations (TOC). We systematically assess backchanneling, other-repair and linguistic alignment. We find that SOC exhibit a higher number of backchannels, a reduced and more generic repair format and higher rates of lexical and syntactic alignment. TOC are characterized by a high number of specific repairs and a lower rate of lexical and syntactic alignment. However, when alignment occurs, more linguistic forms are aligned. The findings show that conversational strategies adapt to specific contextual demands.
  • Dieuleveut, A., Van Dooren, A., Cournane, A., & Hacquard, V. (2019). Acquiring the force of modals: Sig you guess what sig means? In M. Brown, & B. Dailey (Eds.), BUCLD 43: Proceedings of the 43rd annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 189-202). Sommerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
  • Felker, E. R., Ernestus, M., & Broersma, M. (2019). Evaluating dictation task measures for the study of speech perception. In S. Calhoun, P. Escudero, M. Tabain, & P. Warren (Eds.), Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2019) (pp. 383-387). Canberra, Australia: Australasian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc.

    Abstract

    This paper shows that the dictation task, a well-
    known testing instrument in language education, has
    untapped potential as a research tool for studying
    speech perception. We describe how transcriptions
    can be scored on measures of lexical, orthographic,
    phonological, and semantic similarity to target
    phrases to provide comprehensive information about
    accuracy at different processing levels. The former
    three measures are automatically extractable,
    increasing objectivity, and the middle two are
    gradient, providing finer-grained information than
    traditionally used. We evaluate the measures in an
    English dictation task featuring phonetically reduced
    continuous speech. Whereas the lexical and
    orthographic measures emphasize listeners’ word
    identification difficulties, the phonological measure
    demonstrates that listeners can often still recover
    phonological features, and the semantic measure
    captures their ability to get the gist of the utterances.
    Correlational analyses and a discussion of practical
    and theoretical considerations show that combining
    multiple measures improves the dictation task’s
    utility as a research tool.
  • Felker, E. R., Ernestus, M., & Broersma, M. (2019). Lexically guided perceptual learning of a vowel shift in an interactive L2 listening context. In Proceedings of Interspeech 2019 (pp. 3123-3127). doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2019-1414.

    Abstract

    Lexically guided perceptual learning has traditionally been studied with ambiguous consonant sounds to which native listeners are exposed in a purely receptive listening context. To extend previous research, we investigate whether lexically guided learning applies to a vowel shift encountered by non-native listeners in an interactive dialogue. Dutch participants played a two-player game in English in either a control condition, which contained no evidence for a vowel shift, or a lexically constraining condition, in which onscreen lexical information required them to re-interpret their interlocutor’s /ɪ/ pronunciations as representing /ε/. A phonetic categorization pre-test and post-test were used to assess whether the game shifted listeners’ phonemic boundaries such that more of the /ε/-/ɪ/ continuum came to be perceived as /ε/. Both listener groups showed an overall post-test shift toward /ɪ/, suggesting that vowel perception may be sensitive to directional biases related to properties of the speaker’s vowel space. Importantly, listeners in the lexically constraining condition made relatively more post-test /ε/ responses than the control group, thereby exhibiting an effect of lexically guided adaptation. The results thus demonstrate that non-native listeners can adjust their phonemic boundaries on the basis of lexical information to accommodate a vowel shift learned in interactive conversation.
  • Fisher, S. E., & Tilot, A. K. (Eds.). (2019). Bridging senses: Novel insights from synaesthesia [Special Issue]. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 374.
  • Frost, R. L. A., Isbilen, E. S., Christiansen, M. H., & Monaghan, P. (2019). Testing the limits of non-adjacent dependency learning: Statistical segmentation and generalisation across domains. In A. K. Goel, C. M. Seifert, & C. Freksa (Eds.), Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2019) (pp. 1787-1793). Montreal, QB: Cognitive Science Society.

    Abstract

    Achieving linguistic proficiency requires identifying words from speech, and discovering the constraints that govern the way those words are used. In a recent study of non-adjacent dependency learning, Frost and Monaghan (2016) demonstrated that learners may perform these tasks together, using similar statistical processes - contrary to prior suggestions. However, in their study, non-adjacent dependencies were marked by phonological cues (plosive-continuant-plosive structure), which may have influenced learning. Here, we test the necessity of these cues by comparing learning across three conditions; fixed phonology, which contains these cues, varied phonology, which omits them, and shapes, which uses visual shape sequences to assess the generality of statistical processing for these tasks. Participants segmented the sequences and generalized the structure in both auditory conditions, but learning was best when phonological cues were present. Learning was around chance on both tasks for the visual shapes group, indicating statistical processing may critically differ across domains.
  • Galke, L., Vagliano, I., & Scherp, A. (2019). Can graph neural networks go „online“? An analysis of pretraining and inference. In Proceedings of the Representation Learning on Graphs and Manifolds: ICLR2019 Workshop.

    Abstract

    Large-scale graph data in real-world applications is often not static but dynamic,
    i. e., new nodes and edges appear over time. Current graph convolution approaches
    are promising, especially, when all the graph’s nodes and edges are available dur-
    ing training. When unseen nodes and edges are inserted after training, it is not
    yet evaluated whether up-training or re-training from scratch is preferable. We
    construct an experimental setup, in which we insert previously unseen nodes and
    edges after training and conduct a limited amount of inference epochs. In this
    setup, we compare adapting pretrained graph neural networks against retraining
    from scratch. Our results show that pretrained models yield high accuracy scores
    on the unseen nodes and that pretraining is preferable over retraining from scratch.
    Our experiments represent a first step to evaluate and develop truly online variants
    of graph neural networks.
  • Galke, L., Melnychuk, T., Seidlmayer, E., Trog, S., Foerstner, K., Schultz, C., & Tochtermann, K. (2019). Inductive learning of concept representations from library-scale bibliographic corpora. In K. David, K. Geihs, M. Lange, & G. Stumme (Eds.), Informatik 2019: 50 Jahre Gesellschaft für Informatik - Informatik für Gesellschaft (pp. 219-232). Bonn: Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. doi:10.18420/inf2019_26.
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