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Sample records for adult sentence processing

  1. Sentence Processing Factors in Adults with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poll, Gerard H.

    2012-01-01

    Sentence imitation effectively discriminates between adults with and without specific language impairment (SLI). Little is known, however, about the factors that result in performance differences. This study evaluated the effects of working memory, processing speed, and argument status on sentence imitation. Working memory was measured by both a…

  2. An event-related potential investigation of sentence processing in adults who stutter.

    PubMed

    Murase, Shinobu; Kawashima, Takashi; Satake, Hirotaka; Era, Seiichi

    2016-05-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate characteristics of the semantic processing of sentences' final verbs in stutterers using event-related potential (ERP). ERPs elicited from semantically violating and non-violating verbs in Japanese sentences were compared between 13 adults who stutter (AWS) and 13 adults who do not stutter (AWNS). The stimulus sentences elicited the N400 and the late positive component (LPC) in both groups. The amplitude of the N400, however, was attenuated in AWS. Regarding the LPC, the LPC in the 450-700ms time window (the early LPC) was evident in both groups, but the LPC in the 700-850 time window (the late LPC) was only apparent in AWS. Because AWS judged sentence congruency as accurately as AWNS did, it is assumed that AWS depended more on the LPC for semantic processing, resulting in the enhancement of the late LPC. We speculate that semantic processing of sentences for AWS is more time consuming than that for AWNS. PMID:26477716

  3. Sentences as Biological Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNeil, David

    A study of the speech process was conducted. The process is described as one closely linked to the one involved in the problem of the serial order in behavior. It is pointed out that in the speech of young children the grammatical relations that are properties of elementary underlying sentences appear in the grammatical meanings. Six examples of…

  4. Adult Age Differences in the Effects of Goals on Self-Regulated Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A. L.; Shake, Matthew C.; Miles, Joseph R.; Noh, Soo Rim

    2008-01-01

    We examined age differences in the allocation of effort when reading text for either high levels of recall accuracy or high levels of efficiency. Older and younger adults read a series of sentences, making judgments of learning before recalling the information they had studied. Older adults showed less sensitivity than the young to the accuracy goal in terms of both reading time allocation and memory performance. Memory monitoring (i.e., the correspondence between actual and perceived learning) and differential allocation of effort to unlearned items were age-equivalent, so that age differences in goal adherence were not attributable to these factors. However, comparison with data from a judgment task neutral with respect to memory monitoring showed that learning gains among the old across trial were reduced relative to young by memory monitoring, suggesting that active memory monitoring may be resource-consuming for older learners. Regression analysis was used to show that age differences in the responsiveness to (cognitive/information-acquisition) goals could be accounted for, in part, by independent contributions from working memory and memory self-efficacy. Our data suggest that both processing capacity (“what you have”) and beliefs (“knowing you can do it”) can contribute to individual differences in engaging resources (“what you do”) to effectively learn novel content from text. PMID:17201498

  5. Sentence Comprehension in Young Adults with Developmental Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiseheart, Rebecca; Altmann, Lori J. P.; Park, Heeyoung; Lombardino, Linda J.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of syntactic complexity on written sentence comprehension in compensated adults with dyslexia. Because working memory (WM) plays a key role in processing complex sentences, and individuals with dyslexia often demonstrate persistent deficits in WM, we hypothesized that individuals with dyslexia would perform more…

  6. On Processing Conditional Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tedeschi, Philip J.

    Thirty informants were presented with sets of clauses punctuated as in the pattern "S1. If S2. S3" and asked which clause, S1 or S3, the "if" clause modified. Independently, several linguists judged the sentences "S1, if S2" and "S2, if S3" acceptable. Missing intonational clues or improper punctuation, which frequently occurs in advertising,…

  7. Adult Dyslexic Readers Do Not Demonstrate Regularity Effects in Sentence Processing: Evidence from Eye-Movements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Manon Wyn; Kelly, M. Louise; Corley, Martin

    2007-01-01

    We report an eye-movement study that demonstrates differences in regularity effects between adult developmental dyslexic and control non-impaired readers, in contrast to findings from a large number of word recognition studies (see G. Brown, 1997). For low frequency words, controls showed an advantage for Regular items, in which…

  8. Conflict Resolution in Sentence Processing by Bilinguals

    PubMed Central

    Moreno, Sylvain; Bialystok, Ellen; Wodniecka, Zofia; Alain, Claude

    2010-01-01

    The present study pursues findings from earlier behavioral research with children showing the superior ability of bilinguals to make grammaticality judgments in the context of misleading semantic information. The advantage in this task was attributed to the greater executive control of bilinguals, but this impact on linguistic processing has not been demonstrated in adults. Here, we recorded event-related potentials in young adults who were either English monolinguals or bilinguals as they performed two different language judgment tasks. In the acceptability task, participants indicated whether or not the sentence contained an error in either grammar or meaning; in the grammaticality task, participants indicated only whether the sentence contained an error in grammar, in spite of possible conflicting information from meaning. In both groups, sentence violations generated N400 and P600 waves. In the acceptability task, bilinguals were less accurate than monolinguals, but in the grammaticality task which requires more executive control, bilingual and monolingual groups showed a comparable level of accuracy. Importantly, bilinguals generated smaller P600 amplitude and a more bilateral distribution of activation than monolinguals in the grammaticality task requiring more executive control. Our results show that bilinguals use their enhanced executive control for linguistic processing involving conflict in spite of no apparent advantage in linguistic processing under simpler conditions. PMID:21057658

  9. Does Prosody Support or Direct Sentence Processing?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stirling, Lesley; Wales, Roger

    1996-01-01

    Examines, through two studies, how prosodic information affects syntactic processing in locally ambiguous sentences. The first study dealt with people's judgments of the continuation of locally ambiguous sentence fragments of differing lengths. The second concerned ratings of normality of sentence types with differing contours. (27 references)…

  10. Sentence Interpretation Strategies in Emergent Bilingual Children and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reyes, Iliana; Hernandez, Arturo E.

    2006-01-01

    This study examined sentence processing in emergent bilingual children and young adults in both English (second language -- L2) and Spanish (first language -- L1). One hundred participants from five different age groups (5;4-7;11, 8;0-10;11, 11;2-13;11, 14;0-16;8 years, and college-age adults) participated in this study. An online sentence…

  11. Meaning Inhibition and Sentence Processing in Chinese

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yip, Michael C.

    2015-01-01

    The present study examined the inhibitory processes of spoken word recognition of Chinese homophones during sentence processing, using a standard cross-modal naming experiment with an innovative design and materials construction. Results confirmed that (1) preceding sentence context has exerted an early effect on disambiguating among different…

  12. Parallel Mechanisms of Sentence Processing: Assigning Roles to Constituents of Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McClelland, James L.; Kawamoto, Alan H.

    This paper describes and illustrates a simulation model for the processing of grammatical elements in a sentence, focusing on one aspect of sentence comprehension: the assignment of the constituent elements of a sentence to the correct thematic case roles. The model addresses questions about sentence processing from a perspective very different…

  13. Incrementality and Prediction in Human Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Altmann, Gerry T. M.; Mirković, Jelena

    2010-01-01

    We identify a number of principles with respect to prediction that, we argue, underpin adult language comprehension: (a) comprehension consists in realizing a mapping between the unfolding sentence and the event representation corresponding to the real-world event being described; (b) the realization of this mapping manifests as the ability to predict both how the language will unfold, and how the real-world event would unfold if it were being experienced directly; (c) concurrent linguistic and nonlinguistic inputs, and the prior internal states of the system, each drive the predictive process; (d) the representation of prior internal states across a representational substrate common to the linguistic and nonlinguistic domains enables the predictive process to operate over variable time frames and variable levels of representational abstraction. We review empirical data exemplifying the operation of these principles and discuss the relationship between prediction, event structure, thematic role assignment, and incrementality. PMID:20396405

  14. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. 2.2 Section 2.2 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND... § 2.2 Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. (a) A Federal prisoner serving a maximum term or...

  15. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. 2.2 Section 2.2 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND... § 2.2 Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. (a) A Federal prisoner serving a maximum term or...

  16. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. 2.2 Section 2.2 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND... § 2.2 Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. (a) A Federal prisoner serving a maximum term or...

  17. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. 2.2 Section 2.2 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND... § 2.2 Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. (a) A Federal prisoner serving a maximum term or...

  18. Incremental Sentence Processing in Japanese: A Maze Investigation into Scrambled and Control Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Witzel, Jeffrey; Witzel, Naoko

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates preverbal structural and semantic processing in Japanese, a head-final language, using the maze task. Two sentence types were tested--simple scrambled sentences (Experiment 1) and control sentences (Experiment 2). Experiment 1 showed that even for simple, mono-clausal Japanese sentences, (1) there are online processing…

  19. THE EFFECT OF PLAUSIBILITY ON SENTENCE COMPREHENSION AMONG OLDER ADULTS AND ITS RELATION TO COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Jungmee; Campanelli, Luca; Goral, Mira; Marton, Klara; Eichorn, Naomi; Obler, Loraine K.

    2016-01-01

    Background/Study Context Older adults show age-related decline in complex-sentence comprehension. This has been attributed to a decrease in cognitive abilities that may support language processing, such as working memory (e.g., Caplan, DeDe, Waters, & Michaud, 2011,Psychology and Aging, 26, 439–450). The authors examined whether older adults have difficulty comprehending semantically implausible sentences and whether specific executive functions contribute to their comprehension performance. Methods Forty-two younger adults (aged 18–35) and 42 older adults (aged 55–75) were tested on two experimental tasks: a multiple negative comprehension task and an information processing battery. Results Both groups, older and younger adults, showed poorer performance for implausible sentences than for plausible sentences; however, no interaction was found between plausibility and age group. A regression analysis revealed that inhibition efficiency, as measured by a task that required resistance to proactive interference, predicted comprehension of implausible sentences in older adults only. Consistent with the compensation hypothesis, the older adults with better inhibition skills showed better comprehension than those with poor inhibition skills. Conclusion The findings suggest that semantic implausibility, along with syntactic complexity, increases linguistic and cognitive processing loads on auditory sentence comprehension. Moreover, the contribution of inhibitory control to the processing of semantic plausibility, particularly among older adults, suggests that the relationship between cognitive ability and language comprehension is strongly influenced by age. PMID:25978447

  20. Sentence Repetition Accuracy in Adults with Developmental Language Impairment: Interactions of Participant Capacities and Sentence Structures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poll, Gerard H.; Miller, Carol A.; van Hell, Janet G.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: We asked whether sentence repetition accuracy could be explained by interactions of participant processing limitations with the structures of the sentences. We also tested a prediction of the procedural deficit hypothesis (Ullman & Pierpont, 2005) that adjuncts are more difficult than arguments for individuals with developmental…

  1. Individual Differences in Second Language Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Leah

    2012-01-01

    As is the case in traditional second language (L2) acquisition research, a major question in the field of L2 real-time sentence processing is the extent to which L2 learners process the input like native speakers. Where differences are observed, the underlying causes could be the influence of the learner's first language and/or differences…

  2. Incremental Sentence Processing in Japanese: A Maze Investigation into Scrambled and Control Sentences.

    PubMed

    Witzel, Jeffrey; Witzel, Naoko

    2016-06-01

    This study investigates preverbal structural and semantic processing in Japanese, a head-final language, using the maze task. Two sentence types were tested-simple scrambled sentences (Experiment 1) and control sentences (Experiment 2). Experiment 1 showed that even for simple, mono-clausal Japanese sentences, (1) there are online processing costs associated with parsing noncanonical word orders and (2) these costs are incurred during the incremental integration of constituents into developing sentence representations. Experiment 2 indicated (1) that antecedents are provisionally assigned to empty subjects in Japanese control sentences before verb information becomes available and (2) that this process is guided by an object control bias. Taken together, these findings are interpreted to suggest an important role for preverbal analysis in the processing of displaced constituents and of referential properties for empty elements in head-final languages. PMID:25794495

  3. Effects of Context Type on Lipreading and Listening Performance and Implications for Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Goebel, Stacey; Tye-Murray, Nancy

    2015-01-01

    Purpose This study compared the use of 2 different types of contextual cues (sentence based and situation based) in 2 different modalities (visual only and auditory only). Method Twenty young adults were tested with the Illustrated Sentence Test (Tye-Murray, Hale, Spehar, Myerson, & Sommers, 2014) and the Speech Perception in Noise Test (Bilger, Nuetzel, Rabinowitz, & Rzeczkowski, 1984; Kalikow, Stevens, & Elliott, 1977) in the 2 modalities. The Illustrated Sentences Test presents sentences with no context and sentences accompanied by picture-based situational context cues. The Speech Perception in Noise Test presents sentences with low sentence-based context and sentences with high sentence-based context. Results Participants benefited from both types of context and received more benefit when testing occurred in the visual-only modality than when it occurred in the auditory-only modality. Participants' use of sentence-based context did not correlate with use of situation-based context. Cue usage did not correlate between the 2 modalities. Conclusions The ability to use contextual cues appears to be dependent on the type of cue and the presentation modality of the target word(s). In a theoretical sense, the results suggest that models of word recognition and sentence processing should incorporate the influence of multiple sources of information and recognize that the 2 types of context have different influences on speech perception. In a clinical sense, the results suggest that aural rehabilitation programs might provide training to optimize use of both kinds of contextual cues. PMID:25863923

  4. The status of 'canonical SVO sentences' in French: a developmental study of the on-line processing of dislocated sentences.

    PubMed

    Charvillat, A; Kail, M

    1991-10-01

    This on-line study investigates the processing of word order by 30 French children (6;6, 8;6, 10;6) and 10 adults. Its main objective is to show that the privileged status granted to 'canonical SVO sentences' is inadequate to account for the on-line processing of pronominal utterances in spoken French. Using a word monitoring task, we showed that word order (NVN vs NNV): (1) is a significant factor in sentences containing no clitic pronoun; (2) stops being significant when sentences contain either one or two clitic pronouns. These results suggest that processing complexity depends upon co-reference ('linear', 'crossed' or 'embedding') assignment constraints rather than upon word order per se. We conclude that, in French, word-order processing always interacts with acceptability considerations provided by cliticization. PMID:1761615

  5. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Eligibility for parole; adult sentences. 2.2 Section 2.2 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND RECOMMITMENT OF PRISONERS, YOUTH OFFENDERS, AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS United States Code Prisoners and Parolees § 2.2 Eligibility for parole;...

  6. Sentence Integration Processes: An ERP Study of Chinese Sentence Comprehension with Relative Clauses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Chin Lung; Perfetti, Charles A.; Liu, Ying

    2010-01-01

    In an event-related potentials (ERPs) study, we examined the comprehension of different types of Chinese (Mandarin) relative clauses (object vs. subject-extracted) to test the universality and language specificity of sentence comprehension processes. Because Chinese lacks morphosyntactic cues to sentence constituent relations, it allows a test of…

  7. Multiple Solutions to the Same Problem: Utilization of Plausibility and Syntax in Sentence Comprehension by Older Adults with Impaired Hearing

    PubMed Central

    Amichetti, Nicole M.; White, Alison G.; Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    A fundamental question in psycholinguistic theory is whether equivalent success in sentence comprehension may come about by different underlying operations. Of special interest is whether adult aging, especially when accompanied by reduced hearing acuity, may shift the balance of reliance on formal syntax vs. plausibility in determining sentence meaning. In two experiments participants were asked to identify the thematic roles in grammatical sentences that contained either plausible or implausible semantic relations. Comprehension of sentence meanings was indexed by the ability to correctly name the agent or the recipient of an action represented in the sentence. In Experiment 1 young and older adults’ comprehension was tested for plausible and implausible sentences with the meaning expressed with either an active-declarative or a passive syntactic form. In Experiment 2 comprehension performance was examined for young adults with age-normal hearing, older adults with good hearing acuity, and age-matched older adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss for plausible or implausible sentences with meaning expressed with either a subject-relative (SR) or an object-relative (OR) syntactic structure. Experiment 1 showed that the likelihood of interpreting a sentence according to its literal meaning was reduced when that meaning expressed an implausible relationship. Experiment 2 showed that this likelihood was further decreased for OR as compared to SR sentences, and especially so for older adults whose hearing impairment added to the perceptual challenge. Experiment 2 also showed that working memory capacity as measured with a letter-number sequencing task contributed to the likelihood that listeners would base their comprehension responses on the literal syntax even when this processing scheme yielded an implausible meaning. Taken together, the results of both experiments support the postulate that listeners may use more than a single uniform processing strategy for

  8. The Effects of Syntactic Complexity on Processing Sentences in Noise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroll, Rebecca; Ruigendijk, Esther

    2013-01-01

    This paper discusses the influence of stationary (non-fluctuating) noise on processing and understanding of sentences, which vary in their syntactic complexity (with the factors canonicity, embedding, ambiguity). It presents data from two RT-studies with 44 participants testing processing of German sentences in silence and in noise. Results show a…

  9. Comprehending how visual context influences incremental sentence processing: insights from ERPs and picture-sentence verification

    PubMed Central

    Knoeferle, Pia; Urbach, Thomas P.; Kutas, Marta

    2010-01-01

    To re-establish picture-sentence verification – discredited possibly for its over-reliance on post-sentence response time (RT) measures - as a task for situated comprehension, we collected event-related brain potentials (ERPs) as participants read a subject-verb-object sentence, and RTs indicating whether or not the verb matched a previously depicted action. For mismatches (vs matches), speeded RTs were longer, verb N400s over centro-parietal scalp larger, and ERPs to the object noun more negative. RTs (congruence effect) correlated inversely with the centro-parietal verb N400s, and positively with the object ERP congruence effects. Verb N400s, object ERPs, and verbal working memory scores predicted more variance in RT effects (50%) than N400s alone. Thus, (1) verification processing is not all post-sentence; (2) simple priming cannot account for these results; and (3) verification tasks can inform studies of situated comprehension. PMID:20701712

  10. Effects of Speaker Emotional Facial Expression and Listener Age on Incremental Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Carminati, Maria Nella; Knoeferle, Pia

    2013-01-01

    We report two visual-world eye-tracking experiments that investigated how and with which time course emotional information from a speaker's face affects younger (N = 32, Mean age  = 23) and older (N = 32, Mean age  = 64) listeners’ visual attention and language comprehension as they processed emotional sentences in a visual context. The age manipulation tested predictions by socio-emotional selectivity theory of a positivity effect in older adults. After viewing the emotional face of a speaker (happy or sad) on a computer display, participants were presented simultaneously with two pictures depicting opposite-valence events (positive and negative; IAPS database) while they listened to a sentence referring to one of the events. Participants' eye fixations on the pictures while processing the sentence were increased when the speaker's face was (vs. wasn't) emotionally congruent with the sentence. The enhancement occurred from the early stages of referential disambiguation and was modulated by age. For the older adults it was more pronounced with positive faces, and for the younger ones with negative faces. These findings demonstrate for the first time that emotional facial expressions, similarly to previously-studied speaker cues such as eye gaze and gestures, are rapidly integrated into sentence processing. They also provide new evidence for positivity effects in older adults during situated sentence processing. PMID:24039781

  11. The Role of Sentence Context in Processing Prepositional Phrases.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kennison, Shelia M.

    This paper investigated if prior context was used by readers to resolve temporarily ambiguous prepositional phrases. The paper addresses two issues, referring to two competing approaches to sentence processing and testing the predictability of each approach in two online reading experiments. The issues focus on the Human Sentence Processing…

  12. Gaps in Second Language Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marinis, Theodore; Roberts, Leah; Felser, Claudia; Clahsen, Harald

    2005-01-01

    Four groups of second language (L2) learners of English from different language backgrounds (Chinese, Japanese, German, and Greek) and a group of native speaker controls participated in an online reading time experiment with sentences involving long-distance "wh"-dependencies. Although the native speakers showed evidence of making use of…

  13. Children’s and Adults’ On-Line Processing of Syntactically Ambiguous Sentences during Reading

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Holly S. S. L.; Liversedge, Simon P.

    2013-01-01

    While there has been a fair amount of research investigating children’s syntactic processing during spoken language comprehension, and a wealth of research examining adults’ syntactic processing during reading, as yet very little research has focused on syntactic processing during text reading in children. In two experiments, children and adults read sentences containing a temporary syntactic ambiguity while their eye movements were monitored. In Experiment 1, participants read sentences such as, ‘The boy poked the elephant with the long stick/trunk from outside the cage’ in which the attachment of a prepositional phrase was manipulated. In Experiment 2, participants read sentences such as, ‘I think I’ll wear the new skirt I bought tomorrow/yesterday. It’s really nice’ in which the attachment of an adverbial phrase was manipulated. Results showed that adults and children exhibited similar processing preferences, but that children were delayed relative to adults in their detection of initial syntactic misanalysis. It is concluded that children and adults have the same sentence-parsing mechanism in place, but that it operates with a slightly different time course. In addition, the data support the hypothesis that the visual processing system develops at a different rate than the linguistic processing system in children. PMID:23349807

  14. How the brain attunes to sentence processing: Relating behavior, structure, and function.

    PubMed

    Fengler, Anja; Meyer, Lars; Friederici, Angela D

    2016-04-01

    Unlike other aspects of language comprehension, the ability to process complex sentences develops rather late in life. Brain maturation as well as verbal working memory (vWM) expansion have been discussed as possible reasons. To determine the factors contributing to this functional development, we assessed three aspects in different age-groups (5-6years, 7-8years, and adults): first, functional brain activity during the processing of increasingly complex sentences; second, brain structure in language-related ROIs; and third, the behavioral comprehension performance on complex sentences and the performance on an independent vWM test. At the whole-brain level, brain functional data revealed a qualitatively similar neural network in children and adults including the left pars opercularis (PO), the left inferior parietal lobe together with the posterior superior temporal gyrus (IPL/pSTG), the supplementary motor area, and the cerebellum. While functional activation of the language-related ROIs PO and IPL/pSTG predicted sentence comprehension performance for all age-groups, only adults showed a functional selectivity in these brain regions with increased activation for more complex sentences. The attunement of both the PO and IPL/pSTG toward a functional selectivity for complex sentences is predicted by region-specific gray matter reduction while that of the IPL/pSTG is additionally predicted by vWM span. Thus, both structural brain maturation and vWM expansion provide the basis for the emergence of functional selectivity in language-related brain regions leading to more efficient sentence processing during development. PMID:26777477

  15. How the brain attunes to sentence processing: Relating behavior, structure, and function

    PubMed Central

    Fengler, Anja; Meyer, Lars; Friederici, Angela D.

    2016-01-01

    Unlike other aspects of language comprehension, the ability to process complex sentences develops rather late in life. Brain maturation as well as verbal working memory (vWM) expansion have been discussed as possible reasons. To determine the factors contributing to this functional development, we assessed three aspects in different age-groups (5–6 years, 7–8 years, and adults): first, functional brain activity during the processing of increasingly complex sentences; second, brain structure in language-related ROIs; and third, the behavioral comprehension performance on complex sentences and the performance on an independent vWM test. At the whole-brain level, brain functional data revealed a qualitatively similar neural network in children and adults including the left pars opercularis (PO), the left inferior parietal lobe together with the posterior superior temporal gyrus (IPL/pSTG), the supplementary motor area, and the cerebellum. While functional activation of the language-related ROIs PO and IPL/pSTG predicted sentence comprehension performance for all age-groups, only adults showed a functional selectivity in these brain regions with increased activation for more complex sentences. The attunement of both the PO and IPL/pSTG toward a functional selectivity for complex sentences is predicted by region-specific gray matter reduction while that of the IPL/pSTG is additionally predicted by vWM span. Thus, both structural brain maturation and vWM expansion provide the basis for the emergence of functional selectivity in language-related brain regions leading to more efficient sentence processing during development. PMID:26777477

  16. Impacting re-arrest rates among youth sentenced in adult court: an epidemiological examination of the Juvenile Sentencing Advocacy Project.

    PubMed

    Mason, Craig A; Chapman, Derek A; Chang, Shau; Simons, Julie

    2003-06-01

    Examines the impact of a program aimed at reducing re-offending among juveniles transferred to adult court in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Initiated in 1998, the Juvenile Sentencing Advocacy Project (JSAP) worked to increase the degree to which defense lawyers, prosecutors, judges, and police officers considered the developmental status of youth charged with crimes, as well as the contextual basis for their behavior and their potential for rehabilitation. Through such activities, the goal was to increase the use of juvenile sanctions, rather than traditional adult sentences. Based on previous research, it was predicted that increased use of juvenile sanctions would be associated with fewer youth re-offending. This article examines 162 youth who were transferred to and sentenced in adult court during 1999. Re-offense patterns were monitored through June 2001. Analyses using epidemiological measures of effect found that the use of juvenile sanctions significantly increased following implementation of JSAP and that youth receiving adult probation or boot camp were 1.74 to 2.29 times more likely to re-offend than were youth receiving juvenile sanctions. The increased use of juvenile sanctions following implementation of JSAP corresponded to an 11.2% to 15.3% decrease in the number of youth one would have anticipated would re-offend had previous patterns of sentencing continued. PMID:12679278

  17. The Time Course of Verb Processing in Dutch Sentences

    PubMed Central

    Shapiro, Lewis P.; Wester, Femke; Swinney, David A.; Bastiaanse, Roelien

    2012-01-01

    The verb has traditionally been characterized as the central element in a sentence. Nevertheless, the exact role of the verb during the actual ongoing comprehension of a sentence as it unfolds in time remains largely unknown. This paper reports the results of two Cross-Modal Lexical Priming (CMLP) experiments detailing the pattern of verb priming during on-line processing of Dutch sentences. Results are contrasted with data from a third CMLP experiment on priming of nouns in similar sentences. It is demonstrated that the meaning of a matrix verb remains active throughout the entire matrix clause, while this is not the case for the meaning of a subject head noun. Activation of the meaning of the verb only dissipates upon encountering a clear signal as to the start of a new clause. PMID:19452278

  18. Experimental Designs in Sentence Processing Research: A Methodological Review and User's Guide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keating, Gregory D.; Jegerski, Jill

    2015-01-01

    Since the publication of Clahsen and Felser's (2006) keynote article on grammatical processing in language learners, the online study of sentence comprehension in adult second language (L2) learners has quickly grown into a vibrant and prolific subfield of SLA. As online methods begin to establish a foothold in SLA research, it is important…

  19. Large-Scale Neural Network for Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooke, Ayanna; Grossman, Murray; DeVita, Christian; Gonzalez-Atavales, Julio; Moore, Peachie; Chen, Willis; Gee, James; Detre, John

    2006-01-01

    Our model of sentence comprehension includes at least grammatical processes important for structure-building, and executive resources such as working memory that support these grammatical processes. We hypothesized that a core network of brain regions supports grammatical processes, and that additional brain regions are activated depending on the…

  20. Uncertainty and Expectation in Sentence Processing: Evidence From Subcategorization Distributions.

    PubMed

    Linzen, Tal; Jaeger, T Florian

    2016-08-01

    There is now considerable evidence that human sentence processing is expectation based: As people read a sentence, they use their statistical experience with their language to generate predictions about upcoming syntactic structure. This study examines how sentence processing is affected by readers' uncertainty about those expectations. In a self-paced reading study, we use lexical subcategorization distributions to factorially manipulate both the strength of expectations and the uncertainty about them. We compare two types of uncertainty: uncertainty about the verb's complement, reflecting the next prediction step; and uncertainty about the full sentence, reflecting an unbounded number of prediction steps. We find that uncertainty about the full structure, but not about the next step, was a significant predictor of processing difficulty: Greater reduction in uncertainty was correlated with increased reading times (RTs). We additionally replicated previously observed effects of expectation violation (surprisal), orthogonal to the effect of uncertainty. This suggests that both surprisal and uncertainty affect human RTs. We discuss the consequences for theories of sentence comprehension. PMID:26286681

  1. How older adults use cognition in sentence-final word recognition.

    PubMed

    Cahana-Amitay, Dalia; Spiro, Avron; Sayers, Jesse T; Oveis, Abigail C; Higby, Eve; Ojo, Emmanuel A; Duncan, Susan; Goral, Mira; Hyun, Jungmoon; Albert, Martin L; Obler, Loraine K

    2016-07-01

    This study examined the effects of executive control and working memory on older adults' sentence-final word recognition. The question we addressed was the importance of executive functions to this process and how it is modulated by the predictability of the speech material. To this end, we tested 173 neurologically intact adult native English speakers aged 55-84 years. Participants were given a sentence-final word recognition test in which sentential context was manipulated and sentences were presented in different levels of babble, and multiple tests of executive functioning assessing inhibition, shifting, and efficient access to long-term memory, as well as working memory. Using a generalized linear mixed model, we found that better inhibition was associated with higher accuracy in word recognition, while increased age and greater hearing loss were associated with poorer performance. Findings are discussed in the framework of semantic control and are interpreted as supporting a theoretical view of executive control which emphasizes functional diversity among executive components. PMID:26569553

  2. A functional MRI analysis of comprehension processes of Japanese sentences.

    PubMed

    Inui, T; Otsu, Y; Tanaka, S; Okada, T; Nishizawa, S; Konishi, J

    1998-10-01

    We tried to identify the mechanisms directly related to syntactic processing in an fMRI experiment using strictly controlled sets of verbal stimuli. In two conditions, center-embedding and left-branching conditions, the same sets of words were used to construct stimulus sentences, while only the word order reflecting their syntactic structure was different. The subject's task was to understand the relationship among three characters mentioned in the sentences. A difference of activation in Broca's area (BA44 and 45) between the two conditions was found. This result suggests that these areas are involved in syntax-related processing. Furthermore, it was suggested that the posterior part of the frontal lobe (BA6/9) and the inferior parietal area (BA39/40) are involved in the understanding of the relationship among the three characters mentioned in each sentence. PMID:9831471

  3. Classification of Protein Interaction Sentences via Gaussian Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polajnar, Tamara; Rogers, Simon; Girolami, Mark

    The increase in the availability of protein interaction studies in textual format coupled with the demand for easier access to the key results has lead to a need for text mining solutions. In the text processing pipeline, classification is a key step for extraction of small sections of relevant text. Consequently, for the task of locating protein-protein interaction sentences, we examine the use of a classifier which has rarely been applied to text, the Gaussian processes (GPs). GPs are a non-parametric probabilistic analogue to the more popular support vector machines (SVMs). We find that GPs outperform the SVM and naïve Bayes classifiers on binary sentence data, whilst showing equivalent performance on abstract and multiclass sentence corpora. In addition, the lack of the margin parameter, which requires costly tuning, along with the principled multiclass extensions enabled by the probabilistic framework make GPs an appealing alternative worth of further adoption.

  4. A probabilistic model of semantic plausibility in sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Padó, Ulrike; Crocker, Matthew W; Keller, Frank

    2009-07-01

    Experimental research shows that human sentence processing uses information from different levels of linguistic analysis, for example, lexical and syntactic preferences as well as semantic plausibility. Existing computational models of human sentence processing, however, have focused primarily on lexico-syntactic factors. Those models that do account for semantic plausibility effects lack a general model of human plausibility intuitions at the sentence level. Within a probabilistic framework, we propose a wide-coverage model that both assigns thematic roles to verb-argument pairs and determines a preferred interpretation by evaluating the plausibility of the resulting (verb, role, argument) triples. The model is trained on a corpus of role-annotated language data. We also present a transparent integration of the semantic model with an incremental probabilistic parser. We demonstrate that both the semantic plausibility model and the combined syntax/semantics model predict judgment and reading time data from the experimental literature. PMID:21585487

  5. Developmental differences in visual and auditory processing of complex sentences.

    PubMed

    Booth, J R; MacWhinney, B; Harasaki, Y

    2000-01-01

    Children aged 8 through 11 (N = 250) were given a word-by-word sentence task in both the visual and auditory modes. The sentences included an object relative clause, a subject relative clause, or a conjoined verb phrase. Each sentence was followed by a true-false question, testing the subject of either the first or second verb. Participants were also given two memory span measures: digit span and reading span. High digit span children slowed down more at the transition from the main to the relative clause than did the low digit span children. The findings suggest the presence of a U-shaped learning pattern for on-line processing of restrictive relative clauses. Off-line accuracy scores showed different patterns for good comprehenders and poor comprehenders. Poor comprehenders answered the second verb questions at levels that were consistently below chance. Their answers were based on an incorrect local attachment strategy that treated the second noun as the subject of the second verb. For example, they often answered yes to the question "The girl chases the policeman" after the object relative sentence "The boy that the girl sees chases the policeman." Interestingly, low memory span poor comprehenders used the local attachment strategy less consistently than high memory span poor comprehenders, and all poor comprehenders used this strategy less consistently for harder than for easier sentences. PMID:11016560

  6. A Computational Evaluation of Sentence Processing Deficits in Aphasia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patil, Umesh; Hanne, Sandra; Burchert, Frank; De Bleser, Ria; Vasishth, Shravan

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with agrammatic Broca's aphasia experience difficulty when processing reversible non-canonical sentences. Different accounts have been proposed to explain this phenomenon. The Trace Deletion account (Grodzinsky, 1995, 2000, 2006) attributes this deficit to an impairment in syntactic representations, whereas others (e.g., Caplan,…

  7. Can Sentence Combining Play a Role in the Revision Process?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mellon, John C.

    Sentence combining is one kind of practice activity, quite specific in character, aimed at teaching syntactic fluency and judgment and the use of the devices of cohesion. Students can be led through the revision process step by step by converting the odd essay from real writing to a practice exercise, then actually providing the content needed for…

  8. The Timing of Island Effects in Nonnative Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Felser, Claudia; Cunnings, Ian; Batterham, Claire; Clahsen, Harald

    2012-01-01

    Using the eye-movement monitoring technique in two reading comprehension experiments, this study investigated the timing of constraints on wh-dependencies (so-called island constraints) in first- and second-language (L1 and L2) sentence processing. The results show that both L1 and L2 speakers of English are sensitive to extraction islands during…

  9. Integration of moral values during L2 sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Foucart, Alice; Moreno, Eva; Martin, Clara D; Costa, Albert

    2015-11-01

    This study reports an event-related potential (ERP) experiment examining whether valuation (i.e., one's own values) is integrated incrementally and whether it affects L2 speakers' online interpretation of the sentence. We presented Spanish native speakers and French-Spanish mid-proficiency late L2 speakers with visual sentences containing value-consistent and value-inconsistent statements (e.g., 'Nowadays, paedophilia should be prohibited/tolerated across the world.'). Participants' brain activity was recorded as they were reading the sentences and indicating whether they agreed with the statements or not. Behaviourally, the two groups revealed identical valuation. The ERP analyses showed both a semantic (N400) and an affect-related response (LPP) to value-inconsistent statements in the native group, but only an LPP in the non-native group. These results suggest that valuation is integrated online (presence of LPP) during L2 sentence comprehension but that it does not interfere with semantic processing (absence of N400). PMID:26431751

  10. Age Differences in the Effects of Conceptual Integration Training on Resource Allocation in Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A. L.; Noh, Soo Rim; Shake, Matthew C.

    2009-01-01

    This research examined age differences in the accommodation of reading strategies as a consequence of explicit instruction in conceptual integration. In Experiment 1, young, middle-aged, and older adults read sentences for delayed recall using a moving window method. Readers in an experimental group received instruction in making conceptual links during reading while readers in a control group were simply encouraged to allocate effort. Regression analysis to decompose word-by-word reading times in each condition isolated the time allocated to conceptual processing at the point in the text at which new concepts were introduced, as well as at clause and sentence boundaries. While younger adults responded to instructions by differentially allocating effort to sentence wrap-up, older adults allocated effort to intrasentence wrap-up and on new concepts as they were introduced, suggesting that older readers optimized their allocation of effort to linguistic computations for textbase construction within their processing capacity. Experiment 2 verified that conceptual integration training improved immediate recall among older readers as a consequence of engendering allocation to conceptual processing. PMID:19941199

  11. Knowing a Lot for One's Age: Vocabulary Skill and Not Age Is Associated with Anticipatory Incremental Sentence Interpretation in Children and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Borovsky, Arielle; Elman, Jeffrey L.; Fernald, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Adults can incrementally combine information from speech with astonishing speed to anticipate future words. Concurrently, a growing body of work suggests that vocabulary ability is crucially related to lexical processing skills in children. However, little is known about this relationship with predictive sentence processing in children or adults.…

  12. Garden Path Sentences and Error Data in Second Language Sentence Processing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Juffs, Alan; Harrington, Michael

    1996-01-01

    Expands on the authors' (1995) investigation of the parsing performance on "wh"-movement sentences by Chinese-speaking learners of English. The article compares the difficulty second-language learners have in parsing subject "wh"-traces in embedded finite and nonfinite clauses with the problems they have in parsing Garden Path sentences. Results…

  13. The Write Way. Book I. The Simple Sentence. Writing and Grammar Instruction for Indian Adults.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Tahlequah.

    This workbook is designed to teach American Indian adults how to write grammatically correct sentences by using mathematical-type formulae for writing and by recognizing the strong visual learning style exhibited by American Indians. It is particularly designed for Cherokee adult basic education students, incorporating their experiences, culture,…

  14. Is children's reading "good enough"? Links between online processing and comprehension as children read syntactically ambiguous sentences.

    PubMed

    Wonnacott, Elizabeth; Joseph, Holly S S L; Adelman, James S; Nation, Kate

    2016-05-01

    We monitored 8- and 10-year-old children's eye movements as they read sentences containing a temporary syntactic ambiguity to obtain a detailed record of their online processing. Children showed the classic garden-path effect in online processing. Their reading was disrupted following disambiguation, relative to control sentences containing a comma to block the ambiguity, although the disruption occurred somewhat later than would be expected for mature readers. We also asked children questions to probe their comprehension of the syntactic ambiguity offline. They made more errors following ambiguous sentences than following control sentences, demonstrating that the initial incorrect parse of the garden-path sentence influenced offline comprehension. These findings are consistent with "good enough" processing effects seen in adults. While faster reading times and more regressions were generally associated with better comprehension, spending longer reading the question predicted comprehension success specifically in the ambiguous condition. This suggests that reading the question prompted children to reconstruct the sentence and engage in some form of processing, which in turn increased the likelihood of comprehension success. Older children were more sensitive to the syntactic function of commas, and, overall, they were faster and more accurate than younger children. PMID:25774745

  15. Elaboration over a Discourse Facilitates Retrieval in Sentence Processing.

    PubMed

    Troyer, Melissa; Hofmeister, Philip; Kutas, Marta

    2016-01-01

    Language comprehension requires access to stored knowledge and the ability to combine knowledge in new, meaningful ways. Previous work has shown that processing linguistically more complex expressions ('Texas cattle rancher' vs. 'rancher') leads to slow-downs in reading during initial processing, possibly reflecting effort in combining information. Conversely, when this information must subsequently be retrieved (as in filler-gap constructions), processing is facilitated for more complex expressions, possibly because more semantic cues are available during retrieval. To follow up on this hypothesis, we tested whether information distributed across a short discourse can similarly provide effective cues for retrieval. Participants read texts introducing two referents (e.g., two senators), one of whom was described in greater detail than the other (e.g., 'The Democrat had voted for one of the senators, and the Republican had voted for the other, a man from Ohio who was running for president'). The final sentence (e.g., 'The senator who the {Republican/Democrat}had voted for…') contained a relative clause picking out either the Many-Cue referent (with 'Republican') or the One-Cue referent (with 'Democrat'). We predicted facilitated retrieval (faster reading times) for the Many-Cue condition at the verb region ('had voted for'), where readers could understand that 'The senator' is the object of the verb. As predicted, this pattern was observed at the retrieval region and continued throughout the rest of the sentence. Participants also completed the Author/Magazine Recognition Tests (ART/MRT; Stanovich and West, 1989), providing a proxy for world knowledge. Since higher ART/MRT scores may index (a) greater experience accessing relevant knowledge and/or (b) richer/more highly structured representations in semantic memory, we predicted it would be positively associated with effects of elaboration on retrieval. We did not observe the predicted interaction between ART

  16. Elaboration over a Discourse Facilitates Retrieval in Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Troyer, Melissa; Hofmeister, Philip; Kutas, Marta

    2016-01-01

    Language comprehension requires access to stored knowledge and the ability to combine knowledge in new, meaningful ways. Previous work has shown that processing linguistically more complex expressions (‘Texas cattle rancher’ vs. ‘rancher’) leads to slow-downs in reading during initial processing, possibly reflecting effort in combining information. Conversely, when this information must subsequently be retrieved (as in filler-gap constructions), processing is facilitated for more complex expressions, possibly because more semantic cues are available during retrieval. To follow up on this hypothesis, we tested whether information distributed across a short discourse can similarly provide effective cues for retrieval. Participants read texts introducing two referents (e.g., two senators), one of whom was described in greater detail than the other (e.g., ‘The Democrat had voted for one of the senators, and the Republican had voted for the other, a man from Ohio who was running for president’). The final sentence (e.g., ‘The senator who the {Republican/Democrat}had voted for…’) contained a relative clause picking out either the Many-Cue referent (with ‘Republican’) or the One-Cue referent (with ‘Democrat’). We predicted facilitated retrieval (faster reading times) for the Many-Cue condition at the verb region (‘had voted for’), where readers could understand that ‘The senator’ is the object of the verb. As predicted, this pattern was observed at the retrieval region and continued throughout the rest of the sentence. Participants also completed the Author/Magazine Recognition Tests (ART/MRT; Stanovich and West, 1989), providing a proxy for world knowledge. Since higher ART/MRT scores may index (a) greater experience accessing relevant knowledge and/or (b) richer/more highly structured representations in semantic memory, we predicted it would be positively associated with effects of elaboration on retrieval. We did not observe the

  17. Impact of Background Noise and Sentence Complexity on Processing Demands during Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Wendt, Dorothea; Dau, Torsten; Hjortkjær, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Speech comprehension in adverse listening conditions can be effortful even when speech is fully intelligible. Acoustical distortions typically make speech comprehension more effortful, but effort also depends on linguistic aspects of the speech signal, such as its syntactic complexity. In the present study, pupil dilations, and subjective effort ratings were recorded in 20 normal-hearing participants while performing a sentence comprehension task. The sentences were either syntactically simple (subject-first sentence structure) or complex (object-first sentence structure) and were presented in two levels of background noise both corresponding to high intelligibility. A digit span and a reading span test were used to assess individual differences in the participants’ working memory capacity (WMC). The results showed that the subjectively rated effort was mostly affected by the noise level and less by syntactic complexity. Conversely, pupil dilations increased with syntactic complexity but only showed a small effect of the noise level. Participants with higher WMC showed increased pupil responses in the higher-level noise condition but rated sentence comprehension as being less effortful compared to participants with lower WMC. Overall, the results demonstrate that pupil dilations and subjectively rated effort represent different aspects of effort. Furthermore, the results indicate that effort can vary in situations with high speech intelligibility. PMID:27014152

  18. Effects of Context Type on Lipreading and Listening Performance and Implications for Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spehar, Brent; Goebel, Stacey; Tye-Murray, Nancy

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This study compared the use of 2 different types of contextual cues (sentence based and situation based) in 2 different modalities (visual only and auditory only). Method: Twenty young adults were tested with the Illustrated Sentence Test (Tye-Murray, Hale, Spehar, Myerson, & Sommers, 2014) and the Speech Perception in Noise Test…

  19. Temporal cortex reflects effects of sentence context on phonetic processing.

    PubMed

    Guediche, Sara; Salvata, Caden; Blumstein, Sheila E

    2013-05-01

    Listeners' perception of acoustically presented speech is constrained by many different sources of information that arise from other sensory modalities and from more abstract higher-level language context. An open question is how perceptual processes are influenced by and interact with these other sources of information. In this study, we use fMRI to examine the effect of a prior sentence fragment meaning on the categorization of two possible target words that differ in an acoustic phonetic feature of the initial consonant, VOT. Specifically, we manipulate the bias of the sentence context (biased, neutral) and the target type (ambiguous, unambiguous). Our results show that an interaction between these two factors emerged in a cluster in temporal cortex encompassing the left middle temporal gyrus and the superior temporal gyrus. The locus and pattern of these interactions support an interactive view of speech processing and suggest that both the quality of the input and the potential bias of the context together interact and modulate neural activation patterns. PMID:23281778

  20. The Real-Time Processing of Sluiced Sentences

    PubMed Central

    Wolfinger, Katie; Spellman, Lisa; Shapiro, Lewis P.

    2012-01-01

    Ellipsis refers to an element that is absent from the input but whose meaning can nonetheless be recovered from context. In this cross-modal priming study, we examined the online processing of Sluicing, an ellipsis whose antecedent is an entire clause: The handyman threw a book to the programmer but I don’t know which book the handyman threw to the programmerellipsis. To understand such an elliptical construction, the listener arguably must ‘fill in’ the missing material (“the handyman threw___ to the programmer”) based on that which occurs in the antecedent clause. We aimed to determine the point in time in which reconstruction of the sluiced sentence is attempted and whether such a complex antecedent is re-accessed by the ellipsis. Out of the two antecedent constituents for which we probed, only the Object (programmer) was found active in the elliptical clause, confirming that an antecedent is attributed to the sluice in real time. Possible reasons for the non-observation of the Subject (handyman) are considered. We also suggest that ellipses are detected earlier in coordinated than subordinated sentences. PMID:20229060

  1. Sentence processing selectivity in Broca’s area: evident for structure but not syntactic movement

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Diogo; Sprouse, Jon; Hickok, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    The role of Broca’s area in sentence processing is hotly debated. Prominent hypotheses include that Broca’s area supports sentence comprehension via syntax-specific processes (“syntactic movement” in particular), hierarchical structure building or working memory. In the present fMRI study we adopt a within subject, across task approach using targeted sentence-level contrasts and non-sentential comparison tasks to address these hypotheses regarding the role of Broca’s area in sentence processing. For clarity, we have presented findings as three experiments: (i) Experiment 1 examines selectivity for a particular type of sentence construction, namely those containing syntactic movement. Standard syntactic movement distance effects in Broca’s area were replicated but no difference was found between movement and non-movement sentences in Broca’s area at the group level or consistently in individual subjects. (ii) Experiment 2 examines selectivity for sentences versus non-sentences, to assess claims regarding the role of Broca’s area in hierarchical structure building. Group and individual results differ, but both identify subregions of Broca’s area that are selective for sentence structure. (iii) Experiment 3 assesses whether activations in Broca’s area are selective for sentences when contrasted with simple subvocal articulation. Group results suggest shared resources for sentence processing and articulation in Broca’s area, but individual subject analyses contradict this finding. We conclude that Broca’s area is not selectively involved in processing syntactic movement, but that subregions are selectively responsive to sentence structure. Our findings also reinforce Fedorenko & Kanwishser’s call for the use of more individual subject analyses in functional imaging studies of sentence processing in Broca’s area, as group findings can obscure selective response patterns. PMID:27135039

  2. Correctional Sentence Plan: A Pathway to Adult Correctional Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mokoele, Matata

    2016-01-01

    In this essay, Matata Mokoele reflects on the importance of prisoner education, and notes that what is missing is official recognition of this or adult-specific components outlining an upper secondary school adult education diploma entitling holders to apply for higher education. Studies reporting a correlation between greater education and lower…

  3. The time-course and spatial distribution of brain activity associated with sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Jonathan; Pylkkänen, Liina

    2012-04-01

    Sentence comprehension involves a host of highly interrelated processes, including syntactic parsing, semantic composition, and pragmatic inferencing. In neuroimaging, a primary paradigm for examining the brain bases of sentence processing has been to compare brain activity elicited by sentences versus unstructured lists of words. These studies commonly find an effect of increased activity for sentences in the anterior temporal lobes (aTL). Together with neuropsychological data, these findings have motivated the hypothesis that the aTL is engaged in sentence level combinatorics. Combinatoric processing during language comprehension, however, occurs within tens and hundreds of milliseconds, i.e., at a time-scale much faster than the temporal resolution of hemodynamic measures. Here, we examined the time-course of sentence-level processing using magnetoencephalography (MEG) to better understand the temporal profile of activation in this common paradigm and to test a key prediction of the combinatoric hypothesis: because sentences are interpreted incrementally, word-by-word, activity associated with basic linguistic combinatorics should be time-locked to word-presentation. Our results reveal increased anterior temporal activity for sentences compared to word lists beginning approximately 250 ms after word onset. We also observed increased activation in a network of other brain areas, extending across posterior temporal, inferior frontal, and ventral medial areas. These findings confirm a key prediction of the combinatoric hypothesis for the aTL and further elucidate the spatio-temporal characteristics of sentence-level computations in the brain. PMID:22248581

  4. Reading Development Electrified: Semantic and Syntactic Integration during Sentence Comprehension in School-Age Children and Young Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    VanDyke, Justine M.

    2011-01-01

    Adults are able to access semantic and syntactic information rapidly as they hear or read in real-time in order to interpret sentences. Young children, on the other hand, tend to rely on syntactically-based parsing routines, adopting the first noun as the agent of a sentence regardless of plausibility, at least during oral comprehension. Little is…

  5. Prosodic Boundaries Delay the Processing of Upcoming Lexical Information during Silent Sentence Reading

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luo, Yingyi; Yan, Ming; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2013-01-01

    Prosodic boundaries can be used to guide syntactic parsing in both spoken and written sentence comprehension, but it is unknown whether the processing of prosodic boundaries affects the processing of upcoming lexical information. In 3 eye-tracking experiments, participants read silently sentences that allow for 2 possible syntactic interpretations…

  6. Sentence Processing in Lewy Body Spectrum Disorder: The Role of Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gross, Rachel G.; McMillan, Corey T.; Chandrasekaran, Keerthi; Dreyfuss, Michael; Ash, Sharon; Avants, Brian; Cook, Philip; Moore, Peachie; Libon, David J.; Siderowf, Andrew; Grossman, Murray

    2012-01-01

    Prior work has related sentence processing to executive deficits in non-demented patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). We extended this investigation to patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and PD dementia (PDD) by examining grammatical and working memory components of sentence processing in the full range of patients with Lewy body…

  7. Propositional Integration and World-Knowledge Inference: Processes in Understanding "Because" Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cozijn, Reinier; Noordman, Leo G. M.; Vonk, Wietske

    2011-01-01

    The issue addressed in this study is whether propositional integration and world-knowledge inference can be distinguished as separate processes during the comprehension of Dutch "omdat" (because) sentences. "Propositional integration" refers to the process by which the reader establishes the type of relation between two clauses or sentences.…

  8. Parametric Effects of Syntactic-Semantic Conflict in Broca's Area during Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thothathiri, Malathi; Kim, Albert; Trueswell, John C.; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.

    2012-01-01

    The hypothesized role of Broca's area in sentence processing ranges from domain-general executive function to domain-specific computation that is specific to certain syntactic structures. We examined this issue by manipulating syntactic structure and conflict between syntactic and semantic cues in a sentence processing task. Functional…

  9. Cue Recognition and Integration – Eye Tracking Evidence of Processing Differences in Sentence Comprehension in Aphasia

    PubMed Central

    Schumacher, Rahel; Cazzoli, Dario; Eggenberger, Noëmi; Preisig, Basil; Nef, Tobias; Nyffeler, Thomas; Gutbrod, Klemens; Annoni, Jean-Marie; Müri, René M.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose We aimed at further elucidating whether aphasic patients’ difficulties in understanding non-canonical sentence structures, such as Passive or Object-Verb-Subject sentences, can be attributed to impaired morphosyntactic cue recognition, and to problems in integrating competing interpretations. Methods A sentence-picture matching task with canonical and non-canonical spoken sentences was performed using concurrent eye tracking. Accuracy, reaction time, and eye tracking data (fixations) of 50 healthy subjects and 12 aphasic patients were analysed. Results Patients showed increased error rates and reaction times, as well as delayed fixation preferences for target pictures in non-canonical sentences. Patients’ fixation patterns differed from healthy controls and revealed deficits in recognizing and immediately integrating morphosyntactic cues. Conclusion Our study corroborates the notion that difficulties in understanding syntactically complex sentences are attributable to a processing deficit encompassing delayed and therefore impaired recognition and integration of cues, as well as increased competition between interpretations. PMID:26562795

  10. Higher Language Ability is Related to Angular Gyrus Activation Increase During Semantic Processing, Independent of Sentence Incongruency

    PubMed Central

    Van Ettinger-Veenstra, Helene; McAllister, Anita; Lundberg, Peter; Karlsson, Thomas; Engström, Maria

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the relation between individual language ability and neural semantic processing abilities. Our aim was to explore whether high-level language ability would correlate to decreased activation in language-specific regions or rather increased activation in supporting language regions during processing of sentences. Moreover, we were interested if observed neural activation patterns are modulated by semantic incongruency similarly to previously observed changes upon syntactic congruency modulation. We investigated 27 healthy adults with a sentence reading task—which tapped language comprehension and inference, and modulated sentence congruency—employing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We assessed the relation between neural activation, congruency modulation, and test performance on a high-level language ability assessment with multiple regression analysis. Our results showed increased activation in the left-hemispheric angular gyrus extending to the temporal lobe related to high language ability. This effect was independent of semantic congruency, and no significant relation between language ability and incongruency modulation was observed. Furthermore, there was a significant increase of activation in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) bilaterally when the sentences were incongruent, indicating that processing incongruent sentences was more demanding than processing congruent sentences and required increased activation in language regions. The correlation of high-level language ability with increased rather than decreased activation in the left angular gyrus, a region specific for language processing, is opposed to what the neural efficiency hypothesis would predict. We can conclude that no evidence is found for an interaction between semantic congruency related brain activation and high-level language performance, even though the semantic incongruent condition shows to be more demanding and evoking more neural activation. PMID

  11. How Hearing Impairment Affects Sentence Comprehension: Using Eye Fixations to Investigate the Duration of Speech Processing

    PubMed Central

    Kollmeier, Birger; Brand, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The main objective of this study was to investigate the extent to which hearing impairment influences the duration of sentence processing. An eye-tracking paradigm is introduced that provides an online measure of how hearing impairment prolongs processing of linguistically complex sentences; this measure uses eye fixations recorded while the participant listens to a sentence. Eye fixations toward a target picture (which matches the aurally presented sentence) were measured in the presence of a competitor picture. Based on the recorded eye fixations, the single target detection amplitude, which reflects the tendency of the participant to fixate the target picture, was used as a metric to estimate the duration of sentence processing. The single target detection amplitude was calculated for sentence structures with different levels of linguistic complexity and for different listening conditions: in quiet and in two different noise conditions. Participants with hearing impairment spent more time processing sentences, even at high levels of speech intelligibility. In addition, the relationship between the proposed online measure and listener-specific factors, such as hearing aid use and cognitive abilities, was investigated. Longer processing durations were measured for participants with hearing impairment who were not accustomed to using a hearing aid. Moreover, significant correlations were found between sentence processing duration and individual cognitive abilities (such as working memory capacity or susceptibility to interference). These findings are discussed with respect to audiological applications. PMID:25910503

  12. Neural basis of first and second language processing of sentence-level linguistic prosody.

    PubMed

    Gandour, Jackson; Tong, Yunxia; Talavage, Thomas; Wong, Donald; Dzemidzic, Mario; Xu, Yisheng; Li, Xiaojian; Lowe, Mark

    2007-02-01

    A fundamental question in multilingualism is whether the neural substrates are shared or segregated for the two or more languages spoken by polyglots. This study employs functional MRI to investigate the neural substrates underlying the perception of two sentence-level prosodic phenomena that occur in both Mandarin Chinese (L1) and English (L2): sentence focus (sentence-initial vs. -final position of contrastive stress) and sentence type (declarative vs. interrogative modality). Late-onset, medium proficiency Chinese-English bilinguals were asked to selectively attend to either sentence focus or sentence type in paired three-word sentences in both L1 and L2 and make speeded-response discrimination judgments. L1 and L2 elicited highly overlapping activations in frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes. Furthermore, region of interest analyses revealed that for both languages the sentence focus task elicited a leftward asymmetry in the supramarginal gyrus; both tasks elicited a rightward asymmetry in the mid-portion of the middle frontal gyrus. A direct comparison between L1 and L2 did not show any difference in brain activation in the sentence type task. In the sentence focus task, however, greater activation for L2 than L1 occurred in the bilateral anterior insula and superior frontal sulcus. The sentence focus task also elicited a leftward asymmetry in the posterior middle temporal gyrus for L1 only. Differential activation patterns are attributed primarily to disparities between L1 and L2 in the phonetic manifestation of sentence focus. Such phonetic divergences lead to increased computational demands for processing L2. These findings support the view that L1 and L2 are mediated by a unitary neural system despite late age of acquisition, although additional neural resources may be required in task-specific circumstances for unequal bilinguals. PMID:16718651

  13. Children’s assignment of grammatical roles in the online processing of Mandarin passive sentences

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yi Ting; Zheng, Xiaobei; Meng, Xiangzhi; Snedeker, Jesse

    2013-01-01

    Children’s difficulty understanding passives in English has been attributed to the syntactic complexity, overall frequency, cue reliability, and/or incremental processing of this construction. To understand the role of these factors, we used the visual-world paradigm to examine comprehension in Mandarin Chinese where passives are infrequent but signaled by a highly valid marker (BEI). Eye-movements during sentences indicated that these markers triggered incremental role assignments in adults and 5-year-olds. Actions after sentences indicated that passives were often misinterpreted as actives when markers appeared after the referential noun (“Seal BEI it eat” → The seal is eaten by it). However, they were more likely to be interpreted correctly when markers appeared before (“It BEI seal eat” → It is eaten by the seal). The actions and the eye-movements suggest that for both adults and children, interpretations of passive are easier when they do not require revision of an earlier role assignment. PMID:24376303

  14. Eye movements and the perceptual span during first- and second-language sentence reading in bilingual older adults.

    PubMed

    Whitford, Veronica; Titone, Debra

    2016-02-01

    This study addressed a central yet previously unexplored issue in the psychological science of aging, namely, whether the advantages of healthy aging (e.g., greater lifelong experience with language) or disadvantages (e.g., decreases in cognitive and sensory processing) drive L1 and L2 reading performance in bilingual older adults. To this end, we used a gaze-contingent moving window paradigm to examine both global aspects of reading fluency (e.g., reading rates, number of regressions) and the perceptual span (i.e., allocation of visual attention into the parafovea) in bilingual older adults during L1 and L2 sentence reading, as a function of individual differences in current L2 experience. Across the L1 and L2, older adults exhibited reduced reading fluency (e.g., slower reading rates, more regressions), but a similar perceptual span compared with matched younger adults. Also similar to matched younger adults, older adults' reading fluency was lower for L2 reading than for L1 reading as a function of current L2 experience. Specifically, greater current L2 experience increased L2 reading fluency, but decreased L1 reading fluency (for global reading measures only). Taken together, the dissociation between intact perceptual span and impaired global reading measures suggests that older adults may prioritize parafoveal processing despite age-related encoding difficulties. Consistent with this interpretation, post hoc analyses revealed that older adults with higher versus lower executive control were more likely to adopt this strategy. PMID:26866589

  15. Ultimate Attainment in Second Language Acquisition: Near-Native Sentence Processing in Spanish

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jegerski, Jill

    2010-01-01

    A study of near-native sentence processing was carried out using the self-paced reading method. Twenty-three near-native speakers of Spanish were identified on the basis of native-like proficiency, age of onset of acquisition after 15 years, and a minimum of three years ongoing residency in Spanish-speaking countries. The sentence comprehension…

  16. Processing Strategies and the Comprehension of Sentence-Level Input by L2 Learners of German

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Carrie N.

    2008-01-01

    This study investigates how L2 learners of German (English L1) process structural and semantic information when reading German sentences. In a timed comprehension task, intermediate and advanced L2 learners of German read sentences that varied according to word order (subject-first versus object-first) and subject animacy (inanimate subject versus…

  17. Processing Advantages of Lexical Bundles: Evidence from Self-Paced Reading and Sentence Recall Tasks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tremblay, Antoine; Derwing, Bruce; Libben, Gary; Westbury, Chris

    2011-01-01

    This article examines the extent to which lexical bundles (LBs; i.e., frequently recurring strings of words that often span traditional syntactic boundaries) are stored and processed holistically. Three self-paced reading experiments compared sentences containing LBs (e.g., "in the middle of the") and matched control sentence fragments (e.g., "in…

  18. Children's Verbal Working Memory: Role of Processing Complexity in Predicting Spoken Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magimairaj, Beula M.; Montgomery, James W.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated the role of processing complexity of verbal working memory tasks in predicting spoken sentence comprehension in typically developing children. Of interest was whether simple and more complex working memory tasks have similar or different power in predicting sentence comprehension. Method: Sixty-five children (6- to…

  19. Verb Agreements during On-Line Sentence Processing in Alzheimer's Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Price, C.C.; Grossman, M.

    2005-01-01

    An on-line ''word detection'' paradigm was used to assess the comprehension of thematic and transitive verb agreements during sentence processing in individuals diagnosed with probable Alzheimer's Disease (AD, n=15) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD, n=14). AD, FTD, and control participants (n=17) were asked to listen for a word in a sentence.…

  20. An Activation-Based Model of Sentence Processing as Skilled Memory Retrieval

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Richard L.; Vasishth, Shravan

    2005-01-01

    We present a detailed process theory of the moment-by-moment working-memory retrievals and associated control structure that subserve sentence comprehension. The theory is derived from the application of independently motivated principles of memory and cognitive skill to the specialized task of sentence parsing. The resulting theory construes…

  1. Disfluencies along the Garden Path: Brain Electrophysiological Evidence of Disrupted Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maxfield, Nathan D.; Lyon, Justine M.; Silliman, Elaine R.

    2009-01-01

    Bailey and Ferreira (2003) hypothesized and reported behavioral evidence that disfluencies (filled and silent pauses) undesirably affect sentence processing when they appear before disambiguating verbs in Garden Path (GP) sentences. Disfluencies here cause the parser to "linger" on, and apparently accept as correct, an erroneous parse. Critically,…

  2. Eye-Movement Patterns of Readers with Down Syndrome during Sentence-Processing: An Exploratory Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frenck-Mestre, Cheryl; Zardan, Nathalie; Colas, Annie; Ghio, Alain

    2010-01-01

    Eye movements were examined to determine how readers with Down syndrome process sentences online. Participants were 9 individuals with Down syndrome ranging in reading level from Grades 1 to 3 and a reading-level-matched control group. For syntactically simple sentences, the pattern of reading times was similar for the two groups, with longer…

  3. The Cascaded Nature of Lexical Selection and Integration in Auditory Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van den Brink, Danielle; Brown, Colin M.; Hagoort, Peter

    2006-01-01

    An event-related brain potential experiment was carried out to investigate the temporal relationship between lexical selection and the semantic integration in auditory sentence processing. Participants were presented with spoken sentences that ended with a word that was either semantically congruent or anomalous. Information about the moment in…

  4. Sentence Processing in Language-Impaired Children under Conditions of Filtering and Time Compression.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stark, Rachel E.; Montgomery, James W.

    1995-01-01

    Compared the sentence processing abilities of 19 children with language impairments (LIs) against those of 20 children without impairments. Results found that the children with LIs had significantly longer mean response times under sentence conditions and lower accuracy overall than children without LIs. (29 references) (MDM)

  5. Children's Processing of Ambiguous Sentences: A Study of Relative Clause Attachment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Felser, Claudia; Marinis, Theodore; Clahsen, Harald

    2003-01-01

    In this study, we investigate children's and adults' relative clause attachment preferences in sentences such as "The student photographed the fan of the actress who was looking happy." Twenty-nine 6- to 7-year-old monolingual English children and 37 adult native speakers of English participated both in an auditory questionnaire study and in an…

  6. Interference Effects From Grammatically Unavailable Constituents During Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Van Dyke, Julie A.

    2007-01-01

    Evidence from 3 experiments reveals interference effects from structural relationships that are inconsistent with any grammatical parse of the perceived input. Processing disruption was observed when items occurring between a head and a dependent overlapped with either (or both) syntactic or semantic features of the dependent. Effects of syntactic interference occur in the earliest online measures in the region where the retrieval of a long-distance dependent occurs. Semantic interference effects occur in later online measures at the end of the sentence. Both effects endure in offline comprehension measures, suggesting that interfering items participate in incorrect interpretations that resist reanalysis. The data are discussed in terms of a cue-based retrieval account of parsing, which reconciles the fact that the parser must violate the grammar in order for these interference effects to occur. Broader implications of this research indicate a need for a precise specification of the interface between the parsing mechanism and the memory system that supports language comprehension. PMID:17352621

  7. Good-enough language processing: evidence from sentence-video matching.

    PubMed

    Kharkwal, Gaurav; Stromswold, Karin

    2014-02-01

    This paper investigates how detailed a linguistic representation is formed for descriptions of visual events. In two experiments, participants watched captioned videos and decided whether the captions accurately described the videos. In both experiments, videos depicted geometric shapes moving around the screen. In the first experiment, all of the captions were active sentences, and in the second experiment, half of the captions were active and half were passive. Results of these experiments indicate that participants who only encountered active sentences performed less detailed analyses of the sentences than participants who encountered both active and passive sentences, suggesting that the level of linguistic detail encoded reflects the complexity of the task that participants have to perform. These results are consistent with "good enough" models of language processing in which people process sentences heuristically or syntactically depending on the nature of the task they must perform. PMID:23385546

  8. Selective Attention to Semantic and Syntactic Features Modulates Sentence Processing Networks in Anterior Temporal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Rogalsky, Corianne

    2009-01-01

    Numerous studies have identified an anterior temporal lobe (ATL) region that responds preferentially to sentence-level stimuli. It is unclear, however, whether this activity reflects a response to syntactic computations or some form of semantic integration. This distinction is difficult to investigate with the stimulus manipulations and anomaly detection paradigms traditionally implemented. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study addresses this question via a selective attention paradigm. Subjects monitored for occasional semantic anomalies or occasional syntactic errors, thus directing their attention to semantic integration, or syntactic properties of the sentences. The hemodynamic response in the sentence-selective ATL region (defined with a localizer scan) was examined during anomaly/error-free sentences only, to avoid confounds due to error detection. The majority of the sentence-specific region of interest was equally modulated by attention to syntactic or compositional semantic features, whereas a smaller subregion was only modulated by the semantic task. We suggest that the sentence-specific ATL region is sensitive to both syntactic and integrative semantic functions during sentence processing, with a smaller portion of this area preferentially involved in the later. This study also suggests that selective attention paradigms may be effective tools to investigate the functional diversity of networks involved in sentence processing. PMID:18669589

  9. The Role of Island Constraints in Second Language Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Eunah; Baek, Soondo; Tremblay, Annie

    2015-01-01

    This study investigates whether adult second language learners' online processing of "wh"-dependencies is constrained by island constraints on movement. Proficiency-matched Spanish and Korean learners of English completed a grammaticality judgment task and a stop-making-sense task designed to examine their knowledge of the relative…

  10. Antecedent Priming at Trace Positions in Children's Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Leah; Marinis, Theodore; Felser, Claudia; Clahsen, Harald

    2007-01-01

    The present study examines whether children reactivate a moved constituent at its gap position and how children's more limited working memory span affects the way they process filler-gap dependencies. 46 5-7 year-old children and 54 adult controls participated in a cross-modal picture priming experiment and underwent a standardized working memory…

  11. Honorifics: A Sociocultural Verb Agreement Cue in Japanese Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yoshimura, Yuki; MacWhinney, Brian

    2010-01-01

    Case marking is the major cue to sentence interpretation in Japanese, whereas animacy and word order are much weaker. However, when subjects and their cases markers are omitted, Japanese honorific and humble verbs can provide information that compensates for the missing case role markers. This study examined the usage of honorific and humble verbs…

  12. Task Difficulty Differentially Affects Two Measures of Processing Load: The Pupil Response during Sentence Processing and Delayed Cued Recall of the Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zekveld, Adriana A.; Festen, Joost M.; Kramer, Kramera

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the authors assessed the influence of masking level (29% or 71% sentence perception) and test modality on the processing load during language perception as reflected by the pupil response. In addition, the authors administered a delayed cued stimulus recall test to examine whether processing load affected the encoding of…

  13. Parametric effects of syntactic-semantic conflict in Broca’s area during sentence processing

    PubMed Central

    Thothathiri, Malathi; Kim, Albert; Trueswell, John C.; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.

    2011-01-01

    The hypothesized role of Broca’s area in sentence processing ranges from domain-general executive function to domain-specific computation that is specific to certain syntactic structures. We examined this issue by manipulating syntactic structure and conflict between syntactic and semantic cues in a sentence processing task. Functional neuroimaging revealed that activation within several Broca’s area regions of interest reflected the parametric variation in syntactic-semantic conflict. These results suggest that Broca’s area supports sentence processing by mediating between multiple incompatible constraints on sentence interpretation, consistent with this area’s well-known role in conflict resolution in other linguistic and non-linguistic tasks. PMID:22225974

  14. The Interplay of Discourse Congruence and Lexical Association during Sentence Processing: Evidence from ERPs and Eye Tracking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Camblin, C. Christine; Gordon, Peter C.; Swaab, Tamara Y.

    2007-01-01

    Five experiments used ERPs and eye tracking to determine the interplay of word-level and discourse-level information during sentence processing. Subjects read sentences that were locally congruent but whose congruence with discourse context was manipulated. Furthermore, critical words in the local sentence were preceded by a prime word that was…

  15. Searching for the Trace: The Influence of Age, Lexical Activation and Working Memory on Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Angwin, Anthony J.; Chenery, Helen J.; Copland, David A.; Cardell, Elizabeth A.; Murdoch, Bruce E.; Ingram, John C. L.

    2006-01-01

    To investigate the stability of trace reactivation in healthy older adults, 22 older volunteers with no significant neurological history participated in a cross-modal priming task. Whilst both object relative center embedded (ORC) and object relative right branching (ORR) sentences were employed, working memory load was reduced by limiting the…

  16. Anticipatory Sentence Processing in Children with Specific Language Impairment: Evidence from Eye Movements during Listening

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andreu, Llorenc; Sanz-Torrent, Monica; Trueswell, John C.

    2013-01-01

    Twenty-five children with specific language impairment (SLI; age 5 years, 3 months [5;3]-8;2), 50 typically developing children (3;3-8;2), and 31 normal adults participated in three eye-tracking experiments of spoken language comprehension that were designed to investigate the use of verb information during real-time sentence comprehension in…

  17. Young Children with ASD Use Lexical and Referential Information During On-line Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Bavin, Edith L.; Kidd, Evan; Prendergast, Luke A.; Baker, Emma K.

    2016-01-01

    Research with adults and older children indicates that verb biases are strong influences on listeners’ interpretations when processing sentences, but they can be overruled. In this paper, we ask two questions: (i) are children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are high functioning sensitive to verb biases like their same age typically developing peers?, and (ii) do young children with ASD and young children with typical development (TD) override strong verb biases to consider alternative interpretations of ambiguous sentences? Participants were aged 5–9 years (mean age 6.65 years): children with ASD who were high functioning and children with TD. In task 1, biasing and neutral verbs were included (e.g., eat cake versus move cake). In task 2, the focus was on whether the prepositional phrase occurring with an instrument biasing verb (e.g., ‘Chop the tree with the axe’) was interpreted as an instrument even if the named item was an implausible instrument (e.g., candle in ‘Cut the cake with the candle’). Overall, the results showed similarities between groups but the ASD group was generally slower. In task 1, both groups looked at the named object faster in the biasing than the non-biasing condition, and in the biasing condition the ASD group looked away from the target more quickly than the TD group. In task 2, both groups identified the target in the prepositional phrase. They were more likely to override the verb instrument bias and consider the alternative (modification) interpretation in the implausible condition (e.g., looking at the picture of a cake with a candle on it’). Our findings indicate that children of age 5 years and above can use context to override verb biases. Additionally, an important component of the sentence processing mechanism is largely intact for young children with ASD who are high functioning. Like children with TD, they draw on verb semantics and plausibility in integrating information. However, they are likely to be

  18. Young Children with ASD Use Lexical and Referential Information During On-line Sentence Processing.

    PubMed

    Bavin, Edith L; Kidd, Evan; Prendergast, Luke A; Baker, Emma K

    2016-01-01

    Research with adults and older children indicates that verb biases are strong influences on listeners' interpretations when processing sentences, but they can be overruled. In this paper, we ask two questions: (i) are children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who are high functioning sensitive to verb biases like their same age typically developing peers?, and (ii) do young children with ASD and young children with typical development (TD) override strong verb biases to consider alternative interpretations of ambiguous sentences? Participants were aged 5-9 years (mean age 6.65 years): children with ASD who were high functioning and children with TD. In task 1, biasing and neutral verbs were included (e.g., eat cake versus move cake). In task 2, the focus was on whether the prepositional phrase occurring with an instrument biasing verb (e.g., 'Chop the tree with the axe') was interpreted as an instrument even if the named item was an implausible instrument (e.g., candle in 'Cut the cake with the candle'). Overall, the results showed similarities between groups but the ASD group was generally slower. In task 1, both groups looked at the named object faster in the biasing than the non-biasing condition, and in the biasing condition the ASD group looked away from the target more quickly than the TD group. In task 2, both groups identified the target in the prepositional phrase. They were more likely to override the verb instrument bias and consider the alternative (modification) interpretation in the implausible condition (e.g., looking at the picture of a cake with a candle on it'). Our findings indicate that children of age 5 years and above can use context to override verb biases. Additionally, an important component of the sentence processing mechanism is largely intact for young children with ASD who are high functioning. Like children with TD, they draw on verb semantics and plausibility in integrating information. However, they are likely to be slower in

  19. An eye-tracking paradigm for analyzing the processing time of sentences with different linguistic complexities.

    PubMed

    Wendt, Dorothea; Brand, Thomas; Kollmeier, Birger

    2014-01-01

    An eye-tracking paradigm was developed for use in audiology in order to enable online analysis of the speech comprehension process. This paradigm should be useful in assessing impediments in speech processing. In this paradigm, two scenes, a target picture and a competitor picture, were presented simultaneously with an aurally presented sentence that corresponded to the target picture. At the same time, eye fixations were recorded using an eye-tracking device. The effect of linguistic complexity on language processing time was assessed from eye fixation information by systematically varying linguistic complexity. This was achieved with a sentence corpus containing seven German sentence structures. A novel data analysis method computed the average tendency to fixate the target picture as a function of time during sentence processing. This allowed identification of the point in time at which the participant understood the sentence, referred to as the decision moment. Systematic differences in processing time were observed as a function of linguistic complexity. These differences in processing time may be used to assess the efficiency of cognitive processes involved in resolving linguistic complexity. Thus, the proposed method enables a temporal analysis of the speech comprehension process and has potential applications in speech audiology and psychoacoustics. PMID:24950184

  20. An Eye-Tracking Paradigm for Analyzing the Processing Time of Sentences with Different Linguistic Complexities

    PubMed Central

    Wendt, Dorothea; Brand, Thomas; Kollmeier, Birger

    2014-01-01

    An eye-tracking paradigm was developed for use in audiology in order to enable online analysis of the speech comprehension process. This paradigm should be useful in assessing impediments in speech processing. In this paradigm, two scenes, a target picture and a competitor picture, were presented simultaneously with an aurally presented sentence that corresponded to the target picture. At the same time, eye fixations were recorded using an eye-tracking device. The effect of linguistic complexity on language processing time was assessed from eye fixation information by systematically varying linguistic complexity. This was achieved with a sentence corpus containing seven German sentence structures. A novel data analysis method computed the average tendency to fixate the target picture as a function of time during sentence processing. This allowed identification of the point in time at which the participant understood the sentence, referred to as the decision moment. Systematic differences in processing time were observed as a function of linguistic complexity. These differences in processing time may be used to assess the efficiency of cognitive processes involved in resolving linguistic complexity. Thus, the proposed method enables a temporal analysis of the speech comprehension process and has potential applications in speech audiology and psychoacoustics. PMID:24950184

  1. ERP responses to processing prosodic phrasing of sentences in amplitude modulated noise.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Rebecca; Ruigendijk, Esther

    2016-02-01

    Intonation phrase boundaries (IPBs) were hypothesized to be especially difficult to process in the presence of an amplitude modulated noise masker because of a potential rhythmic competition. In an event-related potential study, IPBs were presented in silence, stationary, and amplitude modulated noise. We elicited centro-parietal Closure Positive Shifts (CPS) in 23 young adults with normal hearing at IPBs in all acoustic conditions, albeit with some differences. CPS peak amplitudes were highest in stationary noise, followed by modulated noise, and lowest in silence. Both noise types elicited CPS delays, slightly more so in stationary compared to amplitude modulated noise. These data suggest that amplitude modulation is not tantamount to a rhythmic competitor for prosodic phrasing but rather supports an assumed speech perception benefit due to local release from masking. The duration of CPS time windows was, however, not only longer in noise compared to silence, but also longer for amplitude modulated compared to stationary noise. This is interpreted as support for additional processing load associated with amplitude modulation for the CPS component. Taken together, processing prosodic phrasing of sentences in amplitude modulated noise seems to involve the same issues that have been observed for the perception and processing of segmental information that are related to lexical items presented in noise: a benefit from local release from masking, even for prosodic cues, and a detrimental additional processing load that is associated with either stream segregation or signal reconstruction. PMID:26776233

  2. The Band-Importance Function for the Korean Standard Sentence Lists for Adults

    PubMed Central

    Jin, In-Ki; Lee, Kyoungwon; Kim, Jinsook; Kim, Dongwook; Sohn, Junil; Lee, Kyung-Ju

    2016-01-01

    Background and Objectives The band-importance function (BIF) refers to a value characterizing the relative importance of different frequencies to speech intelligibility. The purpose of this study was to derive the BIF for the Korean standard sentence lists for adults (KS-SL-A). Subjects and Methods In this study, sentences from the KS-SL-A were used as the speech material. Twenty-six normal-hearing Korean listeners participated and intelligibility scores in 8 filters with 3 signal-to-noise ratio conditions were obtained. Based on the intelligibility score percentages, the BIF for the KS-SL-A was derived by using an established protocol. Results Band-importance weights varied across frequency bands. The most important frequency region was around 316 Hz (20.0%), and the importance of the frequency bands below the center frequency (CF) of 1,778 Hz was 59.6%. Therefore, low frequencies below the CF of 1,778 Hz were more important than high frequencies above the CF of 1,778 Hz. Conclusions The BIF for KS-SL-A could be applied towards developing a hearing aid fitting formulae for Korean listeners. PMID:27626080

  3. ERP evidence for the online processing of rhythmic pattern during Chinese sentence reading.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yingyi; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2010-02-01

    Prosodic information has been found to have immediate impact upon spoken sentence comprehension. However, it is not clear to what extent such information could constrain neuro-cognitive processes in silent reading. In this event-related potential (ERP) study, we investigate whether a particular prosodic constraint in Chinese, the rhythmic pattern of the verb-noun combination, affects sentence reading and whether neural markers of rhythmic pattern processing are similar to those of prosodic processing in the spoken domain. In Chinese, the rhythmic pattern refers to the combination of words with different lengths, with some combinations (e.g., the [2+1] pattern; numbers in brackets stand for the number of syllables of the verb and of the noun respectively) disallowed and some combinations (e.g., [1+1] or [2+2]) preferred. We manipulated the well-formedness of rhythmic pattern as well as the semantic congruency between the verb and the noun and we visually presented sentences, segment by segment, to readers who were required to make acceptability judgment to each sentence. In two experiments in which the verb and the noun were presented either separately or as one segment, we found that the abnormal rhythmic pattern evoked an N400-like effect in the 400- to 600-ms time window and a late positivity effect in semantically congruent sentences; however, the abnormal rhythmic pattern elicited a posterior positivity effect in the 300- to 600-ms time window in semantically incongruent sentences. These findings suggest that information concerning rhythmic pattern is used rapidly and interactively to constrain semantic access/integration during Chinese sentence reading. PMID:19833211

  4. Knowing a lot for one's age: Vocabulary skill and not age is associated with anticipatory incremental sentence interpretation in children and adults.

    PubMed

    Borovsky, Arielle; Elman, Jeffrey L; Fernald, Anne

    2012-08-01

    Adults can incrementally combine information from speech with astonishing speed to anticipate future words. Concurrently, a growing body of work suggests that vocabulary ability is crucially related to lexical processing skills in children. However, little is known about this relationship with predictive sentence processing in children or adults. We explore this question by comparing the degree to which an upcoming sentential theme is anticipated by combining information from a prior agent and action. 48 children, aged of 3 to 10, and 48 college-aged adults' eye-movements were recorded as they heard a sentence (e.g., The pirate hides the treasure) in which the object referred to one of four images that included an agent-related, action-related and unrelated distractor image. Pictures were rotated so that, across all versions of the study, each picture appeared in all conditions, yielding a completely balanced within-subjects design. Adults and children quickly made use of combinatory information available at the action to generate anticipatory looks to the target object. Speed of anticipatory fixations did not vary with age. When controlling for age, individuals with higher vocabularies were faster to look to the target than those with lower vocabulary scores. Together, these results support and extend current views of incremental processing in which adults and children make use of linguistic information to continuously update their mental representation of ongoing language. PMID:22632758

  5. Filler-Gap Dependencies and Island Constraints in Second-Language Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Omaki, Akira; Schulz, Barbara

    2011-01-01

    Second-language (L2) sentence processing may differ from processing in a native language in a variety of ways, and it has been argued that one major difference is that L2 learners can only construct shallow representations that lack structural details (e.g., Clahsen & Felser, 2006). The present study challenges this hypothesis by comparing the…

  6. Expectations from preceding prosody influence segmentation in online sentence processing

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Meredith; Salverda, Anne Pier; Dilley, Laura C.; Tanenhaus, Michael K.

    2013-01-01

    Previous work examining prosodic cues in online spoken-word recognition has focused primarily on local cues to word identity. However, recent studies have suggested that utterance-level prosodic patterns can also influence the interpretation of subsequent sequences of lexically ambiguous syllables (Dilley, Mattys, & Vinke, Journal of Memory and Language, 63:274–294, 2010; Dilley & McAuley, Journal of Memory and Language, 59:294–311, 2008). To test the hypothesis that these distal prosody effects are based on expectations about the organization of upcoming material, we conducted a visual-world experiment. We examined fixations to competing alternatives such as pan and panda upon hearing the target word panda in utterances in which the acoustic properties of the preceding sentence material had been manipulated. The proportions of fixations to the monosyllabic competitor were higher beginning 200 ms after target word onset when the preceding prosody supported a prosodic constituent boundary following pan-, rather than following panda. These findings support the hypothesis that expectations based on perceived prosodic patterns in the distal context influence lexical segmentation and word recognition. PMID:21968925

  7. The Sentence-Composition Effect: Processing of Complex Sentences Depends on the Configuration of Common Noun Phrases versus Unusual Noun Phrases

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Marcus L.; Lowder, Matthew W.; Gordon, Peter C.

    2011-01-01

    In 2 experiments, the authors used an eye tracking while reading methodology to examine how different configurations of common noun phrases versus unusual noun phrases (NPs) influenced the difference in processing difficulty between sentences containing object- and subject-extracted relative clauses. Results showed that processing difficulty was…

  8. Integrated Multi-Strategic Web Document Pre-Processing for Sentence and Word Boundary Detection.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shim, Junhyeok; Kim, Dongseok; Cha, Jeongwon; Lee, Gary Geunbae; Seo, Jungyun

    2002-01-01

    Discussion of natural language processing focuses on a multi-strategic integrated text preprocessing method for difficult problems of sentence boundary disambiguation and word boundary disambiguation of Web texts. Describes an evaluation of the method using Korean Web document collections. (Author/LRW)

  9. Semantic Integration Processes at Different Levels of Syntactic Hierarchy during Sentence Comprehension: An ERP Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhou, Xiaolin; Jiang, Xiaoming; Ye, Zheng; Zhang, Yaxu; Lou, Kaiyang; Zhan, Weidong

    2010-01-01

    An event-related potential (ERP) study was conducted to investigate the temporal neural dynamics of semantic integration processes at different levels of syntactic hierarchy during Chinese sentence reading. In a hierarchical structure, "subject noun" + "verb" + "numeral" + "classifier" + "object noun," the object noun is constrained by selectional…

  10. The Influence of Emotional Words on Sentence Processing: Electrophysiological and Behavioral Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin-Loeches, Manuel; Fernandez, Anabel; Schacht, Annekathrin; Sommer, Werner; Casado, Pilar; Jimenez-Ortega, Laura; Fondevila, Sabela

    2012-01-01

    Whereas most previous studies on emotion in language have focussed on single words, we investigated the influence of the emotional valence of a word on the syntactic and semantic processes unfolding during sentence comprehension, by means of event-related brain potentials (ERP). Experiment 1 assessed how positive, negative, and neutral adjectives…

  11. Respecting Relations: Memory Access and Antecedent Retrieval in Incremental Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kush, Dave W.

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation uses the processing of anaphoric relations to probe how linguistic information is encoded in and retrieved from memory during real-time sentence comprehension. More specifically, the dissertation attempts to resolve a tension between the demands of a linguistic processor implemented in a general-purpose cognitive architecture and…

  12. Semantic processing of English sentences using statistical computation based on neurophysiological models

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Marcia T.

    2015-01-01

    Computer programs that can accurately interpret natural human language and carry out instructions would improve the lives of people with language processing deficits and greatly benefit society in general. von Neumann in theorized that the human brain utilizes its own unique statistical neuronal computation to decode language and that this produces specific patterns of neuronal activity. This paper extends von Neumann's theory to the processing of partial semantics of declarative sentences. I developed semantic neuronal network models that emulate key features of cortical language processing and accurately compute partial semantics of English sentences. The method of computation implements the MAYA Semantic Technique, a mathematical technique I previously developed to determine partial semantics of sentences within a natural language processing program. Here I further simplified the technique by grouping repeating patterns into fewer categories. Unlike other natural language programs, my approach computes three partial semantics. The results of this research show that the computation of partial semantics of a sentence uses both feedforward and feedback projection which suggest that the partial semantic presented in this research might be a conscious activity within the human brain. PMID:26106331

  13. Constructive Processes in Skilled and Less Skilled Comprehenders' Memory for Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oakhill, Jane

    1982-01-01

    Investigated seven eight-year-old children's memory for aurally presented sentences. Used a recognition-memory task to probe constructive memory processes in two groups differentiated by reading comprehension. Results indicated the tendency to construct meanings was greater in children who scored higher on reading comprehension. (Author)

  14. Semantic processing of English sentences using statistical computation based on neurophysiological models.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Marcia T

    2015-01-01

    Computer programs that can accurately interpret natural human language and carry out instructions would improve the lives of people with language processing deficits and greatly benefit society in general. von Neumann in theorized that the human brain utilizes its own unique statistical neuronal computation to decode language and that this produces specific patterns of neuronal activity. This paper extends von Neumann's theory to the processing of partial semantics of declarative sentences. I developed semantic neuronal network models that emulate key features of cortical language processing and accurately compute partial semantics of English sentences. The method of computation implements the MAYA Semantic Technique, a mathematical technique I previously developed to determine partial semantics of sentences within a natural language processing program. Here I further simplified the technique by grouping repeating patterns into fewer categories. Unlike other natural language programs, my approach computes three partial semantics. The results of this research show that the computation of partial semantics of a sentence uses both feedforward and feedback projection which suggest that the partial semantic presented in this research might be a conscious activity within the human brain. PMID:26106331

  15. Syntactic and semantic processing of Chinese middle sentences: evidence from event-related potentials.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Tao; Mao, Wen; Lu, Qing

    2016-05-25

    Scalp-recorded event-related potentials are known to be sensitive to particular aspects of sentence processing. The N400 component is widely recognized as an effect closely related to lexical-semantic processing. The absence of an N400 effect in participants performing tasks in Indo-European languages has been considered evidence that failed syntactic category processing appears to block lexical-semantic integration and that syntactic structure building is a prerequisite of semantic analysis. An event-related potential experiment was designed to investigate whether such syntactic primacy can be considered to apply equally to Chinese sentence processing. Besides correct middles, sentences with either single semantic or single syntactic violation as well as double syntactic and semantic anomaly were used in the present research. Results showed that both purely semantic and combined violation induced a broad negativity in the time window 300-500 ms, indicating the independence of lexical-semantic integration. These findings provided solid evidence that lexical-semantic parsing plays a crucial role in Chinese sentence comprehension. PMID:27028353

  16. The role of the striatum in sentence processing: disentangling syntax from working memory in Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Sambin, Sara; Teichmann, Marc; de Diego Balaguer, Ruth; Giavazzi, Maria; Sportiche, Dominique; Schlenker, Philippe; Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine

    2012-09-01

    The role of sub-cortical structures in language processing remains controversial. In particular, it is unclear whether the striatum subserves language-specific processes such as syntax or whether it solely affects language performance via its significant role in executive functioning and/or working memory. Here, in order to address this issue, we attempted to equalize working memory constraints while varying syntactic complexity, to study sentence comprehension in 15 patients with striatal damage, namely Huntington's disease at early stage, and in 15 healthy controls. More particularly, we manipulated the syntactic relation between a name and a pronoun while holding the distance between them constant. We exploited a formal principle of syntactic theory called Principle C. This principle states that whereas in a sentence such as "Paul smiled when he entered" Paul and he can be a single person, this interpretation is blocked in sentences such as "He smiled when Paul entered". In a second experiment we varied working memory load using noun-adjective gender agreement in center-embedded and right-branching relatives (e.g., "the girl who watches the dog is green" vs. "the girl watches the dog which is green"). The results show that HD patients correctly establish name-pronoun co-reference but they fail to block it when Principle C should apply. Furthermore, they have good performance with both center-embedded and right-branching relatives, suggesting that their difficulties in sentence comprehension do not arise from memory load impairment during sentence processing. Taken together, our findings indicate that the striatum holds a genuine role in syntactic processing, which cannot be reduced to its involvement in working memory. However, it only impacts on particular aspects of syntax that may relate to complex computations whereas other operations appear to be preserved. Hypotheses about the role of the striatum in syntactic processing are discussed. PMID:22820633

  17. Conflict and Cognitive Control during Sentence Comprehension: Recruitment of a Frontal Network during the Processing of Spanish Object-First Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    del Rio, David; Maestu, Fernando; Lopez-Higes, Ramon; Moratti, Stephan; Gutierrez, Ricardo; Maestu, Ceferino; del-Pozo, Francisco

    2011-01-01

    During sentence processing there is a preference to treat the first noun phrase found as the subject and agent, unless marked the other way. This preference would lead to a conflict in thematic role assignment when the syntactic structure conforms to a non-canonical object-before-subject pattern. Left perisylvian and fronto-parietal brain networks…

  18. Processing Rhythmic Pattern during Chinese Sentence Reading: An Eye Movement Study.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yingyi; Duan, Yunyan; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2015-01-01

    Prosodic constraints play a fundamental role during both spoken sentence comprehension and silent reading. In Chinese, the rhythmic pattern of the verb-object (V-O) combination has been found to rapidly affect the semantic access/integration process during sentence reading (Luo and Zhou, 2010). Rhythmic pattern refers to the combination of words with different syllabic lengths, with certain combinations disallowed (e.g., [2 + 1]; numbers standing for the number of syllables of the verb and the noun respectively) and certain combinations preferred (e.g., [1 + 1] or [2 + 2]). This constraint extends to the situation in which the combination is used to modify other words. A V-O phrase could modify a noun by simply preceding it, forming a V-O-N compound; when the verb is disyllabic, however, the word order has to be O-V-N and the object is preferred to be disyllabic. In this study, we investigated how the reader processes the rhythmic pattern and word order information by recording the reader's eye-movements. We created four types of sentences by crossing rhythmic pattern and word order in compounding. The compound, embedding a disyllabic verb, could be in the correct O-V-N or the incorrect V-O-N order; the object could be disyllabic or monosyllabic. We found that the reader spent more time and made more regressions on and after the compounds when either type of anomaly was detected during the first pass reading. However, during re-reading (after all the words in the sentence have been viewed), less regressive eye movements were found for the anomalous rhythmic pattern, relative to the correct pattern; moreover, only the abnormal rhythmic pattern, not the violated word order, influenced the regressive eye movements. These results suggest that while the processing of rhythmic pattern and word order information occurs rapidly during the initial reading of the sentence, the process of recovering from the rhythmic pattern anomaly may ease the reanalysis processing at the

  19. Processing Rhythmic Pattern during Chinese Sentence Reading: An Eye Movement Study

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yingyi; Duan, Yunyan; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2015-01-01

    Prosodic constraints play a fundamental role during both spoken sentence comprehension and silent reading. In Chinese, the rhythmic pattern of the verb-object (V-O) combination has been found to rapidly affect the semantic access/integration process during sentence reading (Luo and Zhou, 2010). Rhythmic pattern refers to the combination of words with different syllabic lengths, with certain combinations disallowed (e.g., [2 + 1]; numbers standing for the number of syllables of the verb and the noun respectively) and certain combinations preferred (e.g., [1 + 1] or [2 + 2]). This constraint extends to the situation in which the combination is used to modify other words. A V-O phrase could modify a noun by simply preceding it, forming a V-O-N compound; when the verb is disyllabic, however, the word order has to be O-V-N and the object is preferred to be disyllabic. In this study, we investigated how the reader processes the rhythmic pattern and word order information by recording the reader's eye-movements. We created four types of sentences by crossing rhythmic pattern and word order in compounding. The compound, embedding a disyllabic verb, could be in the correct O-V-N or the incorrect V-O-N order; the object could be disyllabic or monosyllabic. We found that the reader spent more time and made more regressions on and after the compounds when either type of anomaly was detected during the first pass reading. However, during re-reading (after all the words in the sentence have been viewed), less regressive eye movements were found for the anomalous rhythmic pattern, relative to the correct pattern; moreover, only the abnormal rhythmic pattern, not the violated word order, influenced the regressive eye movements. These results suggest that while the processing of rhythmic pattern and word order information occurs rapidly during the initial reading of the sentence, the process of recovering from the rhythmic pattern anomaly may ease the reanalysis processing at the

  20. A Closer Look at Phonology as a Predictor of Spoken Sentence Processing and Word Reading.

    PubMed

    Myers, Suzanne; Robertson, Erin K

    2015-08-01

    The goal of this study was to tease apart the roles of phonological awareness (pA) and phonological short-term memory (pSTM) in sentence comprehension, sentence production, and word reading. Children 6- to 10-years of age (N = 377) completed standardized tests of pA ('Elision') and pSTM ('Nonword Repetition') from the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing. Concepts and Following Directions (CFD) and Formulated Sentences (FS) were taken from the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Fourth Edition, as measures of sentence comprehension and production, respectively. Children also completed the Word Identification (Word Id) and Word Attack (Word Att) subtests of the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Third Edition. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses controlling for age and nonverbal IQ revealed that Elision was the only significant predictor of CFD and FS. While Elision was the strongest predictor of Word Id and Word Att, Nonword Repetition accounted for additional variance in both reading measures. These results emphasize the usefulness of breaking down phonological processing into multiple components and they also have implications language and reading disordered populations. PMID:24627225

  1. Background Speech Effects on Sentence Processing during Reading: An Eye Movement Study

    PubMed Central

    Hyönä, Jukka; Ekholm, Miia

    2016-01-01

    Effects of background speech on reading were examined by playing aloud different types of background speech, while participants read long, syntactically complex and less complex sentences embedded in text. Readers’ eye movement patterns were used to study online sentence comprehension. Effects of background speech were primarily seen in rereading time. In Experiment 1, foreign-language background speech did not disrupt sentence processing. Experiment 2 demonstrated robust disruption in reading as a result of semantically and syntactically anomalous scrambled background speech preserving normal sentence-like intonation. Scrambled speech that was constructed from the text to-be read did not disrupt reading more than scrambled speech constructed from a different, semantically unrelated text. Experiment 3 showed that scrambled speech exacerbated the syntactic complexity effect more than coherent background speech, which also interfered with reading. Experiment 4 demonstrated that both semantically and syntactically anomalous speech produced no more disruption in reading than semantically anomalous but syntactically correct background speech. The pattern of results is best explained by a semantic account that stresses the importance of similarity in semantic processing, but not similarity in semantic content, between the reading task and background speech. PMID:27003410

  2. Background Speech Effects on Sentence Processing during Reading: An Eye Movement Study.

    PubMed

    Hyönä, Jukka; Ekholm, Miia

    2016-01-01

    Effects of background speech on reading were examined by playing aloud different types of background speech, while participants read long, syntactically complex and less complex sentences embedded in text. Readers' eye movement patterns were used to study online sentence comprehension. Effects of background speech were primarily seen in rereading time. In Experiment 1, foreign-language background speech did not disrupt sentence processing. Experiment 2 demonstrated robust disruption in reading as a result of semantically and syntactically anomalous scrambled background speech preserving normal sentence-like intonation. Scrambled speech that was constructed from the text to-be read did not disrupt reading more than scrambled speech constructed from a different, semantically unrelated text. Experiment 3 showed that scrambled speech exacerbated the syntactic complexity effect more than coherent background speech, which also interfered with reading. Experiment 4 demonstrated that both semantically and syntactically anomalous speech produced no more disruption in reading than semantically anomalous but syntactically correct background speech. The pattern of results is best explained by a semantic account that stresses the importance of similarity in semantic processing, but not similarity in semantic content, between the reading task and background speech. PMID:27003410

  3. Is Broca's Area Involved in the Processing of Passive Sentences? An Event-Related fMRI Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yokoyama, Satoru; Watanabe, Jobu; Iwata, Kazuki; Ikuta, Naho; Haji, Tomoki; Usui, Nobuo; Taira, Masato; Miyamoto, Tadao; Nakamura, Wataru; Sato, Shigeru; Horie, Kaoru; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2007-01-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether activation in Broca's area is greater during the processing of passive versus active sentences in the brains of healthy subjects. Twenty Japanese native speakers performed a visual sentence comprehension task in which they were asked to read a visually presented sentence…

  4. Intermediate Traces and Intermediate Learners: Evidence for the Use of Intermediate Structure during Sentence Processing in Second Language French

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, A. Kate

    2015-01-01

    This study reports on a sentence processing experiment in second language (L2) French that looks for evidence of trace reactivation at clause edge and in the canonical object position in indirect object cleft sentences with complex embedding and cyclic movement. Reaction time (RT) asymmetries were examined among low (n = 20) and high (n = 20)…

  5. Parsing Strategies in L1 and L2 Sentence Processing: A Study of Relative Clause Attachment in Greek

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papadopoulou, Despina; Clahsen, Harald

    2003-01-01

    To contribute to a better understanding of second language (L2) sentence processing, the present study examines how L2 learners parse temporarily ambiguous sentences containing relative clauses. Results are reported from both off-line and on-line experiments with three groups of advanced learners of Greek whose native languages (L1s) were Spanish,…

  6. Effects of animacy on processing relative clauses in older and younger adults.

    PubMed

    DeDe, Gayle

    2015-01-01

    Sentences with object relative clauses are more difficult to process than sentences with subject relative clauses, but the processing penalty associated with object relatives is greater when the sentential subject is an animate than when it is an inanimate noun. The present study tested the hypothesis that older adults are more sensitive to this type of semantic constraint than younger adults. Older and younger adults (n = 28 per group) participated in a self-paced listening study. The critical sentences contained subject and object relative clauses and had animate or inanimate subjects. Both older and younger adults had longer listening times for critical segments in object than in subject relative clause in both animacy conditions. Critically, the animacy manipulation disrupted older adults more than younger adults. These results are consistent with the claim that older adults rely on experience-based expectations to a greater extent than younger adults. PMID:25191828

  7. Sentence Processing: Psycholinguistic Studies Presented to Merrill Garrett.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, William E., Ed.; Walker, Edward C. T., Ed.

    The chapters in this volume represent a type of current psycholinguistic research that focuses both on the nature of human information processing and the coding of linguistic structure. The chapters and authors are as follows: (1) "The Wherefores and Therefores of the Competence-Performance Distinction," by V. Valian; (2) "Levels of Processing and…

  8. The Real-Time Processing of Sluiced Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poirier, Josee; Wolfinger, Katie; Spellman, Lisa; Shapiro, Lewis P.

    2010-01-01

    Ellipsis refers to an element that is absent from the input but whose meaning can nonetheless be recovered from context. In this cross-modal priming study, we examined the online processing of Sluicing, an ellipsis whose antecedent is an entire clause: "The handyman threw a book to the programmer but I don't know which book" the handyman threw to…

  9. Interference Effects from Grammatically Unavailable Constituents during Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Dyke, Julie A.

    2007-01-01

    Evidence from 3 experiments reveals interference effects from structural relationships that are inconsistent with any grammatical parse of the perceived input. Processing disruption was observed when items occurring between a head and a dependent overlapped with either (or both) syntactic or semantic features of the dependent. Effects of syntactic…

  10. The Effect of Nonadopted Analyses on Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cai, Zhenguang G.; Sturt, Patrick; Pickering, Martin J.

    2012-01-01

    Are comprehenders affected by an alternative analysis that they do not adopt (a nonadopted analysis) in case of syntactic ambiguity? If the processor only considers and maintains the preferred analysis at a given time, an alternative analysis is then not considered and will hence not affect processing. In two experiments, we examined the…

  11. Effect of Visual Support on the Processing of Multiclausal Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hagiwara, Akiko

    2015-01-01

    Processing morphemic elements is one of the most difficult parts of second language acquisition (DeKeyser, 2005; Larsen-Freeman, 2010). This difficulty gains prominence when second language (L2) learners must perform under time pressure, and difficulties arise in using grammatical knowledge. To solve the problem, the current study used the tenets…

  12. Working memory and semantic involvement in sentence processing: a case of pure progressive amnesia.

    PubMed

    Fossard, Marion; Rigalleau, François; Puel, Michèle; Nespoulous, Jean-Luc; Viallard, Gérard; Démonet, Jean-François; Cardebat, Dominique

    2006-01-01

    ED, a 83-year-old woman, meets the criteria of pure progressive amnesia, with gradual impairment of episodic and autobiographical memory, sparing of semantic processing and strong working memory (WM) deficit. The dissociation between disturbed WM and spared semantic processing permitted testing the role of WM in processing anaphors like pronouns or repeated names. Results showed a globally normal anaphoric behavior in two experiments requiring anaphoric processing in sentence production and comprehension. We suggest that preserved semantic processing in ED would have compensated for working memory deficit in anaphoric processing. PMID:16098543

  13. Sentence processing in anterior superior temporal cortex shows a social-emotional bias.

    PubMed

    Mellem, Monika S; Jasmin, Kyle M; Peng, Cynthia; Martin, Alex

    2016-08-01

    The anterior region of the left superior temporal gyrus/superior temporal sulcus (aSTG/STS) has been implicated in two very different cognitive functions: sentence processing and social-emotional processing. However, the vast majority of the sentence stimuli in previous reports have been of a social or social-emotional nature suggesting that sentence processing may be confounded with semantic content. To evaluate this possibility we had subjects read word lists that differed in phrase/constituent size (single words, 3-word phrases, 6-word sentences) and semantic content (social-emotional, social, and inanimate objects) while scanned in a 7T environment. This allowed us to investigate if the aSTG/STS responded to increasing constituent structure (with increased activity as a function of constituent size) with or without regard to a specific domain of concepts, i.e., social and/or social-emotional content. Activity in the left aSTG/STS was found to increase with constituent size. This region was also modulated by content, however, such that social-emotional concepts were preferred over social and object stimuli. Reading also induced content type effects in domain-specific semantic regions. Those preferring social-emotional content included aSTG/STS, inferior frontal gyrus, posterior STS, lateral fusiform, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and amygdala, regions included in the "social brain", while those preferring object content included parahippocampal gyrus, retrosplenial cortex, and caudate, regions involved in object processing. These results suggest that semantic content affects higher-level linguistic processing and should be taken into account in future studies. PMID:27329686

  14. Semantic Processing Persists despite Anomalous Syntactic Category: ERP Evidence from Chinese Passive Sentences.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yang; Wu, Fuyun; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2015-01-01

    The syntax-first model and the parallel/interactive models make different predictions regarding whether syntactic category processing has a temporal and functional primacy over semantic processing. To further resolve this issue, an event-related potential experiment was conducted on 24 Chinese speakers reading Chinese passive sentences with the passive marker BEI (NP1 + BEI + NP2 + Verb). This construction was selected because it is the most-commonly used Chinese passive and very much resembles German passives, upon which the syntax-first hypothesis was primarily based. We manipulated semantic consistency (consistent vs. inconsistent) and syntactic category (noun vs. verb) of the critical verb, yielding four conditions: CORRECT (correct sentences), SEMANTIC (semantic anomaly), SYNTACTIC (syntactic category anomaly), and COMBINED (combined anomalies). Results showed both N400 and P600 effects for sentences with semantic anomaly, with syntactic category anomaly, or with combined anomalies. Converging with recent findings of Chinese ERP studies on various constructions, our study provides further evidence that syntactic category processing does not precede semantic processing in reading Chinese. PMID:26125621

  15. Semantic Processing Persists despite Anomalous Syntactic Category: ERP Evidence from Chinese Passive Sentences

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yang; Wu, Fuyun; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2015-01-01

    The syntax-first model and the parallel/interactive models make different predictions regarding whether syntactic category processing has a temporal and functional primacy over semantic processing. To further resolve this issue, an event-related potential experiment was conducted on 24 Chinese speakers reading Chinese passive sentences with the passive marker BEI (NP1 + BEI + NP2 + Verb). This construction was selected because it is the most-commonly used Chinese passive and very much resembles German passives, upon which the syntax-first hypothesis was primarily based. We manipulated semantic consistency (consistent vs. inconsistent) and syntactic category (noun vs. verb) of the critical verb, yielding four conditions: CORRECT (correct sentences), SEMANTIC (semantic anomaly), SYNTACTIC (syntactic category anomaly), and COMBINED (combined anomalies). Results showed both N400 and P600 effects for sentences with semantic anomaly, with syntactic category anomaly, or with combined anomalies. Converging with recent findings of Chinese ERP studies on various constructions, our study provides further evidence that syntactic category processing does not precede semantic processing in reading Chinese. PMID:26125621

  16. Is the comprehension of idiomatic sentences indeed impaired in paranoid Schizophrenia? A window into semantic processing deficits

    PubMed Central

    Pesciarelli, Francesca; Gamberoni, Tania; Ferlazzo, Fabio; Lo Russo, Leo; Pedrazzi, Francesca; Melati, Ermanno; Cacciari, Cristina

    2014-01-01

    Schizophrenia patients have been reported to be more impaired in comprehending non-literal than literal language since early studies on proverbs. Preference for literal rather than figurative interpretations continues to be documented. The main aim of this study was to establish whether patients are indeed able to use combinatorial semantic processing to comprehend literal sentences and both combinatorial analysis, and retrieval of pre-stored meanings to comprehend idiomatic sentences. The study employed a sentence continuation task in which subjects were asked to decide whether a target word was a sensible continuation of a previous sentence fragment to investigate idiomatic and literal sentence comprehension in patients with paranoid schizophrenia. Patients and healthy controls were faster in accepting sensible continuations than in rejecting non-sensible ones in both literal and idiomatic sentences. Patients were as accurate as controls in comprehending literal and idiomatic sentences, but they were overall slower than controls in all conditions. Once the contribution of cognitive covariates was partialled out, the response times (RTs) to sensible idiomatic continuations of patients did not significantly differ from those of controls. This suggests that the state of residual schizophrenia did not contribute to slower processing of sensible idioms above and beyond the cognitive deficits that are typically associated with schizophrenia. PMID:25346676

  17. Influence of Second Language Proficiency and Syntactic Structure Similarities on the Sensitivity and Processing of English Passive Sentence in Late Chinese-English Bilinguists: An ERP Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Xin; Wang, Pei

    2016-01-01

    To investigate the influence of L2 proficiency and syntactic similarity on English passive sentence processing, the present ERP study asked 40 late Chinese-English bilinguals (27 females and 13 males, mean age = 23.88) with high or intermediate L2 proficiency to read the sentences carefully and to indicate for each sentence whether or not it was…

  18. Semantic Encoding of Spoken Sentences: Adult Aging and the Preservation of Conceptual Short-Term Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Little, Deborah M.; McGrath, Lauren M.; Prentice, Kristen J.; Wingfield, Arthur

    2006-01-01

    Traditional models of human memory have postulated the need for a brief phonological or verbatim representation of verbal input as a necessary gateway to a higher level conceptual representation of the input. Potter has argued that meaningful sentences may be encoded directly in a conceptual short-term memory (CSTM) running parallel in time to…

  19. Individual differences in executive control relate to metaphor processing: an eye movement study of sentence reading.

    PubMed

    Columbus, Georgie; Sheikh, Naveed A; Côté-Lecaldare, Marilena; Häuser, Katja; Baum, Shari R; Titone, Debra

    2014-01-01

    Metaphors are common elements of language that allow us to creatively stretch the limits of word meaning. However, metaphors vary in their degree of novelty, which determines whether people must create new meanings on-line or retrieve previously known metaphorical meanings from memory. Such variations affect the degree to which general cognitive capacities such as executive control are required for successful comprehension. We investigated whether individual differences in executive control relate to metaphor processing using eye movement measures of reading. Thirty-nine participants read sentences including metaphors or idioms, another form of figurative language that is more likely to rely on meaning retrieval. They also completed the AX-CPT, a domain-general executive control task. In Experiment 1, we examined sentences containing metaphorical or literal uses of verbs, presented with or without prior context. In Experiment 2, we examined sentences containing idioms or literal phrases for the same participants to determine whether the link to executive control was qualitatively similar or different to Experiment 1. When metaphors were low familiar, all people read verbs used as metaphors more slowly than verbs used literally (this difference was smaller for high familiar metaphors). Executive control capacity modulated this pattern in that high executive control readers spent more time reading verbs when a prior context forced a particular interpretation (metaphorical or literal), and they had faster total metaphor reading times when there was a prior context. Interestingly, executive control did not relate to idiom processing for the same readers. Here, all readers had faster total reading times for high familiar idioms than literal phrases. Thus, executive control relates to metaphor but not idiom processing for these readers, and for the particular metaphor and idiom reading manipulations presented. PMID:25628557

  20. Individual differences in executive control relate to metaphor processing: an eye movement study of sentence reading

    PubMed Central

    Columbus, Georgie; Sheikh, Naveed A.; Côté-Lecaldare, Marilena; Häuser, Katja; Baum, Shari R.; Titone, Debra

    2015-01-01

    Metaphors are common elements of language that allow us to creatively stretch the limits of word meaning. However, metaphors vary in their degree of novelty, which determines whether people must create new meanings on-line or retrieve previously known metaphorical meanings from memory. Such variations affect the degree to which general cognitive capacities such as executive control are required for successful comprehension. We investigated whether individual differences in executive control relate to metaphor processing using eye movement measures of reading. Thirty-nine participants read sentences including metaphors or idioms, another form of figurative language that is more likely to rely on meaning retrieval. They also completed the AX-CPT, a domain-general executive control task. In Experiment 1, we examined sentences containing metaphorical or literal uses of verbs, presented with or without prior context. In Experiment 2, we examined sentences containing idioms or literal phrases for the same participants to determine whether the link to executive control was qualitatively similar or different to Experiment 1. When metaphors were low familiar, all people read verbs used as metaphors more slowly than verbs used literally (this difference was smaller for high familiar metaphors). Executive control capacity modulated this pattern in that high executive control readers spent more time reading verbs when a prior context forced a particular interpretation (metaphorical or literal), and they had faster total metaphor reading times when there was a prior context. Interestingly, executive control did not relate to idiom processing for the same readers. Here, all readers had faster total reading times for high familiar idioms than literal phrases. Thus, executive control relates to metaphor but not idiom processing for these readers, and for the particular metaphor and idiom reading manipulations presented. PMID:25628557

  1. The Shallow Structure Hypothesis of Second Language Sentence Processing: What Is Restricted and Why?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dowens, Margaret Gillon; Carreiras, Manuel

    2006-01-01

    Clahsen and Felser (CF) analyze the performance of monolingual children and adult second language (L2) learners in off-line and on-line tasks and compare their performance with that of adult monolinguals. They conclude that child first language (L1) processing is basically the same as adult L1 processing (the contiguity assumption), with…

  2. Verbal Ability and the Processing of Scientific Text with Seductive Detail Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCrudden, Matthew T.; Corkill, Alice J.

    2010-01-01

    We examined the influence of seductive detail sentences (i.e., highly interesting, yet unimportant sentences) on reading time and recall for readers with higher and lower verbal ability. College students (n = 81) read a 967-word text that included seductive detail sentences. Participants with higher and lower verbal ability displayed similar…

  3. Sentence-processing in echo state networks: a qualitative analysis by finite state machine extraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, Stefan L.; Jacobsson, Henrik

    2010-06-01

    It has been shown that the ability of echo state networks (ESNs) to generalise in a sentence-processing task can be increased by adjusting their input connection weights to the training data. We present a qualitative analysis of the effect of such weight adjustment on an ESN that is trained to perform the next-word prediction task. Our analysis makes use of CrySSMEx, an algorithm for extracting finite state machines (FSMs) from the data about the inputs, internal states, and outputs of recurrent neural networks that process symbol sequences. We find that the ESN with adjusted input weights yields a concise and comprehensible FSM. In contrast, the standard ESN, which shows poor generalisation, results in a massive and complex FSM. The extracted FSMs show how the two networks differ behaviourally. Moreover, poor generalisation is shown to correspond to a highly fragmented quantisation of the network's state space. Such findings indicate that CrySSMEx can be a useful tool for analysing ESN sentence processing.

  4. Delta, theta, beta, and gamma brain oscillations index levels of auditory sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Mai, Guangting; Minett, James W; Wang, William S-Y

    2016-06-01

    A growing number of studies indicate that multiple ranges of brain oscillations, especially the delta (δ, <4Hz), theta (θ, 4-8Hz), beta (β, 13-30Hz), and gamma (γ, 30-50Hz) bands, are engaged in speech and language processing. It is not clear, however, how these oscillations relate to functional processing at different linguistic hierarchical levels. Using scalp electroencephalography (EEG), the current study tested the hypothesis that phonological and the higher-level linguistic (semantic/syntactic) organizations during auditory sentence processing are indexed by distinct EEG signatures derived from the δ, θ, β, and γ oscillations. We analyzed specific EEG signatures while subjects listened to Mandarin speech stimuli in three different conditions in order to dissociate phonological and semantic/syntactic processing: (1) sentences comprising valid disyllabic words assembled in a valid syntactic structure (real-word condition); (2) utterances with morphologically valid syllables, but not constituting valid disyllabic words (pseudo-word condition); and (3) backward versions of the real-word and pseudo-word conditions. We tested four signatures: band power, EEG-acoustic entrainment (EAE), cross-frequency coupling (CFC), and inter-electrode renormalized partial directed coherence (rPDC). The results show significant effects of band power and EAE of δ and θ oscillations for phonological, rather than semantic/syntactic processing, indicating the importance of tracking δ- and θ-rate phonetic patterns during phonological analysis. We also found significant β-related effects, suggesting tracking of EEG to the acoustic stimulus (high-β EAE), memory processing (θ-low-β CFC), and auditory-motor interactions (20-Hz rPDC) during phonological analysis. For semantic/syntactic processing, we obtained a significant effect of γ power, suggesting lexical memory retrieval or processing grammatical word categories. Based on these findings, we confirm that scalp EEG

  5. ERPs reveal comparable syntactic sentence processing in native and non-native readers of English

    PubMed Central

    Kotz, Sonja A.; Holcomb, Phillip J.; Osterhout, Lee

    2009-01-01

    L2 syntactic processing has been primarily investigated in the context of syntactic anomaly detection, but only sparsely with syntactic ambiguity. In the field of event-related potentials (ERPs) syntactic anomaly detection and syntactic ambiguity resolution is linked to the P600. The current ERP experiment examined L2 syntactic processing in highly proficient L1 Spanish-L2 English readers who had acquired English informally around the age of 5 years. Temporary syntactic ambiguity (induced by verb subcategorization information) was tested as a language-specific phenomenon of L2, while syntactic anomaly resulted from phrase structure constraints that are similar in L1 and L2. Participants judged whether a sentence was syntactically acceptable or not. Native readers of English showed a P600 in the temporary syntactically ambiguous and syntactically anomalous sentences. A comparable picture emerged in the non-native readers of English. Both critical syntactic conditions elicited a P600, however, the distribution and latency of the P600 varied in the syntactic anomaly condition. The results clearly show that early acquisition of L2 syntactic knowledge leads to comparable online sensitivity towards temporal syntactic ambiguity and syntactic anomaly in early and highly proficient non-native readers of English and native readers of English. PMID:18061129

  6. Use of Referential Discourse Contexts in L2 Offline and Online Sentence Processing.

    PubMed

    Yang, Pi-Lan

    2016-10-01

    The present study aimed to investigate (a) the extent to which Chinese-speaking learners of English in Taiwan use referential noun phrase (NP) information contained in discourse contexts to complete ambiguous noun/verb fragments in a sentence completion task, and (b) whether and when they use the contexts to disambiguate main verb versus reduced relative clause (MV/RRC) ambiguities in real time. Results showed that unlike native English speakers, English learners did not create a marked increase in RRC completions in biasing two-NP-referent discourse contexts except for advanced learners. Nevertheless, like native speakers, the learners at elementary, intermediate, and advanced English proficiency levels all used the information in a later stage of resolving the MV/RRC ambiguities in real time. The delayed effect of referential context information observed suggests that L2 learners, like native speakers, are able to construct syntax-to-discourse mappings in real time. It also suggests that processing of syntactic information takes precedence over integration of syntactic information with discourse information during L1 and L2 online sentence processing. PMID:26349999

  7. Pre-processing in sentence comprehension: Sensitivity to likely upcoming meaning and structure

    PubMed Central

    DeLong, Katherine A.; Troyer, Melissa; Kutas, Marta

    2016-01-01

    For more than a decade, views of sentence comprehension have been shifting toward wider acceptance of a role for linguistic pre-processing—that is, anticipation, expectancy, (neural) pre-activation, or prediction—of upcoming semantic content and syntactic structure. In this survey, we begin by examining the implications of each of these “brands” of predictive comprehension, including the issue of potential costs and consequences to not encountering highly constrained sentence input. We then describe a number of studies (many using online methodologies) that provide results consistent with prospective sensitivity to various grains and levels of semantic and syntactic information, acknowledging that such pre-processing is likely to occur in other linguistic and extralinguistic domains, as well. This review of anticipatory findings also includes some discussion on the relationship of priming to prediction. We conclude with a brief examination of some possible limits to prediction, and with a suggestion for future work to probe whether and how various strands of prediction may integrate during real-time comprehension.

  8. Neuronal Activation for Semantically Reversible Sentences

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, Fiona M.; Thomas, Michael S. C.; Price, Cathy J.

    2010-01-01

    Semantically reversible sentences are prone to misinterpretation and take longer for typically developing children and adults to comprehend; they are also particularly problematic for those with language difficulties such as aphasia or Specific Language Impairment. In our study we used fMRI to compare the processing of semantically reversible and nonreversible sentences in 41 healthy participants to identify how semantic reversibility influences neuronal activation. By including several linguistic and nonlinguistic conditions within our paradigm, we were also able to test whether the processing of semantically reversible sentences places additional load on sentence-specific processing, such as syntactic processing and syntactic-semantic integration, or on phonological working memory. Our results identified increased activation for reversible sentences in a region on the left temporal–parietal boundary, which was also activated when the same group of participants carried out an articulation task which involved saying “one, three” repeatedly. We conclude that the processing of semantically reversible sentences places additional demands on the subarticulation component of phonological working memory. PMID:19445603

  9. Phonological typicality influences sentence processing in predictive contexts: reply to Staub, Grant, Clifton, and Rayner (2009).

    PubMed

    Farmer, Thomas A; Monaghan, Padraic; Misyak, Jennifer B; Christiansen, Morten H

    2011-09-01

    In 2 separate self-paced reading experiments, Farmer, Christiansen, and Monaghan (2006) found that the degree to which a word's phonology is typical of other words in its lexical category influences online processing of nouns and verbs in predictive contexts. Staub, Grant, Clifton, and Rayner (2009) failed to find an effect of phonological typicality when they combined stimuli from the separate experiments into a single experiment. We replicated Staub et al.'s experiment and found that the combination of stimulus sets affects the predictiveness of the syntactic context; this reduces the phonological typicality effect as the experiment proceeds, although the phonological typicality effect was still evident early in the experiment. Although an ambiguous context may diminish sensitivity to the probabilistic relationship between the sound of a word and its lexical category, phonological typicality does influence online sentence processing during normal reading when the syntactic context is predictive of the lexical category of upcoming words. PMID:21895396

  10. Text exposure predicts spoken production of complex sentences in eight and twelve year old children and adults

    PubMed Central

    Montag, Jessica L.; MacDonald, Maryellen C.

    2015-01-01

    There is still much debate about the nature of the experiential and maturational changes that take place during childhood to bring about the sophisticated language abilities of an adult. The present study investigated text exposure as a possible source of linguistic experience that plays a role in the development of adult-like language abilities. Corpus analyses of object and passive relative clauses (Object: The book that the woman carried; Passive: The book that was carried by the woman) established the frequencies of these sentence types in child-directed speech and children's literature. We found that relative clauses of either type were more frequent in the written corpus, and that the ratio of passive to object relatives was much higher in the written corpus as well. This analysis suggests that passive relative clauses are much more frequent in a child's linguistic environment if they have high rates of text exposure. We then elicited object and passive relative clauses using a picture-description production task with eight and twelve year old children and adults. Both group and individual differences were consistent with the corpus analyses, such that older individuals and individuals with more text exposure produced more passive relative clauses. These findings suggest that the qualitatively different patterns of text versus speech may be an important source of linguistic experience for the development of adult-like language behavior. PMID:25844625

  11. Co-Localization of Stroop and Syntactic Ambiguity Resolution in Broca's Area: Implications for the Neural Basis of Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    January, David; Trueswell, John C.; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L.

    2009-01-01

    For over a century, a link between left prefrontal cortex and language processing has been accepted, yet the precise characterization of this link remains elusive. Recent advances in both the study of sentence processing and the neuroscientific study of frontal lobe function suggest an intriguing possibility: The demands to resolve competition…

  12. "The Drawer Is Still Closed": Simulating Past and Future Actions when Processing Sentences that Describe a State

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaup, Barbara; Ludtke, Jana; Maienborn, Claudia

    2010-01-01

    In two experiments using the action-sentence-compatibility paradigm we investigated the simulation processes that readers undertake when processing state descriptions with adjectives (e.g., "Die Schublade ist offen/zu". ["The drawer is open/shut"]) or adjectival passives (e.g., "Die Schublade ist geoffnet/geschlossen". ["The drawer is…

  13. Is Semantic Processing During Sentence Reading Autonomous or Controlled? Evidence from the N400 Component in a Dual Task Paradigm

    PubMed Central

    Hohlfeld, Annette; Martín-Loeches, Manuel; Sommer, Werner

    2015-01-01

    The present study contributes to the discussion on the automaticity of semantic processing. Whereas most previous research investigated semantic processing at word level, the present study addressed semantic processing during sentence reading. A dual task paradigm was combined with the recording of event-related brain potentials. Previous research at word level processing reported different patterns of interference with the N400 by additional tasks: attenuation of amplitude or delay of latency. In the present study, we presented Spanish sentences that were semantically correct or contained a semantic violation in a critical word. At different intervals preceding the critical word a tone was presented that required a high-priority choice response. At short intervals/high temporal overlap between the tasks mean amplitude of the N400 was reduced relative to long intervals/low temporal overlap, but there were no shifts of peak latency. We propose that processing at sentence level exerts a protective effect against the additional task. This is in accord with the attentional sensitization model (Kiefer & Martens, 2010), which suggests that semantic processing is an automatic process that can be enhanced by the currently activated task set. The present experimental sentences also induced a P600, which is taken as an index of integrative processing. Additional task effects are comparable to those in the N400 time window and are briefly discussed. PMID:26203312

  14. EEG Theta and Gamma Responses to Semantic Violations in Online Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hald, Lea A.; Bastiaansen, Marcel C. M.; Hagoort, Peter

    2006-01-01

    We explore the nature of the oscillatory dynamics in the EEG of subjects reading sentences that contain a semantic violation. More specifically, we examine whether increases in theta ([Approximately]3-7 Hz) and gamma (around 40 Hz) band power occur in response to sentences that were either semantically correct or contained a semantically…

  15. A Closer Look at Phonology as a Predictor of Spoken Sentence Processing and Word Reading

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myers, Suzanne; Robertson, Erin K.

    2015-01-01

    The goal of this study was to tease apart the roles of phonological awareness (pA) and phonological short-term memory (pSTM) in sentence comprehension, sentence production, and word reading. Children 6- to 10-years of age (N = 377) completed standardized tests of pA ("Elision") and pSTM ("Nonword Repetition") from the…

  16. Sentence Processing in an Artificial Language: Learning and Using Combinatorial Constraints

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amato, Michael S.; MacDonald, Maryellen C.

    2010-01-01

    A study combining artificial grammar and sentence comprehension methods investigated the learning and online use of probabilistic, nonadjacent combinatorial constraints. Participants learned a small artificial language describing cartoon monsters acting on objects. Self-paced reading of sentences in the artificial language revealed comprehenders'…

  17. Action verbs are processed differently in metaphorical and literal sentences depending on the semantic match of visual primes

    PubMed Central

    Troyer, Melissa; Curley, Lauren B.; Miller, Luke E.; Saygin, Ayse P.; Bergen, Benjamin K.

    2014-01-01

    Language comprehension requires rapid and flexible access to information stored in long-term memory, likely influenced by activation of rich world knowledge and by brain systems that support the processing of sensorimotor content. We hypothesized that while literal language about biological motion might rely on neurocognitive representations of biological motion specific to the details of the actions described, metaphors rely on more generic representations of motion. In a priming and self-paced reading paradigm, participants saw video clips or images of (a) an intact point-light walker or (b) a scrambled control and read sentences containing literal or metaphoric uses of biological motion verbs either closely or distantly related to the depicted action (walking). We predicted that reading times for literal and metaphorical sentences would show differential sensitivity to the match between the verb and the visual prime. In Experiment 1, we observed interactions between the prime type (walker or scrambled video) and the verb type (close or distant match) for both literal and metaphorical sentences, but with strikingly different patterns. We found no difference in the verb region of literal sentences for Close-Match verbs after walker or scrambled motion primes, but Distant-Match verbs were read more quickly following walker primes. For metaphorical sentences, the results were roughly reversed, with Distant-Match verbs being read more slowly following a walker compared to scrambled motion. In Experiment 2, we observed a similar pattern following still image primes, though critical interactions emerged later in the sentence. We interpret these findings as evidence for shared recruitment of cognitive and neural mechanisms for processing visual and verbal biological motion information. Metaphoric language using biological motion verbs may recruit neurocognitive mechanisms similar to those used in processing literal language but be represented in a less-specific way

  18. Neuronal Activation for Semantically Reversible Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, Fiona M.; Thomas, Michael S. C.; Price, Cathy J.

    2010-01-01

    Semantically reversible sentences are prone to misinterpretation and take longer for typically developing children and adults to comprehend; they are also particularly problematic for those with language difficulties such as aphasia or Specific Language Impairment. In our study, we used fMRI to compare the processing of semantically reversible and…

  19. The N400 and Late Positive Complex (LPC) Effects Reflect Controlled Rather than Automatic Mechanisms of Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Daltrozzo, Jérôme; Wioland, Norma; Kotchoubey, Boris

    2012-01-01

    This study compared automatic and controlled cognitive processes that underlie event-related potentials (ERPs) effects during speech perception. Sentences were presented to French native speakers, and the final word could be congruent or incongruent, and presented at one of four levels of degradation (using a modulation with pink noise): no degradation, mild degradation (2 levels), or strong degradation. We assumed that degradation impairs controlled more than automatic processes. The N400 and Late Positive Complex (LPC) effects were defined as the differences between the corresponding wave amplitudes to incongruent words minus congruent words. Under mild degradation, where controlled sentence-level processing could still occur (as indicated by behavioral data), both N400 and LPC effects were delayed and the latter effect was reduced. Under strong degradation, where sentence processing was rather automatic (as indicated by behavioral data), no ERP effect remained. These results suggest that ERP effects elicited in complex contexts, such as sentences, reflect controlled rather than automatic mechanisms of speech processing. These results differ from the results of experiments that used word-pair or word-list paradigms. PMID:24961195

  20. The role of prosodic breaks and pitch accents in grouping words during on-line sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Bögels, Sara; Schriefers, Herbert; Vonk, Wietske; Chwilla, Dorothee J

    2011-09-01

    The present study addresses the question whether accentuation and prosodic phrasing can have a similar function, namely, to group words in a sentence together. Participants listened to locally ambiguous sentences containing object- and subject-control verbs while ERPs were measured. In Experiment 1, these sentences contained a prosodic break, which can create a certain syntactic grouping of words, or no prosodic break. At the disambiguation, an N400 effect occurred when the disambiguation was in conflict with the syntactic grouping created by the break. We found a similar N400 effect without the break, indicating that the break did not strengthen an already existing preference. This pattern held for both object- and subject-control items. In Experiment 2, the same sentences contained a break and a pitch accent on the noun following the break. We argue that the pitch accent indicates a broad focus covering two words [see Gussenhoven, C. On the limits of focus projection in English. In P. Bosch & R. van der Sandt (Eds.), Focus: Linguistic, cognitive, and computational perspectives. Cambridge: University Press, 1999], thus grouping these words together. For object-control items, this was semantically possible, which led to a "good-enough" interpretation of the sentence. Therefore, both sentences were interpreted equally well and the N400 effect found in Experiment 1 was absent. In contrast, for subject-control items, a corresponding grouping of the words was impossible, both semantically and syntactically, leading to processing difficulty in the form of an N400 effect and a late positivity. In conclusion, accentuation can group words together on the level of information structure, leading to either a semantically "good-enough" interpretation or a processing problem when such a semantic interpretation is not possible. PMID:20961171

  1. Unifying syntactic theory and sentence processing difficulty through a connectionist minimalist parser.

    PubMed

    Gerth, Sabrina; Beim Graben, Peter

    2009-12-01

    Syntactic theory provides a rich array of representational assumptions about linguistic knowledge and processes. Such detailed and independently motivated constraints on grammatical knowledge ought to play a role in sentence comprehension. However most grammar-based explanations of processing difficulty in the literature have attempted to use grammatical representations and processes per se to explain processing difficulty. They did not take into account that the description of higher cognition in mind and brain encompasses two levels: on the one hand, at the macrolevel, symbolic computation is performed, and on the other hand, at the microlevel, computation is achieved through processes within a dynamical system. One critical question is therefore how linguistic theory and dynamical systems can be unified to provide an explanation for processing effects. Here, we present such a unification for a particular account to syntactic theory: namely a parser for Stabler's Minimalist Grammars, in the framework of Smolensky's Integrated Connectionist/Symbolic architectures. In simulations we demonstrate that the connectionist minimalist parser produces predictions which mirror global empirical findings from psycholinguistic research. PMID:19795221

  2. Lexical Interference Effects in Sentence Processing: Evidence from the Visual World Paradigm and Self-Organizing Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kukona, Anuenue; Cho, Pyeong Whan; Magnuson, James S.; Tabor, Whitney

    2014-01-01

    Psycholinguistic research spanning a number of decades has produced diverging results with regard to the nature of constraint integration in online sentence processing. For example, evidence that language users anticipatorily fixate likely upcoming referents in advance of evidence in the speech signal supports rapid context integration. By…

  3. Effects of animacy and noun-phrase relatedness on the processing of complex sentences.

    PubMed

    Lowder, Matthew W; Gordon, Peter C

    2014-07-01

    Previous work has suggested that syntactically complex object-extracted relative clauses are easier to process when the head noun phrase (NP1) is inanimate and the embedded noun phrase (NP2) is animate, as compared with the reverse animacy configuration, with differences in processing difficulty beginning as early as NP2 (e.g., The article that the senator . . . vs. The senator that the article . . .). Two eye-tracking-while-reading experiments were conducted to better understand the source of this effect. Experiment 1 showed that having an inanimate NP1 facilitated processing even when NP2 was held constant. Experiment 2 manipulated both animacy of NP1 and the degree of semantic relatedness between the critical NPs. When NP1 and NP2 were paired arbitrarily, the early animacy effect emerged at NP2. When NP1 and NP2 were semantically related, this effect disappeared, with effects of NP1 animacy emerging in later processing stages for both the related and arbitrary conditions. The results indicate that differences in the animacy of NP1 influence early processing of complex sentences only when the critical NPs share no meaningful relationship. PMID:24452417

  4. Effects of Animacy and Noun-Phrase Relatedness on the Processing of Complex Sentences

    PubMed Central

    Lowder, Matthew W.; Gordon, Peter C.

    2014-01-01

    Previous work has suggested that syntactically complex object-extracted relative clauses are easier to process when the head noun phrase (NP1) is inanimate and the embedded noun phrase (NP2) is animate compared to the reverse animacy configuration, with differences in processing difficulty beginning as early as NP2 (e.g., The article that the senator… versus The senator that the article…). Two eye-tracking-while-reading experiments were conducted to better understand the source of this effect. Experiment 1 showed that having an inanimate NP1 facilitated processing even when NP2 was held constant. Experiment 2 manipulated both animacy of NP1 and the degree of semantic relatedness between the critical NPs. When NP1 and NP2 were paired arbitrarily, the early animacy effect emerged at NP2. When NP1 and NP2 were semantically related, this effect disappeared, with effects of NP1 animacy emerging in later processing stages for both the Related and Arbitrary conditions. The results indicate that differences in the animacy of NP1 influence early processing of complex sentences only when the critical NPs share no meaningful relationship. PMID:24452417

  5. Common and distinct neural substrates for pragmatic, semantic, and syntactic processing of spoken sentences: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Kuperberg, G R; McGuire, P K; Bullmore, E T; Brammer, M J; Rabe-Hesketh, S; Wright, I C; Lythgoe, D J; Williams, S C; David, A S

    2000-03-01

    Extracting meaning from speech requires the use of pragmatic, semantic, and syntactic information. A central question is: Does the processing of these different types of linguistic information have common or distinct neuroanatomical substrates? We addressed this issue using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure neural activity when subjects listened to spoken normal sentences contrasted with sentences that had either (A) pragmatical, (B) semantic (selection restriction), or (C) syntactic (subcategorical) violations sentences. All three contrasts revealed robust activation of the left-inferior-temporal/fusiform gyrus. Activity in this area was also observed in a combined analysis of all three experiments, suggesting that it was modulated by all three types of linguistic violation. Planned statistical comparisons between the three experiments revealed (1) a greater difference between conditions in activation of the left-superior-temporal gyrus for the pragmatic experiment than the semantic/syntactic experiments; (2) a greater difference between conditions in activation of the right-superior and middle-temporal gyrus in the semantic experiment than in the syntactic experiment; and (3) no regions activated to a greater degree in the syntactic experiment than in the semantic experiment. These data show that, while left- and right-superior-temporal regions may be differentially involved in processing pragmatic and lexico-semantic information within sentences, the left-inferior-temporal/fusiform gyrus is involved in processing all three types of linguistic information. We suggest that this region may play a key role in using pragmatic, semantic (selection restriction), and subcategorical information to construct a higher representation of meaning of sentences. PMID:10771415

  6. Processing Interrogative Sentence Mood at the Semantic-Syntactic Interface: An Electrophysiological Research in Chinese, German, and Polish

    PubMed Central

    Kao, Chung-Shan; Dietrich, Rainer; Sommer, Werner

    2010-01-01

    Background Languages differ in the marking of the sentence mood of a polar interrogative (yes/no question). For instance, the interrogative mood is marked at the beginning of the surface structure in Polish, whereas the marker appears at the end in Chinese. In order to generate the corresponding sentence frame, the syntactic specification of the interrogative mood is early in Polish and late in Chinese. In this respect, German belongs to an interesting intermediate class. The yes/no question is expressed by a shift of the finite verb from its final position in the underlying structure into the utterance initial position, a move affecting, hence, both the sentence's final and the sentence's initial constituents. The present study aimed to investigate whether during generation of the semantic structure of a polar interrogative, i.e., the processing preceding the grammatical formulation, the interrogative mood is encoded according to its position in the syntactic structure at distinctive time points in Chinese, German, and Polish. Methodology/Principal Findings In a two-choice go/nogo experimental design, native speakers of the three languages responded to pictures by pressing buttons and producing utterances in their native language while their brain potentials were recorded. The emergence and latency of lateralized readiness potentials (LRP) in nogo conditions, in which speakers asked a yes/no question, should indicate the time point of processing the interrogative mood. The results revealed that Chinese, German, and Polish native speakers did not differ from each other in the electrophysiological indicator. Conclusions/Significance The findings suggest that the semantic encoding of the interrogative mood is temporally consistent across languages despite its disparate syntactic specification. The consistent encoding may be ascribed to economic processing of interrogative moods at various sentential positions of the syntactic structures in languages or, more

  7. We Could Have Loved and Lost. Or We Never Could Have Love at All: Syntactic Misanalysis in L2 Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conroy, Mark A.; Cupples, Linda

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated sentence-processing strategies adopted by advanced nonnative speakers (NNSs) and native speakers (NSs) of English in the context of an English structure with which NNSs reportedly have an acquisition difficulty (e.g., Swan & Smith, 2001)--namely, modal perfect (MP). Participants read MP sentences such as "He could have…

  8. Same Same, but Different: Word and Sentence Reading in German and English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rau, Anne K.; Moll, Kristina; Moeller, Korbinian; Huber, Stefan; Snowling, Margaret J.; Landerl, Karin

    2016-01-01

    The current study compared eye fixation patterns during word and sentence processing in a consistent and an inconsistent alphabetic orthography. German and English children as well as adults matched on word reading ability read matched sentences while their eye fixation behavior was recorded. Results indicated that German children read in a more…

  9. Unification of Sentence Processing via Ear and Eye: An fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Braze, David; Mencl, W. Einar; Tabor, Whitney; Pugh, Kenneth R.; Constable, R. Todd; Fulbright, Robert K.; Magnuson, James S.; Van Dyke, Julie A.; Shankweiler, Donald P.

    2010-01-01

    We present new evidence based on fMRI for the existence and neural architecture of an abstract supramodal language system that can integrate linguistic inputs arising from different modalities such that speech and print each activate a common code. Working with sentence material, our aim was to find out where the putative supramodal system is located and how it responds to comprehension challenges. To probe these questions we examined BOLD activity in experienced readers while they performed a semantic categorization task with matched written or spoken sentences that were either well-formed or contained anomalies of syntactic form or pragmatic content. On whole-brain scans, both anomalies increased net activity over non-anomalous baseline sentences, chiefly at left frontal and temporal regions of heteromodal cortex. The anomaly sensitive sites correspond approximately to those that previous studies (Constable et al., 2004, Michael et al., 2001) have found to be sensitive to other differences in sentence complexity (object relative minus subject relative). Regions of interest (ROIs) were defined by peak response to anomaly averaging over modality conditions. Each anomaly-sensitive ROI showed the same pattern of response across sentence types in each modality. Voxel-by-voxel exploration over the whole brain based on a cosine similarity measure of common function confirmed the specificity of supramodal zones. PMID:20117764

  10. Is the noun ending a cue to grammatical gender processing? An ERP study on sentences in Italian.

    PubMed

    Caffarra, Sendy; Siyanova-Chanturia, Anna; Pesciarelli, Francesca; Vespignani, Francesco; Cacciari, Cristina

    2015-08-01

    Gender-to-ending consistency has been shown to influence grammatical gender retrieval in isolated word presentation. Notwithstanding the wealth of evidence, the exact role and the time course of processing of this distributional information remain unclear. This ERP study investigated if and when the brain detects gender-to-ending consistency in sentences containing Italian determiner-noun pairs. Determiners either agreed or disagreed in gender with the nouns whose endings were reliable or misleading cues to gender (transparent and irregular nouns). Transparent nouns elicited an increased frontal negativity and a late posterior positivity compared to irregular nouns (350-950 ms), suggesting that the system is sensitive to gender-to-ending consistency from relatively early stages of processing. Gender agreement violations evoked a similar LAN-P600 pattern for both types of nouns. The present findings provide evidence for an early detection of reliable gender-related endings during sentence reading. PMID:25817315

  11. How the speed of working memory updating influences the on-line thematic processing of simple sentences in Mandarin Chinese.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Qing; Zheng, Yuan-Yuan; Zhao, Hai-Yan; Xia, Jin-Yan

    2014-12-01

    This ERP study used electrophysiological technique to examine how individual differences in the speed of working memory updating influence the use of syntactic and semantic information during on-line sentence argument interpretation, and the time course of that working memory updating effect. The basic structure of the experimental sentences was "Noun + Verb + adverb + 'le' + a two-character word", with the Noun being the sentence initial argument. This initial argument is animate or inanimate and the following verb disambiguates it as an agent or patient. The results at the initial argument revealed that, the quick-updating group elicited a larger positivity over the frontal cortex (within 500-800 ms post-noun onset) as compared with the slow-updating group. At the following disambiguating verb, the slow-updating group only showed a word order effect, indicating that the patient-first condition elicited a larger P600 (within 500-1,000 ms post-verb onset) than the agent-first one; for the quick-updating group, at the early stage of processing, the patient-first sentences elicited a larger N400 (within 300-500 ms post-verb onset) than the agent-first ones only when the initial argument was inanimate; however, at the late stage, the patient-first sentences elicited an enhanced P600 (within 800-1,000 ms post-verb onset) only when the initial argument was animate. These results suggested that the speed of working memory updating not only influences the maintenance of sentence argument when the contents of working memory change but also influences the efficiency of integrating that argument with the verb at a late time point. When integrating the argument with the disambiguating verb, individuals with quick-updating ability can combine multiple sources of information (both noun animacy and word order), and conduct rapid and fine-grained two-stage processing; individuals with slow-updating ability, however, only rely on one dominant source of information

  12. Sentence Processing in High Proficient Kannada--English Bilinguals: A Reaction Time Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ravi, Sunil Kumar; Chengappa, Shyamala K.

    2015-01-01

    The present study aimed at exploring the semantic and syntactic processing differences between native and second languages in 20 early high proficient Kannada--English bilingual adults through accuracy and reaction time (RT) measurements. Subjects participated in a semantic judgement task (using 50 semantically correct and 50 semantically…

  13. Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Argument Retrieval and Reordering: An fMRI and EEG Study on Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Lars; Obleser, Jonas; Kiebel, Stefan J.; Friederici, Angela D.

    2012-01-01

    In sentence processing, it is still unclear how the neural language network successfully establishes argument–verb dependencies in its spatiotemporal neuronal dynamics. Previous work has suggested that the establishment of subject–verb and object–verb dependencies requires argument retrieval from working memory, and that dependency establishment in object-first sentences additionally necessitates argument reordering. We examine the spatiotemporal neuronal dynamics of the brain regions that subserve these sub-processes by crossing an argument reordering factor (i.e., subject-first versus object-first sentences) with an argument retrieval factor (i.e., short versus long argument–verb dependencies) in German. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we found that reordering demands focally activate the left pars opercularis (Broca’s area), while storage and retrieval demands activated left temporo-parietal (TP) regions. In addition, when analyzing the time course of fMRI-informed equivalent current dipole sources in the EEG at the subcategorizing verb, we found that activity in the TP-region occurs relatively early (40–180 ms), followed by activity in Broca’s area (300–500 ms). These findings were matched by topographical correlation analyses of fMRI activations in EEG sensor space, showing that, in the scalp potential, TP-region activity surfaces as an early positivity and IFG activity as a later positivity in the scalp potential. These results provide fine-grained evidence for spatiotemporally separable sub-processes of argument retrieval and reordering in sentence processing. PMID:23248607

  14. Event processing in the visual world: Projected motion paths during spoken sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Kamide, Yuki; Lindsay, Shane; Scheepers, Christoph; Kukona, Anuenue

    2016-05-01

    Motion events in language describe the movement of an entity to another location along a path. In 2 eye-tracking experiments, we found that comprehension of motion events involves the online construction of a spatial mental model that integrates language with the visual world. In Experiment 1, participants listened to sentences describing the movement of an agent to a goal while viewing visual scenes depicting the agent, goal, and empty space in between. Crucially, verbs suggested either upward (e.g., jump) or downward (e.g., crawl) paths. We found that in the rare event of fixating the empty space between the agent and goal, visual attention was biased upward or downward in line with the verb. In Experiment 2, visual scenes depicted a central obstruction, which imposed further constraints on the paths and increased the likelihood of fixating the empty space between the agent and goal. The results from this experiment corroborated and refined the previous findings. Specifically, eye-movement effects started immediately after hearing the verb and were in line with data from an additional mouse-tracking task that encouraged a more explicit spatial reenactment of the motion event. In revealing how event comprehension operates in the visual world, these findings suggest a mental simulation process whereby spatial details of motion events are mapped onto the world through visual attention. The strength and detectability of such effects in overt eye-movements is constrained by the visual world and the fact that perceivers rarely fixate regions of empty space. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26478958

  15. Event Processing in the Visual World: Projected Motion Paths During Spoken Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Motion events in language describe the movement of an entity to another location along a path. In 2 eye-tracking experiments, we found that comprehension of motion events involves the online construction of a spatial mental model that integrates language with the visual world. In Experiment 1, participants listened to sentences describing the movement of an agent to a goal while viewing visual scenes depicting the agent, goal, and empty space in between. Crucially, verbs suggested either upward (e.g., jump) or downward (e.g., crawl) paths. We found that in the rare event of fixating the empty space between the agent and goal, visual attention was biased upward or downward in line with the verb. In Experiment 2, visual scenes depicted a central obstruction, which imposed further constraints on the paths and increased the likelihood of fixating the empty space between the agent and goal. The results from this experiment corroborated and refined the previous findings. Specifically, eye-movement effects started immediately after hearing the verb and were in line with data from an additional mouse-tracking task that encouraged a more explicit spatial reenactment of the motion event. In revealing how event comprehension operates in the visual world, these findings suggest a mental simulation process whereby spatial details of motion events are mapped onto the world through visual attention. The strength and detectability of such effects in overt eye-movements is constrained by the visual world and the fact that perceivers rarely fixate regions of empty space. PMID:26478958

  16. Semantic Short-Term Memory and Its Role in Sentence Processing: A Replication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Randi C.; He, Tao

    2004-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that an aphasic patient (AB) with a semantic short-term memory deficit (STM) had difficulties comprehending and producing sentences with structures that demanded the simultaneous retention of several individual word meanings (Martin & Freedman, 2001a, 2001b; Martin & Romani, 1994; Martin, Shelton, & Yaffee, 1994). The…

  17. Situated Sentence Processing: The Coordinated Interplay Account and a Neurobehavioral Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crocker, Matthew W.; Knoeferle, Pia; Mayberry, Marshall R.

    2010-01-01

    Empirical evidence demonstrating that sentence meaning is rapidly reconciled with the visual environment has been broadly construed as supporting the seamless interaction of visual and linguistic representations during situated comprehension. Based on recent behavioral and neuroscientific findings, however, we argue for the more deeply rooted…

  18. Interaction of Verb Selectional Restrictions, Noun Animacy, and Syntactic Form in Sentence Processing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caplan, David; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Reports five experiments; the first two assessed the effect of the selectional restriction requirements of verbs and the animacy of nouns on sentence comprehension, the third determined the cause of the interaction found in the first set of studies, and the fourth and fifth were self-paced reading experiments. (52 references) (Author/CK)

  19. Event Processing in the Visual World: Projected Motion Paths during Spoken Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kamide, Yuki; Lindsay, Shane; Scheepers, Christoph; Kukona, Anuenue

    2016-01-01

    Motion events in language describe the movement of an entity to another location along a path. In 2 eye-tracking experiments, we found that comprehension of motion events involves the online construction of a spatial mental model that integrates language with the visual world. In Experiment 1, participants listened to sentences describing the…

  20. Lexical interference effects in sentence processing: Evidence from the visual world paradigm and self-organizing models

    PubMed Central

    Kukona, Anuenue; Cho, Pyeong Whan; Magnuson, James S.; Tabor, Whitney

    2014-01-01

    Psycholinguistic research spanning a number of decades has produced diverging results with regard to the nature of constraint integration in online sentence processing. For example, evidence that language users anticipatorily fixate likely upcoming referents in advance of evidence in the speech signal supports rapid context integration. By contrast, evidence that language users activate representations that conflict with contextual constraints, or only indirectly satisfy them, supports non-integration or late integration. Here, we report on a self-organizing neural network framework that addresses one aspect of constraint integration: the integration of incoming lexical information (i.e., an incoming word) with sentence context information (i.e., from preceding words in an unfolding utterance). In two simulations, we show that the framework predicts both classic results concerned with lexical ambiguity resolution (Swinney, 1979; Tanenhaus, Leiman, & Seidenberg, 1979), which suggest late context integration, and results demonstrating anticipatory eye movements (e.g., Altmann & Kamide, 1999), which support rapid context integration. We also report two experiments using the visual world paradigm that confirm a new prediction of the framework. Listeners heard sentences like “The boy will eat the white…,” while viewing visual displays with objects like a white cake (i.e., a predictable direct object of “eat”), white car (i.e., an object not predicted by “eat,” but consistent with “white”), and distractors. Consistent with our simulation predictions, we found that while listeners fixated white cake most, they also fixated white car more than unrelated distractors in this highly constraining sentence (and visual) context. PMID:24245535

  1. On comprehension of active/passive sentences and language processing in a Polish agrammatic aphasic.

    PubMed

    Jarema, G; Kadzielawa, D; Waite, J

    1987-11-01

    This paper presents the results of a study of active/passive sentence comprehension by a Polish-speaking agrammatic aphasic. The patient showed good performance on canonically ordered active and passive structures, but performed poorly on inverted variants. The systematically normal and deviant comprehension patterns observed are accounted for by normal interpretative strategies applied to syntactic structures built around verbs with reduced inflectional morphology. The differences between our Polish data and the English data discussed in the literature are explained by the fact that Polish possesses a richer derivational verb morphology. The interpretation of inverted sentences demonstrates the importance of S-V-O word order preference. Our analysis draws upon the notion of grammatical functions to explain the data. PMID:3690252

  2. Strong systematicity through sensorimotor conceptual grounding: an unsupervised, developmental approach to connectionist sentence processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jansen, Peter A.; Watter, Scott

    2012-03-01

    Connectionist language modelling typically has difficulty with syntactic systematicity, or the ability to generalise language learning to untrained sentences. This work develops an unsupervised connectionist model of infant grammar learning. Following the semantic boostrapping hypothesis, the network distils word category using a developmentally plausible infant-scale database of grounded sensorimotor conceptual representations, as well as a biologically plausible semantic co-occurrence activation function. The network then uses this knowledge to acquire an early benchmark clausal grammar using correlational learning, and further acquires separate conceptual and grammatical category representations. The network displays strongly systematic behaviour indicative of the general acquisition of the combinatorial systematicity present in the grounded infant-scale language stream, outperforms previous contemporary models that contain primarily noun and verb word categories, and successfully generalises broadly to novel untrained sensorimotor grounded sentences composed of unfamiliar nouns and verbs. Limitations as well as implications to later grammar learning are discussed.

  3. Neural mechanisms of sentence comprehension based on predictive processes and decision certainty: Electrophysiological evidence from non-canonical linearizations in a flexible word order language.

    PubMed

    Dröge, Alexander; Fleischer, Jürg; Schlesewsky, Matthias; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina

    2016-02-15

    The specificity or generality of language-related event-related brain potentials (ERPs) has been a point of continuing debate in the cognitive neuroscience of language. The present study measured ERPs to (preferred) subject-before-object (SO) and (dispreferred) object-before-subject (OS) word orders in German while manipulating morphosyntactic and semantic cues to correct sentence interpretation. We presented sentence pairs as connected speech (context and target sentences) and examined ERPs at the position of the first argument (noun phrase) in the target sentence. At this position, word order was determinable by either (a) case marking (morphosyntactic cue); (b) animacy (semantic cue); or (c) the preceding context sentence (local ambiguity; contextual cue). Following each sentence pair, participants judged the acceptability of the second sentence in the context of the first and performed a probe word recognition task. Results showed a biphasic N400-P600 pattern at the first noun phrase in the OS conditions irrespectively of which cues (syntactic or semantic) were available to the parser for disambiguation. N400 latency varied as a function of temporal cue availability and P600 amplitude increased for unambiguous object-initial conditions even though these were rated acceptable in the judgment task. These findings support an interpretation of ERP components in terms of general cognitive mechanisms such as predictive processes (N400) and decision certainty (P600 as an instance of the P300) rather than a domain-specific view of a semantic N400 and a syntactic P600. PMID:26740402

  4. The role of temporal cues in word identification by younger and older adults: Effects of sentence context

    PubMed Central

    Gordon-Salant, Sandra; Yeni-Komshian, Grace; Fitzgibbons, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Prior investigations, using isolated words as stimuli, have shown that older listeners tend to require longer temporal cues than younger listeners to switch their percept from one word to its phonetically contrasting counterpart. The extent to which this age effect occurs in sentence contexts is investigated in the present study. The hypothesis was that perception of temporal cues differs for words presented in isolation and a sentence context and that this effect may vary between younger and older listeners. Younger and older listeners with normal-hearing and older listeners with hearing loss identified phonetically contrasting word pairs in natural speech continua that varied by a single temporal cue: voice-onset time, vowel duration, transition duration, and silent interval duration. The words were presented in isolation and in sentences. A context effect was shown for most continua, in which listeners required longer temporal cues in sentences than in isolated words. Additionally, older listeners required longer cues at the crossover points than younger listeners for most but not all continua. In general, the findings support the conclusion that older listeners tend to require longer target temporal cues than younger normal-hearing listeners in identifying phonetically contrasting word pairs in isolation and sentence contexts. PMID:19045808

  5. A Bilingual Advantage in Controlling Language Interference during Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Filippi, Roberto; Leech, Robert; Thomas, Michael S. C.; Green, David W.; Dick, Frederic

    2012-01-01

    This study compared the comprehension of syntactically simple with more complex sentences in Italian-English adult bilinguals and monolingual controls in the presence or absence of sentence-level interference. The task was to identify the agent of the sentence and we primarily examined the accuracy of response. The target sentence was signalled by…

  6. Pre- and Post-Head Processing for Single- and Double-Scrambled Sentences of a Head-Final Language as Measured by the Eye Tracking Method

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tamaoka, Katsuo; Asano, Michiko; Miyaoka, Yayoi; Yokosawa, Kazuhiko

    2014-01-01

    Using the eye-tracking method, the present study depicted pre- and post-head processing for simple scrambled sentences of head-final languages. Three versions of simple Japanese active sentences with ditransitive verbs were used: namely, (1) SO[subscript 1]O[subscript 2]V canonical, (2) SO[subscript 2]O[subscript 1]V single-scrambled, and (3)…

  7. Risk Assessment in Criminal Sentencing.

    PubMed

    Monahan, John; Skeem, Jennifer L

    2016-03-28

    The past several years have seen a surge of interest in using risk assessment in criminal sentencing, both to reduce recidivism by incapacitating or treating high-risk offenders and to reduce prison populations by diverting low-risk offenders from prison. We begin by sketching jurisprudential theories of sentencing, distinguishing those that rely on risk assessment from those that preclude it. We then characterize and illustrate the varying roles that risk assessment may play in the sentencing process. We clarify questions regarding the various meanings of "risk" in sentencing and the appropriate time to assess the risk of convicted offenders. We conclude by addressing four principal problems confronting risk assessment in sentencing: conflating risk and blame, barring individual inferences based on group data, failing adequately to distinguish risk assessment from risk reduction, and ignoring whether, and if so, how, the use of risk assessment in sentencing affects racial and economic disparities in imprisonment. PMID:26666966

  8. Major Sentence, Minor Sentence, Fragment: What Really "Is" a Sentence?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kline, Charles R., Jr.

    Rhetorical and linguistic concepts of the sentence are reviewed in the course of introducing the concept of the "minor sentence" (sentence fragments which may occur alone as complete linguistic utterances or which may be combined by parataxis or coordinators with a major sentence). Rather than restraining beginning writers from using minor…

  9. It’s Hard to Offend the College: Effects of Sentence Structure on Figurative-Language Processing

    PubMed Central

    Lowder, Matthew W.; Gordon, Peter C.

    2013-01-01

    Previous research has given inconsistent evidence about whether familiar metonyms are more difficult to process than literal expressions. In two eye-tracking while reading experiments, we tested the hypothesis that the difficulty associated with processing metonyms would depend on sentence structure. Experiment 1 examined comprehension of familiar place-for-institution metonyms (e.g., college) when they were an argument of the main verb and showed that they are more difficult to process in a figurative context (e.g., offended the college) than in a literal context (e.g., photographed the college). Experiment 2 demonstrated that when they are arguments of the main verb, familiar metonyms are more difficult to process than frequency-and-length-matched nouns that refer to people (e.g., offended the leader), but that this difficulty was reduced when the metonym appeared as part of an adjunct phrase (e.g., offended the honor of the college). The results support the view that figurative-language processing is moderated by sentence structure. When the metonym was an argument of the verb, the results were consistent with the pattern predicted by the indirect-access model of figurative-language comprehension. In contrast, when the metonym was part of an adjunct phrase, the results were consistent with the pattern predicted by the direct-access model. PMID:23421507

  10. Psychiatric Disorders Among Detained Youths: A Comparison of Youths Processed in Juvenile Court and Adult Criminal Court

    PubMed Central

    Washburn, Jason; Teplin, Linda; Voss, Laurie; Simon, Clarissa; Abram, Karen; McClelland, Gary

    2009-01-01

    Objective To compare the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in youths processed in adult criminal court with youths processed in the juvenile court. Methods Participants were a stratified random sample of 1829 youths (10–18 years of age) arrested and detained in Chicago, IL. Data on 1715 youths (13–18 years of age) from version 2.3 of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children are presented, including 1440 youths processed in juvenile court and 275 youths processed in adult criminal court. Results Among youths processed in the adult criminal court, 66% had at least one psychiatric disorder and 43% had two or more types of disorders. Prevalence rates and the number of comorbid types of disorders were not significantly different between youths processed in adult criminal court and those processed in the juvenile court. Among youths processed in adult criminal court, those sentenced to prison had significantly greater odds of having disruptive behavior, substance use, or comorbid affective and anxiety disorders than those receiving a less severe sentence. Males, African Americans, Hispanics, and older youths had greater odds of being processed in adult criminal court than females, non-Hispanic whites, and younger youths, even after controlling for felony-level violent crime. Conclusions Community and correctional systems must be prepared to provide psychiatric services to youths transferred to adult criminal court, and especially to youths sentenced to prison. Psychiatric service providers must also consider the disproportionate representation of racial/ethnic minorities in the transfer process when developing and implementing services. PMID:18757588

  11. Effects of orthographic consistency on eye movement behavior: German and English children and adults process the same words differently.

    PubMed

    Rau, Anne K; Moll, Kristina; Snowling, Margaret J; Landerl, Karin

    2015-02-01

    The current study investigated the time course of cross-linguistic differences in word recognition. We recorded eye movements of German and English children and adults while reading closely matched sentences, each including a target word manipulated for length and frequency. Results showed differential word recognition processes for both developing and skilled readers. Children of the two orthographies did not differ in terms of total word processing time, but this equal outcome was achieved quite differently. Whereas German children relied on small-unit processing early in word recognition, English children applied small-unit decoding only upon rereading-possibly when experiencing difficulties in integrating an unfamiliar word into the sentence context. Rather unexpectedly, cross-linguistic differences were also found in adults in that English adults showed longer processing times than German adults for nonwords. Thus, although orthographic consistency does play a major role in reading development, cross-linguistic differences are detectable even in skilled adult readers. PMID:25462034

  12. The Role of Prosodic Breaks and Pitch Accents in Grouping Words during On-Line Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bogels, Sara; Schriefers, Herbert; Vonk, Wietske; Chwilla, Dorothee J.

    2011-01-01

    The present study addresses the question whether accentuation and prosodic phrasing can have a similar function, namely, to group words in a sentence together. Participants listened to locally ambiguous sentences containing object- and subject-control verbs while ERPs were measured. In Experiment 1, these sentences contained a prosodic break,…

  13. Processing Narratives for Verbatim and Gist Information by Adults with Language Learning Disabilities: A Functional Neuroimaging Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plante, Elena; Ramage, Amy E.; Magloire, Joel

    2006-01-01

    How verbal information is processed and recalled appears to be influenced by the structure of the information presented (e.g., unrelated sentences vs. narratives) and the processes the listener uses to encode the information (e.g., verbatim encoding vs. gist extraction). Twenty adults, half with a history of learning disabilities (HLD) and half…

  14. An fMRI Study of Sentence-Embedded Lexical-Semantic Decision in Children and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore-Parks, Erin Nicole; Burns, Erin L.; Bazzill, Rebecca; Levy, Sarah; Posada, Valerie; Muller, Ralph-Axel

    2010-01-01

    Lexical-semantic knowledge is a core language component that undergoes prolonged development throughout childhood and is therefore highly amenable to developmental studies. Most previous lexical-semantic functional MRI (fMRI) studies have been limited to single-word or word-pair tasks, outside a sentence context. Our objective was to investigate…

  15. Interference Effects in Memory for Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kane, Janet H.

    The two studies reported here examined processes involved in learning and remembering sentences. Experiment one identified processes in sentence acquisition, and experiment two analyzed memory for sentences one week after initial learning. Subjects for the experiments were students in a college educational psychology class. The experiments…

  16. Priming in Sentence Comprehension: Strategic or Syntactic?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Traxler, Matthew J.; Tooley, Kristen M.

    2008-01-01

    Two eye-tracking experiments and two self-paced reading experiments investigated processing of sentences containing reduced relative clauses. Processing of a reduced relative is facilitated when it is preceded by a sentence that has the same syntactic structure, as long as the preceding sentence contains the same critical verb as the target…

  17. INTRAVERBAL ASSOCIATIONS IN SENTENCE BEHAVIOR.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    PRENTICE, JOAN L.

    PRE-EXISTING ASSOCIATION BETWEEN WORDS WAS HYPOTHESIZED TO BE A VARIABLE INFLUENCING CHOICE OF WORDS DURING THE PROCESS OF SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION. IN THE FIRST EXPERIMENT, 32 SS (SUBJECTS) ENGAGED IN A PACED-RECALL TASK. MATERIALS WERE SETS OF THREE SENTENCES WHICH VARIED ONLY IN TWO NON-ASSOCIATED EMBEDDED ADJECTIVES WHICH COULD BE INTERCHANGED…

  18. Tracking Passive Sentence Comprehension in Agrammatic Aphasia

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Aaron M.; Mack, Jennifer E.; Thompson, Cynthia K.

    2011-01-01

    People with agrammatic aphasia often experience greater difficulty comprehending passive compared to active sentences. The Trace Deletion Hypothesis (TDH; Grodzinsky, 2000) proposes that aphasic individuals cannot generate accurate syntactic representations of passive sentences and, hence, use an agent-first processing strategy which leads to at-chance performance. We tested this claim using the eyetracking-while-listening paradigm in order to reveal online processing routines. Ten agrammatic aphasic participants and 10 age-matched controls listened to passive and active sentences and performed a sentence-picture matching task (i.e., selecting between two pictures with reversed thematic roles), while their eye movements were monitored. Control participants’ performance was at ceiling, whereas accuracy for the aphasic participants was above chance for active sentences and at chance for passive sentences. Further, for the control participants, the eye movement data showed an initial agent-first processing bias, followed by fixation on the correct picture in the vicinity of the verb in both active and passive sentences. However, the aphasic participants showed no evidence of agent-first processing, counter the predictions of the TDH. In addition, in active sentences, they reliably fixated the correct picture only at sentence offset, reflecting slowed processing. During passive sentence processing, fixations were at chance throughout the sentence, but different patterns were noted for correct and incorrect trials. These results are consistent with the proposal that agrammatic sentence comprehension failure involves lexical processing and/or lexical integration deficits. PMID:22043134

  19. Morphological Processing in Adult Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leikin, Mark; Hagit, Even Zur

    2006-01-01

    This study employed the masked-priming paradigm [Forster and Davis (J Exp Psychol bearn Mem Cogn 10: 680-698, 1984).], along with traditional methods of evaluation of morphological awareness and phonological processing, to obtain a finer-grained picture of the relationship between morphological abilities and reading in adult dyslexic readers.…

  20. Attention, Working Memory, and Grammaticality Judgment in Typical Young Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Pamela A.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: To examine resource allocation and sentence processing, this study examined the effects of auditory distraction on grammaticality judgment (GJ) of sentences varied by semantics (reversibility) and short-term memory requirements. Method: Experiment 1: Typical young adult females (N = 60) completed a whole-sentence GJ task in distraction…

  1. Effects of Pronouns on Children's Memory for Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lesgold, Alan M.

    Do children integrate pronoun sentences in memory as adults seem to do, i.e., processing anaphoric reference between two propositions into a form in which their common element is represented only once (jointly) for the two propositions? Data from two experiments involving third and fourth grade students revealed that a few very vivid sentences…

  2. Grammatical Morpheme Effects on Sentence Processing by School-Aged Adolescents with Specific Language Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Leonard, Laurence B.; Miller, Carol A.; Finneran, Denise A.

    2009-01-01

    Sixteen-year-olds with specific language impairment (SLI), nonspecific language impairment (NLI), and those showing typical language development (TD) responded to target words in sentences that were either grammatical or contained a grammatical error immediately before the target word. The TD participants showed the expected slower response times (RTs) when errors preceded the target word, regardless of error type. The SLI and NLI groups also showed the expected slowing, except when the error type involved the omission of a tense/agreement inflection. This response pattern mirrored an early developmental period of alternating between using and omitting tense/agreement inflections that is characteristic of SLI and NLI. The findings could not be readily attributed to factors such as insensitivity to omissions in general or insensitivity to the particular phonetic forms used to mark tense/agreement. The observed response pattern may represent continued difficulty with tense/agreement morphology that persists in subtle form into adolescence. PMID:19690626

  3. Children's Interpretation of Ambiguous Focus in Sentences with "Only"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paterson, Kevin B.; Liversedge, Simon P.; White, Diane; Filik, Ruth; Jaz, Kristina

    2006-01-01

    We report 3 studies investigating children's and adults' interpretation of ambiguous focus in sentences containing the focus-sensitive quantifier only. In each experiment, child and adult participants compared sentences with only in a preverbal position and counterpart sentences without only against a series of pictures depicting events that…

  4. The Development of Sentences in Japanese Narrative Discourse.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clancy, Patricia M.

    Sentences produced by children and adults in telling stories are analyzed, with particular emphasis on developmental trends in sentence length, the degree of cohesion between clauses, and the internal coherence of sentence content. Subjects for the study were 10 adults and 60 Japanese children in six different age groups. Each subject was…

  5. Sergeant sentenced.

    PubMed

    2000-01-21

    Sgt. [Name removed] was sentenced to two years in prison for forcible sodomy and other charges. [Name removed], who is HIV-positive, sexually assaulted another male sergeant at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. [Name removed] was also convicted of breaking and entering, and disobeying an order by his commander to refrain from sexual contact unless he informed his partner of his HIV status first. He will receive a dishonorable discharge, be demoted, and lose pay. A court martial acquitted him of aggravated assault likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm. PMID:11367220

  6. Revisiting the Scrambling Complexity Hypothesis in Sentence Processing: A Self-Paced Reading Study on Anomaly Detection and Scrambling in Hindi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mishra, Ramesh K.; Pandey, Aparna; Srinivasan, Narayanan

    2011-01-01

    The scrambling complexity hypothesis based on working memory or locality accounts as well as syntactic accounts have proposed that processing a scrambled structure is difficult. However, the locus of this difficulty in sentence processing remains debatable. Several studies on multiple languages have explored the effect of scrambling on sentence…

  7. Syntactic Priming during Sentence Comprehension: Evidence for the Lexical Boost

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Traxler, Matthew J.; Tooley, Kristen M.; Pickering, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    Syntactic priming occurs when structural information from one sentence influences processing of a subsequently encountered sentence (Bock, 1986; Ledoux et al., 2007). This article reports 2 eye-tracking experiments investigating the effects of a prime sentence on the processing of a target sentence that shared aspects of syntactic form. The…

  8. When Is Input Salient? An Exploratory Study of Sentence Location and Word Length Effects on Input Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroll, Susanne E.

    2012-01-01

    Sentence position and word length have been claimed to contribute to the perceptual salience of words. The perceptual salience of words in turn is said to predict L2 developmental sequences. Data for such claims come from sentence repetition tasks that required perceptual re-encoding of input and that did not control for focal accent. We used a…

  9. Processing Sentences with Literal versus Figurative Use of Verbs: An ERP Study with Children with Language Impairments, Nonverbal Impairments, and Typical Development.

    PubMed

    Lorusso, Maria Luisa; Burigo, Michele; Borsa, Virginia; Molteni, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Forty native Italian children (age 6-15) performed a sentence plausibility judgment task. ERP recordings were available for 12 children with specific language impairment (SLI), 11 children with nonverbal learning disabilities (NVLD), and 13 control children. Participants listened to verb-object combinations and judged them as acceptable or unacceptable. Stimuli belonged to four conditions, where concreteness and congruency were manipulated. All groups made more errors responding to abstract and to congruent sentences. Moreover, SLI participants performed worse than NVLD participants with abstract sentences. ERPs were analyzed in the time window 300-500 ms. SLI children show atypical, reversed effects of concreteness and congruence as compared to control and NVLD children, respectively. The results suggest that linguistic impairments disrupt abstract language processing more than visual-motor impairments. Moreover, ROI and SPM analyses of ERPs point to a predominant involvement of the left rather than the right hemisphere in the comprehension of figurative expressions. PMID:26246693

  10. Processing Sentences with Literal versus Figurative Use of Verbs: An ERP Study with Children with Language Impairments, Nonverbal Impairments, and Typical Development

    PubMed Central

    Lorusso, Maria Luisa; Burigo, Michele; Borsa, Virginia; Molteni, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Forty native Italian children (age 6–15) performed a sentence plausibility judgment task. ERP recordings were available for 12 children with specific language impairment (SLI), 11 children with nonverbal learning disabilities (NVLD), and 13 control children. Participants listened to verb-object combinations and judged them as acceptable or unacceptable. Stimuli belonged to four conditions, where concreteness and congruency were manipulated. All groups made more errors responding to abstract and to congruent sentences. Moreover, SLI participants performed worse than NVLD participants with abstract sentences. ERPs were analyzed in the time window 300–500 ms. SLI children show atypical, reversed effects of concreteness and congruence as compared to control and NVLD children, respectively. The results suggest that linguistic impairments disrupt abstract language processing more than visual-motor impairments. Moreover, ROI and SPM analyses of ERPs point to a predominant involvement of the left rather than the right hemisphere in the comprehension of figurative expressions. PMID:26246693

  11. Neural Network Processing of Natural Language: II. Towards a Unified Model of Corticostriatal Function in Learning Sentence Comprehension and Non-Linguistic Sequencing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dominey, Peter Ford; Inui, Toshio; Hoen, Michel

    2009-01-01

    A central issue in cognitive neuroscience today concerns how distributed neural networks in the brain that are used in language learning and processing can be involved in non-linguistic cognitive sequence learning. This issue is informed by a wealth of functional neurophysiology studies of sentence comprehension, along with a number of recent…

  12. Real-Time Sentence Processing in Children with Specific Language Impairment: The Contribution of Lexicosemantic, Syntactic, and World-Knowledge Information

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pizzioli, Fabrizio; Schelstraete, Marie-Anne

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigated how lexicosemantic information, syntactic information, and world knowledge are integrated in the course of oral sentence processing in children with specific language impairment (SLI) as compared to children with typical language development. A primed lexical-decision task was used where participants had to make a…

  13. Context Effects on Sentence Processing: A Study Based on the Competition Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Su, I-Ru

    2001-01-01

    Investigated how adult monolinguals and bilinguals incorporate the context cue in assigning the agent role vis-a-vis intrasentential cues (animacy and word order). Subjects were first and second language speakers of Chinese and English. Results show that both Chinese and English controls paid less attention to context than to intrasentential cues…

  14. Sentence-Combining Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akin, Judy O'Neal

    1978-01-01

    Sample sentence-combining lessons developed to accompany the first-year A-LM German textbook are presented. The exercises are designed for language manipulation practice; they involve breaking down more complex sentences into simpler sentences and the subsequent recombination into complex sentences. All language skills, and particularly writing,…

  15. Effects of Age, Animacy and Activation Order on Sentence Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altmann, Lori J. P.; Kemper, Susan

    2006-01-01

    The current study examines whether young and older adults have similar preferences for animate-subject and active sentences, and for using the order of activation of a verb's arguments to determine sentence structure. Ninety-six participants produced sentences in response to three-word stimuli that included a verb and two nouns differing in…

  16. The Two Sides of Sensory-Cognitive Interactions: Effects of Age, Hearing Acuity, and Working Memory Span on Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    DeCaro, Renee; Peelle, Jonathan E; Grossman, Murray; Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    Reduced hearing acuity is among the most prevalent of chronic medical conditions among older adults. An experiment is reported in which comprehension of spoken sentences was tested for older adults with good hearing acuity or with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss, and young adults with age-normal hearing. Comprehension was measured by participants' ability to determine the agent of an action in sentences that expressed this relation with a syntactically less complex subject-relative construction or a syntactically more complex object-relative construction. Agency determination was further challenged by inserting a prepositional phrase into sentences between the person performing an action and the action being performed. As a control, prepositional phrases of equivalent length were also inserted into sentences in a non-disruptive position. Effects on sentence comprehension of age, hearing acuity, prepositional phrase placement and sound level of stimulus presentations appeared only for comprehension of sentences with the more syntactically complex object-relative structures. Working memory as tested by reading span scores accounted for a significant amount of the variance in comprehension accuracy. Once working memory capacity and hearing acuity were taken into account, chronological age among the older adults contributed no further variance to comprehension accuracy. Results are discussed in terms of the positive and negative effects of sensory-cognitive interactions in comprehension of spoken sentences and lend support to a framework in which domain-general executive resources, notably verbal working memory, play a role in both linguistic and perceptual processing. PMID:26973557

  17. The Two Sides of Sensory–Cognitive Interactions: Effects of Age, Hearing Acuity, and Working Memory Span on Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    DeCaro, Renee; Peelle, Jonathan E.; Grossman, Murray; Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-01-01

    Reduced hearing acuity is among the most prevalent of chronic medical conditions among older adults. An experiment is reported in which comprehension of spoken sentences was tested for older adults with good hearing acuity or with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss, and young adults with age-normal hearing. Comprehension was measured by participants’ ability to determine the agent of an action in sentences that expressed this relation with a syntactically less complex subject-relative construction or a syntactically more complex object-relative construction. Agency determination was further challenged by inserting a prepositional phrase into sentences between the person performing an action and the action being performed. As a control, prepositional phrases of equivalent length were also inserted into sentences in a non-disruptive position. Effects on sentence comprehension of age, hearing acuity, prepositional phrase placement and sound level of stimulus presentations appeared only for comprehension of sentences with the more syntactically complex object-relative structures. Working memory as tested by reading span scores accounted for a significant amount of the variance in comprehension accuracy. Once working memory capacity and hearing acuity were taken into account, chronological age among the older adults contributed no further variance to comprehension accuracy. Results are discussed in terms of the positive and negative effects of sensory–cognitive interactions in comprehension of spoken sentences and lend support to a framework in which domain-general executive resources, notably verbal working memory, play a role in both linguistic and perceptual processing. PMID:26973557

  18. Who Is Who? Interpretation of Multiple Occurrences of the Chinese Reflexive: Evidence from Real-Time Sentence Processing

    PubMed Central

    Shuai, Lan; Gong, Tao; Wu, Yicheng

    2013-01-01

    Theoretical linguists claim that the notorious reflexive ziji ‘self’ in Mandarin Chinese, if occurring more than once in a single sentence, can take distinct antecedents. This study tackles possibly the most interesting puzzle in the linguistic literature, investigating how two occurrences of ziji in a single sentence are interpreted and whether or not there are mixed readings, i.e., these zijis are interpretively bound by distinct antecedents. Using 15 Chinese sentences each having two zijis, we conducted two sentence reading experiments based on a modified self-paced reading paradigm. The general interpretation patterns observed showed that the majority of participants associated both zijis with the same local antecedent, which was consistent with Principle A of the Standard Binding Theory and previous experimental findings involving a single ziji. In addition, mixed readings also occurred, but did not pattern as claimed in the theoretical linguistic literature (i.e., one ziji is bound by a long-distance antecedent and the other by a local antecedent). Based on these results, we argue that: (i) mixed readings were due to manifold, interlocking and conflicting perspectives taken by the participants; and (ii) cases of multiple occurrences of ziji taking distinct antecedents are illicit in Chinese syntax, since the speaker, when expressing a sentence, can select only one P(erspective)-Center that referentially denotes the psychological perspective in which the sentence is situated. PMID:24019911

  19. The Sounds of Sentences: Differentiating the Influence of Physical Sound, Sound Imagery, and Linguistically Implied Sounds on Physical Sound Processing.

    PubMed

    Dudschig, Carolin; Mackenzie, Ian Grant; Strozyk, Jessica; Kaup, Barbara; Leuthold, Hartmut

    2016-10-01

    Both the imagery literature and grounded models of language comprehension emphasize the tight coupling of high-level cognitive processes, such as forming a mental image of something or language understanding, and low-level sensorimotor processes in the brain. In an electrophysiological study, imagery and language processes were directly compared and the sensory associations of processing linguistically implied sounds or imagined sounds were investigated. Participants read sentences describing auditory events (e.g., "The dog barks"), heard a physical (environmental) sound, or had to imagine such a sound. We examined the influence of the 3 sound conditions (linguistic, physical, imagery) on subsequent physical sound processing. Event-related potential (ERP) difference waveforms indicated that in all 3 conditions, prime compatibility influenced physical sound processing. The earliest compatibility effect was observed in the physical condition, starting in the 80-110 ms time interval with a negative maximum over occipital electrode sites. In contrast, the linguistic and the imagery condition elicited compatibility effects starting in the 180-220 ms time window with a maximum over central electrode sites. In line with the ERPs, the analysis of the oscillatory activity showed that compatibility influenced early theta and alpha band power changes in the physical, but not in the linguistic and imagery, condition. These dissociations were further confirmed by dipole localization results showing a clear separation between the source of the compatibility effect in the physical sound condition (superior temporal area) and the source of the compatibility effect triggered by the linguistically implied sounds or the imagined sounds (inferior temporal area). Implications for grounded models of language understanding are discussed. PMID:27473463

  20. The Influence of Contextual Contrast on Syntactic Processing: Evidence for Strong-Interaction in Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grodner, D.; Gibson, E.; Watson, D.

    2005-01-01

    The present study compares the processing of unambiguous restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses (RCs) within both a null context and a supportive discourse using a self-paced reading methodology. Individuals read restrictive RCs more slowly than non-restrictive RCs in a null context, but processed restrictive RCs faster than…

  1. Scan Patterns Predict Sentence Production in the Cross-Modal Processing of Visual Scenes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coco, Moreno I.; Keller, Frank

    2012-01-01

    Most everyday tasks involve multiple modalities, which raises the question of how the processing of these modalities is coordinated by the cognitive system. In this paper, we focus on the coordination of visual attention and linguistic processing during speaking. Previous research has shown that objects in a visual scene are fixated before they…

  2. Proficiency and Working Memory Based Explanations for Nonnative Speakers' Sensitivity to Agreement in Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coughlin, Caitlin E.; Tremblay, Annie

    2013-01-01

    This study examines the roles of proficiency and working memory (WM) capacity in second-/foreign-language (L2) learners' processing of agreement morphology. It investigates the processing of grammatical and ungrammatical short- and long-distance number agreement dependencies by native English speakers at two proficiencies in French, and the…

  3. The Neostriatum and Response Selection in Overt Sentence Production: an fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Argyropoulos, Georgios P.; Tremblay, Pascale; Small, Steven L.

    2013-01-01

    A number of premotor and prefrontal brain areas have been recently shown to play a significant role in response selection in overt sentence production. These areas are anatomically connected to the basal ganglia, a set of subcortical structures that has been traditionally involved in response selection across behavioral domains. The putamen and the caudate, the two major inputs to the basal ganglia, have been shown to undertake motor- as well as non-motor-related selection operations in language processing. Here we investigate the role of these basal ganglia structures in sentence repetition and generation in healthy adults. Although sentence generation is known to activate prefrontal and premotor cortical areas that reciprocally connect with these two neostriatal structures, their specific contributions are not known. We present evidence suggesting that that the putamen undertakes articulation-related aspects across tasks, while the caudate selectively supports selection processes in sentence generation. PMID:23721723

  4. What is right-hemisphere contribution to phonological, lexico-semantic, and sentence processing? Insights from a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Vigneau, M; Beaucousin, V; Hervé, Pierre-Yves; Jobard, Gael; Petit, Laurent; Crivello, Fabrice; Mellet, Emmanuel; Zago, Laure; Mazoyer, B; Tzourio-Mazoyer, N

    2011-01-01

    To evaluate the relative role of left and right hemispheres (RH) and describe the functional anatomy of RH during ortholinguistic tasks, we re-analyzed the 128 papers of a former left-hemisphere (LH) meta-analysis (Vigneau et al., 2006). Of these, 59 articles reported RH participation, providing 105 RH language contrasts including 218 peaks compared to 728 on the left, a proportion reflecting the LH language dominance. To describe inter-hemispheric interactions, in each of the language contrasts involving both hemispheres, we distinguished between unilateral and bilateral peaks, i.e. having homotopic activation in the LH in the same contrast. We also calculated the proportion of bilateral peaks in the LH. While the majority of LH peaks were unilateral (79%), a reversed pattern was observed in the RH; this demonstrates that, in contrast to the LH, the RH works in an inter-hemispheric manner. To analyze the regional pattern of RH participation, these unilateral and bilateral peaks were spatially clustered for each language component. Most RH phonological clusters corresponded to bilateral recruitment of auditory and motor cortices. Notably, the motor representation of the mouth and phonological working memory areas were exclusively left-lateralized, supporting the idea that the RH does not host phonological representations. Right frontal participation was not specific for the language component involved and appeared related to the recruitment of attentional and working memory areas. The fact that RH participation during lexico-semantic tasks was limited to these executive activations is compatible with the hypothesis that active inhibition is exerted from the LH during the processing of meaning. Only during sentence/text processing tasks a specific unilateral RH-temporal involvement was noted, likely related to context processing. These results are consistent with split-brain studies that found that the RH has a limited lexicon, with no phonological abilities but

  5. Online Processing of Sentences Containing Noun Modification in Young Children with High-Functioning Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bavin, Edith L.; Prendergast, Luke A.; Kidd, Evan; Baker, Emma; Dissanayake, Cheryl

    2016-01-01

    Background: There is variability in the language of children with autism, even those who are high functioning. However, little is known about how they process language structures in real time, including how they handle potential ambiguity, and whether they follow referential constraints. Previous research with older autism spectrum disorder (ASD)…

  6. Constructive Processes in Linear Order Problems Revealed by Sentence Study Times

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mynatt, Barbee T.; Smith, Kirk H.

    1977-01-01

    This research was a further test of the theory of constructive processes proposed by Foos, Smith, Sabol, and Mynatt (1976) to account for differences among presentation orders in the construction of linear orders. This theory is composed of different series of mental operations that must be performed when an order relationship is integrated with…

  7. Cross-Linguistic Differences and Their Impact on L2 Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Carrie N.; Dussias, Paola E.

    2009-01-01

    Using a self-paced reading task, the present study investigates how highly proficient second language (L2) speakers of German with English as their native language process unambiguous "wh"-subject-extractions and "wh"-object-extractions in German. Previous monolingual research has shown that English and German exhibit different processing…

  8. Effects of Local and Global Context on Processing Sentences with Subject and Object Relative Clauses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Fang; Mo, Lun; Louwerse, Max M.

    2013-01-01

    An eye tracking study investigated the effects of local and global discourse context on the processing of subject and object relative clauses, whereby the contexts favored either a subject relative clause interpretation or an object relative clause interpretation. The fixation data replicated previous studies showing that object relative clause…

  9. Remediation of context-processing deficits in schizophrenia: preliminary data with ambiguous sentences

    PubMed Central

    Besche-Richard, Chrystel; Terrien, Sarah; Lesgourgues, Marion; Béchiri-Payet, Célia; Gierski, Fabien; Limosin, Frédéric

    2014-01-01

    Background Processing of contextual information is essential for the establishment of good interpersonal relations and communicational interactions. Nevertheless, it is known that schizophrenic patients present impairments in the processing of contextual information. The aim of this study is to explore the influence of the remediation of context processing in schizophrenic patients. Methods Thirty-one schizophrenic patients and 28 matched healthy participants were included in this study. All participants were assessed on verbal knowledge (Mill-Hill test) and depression intensity (Beck Depression Scale 21 items). Schizophrenic patients were also assessed on thought, language, and communication disorders (Thought, Language and Communication scale). All participants completed a disambiguation task with two different levels of contextualization (high or low context) and a context-processing remediation task containing social scenarios that included ambiguous words and were presented with two different types of instruction: with or without context explanation. Results For the disambiguation task, results showed no effect of group, but a main effect of context, with better performances in the high-context than the low-context condition. For the context-processing remediation task, results showed a main effect of group: The performance of schizophrenic patients who had received explanations differed from that both of healthy participants and of schizophrenic patients who had not received explanations. Conclusion This study revealed that for all participants, the structuring of context had a positive effect on the contextual integration of ambiguous words. Concerning the remediation task, explanations about the strategies that could be used to take context into account improved the schizophrenic patients’ performances. This allows us to consider new methods of remediation that could improve social interaction in schizophrenia. PMID:25516712

  10. Dialect Variation Influences the Phonological and Lexical-Semantic Word Processing in Sentences. Electrophysiological Evidence from a Cross-Dialectal Comprehension Study

    PubMed Central

    Lanwermeyer, Manuela; Henrich, Karen; Rocholl, Marie J.; Schnell, Hanni T.; Werth, Alexander; Herrgen, Joachim; Schmidt, Jürgen E.

    2016-01-01

    This event-related potential (ERP) study examines the influence of dialectal competence differences (merged vs. unmerged dialect group) on cross-dialectal comprehension between Southern German dialects. It focuses on the question as to whether certain dialect phonemes (/oa⌢/, /oƱ⌢/), which are attributed to different lexemes in two dialect areas (Central Bavarian, Bavarian-Alemannic transition zone) evoke increased neural costs during sentence processing. In this context, the phonological and semantic processing of lexemes is compared in three types of potentially problematic communication settings (misunderstanding, incomprehension, allophonic variation = potential comprehension). For this purpose, an oddball design including whole sentences was combined with a semantic rating task. Listeners from the unmerged Central Bavarian dialect area heard sentences including either native or non-native lexemes from the merged neighboring dialect. These had to be evaluated with regard to their context acceptability. The main difference between the lexemes can be attributed to the fact that they have different meanings in the respective dialect areas or are non-existent in the linguistic competence of the Central Bavarians. The results provide evidence for the fact that non-native lexemes containing the /oa⌢/-diphthong lead to enhanced neural costs during sentence processing. The ERP results show a biphasic pattern (N2b/N400, LPC) for non-existent lexemes (incomprehension) as well as for semantically incongruous lexemes (misunderstanding), reflecting an early error detection mechanism and enhanced costs for semantic integration and evaluation. In contrast, allophonic /oƱ⌢/ deviations show reduced negativities and no LPC, indexing an unproblematic categorization and evaluation process. In the light of these results, an observed change of /oa⌢/ to /oƱ⌢/ in the Bavarian-Alemannic transition zone can be interpreted as a facilitation strategy of cross

  11. Dialect Variation Influences the Phonological and Lexical-Semantic Word Processing in Sentences. Electrophysiological Evidence from a Cross-Dialectal Comprehension Study.

    PubMed

    Lanwermeyer, Manuela; Henrich, Karen; Rocholl, Marie J; Schnell, Hanni T; Werth, Alexander; Herrgen, Joachim; Schmidt, Jürgen E

    2016-01-01

    This event-related potential (ERP) study examines the influence of dialectal competence differences (merged vs. unmerged dialect group) on cross-dialectal comprehension between Southern German dialects. It focuses on the question as to whether certain dialect phonemes (/[Formula: see text]/, /[Formula: see text]/), which are attributed to different lexemes in two dialect areas (Central Bavarian, Bavarian-Alemannic transition zone) evoke increased neural costs during sentence processing. In this context, the phonological and semantic processing of lexemes is compared in three types of potentially problematic communication settings (misunderstanding, incomprehension, allophonic variation = potential comprehension). For this purpose, an oddball design including whole sentences was combined with a semantic rating task. Listeners from the unmerged Central Bavarian dialect area heard sentences including either native or non-native lexemes from the merged neighboring dialect. These had to be evaluated with regard to their context acceptability. The main difference between the lexemes can be attributed to the fact that they have different meanings in the respective dialect areas or are non-existent in the linguistic competence of the Central Bavarians. The results provide evidence for the fact that non-native lexemes containing the /[Formula: see text]/-diphthong lead to enhanced neural costs during sentence processing. The ERP results show a biphasic pattern (N2b/N400, LPC) for non-existent lexemes (incomprehension) as well as for semantically incongruous lexemes (misunderstanding), reflecting an early error detection mechanism and enhanced costs for semantic integration and evaluation. In contrast, allophonic /[Formula: see text]/ deviations show reduced negativities and no LPC, indexing an unproblematic categorization and evaluation process. In the light of these results, an observed change of /[Formula: see text]/ to /[Formula: see text]/ in the Bavarian

  12. Individual Cognitive Training of Reading Disability Improves Word Identification and Sentence Comprehension in Adults with Mild Mental Retardation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, David; Plaza, Monique; Perez-Diaz, Fernando; Lanthier, Odile; Chauvin, Dominique; Hambourg, Nicole; Wilson, Anna J.; Basquin, Michel; Mazet, Philippe; Riviere, Jean Philippe

    2006-01-01

    Reading therapy has been shown to be effective in treating reading disabilities (RD) in dyslexic children, but little is known of its use in subjects with mild mental retardation (MR). Twenty adult volunteers, with both RD and mild MR, underwent 60 consecutive weeks in a cognitive remediation program, and were compared with 32 untreated control…

  13. Sentence Production in Parkinson Disease: Effects of Conceptual and Task Complexity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Troche, Michelle S.; Altmann, Lori J. P.

    2012-01-01

    Experimental studies of sentence production in Parkinson disease (PD) are rare. This study examined the relationship between cognitive abilities and performance on two sentence production tasks, sentence repetition, and sentence generation, in which complexity was manipulated. Thirty-eight older adults aged 60 to 85, half with PD, completed the…

  14. Names in frames: infants interpret words in sentence frames faster than words in isolation

    PubMed Central

    Fernald, Anne; Hurtado, Nereyda

    2011-01-01

    In child-directed speech (CDS), adults often use utterances with very few words; many include short, frequently used sentence frames, while others consist of a single word in isolation. Do such features of CDS provide perceptual advantages for the child? Based on descriptive analyses of parental speech, some researchers argue that isolated words should help infants in word recognition by facilitating segmentation, while others predict no advantage. To address this question directly, we used online measures of speech processing in a looking-while-listening procedure. In two experiments, 18-month-olds were presented with familiar object names in isolation and in a sentence frame. Infants were 120 ms slower to interpret target words in isolation than when the same words were preceded by a familiar carrier phrase, suggesting that the sentence frame facilitated word recognition. Familiar frames may enable the infant to ‘listen ahead’ more efficiently for the focused word at the end of the sentence. PMID:16669790

  15. Long-range neural synchronization supports fast and efficient reading: EEG correlates of processing expected words in sentences

    PubMed Central

    Molinaro, Nicola; Barraza, Paulo; Carreiras, Manuel

    2013-01-01

    Word reading is heavily influenced by the information provided by previous context. In this study, we analyzed the neurophysiological bases of sentence reading through the EEG activity elicited during reading the same word embedded in differently constraining contexts: a) a low-constraining context; b) a high-constraining semantic compositional context; c) a high-constraining collocational context in which the item was in final position of a multi-word fixed-order expression. Cloze-probability of the two high-constraining contexts was equated. Before reading the target word we observed increased EEG gamma phase synchronization for the high-constraining compositional context and increased EEG theta synchronization for the collocational context (both compared to the low-constraining condition). After reading the target word we observed increased frontal positive EEG evoked activity (~220 ms) for the high-constraining compositional context but an even earlier (~120 ms) effect for the high-constraining collocational condition that was distributed over the scalp. A positive correlation was found only between the increased theta synchronization and the early EEG effect for the high-constraining collocational condition. Results indicate that long-range frontal-occipital interactions in the theta band - indexing working memory operations - support early visual-orthographic analysis of an incoming stimulus (such as the expected word); gamma-phase synchronization better represents binding operations between feed-forward activation and matching feedback. These data suggest that internal linguistic knowledge stored in long-term memory - if unambiguously pre-activated - supports the low-level perceptual processes involved in reading. PMID:23357072

  16. Accounting for Regressive Eye-Movements in Models of Sentence Processing: A Reappraisal of the Selective Reanalysis Hypothesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Don C.; Shen, Xingjia; Green, Matthew J.; Hodgson, Timothy L.

    2008-01-01

    When people read temporarily ambiguous sentences, there is often an increased prevalence of regressive eye-movements launched from the word that resolves the ambiguity. Traditionally, such regressions have been interpreted at least in part as reflecting readers' efforts to re-read and reconfigure earlier material, as exemplified by the Selective…

  17. Adult Personality Development: Dynamics and Processes

    PubMed Central

    Diehl, Manfred; Hooker, Karen

    2013-01-01

    The focus of this special issue of Research in Human Development is on adult personality and how personality may contribute to and be involved in adult development. Specifically, the contributions in this issue focus on the links between personality structures (e.g., traits) and personality processes (e.g., goal pursuit, self--regulation) and emphasize the contributions that intensive repeated measurement approaches can make to the understanding of personality and development across the adult life span. PMID:24068889

  18. Is there a difference between stripy journeys and stripy ladybirds? The N400 response to semantic and world-knowledge violations during sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Dudschig, Carolin; Maienborn, Claudia; Kaup, Barbara

    2016-03-01

    The distinction between linguistic and non-linguistic knowledge is particularly relevant because it is related to the principle of compositionality during sentence comprehension. Hagoort, Hald, Bastiaansen, and Petersson (2004) challenged the distinction between linguistic and non-linguistic knowledge. Here, we investigate how linguistic and non-linguistic violations are processed in a setting adapted from Hagoort et al., whilst in contrast to Hagoort, keeping the critical word identical. In line with the findings by Hagoort et al., our results showed largest N400 amplitudes for semantic violations ('Journeys are stripy'), followed by non-linguistic world-knowledge violations ('Ladybirds are stripy') and contingent sentences ('Trousers are stripy'), and finally by correct sentences ('Zebras are stripy'). Traditional fractional area and relative criterion measures of peak and onset latencies showed no effect of violation type. Interestingly, the semantic violation condition crossed a fixed criterion earlier than the word-knowledge violation condition. In conclusion, our data suggests that the question regarding the distinction between linguistic- and non-linguistic knowledge in terms of language integration remains open. Implications for future studies addressing the difference between linguistic and non-linguistic knowledge are discussed. PMID:26812249

  19. Hierarchical Forms Processing in Adults and Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harrison, Tamara B.; Stiles, Joan

    2009-01-01

    Two experiments examined child and adult processing of hierarchical stimuli composed of geometric forms. Adults (ages 18-23 years) and children (ages 7-10 years) performed a forced-choice task gauging similarity between visual stimuli consisting of large geometric objects (global level) composed of small geometric objects (local level). The…

  20. Constructive Memory for Bizarre and Sensible Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hertel, Paula T.; Ellis, Henry C.

    1979-01-01

    Two experiments examined subjects' ability to recognize or to recall sensible, interrelated sentences, with or without added bizarre sentences, either immediately or after two weeks. Results suggested that processing bizarre information can lead to more accurate recognition and recall of the sensible context. (Author/MH)

  1. Bilingual Lexical Activation in Sentence Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwartz, Ana I.; Kroll, Judith F.

    2006-01-01

    The present study investigated the cognitive nature of second language (L2) lexical processing in sentence context. We examined bilinguals' L2 word recognition performance for language-ambiguous words [cognates (e.g., "piano") and homographs (e.g., "pan")] in two sentence context experiments with highly proficient Spanish-English bilinguals living…

  2. Computer Scoring of Sentence Completion Data.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veldman, Donald J.; And Others

    This paper outlines the development of techniques for computer-based personality assessment from sentence completions. The One-Word Sentence Completion (OWSC) instrument was designed to elicit data suitable for machine processing, while retaining most of the advantages of a free-response format. Two operative scoring systems are described. The…

  3. Uncertainty about the Rest of the Sentence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hale, John

    2006-01-01

    A word-by-word human sentence processing complexity metric is presented. This metric formalizes the intuition that comprehenders have more trouble on words contributing larger amounts of information about the syntactic structure of the sentence as a whole. The formalization is in terms of the conditional entropy of grammatical continuations, given…

  4. Working Memory and Binding in Sentence Recall

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baddeley, A. D.; Hitch, G. J.; Allen, R. J.

    2009-01-01

    A series of experiments explored whether chunking in short-term memory for verbal materials depends on attentionally limited executive processes. Secondary tasks were used to disrupt components of working memory and chunking was indexed by the sentence superiority effect, whereby immediate recall is better for sentences than word lists. To…

  5. Fluent and Disfluent Normal Speakers' Responses on a Synthetic Sentence Identification (SSI) Task.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nuck, Martha E.; And Others

    1987-01-01

    To evaluate the theory that central auditory processing deficits exist in the normally disfluent population, 40 adults were administered the Synthetic Sentence Identification-Ipsilateral Competing Message Measure. Results revealed a significant difference between the performance of fluent and disfluent normal speakers but not between ear…

  6. Error Detection Mechanism for Words and Sentences: A Comparison between Readers with Dyslexia and Skilled Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horowitz-Kraus, Tzipi; Breznitz, Zvia

    2011-01-01

    The activity level of the error monitoring system for processing isolated versus contextual words in Hebrew was studied in adults with dyslexia and skilled readers while committing reading errors. Behavioural measures and event-related potentials were measured during a lexical decision task using words in a list and sentences. Error-related…

  7. Brain Activity of Regular and Dyslexic Readers while Reading Hebrew as Compared to English Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Breznitz, Zvia; Oren, Revital; Shaul, Shelley

    2004-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine differences among "regular" and dyslexic adult bilingual readers when processing reading and reading related skills in their first (L1 Hebrew) and second (L2 English) languages. Brain activity during reading Hebrew and English unexpected sentence endings was also studied. Behavioral and…

  8. The Development of Sentence Interpretation: Effects of Perceptual, Attentional and Semantic Interference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leech, Robert; Aydelott, Jennifer; Symons, Germaine; Carnevale, Julia; Dick, Frederic

    2007-01-01

    How does the development and consolidation of perceptual, attentional, and higher cognitive abilities interact with language acquisition and processing? We explored children's (ages 5-17) and adults' (ages 18-51) comprehension of morphosyntactically varied sentences under several competing speech conditions that varied in the degree of attentional…

  9. The Neural Bases of Strategy and Skill in Sentence-Picture Verification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reichle, Erik D.; Carpenter, Patricia A.; Just, Marcel Adam

    2000-01-01

    Used Magnetic Resonance Imaging to examine the relation between cognitive skill and the cortical activation engendered by linguistic or visual-spatial strategies in a sentence-picture task. Results with 12 adults indicate that language and visual-spatial processing are supported by partially separable networks of cortical regions and suggests the…

  10. Sentence-Level Rewriting Detection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Fan; Litman, Diane

    2014-01-01

    Writers usually need iterations of revisions and edits during their writings. To better understand the process of rewriting, we need to know what has changed be-tween the revisions. Prior work mainly focuses on detecting corrections within sentences, which is at the level of words or phrases. This paper proposes to detect revision changes at the…

  11. Children's Comprehension of Sentences with Focus Particles and the Role of Cognitive Control: An Eye Tracking Study with German-Learning 4-Year-Olds.

    PubMed

    Höhle, Barbara; Fritzsche, Tom; Müller, Anja

    2016-01-01

    Children's interpretations of sentences containing focus particles do not seem adult-like until school age. This study investigates how German 4-year-old children comprehend sentences with the focus particle 'nur' (only) by using different tasks and controlling for the impact of general cognitive abilities on performance measures. Two sentence types with 'only' in either pre-subject or pre-object position were presented. Eye gaze data and verbal responses were collected via the visual world paradigm combined with a sentence-picture verification task. While the eye tracking data revealed an adult-like pattern of focus particle processing, the sentence-picture verification replicated previous findings of poor comprehension, especially for 'only' in pre-subject position. A second study focused on the impact of general cognitive abilities on the outcomes of the verification task. Working memory was related to children's performance in both sentence types whereas inhibitory control was selectively related to the number of errors for sentences with 'only' in pre-subject position. These results suggest that children at the age of 4 years have the linguistic competence to correctly interpret sentences with focus particles, which--depending on specific task demands--may be masked by immature general cognitive abilities. PMID:26930286

  12. Children’s Comprehension of Sentences with Focus Particles and the Role of Cognitive Control: An Eye Tracking Study with German-Learning 4-Year-Olds

    PubMed Central

    Höhle, Barbara; Fritzsche, Tom; Müller, Anja

    2016-01-01

    Children’s interpretations of sentences containing focus particles do not seem adult-like until school age. This study investigates how German 4-year-old children comprehend sentences with the focus particle ‘nur’ (only) by using different tasks and controlling for the impact of general cognitive abilities on performance measures. Two sentence types with ‘only’ in either pre-subject or pre-object position were presented. Eye gaze data and verbal responses were collected via the visual world paradigm combined with a sentence-picture verification task. While the eye tracking data revealed an adult-like pattern of focus particle processing, the sentence-picture verification replicated previous findings of poor comprehension, especially for ‘only’ in pre-subject position. A second study focused on the impact of general cognitive abilities on the outcomes of the verification task. Working memory was related to children’s performance in both sentence types whereas inhibitory control was selectively related to the number of errors for sentences with ‘only’ in pre-subject position. These results suggest that children at the age of 4 years have the linguistic competence to correctly interpret sentences with focus particles, which–depending on specific task demands–may be masked by immature general cognitive abilities. PMID:26930286

  13. Processing Temporal Constraints and Some Implications for the Investigation of Second Language Sentence Processing and Acquisition. Commentary on Baggio

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Leah

    2008-01-01

    Baggio presents the results of an event-related potential (ERP) study in which he examines the processing consequences of reading tense violations such as *"Afgelopen zondag lakt Vincent de kozijnen van zijn landhuis" (*"Last Sunday Vincent paints the window-frames of his country house"). The violation is arguably caused by a mismatch between the…

  14. What's in a sentence? The crucial role of lexical content in sentence production in nonfluent aphasia.

    PubMed

    Speer, Paula; Wilshire, Carolyn E

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the effect of lexical content on sentence production in nonfluent aphasia. Five participants with nonfluent aphasia, four with fluent aphasia, and eight controls were asked to describe pictured events in subject-verb-object sentences. Experiment 1 manipulated speed of lexical retrieval by varying the frequency of sentence nouns. Nonfluent participants' accuracy was consistently higher for sentences commencing with a high- than with a low-frequency subject noun, even when errors on those nouns were themselves excluded. This was not the case for the fluent participants. Experiment 2 manipulated the semantic relationship between subject and object nouns. The nonfluent participants produced sentences less accurately when they contained related than when they contained unrelated lexical items. The fluent participants exhibited the opposite trend. We propose that individuals with nonfluent aphasia are disproportionately reliant on activated conceptual-lexical representations to drive the sentence generation process, an idea we call the content drives structure (COST) hypothesis. PMID:24512548

  15. When novel sentences spoken or heard for the first time in the history of the universe are not enough: toward a dual-process model of language.

    PubMed

    Van Lancker Sidtis, Diana

    2004-01-01

    Although interest in the language sciences was previously focused on newly created sentences, more recently much attention has turned to the importance of formulaic expressions in normal and disordered communication. Also referred to as formulaic expressions and made up of speech formulas, idioms, expletives, serial and memorized speech, slang, sayings, clichés, and conventional expressions, non-propositional language forms a large proportion of every speaker's competence, and may be differentially disturbed in neurological disorders. This review aims to examine non-propositional speech with respect to linguistic descriptions, psycholinguistic experiments, sociolinguistic studies, child language development, clinical language disorders, and neurological studies. Evidence from numerous sources reveals differentiated and specialized roles for novel and formulaic verbal functions, and suggests that generation of novel sentences and management of prefabricated expressions represent two legitimate and separable processes in language behaviour. A preliminary model of language behaviour that encompasses unitary and compositional properties and their integration in everyday language use is proposed. Integration and synchronizing of two disparate processes in language behaviour, formulaic and novel, characterizes normal communicative function and contributes to creativity in language. This dichotomy is supported by studies arising from other disciplines in neurology and psychology. Further studies are necessary to determine in what ways the various categories of formulaic expressions are related, and how these categories are processed by the brain. Better understanding of how non-propositional categories of speech are stored and processed in the brain can lead to better informed treatment strategies in language disorders. PMID:14660185

  16. Functional Sentence Perspective and Composition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vande Kopple, William J.

    Functional Sentence Perspective (FSP) is a theory that predicts how units of information should be distributed in a sentence and how sentences should be related in a discourse. A binary topic-comment structure is assigned to each FSP sentence. For most English sentences, the topic is associated with the subject or the left-most noun phrase, and…

  17. Parafoveal preview during reading: Effects of sentence position

    PubMed Central

    White, Sarah J.; Warren, Tessa; Reichle, Erik D.

    2011-01-01

    Two experiments examined parafoveal preview for words located in the middle of sentences and at sentence boundaries. Parafoveal processing was shown to occur for words at sentence-initial, mid-sentence, and sentence-final positions. Both Experiments 1 and 2 showed reduced effects of preview on regressions out for sentence-initial words. In addition, Experiment 2 showed reduced preview effects on first-pass reading times for sentence-initial words. These effects of sentence position on preview could result from reduced parafoveal processing for sentence-initial words, or other processes specific to word reading at sentence boundaries. In addition to the effects of preview, the experiments also demonstrate variability in the effects of sentence wrap-up on different reading measures, indicating that the presence and time course of wrap-up effects may be modulated by text-specific factors. We also report simulations of Experiment 2 using version 10 of E-Z Reader (Reichle, Warren, & McConnell, 2009), designed to explore the possible mechanisms underlying parafoveal preview at sentence boundaries. PMID:21500948

  18. Lexical ambiguity in sentence comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Mason, Robert A.; Just, Marcel Adam

    2009-01-01

    An event-related fMRI paradigm was used to investigate brain activity during the reading of sentences containing either a lexically ambiguous word or an unambiguous control word. Higher levels of activation occurred during the reading of sentences containing a lexical ambiguity. Furthermore, the activated cortical network differed, depending on: (1) whether the sentence contained a balanced (i.e., both meanings equally likely) or a biased (i.e., one meaning more likely than other meanings) ambiguous word; and, (2) the working memory capacity of the individual as assessed by reading span. The findings suggest that encountering a lexical ambiguity is dealt with by activating multiple meanings utilizing processes involving both hemispheres. When an early interpretation of a biased ambiguous word is later disambiguated to the subordinate meaning, the superior frontal cortex activates in response to the coherence break and the right inferior frontal gyrus and the insula activate, possibly to suppress the incorrect interpretation. Negative correlations between reading span scores and activation in the right hemisphere for both types of ambiguous words suggest that readers with lower spans are more likely to involve show right hemisphere involvement in the processing of the ambiguity. A positive correlation between reading span scores and insula activation appearing only for biased sentences disambiguated to the subordinate meaning indicates that individuals with higher spans were more likely to initially maintain both meanings and as a result had to suppress the unintended dominant meaning. PMID:17433891

  19. Overlap and Differences in Brain Networks Underlying the Processing of Complex Sentence Structures in Second Language Users Compared with Native Speakers.

    PubMed

    Weber, Kirsten; Luther, Lisa; Indefrey, Peter; Hagoort, Peter

    2016-05-01

    When we learn a second language later in life, do we integrate it with the established neural networks in place for the first language or is at least a partially new network recruited? While there is evidence that simple grammatical structures in a second language share a system with the native language, the story becomes more multifaceted for complex sentence structures. In this study, we investigated the underlying brain networks in native speakers compared with proficient second language users while processing complex sentences. As hypothesized, complex structures were processed by the same large-scale inferior frontal and middle temporal language networks of the brain in the second language, as seen in native speakers. These effects were seen both in activations and task-related connectivity patterns. Furthermore, the second language users showed increased task-related connectivity from inferior frontal to inferior parietal regions of the brain, regions related to attention and cognitive control, suggesting less automatic processing for these structures in a second language. PMID:26746708

  20. Sentence Combining and Reading.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ney, James W.

    Research on the effects of two modes of sentence combining instruction on writing skills was conducted from 22 September through 17 December 1976, at Evans School in Tempe, Arizona. Subjects were 40 students in two fifth grade classes designated the individualized class and the group class. The individualized class followed a sentence combining…

  1. Distinct neural correlates for pragmatic and semantic meaning processing: an event-related potential investigation of scalar implicature processing using picture-sentence verification.

    PubMed

    Politzer-Ahles, Stephen; Fiorentino, Robert; Jiang, Xiaoming; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2013-01-15

    The present study examines the brain-level representation and composition of meaning in scalar quantifiers (e.g., some), which have both a semantic meaning (at least one) and a pragmatic meaning (not all). We adopted a picture-sentence verification design to examine event-related potential (ERP) effects of reading infelicitous quantifiers for which the semantic meaning was correct with respect to the context but the pragmatic meaning was not, compared to quantifiers for which the semantic meaning was inconsistent with the context and no additional pragmatic meaning is available. In the first experiment, only pragmatically inconsistent quantifiers, not semantically inconsistent quantifiers, elicited a sustained posterior negative component. This late negativity contrasts with the N400 effect typically elicited by nouns that are incongruent with their context, suggesting that the recognition of scalar implicature errors elicits a qualitatively different ERP signature than the recognition of lexico-semantic errors. We hypothesize that the sustained negativity reflects cancellation of the pragmatic inference and retrieval of the semantic meaning. In our second experiment, we found that the process of re-interpreting the quantifier was independent from lexico-semantic processing: the N400 elicited by lexico-semantic violations was not modulated by the presence of a pragmatic inconsistency. These findings suggest that inferential pragmatic aspects of meaning are processed using different mechanisms than lexical or combinatorial semantic aspects of meaning, that inferential pragmatic meaning can be realized rapidly, and that the computation of meaning involves continuous negotiation between different aspects of meaning. PMID:23103410

  2. Negative Sentences in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thornton, Rosalind; Rombough, Kelly; Martin, Jasmine; Orton, Linda

    2016-01-01

    This study used elicited production methodology to investigate the negative sentences that are produced by English-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI). Negative sentences were elicited in contexts in which adults use the negative auxiliary verb doesn't (e.g., "It doesn't fit"). This form was targeted to see how…

  3. ERP Study of Affirmative and Negative Sentences' Impact on Self-Positivity Bias.

    PubMed

    Li, Wenhui; Jiang, Zhongqing; Liu, Ying; Dan, Fei

    2016-08-01

    To explore how the sentence contexts affect self-positivity bias, we presented the participants with negation and affirmation sentences. Each sentence was ended with an adjective word describing human being's personality. The participants were asked to judge whether the sentences correctly described their own personalities. In affirmation sentences, the behavioral data showed that self-positivity bias occurred when participants considered the sentences to be in accordance with their personality; the ERP data showed that P200 amplitude was consistent with this behavioral result. In negation sentences, behavioral data showed self-positivity bias, regardless of whether the sentences were in accordance with participants' personality or not. However, the self-positivity bias was not observed in the ERP results from negation sentence. In summary, sentence type modulated the effect of self-positivity bias. The reason could be that processing affirmation and negation sentences requires different amount of cognitive resources. PMID:25980970

  4. Sentence Recognition Prediction for Hearing-impaired Listeners in Stationary and Fluctuation Noise With FADE: Empowering the Attenuation and Distortion Concept by Plomp With a Quantitative Processing Model.

    PubMed

    Kollmeier, Birger; Schädler, Marc René; Warzybok, Anna; Meyer, Bernd T; Brand, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    To characterize the individual patient's hearing impairment as obtained with the matrix sentence recognition test, a simulation Framework for Auditory Discrimination Experiments (FADE) is extended here using the Attenuation and Distortion (A+D) approach by Plomp as a blueprint for setting the individual processing parameters. FADE has been shown to predict the outcome of both speech recognition tests and psychoacoustic experiments based on simulations using an automatic speech recognition system requiring only few assumptions. It builds on the closed-set matrix sentence recognition test which is advantageous for testing individual speech recognition in a way comparable across languages. Individual predictions of speech recognition thresholds in stationary and in fluctuating noise were derived using the audiogram and an estimate of the internal level uncertainty for modeling the individual Plomp curves fitted to the data with the Attenuation (A-) and Distortion (D-) parameters of the Plomp approach. The "typical" audiogram shapes from Bisgaard et al with or without a "typical" level uncertainty and the individual data were used for individual predictions. As a result, the individualization of the level uncertainty was found to be more important than the exact shape of the individual audiogram to accurately model the outcome of the German Matrix test in stationary or fluctuating noise for listeners with hearing impairment. The prediction accuracy of the individualized approach also outperforms the (modified) Speech Intelligibility Index approach which is based on the individual threshold data only. PMID:27604782

  5. Preschoolers' brains rely on semantic cues prior to the mastery of syntax during sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chiao-Yi; Vissiennon, Kodjo; Friederici, Angela D; Brauer, Jens

    2016-02-01

    Sentence comprehension requires the integration of both syntactic and semantic information, the acquisition of which seems to have different trajectories in the developing brain. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined the neural correlates underlying syntactic and semantic processing during auditory sentence comprehension as well as its development in preschool children by manipulating case marking and animacy hierarchy cues, respectively. A functional segregation was observed within Broca's area in the left inferior frontal gyrus for adults, where the pars opercularis was involved in syntactic processing and the pars triangularis in semantic processing. By contrast, five-year-old children sensitive to animacy hierarchy cues showed diffuse activation for semantic processing in the left inferior frontal and posterior temporal cortices. While no main effect of case marking was found in the left fronto-temporal language network, children with better syntactic skills showed greater neural responses for syntactically complex sentences, most prominently in the posterior superior temporal cortex. The current study provides both behavioral and neural evidence that five-year-old children compared to adults rely more on semantic information than on syntactic cues during sentence comprehension, but with the development of syntactic abilities, their brain activation in the left fronto-temporal network increases for syntactic processing. PMID:26497266

  6. Preschoolers' brains rely on semantic cues prior to the mastery of syntax during sentence comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Chiao-Yi; Vissiennon, Kodjo; Friederici, Angela D.; Brauer, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Sentence comprehension requires the integration of both syntactic and semantic information, the acquisition of which seems to have different trajectories in the developing brain. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined the neural correlates underlying syntactic and semantic processing during auditory sentence comprehension as well as its development in preschool children by manipulating case marking and animacy hierarchy cues, respectively. A functional segregation was observed within Broca's area in the left inferior frontal gyrus for adults, where the pars opercularis was involved in syntactic processing and the pars triangularis in semantic processing. By contrast, five-year-old children sensitive to animacy hierarchy cues showed diffuse activation for semantic processing in the left inferior frontal and posterior temporal cortices. While no main effect of case marking was found in the left fronto-temporal language network, children with better syntactic skills showed greater neural responses for syntactically complex sentences, most prominently in the posterior superior temporal cortex. The current study provides both behavioral and neural evidence that five-year-old children compared to adults rely more on semantic information than on syntactic cues during sentence comprehension, but with the development of syntactic abilities, their brain activation in the left fronto-temporal network increases for syntactic processing. PMID:26497266

  7. Conceptual Influences on Word Order and Voice in Sentence Production: Evidence from Japanese

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tanaka, Mikihiro N.; Branigan, Holly P.; McLean, Janet F.; Pickering, Martin J.

    2011-01-01

    Two experiments using a sentence recall task tested the effect of animacy on syntactic processing in Japanese sentence production. Experiment 1 and 2 showed that when Japanese native speakers recalled transitive sentences, they were more likely to assign animate entities earlier positions in the sentence than inanimate entities. In addition,…

  8. Representing sentence information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perkins, Walton A., III

    1991-03-01

    This paper describes a computer-oriented representation for sentence information. Whereas many Artificial Intelligence (AI) natural language systems start with a syntactic parse of a sentence into the linguist's components: noun, verb, adjective, preposition, etc., we argue that it is better to parse the input sentence into 'meaning' components: attribute, attribute value, object class, object instance, and relation. AI systems need a representation that will allow rapid storage and retrieval of information and convenient reasoning with that information. The attribute-of-object representation has proven useful for handling information in relational databases (which are well known for their efficiency in storage and retrieval) and for reasoning in knowledge- based systems. On the other hand, the linguist's syntactic representation of the works in sentences has not been shown to be useful for information handling and reasoning. We think it is an unnecessary and misleading intermediate form. Our sentence representation is semantic based in terms of attribute, attribute value, object class, object instance, and relation. Every sentence is segmented into one or more components with the form: 'attribute' of 'object' 'relation' 'attribute value'. Using only one format for all information gives the system simplicity and good performance as a RISC architecture does for hardware. The attribute-of-object representation is not new; it is used extensively in relational databases and knowledge-based systems. However, we will show that it can be used as a meaning representation for natural language sentences with minor extensions. In this paper we describe how a computer system can parse English sentences into this representation and generate English sentences from this representation. Much of this has been tested with computer implementation.

  9. Sentence Production in Students with Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Altmann, Lori J. P.; Lombardino, Linda J.; Puranik, Cynthia

    2008-01-01

    Background: While spoken language deficits have been identified in children with developmental dyslexia, microanalysis of sentence production proficiency in these children is a largely unexplored area. Aims: The current study examines proficiency of syntactic production in children and young adults with dyslexia and typically developing…

  10. Children's Interpretation of Sentence-Internal Anaphora.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deutsch, Werner; Koster, Jan

    The acquisition of two types of anaphora, reflexive and non-reflexive personal pronouns, was investigated. It was hypothesized that the two types of anaphora are acquired at different developmental stages. The three experiments involved Dutch children of age 6 and 7 and adults. Interpretations of sentences containing third person reflexive…

  11. Temporal Dynamics of the Action – Sentence Compatibility Effect

    PubMed Central

    Kaschak, Michael P.; Borreggine, Kristin L.

    2015-01-01

    A number of recent studies have demonstrated variants of the action–sentence compatibility effect (ACE), wherein the execution of a motor response is facilitated by the comprehension of sentences that describe actions taking place in the same direction as the motor response (e.g., a sentence about action towards one’s body facilitates the execution of an arm movement towards the body). This paper presents an experiment that explores how the timing of the motor response during the processing of sentences affects the magnitude of the ACE that is observed. The results show that the ACE occurs when the motor response is executed at an early point in the comprehension of the sentence, disappears for a time, and then reappears when the motor response is executed right before the end of the sentence. These data help to refine our understanding of the temporal dynamics involved in the activation and use of motor information during sentence comprehension. PMID:18470819

  12. Visual Attention During Sentence Verification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lucas, Peter A.

    Eye movement data were collected for 28 college students reading 32 sentences with sentence verification questions. The factors observed were target sentence voice (active/passive), probe voice, and correct response (true/false). Pairs of subjects received the same set of stimuli, but with agents and objects in the sentences reversed. As expected,…

  13. Parafoveal N400 effect during sentence reading.

    PubMed

    Barber, Horacio A; Doñamayor, Nuria; Kutas, Marta; Münte, Thomas

    2010-07-26

    Research has suggested that during reading, parafoveal information pertaining to the next word in a line might be, at least partially, processed. We used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to examine this issue. Volunteers read sentences presented word-by-word at fixation with each word flanked bilaterally on its right by the next word in the sentence and on its left by the preceding word. Infrequently, the right flanker was replaced by a word that was semantically incongruous with the ongoing sentence context. N400 amplitudes to the critical triads were smaller when the right flanker was contextually congruent than incongruent, indicating that parafoveal information was extracted and quickly and incrementally integrated within the evolving sentence representation. PMID:20580772

  14. Parafoveal N400 effect during sentence reading

    PubMed Central

    Barber, Horacio A.; Doñamayor, Nuria; Kutas, Marta; Münte, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    Research has suggested that during reading, parafoveal information pertaining to the next word in a line might be, at least partially, processed. We used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to examine this issue. Volunteers read sentences presented word-by-word at fixation with each word flanked bilaterally on its right by the next word in the sentence and on its left by the preceding word. Infrequently, the right flanker was replaced by a word that was semantically incongruous with the ongoing sentence context. N400 amplitudes to the critical triads were smaller when the right flanker was contextually congruent than incongruent, indicating that parafoveal information was extracted and quickly and incrementally integrated within the evolving sentence representation. PMID:20580772

  15. Do Not Resonate with Actions: Sentence Polarity Modulates Cortico-Spinal Excitability during Action-Related Sentence Reading

    PubMed Central

    Liuzza, Marco Tullio; Candidi, Matteo; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2011-01-01

    Background Theories of embodied language suggest that the motor system is differentially called into action when processing motor-related versus abstract content words or sentences. It has been recently shown that processing negative polarity action-related sentences modulates neural activity of premotor and motor cortices. Methods and Findings We sought to determine whether reading negative polarity sentences brought about differential modulation of cortico-spinal motor excitability depending on processing hand-action related or abstract sentences. Facilitatory paired-pulses Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (pp-TMS) was applied to the primary motor representation of the right-hand and the recorded amplitude of induced motor-evoked potentials (MEP) was used to index M1 activity during passive reading of either hand-action related or abstract content sentences presented in both negative and affirmative polarity. Results showed that the cortico-spinal excitability was affected by sentence polarity only in the hand-action related condition. Indeed, in keeping with previous TMS studies, reading positive polarity, hand action-related sentences suppressed cortico-spinal reactivity. This effect was absent when reading hand action-related negative polarity sentences. Moreover, no modulation of cortico-spinal reactivity was associated with either negative or positive polarity abstract sentences. Conclusions Our results indicate that grammatical cues prompting motor negation reduce the cortico-spinal suppression associated with affirmative action sentences reading and thus suggest that motor simulative processes underlying the embodiment may involve even syntactic features of language. PMID:21347305

  16. Contribution of Implicit Sequence Learning to Spoken Language Processing: Some Preliminary Findings With Hearing Adults

    PubMed Central

    Conway, Christopher M.; Karpicke, Jennifer; Pisoni, David B.

    2013-01-01

    Spoken language consists of a complex, sequentially arrayed signal that contains patterns that can be described in terms of statistical relations among language units. Previous research has suggested that a domain-general ability to learn structured sequential patterns may underlie language acquisition. To test this prediction, we examined the extent to which implicit sequence learning of probabilistically structured patterns in hearing adults is correlated with a spoken sentence perception task under degraded listening conditions. Performance on the sentence perception task was found to be correlated with implicit sequence learning, but only when the sequences were composed of stimuli that were easy to encode verbally. Implicit learning of phonological sequences thus appears to underlie spoken language processing and may indicate a hitherto unexplored cognitive factor that may account for the enormous variability in language outcomes in deaf children with cochlear implants. The present findings highlight the importance of investigating individual differences in specific cognitive abilities as a way to understand and explain language in deaf learners and, in particular, variability in language outcomes following cochlear implantation. PMID:17548805

  17. Early Stages of Sensory Processing, but Not Semantic Integration, Are Altered in Dyslexic Adults

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Patrícia B.; Ueki, Karen; Oliveira, Darlene G.; Boggio, Paulo S.; Macedo, Elizeu C.

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to verify which stages of language processing are impaired in individuals with dyslexia. For this, a visual-auditory crossmodal task with semantic judgment was used. The P100 potentials were chosen, related to visual processing and initial integration, and N400 potentials related to semantic processing. Based on visual-auditory crossmodal studies, it is understood that dyslexic individuals present impairments in the integration of these two types of tasks and impairments in processing spoken and musical auditory information. The present study sought to investigate and compare the performance of 32 adult participants (14 individuals with dyslexia), in semantic processing tasks in two situations with auditory stimuli: sentences and music, with integrated visual stimuli (pictures). From the analysis of the accuracy, both the sentence and the music blocks showed significant effects on the congruency variable, with both groups having higher scores for the incongruent items than for the congruent ones. Furthermore, there was also a group effect when the priming was music, with the dyslexic group showing an inferior performance to the control group, demonstrating greater impairments in processing when the priming was music. Regarding the reaction time variable, a group effect in music and sentence priming was found, with the dyslexic group being slower than the control group. The N400 and P100 components were analyzed. In items with judgment and music priming, a group effect was observed for the amplitude of the P100, with higher means produced by individuals with dyslexia, corroborating the literature that individuals with dyslexia have difficulties in early information processing. A congruency effect was observed in the items with music priming, with greater P100 amplitudes found in incongruous situations. Analyses of the N400 component showed the congruency effect for amplitude in both types of priming, with the mean amplitude for incongruent

  18. Early Stages of Sensory Processing, but Not Semantic Integration, Are Altered in Dyslexic Adults.

    PubMed

    Silva, Patrícia B; Ueki, Karen; Oliveira, Darlene G; Boggio, Paulo S; Macedo, Elizeu C

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to verify which stages of language processing are impaired in individuals with dyslexia. For this, a visual-auditory crossmodal task with semantic judgment was used. The P100 potentials were chosen, related to visual processing and initial integration, and N400 potentials related to semantic processing. Based on visual-auditory crossmodal studies, it is understood that dyslexic individuals present impairments in the integration of these two types of tasks and impairments in processing spoken and musical auditory information. The present study sought to investigate and compare the performance of 32 adult participants (14 individuals with dyslexia), in semantic processing tasks in two situations with auditory stimuli: sentences and music, with integrated visual stimuli (pictures). From the analysis of the accuracy, both the sentence and the music blocks showed significant effects on the congruency variable, with both groups having higher scores for the incongruent items than for the congruent ones. Furthermore, there was also a group effect when the priming was music, with the dyslexic group showing an inferior performance to the control group, demonstrating greater impairments in processing when the priming was music. Regarding the reaction time variable, a group effect in music and sentence priming was found, with the dyslexic group being slower than the control group. The N400 and P100 components were analyzed. In items with judgment and music priming, a group effect was observed for the amplitude of the P100, with higher means produced by individuals with dyslexia, corroborating the literature that individuals with dyslexia have difficulties in early information processing. A congruency effect was observed in the items with music priming, with greater P100 amplitudes found in incongruous situations. Analyses of the N400 component showed the congruency effect for amplitude in both types of priming, with the mean amplitude for incongruent

  19. Healthy Aging and Compensation of Sentence Comprehension Auditory Deficits

    PubMed Central

    Silagi, Marcela Lima; Rabelo, Camila Maia; Schochat, Eliane; Mansur, Letícia Lessa

    2015-01-01

    Objectives. To analyze the effect of aging on sentence auditory comprehension and to study the relationship between this language skill and cognitive functions (attention, working memory, and executive functions). Methods. A total of 90 healthy subjects were divided into three groups: adults (50–59 years), young-old (60–69 years), and old-old (70–80 years). Subjects were assessed using the Revised Token Test. The measures used for performance analysis were number of correct answers (accuracy) and execution time of commands on the different subtests. Results. Regarding accuracy, groups showed similar performance on the first blocks, but the young-old and old-old performed worse than adults on blocks 9 and 10. With respect to execution time, groups differed from block 2 (i.e., the groups differed for all blocks, except for block 1), with the worst performance observed in the old-old group, followed by that of the young-old group. Therefore, the elderly required more time to attain performance similar to that of adults, showing that time measurements are more sensitive for detecting the effects of age. Sentence comprehension ability is correlated with cognitive test performance, especially for global cognition and working memory tests. Conclusions. Healthy aging is characterized by the ability to compensate for difficulties in linguistic processing, which allows the elderly to maintain functional communication. PMID:26605334

  20. Event-Related Brain Potentials Elicited during Word Recognition by Adult Good and Poor Phonological Decoders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Frances Heritage; Kaine, Alison; Kirby, Miriam

    2006-01-01

    Cognitive processing of lexical and sub-lexical stimuli was compared for good and poor adult phonological decoders. Sixteen good decoders and 16 poor decoders, average age 19 years, silently read 150 randomly computer presented sentences ending in incongruous regular, irregular, or nonwords and 100 congruent filler sentences.…

  1. Syntactic Priming During Sentence Comprehension: Evidence for the Lexical Boost

    PubMed Central

    Traxler, Matthew J.; Tooley, Kristen M.; Pickering, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    Syntactic priming occurs when structural information from one sentence influences processing of a subsequently encountered sentence (Bock, 1986; Ledoux et al., 2007). This article reports two eye-tracking experiments investigating the effects of a prime sentence on the processing of a target sentence that shared aspects of syntactic form. The experiments were designed to determine the degree to which lexical overlap between prime and target sentences produced larger effects, comparable to the widely observed ‘lexical boost’ in production experiments (Pickering & Branigan, 1998; Pickering & Ferreira, 2008). The current experiments showed that priming effects during on-line comprehension were in fact larger when a verb was repeated across the prime and target sentences (see also Tooley et al., 2009). The finding of larger priming effects with lexical repetition supports accounts under which syntactic form representations are connected to individual lexical items (e.g., Vosse & Kempen, 2000, 2009; Tomasello, 2003). PMID:24707789

  2. Repeating Words in Sentences: Effects of Sentence Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wheeldon, Linda R.; Smith, Mark C.; Apperly, Ian A.

    2011-01-01

    An online picture description methodology was used to investigate the interaction between lexical and syntactic information in spoken sentence production. In response to arrays of moving pictures, participants generated prepositional sentences, such as "The apple moves towards the dog," as well as coordinate noun phrase sentences, such as "The…

  3. Aging and individual differences in binding during sentence understanding: evidence from temporary and global syntactic attachment ambiguities.

    PubMed

    Payne, Brennan R; Grison, Sarah; Gao, Xuefei; Christianson, Kiel; Morrow, Daniel G; Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A L

    2014-02-01

    We report an investigation of aging and individual differences in binding information during sentence understanding. An age-continuous sample of adults (N=91), ranging from 18 to 81 years of age, read sentences in which a relative clause could be attached high to a head noun NP1, attached low to its modifying prepositional phrase NP2 (e.g., The son of the princess who scratched himself/herself in public was humiliated), or in which the attachment site of the relative clause was ultimately indeterminate (e.g., The maid of the princess who scratched herself in public was humiliated). Word-by-word reading times and comprehension (e.g., who scratched?) were measured. A series of mixed-effects models were fit to the data, revealing: (1) that, on average, NP1-attached sentences were harder to process and comprehend than NP2-attached sentences; (2) that these average effects were independently moderated by verbal working memory capacity and reading experience, with effects that were most pronounced in the oldest participants and; (3) that readers on average did not allocate extra time to resolve global ambiguities, though older adults with higher working memory span did. Findings are discussed in relation to current models of lifespan cognitive development, working memory, language experience, and the role of prosodic segmentation strategies in reading. Collectively, these data suggest that aging brings differences in sentence understanding, and these differences may depend on independent influences of verbal working memory capacity and reading experience. PMID:24291806

  4. Aging and Individual Differences in Binding During Sentence Understanding: Evidence from Temporary and Global Syntactic Attachment Ambiguities

    PubMed Central

    Payne, Brennan R.; Grison, Sarah; Gao, Xuefei; Christianson, Kiel; Morrow, Daniel G.; Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A. L.

    2013-01-01

    We report an investigation of aging and individual differences in binding information during sentence understanding. An age-continuous sample of adults (N = 91), ranging from 18 to 81 years of age, read sentences in which a relative clause could be attached high to a head noun NP1, attached low to its modifying prepositional phrase NP2 (e.g., The son of the princess who scratched himself / herself in public was humiliated), or in which the attachment site of the relative clause was ultimately indeterminate (e.g., The maid of the princess who scratched herself in public was humiliated). Word-by-word reading times and comprehension (e.g., who scratched?) were measured. A series of mixed-effects models were fit to the data, revealing: (1) that, on average, NP1-attached sentences were harder to process and comprehend than NP2-attached sentences; (2) that these average effects were independently moderated by verbal working memory capacity and reading experience, with effects that were most pronounced in the oldest participants and; (3) that readers on average did not allocate extra time to resolve global ambiguities, though older adults with higher working memory span did. Findings are discussed in relation to current models of lifespan cognitive development, working memory, language experience, and the role of prosodic segmentation strategies in reading. Collectively, these data suggest that aging brings differences in sentence understanding, and these differences may depend on independent influences of verbal working memory capacity and reading experience. PMID:24291806

  5. The Role of Broca's Area in Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogalsky, Corianne; Hickok, Gregory

    2011-01-01

    The role of Broca's area in sentence processing has been debated for the last 30 years. A central and still unresolved issue is whether Broca's area plays a specific role in some aspect of syntactic processing (e.g., syntactic movement, hierarchical structure building) or whether it serves a more general function on which sentence processing…

  6. Proficiency and sentence constraint effects on second language word learning.

    PubMed

    Ma, Tengfei; Chen, Baoguo; Lu, Chunming; Dunlap, Susan

    2015-07-01

    This paper presents an experiment that investigated the effects of L2 proficiency and sentence constraint on semantic processing of unknown L2 words (pseudowords). All participants were Chinese native speakers who learned English as a second language. In the experiment, we used a whole sentence presentation paradigm with a delayed semantic relatedness judgment task. Both higher and lower-proficiency L2 learners could make use of the high-constraint sentence context to judge the meaning of novel pseudowords, and higher-proficiency L2 learners outperformed lower-proficiency L2 learners in all conditions. These results demonstrate that both L2 proficiency and sentence constraint affect subsequent word learning among second language learners. We extended L2 word learning into a sentence context, replicated the sentence constraint effects previously found among native speakers, and found proficiency effects in L2 word learning. PMID:26094128

  7. Explaining English Middle Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Park, Kabyong

    2009-01-01

    The current paper attempts to account for the formation of English middle sentences. Discussing a set of previous analyses on the construction under investigation we show, following the assumptions of Oosten(1986) and Iwata(1999), that English middle constructions should be divided into two types: generic middle constructions and non-generic…

  8. Children's on-line processing of scrambling in Japanese.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Takaaki

    2013-04-01

    This study investigates the on-line processing of scrambled sentences in Japanese by preschool children and adults using a combination of self-paced listening and speeded picture selection tasks. The effects of a filler-gap dependency, reversibility, and case markers were examined. The results show that both children and adults had difficulty in comprehending scrambled sentences when they were provided as reversible sentences. The reversibility effect was significant for children, whereas the interaction of reversibility and a filler-gap dependency was significant for adults. However, this does not indicate that children's parsing is fundamentally different from that of adults. For those children who processed the nominative and accusative case markers equally fast, the reactivation of the dislocated constituent was observed in the gap position. These results suggest that children's processing is basically the same as adults' in that their sentence processing is incremental and they parse a gap to form a filler-gap dependency. PMID:22460686

  9. Sentence Combining: A Literature Review.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Sylvia E.

    Sentence combining--a technique of putting strings of sentence kernels together in a variety of ways so that completed sentences possess greater syntactic maturity--is a method offering much promise in the teaching of writing and composition. The purpose of this document is to provide a literature review of this procedure. After defining the term…

  10. Sentence comprehension in Swahili-English bilingual agrammatic speakers.

    PubMed

    Abuom, Tom O; Shah, Emmah; Bastiaanse, Roelien

    2013-05-01

    For this study, sentence comprehension was tested in Swahili-English bilingual agrammatic speakers. The sentences were controlled for four factors: (1) order of the arguments (base vs. derived); (2) embedding (declarative vs. relative sentences); (3) overt use of the relative pronoun "who"; (4) language (English and Swahili). Two theories were tested: the Trace Deletion Hypothesis (TDH; [Grodzinsky, Y. (1995). A restrictive theory of agrammatic comprehension. Brain and Language, 50, 27-51]) that assumes a representational deficit in agrammatic aphasia and the Derived Order Problem Hypothesis (DOP-H; Bastiaanse & Van Zonneveld, 2005), which is a processing account. Both theories have the same predictions for sentences in derived order. The difference is that the TDH predicts chance level performance for sentences in which the arguments are not in base order, whereas the DOP-H predicts poorer performance when processing demands increase. The results show that word order influences performance, in that sentences in which the arguments are in derived order are harder to comprehend than sentences in which the arguments are in base order. However, there is a significant interaction with the factor "embedding": sentences with an embedding are harder to comprehend than simple declaratives and this influence is larger in derived order sentences. There is no effect of language nor of the use of a relative pronoun. These results are correctly accounted for by the DOP-H. PMID:23635336

  11. Beyond Decoding: Phonological Processing during Silent Reading in Beginning Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blythe, Hazel I.; Pagán, Ascensión; Dodd, Megan

    2015-01-01

    In this experiment, the extent to which beginning readers process phonology during lexical identification in silent sentence reading was investigated. The eye movements of children aged seven to nine years and adults were recorded as they read sentences containing either a correctly spelled target word (e.g., girl), a pseudohomophone (e.g., gerl),…

  12. An Evaluation of Two Signal-Processing Hearing Aids.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dempsey, James J.; Linzalone, Tanya G.

    1991-01-01

    This study, involving 15 older adults with hearing impairments, investigated the relationship between sentence recognition ability and two types of signal processing in hearing aids. Results indicated a significant improvement in sentence recognition when employing an instrument with adaptive compression versus an instrument with an adaptive…

  13. Sentence Interpretation in Bilingual Speakers of English and Chinese.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Hua; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Examines patterns of transfer in the sentence processing strategies displayed by Chinese-English and English-Chinese bilinguals. Results indicate that late bilinguals display strong evidence for forward transfer: late Chinese-English bilinguals transfer animacy-based strategies to English sentences; late Chinese-English bilinguals transfer…

  14. Automatic Selection of Suitable Sentences for Language Learning Exercises

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pilán, Ildikó; Volodina, Elena; Johansson, Richard

    2013-01-01

    In our study we investigated second and foreign language (L2) sentence readability, an area little explored so far in the case of several languages, including Swedish. The outcome of our research consists of two methods for sentence selection from native language corpora based on Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML)…

  15. Schematization and Sentence Processing by Foreign Language Learners: A Reading-Time Experiment and a Stimulated-Recall Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tode, Tomoko

    2012-01-01

    This article examines how learners of English as a foreign language process reduced relative clauses (RRCs) from the perspective of usage-based language learning, which posits that language knowledge forms a hierarchy from item-based knowledge consisting only of entrenched frequent exemplars to more advanced schematized knowledge. Twenty-eight…

  16. The Role of the Striatum in Sentence Processing: Evidence from a Priming Study in Early Stages of Huntington's Disease

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teichmann, Marc; Dupoux, Emmanuel; Cesaro, Pierre; Bachoud-Levi, Anne-Catherine

    2008-01-01

    The role of sub-cortical structures such as the striatum in language remains a controversial issue. Based on linguistic claims that language processing implies both recovery of lexical information and application of combinatorial rules it has been shown that striatal damaged patients have difficulties applying conjugation rules while lexical…

  17. The Role of Animacy and Thematic Relationships in Processing Active English Sentences: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuperberg, Gina R.; Kreher, Donna A.; Sitnikova, Tatiana; Caplan, David N.; Holcomb, Phillip J.

    2007-01-01

    Recent event-related potential studies report a P600 effect to incongruous verbs preceded by semantically associated inanimate noun-phrase (NP) arguments, e.g., "eat" in "At breakfast the eggs would eat...". This P600 effect may reflect the processing cost incurred when semantic-thematic relationships between critical verbs and their preceding NP…

  18. Prototypicality in Sentence Production

    PubMed Central

    Onishi, Kristine H.; Murphy, Gregory L.; Bock, Kathryn

    2008-01-01

    Three cued-recall experiments examined the effect of category typicality on the ordering of words in sentence production. Past research has found that typical items tend to be mentioned before atypical items in a phrase—a pattern usually associated with lexical variables (like word frequency), and yet typicality is a conceptual variable. Experiment 1 revealed that an appropriate conceptual framework was necessary to yield the typicality effect. Experiment 2 tested ad-hoc categories that do not have prior representations in long-term memory and yielded no typicality effect. Experiment 3 used carefully matched sentences in which two category members appeared in the same or in different phrases. Typicality affected word order only when the two words appeared in the same phrase. These results are consistent with an account in which typicality has its origin in conceptual structure, which leads to differences in lexical accessibility in appropriate contexts. PMID:17631877

  19. Integration of partial information for spoken and written sentence recognition by older listeners.

    PubMed

    Smith, Kimberly G; Fogerty, Daniel

    2016-06-01

    Older adults have difficulty understanding speech in challenging listening environments. Combining multisensory signals may facilitate speech recognition. This study measured recognition of interrupted spoken and written sentences by older adults for different preserved stimulus proportions. Unimodal performance was first examined when only interrupted text or speech stimuli were presented. Multimodal performance with concurrently presented text and speech stimuli was tested with delayed and simultaneous participant responses. Older listeners performed better in unimodal speech-only compared to text-only conditions across all proportions preserved. Performance was also better in delayed multimodal conditions. Comparison to a younger sample suggests age-related amodal processing declines. PMID:27369179

  20. When Novel Sentences Spoken or Heard for the First Time in the History of the Universe Are Not Enough: Toward a Dual-Process Model of Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Lancker Sidtis, Diana

    2003-01-01

    Although interest in the language sciences was previously focused on newly created sentences, more recently much attention has turned to the importance of formulaic expressions in normal and disordered communication. Also referred to as formulaic expressions and made up of speech formulas, idioms, expletives, serial and memorized speech, slang,…

  1. Effects of Word Frequency and Modality on Sentence Comprehension Impairments in People with Aphasia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeDe, Gayle

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: It is well known that people with aphasia have sentence comprehension impairments. The present study investigated whether lexical factors contribute to sentence comprehension impairments in both the auditory and written modalities using online measures of sentence processing. Method: People with aphasia and non brain-damaged controls…

  2. Socio-Economic Status Affects Sentence Repetition, but Not Non-Word Repetition, in Chilean Preschoolers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balladares, Jaime; Marshall, Chloë; Griffiths, Yvonne

    2016-01-01

    Sentence repetition and non-word repetition tests are widely used measures of language processing which are sensitive to language ability. Surprisingly little previous work has investigated whether children's socio-economic status (SES) affects their sentence and non-word repetition accuracy. This study investigates sentence and non-word…

  3. [TEFREP: repeating sentences Test in France and Quebec. Development, validation and standardization].

    PubMed

    Bourgeois-Marcotte, Josiane; Wilson, Maximiliano A; Forest, Martin; Monetta, Laura

    2015-09-01

    Sentence repetition is part of the assessment tasks used to better characterise aphasic patients' oral production. Moreover, impaired sentence and phrase repetition is a core feature of the logopenic variant of primary progressive aphasia. The aim of this study is to present the TEFREP (TEst Français de RÉpétition de Phrases), a French sentence repetition task that manipulates psycholinguistic variables known to affect the performance of aphasic patients. The final version of the TEFREP consists of 24 sentences in which length, semantic reversibility and type of sentence have been manipulated. The task shows good psychometric properties (validity and reliability). Norms according to age and education level have been developed from a sample of 80 healthy adults and older adults. In conclusion, the TEFREP fulfills the current need for a reliable assessment tool of sentence repetition in Canadian French-speaking populations and contributes to the differential diagnosis of language impairment. PMID:26077947

  4. "The Spotty Cow Tickled the Pig with a Curly Tail": How Do Sentence Position, Preferred Argument Structure, and Referential Complexity Affect Children's and Adults' Choice of Referring Expression?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Theakston, Anna L.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, 5-year-olds and adults described scenes that differed according to whether (a) the subject or object of a transitive verb represented an accessible or inaccessible referent, consistent or inconsistent with patterns of preferred argument structure, and (b) a simple noun was sufficient to uniquely identify an inaccessible referent.…

  5. Sensory Processing in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crane, Laura; Goddard, Lorna; Pring, Linda

    2009-01-01

    Unusual sensory processing has been widely reported in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs); however, the majority of research in this area has focused on children. The present study assessed sensory processing in adults with ASD using the Adult/Adolescent Sensory Profile (AASP), a 60-item self-report questionnaire assessing levels of sensory…

  6. Brain-wave recognition of sentences

    PubMed Central

    Suppes, Patrick; Han, Bing; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    1998-01-01

    Electrical and magnetic brain waves of two subjects were recorded for the purpose of recognizing which one of 12 sentences or seven words auditorily presented was processed. The analysis consisted of averaging over trials to create prototypes and test samples, to each of which a Fourier transform was applied, followed by filtering and an inverse transformation to the time domain. The filters used were optimal predictive filters, selected for each subject. A still further improvement was obtained by taking differences between recordings of two electrodes to obtain bipolar pairs that then were used for the same analysis. Recognition rates, based on a least-squares criterion, varied, but the best were above 90%. The first words of prototypes of sentences also were cut and pasted to test, at least partially, the invariance of a word’s brain wave in different sentence contexts. The best result was above 80% correct recognition. Test samples made up only of individual trials also were analyzed. The best result was 134 correct of 288 (47%), which is promising, given that the expected recognition number by chance is just 24 (or 8.3%). The work reported in this paper extends our earlier work on brain-wave recognition of words only. The recognition rates reported here further strengthen the case that recordings of electric brain waves of words or sentences, together with extensive mathematical and statistical analysis, can be the basis of new developments in our understanding of brain processing of language. PMID:9861061

  7. Children's Processing of Reflexives and Pronouns in English: Evidence from Eye-Movements during Listening

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clackson, Kaili; Felser, Claudia; Clahsen, Harald

    2011-01-01

    This study examined how 6-9 year-old English-speaking children and adults establish anaphoric dependencies during auditory sentence comprehension. Using eye-movement monitoring during listening and a corresponding sentence-picture judgment task, we investigated both the ultimate interpretation and the online processing of reflexives in comparison…

  8. The Misinterpretation of Noncanonical Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferreira, Fernanda

    2003-01-01

    Research on language comprehension has focused on the resolution of syntactic ambiguities, and most studies have employed garden-path sentences to determine the system's preferences and to assess its use of nonsyntactic sources information. A topic that has been neglected is how syntactically challenging but essentially unambiguous sentences are…

  9. Computer Instruction on Sentence Combining.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Humes, Ann

    This description of an interactive instructional computer program in sentence combining for upper elementary and middle school students begins by summarizing the content of the program, which focuses on the instructional technique in which students are given two or more short simple sentences to combine into one longer, complex and/or compound…

  10. Context Effects in Sentence Verification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kiger, John I.; Glass, Arnold L.

    1981-01-01

    Three experiments examined what happens to reaction time to verify easy items when they are mixed with difficult items in a verification task. Subjects verification of simple arithmetic equations and sentences took longer when placed in a difficult list. Difficult sentences also slowed the verification of easy arithmetic equations. (Author/RD)

  11. Effects of Acute Hypoglycemia on Working Memory and Language Processing in Adults With and Without Type 1 Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Kate V.; Pickering, Martin J.; Zammitt, Nicola N.; Hartsuiker, Robert J.; Traxler, Matthew J.; Frier, Brian M.

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To examine the effects of hypoglycemia on language processing in adults with and without type 1 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Forty adults were studied (20 with type 1 diabetes and 20 healthy volunteers) using a hyperinsulinemic glucose clamp to lower blood glucose to 2.5 mmol/L (45 mg/dL) (hypoglycemia) for 60 min, or to maintain blood glucose at 4.5 mmol/L (81 mg/dL) (euglycemia), on separate occasions. Language tests were applied to assess the effects of hypoglycemia on the relationship between working memory and language (reading span), grammatical decoding (self-paced reading), and grammatical encoding (subject-verb agreement). RESULTS Hypoglycemia caused a significant deterioration in reading span (P < 0.001; η2 = 0.37; Cohen d = 0.65) and a fall in correct responses (P = 0.005; η2 = 0.19; Cohen d = 0.41). On the self-paced reading test, the reading time for the first sentence fragment increased during hypoglycemia (P = 0.039; η2 = 0.11; Cohen d = 0.25). For the reading of the next fragment, hypoglycemia affected the healthy volunteer group more than the adults with type 1 diabetes (P = 0.03; η2 = 0.12; Cohen d = 0.25). However, hypoglycemia did not significantly affect the number of errors in sentence comprehension or the time taken to answer questions. Hypoglycemia caused a deterioration of subject-verb agreement (correct responses: P = 0.011; η2 = 0.159; Cohen d = 0.31). CONCLUSIONS Hypoglycemia caused a significant deterioration in reading span and in the accuracy of subject-verb agreement, both of which are practical aspects of language involved in its everyday use. Language processing is therefore impaired during moderate hypoglycemia. PMID:25758768

  12. The interplay between attentional strategies and language processing in high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Koolen, Sophieke; Vissers, Constance Th W M; Hendriks, Angelique W C J; Egger, Jos I M; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2012-05-01

    This study examined the hypothesis of an atypical interaction between attention and language in ASD. A dual-task experiment with three conditions was designed, in which sentences were presented that contained errors requiring attentional focus either at (a) low level, or (b) high level, or (c) both levels of language. Speed and accuracy for error detection were measured from 16 high-functioning adults with ASD, and 16 matched controls. For controls, there was an attentional cost of dual level processing for low level performance but not for high level performance. For participants with ASD, there was an attentional cost both for low level and for high level performance. These results suggest a compensatory strategic use of attention during language processing in ASD. PMID:21691865

  13. Comparative International Adult Education: Product versus Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pont, Anthony Michael

    1983-01-01

    The British educational system, in a society with a well-developed class structure, emphasizes excellence and limits opportunity to a small number. The United States, with a political philosophy of equal opportunity, has a more accessible system. (Availability: Dept. of Adult Education, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506) (SK)

  14. Developmental Sentence Scoring for Japanese (DSSJ)

    PubMed Central

    Miyata, Susanne; MacWhinney, Brian; Otomo, Kiyoshi; Sirai, Hidetosi; Oshima-Takane, Yuriko; Hirakawa, Makiko; Shirai, Yasuhiro; Sugiura, Masatoshi; Itoh, Keiko

    2014-01-01

    This paper reports on the development and use of the Developmental Sentence Scoring for Japanese (DSSJ), a new morpho-syntactical measure for Japanese constructed after the model of the English Developmental Sentence Scoring model (Lee, 1974). Using this measure, we calculated DSSJ scores for 84 children divided into six age groups between 2;8 and 5;2 on the basis of 100-sentence samples collected from free-play child-adult conversations. The analysis showed a high correlation of the DSSJ overall score with the Mean Length of Utterance. The analysis of the DSSJ subarea scores revealed large variations between these subarea scores for children with similar overall DSSJ scores. When investigating the high-scoring children (over 1 SD over group average), most children scored high in three to five subareas, but the combination of scores for these subareas varied from child to child. It is concluded that DSSJ is a valuable tool especially for the language acquisition research. The overall DSSJ score reliably reflects the overall morpho-syntactic development of Japanese children, and the subarea scores provide specific information on individual acquisition patterns. PMID:25414535

  15. Integration of Partial Information within and across Modalities: Contributions to Spoken and Written Sentence Recognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Kimberly G.; Fogerty, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This study evaluated the extent to which partial spoken or written information facilitates sentence recognition under degraded unimodal and multimodal conditions. Method: Twenty young adults with typical hearing completed sentence recognition tasks in unimodal and multimodal conditions across 3 proportions of preservation. In the unimodal…

  16. Adult Learning and the Dissertation Process: An Oxymoron?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawler, Patricia A.

    1993-01-01

    Although many doctoral candidates are adult learners, the dissertation process does not reflect such adult learning concepts as learning style differences, collaboration, empowerment, and reflection. The assumption that there is only one way to do doctoral work and only one type of student that can succeed in it should be challenged. (SK)

  17. Overview of Central Auditory Processing Deficits in Older Adults.

    PubMed

    Atcherson, Samuel R; Nagaraj, Naveen K; Kennett, Sarah E W; Levisee, Meredith

    2015-08-01

    Although there are many reported age-related declines in the human body, the notion that a central auditory processing deficit exists in older adults has not always been clear. Hearing loss and both structural and functional central nervous system changes with advancing age are contributors to how we listen, hear, and process auditory information. Even older adults with normal or near normal hearing sensitivity may exhibit age-related central auditory processing deficits as measured behaviorally and/or electrophysiologically. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of assessment and rehabilitative approaches for central auditory processing deficits in older adults. It is hoped that the outcome of the information presented here will help clinicians with older adult patients who do not exhibit the typical auditory processing behaviors exhibited by others at the same age and with comparable hearing sensitivity all in the absence of other health-related conditions. PMID:27516715

  18. Overview of Central Auditory Processing Deficits in Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Atcherson, Samuel R.; Nagaraj, Naveen K.; Kennett, Sarah E.W.; Levisee, Meredith

    2015-01-01

    Although there are many reported age-related declines in the human body, the notion that a central auditory processing deficit exists in older adults has not always been clear. Hearing loss and both structural and functional central nervous system changes with advancing age are contributors to how we listen, hear, and process auditory information. Even older adults with normal or near normal hearing sensitivity may exhibit age-related central auditory processing deficits as measured behaviorally and/or electrophysiologically. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of assessment and rehabilitative approaches for central auditory processing deficits in older adults. It is hoped that the outcome of the information presented here will help clinicians with older adult patients who do not exhibit the typical auditory processing behaviors exhibited by others at the same age and with comparable hearing sensitivity all in the absence of other health-related conditions. PMID:27516715

  19. Does verbatim sentence recall underestimate the language competence of near-native speakers?

    PubMed Central

    Schweppe, Judith; Barth, Sandra; Ketzer-Nöltge, Almut; Rummer, Ralf

    2015-01-01

    Verbatim sentence recall is widely used to test the language competence of native and non-native speakers since it involves comprehension and production of connected speech. However, we assume that, to maintain surface information, sentence recall relies particularly on attentional resources, which differentially affects native and non-native speakers. Since even in near-natives language processing is less automatized than in native speakers, processing a sentence in a foreign language plus retaining its surface may result in a cognitive overload. We contrasted sentence recall performance of German native speakers with that of highly proficient non-natives. Non-natives recalled the sentences significantly poorer than the natives, but performed equally well on a cloze test. This implies that sentence recall underestimates the language competence of good non-native speakers in mixed groups with native speakers. The findings also suggest that theories of sentence recall need to consider both its linguistic and its attentional aspects. PMID:25698996

  20. Processes for Determining Educational Needs of Adults. Symposium: Adult Education Research Conference (San Antonio, Texas, 1978).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Douglas H.; Dowling, William D.

    Prepared for discussion at an Adult Education Research Conference, this paper offers commentary and summative evaluation of eleven doctoral dissertations on the process of determining educational or training needs of specific adult populations. As context for discussion Joe Ellis' definitions of needs--Felt, Real, and Education--are noted along…

  1. Modality effects in sentence recall.

    PubMed

    Goolkasian, Paula; Foos, Paul W; Eaton, Mirrenda

    2009-04-01

    The authors examined the intrusion of lures into sentence recall when manipulating the modality of distractor-word lists and sentences separately. Participants received a list of words followed by a sentence, and the list did or did not contain a lure related to a target in the sentence. Conceptual regeneration of the sentence during recall predicted higher lure intrusions than spontaneous intrusions in all conditions. However, if surface information is remembered, the modality of sentence and list should influence intrusions. The results from Experiment 1 showed that both factors are important, as intrusions were always higher when lures were contained in the distractor-word list and when visual, rather than auditory, sentences were recalled. The authors also found distractor modality to influence the results. In Experiment 2, when interference from the word probe was reduced by removing 40% of the word probes, the disruptive effect of the auditory distractors was attenuated on the trials without the word probe. Also, the authors found lure intrusions to be dependent on the presence of the word probe. PMID:19350835

  2. Overt sentence production in event-related fMRI.

    PubMed

    Haller, Sven; Radue, E W; Erb, Michael; Grodd, Wolfgang; Kircher, Tilo

    2005-01-01

    The use of syntactic structures on a sentence level is a unique human ability. Functional imaging studies have usually investigated syntax comprehension. However, language production may be performed by different neuronal resources. We have investigated syntax generation on a sentence level with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). BOLD contrast was measured while subjects articulated utterances aloud. In the active condition 'sentence generation' (SG), subjects had to produce subject verb object (SVO) sentences (e.g. "The child throws the ball") according to syntactically incomplete stimuli (e.g. "throw ball child") presented visually. In the control condition 'word reading' (WR), subjects had to read identical stimuli without completing the syntactic structure, while in a second control condition 'sentence reading' (SR), subjects had to read complete sentences. The semantic meaning of all expressions was obvious despite the syntactically incomplete structure in conditions SG and WR. In both contrasts, SG minus WR and SG minus SR, activation was mainly present in the left inferior frontal (BA 44/45) and medial frontal (BA 6) gyri, the superior parietal lobule (BA 7) and the right insula (BA 13). A region of interest analysis revealed significantly stronger left-dominant activation in BA 45 compared to BA 44. Our data illustrates the crucial involvement of the left BA 45 in syntactic encoding and is in line with more recent imaging and brain lesion data on syntax processing on a sentence level, emphasizing the involvement of a distributed left and right hemispheric network in syntax generation. PMID:15721193

  3. Dissociating frontotemporal contributions to semantic ambiguity resolution in spoken sentences.

    PubMed

    Rodd, Jennifer M; Johnsrude, Ingrid S; Davis, Matthew H

    2012-08-01

    Comprehension of sentences containing semantically ambiguous words requires listeners to select appropriate interpretations, maintain linguistic material in working memory, and to reinterpret sentences that have been misinterpreted. All these functions appear to involve frontal cortical regions. Here, we attempt to differentiate these functions by varying the relative timing of an ambiguous word and disambiguating information in spoken sentences. We compare the location, magnitude, and timing of evoked activity using a fast-acquisition semisparse functional magnetic resonance imaging sequence. The left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) shows a strong response to sentences that are initially ambiguous (disambiguated by information that occurs either soon after the ambiguity or that is delayed until the end of the sentence). Response profiles indicate that activity, in both anterior and posterior LIFG regions, is triggered both by the ambiguous word and by the subsequent disambiguating information. The LIFG also responds to ambiguities that are preceded by disambiguating context. These results suggest that the LIFG subserves multiple cognitive processes including selecting an appropriate meaning and reinterpreting sentences that have been misparsed. In contrast, the left inferior temporal gyrus responds to the disambiguating information but not to the ambiguous word itself and may be involved in reprocessing sentences that were initially misinterpreted. PMID:21968566

  4. Markedness Considerations in the Acquisition of Conditional Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berent, Gerald P.

    1985-01-01

    Describes two experiments which assessed the ability of adult second language (L2) learners to produce and comprehend real, unreal, and past unreal English conditional sentences. Developmental differences are analyzed in relation to distinctive features. The analyses lend support to the explanatory power of markedness theory in explaining L2…

  5. Detection of sentence boundaries and abbreviations in clinical narratives

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background In Western languages the period character is highly ambiguous, due to its double role as sentence delimiter and abbreviation marker. This is particularly relevant in clinical free-texts characterized by numerous anomalies in spelling, punctuation, vocabulary and with a high frequency of short forms. Methods The problem is addressed by two binary classifiers for abbreviation and sentence detection. A support vector machine exploiting a linear kernel is trained on different combinations of feature sets for each classification task. Feature relevance ranking is applied to investigate which features are important for the particular task. The methods are applied to German language texts from a medical record system, authored by specialized physicians. Results Two collections of 3,024 text snippets were annotated regarding the role of period characters for training and testing. Cohen's kappa resulted in 0.98. For abbreviation and sentence boundary detection we can report an unweighted micro-averaged F-measure using a 10-fold cross validation of 0.97 for the training set. For test set based evaluation we obtained an unweighted micro-averaged F-measure of 0.95 for abbreviation detection and 0.94 for sentence delineation. Language-dependent resources and rules were found to have less impact on abbreviation detection than on sentence delineation. Conclusions Sentence detection is an important task, which should be performed at the beginning of a text processing pipeline. For the text genre under scrutiny we showed that support vector machines exploiting a linear kernel produce state of the art results for sentence boundary detection. The results are comparable with other sentence boundary detection methods applied to English clinical texts. We identified abbreviation detection as a supportive task for sentence delineation. PMID:26099994

  6. Exploring Methods to Investigate Sentencing Decisions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merrall, Elizabeth L. C.; Dhami, Mandeep K.; Bird, Sheila M.

    2010-01-01

    The determinants of sentencing are of much interest in criminal justice and legal research. Understanding the determinants of sentencing decisions is important for ensuring transparent, consistent, and justifiable sentencing practice that adheres to the goals of sentencing, such as the punishment, rehabilitation, deterrence, and incapacitation of…

  7. The Accentuation of Intransitive Sentences in English.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Faber, David

    1987-01-01

    Discusses the accentuation of two types of sentence in English: (1) straightforward intransitive sentences, and (2) intransitive sentences embedded in the frame "It's just NP noun phrase[ V verb[-ing." Modifications to Gussenhoven's (1983) Sentence Accent Assignment Rule (SAAR) are suggested based on large groups of exceptions of the SAAR.…

  8. Item and relational processing in young and older adults.

    PubMed

    Fisher, L M; McDowd, J M

    1993-03-01

    The item and relational information framework of memory provided a methodology for an analytical approach to age differences in encoding and retrieval processes. Subjects were given related or unrelated words to sort or rate for pleasantness. Young adults performed better than older adults in free recall, but older adults were able to use both item and relational information as well as young adults. In a second experiment, subjects also sorted or rated a list composed of different numbers of category items. The pattern of free recall and cued recall scores indicated that item and relational information affected the memory performance of both age groups in a similar fashion. By examining memory in terms of item and relational information, it appears that older adults do not have difficulty combining two types of target information during encoding and that the information assists in recall of target items. PMID:8473699

  9. Pupillary dynamics reveal computational cost in sentence planning.

    PubMed

    Sevilla, Yamila; Maldonado, Mora; Shalóm, Diego E

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the computational cost associated with grammatical planning in sentence production. We measured people's pupillary responses as they produced spoken descriptions of depicted events. We manipulated the syntactic structure of the target by training subjects to use different types of sentences following a colour cue. The results showed higher increase in pupil size for the production of passive and object dislocated sentences than for active canonical subject-verb-object sentences, indicating that more cognitive effort is associated with more complex noncanonical thematic order. We also manipulated the time at which the cue that triggered structure-building processes was presented. Differential increase in pupil diameter for more complex sentences was shown to rise earlier as the colour cue was presented earlier, suggesting that the observed pupillary changes are due to differential demands in relatively independent structure-building processes during grammatical planning. Task-evoked pupillary responses provide a reliable measure to study the cognitive processes involved in sentence production. PMID:24712982

  10. P600-like positivity and Left Anterior Negativity responses are elicited by semantic reversibility in nonanomalous sentences.

    PubMed

    Meltzer, Jed A; Braun, Allen R

    2013-01-01

    ERPs are commonly elicited by semantic and syntactic violations in sentences, leading to proposals that they reflect neural activity underlying ordinary language comprehension. We examined ERPs in an auditory sentence-picture-matching task, using nonanomalous sentences that were either semantically reversible, (boy pushes girl) or irreversible, (boy eats apple). Timelocked to the end of the critical clause, which occurred in the middle of a longer sentence, we observed an enhanced central-posterior positivity in response to the reversible sentences. The topography of this response is consistent with the P600 potential reported in studies of syntactic anomalies and other manipulations related to sentence structure. Following the end of the sentence, during a memory delay period prior to picture onset, reversible sentences also evoked a protracted anterior negativity, predominantly on the left. This negativity was stronger for sentences containing relative clauses compared to simple active sentences, but did not differ between object-embedded and the less complex subject-embedded clauses. The observation of a P600 occurring selectively in reversible sentences supports the interpretation of that potential as reflecting the syntactic processing of thematic relationships, as irreversible sentences contained alternative cues for thematic roles. The left anterior negativity likely reflects later processes of rehearsal and reanalysis of sentence content in working memory. PMID:24227906

  11. Breathing and affective picture processing across the adult lifespan.

    PubMed

    Gomez, Patrick; Filippou, Dimitra; Pais, Bruno; von Gunten, Armin; Danuser, Brigitta

    2016-09-01

    The present study investigated differences between healthy younger, middle-aged, and older adults in their respiratory responses to pictures of different valence and arousal. Expiratory time shortened and end-tidal PCO2 decreased with increasing arousal in all age groups; yet, compared to younger adults, older adults' overall change from baseline was smaller for expiratory time and larger for end-tidal PCO2. Contrary to their younger counterparts, older adults' inspiratory time did not shorten with increasing arousal. Inspiratory duty cycle did not covary with affective ratings for younger adults, increased with unpleasantness for middle-aged adults, and increased with arousal for older adults. Thoracic breathing increased with increasing unpleasantness only among older adults. Age had no effects on mean inspiratory flow and minute ventilation, which both augmented as arousal increased. We discuss how age effects on respiratory response magnitude and pattern may depend on age-associated biological changes or reflect age-related differences in emotional processing. PMID:27417701

  12. Brain structural correlates of complex sentence comprehension in children

    PubMed Central

    Fengler, Anja; Meyer, Lars; Friederici, Angela D.

    2015-01-01

    Prior structural imaging studies found initial evidence for the link between structural gray matter changes and the development of language performance in children. However, previous studies generally only focused on sentence comprehension. Therefore, little is known about the relationship between structural properties of brain regions relevant to sentence processing and more specific cognitive abilities underlying complex sentence comprehension. In this study, whole-brain magnetic resonance images from 59 children between 5 and 8 years were assessed. Scores on a standardized sentence comprehension test determined grammatical proficiency of our participants. A confirmatory factory analysis corroborated a grammar-relevant and a verbal working memory-relevant factor underlying the measured performance. Voxel-based morphometry of gray matter revealed that while children's ability to assign thematic roles is positively correlated with gray matter probability (GMP) in the left inferior temporal gyrus and the left inferior frontal gyrus, verbal working memory-related performance is positively correlated with GMP in the left parietal operculum extending into the posterior superior temporal gyrus. Since these areas are known to be differentially engaged in adults’ complex sentence processing, our data suggest a specific correspondence between children's GMP in language-relevant brain regions and differential cognitive abilities that guide their sentence comprehension. PMID:26468613

  13. A dual process account of adolescent and adult binge drinking.

    PubMed

    Rooke, Sally E; Hine, Donald W

    2011-04-01

    This study adopted a dual process perspective to investigate the relative contributions of implicit and explicit cognitions to predicting binge drinking in adolescents and adults. Two hundred and seventy-two participants (136 teen-parent pairs) completed measures of alcohol memory associations (reflecting implicit cognition), expectancies about potential costs and benefits of alcohol use (reflecting explicit cognition), and self-reported binge drinking. Adolescents had stronger alcohol memory associations and perceived drinking benefits to be more probable than did adults. In turn, higher scores on the memory association and expected benefit measures were both associated with significantly higher levels of binge drinking. Moderation analyses revealed that alcohol memory associations and expected benefits of drinking were stronger predictors of binge drinking for adolescents than for adults. The findings suggest that both implicit and explicit cognitions may play important roles in alcohol use decisions, and these roles may differ for adolescents and adults. PMID:21195555

  14. Lexical availability and grammatical encoding scope during spoken sentence production.

    PubMed

    Wheeldon, Linda; Ohlson, Natalie; Ashby, Aimee; Gator, Sophie

    2013-08-01

    Three sentence production experiments investigate the relationship between lexical and structural processing scope. Speakers generated sentences with varying phrase structures in response to visual displays (e.g., The dog and the hat move above the fork and the tree/The dog moves above the hat and the fork and the tree). On half of the trials, one of the pictures in the arrays was previewed. Filler sentences varied preview position and sentence structure from trial to trial. When speakers could not anticipate the position of the previewed picture in the upcoming sentence (Experiment 1), preview benefit for pictures corresponding to the second noun to be produced was limited to pictures that fell within the sentence-initial phrase. When the linear position of the previewed picture was predictable, preview benefits were observed for the second noun to be produced, irrespective of phrase position (Experiment 2). However, no preview benefits were observed for the third noun to be produced (Experiment 3). In contrast, significant effects of initial phrase structure were observed in all experiments, with latencies increasing with initial phrase length. The results are consistent with speakers operating a phrasal scope for structural planning within which the scope of lexical access can vary. PMID:23286440

  15. Children’s and adults’ processing of anomaly and implausibility during reading: Evidence from eye movements

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Holly S. S. L.; Liversedge, Simon P.; Blythe, Hazel I.; White, Sarah J.; Gathercole, Susan E.; Rayner, Keith

    2009-01-01

    The eye movements of 24 children and 24 adults were monitored to compare how they read sentences containing plausible, implausible, and anomalous thematic relations. In the implausible condition the incongruity occurred due to the incompatibility of two objects involved in the event denoted by the main verb. In the anomalous condition the direct object of the verb was not a possible verb argument. Adults exhibited immediate disruption with the anomalous sentences as compared to the implausible sentences as indexed by longer gaze durations on the target word. Children exhibited the same pattern of effects as adults as far as the anomalous sentences were concerned, but exhibited delayed effects of implausibility. These data indicate that while children and adults are alike in their basic thematic assignment processes during reading, children may be delayed in the efficiency with which they are able to integrate pragmatic and real-world knowledge into their discourse representation. PMID:17853235

  16. Life-span differences in semantic integration of pictures and sentences in memory.

    PubMed

    Pezdek, K

    1980-09-01

    This study examined life-span developmental differences in spontaneous integration of semantically relevant material presented in pictures and sentences. 45 third graders, 45 sixth graders, 45 high school students, and 30 adults over 60 were presented a sequence of 24 pictures and sentences, followed by 24 intervening items. Each intervening item corresponded to, but was in the opposite modality from, one of the original items and was either semantically relevant or irrelevant to the corresponding original. In a "same-different" recognition test, data suggested that the sixth-grade and high school subjects semantically integrated original items with relevant intervening items that were in the opposite modality and made subsequent recognition responses on the basis of the integrated memory. Third graders and older adults, however, showed no evidence of spontaneous, cross-modality semantic integration. Further, increasing the temporal delay between presenting the to-be-integrated items, from 5 min to 1 day, decreased overall response sensitivity but did not alter the patterns of integration results. The findings are discussed in terms of age differences in the spontaneous use of strategies for effective memory processing, with the extreme age groups processing more formal characteristics of the stimuli in memory, and the middle 2 groups processing deeper, more semantic information. PMID:7418508

  17. Oscillatory Brain Dynamics during Sentence Reading: A Fixation-Related Spectral Perturbation Analysis.

    PubMed

    Vignali, Lorenzo; Himmelstoss, Nicole A; Hawelka, Stefan; Richlan, Fabio; Hutzler, Florian

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated oscillatory brain dynamics during self-paced sentence-level processing. Participants read fully correct sentences, sentences containing a semantic violation and "sentences" in which the order of the words was randomized. At the target word level, fixations on semantically unrelated words elicited a lower-beta band (13-18 Hz) desynchronization. At the sentence level, gamma power (31-55 Hz) increased linearly for syntactically correct sentences, but not when the order of the words was randomized. In the 300-900 ms time window after sentence onsets, theta power (4-7 Hz) was greater for syntactically correct sentences as compared to sentences where no syntactic structure was preserved (random words condition). We interpret our results as conforming with a recently formulated predictive-coding framework for oscillatory neural dynamics during sentence-level language comprehension. Additionally, we discuss how our results relate to previous findings with serial visual presentation vs. self-paced reading. PMID:27199713

  18. Electrophysiological differentiation of phonological and semantic integration in word and sentence contexts

    PubMed Central

    Diaz, Michele T.; Swaab, Tamara Y.

    2006-01-01

    During auditory language comprehension, listeners need to rapidly extract meaning from the continuous speech-stream. It is a matter of debate when and how contextual information constrains the activation of lexical representations in meaningful contexts. Electrophysiological studies of spoken language comprehension have identified an event-related potential (ERP) that was sensitive to phonological properties of speech, which was termed the phonological mismatch negativity (PMN). With the PMN, early lexical processing could potentially be distinguished from processes of semantic integration in spoken language comprehension. However, the sensitivity of the PMN to phonological processing per se has been questioned, and it has additionally been suggested that the “PMN” is not separable from the N400, an ERP that is sensitive to semantic aspects of the input. Here, we investigated whether or not a separable PMN exists and if it reflects purely phonological aspects of the speech input. In the present experiment, ERPs were recorded from healthy young adults (N =24) while they listened to sentences and word lists, in which we manipulated semantic and phonological expectation and congruency of the final word. ERPs sensitive to phonological processing were elicited only when phonological expectancy was violated in lists of words, but not during normal sentential processing. This suggests a differential role of phonological processing in more or less meaningful contexts and indicates a very early influence of the overall context on lexical processing in sentences. PMID:16952338

  19. Engagement with Young Adult Literature: Outcomes and Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ivey, Gay; Johnston, Peter H.

    2013-01-01

    This study examines students' perceptions of the outcomes and processes of engaged reading in classrooms prioritizing engagement through self-selected, self-paced reading of compelling young adult literature. The primary data were 71 end-of-year student interviews, supported by end-of-year teacher interviews, biweekly observational data,…

  20. Sensory Temporal Processing in Adults with Early Hearing Loss

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heming, Joanne E.; Brown, Lenora N.

    2005-01-01

    This study examined tactile and visual temporal processing in adults with early loss of hearing. The tactile task consisted of punctate stimulations that were delivered to one or both hands by a mechanical tactile stimulator. Pairs of light emitting diodes were presented on a display for visual stimulation. Responses consisted of YES or NO…

  1. Vanderbilt Psychotherapy Process Scale: A Replication with Adult Outpatients.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Windholz, Michael J.; Silberschatz, George

    1988-01-01

    Replicated two earlier studies undertaken by the Vanderbilt Psychotherapy Research Group to investigate relation between process and outcome of brief psychotherapy. Rated audiotaped segments of 38 brief psychodynamic psychotherapies with adult outpatients. Found significant correlations between therapist ratings of outcome and two process…

  2. Evidence of Compensatory Processing in Adults with Developmental Language Impairment: Testing the Predictions of the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Poll, Gerard H.; Miller, Carol A.; van Hell, Janet G.

    2015-01-01

    Background The Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH) proposes that individuals with primary developmental language impairment (DLI) have a deficient procedural memory, compromising their syntactic abilities. Individuals with DLI may compensate for procedural memory deficits by engaging declarative memory for syntactic tasks. Arguments are part of the lexicon whereas adjuncts rely on syntactic processing. As a result, individuals with DLI may have unusual difficulty processing adjuncts. Alternatively, processing for adjuncts may be typical for individuals with DLI but show frequency effects, indicating compensatory use of declarative memory. Aims Our goal was to test the predictions of the PDH by comparing argument and adjunct processing times for adults with and without DLI, and to seek evidence of compensatory use of declarative memory for adjunct processing. We further evaluated group performance on measures of visual procedural and declarative memory. Methods & Procedures Forty-four adults, 21 with DLI, completed a self-paced listening task, a procedural memory task, and a declarative memory task. The self-paced listening task tracked the word-by-word processing time for sentences that included prepositional phrases acting as arguments or adjuncts. We used regression analysis to determine effects of group membership and argument or adjunct status on processing times. Correlation analyses evaluated relationships between argument and adjunct frequency on processing times by group. Results & Outcomes We found no effect of group membership on the processing time for arguments and adjuncts in the self-paced listening task. Argument phrases were processed more easily by both groups. There were frequency effects for adjunct processing for the group with DLI, but not the group with typical language. We did not find the expected frequency effects for argument processing. The group with DLI also performed more poorly in both the procedural and declarative memory tasks

  3. Improving Writing with Sentence Combining Exercises.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nutter, Norma; Safran, Joan

    1984-01-01

    Sentence-combining exercises, which require students to combine simple sentences in any way they wish, have helped learning disabled elementary children improve skills in writing, reading, and spelling. The exercises are flexible, motivating, and simple to design. (CL)

  4. Predicting sentencing for low-level crimes: comparing models of human judgment.

    PubMed

    von Helversen, Bettina; Rieskamp, Jörg

    2009-12-01

    Laws and guidelines regulating legal decision making are often imposed without taking the cognitive processes of the legal decision maker into account. In the case of sentencing, this raises the question of whether the sentencing decisions of prosecutors and judges are consistent with legal policy. Especially in handling low-level crimes, legal personnel suffer from high case loads and time pressure, which can make it difficult to comply with the often complex rulings of the law. To understand the cognitive processes underlying sentencing decisions, an analysis of trial records in cases of larceny, fraud, and forgery was conducted. Applying a Bayesian approach, five models of human judgment were tested against each other to predict the sentencing recommendations of the prosecution and to identify the crucial factors influencing sentencing decisions. The factors influencing sentencing were broadly consistent with the penal code. However, the prosecutors considered only a limited number of factors and neglected factors that were legally relevant and rated as highly important. Furthermore, testing the various cognitive judgment models against each other revealed that the sentencing process was apparently not consistent with the judgment policy recommended by the legal literature. Instead, the results show that prosecutors' sentencing recommendations were best described by the mapping model, a heuristic model of quantitative estimation. According to this model, sentencing recommendations rely on a categorization of cases based on the cases' characteristics. PMID:20025422

  5. 77 FR 31071 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-24

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts AGENCY: United States Sentencing Commission. ACTION.... ADDRESSES: Send applications to: United States Sentencing Commission, One Columbus Circle NE., Suite...

  6. Subjectless Sentences in Child Danish.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamann, Cornelia; Plunkett, Kim

    1998-01-01

    Examined data for two Danish children to determine subject omission, verb usage, and sentence subjects. Found that children exhibit asymmetry in subject omission according to verb type as subjects are omitted from main verb utterances more frequently than from copula utterances. Concluded that treatment of child subject omission should involve…

  7. Sentence Combining: A Rhetorical Perspective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daiker, Donald A., Ed.; And Others

    The 23 original essays on sentence combining in this volume range in focus from classroom methodology and effectiveness, through theoretical issues and syntactic constructions, to current issues in the field. The essays and their authors are as follows: (1) "The Role of the Elaborated Dominant Nominal in the Measurement of Conceptual and Syntactic…

  8. Acceptable Ungrammaticality in Sentence Matching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duffield, Nigel; Matsuo, Ayumi; Roberts, Leah

    2007-01-01

    This article presents a new set of experiments using the "sentence-matching paradigm" (Forster, 1979; Freedman and Forster, 1985; see also Bley-Vroman and Masterson, 1989), investigating native speakers' and second language (L2) learners' knowledge of constraints on clitic placement in French. Our purpose is three-fold: (1) to shed more light on…

  9. Sentence Analysis in Modern Malay.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, M. Blanche

    The author suggest that this book, written primarily as a working textbook for second-year university students reading Malay, may also be used by those "interested in the application of a formal grammatical framework to the sentences of a language which belongs to the Austronesian family." Basing her analysis on the principles of structural…

  10. 32 CFR 16.3 - Available sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... Available sentences. (a) General. 32 CFR part 9 permits a military commission wide latitude in sentencing... prerequisites detailed in 32 CFR part 9 are met. Detention associated with an individual's status as an enemy... person making a final decision on the sentence in accordance with of 32 CFR 9.6(h). (c)...

  11. 32 CFR 16.3 - Available sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... Available sentences. (a) General. 32 CFR part 9 permits a military commission wide latitude in sentencing... prerequisites detailed in 32 CFR part 9 are met. Detention associated with an individual's status as an enemy... person making a final decision on the sentence in accordance with of 32 CFR 9.6(h). (c)...

  12. Generic Sentences in English and French.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herschensohn, Julia

    Previous accounts of "generic" have been either too broad in including several sentence types as generic, or too narrow in limiting the definition of generic to the noun or verb alone. This research critically examines data and previous treatments of the generic verb, generic noun, and generic sentence. Because every generic sentence may also have…

  13. 32 CFR 16.3 - Available sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... Available sentences. (a) General. 32 CFR part 9 permits a military commission wide latitude in sentencing... prerequisites detailed in 32 CFR part 9 are met. Detention associated with an individual's status as an enemy... person making a final decision on the sentence in accordance with of 32 CFR 9.6(h). (c)...

  14. Sentencing Outcomes of Convicted Child Sex Offenders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patrick, Steven; Marsh, Robert

    2011-01-01

    This research examines the sentencing outcomes of convicted child sexual offenders from data collected over an eight year period. Multiple regression and nominal log linear regression are used to examine length of prison sentence, length of probation sentence, and whether the convicted offender is actually sent to prison or to probation. While…

  15. The Truth Before and After: Brain Potentials Reveal Automatic Activation of Event Knowledge during Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    Nieuwland, Mante S

    2015-11-01

    How does knowledge of real-world events shape our understanding of incoming language? Do temporal terms like "before" and "after" impact the online recruitment of real-world event knowledge? These questions were addressed in two ERP experiments, wherein participants read sentences that started with "before" or "after" and contained a critical word that rendered each sentence true or false (e.g., "Before/After the global economic crisis, securing a mortgage was easy/harder"). The critical words were matched on predictability, rated truth value, and semantic relatedness to the words in the sentence. Regardless of whether participants explicitly verified the sentences or not, false-after-sentences elicited larger N400s than true-after-sentences, consistent with the well-established finding that semantic retrieval of concepts is facilitated when they are consistent with real-world knowledge. However, although the truth judgments did not differ between before- and after-sentences, no such sentence N400 truth value effect occurred in before-sentences, whereas false-before-sentences elicited an enhanced subsequent positive ERPs. The temporal term "before" itself elicited more negative ERPs at central electrode channels than "after." These patterns of results show that, irrespective of ultimate sentence truth value judgments, semantic retrieval of concepts is momentarily facilitated when they are consistent with the known event outcome compared to when they are not. However, this inappropriate facilitation incurs later processing costs as reflected in the subsequent positive ERP deflections. The results suggest that automatic activation of event knowledge can impede the incremental semantic processes required to establish sentence truth value. PMID:26244719

  16. Examining the N400m in affectively negative sentences: A magnetoencephalography study.

    PubMed

    Parkes, Linden; Perry, Conrad; Goodin, Peter

    2016-05-01

    Magnetoencephalography was used to examine the effect on the N400m of reading words that create emotional violations in sentences. The beginnings of the sentences were affectively negative and were completed with either a negative congruous, positive incongruous, or neutral incongruous adjective (e.g., "My mother was killed and I felt bad/great/normal"). The task conditions were also manipulated to favor semantic over affective processing. Compared to the sentences with the congruous negative adjectives, the results of sensor space analysis showed that there was an N400m effect with the sentences with the neutral but not positive adjectives, despite both types of sentences containing an emotional violation. Source localization results showed a similar pattern where the sentences with the incongruous positive versus congruous negative adjectives showed no significant N400m effect in the temporal and frontal areas examined, but the sentences with the incongruous neutral versus incongruous positive adjectives in the temporal areas did, particularly the left middle temporal gyrus. These results suggest that (a) the N400m effect was likely to be caused by the incongruous neutral adjectives being comparatively harder to integrate into a negative emotional context than the incongruous positive ones, (b) emotional context created by the negative sentence stems caused deeper semantic processing of the incongruous positive adjectives to be bypassed, and (c) negative affective context was generated from reading the sentences even in task conditions where it has not been generated with isolated words. PMID:26787447

  17. The neural basis of reversible sentence comprehension: Evidence from voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping in aphasia

    PubMed Central

    Thothathiri, Malathi; Kimberg, Daniel Y.; Schwartz, Myrna F.

    2012-01-01

    We explored the neural basis of reversible sentence comprehension in a large group of aphasic patients (N=79). Voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping revealed a significant association between damage in temporoparietal cortex and impaired sentence comprehension. This association remained after we controlled for phonological working memory. We hypothesize that this region plays an important role in the thematic or what-where processing of sentences. In contrast, we detected weak or no association between reversible sentence comprehension and the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, which includes Broca’s area, even for syntactically complex sentences. This casts doubt on theories that presuppose a critical role for this region in syntactic computations. PMID:21861679

  18. Structural Priming and Frequency Effects Interact in Chinese Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    Wei, Hang; Dong, Yanping; Boland, Julie E; Yuan, Fang

    2016-01-01

    Previous research in several European languages has shown that the language processing system is sensitive to both structural frequency and structural priming effects. However, it is currently not clear whether these two types of effects interact during online sentence comprehension, especially for languages that do not have morphological markings. To explore this issue, the present study investigated the possible interplay between structural priming and frequency effects for sentences containing the Chinese ambiguous construction V NP1 de NP2 in a self-paced reading experiment. The sentences were disambiguated to either the more frequent/preferred NP structure or the less frequent VP structure. Each target sentence was preceded by a prime sentence of three possible types: NP primes, VP primes, and neutral primes. When the ambiguous construction V NP1 de NP2 was disambiguated to the dispreferred VP structure, participants experienced more processing difficulty following an NP prime relative to following a VP prime or a neutral baseline. When the ambiguity was resolved to the preferred NP structure, prime type had no effect. These results suggest that structural priming in comprehension is modulated by the baseline frequency of alternative structures, with the less frequent structure being more subject to structural priming effects. These results are discussed in the context of the error-based, implicit learning account of structural priming. PMID:26869954

  19. Structural Priming and Frequency Effects Interact in Chinese Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Hang; Dong, Yanping; Boland, Julie E.; Yuan, Fang

    2016-01-01

    Previous research in several European languages has shown that the language processing system is sensitive to both structural frequency and structural priming effects. However, it is currently not clear whether these two types of effects interact during online sentence comprehension, especially for languages that do not have morphological markings. To explore this issue, the present study investigated the possible interplay between structural priming and frequency effects for sentences containing the Chinese ambiguous construction V NP1 de NP2 in a self-paced reading experiment. The sentences were disambiguated to either the more frequent/preferred NP structure or the less frequent VP structure. Each target sentence was preceded by a prime sentence of three possible types: NP primes, VP primes, and neutral primes. When the ambiguous construction V NP1 de NP2 was disambiguated to the dispreferred VP structure, participants experienced more processing difficulty following an NP prime relative to following a VP prime or a neutral baseline. When the ambiguity was resolved to the preferred NP structure, prime type had no effect. These results suggest that structural priming in comprehension is modulated by the baseline frequency of alternative structures, with the less frequent structure being more subject to structural priming effects. These results are discussed in the context of the error-based, implicit learning account of structural priming. PMID:26869954

  20. Computational principles of working memory in sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Richard L; Vasishth, Shravan; Van Dyke, Julie A

    2006-10-01

    Understanding a sentence requires a working memory of the partial products of comprehension, so that linguistic relations between temporally distal parts of the sentence can be rapidly computed. We describe an emerging theoretical framework for this working memory system that incorporates several independently motivated principles of memory: a sharply limited attentional focus, rapid retrieval of item (but not order) information subject to interference from similar items, and activation decay (forgetting over time). A computational model embodying these principles provides an explanation of the functional capacities and severe limitations of human processing, as well as accounts of reading times. The broad implication is that the detailed nature of cross-linguistic sentence processing emerges from the interaction of general principles of human memory with the specialized task of language comprehension. PMID:16949330

  1. Bilinguals Show Weaker Lexical Access during Spoken Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shook, Anthony; Goldrick, Matthew; Engstler, Caroline; Marian, Viorica

    2015-01-01

    When bilinguals process written language, they show delays in accessing lexical items relative to monolinguals. The present study investigated whether this effect extended to spoken language comprehension, examining the processing of sentences with either low or high semantic constraint in both first and second languages. English-German…

  2. Children Do Not Overcome Lexical Biases Where Adults Do: The Role of the Referential Scene in Garden-Path Recovery

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kidd, Evan; Stewart, Andrew J.; Serratrice, Ludovica

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we report on a visual world eye-tracking experiment that investigated the differing abilities of adults and children to use referential scene information during reanalysis to overcome lexical biases during sentence processing. The results showed that adults incorporated aspects of the referential scene into their parse as soon as it…

  3. Does the Information Content of an Irrelevant Source Differentially Affect Spoken Word Recognition in Younger and Older Adults?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Liang; Daneman, Meredyth; Qi, James G.; Schneider, Bruce A.

    2004-01-01

    To determine whether older adults find it difficult to inhibit the processing of irrelevant speech, the authors asked younger and older adults to listen to and repeat meaningless sentences (e.g., "A rose could paint a fish") when the perceived location of the masker (speech or noise) but not the target was manipulated. Separating the perceived…

  4. Effects of Word Frequency and Modality on Sentence Comprehension Impairments in People with Aphasia

    PubMed Central

    DeDe, Gayle

    2014-01-01

    Purpose It is well known that people with aphasia have sentence comprehension impairments. The present study investigated whether lexical factors contribute to sentence comprehension impairments in both the auditory and written modalities using on-line measures of sentence processing. Methods People with aphasia and non-brain-damaged controls participated in the experiment (n=8 per group). Twenty-one sentence pairs containing high and low frequency words were presented in self-paced listening and reading tasks. The sentences were syntactically simple and differed only in the critical words. The dependent variables were response times for critical segments of the sentence and accuracy on the comprehension questions. Results The results showed that word frequency influences performance on measures of sentence comprehension in people with aphasia. The accuracy data on the comprehension questions suggested that people with aphasia have more difficulty understanding sentences containing low frequency words in the written compared to auditory modality. Both group and single case analyses of the response time data also pointed to more difficulty with reading than listening. Conclusions The results show that sentence comprehension in people with aphasia is influenced by word frequency and presentation modality. PMID:22294411

  5. Oscillatory Brain Dynamics during Sentence Reading: A Fixation-Related Spectral Perturbation Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Vignali, Lorenzo; Himmelstoss, Nicole A.; Hawelka, Stefan; Richlan, Fabio; Hutzler, Florian

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated oscillatory brain dynamics during self-paced sentence-level processing. Participants read fully correct sentences, sentences containing a semantic violation and “sentences” in which the order of the words was randomized. At the target word level, fixations on semantically unrelated words elicited a lower-beta band (13–18 Hz) desynchronization. At the sentence level, gamma power (31–55 Hz) increased linearly for syntactically correct sentences, but not when the order of the words was randomized. In the 300–900 ms time window after sentence onsets, theta power (4–7 Hz) was greater for syntactically correct sentences as compared to sentences where no syntactic structure was preserved (random words condition). We interpret our results as conforming with a recently formulated predictive-coding framework for oscillatory neural dynamics during sentence-level language comprehension. Additionally, we discuss how our results relate to previous findings with serial visual presentation vs. self-paced reading. PMID:27199713

  6. Information structure expectations in sentence comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Carlson, Katy; Dickey, Michael Walsh; Frazier, Lyn; Clifton, Charles

    2009-01-01

    In English, new information typically appears late in the sentence, as does primary accent. Because of this tendency, perceivers might expect the final constituent or constituents of a sentence to contain informational focus. This expectation should in turn affect how they comprehend focus-sensitive constructions such as ellipsis sentences. Results from four experiments on sluicing sentences (e.g., The mobster implicated the thug, but we can’t find out who else) suggest that perceivers do prefer to place focus late in the sentence, though that preference can be mitigated by prosodic information (pitch accents, Experiment 2) or syntactic information (clefted sentences, Experiment 3) indicating that focus is located elsewhere. Furthermore, it is not necessarily the direct object, but the informationally-focused constituent that is the preferred antecedent (Experiment 4). Expectations regarding the information structure of a sentence, which are only partly cancelable by means of overt focus markers, may explain persistent biases in ellipsis resolution. PMID:18609404

  7. Children's On-Line Processing of Scrambling in Japanese

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suzuki, Takaaki

    2013-01-01

    This study investigates the on-line processing of scrambled sentences in Japanese by preschool children and adults using a combination of self-paced listening and speeded picture selection tasks. The effects of a filler-gap dependency, reversibility, and case markers were examined. The results show that both children and adults had difficulty in…

  8. Establishing causal coherence across sentences: an ERP study

    PubMed Central

    Kuperberg, Gina R.; Paczynski, Martin; Ditman, Tali

    2011-01-01

    This study examined neural activity associated with establishing causal relationships across sentences during online comprehension. ERPs were measured while participants read and judged the relatedness of three-sentence scenarios in which the final sentence was highly causally related, intermediately related and causally unrelated to its context. Lexico-semantic co-occurrence was matched across the three conditions using a Latent Semantic Analysis. Critical words in causally unrelated scenarios evoked a larger N400 than words in both highly causally related and intermediately related scenarios, regardless of whether they appeared before or at the sentence-final position. At midline sites, the N400 to intermediately related sentence-final words was attenuated to the same degree as to highly causally related words, but otherwise the N400 to intermediately related words fell in between that evoked by highly causally related and intermediately related words. No modulation of the Late Positivity/P600 component was observed across conditions. These results indicate that both simple and complex causal inferences can influence the earliest stages of semantically processing an incoming word. Further, they suggest that causal coherence, at the situation level, can influence incremental word-by-word discourse comprehension, even when semantic relationships between individual words are matched. PMID:20175676

  9. 32 CFR 720.13 - Request for delivery of members serving sentence of a State court.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 5 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Request for delivery of members serving sentence... OF THE NAVY PERSONNEL DELIVERY OF PERSONNEL; SERVICE OF PROCESS AND SUBPOENAS; PRODUCTION OF OFFICIAL RECORDS Delivery of Personnel § 720.13 Request for delivery of members serving sentence of a State...

  10. 32 CFR 720.13 - Request for delivery of members serving sentence of a State court.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 5 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Request for delivery of members serving sentence... OF THE NAVY PERSONNEL DELIVERY OF PERSONNEL; SERVICE OF PROCESS AND SUBPOENAS; PRODUCTION OF OFFICIAL RECORDS Delivery of Personnel § 720.13 Request for delivery of members serving sentence of a State...

  11. 32 CFR 720.13 - Request for delivery of members serving sentence of a State court.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 5 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Request for delivery of members serving sentence... OF THE NAVY PERSONNEL DELIVERY OF PERSONNEL; SERVICE OF PROCESS AND SUBPOENAS; PRODUCTION OF OFFICIAL RECORDS Delivery of Personnel § 720.13 Request for delivery of members serving sentence of a State...

  12. 32 CFR 720.13 - Request for delivery of members serving sentence of a State court.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 32 National Defense 5 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Request for delivery of members serving sentence... OF THE NAVY PERSONNEL DELIVERY OF PERSONNEL; SERVICE OF PROCESS AND SUBPOENAS; PRODUCTION OF OFFICIAL RECORDS Delivery of Personnel § 720.13 Request for delivery of members serving sentence of a State...

  13. Predicting Sentencing for Low-Level Crimes: Comparing Models of Human Judgment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    von Helversen, Bettina; Rieskamp, Jorg

    2009-01-01

    Laws and guidelines regulating legal decision making are often imposed without taking the cognitive processes of the legal decision maker into account. In the case of sentencing, this raises the question of whether the sentencing decisions of prosecutors and judges are consistent with legal policy. Especially in handling low-level crimes, legal…

  14. Word Misperception, the Neighbor Frequency Effect, and the Role of Sentence Context: Evidence from Eye Movements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slattery, Timothy J.

    2009-01-01

    An eye movement experiment was conducted to investigate whether the processing of a word can be affected by its higher frequency neighbor (HFN). Target words with an HFN (birch) or without one (spruce) were embedded into 2 types of sentence frames: 1 in which the HFN (birth) could fit given the prior sentence context, and 1 in which it could not.…

  15. Lexical or Syntactic Control of Sentence Formulation? Structural Generalizations from Idiom Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Konopka, Agnieszka E; Bock, Kathryn

    2009-01-01

    To compare abstract structural and lexicalist accounts of syntactic processes in sentence formulation, we examined the effectiveness of nonidiomatic and idiomatic phrasal verbs in inducing structural generalizations. Three experiments made use of a syntactic priming paradigm in which participants recalled sentences they had read in rapid serial…

  16. Lingering Effects of Disfluent Material on Comprehension of Garden Path Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lau, Ellen F.; Ferreira, Fernanda

    2005-01-01

    In two experiments, we tested for lingering effects of "verb replacement" disfluencies on the processing of garden path sentences that exhibit the main verb/reduced relative (MV/RR) ambiguity. Participants heard sentences with revisions like "The little girl chosen, uh, selected for the role celebrated with her parents and friends". We found that…

  17. Inadequate and Infrequent Are Not Alike: ERPs to Deviant Prosodic Patterns in Spoken Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mietz, Anja; Toepel, Ulrike; Ischebeck, Anja; Alter, Kai

    2008-01-01

    The current study on German investigates Event-Related brain Potentials (ERPs) for the perception of sentences with intonations which are infrequent (i.e. vocatives) or inadequate in daily conversation. These ERPs are compared to the processing correlates for sentences in which the syntax-to-prosody relations are congruent and used frequently…

  18. Teen Court Referral, Sentencing, and Subsequent Recidivism: Two Proportional Hazards Models and a Little Speculation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rasmussen, Andrew

    2004-01-01

    This study extends literature on recidivism after teen court to add system-level variables to demographic and sentence content as relevant covariates. Interviews with referral agents and survival analysis with proportional hazards regression supplement quantitative models that include demographic, sentencing, and case-processing variables in a…

  19. Children and adults integrate talker and verb information in online processing.

    PubMed Central

    Borovsky, Arielle; Creel, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    Children seem able to efficiently interpret a variety of linguistic cues during speech comprehension, yet have difficulty interpreting sources of non-linguistic and paralinguistic information that accompany speech. The current study asked whether (paralinguistic) voice-activated role knowledge is rapidly interpreted in coordination with a linguistic cue (a sentential action) during speech comprehension in an eye-tracked sentence comprehension task with children (aged 3-10) and college-aged adults. Participants were initially familiarized with two talkers who identified their respective roles (e.g. PRINCESS and PIRATE) before hearing a previously-introduced talker name an action and object (“I want to hold the sword,” in the pirate's voice). As the sentence was spoken, eye-movements were recorded to four objects that varied in relationship to the sentential talker and action (Target: SWORD, Talker-Related: SHIP, Action-Related: WAND, and Unrelated: CARRIAGE). The task was to select the named image. Even young child listeners rapidly combined inferences about talker identity with the action, allowing them to fixate on the Target before it was mentioned, although there were developmental and vocabulary differences on this task. Results suggest that children, like adults, store real-world knowledge of a talker's role and actively use this information to interpret speech. PMID:24611671

  20. Children and adults integrate talker and verb information in online processing.

    PubMed

    Borovsky, Arielle; Creel, Sarah C

    2014-05-01

    Children seem able to efficiently interpret a variety of linguistic cues during speech comprehension, yet have difficulty interpreting sources of nonlinguistic and paralinguistic information that accompany speech. The current study asked whether (paralinguistic) voice-activated role knowledge is rapidly interpreted in coordination with a linguistic cue (a sentential action) during speech comprehension in an eye-tracked sentence comprehension task with children (ages 3-10 years) and college-aged adults. Participants were initially familiarized with 2 talkers who identified their respective roles (e.g., PRINCESS and PIRATE) before hearing a previously introduced talker name an action and object ("I want to hold the sword," in the pirate's voice). As the sentence was spoken, eye movements were recorded to 4 objects that varied in relationship to the sentential talker and action (target: SWORD, talker-related: SHIP, action-related: WAND, and unrelated: CARRIAGE). The task was to select the named image. Even young child listeners rapidly combined inferences about talker identity with the action, allowing them to fixate on the target before it was mentioned, although there were developmental and vocabulary differences on this task. Results suggest that children, like adults, store real-world knowledge of a talker's role and actively use this information to interpret speech. PMID:24611671

  1. Sentence-Level Attachment Prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albakour, M.-Dyaa; Kruschwitz, Udo; Lucas, Simon

    Attachment prediction is the task of automatically identifying email messages that should contain an attachment. This can be useful to tackle the problem of sending out emails but forgetting to include the relevant attachment (something that happens all too often). A common Information Retrieval (IR) approach in analyzing documents such as emails is to treat the entire document as a bag of words. Here we propose a finer-grained analysis to address the problem. We aim at identifying individual sentences within an email that refer to an attachment. If we detect any such sentence, we predict that the email should have an attachment. Using part of the Enron corpus for evaluation we find that our finer-grained approach outperforms previously reported document-level attachment prediction in similar evaluation settings.

  2. Beyond decoding: phonological processing during silent reading in beginning readers.

    PubMed

    Blythe, Hazel I; Pagán, Ascensión; Dodd, Megan

    2015-07-01

    In this experiment, the extent to which beginning readers process phonology during lexical identification in silent sentence reading was investigated. The eye movements of children aged seven to nine years and adults were recorded as they read sentences containing either a correctly spelled target word (e.g., girl), a pseudohomophone (e.g., gerl), or a spelling control (e.g., garl). Both children and adults showed a benefit from the valid phonology of the pseudohomophone, compared to the spelling control during reading. This indicates that children as young as seven years old exhibit relatively skilled phonological processing during reading, despite having moved past the use of overt phonological decoding strategies. In addition, in comparison to adults, children's lexical processing was more disrupted by the presence of spelling errors, suggesting a developmental change in the relative dependence upon phonological and orthographic processing in lexical identification during silent sentence reading. PMID:25528096

  3. Age and sensory processing abnormalities predict declines in encoding and recall of temporally manipulated speech in high-functioning adults with ASD.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Jennifer L; Heaton, Pamela F

    2014-02-01

    While temporal and perceptual processing abnormalities, identified in a number of electrophysiological and brain imaging studies of individuals with (ASD), are likely to impact on speech perception, surprisingly little is known about the behavioral outcomes of such abnormalities. It has been hypothesized that rapid temporal processing deficits may be linked to impaired language development through interference with acoustic information during speech perception. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of temporal changes on encoding and recall of speech, and the associated cognitive, clinical, and behavioral correlates in adults with ASD. Research carried out with typically developing (TD) adults has shown that word recall diminishes as the speed of speech increases, and it was predicted that the magnitude of this effect would be far greater in those with ASD because of a preexisting rapid temporal processing deficit. Nineteen high-functioning adults with ASD, and age- and intelligence-matched TD controls performed verbatim recall of temporally manipulated sentences. Reduced levels of word recall in response to increases in presentation speed were observed, and this effect was greater in the older participants in the ASD group than in the control group. This is the first study to show that both sensory abnormalities and aging impact on speech encoding in ASD. Auditory processing deficits in ASD may be indicative of an association with the sensory abnormalities and social and communication impairments characterizing the disorder. PMID:24106132

  4. Second Language Processing in Reading and Translation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lim, Jung Hyun

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the processing mechanisms of non-native English speakers at both the sentence level and the morphological level, addressing the issue of whether adult second language (L2) learners qualitatively differ from native speakers in processing linguistic input. Using psycholinguistic on-line techniques…

  5. Sentence alignment using feed forward neural network.

    PubMed

    Fattah, Mohamed Abdel; Ren, Fuji; Kuroiwa, Shingo

    2006-12-01

    Parallel corpora have become an essential resource for work in multi lingual natural language processing. However, sentence aligned parallel corpora are more efficient than non-aligned parallel corpora for cross language information retrieval and machine translation applications. In this paper, we present a new approach to align sentences in bilingual parallel corpora based on feed forward neural network classifier. A feature parameter vector is extracted from the text pair under consideration. This vector contains text features such as length, punctuate score, and cognate score values. A set of manually prepared training data has been assigned to train the feed forward neural network. Another set of data was used for testing. Using this new approach, we could achieve an error reduction of 60% over length based approach when applied on English-Arabic parallel documents. Moreover this new approach is valid for any language pair and it is quite flexible approach since the feature parameter vector may contain more/less or different features than that we used in our system such as lexical match feature. PMID:17285688

  6. Neural Processing of Emotional Prosody across the Adult Lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Demenescu, Liliana Ramona; Kato, Yutaka; Mathiak, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Emotion recognition deficits emerge with the increasing age, in particular, a decline in the identification of sadness. However, little is known about the age-related changes of emotion processing in sensory, affective, and executive brain areas. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study investigated neural correlates of auditory processing of prosody across adult lifespan. Unattended detection of emotional prosody changes was assessed in 21 young (age range: 18–35 years), 19 middle-aged (age range: 36–55 years), and 15 older (age range: 56–75 years) adults. Pseudowords uttered with neutral prosody were standards in an oddball paradigm with angry, sad, happy, and gender deviants (total 20% deviants). Changes in emotional prosody and voice gender elicited bilateral superior temporal gyri (STG) responses reflecting automatic encoding of prosody. At the right STG, responses to sad deviants decreased linearly with age, whereas happy events exhibited a nonlinear relationship. In contrast to behavioral data, no age by sex interaction emerged on the neural networks. The aging decline of emotion processing of prosodic cues emerges already at an early automatic stage of information processing at the level of the auditory cortex. However, top-down modulation may lead to an additional perceptional bias, for example, towards positive stimuli, and may depend on context factors such as the listener's sex. PMID:26583118

  7. Neural Processing of Emotional Prosody across the Adult Lifespan.

    PubMed

    Demenescu, Liliana Ramona; Kato, Yutaka; Mathiak, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Emotion recognition deficits emerge with the increasing age, in particular, a decline in the identification of sadness. However, little is known about the age-related changes of emotion processing in sensory, affective, and executive brain areas. This functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study investigated neural correlates of auditory processing of prosody across adult lifespan. Unattended detection of emotional prosody changes was assessed in 21 young (age range: 18-35 years), 19 middle-aged (age range: 36-55 years), and 15 older (age range: 56-75 years) adults. Pseudowords uttered with neutral prosody were standards in an oddball paradigm with angry, sad, happy, and gender deviants (total 20% deviants). Changes in emotional prosody and voice gender elicited bilateral superior temporal gyri (STG) responses reflecting automatic encoding of prosody. At the right STG, responses to sad deviants decreased linearly with age, whereas happy events exhibited a nonlinear relationship. In contrast to behavioral data, no age by sex interaction emerged on the neural networks. The aging decline of emotion processing of prosodic cues emerges already at an early automatic stage of information processing at the level of the auditory cortex. However, top-down modulation may lead to an additional perceptional bias, for example, towards positive stimuli, and may depend on context factors such as the listener's sex. PMID:26583118

  8. Natural experience modulates the processing of older adult faces in young adults and 3-year-old children.

    PubMed

    Proietti, Valentina; Pisacane, Antonella; Macchi Cassia, Viola

    2013-01-01

    Just like other face dimensions, age influences the way faces are processed by adults as well as by children. However, it remains unclear under what conditions exactly such influence occurs at both ages, in that there is some mixed evidence concerning the presence of a systematic processing advantage for peer faces (own-age bias) across the lifespan. Inconsistency in the results may stem from the fact that the individual's face representation adapts to represent the most predominant age traits of the faces present in the environment, which is reflective of the individual's specific living conditions and social experience. In the current study we investigated the processing of younger and older adult faces in two groups of adults (Experiment 1) and two groups of 3-year-old children (Experiment 2) who accumulated different amounts of experience with elderly people. Contact with elderly adults influenced the extent to which both adult and child participants showed greater discrimination abilities and stronger sensitivity to configural/featural cues in younger versus older adult faces, as measured by the size of the inversion effect. In children, the size of the inversion effect for older adult faces was also significantly correlated with the amount of contact with elderly people. These results show that, in both adults and children, visual experience with older adult faces can tune perceptual processing strategies to the point of abolishing the discrimination disadvantage that participants typically manifest for those faces in comparison to younger adult faces. PMID:23460867

  9. Number Attraction Effects in Near-Native Spanish Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jegerski, Jill

    2016-01-01

    Grammatical agreement phenomena such as verbal number have long been of fundamental interest in the study of second language (L2) acquisition. Previous research from the perspective of sentence processing has documented nativelike behavior among nonnative participants but has also relied almost exclusively on grammar violation paradigms. The…

  10. Sentence Complexity and Working Memory Effects in Ambiguity Resolution

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Ji Hyon; Christianson, Kiel

    2013-01-01

    Two self-paced reading experiments using a paraphrase decision task paradigm were performed to investigate how sentence complexity contributed to the relative clause (RC) attachment preferences of speakers of different working memory capacities (WMCs). Experiment 1 (English) showed working memory effects on relative clause processing in both…

  11. Memory Operations and Structures in Sentence Comprehension: Evidence from Ellipsis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Andrea Eyleen

    2010-01-01

    Natural language often contains dependencies that span words, phrases, or even sentences. Thus, language comprehension relies on recovering recently processed information from memory for subsequent interpretation. This dissertation investigates the memory operations that subserve dependency resolution through the lens of "verb-phrase ellipsis"…

  12. Activating Basic Category Exemplars in Sentence Contexts: A Dynamical Account

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raczaszek-Leonardi, Joanna; Shapiro, Lewis P.; Tuller, Betty; Kelso, J. A. Scott

    2008-01-01

    This paper examines the influence of context on the processing of category names embedded in sentences. The investigation focuses on the nature of information available immediately after such a word is heard as well as on the dynamics of adaptation to context. An on-line method (Cross Modal Lexical Priming) was used to trace how this process…

  13. Prediction, Error, and Adaptation during Online Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fine, Alex Brabham

    2013-01-01

    A fundamental challenge for human cognition is perceiving and acting in a world in which the statistics that characterize available sensory data are non-stationary. This thesis focuses on this problem specifically in the domain of sentence comprehension, where linguistic variability poses computational challenges to the processes underlying…

  14. Whole Report versus Partial Report in RSVP Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Potter, Mary C.; Nieuwenstein, Mark; Strohminger, Nina

    2008-01-01

    A sentence is readily understood and recalled when presented one word at a time using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) at 10 words/s [Potter, M. C. (1984). Rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP): A method for studying language processing. In D. Kieras & M. Just (Eds.), "New methods in reading comprehension research" (pp. 91-118).…

  15. Polysemy in Sentence Comprehension: Effects of Meaning Dominance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foraker, Stephani; Murphy, Gregory L.

    2012-01-01

    Words like "church" are polysemous, having two related senses (a building and an organization). Three experiments investigated how polysemous senses are represented and processed during sentence comprehension. On one view, readers retrieve an underspecified, core meaning, which is later specified more fully with contextual information. On another…

  16. A Shared Neural Substrate for Mentalizing and the Affective Component of Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Hervé, Pierre-Yves; Razafimandimby, Annick; Jobard, Gaël; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie

    2013-01-01

    Using event-related fMRI in a sample of 42 healthy participants, we compared the cerebral activity maps obtained when classifying spoken sentences based on the mental content of the main character (belief, deception or empathy) or on the emotional tonality of the sentence (happiness, anger or sadness). To control for the effects of different syntactic constructions (such as embedded clauses in belief sentences), we subtracted from each map the BOLD activations obtained during plausibility judgments on structurally matching sentences, devoid of emotions or ToM. The obtained theory of mind (ToM) and emotional speech comprehension networks overlapped in the bilateral temporo-parietal junction, posterior cingulate cortex, right anterior temporal lobe, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and in the left inferior frontal sulcus. These regions form a ToM network, which contributes to the emotional component of spoken sentence comprehension. Compared with the ToM task, in which the sentences were enounced on a neutral tone, the emotional sentence classification task, in which the sentences were play-acted, was associated with a greater activity in the bilateral superior temporal sulcus, in line with the presence of emotional prosody. Besides, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was more active during emotional than ToM sentence processing. This region may link mental state representations with verbal and prosodic emotional cues. Compared with emotional sentence classification, ToM was associated with greater activity in the caudate nucleus, paracingulate cortex, and superior frontal and parietal regions, in line with behavioral data showing that ToM sentence comprehension was a more demanding task. PMID:23342148

  17. A shared neural substrate for mentalizing and the affective component of sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Hervé, Pierre-Yves; Razafimandimby, Annick; Jobard, Gaël; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie

    2013-01-01

    Using event-related fMRI in a sample of 42 healthy participants, we compared the cerebral activity maps obtained when classifying spoken sentences based on the mental content of the main character (belief, deception or empathy) or on the emotional tonality of the sentence (happiness, anger or sadness). To control for the effects of different syntactic constructions (such as embedded clauses in belief sentences), we subtracted from each map the BOLD activations obtained during plausibility judgments on structurally matching sentences, devoid of emotions or ToM. The obtained theory of mind (ToM) and emotional speech comprehension networks overlapped in the bilateral temporo-parietal junction, posterior cingulate cortex, right anterior temporal lobe, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and in the left inferior frontal sulcus. These regions form a ToM network, which contributes to the emotional component of spoken sentence comprehension. Compared with the ToM task, in which the sentences were enounced on a neutral tone, the emotional sentence classification task, in which the sentences were play-acted, was associated with a greater activity in the bilateral superior temporal sulcus, in line with the presence of emotional prosody. Besides, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was more active during emotional than ToM sentence processing. This region may link mental state representations with verbal and prosodic emotional cues. Compared with emotional sentence classification, ToM was associated with greater activity in the caudate nucleus, paracingulate cortex, and superior frontal and parietal regions, in line with behavioral data showing that ToM sentence comprehension was a more demanding task. PMID:23342148

  18. Transactional processes in the development of adult personality disorder symptoms.

    PubMed

    Carlson, Elizabeth A; Ruiz, Sarah K

    2016-08-01

    The development of adult personality disorder symptoms, including transactional processes of relationship representational and behavioral experience from infancy to early adolescence, was examined using longitudinal data from a risk sample (N = 162). Significant preliminary correlations were found between early caregiving experience and adult personality disorder symptoms and between representational and behavioral indices across time and adult symptomatology. Significant correlations were also found among diverse representational assessments (e.g., interview, drawing, and projective narrative) and between concurrent representational and observational measures of relationship functioning. Path models were analyzed to investigate the combined relations of caregiving experience in infancy; relationship representation and experience in early childhood, middle childhood, and early adolescence; and personality disorder symptoms in adulthood. The hypothesized model representing interactive contributions of representational and behavioral experience represented the data significantly better than competing models representing noninteractive contributions. Representational and behavioral indicators mediated the link between early caregiving quality and personality disorder symptoms. The findings extend previous studies of normative development and support an organizational developmental view that early relationship experiences contribute to socioemotional maladaptation as well as adaptation through the progressive transaction of mutually informing expectations and experience. PMID:27427797

  19. Eye movements of Young and Older Adults while Reading with Distraction

    PubMed Central

    Kemper, Susan; McDowd, Joan

    2005-01-01

    We used eye-tracking technology to examine young and old adults’ on-line performance in the reading in distraction paradigm. Participants read target sentences and answered comprehension questions following each sentence. In some sentences, single word distracters were presented in either italic or red font. Distracters could be related or unrelated to the target text. On-line measures including probability of fixation, fixation duration, and number of fixations to distracting text revealed no age differences in text processing. However, young adults did have an advantage over older adults in overall reading time and text comprehension. These results provide no support for an inhibition deficit account of age differences in the reading in distraction paradigm, but are consistent with Dywan and Murphy’s (1995) suggestion that older adults are less able than young to distinguish target and distracter information held in working memory. PMID:16594789

  20. Parafoveal perception during sentence reading?: An ERP paradigm using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) with flankers

    PubMed Central

    Bentin, Shlomo; Kutas, Marta

    2014-01-01

    We describe a new procedure using event related brain potentials to investigate parafoveal word processing during sentence reading. Sentences were presented word-byword at fixation, flanked two degrees bilaterally by letter strings. Flanker strings were pseudowords, except for the third word in each sentence, which was flanked by either two pseudowords, or a pseudoword and a word, one on each side. Flanker words were either semantically congruent or incongruent with the sentence context. P2 (175-375 ms) amplitudes were less positive for contextually incongruent than congruent flanker words but only with flanker words in the right visual field for English, and in the left visual field in Hebrew. Flankered word presentation thus may be a suitable method for the electrophysiological study of parafoveal perception during sentence reading. PMID:21361965

  1. The emotion potential of simple sentences: additive or interactive effects of nouns and adjectives?

    PubMed Central

    Lüdtke, Jana; Jacobs, Arthur M.

    2015-01-01

    The vast majority of studies on affective processes in reading focus on single words. The most robust finding is a processing advantage for positively valenced words, which has been replicated in the rare studies investigating effects of affective features of words during sentence or story comprehension. Here we were interested in how the different valences of words in a sentence influence its processing and supralexical affective evaluation. Using a sentence verification task we investigated how comprehension of simple declarative sentences containing a noun and an adjective depends on the valences of both words. The results are in line with the assumed general processing advantage for positive words. We also observed a clear interaction effect, as can be expected from the affective priming literature: sentences with emotionally congruent words (e.g., The grandpa is clever) were verified faster than sentences containing emotionally incongruent words (e.g., The grandpa is lonely). The priming effect was most prominent for sentences with positive words suggesting that both, early processing as well as later meaning integration and situation model construction, is modulated by affective processing. In a second rating task we investigated how the emotion potential of supralexical units depends on word valence. The simplest hypothesis predicts that the supralexical affective structure is a linear combination of the valences of the nouns and adjectives (Bestgen, 1994). Overall, our results do not support this: The observed clear interaction effect on ratings indicate that especially negative adjectives dominated supralexical evaluation, i.e., a sort of negativity bias in sentence evaluation. Future models of sentence processing thus should take interactive affective effects into account. PMID:26321975

  2. A Study of the Speed of Understanding Sentences as a Function of Sentence Structure. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halamandaris, Pandelis G.

    On the basis of the grammatical theory developed by Noam Chomsky, it is reasonable to presume that the different parts of a sentence may not all be understood with equal facility and speed. One purpose of this study was to determine whether some of the grammatical relations within a sentence were understood more readily than others. Sentences of…

  3. Paired comparisons of nonlinear frequency compression, extended bandwidth, and restricted bandwidth hearing-aid processing for children and adults with hearing loss

    PubMed Central

    Brennan, Marc A.; McCreery, Ryan; Kopun, Judy; Hoover, Brenda; Alexander, Joshua; Lewis, Dawna; Stelmachowicz, Patricia G.

    2014-01-01

    Background Preference for speech and music processed with nonlinear frequency compression and two controls (restricted and extended bandwidth hearing-aid processing) was examined in adults and children with hearing loss. Purpose Determine if stimulus type (music, sentences), age (children, adults) and degree of hearing loss influence listener preference for nonlinear frequency compression, restricted bandwidth and extended bandwidth. Research Design Within-subject, quasi-experimental study. Using a round-robin procedure, participants listened to amplified stimuli that were 1) frequency-lowered using nonlinear frequency compression, 2) low-pass filtered at 5 kHz to simulate the restricted bandwidth of conventional hearing aid processing, or 3) low-pass filtered at 11 kHz to simulate extended bandwidth amplification. The examiner and participants were blinded to the type of processing. Using a two-alternative forced-choice task, participants selected the preferred music or sentence passage. Study Sample Sixteen children (8–16 years) and 16 adults (19–65 years) with mild-to-severe sensorineural hearing loss. Intervention All subjects listened to speech and music processed using a hearing-aid simulator fit to the Desired Sensation Level algorithm v.5.0a (Scollie et al, 2005). Results Children and adults did not differ in their preferences. For speech, participants preferred extended bandwidth to both nonlinear frequency compression and restricted bandwidth. Participants also preferred nonlinear frequency compression to restricted bandwidth. Preference was not related to degree of hearing loss. For music, listeners did not show a preference. However, participants with greater hearing loss preferred nonlinear frequency compression to restricted bandwidth more than participants with less hearing loss. Conversely, participants with greater hearing loss were less likely to prefer extended bandwidth to restricted bandwidth. Conclusion Both age groups preferred access to

  4. Lexically Specific Knowledge and Individual Differences in Adult Native Speakers' Processing of the English Passive

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Street, James A.; Dabrowska, Ewa

    2014-01-01

    This article provides experimental evidence for the role of lexically specific representations in the processing of passive sentences and considerable education-related differences in comprehension of the passive construction. The experiment measured response time and decision accuracy of participants with high and low academic attainment using an…

  5. Applauding with Closed Hands: Neural Signature of Action-Sentence Compatibility Effects

    PubMed Central

    Aravena, Pia; Hurtado, Esteban; Riveros, Rodrigo; Cardona, Juan Felipe; Manes, Facundo; Ibáñez, Agustín

    2010-01-01

    Background Behavioral studies have provided evidence for an action–sentence compatibility effect (ACE) that suggests a coupling of motor mechanisms and action-sentence comprehension. When both processes are concurrent, the action sentence primes the actual movement, and simultaneously, the action affects comprehension. The aim of the present study was to investigate brain markers of bidirectional impact of language comprehension and motor processes. Methodology/Principal Findings Participants listened to sentences describing an action that involved an open hand, a closed hand, or no manual action. Each participant was asked to press a button to indicate his/her understanding of the sentence. Each participant was assigned a hand-shape, either closed or open, which had to be used to activate the button. There were two groups (depending on the assigned hand-shape) and three categories (compatible, incompatible and neutral) defined according to the compatibility between the response and the sentence. ACEs were found in both groups. Brain markers of semantic processing exhibited an N400-like component around the Cz electrode position. This component distinguishes between compatible and incompatible, with a greater negative deflection for incompatible. Motor response elicited a motor potential (MP) and a re-afferent potential (RAP), which are both enhanced in the compatible condition. Conclusions/Significance The present findings provide the first ACE cortical measurements of semantic processing and the motor response. N400-like effects suggest that incompatibility with motor processes interferes in sentence comprehension in a semantic fashion. Modulation of motor potentials (MP and RAP) revealed a multimodal semantic facilitation of the motor response. Both results provide neural evidence of an action-sentence bidirectional relationship. Our results suggest that ACE is not an epiphenomenal post-sentence comprehension process. In contrast, motor-language integration

  6. Sentence durations and accentedness judgments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bond, Z. S.; Stockmal, Verna; Markus, Dace

    2003-04-01

    Talkers in a second language can frequently be identified as speaking with a foreign accent. It is not clear to what degree a foreign accent represents specific deviations from a target language versus more general characteristics. We examined the identifications of native and non-native talkers by listeners with various amount of knowledge of the target language. Native and non-native speakers of Latvian provided materials. All the non-native talkers spoke Russian as their first language and were long-term residents of Latvia. A listening test, containing sentences excerpted from a short recorded passage, was presented to three groups of listeners: native speakers of Latvian, Russians for whom Latvian was a second language, and Americans with no knowledge of either of the two languages. The listeners were asked to judge whether each utterance was produced by a native or non-native talker. The Latvians identified the non-native talkers very accurately, 88%. The Russians were somewhat less accurate, 83%. The American listeners were least accurate, but still identified the non-native talkers at above chance levels, 62%. Sentence durations correlated with the judgments provided by the American listeners but not with the judgments provided by native or L2 listeners.

  7. Reading during the composition of multi-sentence texts: an eye-movement study.

    PubMed

    Torrance, Mark; Johansson, Roger; Johansson, Victoria; Wengelin, Åsa

    2016-09-01

    Writers composing multi-sentence texts have immediate access to a visual representation of what they have written. Little is known about the detail of writers' eye movements within this text during production. We describe two experiments in which competent adult writers' eye movements were tracked while performing short expository writing tasks. These are contrasted with conditions in which participants read and evaluated researcher-provided texts. Writers spent a mean of around 13 % of their time looking back into their text. Initiation of these look-back sequences was strongly predicted by linguistically important boundaries in their ongoing production (e.g., writers were much more likely to look back immediately prior to starting a new sentence). 36 % of look-back sequences were associated with sustained reading and the remainder with less patterned forward and backward saccades between words ("hopping"). Fixation and gaze durations and the presence of word-length effects suggested lexical processing of fixated words in both reading and hopping sequences. Word frequency effects were not present when writers read their own text. Findings demonstrate the technical possibility and potential value of examining writers' fixations within their just-written text. We suggest that these fixations do not serve solely, or even primarily, in monitoring for error, but play an important role in planning ongoing production. PMID:26120046

  8. A Mouse with a Roof? Effects of Phonological Neighbors on Processing of Words in Sentences in a Non-Native Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruschemeyer, Shirley-Ann; Nojack, Agnes; Limbach, Maxi

    2008-01-01

    The architecture of the language processing system for speakers of more than one language remains an intriguing topic of research. A common finding is that speakers of multiple languages are slower at responding to language stimuli in their non-native language (L2) than monolingual speakers. This may simply reflect participants' unfamiliarity with…

  9. Comparative Studies on the Roles of Linguistic Knowledge and Sentence Processing Speed in L2 Listening and Reading Comprehension in an EFL Tertiary Setting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oh, Eunjou

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated the relative contributions of vocabulary knowledge, grammar knowledge, and processing speed to second language listening and reading comprehension. Seventy-five Korean university students participated in the study. Results showed the three tested components had a significant portion of shared variance in explaining…

  10. 28 CFR 2.9 - Study prior to sentencing.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... sentencing court for observation and study prior to sentencing, under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 4205(c), the report to the sentencing court is prepared and submitted directly by the Bureau of Prisons....

  11. 76 FR 38460 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-30

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts AGENCY: United States Sentencing Commission. ACTION... the Practitioners Advisory Group are expiring as of October 2011, the United States...

  12. 75 FR 54705 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-08

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts AGENCY: United States Sentencing Commission. ACTION... the Practitioners Advisory Group are expiring as of October 2010, the United States...

  13. 78 FR 36641 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-18

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts AGENCY: United States Sentencing Commission. ACTION... the Practitioners Advisory Group are expiring as of October 2013, the United States...

  14. 77 FR 31070 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-24

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts AGENCY: United States Sentencing Commission. ACTION... the Practitioners Advisory Group are expiring as of October 2012, the United States...

  15. Encoding Specificity for Sentences in Connected Discourse.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christiaansen, Robert E.; Dooling, D. James

    The encoding specificity principle predicts that a change in context between input and test will adversely affect recognition memory. Experiment I tested this with sentences from a prose passage and no context effects were obtained. Experiments II, III, and IV compared context effects for words in random sentences versus connected discourse. In…

  16. Sentence Repetition: What Does the Task Measure?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polišenská, Kamila; Chiat, Shula; Roy, Penny

    2015-01-01

    Background: Sentence repetition is gaining increasing attention as a source of information about children's sentence-level abilities in clinical assessment, and as a clinical marker of specific language impairment. However, it is widely debated what the task is testing and therefore how informative it is. Aims: (1) To evaluate the effects of…

  17. Functional Neuroimaging Studies of Written Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caplan, David

    2004-01-01

    Sentences convey relationships between the meanings of words, such as who is accomplishing an action or receiving it. Functional neuroimaging based on positron-emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging has been used to identify areas of the brain involved in structuring sentences and determining aspects of meaning associated…

  18. Some Transformational Effects on Recoding English Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaneda, Michikazu

    1972-01-01

    The experiment described in this report investigates second language development and the possibility of determining various levels of language acquisition. The subjects involved are Japanese students learning English. The students are given the task of recalling English kernel sentences after hearing them once. The resulting sentences--the…

  19. Sentence Adverbs in the Kingdom of Agree

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shu, Chih-hsiang

    2011-01-01

    This dissertation offers a novel account of the syntax of sentence adverbs. The need for a new account is clear from the lack of descriptive coverage and theoretical coherence in current work on adverbial syntax. Descriptively, the majority of work has so far neglected the fact that sentence adverbs behave syntactically like typical focusing…

  20. Judging Grammaticality: Experiments in Sentence Classification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagner, Joachim; Foster, Jennifer; van Genabith, Josef

    2009-01-01

    A classifier which is capable of distinguishing a syntactically well formed sentence from a syntactically ill formed one has the potential to be useful in an L2 language-learning context. In this article, we describe a classifier which classifies English sentences as either well formed or ill formed using information gleaned from three different…

  1. Predicted Errors in Children's Early Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gertner, Yael; Fisher, Cynthia

    2012-01-01

    Children use syntax to interpret sentences and learn verbs; this is syntactic bootstrapping. The structure-mapping account of early syntactic bootstrapping proposes that a partial representation of sentence structure, the "set of nouns" occurring with the verb, guides initial interpretation and provides an abstract format for new learning. This…

  2. 28 CFR 2.5 - Sentence aggregation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Sentence aggregation. 2.5 Section 2.5 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND RECOMMITMENT OF PRISONERS... aggregation. When multiple sentences are aggregated by the Bureau of Prisons pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 4161...

  3. TMS-induced modulation of action sentence priming in the ventral premotor cortex.

    PubMed

    Tremblay, Pascale; Sato, Marc; Small, Steven L

    2012-01-01

    Despite accumulating evidence that cortical motor areas, particularly the lateral premotor cortex, are activated during language comprehension, the question of whether motor processes help mediate the semantic encoding of language remains controversial. To address this issue, we examined whether low frequency (1 Hz) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the left ventral premotor cortex (PMv) can interfere with the comprehension of sentences describing manual actions, visual properties of manipulable and non-manipulable objects, and actions of the lips and mouth. Using a primed semantic decision task, sixteen participants were asked to determine for a given sentence whether or not an auditorily presented target word was congruent with the sentence. We hypothesized that if the left PMv is contributing semantic information that is used to comprehend action and object related sentences, then TMS applied over PMv should result in a disruption of semantic priming. Our results show that TMS reduces semantic priming, induces a shift in response bias, and increases response sensitivity, but does so only during the processing of manual action sentences. This suggests a preferential contribution of PMv to the processing of sentences describing manual actions compared to other types of sentences. PMID:22178233

  4. Foveal Processing Under Concurrent Peripheral Load in Profoundly Deaf Adults.

    PubMed

    Dye, Matthew W G

    2016-04-01

    Development of the visual system typically proceeds in concert with the development of audition. One result is that the visual system of profoundly deaf individuals differs from that of those with typical auditory systems. While past research has suggested deaf people have enhanced attention in the visual periphery, it is still unclear whether or not this enhancement entails deficits in central vision. Profoundly deaf and typically hearing adults were administered a variant of the useful field of view task that independently assessed performance on concurrent central and peripheral tasks. Identification of a foveated target was impaired by a concurrent selective peripheral attention task, more so in profoundly deaf adults than in the typically hearing. Previous findings of enhanced performance on the peripheral task were not replicated. These data are discussed in terms of flexible allocation of spatial attention targeted towards perceived task demands, and support a modified "division of labor" hypothesis whereby attentional resources co-opted to process peripheral space result in reduced resources in the central visual field. PMID:26657078

  5. The role of working memory in inferential sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Ana Isabel; Paolieri, Daniela; Macizo, Pedro; Bajo, Teresa

    2014-08-01

    Existing literature on inference making is large and varied. Trabasso and Magliano (Discourse Process 21(3):255-287, 1996) proposed the existence of three types of inferences: explicative, associative and predictive. In addition, the authors suggested that these inferences were related to working memory (WM). In the present experiment, we investigated whether WM capacity plays a role in our ability to answer comprehension sentences that require text information based on these types of inferences. Participants with high and low WM span read two narratives with four paragraphs each. After each paragraph was read, they were presented with four true/false comprehension sentences. One required verbatim information and the other three implied explicative, associative and predictive inferential information. Results demonstrated that only the explicative and predictive comprehension sentences required WM: participants with high verbal WM were more accurate in giving explanations and also faster at making predictions relative to participants with low verbal WM span; in contrast, no WM differences were found in the associative comprehension sentences. These results are interpreted in terms of the causal nature underlying these types of inferences. PMID:24668068

  6. Polysemy in Sentence Comprehension: Effects of Meaning Dominance

    PubMed Central

    Foraker, Stephani; Murphy, Gregory L.

    2012-01-01

    Words like church are polysemous, having two related senses (a building and an organization). Three experiments investigated how polysemous senses are represented and processed during sentence comprehension. On one view, readers retrieve an underspecified, core meaning, which is later specified more fully with contextual information. On another view, readers retrieve one or more specific senses. In a reading task, context that was neutral or biased towards a particular sense preceded a polysemous word. Disambiguating material consistent with only one sense followed, in a second sentence (Experiment 1) or the same sentence (Experiments 2 & 3). Reading the disambiguating material was faster when it was consistent with that context, and dominant senses were committed to more strongly than subordinate senses. Critically, following neutral context, the continuation was read more quickly when it selected the dominant sense, and the degree of sense dominance partially explained the reading time advantage. Similarity of the senses also affected reading times. Across experiments, we found that sense selection may not be completed immediately following a polysemous word but is completed at a sentence boundary. Overall, the results suggest that readers select an individual sense when reading a polysemous word, rather than a core meaning. PMID:23185103

  7. Effects of humor on sentence memory.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, S R

    1994-07-01

    Memory for humorous and nonhumorous versions of sentences was compared. Humorous sentences were better remembered than the nonhumorous sentences on both free- and cued-recall tests and on measures of sentence recall and word recall. These effects persisted when subjects were warned that they were about to read a humorous sentence but were attenuated in incidental learning and limited to within-subjects manipulations. In incidental learning, recall was also scored as a function of subjective ratings of humor. Subjective humor affected memory in both within- and between-subjects designs. Attention, arousal, rehearsal, retrieval, and surprise explanations were explored. Results suggest that humorous material receives both increased attention and rehearsal relative to nonhumorous material. PMID:8064254

  8. Processing of Numerical and Proportional Quantifiers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shikhare, Sailee; Heim, Stefan; Klein, Elise; Huber, Stefan; Willmes, Klaus

    2015-01-01

    Quantifier expressions like "many" and "at least" are part of a rich repository of words in language representing magnitude information. The role of numerical processing in comprehending quantifiers was studied in a semantic truth value judgment task, asking adults to quickly verify sentences about visual displays using…

  9. Use of Semantic Information to Interpret Thematic Information for Real-Time Sentence Comprehension in an SOV Language

    PubMed Central

    Yokoyama, Satoru; Takahashi, Kei; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2013-01-01

    Recently, sentence comprehension in languages other than European languages has been investigated from a cross-linguistic perspective. In this paper, we examine whether and how animacy-related semantic information is used for real-time sentence comprehension in a SOV word order language (i.e., Japanese). Twenty-three Japanese native speakers participated in this study. They read semantically reversible and non-reversible sentences with canonical word order, and those with scrambled word order. In our results, the second argument position in reversible sentences took longer to read than that in non-reversible sentences, indicating that animacy information is used in second argument processing. In contrast, for the predicate position, there was no difference in reading times, suggesting that animacy information is NOT used in the predicate position. These results are discussed using the sentence comprehension models of an SOV word order language. PMID:23409134

  10. Sentence repetition is a measure of children's language skills rather than working memory limitations.

    PubMed

    Klem, Marianne; Melby-Lervåg, Monica; Hagtvet, Bente; Lyster, Solveig-Alma Halaas; Gustafsson, Jan-Eric; Hulme, Charles

    2015-01-01

    Sentence repetition tasks are widely used in the diagnosis and assessment of children with language difficulties. This paper seeks to clarify the nature of sentence repetition tasks and their relationship to other language skills. We present the results from a 2-year longitudinal study of 216 children. Children were assessed on measures of sentence repetition, vocabulary knowledge and grammatical skills three times at approximately yearly intervals starting at age 4. Sentence repetition was not a unique longitudinal predictor of the growth of language skills. A unidimensional language latent factor (defined by sentence repetition, vocabulary knowledge and grammatical skills) provided an excellent fit to the data, and language abilities showed a high degree of longitudinal stability. Sentence repetition is best seen as a reflection of an underlying language ability factor rather than as a measure of a separate construct with a specific role in language processing. Sentence repetition appears to be a valuable tool for language assessment because it draws upon a wide range of language processing skills. PMID:24986395

  11. Can Speaker Gaze Modulate Syntactic Structuring and Thematic Role Assignment during Spoken Sentence Comprehension?

    PubMed Central

    Knoeferle, Pia; Kreysa, Helene

    2012-01-01

    During comprehension, a listener can rapidly follow a frontally seated speaker’s gaze to an object before its mention, a behavior which can shorten latencies in speeded sentence verification. However, the robustness of gaze-following, its interaction with core comprehension processes such as syntactic structuring, and the persistence of its effects are unclear. In two “visual-world” eye-tracking experiments participants watched a video of a speaker, seated at an angle, describing transitive (non-depicted) actions between two of three Second Life characters on a computer screen. Sentences were in German and had either subjectNP1-verb-objectNP2 or objectNP1-verb-subjectNP2 structure; the speaker either shifted gaze to the NP2 character or was obscured. Several seconds later, participants verified either the sentence referents or their role relations. When participants had seen the speaker’s gaze shift, they anticipated the NP2 character before its mention and earlier than when the speaker was obscured. This effect was more pronounced for SVO than OVS sentences in both tasks. Interactions of speaker gaze and sentence structure were more pervasive in role-relations verification: participants verified the role relations faster for SVO than OVS sentences, and faster when they had seen the speaker shift gaze than when the speaker was obscured. When sentence and template role-relations matched, gaze-following even eliminated the SVO-OVS response-time differences. Thus, gaze-following is robust even when the speaker is seated at an angle to the listener; it varies depending on the syntactic structure and thematic role relations conveyed by a sentence; and its effects can extend to delayed post-sentence comprehension processes. These results suggest that speaker gaze effects contribute pervasively to visual attention and comprehension processes and should thus be accommodated by accounts of situated language comprehension. PMID:23227018

  12. Evaluating Adult's Competency: Application of the Competency Assessment Process

    PubMed Central

    Giroux, Dominique; Tétreault, Sylvie; Landry, Marie-Pier

    2015-01-01

    Competency assessment of adults with cognitive impairment or mental illness is a complex process that can have significant consequences for their rights. Some models put forth in the scientific literature have been proposed to guide health and social service professionals with this assessment process, but none of these appear to be complete. A new model, the Competency Assessment Process (CAP), was presented and validated in other studies. This paper adds to this corpus by presenting both the CAP model and the results of a survey given to health and social service professionals on its practical application in their clinical practice. The survey was administered to 35 participants trained in assessing competency following the CAP model. The results show that 40% of participants use the CAP to guide their assessment and the majority of those who do not yet use it plan to do so in the future. A large majority of participants consider this to be a relevant model and believe that all interdisciplinary teams should use it. These results support the relevance of the CAP model. Further research is planned to continue the study of the application of CAP in healthcare facilities. PMID:26257978

  13. Facial Emotion Processing in Aviremic HIV-infected Adults.

    PubMed

    González-Baeza, A; Carvajal, F; Bayón, C; Pérez-Valero, I; Montes-Ramírez, M; Arribas, J R

    2016-08-01

    The emotional processing in human immunodeficiency virus-seropositive individuals (HIV+) has been scarcely studied. We included HIV+ individuals (n = 107) on antiretroviral therapy (≥2 years) who completed 6 facial processing tasks and neurocognitive testing. We compared HIV+ and healthy adult (HA) participants (n = 40) in overall performance of each facial processing task. Multiple logistic regressions were conducted to explore predictors of poorer accuracy in those measures in which HIV+ individuals performed poorer than HA participants. We separately explored the impact of neurocognitive status, antiretroviral regimen, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection on the tasks performance. We found similar performance in overall facial emotion discrimination, recognition, and recall between HIV+ and HA participants. The HIV+ group had poorer recognition of particular negative emotions. Lower WAIS-III Vocabulary scores and active HCV predicted poorer accuracy in recognition of particular emotions. Our results suggest that permanent damage of emotion-related brain systems might persist despite long-term effective antiretroviral therapy. PMID:27193364

  14. Animacy or case marker order?: priority information for online sentence comprehension in a head-final language.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Satoru; Takahashi, Kei; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2014-01-01

    It is well known that case marker information and animacy information are incrementally used to comprehend sentences in head-final languages. However, it is still unclear how these two kinds of information are processed when they are in competition in a sentence's surface expression. The current study used sentences conveying the potentiality of some event (henceforth, potential sentences) in the Japanese language with theoretically canonical word order (dative-nominative/animate-inanimate order) and with scrambled word order (nominative-dative/inanimate-animate order). In Japanese, nominative-first case order and animate-inanimate animacy order are preferred to their reversed patterns in simplex sentences. Hence, in these potential sentences, case information and animacy information are in competition. The experiment consisted of a self-paced reading task testing two conditions (that is, canonical and scrambled potential sentences). Forty-five native speakers of Japanese participated. In our results, the canonical potential sentences showed a scrambling cost at the second argument position (the nominative argument). This result indicates that the theoretically scrambled case marker order (nominative-dative) is processed as a mentally canonical case marker order, suggesting that case information is used preferentially over animacy information when the two are in competition. The implications of our findings are discussed with regard to incremental simplex sentence comprehension models for head-final languages. PMID:24664132

  15. On-Line Grammaticality Judgments in French Children and Adults: A Crosslinguistic Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kail, Michele

    2004-01-01

    This study examined the on-line processing of French sentences in a grammaticality judgment experiment. Three age groups of French children (mean age: 6;8, 8;6 and 10;10 years) and a group of adults were asked to detect grammatical violations as quickly as possible. Three factors were studied: the violation type: agreement violations (number and…

  16. The systematic use of semantic and acoustic processing by younger and older adults.

    PubMed

    West, R L; Cohen, S L

    1985-01-01

    To examine age differences in semantic and acoustic processing, 80 older and 80 younger adults participated in an incidental learning study. The study compared free recall and semantic and acoustic cued recall performance after five orienting conditions. The younger adults performed better than the older adults, especially after acoustic orienting. Encoding specificity effects occurred at both age levels. The results indicated that both age groups performed better with semantic processing than acoustic processing, but that older adults relied on the semantic information far more than the younger adults. PMID:4092721

  17. Classification of Clinically Useful Sentences in MEDLINE

    PubMed Central

    Morid, Mohammad Amin; Jonnalagadda, Siddhartha; Fiszman, Marcelo; Raja, Kalpana; Fiol, Guilherme Del

    2015-01-01

    Objective In a previous study, we investigated a sentence classification model that uses semantic features to extract clinically useful sentences from UpToDate, a synthesized clinical evidence resource. In the present study, we assess the generalizability of the sentence classifier to Medline abstracts. Methods We applied the classification model to an independent gold standard of high quality clinical studies from Medline. Then, the classifier trained on UpToDate sentences was optimized by re-retraining the classifier with Medline abstracts and adding a sentence location feature. Results The previous classifier yielded an F-measure of 58% on Medline versus 67% on UpToDate. Re-training the classifier on Medline improved F-measure to 68%; and to 76% (p<0.01) after adding the sentence location feature. Conclusions The classifier’s model and input features generalized to Medline abstracts, but the classifier needed to be retrained on Medline to achieve equivalent performance. Sentence location provided additional contribution to the overall classification performance. PMID:26958301

  18. What is it that lingers? Garden-path (mis)interpretations in younger and older adults.

    PubMed

    Malyutina, Svetlana; den Ouden, Dirk-Bart

    2016-05-01

    Previous research has shown that comprehenders do not always conduct a full (re)analysis of temporarily ambiguous "garden-path" sentences. The present study used a sentence-picture matching task to investigate what kind of representations are formed when full reanalysis is not performed: Do comprehenders "blend" two incompatible representations as a result of shallow syntactic processing or do they erroneously maintain the initial incorrect parsing without incorporating new information, and does this vary with age? Twenty-five younger and 15 older adults performed a multiple-choice sentence-picture matching task with stimuli including early-closure garden-path sentences. The results suggest that the type of erroneous representation is affected by linguistic variables, such as sentence structure, verb type, and semantic plausibility, as well as by age. Older adults' response patterns indicate an increased reliance on inferencing based on lexical and semantic cues, with a lower bar for accepting an initial parse and with a weaker drive to reanalyse a syntactic representation. Among younger adults, there was a tendency to blend two representations into a single interpretation, even if this was not licensed by the syntax. PMID:25920901

  19. Finding related sentence pairs in MEDLINE

    PubMed Central

    Wilbur, W. John

    2010-01-01

    We explore the feasibility of automatically identifying sentences in different MEDLINE abstracts that are related in meaning. We compared traditional vector space models with machine learning methods for detecting relatedness, and found that machine learning was superior. The Huber method, a variant of Support Vector Machines which minimizes the modified Huber loss function, achieves 73% precision when the score cutoff is set high enough to identify about one related sentence per abstract on average. We illustrate how an abstract viewed in PubMed might be modified to present the related sentences found in other abstracts by this automatic procedure. PMID:21170415

  20. A Staff Development Model for Adult Educators. Process, Content, and Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burrichter, Arthur W.; Gardner, Daniel L.

    This publication is a guide for designing programs to develop adult educator competencies as determined by other adult educators in Florida. The first section of the three-part publication explains the process of developing the list of essential competencies needed by adult educators, which makes up the second section of the document. The listing…

  1. The effects of four variables on the intelligibility of synthesized sentences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conroy, Carol; Raphael, Lawrence J.; Bell-Berti, Fredericka

    2003-10-01

    The experiments reported here examined the effects of four variables on the intelligibilty of synthetic speech: (1) listener age, (2) listener experience, (3) speech rate, and (4) the presence versus absence of interword pauses. The stimuli, eighty IEEE-Harvard Sentences, were generated by a DynaVox augmentative/alternative communication device equipped with a DECtalk synthesizer. The sentences were presented to four groups of 12 listeners each (children (9-11 years), teens (14-16 years), young adults (20-25 years), and adults (38-45 years). In the first experiment the sentences were heard at four rates: 105, 135, 165, and 195 wpm; in the second experiment half of the sentences (presented at two rates: 135 and 165 wpm), contained 250 ms interword pauses. Conditions in both experiments were counterbalanced and no sentence was presented twice. Results indicated a consistent decrease in error rates with increased exposure to the synthesized speech for all age groups. Error rates also varied inversely with listener age. Effects of rate variation were inconsistent across listener groups and between experiments. The presences versus absences of pauses affected listener groups differently: The youngest listeners had higher error rates, and the older listeners lower error rates when interword pauses were included in the stimuli. [Work supported by St. John's University and New York City Board of Education, Technology Solutions, District 75.

  2. Speech Disruptions in the Sentence Formulation of School-Age Children with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finneran, Denise A.; Leonard, Laurence B.; Miller, Carol A.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Many school-age children with specific language impairment produce sentences that appear to conform to the adult grammar. It may be premature to conclude from this, however, that their language formulation ability is age appropriate. Aims: To determine whether a more subtle measure of language use, speech disruptions during sentence…

  3. Short-Term Memory Retrievals and Expectation in On-Line Sentence Comprehension: The Effects of Recent Linguistic Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartek, Brian D.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding how short-term memory shapes sentence comprehension processes is a long-standing topic in psycholinguistics. This thesis pursues new insights on two facets of short-term memory's role in sentence comprehension: (a) The first four experiments search for, and obtain, concrete evidence that locality effects, or increased integration…

  4. On-Line Sentence Interpretation in Spanish-English Bilinguals: What Does It Mean to Be "in Between"?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hernandez, Arturo E; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Investigates the real-time costs of sentence processing in early Spanish-English bilinguals. Bilinguals use an amalgam of monolingual strategies in choosing the agent of a sentence. The reaction time data reveal a larger language-specific component than the choice data. (37 references) (Author/CK)

  5. Lexical Information Drives Perceptual Learning of Distorted Speech: Evidence From the Comprehension of Noise-Vocoded Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Matthew H.; Johnsrude, Ingrid S.; Hervais-Adelman, Alexis; Taylor, Karen; McGettigan, Carolyn

    2005-01-01

    Speech comprehension is resistant to acoustic distortion in the input, reflecting listeners' ability to adjust perceptual processes to match the speech input. For noise-vocoded sentences, a manipulation that removes spectral detail from speech, listeners' reporting improved from near 0% to 70% correct over 30 sentences (Experiment 1). Learning was…

  6. Efficacy of Attention to Commas (A2C) Strategy for Sentence Comprehension in English Language Learners (ELLs)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benitez-Rivera, Wilma I.

    2013-01-01

    Reading is an active process where readers sometimes have difficulty understanding what they read. Ultimately, readers are required to combine the meaning of each sentence in a text in order to achieve text-level comprehension. Otherwise, the reader is going to have great difficulty with text-level comprehension. Factors such as sentence length…

  7. Story Processing Ability in Cognitively Healthy Younger and Older Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Heather Harris; Capilouto, Gilson J.; Srinivasan, Cidambi; Fergadiotis, Gerasimos

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the study was to examine the relationships among measures of comprehension and production for stories depicted in wordless pictures books and measures of memory and attention for 2 age groups. Method: Sixty cognitively healthy adults participated. They consisted of two groups--young adults (20-29 years of age) and older…

  8. Dividing and Conquering: Successful Writing Processes for Adult Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beverstock, Caroline; McIntyre, Sue

    2008-01-01

    Project Read at the San Mateo Public Library is one of 106 library programs in California helping adults improve their reading, writing, and communication skills. Like many adult literacy programs, Project Read trains and matches volunteer tutors with students. About 30% of the Project Read students are men in Project 90 (P-90), a residential drug…

  9. Asymmetrical Cortical Processing of Radial Expansioncontraction in Infants and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shirai, Nobu; Birtles, Deirdre; Wattam-Bell, John; Yamaguchi, Masami K.; Kanazawa, So; Atkinson, Janette; Braddick, Oliver

    2009-01-01

    We report asymmetrical cortical responses (steady-state visual evoked potentials) to radial expansion and contraction in human infants and adults. Forty-four infants (22 3-month-olds and 22 4-month-olds) and nine adults viewed dynamic dot patterns which cyclically (2.1 Hz) alternate between radial expansion (or contraction) and random directional…

  10. Policy Issues and Process. Issues in Education for Adults, #1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whaples, Gene C., Comp.; Rivera, William M., Comp.

    This publication, the first of a planned series, is intended to advance discussion by professionals and, hopefully, the public about education for adults--its purposes, control, and programs. Four essays are included, each with a distinct theme and purpose. However, all the essays relate to the major issues in adult education, national policy,…

  11. Dissenter offers guidance in sentencing pleas.

    PubMed

    1995-10-20

    Federal Appeals Judge William R. Wilson, Jr. of St. Louis, MI denied defendant [name removed] a reduced sentence based on his HIV status. In the case of U.S. vs. [Name removed], Judge Wilson ruled that the potential onset of AIDS is not sufficient grounds for granting a prisoner a reduced jail sentence. Judge Wilson offers advice to defense lawyers who are seeking more lenient sentences for their HIV-positive clients. He suggests that defense attorneys submit extensive documentation from medical experts that specifies the impact that prison life will have on the HIV-positive inmate's longevity, access to treatment, nutrition, and overall prognosis. Notable cases that have considered extraordinary physical impairment for the purpose of altering sentences include U.S. vs. [Name removed] from the Third Circuit Court, U.S. vs. [Name removed] from the Sixth Circuit Court, and U.S. vs. [Name removed] from the Seventh Circuit Court. PMID:11362840

  12. Voice quality variations in English sentences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epstein, Melissa

    2002-05-01

    This study examines the predictability of changes in voice quality at the sentence level in English. Sentence-level effects can only be isolated once the effects of linguistic factors (e.g., glottalization before a glottalized consonant), social or dialectal, and individual factors have been eliminated. In this study, these effects were controlled by obtaining a baseline value for each measurement for each word of the corpus. Voice quality variations were tracked using quantitative measurements derived from the LF model of the glottal source, and also qualitative descriptions of the waveforms. Preliminary results indicate that there are consistent voice quality differences at the sentence level and that pitch contours and sentence accent also produce predictable effects on voice quality.

  13. Developmental Norms for the Sentence Repetition Test.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carmichael, John A.; MacDonald, John W.

    1984-01-01

    Obtained developmental norms for the Sentence Repetition Test from children (N=1,081) ranging in age from three to 13 years. Utilized a substanially larger number of children in each age group than previous reports. (Author/LLL)

  14. Distinctiveness and encoding effects in online sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Hofmeister, Philip; Vasishth, Shravan

    2014-01-01

    In explicit memory recall and recognition tasks, elaboration and contextual isolation both facilitate memory performance. Here, we investigate these effects in the context of sentence processing: targets for retrieval during online sentence processing of English object relative clause constructions differ in the amount of elaboration associated with the target noun phrase, or the homogeneity of superficial features (text color). Experiment 1 shows that greater elaboration for targets during the encoding phase reduces reading times at retrieval sites, but elaboration of non-targets has considerably weaker effects. Experiment 2 illustrates that processing isolated superficial features of target noun phrases-here, a green word in a sentence with words colored white-does not lead to enhanced memory performance, despite triggering longer encoding times. These results are interpreted in the light of the memory models of Nairne, 1990, 2001, 2006, which state that encoding remnants contribute to the set of retrieval cues that provide the basis for similarity-based interference effects. PMID:25566105

  15. Distinctiveness and encoding effects in online sentence comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Hofmeister, Philip; Vasishth, Shravan

    2014-01-01

    In explicit memory recall and recognition tasks, elaboration and contextual isolation both facilitate memory performance. Here, we investigate these effects in the context of sentence processing: targets for retrieval during online sentence processing of English object relative clause constructions differ in the amount of elaboration associated with the target noun phrase, or the homogeneity of superficial features (text color). Experiment 1 shows that greater elaboration for targets during the encoding phase reduces reading times at retrieval sites, but elaboration of non-targets has considerably weaker effects. Experiment 2 illustrates that processing isolated superficial features of target noun phrases—here, a green word in a sentence with words colored white—does not lead to enhanced memory performance, despite triggering longer encoding times. These results are interpreted in the light of the memory models of Nairne, 1990, 2001, 2006, which state that encoding remnants contribute to the set of retrieval cues that provide the basis for similarity-based interference effects. PMID:25566105

  16. Semantics and the Number of English Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bjurlof, Thomas; Jamieson, Dale

    It has long been said that there are an infinite number of English sentences. "This is the cat that caught the rat" is an Enqlish sentence. So is "This is the cat that caught the rat that stole the cheese.""This is the cat with white paws that caught the rat that stole the cheese" is unobjectionable as well. Since a clear cutoff point cannot be…

  17. Effects of sentence context on lexical ambiguity resolution in patients with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Andreou, Christina; Tsapkini, Kyrana; Bozikas, Vasilis P; Giannakou, Maria; Karavatos, Athanasios; Nimatoudis, Ioannis

    2009-03-01

    Previous research has suggested that a failure in processing contextual information may account for the heterogeneous clinical manifestations and cognitive impairments observed in schizophrenia. In the domain of language, context processing in schizophrenia has been investigated mostly with single-word semantic priming paradigms; however, natural language comprehension depends on more than semantic relations between words. The present study aimed to systematically assess sentence context effects in homonym meaning activation in patients with schizophrenia. Fourteen patients with schizophrenia and 14 normal controls matched to the patients on sex, age, education and parental education, were examined using a cross-modal priming paradigm. Primes were sentences biasing the first, second, or neither meaning of a sentence-final equibiased homonym; targets were related to either the first or the second meaning of the homonym and appeared after an interstimulus interval (ISI) of 0ms or 750ms. Patients with schizophrenia exhibited a trend towards facilitation of both target types following unbiased sentences at ISI=0ms, similar to controls. However, in contrast to the pattern of selective target facilitation exhibited by control subjects following first- or second meaning-biased sentences, no significant target facilitation was observed in patients in the same condition. At ISI=750ms, patients did no longer exhibit significant target facilitation in any sentence context condition. This pattern of results is compatible with the assumption of a combined impairment in lexical (automatic spreading of activation within the semantic network) and extralexical (working memory) processes in patients with schizophrenia. PMID:19162050

  18. Effects of speech clarity on recognition memory for spoken sentences.

    PubMed

    Van Engen, Kristin J; Chandrasekaran, Bharath; Smiljanic, Rajka

    2012-01-01

    Extensive research shows that inter-talker variability (i.e., changing the talker) affects recognition memory for speech signals. However, relatively little is known about the consequences of intra-talker variability (i.e. changes in speaking style within a talker) on the encoding of speech signals in memory. It is well established that speakers can modulate the characteristics of their own speech and produce a listener-oriented, intelligibility-enhancing speaking style in response to communication demands (e.g., when speaking to listeners with hearing impairment or non-native speakers of the language). Here we conducted two experiments to examine the role of speaking style variation in spoken language processing. First, we examined the extent to which clear speech provided benefits in challenging listening environments (i.e. speech-in-noise). Second, we compared recognition memory for sentences produced in conversational and clear speaking styles. In both experiments, semantically normal and anomalous sentences were included to investigate the role of higher-level linguistic information in the processing of speaking style variability. The results show that acoustic-phonetic modifications implemented in listener-oriented speech lead to improved speech recognition in challenging listening conditions and, crucially, to a substantial enhancement in recognition memory for sentences. PMID:22970141

  19. Left Inferior Frontal Activations Depending on the Canonicity Determined by the Argument Structures of Ditransitive Sentences: An MEG Study

    PubMed Central

    Inubushi, Tomoo; Iijima, Kazuki; Koizumi, Masatoshi; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L.

    2012-01-01

    To elucidate the relationships between syntactic and semantic processes, one interesting question is how syntactic structures are constructed by the argument structure of a verb, where each argument corresponds to a semantic role of each noun phrase (NP). Here we examined the effects of possessivity [sentences with or without a possessor] and canonicity [canonical or noncanonical word orders] using Japanese ditransitive sentences. During a syntactic decision task, the syntactic structure of each sentence would be constructed in an incremental manner based on the predicted argument structure of the ditransitive verb in a verb-final construction. Using magnetoencephalography, we found a significant canonicity effect on the current density in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) at 530–550 ms after the verb onset. This effect was selective to canonical sentences, and significant even when the precedent NP was physically identical. We suggest that the predictive effects associated with syntactic processing became larger for canonical sentences, where the NPs and verb were merged with a minimum structural distance, leading to the left IFG activations. For monotransitive and intransitive verbs, in which structural computation of the sentences was simpler than that of ditransitive sentences, we observed a significant effect selective to noncanonical sentences in the temporoparietal regions during 480–670 ms. This effect probably reflects difficulty in semantic processing of noncanonical sentences. These results demonstrate that the left IFG plays a predictive role in syntactic processing, which depends on the canonicity determined by argument structures, whereas other temporoparietal regions would subserve more semantic aspects of sentence processing. PMID:22629366

  20. A role for left inferior frontal and posterior superior temporal cortex in extracting a syntactic tree from a sentence.

    PubMed

    Pattamadilok, Chotiga; Dehaene, Stanislas; Pallier, Christophe

    2016-02-01

    On reading the sentence "the kids who exhausted their parents slept", how do we decide that it is the kids who slept and not the parents? The present behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study explored the processes underlying the extraction of syntactically organized information from sentences. Participants were presented with sentences whose syntactic complexity was manipulated using either a center-embedded or an adjunct structure. The goal was to vary separately the sentence syntactic structure and the linear distance between the main verb and its subject. Each sentence was followed by a short subject + verb probe, and the participants had to check whether or not it matched a proposition expressed in the sentence. Behavioral and fMRI data showed a significant cost and enhanced activity within left inferior frontal and posterior superior temporal cortex whenever participants processed center-embedded sentences, which required extracting a nontrivial subtree formed by nonadjacent words. This syntactic complexity effect was not observed during online sentence processing but rather during the processing of the probe and only when the verification could not rely on a superficial lexical analysis. Moreover, the manipulation of linear distance affected performance and brain activity mainly when the sentences did not have a center-embedded structure. We did not find evidence suggesting that tree-extraction, a fundamental operation of a core syntax network, takes place during sentence comprehension. The present finding showed that the syntactic complexity effect, which is an outcome of this operation, became detectable later on, whenever we need to extract structural information not obvious in the superficial sequence of words. PMID:26709465

  1. A Frequency-List of Sentence Structures: Distribution of Kernel Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geens, Dirk

    1974-01-01

    A corpus of 10,000 sentences extracted from British theatrical texts was used to construct a frequency list of kernel sentence structures. Thirty-one charts illustrate the analyzed results. The procedures used and an interpretation of the frequencies are given. Such lists might aid foreign language teachers in course organization. Available from…

  2. Ideology, Social Threat, and the Death Sentence: Capital Sentences across Time and Space

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacobs, David; Carmichael, Jason T.

    2004-01-01

    Capital punishment is the most severe criminal penalty, yet we know little about the factors that produce jurisdictional differences in the use of the death sentence. Political explanations emphasize conservative values and the strength of more conservative political parties. Threat accounts suggest that this sentence will be more likely in…

  3. Stereotypes override grammar: Social knowledge in sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Molinaro, Nicola; Su, Jui-Ju; Carreiras, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    Many studies have provided evidence for the automaticity and immediacy with which stereotypical knowledge affects our behavior. However, less is known about how such social knowledge interacts with linguistic cues during comprehension. In this ERP sentence processing study we took advantage of the rich grammatical gender morphology of Spanish to explore the processing of role nouns in which stereotype and grammatical cues were simultaneously manipulated, in a factorial design. We show that stereotypical knowledge overrides syntactic cues, highlighting the immediacy with which stereotype knowledge is activated during language comprehension and supporting proposals claiming that social knowledge impacts on language processing differently from other forms of semantics. PMID:27108245

  4. iSentenizer-μ: Multilingual Sentence Boundary Detection Model

    PubMed Central

    Chao, Lidia S.

    2014-01-01

    Sentence boundary detection (SBD) system is normally quite sensitive to genres of data that the system is trained on. The genres of data are often referred to the shifts of text topics and new languages domains. Although new detection models can be retrained for different languages or new text genres, previous model has to be thrown away and the creation process has to be restarted from scratch. In this paper, we present a multilingual sentence boundary detection system (iSentenizer-μ) for Danish, German, English, Spanish, Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Finnish, and Swedish languages. The proposed system is able to detect the sentence boundaries of a mixture of different text genres and languages with high accuracy. We employ i+Learning algorithm, an incremental tree learning architecture, for constructing the system. iSentenizer-μ, under the incremental learning framework, is adaptable to text of different topics and Roman-alphabet languages, by merging new data into existing model to learn the new knowledge incrementally by revision instead of retraining. The system has been extensively evaluated on different languages and text genres and has been compared against two state-of-the-art SBD systems, Punkt and MaxEnt. The experimental results show that the proposed system outperforms the other systems on all datasets. PMID:24883358

  5. iSentenizer-μ: multilingual sentence boundary detection model.

    PubMed

    Wong, Derek F; Chao, Lidia S; Zeng, Xiaodong

    2014-01-01

    Sentence boundary detection (SBD) system is normally quite sensitive to genres of data that the system is trained on. The genres of data are often referred to the shifts of text topics and new languages domains. Although new detection models can be retrained for different languages or new text genres, previous model has to be thrown away and the creation process has to be restarted from scratch. In this paper, we present a multilingual sentence boundary detection system (iSentenizer-μ) for Danish, German, English, Spanish, Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Finnish, and Swedish languages. The proposed system is able to detect the sentence boundaries of a mixture of different text genres and languages with high accuracy. We employ i (+)Learning algorithm, an incremental tree learning architecture, for constructing the system. iSentenizer-μ, under the incremental learning framework, is adaptable to text of different topics and Roman-alphabet languages, by merging new data into existing model to learn the new knowledge incrementally by revision instead of retraining. The system has been extensively evaluated on different languages and text genres and has been compared against two state-of-the-art SBD systems, Punkt and MaxEnt. The experimental results show that the proposed system outperforms the other systems on all datasets. PMID:24883358

  6. Prosody of Syntactically Complex Sentences in the Oral Reading of Young Children

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Justin; Schwanenflugel, Paula J.

    2009-01-01

    Prosodic, or expressive, reading is considered to be one of the essential features of the achievement of reading fluency. The purpose of this study was to determine (a) the degree to which the prosody of syntactically complex sentences varied as a function of reading speed and accuracy and (b) the role that reading prosody might play in mediating individual differences in comprehension. Spectrographic analysis of 80 third graders' and 29 adults' reading of a syntactically complex text was carried out. Oral reading skill was measured through standardized assessments. Pitch changes (changes in fundamental frequency) and pause duration were measured for sentence-final words of basic declarative sentences, basic declarative quotatives, wh questions, and yes–no questions; words preceding commas in complex adjectival phrases; and words preceding phrase-final commas. Children who had quick and accurate oral reading had shorter and more adultlike pause structures, larger pitch declinations at the end of basic declarative sentences, and larger pitch rises at the end of yes–no questions. Furthermore, children who showed larger basic declarative sentence declinations and larger pitch rises following yes–no questions tended to demonstrate greater reading comprehension skills. PMID:19777079

  7. Indexical properties influence time-varying amplitude and fundamental frequency contributions of vowels to sentence intelligibility

    PubMed Central

    Fogerty, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated how non-linguistic, indexical information about talker identity interacts with contributions to sentence intelligibility by the time-varying amplitude (temporal envelope) and fundamental frequency (F0). Young normal-hearing adults listened to sentences that preserved the original consonants but replaced the vowels with a single vowel production. This replacement vowel selectively preserved amplitude or F0 cues of the original vowel, but replaced cues to phonetic identity. Original vowel duration was always preserved. Three experiments investigated indexical contributions by replacing vowels with productions from the same or different talker, or by acoustically morphing the original vowel. These stimulus conditions investigated how vowel suprasegmental and indexical properties interact and contribute to intelligibility independently from phonetic information. Results demonstrated that indexical properties influence the relative contribution of suprasegmental properties to sentence intelligibility. F0 variations are particularly important in the presence of conflicting indexical information. Temporal envelope modulations significantly improve sentence intelligibility, but are enhanced when either indexical or F0 cues are available. These findings suggest that F0 and other indexical cues may facilitate perceptually grouping suprasegmental properties of vowels with the remainder of the sentence. Temporal envelope modulations of vowels may contribute to intelligibility once they are successfully integrated with the preserved signal. PMID:26543276

  8. Recognizing focus in noise filled sentences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Ching X.; Xu, Yi

    2003-04-01

    This study is designed to help identify the intrinsic constituents of focus. Twelve four-word Mandarin sentences were recorded by a native speaker five times, each time either with focus on one of the words, or without any focus. Then, one, two or three words in each sentence produced by the speaker were replaced by pink noise. The noise-filled sentences were presented to subjects along with the text. The subjects' task was to determine if the sentence had a focus, and if yes, on which word. Ten native Mandarin speakers participated as subjects. Their performance was compared across noise replacement conditions. It was found that, when both on-focus and post-focus words were present, focus could be recognized consistently. When only the focused word was present, focus could be recognized fairly well unless the focus position was sentence final, in which case it was not very distinct from no focus. When post-focus word(s) was(were) left intact while focused words were replaced by noise, focus could still be detected successfully, but its exact localization was sometimes judged wrong. These results seem to support the dual-component hypothesis about focus. Further implications of the findings will be discussed.

  9. Priming of Early Closure: Evidence for the Lexical Boost during Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Traxler, Matthew J.

    2014-01-01

    Two self-paced reading experiments investigated priming in sentences containing “early” vs. “late closure” ambiguities. Early closure sentences impose relatively large processing costs at the point of syntactic disambiguation (Frazier & Rayner, 1982). The current study investigated a possible way to reduce processing costs. Target sentences were temporarily ambiguous and were disambiguated towards either the preferred “late” closure analysis or the dispreferred “early” closure analysis. Each target sentence was preceded by a prime that was either structurally identical or that required a different syntactic analysis. In Experiment 1, all of the prime sentences shared the same critical verb as the target (Arai et al., 2007; Carminati et al., 2008; Tooley et al., 2009, in press; Traxler et al., in press; Weber & Indefrey, 2009). In Experiment 2, verb repetition was eliminated by reorganizing the stimuli from Experiment 1. In Experiment 1, processing of the disambiguating verb was facilitated when an “early” closure target sentence followed an “early” closure prime. In Experiment 2, there were no significant priming effects, although an overall difference in processing time favored “late closure” targets. Combined analyses verified that the pattern of results in Experiment 1 differed significantly from Experiment 2. These experiments provide the first indication that “early” closure analyses can be primed and that such priming is more robust when a critical verb appears in both the prime and the target sentence. The results add to the body of data indicating a “lexical boost” for syntactic priming effects during comprehension. They have implications for theories of syntactic representation and processing (e.g., Boland & Blodgett, 2006; Vosse & Kempen, 2009; Sag et al., 2003). PMID:25750915

  10. The disembodiment effect of negation: negating action-related sentences attenuates their interference on congruent upper limb movements.

    PubMed

    Bartoli, Eleonora; Tettamanti, Andrea; Farronato, Paolo; Caporizzo, Armanda; Moro, Andrea; Gatti, Roberto; Perani, Daniela; Tettamanti, Marco

    2013-04-01

    Human languages can express opposite propositions by means of the negative operator "not," which turns affirmative sentences into negative ones. Psycholinguistic research has indicated that negative meanings are formed by transiently reducing the access to mental representations of negated conceptual information. Neuroimaging studies have corroborated these findings, showing reduced activation of concept-specific embodied neural systems by negative versus affirmative sentences. This "disembodiment effect" of sentential negation should have two distinct consequences: first, the embodied systems should be computationally more free to support concurrent tasks when processing negative than affirmative sentences; second, the computational interference should only be reduced when there is a strict semantic congruency between the negated concept and the referent targeted by concurrent tasks. We tested these two predictions in two complementary experiments involving the comprehension of action-related sentences and kinematic measurements of its effects on concurrent, congruent actions. Sentences referred to actions involving either proximal or distal arm musculature. In experiment 1, requiring a proximal arm movement, we found interference reduction for negative proximal sentences. In experiment 2, requiring a distal arm movement, we found interference reduction for negative distal sentences. This dissociation provides the first conclusive evidence in support of a disembodiment theory of negation. We conclude that the computational cost resulting from the insertion of an additional lexical item ("not") in negative sentences is compensated by solely storing a concept in affirmative form in semantic memory, since its negative counterpart can be produced by transiently reducing the access to such stored semantic information. PMID:23307950

  11. Do Moral Communities Play a Role in Criminal Sentencing? Evidence From Pennsylvania

    PubMed Central

    Ulmer, Jeffery T.; Bader, Christopher; Gault, Martha

    2014-01-01

    Religion and social control have been a sociological concern since Durkheim and Weber, and the relationship between religion and punishment has long been the subject of speculation. However, surprisingly little empirical research exists on the role of religion or religious context in criminal justice, and almost no research on the role of religious context on actual sentencing practices. We conceptualize the potential relationships between religious context and sentencing severity by drawing from the focal concerns and court community perspectives in the sentencing literature and moral communities theory developed by Rodney Stark. We suspect that Christian moral communities might shape notions of perceived blameworthiness for court community actors. Such moral communities might also affect notions of community protection – affecting perceptions of dangerousness, or perhaps rehabilitation, and might influence practical constraints/consequences (e.g., local political ramifications of harsh or lenient sentences). We examine these questions using a set of hierarchical models using sentencing data from Pennsylvania county courts and data on the religious composition of Pennsylvania counties from the Associated Religion Data Archives. We find that county Christian religious homogeneity increases the likelihood of incarceration. In addition, Christian homogeneity as well as the prevalence of civically engaged denominations in a county condition the effects of important legally relevant determinants of incarceration. Furthermore, we find evidence that Christian homogeneity activates the effect of local Republican electoral dominance on incarceration. We argue that Christian homogeneity effects sentencing practices primarily through local political processes that shape the election of judges and prosecutors PMID:25035522

  12. Do Moral Communities Play a Role in Criminal Sentencing? Evidence From Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Ulmer, Jeffery T; Bader, Christopher; Gault, Martha

    2008-01-01

    Religion and social control have been a sociological concern since Durkheim and Weber, and the relationship between religion and punishment has long been the subject of speculation. However, surprisingly little empirical research exists on the role of religion or religious context in criminal justice, and almost no research on the role of religious context on actual sentencing practices. We conceptualize the potential relationships between religious context and sentencing severity by drawing from the focal concerns and court community perspectives in the sentencing literature and moral communities theory developed by Rodney Stark. We suspect that Christian moral communities might shape notions of perceived blameworthiness for court community actors. Such moral communities might also affect notions of community protection - affecting perceptions of dangerousness, or perhaps rehabilitation, and might influence practical constraints/consequences (e.g., local political ramifications of harsh or lenient sentences). We examine these questions using a set of hierarchical models using sentencing data from Pennsylvania county courts and data on the religious composition of Pennsylvania counties from the Associated Religion Data Archives. We find that county Christian religious homogeneity increases the likelihood of incarceration. In addition, Christian homogeneity as well as the prevalence of civically engaged denominations in a county condition the effects of important legally relevant determinants of incarceration. Furthermore, we find evidence that Christian homogeneity activates the effect of local Republican electoral dominance on incarceration. We argue that Christian homogeneity effects sentencing practices primarily through local political processes that shape the election of judges and prosecutors. PMID:25035522

  13. Integration of Sentence-Level Semantic Information in Parafovea: Evidence from the RSVP-Flanker Paradigm.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wenjia; Li, Nan; Wang, Xiaoyue; Wang, Suiping

    2015-01-01

    During text reading, the parafoveal word was usually presented between 2° and 5° from the point of fixation. Whether semantic information of parafoveal words can be processed during sentence reading is a critical and long-standing issue. Recently, studies using the RSVP-flanker paradigm have shown that the incongruent parafoveal word, presented as right flanker, elicited a more negative N400 compared with the congruent parafoveal word. This suggests that the semantic information of parafoveal words can be extracted and integrated during sentence reading, because the N400 effect is a classical index of semantic integration. However, as most previous studies did not control the word-pair congruency of the parafoveal and the foveal words that were presented in the critical triad, it is still unclear whether such integration happened at the sentence level or just at the word-pair level. The present study addressed this question by manipulating verbs in Chinese sentences to yield either a semantically congruent or semantically incongruent context for the critical noun. In particular, the interval between the critical nouns and verbs was controlled to be 4 or 5 characters. Thus, to detect the incongruence of the parafoveal noun, participants had to integrate it with the global sentential context. The results revealed that the N400 time-locked to the critical triads was more negative in incongruent than in congruent sentences, suggesting that parafoveal semantic information can be integrated at the sentence level during Chinese reading. PMID:26418230

  14. Juvenile penalty or leniency: Sentencing of juveniles in the criminal justice system.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Kareem L; McNeal, Brittani A

    2016-08-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of being juvenile on sentencing in the criminal justice system. More specifically, youth transferred to criminal court are compared to adults in terms of likelihood of incarceration, jail length, and prison length. In this study, 2 national data sets are merged. The juvenile sample includes 3,381 convicted offenders, and the adult sample is comprised of 6,529 convicted offenders. The final sample is 9,910 offenders across 36 U.S. counties. The key independent variable is juvenile status, and the dependent variables are incarceration, jail length, and prison length. Because of the multilevel nature of the data, hierarchical linear modeling is used across all models. Juveniles are punished less severely in the jail incarceration decision. However, when youth are actually sentenced to incarceration (either jail or prison), they are given longer confinement time than adults. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26974365

  15. Cerebral Specialization for Spatial Processing in Adults with Down Syndrome.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elliott, Digby; And Others

    1995-01-01

    This study of 34 adults with Down's syndrome found that right-handed subjects exhibited no lateral advantage in dihaptic shape-matching, whereas left-handed subjects displayed an expected left-hand advantage. In a visual field dot enumeration task, both groups exhibited left-field superiority. Results indicate that subjects' atypical cerebral…

  16. Training Mentors as Educational Advisors for Adult Learners. Process Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singer, Elizabeth W.

    Materials used by the director of a project designed to assist key personnel in businesses, industries, and agencies with the educational counseling of their employees are presented. The objectives of the project, "Training Mentors as Educational Advisors of Adult Learners," were to: (1) provide two training sessions in educational counseling…

  17. Phonologic Processing in Adults Who Stutter: Electrophysiological and Behavioral Evidence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber-Fox, Christine; Spencer, Rebecca M.C.; Spruill, John E., III; Smith, Anne

    2004-01-01

    Event-related brain potentials (ERPs), judgment accuracy, and reaction times (RTs) were obtained for 11 adults who stutter and 11 normally fluent speakers as they performed a rhyme judgment task of visually presented word pairs. Half of the word pairs (i.e., prime and target) were phonologically and orthographically congruent across words. That…

  18. Writing Versus Reading in Traditional and Functional Adult Literacy Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonanni, C.

    1971-01-01

    The author suggests a novel approach to adult literacy education - stressing expressive writing instead of primer reading, and relating the basic spelling patterns of the written language to the already possessed corresponding sound patterns of the spoken language rather than teaching alphabets and letters. (AN)

  19. Verb and sentence production and comprehension in aphasia: Northwestern Assessment of Verbs and Sentences (NAVS)

    PubMed Central

    Cho-Reyes, Soojin; Thompson, Cynthia K.

    2015-01-01

    Background Verbs and sentences are often impaired in individuals with aphasia, and differential impairment patterns are associated with different types of aphasia. With currently available test batteries, however, it is challenging to provide a comprehensive profile of aphasic language impairments because they do not examine syntactically important properties of verbs and sentences. Aims This study presents data derived from the Northwestern Assessment of Verbs and Sentences (NAVS; Thompson, 2011), a new test battery designed to examine syntactic deficits in aphasia. The NAVS includes tests for verb naming and comprehension, and production of verb argument structure in simple active sentences, with each examining the effects of the number and optionality of arguments. The NAVS also tests production and comprehension of canonical and non-canonical sentences. Methods & Procedures A total of 59 aphasic participants (35 agrammatic and 24 anomic) were tested using a set of action pictures. Participants produced verbs or sentences for the production subtests and identified pictures corresponding to auditorily provided verbs or sentences for the comprehension subtests. Outcomes & Results The agrammatic group, compared to the anomic group, performed significantly more poorly on all subtests except verb comprehension, and for both groups comprehension was less impaired than production. On verb naming and argument structure production tests both groups exhibited difficulty with three-argument verbs, affected by the number and optionality of arguments. However, production of sentences using three-argument verbs was more impaired in the agrammatic, compared to the anomic, group. On sentence production and comprehension tests, the agrammatic group showed impairments in all types of non-canonical sentences, whereas the anomic group exhibited difficulty primarily with the most difficult, object relative, structures. Conclusions Results show that verb and sentence deficits seen in

  20. Brain Activity with Reading Sentences and Emoticons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuasa, Masahide; Saito, Keiichi; Mukawa, Naoki

    In this paper, we describe a person's brain activity when he/she sees an emoticon at the end of a sentence. An emoticon consists of some characters that resemble the human face and expresses a sender's emotion. With the help of a computer network, we use e-mail, messenger, avatars and so on, in order to convey what we wish to, to a receiver. Moreover, we send an emotional expression by using an emoticon at the end of a sentence. In this research, we investigate the effect of an emoticon as nonverbal information, using an fMRI study. The experimental results show that the right and left inferior frontal gyrus were activated and we detect a sentence with an emoticon as the verbal and nonverval information.

  1. Sentencing goals, causal attributions, ideology, and personality.

    PubMed

    Carroll, J S; Perkowitz, W T; Lurigio, A J; Weaver, F M

    1987-01-01

    Disparity in sentencing of criminals has been related to a variety of individual difference variables. We propose a framework establishing resonances or coherent patterns among sentencing goals, causal attributions, ideology, and personality. Two studies are described, one with law and criminology students, the other with probation officers. Relations among the different types of variables reveal two resonances among both students and officers. One comprises various conservative and moralistic elements: a tough, punitive stance toward crime; belief in individual causality for crime; high scores on authoritarianism, dogmatism, and internal locus of control; lower moral stage; and political conservatism. The second comprises various liberal elements: rehabilitation, belief in economic and other external determinants of crime, higher moral stage, and belief in the powers and responsibilities of government to correct social problems. Implications of these results are discussed for individual differences in sentencing, attribution theory, and attempts to reduce disparity. PMID:3820064

  2. Confusion and the Older Adult. Module A-8. Block A. Basic Knowledge of the Aging Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harvey, Dexter; Cap, Orest

    This instructional module on confusion and the older adult is one in a block of 10 modules designed to provide the human services worker who works with older adults with basic information regarding the aging process. An introduction provides an overview of the module content. A listing of general objectives follows. Three sections present…

  3. Face Processing and Facial Emotion Recognition in Adults with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barisnikov, Koviljka; Hippolyte, Loyse; Van der Linden, Martial

    2008-01-01

    Face processing and facial expression recognition was investigated in 17 adults with Down syndrome, and results were compared with those of a child control group matched for receptive vocabulary. On the tasks involving faces without emotional content, the adults with Down syndrome performed significantly worse than did the controls. However, their…

  4. The Development of Global and Local Processing: A Comparison of Children to Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peterson, Eric; Peterson, Robin L.

    2014-01-01

    In light of the adult model of a hemispheric asymmetry of global and local processing, we compared children (M [subscript age] = 8.4 years) to adults in a global-local reaction time (RT) paradigm. Hierarchical designs (large shapes made of small shapes) were presented randomly to each visual field, and participants were instructed to identify…

  5. Variability of the Aging Process in Dementia-Free Adults with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsao, Raphaele; Kindelberger, Cecile; Freminville, Benedicte; Touraine, Renaud; Bussey, Gerald

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this cross-sectional study was to analyze the typical aging process in adults with Down syndrome, focusing on its variability. The sample comprised 120 adults with Down syndrome who were free of dementia. Ages ranged from 20 to 69 years. Each participant was assessed on cognitive functioning and social adaptation, and was checked for…

  6. The Effects of Concurrent Cognitive Load on Phonological Processing in Adults Who Stutter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Robin M.; Fox, Robert A.; Jacewicz, Ewa

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To determine whether phonological processing in adults who stutter (AWS) is disrupted by increased amounts of cognitive load in a concurrent attention-demanding task. Method: Nine AWS and 9 adults who do not stutter (AWNS) participated. Using a dual-task paradigm, the authors presented word pairs for rhyme judgments and, concurrently,…

  7. Nutrition and the Older Adult. Module A-9. Block A. Basic Knowledge of the Aging Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harvey, Dexter; Cap, Orest

    This instructional module on nutrition and the older adult is one in a block of 10 modules designed to provide the human services worker who works with older adults with basic information regarding the aging process. An introduction provides an overview of the module content. A listing of general objectives follows. Five sections present…

  8. The Processes that Promote Learning in Adult Mentoring and Coaching Dyadic Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marx, Michael J.

    2009-01-01

    This is a study of 10 adults participating in one-to-one mentoring and/or coaching. Participants were selected for interviewing through a purposive sampling process from leading international mentoring and coaching organizations. Selection criteria included (a) being an adult, (b) participating in a dyadic learning, and (c) regarding that…

  9. Self-Disclosure and Adults with Learning Disabilities: Practical Ideas about a Complex Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gerber, Paul J.; Price, Lynda A.

    2008-01-01

    Self-disclosure for adults with learning disabilities is very complex after the beyond-school years. The issues of invisibility, risk/benefit, and the multiple contexts of adult functioning create many challenges in the process of disclosure. Moreover, self-disclosure, one element of the larger issue of self-determination, is viewed as an entry…

  10. An ERP Study of Emotional Face Processing in the Adult and Infant Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leppanen, Jukka M.; Moulson, Margaret C.; Vogel-Farley, Vanessa K.; Nelson, Charles A.

    2007-01-01

    To examine the ontogeny of emotional face processing, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from adults and 7-month-old infants while viewing pictures of fearful, happy, and neutral faces. Face-sensitive ERPs at occipital-temporal scalp regions differentiated between fearful and neutral/happy faces in both adults (N170 was larger for fear)…

  11. The Influence of Semantic Processing on Phonological Decisions in Children and Adults: A Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wehner, Daniel T.; Ahlfors, Seppo P.; Mody, Maria

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: To examine the behavioral effects and neural activation patterns associated with implicit semantic processing influences on phonological judgments during reading in children and adults. Method: Whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings were obtained from 2 groups, children (9-13 years) and adults, performing a homophone judgment…

  12. Hemispheric Processing of Idioms and Irony in Adults with and without Pervasive Developmental Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saban-Bezalel, Ronit; Mashal, Nira

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies on individuals with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) have pointed to difficulties in comprehension of figurative language. Using the divided visual field paradigm, the present study examined hemispheric processing of idioms and irony in 23 adults with PDD and in 24 typically developing (TD) adults. The results show that…

  13. Processing of Facial Expressions of Emotions by Adults with Down Syndrome and Moderate Intellectual Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carvajal, Fernando; Fernandez-Alcaraz, Camino; Rueda, Maria; Sarrion, Louise

    2012-01-01

    The processing of facial expressions of emotions by 23 adults with Down syndrome and moderate intellectual disability was compared with that of adults with intellectual disability of other etiologies (24 matched in cognitive level and 26 with mild intellectual disability). Each participant performed 4 tasks of the Florida Affect Battery and an…

  14. Childhood social inequalities influences neural processes in young adult caregiving.

    PubMed

    Kim, Pilyoung; Ho, Shaun S; Evans, Gary W; Liberzon, Israel; Swain, James E

    2015-12-01

    Childhood poverty is associated with harsh parenting with a risk of transmission to the next generation. This prospective study examined the relations between childhood poverty and non-parent adults' neural responses to infant cry sounds. While no main effects of poverty were revealed in contrasts of infant cry versus acoustically matched white noise, a gender by childhood poverty interaction emerged. In females, childhood poverty was associated with increased neural activations in the posterior insula, striatum, calcarine sulcus, hippocampus, and fusiform gyrus, while, in males, childhood poverty was associated with reduced levels of neural responses to infant cry in the same regions. Irrespective of gender, neural activation in these regions was associated with higher levels of annoyance with the cry sound and reduced desire to approach the crying infant. The findings suggest gender differences in neural and emotional responses to infant cry sounds among young adults growing up in poverty. PMID:25981334

  15. When Language Switching has No Apparent Cost: Lexical Access in Sentence Context

    PubMed Central

    Gullifer, Jason W.; Kroll, Judith F.; Dussias, Paola E.

    2013-01-01

    We report two experiments that investigate the effects of sentence context on bilingual lexical access in Spanish and English. Highly proficient Spanish-English bilinguals read sentences in Spanish and English that included a marked word to be named. The word was either a cognate with similar orthography and/or phonology in the two languages, or a matched non-cognate control. Sentences appeared in one language alone (i.e., Spanish or English) and target words were not predictable on the basis of the preceding semantic context. In Experiment 1, we mixed the language of the sentence within a block such that sentences appeared in an alternating run in Spanish or in English. These conditions partly resemble normally occurring inter-sentential code-switching. In these mixed-language sequences, cognates were named faster than non-cognates in both languages. There were no effects of switching the language of the sentence. In Experiment 2, with Spanish-English bilinguals matched closely to those who participated in the first experiment, we blocked the language of the sentences to encourage language-specific processes. The results were virtually identical to those of the mixed-language experiment. In both cases, target cognates were named faster than non-cognates, and the magnitude of the effect did not change according to the broader context. Taken together, the results support the predictions of the Bilingual Interactive Activation + Model (Dijkstra and van Heuven, 2002) in demonstrating that bilingual lexical access is language non-selective even under conditions in which language-specific cues should enable selective processing. They also demonstrate that, in contrast to lexical switching from one language to the other, inter-sentential code-switching of the sort in which bilinguals frequently engage, imposes no significant costs to lexical processing. PMID:23750141

  16. Production of sentence-final intonation contours by hearing-impaired children.

    PubMed

    Allen, G D; Arndorfer, P M

    2000-04-01

    Studies of intonation in the hearing impaired (HI) are often concerned with either objective measures or listener perceptions. Less often has the focus been on how these two aspects of communication interrelate. This study examined the relationship between certain acoustic parameters and listeners' perceptions of intonation contours produced by HI children. Six severe-to-profound HI children and 6 normal-hearing (NH) children, ages 7;9 to 14;7, were individually tape recorded while reading 10 declarative sentences and 10 phonemically matched interrogative sentences within the context of a script. Each sentence ended with a carefully chosen disyllabic (target) word. Twelve adult listeners, inexperienced with the speech of the HI, listened to a randomized audio tape presentation of all of these productions and categorized each one as a statement, question, or other. Fundamental frequency (F0) and duration measurements were obtained for the target (final) word of each sentence, and intensity measures were recorded for each entire sentence. Acoustic analysis showed that all 6 of the NH children and 4 of the 6 HI children produced acoustically different intonation contours for declarative versus interrogative sentences. The HI children's productions were, in general, similar to the NH children, in that they used F0, duration, and intensity cues to mark the distinction. Their contrastive use of these acoustic cues, however, was less pronounced than for the NH children. Analysis of listener responses indicated that, although listeners were able to differentiate between some of the declarative and interrogative sentences produced by these 4 HI children, judgments corresponded with their intended type less often for the HI than for the NH children. (Judgments of NH children's utterances were 100% correct.) Multiple logistic regression of listeners' responses to the HI children's utterances showed that 4 acoustic measures, all derived from the sentence-final word, were

  17. The pupil response is sensitive to divided attention during speech processing.

    PubMed

    Koelewijn, Thomas; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G; Zekveld, Adriana A; Kramer, Sophia E

    2014-06-01

    Dividing attention over two streams of speech strongly decreases performance compared to focusing on only one. How divided attention affects cognitive processing load as indexed with pupillometry during speech recognition has so far not been investigated. In 12 young adults the pupil response was recorded while they focused on either one or both of two sentences that were presented dichotically and masked by fluctuating noise across a range of signal-to-noise ratios. In line with previous studies, the performance decreases when processing two target sentences instead of one. Additionally, dividing attention to process two sentences caused larger pupil dilation and later peak pupil latency than processing only one. This suggests an effect of attention on cognitive processing load (pupil dilation) during speech processing in noise. PMID:24709275

  18. Do sentences with unaccusative verbs involve syntactic movement? Evidence from neuroimaging

    PubMed Central

    Agnew, Z.K.; van de Koot, H.; McGettigan, C.; Scott, S.K.

    2014-01-01

    This study focuses on the neural processing of English sentences containing unergative, unaccusative and transitive verbs. We demonstrate common responses in bilateral superior temporal gyri in response to listening to sentences containing unaccusative and transitive verbs compared to unergative verbs; we did not detect any activation that was specific to unaccusatives. Our findings indicate that the neural processing of unaccusative and transitive verbs is highly similar, and very different from the processing of unergative verbs. We discuss the consequences of these results for the linguistic analysis of movement phenomena. PMID:25210717

  19. E-Classroom: Silly Sentences & Cybertravel.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Tania M.; Majors, Susan

    2001-01-01

    Presents suggestions from two elementary teachers on easy, technology-based learning activities. The first activity involves using the computer to unscramble words and cut and paste them into a sentence. The second activity involves developing web pages of various important parks and other locations to which students can plan and conduct virtual…

  20. BELTracker: evidence sentence retrieval for BEL statements.

    PubMed

    Rastegar-Mojarad, Majid; Komandur Elayavilli, Ravikumar; Liu, Hongfang

    2016-01-01

    Biological expression language (BEL) is one of the main formal representation models of biological networks. The primary source of information for curating biological networks in BEL representation has been literature. It remains a challenge to identify relevant articles and the corresponding evidence statements for curating and validating BEL statements. In this paper, we describe BELTracker, a tool used to retrieve and rank evidence sentences from PubMed abstracts and full-text articles for a given BEL statement (per the 2015 task requirements of BioCreative V BEL Task). The system is comprised of three main components, (i) translation of a given BEL statement to an information retrieval (IR) query, (ii) retrieval of relevant PubMed citations and (iii) finding and ranking the evidence sentences in those citations. BELTracker uses a combination of multiple approaches based on traditional IR, machine learning, and heuristics to accomplish the task. The system identified and ranked at least one fully relevant evidence sentence in the top 10 retrieved sentences for 72 out of 97 BEL statements in the test set. BELTracker achieved a precision of 0.392, 0.532 and 0.615 when evaluated with three criteria, namely full, relaxed and context criteria, respectively, by the task organizers. Our team at Mayo Clinic was the only participant in this task. BELTracker is available as a RESTful API and is available for public use.Database URL: http://www.openbionlp.org:8080/BelTracker/finder/Given_BEL_Statement. PMID:27173525