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Sample records for adult sentence processing

  1. Neural processing during older adults' comprehension of spoken sentences: age differences in resource allocation and connectivity.

    PubMed

    Peelle, Jonathan E; Troiani, Vanessa; Wingfield, Arthur; Grossman, Murray

    2010-04-01

    Speech comprehension remains largely preserved in older adults despite significant age-related neurophysiological change. However, older adults' performance declines more rapidly than that of young adults when listening conditions are challenging. We investigated the cortical network underlying speech comprehension in healthy aging using short sentences differing in syntactic complexity, with processing demands further manipulated through speech rate. Neural activity was monitored using blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging. Comprehension of syntactically complex sentences activated components of a core sentence-processing network in both young and older adults, including the left inferior and middle frontal gyri, left inferior parietal cortex, and left middle temporal gyrus. However, older adults showed reduced recruitment of inferior frontal regions relative to young adults; the individual degree of recruitment predicted accuracy at the more difficult fast speech rate. Older adults also showed increased activity in frontal regions outside the core sentence-processing network, which may have played a compensatory role. Finally, a functional connectivity analysis demonstrated reduced coherence between activated regions in older adults. We conclude that decreased activation of specialized processing regions, and limited ability to coordinate activity between regions, contribute to older adults' difficulty with sentence comprehension under difficult listening conditions.

  2. Online sentence processing in adults who stutter and adults who do not stutter.

    PubMed

    Bosshardt, H G; Fransen, H

    1996-08-01

    This study had two specific aims. The first aim was to investigate whether, during a silent reading task, persons who stutter encode phonological and semantic information move slowly then persons who do not stutter. The second aim was to investigate how the syntactic context of stimulus sentences influences the speed of coding. Fourteen adult persons who stutter and 14 adult persons who do not stutter participated in a self-paced word-by-word reading experiment. While reading a prose text silently, participants monitored target words that were specified before the presentation of the text. The target words to be monitored for were phonologically similar, categorically related, or identical to a cue word. The influence of syntactic information on the word-monitoring reaction time was studied by presenting the text either as normal prose, in a syntactically correct but semantically anomalous version, or in random word order. The results suggest that the two groups are not different with respect to the speed of word identification but that persons who stutter retrieve semantic information more slowly than persons who do not stutter.

  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. Online Sentence Processing in Adults Who Stutter and Adults Who Do Not Stutter.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bosshardt, Hans-Georg; Fransen, Hans

    1996-01-01

    Fourteen adults who stuttered and 14 adults who did not participated in a self-paced word-by-word reading experiment. Results indicated that the two groups were not different with respect to speed of word identification but that persons who stuttered retrieved semantic information more slowly than those who did not stutter. (Author/PB)

  5. The Developing Constraints on Parsing Decisions: The Role of Lexical-Biases and Referential Scenes in Child and Adult Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snedeker, Jesse; Trueswell, John C.

    2004-01-01

    Two striking contrasts currently exist in the sentence processing literature. First, whereas adult readers rely heavily on lexical information in the generation of syntactic alternatives, adult listeners in world-situated eye-gaze studies appear to allow referential evidence to override strong countervailing lexical biases (Tanenhaus,…

  6. Sentence Processing with Empty Categories.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gibson, Edward; Hickok, Gregory

    1993-01-01

    Pickering and Barry's recent argument against the existence of empty categories (ECs) in human sentence processing is disputed. It is argued here that ECs may still play a linking role between thematic role assigners and wh-phrases. One possible parsing algorithm is given that accounts for Pickering and Barry's data. (28 references) (Author/LB)

  7. Lexical Representations and Sentence Processing: An Introduction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacDonald, Maryellen C.

    1997-01-01

    Reviews some history of how lexical representations have acquired an important role in sentence processing research. Discusses relevant issues, including the importance of timecourse information in theorizing; the importance of frequency information in theories of sentence processing; and the question of the grain of frequency information. (42…

  8. 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…

  9. Factors Affecting Sentence Severity for Young Adult Offenders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenwood, Peter W.; And Others

    This document analyzes the sentencing of young adult defendants in comparison with older adult and younger juvenile offenders, and disputes prior research which held that young adults received more lenient sentencing, perhaps because of the restrictions on disclosing juvenile delinquency histories. The document presents data from samples of young…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Sentence Comprehension: A Parallel Distributed Processing Approach

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-07-14

    to suggest that the model we have presented here Is a tabula rasa , acquiring knowledge of language without any prior structure. Indeed, the input is...AvailabilitY CodesAvail and/cr .Dist Special 2 What is constructed mentally when we comprehend a sentence? How does this constructive process occur? What role ...expression is a function of the semantic content of each of the parts of the expression and of the organization of the constituents. 1.2. What role do

  16. Uncertainty and Expectation in Sentence Processing: Evidence from Subcategorization Distributions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Linzen, Tal; Jaeger, T. Florian

    2016-01-01

    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…

  17. 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

  18. The Role of Semantics in Sentence-Processing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dell, Gary S.

    In order to explore the effect of semantic organization on the comprehension of sentences, this research, based on the hypothesis that fully grammatical sentences would be processed more easily than anomalous sentences, depended on data provided by 20 paid college students serving in individual sessions. Each student listened to 30 tape-recorded…

  19. Perception of Nonnative-accented Sentences by 5- to 8-Year-olds and Adults: The Role of Phonological Processing Skills.

    PubMed

    Bent, Tessa; Atagi, Eriko

    2017-03-01

    To acquire language and successfully communicate in multicultural and multilingual societies, children must learn to understand speakers with various accents and dialects. This study investigated adults' and 5- to 8-year-old children's perception of native- and nonnative-accented English sentences in noise. Participants' phonological memory and phonological awareness were assessed to investigate factors associated with individual differences in word recognition. Although both adults and children performed less accurately with nonnative talkers than native talkers, children showed greater performance decrements. Further, phonological memory was more closely tied to perception of native talkers whereas phonological awareness was more closely related to perception of nonnative talkers. These results suggest that the ability to recognize words produced in unfamiliar accents continues to develop beyond the early school-age years. Additionally, the linguistic skills most related to word recognition in adverse listening conditions may differ depending on the source of the challenge (i.e., noise, talker, or a combination).

  20. 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…

  1. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    .... 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 terms... term or terms of more than one year imposed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 4205(b)(2) (or pursuant to former...

  2. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    .... 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 terms... term or terms of more than one year imposed pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 4205(b)(2) (or pursuant to former...

  3. An fMRI study of processing novel metaphoric sentences.

    PubMed

    Mashal, N; Faust, M; Hendler, T; Jung-Beeman, M

    2009-01-01

    Due to inconsistent findings, the role of the two cerebral hemispheres in processing metaphoric language is controversial. The present study examined the possibility that these inconsistent findings may be due, at least partly, to differences in the type (i.e., words vs sentences) or the familiarity of the linguistic material. Previous research has shown that novel two-word metaphoric expressions showed stronger activation in the right homologue of Wernicke's area for the novel metaphors than for both literal expressions and unrelated word pairs. In the present study fMRI was used to identify the left (LH) and the right hemisphere (RH) neural networks associated with processing unfamiliar, novel metaphoric sentences taken from poetry, as compared to those involved in processing familiar literal sentences and unfamiliar nonsensical sentences. Across participants, several left lateralised brain regions showed stronger activation for novel metaphoric sentences than for the nonsensical sentences although both types of sentence represent unfamiliar linguistic expressions. Moreover, the metaphoric sentences elicited more activation in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the posterior middle temporal gyri than did both the literal sentences and the nonsensical sentences. The increased activation in these brain regions might reflect the enhanced demand on the episodic and semantic memory systems in order to generate de-novo verbal semantic associations. The involvement of the left posterior middle temporal gyri could reflect extra reliance on classical brain structures devoted to sentence comprehension.

  4. Spontaneous but not explicit processing of positive sentences impaired in Asperger's syndrome: pupillometric evidence.

    PubMed

    Kuchinke, Lars; Schneider, Dana; Kotz, Sonja A; Jacobs, Arthur M

    2011-02-01

    Emotional prosody provides important cues for understanding the emotions of others in every day communication. Asperger's syndrome (AS) is a developmental disorder characterised by pronounced deficits in socio-emotional communication, including difficulties in the domain of prosody processing. We measured pupillary responses as an index of emotional prosodic processing when 15 participants with AS and 19 non-clinical control participants listened to positive, negative and neutral prosodic sentences. This occurred under a spontaneous and an explicit task instruction. In the explicit processing condition, the AS group and the non-clinical controls showed increased pupil dilations to positively and negatively intoned sentences when judging the valence of that prosodic sentence. This suggests higher processing demands for emotionally arousing information, as the effect was not found in comparison to neutrally intoned sentences. In the spontaneous processing condition, controls also responded with increased pupil dilations to positively intoned sentences, whilst individuals with AS showed increased pupil dilations to negative sentences. The latter result is further supported by diminished ratings of emotionally intense sentences in the AS group compared to healthy controls. Perception and recognition of positively valenced sentences in individuals with AS appears impaired and dependent on the general task set-up. Diminished pupil dilations in spontaneous positive processing conditions as well as reduced positive valence ratings give strong indications for a general negative processing bias of verbal information for adult individuals diagnosed with AS.

  5. Processing complexity and sentence memory: evidence from amnesia.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, L P; McNamara, P; Zurif, E; Lanzoni, S; Cermak, L

    1992-05-01

    This study examines sentence memory as a function of linguistic processing complexity in amnesic patients. Sentence length as well as lexical and syntactic complexity were manipulated in two sentence repetition experiments. It was found that the amnesic patients performed considerably worse than the control subjects and that performance decreased: (1) when sentence length was increased by the addition of adjuncts compared to arguments of the verb; (2) when the verb selected more thematic frames; and (3) when sentences involved "empty" argument positions that must be linked to antecedents, particularly across clausal boundaries. These data showed how linguistic complexity affects sentence memory and implied that the amnesic deficit did not involve a generalized difficulty for materials of similar length, rather, the deficit was specific to certain representational types and processing routines.

  6. Oscillatory EEG dynamics underlying automatic chunking during sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Bonhage, Corinna E; Meyer, Lars; Gruber, Thomas; Friederici, Angela D; Mueller, Jutta L

    2017-03-10

    Sentences are easier to remember than random word sequences, likely because linguistic regularities facilitate chunking of words into meaningful groups. The present electroencephalography study investigated the neural oscillations modulated by this so-called sentence superiority effect during the encoding and maintenance of sentence fragments versus word lists. We hypothesized a chunking-related modulation of neural processing during the encoding and retention of sentence fragments as compared to word lists. Time-frequency analysis revealed a two-fold oscillatory pattern for the memorization of sentences: Sentence encoding was accompanied by higher delta amplitude (4Hz), originating both from regions processing syntax as well as semantics (bilateral superior/middle temporal regions and fusiform gyrus). Subsequent sentence retention was reflected in decreased theta (6Hz) and beta/gamma (27-32Hz) amplitude instead. Notably, whether participants simply read or properly memorized the sentences did not impact chunking-related activity during encoding. Therefore, we argue that the sentence superiority effect is grounded in highly automatized language processing mechanisms, which generate meaningful memory chunks irrespective of task demands.

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. Recovery of Sentence Production Processes Following Language Treatment in Aphasia: Evidence from Eyetracking

    PubMed Central

    Mack, Jennifer E.; Nerantzini, Michaela; Thompson, Cynthia K.

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Sentence production impairments in aphasia often improve with treatment. However, little is known about how cognitive processes supporting sentence production, such as sentence planning, are impacted by treatment. Methods: The present study used eyetracking to examine changes in sentence production resulting from a 12-week language treatment program focused on passive sentences (Treatment of Underlying Forms (TUF); Thompson and Shapiro, 2005). In two pre-treatment and two post-treatment sessions, nine participants with mild-to-moderate agrammatic aphasia performed a structural priming task, which involved repeating primed sentences (actives or passives) and then, using the same verb, producing sentences describing pictured events. Two individuals with aphasia performed the eyetracking task on the same schedule without intervening language treatment. Ten unimpaired older adults also performed the task to identify normal performance patterns. Sentence production accuracy and speech onset latencies were examined, and eye movements to the pictured Agent and Theme characters were analyzed in the first 400 ms after picture onset, reflecting early sentence planning, and in the regions preceding the production of the sentence subject and post-verbal noun, reflecting lexical encoding. Results: Unimpaired controls performed with high accuracy. Their early eye movements (first 400 ms) indicated equal fixations to the Agent and Theme, consistent with structural sentence planning (i.e., initial construction of an abstract structural frame). Subsequent eye movements occurring prior to speech onset were consistent with encoding of the correct sentence subject (i.e., the Agent in actives, Theme in passives), with encoding of the post-verbal noun beginning at speech onset. In participants with aphasia, accuracy improved significantly with treatment, and post-treatment (but not pre-treatment) eye movements were qualitatively similar to those of unimpaired controls

  10. Effects of speaker emotional facial expression and listener age on incremental sentence processing.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Semantic Similarity, Predictability, and Models of Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roland, Douglas; Yun, Hongoak; Koenig, Jean-Pierre; Mauner, Gail

    2012-01-01

    The effects of word predictability and shared semantic similarity between a target word and other words that could have taken its place in a sentence on language comprehension are investigated using data from a reading time study, a sentence completion study, and linear mixed-effects regression modeling. We find that processing is facilitated if…

  12. Risk for Mild Cognitive Impairment Is Associated With Semantic Integration Deficits in Sentence Processing and Memory

    PubMed Central

    Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A. L.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. We examined the degree to which online sentence processing and offline sentence memory differed among older adults who showed risk for amnestic and nonamnestic varieties of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), based on psychometric classification. Method. Participants (N = 439) read a series of sentences in a self-paced word-by-word reading paradigm for subsequent recall and completed a standardized cognitive test battery. Participants were classified into 3 groups: unimpaired controls (N = 281), amnestic MCI (N = 94), or nonamnestic MCI (N = 64). Results. Relative to controls, both MCI groups had poorer sentence memory and showed reduced sentence wrap-up effects, indicating reduced allocation to semantic integration processes. Wrap-up effects predicted subsequent recall in the control and nonamnestic groups. The amnestic MCI group showed poorer recall than the nonamnestic MCI group, and only the amnestic MCI group showed no relationship between sentence wrap-up and recall. Discussion. Our findings suggest that psychometrically defined sub-types of MCI are associated with unique deficits in sentence processing and can differentiate between the engagement of attentional resources during reading and the effectiveness of engaging attentional resources in producing improved memory. PMID:25190209

  13. Pupil size behavior during online processing of sentences.

    PubMed

    Fernández, G; Biondi, J; Castro, S; Agamenonni, O

    2016-12-01

    In the present work we analyzed the pupil size behavior of 40 subjects while they read well-defined sentences with different contextual predictability (i.e., regular sentences and proverbs). In general, pupil size increased when reading regular sentences, but when readers realized that they were reading proverbs their pupils strongly increase until finishing proverbs' reading. Our results suggest that an increased pupil size is not limited to cognitive load (i.e., relative difficulty in processing) because when participants accurately recognized words during reading proverbs, theirs pupil size increased too. Our results show that pupil size dynamics may be a reliable measure to investigate the cognitive processes involved in sentence processing and memory functioning.

  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 (5-6 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.

  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. Effort Not Speed Characterizes Comprehension of Spoken Sentences by Older Adults with Mild Hearing Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Ayasse, Nicole D.; Lash, Amanda; Wingfield, Arthur

    2017-01-01

    In spite of the rapidity of everyday speech, older adults tend to keep up relatively well in day-to-day listening. In laboratory settings older adults do not respond as quickly as younger adults in off-line tests of sentence comprehension, but the question is whether comprehension itself is actually slower. Two unique features of the human eye were used to address this question. First, we tracked eye-movements as 20 young adults and 20 healthy older adults listened to sentences that referred to one of four objects pictured on a computer screen. Although the older adults took longer to indicate the referenced object with a cursor-pointing response, their gaze moved to the correct object as rapidly as that of the younger adults. Second, we concurrently measured dilation of the pupil of the eye as a physiological index of effort. This measure revealed that although poorer hearing acuity did not slow processing, success came at the cost of greater processing effort. PMID:28119598

  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. Younger and Older Adults' “Good-Enough” Interpretations of Garden-Path Sentences

    PubMed Central

    Christianson, Kiel; Williams, Carrick C.; Zacks, Rose T.; Ferreira, Fernanda

    2006-01-01

    We report 3 experiments that examined younger and older adults' reliance on “good-enough” interpretations for garden-path sentences (e.g., “While Anna dressed the baby played in the crib”) as indicated by their responding “Yes” to questions probing the initial, syntactically unlicensed interpretation (e.g., “Did Anna dress the baby?”). The manipulation of several factors expected to influence the probability of generating or maintaining the unlicensed interpretation resulted in 2 major age differences: Older adults were generally more likely to endorse the incorrect interpretation for sentences containing optionally transitive verbs (e.g., hunted, paid), and they showed decreased availability of the correct interpretation of subordinate clauses containing reflexive absolute transitive verbs (e.g., dress, bathe). These age differences may in part be linked to older adults' increased reliance on heuristic-like good-enough processing to compensate for age-related deficits in working memory capacity. The results support previous studies suggesting that syntactic reanalysis may not be an all-or-nothing process and might not be completed unless questions probing unresolved aspects of the sentence structure challenge the resultant interpretation. PMID:17203135

  19. Sentence Processing in Traumatic Brain Injury: Evidence from the P600

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Key-DeLyria, Sarah E.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Sentence processing can be affected following a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to linguistic or cognitive deficits. Language-related event-related potentials (ERPs), particularly the P600, have not been described in individuals with TBI history. Method: Four young adults with a history of closed head injury participated. Two had severe…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... RECOMMITMENT OF PRISONERS, YOUTH OFFENDERS, AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS United States Code Prisoners and Parolees... term or terms, or after completion of ten years of a life sentence or of a sentence of over thirty... Commission as if sentenced pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 4205(b)(2). However, if the prisoner's offense was...

  3. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... RECOMMITMENT OF PRISONERS, YOUTH OFFENDERS, AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS United States Code Prisoners and Parolees... term or terms, or after completion of ten years of a life sentence or of a sentence of over thirty... Commission as if sentenced pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 4205(b)(2). However, if the prisoner's offense was...

  4. 28 CFR 2.2 - Eligibility for parole; adult sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... RECOMMITMENT OF PRISONERS, YOUTH OFFENDERS, AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS United States Code Prisoners and Parolees... term or terms, or after completion of ten years of a life sentence or of a sentence of over thirty... Commission as if sentenced pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 4205(b)(2). However, if the prisoner's offense was...

  5. Memory for generic and quantified sentences in Spanish-speaking children and adults.

    PubMed

    Gelman, Susan A; Sánchez Tapia, Ingrid; Leslie, Sarah-Jane

    2016-11-01

    Generic language ( Owls eat at night) expresses knowledge about categories and may represent a cognitively default mode of generalization. English-speaking children and adults more accurately recall generic than quantified sentences ( All owls eat at night) and tend to recall quantified sentences as generic. However, generics in English are shorter than quantified sentences, and may be better recalled for this reason. The present study provided a new test of the issue in Spanish, where generics are expressed with an additional linguistic element not found in certain quantified sentences ( Los búhos comen de noche 'Owls eat at night' [generic] vs. Muchos búhos comen de noche 'Many owls eat at night' [quantified]). Both preschoolers and adults recalled generics more accurately than quantified sentences, and quantified sentences were more often recalled as generic than the reverse. These findings provide strong additional evidence for generics as a cognitive default, in an understudied cultural context.

  6. Experience and sentence processing: statistical learning and relative clause comprehension.

    PubMed

    Wells, Justine B; Christiansen, Morten H; Race, David S; Acheson, Daniel J; MacDonald, Maryellen C

    2009-03-01

    Many explanations of the difficulties associated with interpreting object relative clauses appeal to the demands that object relatives make on working memory. MacDonald and Christiansen [MacDonald, M. C., & Christiansen, M. H. (2002). Reassessing working memory: Comment on Just and Carpenter (1992) and Waters and Caplan (1996). Psychological Review, 109, 35-54] pointed to variations in reading experience as a source of differences, arguing that the unique word order of object relatives makes their processing more difficult and more sensitive to the effects of previous experience than the processing of subject relatives. This hypothesis was tested in a large-scale study manipulating reading experiences of adults over several weeks. The group receiving relative clause experience increased reading speeds for object relatives more than for subject relatives, whereas a control experience group did not. The reading time data were compared to performance of a computational model given different amounts of experience. The results support claims for experience-based individual differences and an important role for statistical learning in sentence comprehension processes.

  7. Effects of Syntactic Complexity and Sentence-Structure Priming on Speech Initiation Time in Adults Who Stutter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsiamtsiouris, Jim; Cairns, Helen Smith

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: To test the hypotheses that adults who stutter will be slower in producing syntactically complex sentences than fluent adults and will benefit more from sentence-structure priming than will fluent adults. Method: Adults who stutter (n = 15) and fluent adults (n = 15) participated in 2 experiments. In Experiment 1, adults in both groups…

  8. "Not" May Not Be Too Difficult: The Effects of Negation on Older Adults' Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Margolin, Sara J.; Abrams, Lise

    2009-01-01

    The present research investigated the effects of negation on young and older adults' comprehension of sentences. Participants read sentences, named probe words, answered comprehension questions, and completed the operation-span test. Negation adversely affected comprehension in both age groups such that probe word naming times were marginally…

  9. 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…

  10. 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,…

  11. Parallel Processing and Sentence Comprehension Difficulty

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boston, Marisa Ferrara; Hale, John T.; Vasishth, Shravan; Kliegl, Reinhold

    2011-01-01

    Eye fixation durations during normal reading correlate with processing difficulty, but the specific cognitive mechanisms reflected in these measures are not well understood. This study finds support in German readers' eye fixations for two distinct difficulty metrics: surprisal, which reflects the change in probabilities across syntactic analyses…

  12. Processing of Irregular Polysemes in Sentence Reading

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brocher, Andreas; Foraker, Stephani; Koenig, Jean-Pierre

    2016-01-01

    The degree to which meanings are related in memory affects ambiguous word processing. We examined irregular polysemes, which have related senses based on similar or shared features rather than a relational rule, like regular polysemy. We tested to what degree the related meanings of irregular polysemes ("wire") are represented with…

  13. Cultural considerations in the criminal law: the sentencing process.

    PubMed

    Boehnlein, James K; Schaefer, Michele N; Bloom, Joseph D

    2005-01-01

    In forensic psychiatry, there is increasing recognition of the importance of culture and ethnicity in the criminal justice process as the population becomes more culturally diverse. However, there has been little consideration of the role of cultural factors in the trial process for criminal defendants, particularly in the sentencing phase of trial. Using a capital murder case study, this article explores the role of cultural forensic psychiatric consultation, focusing on the sentencing phase of trial as the place where the full scope and power of a cultural evaluation can be brought most effectively to the attention of the court. Cultural psychiatric perspectives can enrich a core forensic evaluation and be maximally helpful to the court, by exploring family dynamics and psychological health influenced by cultural history, immigrant and refugee experiences, and sociocultural environment. Specific recommendations and cautions for effective cultural consultation in forensic psychiatry are discussed.

  14. 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

  15. Processing of irregular polysemes in sentence reading.

    PubMed

    Brocher, Andreas; Foraker, Stephani; Koenig, Jean-Pierre

    2016-11-01

    The degree to which meanings are related in memory affects ambiguous word processing. We examined irregular polysemes, which have related senses based on similar or shared features rather than a relational rule, like regular polysemy. We tested to what degree the related meanings of irregular polysemes (wire) are represented with shared semantic information versus unshared information represented separately, like homonyms (bank). Monitoring eye fixations, we found that later context supporting the less frequent meaning of an irregular polyseme did not slow down reading compared with control conditions, whereas for homonyms it did. This indicates that in the absence of preceding biasing context, readers access a shared component of an irregular polyseme's representation. Additionally, when the same context words preceded the ambiguous word, both irregular polysemes and homonyms initially elicited longer reading times, but the observed reading slow-down was weaker and less persistent for irregular polysemes than homonyms, indicating less competition between meaning components. We interpret these results as evidence of a shared features representation for irregular polysemes, which additionally incorporates unshared portions of meaning that can compete. When preceding, biasing context is available, readers activate shared and unshared components of the senses, producing a more fully instantiated meaning. (PsycINFO Database Record

  16. Constraint satisfaction as a theory of sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Frazier, L

    1995-11-01

    Various problems with the constraint satisfaction model are discussed. It is argued that the empirical evidence presented in support of the model does not concern predictions of the model that diverge from those of depth-first (one analysis at a time) models. Several methodological problems are also noted. As a theory of sentence processing, the model is inadequate. It fails to account for the assignment of local structure, global structure, structure involving discontinuous dependencies, long-distance dependencies, and adjunct phrases. It makes incorrect predictions about the timing of syntactic analysis. Further, because syntactic structure is available only through activation of syntactic projections stored in the lexical entry of words, the model leaves entirely unexplained the myriad psycholinguistic findings demonstrating independence of lexical and syntactic structure (in Event Related Potential studies, code-switching, pure syntactic priming, etc). Finally, the model is not restrictive or explanatory, providing an account that largely consists of post hoc correlations between frequency counts or subjects' ratings of sentences and processing time data for the same sentences.

  17. 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.…

  18. Competing Complexity Metrics and Adults' Production of Complex Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheung, Hintat; Kemper, Susan

    1992-01-01

    Evaluation of the adequacy of 11 metrics for measuring linguistic complexity of language samples obtained from 60 to 90 year olds indicated that, although most of the metrics adequately accounted for age-group and individual differences in complexity, the amount and type of embedding proved to predict how easily sentences are understood and how…

  19. Lexical mediation and context effects in sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Traxler, Matthew J; Tooley, Kristen M

    2007-05-18

    Studies of syntactic ambiguity resolution have played a central role in resolving questions about when and how contextual information affects parsing processes. These investigations are often couched in terms of modularity versus interaction, with demonstrations of rapid contextual effects being taken as evidence that the mechanisms responsible for structuring sentences are permeable to referential or semantic context, and therefore non-modular. In this paper, we will propose that argument relations are constructed on the basis of lexically stored syntactic representations (as in MacDonald, M.C., Pearlmutter, N.J., and Seidenberg, M.S. (1994). Lexical nature of syntactic ambiguity resolution. Psychological Review, 101, 676-703. Pickering, M.J., and Traxler, M.J. (2004). Grammatical repetition and garden path effects. Paper presented to the CUNY Sentence Processing Conference. College Park, MD., Pickering, M.J., and Traxler, M.J. (2006). Syntactic Priming in Comprehension. Manuscript in preparation. Traxler, M.J., and Pickering, M.J. (2005, March). Syntactic priming in comprehension. Paper presented to the CUNY Sentence Processing Conference. Tucson, AZ), but that other types of structural decisions are made on the basis of general processing principles. This formulation can be tested by looking at how the parser reacts to immediate intra- and inter-sentential factors (short-term context) and how it reacts to patterns of input over longer time scales (long-term context). We begin with a brief review of work on context effects in syntactic disambiguation, sketch our account of parsing, and then provide evidence from two eye-tracking experiments that illustrate some of the processing principles that govern parsing of argument relations.

  20. 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,…

  1. 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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Effects of local and global context on processing sentences with subject and object relative clauses.

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

    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 sentences were more difficult to process than subject relative sentences. Crucially, however, the reading difficulty asymmetry between subject and object relative clause sentences disappeared when the sentences were presented with a local or a global discourse context that favored the objects in the object relative clauses. These findings demonstrate that the evidence for a syntax-based account of sentence processing is found when sentences are presented in isolation. However, if sentences are placed more naturally, in context, discourse factors outweigh the initial structural assignment.

  5. Second language processing and revision of garden-path sentences: a visual word study.

    PubMed

    Pozzan, Lucia; Trueswell, John C

    2016-05-01

    We asked whether children's well-known difficulties revising initial sentence processing commitments characterize the immature or the learning parser. Adult L2 speakers of English acted out temporarily ambiguous and unambiguous instructions. While online processing patterns indicate that L2 adults experienced garden-paths and were sensitive to referential information to a similar degree as native adults, their act-out patterns indicate increased difficulties revising initial interpretations, at rates similar to those observed for 5-year-old native children (e.g., Trueswell, Sekerina, Hill & Logrip, 1999). We propose that L2 learners' difficulties with revision stem from increased recruitment of cognitive control networks during processing of a not fully proficient language, resulting in the reduced availability of cognitive control for parsing revisions.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. Sentencing convicted juvenile felony offenders in the adult court: the direct effects of race.

    PubMed

    Howell, Rebecca J; Hutto, Tonya Spicer

    2012-01-01

    While research indicates that Black and Hispanic adults sentenced in the criminal court tend to be rendered more severe punishments than their White counterparts, only one prior study has examined whether this finding holds for juveniles tried in the adult system. The findings from this sole study need replication, however, since the effects posed by trial type were not taken into account and it is likely that the results are confounded by measurement error resulting from overlap in criminal sentencing. The current study addressed these issues by assessing whether race has a direct impact on waived juveniles being criminally sentenced to restitution, probation, or jail. Data were derived from a secondary, cross-sectional national dataset on felony juvenile offenders convicted in the adult system. Three hypotheses were tested. After controlling for a number of important legal and extra-legal predictors of sentencing, race differences in sentencing outcomes were observed and the findings yielded partial support for the hypotheses. The implications of the research are noted.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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, voice-onset time (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

  10. Sentence comprehension: A parallel distributed processing approach. Technical report

    SciTech Connect

    McClelland, J.L.; St John, M.; Taraban, R.

    1989-07-14

    Basic aspects are reviewed of conventional approaches to sentence comprehension and point out are some of the difficulties faced by models that take these approaches. An alternative approach is described, based on the principles of parallel distributed processing, and shown how it offers different answers to basic questions about the nature of the language processing mechanism. An illustrative simulation model captures the key characteristics of the approach, and illustrates how it can cope with the difficulties faced by conventional models. Alternative ways of conceptualizing basic aspects of language processing within the framework of this approach will consider how it can address several arguments that might be brought to bear against it, and suggest avenues for future development.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Younger and Older Adults' "Good-Enough" Interpretations of Garden-Path Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christianson, Kiel; Williams, Carrick C.; Zacks, Rose T.; Ferreira, Fernanda

    2006-01-01

    We report 3 experiments that examined younger and older adults' reliance on "good-enough" interpretations for garden-path sentences (e.g., "While Anna dressed the baby played in the crib") as indicated by their responding "Yes" to questions probing the initial, syntactically unlicensed interpretation (e.g., "Did Anna dress the baby?"). The…

  14. Processing Load and Children's Comprehension of Relative Clause Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrews, Glenda; Halford, Graeme S.; Prasad, Ashika

    Two experiments investigated the role of capacity in children's comprehension of relative clause sentences. Sentences varied in number of participant roles, focus (object, subject), and embeddedness (center-embedded, right-branching). Center-embeddedness and object-focus were expected to constrain individuals toward assigning more nouns to their…

  15. Organizational Processes in the Free Recall of Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andre, Thomas

    Investigations designed to eliminate ambiguities in the Andre and Kulhavy procedure and to investigate the effects of noun modifications and sentence voice in the category clustering of sentences were conducted. Two experiments were carried out; both employed a mixed factorial design and were prepared in dittoed booklets. The Ss were run in…

  16. Children's Cognitive Integration and Memory Processes for Comprehending Written Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keeton, Anne

    1977-01-01

    A sample of 120 first and second graders read and recalled sentences comprised of logograph symbols. Those children who did not demonstrate cognitive integration of the symbols subsequently recalled fewer items and failed to retain the semantic and syntactic structure of sentences. (Author/JMB)

  17. 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…

  18. Does the punishment fit the crime? Judicial sentencing in adolescent and adult sexual assault cases.

    PubMed

    Du Mont, Janice; Forte, Tania; Badgley, Robin F

    2008-06-01

    This is the first Canadian study to focus directly on whether factors commonly identified as reflecting the seriousness of a sexual assault are noted by judges, and in turn, related to the severity of the sentences they impose. We examined adolescent and adult female sexual assault cases heard in Ontario between 1993 and 2001. Two hundred twenty-one cases were identified using Quicklaw, Canada's most comprehensive on-line legal information system, with data extracted onto a coding instrument. In 201 (91%) of these cases, a perpetrator had been sentenced to prison or jail. Judges reported that in a substantial proportion of these women they had been penetrated (67%), forced (49%), coerced (50%), physically injured (33%), and psychologically harmed (65%). However, only two of the six offence seriousness factors examined were associated with a prison versus jail sentence: the occurrence of vaginal and/or anal penetration and the threat or use of a weapon(s).

  19. Does the punishment fit the crime? Judicial sentencing in adolescent and adult sexual assault cases.

    PubMed

    Du Mont, Janice; Forte, Tania; Badgley, Robin F

    2007-12-01

    This is the first Canadian study to focus directly on whether factors commonly identified as reflecting the seriousness of a sexual assault are noted by judges, and in turn, related to the severity of the sentences they impose. We examined adolescent and adult female sexual assault cases heard in Ontario between 1993 and 2001. Two hundred twenty-one cases were identified using Quicklaw, Canada's most comprehensive on-line legal information system, with data extracted onto a coding instrument. In 201 (91%) of these cases, a perpetrator had been sentenced to prison or jail. Judges reported that in a substantial proportion of these women they had been penetrated (67%), forced (49%), coerced (50%), physically injured (33%), and psychologically harmed (65%). However, only two of the six offence seriousness factors examined were associated with a prison versus jail sentence: the occurrence of vaginal and/or anal penetration and the threat or use of a weapon(s).

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  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. How hearing impairment affects sentence comprehension: using eye fixations to investigate the duration of speech processing.

    PubMed

    Wendt, Dorothea; Kollmeier, Birger; Brand, Thomas

    2015-04-24

    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.

  6. 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

  7. An ERP Study of Syntactic Processing in English and Nonsense Sentences

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Yoshiko; Neville, Helen J.

    2007-01-01

    The timecourse of the interaction between syntactic and semantic information during sentence processing in monolingual native English speakers was investigated using event-related potentials (ERPs). To examine the effects of semantic information on syntactic processing, the results for normal English sentences were compared to those for semantically impoverished nonsense (Jabberwocky) sentences. Within each sentence type condition, half of the sentences contained a syntactic violation. Violations elicited a larger amplitude N1 and more negative ERPs around 200 ms after the onset of the critical word relative to the grammatical condition. Although these effects were observed in both sentence types, they were anteriorly distributed for English sentences only. Moreover, the P600 elicited by the syntactic violation was attenuated in processing Jabberwocky as compared to English sentences. These results suggest that semantic and syntactic information are integrated during the earlier stages of syntactic processing indexed by the anterior negativities, and that these interactions continue in the later stages of processing indexed by the P600. PMID:17173867

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.…

  12. 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…

  13. 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,…

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. Remediation of sentence processing deficits in aphasia using a computer-based microworld.

    PubMed

    Crerar, M A; Ellis, A W; Dean, E C

    1996-01-01

    Byng (1988) has argued that some aphasic patients who show problems in sentence comprehension are unable to "map" a syntactic analysis of the sentence form onto the thematic roles specified by the verb or preposition in the sentence. In Byng's study, therapy aimed at improving the mapping process as applied to sentences containing locative prepositions led to improvements not only in the comprehension of such sentences but also in the comprehension of reversible verb sentences. In the present study, 14 aphasic patients were selected for having problems with sentence-picture matching involving reversible verb and preposition sentences. These problems were shown to be stable across three pre-intervention assessments. All assessments were computer-based and involved the matching of written sentences to pictures. A small vocabulary was used in assessment and therapy which involved a "microworld" of three characters (ball, box, and star) which could engage in a limited number of actions and could occupy a limited set of spatial relationships. Before therapy began, all the patients were given an assessment battery which included a 40-item Verb Test and a 40-item Preposition Test. The patients were then divided into two groups, A and B. Group A received two 1-hr sessions of therapy per week for 3 weeks aimed at improving the comprehension of verb sentences, then a second full assessment, followed by the same amount of therapy aimed at improving the comprehension of preposition sentences, and finally a third assessment. Group B received the preposition therapy first, followed by the verb therapy. The therapy involved the patient and therapist interacting with the computer, either assembling pictures to match written sentences ("picture-building mode") or assembling sentences to match pictures ("sentence-building mode"). Group A showed a classical "cross-over" treatment outcome. Performance on treated verb sentences improved during verb therapy and was retained when therapy

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. Conceptual combination during sentence comprehension: evidence for compositional processes.

    PubMed

    Swinney, David; Love, Tracy; Walenski, Matthew; Smith, Edward E

    2007-05-01

    This experiment examined the time course of integration of modifier-noun (conceptual) combinations during auditory sentence comprehension using cross-modal lexical priming. The study revealed that during ongoing comprehension, there is initial activation of features of the noun prior to activation of (emergent) features of the entire conceptual combination. These results support compositionality in conceptual combination; that is, they indicate that features of the individual words constituting a conceptual combination are activated prior to combination of the words into a new concept.

  4. 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.

  5. Cognitive empathy modulates the processing of pragmatic constraints during sentence comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Li, Sai; Jiang, Xiaoming; Yu, Hongbo

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that brain regions for mentalizing, including temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), are activated in understanding the nonliteral meaning of sentences. A different set of brain regions, including left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), is activated for dealing with pragmatic incongruence. Here we demonstrate that individuals’ cognitive empathic ability modulates the brain activity underlying the processing of pragmatic constraints during sentence comprehension. The lian … dou … construction in Chinese (similar to English even) normally describes an event of low expectedness; it also introduces a pragmatic scale against which the likelihood of an underspecified event can be inferred. By embedding neutral or highly likely events in the construction, we created underspecified and incongruent sentences and compared both with control sentences in which events of low expectedness were described. Imaging results showed that (i) left TPJ was activated for the underspecified sentences, and the activity in mPFC correlated with individuals’ fantasizing ability and (ii) anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was activated for the incongruent sentences, and the activity in bilateral IFG correlated with individuals’ perspective taking ability. These findings suggest that brain activations in making pragmatic inference and in dealing with pragmatic failure are modulated by different components of cognitive empathy. PMID:23893849

  6. 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.

  7. Left posterior inferior frontal gyrus is causally involved in reordering during sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Kuhnke, Philipp; Meyer, Lars; Friederici, Angela D; Hartwigsen, Gesa

    2017-03-01

    Storage and reordering of incoming information are two core processes required for successful sentence comprehension. Storage is necessary whenever the verb and its arguments (i.e., subject and object) are separated over a long distance, while reordering is necessary whenever the argument order is atypical (e.g., object-first order in German, where subject-first order is typical). Previous neuroimaging work has associated storage with the left planum temporale (PT), and reordering with the left posterior inferior frontal gyrus (pIFG). Here, we tested the causal role of the PT and pIFG in storage and reordering using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). We applied either effective rTMS over PT or pIFG, or sham rTMS, while subjects listened to sentences that independently varied storage demands (short vs. long argument-verb distance) and reordering demands (subject- vs. object-first argument order). We found that rTMS over pIFG, but not PT, selectively affected reordering during the processing of sentences with a long argument-verb distance. Specifically, relative to sham rTMS, rTMS over pIFG significantly increased the performance difference between object- and subject-first long-distance sentences. These results demonstrate a causal involvement of left pIFG in reordering during sentence comprehension and thus contribute to a better understanding of the role of the pIFG in language processing.

  8. 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

  9. Semantic ambiguity processing in sentence context: Evidence from event-related fMRI.

    PubMed

    Zempleni, Monika-Zita; Renken, Remco; Hoeks, John C J; Hoogduin, Johannes M; Stowe, Laurie A

    2007-02-01

    Lexical semantic ambiguity is the phenomenon when a word has multiple meanings (e.g. 'bank'). The aim of this event-related functional MRI study was to identify those brain areas, which are involved in contextually driven ambiguity resolution. Ambiguous words were selected which have a most frequent, dominant, and less frequent, subordinate meaning. These words were presented in two types of sentences: (1) a sentence congruent with the dominant interpretation and (2) a sentence congruent with the subordinate interpretation. Sentences without ambiguous words served as a control condition. The ambiguous words always occurred early in the sentences and were biased towards one particular meaning by the final word(s) of the sentence; the event at the end of the sentences was modeled. The results indicate that a bilaterally distributed network supports semantic ambiguity comprehension: left (BA 45/44) and right (BA 47) inferior frontal gyri and left (BA 20/37) and right inferior/middle temporal gyri (BA 20). The pattern of activation is most consistent with a scenario in which initially a frequency-based probabilistic choice is made between the alternative meanings, and the meaning is updated when this interpretation does not fit into the final disambiguating context. The neural pattern is consistent with the results of other neuroimaging experiments which manipulated various aspects of integrative and context processing task demands. The presence of a bilateral network is also in line with the lesion and divided visual field literature, but contrary to earlier claims, the two hemispheres appear to play similar roles during semantic ambiguity resolution.

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Relational processing and working memory capacity in comprehension of relative clause sentences.

    PubMed

    Andrews, Glenda; Birney, Damian; Halford, Graeme S

    2006-09-01

    Previous research has indicated that the cognitive load imposed by tasks in various content domains increases with the complexity of the relational information processed. Sentence comprehension entails processing noun-verb relations to determine who did what to whom. The difficulty of object-extracted relative clause sentences might stem from the complex noun-verb relations they entail. Across three studies, participants read 16 types of object- and subject-extracted relative clause sentences at their own pace and then responded to a comprehension question for each sentence. Relational processing was assessed using a premise integration task or a Latin square task. These tasks predicted comprehension of object-relatives before and after controlling for subject-relatives. Working memory (WM) capacity was assessed using reading span or forward and backward digit span tests. WM tasks predicted comprehension of object-relatives before but not after controlling for subject-relatives. Comprehension of object-relatives relied more heavily on a domain-general capacity to process complex relations than on WM capacity.

  13. 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.

  14. Use of Phonological Codes for Chinese Characters: Evidence from Processing of Parafoveal Preview when Reading Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsai, Jie-Li; Lee, Chia-Ying; Tzeng, Ovid J. L.; Hung, Daisy L.; Yen, Nai-Shing

    2004-01-01

    The role of phonological coding for character identification was examined with the benefit of processing parafoveal characters in eye fixations while reading Chinese sentences. In Experiment 1, the orthogonal manipulation of phonological and orthographic similarity can separate two types of phonological benefits for homophonic previews, according…

  15. 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…

  16. Direct Association and Sentence Processing: A Reply to Gorrell and to Gibson and Hickok.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pickering, Martin

    1993-01-01

    Papers by Gorrell and by Gibson and Hickok question Pickering and Barry's (PB) arguments against empty categories in sentence processing. This reply disputes Gorrell's claims that PB's interpretation of the data is inadequate and, in agreement with Gibson and Hickok, reinforces the arguments that the gap location is irrelevant to the formation of…

  17. 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

  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. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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…

  5. An fMRI study of sentence-embedded lexical-semantic decision in children and adults.

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

    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 the development of lexical-semantic language networks in typically developing children using a more 'ecological' sentence-embedded semantic task that permitted performance monitoring while minimizing head movement by avoiding overt speech. Sixteen adults and 23 children completed two fMRI runs of an auditory lexical-semantic decision task with a button-press response, using reverse speech as control condition. Children and adults showed similar activation in bilateral temporal and left inferior frontal regions. Greater activation in adults than in children was seen in left inferior parietal, premotor, and inferior frontal regions, and in bilateral supplementary motor area (SMA). Specifically for semantically incongruous sentences, adults also showed greater activation than children in left inferior frontal cortex, possibly related to enhanced 'top-down' control. Age-dependent activation increases in motor-related regions were shown to be unrelated to overt motor responses, but could be associated with covert speech accompanying semantic decision. Unlike previous studies, age-dependent differences were not detected in posterior sensory cortices (such as extrastriate cortex), nor in middle temporal gyrus.

  6. Verbatim and Gist Recall of Sentences by Dyslexic and Non-Dyslexic Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miles, T. R.; Thierry, Guillaume; Roberts, Judith; Schiffeldrin, Josie

    2006-01-01

    Forty-eight college students, 24 of them dyslexic, were presented with four sentences of increasing complexity. Participants were asked to repeat each sentence and a record was kept of the number of repetitions required before 100% correct accuracy was achieved. None of the 24 control participants required a total of more than eight repetitions…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. ERP evidence for telicity effects on syntactic processing in garden-path sentences

    PubMed Central

    Malaia, Evguenia; Wilbur, Ronnie B.; Weber-Fox, Christine

    2009-01-01

    Verbs contain multifaceted information about both the semantics of an action, and potential argument structures. Linguistic theory classifies verbs according to whether the denoted action has an inherent (telic) end-point (fall, awaken), or whether it is considered homogenous, or atelic (read, worship). The aim of our study was to examine how this distinction influences online sentence processing, investigating the effects of verbal telicity on the ease of syntactic re-analysis of Object reduced relative clauses. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 22 English speakers as they read sentences in which the main verb was either telic or atelic, e.g., “The actress awakened/worshippedby the writer left in a hurry”. ERPs elicited by telic and atelic verbs, the preposition “by” introducing the second argument (Agent), and the second argument itself, e.g., “writer”, were compared. Additionally, participants were grouped according to receptive syntactic proficiency: normal (NP) or high (HP). ERPs from the NP group first diverged at the second argument, with the atelic condition eliciting larger amplitude negativity at the N100, and continuing to the P200 interval. In contrast, ERPs from the HP group first diverged earlier in the sentence, on the word “by”. ERPs elicited by “by” in the atelic condition were also characterized by increased negativity, in this case significant at P200 and Anterior Negativity between 320-500ms post stimulus onset. Our results support the postulated conceptual/semantic distinction underlying the two verb categories, and demonstrate that world-knowledge about actions designated by verbs and syntactic proficiency are reflected in on-line processing of sentence structure. PMID:18945484

  12. 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

  13. 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.

    PubMed

    Chang, Xin; Wang, Pei

    2016-02-01

    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 correct. Sentences were classified into literal translation sentences with the similar structure between the two languages and free translation sentences with the different structure. Behavioral data showed: shorter reaction times and higher accuracy rates occurred in the high-proficient group than those in the intermediate-proficient group; shorter reaction times and higher accuracy rates were observed in literal translation sentences than those in free translation sentences. ERP results showed literal translation sentences elicited an enhanced P200 and P600 while free translation sentences elicited a larger N400. The high-proficient group showed a larger P600 in syntactic violations and double violations while the intermediate-proficient group evoked an enhanced N400 in semantic violations and double violations. Literal translation sentences caused a larger P200 while free translation sentences elicited more negative-going N400. Behavioral and ERP data revealed the influence of L2 proficiency and syntactic similarity on L2 sentence processing, and L2 proficiency played a predominate role.

  14. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    Borovsky, Arielle; Elman, Jeffrey; Fernald, Anne

    2012-01-01

    Adults can incrementally combine information from speech with astonishing speed in order to anticipate future words. Concurrently, a growing body of work suggests that vocabulary ability is crucially related to lexical processing skills in young children. However, relatively 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 a combination of information from a preceding Agent and Action. 48 children, aged of 3 to 10, and 48 college-aged adults’ eye-movements were recorded as they looked at a four-alternative forced-choice display while they heard a sentence in which the object referred to one of the pictures (e.g. The pirate hides the treasure) in the presence of an Agent-related, Action-related and Unrelated distractor image. Pictures were rotated across stimuli so that, across all versions of the study, each picture appeared in all conditions, yielding a completely balanced within-subjects design. Adults and children very quickly made use of combinatory information as soon as it became available at the action to generate anticipatory looks to the target object. Speed of anticipatory fixations did not vary with age. However, 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

  16. 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.

  17. Electrophysiological evidence for serial sentence processing: a comparison between non-preferred and ungrammatical continuations.

    PubMed

    Kaan, Edith; Swaab, Tamara Y

    2003-10-01

    Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to address a much debated issue in sentence processing research, namely whether one or multiple interpretations are pursued in case of syntactic ambiguities. For example in the syntactically ambiguous fragment "The man is painting the house and the garage...", 'and' either connects 'the house' and 'the garage', or conjoins two clauses (e.g., "The man is painting the house and the garage is already finished"). According to serial models, only one syntactic interpretation (the simplest) is pursued first (the first interpretation in the example). If this interpretation is incompatible with subsequently incoming words, the syntactic analysis of the preceding sentence fragment is revised. In contrast, parallel models propose that multiple interpretations of the ambiguity are pursued simultaneously. The two models were tested by comparing ERPs to words that were either ungrammatical, or grammatical but non-preferred continuations of the preceding sentence fragment. In a serial model, these two are not distinguished until after initial revision; in a parallel model, a distinction can be made at an early stage. The results supported a serial model: both with an acceptability judgment and a passive reading task a left lateralized negativity was found for ungrammatical and non-preferred continuations relative to unambiguous grammatical continuations, which indicates that ungrammatical and non-preferred continuations were initially processed in the same way. However, in later time intervals, the ERPs to the ungrammatical continuation showed a posterior positivity (P600), whereas the ERPs to the non-preferred continuation had a more anterior focus, which indicates that they were processed differently.

  18. Training-induced improvement of noncanonical sentence production does not generalize to comprehension: evidence for modality-specific processes.

    PubMed

    Schröder, Astrid; Burchert, Frank; Stadie, Nicole

    2015-01-01

    The presence or absence of generalization after treatment can provide important insights into the functional relationship between cognitive processes. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between the cognitive processes that underlie sentence comprehension and production in aphasia. Using data from seven participants who took part in a case-series intervention study that focused on noncanonical sentence production [Stadie et al. (2008). Unambiguous generalization effects after treatment of noncanonical sentence production in German agrammatism. Brain and Language, 104, 211-229], we identified patterns of impairments and generalization effects for the two modalities. Results showed (a) dissociations between sentence structures and modalities before treatment, (b) an absence of cross-modal generalization from production to comprehension after treatment, and (c), a co-occurrence of spared comprehension before treatment and generalization across sentence structures within production after treatment. These findings are in line with the assumption of modality-specific, but interacting, cognitive processes in sentence comprehension and production. More specifically, this interaction is assumed to be unidirectional, allowing treatment-induced improvements in production to be supported by preserved comprehension.

  19. 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…

  20. Semantic Processing in Children and Adults: Incongruity and the N400

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benau, Erik M.; Morris, Joanna; Couperus, J. W.

    2011-01-01

    Semantic processing in 10-year-old children and adults was examined using event related potentials (ERPs). The N400 component, an index of semantic processing, was studied in relation to sentences that ended with congruent, moderately incongruent, or strongly incongruent words. N400 amplitude in adults corresponded to levels of semantic…

  1. Phonological Substitution Errors in L2 ASL Sentence Processing by Hearing M2L2 Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Joshua; Newman, Sharlene

    2016-01-01

    In the present study we aimed to investigate phonological substitution errors made by hearing second language (M2L2) learners of American Sign Language (ASL) during a sentence translation task. Learners saw sentences in ASL that were signed by either a native signer or a M2L2 learner. Learners were to simply translate the sentence from ASL to…

  2. Automatic, Attentional, and Interactive Processes: Age Differences in the Nature of Words Affected by Sentence Context.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwantes, Frederick M.

    Two experiments investigated the effects of preceding sentence context on the naming times of sentence completion words in third-grade children and college students. In the first study subjects were shown incomplete sentences with four types of target words: best completions; semantically and syntactically appropriate, but less likely completions;…

  3. Neural plasticity and treatment-induced recovery of sentence processing in agrammatism

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Cynthia K.; Ouden, Dirk-Bart den; Bonakdarpour, Borna; Garibaldi, Kyla; Parrish, Todd B.

    2010-01-01

    This study examined patterns of neural activation associated with treatment-induced improvement of complex sentence production (and comprehension) in six individuals with stroke-induced agrammatic aphasia, taking into account possible alterations in blood flow often associated with stroke, including delayed time-to-peak of the hemodynamic response function (HRF) and hypoperfused tissue. Aphasic participants performed an auditory verification fMRI task, processing object cleft, subject cleft, and simple active sentences, prior to and following a course of Treatment of Underlying Forms (TUF; Thompson et al., 2003), a linguistically based approach for treating aphasic sentence deficits, which targeted object relative clause constructions. The patients also were scanned in a long-trials task to examine HRFs, to account for any local deviations resulting from stroke, and perfusion images were obtained to evaluate regions of hypoperfused tissue. Region-of-interest (ROI) analyses were conducted (bilaterally), modeling participant-specific local HRFs in left hemisphere areas activated by 12 healthy age-matched volunteers performing the same task, including the middle and inferior frontal gyri, precentral gyrus, middle and superior temporal gyri, and insula, and additional regions associated with complex syntactic processing, including the posterior perisylvian and superior parietal cortices. Results showed that, despite individual variation in activation differences from pre- to post-treatment scans in the aphasic participants, main-effects analyses revealed a general shift from left superior temporal activation to more posterior temporoparietal areas, bilaterally. Time-to-peak of these responses correlated negatively with blood flow, as measured with perfusion imaging. PMID:20603138

  4. 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…

  5. Completion and Verification of Ambiguous Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, James N.; MacKay, Donald G.

    1974-01-01

    A study testing two theories about the processing of ambiguous sentences is reported. Results suggest that parallel processing and reciprocal interactions underlie the comprehension of ambiguous sentences. (RM)

  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.

  7. Cortical activation in the processing of passive sentences in L1 and L2: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Satoru; Okamoto, Hideyuki; Miyamoto, Tadao; Yoshimoto, Kei; Kim, Jungho; Iwata, Kazuki; Jeong, Hyeonjeong; Uchida, Shinya; Ikuta, Naho; Sassa, Yuko; Nakamura, Wataru; Horie, Kaoru; Sato, Shigeru; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2006-04-01

    The question of whether the bilingual brain processes a first and second language (L1 and L2, respectively) differently is a central issue in many psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic studies. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether late bilinguals process structurally complex sentences in L1 and L2 in different cortical networks. For this purpose, we directly compared brain activity during the processing of active and passive sentences in both L1 and L2. We asked 36 healthy subjects to judge whether or not a presented sentence was semantically plausible. Both L1 and L2 activated the left hemispheric language-related regions such as the left inferior frontal, superior/middle temporal, and parietal cortices. However, we found different activation patterns between L1 and L2 in the processing of passive sentences. Passive sentences elicited greater activation than their active counterparts in the left pars triangularis, the premotor area, and the superior parietal lobule in Japanese, but not in English. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between sentence type (active versus passive) and language (Japanese versus English) in the left pars orbitalis. The results of this study indicate that late bilinguals use similar cortical regions to comprehend both L1 and L2. However, when late bilinguals are presented with structurally complex sentences, the involvement of these regions differs between L1 and L2. These results suggest that, in addition to age of L2 acquisition and L2 proficiency, differences in grammatical construction affect cortical representation during the comprehension of L1 and L2.

  8. 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. PMID:27525035

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. Situated sentence processing: the coordinated interplay account and a neurobehavioral model.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

    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 coordination of the mechanisms underlying visual and linguistic processing, and for jointly considering the behavioral and neural correlates of scene-sentence reconciliation during situated comprehension. The Coordinated Interplay Account (CIA; Knoeferle, P., & Crocker, M. W. (2007). The influence of recent scene events on spoken comprehension: Evidence from eye movements. Journal of Memory and Language, 57(4), 519-543) asserts that incremental linguistic interpretation actively directs attention in the visual environment, thereby increasing the salience of attended scene information for comprehension. We review behavioral and neuroscientific findings in support of the CIA's three processing stages: (i) incremental sentence interpretation, (ii) language-mediated visual attention, and (iii) the on-line influence of non-linguistic visual context. We then describe a recently developed connectionist model which both embodies the central CIA proposals and has been successfully applied in modeling a range of behavioral findings from the visual world paradigm (Mayberry, M. R., Crocker, M. W., & Knoeferle, P. (2009). Learning to attend: A connectionist model of situated language comprehension. Cognitive Science). Results from a new simulation suggest the model also correlates with event-related brain potentials elicited by the immediate use of visual context for linguistic disambiguation (Knoeferle, P., Habets, B., Crocker, M. W., & Münte, T. F. (2008). Visual scenes trigger immediate syntactic reanalysis: Evidence from ERPs during situated spoken comprehension. Cerebral Cortex, 18(4), 789-795). Finally, we argue that the mechanisms

  12. 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…

  13. Deeper than Shallow: Evidence for Structure-Based Parsing Biases in Second-Language Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Witzel, Jeffrey; Witzel, Naoko; Nicol, Janet

    2012-01-01

    This study examines the reading patterns of native speakers (NSs) and high-level (Chinese) nonnative speakers (NNSs) on three English sentence types involving temporarily ambiguous structural configurations. The reading patterns on each sentence type indicate that both NSs and NNSs were biased toward specific structural interpretations. These…

  14. Teaching Writing as a Process and Teaching Sentence-Level Syntax: Reformulation as ESL Composition Feedback.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Myers, Sharon

    1997-01-01

    Based on English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) students' documented preference for error correction and the need for word usage and sentence grammar to become automatic, this article describes the rationale and procedures for using reformulation as composition feedback. The procedures are aimed at improving sentence level grammar. Discusses survey…

  15. 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'…

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Tracking Sentence Planning and Production

    PubMed Central

    Bontempo, Daniel; McKedy, Whitney; Schmalzried, RaLynn; Tagliaferri, Bruno; Kieweg, Doug

    2011-01-01

    Objective. To assess age differences in the costs of language planning and production. Methods. A controlled sentence production task was combined with digital pursuit rotor tracking. Participants were asked to track a moving target while formulating a sentence using specified nouns and verbs and to continue to track the moving target while producing their response. The length of the critical noun phrase (NP) as well as the type of verb provided were manipulated. Results. The analysis indicated that sentence planning was more costly than sentence production, and sentence planning costs increased when participants had to incorporate a long NP into their sentence. The long NPs also tended to be shifted to the end of the sentence, whereas short NPs tended to be positioned after the verb. Planning or producing responses with long NPs was especially difficult for older adults, although verb type and NP shift had similar costs for young and older adults. Discussion. Pursuit rotor tracking during controlled sentence production reveals the effects of aging on sentence planning and production. PMID:21060066

  8. 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…

  9. Gapping: Electrophysiological Evidence for Immediate Processing of ''Missing'' Verbs in Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaan, Edith; Wijnen, Frank; Swaab, Tamara Y.

    2004-01-01

    In the present study we use event related potentials (ERPs) to explore the time course of identification and resolution of verb gaps. ERPs were recorded while participants read sentences that contained a verb gap like "Ron took/sanded the planks, and Bill O the hammer"... Plausibility of the critical words ("hammer") that followed the verb gap was…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Pi-Lan

    2016-01-01

    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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Sentence-Combining and Redrafting Processes in the Writing of Secondary School Students in the UK

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keen, John

    2004-01-01

    This article describes an investigation based on a corpus of original and redrafted versions of extracts from reflective narratives by 15-year-old secondary school students in the UK. It builds on the established research on sentence combining with respect to students' writing development. The findings are discussed in relation to the use of…

  14. Yurok Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Ruth, Ed.; And Others

    A handlettered collection of approximately 220 commonly-used expressions and sentences in the language of the Yurok Indians of northwestern California includes common English equivalents as well as word-for-word translations. (LFL)

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Exploring a Phonological Process Approach to Adult Pronunciation Training

    PubMed Central

    McDaniel, Lana

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The production of speech sound classes in adult language learners is affected by (a) interference between the native language and the target language and (b) speaker variables such as time speaking English. In this article, we demonstrate how phonological process analysis, an approach typically used in child speech, can be used to characterize adult target language phonological learning. Method Sentences produced by 2 adult Japanese English language learners were transcribed and coded for phoneme accuracy and analyzed according to the percent occurrence of phonological processes. The results were interpreted relative to a contrastive analysis between Japanese and English phonetic inventories and developmental norms for monolingual English children. Results In this pilot study, common consonant processes included vocalization, final consonant devoicing, and cluster reduction. These are processes commonly observed in the speech of children who are typically developing. Conclusions The process analysis can inform clinical approaches to pronunciation training in adult English language learners. For example, the cycles approach (Hodson & Paden, 1981) may provide more clinical efficacy than an articulatory approach in which phonemes are targeted individually. In addition, a process analysis can enable clinicians to examine the principles of within-class and across-class generalization in adult pronunciation instruction. PMID:27151825

  18. Children’s Processing and Comprehension of Complex Sentences Containing Temporal Connectives: The Influence of Memory on the Time Course of Accurate Responses

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    In a touch-screen paradigm, we recorded 3- to 7-year-olds’ (N = 108) accuracy and response times (RTs) to assess their comprehension of 2-clause sentences containing before and after. Children were influenced by order: performance was most accurate when the presentation order of the 2 clauses matched the chronological order of events: “She drank the juice, before she walked in the park” (chronological order) versus “Before she walked in the park, she drank the juice” (reverse order). Differences in RTs for correct responses varied by sentence type: accurate responses were made more speedily for sentences that afforded an incremental processing of meaning. An independent measure of memory predicted this pattern of performance. We discuss these findings in relation to children’s knowledge of connective meaning and the processing requirements of sentences containing temporal connectives. PMID:27690492

  19. Development and validation of the Pediatric AzBio sentence lists

    PubMed Central

    Spahr, Anthony J.; Dorman, Michael F.; Litvak, Leonid M.; Cook, Sarah; Loiselle, Louise M.; DeJong, Melissa D.; Hedley-Williams, Andrea; Sunderhaus, Linsey S.; Hayes, Catherine A.; Gifford, René H.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives The goal of this study was to create and validate a new set of sentence lists that could be used to evaluate the speech perception abilities of listeners with hearing loss in cases where adult materials are inappropriate due to difficulty level or content. Our intention was to generate a large number of sentence lists with an equivalent level of difficulty for the evaluation of performance over time and across conditions. Design The original Pediatric-AzBio sentence corpus included 450 sentences recorded from one female talker. All sentences included in the corpus were successfully repeated by kindergarten and first grade students with normal hearing. The mean intelligibility of each sentence was estimated by processing each sentence through a cochlear implant simulation and calculating the mean percent correct score achieved by 15 normal-hearing listeners. After sorting sentences by mean percent correct scores, 320 sentences were assigned to 16 lists of equivalent difficulty. List equivalency was then validated by presenting all sentence lists, in a novel random order, to adults and children with hearing loss. A final-validation stage examined single-list comparisons from adult and pediatric listeners tested in research or clinical settings. Results The results of the simulation study allowed for the creation of 16 lists of 20 sentences. The average intelligibility of each list ranged from 78.4% to 78.7%. List equivalency was then validated, when the results of 16 adult cochlear implant users and 9 pediatric hearing aid and cochlear implant users revealed no significant differences across lists. The binomial distribution model was used to account for the inherent variability observed in the lists. This model was also used to generate 95% confidence intervals for one and two list comparisons. A retrospective analysis of 361 instances from 78 adult cochlear implant users and 48 instances from 36 pediatric cochlear implant users revealed that the 95

  20. On-line processing and comprehension of direct object pronoun sentences in Spanish-speaking children with Specific Language Impairment.

    PubMed

    Girbau, Dolors

    2017-01-01

    Eleven native Spanish-speaking children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) (8;3-10;11) and 11 typically developing children (8;7-10;8) received a comprehensive psycholinguistic evaluation. Participants listened to either Direct Object (DO) pronoun sentences or filler sentences without any pronoun, and they decided whether a picture on the screen (depicting the antecedent, another noun in the sentence, or an unrelated object) was 'alive'. They answered comprehension questions about pronoun sentences. Children with SLI showed significantly poorer comprehension of DO pronoun sentences when answering comprehension questions than children with Typical Language Development (TLD). This poor pronoun sentence understanding correlated significantly with poor auditory sentence completion, non-word repetition task and expressive vocabulary skills. Children with SLI were significantly slower in the animacy decisions than children with TLD across all pronoun and filler sentence conditions. Both groups exhibited high accuracy in the animacy decisions for any conditions. Clinical implications are discussed.

  1. 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

  2. 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,…

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. Risk Assessment in Criminal Sentencing.

    PubMed

    Monahan, John; Skeem, Jennifer L

    2016-01-01

    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.

  6. 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.…

  7. Predicting complex syntactic structure in real time: Processing of negative sentences in Russian.

    PubMed

    Kazanina, Nina

    2016-09-19

    In Russian negative sentences the verb's direct object may appear either in the accusative case, which is licensed by the verb (as is common cross-linguistically), or in the genitive case, which is licensed by the negation (Russian-specific "genitive-of-negation" phenomenon). Such sentences were used to investigate whether case marking is employed for anticipating syntactic structure, and whether lexical heads other than the verb can be predicted on the basis of a case-marked noun phrase. Experiment 1, a completion task, confirmed that genitive-of-negation is part of Russian speakers' active grammatical repertoire. In Experiments 2 and 3, the genitive/accusative case manipulation on the preverbal object led to shorter reading times at the negation and verb in the genitive versus accusative condition. Furthermore, Experiment 3 manipulated linear order of the direct object and the negated verb in order to distinguish whether the abovementioned facilitatory effect was predictive or integrative in nature, and concluded that the parser actively predicts a verb and (otherwise optional) negation on the basis of a preceding genitive-marked object. Similarly to a head-final language, case-marking information on preverbal noun phrases (NPs) is used by the parser to enable incremental structure building in a free-word-order language such as Russian.

  8. Syntactic facilitation in agrammatic sentence production.

    PubMed

    Hartsuiker, R J; Kolk, H H

    1998-04-01

    Recently, proposals have been made to relate processing difficulties in aphasic language performance to limitations in resources for grammatical processing (Carpenter et al., 1994; Hagiwara, 1995; Kolk, 1995; Martin & Romani, 1994). Such proposals may account for a defining characteristic of agrammatic sentence production: reduced syntactic complexity. Syntactic structures that require deep hierarchical processing or reversals of canonical word order make demands exceeding limited resources. In the present study, we investigate the possibility of counteracting hypothesized resource limitations by increasing the availability of relatively complex sentences (i.e., datives and passives). The phenomenon of "syntactic priming" has been observed in a number of studies with healthy adults (e.g., Bock, 1986). With respect to Broca's aphasia, we hypothesized that increased availability of a syntactic structure, due to syntactic priming, results in a lesser demand on (limited) resources for sentence production. We elicited speech from 12 Broca's aphasics and 12 control subjects in three different conditions: spontaneous speech, picture description without priming, and picture description with priming. In addition, we varied instructions, in order to determine the role of strategies. The main findings were that (a) Brocas show stronger syntactic priming effects than controls; (b) the effects are automatic rather than strategic; and (c) in conditions with priming, Brocas produce relatively complex sentences (e.g., passives). We discuss these results in relation to capacity theories.

  9. Pay now or pay later: aging and the role of boundary salience in self-regulation of conceptual integration in sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A L; Shake, Matthew C; Miles, Joseph R; Lee, Kenton; Gao, Xuefei; McConkie, George

    2010-03-01

    Previous research has suggested that older readers may self-regulate input during reading differently from the way younger readers do, so as to accommodate age-graded change in processing capacity. For example, older adults may pause more frequently for conceptual integration. Presumably, such an allocation policy would enable older readers to manage the cognitive demands of constructing a semantic representation of the text by off-loading the products of intermediate computations to long-term memory, thus decreasing memory demands as conceptual load increases. This was explicitly tested in 2 experiments measuring word-by-word reading time for sentences in which boundary salience was manipulated but in which semantic content was controlled. With both a computer-based moving-window paradigm that permits only forward eye movements, and an eye-tracking paradigm that allows measurement of regressive eye movements, we found evidence for the proposed tradeoff between early and late wrap-up. Across the 2 experiments, age groups were more similar than different in regulating processing time. However, older adults showed evidence of exaggerated early wrap-up in both experiments. These data are consistent with the notion that readers opportunistically regulate effort and that older readers can use this to good advantage to maintain comprehension.

  10. A functional neuroimaging investigation of the roles of structural complexity and task-demand during auditory sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Love, Tracy; Haist, Frank; Nicol, Janet; Swinney, David

    2006-05-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), this study directly examined an issue that bridges the potential language processing and multi-modal views of the role of Broca's area: the effects of task-demands in language comprehension studies. We presented syntactically simple and complex sentences for auditory comprehension under three different (differentially complex) task-demand conditions: passive listening, probe verification, and theme judgment. Contrary to many language imaging findings, we found that both simple and complex syntactic structures activated left inferior frontal cortex (L-IFC). Critically, we found activation in these frontal regions increased together with increased task-demands. Specifically, tasks that required greater manipulation and comparison of linguistic material recruited L-IFC more strongly; independent of syntactic structure complexity. We argue that much of the presumed syntactic effects previously found in sentence imaging studies of L-IFC may, among other things, reflect the tasks employed in these studies and that L-IFC is a region underlying mnemonic and other integrative functions, on which much language processing may rely.

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. What role does the anterior temporal lobe play in sentence-level processing? Neural correlates of syntactic processing in semantic variant primary progressive aphasia.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Stephen M; DeMarco, Andrew T; Henry, Maya L; Gesierich, Benno; Babiak, Miranda; Mandelli, Maria Luisa; Miller, Bruce L; Gorno-Tempini, Maria Luisa

    2014-05-01

    Neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies have implicated the anterior temporal lobe (ATL) in sentence-level processing, with syntactic structure-building and/or combinatorial semantic processing suggested as possible roles. A potential challenge to the view that the ATL is involved in syntactic aspects of sentence processing comes from the clinical syndrome of semantic variant primary progressive aphasia (semantic PPA; also known as semantic dementia). In semantic PPA, bilateral neurodegeneration of the ATLs is associated with profound lexical semantic deficits, yet syntax is strikingly spared. The goal of this study was to investigate the neural correlates of syntactic processing in semantic PPA to determine which regions normally involved in syntactic processing are damaged in semantic PPA and whether spared syntactic processing depends on preserved functionality of intact regions, preserved functionality of atrophic regions, or compensatory functional reorganization. We scanned 20 individuals with semantic PPA and 24 age-matched controls using structural MRI and fMRI. Participants performed a sentence comprehension task that emphasized syntactic processing and minimized lexical semantic demands. We found that, in controls, left inferior frontal and left posterior temporal regions were modulated by syntactic processing, whereas anterior temporal regions were not significantly modulated. In the semantic PPA group, atrophy was most severe in the ATLs but extended to the posterior temporal regions involved in syntactic processing. Functional activity for syntactic processing was broadly similar in patients and controls; in particular, whole-brain analyses revealed no significant differences between patients and controls in the regions modulated by syntactic processing. The atrophic left ATL did show abnormal functionality in semantic PPA patients; however, this took the unexpected form of a failure to deactivate. Taken together, our findings indicate that spared

  16. Brain structural correlates of complex sentence comprehension in children.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    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.

  17. 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…

  18. Reproducing American Sign Language sentences: cognitive scaffolding in working memory

    PubMed Central

    Supalla, Ted; Hauser, Peter C.; Bavelier, Daphne

    2014-01-01

    The American Sign Language Sentence Reproduction Test (ASL-SRT) requires the precise reproduction of a series of ASL sentences increasing in complexity and length. Error analyses of such tasks provides insight into working memory and scaffolding processes. Data was collected from three groups expected to differ in fluency: deaf children, deaf adults and hearing adults, all users of ASL. Quantitative (correct/incorrect recall) and qualitative error analyses were performed. Percent correct on the reproduction task supports its sensitivity to fluency as test performance clearly differed across the three groups studied. A linguistic analysis of errors further documented differing strategies and bias across groups. Subjects' recall projected the affordance and constraints of deep linguistic representations to differing degrees, with subjects resorting to alternate processing strategies when they failed to recall the sentence correctly. A qualitative error analysis allows us to capture generalizations about the relationship between error pattern and the cognitive scaffolding, which governs the sentence reproduction process. Highly fluent signers and less-fluent signers share common chokepoints on particular words in sentences. However, they diverge in heuristic strategy. Fluent signers, when they make an error, tend to preserve semantic details while altering morpho-syntactic domains. They produce syntactically correct sentences with equivalent meaning to the to-be-reproduced one, but these are not verbatim reproductions of the original sentence. In contrast, less-fluent signers tend to use a more linear strategy, preserving lexical status and word ordering while omitting local inflections, and occasionally resorting to visuo-motoric imitation. Thus, whereas fluent signers readily use top-down scaffolding in their working memory, less fluent signers fail to do so. Implications for current models of working memory across spoken and signed modalities are considered. PMID

  19. 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…

  20. Individual differences in sentence comprehension: a functional magnetic resonance imaging investigation of syntactic and lexical processing demands.

    PubMed

    Prat, Chantel S; Keller, Timothy A; Just, Marcel Adam

    2007-12-01

    Language comprehension is neurally underpinned by a network of collaborating cortical processing centers; individual differences in comprehension must be related to some set of this network's properties. This study investigated the neural bases of individual differences during sentence comprehension by examining the network's response to two variations in processing demands: reading sentences containing words of high versus low lexical frequency and having simpler versus more complex syntax. In a functional magnetic resonance imaging study, readers who were independently identified as having high or low working memory capacity for language exhibited three differentiating properties of their language network, namely, neural efficiency, adaptability, and synchronization. First, greater efficiency (defined as a reduction in activation associated with improved performance) was manifested as less activation in the bilateral middle frontal and right lingual gyri in high-capacity readers. Second, increased adaptability was indexed by larger lexical frequency effects in high-capacity readers across bilateral middle frontal, bilateral inferior occipital, and right temporal regions. Third, greater synchronization was observed in high-capacity readers between left temporal and left inferior frontal, left parietal, and right occipital regions. Synchronization interacted with adaptability, such that functional connectivity remained constant or increased with increasing lexical and syntactic demands in high-capacity readers, whereas low-capacity readers either showed no reliable differentiation or a decrease in functional connectivity with increasing demands. These results are among the first to relate multiple cortical network properties to individual differences in reading capacity and suggest a more general framework for understanding the relation between neural function and individual differences in cognitive performance.

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Influences of Cognitive Processing Capacities on Speech Perception in Young Adults

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Lily; Taft, Marcus

    2017-01-01

    Foreign accent in speech often presents listeners with challenging listening conditions. Consequently, listeners may need to draw on additional cognitive resources in order to perceive and comprehend such speech. Previous research has shown that, for older adults, executive functions predicted perception of speech material spoken in a novel, artificially created (and therefore unfamiliar) accent. The present study investigates the influences of executive functions, information processing speed, and working memory on perception of unfamiliar foreign accented speech, in healthy young adults. The results showed that the executive processes of inhibition and switching, as well as information processing speed predict response times to both accented and standard sentence stimuli, while inhibition and information processing speed predict speed of responding to accented word stimuli. Inhibition and switching further predict accuracy in responding to accented word and standard sentence stimuli that has increased processing demand (i.e., nonwords and sentences with unexpected semantic content). These findings suggest that stronger abilities in aspects of cognitive functioning may be helpful for matching variable pronunciations of speech sounds to stored representations, for example by being able to manage the activation of incorrect competing representations and shifting to other possible matches. PMID:28286491

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Applying semantic-based probabilistic context-free grammar to medical language processing--a preliminary study on parsing medication sentences.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hua; AbdelRahman, Samir; Lu, Yanxin; Denny, Joshua C; Doan, Son

    2011-12-01

    Semantic-based sublanguage grammars have been shown to be an efficient method for medical language processing. However, given the complexity of the medical domain, parsers using such grammars inevitably encounter ambiguous sentences, which could be interpreted by different groups of production rules and consequently result in two or more parse trees. One possible solution, which has not been extensively explored previously, is to augment productions in medical sublanguage grammars with probabilities to resolve the ambiguity. In this study, we associated probabilities with production rules in a semantic-based grammar for medication findings and evaluated its performance on reducing parsing ambiguity. Using the existing data set from 2009 i2b2 NLP (Natural Language Processing) challenge for medication extraction, we developed a semantic-based CFG (Context Free Grammar) for parsing medication sentences and manually created a Treebank of 4564 medication sentences from discharge summaries. Using the Treebank, we derived a semantic-based PCFG (Probabilistic Context Free Grammar) for parsing medication sentences. Our evaluation using a 10-fold cross validation showed that the PCFG parser dramatically improved parsing performance when compared to the CFG parser.

  9. 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,…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. Some Effects of First Language Argument Structure and Morphosyntax on Second Language Sentence Processing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Juffs, Alan

    1998-01-01

    Explores effects of first-language verb-argument structure on English-as-a-Second-Language processing. Native Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Romance language speakers (all advanced English speakers) provided word-by-word reading times and gramaticality judgment data in self-paced reading tasks. Results suggest that reliable differences in parsing…

  16. 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…

  17. Spontaneous but Not Explicit Processing of Positive Sentences Impaired in Asperger's Syndrome: Pupillometric Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuchinke, Lars; Schneider, Dana; Kotz, Sonja A.; Jacobs, Arthur M.

    2011-01-01

    Emotional prosody provides important cues for understanding the emotions of others in every day communication. Asperger's syndrome (AS) is a developmental disorder characterised by pronounced deficits in socio-emotional communication, including difficulties in the domain of prosody processing. We measured pupillary responses as an index of…

  18. Phonological Typicality Influences Sentence Processing in Predictive Contexts: Reply to Staub, Grant, Clifton, and Rayner (2009)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

    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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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)…

  1. The effects of an action's "age-of-acquisition" on action-sentence processing.

    PubMed

    Gilead, Michael; Liberman, Nira; Maril, Anat

    2016-11-01

    How does our brain allow us comprehend abstract/symbolic descriptions of human action? Whereas past research suggested that processing action language relies on sensorimotor brain regions, recent work suggests that sensorimotor activation depends on participants' task goals, such that focusing on abstract (vs. concrete) aspects of an action activates "default mode network" (rather than sensorimotor) regions. Following a Piagetian framework, we hypothesized that for actions acquired at an age wherein abstract/symbolic cognition is fully-developed, even when participants focus on the concrete aspects of an action, they should retrieve abstract-symbolic mental representations. In two studies, participants processed the concrete (i.e., "how") and abstract (i.e., "why") aspects of late-acquired and early-acquired actions. Consistent with previous research, focusing on the abstract (vs. concrete) aspects of an action resulted in greater activation in the "default mode network". Importantly, the activation in these regions was higher when processing later-acquired (vs. earlier acquired) actions-also when participants' goal was to focus on the concrete aspects of the action. We discuss the implications of the current findings to research on the involvement of concrete representations in abstract cognition.

  2. 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

  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. Evidence for Priming Across Intervening Sentences During On-Line Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Tooley, Kristen M.; Swaab, Tamara Y.; Boudewyn, Megan A.; Zirnstein, Megan; Traxler, Matthew J.

    2013-01-01

    Three experiments investigated factors contributing to syntactic priming during on-line comprehension. In all of the experiments, a prime sentence containing a reduced relative clause was presented prior to a target sentence that contained the same structure. Previous studies have shown that people respond more quickly when a syntactically related prime sentence immediately precedes a target. In the current study, ERP and eyetracking measures were used to assess whether priming in sentence comprehension persists when one or more unrelated filler sentences appear between the prime and the target. In experiment 1, a reduced P600 was found to target sentences both when there were no intervening unrelated fillers, and when there was one unrelated filler between the prime and the target. Thus, processing the prime sentence facilitated processing of the syntactic form of the target sentence. Experiments 2 and 3, eye-tracking experiments, showed that target sentence processing was facilitated when three filler sentences intervened between the prime and the target. These experiments show that priming effects in comprehension can be observed when unrelated material appears after a prime sentence and before the target. We interpret the results with respect to residual activation and implicit learning accounts of priming. PMID:24678136

  5. Evidence for Priming Across Intervening Sentences During On-Line Sentence Comprehension.

    PubMed

    Tooley, Kristen M; Swaab, Tamara Y; Boudewyn, Megan A; Zirnstein, Megan; Traxler, Matthew J

    2014-01-01

    Three experiments investigated factors contributing to syntactic priming during on-line comprehension. In all of the experiments, a prime sentence containing a reduced relative clause was presented prior to a target sentence that contained the same structure. Previous studies have shown that people respond more quickly when a syntactically related prime sentence immediately precedes a target. In the current study, ERP and eyetracking measures were used to assess whether priming in sentence comprehension persists when one or more unrelated filler sentences appear between the prime and the target. In experiment 1, a reduced P600 was found to target sentences both when there were no intervening unrelated fillers, and when there was one unrelated filler between the prime and the target. Thus, processing the prime sentence facilitated processing of the syntactic form of the target sentence. Experiments 2 and 3, eye-tracking experiments, showed that target sentence processing was facilitated when three filler sentences intervened between the prime and the target. These experiments show that priming effects in comprehension can be observed when unrelated material appears after a prime sentence and before the target. We interpret the results with respect to residual activation and implicit learning accounts of priming.

  6. 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…

  7. Word versus Sentence Interpretation: Do Adults Overextend the Meaning of "Different"? Princeton University Research Report No. 16.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glucksberg, Sam

    Contrary to earlier assertions, young children do not interpret the word "different" to mean "same." Both two-and-a-half year old children and adults interpret requests for same or different objects appropriately, apparently following conventions of conversational discourse. These data offer no support for a discrete semantic feature model of…

  8. 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…

  9. Who gets a second chance? An investigation of Ohio's blended juvenile sentence.

    PubMed

    Cheesman, Fred L; Waters, Nicole L; Hurst, Hunter

    2010-01-01

    Factors differentiating blended sentencing cases (Serious Youthful Offenders or SYOs) from conventional juvenile cases and cases transferred to the adult criminal court in Ohio were investigated using a two-stage probit. Conventional juvenile cases differed from cases selected for non-conventional processing (i.e., SYO or transfer) according to offense seriousness, number of prior Ohio Department of Youth Services placements, age and gender. Controlling for probability of selection for nonconventional processing, transfers differed from SYOs according to age, gender, and race. Minorities were significantly more likely than Whites to be transfers rather than SYOs, suggesting possible bias in the decision-making process. Objective risk and needs assessments should be used to identify the most suitable candidates for blended sentences and adult transfer and enhanced services should be provided to juvenile offenders given blended sentences.

  10. 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.

  11. The Comprehension of Anomalous Sentences: Evidence from Structural Priming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ivanova, Iva; Pickering, Martin J.; Branigan, Holly P.; McLean, Janet F.; Costa, Albert

    2012-01-01

    We report three experiments investigating how people process anomalous sentences, in particular those in which the anomaly is associated with the verb. We contrast two accounts for the processing of such anomalous sentences: a syntactic account, in which the representations constructed for anomalous sentences are similar in nature to the ones…

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Anaphor Comprehension in Younger and Older Adults.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zelinski, Elizabeth M.; Miura, Shari A.

    1990-01-01

    Evaluated adult age differences in language comprehension with groups of young adults (age 20-35), young old adults (age 55-69), and old old adults (age 70-87). The results suggest that speed of comprehension processes required to match related terms in sentence pairs is not impaired with age as long as terms do not have to be remembered.…

  18. 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…

  19. Neural network processing of natural language: II. Towards a unified model of corticostriatal function in learning sentence comprehension and non-linguistic sequencing.

    PubMed

    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 studies that examined the brain processes involved in learning non-linguistic sequences, or artificial grammar learning (AGL). The current research attempts to reconcile these data with several current neurophysiologically based models of sentence processing, through the specification of a neural network model whose architecture is constrained by the known cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical (CSTC) neuroanatomy of the human language system. The challenge is to develop simulation models that take into account constraints both from neuranatomical connectivity, and from functional imaging data, and that can actually learn and perform the same kind of language and artificial syntax tasks. In our proposed model, structural cues encoded in a recurrent cortical network in BA47 activate a CSTC circuit to modulate the flow of lexical semantic information from BA45 to an integrated representation of meaning at the sentence level in BA44/6. During language acquisition, corticostriatal plasticity is employed to allow closed class structure to drive thematic role assignment. From the AGL perspective, repetitive internal structure in the AGL strings is encoded in BA47, and activates the CSTC circuit to predict the next element in the sequence. Simulation results from Caplan's [Caplan, D., Baker, C., & Dehaut, F. (1985). Syntactic determinants of sentence comprehension in aphasia. Cognition, 21, 117-175] test of syntactic comprehension, and from Gomez and Schvaneveldts' [Gomez, R. L., & Schvaneveldt, R. W. (1994). What is learned from artificial grammars?. Transfer tests of simple association. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Sentence-structure priming in young children who do and do not stutter.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Julie D; Conture, Edward G

    2004-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to use an age-appropriate version of the sentence-structure priming paradigm (e.g., K. Bock, 1990; K. Bock, H. Loebell, and R. Morey, 1992) to assess experimentally the syntactic processing abilities of children who stutter (CWS) and children who do not stutter (CWNS). Participants were 16 CWS and 16 CWNS between the ages of 3;3 (years; months) and 5;5, matched for gender and age (+/-4 months). All participants had speech, language, and hearing development within normal limits, with the exception of stuttering for CWS. All children participated in a sentence-structure priming task where they were shown and asked to describe, on a computer screen, black-on-white line drawings of children, adults, and animals performing activities that could be appropriately described using simple active affirmative declarative (SAAD) sentences (e.g., "The man is walking the dog"). Speech reaction time (SRT) was measured from the onset of the picture presentation to the onset of the child's verbal response in the absence and presence of priming sentences, counterbalanced for order. Main findings indicated that CWS exhibited slower SRTs in the absence of priming sentences and greater syntactic-priming effects than CWNS. These findings suggest that CWS may have difficulty rapidly, efficiently planning and/or retrieving sentence-structure units, difficulties that may contribute to their inabilities to establish fluent speech-language production.

  4. Lexical ambiguity in sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Mason, Robert A; Just, Marcel Adam

    2007-05-18

    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.

  5. The function of sentence accents and given/new information in speech processing: different strategies for normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners?

    PubMed

    van Donselaar, W; Lentz, J

    1994-01-01

    Two experiments were carried out to investigate how the correspondence between sentence accentuation and distribution of information is used in human word processing. A forced-choice task with target words embedded in sentences was employed for this purpose. Target words provided either 'given' or 'new' information, and were either accented or unaccented. The subjects had to choose between two words that differed in the last consonant by one phonetic feature (e.g., mouth/mouse). The first experiment involved both normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners. A fixed amount of noise was used to reduce the quality of speech for normal-hearing listeners, in order to enable a comparison between the two listener groups. The results of the first experiment showed different processing patterns for normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners. The hearing-impaired listeners were more accurate with words that were properly accented for their information value, whereas the normal-hearing subjects were more accurate with accented than unaccented words regardless of their information value. A new group of normal-hearing subjects was tested in a second experiment with speech of more severely reduced quality. The results indicated that, under these circumstances, the normal-hearing listeners changed their strategy and also showed an interaction between information value and accent. It seems that, as speech becomes less intelligible, listeners depend increasingly on linguistic expectations stemming from the correlation between information value and accentuation.

  6. Remembering the Functional Sentence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polzella, Donald J.

    This report reviews the psychological and psycholinguistic literature from the last decade that deals with memory for sentences. It is concluded that the encoded representation of a sentence reflects both syntactic and semantic content, with the semantic content being far less transient. (Author)

  7. Prisons and Sentencing Reform.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galvin, Jim

    1983-01-01

    Reviews current themes in sentencing and prison policy. The eight articles of this special issue discuss selective incapacitation, prison bed allocation models, computer-scored classification systems, race and gender relations, commutation, parole, and a historical review of sentencing reform. (JAC)

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 28 CFR 2.9 - Study prior to sentencing.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Study prior to sentencing. 2.9 Section 2... PRISONERS, YOUTH OFFENDERS, AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS United States Code Prisoners and Parolees § 2.9 Study prior to sentencing. When an adult Federal offender has been committed to an institution by...

  11. 28 CFR 2.9 - Study prior to sentencing.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Study prior to sentencing. 2.9 Section 2... PRISONERS, YOUTH OFFENDERS, AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS United States Code Prisoners and Parolees § 2.9 Study prior to sentencing. When an adult Federal offender has been committed to an institution by...

  12. 28 CFR 2.9 - Study prior to sentencing.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Study prior to sentencing. 2.9 Section 2... PRISONERS, YOUTH OFFENDERS, AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS United States Code Prisoners and Parolees § 2.9 Study prior to sentencing. When an adult Federal offender has been committed to an institution by...

  13. 28 CFR 2.9 - Study prior to sentencing.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Study prior to sentencing. 2.9 Section 2... PRISONERS, YOUTH OFFENDERS, AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS United States Code Prisoners and Parolees § 2.9 Study prior to sentencing. When an adult Federal offender has been committed to an institution by...

  14. 28 CFR 2.9 - Study prior to sentencing.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Study prior to sentencing. 2.9 Section 2... PRISONERS, YOUTH OFFENDERS, AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS United States Code Prisoners and Parolees § 2.9 Study prior to sentencing. When an adult Federal offender has been committed to an institution by...

  15. Development, Reliability and Validity of PRESTO: A New High-Variability Sentence Recognition Test

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, Jaimie L.; Tamati, Terrin N.; Pisoni, David B.

    2013-01-01

    Background There is a pressing need for new clinically feasible speech recognition tests that are theoretically motivated, sensitive to individual differences, and access the core perceptual and neurocognitive processes used in speech perception. PRESTO (Perceptually Robust English Sentence Test Open-set) is a new high-variability sentence test designed to reflect current theories of exemplar-based learning, attention and perception, including lexical organization and automatic encoding of indexical attributes. Using sentences selected from the TIMIT (Texas Instruments/Massachusetts Institute of Technology) speech corpus, PRESTO was developed to include talker and dialect variability. The test consists of lists balanced for talker gender, keywords, frequency, and familiarity. Purpose Investigate performance, reliability, and validity of PRESTO. Research Design In Phase I, PRESTO sentences were presented in multi-talker babble at four signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) to obtain a distribution of performance. In Phase II, participants returned and were tested on new PRESTO sentences and on HINT (Hearing In Noise Test) sentences presented in multi-talker babble. Study Sample Young, normal-hearing adults (N=121) were recruited from the Indiana University community for Phase I. Participants who scored within the upper and lower quartiles of performance in Phase I were asked to return for Phase II (N=40). Data Collection and Analysis In both Phase I and Phase II, participants listened to sentences presented diotically through headphones while seated in enclosed carrels at the Speech Research Laboratory at Indiana University. They were instructed to type in the sentence that they heard using keyboards interfaced to a computer. Scoring for keywords was completed offline following data collection. Phase I data were analyzed by determining the distribution of performance on PRESTO at each SNR and at the average performance across all SNRs. PRESTO reliability was analyzed by a

  16. Sentence, Length, Grammatical Structure, and Repetition of Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stieglitz, Francine

    There is a need for empirical investigation of the optimal length for drill sentences at various states of second language learning. This paper reports the results of a study that explores the effects of sentence length and grammatical structure on the ability of foreign students to repeat English sentences. It was hypothesized that sentences of…

  17. Retrieval interference in sentence comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Van Dyke, Julie A.; McElree, Brian

    2007-01-01

    The role of interference effects in sentence processing has recently begun to receive attention, however whether these effects arise during encoding or retrieval remains unclear. This paper draws on basic memory research to help distinguish these explanations and reports data from an experiment that manipulates the possibility for retrieval interference while holding encoding conditions constant. We found clear support for the principle of cue-overload, wherein cues available at retrieval cannot uniquely distinguish among competitors, thus giving rise to interference effects. We discuss the data in relation to a cue-based parsing framework (Van Dyke & Lewis, 2003) and other interference effects observed in sentence processing (e.g., Gordon, Hendrick, & Johnson, 2001, 2004). We conclude from the available data that the memory system that subserves language comprehension operates according to similar principles as memory in other domains. PMID:18209744

  18. Left prefrontal cortex activation during sentence comprehension covaries with grammatical knowledge in children.

    PubMed

    Knoll, L J; Obleser, J; Schipke, C S; Friederici, A D; Brauer, J

    2012-08-01

    Children's language skills develop rapidly with increasing age, and several studies indicate that they use language- and age-specific strategies to understand complex sentences. In the present experiment, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and behavioral measures were used to investigate the acquisition of case-marking cues for sentence interpretation in the developing brain of German preschool children with a mean age of 6 years. Short sentences were presented auditorily, consisting of a transitive verb and two case-marked arguments with canonical subject-initial or non canonical object-initial word order. Overall group results revealed mainly left hemispheric activation in the perisylvian cortex with increased activation in the inferior parietal cortex (IPC), and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) for object-initial compared to subject-initial sentences. However, single-subject analysis suggested two distinct activation patterns within the group which allowed a classification into two subgroups. One subgroup showed the predicted activation increase in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) for the more difficult object-initial compared to subject-initial sentences, while the other group showed the reverse effect. This activation in the left IFG can be taken to reflect the degree to which adult-like sentence processing strategies, necessary to integrate case-marking information, are applied. Additional behavioral data on language development tests show that these two subgroups differ in their grammatical knowledge. Together with these behavioral findings, the results indicate that the use of a particular processing strategy is not dependent on age as such, but rather on the child's individual grammatical knowledge and the ability to use specific language cues for successful sentence comprehension.

  19. 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…

  20. An overview of adult-learning processes.

    PubMed

    Russell, Sally S

    2006-10-01

    Part of being an effective instructor involves understanding how adults learn best. Theories of adult education are based on valuing the prior learning and experience of adults. Adult learners have different learning styles which must be assessed prior to initiating any educational session. Health care providers can maximize teaching moments by incorporating specific adult-learning principles and learning styles into their teaching strategies.

  1. Preschool children's interpretation of object-initial sentences: neural correlates of their behavioral performance.

    PubMed

    Schipke, Christine S; Knoll, Lisa J; Friederici, Angela D; Oberecker, Regine

    2012-11-01

    The acquisition of the function of case-marking is a key step in the development of sentence processing for German-speaking children since case-marking reveals the relations between sentential arguments. In this study, we investigated the development of the processing of case-marking and argument structures in children at 3, 4;6 and 6 years of age, as well as its processing in adults. Using EEG, we measured event-related potentials (ERPs) in response to object-initial compared to subject-initial German sentences including transitive verbs and case-marked noun phrases referring to animate arguments. We also tested children's behavioral competence in a sentence-picture matching task. Word order and case-marking were manipulated in German main clauses. Adults' behavioral performance was close to perfect and their ERPs revealed a negativity for the processing of the topicalized accusative marked noun phrase (NP1) and no effect for the second NP (NP2) in the object-initial structure. Children's behavioral data showed a significant above-chance outcome in the subject-initial condition for all age groups, but not for the object-initial condition. In contrast to adults, the ERPs of 3-year-olds showed a positivity at NP1, indicating difficulties in processing the non-canonical object-initial structures. Children at the age of 4;6 did not differ in the processing patterns of object-initial vs. subject-initial sentences at NP1 but showed a slight positivity at NP2. This positivity at NP2, which implies syntactic integration difficulties, is more pronounced in 6-year-olds but is absent in adults. At NP1, however, 6-year-olds show the same negativity as adults. In sum, the behavioral and electrophysiological findings demonstrate that children in each age group use different strategies, which are indicative of their developmental stage. While 3-year-olds merely detect differences in the two sentence structures without being able to use this information for sentence comprehension

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Learning and Applying Contextual Constraints in Sentence Comprehension

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-06-08

    learns to perform these tasks through practice on Processing example sentence/event pairs. The learning procedure allows the model’to take a long...and to anticipate additional constituents. The network learns to perform these tasks through practice on processing example sentence/event pairs. The...constraints. Together, the constraints lead to a coherent interpretation of the sentence (MacWhinney, 1987). These constraints are not typically all

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Syntactic priming during sentence comprehension: evidence for the lexical boost.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    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 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 online 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., Tomasello, 2003; Vosse & Kempen, 2000, 2009).

  9. Multiple Influences of Semantic Memory on Sentence Processing: Distinct Effects of Semantic Relatedness on Violations of Real-World Event/State Knowledge and Animacy Selection Restrictions.

    PubMed

    Paczynski, Martin; Kuperberg, Gina R

    2012-11-01

    We aimed to determine whether semantic relatedness between an incoming word and its preceding context can override expectations based on two types of stored knowledge: real-world knowledge about the specific events and states conveyed by a verb, and the verb's broader selection restrictions on the animacy of its argument. We recorded event-related potentials on post-verbal Agent arguments as participants read and made plausibility judgments about passive English sentences. The N400 evoked by incoming animate Agent arguments that violated expectations based on real-world event/state knowledge, was strongly attenuated when they were semantically related to the context. In contrast, semantic relatedness did not modulate the N400 evoked by inanimate Agent arguments that violated the preceding verb's animacy selection restrictions. These findings suggest that, under these task and experimental conditions, semantic relatedness can facilitate processing of post-verbal animate arguments that violate specific expectations based on real-world event/state knowledge, but only when the semantic features of these arguments match the coarser-grained animacy restrictions of the verb. Animacy selection restriction violations also evoked a P600 effect, which was not modulated by semantic relatedness, suggesting that it was triggered by propositional impossibility. Together, these data indicate that the brain distinguishes between real-world event/state knowledge and animacy-based selection restrictions during online processing.

  10. Multiple Influences of Semantic Memory on Sentence Processing: Distinct Effects of Semantic Relatedness on Violations of Real-World Event/State Knowledge and Animacy Selection Restrictions

    PubMed Central

    Paczynski, Martin; Kuperberg, Gina R.

    2012-01-01

    We aimed to determine whether semantic relatedness between an incoming word and its preceding context can override expectations based on two types of stored knowledge: real-world knowledge about the specific events and states conveyed by a verb, and the verb’s broader selection restrictions on the animacy of its argument. We recorded event-related potentials on post-verbal Agent arguments as participants read and made plausibility judgments about passive English sentences. The N400 evoked by incoming animate Agent arguments that violated expectations based on real-world event/state knowledge, was strongly attenuated when they were semantically related to the context. In contrast, semantic relatedness did not modulate the N400 evoked by inanimate Agent arguments that violated the preceding verb’s animacy selection restrictions. These findings suggest that, under these task and experimental conditions, semantic relatedness can facilitate processing of post-verbal animate arguments that violate specific expectations based on real-world event/state knowledge, but only when the semantic features of these arguments match the coarser-grained animacy restrictions of the verb. Animacy selection restriction violations also evoked a P600 effect, which was not modulated by semantic relatedness, suggesting that it was triggered by propositional impossibility. Together, these data indicate that the brain distinguishes between real-world event/state knowledge and animacy-based selection restrictions during online processing. PMID:23284226

  11. 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…

  12. Neural correlate of the construction of sentence meaning

    PubMed Central

    Fedorenko, Evelina; Brunner, Peter; Pritchett, Brianna; Kanwisher, Nancy

    2016-01-01

    The neural processes that underlie your ability to read and understand this sentence are unknown. Sentence comprehension occurs very rapidly, and can only be understood at a mechanistic level by discovering the precise sequence of underlying computational and neural events. However, we have no continuous and online neural measure of sentence processing with high spatial and temporal resolution. Here we report just such a measure: intracranial recordings from the surface of the human brain show that neural activity, indexed by γ-power, increases monotonically over the course of a sentence as people read it. This steady increase in activity is absent when people read and remember nonword-lists, despite the higher cognitive demand entailed, ruling out accounts in terms of generic attention, working memory, and cognitive load. Response increases are lower for sentence structure without meaning (“Jabberwocky” sentences) and word meaning without sentence structure (word-lists), showing that this effect is not explained by responses to syntax or word meaning alone. Instead, the full effect is found only for sentences, implicating compositional processes of sentence understanding, a striking and unique feature of human language not shared with animal communication systems. This work opens up new avenues for investigating the sequence of neural events that underlie the construction of linguistic meaning. PMID:27671642

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Nominalization of Possessive Sentences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rugaleva, Anelja

    1977-01-01

    Nominalization of possessive sentences in Russian is discussed. It is maintained that all lexical surface items originate as terms in a situation model, and that their actualization as different parts of speech is language-specific. Language data are used to support a locative interpretation of the semantic model. (CHK)

  17. The Sentence and the Paragraph.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Council of Teachers of English, Champaign, IL.

    Two articles on sentence construction and eight on the paragraph comprise this publication. Francis Christensen contributes four articles on (1) the use of loose, cumulative sentences, (2) sentence openers, with illustrations from Hemingway, (3) a generative rhetoric for the paragraph, and (4) the formation of principles of paragraph composition…

  18. First Language Attrition Induces Changes in Online Morphosyntactic Processing and Re-Analysis: An ERP Study of Number Agreement in Complex Italian Sentences.

    PubMed

    Kasparian, Kristina; Vespignani, Francesco; Steinhauer, Karsten

    2016-11-07

    First language (L1) attrition in adulthood offers new insight on neuroplasticity and the role of language experience in shaping neurocognitive responses to language. Attriters are multilinguals for whom advancing L2 proficiency comes at the cost of the L1, as they experience a shift in exposure and dominance (e.g., due to immigration). To date, the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying L1 attrition are largely unexplored. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), we examined L1-Italian grammatical processing in 24 attriters and 30 Italian native-controls. We assessed whether (a) attriters differed from non-attriting native speakers in their online detection and re-analysis/repair of number agreement violations, and whether (b) differences in processing were modulated by L1-proficiency. To test both local and non-local agreement violations, we manipulated agreement between three inflected constituents and examined ERP responses on two of these (subject, verb, modifier). Our findings revealed group differences in amplitude, scalp distribution, and duration of LAN/N400 + P600 effects. We discuss these differences as reflecting influence of attriters' L2-English, as well as shallower online sentence repair processes than in non-attriting native speakers. ERP responses were also predicted by L1-Italian proficiency scores, with smaller N400/P600 amplitudes in lower proficiency individuals. Proficiency only modulated P600 amplitude between 650 and 900 ms, whereas the late P600 (beyond 900 ms) depended on group membership and amount of L1 exposure within attriters. Our study is the first to show qualitative and quantitative differences in ERP responses in attriters compared to non-attriting native speakers. Our results also emphasize that proficiency predicts language processing profiles, even in native-speakers, and that the P600 should not be considered a monolithic component.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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),…

  3. 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…

  4. Do discourse global coherence and cumulated information impact on sentence syntactic processing? An event-related brain potentials study.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Gutiérrez, David; Jiménez-Ortega, Laura; Fondevila, Sabela; Casado, Pilar; Muñoz, Francisco; Martín-Loeches, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed at exploring how two main primarily semantic factors of discourse comprehension, namely global coherence and amount of information cumulated across a passage, may impact on the sentential syntactic processing. This was measured in two event-related brain potentials (ERP) to grammatical (morphosyntactic) violations: anterior negativities (LAN) and posterior positivities (P600). Global coherence did not yield any significant effects on either ERP component, although it appeared advantageous to the detection of morphosyntactic errors. Anterior negativities were also unaffected by the amount of cumulated information. Accordingly, it seems that first-pass syntactic processes are unaffected by these discourse variables. In contrast, the first portion of the P600 was significantly modulated (increased) by the latter factor. This probably reflects bigger efforts to combine sentential information during situations highly demanding for working memory. Our results would suggest that processes involved in global discourse coherence appear relatively independent of the on-line syntactic and combinatorial mechanisms reflected in the LAN and the P600 components of the ERPs.

  5. Time course of action representations evoked during sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Heard, Alison W; Masson, Michael E J; Bub, Daniel N

    2015-03-01

    The nature of hand-action representations evoked during language comprehension was investigated using a variant of the visual-world paradigm in which eye fixations were monitored while subjects viewed a screen displaying four hand postures and listened to sentences describing an actor using or lifting a manipulable object. Displayed postures were related to either a functional (using) or volumetric (lifting) interaction with an object that matched or did not match the object mentioned in the sentence. Subjects were instructed to select the hand posture that matched the action described in the sentence. Even before the manipulable object was mentioned in the sentence, some sentence contexts allowed subjects to infer the object's identity and the type of action performed with it and eye fixations immediately favored the corresponding hand posture. This effect was assumed to be the result of ongoing motor or perceptual imagery in which the action described in the sentence was mentally simulated. In addition, the hand posture related to the manipulable object mentioned in a sentence, but not related to the described action (e.g., a writing posture in the context of a sentence that describes lifting, but not using, a pencil), was favored over other hand postures not related to the object. This effect was attributed to motor resonance arising from conceptual processing of the manipulable object, without regard to the remainder of the sentence context.

  6. The Composing Processes of Mature Adults.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crabbe, Katharyn

    The study examined 41 students (24 male, 17 female) in a beginning writing course for adults. Data were collected by (1) taping four workshop sessions in which all students participated in small groups, (2) interviewing all the students, and (3) observing four students writing in the classroom. The adult writers composed in two models: the…

  7. Adult Metacomprehension: Judgment Processes and Accuracy Constraints

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhao, Qin; Linderholm, Tracy

    2008-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to review and synthesize two interrelated topics in the adult metacomprehension literature: the bases of metacomprehension judgment and the constraints on metacomprehension accuracy. Our review shows that adult readers base their metacomprehension judgments on different types of information, including experiences…

  8. 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)…

  9. Sentence Composing for Elementary School: A Worktext To Build Better Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Killgallon, Don; Killgallon, Jenny

    Using this workbook, elementary students can learn to write sentences like their favorite authors. Using sentences from more than 100 popular stories and novels as models, the workbook offers extensive practice in four sentence-manipulating techniques: sentence unscrambling, sentence imitating, sentence combining, and sentence expanding. It shows…

  10. 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

  11. Sentence intonation in Swedish.

    PubMed

    Gårding, E

    1979-01-01

    In 'A Prosodic Typology for Swedish Dialects' (Nordic Prosody 1978), BRUCE and GARDING proposed a schema for generating fundamental frequency patterns of statements in four Swedish dialects. Dialectal variation was obtained by timing word accents and sentence accent differently in a common frame expressing statement intonation. In addition to presenting the method, this paper also shows how it can be applied to two different interrogative frames, one for yes/no questions with non-inverted word order and one for inverted order.

  12. Children's Processing and Comprehension of Complex Sentences Containing Temporal Connectives: The Influence of Memory on the Time Course of Accurate Responses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blything, Liam P.; Cain, Kate

    2016-01-01

    In a touch-screen paradigm, we recorded 3- to 7-year-olds' (N = 108) accuracy and response times (RTs) to assess their comprehension of 2-clause sentences containing "before" and "after". Children were influenced by order: performance was most accurate when the presentation order of the 2 clauses matched the chronological order…

  13. 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,…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Beyond the sentence given.

    PubMed

    Hagoort, Peter; van Berkum, Jos

    2007-05-29

    A central and influential idea among researchers of language is that our language faculty is organized according to Fregean compositionality, which states that the meaning of an utterance is a function of the meaning of its parts and of the syntactic rules by which these parts are combined. Since the domain of syntactic rules is the sentence, the implication of this idea is that language interpretation takes place in a two-step fashion. First, the meaning of a sentence is computed. In a second step, the sentence meaning is integrated with information from prior discourse, world knowledge, information about the speaker and semantic information from extra-linguistic domains such as co-speech gestures or the visual world. Here, we present results from recordings of event-related brain potentials that are inconsistent with this classical two-step model of language interpretation. Our data support a one-step model in which knowledge about the context and the world, concomitant information from other modalities, and the speaker are brought to bear immediately, by the same fast-acting brain system that combines the meanings of individual words into a message-level representation. Underlying the one-step model is the immediacy assumption, according to which all available information will immediately be used to co-determine the interpretation of the speaker's message. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data that we collected indicate that Broca's area plays an important role in semantic unification. Language comprehension involves the rapid incorporation of information in a 'single unification space', coming from a broader range of cognitive domains than presupposed in the standard two-step model of interpretation.

  17. Using sentence combining in technical writing classes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosner, M.; Paul, T.

    1981-01-01

    Sentence combining exercises are advanced as a way to teach technical writing style without reliance upon abstractions, from which students do not learn. Such exercises: (1) give students regular writing practice; (2) teach the logic of sentence structure, sentence editing, and punctuation; (3) paragraph development and organization; and (4) rhetorical stance. Typical sentence, paragraph, and discourse level sentence combining exercises are described.

  18. 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…

  19. "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.…

  20. 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

  1. Brain-wave recognition of sentences.

    PubMed

    Suppes, P; Han, B; Lu, Z L

    1998-12-22

    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.

  2. Sometimes Children Are as Good as Adults: The Pragmatic Use of Prosody in Children's On-Line Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhou, Peng; Crain, Stephen; Zhan, Likan

    2012-01-01

    This study examined 4-year-old Mandarin-speaking children's sensitivity to prosodic cues in resolving speech act ambiguities, using eye-movement recordings. Most previous on-line studies have focused on children's use of prosody in resolving structural ambiguities. Although children have been found to be sensitive to prosodic information, they use…

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Making simple sentences hard: Verb bias effects in simple direct object sentences

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Michael P.; Garnsey, Susan M.

    2009-01-01

    Constraint-based lexical models of language processing assume that readers resolve temporary ambiguities by relying on a variety of cues, including particular knowledge of how verbs combine with nouns. Previous experiments have demonstrated verb bias effects only in structurally complex sentences, and have been criticized on the grounds that such effects could be due to a rapid reanalysis stage in a two-stage modular processing system. In a self-paced reading experiment and an eyetracking experiment, we demonstrate verb bias effects in sentences with simple structures that should require no reanalyis, and thus provide evidence that the combinatorial properties of individual words influence the earliest stages of sentence comprehension. PMID:20160997

  6. Developmental Sentence Scoring for Japanese

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

    This article 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 Lee's English Developmental Sentence Scoring model. Using this measure, the authors calculated DSSJ scores for 84 children divided into six age groups between 2;8…

  7. Physicist sentenced for export violation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwynne, Peter

    2009-08-01

    J Reece Roth, a retired University of Tennessee plasma physicist convicted of violating the American Arms Export Control Act, is planning to appeal against a four-year prison sentence handed down last month. "It's an appeal against everything, including the verdict and the sentence," says his lawyer Thomas Dundon.

  8. The Creative Use of Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Widdowson, H. G.

    Among the features characterizing human language is creativity, the ability to produce an infinite number of sentences with a finite number of rules. What is expected of creativity is non-conformity, violation of rules, and challenges to accepted convention. Words may be used to activate possible contexts. Most textbook sentence examples do not…

  9. Lexical Activation during Sentence Comprehension in Adolescents with History of Specific Language Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Borovsky, Arielle; Burns, Erin; Elman, Jeffrey L.; Evans, Julia L.

    2015-01-01

    One remarkable characteristic of speech comprehension in typically developing (TD) children and adults is the speed with which the listener can integrate information across multiple lexical items to anticipate upcoming referents. Although children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) show lexical deficits (Sheng & McGregor, 2010) and slower speed of processing (Leonard et al., 2007), relatively little is known about how these deficits manifest in real-time sentence comprehension. In this study, we examine lexical activation in the comprehension of simple transitive sentences in adolescents with a history of SLI and age-matched, TD peers. Participants listened to sentences that consisted of the form, Article-Agent-Action-Article-Theme, (e.g., The pirate chases the ship) while viewing pictures of four objects that varied in their relationship to the Agent and Action of the sentence (e.g., Target, Agent-Related, Action-Related, and Unrelated). Adolescents with SLI were as fast as their TD peers to fixate on the sentence’s final item (the Target) but differed in their post-action onset visual fixations to the Action-Related item. Additional exploratory analyses of the spatial distribution of their visual fixations revealed that the SLI group had a qualitatively different pattern of fixations to object images than did the control group. The findings indicate that adolescents with SLI integrate lexical information across words to anticipate likely or expected meanings with the same relative fluency and speed as do their TD peers. However, the failure of the SLI group to show increased fixations to Action-Related items after the onset of the action suggests lexical integration deficits that result in failure to consider alternate sentence interpretations. PMID:24099807

  10. Association among reading summarization, word recognition, and sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Lee, Chang H

    2003-06-01

    Word recognition and sentence comprehension are initial and necessary processes to summarize a story. This study was conducted to investigate the relations among word recognition, sentence comprehension, and reading summarization. Analysis showed performance for word naming, an index of on-line word recognition, was correlated with the Latent Semantic Analysis scores, an index of reading summarization. These results indicate that the basic process of word recognition is a corner stone to better reading.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  14. Indigenous Partner Violence, Indigenous Sentencing Courts, and Pathways to Desistance.

    PubMed

    Marchetti, Elena; Daly, Kathleen

    2016-09-13

    Mainstream sentencing courts do little to change the behavior of partner violence offenders, let alone members of more socially marginal groups. Indigenous offenders face a court system that has little relevance to the complexity of their relations and lived experiences. Assisted by respected Elders and Community Representatives, Australian Indigenous sentencing courts seek to create a more meaningful sentencing process that has a deeper impact on Indigenous offenders' attitudes and, ultimately, their behavior. Drawing from interviews with 30 Indigenous offenders, we explore the ways in which the courts can motivate Indigenous partner violence offenders on pathways to desistence.

  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. A new sentence generator providing material for maximum reading speed measurement.

    PubMed

    Perrin, Jean-Luc; Paillé, Damien; Baccino, Thierry

    2015-12-01

    A new method is proposed to generate text material for assessing maximum reading speed of adult readers. The described procedure allows one to generate a vast number of equivalent short sentences. These sentences can be displayed for different durations in order to determine the reader's maximum speed using a psychophysical threshold algorithm. Each sentence is built so that it is either true or false according to common knowledge. The actual reading is verified by asking the reader to determine the truth value of each sentence. We based our design on the generator described by Crossland et al. and upgraded it. The new generator handles concepts distributed in an ontology, which allows an easy determination of the sentences' truth value and control of lexical and psycholinguistic parameters. In this way many equivalent sentence can be generated and displayed to perform the measurement. Maximum reading speed scores obtained with pseudo-randomly chosen sentences from the generator were strongly correlated with maximum reading speed scores obtained with traditional MNREAD sentences (r = .836). Furthermore, the large number of sentences that can be generated makes it possible to perform repeated measurements, since the possibility of a reader learning individual sentences is eliminated. Researchers interested in within-reader performance variability could use the proposed method for this purpose.

  17. Auditory processing deficits in reading disabled adults.

    PubMed

    Amitay, Sygal; Ahissar, Meray; Nelken, Israel

    2002-09-01

    The nature of the auditory processing deficit of disabled readers is still an unresolved issue. The quest for a fundamental, nonlinguistic, perceptual impairment has been dominated by the hypothesis that the difficulty lies in processing sequences of stimuli at presentation rates of tens of milliseconds. The present study examined this hypothesis using tasks that require processing of a wide range of stimulus time constants. About a third of the sampled population of disabled readers (classified as "poor auditory processors") had difficulties in most of the tasks tested: detection of frequency differences, detection of tones in narrowband noise, detection of amplitude modulation, detection of the direction of sound sources moving in virtual space, and perception of the lateralized position of tones based on their interaural phase differences. Nevertheless, across-channel integration was intact in these poor auditory processors since comodulation masking release was not reduced. Furthermore, phase locking was presumably intact since binaural masking level differences were normal. In a further examination of temporal processing, participants were asked to discriminate two tones at various intervals where the frequency difference was ten times each individual's frequency just noticeable difference (JND). Under these conditions, poor auditory processors showed no specific difficulty at brief intervals, contrary to predictions under a fast temporal processing deficit assumption. The complementary subgroup of disabled readers who were not poor auditory processors showed some difficulty in this condition when compared with their direct controls. However, they had no difficulty on auditory tasks such as amplitude modulation detection, which presumably taps processing of similar time scales. These two subgroups of disabled readers had similar reading performance but those with a generally poor auditory performance scored lower on some cognitive tests. Taken together, these

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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.…

  1. 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…

  2. Life-Span Differences in Semantic Integration of Pictures and Sentences in Memory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pezdek, Kathy

    1980-01-01

    Examines life-span developmental differences in spontaneous integration of semantically relevant material presented in pictures and sentences. Elementary school students, high school students, and adults were tested. (Author/SS)

  3. 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

  4. Neural aspects of sentence comprehension: syntactic complexity, reversibility, and reanalysis.

    PubMed

    Meltzer, Jed A; McArdle, Joseph J; Schafer, Robin J; Braun, Allen R

    2010-08-01

    Broca's area is preferentially activated by reversible sentences with complex syntax, but various linguistic factors may be responsible for this finding, including syntactic movement, working-memory demands, and post hoc reanalysis. To distinguish between these, we tested the interaction of syntactic complexity and semantic reversibility in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of sentence-picture matching. During auditory comprehension, semantic reversibility induced selective activation throughout the left perisylvian language network. In contrast, syntactic complexity (object-embedded vs. subject-embedded relative clauses) within reversible sentences engaged only the left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) and left precentral gyrus. Within irreversible sentences, only the LIFG was sensitive to syntactic complexity, confirming a unique role for this region in syntactic processing. Nonetheless, larger effects of reversibility itself occurred in the same regions, suggesting that full syntactic parsing may be a nonautomatic process applied as needed. Complex reversible sentences also induced enhanced signals in LIFG and left precentral regions on subsequent picture selection, but with additional recruitment of the right hemisphere homolog area (right inferior frontal gyrus) as well, suggesting that post hoc reanalysis of sentence structure, compared with initial comprehension, engages an overlapping but larger network of brain regions. These dissociable effects may offer a basis for studying the reorganization of receptive language function after brain damage.

  5. Syntactic priming in German-English bilinguals during sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Weber, Kirsten; Indefrey, Peter

    2009-07-15

    A longstanding question in bilingualism is whether syntactic information is shared between the two language processing systems. We used an fMRI repetition suppression paradigm to investigate syntactic priming in reading comprehension in German-English late-acquisition bilinguals. In comparison to conventional subtraction analyses in bilingual experiments, repetition suppression has the advantage of being able to detect neuronal populations that are sensitive to properties that are shared by consecutive stimuli. In this study, we manipulated the syntactic structure between prime and target sentences. A sentence with a passive sentence structure in English was preceded either by a passive or by an active sentence in English or German. We looked for repetition suppression effects in left inferior frontal, left precentral and left middle temporal regions of interest. These regions were defined by a contrast of all non-target sentences in German and English versus the baseline of sentence-format consonant strings. We found decreases in activity (repetition suppression effects) in these regions of interest following the repetition of syntactic structure from the first to the second language and within the second language. Moreover, a separate behavioural experiment using a word-by-word reading paradigm similar to the fMRI experiment showed faster reading times for primed compared to unprimed English target sentences regardless of whether they were preceded by an English or a German sentence of the same structure. We conclude that there is interaction between the language processing systems and that at least some syntactic information is shared between a bilingual's languages with similar syntactic structures.

  6. Executive process training in young and old adults.

    PubMed

    Sandberg, Petra; Rönnlund, Michael; Nyberg, Lars; Stigsdotter Neely, Anna

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing body of research on the modifiability of executive functions in different stages of life. Previous studies demonstrate robust training effects but limited transfer in younger and particularly in older adults. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether a theoretically derived intervention for executive functioning, addressing several basic processes (updating, shifting, and inhibition), can induce transfer effects in early and late adulthood. Fifty-nine healthy adults, 29 young and 30 older adults, were randomly assigned to either training or no-contact control groups. The training groups received 15 sessions of executive process training for about 45 min/session during 5 weeks. A test battery including a criterion task and near, intermediate, and far transfer tasks was administered before and after training. Results showed pronounced age-equivalent gains on the criterion task. Near transfer was seen to non-trained updating and inhibition tasks for the young and older trained participants. However, only the young adults showed intermediate transfer to two complex working memory tasks. No far transfer effects were seen for either age group. These findings provide additional evidence for age-related constraints in the ability to generalize acquired executive skills, and specifically show that training of multiple executive processes is not sufficient to foster transfer beyond the very near in older adults.

  7. 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,…

  8. The Self-Directed Learning Process of Older, Rural Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberson, Donald N., Jr.; Merriam, Sharan B.

    2005-01-01

    Medical advances and lifestyle changes have resulted in older adults living longer and healthier lives. Nevertheless, older adulthood, as other life stages, requires change in work, family, and health. Self-directed learning (SDL) is one way of negotiating these transitions. The purpose of this study was to understand this process of learning.…

  9. 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…

  10. Children's (In)ability to Recover from Garden Paths in a Verb-Final Language: Evidence for Developing Control in Sentence Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Choi, Youngon; Trueswell, John C.

    2010-01-01

    An eye-tracking study explored Korean-speaking adults' and 4- and 5-year-olds' ability to recover from misinterpretations of temporarily ambiguous phrases during spoken language comprehension. Eye movement and action data indicated that children, but not adults, had difficulty in recovering from these misinterpretations despite strong…

  11. Activation of sensory-motor areas in sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Desai, Rutvik H; Binder, Jeffrey R; Conant, Lisa L; Seidenberg, Mark S

    2010-02-01

    The sensory-motor account of conceptual processing suggests that modality-specific attributes play a central role in the organization of object and action knowledge in the brain. An opposing view emphasizes the abstract, amodal, and symbolic character of concepts, which are thought to be represented outside the brain's sensory-motor systems. We conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study in which the participants listened to sentences describing hand/arm action events, visual events, or abstract behaviors. In comparison to visual and abstract sentences, areas associated with planning and control of hand movements, motion perception, and vision were activated when understanding sentences describing actions. Sensory-motor areas were activated to a greater extent also for sentences with actions that relied mostly on hands, as opposed to arms. Visual sentences activated a small area in the secondary visual cortex, whereas abstract sentences activated superior temporal and inferior frontal regions. The results support the view that linguistic understanding of actions partly involves imagery or simulation of actions, and relies on some of the same neural substrate used for planning, performing, and perceiving actions.

  12. 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

  13. Morphometric Evaluation of Adult Acromion Process in North Indian Population

    PubMed Central

    Vasudeva, Neelam

    2017-01-01

    Introduction Dimensions of acromion process are important to show linkage to the shoulder girdle pathologies. Also morphometric analysis of acromion process would be helpful for surgeons while performing surgical procedures on the shoulder joint. Aim The purpose of this present study was to observe the detailed morphometric evaluation of adult acromion processes in North Indian population because different morphometric dimensions play an important role in various disorders of the shoulder, particularly sub acromial impingement syndrome. Materials and Methods Two hundred adult dry scapulae from the osteology museum of MAMC, New Delhi, were obtained for evaluation of various measurement of acromion process. The length, width, thickness of acromion, coraco-acromial (C-A) distance and acromio-glenoid (Ac-g) distance were measured. The measurements were compared with other osteological studies performed on different population group. Data was analysed using SPSS version 12.0 and mean values with standard deviation for each dimension were presented. Results The mean values of each measurement were: length: 41.007 mm; width: 21.82 mm; thickness: 6.58 mm; C-A distance: 28.34 mm and Ac-g distance: 26.21 mm. Conclusion It is expected that various dimensions of adult acromion process will serve as a reference base and will assist the surgeon in the approach to be used and precision of the operative technique. So, the study will provide a vital support for planning and executing acromioplasty in the treatment of impingement syndrome. PMID:28273959

  14. The effect of lexical priming on sentence comprehension: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Newman, Sharlene D; Ratliff, Kristen; Muratore, Tara; Burns, Thomas

    2009-08-18

    This study used repetition priming to examine the influence of lexical processing on sentence comprehension processing. In order to do that the effect of the lexical priming of nouns and verbs on active compared to passive sentences was investigated. The results revealed that facilitating lexical access resulted in the facilitation of sentence comprehension processes. More specifically it was found that while lexical priming of the nouns and verbs within a sentence aids sentence comprehension processes - reduced reaction time to the comprehension probe - verb priming appears to have a greater impact, particularly on syntactic level processes. This is demonstrated by a priming effect observed in left BA 44, a region that has been linked to syntactic level processing, only for verb repetition. These results also support previous studies that have reported a differential neural representation for nouns and verbs; priming effects for these two grammatical classes were observed in different brain regions.

  15. The Rhymes that the Reader Perused Confused the Meaning: Phonological Effects during On-line Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Acheson, Daniel J.; MacDonald, Maryellen C.

    2011-01-01

    Research on written language comprehension has generally assumed that the phonological properties of a word have little effect on sentence comprehension beyond the processes of word recognition. Two experiments investigated this assumption. Participants silently read relative clauses in which two pairs of words either did or did not have a high degree of phonological overlap. Participants were slower reading and less accurate comprehending the overlap sentences compared to the non-overlapping controls, even though sentences were matched for plausibility and differed by only two words across overlap conditions. A comparison across experiments showed that the overlap effects were larger in the more difficult object relative than in subject relative sentences. The reading patterns showed that phonological representations affect not only memory for recently encountered sentences but also the developing sentence interpretation during on-line processing. Implications for theories of sentence processing and memory are discussed. PMID:21743771

  16. 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)

  17. 75 FR 41279 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-15

    ... 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 comments to: United States Sentencing Commission, One Columbus Circle, NE., Suite...

  18. 77 FR 51110 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-23

    ... 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..., (202) 502-4502. ] SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States Sentencing Commission, an...

  19. 75 FR 54698 - 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...: (202) 502-4597. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States Sentencing Commission, an...

  20. 76 FR 58563 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-21

    ... 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..., (202) 502-4502. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States Sentencing Commission, an...

  1. 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…

  2. In Turkish: Sentence Structure and Possible Sentences According to the Sequence of Elements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mete, Filiz

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to investigate the structure according to the order of the elements in the Turkish sentence and to determine the possible sentences that are produced according to this structure. In order to examine the possible sentences, the question raised is: "How many possible canonical clauses (regular), inverted sentences (irregular)…

  3. Grammatical aspect and event recognition in children's online sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Peng; Crain, Stephen; Zhan, Likan

    2014-10-01

    This study investigated whether or not the temporal information encoded in aspectual morphemes can be used immediately by young children to facilitate event recognition during online sentence comprehension. We focused on the contrast between two grammatical aspectual morphemes in Mandarin Chinese, the perfective morpheme -le and the (imperfective) durative morpheme -zhe. The perfective morpheme -le is often used to indicate that an event has been completed, whereas the durative morpheme -zhe indicates that an event is still in progress or continuing. We were interested to see whether young children are able to use the temporal reference encoded in the two aspectual morphemes (i.e., completed versus ongoing) as rapidly as adults to facilitate event recognition during online sentence comprehension. Using the visual world eye-tracking paradigm, we tested 34 Mandarin-speaking adults and 99 Mandarin-speaking children (35 three-year-olds, 32 four-year-olds and 32 five-year-olds). On each trial, participants were presented with spoken sentences containing either of the two aspectual morphemes while viewing a visual image containing two pictures, one representing a completed event and one representing an ongoing event. Participants' eye movements were recorded from the onset of the spoken sentences. The results show that both the adults and the three age groups of children exhibited a facilitatory effect trigged by the aspectual morpheme: hearing the perfective morpheme -le triggered more eye movements to the completed event area, whereas hearing the durative morpheme -zhe triggered more eye movements to the ongoing event area. This effect occurred immediately after the onset of the aspectual morpheme, both for the adults and the three groups of children. This is evidence that young children are able to use the temporal information encoded in aspectual morphemes as rapidly as adults to facilitate event recognition. Children's eye movement patterns reflect a rapid mapping

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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 temporo-parietal 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 pFC, 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.

  8. 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

  9. Semantic Treatments for Word and Sentence Production Deficits in Aphasia.

    PubMed

    Boyle, Mary

    2017-02-01

    The cognitive domains of language and memory are intrinsically connected and work together during language processing. This relationship is especially apparent in the area of semantics. Several disciplines have contributed to a rich store of data about semantic organization and processing, and several semantic treatments for aphasic word and sentence production impairments have been based on these data. This article reviews the relationships between semantics and memory as they relate to word and sentence production, describes the aphasic language impairments that result from deficits in these areas, and summarizes treatment approaches that capitalize on what we have learned about these domains and how they work together.

  10. Electrophysiological and Behavioral Evidence of Syntactic Priming in Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tooley, Kristen M.; Traxler, Matthew J.; Swaab, Tamara Y.

    2009-01-01

    Event-related potentials and eye tracking were used to investigate the nature of priming effects in sentence comprehension. Participants read 2 sentences (a prime sentence and a target sentence), both of which had a difficult and ambiguous sentence structure. The prime and target sentences contained either the same verb or verbs that were very…

  11. Population-regulating processes during the adult phase in flatfish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rijnsdorp, A. D.

    Flatfish support major fisheries and the study of regulatory processes are of paramount importance for evaluating the resilience of the resource to exploitation. This paper reviews the evidence for processes operating during the adult phase that may 1. generate interannual variability in recruitment; 2. contribute to population regulation through density-dependent growth, density-dependent ripening of adults and density-dependent egg production. With regard to (1), there is evidence that in the adult phase processes do occur that may generate recruitment variability through variation in size-specific fecundity, contraction of spawning season, reduction in egg quality, change in sex ratio and size composition of the adult population. However, time series of recruitment do not provide support for this hypothesis. With regard to (2), there is ample evidence that exploitation of flatfish coincides with an increase in growth, although the mechanisms involved are not always clear. The presence of density-dependent growth in the adult phase of unexploited populations appears to be the most likely explanation in some cases. From the early years of exploitation of flatfish stocks inhabiting cold waters, evidence exists that adult fish do not spawn each year. Fecundity schedules show annual variations, but the available information suggests that size-specific fecundity is stable over a broad range of population abundance and may only decrease at high population abundance. The analysis is complicated by the possibility of a trade-off between egg numbers and egg size. Nevertheless, a density-dependent decrease in growth will automatically result in a decrease in absolute fecundity because of the reduced body size. The potential contribution of these regulatory effects on population regulation is explored. Results indicate that density-dependent ripening and absolute fecundity, mediated through density-dependent growth, may control recruitment at high levels of population

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. Computational principles of working memory in sentence comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Richard L.; Vasishth, Shravan; Van Dyke, Julie A.

    2007-01-01

    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 crosslinguistic sentence processing emerges from the interaction of general principles of human memory with the specialized task of language comprehension. PMID:16949330

  15. Specialization in the left prefrontal cortex for sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, Ryuichiro; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L

    2002-08-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined cortical activation under syntactic decision tasks and a short-term memory task for sentences, focusing on essential properties of syntactic processing. By comparing activation in these tasks with a short-term memory task for word lists, we found that two regions in the left prefrontal cortex showed selective activation for syntactic processing: the dorsal prefrontal cortex (DPFC) and the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Moreover, the left DPFC showed more prominent activation under the short-term memory task for sentences than that for word lists, which cannot be explained by general cognitive factors such as task difficulty and verbal short-term memory. These results support the proposal of specialized systems for sentence comprehension in the left prefrontal cortex.

  16. 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…

  17. The Neuronal Correlates of Indeterminate Sentence Comprehension: An fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    de Almeida, Roberto G.; Riven, Levi; Manouilidou, Christina; Lungu, Ovidiu; Dwivedi, Veena D.; Jarema, Gonia; Gillon, Brendan

    2016-01-01

    Sentences such as The author started the book are indeterminate because they do not make explicit what the subject (the author) started doing with the object (the book). In principle, indeterminate sentences allow for an infinite number of interpretations. One theory, however, assumes that these sentences are resolved by semantic coercion, a linguistic process that forces the noun book to be interpreted as an activity (e.g., writing the book) or by a process that interpolates this activity information in the resulting enriched semantic composition. An alternative theory, pragmatic, assumes classical semantic composition, whereby meaning arises from the denotation of words and how they are combined syntactically, with enrichment obtained via pragmatic inferences beyond linguistic-semantic processes. Cognitive neuroscience studies investigating the neuroanatomical and functional correlates of indeterminate sentences have shown activations either at the ventromedial pre-frontal cortex (vmPFC) or at the left inferior frontal gyrus (L-IFG). These studies have supported the semantic coercion theory assuming that one of these regions is where enriched semantic composition takes place. Employing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we found that indeterminate sentences activate bilaterally the superior temporal gyrus (STG), the right inferior frontal gyrus (R-IFG), and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), more so than control sentences (The author wrote the book). Activation of indeterminate sentences exceeded that of anomalous sentences (…drank the book) and engaged more left- and right-hemisphere areas than other sentence types. We suggest that the widespread activations for indeterminate sentences represent the deployment of pragmatic-inferential processes, which seek to enrich sentence content without necessarily resorting to semantic coercion. PMID:28066204

  18. Complex Sentence Comprehension and Working Memory in Children With Specific Language Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Montgomery, James W.; Evans, Julia L.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose This study investigated the association of 2 mechanisms of working memory (phonological short-term memory [PSTM], attentional resource capacity/allocation) with the sentence comprehension of school-age children with specific language impairment (SLI) and 2 groups of control children. Method Twenty-four children with SLI, 18 age-matched (CA) children, and 16 language- and memory-matched (LMM) children completed a nonword repetition task (PSTM), the competing language processing task (CLPT; resource capacity/allocation), and a sentence comprehension task comprising complex and simple sentences. Results (1) The SLI group performed worse than the CA group on each memory task; (2) all 3 groups showed comparable simple sentence comprehension, but for complex sentences, the SLI and LMM groups performed worse than the CA group; (3) for the SLI group, (a) CLPT correlated with complex sentence comprehension, and (b) nonword repetition correlated with simple sentence comprehension; (4) for CA children, neither memory variable correlated with either sentence type; and (5) for LMM children, only CLPT correlated with complex sentences. Conclusions Comprehension of both complex and simple grammar by school-age children with SLI is a mentally demanding activity, requiring significant working memory resources. PMID:18723601

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. Interactions of Meaning and Syntax: Implications for Models of Sentence Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKoon, Gail; Ratcliff, Roger

    2007-01-01

    A reduced relative-main clause ambiguity occurs in sentences that begin with reduced relative clauses, as in "The hangman executed by the government was convicted of treason." This ambiguity has often been the focus of research designed to investigate the processes by which syntactic structures are built during sentence comprehension.…

  3. Comprehension of Written Sentences as a Core Component of Children's Reading Comprehension

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ecalle, Jean; Bouchafa, Houria; Potocki, Anna; Magnan, Annie

    2013-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted to test the hypothesis that sentence processing is an essential mediatory skill between word recognition and text comprehension in reading. In Experiment 1, a semantic similarity judgement task was used with children from Grade 2 to Grade 9. They had to say whether two written sentences had the same (or very similar)…

  4. 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.…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Sentence Comprehension in Autism: Thinking in Pictures with Decreased Functional Connectivity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kana, Rajesh K.; Keller, Timothy A.; Cherkassky, Vladimir L.; Minshew, Nancy J.; Just, Marcel Adam

    2006-01-01

    Comprehending high-imagery sentences like "The number eight when rotated 90 degrees looks like a pair of eyeglasses" involves the participation and integration of several cortical regions. The linguistic content must be processed to determine what is to be mentally imaged, and then the mental image must be evaluated and related to the sentence. A…

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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).…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Current evidence for automatic Theory of Mind processing in adults.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Dana; Slaughter, Virginia P; Dux, Paul E

    2017-05-01

    Theory of Mind (ToM) is thought to play a key role in social information processing as it refers to the ability of individuals to represent the mental states of others (e.g., intentions, desires, beliefs). A provocative hypothesis has been put forward which espouses the existence of two ToM systems: one that is implicit and involves the automatic analysis of the belief states of others and another that is not automatic and is involved in explicitly reasoning about others' mental states. Recently, Phillips et al. (2015) have suggested that there is limited evidence for automatic ToM processing, after identifying a confound in a previous high-profile paper supporting the existence of this cognitive operation in infants and adults (Kovács, Téglás, & Endress, 2010). Here, we take a broader view of the literature and find, contrary to the conclusions of Phillips et al., that there is a substantial body of literature which demonstrates that adult humans are able to engage in unconscious and unintentional, and thus automatic, analyses of others' mental states. However, whether this ability is best described under a one, two or multiple systems ToM account remains to be determined.

  19. The Development of Complex Sentence Interpretation in Typically Developing Children Compared with Children with Specific Language Impairments or Early Unilateral Focal Lesions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dick, Frederic; Wulfeck, Beverly; Krupa-Kwiatkowski, Magda; Bates, Elizabeth

    2004-01-01

    This study compared sentence comprehension skills in typically developing children 5-17 years of age, children with language impairment (LI) and children with focal brain injuries (FL) acquired in the pre/perinatal period. Participants were asked to process sentences "on-line", choosing the agent in sentences that varied in syntactic complexity…

  20. 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…

  1. Bilinguals Show Weaker Lexical Access During Spoken Sentence Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Shook, Anthony; Goldrick, Matthew; Engstler, Caroline; Marian, Viorica

    2014-01-01

    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 bilinguals, German-English bilinguals and English monolinguals listened for target words in spoken English sentences while their eye-movements were recorded. Bilinguals’ eye-movements reflected weaker lexical access relative to monolinguals; furthermore, the effect of semantic constraint differed across first vs. second language processing. Specifically, English-native bilinguals showed fewer overall looks to target items, regardless of sentence constraint; German-native bilinguals activated target items more slowly and maintained target activation over a longer period of time in the Low-Constraint condition compared with monolinguals. No eye movements to cross-linguistic competitors were observed, suggesting that these lexical access disadvantages were present during bilingual spoken sentence comprehension even in the absence of overt interlingual competition. PMID:25266052

  2. 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

  3. Sentences Generation by Frequent Parsing Patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanagisawa, Takashi; Miura, Takao; Shioya, Isamu

    We propose a sophisticated approach to generate sentences from syntax trees. Users are assumed to give their intent in text or equivalent ones (such as syntax trees). Here we generate standard sentences by examining how the syntax structure consist of frequent structures and how they are constructed. We examine corpus in some domains to extract elementary syntax structures appeared in the corpus as well as standard sentences using the trees.

  4. Enhancing Older Adults' Reading Comprehension.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kemper, Susan; And Others

    1993-01-01

    Investigates older adults' reading comprehension skills through syntactic measures and measures of sentence content. Analyzes the apparent reading difficulties of older adults. Provides guidelines for the preparation of prose materials for older readers. (HB)

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  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. 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

  10. The effects of ageing and visual noise on conceptual integration during sentence reading.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xuefei; Levinthal, Brian R; Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A L

    2012-01-01

    The effortfulness hypothesis implies that difficulty in decoding the surface form, as in the case of age-related sensory limitations or background noise, consumes the attentional resources that are then unavailable for semantic integration in language comprehension. Because ageing is associated with sensory declines, degrading of the surface form by a noisy background can pose an extra challenge for older adults. In two experiments, this hypothesis was tested in a self-paced moving window paradigm in which younger and older readers' online allocation of attentional resources to surface decoding and semantic integration was measured as they read sentences embedded in varying levels of visual noise. When visual noise was moderate (Experiment 1), resource allocation among young adults was unaffected but older adults allocated more resources to decode the surface form at the cost of resources that would otherwise be available for semantic processing; when visual noise was relatively intense (Experiment 2), both younger and older participants allocated more attention to the surface form and less attention to semantic processing. The decrease in attentional allocation to semantic integration resulted in reduced recall of core ideas in both experiments, suggesting that a less organized semantic representation was constructed in noise. The greater vulnerability of older adults at relatively low levels of noise is consistent with the effortfulness hypothesis.

  11. 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.

  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. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 78 FR 51821 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-21

    ... 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..., (202) 502-4502, pubaffairs@ussc.gov . SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Creating Hope for Life-Sentenced Offenders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruddell, Rick; Broom, Ian; Young, Matthew

    2010-01-01

    Offenders sentenced to terms of life imprisonment pose special challenges for correctional systems. The Correctional Service of Canada collaborated with nongovernmental agencies to develop programmatic interventions to better prepare this population to survive their prison sentences and transition to the community. This study describes the…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Phonological Advance Planning in Sentence Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oppermann, Frank; Jescheniak, Jorg D.; Schriefers, Herbert

    2010-01-01

    Our study addresses the scope of phonological advance planning during sentence production using a novel experimental procedure. The production of German sentences in various syntactic formats (SVO, SOV, and VSO) was cued by presenting pictures of the agents of previously memorized agent-action-patient scenes. To tap the phonological activation of…

  5. 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

  6. The Effect of Number and Presentation Order of High-Constraint Sentences on Second Language Word Learning.

    PubMed

    Ma, Tengfei; Chen, Ran; Dunlap, Susan; Chen, Baoguo

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the results of an experiment that investigated the effects of number and presentation order of high-constraint sentences on semantic processing of unknown second language (L2) words (pseudowords) through reading. All participants were Chinese native speakers who learned English as a foreign language. In the experiment, sentence constraint and order of different constraint sentences were manipulated in English sentences, as well as L2 proficiency level of participants. We found that the number of high-constraint sentences was supportive for L2 word learning except in the condition in which high-constraint exposure was presented first. Moreover, when the number of high-constraint sentences was the same, learning was significantly better when the first exposure was a high-constraint exposure. And no proficiency level effects were found. Our results provided direct evidence that L2 word learning benefited from high quality language input and first presentations of high quality language input.

  7. The Effect of Number and Presentation Order of High-Constraint Sentences on Second Language Word Learning

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Tengfei; Chen, Ran; Dunlap, Susan; Chen, Baoguo

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the results of an experiment that investigated the effects of number and presentation order of high-constraint sentences on semantic processing of unknown second language (L2) words (pseudowords) through reading. All participants were Chinese native speakers who learned English as a foreign language. In the experiment, sentence constraint and order of different constraint sentences were manipulated in English sentences, as well as L2 proficiency level of participants. We found that the number of high-constraint sentences was supportive for L2 word learning except in the condition in which high-constraint exposure was presented first. Moreover, when the number of high-constraint sentences was the same, learning was significantly better when the first exposure was a high-constraint exposure. And no proficiency level effects were found. Our results provided direct evidence that L2 word learning benefited from high quality language input and first presentations of high quality language input. PMID:27695432

  8. Distinctive neural signatures for negative sentences in Hindi: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Uttam; Padakannaya, Prakash; Mishra, Ramesh K; Khetrapal, C L

    2013-06-01

    We examined cortical activations using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique in skilled native Hindi readers while they performed a 'target-probe' semantic judgment task on affirmative and negative sentences. Hindi, an Indo-Aryan language widely spoken in India, follows subject-object-verb (SOV) order canonically but allows free word order. The common cortical regions involved in affirmative and negative sentence conditions included bilateral inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), left parietal cortex (BA 7/40), left fusiform (BA 37), bilateral supplementary motor area (SMA) (BA 6), bilateral middle temporal gyrus (BA 21), and bilateral occipital area (BA 17/18). While no distinct region was activated for affirmative sentences, we observed activations in the region of bilateral anterior temporal pole for negative sentence. The behavioral results showed no significant mean difference for reaction times (RT) and accuracy measures between affirmative and negative sentences. However, the imaging results suggest the recruitment of anterior temporal pole in processing of negative sentences. Region of interest (ROI) analysis for selected regions showed higher signal intensity for negative sentences possibly indicating the associated inherent difficulty level of processing, especially when integrating information related to negations.

  9. Syntactic flexibility and competition in sentence production: the case of English and Russian.

    PubMed

    Myachykov, Andriy; Scheepers, Christoph; Garrod, Simon; Thompson, Dominic; Fedorova, Olga

    2013-08-01

    We analysed how syntactic flexibility influences sentence production in two different languages-English and Russian. In Experiment 1, speakers were instructed to produce as many structurally different descriptions of transitive-event pictures as possible. Consistent with the syntactically more flexible Russian grammar, Russian participants produced more descriptions and used a greater variety of structures than their English counterparts. In Experiment 2, a different sample of participants provided single-sentence descriptions of the same picture materials while their eye movements were recorded. In this task, English and Russian participants almost exclusively produced canonical subject-verb-object active-voice structures. However, Russian participants took longer to plan their sentences, as reflected in longer sentence onset latencies and eye-voice spans for the sentence-initial subject noun. This cross-linguistic difference in processing load diminished toward the end of the sentence. Stepwise generalized linear model analyses showed that the greater sentence-initial processing load registered in Experiment 2 corresponded to the greater amount of syntactic competition from available alternatives (Experiment 1), suggesting that syntactic flexibility is costly regardless of the language in use.

  10. 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

  11. Animacy or Case Marker Order?: Priority Information for Online Sentence Comprehension in a Head-Final Language

    PubMed Central

    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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. Is human sentence parsing serial or parallel? Evidence from event-related brain potentials.

    PubMed

    Hopf, Jens-Max; Bader, Markus; Meng, Michael; Bayer, Josef

    2003-01-01

    In this ERP study we investigate the processes that occur in syntactically ambiguous German sentences at the point of disambiguation. Whereas most psycholinguistic theories agree on the view that processing difficulties arise when parsing preferences are disconfirmed (so-called garden-path effects), important differences exist with respect to theoretical assumptions about the parser's recovery from a misparse. A key distinction can be made between parsers that compute all alternative syntactic structures in parallel (parallel parsers) and parsers that compute only a single preferred analysis (serial parsers). To distinguish empirically between parallel and serial parsing models, we compare ERP responses to garden-path sentences with ERP responses to truly ungrammatical sentences. Garden-path sentences contain a temporary and ultimately curable ungrammaticality, whereas truly ungrammatical sentences remain so permanently--a difference which gives rise to different predictions in the two classes of parsing architectures. At the disambiguating word, ERPs in both sentence types show negative shifts of similar onset latency, amplitude, and scalp distribution in an initial time window between 300 and 500 ms. In a following time window (500-700 ms), the negative shift to garden-path sentences disappears at right central parietal sites, while it continues in permanently ungrammatical sentences. These data are taken as evidence for a strictly serial parser. The absence of a difference in the early time window indicates that temporary and permanent ungrammaticalities trigger the same kind of parsing responses. Later differences can be related to successful reanalysis in garden-path but not in ungrammatical sentences.

  17. Adult Literacy: Images, Accounts and the Policy Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Darville, Richard

    1989-01-01

    Discusses a literacy research project that aims to produce a critical review of existing policy-related knowledge about adult literacy and illiteracy. Reports on the major themes of this review. (JOW)

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. Neural activity during free association to conflict–related sentences

    PubMed Central

    Kehyayan, Aram; Best, Katrin; Schmeing, Jo-Birger; Axmacher, Nikolai; Kessler, Henrik

    2013-01-01

    Psychodynamic conflicts form an important construct to understand the genesis and maintenance of mental disorders. Conflict-related themes should therefore provoke strong reactions on the behavioral, physiological, and neural level. We confronted N = 18 healthy subjects with a vast array of sentences describing typical psychodynamic conflict themes in the fMRI scanner and let them associate spontaneously in reaction. The overt associations were then analyzed according to psychoanalytic theory and the system of operationalized psychodynamic diagnosis and used as a genuinely psychodynamic indicator, whether each potentially conflict-related sentence actually touched a conflict theme of the individual. Behavioral, physiological, and neural reactions were compared between those subjects with an “apparent conflict” and those with “absent conflicts.” The first group reported stronger agreement with the conflict-related sentences, more negative valence in reaction, had higher levels of skin conductance reactivity and exhibited stronger activation in the anterior cingulate cortex, amongst other functions involved in emotion processing and conflict-monitoring. In conjunction, we interpret this activity as a possible correlate of subjects’ inherent reactions and regulatory processes evoked by conflict themes. This study makes a point for the fruitfulness of the neuropsychoanalytic endeavor by using free association, the classical technique most commonly used in psychoanalysis, to investigate aspects of conflict processing in neuroimaging. PMID:24298244

  4. 77 FR 31070 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-24

    ...] [FR Doc No: 2012-12600] UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts AGENCY: United States Sentencing Commission. ACTION: Notice of period during which individuals may... expiring as of October 2012, the United States Sentencing Commission hereby invites any individual who...

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-24

    ... No: 2012-12688] UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts AGENCY: United States Sentencing Commission. ACTION: Notice of period during which individuals may apply...: United States Sentencing Commission, One Columbus Circle NE., Suite 2-500, South Lobby, Washington,...

  6. A General Audiovisual Temporal Processing Deficit in Adult Readers with Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Francisco, Ana A.; Jesse, Alexandra; Groen, Margriet A.; McQueen, James M.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Because reading is an audiovisual process, reading impairment may reflect an audiovisual processing deficit. The aim of the present study was to test the existence and scope of such a deficit in adult readers with dyslexia. Method: We tested 39 typical readers and 51 adult readers with dyslexia on their sensitivity to the simultaneity of…

  7. 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.

  8. Greater Left Inferior Frontal Activation for SVO than VOS during Sentence Comprehension in Kaqchikel

    PubMed Central

    Koizumi, Masatoshi; Kim, Jungho

    2016-01-01

    Cortical activations during the processing of Kaqchikel transitive sentences with canonical and non-canonical word orders were investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Kaqchikel is an endangered Mayan language spoken in Guatemala. The word order in this language is relatively flexible. We observed higher cortical activations in the left inferior frontal gyrus for sentences with the subject-verb-object (SVO) word order, as compared to sentences with the verb-object-subject (VOS) word order, suggesting that Kaqchikel sentences are easier to process when they have the VOS order than when they have the SVO order. This supports the traditional analysis of Mayan word order: the syntactically simplest word order of transitive sentences in Mayan languages, including Kaqchikel, is VOS. More importantly, the results revealed that the subject-before-object word order preference in sentence comprehension, previously observed in other languages, might not reflect a universal aspect of human languages. Rather, processing preference may be language-specific to some extent, reflecting syntactic differences in individual languages. PMID:27790165

  9. 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.

  10. Juveniles tried as adults: the age of the juvenile matters.

    PubMed

    Semple, Jaclyn K; Woody, William Douglas

    2011-08-01

    Serious juvenile crimes require evaluation of a child as a criminal defendant in adult court. In such cases, it is crucial to understand jurors' attitudes, biases, and ability to follow legal instructions and maintain fairness. 308 undergraduate psychology students served as mock jurors, were randomly separated into four groups, and each group read the same realistic summary of a trial with the defendant's age presented as 13, 15, 17, or 21 years. Participants were asked to render guilty or not guilty verdicts and, if guilty, to suggest sentences. Chi-squared analysis indicated 13- and 15-year-old defendants were convicted less often than 17- and 21-year-old defendants, showing that jurors distinguished between juvenile defendants of different ages, but not minors and adults as defined by law. Additional analysis showed that age did not affect sentencing recommendations. Decision processes jurors use for juveniles tried as adults are discussed.

  11. 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.

  12. Adult Literacy in the Rehabilitation Process: Issues Across the Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Love, Kristina; And Others

    1993-01-01

    A study of the management of literacy needs of rehabilitation clients moving from the health sector back into the community is reported. Focusing on people with physical impairments or brain damage, the study examined what health professionals know about adult literacy programs, identification and management of literacy needs, and perception of…

  13. Imitation of Complex Syntactic Constructions by Elderly Adults.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kemper, Susan

    1986-01-01

    When elderly (70-89 years) and younger (30-49 years) adults imitated complex sentences, younger adults were more able to imitate accurately and correctly paraphrase sentences regardless of length, position, or type of embedded clause. Elderly adults were unable to imitate or paraphrase correctly long constructions, suggesting an age-related…

  14. On Understanding Sentences: In Search of a Theory of Sentence Comprehension. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hakes, David T.

    A heuristic strategy model of sentence comprehension, similar to ones suggested by Bever, Fodor and Garret, is discussed, with the focus on the conceptual characteristics of such a model and on relevant research. Briefly, the model assumes that a speech perception device constructs a representation of a heard sentence corresponding roughly to a…

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. Neurodynamics of sentence interpretation: ERP evidence from French.

    PubMed

    Isel, Frédéric; Hahne, Anja; Maess, Burkhard; Friederici, Angela D

    2007-03-01

    Sentence interpretation was examined with event-related brain potentials (ERPs). The ERPs were recorded while participants listened to French sentences containing a subject-modifying relative clause (SRC). These were either correct, semantically incorrect, syntactically incorrect, or doubly (syntactically and semantically) incorrect. The semantic anomaly realized as a selectional restriction violation was associated with an N400. The syntactic anomaly realized as a phrase structure violation in the SRC elicited a frontal negativity between 150 and 600 ms. This negativity was more pronounced in the left than in the right hemisphere in the early time window (150-300 ms). In a later time window (300-600 ms), it was more broadly distributed including anterior and posterior regions, but with a maximum over the anterior recording sites. Finally, a centro-parietal late positivity (P600) was found between 600 and 1000 ms. While syntactic and semantic information in the double violation condition did not interact between 150 and 300 ms, they did interact between 300 and 600 ms. This finding supports serial models of sentence processing that postulate an initial autonomous stage of phrase structure building and a late stage of interaction.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Exploring the neural dynamics underpinning individual differences in sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Prat, Chantel S; Just, Marcel Adam

    2011-08-01

    This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate individual differences in the neural underpinnings of sentence comprehension, with a focus on neural adaptability (dynamic configuration of neural networks with changing task demands). Twenty-seven undergraduates, with varying working memory capacities and vocabularies, read sentences that were either syntactically simple or complex under conditions of varying extrinsic working memory demands (sentences alone or preceded by to-be-remembered words or nonwords). All readers showed greater neural adaptability when extrinsic working memory demands were low, suggesting that adaptability is related to resource availability. Higher capacity readers showed greater neural adaptability (greater increase in activation with increasing syntactic complexity) across conditions than did lower capacity readers. Higher capacity readers also showed better maintenance of or increase in synchronization of activation between brain regions as tasks became more demanding. Larger vocabulary was associated with more efficient use of cortical resources (reduced activation in frontal regions) in all conditions but was not associated with greater neural adaptability or synchronization. The distinct characterizations of verbal working memory capacity and vocabulary suggest that dynamic facets of brain function such as adaptability and synchronization may underlie individual differences in more general information processing abilities, whereas neural efficiency may more specifically reflect individual differences in language experience.

  1. Child Writers' Construction and Reconstruction of Single Sentences and Construction of Multi-Sentence Texts: Contributions of Syntax and Transcription to Translation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berninger, Virginia W.; Nagy, William; Beers, Scott

    2011-01-01

    Children in grades one to four completed two sentence construction tasks: (a) Write one complete sentence about a topic prompt (sentence integrity, Study 1); and (b) Integrate two sentences into one complete sentence without changing meaning (sentence combining, Study 2). Most, but not all, children in first through fourth grade could write just…

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. Reflections from Latin America for Strengthening Youth and Adult Educational Policy and Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mera, Carlos Zarco

    2004-01-01

    This article stems from the author's personal experience promoting processes in favour of youth and adult education as Secretary General of the Latin American Council for Adult Education. The author draws from the analyses and considerations presented in documents developed over the past seven years that reflect collective thinking and the…

  5. 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)…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. The Processing Behaviours of Adult Second Language Learners and Their Relationship to Second Language Proficiency.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mangubhai, Francis

    1991-01-01

    Investigated the behaviors for processing language input demonstrated by five adults beginning to learn Hindi as a second language through the Total Physical Response method. The study suggests that, when adult learners are provided with comprehensive input, they engage in a variety of behaviors to extract meaning from it. (73 references) (GLR)

  12. 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…

  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. 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…

  15. 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

  16. Combined eye tracking and fMRI reveals neural basis of linguistic predictions during sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Bonhage, Corinna E; Mueller, Jutta L; Friederici, Angela D; Fiebach, Christian J

    2015-07-01

    It is widely agreed upon that linguistic predictions are an integral part of language comprehension. Yet, experimental proof of their existence remains challenging. Here, we introduce a new predictive eye gaze reading task combining eye tracking and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that allows us to infer the existence and timing of linguistic predictions via anticipatory eye-movements. Participants read different types of word sequences (i.e., regular sentences, meaningless jabberwocky sentences, non-word lists) up to the pre-final word. The final target word was displayed with a temporal delay and its screen position was dependent on the syntactic word category (nouns vs verbs). During the delay, anticipatory eye-movements into the correct target word area were indicative of linguistic predictions. For fMRI analysis, the predictive sentence conditions were contrasted to the non-word condition, with the anticipatory eye-movements specifying differences in timing across conditions. A conjunction analysis of both sentence conditions revealed the neural substrate of word category prediction, namely a distributed network of cortical and subcortical brain regions including language systems, basal ganglia, thalamus, and hippocampus. Direct contrasts between the regular sentence condition and the jabberwocky condition indicate that prediction of word category in meaningless jabberwocky sentences relies on classical left-hemispheric language systems involving Brodman's area 44/45 in the left inferior frontal gyrus, left superior temporal areas, and the dorsal caudate nucleus. Regular sentences, in contrast, allowed for the prediction of specific words. Word-specific predictions were specifically associated with more widely distributed temporal and parietal cortical systems, most prominently in the right hemisphere. Our results support the presence of linguistic predictions during sentence processing and demonstrate the validity of the predictive eye gaze

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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. 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

  1. 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.

  2. The neural correlates of processing newborn and adult faces in 3-year-old children

    PubMed Central

    Peykarjou, Stefanie; Westerlund, Alissa; Macchi Cassia, Viola; Kuefner, Dana; Nelson, Charles A.

    2013-01-01

    The current study examines the processing of upright and inverted faces in 3-year-old children (n = 35). Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded during a passive-looking paradigm including adult and newborn face stimuli. We observed three face-sensitive components, the P1, the N170 and the P400. Inverted faces elicited shorter P1 latency and larger P400 amplitude. P1 and N170 amplitudes were larger for adult faces. To examine the role of experience in the development of face processing, the processing of adult and newborn faces was compared for children with a younger sibling (n = 23) and children without a younger sibling (n = 12). Age of sibling at test correlated negatively with P1 amplitude for adult and newborn faces. This may indicate more efficient processing of different face ages in children with a younger sibling and potentially reflects a more flexible face representation. PMID:24118716

  3. Information Processing Differences and Similarities in Adults with Dyslexia and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder during a Continuous Performance Test: A Study of Cortical Potentials

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dhar, Monica; Been, Pieter H.; Minderaa, Ruud B.; Althaus, Monika

    2010-01-01

    Twenty male adults with ADHD, 16 dyslexic adults, 15 comorbid adults, and 16 normal controls were compared on performance and underlying brain responses, during a cued Continuous Performance Test (O-X CPT), with the aim of discovering features of information processing differentiating between the groups. The study evaluated both cue- and…

  4. 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.

  5. Defendants previous history and mock sentencing.

    PubMed

    Wear, D A; Pasewark, R A

    1984-05-01

    Six hundred forty-four undergraduates served as mock judges in sentencing male or female defendants convicted of homicide, child molestation, embezzlement, fraudulent issuance of checks, heroin possession, and consensual homosexuality. Defendants had a reported history of psychiatric hospitalization, imprisonment, or neither hospitalization nor incarceration. Results indicated: (1) those defendants with a mental health history were more likely to be accorded a disposition that involved mandatory health treatment; (2) dispositions of persons with a mental health history tended to be more restrictive than those of defendants with neither a mental health nor criminal history; and (3) sex of defendant of mock judge influenced sentencing disposition only in child molestation cases.

  6. When Language Switching has No Apparent Cost: Lexical Access in Sentence Context.

    PubMed

    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.

  7. 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

  8. Confidentiality Protections for Adolescents and Young Adults in the Health Care Billing and Insurance Claims Process.

    PubMed

    2016-03-01

    The importance of protecting confidential health care for adolescents and young adults is well documented. State and federal confidentiality protections exist for both minors and young adults, although the laws vary among states, particularly for minors. However, such confidentiality is potentially violated by billing practices and in the processing of health insurance claims. To address this problem, policies and procedures should be established so that health care billing and insurance claims processes do not impede the ability of providers to deliver essential health care services on a confidential basis to adolescents and young adults covered as dependents on a family's health insurance plan.

  9. Rational integration of noisy evidence and prior semantic expectations in sentence interpretation

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, Edward; Bergen, Leon; Piantadosi, Steven T.

    2013-01-01

    Sentence processing theories typically assume that the input to our language processing mechanisms is an error-free sequence of words. However, this assumption is an oversimplification because noise is present in typical language use (for instance, due to a noisy environment, producer errors, or perceiver errors). A complete theory of human sentence comprehension therefore needs to explain how humans understand language given imperfect input. Indeed, like many cognitive systems, language processing mechanisms may even be “well designed”–in this case for the task of recovering intended meaning from noisy utterances. In particular, comprehension mechanisms may be sensitive to the types of information that an idealized statistical comprehender would be sensitive to. Here, we evaluate four predictions about such a rational (Bayesian) noisy-channel language comprehender in a sentence comprehension task: (i) semantic cues should pull sentence interpretation towards plausible meanings, especially if the wording of the more plausible meaning is close to the observed utterance in terms of the number of edits; (ii) this process should asymmetrically treat insertions and deletions due to the Bayesian “size principle”; such nonliteral interpretation of sentences should (iii) increase with the perceived noise rate of the communicative situation and (iv) decrease if semantically anomalous meanings are more likely to be communicated. These predictions are borne out, strongly suggesting that human language relies on rational statistical inference over a noisy channel. PMID:23637344

  10. Childhood Social Inequalities Influences Neural Processes in Young Adult Caregiving

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Pilyoung; Ho, S. Shaun; Evans, Gary W.; Liberzon, Israel; Swain, James E.

    2016-01-01

    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 vs. 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

  11. 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

  12. Effects of Auditory Distraction on Cognitive Processing of Young Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    LaPointe, Leonard L.; Heald, Gary R.; Stierwalt, Julie A. G.; Kemker, Brett E.; Maurice, Trisha

    2007-01-01

    Objective: The effects of interference, competition, and distraction on cognitive processing are unclearly understood, particularly regarding type and intensity of auditory distraction across a variety of cognitive processing tasks. Method: The purpose of this investigation was to report two experiments that sought to explore the effects of types…

  13. Context Processing and Cognitive Control in Children and Young Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lorsbach, Thomas C.; Reimer, Jason F.

    2008-01-01

    T. S. Braver and colleagues (e.g., T. S. Braver, J. D. Cohen, & D. M. Barch, 2002) have provided a theory of cognitive control that focuses on the role of context processing. According to their theory, an underlying context-processing mechanism is responsible for the cognitive control functions of attention, inhibition, and working memory. In the…

  14. Processing of Compound Words by Adult Korean-English Bilinguals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ko, In Yeong

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this dissertation study is to investigate how Korean-English bilinguals process compound words in both English and Korean. The major research question is: when Korean-English bilinguals process Korean or English compound words, what information is used to segment compound words into their constituents and, in particular, does…

  15. Hemispheric Processing of Idioms and Irony in Adults With and Without Pervasive Developmental Disorder.

    PubMed

    Saban-Bezalel, Ronit; Mashal, Nira

    2015-11-01

    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 adults with PDD were relatively unimpaired in understanding figurative language. While the TD group demonstrated a right hemisphere advantage in processing the non-salient meanings of idioms as well as the ironic endings of paragraphs, the PDD group processed these stimuli bilaterally. Our findings suggest that brain lateralization is atypical in adults with PDD. Successful performance along with bilateral brain activation suggests that the PDD group uses a compensation mechanism.

  16. Holistic processing and reliance on global viewing strategies in older adults' face perception.

    PubMed

    Meinhardt-Injac, Bozana; Persike, Malte; Meinhardt, Günter

    2014-09-01

    There is increasing evidence that face recognition might be impaired in older adults, but it is unclear whether the impairment is truly perceptual, and face specific. In order to address this question we compared performance in same/different matching tasks with face and non-face objects (watches) among young (mean age 23.7) and older adults (mean age 70.4) using a context congruency paradigm (Meinhardt-Injac, Persike & Meinhardt, 2010, Meinhardt-Injac, Persike and Meinhardt, 2011a). Older adults were less accurate than young adults with both object classes, while face matching was notably impaired. Effects of context congruency and inversion, measured as the hallmarks of holistic processing, were equally strong in both age groups, and were found only for faces, but not for watches. The face specific decline in older adults revealed deficits in handling internal facial features, while young adults matched external and internal features equally well. Comparison with non-face stimuli showed that this decline was face specific, and did not concern processing of object features in general. Taken together, the results indicate no age-related decline in the capabilities to process faces holistically. Rather, strong holistic effects, combined with a loss of precision in handling internal features indicate that older adults rely on global viewing strategies for faces. At the same time, access to the exact properties of inner face details becomes restricted.

  17. Establishing Sentencing Guidelines for Military Courts-Martial

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-11-01

    federal sentencing system was shaped most significantly by the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, which was enacted in response to a “wide disparity in...sentences imposed for similar criminal offenses committed by similar offenders”1. The act also created the United States Sentencing Commission and...taking into account adjustments for drug quantity and type, hate crimes, terrorism, human rights, reckless endangerment , involving a minor, etc

  18. 32 CFR 16.3 - Available sentences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... sentence given to those who violate the law. Such reasons include: punishment of the wrongdoer; protection of society from the wrongdoer; deterrence of the wrongdoer and those who know of his crimes and... adherence to the laws and customs of war in general. (b) Conditions of imprisonment. Decisions regarding...

  19. Emai Sentence Complements in Typological Perspective.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schaefer, Ronald P.; Egbokhare, Francis O.

    This paper explores the syntactic and semantic character of previously undescribed sentence complements (SCs) in Emai, a Benue-Congo language of Nigeria's Edoid group. Data come from ongoing documentation incorporating oral narrative texts as well as dictionary and grammar descriptions. To delineate the grammatical properties of SCs, the paper…

  20. Confabulation Based Sentence Completion for Machine Reading

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-11-01

    in bold. As we can see, 10 of the 15 sentences are completed correctly. In the third setup, we use the book “Great Expectations” by Charles ... Dickens , and a children’s story book “Why the Sea is Salt” as our test files. Neither of the books has been read during the training procedure. From each

  1. Sentence Combining and the Learning Disabled Student.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nutter, Norma; Safran, Stephen P.

    Theory and research indicated that sentence-combining exercises (SCE's) might be effective for improving the writing of learning disabled (LD) pupils. Seven college seniors in special education were trained to implement SCE's naturalistically in tutoring 13 LD pupils in grades 1-6 over a 10 week period, with a control group of 8 seniors tutoring…

  2. BELTracker: evidence sentence retrieval for BEL statements

    PubMed Central

    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

  3. 28 CFR 2.5 - Sentence aggregation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Sentence aggregation. 2.5 Section 2.5 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND RECOMMITMENT OF PRISONERS... by the Commission pursuant to these rules, and the prisoner has a single parole eligibility date...

  4. 28 CFR 2.5 - Sentence aggregation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Sentence aggregation. 2.5 Section 2.5 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND RECOMMITMENT OF PRISONERS... by the Commission pursuant to these rules, and the prisoner has a single parole eligibility date...

  5. 28 CFR 2.5 - Sentence aggregation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Sentence aggregation. 2.5 Section 2.5 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND RECOMMITMENT OF PRISONERS... by the Commission pursuant to these rules, and the prisoner has a single parole eligibility date...

  6. 28 CFR 2.5 - Sentence aggregation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Sentence aggregation. 2.5 Section 2.5 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND RECOMMITMENT OF PRISONERS... by the Commission pursuant to these rules, and the prisoner has a single parole eligibility date...

  7. 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, YOUTH OFFENDERS, AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS United States Code Prisoners and Parolees § 2.5...

  8. 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.

  9. Working Memory Effects in the L2 Processing of Ambiguous Relative Clauses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopp, Holger

    2014-01-01

    This article investigates whether and how L2 sentence processing is affected by memory constraints that force serial parsing. Monitoring eye movements, we test effects of working memory on L2 relative-clause attachment preferences in a sample of 75 late-adult German learners of English and 25 native English controls. Mixed linear regression…

  10. Event-Related Potentials Reveal Anomalous Morphosyntactic Processing in Developmental Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cantiani, Chiara; Lorusso, Maria Luisa; Perego, Paolo; Molteni, Massimo; Guasti, Maria Teresa

    2013-01-01

    In the light of the literature describing oral language difficulties in developmental dyslexia (DD), event-related potentials were used in order to compare morphosyntactic processing in 16 adults with DD (aged 20-28 years) and unimpaired controls. Sentences including subject-verb agreement violations were presented auditorily, with grammaticality…

  11. Principal Component Analysis of Ratings of Some Deviant English Sentences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danks, Joseph H.; Lewis, Charles

    The comprehension of deviant sentences is dependent on several linguistic variables. Grammaticalness (G), meaningfulness (M), and familiarity (F) are three variables which are potentially such. In order to study the effect of violating these variables upon Ss' responses to deviant sentences, 85 deviant and 15 correct sentences were assigned to…

  12. Electrophysiological and behavioral evidence of syntactic priming in sentence comprehension.

    PubMed

    Tooley, Kristen M; Traxler, Matthew J; Swaab, Tamara Y

    2009-01-01

    Event-related potentials and eye tracking were used to investigate the nature of priming effects in sentence comprehension. Participants read 2 sentences (a prime sentence and a target sentence), both of which had a difficult and ambiguous sentence structure. The prime and target sentences contained either the same verb or verbs that were very close in meaning. Priming effects were robust when the verb was repeated. In the event-related potential experiment, the amplitude of the P600 was reduced in target sentences that followed prime sentences with the same verb but not in prime sentences with a synonymous verb. In the eye-tracking experiment, total reading times on the disambiguating region were reduced when the targets followed prime sentences with the same verb but not when targets followed prime sentences with a synonymous verb. The fact that verb overlap greatly boosted priming effects in reduced relative sentences may indicate that verb argument structures play an important role in online parsing.

  13. 28 CFR 2.10 - Date service of sentence commences.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... Section 2.10 Judicial Administration DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE PAROLE, RELEASE, SUPERVISION AND RECOMMITMENT... imposed. (b) The imposition of a sentence of imprisonment for civil contempt shall interrupt the running of any sentence of imprisonment being served at the time the sentence of civil contempt is...

  14. Visual Perception of Sentences with Temporarily Ambiguous Clause Boundaries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frazier, Lyn

    The model of sentence perception proposed by Fodor, Bever and Garrett (1974) emphasizes the importance of grammatical cues signalling clause boundaries, and suggests that segmentation of a sentence into clauses precedes computation of the internal structure of those clauses. However, this model has nothing to say about the many sentences in which…

  15. Sentence Comprehension in Swahili-English Bilingual Agrammatic Speakers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

    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…

  16. 77 FR 71681 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-03

    ... 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... Practitioners Advisory Group has become vacant before the expiration of the term, the United States...

  17. 78 FR 4197 - Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-18

    ...: Notice of proposed amendments to sentencing guidelines, policy statements, and commentary. Request for... the sentencing guidelines, policy statements, and commentary. This notice sets forth the proposed... sentencing guidelines and policy statements for federal courts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(a). The...

  18. The Use of Decoy Sentences to Measure Auditory Training Gains.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mapes, Frances M.; Moreau, Roberta

    1980-01-01

    To investigate students' ability to generalize auditory skills, precourse to postcourse measures were compared for an auditory training group (N=42) and a control group (N=7) on three auditory discimination measures: (1) the training sentences, (2) related but nontrained sentences (decoy sentences), and (3) a modified rhyme test. (Author/PHR)

  19. Establishing Causal Coherence across Sentences: An ERP Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuperberg, Gina R.; Paczynski, Martin; Ditman, Tali

    2011-01-01

    This study examined neural activity associated with establishing causal relationships across sentences during on-line 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…

  20. 28 CFR 2.76 - Reduction in minimum sentence.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... OF PRISONERS, YOUTH OFFENDERS, AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS District of Columbia Code: Prisoners and... minimum term of his or her sentence may request the Commission to file an application with the sentencing... application to the sentencing court for a reduction of a prisoner's minimum term if the Commission finds...