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Sample records for comparable syntactic sentence

  1. Adding sentence types to a model of syntactic category acquisition.

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    Frank, Stella; Goldwater, Sharon; Keller, Frank

    2013-07-01

    The acquisition of syntactic categories is a crucial step in the process of acquiring syntax. At this stage, before a full grammar is available, only surface cues are available to the learner. Previous computational models have demonstrated that local contexts are informative for syntactic categorization. However, local contexts are affected by sentence-level structure. In this paper, we add sentence type as an observed feature to a model of syntactic category acquisition, based on experimental evidence showing that pre-syntactic children are able to distinguish sentence type using prosody and other cues. The model, a Bayesian Hidden Markov Model, allows for adding sentence type in a few different ways; we find that sentence type can aid syntactic category acquisition if it is used to characterize the differences in word order between sentence types. In these models, knowledge of sentence type permits similar gains to those found by extending the local context. Copyright © 2013 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  2. Reduced Syntactic Processing Efficiency in Older Adults During Sentence Comprehension

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    Zude Zhu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Researchers have frequently reported an age-related decline in semantic processing during sentence comprehension. However, it remains unclear whether syntactic processing also declines or whether it remains constant as people age. In the present study, 26 younger adults and 20 older adults were recruited and matched in terms of working memory, general intelligence, verbal intelligence and fluency. They were then asked to make semantic acceptability judgments while completing a Chinese sentence reading task. The behavioral results revealed that the older adults had significantly lower accuracy on measures of semantic and syntactic processing compared to younger adults. Event-related potential (ERP results showed that during semantic processing, older adults had a significantly reduced amplitude and delayed peak latency of the N400 compared to the younger adults. During syntactic processing, older adults also showed delayed peak latency of the P600 relative to younger adults. Moreover, while P600 amplitude was comparable between the two age groups, larger P600 amplitude was associated with worse performance only in the older adults. Together, the behavioral and ERP data suggest that there is an age-related decline in both semantic and syntactic processing, with a trend toward lower efficiency in syntactic ability.

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

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    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…

  4. Magnetoencephalography Reveals Mismatch Field Enhancement from Unexpected Syntactic Category Errors in English Sentences.

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    Kubota, Mikio; Ono, Yumie; Ishiyama, Atsushi; Zouridakis, George; Papanicolaou, Andrew C

    2018-01-01

    The type of syntactic operations that increase neuronal activation in humans as a result of syntactically erroneous, unexpected lexical items in hearing sentences has remained unclear. In the present study, we used recordings of magnetoencephalographic (MEG) activity to compare bare infinitive and full infinitive constructions in English. This research aims to identify the type of syntactic deviance that may trigger an early syntax-related mismatch field (MMF) component when unexpected words appear in sentences. Six speakers of English as a first language were presented with auditory stimuli of sentences or words in a passive odd-ball paradigm while watching a silent movie. The experimental protocol included four sessions, specifically investigating the sentential (structural) versions of full (with the 'to' infinitival particle) and bare infinitival structures (without the particle) and the lexical (non-structure) versions of the verb either with or without the particle to determine whether the structure processing of sentences was a more crucial factor in the detection of the MMF than the simple processing of lexical items in verb-only conditions. The amplitude analysis of the resulting evoked fields showed that the presence of the syntactic category error of bare infinitival structures against syntactic predictions evoked a significantly larger MMF activation with a peak latency of approximately 200ms in the anterior superior temporal sulci in the left hemisphere, compared with the lexical items that did not have any syntactic status. These results clearly demonstrate that syntactically unexpected, illegal input in the bare infinitival structure is likely to be noticed more robustly in the brain while processing the structural information of the entire sentence than the corresponding verb-only items. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

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    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…

  6. Syntactic Priming and the Lexical Boost Effect during Sentence Production and Sentence Comprehension: An fMRI Study

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    Segaert, Katrien; Kempen, Gerard; Petersson, Karl Magnus; Hagoort, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Behavioral syntactic priming effects during sentence comprehension are typically observed only if both the syntactic structure and lexical head are repeated. In contrast, during production syntactic priming occurs with structure repetition alone, but the effect is boosted by repetition of the lexical head. We used fMRI to investigate the neuronal…

  7. Influences of Sentence Length and Syntactic Complexity on the Speech Motor Control of Children Who Stutter

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    MacPherson, Megan K.; Smith, Anne

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: To investigate the potential effects of increased sentence length and syntactic complexity on the speech motor control of children who stutter (CWS). Method: Participants repeated sentences of varied length and syntactic complexity. Kinematic measures of articulatory coordination variability and movement duration during perceptually…

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

    OpenAIRE

    Rogalsky, Corianne; Almeida, Diogo; Sprouse, Jon; Hickok, Gregory

    2015-01-01

    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 processi...

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

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

    2009-03-01

    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 on-line 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/worshipped by 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 and 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.

  10. Relative Weighting of Semantic and Syntactic Cues in Native and Non-Native Listeners' Recognition of English Sentences.

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    Shi, Lu-Feng; Koenig, Laura L

    2016-01-01

    Non-native listeners do not recognize English sentences as effectively as native listeners, especially in noise. It is not entirely clear to what extent such group differences arise from differences in relative weight of semantic versus syntactic cues. This study quantified the use and weighting of these contextual cues via Boothroyd and Nittrouer's j and k factors. The j represents the probability of recognizing sentences with or without context, whereas the k represents the degree to which context improves recognition performance. Four groups of 13 normal-hearing young adult listeners participated. One group consisted of native English monolingual (EMN) listeners, whereas the other three consisted of non-native listeners contrasting in their language dominance and first language: English-dominant Russian-English, Russian-dominant Russian-English, and Spanish-dominant Spanish-English bilinguals. All listeners were presented three sets of four-word sentences: high-predictability sentences included both semantic and syntactic cues, low-predictability sentences included syntactic cues only, and zero-predictability sentences included neither semantic nor syntactic cues. Sentences were presented at 65 dB SPL binaurally in the presence of speech-spectrum noise at +3 dB SNR. Listeners orally repeated each sentence and recognition was calculated for individual words as well as the sentence as a whole. Comparable j values across groups for high-predictability, low-predictability, and zero-predictability sentences suggested that all listeners, native and non-native, utilized contextual cues to recognize English sentences. Analysis of the k factor indicated that non-native listeners took advantage of syntax as effectively as EMN listeners. However, only English-dominant bilinguals utilized semantics to the same extent as EMN listeners; semantics did not provide a significant benefit for the two non-English-dominant groups. When combined, semantics and syntax benefitted EMN

  11. Temporal characteristics of online syntactic sentence planning: an event-related potential study.

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    Timmers, Inge; Gentile, Francesco; Rubio-Gozalbo, M Estela; Jansma, Bernadette M

    2013-01-01

    During sentence production, linguistic information (semantics, syntax, phonology) of words is retrieved and assembled into a meaningful utterance. There is still debate on how we assemble single words into more complex syntactic structures such as noun phrases or sentences. In the present study, event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to investigate the time course of syntactic planning. Thirty-three volunteers described visually animated scenes using naming formats varying in syntactic complexity: from simple words ('W', e.g., "triangle", "red", "square", "green", "to fly towards"), to noun phrases ('NP', e.g., "the red triangle", "the green square", "to fly towards"), to a sentence ('S', e.g., "The red triangle flies towards the green square."). Behaviourally, we observed an increase in errors and corrections with increasing syntactic complexity, indicating a successful experimental manipulation. In the ERPs following scene onset, syntactic complexity variations were found in a P300-like component ('S'/'NP'>'W') and a fronto-central negativity (linear increase with syntactic complexity). In addition, the scene could display two actions - unpredictable for the participant, as the disambiguation occurred only later in the animation. Time-locked to the moment of visual disambiguation of the action and thus the verb, we observed another P300 component ('S'>'NP'/'W'). The data show for the first time evidence of sensitivity to syntactic planning within the P300 time window, time-locked to visual events critical of syntactic planning. We discuss the findings in the light of current syntactic planning views.

  12. Syntactic Structure Guides Prosody in Temporarily Ambiguous Sentences

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    Anderson, Catherine; Carlson, Katy

    2010-01-01

    A pair of speaking and listening studies investigated the prosody of sentences with temporary Object/Clause and Late/Early Closure ambiguities. Speakers reliably produced prosodic cues that allowed listeners to disambiguate Late/Early Closure sentences, but only infrequently produced prosody that disambiguated Object/Clause sentences, as shown by…

  13. Temporal characteristics of online syntactic sentence planning: an event-related potential study.

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    Inge Timmers

    Full Text Available During sentence production, linguistic information (semantics, syntax, phonology of words is retrieved and assembled into a meaningful utterance. There is still debate on how we assemble single words into more complex syntactic structures such as noun phrases or sentences. In the present study, event-related potentials (ERPs were used to investigate the time course of syntactic planning. Thirty-three volunteers described visually animated scenes using naming formats varying in syntactic complexity: from simple words ('W', e.g., "triangle", "red", "square", "green", "to fly towards", to noun phrases ('NP', e.g., "the red triangle", "the green square", "to fly towards", to a sentence ('S', e.g., "The red triangle flies towards the green square.". Behaviourally, we observed an increase in errors and corrections with increasing syntactic complexity, indicating a successful experimental manipulation. In the ERPs following scene onset, syntactic complexity variations were found in a P300-like component ('S'/'NP'>'W' and a fronto-central negativity (linear increase with syntactic complexity. In addition, the scene could display two actions - unpredictable for the participant, as the disambiguation occurred only later in the animation. Time-locked to the moment of visual disambiguation of the action and thus the verb, we observed another P300 component ('S'>'NP'/'W'. The data show for the first time evidence of sensitivity to syntactic planning within the P300 time window, time-locked to visual events critical of syntactic planning. We discuss the findings in the light of current syntactic planning views.

  14. Children's and adults' on-line processing of syntactically ambiguous sentences during reading.

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    Holly S S L Joseph

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

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Syntactic parsing of clinical text: guideline and corpus development with handling ill-formed sentences.

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    Fan, Jung-wei; Yang, Elly W; Jiang, Min; Prasad, Rashmi; Loomis, Richard M; Zisook, Daniel S; Denny, Josh C; Xu, Hua; Huang, Yang

    2013-01-01

    To develop, evaluate, and share: (1) syntactic parsing guidelines for clinical text, with a new approach to handling ill-formed sentences; and (2) a clinical Treebank annotated according to the guidelines. To document the process and findings for readers with similar interest. Using random samples from a shared natural language processing challenge dataset, we developed a handbook of domain-customized syntactic parsing guidelines based on iterative annotation and adjudication between two institutions. Special considerations were incorporated into the guidelines for handling ill-formed sentences, which are common in clinical text. Intra- and inter-annotator agreement rates were used to evaluate consistency in following the guidelines. Quantitative and qualitative properties of the annotated Treebank, as well as its use to retrain a statistical parser, were reported. A supplement to the Penn Treebank II guidelines was developed for annotating clinical sentences. After three iterations of annotation and adjudication on 450 sentences, the annotators reached an F-measure agreement rate of 0.930 (while intra-annotator rate was 0.948) on a final independent set. A total of 1100 sentences from progress notes were annotated that demonstrated domain-specific linguistic features. A statistical parser retrained with combined general English (mainly news text) annotations and our annotations achieved an accuracy of 0.811 (higher than models trained purely with either general or clinical sentences alone). Both the guidelines and syntactic annotations are made available at https://sourceforge.net/projects/medicaltreebank. We developed guidelines for parsing clinical text and annotated a corpus accordingly. The high intra- and inter-annotator agreement rates showed decent consistency in following the guidelines. The corpus was shown to be useful in retraining a statistical parser that achieved moderate accuracy.

  17. A role for left inferior frontal and posterior superior temporal cortex in extracting a syntactic tree from a sentence.

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    Pattamadilok, Chotiga; Dehaene, Stanislas; Pallier, Christophe

    2016-02-01

    On reading the sentence "the kids who exhausted their parents slept", how do we decide that it is the kids who slept and not the parents? The present behavioral and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study explored the processes underlying the extraction of syntactically organized information from sentences. Participants were presented with sentences whose syntactic complexity was manipulated using either a center-embedded or an adjunct structure. The goal was to vary separately the sentence syntactic structure and the linear distance between the main verb and its subject. Each sentence was followed by a short subject + verb probe, and the participants had to check whether or not it matched a proposition expressed in the sentence. Behavioral and fMRI data showed a significant cost and enhanced activity within left inferior frontal and posterior superior temporal cortex whenever participants processed center-embedded sentences, which required extracting a nontrivial subtree formed by nonadjacent words. This syntactic complexity effect was not observed during online sentence processing but rather during the processing of the probe and only when the verification could not rely on a superficial lexical analysis. Moreover, the manipulation of linear distance affected performance and brain activity mainly when the sentences did not have a center-embedded structure. We did not find evidence suggesting that tree-extraction, a fundamental operation of a core syntax network, takes place during sentence comprehension. The present finding showed that the syntactic complexity effect, which is an outcome of this operation, became detectable later on, whenever we need to extract structural information not obvious in the superficial sequence of words. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. [Eye movement parameters in reading the sentences with syntactic ambiguity in Russian language].

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    Anisimov, V A; Fedorova, O V; Latanov, A V

    2014-01-01

    We studied the eye movement parameters during reading of syntactically ambiguous sentences with feminine relative clause in Russian language. A priori difficulties of sentence structural analysis results in increase of time spent on reading as opposed to reading control sentences (unambiguous). Such a delay is caused by an increase of frequency of regressions (backward saccades) which are executed for rereading an ambiguous fragment ofsentence. This fact in turn leads to an increase in number of fixations and their duration. The total reading time for particular words composing the ambiguous fragment of sentence depended on disambiguation result (relative clause attachment, early/late closure). In case of early closure (when the subject attached relative clause to first noun) the total reading time for this noun exceeded one for second noun. In case of late closure (when the subject attached relative clause to second noun) the total reading time for both nouns didn't differ. Our results indicate that early closure domination in Russian language determines the greater total reading time for first noun of nominal group associated with relative clause.

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

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    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.

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

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    Gerth, Sabrina; Beim Graben, Peter

    2009-12-01

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

  1. 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

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    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…

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

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    Kazanina, Nina

    2017-11-01

    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.

  3. Processing interrogative sentence mood at the semantic-syntactic interface: an electrophysiological research in Chinese, German, and Polish.

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

    2010-09-29

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. The Chinese and Kazakh Languages Comparative Study: Subject-Predicate Sentence Structure

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    Nurhalyk Abdurakyn

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available This article compares subject-predicate sentence and subject-predicate-object sentence forms with extended sentence of the Kazakh language. It compares Chinese and Kazakh sentences with subject-predicate sentence structure and studies differences of verb-predicate sentences word order. Detailed comparative study of Chinese and Kazakh language differences and characteristics. Morphology structure of Chinese language belongs to radical language, and Kazakh language belongs to the type of adhesive language, syntax of Chinese and Kazakh Languages in the same syntactic structure often used in different ways, the morphological role in Chinese and Kazakh language is also not the same, and even the same kind of grammatical means in Chinese and Kazakh languages are various. According to the analysis of languages, the different positions of word order, the function of words and grammatical word order are different too. The same syntax is very considerable, and lead to different syntactic structures. Chinese thinking reflects the realities as follows: subject - action- object. It is reflected in the grammatical structure: Subject - predicate - object. Kazakh thinking reflects the realities as follows: subject - object - action. It is reflected in the grammatical structure: Subject - object - predicate. Chinese and Kazakh predicate and object places in a sentence are different, but their dominance relationship is the same.

  6. The HISPACAT comparative database of syntactic constructions and its applications to syntactic variation research

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    Xavier Villalba

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The HISPACAT database of syntactic constructions in Catalan and Spanish is a dynamic comparative grammar of two closely related languages, which, from a theoretical point of view, offers us a alternative viewpoint to advance in our understanding of the ``atoms'' of linguistic microvariation, and to offer a snapshot of microparametric (invariance, which will help us to predict less stable parts of the grammar, and hence more sensitive to syntactic change or interference phenomena. Moreover, this tool, which is conceived as a major empirical source for testing syntactic microvariation, may also prove helpful for researchers in bilingualism and language contact studies, and for teachers and students of Catalan or Spanish as L2.

  7. Assessing Syntactic Deficits in Chinese Broca's aphasia using the Northwestern Assessment of Verbs and Sentences-Chinese (NAVS-C).

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    Wang, Honglei; Thompson, Cynthia K

    English-speaking patients with Broca's aphasia and agrammatism evince difficulty with complex grammatical structures, including verbs and sentences. A few studies have found similar patterns among Chinese-speaking patients with broca's aphasia, despite structural differences between these two languages. However, no studies have explicitly examined verb properties, including the number and optionality of arguments (participant roles) selected by the verb, and only a few studies have examined sentence deficits among Chinese patients. In addition, there are no test batteries presently available to assess syntactically important properties of verbs and sentences in Chinese patients. This study used a Chinese version of the Northwestern Assessment of Verbs and Sentences (NAVS; Thompson, 2011), originally developed for English speakers with aphasia, to examine the verb and sentence deficit patterns among Chinese speakers with aphasia. As in the original NAVS, the Chinese version (NAVS-C) assessed verbs by the number and optionality of arguments as well as sentence canonicity, in the both production and comprehension. Fifteen Chinese patients with Broca's aphasia and fifteen age-matched healthy normal controls participated in this study. All NAVS-C tests were administered, in which participants were asked either to produce or identify verbs and sentences coinciding with action pictures. Despite grammatical differences between Chinese and English, the impairment caused by structural complexity of verbs and sentences was replicated in Chinese-speaking patients using the NAVS-C. Verbs with more arguments were significantly more impaired than those with fewer arguments and verbs with optional arguments were significantly more impaired than those with obligatory arguments. One deviation from English-speaking patients, however, is that the Chinese-speaking patients exhibited greater difficulty with subject relative clauses than with object relative clauses because the former

  8. Semantic Role Labeling of Clinical Text: Comparing Syntactic Parsers and Features

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Yaoyun; Jiang, Min; Wang, Jingqi; Xu, Hua

    2017-01-01

    Semantic role labeling (SRL), which extracts shallow semantic relation representation from different surface textual forms of free text sentences, is important for understanding clinical narratives. Since semantic roles are formed by syntactic constituents in the sentence, an effective parser, as well as an effective syntactic feature set are essential to build a practical SRL system. Our study initiates a formal evaluation and comparison of SRL performance on a clinical text corpus MiPACQ, u...

  9. Neural Correlates of Processing Syntactic, Semantic, and Thematic Relationships in Sentences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuperberg, Gina R.; Caplan, David; Sitnikova, Tatiana; Eddy, Marianna; Holcomb, Phillip J.

    2006-01-01

    Event-related potentials were measured as subjects read sentences presented word by word. A small N400 and a robust P600 effect were elicited by verbs that assigned the thematic role of Agent to their preceding noun-phrase argument when this argument was inanimate in nature. The amplitude of the P600, but not the N400, was modulated by the…

  10. Syntactic Versus Memory Accounts of the Sentence Comprehension Deficits of Specific Language Impairment: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, James W.; Gillam, Ronald B.; Evans, Julia L.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Compared with same-age typically developing peers, school-age children with specific language impairment (SLI) exhibit significant deficits in spoken sentence comprehension. They also demonstrate a range of memory limitations. Whether these 2 deficit areas are related is unclear. The present review article aims to (a) review 2 main…

  11. Semantic Role Labeling of Clinical Text: Comparing Syntactic Parsers and Features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yaoyun; Jiang, Min; Wang, Jingqi; Xu, Hua

    2016-01-01

    Semantic role labeling (SRL), which extracts shallow semantic relation representation from different surface textual forms of free text sentences, is important for understanding clinical narratives. Since semantic roles are formed by syntactic constituents in the sentence, an effective parser, as well as an effective syntactic feature set are essential to build a practical SRL system. Our study initiates a formal evaluation and comparison of SRL performance on a clinical text corpus MiPACQ, using three state-of-the-art parsers, the Stanford parser, the Berkeley parser, and the Charniak parser. First, the original parsers trained on the open domain syntactic corpus Penn Treebank were employed. Next, those parsers were retrained on the clinical Treebank of MiPACQ for further comparison. Additionally, state-of-the-art syntactic features from open domain SRL were also examined for clinical text. Experimental results showed that retraining the parsers on clinical Treebank improved the performance significantly, with an optimal F 1 measure of 71.41% achieved by the Berkeley parser.

  12. VOS sentences in European Portuguese: p-movement and intonational structure

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    Flaviane Romani Fernandes Svartman

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims to analyze the syntactic and intonational structures associated with VOS sentences (sentences in verb-object-subject order in European Portuguese (henceforth EP, with the hypothesis that prosody (reflected in intonational structure can encode the syntactic structure associated with EP neutral sentences (sentences SVO – in subject-verb-object order and the syntactic structure associated with EP VOS sentences in different ways. This hypothesis is based on the experimental results presented in Frota (1994, which reveal that the intonational contour associated with special syntactic structures of EP is affected locally (or even whole in relation to the neutral contour. For the investigation of that hypothesis, the intonational and syntactic structures associated with EP SVO neutral sentences and with EP VOS sentences are comparatively analyzed. For the syntactic analysis of the latter type of sentences, syntactic and prosodic arguments are brought in favor of the derivation proposed by Fernandes (2007, by p-movement (Zubizarreta, 1998 of the object. Regarding the analysis of the intonational structure of EP VOS sentences, based on the results of Fernandes (2007, the initial hypothesis of this study is confirmed, since that the intonational structure associated with EP VOS sentences is different from the intonational structure associated with SVO neutral sentences of the same variety of Portuguese. Unlike the intonational structure of SVO neutral sentences, in the intonational structure of EP VOS sentences there are more pitch accents and also a specific pitch accent (L*+H associated with the object moved from the right edge of the sentence, according to the syntactic derivation proposed in this paper.

  13. The Syntactic Analysis of Pronoun Homofunction Considering Verb Structure and the Function of Connected Pronouns in Passive-Emotional Sentences

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    Mohammad Irani

    2017-04-01

       All these sentences express a kind of passive and emotional reaction; hence, it must certainly be considered to get the meaning of such sentences. Khābash gereft, for example, means he fell asleep.In the other hand, paying attention to the meaning will notably be effective in determining the verb type in structure and the grammatical role of the words in such sentences. According to the authors of this research, unlike some ideas, the verb structure is not compounded in these sentences, but is a nominal/adjectival component before the homo-function, recognized to be a part of the compound verb by some grammarians and linguists, has a subject role; and the homo-function is also a simple verb completely agreeing in suffix with the subject. The role of the pronoun suffixes, also, must be determined paying special attention to their role in traditional grammar because we think sometimes proposing ideas on some grammatical points might not bring about acceptable results regardless of their background and historic relations. Since pronoun suffixes occur only as objects, complements and genitives, the joint pronouns in these sentences are not an exception and have the same roles. The accompanying noun or adjective is the subject. The disjoint initial noun or pronoun, the “pronoun homo-role”, can be replaced by the pronoun suffix in some sentences, but makes the sentence ungrammatical in most cases.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  16. A Semanico-Syntactic Approach to Contrastive Analysis--Some 'Be' and 'Have' Sentences in English and Chinese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Chauncey C.

    1978-01-01

    Proposes an approach to contrastive linguistics which takes into account syntax and semantics, and discusses the role of such an approach in explaining surface structure differences between English and Chinese sentences of the type: "He is a good pianist" and "I have a bad knee." (AM)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

    We report an investigation of aging and individual differences in binding information during sentence understanding. An age-continuous sample of adults (N=91), ranging from 18 to 81 years of age, read sentences in which a relative clause could be attached high to a head noun NP1, attached low to its modifying prepositional phrase NP2 (e.g., The son of the princess who scratched himself/herself in public was humiliated), or in which the attachment site of the relative clause was ultimately indeterminate (e.g., The maid of the princess who scratched herself in public was humiliated). Word-by-word reading times and comprehension (e.g., who scratched?) were measured. A series of mixed-effects models were fit to the data, revealing: (1) that, on average, NP1-attached sentences were harder to process and comprehend than NP2-attached sentences; (2) that these average effects were independently moderated by verbal working memory capacity and reading experience, with effects that were most pronounced in the oldest participants and; (3) that readers on average did not allocate extra time to resolve global ambiguities, though older adults with higher working memory span did. Findings are discussed in relation to current models of lifespan cognitive development, working memory, language experience, and the role of prosodic segmentation strategies in reading. Collectively, these data suggest that aging brings differences in sentence understanding, and these differences may depend on independent influences of verbal working memory capacity and reading experience. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Verb and sentence production and comprehension in aphasia: Northwestern Assessment of Verbs and Sentences (NAVS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho-Reyes, Soojin; Thompson, Cynthia K

    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. 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. 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. 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. Results show that verb and sentence deficits seen in individuals with agrammatic aphasia are largely influenced by

  19. Tracking Passive Sentence Comprehension in Agrammatic Aphasia

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Comparing Afrikaans Morpho-syntactic Variation in a South African Underdeveloped Context

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    Mark de Vos

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper is a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of a particular methodology for uncovering dialectal morpho-syntactic variation. It outlines the challenges facing linguists on a project to document morpho-syntactic variation in Afrikaans in the Cape Provinces of South Africa as well as some novel data on the typology of expletives in Afrikaans. South Africa’s linguistic situation is precarious, rapidly changing and driven by underdevelopment. This poses particular challenges to the organization of a comparative dialectological survey at practical and methodological levels that are perhaps slightly different to the issues faced in European contexts where the methodology was developed. The preliminary results have uncovered previously unknown variation with respect to expletives.

  1. Training understanding of reversible sentences: a study comparing language-impaired children with age-matched and grammar-matched controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Hsinjen Julie; Bishop, Dorothy V M

    2014-01-01

    after taking into account performance on training session 1. Unlike the grammar-matched controls, children with SLI showed greater accuracy with repeated sentences compared with unique sentences. Training did not improve children's performance on a standardized test of receptive grammar. Discussion. Overall, these results indicate that a subset of children with SLI perform well below ceiling on reversible sentences with three key words and simple syntactic structure. For these children, weak verbal short-term memory appears to impair comprehension of spoken sentences. In contrast to the general finding that rule-learning benefits from variable input, these children seem to do best if given repeated exposure to the same nouns used with a given sentence frame. Generalisation to other sentences using the same syntactic frame may be more effective if preceded by such item-specific learning.

  2. Training understanding of reversible sentences: a study comparing language-impaired children with age-matched and grammar-matched controls

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Hsinjen Julie

    2014-01-01

    improvement, even after taking into account performance on training session 1. Unlike the grammar-matched controls, children with SLI showed greater accuracy with repeated sentences compared with unique sentences. Training did not improve children’s performance on a standardized test of receptive grammar. Discussion. Overall, these results indicate that a subset of children with SLI perform well below ceiling on reversible sentences with three key words and simple syntactic structure. For these children, weak verbal short-term memory appears to impair comprehension of spoken sentences. In contrast to the general finding that rule-learning benefits from variable input, these children seem to do best if given repeated exposure to the same nouns used with a given sentence frame. Generalisation to other sentences using the same syntactic frame may be more effective if preceded by such item-specific learning. PMID:25392757

  3. Training understanding of reversible sentences: a study comparing language-impaired children with age-matched and grammar-matched controls

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsinjen Julie Hsu

    2014-11-01

    predictor of improvement, even after taking into account performance on training session 1. Unlike the grammar-matched controls, children with SLI showed greater accuracy with repeated sentences compared with unique sentences. Training did not improve children’s performance on a standardized test of receptive grammar.Discussion. Overall, these results indicate that a subset of children with SLI perform well below ceiling on reversible sentences with three key words and simple syntactic structure. For these children, weak verbal short-term memory appears to impair comprehension of spoken sentences. In contrast to the general finding that rule-learning benefits from variable input, these children seem to do best if given repeated exposure to the same nouns used with a given sentence frame. Generalisation to other sentences using the same syntactic frame may be more effective if preceded by such item-specific learning.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  5. Morpho-Syntactic Load in Judging Adjective Plural Agreement: Comparing Adults with and without ADHD

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    Schiff, Rachel; Ravid, Dorit; Gur, Adi

    2015-01-01

    The study examined the impact of two grammatical factors on marking Hebrew adjectives in agreement with plural nouns in adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) compared with peers without ADHD. Participants were 36 adult speakers of Hebrew, who were administered a judgment test of 144 sentences, each containing an adjective in…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Production of Non-Canonical Sentences in Agrammatic Aphasia: Limits in Representation or Rule Application?

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    Burchert, Frank; Meissner, Nadine; De Bleser, Ria

    2008-01-01

    The study reported here compares two linguistically informed hypotheses on agrammatic sentence production, the TPH [Friedmann, N., & Grodzinsky, Y. (1997). "Tense and agreement in agrammatic production: Pruning the syntactic tree." "Brain and Language," 56, 397-425.] and the DOP [Bastiaanse, R., & van Zonneveld, R. (2005). "Sentence production…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Syntactic generalization with novel intransitive verbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, Melissa; Demuth, Katherine

    2014-05-01

    To understand how children develop adult argument structure, we must understand the nature of syntactic and semantic representations during development. The present studies compare the performance of children aged 2;6 on the two intransitive alternations in English: patient (Daddy is cooking the food/The food is cooking) and agent (Daddy is cooking). Children displayed abstract knowledge of both alternations, producing appropriate syntactic generalizations with novel verbs. These generalizations were adult-like in both flexibility and constraint. Rather than limiting their generalizations to lexicalized frames, children produced sentences with a variety of nouns and pronouns. They also avoided semantic overgeneralizations, producing intransitive sentences that respected the event restrictions and animacy cues. Some generated semantically appropriate agent intransitives when discourse pressure favored patient intransitives, indicating a stronger command of the first alternation. This was in line with frequency distributions in child-directed speech. These findings suggest that children have early access to representations that permit flexible argument structure generalization.

  10. Syntactic and Lexical Complexity of B2 Listening Comprehension Subtests in English: A Comparative Study

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    Ilc Gašper

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Adopting Weir’s (2005 socio-cognitive validation framework, the present paper focuses on the syntactic and lexical complexity of listening comprehension subtests in three B2-level examinations: The City Guilds international examination in English, The First Certificate in English, and the General Matura in English. By analysing and interpreting the results obtained from different automated tools, the research aims to determine to what extent the three subtests are comparable. The results of the study suggest the unreliability of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR as a sole mechanism for test comparisons.

  11. Improving Sentence Writing Ability through Sentence-Combining Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saddler, Bruce; Preschern, Jennifer

    2007-01-01

    Creating well constructed sentences is challenging for most writers. For less skilled writers, including writers with learning disabilities (LD), it can be even more difficult. These writers generally produce less syntactically complex sentences that contain more grammatical errors. They may also produce sentences that are shorter; have higher…

  12. Oscillatory brain dynamics during sentence reading: A Fixation-related spectral perturbation analysis.

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    Lorenzo eVignali

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available 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 to 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 versus self-paced reading.

  13. A Deficit in Movement-Derived Sentences in German-Speaking Hearing-Impaired Children

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    Esther Ruigendijk

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Children with hearing impairment (HI show disorders in syntax and morphology. The question is whether and how these disorders are connected to problems in the auditory domain. The aim of this paper is to examine whether moderate to severe hearing loss at a young age affects the ability of German-speaking orally trained children to understand and produce sentences. We focused on sentence structures that are derived by syntactic movement, which have been identified as a sensitive marker for syntactic impairment in other languages and in other populations with syntactic impairment. Therefore, our study tested subject and object relatives, subject and object Wh-questions, passive sentences, and topicalized sentences, as well as sentences with verb movement to second sentential position. We tested 19 HI children aged 9;5–13;6 and compared their performance with hearing children using comprehension tasks of sentence-picture matching and sentence repetition tasks. For the comprehension tasks, we included HI children who passed an auditory discrimination task; for the sentence repetition tasks, we selected children who passed a screening task of simple sentence repetition without lip-reading; this made sure that they could perceive the words in the tests, so that we could test their grammatical abilities. The results clearly showed that most of the participants with HI had considerable difficulties in the comprehension and repetition of sentences with syntactic movement: they had significant difficulties understanding object relatives, Wh-questions, and topicalized sentences, and in the repetition of object who and which questions and subject relatives, as well as in sentences with verb movement to second sentential position. Repetition of passives was only problematic for some children. Object relatives were still difficult at this age for both HI and hearing children. An additional important outcome of the study is that not all sentence structures

  14. A Deficit in Movement-Derived Sentences in German-Speaking Hearing-Impaired Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruigendijk, Esther; Friedmann, Naama

    2017-01-01

    Children with hearing impairment (HI) show disorders in syntax and morphology. The question is whether and how these disorders are connected to problems in the auditory domain. The aim of this paper is to examine whether moderate to severe hearing loss at a young age affects the ability of German-speaking orally trained children to understand and produce sentences. We focused on sentence structures that are derived by syntactic movement, which have been identified as a sensitive marker for syntactic impairment in other languages and in other populations with syntactic impairment. Therefore, our study tested subject and object relatives, subject and object Wh-questions, passive sentences, and topicalized sentences, as well as sentences with verb movement to second sentential position. We tested 19 HI children aged 9;5–13;6 and compared their performance with hearing children using comprehension tasks of sentence-picture matching and sentence repetition tasks. For the comprehension tasks, we included HI children who passed an auditory discrimination task; for the sentence repetition tasks, we selected children who passed a screening task of simple sentence repetition without lip-reading; this made sure that they could perceive the words in the tests, so that we could test their grammatical abilities. The results clearly showed that most of the participants with HI had considerable difficulties in the comprehension and repetition of sentences with syntactic movement: they had significant difficulties understanding object relatives, Wh-questions, and topicalized sentences, and in the repetition of object who and which questions and subject relatives, as well as in sentences with verb movement to second sentential position. Repetition of passives was only problematic for some children. Object relatives were still difficult at this age for both HI and hearing children. An additional important outcome of the study is that not all sentence structures are impaired

  15. A Lag in Speech Motor Coordination during Sentence Production Is Associated with Stuttering Persistence in Young Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usler, Evan; Smith, Anne; Weber, Christine

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if indices of speech motor coordination during the production of sentences varying in sentence length and syntactic complexity were associated with stuttering persistence versus recovery in 5- to 7-year-old children. Methods: We compared children with persistent stuttering (CWS-Per) with children…

  16. THE FUNCTION OF ALBANIAN AND ENGLISH SENTENCE

    OpenAIRE

    Shkelqim Millaku

    2017-01-01

    A simple sentence consists of a single independent clause. A multiple sentence contains one or more clauses as its immediate constituents. Multiple sentences are either compound or complex. In a compound sentence the immediate constituents are two or more coordinate clause. In a complex sentence one or more of its elements, such as direct object or adverbial, are realized by a subordinate.[1] Simple sentence may be divided into four major syntactic classes, whose use correlates with different...

  17. Reading and Listening in People with Aphasia: Effects of Syntactic Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeDe, Gayle

    2014-01-01

    Purpose The purpose of this study was to compare on-line effects of syntactic complexity in written and spoken sentence comprehension in people with aphasia and non-brain-damaged adults. Method The participants in experiment one were non-brain damaged younger and older adults (n=20 per group). Ten people with aphasia participated in experiment two. In both experiments, the participants read and listened to sentences in self-paced reading and listening tasks. The experimental materials consisted of object cleft sentences (e.g., It was the girl who the boy hugged.) and subject cleft sentences (e.g., It was the boy who hugged the girl.). Results The predicted effects of syntactic complexity were observed in both experiments one and two: reading and listening times were longer for the verb in sentences with object compared to subject relative clauses. The non-brain-damaged controls showed exaggerated effects of syntactic complexity in reading compared to listening. People with aphasia did not show different modality effects from the non-brain-damaged participants. Conclusion Although effects of syntactic complexity were somewhat exaggerated in reading compared to listening, both people with aphasia and non-brain-damaged controls show similar effects in both modalities. PMID:23813204

  18. A Comparative Assessment of Determinate Sentencing in the Four Pioneer States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lagoy, Stephen P.; And Others

    1978-01-01

    In examining the nature of the determinate sentencing schemes in four pioneer states, the authors compare and contrast the provisions for determinacy in each of the revised criminal codes, with the objective of informing legislators, planners, and practitioners about the variation possible within the apparently straightforward guidelines…

  19. A Semantic Constraint on Syntactic Parsing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crain, Stephen; Coker, Pamela L.

    This research examines how semantic information influences syntactic parsing decisions during sentence processing. In the first experiment, subjects were presented lexical strings having syntactically identical surface structures but with two possible underlying structures: "The children taught by the Berlitz method," and "The…

  20. Age-related changes in ERP components of semantic and syntactic processing in a verb final language

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    Jee Eun Sung

    2014-04-01

    Both syntactic and semantic violations elicited negativity effects at 300-500ms time window, and the negativity effects were slightly attenuated in the elderly group. The results suggested that Korean speakers may process a syntactic component of a case marker under the semantic frame integration, eliciting the negativity effects associated with semantic violations. Elderly adults showed attenuated effects compared to the young group, indicating age-related changes emerged during real-time sentence processing.

  1. A sentence to remember: instructed language switching in sentence production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Declerck, Mathieu; Philipp, Andrea M

    2015-04-01

    In the current study, we set out to investigate the influence of a sentence context on language switching. The task required German-English bilinguals to produce responses based on an alternating language sequence (L1-L1-L2-L2- …) and concepts in a specific sequential order. The concept sequence was either a sentence which was syntactically correct in both languages (language-unspecific sentence), a sentence which was correct in just one language (language-specific sentence) or a sentence which was syntactically incorrect in both languages (scrambled sentence). No switch costs were observed in language-unspecific sentences. Consequently, switch costs were smaller in those sentences than in the language-specific or scrambled sentences. The language-specific and scrambled sentence did not differ with respect to switch costs. These results demonstrate an important role of sentence context for language switch costs and were interpreted in terms of language interference and preparation processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. SEMSIN SEMANTIC AND SYNTACTIC PARSER

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    K. K. Boyarsky

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper deals with the principle of operation for SemSin semantic and syntactic parser creating a dependency tree for the Russian language sentences. The parser consists of 4 blocks: a dictionary, morphological analyzer, production rules and lexical analyzer. An important logical part of the parser is pre-syntactical module, which harmonizes and complements morphological analysis results, separates the text paragraphs into individual sentences, and also carries out predisambiguation. Characteristic feature of the presented parser is an open type of control – it is done by means of a set of production rules. A varied set of commands provides the ability to both morphological and semantic-syntactic analysis of the sentence. The paper presents the sequence of rules usage and examples of their work. Specific feature of the rules is the decision making on establishment of syntactic links with simultaneous removal of the morphological and semantic ambiguity. The lexical analyzer provides the execution of commands and rules, and manages the parser in manual or automatic modes of the text analysis. In the first case, the analysis is performed interactively with the possibility of step-by-step execution of the rules and scanning the resulting parse tree. In the second case, analysis results are filed in an xml-file. Active usage of syntactic and semantic dictionary information gives the possibility to reduce significantly the ambiguity of parsing. In addition to marking the text, the parser is also usable as a tool for information extraction from natural language texts.

  3. Predicting the Unbeaten Path through Syntactic Priming

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    Arai, Manabu; Nakamura, Chie; Mazuka, Reiko

    2015-01-01

    A number of previous studies showed that comprehenders make use of lexically based constraints such as subcategorization frequency in processing structurally ambiguous sentences. One piece of such evidence is lexically specific syntactic priming in comprehension; following the costly processing of a temporarily ambiguous sentence, comprehenders…

  4. From mind to mouth: event related potentials of sentence production in classic galactosemia.

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    Inge Timmers

    Full Text Available Patients with classic galactosemia, an inborn error of metabolism, have speech and language production impairments. Past research primarily focused on speech (motor problems, but these cannot solely explain the language impairments. Which specific deficits contribute to the impairments in language production is not yet known. Deficits in semantic and syntactic planning are plausible and require further investigation. In the present study, we examined syntactic encoding while patients and matched controls overtly described scenes of moving objects using either separate words (minimal syntactic planning or sentences (sentence-level syntactic planning. The design of the paradigm also allowed tapping into local noun phrase- and more global sentence-level syntactic planning. Simultaneously, we recorded event-related potentials (ERPs. The patients needed more time to prepare and finish the utterances and made more errors. The patient ERPs had a very similar morphology to that of healthy controls, indicating overall comparable neural processing. Most importantly, the ERPs diverged from those of controls in several functionally informative time windows, ranging from very early (90-150 ms post scene onset to relatively late (1820-2020 ms post scene onset. These time windows can be associated with different linguistic encoding stages. The ERP results form the first neuroscientific evidence for language production impairments in patients with galactosemia in lexical and syntactic planning stages, i.e., prior to the linguistic output phase. These findings hence shed new light on the language impairments in this disease.

  5. From mind to mouth: event related potentials of sentence production in classic galactosemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmers, Inge; Jansma, Bernadette M; Rubio-Gozalbo, M Estela

    2012-01-01

    Patients with classic galactosemia, an inborn error of metabolism, have speech and language production impairments. Past research primarily focused on speech (motor) problems, but these cannot solely explain the language impairments. Which specific deficits contribute to the impairments in language production is not yet known. Deficits in semantic and syntactic planning are plausible and require further investigation. In the present study, we examined syntactic encoding while patients and matched controls overtly described scenes of moving objects using either separate words (minimal syntactic planning) or sentences (sentence-level syntactic planning). The design of the paradigm also allowed tapping into local noun phrase- and more global sentence-level syntactic planning. Simultaneously, we recorded event-related potentials (ERPs). The patients needed more time to prepare and finish the utterances and made more errors. The patient ERPs had a very similar morphology to that of healthy controls, indicating overall comparable neural processing. Most importantly, the ERPs diverged from those of controls in several functionally informative time windows, ranging from very early (90-150 ms post scene onset) to relatively late (1820-2020 ms post scene onset). These time windows can be associated with different linguistic encoding stages. The ERP results form the first neuroscientific evidence for language production impairments in patients with galactosemia in lexical and syntactic planning stages, i.e., prior to the linguistic output phase. These findings hence shed new light on the language impairments in this disease.

  6. Intomation of cleft sentences in Brazilian Portuguese and the syntax-phonology interface

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    Flaviane Romani Fernandes-Svartman

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available This study, developed within the theoretical framework of Intonational Phonology (cf. Pierrehumbert, 1980; Beckman and Pierrehumbert, 1986; Ladd 1996; Jun, 2005, is a comparative study of the intonational structure of neutral and cleft sentences (cleft, inverted cleft, and reduced inverted cleft sentences in Brazilian Portuguese (hereafter PB. According to results obtained by Frota (1994, Vigário (1998 and Fernandes-Svartman (2007c, in special syntactic structures in European Portuguese, the intonational contour undergoes local, and sometimes global alteration, compared to the contour of neutral sentences. Our hypothesis is that alteration in the intonational contour in special syntactic structures also occurs in PB, as is the case with cleft sentences. The results attained by this study confirm this hypothesis, to the extent that significant differences between the intonational contour of neutral sentences and the intonational contour of cleft sentences in PB were found. While neutral sentences showed tonal accents associated with practically each prosodic word of the sentence, and an absence of phrasal accents associated with boundaries of phonological phrases, cleft sentences showed: (i tonal accent obligatorily associated with the head prosodic word of the phonological phrase in which the focused subject is mapped; (ii phrasal accent optionally associated with the right boundary of this same phonological phrase; and (iii absence of tonal accents associated with intermediary prosodic words (between the head prosodic word of the phonological phrase in which the focused subject is mapped and the head prosodic word of the last phonological of the intonational phrase. In the case of the cleft sentences, the presence of a phrasal accent associated with the right boundary of the phonological phrase in which the focused subject is mapped may, theoretically, be related to the codification of a special syntactic position occupied by this subject in

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

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    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…

  8. Characteristics and international comparability of the Finnish matrix sentence test in cochlear implant recipients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, Aarno; Buschermöhle, Michael; Sivonen, Ville; Willberg, Tytti; Aarnisalo, Antti A; Lenarz, Thomas; Kollmeier, Birger

    2015-01-01

    The first Finnish sentence-based speech test in noise--the Finnish matrix sentence test--was recently developed. The aim of this study was to determine the characteristics of the new test with respect to test-retest reliability, speech recognition curve, and international comparability in Finnish cochlear implant (CI) recipients. The speech reception thresholds (SRT) were measured by means of an adaptive test procedure and compared with the results of the traditional Finnish word test. Additional measurements for concurrent slope and SRT estimation were conducted to determine the speech recognition curve and to check the test-retest reliability. The measurements were performed on 78 Finnish CI recipients. In a subset of 25 patients, additional measurements for test-retest reliability and slope determination were performed. The mean SRT was -3.5 ± 1.7 dB SNR, with only a weak correlation with the Finnish word test. Test-retest reliability was within ± 1 dB and the mean slope of the speech recognition curve was 14.6 ± 3.6 %/dB. The rehabilitation results were similar to the results published for the German matrix test. The Finnish matrix test was found to be suitable and efficient in CI recipients with similar characteristics as the German matrix test.

  9. Semantic and syntactic reading comprehension strategies used by deaf children with early and late cochlear implantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallego, Carlos; Martín-Aragoneses, M Teresa; López-Higes, Ramón; Pisón, Guzmán

    2016-01-01

    Deaf students have traditionally exhibited reading comprehension difficulties. In recent years, these comprehension problems have been partially offset through cochlear implantation (CI), and the subsequent improvement in spoken language skills. However, the use of cochlear implants has not managed to fully bridge the gap in language and reading between normally hearing (NH) and deaf children, as its efficacy depends on variables such as the age at implant. This study compared the reading comprehension of sentences in 19 children who received a cochlear implant before 24 months of age (early-CI) and 19 who received it after 24 months (late-CI) with a control group of 19 NH children. The task involved completing sentences in which the last word had been omitted. To complete each sentence children had to choose a word from among several alternatives that included one syntactic and two semantic foils in addition to the target word. The results showed that deaf children with late-CI performed this task significantly worse than NH children, while those with early-CI exhibited no significant differences with NH children, except under more demanding processing conditions (long sentences with infrequent target words). Further, the error analysis revealed a preference of deaf students with early-CI for selecting the syntactic foil over a semantic one, which suggests that they draw upon syntactic cues during sentence processing in the same way as NH children do. In contrast, deaf children with late-CI do not appear to use a syntactic strategy, but neither a semantic strategy based on the use of key words, as the literature suggests. Rather, the numerous errors of both kinds that the late-CI group made seem to indicate an inconsistent and erratic response when faced with a lack of comprehension. These findings are discussed in relation to differences in receptive vocabulary and short-term memory and their implications for sentence reading comprehension. Copyright © 2015

  10. Punishing Genocide: A Comparative Empirical Analysis of Sentencing Laws and Practices at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR, Rwandan Domestic Courts, and Gacaca Courts

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    Barbora Hola

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This article compares sentencing of those convicted of participation in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. With over one million people facing trial, Rwanda constitutes the world’s most comprehensive case of criminal accountability after genocide and presents an important case study of punishing genocide. Criminal courts at three different levels— international, domestic, and local—sought justice in the aftermath of the violence. In order to compare punishment at each level, we analyze an unprecedented database of sentences given by the ICTR, the Rwandan domestic courts, and Rwanda’s Gacaca courts. The analysis demonstrates that sentencing varied across the three levels—ranging from limited time in prison to death sentences. We likewise find that sentencing at the domestic courts appears to have been comparatively more serious than sentencing at the ICTR and at the Gacaca courts, which calls into question consistency of sentences across levels of justice and should be explored in future research.

  11. Syntactic and Morphosyntactic Processing in Stroke-Induced and Primary Progressive Aphasia

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    Cynthia K. Thompson

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper reports findings derived from three experiments examining syntactic and morphosyntactic processing in individuals with agrammatic and logopenic variants of primary progressive aphasia (PPA-G and PPA-L, respectively and stroke-induced agrammatic and anomic aphasia (StrAg and StrAn, respectively. We examined comprehension and production of canonical and noncanonical sentence structures and production of tensed and nontensed verb forms using constrained tasks in experiments 1 and 2, using the Northwestern Assessment of Verbs and Sentences (NAVS [57] and the Northwestern Assessment of Verb Inflection (NAVI, Thompson and Lee, experimental version test batteries, respectively. Experiment 3 examined free narrative samples, focusing on syntactic and morphosyntactic measures, i.e. production of grammatical sentences, noun to verb ratio, open-class to closed-class word production ratio, and the production of correctly inflected verbs. Results indicate that the two agrammatic groups (i.e., PPA-G and StrAg pattern alike on syntactic and morphosyntactic measures, showing more impaired noncanonical compared to canonical sentence comprehension and production and greater difficulties producing tensed compared to nontensed verb forms. Their spontaneous speech also contained significantly fewer grammatical sentences and correctly inflected verbs, and they produced a greater proportion of nouns compared to verbs, than healthy speakers. In contrast, PPA-L and StrAn individuals did not display these deficits, and performed significantly better than the agrammatic groups on these measures. The findings suggest that agrammatism, whether induced by degenerative disease or stroke, is associated with characteristic deficits in syntactic and morphosyntactic processing. We therefore recommend that linguistically sophisticated tests and narrative analysis procedures be used to systematically evaluate the linguistic ability of individuals with PPA, contributing to

  12. Understanding Syntactic and Semantic Errors in the Composition Writing of Jordanian EFL Learners

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    Yazan Shaker Almahameed

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The current study aimed at investigating the salient syntactic and semantic errors made by Jordanian English foreign language learners as writing in English. Writing poses a great challenge for both native and non-native speakers of English, since writing involves employing most language sub-systems such as grammar, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation. A total of 30 Jordanian English foreign language learners participated in the study. The participants were instructed to write a composition of no more than one hundred and fifty words on a selected topic. Essays were collected and analyzed statistically to obtain the needed results. The results of the study displayed that syntactic errors produced by the participants were varied, in that eleven types of syntactic errors were committed as follows; verb-tense, agreement, auxiliary, conjunctions, word order, resumptive pronouns, null-subject, double-subject, superlative, comparative and possessive pronouns. Amongst syntactic errors, verb tense errors were the most frequent with 33%. The results additionally revealed that two types of semantic errors were made; errors at sentence level and errors at word level. Errors at word level outstripped by far errors at sentence level, scoring respectively 82% and 18%. It can be concluded that the syntactic and semantic knowledge of Jordanian learners of English is still insufficient.

  13. Syntactic autonomy

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    Rocha, L.M.

    1998-12-01

    The study of adapting and evolving autonomous agents should be based on a complex systems-theoretic framework which requires both self-organizing and symbolic dimensions. An inclusive framework based on the notions of semiotics and situated action is advanced to build models capable of representing, as well as evolving in their environments.Such undertaking is pursued by discussing the ways in which symbol and self-organization are irreducibly intertwined in evolutionary systems. With this semiotic view of self-organization and symbols, the authors re-think the notion of autonomy of evolving systems, and show that evolutionary systems are characterized by a particular type of syntactic autonomy. Recent developments in emergent computation in cellular automata are discussed as examples of the emergence of syntactic autonomy in computational environments. New experiments emphasizing this syntactic autonomy in cellular automata are presented.

  14. When Broca experiences the Janus syndrome: an ER-fMRI study comparing sentence comprehension and cognitive sequence processing.

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    Hoen, Michel; Pachot-Clouard, Mathilde; Segebarth, Christoph; Dominey, Peter Ford

    2006-05-01

    The determining of brain regions that exhibit specific activity during sentence comprehension compared to other non-linguistic cognitive tasks constitutes one of the important challenges in the domain of functional neuroimaging of the faculty of language. In the current paper we report an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (ER-fMRI) experiment, in which we directly compared the cerebral basis of sentence comprehension on the one hand, and of abstract sequence processing on the other hand. Previous experimental work done in our group, as well as different observations from recent behavioural, neurophysiological and functional neuroimaging experiments led us to propose the hypothesis that both of these tasks would share certain computational properties. Thus, this experiment was designed to show which brain regions would be implicated in both tasks and compare them to brain regions that would be specifically engaged in sentence comprehension. Results from this experiment suggest that distinct sub-regions in the left prefrontal cortex, potentially including Broca's area show distinct activation patterns during both of these tasks. Results are discussed in the context of a construction-based model of sentence processing (see Dominey and Hoen, 2006, this issue) that is based on a dual-path processing mechanism separating function and content information processing. We propose and discuss the hypothesis that subparts of Broca's area BA 44 and BA 45 would respectively be implicated in two different aspects of sentence comprehension: i) a general structure mapping capability and ii) the online integration of semantic representations onto structural constraints.

  15. Design of short Italian sentences to assess near vision performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calossi, Antonio; Boccardo, Laura; Fossetti, Alessandro; Radner, Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    To develop and validate 28 short Italian sentences for the construction of the Italian version of the Radner Reading Chart to simultaneously measure near visual acuity and reading speed. 41 sentences were constructed in Italian language, following the procedure defined by Radner, to obtain "sentence optotypes" with comparable structure and with the same lexical and grammatical difficulty. Sentences were statistically selected and used in 211 normal, non-presbyopic, native Italian-speaking persons. The most equally matched sentences in terms of reading speed and number of reading errors were selected. To assess the validity of the reading speed results obtained with the 28 selected short sentences, we compared the reading speed and reading errors with the average obtained by reading two long 4th-grade paragraphs (97 and 90 words) under the same conditions. The overall mean reading speed of the tested persons was 189±26wpm. The 28 sentences more similar in terms of reading times were selected, achieving a coefficient of variation (the relative SD) of 2.2%. The reliability analyses yielded an overall Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.98. The correlation between the short sentences and the long paragraph was high (r=0.85, P<0.0001). The 28 short single Italian sentences optotypes were highly comparable in syntactical structure, number, position, and length of words, lexical difficulty, and reading length. The resulting Italian Radner Reading Chart is precise (high consistency) and practical (short sentences) and therefore useful for research and clinical practice to simultaneously measure near reading acuity and reading speed. Copyright © 2013 Spanish General Council of Optometry. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  16. Memory mechanisms supporting syntactic comprehension.

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    Caplan, David; Waters, Gloria

    2013-04-01

    Efforts to characterize the memory system that supports sentence comprehension have historically drawn extensively on short-term memory as a source of mechanisms that might apply to sentences. The focus of these efforts has changed significantly in the past decade. As a result of changes in models of short-term working memory (ST-WM) and developments in models of sentence comprehension, the effort to relate entire components of an ST-WM system, such as those in the model developed by Baddeley (Nature Reviews Neuroscience 4: 829-839, 2003) to sentence comprehension has largely been replaced by an effort to relate more specific mechanisms found in modern models of ST-WM to memory processes that support one aspect of sentence comprehension--the assignment of syntactic structure (parsing) and its use in determining sentence meaning (interpretation) during sentence comprehension. In this article, we present the historical background to recent studies of the memory mechanisms that support parsing and interpretation and review recent research into this relation. We argue that the results of this research do not converge on a set of mechanisms derived from ST-WM that apply to parsing and interpretation. We argue that the memory mechanisms supporting parsing and interpretation have features that characterize another memory system that has been postulated to account for skilled performance-long-term working memory. We propose a model of the relation of different aspects of parsing and interpretation to ST-WM and long-term working memory.

  17. Investigating the possibility of a syntactic impairment in the semantic variant of PPA using a constrained production task: Preliminary findings

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    Jennifer Cupit

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In the semantic variant of primary progressive aphasia (svPPA, syntactic skills are generally thought to be preserved, while in the non-fluent variant (nfvPPA syntactic impairment is a core diagnostic feature (Gorno-Tempini et al., 2011. There are, however, some indications in the literature that syntactic processing may not be entirely normal in svPPA. Most studies of syntactic production in svPPA have used unconstrained tasks and have found no syntactic impairment (e.g., Bird et al., 2000; Kave et al., 2007. In the two published studies that have found a syntactic impairment in svPPA, one used a constrained task (Benedet et al., 2006, and the other (Meteyard & Patterson, 2009 did not. However, the authors of the latter article suggested that the observed syntactic errors were subtle. They also suggested that a syntactic impairment in svPPA might not be observed in spontaneous language samples due to an overreliance on simpler structures. In the current study, we used a constrained sentence production task to compare the syntactic abilities of individuals with nfvPPA, svPPA and healthy controls longitudinally, to investigate the existence of a syntactic impairment in the different PPA variants. We predicted that by using a constrained task we would observe a syntactic impairment in both variants of PPA. We tested 18 participants with nfvPPA, 13 with svPPA and 23 control participants. They were tested up to three separate times, with approximately one year between sessions. Groups were matched on age and years of education. The patient groups were matched on Mini Mental State Examination score (Folstein, Folstein & McHugh, 1975 and estimated time post onset of initial symptoms, but the nfvPPA group scored higher than the svPPA group on the Boston Naming Test (Kaplan, Goodglass, & Weintraub, 2001. We used the sentence production task from Caplan and Hanna (1998 to elicit active, passive, dative and dative-passive sentences. A mixed ANOVA (Group X

  18. Conceptual and Syntactic Strategies in Reading a Foreign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulijn, Jan M.

    Conceptual and syntactic strategies in reading a foreign language are considered with attention to the functioning of the sentence parser. Topics of analysis include: the theoretical background and the educational relevance of the question of strategies; a study of the relative importance of the two parsing principles (syntactically guided…

  19. P600 alteration of syntactic language processing in patients with bipolar mania: Comparison to schizophrenic patients and healthy subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Chang Woo; Kim, Sung Hwa; Shim, Miseon; Ryu, Vin; Ha, Ra Yeon; Lee, Su Jin; Cho, Hyun-Sang

    2016-09-01

    Disturbances in thought, speech, and linguistic processing are frequently observed in bipolar manic patients, but the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms are not well understood. P600 is a distinct, positive event-related potential component elicited by syntactic violations. Using the P600 ERP, we examined neural processing of syntactic language comprehension in patients with bipolar mania compared to patients with schizophrenia and healthy people. P600s were recorded from 21 manic patients with bipolar disorder, 26 patients with schizophrenia, and 29 healthy subjects during the presentation of 120 auditory sentences with syntactic violations or non-violations. Subjects were asked to judge whether each sentence was correct or incorrect. Patients with mania and schizophrenia had significantly smaller P600 amplitudes associated with syntactic violations compared with healthy subjects. There was no difference in P600 amplitude between patient groups. For behavioral performance, patients with schizophrenia had significantly less accurate rates and longer reaction times compared with healthy subjects, whereas manic patients exhibited no significant differences in accuracy and only showed increased reaction times in comparison with healthy subjects. Psychotropic drug usage and small sample size. Patients with bipolar mania have reduced P600 amplitude, comparable to patients with schizophrenia. Our findings may represent the first neurophysiological evidence of abnormal syntactic linguistic processing in bipolar mania. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Challenging prior evidence for a shared syntactic processor for language and music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perruchet, Pierre; Poulin-Charronnat, Bénédicte

    2013-04-01

    A theoretical landmark in the growing literature comparing language and music is the shared syntactic integration resource hypothesis (SSIRH; e.g., Patel, 2008), which posits that the successful processing of linguistic and musical materials relies, at least partially, on the mastery of a common syntactic processor. Supporting the SSIRH, Slevc, Rosenberg, and Patel (Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 16(2):374-381, 2009) recently reported data showing enhanced syntactic garden path effects when the sentences were paired with syntactically unexpected chords, whereas the musical manipulation had no reliable effect on the processing of semantic violations. The present experiment replicated Slevc et al.'s (2009) procedure, except that syntactic garden paths were replaced with semantic garden paths. We observed the very same interactive pattern of results. These findings suggest that the element underpinning interactions is the garden path configuration, rather than the implication of an alleged syntactic module. We suggest that a different amount of attentional resources is recruited to process each type of linguistic manipulations, hence modulating the resources left available for the processing of music and, consequently, the effects of musical violations.

  1. Word-Level and Sentence-Level Automaticity in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Learners: a Comparative Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Dongmei; Yu, Xiaoru; Zhang, Haomin

    2017-01-01

    The present study aimed to investigate second language (L2) word-level and sentence-level automatic processing among English as a foreign language students through a comparative analysis of students with different proficiency levels. As a multidimensional and dynamic construct, automaticity is conceptualized as processing speed, stability, and…

  2. Phrasal prosody constrains syntactic analysis in toddlers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Carvalho, Alex; Dautriche, Isabelle; Lin, Isabelle; Christophe, Anne

    2017-06-01

    This study examined whether phrasal prosody can impact toddlers' syntactic analysis. French noun-verb homophones were used to create locally ambiguous test sentences (e.g., using the homophone as a noun: [le bébésouris] [a bien mangé] - [the baby mouse] [ate well] or using it as a verb: [le bébé] [sourità sa maman] - [the baby] [smiles to his mother], where brackets indicate prosodic phrase boundaries). Although both sentences start with the same words (le-bebe-/suʁi/), they can be disambiguated by the prosodic boundary that either directly precedes the critical word /suʁi/ when it is a verb, or directly follows it when it is a noun. Across two experiments using an intermodal preferential looking procedure, 28-month-olds (Exp. 1 and 2) and 20-month-olds (Exp. 2) listened to the beginnings of these test sentences while watching two images displayed side-by-side on a TV-screen: one associated with the noun interpretation of the ambiguous word (e.g., a mouse) and the other with the verb interpretation (e.g., a baby smiling). The results show that upon hearing the first words of these sentences, toddlers were able to correctly exploit prosodic information to access the syntactic structure of sentences, which in turn helped them to determine the syntactic category of the ambiguous word and to correctly identify its intended meaning: participants switched their eye-gaze toward the correct image based on the prosodic condition in which they heard the ambiguous target word. This provides evidence that during the first steps of language acquisition, toddlers are already able to exploit the prosodic structure of sentences to recover their syntactic structure and predict the syntactic category of upcoming words, an ability which would be extremely useful to discover the meaning of novel words. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Broca's area, sentence comprehension, and working memory: an fMRI study

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    Corianne Rogalsky

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available The role of Broca's area in sentence processing remains controversial. According to one view, Broca's area is involved in processing a subcomponent of syntactic processing. Another view holds that it contributes to sentence processing via verbal working memory. Sub-regions of Broca's area have been identified that are more active during the processing of complex (object-relative clause sentences compared to simple (subject-relative clause sentences. The present study aimed to determine if this complexity effect can be accounted for in terms of the articulatory rehearsal component of verbal working memory.  In a behavioral experiment, subjects were asked to comprehend sentences during concurrent speech articulation which minimizes articulatory rehearsal as a resource for sentence comprehension. A finger-tapping task was used as a control concurrent task. Only the object-relative clause sentences were more difficult to comprehend during speech articulation than during the manual task, showing that articulatory rehearsal does contribute to sentence processing.  A second experiment used fMRI to document the brain regions underlying this effect.  Subjects judged the plausibility of sentences during speech articulation, a finger-tapping task, or without a concurrent task. In the absence of a secondary task, Broca's area (pars triangularis and pars opercularis demonstrated an increase in activity as a function of syntactic complexity. However, during concurrent speech articulation (but not finger-tapping this complexity effect was eliminated in the pars opercularis suggesting that this region supports sentence comprehension via its role in articulatory rehearsal.  Activity in the pars triangularis was modulated by the finger-tapping task, but not the speech articulation task.

  4. Is syntactic working memory language specific?

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    Vanja Kljajević

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available One question that has emerged from recent studies on sentence processing pertains to the nature of a specific cognitive mechanism implicated in maintenance of unintegrated syntactic information in ongoing sentence processing. In addition to evidence from language, recent research on musical syntax has suggested that processing of musical sequences may require a similar cognitive mechanism. In this paper evidence is discussed for the implication of syntactic working memory (SWM in processing of language and musical syntax, arithmetic sequences, as well as in complex motor movements used with a specific expressive purpose. The idea is that an anticipatory structure-building component governs interpretation in each of these domains by processing relevant integrations within sequences of structurally dependent elements. The concept of SWM is anchored in representational modularity and the shared syntactic integration resources hypothesis, and empirically supported by neurophysiological and neuroimaging evidence.

  5. Weaknesses in semantic, syntactic and oral language expression contribute to reading difficulties in Chinese dyslexic children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Xiao-Yun; Ho, Connie Suk-Han

    2014-02-01

    The present study examined the role of weaknesses in some language skills for the reading difficulties among Chinese dyslexic children. Thirty Chinese dyslexic children were compared with 30 chronological age (CA) controls and 30 reading-level (RL) controls on a number of language and reading measures. The results showed that Chinese dyslexic children performed significantly worse than the CA controls but similarly to the RL controls in many of the linguistic measures except that the dyslexic group also performed significantly less well than the RL group in semantic skills and syntactic skills on multiple modifiers. The dyslexic children were found to have difficulties in semantic processing, syntactic skills and oral language expression as compared with the CA controls, which were also found to predict their performance in word recognition and/or sentence comprehension. In addition, measures of semantic discrimination, advanced syntactic word order, and oral narrative also significantly predicted the group membership of having or not having dyslexia. These findings suggest that weaknesses in some semantic and advanced syntactic skills are the potential source of poor word and sentence reading in Chinese developmental dyslexia. Implications of the present findings for the identification of dyslexia were discussed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. Syntactic Movement in Orally Trained Children with Hearing Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedmann, Naama; Szterman, Ronit

    2006-01-01

    This study explored the comprehension and production of sentences derived by syntactic movement, in orally trained school-age Hebrew-speaking children with moderate to profound hearing impairment, aged 7;8?9;9 years. Experiments 1 and 2 tested the comprehension of relative clauses and topicalization sentences (with word orders of OVS [object,…

  7. Linking Parser Development to Acquisition of Syntactic Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omaki, Akira; Lidz, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    Traditionally, acquisition of syntactic knowledge and the development of sentence comprehension behaviors have been treated as separate disciplines. This article reviews a growing body of work on the development of incremental sentence comprehension mechanisms and discusses how a better understanding of the developing parser can shed light on two…

  8. Syntactic Structures as Descriptions of Sensorimotor Processes

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    Alistair Knott

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In this paper I propose a hypothesis linking elements of a model of theoretical syntax with neural mechanisms in the domain of sensorimotor processing. The syntactic framework I adopt to express this linking hypothesis is Chomsky’s Minimalism: I propose that the language-independent ’Logical Form’ (LF of a sentence reporting a concrete episode in the world can be interpreted as a detailed description of the sensorimotor processes involved in apprehending that episode. The hypothesis is motivated by a detailed study of one particular episode, in which an agent grasps a target object. There are striking similarities between the LF structure of transitive sentences describing this episode and the structure of the sensorimotor processes through which it is apprehended by an observer. The neural interpretation of Minimalist LF structure allows it to incorporate insights from empiricist accounts of syntax, relating to sentence processing and to the learning of syntactic constructions.

  9. Comparing eye tracking with electrooculography for measuring individual sentence comprehension duration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Müller, Jana Annina; Wendt, Dorothea; Kollmeier, Birger

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to validate a procedure for performing the audio-visual paradigm introduced by Wendt et al. (2015) with reduced practical challenges. The original paradigm records eye fixations using an eye tracker and calculates the duration of sentence comprehension based on a bootstr...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright 2003 Elsevier Science B.V.

  11. Syntactic priming in American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Matthew L; Ferreira, Victor S; Mayberry, Rachel I

    2015-01-01

    Psycholinguistic studies of sign language processing provide valuable opportunities to assess whether language phenomena, which are primarily studied in spoken language, are fundamentally shaped by peripheral biology. For example, we know that when given a choice between two syntactically permissible ways to express the same proposition, speakers tend to choose structures that were recently used, a phenomenon known as syntactic priming. Here, we report two experiments testing syntactic priming of a noun phrase construction in American Sign Language (ASL). Experiment 1 shows that second language (L2) signers with normal hearing exhibit syntactic priming in ASL and that priming is stronger when the head noun is repeated between prime and target (the lexical boost effect). Experiment 2 shows that syntactic priming is equally strong among deaf native L1 signers, deaf late L1 learners, and hearing L2 signers. Experiment 2 also tested for, but did not find evidence of, phonological or semantic boosts to syntactic priming in ASL. These results show that despite the profound differences between spoken and signed languages in terms of how they are produced and perceived, the psychological representation of sentence structure (as assessed by syntactic priming) operates similarly in sign and speech.

  12. Syntactic priming in American Sign Language.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew L Hall

    Full Text Available Psycholinguistic studies of sign language processing provide valuable opportunities to assess whether language phenomena, which are primarily studied in spoken language, are fundamentally shaped by peripheral biology. For example, we know that when given a choice between two syntactically permissible ways to express the same proposition, speakers tend to choose structures that were recently used, a phenomenon known as syntactic priming. Here, we report two experiments testing syntactic priming of a noun phrase construction in American Sign Language (ASL. Experiment 1 shows that second language (L2 signers with normal hearing exhibit syntactic priming in ASL and that priming is stronger when the head noun is repeated between prime and target (the lexical boost effect. Experiment 2 shows that syntactic priming is equally strong among deaf native L1 signers, deaf late L1 learners, and hearing L2 signers. Experiment 2 also tested for, but did not find evidence of, phonological or semantic boosts to syntactic priming in ASL. These results show that despite the profound differences between spoken and signed languages in terms of how they are produced and perceived, the psychological representation of sentence structure (as assessed by syntactic priming operates similarly in sign and speech.

  13. Syntactic Priming in American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Matthew L.; Ferreira, Victor S.; Mayberry, Rachel I.

    2015-01-01

    Psycholinguistic studies of sign language processing provide valuable opportunities to assess whether language phenomena, which are primarily studied in spoken language, are fundamentally shaped by peripheral biology. For example, we know that when given a choice between two syntactically permissible ways to express the same proposition, speakers tend to choose structures that were recently used, a phenomenon known as syntactic priming. Here, we report two experiments testing syntactic priming of a noun phrase construction in American Sign Language (ASL). Experiment 1 shows that second language (L2) signers with normal hearing exhibit syntactic priming in ASL and that priming is stronger when the head noun is repeated between prime and target (the lexical boost effect). Experiment 2 shows that syntactic priming is equally strong among deaf native L1 signers, deaf late L1 learners, and hearing L2 signers. Experiment 2 also tested for, but did not find evidence of, phonological or semantic boosts to syntactic priming in ASL. These results show that despite the profound differences between spoken and signed languages in terms of how they are produced and perceived, the psychological representation of sentence structure (as assessed by syntactic priming) operates similarly in sign and speech. PMID:25786230

  14. Sentence-Combining in Technical Writing: An Editing Tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosner, Mary

    1982-01-01

    Describes the development and use of sentence combining exercises at a midwestern university and presents the results of a test to determine the effects of the exercises on syntactic maturity and mechanics. (HTH)

  15. GENERATIVE WORDS OF ALBANIAN AND ENGLISH SENTENCE

    OpenAIRE

    Shkelqim Millaku

    2017-01-01

    This studies or the aim of the research is to deals the generative “morphems, words or “simple or compound[1]” sentence. The full congrast of Albanian and English language in this phenomena of generative is in morphology and in syntactic structure. This accepts of studies will comparted, contrasted and generated between two languages. This studies deals with noun (noun phrase), verb (verb phrase) of syntactic structure between Albanian and English language. In both of languages, most linguis...

  16. Gesture facilitates the syntactic analysis of speech

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henning eHolle

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent research suggests that the brain routinely binds together information from gesture and speech. However, most of this research focused on the integration of representational gestures with the semantic content of speech. Much less is known about how other aspects of gesture, such as emphasis, influence the interpretation of the syntactic relations in a spoken message. Here, we investigated whether beat gestures alter which syntactic structure is assigned to ambiguous spoken German sentences. The P600 component of the Event Related Brain Potential indicated that the more complex syntactic structure is easier to process when the speaker emphasizes the subject of a sentence with a beat. Thus, a simple flick of the hand can change our interpretation of who has been doing what to whom in a spoken sentence. We conclude that gestures and speech are an integrated system. Unlike previous studies, which have shown that the brain effortlessly integrates semantic information from gesture and speech, our study is the first to demonstrate that this integration also occurs for syntactic information. Moreover, the effect appears to be gesture-specific and was not found for other stimuli that draw attention to certain parts of speech, including prosodic emphasis, or a moving visual stimulus with the same trajectory as the gesture. This suggests that only visual emphasis produced with a communicative intention in mind (that is, beat gestures influences language comprehension, but not a simple visual movement lacking such an intention.

  17. Broca's Area Plays a Role in Syntactic Processing during Chinese Reading Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Suiping; Zhu, Zude; Zhang, John X.; Wang, Zhaoxin; Xiao, Zhuangwei; Xiang, Huadong; Chen, Hsuan-Chih

    2008-01-01

    Event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (ER-fMRI) was adopted to examine brain activation of syntactic processing in reading logographic Chinese. While fMRI data were obtained, 15 readers of Chinese read individually presented sentences and performed semantic congruency judgments on three kinds of sentences: Congruous sentences (CON),…

  18. A shared neural substrate for mentalizing and the affective component of sentence comprehension.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre-Yves Hervé

    Full Text Available Using event-related fMRI in a sample of 42 healthy participants, we compared the cerebral activity maps obtained when classifying spoken sentences based on the mental content of the main character (belief, deception or empathy or on the emotional tonality of the sentence (happiness, anger or sadness. To control for the effects of different syntactic constructions (such as embedded clauses in belief sentences, we subtracted from each map the BOLD activations obtained during plausibility judgments on structurally matching sentences, devoid of emotions or ToM. The obtained theory of mind (ToM and emotional speech comprehension networks overlapped in the bilateral temporo-parietal junction, posterior cingulate cortex, right anterior temporal lobe, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and in the left inferior frontal sulcus. These regions form a ToM network, which contributes to the emotional component of spoken sentence comprehension. Compared with the ToM task, in which the sentences were enounced on a neutral tone, the emotional sentence classification task, in which the sentences were play-acted, was associated with a greater activity in the bilateral superior temporal sulcus, in line with the presence of emotional prosody. Besides, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was more active during emotional than ToM sentence processing. This region may link mental state representations with verbal and prosodic emotional cues. Compared with emotional sentence classification, ToM was associated with greater activity in the caudate nucleus, paracingulate cortex, and superior frontal and parietal regions, in line with behavioral data showing that ToM sentence comprehension was a more demanding task.

  19. A shared neural substrate for mentalizing and the affective component of sentence comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hervé, Pierre-Yves; Razafimandimby, Annick; Jobard, Gaël; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie

    2013-01-01

    Using event-related fMRI in a sample of 42 healthy participants, we compared the cerebral activity maps obtained when classifying spoken sentences based on the mental content of the main character (belief, deception or empathy) or on the emotional tonality of the sentence (happiness, anger or sadness). To control for the effects of different syntactic constructions (such as embedded clauses in belief sentences), we subtracted from each map the BOLD activations obtained during plausibility judgments on structurally matching sentences, devoid of emotions or ToM. The obtained theory of mind (ToM) and emotional speech comprehension networks overlapped in the bilateral temporo-parietal junction, posterior cingulate cortex, right anterior temporal lobe, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and in the left inferior frontal sulcus. These regions form a ToM network, which contributes to the emotional component of spoken sentence comprehension. Compared with the ToM task, in which the sentences were enounced on a neutral tone, the emotional sentence classification task, in which the sentences were play-acted, was associated with a greater activity in the bilateral superior temporal sulcus, in line with the presence of emotional prosody. Besides, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex was more active during emotional than ToM sentence processing. This region may link mental state representations with verbal and prosodic emotional cues. Compared with emotional sentence classification, ToM was associated with greater activity in the caudate nucleus, paracingulate cortex, and superior frontal and parietal regions, in line with behavioral data showing that ToM sentence comprehension was a more demanding task.

  20. The sentence superiority effect revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snell, Joshua; Grainger, Jonathan

    2017-11-01

    A sentence superiority effect was investigated using post-cued word-in-sequence identification with the rapid parallel visual presentation (RPVP) of four horizontally aligned words. The four words were presented for 200ms followed by a post-mask and cue for partial report. They could form a grammatically correct sentence or were formed of the same words in a scrambled agrammatical sequence. Word identification was higher in the syntactically correct sequences, and crucially, this sentence superiority effect did not vary as a function of the target's position in the sequence. Cloze probability measures for words at the final, arguably most predictable position, revealed overall low values that did not interact with the effects of sentence context, suggesting that these effects were not driven by word predictability. The results point to a level of parallel processing across multiple words that enables rapid extraction of their syntactic categories. These generate a sentence-level representation that constrains the recognition process for individual words, thus facilitating parallel word processing when the sequence is grammatically sound. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Word-Level and Sentence-Level Automaticity in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Learners: A Comparative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Dongmei; Yu, Xiaoru; Zhang, Haomin

    2017-12-01

    The present study aimed to investigate second language (L2) word-level and sentence-level automatic processing among English as a foreign language students through a comparative analysis of students with different proficiency levels. As a multidimensional and dynamic construct, automaticity is conceptualized as processing speed, stability, and accuracy which are indexed by reaction time, coefficient variation and accuracy rate. Sixty students (39 undergraduate students and 21 graduate students) who majored in English participated in this study. They completed the lexical semantic classification task, the sentence construction task, the sentence verification task under two different modalities (visually- and aurally-presented situations). Multivariate analyses were conducted to examine the differences between the students with different proficiency levels pertaining to their L2 performance. The results indicated that the processing speed was not found to be a good indicator of automatic language processing. Moreover, both levels of students appeared to reach a plateau in word-level processing but there were some variations in students' sentential processing. Finally, the findings showed that automatic language processing seemed to be module-specific and non-sharable across different modalities and skills.

  2. Analyzing processing effort during sentence comprehension in quiet and in noise: Evidence from eye-fixations and pupil size

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wendt, Dorothea; Brand, Thomas; Kollmeier, Birger

    2014-01-01

    recorded within an audio - visual paradigm to investigate the speed of processing sentences with varying syntactic complexity . Even at high speech intelligibility level , a reduced processing speed was measured indicating increased processing effort for complex sentences . Another measure of cognitive...

  3. Structural syntactic prediction measured with ELAN: evidence from ERPs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonteneau, Elisabeth

    2013-02-08

    The current study used event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate how and when argument structure information is used during the processing of sentences with a filler-gap dependency. We hypothesize that one specific property - animacy (living vs. non-living) - is used by the parser during the building of the syntactic structure. Participants heard sentences that were rated off-line as having an expected noun (Who did the Lion King chase the caravan with?) or an unexpected noun (Who did Lion King chase the animal with?). This prediction is based on the animacy properties relation between the wh-word and the noun in the object position. ERPs from the noun in the unexpected condition (animal) elicited a typical Early Left Anterior Negativity (ELAN)/P600 complex compared to the noun in the expected condition (caravan). Firstly, these results demonstrate that the ELAN reflects not only grammatical category violation but also animacy property expectations in filler-gap dependency. Secondly, our data suggests that the language comprehension system is able to make detailed predictions about aspects of the upcoming words to build up the syntactic structure. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Greater Left Inferior Frontal Activation for SVO than VOS During Sentence Comprehension in Kaqchikel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masatoshi Koizumi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Cortical activations during the processing of sentences with different word orders in Kaqchikel 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 VOS is easier to process than SVO. This supports the traditional interpretation in Mayan linguistics that the syntactically simplest word order of transitive sentences is VOS in Kaqchikel, as in many other Mayan languages. More importantly, the results revealed that the subject-before-object word order preference in sentence comprehension, observed in a number of previous studies on 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.

  5. Syntactic Idioms and Precedent Phenomena: Intersection Zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna Sytar

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: One examined mainly structural and semantic features of syntactic idioms so far. The pragmatic dimension of these original units that are on the verge of syntax and phraseology, has not been highlighted properly in the scientific literature, so it needs theoretical understanding. The combination of syntactic idiom and phraseological phenomenon refers to the communication techniques impacting on message recipient. Purpose: to analyze the intersection zones of syntactic idioms and precedent phenomena. Results: Analysis of the collected factual material allows to distinguish two areas of interpenetration of syntactic idioms and precedent units: 1 construction of expression according to the phraseologized model, within which the position of variable component is filled by the precedent name or precedent expression; 2 the model of sentence itself is precedent, and lexical content does not comply with generally known one that does not affect on understanding of model content by recipient. With a combination of syntactic idiom and precedent phenomena speakers provide drawing of recipients’ attention, carry out a hidden influence on them, express their own attitude to the realities, so that perform phatic, manipulative and expressive-evaluative functions. The modifications and transformations of precedent expressions and names appeared to be regular in such interpenetrations. Discussion: The obtained results reflect the general trend towards transform (transformation, modification, variation, etc. of precedent, as well as phraseological units, and can be used for the analysis of patterns of their formation and modifications. Further research phase implies tracing patterns of syntactic idioms combination with other means of expressive syntax.

  6. fMRI brain response during sentence reading comprehension in children with benign epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malfait, D; Tucholka, A; Mendizabal, S; Tremblay, J; Poulin, C; Oskoui, M; Srour, M; Carmant, L; Major, P; Lippé, S

    2015-11-01

    Children with benign epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes (BECTS) often have language problems. Abnormal epileptic activity is found in central and temporal brain regions, which are involved in reading and semantic and syntactic comprehension. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we examined reading networks in BECTS children with a new sentence reading comprehension task involving semantic and syntactic processing. Fifteen children with BECTS (age=11y 1m ± 16 m; 12 boys) and 18 healthy controls (age=11 y 8m ± 20 m; 11 boys) performed an fMRI reading comprehension task in which they read a pair of syntactically complex sentences and decided whether the target sentence (the second sentence in the pair) was true or false with respect to the first sentence. All children also underwent an exhaustive neuropsychological assessment. We demonstrated weaknesses in several cognitive domains in BECTS children. During the sentence reading fMRI task, left inferior frontal regions and bilateral temporal areas were activated in BECTS children and healthy controls. However, additional brain regions such as the left hippocampus and precuneus were activated in BECTS children. Moreover, specific activation was found in the left caudate and putamen in BECTS children but not in healthy controls. Cognitive results and accuracy during the fMRI task were associated with specific brain activation patterns. BECTS children recruited a wider network to perform the fMRI sentence reading comprehension task, with specific activation in the left dorsal striatum. BECTS cognitive performance differently predicted functional activation in frontal and temporal regions compared to controls, suggesting differences in brain network organisation that contribute to reading comprehension. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Sentence Comprehension in Young Adults with Developmental Dyslexia

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. Effects of surprisal and locality on Danish sentence processing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Balling, Laura Winther; Kizach, Johannes

    2017-01-01

    An eye-tracking experiment in Danish investigates two dominant accounts of sentence processing: locality-based theories that predict a processing advantage for sentences where the distance between the major syntactic heads is minimized, and the surprisal theory which predicts that processing time...

  9. Melodic pitch expectation interacts with neural responses to syntactic but not semantic violations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrus, Elisa; Pearce, Marcus T; Bhattacharya, Joydeep

    2013-09-01

    Current behavioural and electrophysiological evidence suggests that music and language syntactic processing depends on at least partly shared neural resources. Existing studies using a simultaneous presentation paradigm are limited to the effects of violations of harmonic structure in Western tonal music on processing of single syntactic or semantic violations. Because melody is a universal property of music as it is emphasized also by non-western musical traditions, it is fundamental to investigate interactions between melodic expectation and language processing. The present study investigates the effect of melodically unexpected notes on neural responses elicited by linguistic violations. Sentences with or without a violation in the last word were presented on screen simultaneously with melodies whose last note had a high- or low-probability, as estimated by a computational model of melodic expectation. Violations in language could be syntactic, semantic or combined. The electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded while participants occasionally responded to language stimuli. Confirming previous studies, low-probability notes elicited an enhanced N1 compared to high-probability notes. Further, syntactic violations elicited a left anterior negativity (LAN) and P600 component, and semantic violations elicited an N400. Combined violations elicited components which resembled neural responses to both syntactic and semantic incongruities. The LAN amplitude was decreased when language syntactic violations were presented simultaneously with low-probability notes compared to when they were presented with high-probability notes. The N400 was not influenced by the note-probability. These findings show support for the neural interaction between language and music processing, including novel evidence for melodic processing which can be incorporated in a computational framework of melodic expectation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Syntactic learning by mere exposure – An ERP study in adult learners

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Friederici Angela D

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Artificial language studies have revealed the remarkable ability of humans to extract syntactic structures from a continuous sound stream by mere exposure. However, it remains unclear whether the processes acquired in such tasks are comparable to those applied during normal language processing. The present study compares the ERPs to auditory processing of simple Italian sentences in native and non-native speakers after brief exposure to Italian sentences of a similar structure. The sentences contained a non-adjacent dependency between an auxiliary and the morphologically marked suffix of the verb. Participants were presented four alternating learning and testing phases. During learning phases only correct sentences were presented while during testing phases 50 percent of the sentences contained a grammatical violation. Results The non-native speakers successfully learned the dependency and displayed an N400-like negativity and a subsequent anteriorily distributed positivity in response to rule violations. The native Italian group showed an N400 followed by a P600 effect. Conclusion The presence of the P600 suggests that native speakers applied a grammatical rule. In contrast, non-native speakers appeared to use a lexical form-based processing strategy. Thus, the processing mechanisms acquired in the language learning task were only partly comparable to those applied by competent native speakers.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  12. Interaction between Syntactic Structure and Information Structure in the Processing of a Head-Final Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koizumi, Masatoshi; Imamura, Satoshi

    2017-01-01

    The effects of syntactic and information structures on sentence processing load were investigated using two reading comprehension experiments in Japanese, a head-final SOV language. In the first experiment, we discovered the main effects of syntactic and information structures, as well as their interaction, showing that interaction of these two…

  13. Syntactic processing in left prefrontal cortex is independent of lexical meaning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Indefrey, P.; Hagoort, P.; Herzog, H.; Seitz, R.J.; Brown, C.M.

    2001-01-01

    In language comprehension a syntactic representation is built up even when the input is semantically uninterpretable. We report data on brain activation during syntactic processing, from an experiment on the detection of grammatical errors in meaningless sentences. The experimental paradigm was such

  14. Rape sentencing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ó Cathaoir, Katharina Eva

    This handbook conducts an analysis of the sentences imposed for rape by Irish courts. Part I examines The People (DPP) v. WD [2007] IEHC 310 by outlining the salient points of the decision, in particular the separation of rape sentences into categories of punishments. The mitigating and aggravati...... factors are also laid out. Part II analyses recent sentences for rape since 2007. All reported Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) cases post The People (DPP) v. WD are included as well as a survey of two years of Irish Times reports (covering the period November 2010 to November 2012)....

  15. 'Syntactic perturbation' during production activates the right IFG, but not Broca’s area or the ATL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William eMatchin

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Research on the neural organization of syntax – the core structure-building component of language – has focused on Broca’s area and the anterior temporal lobe (ATL as the chief candidates for syntactic processing. However, these proposals have received considerable challenges. In order to better understand the neural basis of syntactic processing, we performed an fMRI experiment using a constrained sentence production task. We examined the BOLD response to sentence production for active and passive sentences, unstructured word lists, and syntactic perturbation. Perturbation involved cued restructuring of the planned syntax of a sentence mid utterance. Perturbation was designed to capture the effects of syntactic violations previously studied in sentence comprehension. Our experiment showed that Broca’s area and the ATL did not exhibit response profiles consistent with syntactic operations – we found no increase of activation in these areas for sentences > lists and perturbation. Syntactic perturbation activated a cortical-subcortical network including robust activation of the right inferior frontal gyrus (RIFG. This network is similar to one previously shown to be involved in motor response inhibition. We hypothesize that RIFG activation in our study and in previous studies of sentence comprehension is due to an inhibition mechanism that may facilitate efficient syntactic restructuring.

  16. Syntactic and discourse skills in Chinese adolescent readers with dyslexia: a profiling study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Kevin K H; Lo, Jason C M; Ho, Connie S-H; Xiao, Xiaoyun; Chan, David W

    2014-10-01

    This study aims to investigate the relation of syntactic and discourse skills to morphological skills, rapid naming, and working memory in Chinese adolescent readers with dyslexia and to examine their cognitive-linguistic profiles. Fifty-two dyslexic readers (mean age, 13;42) from grade 7 to 9 in Hong Kong high schools were compared with 52 typically developing readers of the same chronological age (mean age, 13;30) in the measures of word reading, 1-min word reading, reading comprehension, morpheme discrimination, morpheme production, morphosyntactic knowledge, sentence order knowledge, digit rapid naming, letter rapid naming, backward digit span, and non-word repetition. Results showed that dyslexic readers performed significantly worse than their peers on all the cognitive-linguistic tasks. Analyses of individual performance also revealed that over half of the dyslexic readers exhibited deficits in syntactic and discourse skills. Moreover, syntactic skills, morphological skills, and rapid naming best distinguished dyslexic from non-dyslexic readers. Findings underscore the significance of syntactic and discourse skills for understanding reading impairment in Chinese adolescent readers.

  17. Morpho-syntactic reading comprehension in children with early and late cochlear implants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Higes, Ramón; Gallego, Carlos; Martín-Aragoneses, María Teresa; Melle, Natalia

    2015-04-01

    This study explores morpho-syntactic reading comprehension in 19 Spanish children who received a cochlear implant (CI) before 24 months of age (early CI [e-CI]) and 19 Spanish children who received a CI after 24 months (late CI [l-CI]). They all were in primary school and were compared to a hearing control (HC) group of 19 children. Tests of perceptual reasoning, working memory, receptive vocabulary, and morpho-syntactic comprehension were used in the assessment. It was observed that while children with l-CI showed a delay, those with e-CI reached a level close to that which was obtained by their control peers in morpho-syntactic comprehension. Thus, results confirm a positive effect of early implantation on morpho-syntactic reading comprehension. Inflectional morphology and simple sentence comprehension were noted to be better in the e-CI group than in the l-CI group. The most important factor in distinguishing between the HC and l-CI groups or the e-CI and l-CI groups was verbal inflectional morphology. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Musical expertise modulates early processing of syntactic violations in language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahren B. Fitzroy

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Syntactic violations in speech and music have been shown to elicit an anterior negativity (AN as early as 100 ms after violation onset and a posterior positivity that peaks at roughly 600 ms (P600/LPC. The language AN is typically reported as left-lateralized (LAN, whereas the music AN is typically reported as right-lateralized (RAN. However, several lines of evidence suggest syntactic processing of language and music rely on overlapping neural systems. The current study tested the hypothesis that syntactic processing of speech and music share neural resources by examining whether musical proficiency modulates ERP indices of linguistic syntactic processing. ERPs were measured in response to syntactic violations in sentences and chord progressions in musicians and nonmusicians. Violations in speech were insertion errors in normal and semantically impoverished English sentences. Violations in music were out-of-key chord substitutions from distantly and closely related keys. Phrase-structure violations elicited an AN and P600 in both groups. Harmonic violations elicited an LPC in both groups, blatant harmonic violations also elicited a RAN in musicians only. Cross-domain effects of musical proficiency were similar to previously reported within-domain effects of linguistic proficiency on the distribution of the language AN; syntactic violations in normal English sentences elicited a left-lateralized AN in musicians and a bilateral AN in nonmusicians. The late positivities elicited by violations differed in latency and distribution between domains. These results suggest that initial processing of syntactic violations in language and music relies on shared neural resources in the general population, and that musical expertise results in more specialized cortical organization of syntactic processing in both domains.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brennan, Jonathan; Pylkkänen, Liina

    2012-04-02

    Sentence comprehension involves a host of highly interrelated processes, including syntactic parsing, semantic composition, and pragmatic inferencing. In neuroimaging, a primary paradigm for examining the brain bases of sentence processing has been to compare brain activity elicited by sentences versus unstructured lists of words. These studies commonly find an effect of increased activity for sentences in the anterior temporal lobes (aTL). Together with neuropsychological data, these findings have motivated the hypothesis that the aTL is engaged in sentence level combinatorics. Combinatoric processing during language comprehension, however, occurs within tens and hundreds of milliseconds, i.e., at a time-scale much faster than the temporal resolution of hemodynamic measures. Here, we examined the time-course of sentence-level processing using magnetoencephalography (MEG) to better understand the temporal profile of activation in this common paradigm and to test a key prediction of the combinatoric hypothesis: because sentences are interpreted incrementally, word-by-word, activity associated with basic linguistic combinatorics should be time-locked to word-presentation. Our results reveal increased anterior temporal activity for sentences compared to word lists beginning approximately 250 ms after word onset. We also observed increased activation in a network of other brain areas, extending across posterior temporal, inferior frontal, and ventral medial areas. These findings confirm a key prediction of the combinatoric hypothesis for the aTL and further elucidate the spatio-temporal characteristics of sentence-level computations in the brain. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Child writers’ construction and reconstruction of single sentences and construction of multi-sentence texts: contributions of syntax and transcription to translation

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 one sentence. The sentence integrity task was not correlated with sentence combining until fourth grade, when in multiple regression, sentence integrity explained unique variance in sentence combining, along with spelling. Word-level skills (morphology in first and spelling in second through fourth grade) consistently explained unique variance in sentence combining. Thus, many beginning writers have syntactic knowledge of what constitutes a complete sentence, but not until fourth grade do both syntax and transcription contribute uniquely to flexible translation of ideas into the syntax of a written sentence. In Study 3, eleven syntactic categories were identified in single- and multi- sentence composing from second to fifth grade. Complex clauses (independent plus subordinate) occurred more often on single-sentence composing, but single independent clauses occurred more often on multi-sentence composing. For multi-sentence text, more single, independent clauses were produced by pen than keyboard in grades 3 to 7. The most frequent category of complex clauses in multi-sentence texts varied with genre (relative for essays and subordinate for narratives). Thus, in addition to syntax-level sentence construction and word-level transcription, amount of translation (number of sentences), mode of transcription, and genre for multiple sentence text also influence translation of ideas into written language of child writers. Results of these studies employing descriptive linguistic analyses are discussed in reference to cognitive theory of writing development. PMID:21383865

  1. Child writers' construction and reconstruction of single sentences and construction of multi-sentence texts: contributions of syntax and transcription to translation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-02-01

    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 one sentence. The sentence integrity task was not correlated with sentence combining until fourth grade, when in multiple regression, sentence integrity explained unique variance in sentence combining, along with spelling. Word-level skills (morphology in first and spelling in second through fourth grade) consistently explained unique variance in sentence combining. Thus, many beginning writers have syntactic knowledge of what constitutes a complete sentence, but not until fourth grade do both syntax and transcription contribute uniquely to flexible translation of ideas into the syntax of a written sentence. In Study 3, eleven syntactic categories were identified in single- and multi- sentence composing from second to fifth grade. Complex clauses (independent plus subordinate) occurred more often on single-sentence composing, but single independent clauses occurred more often on multi-sentence composing. For multi-sentence text, more single, independent clauses were produced by pen than keyboard in grades 3 to 7. The most frequent category of complex clauses in multi-sentence texts varied with genre (relative for essays and subordinate for narratives). Thus, in addition to syntax-level sentence construction and word-level transcription, amount of translation (number of sentences), mode of transcription, and genre for multiple sentence text also influence translation of ideas into written language of child writers. Results of these studies employing descriptive linguistic analyses are discussed in reference to cognitive theory of writing development.

  2. Lexical and syntactic development in Italian children with Down's syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zampini, Laura; D'Odorico, Laura

    2011-01-01

    Although children with Down's syndrome show some delays in each area of language development, their morphosyntactic competence appears to be more severely compromised than their lexical skills and, therefore, they are frequently mentioned as an example of dissociation between grammar and lexicon. The principal aim of the present study was to compare the lexical and syntactic development of Italian children with Down's syndrome with that of typically developing children, considering their spontaneous production. Particular attention was given to the relationships between these linguistic areas and the transition from single-word utterances to multiword combinations (that is, transitional forms). Twenty-four children participated in the study: twelve with Down's syndrome and twelve typically developing children. On average, the children with Down's syndrome participating in the study had a vocabulary size of about 450 words; and their mean chronological age was 54 months, whereas their mean developmental age was 30 months. The criteria for inclusion in the typically developing children group were a mean vocabulary size similar to that of the participants with Down's syndrome and a mean chronological age equivalent to the mean developmental age of the children with Down's syndrome. Each child's spontaneous verbal production was assessed during a parent-child play session. Data analyses focused on both lexical variables (type and tokens, vocabulary composition) and syntactic variables (frequency and types of transitional forms, frequency of utterances with different degree of complexity, and argument structure of verbs). The vocabulary composition of the children with Down's syndrome appeared to be simpler than that of the typically developing children at the same lexical size. Children with Down's syndrome used a higher number of transitional forms, but their production of multi-word utterances was less frequent; they were able to use word combinations, but they

  3. The Intelligibility of Natural and Vocoded Semantically Anomalous Sentences: A Comparative Analysis of English Monolinguals and German-English Bilinguals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-12-10

    of an English sentence you cannot finish because of limitations in your grammar or vocabulary ? 3. Do you find it difficult to follow and contribute to...beginner and 10 represents the score of a native speaker) 14. What is your TOEFL score? 32 N. APPENDIX 11 Semantically Anomalous Sentences 1. A painted

  4. Decision Making Strategy and the Simultaneous Processing of Syntactic Dependencies in Language and Music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roncaglia-Denissen, M P; Bouwer, Fleur L; Honing, Henkjan

    2018-01-01

    Despite differences in their function and domain-specific elements, syntactic processing in music and language is believed to share cognitive resources. This study aims to investigate whether the simultaneous processing of language and music share the use of a common syntactic processor or more general attentional resources. To investigate this matter we tested musicians and non-musicians using visually presented sentences and aurally presented melodies containing syntactic local and long-distance dependencies. Accuracy rates and reaction times of participants' responses were collected. In both sentences and melodies, unexpected syntactic anomalies were introduced. This is the first study to address the processing of local and long-distance dependencies in language and music combined while reducing the effect of sensory memory. Participants were instructed to focus on language (language session), music (music session), or both (dual session). In the language session, musicians and non-musicians performed comparably in terms of accuracy rates and reaction times. As expected, groups' differences appeared in the music session, with musicians being more accurate in their responses than non-musicians and only the latter showing an interaction between the accuracy rates for music and language syntax. In the dual session musicians were overall more accurate than non-musicians. However, both groups showed comparable behavior, by displaying an interaction between the accuracy rates for language and music syntax responses. In our study, accuracy rates seem to better capture the interaction between language and music syntax; and this interaction seems to indicate the use of distinct, however, interacting mechanisms as part of decision making strategy. This interaction seems to be subject of an increase of attentional load and domain proficiency. Our study contributes to the long-lasting debate about the commonalities between language and music by providing evidence for their

  5. Decision Making Strategy and the Simultaneous Processing of Syntactic Dependencies in Language and Music

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. P. Roncaglia-Denissen

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite differences in their function and domain-specific elements, syntactic processing in music and language is believed to share cognitive resources. This study aims to investigate whether the simultaneous processing of language and music share the use of a common syntactic processor or more general attentional resources. To investigate this matter we tested musicians and non-musicians using visually presented sentences and aurally presented melodies containing syntactic local and long-distance dependencies. Accuracy rates and reaction times of participants’ responses were collected. In both sentences and melodies, unexpected syntactic anomalies were introduced. This is the first study to address the processing of local and long-distance dependencies in language and music combined while reducing the effect of sensory memory. Participants were instructed to focus on language (language session, music (music session, or both (dual session. In the language session, musicians and non-musicians performed comparably in terms of accuracy rates and reaction times. As expected, groups’ differences appeared in the music session, with musicians being more accurate in their responses than non-musicians and only the latter showing an interaction between the accuracy rates for music and language syntax. In the dual session musicians were overall more accurate than non-musicians. However, both groups showed comparable behavior, by displaying an interaction between the accuracy rates for language and music syntax responses. In our study, accuracy rates seem to better capture the interaction between language and music syntax; and this interaction seems to indicate the use of distinct, however, interacting mechanisms as part of decision making strategy. This interaction seems to be subject of an increase of attentional load and domain proficiency. Our study contributes to the long-lasting debate about the commonalities between language and music by

  6. Evidence for simultaneous syntactic processing of multiple words during reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snell, Joshua; Meeter, Martijn; Grainger, Jonathan

    2017-01-01

    A hotly debated issue in reading research concerns the extent to which readers process parafoveal words, and how parafoveal information might influence foveal word recognition. We investigated syntactic word processing both in sentence reading and in reading isolated foveal words when these were flanked by parafoveal words. In Experiment 1 we found a syntactic parafoveal preview benefit in sentence reading, meaning that fixation durations on target words were decreased when there was a syntactically congruent preview word at the target location (n) during the fixation on the pre-target (n-1). In Experiment 2 we used a flanker paradigm in which participants had to classify foveal target words as either noun or verb, when those targets were flanked by syntactically congruent or incongruent words (stimulus on-time 170 ms). Lower response times and error rates in the congruent condition suggested that higher-order (syntactic) information can be integrated across foveal and parafoveal words. Although higher-order parafoveal-on-foveal effects have been elusive in sentence reading, results from our flanker paradigm show that the reading system can extract higher-order information from multiple words in a single glance. We propose a model of reading to account for the present findings.

  7. Storage costs and heuristics interact to produce patterns of aphasic sentence comprehension performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, David Glenn

    2012-01-01

    Despite general agreement that aphasic individuals exhibit difficulty understanding complex sentences, the nature of sentence complexity itself is unresolved. In addition, aphasic individuals appear to make use of heuristic strategies for understanding sentences. This research is a comparison of predictions derived from two approaches to the quantification of sentence complexity, one based on the hierarchical structure of sentences, and the other based on dependency locality theory (DLT). Complexity metrics derived from these theories are evaluated under various assumptions of heuristic use. A set of complexity metrics was derived from each general theory of sentence complexity and paired with assumptions of heuristic use. Probability spaces were generated that summarized the possible patterns of performance across 16 different sentence structures. The maximum likelihood of comprehension scores of 42 aphasic individuals was then computed for each probability space and the expected scores from the best-fitting points in the space were recorded for comparison to the actual scores. Predictions were then compared using measures of fit quality derived from linear mixed effects models. All three of the metrics that provide the most consistently accurate predictions of patient scores rely on storage costs based on the DLT. Patients appear to employ an Agent-Theme heuristic, but vary in their tendency to accept heuristically generated interpretations. Furthermore, the ability to apply the heuristic may be degraded in proportion to aphasia severity. DLT-derived storage costs provide the best prediction of sentence comprehension patterns in aphasia. Because these costs are estimated by counting incomplete syntactic dependencies at each point in a sentence, this finding suggests that aphasia is associated with reduced availability of cognitive resources for maintaining these dependencies.

  8. Exploring lexical and syntactic features for language variety identification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Lee, Chris; van den Bosch, Antal

    2017-01-01

    We present a method to discriminate between texts written in either the Netherlandic or the Flemish variant of the Dutch language. The method draws on a feature bundle representing text statistics, syntactic features, and word n-grams. Text statistics include average word length and sentence length,

  9. Syntactic Priming in Comprehension: Parallelism Effects with and without Coordination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturt, Patrick; Keller, Frank; Dubey, Amit

    2010-01-01

    Although previous research has shown a processing facilitation for conjoined phrases that share the same structure, it is currently not clear whether this parallelism advantage is specific to particular syntactic environments such as coordination, or whether it is an example of more general effect in sentence comprehension. Here, we report three…

  10. Referent Predictability Is Affected by Syntactic Structure: Evidence from Chinese

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Wei; Almor, Amit

    2017-01-01

    This paper examines the effect of syntactic structures on referent predictability. Focusing on stimulus-experiencer (SE) verbs, we conducted two sentence-completion experiments in Chinese by contrasting SE verbs in three structures (active canonical, active "ba," and passive). The results showed that although verb semantics and discourse…

  11. Numbers and prior knowledge in sentence comprehension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Macizo

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We evaluated whether the comprehension of sentences that contained numerical information could benefit from presenting numbers in Arabic format and from using prior knowledge. Participants read sentences including numbers (Arabic digits or number words while the comprehension accuracy was evaluated. In addition, the sentences were biased or unbiased by people's prior knowledge about quantities. The results showed better comprehension for sentences that contained Arabic digits as compared to number words. Moreover, biased sentences were understood more accurately than unbiased sentences. These results indicate that information about magnitude in sentence context is comprehended better when quantities are presented in Arabic format and when they are associated with participants' world knowledge.

  12. Differences in neural activation between preterm and full term born adolescents on a sentence comprehension task: implications for educational accommodations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barde, Laura H F; Yeatman, Jason D; Lee, Eliana S; Glover, Gary; Feldman, Heidi M

    2012-02-15

    Adolescent survivors of preterm birth experience persistent functional problems that negatively impact academic outcomes, even when standardized measures of cognition and language suggest normal ability. In this fMRI study, we compared the neural activation supporting auditory sentence comprehension in two groups of adolescents (ages 9-16 years); sentences varied in length and syntactic difficulty. Preterms (n=18, mean gestational age 28.8 weeks) and full terms (n=14) had scores on verbal IQ, receptive vocabulary, and receptive language tests that were within or above normal limits and similar between groups. In early and late phases of the trial, we found interactions by group and length; in the late phase, we also found a group by syntactic difficulty interaction. Post hoc tests revealed that preterms demonstrated significant activation in the left and right middle frontal gyri as syntactic difficulty increased. ANCOVA showed that the interactions could not be attributed to differences in age, receptive language skill, or reaction time. Results are consistent with the hypothesis that preterm birth modulates brain-behavior relations in sentence comprehension as task demands increase. We suggest preterms' differences in neural processing may indicate a need for educational accommodations, even when formal test scores indicate normal academic achievement. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Syntactic Functions of Infinitives in English

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    Sara Quintero Ramírez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the most relevant syntactic functions of infinitives within the sentence in English, based on the British 2006 Corpus (BE06 designed by Paul Baker and displayed by the server of Andrew Hardie, Corpus Query Processor (CQPweb. The corpus reveals that infinitives are a very frequent non-finite form employed in English. The most relevant syntactic functions that infinitives took in the corpus were as verbal periphrasis, as verb complements, as noun complements, as adjectival complements, as nominal predicates and as verb subjects. In English there are specific contexts in which the infinitive is not preceded by the particle to, such as after an extensive number of auxiliary, perception and permission verbs. Furthermore, there are other specific contexts in which the infinitive is preceded by the particle to, such as after a large number of direct objects in transitive verbs and functioning as a verb subject and as a noun or adjective complement. The major claim of this study is that infinitives in English do not constitute a uniform group; in fact, they display a variety of syntactic functions within the sentence directly reflecting their nominal and verbal properties.

  14. Probabilistic modeling of discourse-aware sentence processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubey, Amit; Keller, Frank; Sturt, Patrick

    2013-07-01

    Probabilistic models of sentence comprehension are increasingly relevant to questions concerning human language processing. However, such models are often limited to syntactic factors. This restriction is unrealistic in light of experimental results suggesting interactions between syntax and other forms of linguistic information in human sentence processing. To address this limitation, this article introduces two sentence processing models that augment a syntactic component with information about discourse co-reference. The novel combination of probabilistic syntactic components with co-reference classifiers permits them to more closely mimic human behavior than existing models. The first model uses a deep model of linguistics, based in part on probabilistic logic, allowing it to make qualitative predictions on experimental data; the second model uses shallow processing to make quantitative predictions on a broad-coverage reading-time corpus. Copyright © 2013 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  15. THE SYNTACTICAL ABILITY OF A YOUNG GIRL WITH WILLIAMS SYNDROME

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana ARAPOVIKJ

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available This research was carried out on a young girl with Williams syndrome, whose syntactical ability was tested longitudinally over a period of 22 months, from age 9 years and 3 months to 11 years and 1 month. The assumption was that the girl with Wil­liams syndrome would have poorer syntactical ability than children with regular development, but similar to children with specific language impair­ment (SLI and that in all tasks she would achieve better results in the final testing. Syntax was ana­lyzed on the basis of the fundamental variable of repeating sentences, which consisted of five sub-variables: literal repetition of sentences, sentences repeated with omissions, ungrammatical repetition of sentences, sentences with altered content, sen­tences not repeated. A statistical difference was found between the syntactical ability of the girl with Williams’ syndrome and children with normal development in all tested sub-variables, and her results were the same as in children with specific language impairment. Moreover, in the final test­ing the girl achieved better results than in the ini­tial test.

  16. Speech rhythm facilitates syntactic ambiguity resolution: ERP evidence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Paula Roncaglia-Denissen

    Full Text Available In the current event-related potential (ERP study, we investigated how speech rhythm impacts speech segmentation and facilitates the resolution of syntactic ambiguities in auditory sentence processing. Participants listened to syntactically ambiguous German subject- and object-first sentences that were spoken with either regular or irregular speech rhythm. Rhythmicity was established by a constant metric pattern of three unstressed syllables between two stressed ones that created rhythmic groups of constant size. Accuracy rates in a comprehension task revealed that participants understood rhythmically regular sentences better than rhythmically irregular ones. Furthermore, the mean amplitude of the P600 component was reduced in response to object-first sentences only when embedded in rhythmically regular but not rhythmically irregular context. This P600 reduction indicates facilitated processing of sentence structure possibly due to a decrease in processing costs for the less-preferred structure (object-first. Our data suggest an early and continuous use of rhythm by the syntactic parser and support language processing models assuming an interactive and incremental use of linguistic information during language processing.

  17. Speech rhythm facilitates syntactic ambiguity resolution: ERP evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roncaglia-Denissen, Maria Paula; Schmidt-Kassow, Maren; Kotz, Sonja A

    2013-01-01

    In the current event-related potential (ERP) study, we investigated how speech rhythm impacts speech segmentation and facilitates the resolution of syntactic ambiguities in auditory sentence processing. Participants listened to syntactically ambiguous German subject- and object-first sentences that were spoken with either regular or irregular speech rhythm. Rhythmicity was established by a constant metric pattern of three unstressed syllables between two stressed ones that created rhythmic groups of constant size. Accuracy rates in a comprehension task revealed that participants understood rhythmically regular sentences better than rhythmically irregular ones. Furthermore, the mean amplitude of the P600 component was reduced in response to object-first sentences only when embedded in rhythmically regular but not rhythmically irregular context. This P600 reduction indicates facilitated processing of sentence structure possibly due to a decrease in processing costs for the less-preferred structure (object-first). Our data suggest an early and continuous use of rhythm by the syntactic parser and support language processing models assuming an interactive and incremental use of linguistic information during language processing.

  18. Interaction Between Syntactic Structure and Information Structure in the Processing of a Head-Final Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koizumi, Masatoshi; Imamura, Satoshi

    2017-02-01

    The effects of syntactic and information structures on sentence processing load were investigated using two reading comprehension experiments in Japanese, a head-final SOV language. In the first experiment, we discovered the main effects of syntactic and information structures, as well as their interaction, showing that interaction of these two factors is not restricted to head-initial languages. The second experiment revealed that the interaction between syntactic structure and information structure occurs at the second NP (O of SOV and S of OSV), which, crucially, is a pre-head position, suggesting the incremental nature of the processing of both syntactic structure and information structure in head-final languages.

  19. Syntactic Aspects in Text Messages of University of Zimbabwe Students

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    Leslei Kahari

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available This study is a syntactic analysis of text messages in English language used by University of Zimbabwe students. The study specifically focuses on sentences where there are omissions of pronouns, auxiliary verbs and where contractions occur. The study also analyzes the impact of sociolinguistic variables on the sentence structure of English language in text messages. The fifty respondents’ forwarded two messages each from their sent items on their cell phones to the researcher and to understand the factors triggering the syntactic structures the researcher carried out unstructured interviews. The data collected showed that cell phone texting has indeed been affected by the socio-economic factors and these factors trigger omissions of important elements of English language sentence structure such as ,pronouns, auxiliary verbs and contraction of phrases.

  20. Working memory and the revision of syntactic and discourse ambiguities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, William S; Caplan, David; Ostrowski, Adam; Michaud, Jennifer; Guarino, Anthony J; Waters, Gloria

    2015-03-01

    Two hundred participants, 50 in each of 4 age ranges (19-29 years, 30-49 years, 50-69 years, 70-90 years) were tested for short-term working memory, speed of processing, and online processing of 3 types of sentences in which an initially assigned syntactic structure and/or semantic interpretation had to be revised. Self-paced reading times were longer for the segments that signaled the need for revision; there also were interactions of age and sentence type and speed of processing and sentence type, but not of working memory and sentence type on reading times for these segments. The results provide evidence that working memory does not support the processes that revise the structure and interpretation of sentences and discourse. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. A comparative analysis of vertical and horizontal fixation disparity in sentence reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jainta, S; Blythe, H I; Nikolova, M; Jones, M O; Liversedge, S P

    2015-05-01

    Humans have two, frontally placed eyes and during reading oculomotor and sensory processes are needed to combine the two inputs into a unified percept of the text. Generally, slight vergence errors, i.e., fixation disparities, occur but do not cause double vision since disparate retinal inputs fall into Panum's fusional area, that is, a range of disparity wherein sensory fusion of the two retinal images is achieved. In this study, we report benchmark data with respect to the mean magnitude and range of vertical compared to horizontal fixation disparities for natural reading. Our data clearly fit to an elliptical pattern of Panum's fusional area that corresponds with theoretical estimates. Furthermore, when we examined disparity-driven vergence adjustments during fixations by comparing monocular with binocular reading conditions, we found that only horizontal fixation disparities increased significantly under conditions of monocular stimulation. Also, no significant vertical fine-tuning (vergence adjustment) was observed for vergence eye movements during reading fixations. Thus, horizontal and vertical fixation disparities and vergence adjustments during reading showed quite different characteristics, and this dissociation is directly related to the functional role of vergence adjustments: vertical fusion - and vertical vergence - subserve the maintenance of a single percept and stereopsis by keeping the eyes in register and allowing for horizontal fusional processes to successfully operate over a vertically aligned input. A reliable and stable vertical alignment is, thus, a pre-requisite over which horizontal fusional responses (and depth perception) can work most efficiently - even in a task like reading. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. What Does Syntax Say about Space? 2-Year-Olds Use Sentence Structure to Learn New Prepositions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Cynthia; Klingler, Stacy L.; Song, Hyun-joo

    2006-01-01

    Children as young as two use sentence structure to learn the meanings of verbs. We probed the generality of sensitivity to sentence structure by moving to a different semantic and syntactic domain, spatial prepositions. Twenty-six-month-olds used sentence structure to determine whether a new word was an object-category name ("This is a corp!") or…

  3. Electrophysiology of Sentence Processing in Aphasia: Prosodic Cues and Thematic Fit

    OpenAIRE

    Shannon M. Sheppard; Katherine J. Midgley; Tracy Love

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: The building of semantic and syntactic representations during sentence processing can be influenced by probabilistic cues such as context, plausibility, and prosody (Garnsey, Pearlmutter, Myers & Lotocky, 1997; Kjelgaard & Speer, 1999). Consider the following: 1. While the band played the song pleased all the customers. This sentence contains a temporary direct object (DO)/sentential complement (SC) syntactic ambiguity because the verb “played” is an optionally tran...

  4. The Comprehension of Syntactic and Affective Prosody by Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Without Accompanying Cognitive Deficits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martzoukou, Maria; Papadopoulou, Despina; Kosmidis, Mary-Helen

    2017-12-01

    The present study investigates the comprehension of syntactic and affective prosody in adults with autism spectrum disorder without accompanying cognitive deficits (ASD w/o cognitive deficits) as well as age-, education- and gender-matched unimpaired adults, while processing orally presented sentences. Two experiments were conducted: (a) an on-line sentence completion task containing local subject/object ambiguities and (b) an affective prosody task exploring the comprehension of six emotions. The syntactic prosody task revealed that the experimental group performed similar to the control group on the fillers and the object condition. On the other hand, the ASD w/o cognitive deficits group manifested lower accuracy compared to the unimpaired controls in the subject reading condition, as well as slower reaction times in all conditions. In the affective prosody task, the experimental group performed significantly worse than the controls in the recognition of the emotion of surprise, whereas no differences between the experimental and the control group were attested in the recognition of all other emotions. A positive correlation was found between the two tasks in the ASD w/o cognitive deficits group. Thus, individuals with ASD w/o cognitive deficits face slight difficulties with the decoding of prosody, both the syntactic and the affective one. More specifically, these difficulties are attested in the most difficult conditions, i.e. the subject reading and the emotion of surprise.

  5. Syntactic comprehension in Parkinson's disease: Investigating early automatic and late integrational processes using event-related brain potentials

    OpenAIRE

    Friederici, A; Kotz, S; Werheid, K.; Hein, G; Von Cramon, D

    2003-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) has been associated with a general impairment of procedures and with an impairment of syntactic procedures in particular. The present study investigated comprehension processes in PD using event-related brain potentials (ERPs). PD patients and controls listened to sentences that were either correct or syntactically or semantically incorrect. The language-related ERP component correlated with semantic processes (N400) was present in both groups. In the syntactic domain...

  6. Syntactic development in Japanese hearing-impaired children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiyoshi, Akie; Fukushima, Kunihiro; Taguchi, Tomoko; Omori, Kana; Kasai, Norio; Nishio, Shinya; Sugaya, Akiko; Nagayasu, Rie; Konishi, Takayuki; Sugishita, Syuuhei; Fujita, Jyunpei; Nishizaki, Kazunori; Shiroma, Masae

    2012-04-01

    This study examined syntactic development of auditory comprehension of sentences in Japanese-speaking school-age children with and without hearing impairment. In total, 592 preschool and school-age children (421 normal-hearing and 171 hearing-impaired) were included in this cross-sectional observation study conducted using the Syntactic Processing Test for Aphasia for Japanese language users. Linear regression analysis was used to determine the estimated age at which each syntactic structure was acquired. Acquisition of syntactic structures was observed in hearing-impaired and normal-hearing children. Basic word order sentences of agent-object-verb and the goal benefactive construction were acquired at preschool age (earlier group), whereas reverse word order sentences of object-agent-verb, source benefactive construction, passive voice, and relative clauses were acquired at school age (later group). The results showed that many hearing-impaired children may not acquire Japanese grammatical structures until the age of 12 years. Adequate screening for language development for school-age hearing-impaired children is required for an effective intervention.

  7. A syntactic investigation of verbal autistic, mentally retarded, and normal children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, S; Bartolucci, G

    1977-06-01

    The syndrome of childhood autism is typified by major abnormalities in language development, yet there are few systematic descriptions of autistic children's linguistic systems. We have, therefore, begun a comprehensive investigation of the language of verbal autistic children and concentrate in this paper on comparing the syntax used by 10 verbal autistic children matched for nonlinguistic mental age with a group of mentally retarded subjects and normal controls. Two different means of assessing syntactic development were utilized: Lee's Developmental Sentence analysis and Chomsky's Transformational analysis. The autistic group was found to rank significantly lower than either the mentally retarded or the normal groups in terms of Developmental Sentence Scores. When a transformational grammar was used to describe the language samples of our subjects the autistic children were typified by a higher error rate and lower level of complexity compared to the other two groups. However, the results also indicate that the grammatical system of autistic children is rule-governed and probably not unlike that of young normal or retarded children. In conclusion, it appears that the syntactic abnormalities characteristic of autism are attributable to an extreme delay in language development as well as to an impaired ability to make use of linguistic rules.

  8. Comparison of the Speech Syntactic Features between Hearing-Impaired and Normal Hearing Children

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    Mohammad Reza PahlavanNezhad

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The present study seeks to describe and analyze the syntactic features of children with severely hearing loss who had access to the hearing aids compared with children with normal hearing, assigning them to the same separate gender classes.   Materials and Methods: In the present study, eight children with severe hearing impairment who used a hearing aid and eight hearing children matched for age and gender were selected using an available sampling method based on the principles of auditory-verbal approach. Hearing children had an average age of 5.45 ±1.9 years and subjects had a mean age of 5.43±2.17 years and their rehabilitation had begun before they were 18 months old. The assessment instrument of the study included the language development test, TOLDP-3. The syntactic skills of these children were analyzed and compared with the hearing children of the same age based on gender.   Results: There was a significant difference between the syntactic scores of the hearing-impaired children and the scores of the hearing children of the same age in the “sentence imitation” (t=−2/90, P

  9. Functional class (so called “part of speech” assignment as a kind of meaning-bound word syntactic information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jadwiga Wajszczuk

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Functional class (so called “part of speech” assignment as a kind of meaning-bound word syntactic information The traditional division of the lexicon into parts of speech which seems to satisfy the requirements of a syntactic description, on the one hand, and a word formation description, on the other hand, cannot be looked upon as a result of a strict classification covering the totality of the lexicon and being based on a coherent set of criteria. Making the criteria more precise or correcting them is an issue of extreme importance and urgency in the work on the theory of language. Such achievements can help solve many other problems, in particular, syntactic ones. The article presents a scheme of several preliminary steps of an amelioration program (a scheme which has been improved compared to the author’s earlier attempts going in the same direction. The program is based on combinability characteristics of words, i.e. on those properties that are responsible for the tasks to be accomplished by a given class of expressions in making up a higher order unit, i.e. a syntagm (the author emphasizes this point: it is syntagm rather than sentence which is the category the recommended approach is focusing on, and that, importantly, determine the limits of syntactic rules, i.e. the ins and outs of the rules (the limits concerning the overall stock of words.

  10. [Psychiatric treatment sentences.

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stevens, Hanne; Nordentoft, Merete; Agerbo, Esben

    2010-01-01

    and severity of crime into account. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Using data from Statistics Denmark's national crime statistics, we have compared time-trends of SPT with time-trends of suspended and custodial sentences stratified by type of crime. RESULTS: We found that the rise in SPT is primarily attributable...... to violent offending, and that particularly assaults against public servants have contributed to the development. CONCLUSION: Regarding violent offences against private persons, the time-trends for SPT are parallel to the time-trends for suspended and custodial sentences, which may indicate that the same...

  11. Referent Predictability is Affected by Syntactic Structure: Evidence from Chinese.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Wei; Almor, Amit

    2017-02-01

    This paper examines the effect of syntactic structures on referent predictability. Focusing on stimulus-experiencer (SE) verbs, we conducted two sentence-completion experiments in Chinese by contrasting SE verbs in three structures (active canonical, active ba, and passive). The results showed that although verb semantics and discourse coherence relations produce a strong referential biases, the stimulus referent is overall less likely to be rementioned in the active canonical structure than in the other two structures. The findings thus indicate that referent predictability is determined by not only semantic but also syntactic factors. We discuss the theoretical implications for the nature of referent predictability and its relationship with referent accessibility.

  12. [SENTREP test: two lists of sentences of equal length to check the attention and the presence of linguistic maturity problems].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sedó, M A

    Comparing the syntactic complexity of the sentences, in addition to its length, may help detect the linguistic weaknesses of Spanish-speaking subjects. The test consists of two lists of sentences of similar length: a list of sentences of well-controlled length, based on the repetition of bisyllabic words (such as the ones suggested by Kagan & Klein) and adding length to the sentences in two syllables steps; and a parallel list where a series of linguistic complexities are included (negatives, persons, numbers, tenses, composite or multiple verbs, relatives, etc) where length increases one syllable at a time. We administered this test to 41, 44, 62 and 18 student aged 6, 9, 12 and 15 at a upper-class school in Bogotá; and to parallel groups of 20 gifted students (in a school for gifted children near Bogotá) and 40 disabled Hispanic non-readers attending an independent special program. Below a certain developmental level (the age of 9) student must face complexity as one more difficulty that diminishes the length of the repeated sentence. On the contrary: after this age, their mastery of the structure of language acts as a leading thread that allows the repetition of longer and longer sentences, much longer than their simple attention span. This diagnostic approach adds an unexpected approach to the very quick observation and detection of both attentional and linguistic problems.

  13. Structural properties of syntactically reduced speech: a comparison of normal speakers and Broca's aphasics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Roo, Esterella; Kolk, Herman; Hofstede, Ben

    2003-07-01

    We carried out a study in which we elicited spatial expressions from agrammatic and normal speakers by means of a picture description test. The purpose of our study was to investigate structural properties of Dutch agrammatic speech. We focussed on syntactic simplification phenomena that show up in addition to finiteness omission. We therefore invited the normal speakers to use sentences no longer than three or two words each and compared the picture descriptions of aphasic and normal speakers. In the picture descriptions two types of structures emerged that are relatively infrequent in free conversation: verbless predicative constructions with an adjectival head and intransitive prepositions as predicates. We have been able to show that the use of these construction types is directly related to syntactic reduction in both agrammatic and normal speech: it is present primarily in the speech of Broca's aphasics who produce one- and two-word utterances and of control speakers with a word limitation by instruction in the same range. The choice of reduced construction types is determined by the syntactic complexity of the phrases involved. A compensation strategy was observed both in control and aphasic speech: if utterances are shorter, the number of utterances increases.

  14. Narrative skill and syntactic complexity in school-age children with and without late language emergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domsch, Celeste; Richels, Corrin; Saldana, Michelle; Coleman, Cardin; Wimberly, Clayton; Maxwell, Lauren

    2012-01-01

    Children who do not produce single words by the expected age have been described as 'late talkers' or as demonstrating 'late language emergence' (LLE). Although their short-term growth in vocabulary is often strong, longer-term consequences of LLE remain in dispute. It has been argued that the majority of school-age children who had LLE move into the average range for narrative production, though studies have not examined narrative comprehension. It has also been argued that school-age children with LLE score in the average range on standardized tests of syntax, though studies have not examined performance in conversational contexts. This article compared school-age children with and without histories of LLE for performance on standardized narrative comprehension and production tasks, as well as the use of complex sentences and relative clauses in narration and conversation. Both complex syntax and relative clause use are reduced in children with specific language impairment (SLI), so these structures may be useful as indicators of linguistic weakness. The participants were twenty-two 8-year-old children, divided into two groups. Eleven children who had been diagnosed with LLE at 30 months were compared with a control group of 11 children with typical development (TD). All participants completed a standardized test of narrative comprehension and production and a 10-min conversational sample. Both narrative and conversational samples were analysed for the number of complex sentences and relative clauses. Overall results indicated that children with a history of LLE did not have comprehension or production scores that were significantly different from the TD group on the standardized narrative test; nor did groups differ for production of complex sentences or relative clauses in narrative samples. However, a significant difference was found for the production of complex sentences in conversational samples, with the children diagnosed with LLE producing fewer complex

  15. Who was the Agent? The Neural Correlates of Reanalysis Processes during Sentence Comprehension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hirotani, M.; Makuuchi, M.; Rüschemeyer, S.A.; Friederici, A.D.

    2011-01-01

    Sentence comprehension is a complex process. Besides identifying the meaning of each word and processing the syntactic structure of a sentence, it requires the computation of thematic information, that is, information about who did what to whom. The present fMRI study investigated the neural basis

  16. Spoken language comprehension of phrases, simple and compound-active sentences in non-speaking children with severe cerebral palsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geytenbeek, Joke J M; Heim, Margriet J M; Knol, Dirk L; Vermeulen, R Jeroen; Oostrom, Kim J

    2015-07-01

    Children with severe cerebral palsy (CP) (i.e. 'non-speaking children with severely limited mobility') are restricted in many domains that are important to the acquisition of language. To investigate comprehension of spoken language on sentence type level in non-speaking children with severe CP. From an original sample of 87 non-speaking children with severe CP, 68 passed the pre-test (i.e. they matched at least five spoken words to the corresponding objects) of a specifically developed computer-based instrument for low motor language testing (C-BiLLT), admitting them to the actual C-BiLLT computer test. As a result, the present study included 68 children with severe CP (35 boys, 33 girls; mean age 6;11 years, SD 3;0 years; age range 1;9-11;11 years) who were investigated with the C-BiLLT for comprehension of different sentence types: phrases, simple active sentences (with one or two arguments) and compound sentences. The C-BiLLT provides norm data of typically developing (TD) children (1;6-6;6 years). Binomial logistic regression analyses were used to compare the percentage correct of each sentence type in children with severe CP with that in TD children (subdivided into age groups) and to compare percentage correct within the CP subtypes. Sentence comprehension in non-speaking children with severe CP followed the developmental trajectory of TD children, but at a much slower rate; nevertheless, they were still developing up to at least age 12 years. Delays in sentence type comprehension increased with sentence complexity and showed a large variability between individual children and between subtypes of CP. Comprehension of simple and syntactically more complex sentences were significantly better in children with dyskinetic CP than in children with spastic CP. Of the children with dyskinetic CP, 10-13% showed comprehension of simple and compound sentences within the percentage correct of TD children, as opposed to none of the children with spastic CP. In non

  17. Constraint satisfaction as a theory of sentence processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Storage costs and heuristics interact to produce patterns of aphasic sentence comprehension performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Glenn Clark

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Aphasic individuals exhibit greater difficulty understanding complex sentences, but there is little consensus regarding what makes one sentence more complicated than another. In addition, aphasic individuals might make use of heuristic strategies for understanding sentences. This research is a comparison of specific predictions derived from two approaches to the quantification of sentence complexity, one based on the hierarchical structure of sentences (trees, and the other based on Dependency Locality Theory (DLT. Complexity metrics derived from these theories are evaluated under various assumptions of heuristic use.Method: A set of complexity metrics was derived from each general theory of sentence complexity. Each metric was paired with assumptions of heuristic use. Probability spaces were generated that summarized the possible patterns of performance across 16 different sentence structures. The maximum likelihood of comprehension scores of 42 aphasic individuals was then computed for each probability space and the expected scores from the best-fitting points in the space were recorded for comparison to the actual scores. Predictions were then compared using measures of fit quality derived from linear mixed effects models.Results: All three of the metrics that provide the most consistently accurate predictions of patient scores rely on storage costs based on the DLT. Patients appear to employ an Agent-Theme heuristic, but vary in their tendency to accept heuristically generated interpretations. Furthermore, the ability to apply the heuristic may be degraded in proportion to aphasia severity. Conclusion: The results suggest that storage (i.e., allocation of cognitive resources for anticipated syntactic constituents is a key resource degraded by aphasia, but aphasic individuals may vary in their tendency to use or accept heuristically generated interpretations.

  19. Factors affecting accuracy of past tense production in children with specific language impairment and their typically developing peers: the influence of verb transitivity, clause location, and sentence type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, Amanda J

    2010-08-01

    The author examined the influence of sentence type, clause order, and verb transitivity on the accuracy of children's past tense productions. All groups of children, but especially children with specific language impairment (SLI), were predicted to decrease accuracy as linguistic complexity increased. The author elicited past tense productions in 2-clause sentences from 5- to 8-year-old children with SLI (n=14) and their typically developing peers (n=24). The target sentences varied in the type and obligatory nature of the second clause and the number of arguments. On average, 85% of the responses across all groups and sentence types contained 2 clauses. Fewer 2-clause sentences were produced in the complement clause condition than in the other conditions. Sentence type and clause order, but not argument structure, influenced use of past tense. Children with SLI had a similar but less accurate profile as compared with the age-matched group. The younger mean length of utterance (MLU)-matched group reflected decreased accuracy with each additional source of linguistic complexity. Increased syntactic difficulty decreases use of morphology for all children, supporting the hypothesis that processing demands influence morphological accuracy. MLU-matched children, but not children with SLI, were more affected by changes in linguistic complexity. Further work on age-related changes in sentence production is necessary.

  20. Learning vector representations for sentences: The recursive deep learning approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lê, Phong

    2016-01-01

    According to the principle of compositionality, the meaning of a sentence is computed from the meaning of its parts and the way they are syntactically combined. Unfortunately, unlike formal semantics, distributional semantics has no elegant compositional mechanisms like function application of

  1. Speech disruptions in the sentence formulation of school-age children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    Many school-age children with specific language impairment produce sentences that appear to conform to the adult grammar. It may be premature to conclude from this, however, that their language formulation ability is age appropriate. To determine whether a more subtle measure of language use, speech disruptions during sentence formulation, might serve to distinguish children with specific language impairment from their typically developing peers at an age when grammatical accuracy was high. We analysed the rate of speech disruptions in simple sentence production in school-age children with specific language impairment and typically developing age-matched peers. We predicted that: (1) the specific language impairment group would exhibit more speech disruptions than the typically developing group as a result of reduced language proficiency even when grammatical accuracy was high; and (2) the specific language impairment group would demonstrate greater reductions in disruption frequency as compared with the typically developing group when given sentences that model the target syntactic structures. Twenty-eight children (17 specific language impairment, 11 typically developing, mean = 8;10 years) with no history of stuttering were presented with a series of picture pairs. The examiner described the first picture using a simple sentence and asked the child to repeat the sentence; the child then described the second picture. There were two priming conditions: Matching Syntax condition (paired pictures requiring different syntactic structures) and Different Syntax condition (paired pictures requiring different syntax structures). All testing was audio-recorded and speech disruptions (repetitions, revisions, fillers, long silent pauses) were transcribed and tabulated for each target response. The data were analysed by analysis of variance (ANOVA). The specific language impairment group demonstrated a significantly greater number of speech disruptions when compared with the

  2. Electrophysiological Correlates of Second-Language Syntactic Processes Are Related to Native and Second Language Distance Regardless of Age of Acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, Begoña; Erdocia, Kepa; de Menezes, Robert F; Mueller, Jutta L; Sebastián-Gallés, Núria; Laka, Itziar

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, we investigate how early and late L2 learners process L2 grammatical traits that are either present or absent in their native language (L1). Thirteen early (AoA = 4 years old) and 13 late (AoA = 18 years old) Spanish learners of Basque performed a grammatical judgment task on auditory Basque sentences while their event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded. The sentences contained violations of a syntactic property specific to participants' L2, i.e., ergative case, or violations of a syntactic property present in both of the participants' languages, i.e., verb agreement. Two forms of verb agreement were tested: subject agreement, found in participants' L1 and L2, and object agreement, present only in participants' L2. Behaviorally, early bilinguals were more accurate in the judgment task than late L2 learners. Early bilinguals showed native-like ERPs for verb agreement, which differed from the late learners' ERP pattern. Nonetheless, approximation to native-likeness was greater for the subject-verb agreement processing, the type of verb-agreement present in participants' L1, compared to object-verb agreement, the type of verb-agreement present only in participants' L2. For the ergative argument alignment, unique to L2, the two non-native groups showed similar ERP patterns which did not correspond to the natives' ERP pattern. We conclude that non-native syntactic processing approximates native processing for early L2 acquisition and high proficiency levels when the syntactic property is common to the L1 and L2. However, syntactic traits that are not present in the L1 do not rely on native-like processing, despite early AoA and high proficiency.

  3. Electrophysiological Correlates of Second-Language Syntactic Processes Are Related to Native and Second Language Distance Regardless of Age of Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, Begoña; Erdocia, Kepa; de Menezes, Robert F.; Mueller, Jutta L.; Sebastián-Gallés, Núria; Laka, Itziar

    2016-01-01

    In the present study, we investigate how early and late L2 learners process L2 grammatical traits that are either present or absent in their native language (L1). Thirteen early (AoA = 4 years old) and 13 late (AoA = 18 years old) Spanish learners of Basque performed a grammatical judgment task on auditory Basque sentences while their event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded. The sentences contained violations of a syntactic property specific to participants' L2, i.e., ergative case, or violations of a syntactic property present in both of the participants' languages, i.e., verb agreement. Two forms of verb agreement were tested: subject agreement, found in participants' L1 and L2, and object agreement, present only in participants' L2. Behaviorally, early bilinguals were more accurate in the judgment task than late L2 learners. Early bilinguals showed native-like ERPs for verb agreement, which differed from the late learners' ERP pattern. Nonetheless, approximation to native-likeness was greater for the subject-verb agreement processing, the type of verb-agreement present in participants' L1, compared to object-verb agreement, the type of verb-agreement present only in participants' L2. For the ergative argument alignment, unique to L2, the two non-native groups showed similar ERP patterns which did not correspond to the natives' ERP pattern. We conclude that non-native syntactic processing approximates native processing for early L2 acquisition and high proficiency levels when the syntactic property is common to the L1 and L2. However, syntactic traits that are not present in the L1 do not rely on native-like processing, despite early AoA and high proficiency. PMID:26903930

  4. Electrophysiological correlates of second-language syntactic processes are related to native and second language distance regardless of age of acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Begoña eDíaz

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In the present study, we investigate how early and late L2 learners process L2 grammatical traits that are either present or absent in their native language (L1. Thirteen early (AoA = 4 years old and thirteen late (AoA = 18 years old Spanish learners of Basque performed a grammatical judgment task on auditory Basque sentences while their event-related brain potentials (ERPs were recorded. The sentences contained violations of a syntactic property specific to participants’ L2, i.e., ergative case, or violations of a syntactic property present in both of the participants’ languages, i.e., verb agreement. Two forms of verb agreement were tested: subject agreement, found in participants’ L1 and L2, and object agreement, present only in participants’ L2. Behaviorally, early bilinguals were more accurate in the judgment task than late L2 learners. Early bilinguals showed native-like ERPs for verb agreement, which differed from the late learners’ ERP pattern. Nonetheless, approximation to native-likeness was greater for the subject-verb agreement processing, the type of verb-agreement present in participants’ L1, compared to object-verb agreement, the type of verb-agreement present only in participants’ L2. For the ergative argument alignment, unique to L2, the two non-native groups showed similar ERP patterns which did not correspond to the natives’ ERP pattern. We conclude that non-native syntactic processing approximates native processing for early L2 acquisition and high proficiency levels when the syntactic property is common to the L1 and L2. However, syntactic traits that are not present in the L1 do not rely on native-like processing, despite early AoA and high proficiency.

  5. Retrieval Interference in Syntactic Processing: The Case of Reflexive Binding in English

    OpenAIRE

    Patil, Umesh; Vasishth, Shravan; Lewis, Richard L.

    2016-01-01

    It has been proposed that in online sentence comprehension the dependency between a reflexive pronoun such as himself/herself and its antecedent is resolved using exclusively syntactic constraints. Under this strictly syntactic search account, Principle A of the binding theory—which requires that the antecedent c-command the reflexive within the same clause that the reflexive occurs in—constrains the parser's search for an antecedent. The parser thus ignores candidate antecedents that might m...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hy?n?, 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 readin...

  7. Fast self paced listening times in syntactic comprehension is aphasia -- implications for deficits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Michaud

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Sixty one people with aphasia (pwa and forty one matched controls were tested for the ability to understand sentences that required the ability to assign particular syntactic structures. Participants paced themselves word-by-word through twenty examples of eleven spoken sentence types and indicated which of two pictures corresponded to the meaning of each sentence. Sentences were developed in pairs such that comprehension of the experimental version of a pair required an aspect of syntactic processing not required in the corresponding baseline sentence. The need for the syntactic operations required only in the experimental version was triggered at a “critical word” in the experimental sentence. Listening times for critical words in experimental sentences were compared to those for corresponding words in the corresponding baseline sentences. We adjusted self paced listening times for word duration by subtracting word durations from tag-to-tag self paced listening times to correct for word duration, yielding what we have previously called “corrected listening times.” Corrected listening times above ceiling (10,000 msec for sentence-final words and 5,000 msec for all other words were discarded. For controls, this led to 0.2% of data being discarded and for PWAs 2.2% were discarded. Corrected listening times that were more than 3 standard deviations above or below the mean for that sentence type for each subject were adjusted either down to the upper limit or up to the lower limit of the 3SD range (not discarded. For accurate sentences, 1.7% of the control data were adjusted and 1.8% of the aphasic data were adjusted. For inaccurate sentences, 10% of the corrected listening times were adjusted for controls and 3.3% for aphasics. Our interest is in incremental parsing and interpretation. The measure we used of this process was the residual of a regression of corrected self paced listening times for critical words in experimental sentences

  8. Syntactic Formats for Free

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klin, Bartek; Sobocinski, Pawel

    2003-01-01

    A framework of Plotkin and Turi’s, originally aimed at providing an abstract notion of bi-simulation, is modified to cover other operational equivalences and preorders. Combined with bi-algebraic methods, it yields a technique for the derivation of syntactic formats for transition system specific......A framework of Plotkin and Turi’s, originally aimed at providing an abstract notion of bi-simulation, is modified to cover other operational equivalences and preorders. Combined with bi-algebraic methods, it yields a technique for the derivation of syntactic formats for transition system...

  9. Sentence Syntax and Content in the Human Temporal Lobe: An fMRI Adaptation Study in Auditory and Visual Modalities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Devauchelle, A.D.; Dehaene, S.; Pallier, C. [INSERM, Gif sur Yvette (France); Devauchelle, A.D.; Dehaene, S.; Pallier, C. [CEA, DSV, I2BM, NeuroSpin, F-91191 Gif Sur Yvette (France); Devauchelle, A.D.; Pallier, C. [Univ. Paris 11, Orsay (France); Oppenheim, C. [Univ Paris 05, Ctr Hosp St Anne, Paris (France); Rizzi, L. [Univ Siena, CISCL, I-53100 Siena (Italy); Dehaene, S. [Coll France, F-75231 Paris (France)

    2009-07-01

    Priming effects have been well documented in behavioral psycho-linguistics experiments: The processing of a word or a sentence is typically facilitated when it shares lexico-semantic or syntactic features with a previously encountered stimulus. Here, we used fMRI priming to investigate which brain areas show adaptation to the repetition of a sentence's content or syntax. Participants read or listened to sentences organized in series which could or not share similar syntactic constructions and/or lexico-semantic content. The repetition of lexico-semantic content yielded adaptation in most of the temporal and frontal sentence processing network, both in the visual and the auditory modalities, even when the same lexico-semantic content was expressed using variable syntactic constructions. No fMRI adaptation effect was observed when the same syntactic construction was repeated. Yet behavioral priming was observed at both syntactic and semantic levels in a separate experiment where participants detected sentence endings. We discuss a number of possible explanations for the absence of syntactic priming in the fMRI experiments, including the possibility that the conglomerate of syntactic properties defining 'a construction' is not an actual object assembled during parsing. (authors)

  10. Activation of lexical and syntactic target language properties in translation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, C; Paredes, N; Macizo, P; Bajo, M T

    2008-07-01

    Is reading for translation equal to reading in monolingual contexts? Horizontal/parallel theories of translation propose that normal reading and reading for translation differ because the translator engages in partial reformulation while reading for translating the source text. In contrast, vertical/serial theories assume that the translators first extract the meaning of the message, and only then they proceed to reformulate it. In two experiments, we manipulated lexical and syntactic properties of the target language (TL) while translators read for repetition or for translation. On-line sentence comprehension was affected by the lexical frequency of words in the TL (Experiment 1) and the syntactic congruency between the source language (SL) and TL sentences (Experiment 2). However, the influence of lexical and syntactic TL properties was restricted to the reading for translation task. According to our results, the horizontal view of translation includes code-to-code links between the SL and TL involving at least the lexical and syntactic level of processing.

  11. ERP evidence for on-line syntactic computations in 2-year-olds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Perrine Brusini

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Syntax allows human beings to build an infinite number of sentences from a finite number of words. How this unique, productive power of human language unfolds over the course of language development is still hotly debated. When they listen to sentences comprising newly-learned words, do children generalize from their knowledge of the legal combinations of word categories or do they instead rely on strings of words stored in memory to detect syntactic errors? Using novel words taught in the lab, we recorded Evoked Response Potentials (ERPs in two-year-olds and adults listening to grammatical and ungrammatical sentences containing syntactic contexts that had not been used during training. In toddlers, the ungrammatical use of words, even when they have been just learned, induced an early left anterior negativity (surfacing 100–400 ms after target word onset followed by a late posterior positivity (surfacing 700–900 ms after target word onset that was not observed in grammatical sentences. This late effect was remarkably similar to the P600 displayed by adults, suggesting that toddlers and adults perform similar syntactic computations. Our results thus show that toddlers build on-line expectations regarding the syntactic category of upcoming words in a sentence.

  12. English sentence optotypes for measuring reading acuity and speed--the English version of the Radner Reading Charts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radner, W; Diendorfer, G

    2014-08-01

    To develop 28 short sentence optotypes for the English version of the Radner Reading Charts that are as comparable as possible in number and length of words, as well as in difficulty and syntactical construction. Thirty-four English sentences were constructed following the method used for other Radner Reading Charts to obtain "sentence optotypes" with comparable structure and the same lexical and grammatical difficulty. Best comparable sentences were statistically selected and standardized in 50 volunteers. Reading speed and the number of errors were determined. Validity was analyzed with a 124-word long 4th-grade paragraph of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test®. Computerized measurements of reading parameters were performed with the RADNER Reading Device (RAD-RD©; in conjunction with a PC and microphone). The mean reading speed obtained with the 28 selected short sentences was 201.53 ± 35.88 words per minute (wpm), as compared to 215.01 ± 30.37 wpm for the long paragraph. The mean reading times were 4.30 ± 0.79 s and 35.26 ± 4.85 s, respectively. The mean number of reading errors was 0.11 ± 0.34. The correlation between the short sentences and the long paragraph was high (r = 0.76; p reading length, and it demonstrates the validity and reliability of such sentences as test items for determining reading parameters such as reading acuity and speed.

  13. Syntactic computations in the language network: Characterising dynamic network properties using representational similarity analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorraine Komisarjevsky Tyler

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The core human capacity of syntactic analysis involves a left hemisphere network involving left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG and posterior middle temporal gyrus (LMTG and the anatomical connections between them. Here we use MEG to determine the spatio-temporal properties of syntactic computations in this network. Listeners heard spoken sentences containing a local syntactic ambiguity (e.g. …landing planes…, at the offset of which they heard a disambiguating verb and decided whether it was an acceptable/unacceptable continuation of the sentence. We charted the time-course of processing and resolving syntactic ambiguity by measuring MEG responses from the onset of each word in the ambiguous phrase and the disambiguating word. We used representational similarity analysis (RSA to characterize syntactic information represented in the LIFG and LpMTG over time and to investigate their relationship to each other. Testing a variety of lexico-syntactic and ambiguity models against the MEG data, our results suggest early lexico-syntactic responses in the LpMTG and later effects of ambiguity in the LIFG, pointing to a clear differentiation in the functional roles of these two regions. Our results suggest the LpMTG represents and transmits lexical information to the LIFG, which responds to and resolves the ambiguity.

  14. Children’s and Adolescents’ Processing of Temporary Syntactic Ambiguity: An Eye Movement Study

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    Paul E. Engelhardt

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This study examined the eye movements of 24 children and adolescents as they read sentences containing temporary syntactic ambiguities. Prior research suggested that children primarily use grammatical information when making initial parsing decisions, and they tend to disregard semantic and contextual information. On each trial, participants read a garden path sentence (e.g., While the storm blew the boat sat in the shed, and, afterwards, they answered a comprehension question (e.g., Did the storm blow the boat?. The design was 2 × 2 (verb type × ambiguity repeated measures. Verb type was optionally transitive or reflexive, and sentences were ambiguous or unambiguous. Results showed no differences in first pass reading times at the disambiguating verb (e.g., sat. However, regressions did show a significant interaction. The unambiguous-reflexive condition had approximately half the number of regressions, suggesting less processing difficulty in this condition. Developmentally, we found that adolescents had significantly better comprehension, which seemed to be linked to the increased tendency to regress from the disambiguating word. Findings are consistent with the assumption that the processing architecture is more restricted in children compared to adolescents. In addition, results indicated that variance in ambiguity resolution was associated with interference control but not working memory.

  15. Recognition memory for novel syntactic structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamrick, Phillip

    2014-03-01

    It is commonly held that recognition memory for the surface syntax of language is not robust, especially when compared with memory for gist (e.g., Potter & Lombardi, 1998; Sachs, 1967). Nevertheless, it has been reported that memory for surface syntax occurs and can be surprisingly robust (e.g., Gurevich, Johnson, & Goldberg, 2011). However, most studies have focused on recognition memory for syntactic structures present in participants' native languages, but little is known about memory for novel (e.g., nonnative) syntactic structures. Adults were exposed under incidental learning conditions to a semiartificial language consisting of English words placed into non-English syntactic structures derived from Persian. They were then given an unexpected recognition memory test. Participants demonstrated clear recognition memory for novel syntactic structures. Overall, the results suggest that memory for surface syntax can be acquired under incidental learning conditions, consistent with previous findings in the implicit learning literature using nonlinguistic stimuli. The results also suggest that basic memory processes like those investigated in the recognition memory literature may be involved in the incidental learning of novel syntactic structures, consistent with some current neurocognitive approaches to language (e.g., Ullman, 2004).

  16. Left inferior frontal activations depending on the canonicity determined by the argument structures of ditransitive sentences: an MEG study.

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    Tomoo Inubushi

    Full Text Available To elucidate the relationships between syntactic and semantic processes, one interesting question is how syntactic structures are constructed by the argument structure of a verb, where each argument corresponds to a semantic role of each noun phrase (NP. Here we examined the effects of possessivity [sentences with or without a possessor] and canonicity [canonical or noncanonical word orders] using Japanese ditransitive sentences. During a syntactic decision task, the syntactic structure of each sentence would be constructed in an incremental manner based on the predicted argument structure of the ditransitive verb in a verb-final construction. Using magnetoencephalography, we found a significant canonicity effect on the current density in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG at 530-550 ms after the verb onset. This effect was selective to canonical sentences, and significant even when the precedent NP was physically identical. We suggest that the predictive effects associated with syntactic processing became larger for canonical sentences, where the NPs and verb were merged with a minimum structural distance, leading to the left IFG activations. For monotransitive and intransitive verbs, in which structural computation of the sentences was simpler than that of ditransitive sentences, we observed a significant effect selective to noncanonical sentences in the temporoparietal regions during 480-670 ms. This effect probably reflects difficulty in semantic processing of noncanonical sentences. These results demonstrate that the left IFG plays a predictive role in syntactic processing, which depends on the canonicity determined by argument structures, whereas other temporoparietal regions would subserve more semantic aspects of sentence processing.

  17. Left inferior frontal activations depending on the canonicity determined by the argument structures of ditransitive sentences: an MEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inubushi, Tomoo; Iijima, Kazuki; Koizumi, Masatoshi; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L

    2012-01-01

    To elucidate the relationships between syntactic and semantic processes, one interesting question is how syntactic structures are constructed by the argument structure of a verb, where each argument corresponds to a semantic role of each noun phrase (NP). Here we examined the effects of possessivity [sentences with or without a possessor] and canonicity [canonical or noncanonical word orders] using Japanese ditransitive sentences. During a syntactic decision task, the syntactic structure of each sentence would be constructed in an incremental manner based on the predicted argument structure of the ditransitive verb in a verb-final construction. Using magnetoencephalography, we found a significant canonicity effect on the current density in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) at 530-550 ms after the verb onset. This effect was selective to canonical sentences, and significant even when the precedent NP was physically identical. We suggest that the predictive effects associated with syntactic processing became larger for canonical sentences, where the NPs and verb were merged with a minimum structural distance, leading to the left IFG activations. For monotransitive and intransitive verbs, in which structural computation of the sentences was simpler than that of ditransitive sentences, we observed a significant effect selective to noncanonical sentences in the temporoparietal regions during 480-670 ms. This effect probably reflects difficulty in semantic processing of noncanonical sentences. These results demonstrate that the left IFG plays a predictive role in syntactic processing, which depends on the canonicity determined by argument structures, whereas other temporoparietal regions would subserve more semantic aspects of sentence processing.

  18. A syntactic component for Vietnamese language processing

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    Phuong Le-Hong

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the development of a syntactic component for the Vietnamese language. We first discuss the construction of a lexicalized tree-adjoining grammar using an automatic extraction approach. We then present the construction and evaluation of a deep syntactic parser based on the extracted grammar. This is a complete system integrating necessary tools to process Vietnamese text, which permits to take as input raw texts and produce syntactic structures. A dependency annotation scheme for Vietnamese and an algorithm for extracting dependency structures from derivation trees are also proposed. At present, this is the first Vietnamese parsing system capable of producing both constituency and dependency analyses with encouraging performances: 69.33% and 73.21% for constituency and dependency analysis accuracy, respectively. The parser also compares favourably to a statistical parser which is trained and tested on the same data sets.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Do two and three year old children use an incremental first-NP-as-agent bias to process active transitive and passive sentences?: A permutation analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbot-Smith, Kirsten; Chang, Franklin; Rowland, Caroline; Ferguson, Heather; Pine, Julian

    2017-01-01

    We used eye-tracking to investigate if and when children show an incremental bias to assume that the first noun phrase in a sentence is the agent (first-NP-as-agent bias) while processing the meaning of English active and passive transitive sentences. We also investigated whether children can override this bias to successfully distinguish active from passive sentences, after processing the remainder of the sentence frame. For this second question we used eye-tracking (Study 1) and forced-choice pointing (Study 2). For both studies, we used a paradigm in which participants simultaneously saw two novel actions with reversed agent-patient relations while listening to active and passive sentences. We compared English-speaking 25-month-olds and 41-month-olds in between-subjects sentence structure conditions (Active Transitive Condition vs. Passive Condition). A permutation analysis found that both age groups showed a bias to incrementally map the first noun in a sentence onto an agent role. Regarding the second question, 25-month-olds showed some evidence of distinguishing the two structures in the eye-tracking study. However, the 25-month-olds did not distinguish active from passive sentences in the forced choice pointing task. In contrast, the 41-month-old children did reanalyse their initial first-NP-as-agent bias to the extent that they clearly distinguished between active and passive sentences both in the eye-tracking data and in the pointing task. The results are discussed in relation to the development of syntactic (re)parsing.

  1. Development and evaluation of the Turkish matrix sentence test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zokoll, Melanie A; Fidan, Dilek; Türkyılmaz, Didem; Hochmuth, Sabine; Ergenç, İclâl; Sennaroğlu, Gonca; Kollmeier, Birger

    2015-01-01

    The Turkish matrix sentence test, TURMatrix, was developed for precise, internationally comparable speech intelligibility testing. The TURMatrix comprises a base matrix of ten well-known Turkish names, numbers, adjectives, objects, verbs, from which syntactically fixed sentences were randomly composed. Test conduction may be in an open-set (standard), or closed-set response format. Homogeneity in intelligibility of the test material was optimized by applying level adaptations (maximal ± 3 dB) based on word-specific speech reception thresholds (SRTs). Test list equivalence was verified and reference values were determined. Thirty-eight native listeners of Turkish with normal hearing. After training, mean SRT and slope of the final test lists were -8.3 ± 0.2 dB SNR and 14.1 ± 1.0%/dB, respectively (fixed SNR measurements; inter-list variability). For adaptive measurements, average across listeners was -7.2 ± 0.7 dB SNR in the open-set and -7.9 ± 0.7 dB SNR in the closed-set response format. Mean SRT for adaptive measurements in the open-set response format in quiet was 20.3 ± 4.1 dB. Individual SRTs in quiet correlated more closely with audiograms than with SRTs in noise. The TURMatrix was developed according to European standards and provides reliable speech intelligibility measurements in noise and quiet.

  2. The Relationship between Syntactic Satiation and Syntactic Priming: A First Look

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    Monica L. Do

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Syntactic satiation is the phenomenon where some sentences that initially seem ungrammatical appear more acceptable after repeated exposures (Snyder, 2000. We investigated satiation by manipulating two factors known to affect syntactic priming, a phenomenon where recent exposure to a grammatical structure facilitates subsequent processing of that structure (Bock, 1986. Specifically, we manipulated (i Proximity of exposure (number of sentences between primes and targets and (ii Lexical repetition (type of phrase repeated across primes and targets. Experiment 1 investigated whether acceptability ratings of Complex-NP Constraint (CNPC and Subject islands improve as consequence of these variables. If so, priming and satiation may be linked. When primes were separated from targets by one sentence, CNPC islands’ acceptability was improved by a preceding island of the same type, but Subject islands’ acceptability was not. When prime-target pairs were separated by five sentences, we found no improvement for either island type. Experiment 2 asked whether improvements in Experiment 1 reflected online processing or offline end-of-sentence effects. We used a self-paced reading paradigm to diagnose online structure-building and processing facilitation (Ivanova et al., 2012a during processing. We found priming for Subject islands when primes and targets were close together, but not when they were further apart. No effects were detected when CNPC islands were close together, but there was a localized effect when sentences were further apart. The disjunction between Experiments 1 and 2 suggests repetition of the structure in Subject islands facilitated online processing but did not ‘spill over’ to acceptability ratings. Meanwhile, results for CNPC islands suggest that acceptability rating improvements in Experiment 1 may be driven by factors distinct from online processing facilitation. Together, our experiments show that satiation may not be a one

  3. The Syntax and Semantics of Russian Non-Sentence Adverbials

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lorentzen, Elena; Durst-Andersen, Per

    2015-01-01

    For the first time non-sentence adverbials in Russian are analyzed in their totality, i.e., from a lexical, syntactic and propositional-semantic point of view. They are classified, defined and interpreted according to four propositional structures identified in Russian: (1) state descriptions...... differs from other adverbs belonging to the same synonymous group. It appears that members of various synonymous groups differ from one another with respect to subdomain, i.e., their differences in meaning are treated as being reflexes of originally deep syntactic differences. In this connection the so-called...... entailment structure of all verbs involving an activity description seems to have a special explanatory power....

  4. Subliminal Emotional Words Impact Syntactic Processing: Evidence from Performance and Event-Related Brain Potentials

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    Laura Jiménez-Ortega

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies demonstrate that syntactic processing can be affected by emotional information and that subliminal emotional information can also affect cognitive processes. In this study, we explore whether unconscious emotional information may also impact syntactic processing. In an Event-Related brain Potential (ERP study, positive, neutral and negative subliminal adjectives were inserted within neutral sentences, just before the presentation of the supraliminal adjective. They could either be correct (50% or contain a morphosyntactic violation (number or gender disagreements. Larger error rates were observed for incorrect sentences than for correct ones, in contrast to most studies using supraliminal information. Strikingly, emotional adjectives affected the conscious syntactic processing of sentences containing morphosyntactic anomalies. The neutral condition elicited left anterior negativity (LAN followed by a P600 component. However, a lack of anterior negativity and an early P600 onset for the negative condition were found, probably as a result of the negative subliminal correct adjective capturing early syntactic resources. Positive masked adjectives in turn prompted an N400 component in response to morphosyntactic violations, probably reflecting the induction of a heuristic processing mode involving access to lexico-semantic information to solve agreement anomalies. Our results add to recent evidence on the impact of emotional information on syntactic processing, while showing that this can occur even when the reader is unaware of the emotional stimuli.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Effects of syntactic complexity in L1 and L2; an fMRI study of Korean-English bilinguals.

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    Suh, Soyoung; Yoon, Hyo Woon; Lee, Seungbok; Chung, Jun-Young; Cho, Zang-Hee; Park, Hyunwook

    2007-03-09

    The neural mechanisms underlying the syntactic processing of sentence comprehension in Korean (L1) and English (L2) by late bilinguals were investigated using functional MRI. The Korean native speakers were asked to read sentences with different levels of syntactic complexity in L1 and L2 and respond to comprehension questions concerning the sentences. The syntactic complexity was varied using a center-embedded sentence "The director that the maid introduced ignored the farmer" or a conjoined sentence "The maid introduced the director and ignored the farmer". It was found that the major areas involved in sentence processing such as the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), bilateral inferior parietal gyrus, and occipital lobe including cuneus, and lingual gyrus were commonly activated during the processing of both L1 and L2. However, the pattern of activation was different for L1 and L2 in the left IFG. The amount of activation was greater for embedded sentences than for conjoined sentences in L1 while no difference was found in L2. These results suggest that the cortical areas involved with syntactic processing in L1 and L2 are shared, but that the underlying neural mechanisms are different. The findings of the present study are discussed in comparison with Hasegawa et al.'s (Hasegawa, M., Carpenter, P.A., Just, M.A., 2002. An fMRI study of bilingual sentence comprehension and workload. NeuroImage 15, 647-660.) and Yokoyama et al.'s (Yokoyama, S., Okamoto, H., Miyamoto, T., Yoshimoto, K., Kim, J., Iwata, K., Jeong, H., Uchida, S., Ikuta, N., Sassa, Y., Nakamura, W., Horie, K., Sato, S., Kawashima, R., 2006. Cortical activation in the processing of passive sentences in L1 and L2: An fMRI study. NeuroImage 30, 570-579.) studies which also found common areas of activation but different patterns of activation during the processing of L1 and L2.

  7. Understanding How Syntactic Awareness Contributes to Reading Comprehension: Evidence from Mediation and Longitudinal Models

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    Deacon, S. Hélène; Kieffer, Michael

    2018-01-01

    The authors tested theoretically driven predictions as to the ways in which syntactic awareness, or awareness of word order within sentences, might contribute to reading comprehension, the end goal of reading development and instruction. They conducted a longitudinal study of 100 English-speaking children followed from Grade 3 to 4. Children…

  8. Syntactic Awareness in Young Monolingual and Bilingual (Urdu-English) Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Denise; Raschke, Vanessa R.; Pervez, Jawad

    2010-01-01

    In two experiments, bilingual (Urdu and English) 5- and 6-year-old children outperformed their monolingual (English) peers when asked to detect grammatically incorrect sentences on a syntactic awareness test. This result occurred when children were tested in English (Experiment 1) and when they were tested in English or in Urdu (Experiment 2).…

  9. Self-Guided Reading: Touch-Based Measures of Syntactic Processing

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    Hatfield, Hunter

    2016-01-01

    A novel online reading methodology termed Self-Guided Reading (SGR) is examined to determine if it can successfully detect well-studied syntactic processing behaviours. In SGR, a participant runs their finger under masked text in order to reveal a sentence. It is therefore similar to self-paced reading in presentation of stimuli, but different in…

  10. The Universality of Syntactic Constraints on Spanish-English Codeswitching in the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moro, Mónica

    2015-01-01

    This study focuses on the syntactic properties of codeswitching within sentences uttered by bilingual speakers of Spanish and English in the USA or the so-called "Spanglish," by analysing data based on examples cited in the existing literature. To that end, I will examine the definitions of this cultural and linguistic phenomenon, make a…

  11. Differences in the perception and time course of syntactic and semantic violations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Vincenzi, Marica; Job, Remo; Di Matteo, Rosalia; Angrilli, Alessandro; Penolazzi, Barbara; Ciccarelli, Laura; Vespignani, Francesco

    2003-05-01

    A reading time and an ERP experiment conducted in Italian investigated the parser's responses to a syntactic violation (subject-verb number agreement) and to a semantic violation (subject-verb selectional restriction), examining the time course of comprehension processes until sentence end. The reading-time data showed that the syntactic violation was detected earlier than the semantic one and that the two violations differed in the time-course. The ERP data fully supported the reading time data: Syntactic anomalies elicited a left anterior negativity (LAN) and a P600. Semantic anomalies elicited a N400 centred on the parietal sites which started 90 ms later (latency 430 ms) than the LAN. Furthermore, the N400 evoked by the words that followed the target word continued and increased until sentence end. The results are discussed with respect to the hypotheses that the parser constructs distinct syntactic and semantic analyses of a sentence and that this characteristic holds cross-linguistically. The appropriateness of different methodologies to the study of sentence processing is also evaluated.

  12. Syntactic comprehension and working memory in children with specific language impairment, autism or Down syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortunato-Tavares, Talita; Andrade, Claudia R F; Befi-Lopes, Debora; Limongi, Suelly O; Fernandes, Fernanda D M; Schwartz, Richard G

    2015-07-01

    This study examined syntactic assignment for predicates and reflexives as well as working memory effects in the sentence comprehension of children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), Down syndrome (DS), high functioning Autism (HFA) and Typical Language Development (TLD). Fifty-seven children (35 boys and 22 girls) performed a computerised picture-selection sentence comprehension task. Predicate attachment and reflexive antecedent assignment (with working memory manipulations) were investigated. The results showed that SLI, HFA and DS children exhibited poorer overall performance than TLD children. Children with SLI exhibited similar performance to the DS and HFA children only when working memory demands were higher. We conclude that children with SLI, HFA and DS differ from children with TLD in their comprehension of predicate and reflexive structures where the knowledge of syntactic assignment is required. Working memory manipulation had different effects on syntactic comprehension depending on language disorder. Intelligence was not an explanatory factor for the differences observed in performance.

  13. Electrophysiology of prosodic and lexical-semantic processing during sentence comprehension in aphasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheppard, Shannon M; Love, Tracy; Midgley, Katherine J; Holcomb, Phillip J; Shapiro, Lewis P

    2017-12-01

    Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to examine how individuals with aphasia and a group of age-matched controls use prosody and themattic fit information in sentences containing temporary syntactic ambiguities. Two groups of individuals with aphasia were investigated; those demonstrating relatively good sentence comprehension whose primary language difficulty is anomia (Individuals with Anomic Aphasia (IWAA)), and those who demonstrate impaired sentence comprehension whose primary diagnosis is Broca's aphasia (Individuals with Broca's Aphasia (IWBA)). The stimuli had early closure syntactic structure and contained a temporary early closure (correct)/late closure (incorrect) syntactic ambiguity. The prosody was manipulated to either be congruent or incongruent, and the temporarily ambiguous NP was also manipulated to either be a plausible or an implausible continuation for the subordinate verb (e.g., "While the band played the song/the beer pleased all the customers."). It was hypothesized that an implausible NP in sentences with incongruent prosody may provide the parser with a plausibility cue that could be used to predict syntactic structure. The results revealed that incongruent prosody paired with a plausibility cue resulted in an N400-P600 complex at the implausible NP (the beer) in both the controls and the IWAAs, yet incongruent prosody without a plausibility cue resulted in an N400-P600 at the critical verb (pleased) only in healthy controls. IWBAs did not show evidence of N400 or P600 effects at the ambiguous NP or critical verb, although they did show evidence of a delayed N400 effect at the sentence-final word in sentences with incongruent prosody. These results suggest that IWAAs have difficulty integrating prosodic cues with underlying syntactic structure when lexical-semantic information is not available to aid their parse. IWBAs have difficulty integrating both prosodic and lexical-semantic cues with syntactic structure, likely due to a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

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    Jukka Hyönä

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Types of coordination and syntactic complexity in written discourse of younger school age children

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    IvanoviĆ Maja

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available For a long time influential linguists considered language development to be basically completed by the age of five or six. Consequently, research on school age children and adolescents has been quite rare. However, during the last two decades, considerable effort has been made to understand the nature of writing processes among schoolchildren. The aim of this paper is to explore writing competence of younger school age children by investigating compound sentences and coordinating conjunctions during the production of a written text. The most important thing in learning how to write is the development of a child's ability to produce and understand complex sentences of various kinds. Coordinating conjunctions are useful for connecting sentences, but compound sentences are often overused and traditionally seem to implicate poor syntactic ability. The examinees were divided in 4 age groups (181 pupils. Each examinee wrote 3 essays, so the whole corpus consisted of 543 texts in total. The analysis of the collected material included two levels: first we identified compound sentences and the number of clauses, and then the type of coordination was determined. The obtained results show the number and type of coordinated constructions which pupils from the first to the fourth grade of primary school produce. Also, coordinating conjunctions indicate the higher level of syntactic complexity of the text they are produced in. This research provides a new insight into syntactic competence of younger pupils in primary school.

  18. Some arguments against some prevalent ideas on specificational sentences

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    Joana Rosselló

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Copular sentences where the copula is flanked by two DPs fall into two types: predicational or ascriptive (John is the physician and specificational (The physician is John, to use the most widely accepted terms. However, according to the dominant view in the generative transformational framework, this divide, to some extent, is spurious since underlyingly specificational sentences would be predicational. Contrary to this position, I argue that the partition is real, irreducible, and syntactically-based. With this goal in mind, I discuss and reinterpret some well known data and present some new ones.

  19. Lexical and syntactic representations in the brain: An fMRI investigation with multi-voxel pattern analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedorenko, Evelina; Nieto-Castañon, Alfonso; Kanwisher, Nancy

    2011-01-01

    Work in theoretical linguistics and psycholinguistics suggests that human linguistic knowledge forms a continuum between individual lexical items and abstract syntactic representations, with most linguistic representations falling between the two extremes and taking the form of lexical items stored together with the syntactic/semantic contexts in which they frequently occur. Neuroimaging evidence further suggests that no brain region is selectively sensitive to only lexical information or only syntactic information. Instead, all the key brain regions that support high-level linguistic processing have been implicated in both lexical and syntactic processing, suggesting that our linguistic knowledge is plausibly represented in a distributed fashion in these brain regions. Given this distributed nature of linguistic representations, multi-voxel pattern analyses (MVPAs) can help uncover important functional properties of the language system. In the current study we use MVPAs to ask two questions: 1) Do language brain regions differ in how robustly they represent lexical vs. syntactic information?; and 2) Do any of the language bran regions distinguish between “pure” lexical information (lists of words) and “pure” abstract syntactic information (jabberwocky sentences) in the pattern of activity? We show that lexical information is represented more robustly than syntactic information across many language regions (with no language region showing the opposite pattern), as evidenced by a better discrimination between conditions that differ along the lexical dimension (sentences vs. jabberwocky, and word lists vs. nonword lists) than between conditions that differ along the syntactic dimension (sentences vs. word lists, and jabberwocky vs. nonword lists). This result suggests that lexical information may play a more critical role than syntax in the representation of linguistic meaning. We also show that several language regions reliably discriminate between

  20. Syntactic processing in the absence of awareness and semantics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, Shao-Min; Hsieh, Po-Jang

    2015-10-01

    The classical view that multistep rule-based operations require consciousness has recently been challenged by findings that both multiword semantic processing and multistep arithmetic equations can be processed unconsciously. It remains unclear, however, whether pure rule-based cognitive processes can occur unconsciously in the absence of semantics. Here, after presenting 2 words consciously, we suppressed the third with continuous flash suppression. First, we showed that the third word in the subject-verb-verb format (syntactically incongruent) broke suppression significantly faster than the third word in the subject-verb-object format (syntactically congruent). Crucially, the same effect was observed even with sentences composed of pseudowords (pseudo subject-verb-adjective vs. pseudo subject-verb-object) without any semantic information. This is the first study to show that syntactic congruency can be processed unconsciously in the complete absence of semantics. Our findings illustrate how abstract rule-based processing (e.g., syntactic categories) can occur in the absence of visual awareness, even when deprived of semantics. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. The Dangling model in the construction of compound sentences with regard to verb tenses

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    Mahmoud Mehravaran

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A sentence is the most complete syntactic unit of a language. The construction of a sentence is the most comprehensive, controversial and fascinating syntactic issue in the language grammar. The message or intention is usually conveyed through a sentence. In fact, the communicative function of a language is carried out via a sentence. A sentence can be classified in to different categories from different perspectives: semantically, constructively or performatively either with a verb or without a verb and also with regard to the construction. With regard to the construction, a sentence is either simple or compound. A simple sentence is the one with a complete meaning which only has one verb. It must be born in mind that a sentence is a complete unit whit meaning and there can be a hesitation after that. There for units of speech that have a verb without a complete meaning and there can be no silence or hesitation after them cannot be regarded as a sentence. Since they are dependent upon another sentence to be completed. They are called phrases. Such phrases can be incorporated in compound sentences make main and subordinate clauses. Compound sentences are widely discussed whit in grammatical constructions, but their types and that how have been built their various constructions are less adequately discussed. With regard to the manner of construction of compound sentences, the widest linguistic amenities can be observed in the sentences. There is not such complexity or disagreement over simple sentences but compound sentences have been less adequately investigated and there is room for more discussion and debate. Because, in some grammars, without considering the construction criteria, all sentences that are connected to one another, whit connectives are called compound sentences. This paper has precisely investigated compound sentences and has elaborated on the construction criteria of compound sentences. The study has also pointed to

  2. From pauses to clauses: prosody facilitates learning of syntactic constituency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawthorne, Kara; Gerken, LouAnn

    2014-11-01

    Learning to parse the speech stream into syntactic constituents is a crucial prerequisite to adult-like sentence comprehension, and prosody is one source of information that could be used for this task. To test the role of prosody in facilitating constituent learning, 19-month-olds were familiarized with non-word sentences with 1-clause (ABCDEF) or 2-clause (ABC, DEF) prosody and were then tested on sentences that represent a grammatical (DEF, ABC) or ungrammatical (EFA, BCD) 'movement' of the clauses from the 2-clause familiarization sentences. If infants in the 2-clause group are able to use prosody to group words into cohesive chunks, they should discriminate between grammatical and ungrammatical movements in the test items, even though the test sentences have a new prosodic contour. The 1-clause, control, group should not discriminate. Results support these predictions and suggest that infants treat prosodically-grouped words as more cohesive and constituent-like than words that straddle a prosodic boundary. A follow-up experiment suggests that these results do not merely reflect recognition of words in boundary positions or acoustic similarity of words across the familiarization and test phases. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. A Computational Model of Syntactic Processing Ambiguity Resolution from Interpretation

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    Niv, M

    1994-01-01

    Syntactic ambiguity abounds in natural language, yet humans have no difficulty coping with it. In fact, the process of ambiguity resolution is almost always unconscious. But it is not infallible, however, as example 1 demonstrates. 1. The horse raced past the barn fell. This sentence is perfectly grammatical, as is evident when it appears in the following context: 2. Two horses were being shown off to a prospective buyer. One was raced past a meadow. and the other was raced past a barn. ... Grammatical yet unprocessable sentences such as 1 are called `garden-path sentences.' Their existence provides an opportunity to investigate the human sentence processing mechanism by studying how and when it fails. The aim of this thesis is to construct a computational model of language understanding which can predict processing difficulty. The data to be modeled are known examples of garden path and non-garden path sentences, and other results from psycholinguistics. It is widely believed that there are two distinct loci...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  5. Impact of background noise and sentence complexity on cognitive processing demands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wendt, Dorothea; Dau, Torsten; Hjortkjær, Jens

    2015-01-01

    Speech comprehension in adverse listening conditions requires cognitive processingdemands. Processing demands can increase with acoustically degraded speech but also depend on linguistic aspects of the speech signal, such as syntactic complexity. In the present study, pupil dilations were recorded...... that increasing noise levels had a greater impact on the perceived difficulty than sentence complexity. In contrast, the processing of complex sentences resulted in greater and more prolonged pupil dilations. The results suggest that while pupil dilations may correlate with cognitive processing demands, acoustic...

  6. Impact of background noise and sentence complexity on cognitive processing effort

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wendt, Dorothea; Dau, Torsten; Hjortkjær, Jens

    2015-01-01

    Speech comprehension in adverse listening conditions requires cognitive pro- cessing demands. Processing demands can increase with acoustically degraded speech but also depend on linguistic aspects of the speech signal, such as syntactic complexity. In the present study, pupil dilations were...... showed that increasing noise levels had a greater impact on the perceived difficulty than sentence complexity. In contrast, the processing of complex sentences resulted in greater and more prolonged pupil dilations. The results suggest that while pupil dilations may correlate with cognitive processing...

  7. Mini-Mental State Examination sentence writing among community-dwelling elderly adults in Brazil: text fluency and grammar complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neri, Anita Liberalesso; Ongaratto, Lia Lopes; Yassuda, Mônica Sanches

    2012-11-01

    In normal aging, the decrease in the syntactic complexity of written production is usually associated with cognitive deficits. This study was aimed to analyze the quality of older adults' textual production indicated by verbal fluency (number of words) and grammatical complexity (number of ideas) in relation to gender, age, schooling, and cognitive status. From a probabilistic sample of community-dwelling people aged 65 years and above (n = 900), 577 were selected on basis of their responses to the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) sentence writing, which were submitted to content analysis; 323 were excluded as they left the item blank or performed illegible or not meaningful responses. Education adjusted cut-off scores for the MMSE were used to classify the participants as cognitively impaired or unimpaired. Total and subdomain MMSE scores were computed. 40.56% of participants whose answers to the MMSE sentence were excluded from the analyses had cognitive impairment compared to 13.86% among those whose answers were included. The excluded participants were older and less educated. Women and those older than 80 years had the lowest scores in the MMSE. There was no statistically significant relationship between gender, age, schooling, and textual performance. There was a modest but significant correlation between number of words written and the scores in the Language subdomain. Results suggest the strong influence of schooling and age over MMSE sentence performance. Failing to write a sentence may suggest cognitive impairment, yet, instructions for the MMSE sentence, i.e. to produce a simple sentence, may limit its clinical interpretation.

  8. ІНТОНАЦІЙНО-СИНТАКСИЧНІ ЗАСОБИ ВИРАЖЕННЯ СУБ’ЄКТНОСТІ ФРАНЦУЗЬКОГО РЕЧЕННЯ / INTONATION-SYNTACTICAL MEANS OF EXPRESSION OF THE FRENCH SENTENCE SUBJECTNESS

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    Галина КУТАСЕВИЧ

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Кутасевич Г. Интонационно-синтаксические средства выражения субъектности французского предложения. В статье рассмотрены интонационно-синтаксические средства французского языка, служащие для усиления субъектной позиции в предложении. В плане выражения эти средства касаются интонационной организации предложения, а также, в некоторых случаях, приводят к смене синтаксических функций слов. В плане содержания это проявляется в смене их соотношения к ситуации. Категория субъекта и субъектноориентированы элементы интонационносинтаксического, морфологического и лексического характера формирую функциональносемантическую категорию субъектности французского предложения. Ключевые слова: предложение, субъект, субъектность, интонационно-синтаксические средства. Kutasevych H. Intonation-syntactical means of expression of the french sentence subjectness. This study is focus on the multilateral investigation of the subject as the main constituent of the French sentence and the research of intonationsyntactical means of expressing subjectness in the French sentence. The fundamental concept of the study is that the French sentence is characterized by a wide subjectness realized through the category of subject and other subject-oriented constituents of the sentence. The category of subject plays an important role in

  9. An application of syntactic pattern recognition to seismic discrimination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, H. H.; Fu, K. S.

    1981-08-01

    Two syntactic methods for the recognition of seismic waveforms are presented in this paper. The seismic waveforms are represented by sentences (strings of primitives). Primitive extraction is based on a cluster analysis. Finite-state grammars are inferred from the training samples. The nearest-neighbor decision rule and error-correcting finite-state parsers are used for pattern classification. While both show equal recognition performance, the nearest-neighbor rule is much faster in computation speed. The classification of real earthquake/explosion data is presented as an application example.

  10. Sentence Disparity and Civil Rights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahn, Charles

    This report reviews the literature on sentence disparity and considers the advisability of additional efforts to provide more equality throughout the criminal justice system. Definitions of disparity are said to include: (1) differences between individual judges; (2) differences between comparable defendants; (3) differences between categories of…

  11. Brain systems mediating semantic and syntactic processing in deaf native signers: biological invariance and modality specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capek, Cheryl M; Grossi, Giordana; Newman, Aaron J; McBurney, Susan L; Corina, David; Roeder, Brigitte; Neville, Helen J

    2009-05-26

    Studies of written and spoken language suggest that nonidentical brain networks support semantic and syntactic processing. Event-related brain potential (ERP) studies of spoken and written languages show that semantic anomalies elicit a posterior bilateral N400, whereas syntactic anomalies elicit a left anterior negativity, followed by a broadly distributed late positivity. The present study assessed whether these ERP indicators index the activity of language systems specific for the processing of aural-oral language or if they index neural systems underlying any natural language, including sign language. The syntax of a signed language is mediated through space. Thus the question arises of whether the comprehension of a signed language requires neural systems specific for this kind of code. Deaf native users of American Sign Language (ASL) were presented signed sentences that were either correct or that contained either a semantic or a syntactic error (1 of 2 types of verb agreement errors). ASL sentences were presented at the natural rate of signing, while the electroencephalogram was recorded. As predicted on the basis of earlier studies, an N400 was elicited by semantic violations. In addition, signed syntactic violations elicited an early frontal negativity and a later posterior positivity. Crucially, the distribution of the anterior negativity varied as a function of the type of syntactic violation, suggesting a unique involvement of spatial processing in signed syntax. Together, these findings suggest that biological constraints and experience shape the development of neural systems important for language.

  12. Development of a selective left-hemispheric fronto-temporal network for processing syntactic complexity in language comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Yaqiong; Friederici, Angela D; Margulies, Daniel S; Brauer, Jens

    2016-03-01

    The development of language comprehension abilities in childhood is closely related to the maturation of the brain, especially the ability to process syntactically complex sentences. Recent studies proposed that the fronto-temporal connection within left perisylvian regions, supporting the processing of syntactically complex sentences, is still immature at preschool age. In the current study, resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired from typically developing 5-year-old children and adults to shed further light on the brain functional development. Children additionally performed a behavioral syntactic comprehension test outside the scanner. The amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations was analyzed in order to identify the functional correlation networks of language-relevant brain regions. Results showed an intrahemispheric correlation between left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and left posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) in adults, whereas an interhemispheric correlation between left IFG and its right-hemispheric homolog was predominant in children. Correlation analysis between resting-state functional connectivity and sentence processing performance in 5-year-olds revealed that local connectivity within the left IFG is associated with competence of processing syntactically simple canonical sentences, while long-range connectivity between IFG and pSTS in left hemisphere is associated with competence of processing syntactically relatively more complex non-canonical sentences. The present developmental data suggest that a selective left fronto-temporal connectivity network for processing complex syntax is already in functional connection at the age of 5 years when measured in a non-task situation. The correlational findings provide new insight into the relationship between intrinsic functional connectivity and syntactic language abilities in preschool children. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights

  13. An ERP study on Chinese natives' second language syntactic grammaticalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Jin; Yang, Jie; Zhang, Jie; Qi, Zhenhai; Bai, Chen; Qiu, Yinchen

    2013-02-08

    The present study is concerned with how the Chinese learners of English grammaticalize different English syntactic rules. The ERPs (event related potentials) data were collected when participants performed English grammatical judgment. The experimental sentences varied in the degree of the similarity between the first language Chinese (L1) and the second language English (L2): (a) different in the L1 and the L2; (b) similar in the L1 and the L2; (c) unique to the L2. The P600 effect was found in L2 for structures that are similar in the L1 and the L2 and that are unique in L2, but there was no P600 effect of sentence type for the mismatch structures. The results indicate L1-L2 similarity and L2 proficiency interact in a complex way. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Chesterman’s Syntactic Strategies in Translating English Passive Voice Construction into Arabic

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    Rabab Ahmad Mizher

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Contrastive analysis studies occupy a vital role in the course of translation studies. Similarities and differences between systems of languages facilitate the process of learning a foreign/second language along with translating from one language into another. Thus, this study seeks to shed light on strategies employed by EFL learners in translating English passive voice construction into Arabic. More specifically, it investigated these strategies against the syntactic strategies that are proposed by Andrew Chesterman in his book Memes of Translation. Participants from six Jordanian universities (Public and Private who were studying general translation courses were administered to a translation test of five English sentences that contain both agentive and agentless passive constructions in which participants were asked to translate them into Arabic. The results reveal that participants use the following strategies when translating agentive passive sentences: maintaining passive, topicalization, periphrastic structure and activization. However, when translating agentless passive sentences, participants use the following strategies: maintaining passive, periphrastic structure, lexicalization and activization. These strategies correspond to Chesterman’s syntactic strategies: literal translation strategy, transposition, clause structure change and sentence structure change.  Keywords: Chesterman, Memes of Translation, English-Arabic Translation Strategies, Syntactic Strategies, Passive Voice, Contrastive Analysis (CA

  15. Reconciling Time, Space and Function: A New Dorsal-Ventral Stream Model of Sentence Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina; Schlesewsky, Matthias

    2013-01-01

    We present a new dorsal-ventral stream framework for language comprehension which unifies basic neurobiological assumptions (Rauschecker & Scott, 2009) with a cross-linguistic neurocognitive sentence comprehension model (eADM; Bornkessel & Schlesewsky, 2006). The dissociation between (time-dependent) syntactic structure-building and…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Evidence for Self-Organized Sentence Processing: Digging-In Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabor, Whitney; Hutchins, Sean

    2004-01-01

    Dynamical, self-organizing models of sentence processing predict "digging-in" effects: The more committed the parser becomes to a wrong syntactic choice, the harder it is to reanalyze. Experiment 1 replicates previous grammaticality judgment studies (F. Ferreira & J. M. Henderson, 1991b, 1993), revealing a deleterious effect of lengthening the…

  18. Adaptive Sentence Boundary Disambiguation

    CERN Document Server

    Palmer, D D; Palmer, David D.; Hearst, Marti A.

    1994-01-01

    Labeling of sentence boundaries is a necessary prerequisite for many natural language processing tasks, including part-of-speech tagging and sentence alignment. End-of-sentence punctuation marks are ambiguous; to disambiguate them most systems use brittle, special-purpose regular expression grammars and exception rules. As an alternative, we have developed an efficient, trainable algorithm that uses a lexicon with part-of-speech probabilities and a feed-forward neural network. After training for less than one minute, the method correctly labels over 98.5\\% of sentence boundaries in a corpus of over 27,000 sentence-boundary marks. We show the method to be efficient and easily adaptable to different text genres, including single-case texts.

  19. Reproducing American Sign Language Sentences: Cognitive Scaffolding in Working Memory

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    Ted eSupalla

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available 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 in the absence of linguistic knowledge. 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

  20. The two sides of sensory-cognitive interactions: effects of age, hearing acuity, and working memory span on sentence comprehension

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    Renee eDeCaro

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available 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 of 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.

  1. ERPs While Judging Meaningfulness of Sentences with and without Homonym or Morpheme Spelling Foils: Comparing 4th to 9th Graders with and without Spelling Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, Todd; Pettet, Mark; Askren, Katie; Grabowski, Tom; Yagle, Kevin; Wallis, Peter; Northey, Mary; Abbott, Robert; Berninger, Virginia

    2016-01-01

    Thirteen students with and twelve students without spelling disabilities judged whether sentences (1/3 all correct spellings, 1/3 with homonym foil, 1/3 with morpheme foil) were meaningful while event-related potentials (ERPs) were measured with EGI Geodesic EEG System 300 (128-channel hydro-cell nets). For N400, Rapid Automatic Switching (RAS) correlated with comprehending sentences with homonym foils in control group but with morpheme foils in SLD group. For P600, dictated spelling correlated with comprehending sentences with morpheme foils in the control group but solving anagrams with homonym foils in the SLD group. Educational significance and neuropsychological significance of these contrasting results are discussed. PMID:28657362

  2. Gender agreement violations modulate beta oscillatory dynamics during sentence comprehension: A comparison of second language learners and native speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Ashley Glen; Lemhӧfer, Kristin; Schoffelen, Jan-Mathijs; Schriefers, Herbert

    2016-08-01

    For native speakers, many studies suggest a link between oscillatory neural activity in the beta frequency range and syntactic processing. For late second language (L2) learners on the other hand, the extent to which the neural architecture supporting syntactic processing is similar to or different from that of native speakers is still unclear. In a series of four experiments, we used electroencephalography to investigate the link between beta oscillatory activity and the processing of grammatical gender agreement in Dutch determiner-noun pairs, for Dutch native speakers, and for German L2 learners of Dutch. In Experiment 1 we show that for native speakers, grammatical gender agreement violations are yet another among many syntactic factors that modulate beta oscillatory activity during sentence comprehension. Beta power is higher for grammatically acceptable target words than for those that mismatch in grammatical gender with their preceding determiner. In Experiment 2 we observed no such beta modulations for L2 learners, irrespective of whether trials were sorted according to objective or subjective syntactic correctness. Experiment 3 ruled out that the absence of a beta effect for the L2 learners in Experiment 2 was due to repetition of the target nouns in objectively correct and incorrect determiner-noun pairs. Finally, Experiment 4 showed that when L2 learners are required to explicitly focus on grammatical information, they show modulations of beta oscillatory activity, comparable to those of native speakers, but only when trials are sorted according to participants' idiosyncratic lexical representations of the grammatical gender of target nouns. Together, these findings suggest that beta power in L2 learners is sensitive to violations of grammatical gender agreement, but only when the importance of grammatical information is highlighted, and only when participants' subjective lexical representations are taken into account. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All

  3. The Influence of Topic Status on Written and Spoken Sentence Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowles, H. Wind; Ferreira, Victor S.

    2012-01-01

    Four experiments investigate the influence of topic status and givenness on how speakers and writers structure sentences. The results of these experiments show that when a referent is previously given, it is more likely to be produced early in both sentences and word lists, confirming prior work showing that givenness increases the accessibility of given referents. When a referent is previously given and assigned topic status, it is even more likely to be produced early in a sentence, but not in a word list. Thus, there appears to be an early mention advantage for topics that is present in both written and spoken modalities, but is specific to sentence production. These results suggest that information-structure constructs like topic exert an influence that is not based only on increased accessibility, but also reflects mapping to syntactic structure during sentence production. PMID:22408281

  4. Examining the Contributions of Syntactic Awareness and Syntactic Knowledge to Reading Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brimo, Danielle; Apel, Kenn; Fountain, Treeva

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect(s) of syntactic knowledge and syntactic awareness on adolescents' reading comprehension. Method: One hundred and seventy-nine, 9th and 10th grade students' syntactic awareness, syntactic knowledge and reading comprehension skills were assessed. In addition, other known contributors to…

  5. Dopamine supports sentence comprehension in Parkinson's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grossman, M; Glosser, G; Kalmanson, J; Morris, J; Stern, M B; Hurtig, H I

    2001-03-01

    To determine the role of dopamine in the executive resource component of sentence comprehension. We studied sentence-picture matching in 20 right-handed, non-demented, native English speakers with mild Parkinson's disease (PD) when 'on' and 'off' their levodopa, taking into account disease duration to control for endogenous dopamine metabolism. We also administered a verbal working memory measure that does not involve specific grammatical manipulations. PD patients 'off' levodopa demonstrated a significant discrepancy in their comprehension of grammatically complex sentences compared to grammatically simpler sentences that was not evident when PD patients were 'on' levodopa. An error analysis demonstrated that impaired comprehension of grammatically complex sentences when 'off' levodopa was associated with poorer performance on foils requiring working memory resources. Performance on an independent measure of verbal working memory correlated only with comprehension of grammatically complex sentences during levodopa supplementation, but working memory according to this measure did not differ during 'on' and 'off' states. Dopamine supports the executive resources contributing to sentence comprehension in PD.

  6. Fiber-reinforced syntactic foams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yi-Jen

    Long fibers are generally preferred for reinforcing foams for performance reasons. However, uniform dispersion is difficult to achieve because they must be mixed with liquid resin prior to foam expansion. New approaches aiming to overcome such problem have been developed at USC's Composites Center. Fiber-reinforced syntactic foams with long fibers (over 6 mm in length) manufactured at USC's Composites Center have achieved promising mechanical properties and demonstrated lower density relative to conventional composite foams. Fiber-reinforced syntactic foams were synthesized from thermosetting polymeric microspheres (amino and phenolic microspheres), as well as thermoplastic PVC heat expandable microspheres (HEMs). Carbon and/or aramid fibers were used to reinforce the syntactic foams. Basic mechanical properties, including shear, tensile, and compression, were measured in syntactic foams and fiber-reinforced syntactic foams. Microstructure and crack propagation behavior were investigated by scanning electron microscope and light microscopy. Failure mechanisms and reinforcing mechanisms of fiber-reinforced syntactic foams were also analyzed. As expected, additions of fiber reinforcements to foams enhanced both tensile and shear properties. However, only limited enhancement in compression properties was observed, and fiber reinforcement was of limited benefit in this regard. Therefore, a hybrid foam design was explored and evaluated in an attempt to enhance compression properties. HEMs were blended with glass microspheres to produce hybrid foams, and hybrid foams were subsequently reinforced with continuous aramid fibers to produce fiber-reinforced hybrid foams. Mechanical properties of these foams were evaluated. Findings indicated that the production of hybrid foams was an effective way to enhance the compressive properties of syntactic foams, while the addition of fiber reinforcements enhanced the shear and tensile performance of syntactic foams. Another approach

  7. Improved Thermal Conductivity in Carbon Nanotubes-Reinforced Syntactic Foam Achieved by a New Dispersing Technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhat, P.; Zegeye, E.; Ghamsari, A. K.; Woldesenbet, E.

    2015-12-01

    Syntactic foams are composite materials in which the matrix phase is reinforced with hollow micro-particles. Traditionally, syntactic foams are used for many high strength applications and as insulating materials. However, for applications demanding better heat dissipation, such as thermal management of electronic packaging, conductive fillers need to be added to syntactic foam. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs), although extremely conductive, have issues of agglomeration in the matrix. In this research, CNT-reinforced syntactic foam was developed based on our approach through which CNTs were dispersed throughout the matrix by growing them on the surface of glass microballoons. The thermal conductivity of nanotube-grown syntactic foam was tested with a Flashline® thermal analyzer. For comparison purposes, plain and nanotube-mixed syntactic foams were also fabricated and tested. Nanotube-grown microballoons improved the thermal conductivity of syntactic foam by 86% and 92% (at 50°C) compared to plain and nanotube-mixed syntactic foams, respectively. The improved thermal conductivity as well as the microstructural analysis proved the effectiveness of this approach for dispersing the carbon nanotubes in syntactic foams.

  8. Syntactic and auditory spatial processing in the human temporal cortex: an MEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, Björn; Maess, Burkhard; Hahne, Anja; Schröger, Erich; Friederici, Angela D

    2011-07-15

    Processing syntax is believed to be a higher cognitive function involving cortical regions outside sensory cortices. In particular, previous studies revealed that early syntactic processes at around 100-200 ms affect brain activations in anterior regions of the superior temporal gyrus (STG), while independent studies showed that pure auditory perceptual processing is related to sensory cortex activations. However, syntax-related modulations of sensory cortices were reported recently, thereby adding diverging findings to the previous studies. The goal of the present magnetoencephalography study was to localize the cortical regions underlying early syntactic processes and those underlying perceptual processes using a within-subject design. Sentences varying the factors syntax (correct vs. incorrect) and auditory space (standard vs. change of interaural time difference (ITD)) were auditorily presented. Both syntactic and auditory spatial anomalies led to very early activations (40-90 ms) in the STG. Around 135 ms after violation onset, differential effects were observed for syntax and auditory space, with syntactically incorrect sentences leading to activations in the anterior STG, whereas ITD changes elicited activations more posterior in the STG. Furthermore, our observations strongly indicate that the anterior and the posterior STG are activated simultaneously when a double violation is encountered. Thus, the present findings provide evidence of a dissociation of speech-related processes in the anterior STG and the processing of auditory spatial information in the posterior STG, compatible with the view of different processing streams in the temporal cortex. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. SYNTACTIC DEFICIT IN CIDLDREN WITH SPECIFIC LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENT IN SLOVENE LANGUAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marinka GROBLER

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study is the research of specificlanguage impairments as manifested inSlovene language. The research focuses on languageprocessing in order to determine syntactic,deficit.It has been predicted, that SLI children will meetwith difficulties in the language of all elements thatmark syntactic dependency.The research has been carried out on a sample of 71children with SLI and of 71 children with normallanguage development, all pupils from first tofourth grade of primary school. The children fromboth groups were matched by sex, socio-economicstatus and school environment.This study presents an analysis of repetitions of tensentences designed in such way that some syntacticelements have been varied.The variables of language processing and those ofmorpho syntactic command were obtained from theelicited repetition task (including different syntacticallycomplex structures.The results show, that SLI children use certainstructure less frequently than age controls and thatthere are not only statistically important differencesin the majority of the sentences with differentsyntactic complexity, but also that the tasks appliedcan differentiate specific language impairments aswell. The research has put up some syntactic deficitof SLI in Slovene language as they can be identifiedby means of targeted sentences.In syntax, children with SLI have problemswith depended relations, with languageprocessing and structuring of coordinate andsubordinate clauses and also in the simplesentences. Furthermore, they have problems withsubject-predicate agreement and, when they repeatsentences, with coordinate elements.

  10. Language influences music harmony perception: effects of shared syntactic integration resources beyond attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunert, Richard; Willems, Roel M; Hagoort, Peter

    2016-02-01

    Many studies have revealed shared music-language processing resources by finding an influence of music harmony manipulations on concurrent language processing. However, the nature of the shared resources has remained ambiguous. They have been argued to be syntax specific and thus due to shared syntactic integration resources. An alternative view regards them as related to general attention and, thus, not specific to syntax. The present experiments evaluated these accounts by investigating the influence of language on music. Participants were asked to provide closure judgements on harmonic sequences in order to assess the appropriateness of sequence endings. At the same time participants read syntactic garden-path sentences. Closure judgements revealed a change in harmonic processing as the result of reading a syntactically challenging word. We found no influence of an arithmetic control manipulation (experiment 1) or semantic garden-path sentences (experiment 2). Our results provide behavioural evidence for a specific influence of linguistic syntax processing on musical harmony judgements. A closer look reveals that the shared resources appear to be needed to hold a harmonic key online in some form of syntactic working memory or unification workspace related to the integration of chords and words. Overall, our results support the syntax specificity of shared music-language processing resources.

  11. Verbal Semantics Drives Early Anticipatory Eye Movements during the Comprehension of Verb-Initial Sentences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauppe, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    Studies on anticipatory processes during sentence comprehension often focus on the prediction of postverbal direct objects. In subject-initial languages (the target of most studies so far), however, the position in the sentence, the syntactic function, and the semantic role of arguments are often conflated. For example, in the sentence “The frog will eat the fly” the syntactic object (“fly”) is at the same time also the last word and the patient argument of the verb. It is therefore not apparent which kind of information listeners orient to for predictive processing during sentence comprehension. A visual world eye tracking study on the verb-initial language Tagalog (Austronesian) tested what kind of information listeners use to anticipate upcoming postverbal linguistic input. The grammatical structure of Tagalog allows to test whether listeners' anticipatory gaze behavior is guided by predictions of the linear order of words, by syntactic functions (e.g., subject/object), or by semantic roles (agent/patient). Participants heard sentences of the type “Eat frog fly” or “Eat fly frog” (both meaning “The frog will eat the fly”) while looking at displays containing an agent referent (“frog”), a patient referent (“fly”) and a distractor. The verb carried morphological marking that allowed the order and syntactic function of agent and patient to be inferred. After having heard the verb, listeners fixated on the agent irrespective of its syntactic function or position in the sentence. While hearing the first-mentioned argument, listeners fixated on the corresponding referent in the display accordingly and then initiated saccades to the last-mentioned referent before it was encountered. The results indicate that listeners used verbal semantics to identify referents and their semantic roles early; information about word order or syntactic functions did not influence anticipatory gaze behavior directly after the verb was heard. In this verb

  12. Verbal Semantics Drives Early Anticipatory Eye Movements during the Comprehension of Verb-Initial Sentences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauppe, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    Studies on anticipatory processes during sentence comprehension often focus on the prediction of postverbal direct objects. In subject-initial languages (the target of most studies so far), however, the position in the sentence, the syntactic function, and the semantic role of arguments are often conflated. For example, in the sentence "The frog will eat the fly" the syntactic object ("fly") is at the same time also the last word and the patient argument of the verb. It is therefore not apparent which kind of information listeners orient to for predictive processing during sentence comprehension. A visual world eye tracking study on the verb-initial language Tagalog (Austronesian) tested what kind of information listeners use to anticipate upcoming postverbal linguistic input. The grammatical structure of Tagalog allows to test whether listeners' anticipatory gaze behavior is guided by predictions of the linear order of words, by syntactic functions (e.g., subject/object), or by semantic roles (agent/patient). Participants heard sentences of the type "Eat frog fly" or "Eat fly frog" (both meaning "The frog will eat the fly") while looking at displays containing an agent referent ("frog"), a patient referent ("fly") and a distractor. The verb carried morphological marking that allowed the order and syntactic function of agent and patient to be inferred. After having heard the verb, listeners fixated on the agent irrespective of its syntactic function or position in the sentence. While hearing the first-mentioned argument, listeners fixated on the corresponding referent in the display accordingly and then initiated saccades to the last-mentioned referent before it was encountered. The results indicate that listeners used verbal semantics to identify referents and their semantic roles early; information about word order or syntactic functions did not influence anticipatory gaze behavior directly after the verb was heard. In this verb-initial language, event semantics

  13. Verbal semantics drives early anticipatory eye movements during the comprehension of verb-initial sentences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian eSauppe

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Studies on anticipatory processes during sentence comprehension often focus on the prediction of postverbal direct objects. In subject-initial languages (the target of most studies so far, however, the position in the sentence, the syntactic function, and the semantic role of arguments are often conflated. For example, in the sentence The frog will eat the fly the syntactic object (fly is at the same time also the last word and the patient argument of the verb. It is therefore not apparent which kind of information listeners orient to for predictive processing during sentence comprehension. A visual world eye tracking study on the verb-initial language Tagalog (Austronesian tested what kind of information listeners use to anticipate upcoming postverbal linguistic input. The grammatical structure of Tagalog allows to test whether listeners' anticipatory gaze behavior is guided by predictions of the linear order of words, by syntactic functions (e.g., subject/object, or by semantic roles (agent/patient. Participants heard sentences of the type Eat frog fly or Eat fly frog (both meaning The frog will eat the fly while looking at displays containing an agent referent (frog, a patient referent (fly and a distractor. The verb carried morphological marking that allowed the order and syntactic function of agent and patient to be inferred. After having heard the verb, listeners fixated on the agent irrespective of its syntactic function or position in the sentence. While hearing the first-mentioned argument, listeners fixated on the corresponding referent in the display accordingly and then initiated saccades to the last-mentioned referent before it was encountered. The results indicate that listeners used verbal semantics to identify referents and their semantic roles early; information about word order or syntactic functions did not influence anticipatory gaze behavior directly after the verb was heard. In this verb-initial language, event semantics

  14. Identifying Dialect Regions from Syntactic Data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tjong Kim Sang, E.; Wieling, Martijn; Kroon, Martin; van Noord, Gertjan; Bouma, Gosse

    2017-01-01

    The Syntactic Atlas of Dutch Dialects (SAND) is a database of syntactic features observed in the language spoken by people from different dialect regions in The Netherlands and Flanders. We would like to know how specific syntactic features are for the different dialects. For this purpose we try to

  15. The comprehension of sentences with unaccusative verbs in aphasia: a test of the intervener hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Natalie; Walenski, Matthew; Love, Tracy; Shapiro, Lewis P

    2017-01-01

    It is well accepted that individuals with agrammatic Broca's aphasia have difficulty comprehending some sentences with filler-gap dependencies. While investigations of these difficulties have been conducted with several different sentence types (e.g., object relatives, Wh -questions), we explore sentences containing unaccusative verbs, which arguably have a single noun phrase (NP) that is base-generated in object position but then is displaced to surface subject position. Unaccusative verbs provide an ideal test case for a particular hypothesis about the comprehension disorder-the Intervener Hypothesis-that posits that the difficulty individuals with agrammatic Broca's aphasia have comprehending sentences containing filler-gap dependencies results from similarity-based interference caused by the presence of an intervening NP between the two elements of a syntactic chain. To assess a particular account of the comprehension deficit in agrammatic Broca's aphasia-the Intervener Hypothesis. We used a sentence-picture matching task to determine if listeners with agrammatic Broca's aphasia (LWBA) and age-matched neurologically unimpaired controls (AMC) have difficulty comprehending unaccusative verbs when placed in subject relative and complement phrase (CP) constructions. We found above-chance comprehension of both sentence constructions with the AMC participants. In contrast, we found above-chance comprehension of CP sentences containing unaccusative verbs but poor comprehension of subject relative sentences containing unaccusative verbs for the LWBA. These results provide support for the Intervener Hypothesis, wherein the presence of an intervening NP between two elements of a filler-gap dependency adversely affects sentence comprehension.

  16. A Corpus Investigation of Syntactic Embedding in Pirahã.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Futrell, Richard; Stearns, Laura; Everett, Daniel L; Piantadosi, Steven T; Gibson, Edward

    2016-01-01

    The Pirahã language has been at the center of recent debates in linguistics, in large part because it is claimed not to exhibit recursion, a purported universal of human language. Here, we present an analysis of a novel corpus of natural Pirahã speech that was originally collected by Dan Everett and Steve Sheldon. We make the corpus freely available for further research. In the corpus, Pirahã sentences have been shallowly parsed and given morpheme-aligned English translations. We use the corpus to investigate the formal complexity of Pirahã syntax by searching for evidence of syntactic embedding. In particular, we search for sentences which could be analyzed as containing center-embedding, sentential complements, adverbials, complementizers, embedded possessors, conjunction or disjunction. We do not find unambiguous evidence for recursive embedding of sentences or noun phrases in the corpus. We find that the corpus is plausibly consistent with an analysis of Pirahã as a regular language, although this is not the only plausible analysis.

  17. Structure and Compressive Properties of Invar-Cenosphere Syntactic Foams.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luong, Dung; Lehmhus, Dirk; Gupta, Nikhil; Weise, Joerg; Bayoumi, Mohamed

    2016-02-18

    The present study investigates the mechanical performance of syntactic foams produced by means of the metal powder injection molding process having an Invar (FeNi36) matrix and including cenospheres as hollow particles at weight fractions (wt.%) of 5 and 10, respectively, corresponding to approximately 41.6 and 60.0 vol.% in relation to the metal content and at 0.6 g/cm³ hollow particle density. The synthesis process results in survival of cenospheres and provides low density syntactic foams. The microstructure of the materials is investigated as well as the mechanical performance under quasi-static and high strain rate compressive loads. The compressive stress-strain curves of syntactic foams reveal a continuous strain hardening behavior in the plastic region, followed by a densification region. The results reveal a strain rate sensitivity in cenosphere-based Invar matrix syntactic foams. Differences in properties between cenosphere- and glass microsphere-based materials are discussed in relation to the findings of microstructural investigations. Cenospheres present a viable choice as filler material in iron-based syntactic foams due to their higher thermal stability compared to glass microspheres.

  18. Structure and Compressive Properties of Invar-Cenosphere Syntactic Foams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dung Luong

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The present study investigates the mechanical performance of syntactic foams produced by means of the metal powder injection molding process having an Invar (FeNi36 matrix and including cenospheres as hollow particles at weight fractions (wt.% of 5 and 10, respectively, corresponding to approximately 41.6 and 60.0 vol.% in relation to the metal content and at 0.6 g/cm3 hollow particle density. The synthesis process results in survival of cenospheres and provides low density syntactic foams. The microstructure of the materials is investigated as well as the mechanical performance under quasi-static and high strain rate compressive loads. The compressive stress-strain curves of syntactic foams reveal a continuous strain hardening behavior in the plastic region, followed by a densification region. The results reveal a strain rate sensitivity in cenosphere-based Invar matrix syntactic foams. Differences in properties between cenosphere- and glass microsphere-based materials are discussed in relation to the findings of microstructural investigations. Cenospheres present a viable choice as filler material in iron-based syntactic foams due to their higher thermal stability compared to glass microspheres.

  19. Affected functional networks associated with sentence production in classic galactosemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmers, Inge; van den Hurk, Job; Hofman, Paul Am; Zimmermann, Luc Ji; Uludağ, Kâmil; Jansma, Bernadette M; Rubio-Gozalbo, M Estela

    2015-08-07

    Patients with the inherited metabolic disorder classic galactosemia have language production impairments in several planning stages. Here, we assessed potential deviations in recruitment and connectivity across brain areas responsible for language production that may explain these deficits. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study neural activity and connectivity while participants carried out a language production task. This study included 13 adolescent patients and 13 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Participants passively watched or actively described an animated visual scene using two conditions, varying in syntactic complexity (single words versus a sentence). Results showed that patients recruited additional and more extensive brain regions during sentence production. Both groups showed modulations with syntactic complexity in left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), a region associated with syntactic planning, and in right insula. In addition, patients showed a modulation with syntax in left superior temporal gyrus (STG), whereas the controls did not. Further, patients showed increased activity in right STG and right supplementary motor area (SMA). The functional connectivity data showed similar patterns, with more extensive connectivity with frontal and motor regions, and restricted and weaker connectivity with superior temporal regions. Patients also showed higher baseline cerebral blood flow (CBF) in right IFG and trends towards higher CBF in bilateral STG, SMA and the insula. Taken together, the data demonstrate that language abnormalities in classic galactosemia are associated with specific changes within the language network. These changes point towards impairments related to both syntactic planning and speech motor planning in these patients. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. The development and evaluation of the Finnish Matrix Sentence Test for speech intelligibility assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, Aarno; Buschermöhle, Michael; Aarnisalo, Antti A; Vanhanen, Annukka; Hyyrynen, Taneli; Aaltonen, Olli; Löppönen, Heikki; Zokoll, Melanie A; Kollmeier, Birger

    2014-07-01

    The Finnish Matrix Test is the first sentence test in noise for the Finnish language. It was developed according to the HearCom standards and provides reliable speech intelligibility measurements with highly comparable results with the other international matrix tests. The aim of the study was to develop an accurate speech intelligibility test in noise for the Finnish language that is comparable across different languages. We chose a matrix sentence test, which comprises a base matrix of 10 names, verbs, numerals, adjectives and nouns. Test lists were formed from this matrix quasi randomly, providing test sentences of the same syntactical structure. The speech material corresponds to everyday spoken language and the phoneme distribution is representative of the Finnish language. The test was optimized by determining the speech recognition thresholds of the individual words and subsequently by applying level corrections of up to ±3 dB. Evaluation measurements were performed to check the equivalence of the different test lists with respect to speech intelligibility and to provide reference values for further clinical applications. After training, the mean speech recognition threshold (SRT) and the slope of the final test lists were -10.1 ± 0.1 dB signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR)and 16.7 ± 1.2%/dB, respectively (measurements at constant level; inter-list variability). The mean SRT and the slope of the test subjects were -10.1 ± 0.7 dB SNR and 17.5 ± 2.2%/dB (measurements at constant level; inter-subject variability). The expected SRT range for normal-hearing young adults for adaptive measurements is -9.7 ± 0.7 dB SNR.

  1. The influence of task-irrelevant music on language processing: syntactic and semantic structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoch, Lisianne; Poulin-Charronnat, Benedicte; Tillmann, Barbara

    2011-01-01

    Recent research has suggested that music and language processing share neural resources, leading to new hypotheses about interference in the simultaneous processing of these two structures. The present study investigated the effect of a musical chord's tonal function on syntactic processing (Experiment 1) and semantic processing (Experiment 2) using a cross-modal paradigm and controlling for acoustic differences. Participants read sentences and performed a lexical decision task on the last word, which was, syntactically or semantically, expected or unexpected. The simultaneously presented (task-irrelevant) musical sequences ended on either an expected tonic or a less-expected subdominant chord. Experiment 1 revealed interactive effects between music-syntactic and linguistic-syntactic processing. Experiment 2 showed only main effects of both music-syntactic and linguistic-semantic expectations. An additional analysis over the two experiments revealed that linguistic violations interacted with musical violations, though not differently as a function of the type of linguistic violations. The present findings were discussed in light of currently available data on the processing of music as well as of syntax and semantics in language, leading to the hypothesis that resources might be shared for structural integration processes and sequencing.

  2. The influence of task-irrelevant music on language processing: Syntactic and semantic structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisianne eHoch

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent research has suggested that music and language processing share neural resources, leading to new hypotheses about interference in the simultaneous processing of these two structures. The present study investigated the effect of a musical chord’s tonal function on syntactic processing (Experiment 1 and semantic processing (Experiment 2 using a cross-modal paradigm and controlling for acoustic differences. Participants read sentences and performed a lexical decision task on the last word, which was, syntactically or semantically, expected or unexpected. The simultaneously presented (task-irrelevant musical sequences ended on either an expected tonic or a less-expected subdominant chord. Experiment 1 revealed interactive effects between music-syntactic and linguistic-syntactic processing. Experiment 2 showed only main effects of both music-syntactic and linguistic-semantic expectations. An additional analysis over the two experiments revealed that linguistic violations interacted with musical violations, though not differently as a function of the type of linguistic violations. The present findings were discussed in light of currently available data on the processing of music as well as of syntax and semantics in language, leading to the hypothesis that resources might be shared for structural integration processes and sequencing.

  3. The Influence of Task-Irrelevant Music on Language Processing: Syntactic and Semantic Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoch, Lisianne; Poulin-Charronnat, Benedicte; Tillmann, Barbara

    2011-01-01

    Recent research has suggested that music and language processing share neural resources, leading to new hypotheses about interference in the simultaneous processing of these two structures. The present study investigated the effect of a musical chord's tonal function on syntactic processing (Experiment 1) and semantic processing (Experiment 2) using a cross-modal paradigm and controlling for acoustic differences. Participants read sentences and performed a lexical decision task on the last word, which was, syntactically or semantically, expected or unexpected. The simultaneously presented (task-irrelevant) musical sequences ended on either an expected tonic or a less-expected subdominant chord. Experiment 1 revealed interactive effects between music-syntactic and linguistic-syntactic processing. Experiment 2 showed only main effects of both music-syntactic and linguistic-semantic expectations. An additional analysis over the two experiments revealed that linguistic violations interacted with musical violations, though not differently as a function of the type of linguistic violations. The present findings were discussed in light of currently available data on the processing of music as well as of syntax and semantics in language, leading to the hypothesis that resources might be shared for structural integration processes and sequencing. PMID:21713122

  4. Neurophysiological dynamics of phrase-structure building during sentence processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Matthew J; El Karoui, Imen; Giber, Kristof; Yang, Xiaofang; Cohen, Laurent; Koopman, Hilda; Cash, Sydney S; Naccache, Lionel; Hale, John T; Pallier, Christophe; Dehaene, Stanislas

    2017-05-02

    Although sentences unfold sequentially, one word at a time, most linguistic theories propose that their underlying syntactic structure involves a tree of nested phrases rather than a linear sequence of words. Whether and how the brain builds such structures, however, remains largely unknown. Here, we used human intracranial recordings and visual word-by-word presentation of sentences and word lists to investigate how left-hemispheric brain activity varies during the formation of phrase structures. In a broad set of language-related areas, comprising multiple superior temporal and inferior frontal sites, high-gamma power increased with each successive word in a sentence but decreased suddenly whenever words could be merged into a phrase. Regression analyses showed that each additional word or multiword phrase contributed a similar amount of additional brain activity, providing evidence for a merge operation that applies equally to linguistic objects of arbitrary complexity. More superficial models of language, based solely on sequential transition probability over lexical and syntactic categories, only captured activity in the posterior middle temporal gyrus. Formal model comparison indicated that the model of multiword phrase construction provided a better fit than probability-based models at most sites in superior temporal and inferior frontal cortices. Activity in those regions was consistent with a neural implementation of a bottom-up or left-corner parser of the incoming language stream. Our results provide initial intracranial evidence for the neurophysiological reality of the merge operation postulated by linguists and suggest that the brain compresses syntactically well-formed sequences of words into a hierarchy of nested phrases.

  5. A little more conversation - the influence of communicative context on syntactic priming in brain and behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoot, Lotte; Menenti, Laura; Hagoort, Peter; Segaert, Katrien

    2014-01-01

    We report on an functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) syntactic priming experiment in which we measure brain activity for participants who communicate with another participant outside the scanner. We investigated whether syntactic processing during overt language production and comprehension is influenced by having a (shared) goal to communicate. Although theory suggests this is true, the nature of this influence remains unclear. Two hypotheses are tested: (i) syntactic priming effects (fMRI and behavioral) are stronger for participants in the communicative context than for participants doing the same experiment in a non-communicative context, and (ii) syntactic priming magnitude (behavioral) is correlated with the syntactic priming magnitude of the speaker's communicative partner. Results showed that across conditions, participants were faster to produce sentences with repeated syntax, relative to novel syntax. This behavioral result converged with the fMRI data: we found repetition suppression effects in the left insula extending into left inferior frontal gyrus (BA 47/45), left middle temporal gyrus (BA 21), left inferior parietal cortex (BA 40), left precentral gyrus (BA 6), bilateral precuneus (BA 7), bilateral supplementary motor cortex (BA 32/8), and right insula (BA 47). We did not find support for the first hypothesis: having a communicative intention does not increase the magnitude of syntactic priming effects (either in the brain or in behavior) per se. We did find support for the second hypothesis: if speaker A is strongly/weakly primed by speaker B, then speaker B is primed by speaker A to a similar extent. We conclude that syntactic processing is influenced by being in a communicative context, and that the nature of this influence is bi-directional: speakers are influenced by each other.

  6. A little more conversation - The influence of communicative context on syntactic priming in brain and behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lotte eSchoot

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available We report on an fMRI syntactic priming experiment in which we measure brain activity for participants who communicate with another participant outside the scanner. We investigated whether syntactic processing during overt language production and comprehension is influenced by having a (shared goal to communicate. Although theory suggests this is true, the nature of this influence remains unclear. Two hypotheses are tested: i. syntactic priming effects (fMRI and RT are stronger for participants in the communicative context than for participants doing the same experiment in a non-communicative context, and ii. syntactic priming magnitude (RT is correlated with the syntactic priming magnitude of the speaker’s communicative partner. Results showed that across conditions, participants were faster to produce sentences with repeated syntax, relative to novel syntax. This behavioral result converged with the fMRI data: we found repetition suppression effects in the left insula extending into left inferior frontal gyrus (BA 47/45, left middle temporal gyrus (BA 21, left inferior parietal cortex (BA 40, left precentral gyrus (BA 6, bilateral precuneus (BA 7, bilateral supplementary motor cortex (BA 32/8 and right insula (BA 47. We did not find support for the first hypothesis: having a communicative intention does not increase the magnitude of syntactic priming effects (either in the brain or in behavior per se. We did find support for the second hypothesis: if speaker A is strongly/weakly primed by speaker B, then speaker B is primed by speaker A to a similar extent. We conclude that syntactic processing is influenced by being in a communicative context, and that the nature of this influence is bi-directional: speakers are influenced by each other.

  7. Sentence Syntax and Content in the Human Temporal Lobe: An fMRI Adaptation Study in Auditory and Visual Modalities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devauchelle, Anne-Dominique; Oppenheim, Catherine; Rizzi, Luigi; Dehaene, Stanislas; Pallier, Christophe

    2009-01-01

    Priming effects have been well documented in behavioral psycholinguistics experiments: The processing of a word or a sentence is typically facilitated when it shares lexico-semantic or syntactic features with a previously encountered stimulus. Here, we used fMRI priming to investigate which brain areas show adaptation to the repetition of a…

  8. Algorithm of Syntactic Idioms Recognition in the Text: Attempt of Construction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sytar Hanna

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Attention of national and foreign researchers was focused so far on structural and semantic features of syntactic idioms. Automatic analysis of these peculiar units that are on the verge of syntax and phraseology still was not carried out in the scientific literature. This issue requires a theoretical understanding and practical implementation. Purpose: To create an algorithm of recognition of syntactic idioms with one- or two-term core component in the corpus of texts. Results: Based on the results of previous theoretical studies we highlighted a number of formal and statistical criteria that enable to distinguish syntactic idioms from other language units in the corpus of Ukrainian-language texts. The author developed a block diagram of syntactic idioms recognition, incorporating two branches constructed accordingly for the sentences with one-term and sentences with two-term core component. The first branch is based on the presence of word repeats (full words concurrence or presence of other word forms of the word and the list of core components determined on previous stages of the study (є, це, то, не, так; як; з/із/зі, між, над, серед; а, але, зате, однак, проте. The second branch was created for another type of syntactic idioms – one with a two-term core component. It takes into account the following properties of the analyzed units: the presence of combinations of service parts of speech, service parts of speech with pronoun or adverb, pronoun and adverb; compliance of words combinations with the register of the syntactic idioms core components currently comprising 92 structures; association measure of mutual information ≥9, etc. Discussion: Offered algorithm enables automatic identification of syntactic idioms in the corpus of texts and removal of contexts of their use, it can be used to improve the procedure of automatic text processing and creation of automated translation

  9. Speaking of Sentences: Chunking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wichman, Nanette

    2009-01-01

    In this article, the author offers a new strategy for working with sentences in college composition that prompts students to access and apply their native grammatical abilities. The chunking strategy that she advocates is based on meaning and rests at a level of analysis that transcends varieties. It builds on the grammatical competence that…

  10. From Utterance to Example Sentence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristoffersen, Jette Hedegaard

    This poster will address some of the problems on excerption of example sentences for the online dictionary of Danish Sign Language (DTS) from a raw corpus of dialogues and monologues. In the Danish Sign Language Dictionary every meaning is illustrated by one or more sentences showing the sign...... in context. The goal of our project has been that every sentence should be taken from real language samples, but due to restriction on time and money we only managed to let approximately 50% of the sentences originate from real language samples. The remaining half of the sentences was constructed by deaf...... is to help the dictionary user to gain additional knowledge of a meaning of a sign, as well as to provide sentence constructions that can be adopted by the L2 learner. The process from the moment when a sentence has been excerpted from the corpus to the point when an example sentence is finally accepted...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-15

    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 sentences (i.e., 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. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. [AN OVERALL SOUND PROCESS] Syntactic parameters, statistic parameters, and universals

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    Nicolas Meeùs

    2016-05-01

    My paper intends to show that comparative musicology, in facts if not in principles, appears inherently linked to the syntactic elements of music – and so also any encyclopedic project aiming at uncovering universals in music. Not that statistic elements cannot be universal, but that they cannot be commented as such, because they remain largely unquantifiable.

  13. Automatic selection of informative sentences: The sentences that can generate multiple choice questions

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    Mukta Majumder

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Traditional education cannot meet the expectation and requirement of a Smart City; it require more advance forms like active learning, ICT education etc. Multiple choice questions (MCQs play an important role in educational assessment and active learning which has a key role in Smart City education. MCQs are effective to assess the understanding of well-defined concepts. A fraction of all the sentences of a text contain well-defined concepts or information that can be asked as a MCQ. These informative sentences are required to be identified first for preparing multiple choice questions manually or automatically. In this paper we propose a technique for automatic identification of such informative sentences that can act as the basis of MCQ. The technique is based on parse structure similarity. A reference set of parse structures is compiled with the help of existing MCQs. The parse structure of a new sentence is compared with the reference structures and if similarity is found then the sentence is considered as a potential candidate. Next a rule-based post-processing module works on these potential candidates to select the final set of informative sentences. The proposed approach is tested in sports domain, where many MCQs are easily available for preparing the reference set of structures. The quality of the system selected sentences is evaluated manually. The experimental result shows that the proposed technique is quite promising.

  14. Discovery of association rules between syntactic variables. Data mining the Syntactic Atlas of the Dutch dialects.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Spruit, M.R.; Dirix, P.; Schuurman, I.; Vandeghinste, V.; Van Eynde, F.

    2007-01-01

    This research applies an association rule mining technique to purely syntactic dialect data. The paper answers the research question of how relevant associations between syntactic variables can be discovered. The method calculates the proportional overlap between geographical distributions of

  15. Syntactic Priming in American Sign Language

    OpenAIRE

    Hall, Matthew L.; Ferreira, Victor S.; Mayberry, Rachel I.

    2015-01-01

    Psycholinguistic studies of sign language processing provide valuable opportunities to assess whether language phenomena, which are primarily studied in spoken language, are fundamentally shaped by peripheral biology. For example, we know that when given a choice between two syntactically permissible ways to express the same proposition, speakers tend to choose structures that were recently used, a phenomenon known as syntactic priming. Here, we report two experiments testing syntactic primin...

  16. Syntactic computation in the human brain: the degree of merger as a key factor.

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    Shinri Ohta

    Full Text Available Our goal of this study is to characterize the functions of language areas in most precise terms. Previous neuroimaging studies have reported that more complex sentences elicit larger activations in the left inferior frontal gyrus (L. F3op/F3t, although the most critical factor still remains to be identified. We hypothesize that pseudowords with grammatical particles and morphosyntactic information alone impose a construction of syntactic structures, just like normal sentences, and that "the Degree of Merger" (DoM in recursively merged sentences parametrically modulates neural activations. Using jabberwocky sentences with distinct constructions, we fitted various parametric models of syntactic, other linguistic, and nonlinguistic factors to activations measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging. We demonstrated that the models of DoM and "DoM+number of Search (searching syntactic features" were the best to explain activations in the L. F3op/F3t and supramarginal gyrus (L. SMG, respectively. We further introduced letter strings, which had neither lexical associations nor grammatical particles, but retained both matching orders and symbol orders of sentences. By directly contrasting jabberwocky sentences with letter strings, localized activations in L. F3op/F3t and L. SMG were indeed independent of matching orders and symbol orders. Moreover, by using dynamic causal modeling, we found that the model with a inhibitory modulatory effect for the bottom-up connectivity from L. SMG to L. F3op/F3t was the best one. For this best model, the top-down connection from L. F3op/F3t to L. SMG was significantly positive. By using diffusion-tensor imaging, we confirmed that the left dorsal pathway of the superior longitudinal and arcuate fasciculi consistently connected these regions. Lastly, we established that nonlinguistic order-related and error-related factors significantly activated the right (R. lateral premotor cortex and R. F3op/F3t

  17. Syntactic computation in the human brain: the degree of merger as a key factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohta, Shinri; Fukui, Naoki; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L

    2013-01-01

    Our goal of this study is to characterize the functions of language areas in most precise terms. Previous neuroimaging studies have reported that more complex sentences elicit larger activations in the left inferior frontal gyrus (L. F3op/F3t), although the most critical factor still remains to be identified. We hypothesize that pseudowords with grammatical particles and morphosyntactic information alone impose a construction of syntactic structures, just like normal sentences, and that "the Degree of Merger" (DoM) in recursively merged sentences parametrically modulates neural activations. Using jabberwocky sentences with distinct constructions, we fitted various parametric models of syntactic, other linguistic, and nonlinguistic factors to activations measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging. We demonstrated that the models of DoM and "DoM+number of Search (searching syntactic features)" were the best to explain activations in the L. F3op/F3t and supramarginal gyrus (L. SMG), respectively. We further introduced letter strings, which had neither lexical associations nor grammatical particles, but retained both matching orders and symbol orders of sentences. By directly contrasting jabberwocky sentences with letter strings, localized activations in L. F3op/F3t and L. SMG were indeed independent of matching orders and symbol orders. Moreover, by using dynamic causal modeling, we found that the model with a inhibitory modulatory effect for the bottom-up connectivity from L. SMG to L. F3op/F3t was the best one. For this best model, the top-down connection from L. F3op/F3t to L. SMG was significantly positive. By using diffusion-tensor imaging, we confirmed that the left dorsal pathway of the superior longitudinal and arcuate fasciculi consistently connected these regions. Lastly, we established that nonlinguistic order-related and error-related factors significantly activated the right (R.) lateral premotor cortex and R. F3op/F3t, respectively. These

  18. Syntactic Computation in the Human Brain: The Degree of Merger as a Key Factor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohta, Shinri; Fukui, Naoki; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L.

    2013-01-01

    Our goal of this study is to characterize the functions of language areas in most precise terms. Previous neuroimaging studies have reported that more complex sentences elicit larger activations in the left inferior frontal gyrus (L. F3op/F3t), although the most critical factor still remains to be identified. We hypothesize that pseudowords with grammatical particles and morphosyntactic information alone impose a construction of syntactic structures, just like normal sentences, and that “the Degree of Merger” (DoM) in recursively merged sentences parametrically modulates neural activations. Using jabberwocky sentences with distinct constructions, we fitted various parametric models of syntactic, other linguistic, and nonlinguistic factors to activations measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging. We demonstrated that the models of DoM and “DoM+number of Search (searching syntactic features)” were the best to explain activations in the L. F3op/F3t and supramarginal gyrus (L. SMG), respectively. We further introduced letter strings, which had neither lexical associations nor grammatical particles, but retained both matching orders and symbol orders of sentences. By directly contrasting jabberwocky sentences with letter strings, localized activations in L. F3op/F3t and L. SMG were indeed independent of matching orders and symbol orders. Moreover, by using dynamic causal modeling, we found that the model with a inhibitory modulatory effect for the bottom-up connectivity from L. SMG to L. F3op/F3t was the best one. For this best model, the top-down connection from L. F3op/F3t to L. SMG was significantly positive. By using diffusion-tensor imaging, we confirmed that the left dorsal pathway of the superior longitudinal and arcuate fasciculi consistently connected these regions. Lastly, we established that nonlinguistic order-related and error-related factors significantly activated the right (R.) lateral premotor cortex and R. F3op/F3t, respectively

  19. Some Effects of Explicit Grammar Instruction and Syntactic Priming on Students’ Written Language Production

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    Rahman Muhammad Asfah

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Structural or syntactic priming is a phenomenon in which prior exposure to specific language structures either facilitates or interferes with a learner’s subsequent language production [1]. Exposure to English structures through explicit instruction is reported to have inconclusive results. [2] reported that explicit and implicit grammar instruction ends up with automatization. This study reexamines the effect of syntactic priming and explicit grammar instruction on students’ writing. Specific grammatical features frequently appeared on TOEFL (Written Expression Section test were intensively practiced and then the students took a test whose items were specifically collected from TOEFL practice tests. Finally, the students were assigned to write a short essay. Sentences with similar structures which the students had been exposed to were extracted from the students’ essays. Out of 40 test items, only 59.86% in average could be answered correctly, and all of the grammatical features to which the students were previously exposed were contained in their essays. However, in average only eight out of 18 sentences were grammatically constructed. It can be concluded that although priming method with explicit instruction leads the students to use similar syntactic features in their writing, it seems to have little impact on students’ grammatical knowledge for immediate use in written language production.

  20. Developmental differences in beta and theta power during sentence processing

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    Julie M. Schneider

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Although very young children process ongoing language quickly and effortlessly, research indicates that they continue to improve and mature in their language skills through adolescence. This prolonged development may be related to differing engagement of semantic and syntactic processes. This study used event related potentials and time frequency analysis of EEG to identify developmental differences in neural engagement as children (ages 10–12 and adults performed an auditory verb agreement grammaticality judgment task. Adults and children revealed very few differences in comprehending grammatically correct sentences. When identifying grammatical errors, however, adults displayed widely distributed beta and theta power decreases that were significantly less pronounced in children. Adults also demonstrated a significant P600 effect, while children exhibited an apparent N400 effect. Thus, when identifying subtle grammatical errors in real time, adults display greater neural activation that is traditionally associated with syntactic processing whereas children exhibit greater activity more commonly associated with semantic processing. These findings support previous claims that the cognitive and neural underpinnings of syntactic processing are still developing in adolescence, and add to them by more clearly identifying developmental changes in the neural oscillations underlying grammatical processing.

  1. An event-related neuroimaging study distinguishing form and content in sentence processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, W; Constable, R T; Mencl, W E; Pugh, K R; Fulbright, R K; Shaywitz, S E; Shaywitz, B A; Gore, J C; Shankweiler, D

    2000-01-01

    Two coordinated experiments using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) investigated whether the brain represents language form (grammatical structure) separately from its meaning content (semantics). While in the scanner, 14 young, unimpaired adults listened to simple sentences that were either nonanomalous or contained a grammatical error (for example, *Trees can grew.), or a semantic anomaly (for example, *Trees can eat.). A same⁄different tone pitch judgment task provided a baseline that isolated brain activity associated with linguistic processing from background activity generated by attention to the task and analysis of the auditory input. Sites selectively activated by sentence processing were found in both hemispheres in inferior frontal, middle, and superior frontal, superior temporal, and temporo-parietal regions. Effects of syntactic and semantic anomalies were differentiated by some nonoverlapping areas of activation: Syntactic anomaly triggered significantly increased activity in and around Broca's area, whereas semantic anomaly activated several other sites anteriorly and posteriorly, among them Wernicke's area. These dissociations occurred when listeners were not required to attend to the anomaly. The results confirm that linguistic operations in sentence processing can be isolated from nonlinguistic operations and support the hypothesis of a specialization for syntactic processing.

  2. Dependency distance: A new perspective on syntactic patterns in natural languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Haitao; Xu, Chunshan; Liang, Junying

    2017-07-01

    Dependency distance, measured by the linear distance between two syntactically related words in a sentence, is generally held as an important index of memory burden and an indicator of syntactic difficulty. Since this constraint of memory is common for all human beings, there may well be a universal preference for dependency distance minimization (DDM) for the sake of reducing memory burden. This human-driven language universal is supported by big data analyses of various corpora that consistently report shorter overall dependency distance in natural languages than in artificial random languages and long-tailed distributions featuring a majority of short dependencies and a minority of long ones. Human languages, as complex systems, seem to have evolved to come up with diverse syntactic patterns under the universal pressure for dependency distance minimization. However, there always exist a small number of long-distance dependencies in natural languages, which may reflect some other biological or functional constraints. Language system may adapt itself to these sporadic long-distance dependencies. It is these universal constraints that have shaped such a rich diversity of syntactic patterns in human languages.

  3. Focus in Corrective Exchanges: Effects of Pitch Accent and Syntactic Form.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifton, Charles; Frazier, Lyn

    2016-12-01

    A dialog consisting of an utterance by one speaker and another speaker's correction of its content seems intuitively to be made more acceptable when the new information is pitch accented or otherwise focused, and when the utterance and correction have the same syntactic form. Three acceptability judgment studies, one written and two auditory, investigated the interaction of focus (manipulated by sentence position and, in Experiments 2 and 3, pitch accent) and syntactic parallelism. Experiment 1 indicated that syntactic parallelism interacted with position of the new (contrastive) term: nonparallel forms were relatively acceptable when the new term appeared in object position, a position that commonly contains new information (a 'default focus' position). Experiments 2 and 3 indicated that presence of a pitch accent and placement in a default focus position had additive effects on acceptability. Surprisingly, spoken dialogs in which the new term appeared in object position were acceptable even when given information carried the most prominent pitch accent. The present studies, and earlier work, suggest that corrected information can be focused either by prosody or position even in spoken English-a language often thought to express focus through pitch accent, not syntactic position.

  4. A Syntactic Study of Egyptian Colloquial Arabic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamal-Eldin, Saad M.

    This syntactic analysis of Egyptian colloquial Arabic is based on the author's dialect which he designates as educated Cairene. This study offers a phonological as well as morphological background for the grammar of this particular dialect. The basic syntactic approach used is immediate constituent analysis. String analysis and transformational…

  5. Syntactic Atlas of the Dutch Dialects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barbiers, Sjef; Bennis, Hans; Vogelaer, De Gunther; Devos, Magda; Ham, van der Margreet

    2005-01-01

    Available in a Dutch and English Edition, the Syntactic Atlas of the Dutch Dialects (SAND) provides a detailed overview of the surprisingly rich syntactic variation found in 267 dialects of Dutch at the beginning of the 21th century. 200 full color maps show the geographic distribution of more than

  6. Cortico-striatal language pathways dynamically adjust for syntactic complexity: A computational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szalisznyó, Krisztina; Silverstein, David; Teichmann, Marc; Duffau, Hugues; Smits, Anja

    2017-01-01

    A growing body of literature supports a key role of fronto-striatal circuits in language perception. It is now known that the striatum plays a role in engaging attentional resources and linguistic rule computation while also serving phonological short-term memory capabilities. The ventral semantic and the dorsal phonological stream dichotomy assumed for spoken language processing also seems to play a role in cortico-striatal perception. Based on recent studies that correlate deep Broca-striatal pathways with complex syntax performance, we used a previously developed computational model of frontal-striatal syntax circuits and hypothesized that different parallel language pathways may contribute to canonical and non-canonical sentence comprehension separately. We modified and further analyzed a thematic role assignment task and corresponding reservoir computing model of language circuits, as previously developed by Dominey and coworkers. We examined the models performance under various parameter regimes, by influencing how fast the presented language input decays and altering the temporal dynamics of activated word representations. This enabled us to quantify canonical and non-canonical sentence comprehension abilities. The modeling results suggest that separate cortico-cortical and cortico-striatal circuits may be recruited differently for processing syntactically more difficult and less complicated sentences. Alternatively, a single circuit would need to dynamically and adaptively adjust to syntactic complexity. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  7. Syntactical Marker {-Nya} In Indonesian

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    I Nyoman Sedeng

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available This study discusses the syntactic marker {-nya} in Indonesian, and aims at finding the answers to the three research questions; (i what hosts can be appended by {-nya},(iiwhat syntactic functions can be filled by {-nya}, and (iii what is the meaning of {-nya}contextually. The data to support the analysis was collected from the source with the help of a data collection tool [antconc3.2.1w window2007]. Two theories are relevant to the discussion of {-nya}, namely; morphosyntactic theory that searched the occurrence of {-nya} in a text and discourse theory to discover the meaning of {-nya} contextually. The result of analysis showed three occurrence of {-nya}; pronoun clitics, determiner, and as adverbial formation. As a core argument {-nya} can be attached to the nasal verbs, passive verbs, zero intransitive verbs, and category of nouns, prepositions, and reflexive pronouns. As adverbial formation {-nya} is attached to the adjective, bound root, and is combined with {se-} to form confix {se-baik-nya}. As pronoun, {-nya} can serve as; Grammatical Subjects and Objects, Possessive determiner, Oblique Agent, Reflexive pronoun. As determiner it is always attached to the noun, forming nouns from verbs, and as an adverbial it can serve as an adjunct, conjunct, and disjunct. The meaning of {-nya} with pronominal category should be traced in the text and always refers to the third person singular.

  8. Risk Assessment in Criminal Sentencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Structural priming as structure-mapping: children use analogies from previous utterances to guide sentence production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldwater, Micah B; Tomlinson, Marc T; Echols, Catharine H; Love, Bradley C

    2011-01-01

    What mechanisms underlie children's language production? Structural priming--the repetition of sentence structure across utterances--is an important measure of the developing production system. We propose its mechanism in children is the same as may underlie analogical reasoning: structure-mapping. Under this view, structural priming is the result of making an analogy between utterances, such that children map semantic and syntactic structure from previous to future utterances. Because the ability to map relationally complex structures develops with age, younger children are less successful than older children at mapping both semantic and syntactic relations. Consistent with this account, 4-year-old children showed priming only of semantic relations when surface similarity across utterances was limited, whereas 5-year-olds showed priming of both semantic and syntactic structure regardless of shared surface similarity. The priming of semantic structure without syntactic structure is uniquely predicted by the structure-mapping account because others have interpreted structural priming as a reflection of developing syntactic knowledge. Copyright © 2010 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  10. Verbs and Syntactic Frames in Children's Elicited Actions: A Comparison of Tamil- and English-Speaking Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sethuraman, Nitya; Laakso, Aarre; Smith, Linda B.

    2011-01-01

    We directly compare children learning argument expressing and argument dropping languages on the use of verb meaning and syntactic cues, by examining enactments of transitive and intransitive verbs given in transitive and intransitive syntactic frames. Our results show similarities in the children's knowledge: (1) Children were somewhat less…

  11. Causal-implicative relationships in the Serbian hypotaxis (Complex of generative complex sentences

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    Vojvodić Dojčil P.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper analyzes the causal-implicative relationships in the segmented complex sentences with a “closed” (asymmetric, mandatory bi-situational generative (conditional semantic structure on the corpus of the Serbian language. The generative (conditional semantic structure consists of meaningfully interconnected antecedents and consequents that are based on the principle of subordination. These sentences are characterized with a general causal link due to the specific implicative relationship between the segments that can be realized within dependent clauses with diverse categorically-differential semantics (i.e. causal, consecutive, final, conditional and concessive. The author reaches a conclusion that the given implicative relationships (P ⇒ Q, P ⇐ Q/Q ⇒ P, P ⇔Q, P ⇒ Q´ Δ P´ ⇒ Q represent, in fact, semantic invariants of generative complex sentences. It is pointed out that the structure, formation and functioning of these relationships (sentences are always determined by the interconnectedness of syntax and lexicon. They are based on a general causal adverbial meaning of the conjunctions in a subordinate clause, which are also used to determine the adverbial semantics of a sentence as a whole. The article discusses in particular the aspectual-temporal correlations that are realized in complex sentences with a generative structure. It has been noted very often in the literature that there is no differentiation made among all of the types of the hypothetical conditionality - real, eventual, potential and unreal. The paper analyzes taxis of simultaneity and succession (anteriority/posteriority of the main and subordinate clause predicates in conditional sentences as a special type of the relative-temporal relationships within the same temporal plan. In order to interpret these correlations, the Serbian data was compared to the data in Russian and Polish. It is noted that the Northern Slavic languages (in this case Russian and

  12. Listeners Exploit Syntactic Structure On-Line to Restrict Their Lexical Search to a Subclass of Verbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brusini, Perrine; Brun, Mélanie; Brunet, Isabelle; Christophe, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Many experiments have shown that listeners actively build expectations about up-coming words, rather than simply waiting for information to accumulate. The online construction of a syntactic structure is one of the cues that listeners may use to construct strong expectations about the possible words they will be exposed to. For example, speakers of verb-final languages use pre-verbal arguments to predict on-line the kind of arguments that are likely to occur next (e.g., Kamide, 2008, for a review). Although in SVO languages information about a verb's arguments typically follows the verb, some languages use pre-verbal object pronouns, potentially allowing listeners to build on-line expectations about the nature of the upcoming verb. For instance, if a pre-verbal direct object pronoun is heard, then the following verb has to be able to enter a transitive structure, thus excluding intransitive verbs. To test this, we used French, in which object pronouns have to appear pre-verbally, to investigate whether listeners use this cue to predict the occurrence of a transitive verb. In a word detection task, we measured the number of false alarms to sentences that contained a transitive verb whose first syllable was homophonous to the target monosyllabic verb (e.g., target "dort" /dɔʁ/ to sleep and false alarm verb "dorlote" /dɔʁlɔt/ to cuddle). The crucial comparison involved two sentence types, one without a pre-verbal object clitic, for which an intransitive verb was temporarily a plausible option (e.g., "Il dorlote" / He cuddles) and the other with a pre-verbal object clitic, that made the appearance of an intransitive verb impossible ("Il le dorlote" / He cuddles it). Results showed a lower rate of false alarms for sentences with a pre-verbal object pronoun (3%) compared to locally ambiguous sentences (about 20%). Participants rapidly incorporate information about a verb's argument structure to constrain lexical access to verbs that match the expected

  13. A syntactic method for analysis of nystagmus and smooth pursuit eye movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juhola, M

    1988-01-01

    Eye movements are studied in neurophysiology, neurology, ophthalmology, and otology both clinically and in research. In this article, a syntactic method for recognition of horizontal nystagmus and smooth pursuit eye movements is presented. Eye movement signals, which are recorded, for example, electro-oculographically, are transformed into symbol strings of context free grammars. These symbol strings are fed to an LR(k) parser, which detects eye movements as sentences of the formal languages produced by these LR(k) grammars. Since LR(k) grammars have been used, the time required by the whole recognition method is directly proportional to the number of symbols in an input string.

  14. Computational models of syntactic acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Charles

    2012-03-01

    The computational approach to syntactic acquisition can be fruitfully pursued by integrating results and perspectives from computer science, linguistics, and developmental psychology. In this article, we first review some key results in computational learning theory and their implications for language acquisition. We then turn to examine specific learning models, some of which exploit distributional information in the input while others rely on a constrained space of hypotheses, yet both approaches share a common set of characteristics to overcome the learning problem. We conclude with a discussion of how computational models connects with the empirical study of child grammar, making the case for computationally tractable, psychologically plausible and developmentally realistic models of acquisition. WIREs Cogn Sci 2012, 3:205-213. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1154 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. Effects of the Syntactic Complexity on Speech Dysfluency of Stuttering Persian-Speaking Children and Adults in Conversational Speech

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    Behrooz Mahmoodi Bakhtiari

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Background and Aim: Recently, researchers have increasingly turned to study the relation between stuttering and syntactic complexity. This study investigates the effect of syntactic complexity on theamount of speech dysfluency in stuttering Persian-speaking children and adults in conversational speech. The obtained results can pave the way to a better understanding of stuttering in children andadults, and finding more appropriate treatments.Methods: In this cross-sectional study, the participants were 15 stuttering adult Persian-speakers, older than 15 years, and 15 stuttering child Persian-speakers of 4-6 years of age. In this study, first a 30 minute sample of the spontaneous speech of the participants was provided. Then the utterances of each person were studied in respect to the amount of dysfluency and syntactic complexity. The obtained information was analyzed using paired samples t-test.Results: In both groups of stuttering children and adults, there was a significant difference between the amount of dysfluency of simple and complex sentences (p<0.05.Conclusion: The results of this study showed that an increase in syntactic complexity in conversational speech, increased the amount of dysfluency in stuttering children and adults. Moreover,as a result of increase of syntactic complexity, dysfluency had a greater increase in stuttering children than stuttering adults.

  16. The maze task: measuring forced incremental sentence processing time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forster, Kenneth I; Guerrera, Christine; Elliot, Lisa

    2009-02-01

    The maze task is an online measure of sentence processing time that provides an alternative to the standard moving window version of self-paced reading. Rather than each word of the sentence being presented in succession, two words are presented at the same time, and the participant must choose which word is a grammatical continuation of the sentence. This procedure forces the reader into an incremental mode of processing in which each word must be fully integrated with the preceding context before the next word can be considered. Previous research with this technique has not considered whether it is sufficiently sensitive to syntactic complexity effects or to garden path effects. Four experiments are reported demonstrating that reliable differences in processing time for subject relatives and object relatives can be obtained, and that this technique generates garden path effects that correspond closely with the data from eyetracking experiments, but without the spillover effects that are sometimes obtained with eyetracking. It is also shown that the task is sensitive to word frequency effects, producing estimates well in excess of those found with eyetracking.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  18. A little more conversation – the influence of communicative context on syntactic priming in brain and behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoot, Lotte; Menenti, Laura; Hagoort, Peter; Segaert, Katrien

    2014-01-01

    We report on an functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) syntactic priming experiment in which we measure brain activity for participants who communicate with another participant outside the scanner. We investigated whether syntactic processing during overt language production and comprehension is influenced by having a (shared) goal to communicate. Although theory suggests this is true, the nature of this influence remains unclear. Two hypotheses are tested: (i) syntactic priming effects (fMRI and behavioral) are stronger for participants in the communicative context than for participants doing the same experiment in a non-communicative context, and (ii) syntactic priming magnitude (behavioral) is correlated with the syntactic priming magnitude of the speaker’s communicative partner. Results showed that across conditions, participants were faster to produce sentences with repeated syntax, relative to novel syntax. This behavioral result converged with the fMRI data: we found repetition suppression effects in the left insula extending into left inferior frontal gyrus (BA 47/45), left middle temporal gyrus (BA 21), left inferior parietal cortex (BA 40), left precentral gyrus (BA 6), bilateral precuneus (BA 7), bilateral supplementary motor cortex (BA 32/8), and right insula (BA 47). We did not find support for the first hypothesis: having a communicative intention does not increase the magnitude of syntactic priming effects (either in the brain or in behavior) per se. We did find support for the second hypothesis: if speaker A is strongly/weakly primed by speaker B, then speaker B is primed by speaker A to a similar extent. We conclude that syntactic processing is influenced by being in a communicative context, and that the nature of this influence is bi-directional: speakers are influenced by each other. PMID:24672499

  19. Preliminary study on the development of syntactic foams for marine applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salleh, Z.; Islam, M. M.; Ku, H.

    2013-08-01

    This paper focuses on the comparison of various types of matrix materials and their mechanical properties for development of syntactic foams for marine applications. Generally, syntactic foams are close pore foams fabricated by the mechanical mixing of hollow microsphere particles in a polymeric matrix resin. From the literature review, it was found that there are several polymeric resins that have been used for development of syntactic foams such as epoxy, cyanate ester, polypropylene, polysialate and vinyl ester. In this paper, a comparative discussion is presented on the mechanical properties of hollow glass particles mixing with polymeric resins for development of syntactic foams for the use of these composites in bulk applications such as marine structures.

  20. SENTENCE ORDERING USING CLUSTER CORRELATION AND PROBABILITY IN MULTI-DOCUMENTS SUMMARIZATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I Gusti Agung Socrates Adi Guna

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Most of the document summary are arranged extractive by taking important sentences from the document. Extractive based summarization often not consider the connection sentence.  A good sentence ordering should aware about rhetorical relations such as cause-effect relation, topical relevancy and chronological sequence which exist between the sentences.  Based on this problem, we propose a new method for sentence ordering in multi document summarization using cluster correlation and probability for English documents. Sentences of multi-documents are grouped based on similarity into clusters. Sentence extracted from each cluster to be a summary that will be listed based on cluster correlation and probability. User evaluation showed that the summary result of proposed method easier to understanding than the previous method. The result of ROUGE method also shows increase on sentence arrangement compared to previous method.

  1. REVISITING THE SEMANTICS OF THE SENTENCES WITH INITIAL ‘IT’

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    Chynar AMANOVA

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available REVISITING THE SEMANTICS OF THE SENTENCES WITH INITIAL ‘IT’ Abstract: The review of monographic works concerning the impersonal sentences in English shows that in some of them ‘It’ is regarded only as a formal subject. This non-real subject does not indicate any agent of the action. Its appearance is mostly conditioned by language laws, which in the case of English is the fixed word order: S-P. The questions concerning the origin and nature of impersonal sentences are of great interest to the linguists. The impersonal sentences present a kind of exception to the syntactical rule of any language as they contradict to the fact that every sentence should have of a subject and a predicate. Therefore, linguistic investigation of this problem can not be made without seeking aid from logic and psychology, and even philosophy since the results of such an inquiry may help throw light on the relation of grammar to logic. The analyses of some researches in this field reveal that some authors underscore the ambient character of the pronoun “It”. Guided by this point of view, the purpose of this article is to analyze some types of the sentences with the initial “It”, where the ambient meaning acquires certain communicative signification depending on the context it has been used.

  2. COMPARING THE STRUCTURE OF COMPOUND SENTENCES BETWEEN KAZAKH AND TURKISH KAZAK TÜRKÇESİ VE TÜRKİYE TÜRKÇESİNDE BİRLEŞİK CÜMLE YAPILARININ KARŞILAŞTIRILMASI

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    Ekrem AYAN

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This study compares and contrasts the compound sentence structure of Kazak Turkish and Turkey Turkish. It also evaluates the similarities and the differences between both dialects in terms of structure and classification. Firstly, there is an evaluation of the explanation and the definition with reference to the compound sentence structures of both dialects. Turkish literary works were used as the sources for the examples of compound sentences of Turkey Turkish; and one of the most significant Kazak novels “The Way of Abay” by Muhtar Avezov was deployed for the Kazak Turkish examples. Bu çalışmada Kazak Türkçesi ile Türkiye Türkçesinin birleşik cümle yapıları bakımından karşılaştırılması yapılmış ve iki lehçenin ortak ve farklı yönlerinin hem yapı hem de tasniflendirme bakımından değerlendirmesi yapılmıştır. Çalışmamızda öncelikle, her iki lehçenin birleşik cümle yapıları hakkında yapılan açıklama ve tanımlar değerlendirilmiştir. Bu açıklama ve tanımlara uygun örnek cümleleri seçerken Türkiye Türkçesi için, Türkçe edebî eserleri; Kazak Türkçesi için ise, Kazak Türkçesinin en önemli eserlerinden birisi olan Muhtar Avezov’un “Abay Yolu” romanı kullanılmıştır.

  3. Syntactically lexicalized phrase-based SMT

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hassan, H.; Sima'an, K.; Way, A.

    2008-01-01

    Until quite recently, extending phrase-based statistical machine translation (PBSMT) with syntactic knowledge caused system performance to deteriorate. The most recent successful enrichments of PBSMT with hierarchical structure either employ nonlinguistically motivated syntax for capturing

  4. Three Syntactic Theories for Combinatory Graph Reduction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Danvy, Olivier; Zerny, Ian

    2013-01-01

    We present a purely syntactic theory of graph reduction for the canonical combinators S, K, and I, where graph vertices are represented with evaluation contexts and let expressions. We express this rst syntactic theory as a storeless reduction semantics of combinatory terms. We then factor out...... the introduction of let expressions to denote as many graph vertices as possible upfront instead of on demand . The factored terms can be interpreted as term graphs in the sense of Barendregt et al. We express this second syntactic theory, which we prove equivalent to the rst, as a storeless reduction semantics...... of combinatory term graphs. We then recast let bindings as bindings in a global store, thus shifting, in Strachey's words, from denotable entities to storable entities. The store-based terms can still be interpreted as term graphs. We express this third syntactic theory, which we prove equivalent to the second...

  5. Towards comprehensive syntactic and semantic annotations of the clinical narrative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albright, Daniel; Lanfranchi, Arrick; Fredriksen, Anwen; Styler, William F; Warner, Colin; Hwang, Jena D; Choi, Jinho D; Dligach, Dmitriy; Nielsen, Rodney D; Martin, James; Ward, Wayne; Palmer, Martha; Savova, Guergana K

    2013-01-01

    Objective To create annotated clinical narratives with layers of syntactic and semantic labels to facilitate advances in clinical natural language processing (NLP). To develop NLP algorithms and open source components. Methods Manual annotation of a clinical narrative corpus of 127 606 tokens following the Treebank schema for syntactic information, PropBank schema for predicate-argument structures, and the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) schema for semantic information. NLP components were developed. Results The final corpus consists of 13 091 sentences containing 1772 distinct predicate lemmas. Of the 766 newly created PropBank frames, 74 are verbs. There are 28 539 named entity (NE) annotations spread over 15 UMLS semantic groups, one UMLS semantic type, and the Person semantic category. The most frequent annotations belong to the UMLS semantic groups of Procedures (15.71%), Disorders (14.74%), Concepts and Ideas (15.10%), Anatomy (12.80%), Chemicals and Drugs (7.49%), and the UMLS semantic type of Sign or Symptom (12.46%). Inter-annotator agreement results: Treebank (0.926), PropBank (0.891–0.931), NE (0.697–0.750). The part-of-speech tagger, constituency parser, dependency parser, and semantic role labeler are built from the corpus and released open source. A significant limitation uncovered by this project is the need for the NLP community to develop a widely agreed-upon schema for the annotation of clinical concepts and their relations. Conclusions This project takes a foundational step towards bringing the field of clinical NLP up to par with NLP in the general domain. The corpus creation and NLP components provide a resource for research and application development that would have been previously impossible. PMID:23355458

  6. Towards comprehensive syntactic and semantic annotations of the clinical narrative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albright, Daniel; Lanfranchi, Arrick; Fredriksen, Anwen; Styler, William F; Warner, Colin; Hwang, Jena D; Choi, Jinho D; Dligach, Dmitriy; Nielsen, Rodney D; Martin, James; Ward, Wayne; Palmer, Martha; Savova, Guergana K

    2013-01-01

    To create annotated clinical narratives with layers of syntactic and semantic labels to facilitate advances in clinical natural language processing (NLP). To develop NLP algorithms and open source components. Manual annotation of a clinical narrative corpus of 127 606 tokens following the Treebank schema for syntactic information, PropBank schema for predicate-argument structures, and the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) schema for semantic information. NLP components were developed. The final corpus consists of 13 091 sentences containing 1772 distinct predicate lemmas. Of the 766 newly created PropBank frames, 74 are verbs. There are 28 539 named entity (NE) annotations spread over 15 UMLS semantic groups, one UMLS semantic type, and the Person semantic category. The most frequent annotations belong to the UMLS semantic groups of Procedures (15.71%), Disorders (14.74%), Concepts and Ideas (15.10%), Anatomy (12.80%), Chemicals and Drugs (7.49%), and the UMLS semantic type of Sign or Symptom (12.46%). Inter-annotator agreement results: Treebank (0.926), PropBank (0.891-0.931), NE (0.697-0.750). The part-of-speech tagger, constituency parser, dependency parser, and semantic role labeler are built from the corpus and released open source. A significant limitation uncovered by this project is the need for the NLP community to develop a widely agreed-upon schema for the annotation of clinical concepts and their relations. This project takes a foundational step towards bringing the field of clinical NLP up to par with NLP in the general domain. The corpus creation and NLP components provide a resource for research and application development that would have been previously impossible.

  7. Integrating a novel concept of sentence optotypes into the RADNER Reading Charts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radner, Wolfgang; Radner, Stephan; Diendorfer, Gabriela

    2017-03-01

    To add a new set of 24 sentence optotypes to the German version of the RADNER reading charts and to investigate whether sentences constructed based upon an optimised concept of sentence optotypes can be used together with the original 38 sentences. Twenty-eight optimised sentence optotypes were constructed based upon the concept of sentence optotypes as established for the RADNER Reading Charts, with words having the same number of characters and syllables being placed in the same positions. The best comparable sentences were statistically selected in 30 volunteers. Reading speed and the number of errors were determined. Validity was analysed in comparison to a 111-word long standardised paragraph and 7 of the 38 original sentence optotypes. The mean reading speed obtained with the 28 sentences was 192.30±26.69 words per minute (wpm), as compared with 192.47±25.32 wpm for the 7 original sentence optotypes and 165.28±20.82 wpm for the long paragraph; 24 of the 28 optimised sentences met our selection criteria for reading speed/time (mean reading speed: 192.41±26.58). The mean number of reading errors was 0.10±0.30. The correlation between the 24 optimised sentence optotypes and the long paragraph was r=0.90. Reliability analyses yielded an overall Cronbach's α coefficient of 0.992. The 24 new sentence optotypes can be integrated into the existing set of 38 original sentences. Since all the statistical results obtained were similar to those of the original sentences, the best possible reliability had apparently already been achieved with the original sentence optotypes. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  8. The role of LIFG-based executive control in recovery from garden-paths during sentence comprehension

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    Loan C. Vuong

    2014-04-01

    Control: While the man/ coached,/ the woman/ attended/ the party by herself. The three patients, and a group of eight healthy controls, were tested on two self-paced sentence processing tasks, using sentence regions as above, involving meaning interpretation (Experiment 1 and grammaticality judgments (Experiment 2. Results In contrast to healthy controls and the non-LIFG patient, one of the LIFG patients showed a deficit in meaning interpretation that was worse with biased verbs, across garden-path as well as syntactically unambiguous sentences (mean verb bias effect = 32.5%, which was 7 standard deviations above the control mean of -3%, SD = 4.6. She showed spared performance on grammaticality judgments. The other LIFG patient presented with a more severe executive control deficit, and showed spared performance only for grammaticality judgments in the easiest condition, namely the condition involving syntactically unambiguous sentences with neutral verbs (but not in the remaining conditions, including the corresponding condition with biased verbs. Conclusion The results add to prior studies in arguing for a role of executive control across diverse sentence processing situations, including overcoming verb bias preferences.

  9. Aristotle on Sentence Types and Forms of Speech

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    Gábor Bolonyai

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available According to the Hermeneutics, Ch. 4, the analysis of non-assertoric sentences such as wishes, commands, etc. belongs to rhetoric or poetics. They are, however, examined neither in the Rhetoric nor in the Poetics, where (Ch. 20 their treatment. is explicitly excluded from the art of poetry and referred to that of delivery or performance. The paper gives an explanation for this discrepancy, based on an interpretation of Aristotle's rejection of Protagoras' criticism of Homer. The sophist found fault with the first line of the Iliad where Homer invokes the Muse by the imperative Menin aeide, thea thus uttering a command while believing that he is expressing a prayer. Aristotle's grounds for rejecting this criticism remain implicit, but it appears very likely that he thought that, if uttered or performed in the right manner, the sentence could he taken as a prayer. From this observation, which is certainly valid in this particular case, he drew the conclusion that performative or vocal features in themselves, i.e. rhythm, intonation and volume of sound, are always sufficient to identify particular „figures of speech“, as he calls non-assertoric sentence types in the Poetics. This conclusion is, however, not entirely justified. Performative features are not always enough to differentiate between two `figures of speech'; the possible range of verbal moods and sentence types is likewise determined by morphological marks (e.g. mood signs, syntactical features (word-order, and lexical items (certain adverbs or particles. Aristotle’s decision to dismiss figures of speech altogether from the field of lexis may also have contributed to the later development of keeping linguistics and theory of style apart as two separate branches of inquiry.

  10. School children with low birth weight inserted in system of Embu's education: construction of sentences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pessoa, Rebeca Rodrigues; Isotani, Selma Mie; Perissinoto, Jacy; Puccini, Rosana Fiorini

    2014-01-01

    To characterize the construction of sentences in schoolchildren born with low weight. We selected 413 students from Embu das Artes (SP), Brazil. Application of Recreating Speech Acts of Test of Language Competence sub-test. We analyzed the number of words and the holistic score. Age group of 6-10 years old, female/male, with low birth weight (<2,500 g) in Study Group (SG; n=238), and birth weight above or equal to 2,500 g composing the Control Group (CG; n=175). Children with anomalies were excluded. The both groups' responses were considered as well as the association of the responses with variables birth weight, gender, age of child and maternal age and education, through Student's t-test, χ2test and linear regression. The SG scored less on the total number of words and had worst performance in items that involved prepositions with a sense of temporality and place, with adverb functions. There was no difference between groups regarding the holistic score. It was found positive impact of the variables birth weight (p=0.002), age of child, age of mother and maternal education on standard test scores in both groups. The SG had fewer words compared to CG. The higher the birth weight, the higher the score test pattern. It was evident the age-related changes in morpho-syntactic skills addressed in the study, and protection factors mother's schooling and age had a positive impact on language performance.

  11. The impact of lexical frequency on sentence comprehension in children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leclercq, Anne-Lise; Majerus, Steve; Jacob, Laura; Maillart, Christelle

    2014-02-01

    Children with SLI generally exhibit poor sentence comprehension skills. We examined the specific impact of grammatical complexity and lexical frequency on comprehension performance, yielding contrasting results. The present study sheds new light on sentence comprehension in children with SLI by investigating a linguistic factor which has attracted little research interest: the impact of the lexical frequency of known words on sentence comprehension. We also examined the impact of grammatical complexity and sentence length by independently varying these two factors. Fifteen children with SLI, 15 age- and IQ-matched controls, and 15 controls matched on lexical and grammatical skills, performed sentence comprehension tasks in which three linguistic factors were manipulated: lexical frequency (sentences containing words of either low or high lexical frequency), grammatical complexity (sentence containing either a subject relative clause or an object relative clause) and sentence length (either short or long sentences). Results indicated that children with SLI performed more poorly overall compared to age- and IQ-matched children and to lexical and morphosyntactic age-matched children. However, their performance was not more affected by either sentence length or clause type than that of control children. Only lexical frequency affected sentence comprehension to a greater extent in children with SLI relative to the control groups, revealing that SLI children's sentence comprehension abilities are particularly affected by the presence of low-frequency but familiar words. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. A Cross-Linguistic Perspective on Syntactic Complexity in L2 Development: Syntactic Elaboration and Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Clercq, Bastien; Housen, Alex

    2017-01-01

    Syntactic and linguistic complexity have been studied extensively in applied linguistics as indicators of linguistic performance, development, and proficiency. Recent publications have equally highlighted the reductionist approach taken to syntactic complexity measurement, which often focuses on one or two measures representing complexity at the…

  13. Stereotypes override grammar: Social knowledge in sentence comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Two-item sentence comprehension by a dog (Canis familiaris.

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    Daniela Ramos

    Full Text Available Syntax use by non-human animals remains a controversial issue. We present here evidence that a dog may respond to verbal requests composed of two independent terms, one referring to an object and the other to an action to be performed relative to the object. A female mongrel dog, Sofia, was initially trained to respond to action (point and fetch and object (ball, key, stick, bottle and bear terms which were then presented as simultaneous, combinatorial requests (e.g. ball fetch, stick point. Sofia successfully responded to object-action requests presented as single sentences, and was able to flexibly generalize her performance across different contexts. These results provide empirical evidence that dogs are able to extract the information contained in complex messages and to integrate it in directed performance, an ability which is shared with other linguistically trained animals and may represent a forerunner of syntactic functioning.

  15. Semantic–Syntactic Partial Word Knowledge Growth Through Reading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Margaret S.; Petroski, Gregory F.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Incidental reading provides a powerful opportunity for partial word knowledge growth in the school-age years. The extent to which children of differing language abilities can use reading experiences to glean partial knowledge of words is not well understood. The purpose of this study was to compare semantic–syntactic partial word knowledge growth of children with higher language skills (HL group; overall language standard scores of 85 or higher) to that of children with relatively lower language skills (LL group; overall receptive or expressive standard score below 85). Method Thirty-two children, 16 per group, silently read stories containing unfamiliar nouns and verbs 3 times over a 1-week period. Semantic–syntactic partial word knowledge growth was assessed after each reading and 2–3 days later to assess retention. Results Over time, both groups showed significant partial word knowledge growth, with the HL group showing significantly more growth. In addition, both groups retained knowledge several days later. Conclusion Regardless of language skill level, children benefit from multiple exposures to unfamiliar words in reading in their development and retention of semantic–syntactic partial word knowledge growth. PMID:25409978

  16. Executive function and intelligence in the resolution of temporary syntactic ambiguity: an individual differences investigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelhardt, Paul E; Nigg, Joel T; Ferreira, Fernanda

    2017-07-01

    In the current study, we examined the role of intelligence and executive functions in the resolution of temporary syntactic ambiguity using an individual differences approach. Data were collected from 174 adolescents and adults who completed a battery of cognitive tests as well as a sentence comprehension task. The critical items for the comprehension task consisted of object/subject garden paths (e.g., While Anna dressed the baby that was small and cute played in the crib), and participants answered a comprehension question (e.g., Did Anna dress the baby?) following each one. Previous studies have shown that garden-path misinterpretations tend to persist into final interpretations. Results showed that both intelligence and processing speed interacted with ambiguity. Individuals with higher intelligence and faster processing were more likely to answer the comprehension questions correctly and, specifically, following ambiguous as opposed to unambiguous sentences. Inhibition produced a marginal effect, but the variance in inhibition was largely shared with intelligence. Conclusions focus on the role of individual differences in cognitive ability and their impact on syntactic ambiguity resolution.

  17. Executive function and intelligence in the resolution of temporary syntactic ambiguity: an individual differences investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engelhardt, Paul E.; Nigg, Joel T.; Ferreira, Fernanda

    2016-01-01

    In the current study, we examined the role of intelligence and executive functions in the resolution of temporary syntactic ambiguity using an individual differences approach. Data were collected from 174 adolescents and adults who completed a battery of cognitive tests as well as a sentence comprehension task. The critical items for the comprehension task consisted of object/subject garden paths (e.g., While Anna dressed the baby that was small and cute played in the crib), and participants answered a comprehension question (e.g., Did Anna dress the baby?) following each one. Previous studies have shown that garden-path misinterpretations tend to persist into final interpretations. Results showed that both intelligence and processing speed interacted with ambiguity. Individuals with higher intelligence and faster processing were more likely to answer the comprehension questions correctly and, specifically, following ambiguous as opposed to unambiguous sentences. Inhibition produced a marginal effect, but the variance in inhibition was largely shared with intelligence. Conclusions focus on the role of individual differences in cognitive ability and their impact on syntactic ambiguity resolution. PMID:27150661

  18. Syntactic Priming As a Test of Argument Structure: A Self-paced Reading Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isabel Oltra-Massuet

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Using data from a behavioral structural priming experiment, we test two competing theoretical approaches to argument structure, which attribute different configurations to (intransitive structures. These approaches make different claims about the relationship between unergatives and transitive structures selecting either a DP complement or a small clause complement in structurally unambiguous sentences, thus making different predictions about priming relations between them. Using statistical tools that combine a factorial 6 × 6 within subjects ANOVA, a mixed effects ANCOVA and a linear mixed effects regression model, we report syntactic priming effects in comprehension, which suggest a stronger predictive contribution of a model that supports an interpretive semantics view of syntax, whereby syntactic structures do not necessarily reflect argument/event structure in semantically unambiguous configurations. They also contribute novel experimental evidence that correlate representational complexity with language processing in the mind and brain. Our study further upholds the validity of combining quantitative methods and theoretical approaches to linguistics for advancing our knowledge of syntactic phenomena.

  19. Neural correlates of semantic and syntactic processes in the comprehension of case marked pronouns: Evidence from German and Dutch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamers, Monique JA; Jansma, Bernadette M; Hammer, Anke; Münte, Thomas F

    2006-01-01

    Background It is well known that both semantic and syntactic information play a role in pronoun resolution in sentences. However, it is unclear what the relative contribution of these sources of information is for the establishment of a coreferential relationship between the pronoun and the antecedent in combination with a local structural case constraint on the pronoun (i.e. case assignment of a pronoun under preposition governing). In a prepositional phrase in German and Dutch, it is the preposition that assigns case to the pronoun. Furthermore, in these languages different overtly case-marked pronouns are used to refer to male and female persons. Thus, one can manipulate biological/syntactic gender features separately from case marking features. The major aim of this study was to determine what the influence of gender information in combination with a local structural case constraint is on the processing of a personal pronoun in a sentence. Event-related brain potential (ERP) experiments were performed in German and in Dutch. In a word by word sentence reading study in German and Dutch, gender congruency between the antecedent and the pronoun was manipulated and/or case assignment by the preposition was violated while ERPs of young native speakers were recorded. Results The German and the Dutch ERP data showed an enlarged negativity broadly distributed starting approximately 350 ms after onset of the pronoun followed by a late positivity for gender violations. For syntactic incongruencies without gender violations only a positivity was present. The Dutch data showed an earlier onset of the positivity in comparison to German. Conclusion Finding negativities and positivities for conditions with a gender violation indicates that pronoun resolution with gender incongruency between the pronoun and the antecedent suffers from semantic as well as syntactic integration problems. The presence of a positivity for the syntactically incongruent conditions without gender

  20. Structure before meaning: sentence processing, plausibility, and subcategorization.

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    Johannes Kizach

    Full Text Available Natural language processing is a fast and automatized process. A crucial part of this process is parsing, the online incremental construction of a syntactic structure. The aim of this study was to test whether a wh-filler extracted from an embedded clause is initially attached as the object of the matrix verb with subsequent reanalysis, and if so, whether the plausibility of such an attachment has an effect on reaction time. Finally, we wanted to examine whether subcategorization plays a role. We used a method called G-Maze to measure response time in a self-paced reading design. The experiments confirmed that there is early attachment of fillers to the matrix verb. When this attachment is implausible, the off-line acceptability of the whole sentence is significantly reduced. The on-line results showed that G-Maze was highly suited for this type of experiment. In accordance with our predictions, the results suggest that the parser ignores (or has no access to information about implausibility and attaches fillers as soon as possible to the matrix verb. However, the results also show that the parser uses the subcategorization frame of the matrix verb. In short, the parser ignores semantic information and allows implausible attachments but adheres to information about which type of object a verb can take, ensuring that the parser does not make impossible attachments. We argue that the evidence supports a syntactic parser informed by syntactic cues, rather than one guided by semantic cues or one that is blind, or completely autonomous.

  1. Structure before meaning: sentence processing, plausibility, and subcategorization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kizach, Johannes; Nyvad, Anne Mette; Christensen, Ken Ramshøj

    2013-01-01

    Natural language processing is a fast and automatized process. A crucial part of this process is parsing, the online incremental construction of a syntactic structure. The aim of this study was to test whether a wh-filler extracted from an embedded clause is initially attached as the object of the matrix verb with subsequent reanalysis, and if so, whether the plausibility of such an attachment has an effect on reaction time. Finally, we wanted to examine whether subcategorization plays a role. We used a method called G-Maze to measure response time in a self-paced reading design. The experiments confirmed that there is early attachment of fillers to the matrix verb. When this attachment is implausible, the off-line acceptability of the whole sentence is significantly reduced. The on-line results showed that G-Maze was highly suited for this type of experiment. In accordance with our predictions, the results suggest that the parser ignores (or has no access to information about) implausibility and attaches fillers as soon as possible to the matrix verb. However, the results also show that the parser uses the subcategorization frame of the matrix verb. In short, the parser ignores semantic information and allows implausible attachments but adheres to information about which type of object a verb can take, ensuring that the parser does not make impossible attachments. We argue that the evidence supports a syntactic parser informed by syntactic cues, rather than one guided by semantic cues or one that is blind, or completely autonomous.

  2. A FUNCTIONAL NEUROIMAGING INVESTIGATION OF THE ROLES OF STRUCTURAL COMPLEXITY AND TASK-DEMAND DURING AUDITORY SENTENCE PROCESSING

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:16881268

  3. Exploring Methods to Investigate Sentencing Decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  4. Children's Comprehension of Object Relative Sentences: It's Extant Language Knowledge That Matters, Not Domain-General Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusli, Yazmin Ahmad; Montgomery, James W

    2017-10-17

    The aim of this study was to determine whether extant language (lexical) knowledge or domain-general working memory is the better predictor of comprehension of object relative sentences for children with typical development. We hypothesized that extant language knowledge, not domain-general working memory, is the better predictor. Fifty-three children (ages 9-11 years) completed a word-level verbal working-memory task, indexing extant language (lexical) knowledge; an analog nonverbal working-memory task, representing domain-general working memory; and a hybrid sentence comprehension task incorporating elements of both agent selection and cross-modal picture-priming paradigms. Images of the agent and patient were displayed at the syntactic gap in the object relative sentences, and the children were asked to select the agent of the sentence. Results of general linear modeling revealed that extant language knowledge accounted for a unique 21.3% of variance in the children's object relative sentence comprehension over and above age (8.3%). Domain-general working memory accounted for a nonsignificant 1.6% of variance. We interpret the results to suggest that extant language knowledge and not domain-general working memory is a critically important contributor to children's object relative sentence comprehension. Results support a connectionist view of the association between working memory and object relative sentence comprehension. https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.5404573.

  5. Spoken sentence production in college students with dyslexia: working memory and vocabulary effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiseheart, Rebecca; Altmann, Lori J P

    2017-11-21

    Individuals with dyslexia demonstrate syntactic difficulties on tasks of language comprehension, yet little is known about spoken language production in this population. To investigate whether spoken sentence production in college students with dyslexia is less proficient than in typical readers, and to determine whether group differences can be attributable to cognitive differences between groups. Fifty-one college students with and without dyslexia were asked to produce sentences from stimuli comprising a verb and two nouns. Verb types varied in argument structure and morphological form and nouns varied in animacy. Outcome measures were precision (measured by fluency, grammaticality and completeness) and efficiency (measured by response times). Vocabulary and working memory tests were also administered and used as predictors of sentence production performance. Relative to non-dyslexic peers, students with dyslexia responded significantly slower and produced sentences that were significantly less precise in terms of fluency, grammaticality and completeness. The primary predictors of precision and efficiency were working memory, which differed between groups, and vocabulary, which did not. College students with dyslexia were significantly less facile and flexible on this spoken sentence-production task than typical readers, which is consistent with previous studies of school-age children with dyslexia. Group differences in performance were traced primarily to limited working memory, and were somewhat mitigated by strong vocabulary. © 2017 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

  6. Phrase length matters: the interplay between implicit prosody and syntax in Korean "garden path" sentences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Hyekyung; Steinhauer, Karsten

    2011-11-01

    In spoken language comprehension, syntactic parsing decisions interact with prosodic phrasing, which is directly affected by phrase length. Here we used ERPs to examine whether a similar effect holds for the on-line processing of written sentences during silent reading, as suggested by theories of "implicit prosody." Ambiguous Korean sentence beginnings with two distinct interpretations were manipulated by increasing the length of sentence-initial subject noun phrases (NPs). As expected, only long NPs triggered an additional prosodic boundary reflected by a closure positive shift (CPS) in ERPs. When sentence materials further downstream disambiguated the initially dispreferred interpretation, the resulting P600 component reflecting processing difficulties ("garden path" effects) was smaller in amplitude for sentences with long NPs. Interestingly, additional prosodic revisions required only for the short subject disambiguated condition-the delayed insertion of an implicit prosodic boundary after the subject NP-were reflected by a frontal P600-like positivity, which may be interpreted in terms of a delayed CPS brain response. These data suggest that the subvocally generated prosodic boundary after the long subject NP facilitated the recovery from a garden path, thus primarily supporting one of two competing theoretical frameworks on implicit prosody. Our results underline the prosodic nature of the cognitive processes underlying phrase length effects and contribute cross-linguistic evidence regarding the on-line use of implicit prosody for parsing decisions in silent reading.

  7. Grammaticality and complexity of sentences in monolingual Spanish-speaking children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coloma, Carmen Julia; Araya, Claudia; Quezada, Camilo; Pavez, Maria Mercedes; Maggiolo, Mariangela

    2016-01-01

    This study examined grammaticality and complexity of sentences in monolingual Spanish-speaking children with specific language impairment (SLI). A group of SLI children (n = 13), mean age 6, was compared to a control group (CCG) matched by age (n = 11), and a younger control group (LCG) with similar linguistic development (n = 13). Grammaticality and complexity of sentences were analysed including identification and counting of: a) simple and complex sentences, b) grammatical and ungrammatical sentences, and c) types of grammatical errors. SLI children were found to be more ungrammatical than CCG in both simple and complex sentences. Considering the number of errors in all sentences produced, SLI children commit more errors than both control groups. Complexity of sentences did not show statistical differences among groups. Future research should explore in further detail the types of errors made by monolingual Spanish-speaking SLI children.

  8. N400 and P600 or the role of the ERP correlates in sentence comprehension: some applications to the Italian language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balconi, Michela; Pozzoli, Uberto

    2004-07-01

    In the present study, event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were applied to the study of language comprehension in the Italian language. The ERPs were recorded from 10 electrodes while the participants read (Experiment 1) or listened (Experiment 2) to sentences containing semantic or syntactic anomalies. Final words that were inconsistent with the sentence context elicited a negative wave at about 400 ms poststimulus that was more concentrated in the posterior sites of the scalp, whereas final words that were incongruous with the grammatical structure (subject-verb nonagreement) elicited a positive wave at about 600 ms poststimulus that was homogeneously distributed on the scalp. The authors found no differences based on the perceptual modality of the stimulus (visual or auditory), nor did they find different ERP correlates as a function of task relevance (explicit-implicit task induction). The available evidence indicated that the ERP response to semantic anomalies was at least partially distinct from the ERP response to syntactic anomalies, and that a syntactic parser is a plausible process included in sentence comprehension. The two semantic and syntactic effects appear as automatic processes of the decoding of the anomalies and also modality-independent processes. Cross-linguistic applications are considered in the general discussion.

  9. Three Syntactic Theories for Combinatory Graph Reduction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Danvy, Olivier; Zerny, Ian

    2011-01-01

    We present a purely syntactic theory of graph reduction for the canonical combinators S, K, and I, where graph vertices are represented with evaluation contexts and let expressions. We express this syntactic theory as a reduction semantics, which we refocus into the first storeless abstract machine...... for combinatory graph reduction, which we refunctionalize into the first storeless natural semantics for combinatory graph reduction.We then factor out the introduction of let expressions to denote as many graph vertices as possible upfront instead of on demand, resulting in a second syntactic theory, this one...... of term graphs in the sense of Barendregt et al. The corresponding storeless abstract machine and natural semantics follow mutatis mutandis. We then interpret let expressions as operations over a global store (thus shifting, in Strachey's words, from denotable entities to storable entities), resulting...

  10. Syntactic Complexity Effects of Russian Relative Clause Sentences in Children with and without Developmental Language Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakhlin, Natalia; Kornilov, Sergey A.; Kornilova, Tatiana V.; Grigorenko, Elena L.

    2016-01-01

    We investigated relative clause (RC) comprehension in 44 Russian-speaking children with typical language (TD) and developmental language disorder (DLD) (M age = 10;67, SD = 2.84) and 22 adults. Flexible word order and morphological case in Russian allowed us to isolate factors that are obscured in English, helping us to identify sources of…

  11. Linguistic Theory and Cognitive Neuroscience of Language. Working Memory and Syntactic Processing in Sentence Comprehension

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Caplan, David; Waters, Gloria

    2001-01-01

    ...., it requires a working memory system. Experimental results in normal subjects and patients with various brain lesions indicate that measurements of working memory that are derived from commonly used tests of this function...

  12. The role of nondeclarative memory in the skill for language: Evidence from syntactic priming in patients with amnesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyselaar, Evelien; Segaert, Katrien; Walvoort, Serge J W; Kessels, Roy P C; Hagoort, Peter

    2017-07-01

    Syntactic priming, the phenomenon in which participants adopt the linguistic behaviour of their partner, is widely used in psycholinguistics to investigate syntactic operations. Although the phenomenon of syntactic priming is well documented, the memory system that supports the retention of this syntactic information long enough to influence future utterances, is not as widely investigated. We aim to shed light on this issue by assessing patients with Korsakoff's amnesia on an active-passive syntactic priming task and compare their performance to controls matched in age, education, and premorbid intelligence. Patients with Korsakoff's syndrome display deficits in all subdomains of declarative memory, yet their nondeclarative memory remains intact, making them an ideal patient group to determine which memory system supports syntactic priming. In line with the hypothesis that syntactic priming relies on nondeclarative memory, the patient group shows strong priming tendencies (12.6% passive structure repetition). Our healthy control group did not show a priming tendency, presumably due to cognitive interference between declarative and nondeclarative memory. We discuss the results in relation to amnesia, aging, and compensatory mechanisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Dynamic and Thermal Properties of Aluminum Alloy A356/Silicon Carbide Hollow Particle Syntactic Foams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Cox

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Aluminum alloy A356 matrix syntactic foams filled with SiC hollow particles (SiCHP are studied in the present work. Two compositions of syntactic foams are studied for quasi-static and high strain rate compression. In addition, dynamic mechanical analysis is conducted to study the temperature dependent energy dissipation and damping capabilities of these materials. The thermal characterization includes study of the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE. A356/SiCHP syntactic foams are not strain rate sensitive as the compressive strength displayed little variation between the tested strain rates of 0.001–2100 s−1. Microscopic analysis of the high strain rate compression tested specimens showed that the fracture is initiated by the failure of hollow particles at the onset of the plastic deformation region. This is followed by plastic deformation of the matrix material and further crushing of particles. The syntactic foams showed decrease in storage modulus with increasing temperature and the trend was nearly linear up to 500 °C. The alloy shows a similar behavior at low temperature but the decrease in storage modulus increases sharply over 375 °C. The loss modulus is very small for the tested materials because of lack of viscoelasticity in metallic materials. The trend in the loss modulus is opposite, where the matrix alloy has lower loss modulus than syntactic foams at low temperature. However, over 250 °C the matrix loss modulus starts to increase rapidly and attains a peak around 460 °C. Syntactic foams have higher damping parameter at low temperatures than the matrix alloy. Incorporation of SiCHP helps in decreasing CTE. Compared to the CTE of the matrix alloy, 23.4 × 10−6 °C−1, syntactic foams showed CTE values as low as 11.67 × 10−6 °C−1.

  14. A SYNTACTIC ANALYSIS OF OLU OBAFEMI'S SONG OF HOPE ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    use of language appears in these poems, there is a bias for both the information and the syntactic forms. Hence, the poet balances conformity and non-conformity to conventional syntactic rule. Keywords: Argument positions, X-bar syntax, Theta roles, Semantic roles,. Syntactic meaning, Nominal Group, Verb Group, Agent, ...

  15. The dynamics of nondecidable sentences as axioms in axiomatic metatheories converging to the unique nondecidable sentence of maximal generality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirita, Ion I.

    1998-07-01

    Gödel states that in any formal system there are statements which, although possible to formulate with the means of the system they cannot be demonstrated starting from the axiom system, these being the propositions on which it is impossible to decide formally. For the modern theory of knowledge, these statements have important consequences, as the concept of truth cannot be replaced by the concept of demonstrable, the class of true propositions being larger than that of demonstrable sentences and thus, the structures of semantic notions cannot be reduced to structures of syntactic notions. The existence of a true sentence which cannot be demonstrated within a theory proves the theory to be incomplete. In the dialectic logic this theory is completed, extending the axiom system by raising the true nondemonstrable proposition to the rank of an axiom and adding it to the other axioms. The change of axioms in an axiom system alters the meaning of predicates and the relations on the theory, the new theory becoming a metatheory in which a new true nondemonstrable proposition can be formulated. Thus, it is possible to develop a sequence of metatheories each representing a relative truth possible to replace by a larger relative truth situated on a higher step, and creates the possibility of developing the general science, meant to comprise the principles of scientific thinking of all, sciences, named by Leibniz "Scientia generalis."

  16. The thematic hierarchy in sentence comprehension: A study on the interaction between verb class and word order in Spanish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gattei, Carolina A; Dickey, Michael W; Wainselboim, Alejandro J; París, Luis

    2015-01-01

    Linking is the theory that captures the mapping of the semantic roles of lexical arguments to the syntactic functions of the phrases that realize them. At the sentence level, linking allows us to understand "who did what to whom" in an event. In Spanish, linking has been shown to interact with word order, verb class, and case marking. The current study aims to provide the first piece of experimental evidence about the interplay between word order and verb type in Spanish. We achieve this by adopting role and reference grammar and the extended argument dependency model. Two different types of clauses were examined in a self-paced reading task: clauses with object-experiencer psychological verbs and activity verbs. These types of verbs differ in the way that their syntactic and semantic structures are linked, and thus they provide interesting evidence on how information that belongs to the syntax-semantics interface might influence the predictive and integrative processes of sentence comprehension with alternative word orders. Results indicate that in Spanish, comprehension and processing speed is enhanced when the order of the constituents in the sentence mirrors their ranking on a semantic hierarchy that encodes a verb's lexical semantics. Moreover, results show that during online comprehension, predictive mechanisms based on argument hierarchization are used rapidly to inform the processing system. Our findings corroborate already existing cross-linguistic evidence on the issue and are briefly discussed in the light of other sentence-processing models.

  17. Neural bases of event knowledge and syntax integration in comprehension of complex sentences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malaia, Evie; Newman, Sharlene

    2015-01-01

    Comprehension of complex sentences is necessarily supported by both syntactic and semantic knowledge, but what linguistic factors trigger a readers' reliance on a specific system? This functional neuroimaging study orthogonally manipulated argument plausibility and verb event type to investigate cortical bases of the semantic effect on argument comprehension during reading. The data suggest that telic verbs facilitate online processing by means of consolidating the event schemas in episodic memory and by easing the computation of syntactico-thematic hierarchies in the left inferior frontal gyrus. The results demonstrate that syntax-semantics integration relies on trade-offs among a distributed network of regions for maximum comprehension efficiency.

  18. Banana Algebra: Compositional Syntactic Language Extension

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jacob; Brabrand, Claus; Christiansen, David Raymond

    2013-01-01

    We propose an algebra of languages and transformations as a means of compositional syntactic language extension. The algebra provides a layer of high-level abstractions built on top of languages (captured by context-free grammars) and transformations (captured by constructive catamorphisms). The ...

  19. Sound Type-Dependent Syntactic Language Extension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lorenzen, Florian; Erdweg, S.T.

    2016-01-01

    Syntactic language extensions can introduce new facilities into a programming language while requiring little implementation effort and modest changes to the compiler. It is typical to desugar language extensions in a distinguished compiler phase after parsing or type checking, not affecting any of

  20. Discriminative syntactic reranking for statistical machine translation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carter, S.; Monz, C.

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes a method that successfully exploits simple syntactic features for n-best translation candidate reranking using perceptrons. Our approach uses discriminative language modelling to rerank the n-best translations generated by a statistical machine translation system. The

  1. Principled Syntactic Code Completion using Placeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Souza Amorim, L.E.; Erdweg, S.T.; Wachsmuth, G.H.; Visser, Eelco; Varro, D.; Balland, E.; van der Storm, T.

    2016-01-01

    Principled syntactic code completion enables developers to change source code by inserting code templates, thus increasing developer efficiency and supporting language exploration. However, existing code completion systems are ad-hoc and neither complete nor sound. They are not complete and only

  2. Syntactic Findings in Developmental Verbal Apraxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekelman, Barbara L.; Aram, Dorothy M.

    1983-01-01

    Analysis of spontaneous language samples of eight children (4-11 years old) diagnosed with developmental verbal apraxia (motor speech disorder) revealed that at least some of the errors could not be attributed to motor speech and/or phonologic limitations but rather indicated concomitant syntactic disorders. (Author/CL)

  3. Syntactic Categorization in French-Learning Infants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Rushen; Melancon, Andreane

    2010-01-01

    Recent work showed that infants recognize and store function words starting from the age of 6-8 months. Using a visual fixation procedure, the present study tested whether French-learning 14-month-olds have the knowledge of syntactic categories of determiners and pronouns, respectively, and whether they can use these function words for…

  4. Designing and Implementing a Syntactic Parser.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Alton; Sanders, Ruth

    1987-01-01

    Describes the development in progress of a syntactic parser of German called "Syncheck," which uses the programing language "Prolog." The grammar is written in a formalism called "Definate Clause Grammar." The purpose of "Syncheck" is to provide advice on grammatical correctness to intermediate and advanced…

  5. Improving Translatability and Readability with Syntactic Cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohl, John R.

    1999-01-01

    Argues that, given the expanding audience of non-native readers of English and the need to translate technical writing, technical writing should be unambiguous and predictable. Explains what syntactic cues are and why technical communicators should use them. Discusses integrating this approach into established documentation processes, and provides…

  6. From Utterance to Example Sentence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristoffersen, Jette Hedegaard

    2010-01-01

    This poster will address some of the problems on excerption of example sentences for the online dictionary of Danish Sign Language (DTS) from a raw corpus of dialogues and monologues. In the Danish Sign Language Dictionary every meaning is illustrated by one or more sentences showing the sign...... and contains 9 parts that are assessed in the process. We allow for adjusting the real utterance if this necessarily to follow the guidelines, eg. anaphoric reference may in the real sample only occur as an eye gaze in a direction of a locus, but when we copy only a part of an utterance, this kind of reference...

  7. Toward defining good writing: A rhetorical analysis of the words, sentences, and paragraphs in 16 industrial scripts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freisinger, R. R.; Petersen, B. T.

    1981-01-01

    The assumption that teachers of technical writing agree on a definition of good writing was found to be without basis. Resolution of disagreements arising from close reading and textual analysis is described. Writing samples from corporate sources including IBM, ALCOA, Exxon, Weyerhaeuser, Bell Labs, Underwriters Laboratories, Dow Chemical, and US Steel were requested. A mixture of informative and persuasive examples, and examples directed at lay and specialist audiences were received. Analyses of 16 writing samples are reported. Analysis of word level, sentence level, and paragraph level, was completed. Syllabism, verb selection, nominalizations, vocabulary choices, t-units, subordination, sentence and clause length, syntactic order, patterns, development, topic sentences, propositional order, and transitions were analyzed.

  8. Brain imaging of tongue-twister sentence comprehension: twisting the tongue and the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Timothy A; Carpenter, Patricia A; Just, Marcel Adam

    2003-02-01

    This study used fMRI to investigate the neural basis of the tongue-twister effect in a sentence comprehension task. Participants silently read sentences equated for the syntactic structure and the lexical frequency of the constituent words, but differing in the proportion of words that shared similar initial phonemes. The manipulation affected not only the reading times and comprehension performance, but also the amount of activation seen in a number of language-related cortical areas. The effect was not restricted to cortical areas known to be involved in articulatory speech programming or rehearsal processes (the inferior frontal gyrus and anterior insula), but also extended to areas associated with other aspects of language processing (inferior parietal cortex) associated with phonological processing and storage. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science (USA)

  9. Sources of variation in developmental language disorders: evidence from eye-tracking studies of sentence production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norbury, Courtenay Frazier

    2014-01-01

    Skilled sentence production involves distinct stages of message conceptualization (deciding what to talk about) and message formulation (deciding how to talk about it). Eye-movement paradigms provide a mechanism for observing how speakers accomplish these aspects of production in real time. These methods have recently been applied to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and specific language impairment (LI) in an effort to reveal qualitative differences between groups in sentence production processes. Findings support a multiple-deficit account in which language production is influenced not only by lexical and syntactic constraints, but also by variation in attention control, inhibition and social competence. Thus, children with ASD are especially vulnerable to atypical patterns of visual inspection and verbal utterance. The potential to influence attentional focus and prime appropriate language structures are considered as a mechanism for facilitating language adaptation and learning. PMID:24324237

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. The influence of semantic and syntactic context constraints on lexical selection and integration in spoken-word comprehension as revealed by ERPs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Brink, Daniëlle; Hagoort, Peter

    2004-01-01

    An event-related brain potential experiment was carried out to investigate the influence of semantic and syntactic context constraints on lexical selection and integration in spoken-word comprehension. Subjects were presented with constraining spoken sentences that contained a critical word that was either (a) congruent, (b) semantically and syntactically incongruent, but beginning with the same initial phonemes as the congruent critical word, or (c) semantically and syntactically incongruent, beginning with phonemes that differed from the congruent critical word. Relative to the congruent condition, an N200 effect reflecting difficulty in the lexical selection process was obtained in the semantically and syntactically incongruent condition where word onset differed from that of the congruent critical word. Both incongruent conditions elicited a large N400 followed by a left anterior negativity (LAN) time-locked to the moment of word category violation and a P600 effect. These results would best fit within a cascaded model of spoken-word processing, proclaiming an optimal use of contextual information during spoken-word identification by allowing for semantic and syntactic processing to take place in parallel after bottom-up activation of a set of candidates, and lexical integration to proceed with a limited number of candidates that still match the acoustic input.

  12. Extra-linguistic influences on sentence comprehension in Italian-speaking children with and without specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pettenati, P; Benassi, E; Deevy, P; Leonard, L B; Caselli, M C

    2015-01-01

    Many children with specific language impairment (SLI) in sentence comprehension. These deficits are usually attributed to limitations in the children's understanding of syntax or the lexical items contained in the sentences. This study examines the role that extra-linguistic factors can play in these children's sentence comprehension. Extra-linguistic demands on sentence comprehension are manipulated directly by varying the nature of the materials used. Forty-five Italian-speaking children participated: 15 with SLI (mean age = 4;5), 15 typically developing children matched for age (TD-A, mean age = 4;5), and 15 younger typically developing children matched according to language comprehension test scores (TD-Y, mean age = 3;9). The children responded to sentence comprehension items that varied in their length and/or the number and type of foils that competed with the target picture. The TD-A children were more accurate than the TD-Y children and the children with SLI, but, for all groups, accuracy declined when task demands increased. In particular, sentences containing superfluous adjectives (e.g., Il topo bello copre l'uccello allegro, 'The nice mouse covers the happy bird' where all depicted mice were nice and all birds were happy) yielded higher scores than similar sentences in which each adjective had to be associated with the proper character (e.g., Il cane giallo lava il maiale bianco, 'The yellow dog washes the white pig', where foils included a yellow dog washing a pink pig, and a brown dog washing a white pig). Many errors reflected recency effects, probably influenced by the fact that adjectives modifying the object appear at the end of the sentence in Italian. Differences between conditions were observed even when lexical content, syntactic structure and sentence length were controlled. This finding suggests the need for great care when assessing children's comprehension of sentences. The same syntactic structure and lexical content can vary in

  13. Automatically extracting sentences from Medline citations to support clinicians' information needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonnalagadda, Siddhartha Reddy; Del Fiol, Guilherme; Medlin, Richard; Weir, Charlene; Fiszman, Marcelo; Mostafa, Javed; Liu, Hongfang

    2013-01-01

    Online health knowledge resources contain answers to most of the information needs raised by clinicians in the course of care. However, significant barriers limit the use of these resources for decision-making, especially clinicians' lack of time. In this study we assessed the feasibility of automatically generating knowledge summaries for a particular clinical topic composed of relevant sentences extracted from Medline citations. The proposed approach combines information retrieval and semantic information extraction techniques to identify relevant sentences from Medline abstracts. We assessed this approach in two case studies on the treatment alternatives for depression and Alzheimer's disease. A total of 515 of 564 (91.3%) sentences retrieved in the two case studies were relevant to the topic of interest. About one-third of the relevant sentences described factual knowledge or a study conclusion that can be used for supporting information needs at the point of care. The high rate of relevant sentences is desirable, given that clinicians' lack of time is one of the main barriers to using knowledge resources at the point of care. Sentence rank was not significantly associated with relevancy, possibly due to most sentences being highly relevant. Sentences located closer to the end of the abstract and sentences with treatment and comparative predications were likely to be conclusive sentences. Our proposed technical approach to helping clinicians meet their information needs is promising. The approach can be extended for other knowledge resources and information need types.

  14. Writing an Independently Composed Sentence by Spanish-Speaking Children With and Without Poor Transcription Skills: A Writing-Level Match Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Eduardo; Crespo, Patricia; Bermúdez, Ivana

    The main objective of this research was to analyze the impact of transcription skills of Spanish writers when writing an independently composed sentence within a writing-level design. The free-writing sentence task from the Early Grade Writing Assessment (Jiménez, in press) was used to examine the production, accuracy, speed, syntactic complexity, quality, and fluency of children with poor transcription skills (PTS). The results showed that there were significant differences between children with PTS and peers who had good transcription skills. The PTS group members were less accurate, slower, and less fluent or even dysfluent. Furthermore, their sentences were less complex and contained lower quality content. These results suggest that transcription skills play a crucial role in early written expression in Spanish, and poor transcription abilities hamper the acquisition and normal development of sentence composition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  16. Sentencing Outcomes of Convicted Child Sex Offenders

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  17. Qualitative descriptions of error recovery patterns across reading level and sentence type: an eye movement analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, J

    1991-11-01

    Purposes of the present study included describing a variety of error recovery patterns based on eye movement (EM) measures of sentence parsing across reading level and error type. A qualitative pattern analysis of EM mappings was completed for students with reading disabilities (n = 10) and nondisabled students (n = 10) who were parsing control and erred sentences. Independent variables included error type (syntactically ambiguous, semantically anomalous, and control sentences) and reading proficiency level. Dependent variables consisted of seven eye movement measures. Chi-square analyses were performed to examine group differences across frequencies per pattern. Results suggest that the error recovery strategies deployed by both groups were similar in pattern and frequency; patterns were largely organized, strategic, and efficient, as predicted. Evidence for seven newly defined strategies was found, with indications of multiple strategies within sentences by both groups. Strategies tended to be error "reanalysis" (vs. "recovery") heuristics, in that readers from both groups used regressions to reanalyze regions of inconsistency rather than regions of disambiguation. Earlier conclusions regarding disorganized processing and individual differences among adolescents with reading disabilities are discussed.

  18. Sign language ability in young deaf signers predicts comprehension of written sentences in English.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew, Kathy N; Hoshooley, Jennifer; Joanisse, Marc F

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the robust correlation between American Sign Language (ASL) and English reading ability in 51 young deaf signers ages 7;3 to 19;0. Signers were divided into 'skilled' and 'less-skilled' signer groups based on their performance on three measures of ASL. We next assessed reading comprehension of four English sentence structures (actives, passives, pronouns, reflexive pronouns) using a sentence-to-picture-matching task. Of interest was the extent to which ASL proficiency provided a foundation for lexical and syntactic processes of English. Skilled signers outperformed less-skilled signers overall. Error analyses further indicated greater single-word recognition difficulties in less-skilled signers marked by a higher rate of errors reflecting an inability to identify the actors and actions described in the sentence. Our findings provide evidence that increased ASL ability supports English sentence comprehension both at the levels of individual words and syntax. This is consistent with the theory that first language learning promotes second language through transference of linguistic elements irrespective of the transparency of mapping of grammatical structures between the two languages.

  19. Sign language ability in young deaf signers predicts comprehension of written sentences in English.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathy N Andrew

    Full Text Available We investigated the robust correlation between American Sign Language (ASL and English reading ability in 51 young deaf signers ages 7;3 to 19;0. Signers were divided into 'skilled' and 'less-skilled' signer groups based on their performance on three measures of ASL. We next assessed reading comprehension of four English sentence structures (actives, passives, pronouns, reflexive pronouns using a sentence-to-picture-matching task. Of interest was the extent to which ASL proficiency provided a foundation for lexical and syntactic processes of English. Skilled signers outperformed less-skilled signers overall. Error analyses further indicated greater single-word recognition difficulties in less-skilled signers marked by a higher rate of errors reflecting an inability to identify the actors and actions described in the sentence. Our findings provide evidence that increased ASL ability supports English sentence comprehension both at the levels of individual words and syntax. This is consistent with the theory that first language learning promotes second language through transference of linguistic elements irrespective of the transparency of mapping of grammatical structures between the two languages.

  20. The effect of word position on eye-movements in sentence and paragraph reading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuperman, Victor; Dambacher, Michael; Nuthmann, Antje; Kliegl, Reinhold

    2010-09-01

    The present study explores the role of the word position-in-text in sentence and paragraph reading. Three eye-movement data sets based on the reading of Dutch and German unrelated sentences reveal a sizeable, replicable increase in reading times over several words at the beginning and the end of sentences. The data from the paragraph-based English-language Dundee corpus replicate the pattern and also indicate that the increase in inspection times is driven by the visual boundaries of the text organized in lines, rather than by syntactic sentence boundaries. We argue that this effect is independent of several established lexical, contextual, and oculomotor predictors of eye-movement behaviour. We also provide evidence that the effect of word position-in-text has two independent components: a start-up effect, arguably caused by a strategic oculomotor programme of saccade planning over the line of text, and a wrap-up effect, originating in cognitive processes of comprehension and semantic integration.

  1. Sentence Comprehension and Its Association with Executive Functions in Patients with Parkinson's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrien S. F. Colman

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Coexistent impairments in executive functions and language comprehension in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD have been repeatedly observed. In this study, the aim was to provide insights into the interaction between linguistic representation and processing and executive functioning. Therefore, sentence comprehension and executive functions were assessed in 28 Dutch-speaking PD patients and 28 healthy control subjects. Three aspects of the sentence materials were varied: (1 phrase structure complexity, (2 sentence length, and (3 picture congruence. PD patients with mild-to-moderate disease severity showed decreased sentence comprehension compared to healthy control subjects. The difficulties encountered by PD patients were not limited to one aspect of the sentence materials. The same pattern of results was present in healthy control subjects. Deficits in set-switching were specifically associated with the comprehension of passive sentences. Generally, our study confirms that there does not appear to be a language faculty encapsulated from the influence of executive functions.

  2. SYNTACTIC COMPLEXITY IN THE READING MATERIALS OF ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC PURPOSES LEVELS 1 – 3

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Widdy Wijanti

    2017-10-01

    English learning that a good language output comes from a good language input. The data is taken from the collections of reading materials taken from EAP course Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 which are compulsory subjects for students at Sampoerna University in their first 2 years of study. The data then is processed using the Syntactic Complexity Analyzer (Ai & Lu, 2013. The findings showed that the reading materials of EAP course Level 3 text is mainly suggested to be reviewed and revised in order to fulfill the five categories of syntactic complexity, i.e. the length of production unit, the sentence complexity, the subordination, the coordination, and the particular structure.

  3. Processing of hierarchical syntactic structure in music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koelsch, Stefan; Rohrmeier, Martin; Torrecuso, Renzo; Jentschke, Sebastian

    2013-09-17

    Hierarchical structure with nested nonlocal dependencies is a key feature of human language and can be identified theoretically in most pieces of tonal music. However, previous studies have argued against the perception of such structures in music. Here, we show processing of nonlocal dependencies in music. We presented chorales by J. S. Bach and modified versions in which the hierarchical structure was rendered irregular whereas the local structure was kept intact. Brain electric responses differed between regular and irregular hierarchical structures, in both musicians and nonmusicians. This finding indicates that, when listening to music, humans apply cognitive processes that are capable of dealing with long-distance dependencies resulting from hierarchically organized syntactic structures. Our results reveal that a brain mechanism fundamental for syntactic processing is engaged during the perception of music, indicating that processing of hierarchical structure with nested nonlocal dependencies is not just a key component of human language, but a multidomain capacity of human cognition.

  4. Syntactic Analysis in a Speech Understanding System

    Science.gov (United States)

    1975-08-01

    with notes by Martin Gardner, Branhall House, N.Y. I960 [U] Chomsky , L’oam (1957) SYNTACTIC STRUCTURES Mouton, The Hague, 1957 [15] Chomsky , Noam ...1964) A Transformational Approach to Syntax in Fodor and Katz, The Structure of Language, p. 211-245 B B • [16] Chomsky , Noam (1965) ASPECTS OF...score of one. After the initial step, whenever a transition (other than a PUSH or PDF ) is made, the score of the subsequent configuration is set

  5. GeneRIF indexing: sentence selection based on machine learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimeno-Yepes, Antonio J; Sticco, J Caitlin; Mork, James G; Aronson, Alan R

    2013-05-31

    A Gene Reference Into Function (GeneRIF) describes novel functionality of genes. GeneRIFs are available from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Gene database. GeneRIF indexing is performed manually, and the intention of our work is to provide methods to support creating the GeneRIF entries. The creation of GeneRIF entries involves the identification of the genes mentioned in MEDLINE®; citations and the sentences describing a novel function. We have compared several learning algorithms and several features extracted or derived from MEDLINE sentences to determine if a sentence should be selected for GeneRIF indexing. Features are derived from the sentences or using mechanisms to augment the information provided by them: assigning a discourse label using a previously trained model, for example. We show that machine learning approaches with specific feature combinations achieve results close to one of the annotators. We have evaluated different feature sets and learning algorithms. In particular, Naïve Bayes achieves better performance with a selection of features similar to one used in related work, which considers the location of the sentence, the discourse of the sentence and the functional terminology in it. The current performance is at a level similar to human annotation and it shows that machine learning can be used to automate the task of sentence selection for GeneRIF annotation. The current experiments are limited to the human species. We would like to see how the methodology can be extended to other species, specifically the normalization of gene mentions in other species.

  6. Aerodynamic Characteristics of Syllable and Sentence Productions in Normal Speakers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiel, Cedric; Yang, Jin; Crawley, Brianna; Krishna, Priya; Murry, Thomas

    2018-01-08

    Aerodynamic measures of subglottic air pressure (Ps) and airflow rate (AFR) are used to select behavioral voice therapy versus surgical treatment for voice disorders. However, these measures are usually taken during a series of syllables, which differs from conversational speech. Repeated syllables do not share the variation found in even simple sentences, and patients may use their best rather than typical voice unless specifically instructed otherwise. This study examined the potential differences in estimated Ps and AFR in syllable and sentence production and their effects on a measure of vocal efficiency in normal speakers. Prospective study. Measures of estimated Ps, AFR, and aerodynamic vocal efficiency (AVE) were obtained from 19 female and four male speakers ages 22-44 years with no history of voice disorders. Subjects repeated a series of /pa/ syllables and a sentence at comfortable effort level into a face mask with a pressure-sensing tube between the lips. AVE varies as a function of the speech material in normal subjects. Ps measures were significantly higher for the sentence-production samples than for the syllable-production samples. AFR was higher during sentence production than syllable production, but the difference was not statistically significant. AVE values were significantly higher for syllable versus sentence productions. The results suggest that subjects increase Ps and AFR in sentence compared with syllable production. Speaking task is a critical factor when considering measures of AVE, and this preliminary study provides a basis for further aerodynamic studies of patient populations. Copyright © 2017 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Syntactic Functions in Functional Discourse Grammar and Role and Reference Grammar: An Evaluative Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Christopher S.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to compare the treatment of syntactic functions, and more particularly those traditionally labelled as Subject and Object, in Functional Discourse Grammar and Role and Reference Grammar. Relevant aspects of the overall structure of the two theories are briefly described. The concept of alignment between levels of the…

  8. Language Distance and Non-Native Syntactic Processing: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zawiszewski, Adam; Gutierrez, Eva; Fernandez, Beatriz; Laka, Itziar

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we explore native and non-native syntactic processing, paying special attention to the language distance factor. To this end, we compared how native speakers of Basque and highly proficient non-native speakers of Basque who are native speakers of Spanish process certain core aspects of Basque syntax. Our results suggest that…

  9. Syntactical Speech Patterns of Black Children from a Depressed Urban Area: Educators Look at Linguistic Findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gantt, Walter N.; Wilson, Robert M.

    The syntactical speech characteristics of black children living in depressed areas of an Eastern city were compared with the eight identified by Baratz, i.e., absence of "s" in the third person singular, zero copula, double negation and "ain't," zero past marker, zero possessive marker, zero plural marker, the substitution of "did" or "can" for…

  10. Morpho-Syntactic Reading Comprehension in Children with Early and Late Cochlear Implants

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Higes, Ramón; Gallego, Carlos; Martín-Aragoneses, María Teresa; Melle, Natalia

    2015-01-01

    This study explores morpho-syntactic reading comprehension in 19 Spanish children who received a cochlear implant (CI) before 24 months of age (early CI [e-CI]) and 19 Spanish children who received a CI after 24 months (late CI [l-CI]). They all were in primary school and were compared to a hearing control (HC) group of 19 children. Tests of…

  11. Data characterizing tensile behavior of cenosphere/HDPE syntactic foam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, B R Bharath; Doddamani, Mrityunjay; Zeltmann, Steven E; Gupta, Nikhil; Ramakrishna, Seeram

    2016-03-01

    The data set presented is related to the tensile behavior of cenosphere reinforced high density polyethylene syntactic foam composites "Processing of cenosphere/HDPE syntactic foams using an industrial scale polymer injection molding machine" (Bharath et al., 2016) [1]. The focus of the work is on determining the feasibility of using an industrial scale polymer injection molding (PIM) machine for fabricating syntactic foams. The fabricated syntactic foams are investigated for microstructure and tensile properties. The data presented in this article is related to optimization of the PIM process for syntactic foam manufacture, equations and procedures to develop theoretical estimates for properties of cenospheres, and microstructure of syntactic foams before and after failure. Included dataset contains values obtained from the theoretical model.

  12. Data characterizing tensile behavior of cenosphere/HDPE syntactic foam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.R. Bharath Kumar

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The data set presented is related to the tensile behavior of cenosphere reinforced high density polyethylene syntactic foam composites “Processing of cenosphere/HDPE syntactic foams using an industrial scale polymer injection molding machine” (Bharath et al., 2016 [1]. The focus of the work is on determining the feasibility of using an industrial scale polymer injection molding (PIM machine for fabricating syntactic foams. The fabricated syntactic foams are investigated for microstructure and tensile properties. The data presented in this article is related to optimization of the PIM process for syntactic foam manufacture, equations and procedures to develop theoretical estimates for properties of cenospheres, and microstructure of syntactic foams before and after failure. Included dataset contains values obtained from the theoretical model.

  13. Comprehension priming as rational expectation for repetition: Evidence from syntactic processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myslín, Mark; Levy, Roger

    2016-02-01

    Why do comprehenders process repeated stimuli more rapidly than novel stimuli? We consider an adaptive explanation for why such facilitation may be beneficial: priming is a consequence of expectation for repetition due to rational adaptation to the environment. If occurrences of a stimulus cluster in time, given one occurrence it is rational to expect a second occurrence closely following. Leveraging such knowledge may be particularly useful in online processing of language, where pervasive clustering may help comprehenders negotiate the considerable challenge of continual expectation update at multiple levels of linguistic structure and environmental variability. We test this account in the domain of structural priming in syntax, making use of the sentential complement-direct object (SC-DO) ambiguity. We first show that sentences containing SC continuations cluster in natural language, motivating an expectation for repetition of this structure. Second, we show that comprehenders are indeed sensitive to the syntactic clustering properties of their current environment. In a series of between-groups self-paced reading studies, we find that participants who are exposed to clusters of SC sentences subsequently process repetitions of SC structure more rapidly than participants who are exposed to the same number of SCs spaced in time, and attribute the difference to the learned degree of expectation for repetition. We model this behavior through Bayesian belief update, showing that (the optimal degree of) sensitivity to clustering properties of syntactic structures is indeed learnable through experience. Comprehension priming effects are thus consistent with rational expectation for repetition based on adaptation to the linguistic environment. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Using stochastic language models (SLM to map lexical, syntactic, and phonological information processing in the brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro Lopopolo

    Full Text Available Language comprehension involves the simultaneous processing of information at the phonological, syntactic, and lexical level. We track these three distinct streams of information in the brain by using stochastic measures derived from computational language models to detect neural correlates of phoneme, part-of-speech, and word processing in an fMRI experiment. Probabilistic language models have proven to be useful tools for studying how language is processed as a sequence of symbols unfolding in time. Conditional probabilities between sequences of words are at the basis of probabilistic measures such as surprisal and perplexity which have been successfully used as predictors of several behavioural and neural correlates of sentence processing. Here we computed perplexity from sequences of words and their parts of speech, and their phonemic transcriptions. Brain activity time-locked to each word is regressed on the three model-derived measures. We observe that the brain keeps track of the statistical structure of lexical, syntactic and phonological information in distinct areas.

  15. Using stochastic language models (SLM) to map lexical, syntactic, and phonological information processing in the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopopolo, Alessandro; Frank, Stefan L; van den Bosch, Antal; Willems, Roel M

    2017-01-01

    Language comprehension involves the simultaneous processing of information at the phonological, syntactic, and lexical level. We track these three distinct streams of information in the brain by using stochastic measures derived from computational language models to detect neural correlates of phoneme, part-of-speech, and word processing in an fMRI experiment. Probabilistic language models have proven to be useful tools for studying how language is processed as a sequence of symbols unfolding in time. Conditional probabilities between sequences of words are at the basis of probabilistic measures such as surprisal and perplexity which have been successfully used as predictors of several behavioural and neural correlates of sentence processing. Here we computed perplexity from sequences of words and their parts of speech, and their phonemic transcriptions. Brain activity time-locked to each word is regressed on the three model-derived measures. We observe that the brain keeps track of the statistical structure of lexical, syntactic and phonological information in distinct areas.

  16. Probing morphological, syntactic and pragmatic knowledge through answers to wh-questions in children with SLI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rombough, Kelly; Thornton, Rosalind

    2017-02-14

    This study investigated aspects of morphology, syntax and pragmatics in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). These areas of language were investigated by evaluating children's answers to wh-questions. Elicited production methodology was used to evoke answers to three types of wh-questions. There were 54 participants: 18 children with SLI (mean age = 5;3); 18 language-matched children matched on mean length of utterance (mean age = 3;4) and 18 age-matched children (mean age = 5;3). The SLI group demonstrated comprehension of the wh-questions, as revealed by their answers using the appropriate syntactic category. Children with SLI also demonstrated knowledge of pragmatics by using a pronoun to refer to a discourse referent that was previously introduced as a full noun phrase. Unlike the control children, children with SLI did not show sensitivity to one measure of the Maxim of Quantity; they gave more full sentence answers to wh-questions in contexts when most speakers would give a shorter, fragment answer. The tense-related morphology was also frequently omitted from children's answers. The experiment revealed that children with SLI did well on syntactic and pragmatic measures. The greatest challenge was in providing tense-related morphemes in their answers to questions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Predicting contrast in sentences with and without focus marking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Katy

    2014-10-01

    How do we know when a contrast is coming? This study explores the prediction of parallel contrastive phrases, especially NPs, in sentences with and without overt focus marking. A written sentence-completion questionnaire with clauses followed by the conjunction "but" compared unmarked initial clauses to ones with the focus marker "only" on the subject or object. Both conditions with "only" elicited more contrasts overall than the condition without focus marking, and many of the contrasts were with the focus-marked NP. While the baseline (no-only) condition had full clauses for half of the completions, subject focus increased clausal completions and object focus increased negative ellipsis completions ("not"+NP structures), both changes in syntax which make a contrast with the marked NP easy. The production of negative ellipsis sentences primarily in the object-focus condition suggests that the object bias of these sentences in comprehension could relate to their being used more frequently with this meaning. Finally, the overall pattern of results shows that overt marking of contrastive focus increases continuations with contrasts, and the conjunction "but" does not reliably predict explicitly-stated contrasts within a sentence without overt focus marking.

  19. Comparison of Oral Reading Errors between Contextual Sentences and Random Words among Schoolchildren

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalid, Nursyairah Mohd; Buari, Noor Halilah; Chen, Ai-Hong

    2017-01-01

    This paper compares the oral reading errors between the contextual sentences and random words among schoolchildren. Two sets of reading materials were developed to test the oral reading errors in 30 schoolchildren (10.00±1.44 years). Set A was comprised contextual sentences while Set B encompassed random words. The schoolchildren were asked to…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  1. Deficits in comprehending wh-questions in children with hearing loss - the contribution of phonological short-term memory and syntactic complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penke, Martina; Wimmer, Eva

    2017-08-28

    The aim of the study is to investigate if German children with hearing loss (HL) display persisting problems in comprehending complex sentences and to find out whether these problems can be linked to limitations in phonological short-term memory (PSTM). A who-question comprehension test (picture pointing) and a nonword repetition (NWR) task were conducted with 21 German children with bilateral sensorineural HL (ages 3-4) and with age-matched 19 normal hearing (NH) children. Follow-up data (ages 6-8) are reported for 10 of the children with HL. The data reveal that the comprehension of who-questions as well as PSTM was significantly more impaired in children with HL than in children with NH. For both groups of participants, there were no correlations between question comprehension scores and performance in the NWR test. Syntactic complexity (subject vs. object question) affected question comprehension in children with HL, however, these problems were overcome at school age. In conclusion, the data indicate that a hearing loss affects the comprehension of complex sentences. The observed problems did, however, not persist and were, therefore, unlikely to be caused by a genuine syntactic deficit. For the tested wh-questions, there is no indication that syntactic comprehension problems of children with HL are due to limitations in PSTM.

  2. Development of the Russian matrix sentence test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warzybok, Anna; Zokoll, Melanie; Wardenga, Nina; Ozimek, Edward; Boboshko, Maria; Kollmeier, Birger

    2015-01-01

    To develop the Russian matrix sentence test for speech intelligibility measurements in noise. Test development included recordings, optimization of speech material, and evaluation to investigate the equivalency of the test lists and training. For each of the 500 test items, the speech intelligibility function, speech reception threshold (SRT: signal-to-noise ratio, SNR, that provides 50% speech intelligibility), and slope was obtained. The speech material was homogenized by applying level corrections. In evaluation measurements, speech intelligibility was measured at two fixed SNRs to compare list-specific intelligibility functions. To investigate the training effect and establish reference data, speech intelligibility was measured adaptively. Overall, 77 normal-hearing native Russian listeners. The optimization procedure decreased the spread in SRTs across words from 2.8 to 0.6 dB. Evaluation measurements confirmed that the 16 test lists were equivalent, with a mean SRT of -9.5 ± 0.2 dB and a slope of 13.8 ± 1.6%/dB. The reference SRT, -8.8 ± 0.8 dB for the open-set and -9.4 ± 0.8 dB for the closed-set format, increased slightly for noise levels above 75 dB SPL. The Russian matrix sentence test is suitable for accurate and reliable speech intelligibility measurements in noise.

  3. Effect of lexical cues on the production of active and passive sentences in Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faroqi-Shah, Yasmeen; Thompson, Cynthia K

    2003-06-01

    This study compared the sentence production abilities of individuals with Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia in an attempt to explore the extent to which impaired lexical retrieval impedes sentence production. The ability to produce active and passive reversible and non-reversible sentences was examined when varying amounts of lexical information was provided. The results showed that both Wernicke's and Broca's aphasic individuals were impaired in passive sentence production and that these difficulties were not overcome when lexical cues (the relevant nouns and uninflected verb) were provided. However when auxiliary and past tense morphemes were provided along with the verb stem, production of passive sentences improved drastically for both groups. Analysis of error patterns, however, revealed differences between the two groups, suggesting that Broca's aphasic subjects may find passive sentences difficult due to problems with retrieving the relevant grammatical morphemes. Subjects with Wernicke's aphasia may have been unable to automatically access the passive sentence structure.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-15

    The specificity or generality of language-related event-related brain potentials (ERPs) has been a point of continuing debate in the cognitive neuroscience of language. The present study measured ERPs to (preferred) subject-before-object (SO) and (dispreferred) object-before-subject (OS) word orders in German while manipulating morphosyntactic and semantic cues to correct sentence interpretation. We presented sentence pairs as connected speech (context and target sentences) and examined ERPs at the position of the first argument (noun phrase) in the target sentence. At this position, word order was determinable by either (a) case marking (morphosyntactic cue); (b) animacy (semantic cue); or (c) the preceding context sentence (local ambiguity; contextual cue). Following each sentence pair, participants judged the acceptability of the second sentence in the context of the first and performed a probe word recognition task. Results showed a biphasic N400-P600 pattern at the first noun phrase in the OS conditions irrespectively of which cues (syntactic or semantic) were available to the parser for disambiguation. N400 latency varied as a function of temporal cue availability and P600 amplitude increased for unambiguous object-initial conditions even though these were rated acceptable in the judgment task. These findings support an interpretation of ERP components in terms of general cognitive mechanisms such as predictive processes (N400) and decision certainty (P600 as an instance of the P300) rather than a domain-specific view of a semantic N400 and a syntactic P600. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Effects of reading speed on second-language sentence processing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaan, Edith; Ballantyne, Jocelyn C.; Wijnen, Frank

    2014-01-01

    To test the effects of reading speed on second-language (L2) sentence processing and the potential influence of conflicting native language word order, we compared advanced L2 learners of English with native English speakers on a self-paced reading task. L2 learners read faster overall than native

  6. Sentence Comprehension in Postinstitutionalized School-Age Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desmarais, Chantal; Roeber, Barbara J.; Smith, Mary E.; Pollak, Seth D.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the authors investigated sentence comprehension and spatial working memory abilities in a sample of internationally adopted, postinstitutionalized (PI) children. The authors compared the performance of these PI children with that of an age-matched group of children living with their birth families. They hypothesized that PI…

  7. Conceptual Combination During Sentence Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:17576278

  8. Doubling left syntactic positions in Danish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    This paper deals with the doubling of left syntactic positions in Danish. Such doublings consist of a referential element: a NP or a clause, and an anaphoric element, an unstressed personal pronoun or an unstressed resumptive adverb. In main clauses, the CP-spec position may double in this way, w...... in the analysis of a broadcasted public speech (sect. 5). In earlier versions of Danish, as shown in sect. 4, the construction is both more frequent in writing and also seems almost obligatory....

  9. Impairments of Syntactic Comprehension in Korean and the Location of Ischemic Stroke Lesions: A Voxel-Based Lesion-Symptom Mapping Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. Kim

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available In order to assess the capacity of neurological patients to process syntactic features unique to Korean, such as the heavy dependence of parsing on syntactic morphemes rather than the word order in a sentence, the Korean Syntactic Comprehension Test (KSCT was newly developed. To examine the correlation between lesion locations and the test performance, we did voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping (VLSM analysis in a group of 39 patients with ischemic stroke. As a result, KSCT scores of the aphasic patients were significantly lower than those of 18 normal subjects. Within the patient group, VLSM analysis showed significant association between lower KSCT performance and the lesions mainly located in left perisylvian area and anterior temporal lobe. The KSCT results were also closely correlated with the results of two subtests in the Korean version-the Western Aphasia Battery. We conclude therefore that brain localization of syntactic comprehension in Korean native speakers is similar to that in other language speakers, despite the unique features of the Korean syntax, and that the KSCT will be of diagnostic value in assessing left fronto-temporal functions in Korean patients.

  10. Aspects of syntactic selections as style in Zaynab Alkali's the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper explores style at the syntactic level in Zaynab Alkali‟s The Descendants. he systemic grammar is applied as the theoretical framework to analyse aspects of syntactic selections in the text. The basic tenet of systemic grammar is the exploration of the functions of language in the realization of the thematic concerns ...

  11. A Study of Syntactic Processing in Aphasia II: Neurological Aspects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caplan, David; Waters, Gloria; Kennedy, David; Alpert, Nathanial; Makris, Nikos; DeDe, Gayle; Michaud, Jennifer; Reddy, Amanda

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a study of the effects of left hemisphere strokes on syntactically-based comprehension in aphasic patients. We studied 42 patients with aphasia secondary to left hemisphere strokes and 25 control subjects for the ability to assign and interpret three syntactic structures (passives, object extracted relative…

  12. Exploring the Syntactic Skills of Struggling Adult Readers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Nicole A.; Greenberg, Daphne; Laures-Gore, Jacqueline; Wise, Justin C.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the syntactic ability of 82 struggling adult readers who recognize words between the third and fifth grade levels. Analysis of the adults' performance on the TOLD-I:3 indicated that they were deficient on the syntactic task. Correlations found the struggling adult readers' oral language skills, written language skills, and…

  13. some remarks on nouns' participation in Bantu languages syntactic

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The noun's unique linguistic baggage – in particular its definition in lexicographic studies, its classification, morphological architecture as well as its participation in syntactic structures - is not lacking in both exemplification and elaboration. In fact so central and strategic is the noun's unique participation in various syntactic.

  14. Syntactic Reconstruction and Reanalysis, Semantic Dead Ends, and Prefrontal Cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Ken Ramshøj

    2010-01-01

    The left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG) is crucially has been found to be involved in syntactic processing of various kinds. This study investigates the cortical effects of two types of syntactic processes: (i) Reconstruction in ellipsis (recovery of left-out material given by context, More people...

  15. Syntactic Processing in Bilinguals: An fNIRS Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, Lilian Cristine; Fonseca, Rochele Paz; Amiri, Mahnoush; Adrover-Roig, Daniel; Marcotte, Karine; Giroux, Francine; Senhadji, Noureddine; Benali, Habib; Lesage, Frederic; Ansaldo, Ana Ines

    2012-01-01

    The study of the neural basis of syntactic processing has greatly benefited from neuroimaging techniques. Research on syntactic processing in bilinguals has used a variety of techniques, including mainly functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event-related potentials (ERP). This paper reports on a functional near-infrared spectroscopy…

  16. Reorganization of syntactic processing following left-hemisphere brain damage: does right-hemisphere activity preserve function?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler, Lorraine K; Wright, Paul; Randall, Billi; Marslen-Wilson, William D; Stamatakis, Emmanuel A

    2010-11-01

    The extent to which the human brain shows evidence of functional plasticity across the lifespan has been addressed in the context of pathological brain changes and, more recently, of the changes that take place during healthy ageing. Here we examine the potential for plasticity by asking whether a strongly left-lateralized system can successfully reorganize to the right-hemisphere following left-hemisphere brain damage. To do this, we focus on syntax, a key linguistic function considered to be strongly left-lateralized, combining measures of tissue integrity, neural activation and behavioural performance. In a functional neuroimaging study participants heard spoken sentences that differentially loaded on syntactic and semantic information. While healthy controls activated a left-hemisphere network of correlated activity including Brodmann areas 45/47 and posterior middle temporal gyrus during syntactic processing, patients activated Brodmann areas 45/47 bilaterally and right middle temporal gyrus. However, voxel-based morphometry analyses showed that only tissue integrity in left Brodmann areas 45/47 was correlated with activity and performance; poor tissue integrity in left Brodmann area 45 was associated with reduced functional activity and increased syntactic deficits. Activity in the right-hemisphere was not correlated with damage in the left-hemisphere or with performance. Reduced neural integrity in the left-hemisphere through brain damage or healthy ageing results in increased right-hemisphere activation in homologous regions to those left-hemisphere regions typically involved in the young. However, these regions do not support the same linguistic functions as those in the left-hemisphere and only indirectly contribute to preserved syntactic capacity. This establishes the unique role of the left hemisphere in syntax, a core component in human language.

  17. Syntactic behaviour and semantic kinship of selected Danish verbs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Braasch, Anna Rosita

    2008-01-01

    that combine morphological, syntactic and semantic descriptions of the lemmas. The development of such a lexical resource is rather demanding, therefore, an enhancement of existing resources with additional information types is a worthwhile task. The computational lexicon for Danish SprogTeknologisk Ordbase...... (STO) comprises a comprehensive syntactic layer which is assumed to be suitable for enhancement with semantic information. The theoretical background for the current approach is the consensus on obvious relationships between a syntactic behaviour and a particular sense of lemmas, as a surface...... complementation structure reflects the underlying semantic argument structure. The idea is to test the feasibility of deriving semantic information systematically from the syntactic structures encoded in syntactic patterns....

  18. A Lexical and Syntactic Study of Persian Proverbs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasan Zolfaghari

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract   Proverbs along with metaphors, idioms, axioms and expressions are among the materials whose quality and quantity contribute to the enrichment of every language. In this article, the objective is, after defining it, to deal with this lingual category in two lexical and syntactic levels.   In the lexical level, the proverbial terms and lexicon will be investigated from different angles.  1. The usage frequency of alien, folkloric, or common terms, determined via the samples extracted from well-known proverbs, show that 14.4 percent is Arabic, two percent common and folkloric and about one percent others like "Shekasteh". Such studies are carried out comparatively to convey the frequency of the mentioned lexicon compared to the standard prose and other literary forms like legends, lullabies and proverbs.  2. Prohibited or taboo words form 2.75 percent of the total lexicon.  3. In the part of lingual advantage of proverbial terms, the function of proverbial lexicon and its influence on durability of Persian terms and in lingual studies are discussed.  4. Transformation and displacement of the terms in substitutive level is one of the features of proverbs whose causes will be studied in details.   In syntactic level, issues like proverbial expressions, the constituents of proverbial expressions and their sequence, verbal types, structure and mode will be studied.   Moreover, omission of constituents of proverbial expressions in eight grammatical types will be examined by presenting adequate evidence and also the quality and kinds of these omissions will be determined. In the end, the written and verbal categories will be rendered.   The methodology is descriptive-analytical based on the samples and case studies. 50 proverbs from five recorded proverbial sources in standard Persian have been provided. Therefore, spoken cases have not been included in this research.

  19. Characterising receptive language processing in schizophrenia using word and sentence tasks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Eric J; Yelland, Gregory W; Rossell, Susan L

    2016-01-01

    Language dysfunction is proposed to relate to the speech disturbances in schizophrenia, which are more commonly referred to as formal thought disorder (FTD). Presently, language production deficits in schizophrenia are better characterised than language comprehension difficulties. This study thus aimed to examine three aspects of language comprehension in schizophrenia: (1) the role of lexical processing, (2) meaning attribution for words and sentences, and (3) the relationship between comprehension and production. Fifty-seven schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder patients and 48 healthy controls completed a clinical assessment and three language tasks assessing word recognition, synonym identification, and sentence comprehension. Poorer patient performance was expected on the latter two tasks. Recognition of word form was not impaired in schizophrenia, indicating intact lexical processing. Whereas single-word synonym identification was not significantly impaired, there was a tendency to attribute word meanings based on phonological similarity with increasing FTD severity. Importantly, there was a significant sentence comprehension deficit for processing deep structure, which correlated with FTD severity. These findings established a receptive language deficit in schizophrenia at the syntactic level. There was also evidence for a relationship between some aspects of language comprehension and speech production/FTD. Apart from indicating language as another mechanism in FTD aetiology, the data also suggest that remediating language comprehension problems may be an avenue to pursue in alleviating FTD symptomatology.

  20. Does the Victim-Offender Relationship Matter? Exploring the Sentencing of Female Homicide Offenders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Bitna; Gerber, Jurg; Kim, Yeonghee

    2018-03-01

    Empirical research pertaining to sentencing of homicide offenders has been restricted almost exclusively to samples of male offenders in the United States. To fill this void in international research and to explore questions regarding the treatment of female homicide offenders further, we examined the extent to which victim-offender relationships and motives independently affect the length of sentences imposed by analyzing a nationally representative sample of female offenders adjudicated guilty of homicide in South Korea, over the period 1986-2013. In contrast to previous studies conducted in Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States, the current study found that the victim-offender relationship has no affect on sentence lengths. Rather, the most significant predictor for the sentence lengths of the female homicide offenders was the motive for killing. We discuss future directions for international comparative research on the roles of victim-offender relationships and motives in sentencing outcomes of female offenders.

  1. The Analysis of Basic Sentence Patterns in English Translation of the Holy Qur’an In Surah Ad Dukhan By Abdulloh Yousuf Ali

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arifah Wulandari

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available This study is aimed at the analysis of basic sentence patterns in English translation of the holy Qur’an in surah Ad Dukhan. Focusing on the problem statements, there are two cases in this study. They are “What are types of the basic sentence patterns that is found in English translation of the Holy Qur’an in surah Ad Dukhan and what is the dominant of the basic sentence patterns types that is found in English translation of the holy Qur’an in surah Ad Dukhan. This research, applied descriptive qualitative method. The data is collected by documentation. The primary data is taken from surah Ad Dukhan in Abdullah Yousuf Ali’s English translation of the noble Al Qur’an. The secondary data is taken from many literary books and some relevant materials to support and complete the primary data source. The procedure of analyzing the data start by analyzing about basic sentence patterns types based on Nichols’s theory in his book English Syntax. Then find the dominant of the basic sentence patterns types of the holy Qur’an English by Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali, in 1934 that is focus in surah Ad Dukhan. The overall findings showed that there were basic sentence patterns found in 52 cases are in sentence patterns 1consist of 12 cases, in sentence patterns 2 there are 19 cases, in sentence patterns 3 there are 7 cases, in sentence patterns 4 there are 10 cases, in sentence patterns 5 there are 4 cases. From the result the dominant cases that occurred of sentence patterns that found in Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation. The most dominant is sentence patterns 2. After analysis in this paper, the writer suggests in analyzing basic sentence pattern of English, we find that selection is an important syntactic process. The learner will get new idea doing observe as the writer done and they can possibly provide more book to have deeper analysis about that.

  2. Online Sentence Reading in People With Aphasia: Evidence From Eye Tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knilans, Jessica

    2015-01-01

    Purpose There is a lot of evidence that people with aphasia have more difficulty understanding structurally complex sentences (e.g., object clefts) than simpler sentences (subject clefts). However, subject clefts also occur more frequently in English than object clefts. Thus, it is possible that both structural complexity and frequency affect how people with aphasia understand these structures. Method Nine people with aphasia and 8 age-matched controls participated in the study. The stimuli consisted of 24 object cleft and 24 subject cleft sentences. The task was eye tracking during reading, which permits a more fine-grained analysis of reading performance than measures such as self-paced reading. Results As expected, controls had longer reading times for critical regions in object cleft sentences compared with subject cleft sentences. People with aphasia showed the predicted effects of structural frequency. Effects of structural complexity in people with aphasia did not emerge on their first pass through the sentence but were observed when they were rereading critical regions of complex sentences. Conclusions People with aphasia are sensitive to both structural complexity and structural frequency when reading. However, people with aphasia may use different reading strategies than controls when confronted with relatively infrequent and complex sentence structures. PMID:26383779

  3. Sentencing of homicide offenders in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Johnson, B.; Wingerden, S. van; Nieuwbeerta, P.

    2010-01-01

    Empirical investigations of criminal sentencing represent a vast research enterprise in criminology. However, this research has been restricted almost exclusively to U.S. contexts, and often it suffers from key data limitations. As such, an examination of more detailed international sentencing data

  4. Working Memory and Binding in Sentence Recall

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. Example sentences in bilingual specialised dictionaries assisting ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    user

    their own source language culture but cannot be expected to know how these are realised in a for- eign language. Bilingual ..... Consider the following two sentences exemplifying the use of the British legal term counsel ... that the sentence shows stylistic differences in technical discourse between the two languages, in that ...

  6. ERPs Recorded During Early Second Language Exposure Predict Syntactic Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batterink, Laura; Neville, Helen J.

    2015-01-01

    Millions of adults worldwide are faced with the task of learning a second language (L2). Understanding the neural mechanisms that support this learning process is an important area of scientific inquiry. However, most previous studies on the neural mechanisms underlying L2 acquisition have focused on characterizing the results of learning, relying upon end-state outcome measures in which learning is assessed after it has occurred, rather than on the learning process itself. In the present study, we adopted a novel and more direct approach to investigate neural mechanisms engaged during L2 learning, in which we recorded ERPs from beginning adult learners as they were exposed to an unfamiliar L2 for the first time. Learners’ proficiency in the L2 was then assessed behaviorally using a grammaticality judgment task, and ERP data acquired during initial L2 exposure were sorted as a function of performance on this task. High proficiency learners showed a larger N100 effect to open-class content words compared to closed-class function words, while low proficiency learners did not show a significant N100 difference between open- and closed-class words. In contrast, amplitude of the N400 word category effect correlated with learners’ L2 comprehension, rather than predicting syntactic learning. Taken together, these results indicate that learners who spontaneously direct greater attention to open- rather than closed-class words when processing L2 input show better syntactic learning, suggesting a link between selective attention to open-class content words and acquisition of basic morphosyntactic rules. These findings highlight the importance of selective attention mechanisms for L2 acquisition. PMID:24666165

  7. Numerical Congruency Effect in the Sentence-Picture Verification Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šetić, Mia; Domijan, Dražen

    2017-05-01

    In two experiments, we showed that irrelevant numerical information influenced the speed of sentence-picture verification. Participants were asked to verify whether the concept mentioned in a sentence matched the object presented in a subsequent picture. Concurrently, the number word attached to the concept in the sentence and the quantity of objects presented in the picture were manipulated (numerical congruency). The number of objects varied from one to four. In Experiment 1, participants read statements such as three dogs. In Experiment 2, they read sentences such as three dogs were wandering in the street. In both experiments, the verification speed revealed the interaction between response and numerical congruency. The verification times for concept-object match were faster when there was also numerical congruence (compared with incongruence) between the number word and quantity. On the other hand, there was no difference between numerical congruence and incongruence when the concept and object mismatched. The results are interpreted as evidence for the symbol grounding of number words in perceptual representation of small quantities, that is, quantities falling in the subitization range.

  8. Coevolution of dependency distance, hierarchical structure and word order. Comment on "Dependency distance: a new perspective on syntactic patterns in natural languages" by Haitao Liu et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jing, Yingqi

    2017-07-01

    Exploring the relationships between structural rules and their linearization constraints have been a central issue in formal syntax and linguistic typology [1]. Liu et al. give a historical overview of the investigation of dependency distance minimization (DDM) in various fields, and specify its potential connections with the graphic patterns of syntactic structure and the linear ordering of words and constituents in real sentences [2]. This comment focuses on discussing the relations between dependency distance (DD), hierarchical structure and word order, and advocates further study on the coevolution of these traits in language histories.

  9. The Syntactic Atlas of the Dutch Dialects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sjef Barbiers

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses some of the advantages and disadvantages of the various choices we had to make in order to realize the Syntactic Atlas of the Dutch Dialects (SAND in a relatively short period. The idea is that by presenting the SAND in this way, we enable the ScanDiaSyn project and other new dialect syntax projects to profit from our experience in a similar enterprise. The presentation and explicitation of the choices we had to make, the problems we had to face and the mistakes we have made will not necessarily be the same choices, problems, and mistakes that will arise in the Scandinavian project, but it might give an indication of where problems may be expected and how mistakes may be prevented.

  10. Syntactic dependency parsers for biomedical-NLP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Raphael; Elhadad, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Syntactic parsers have made a leap in accuracy and speed in recent years. The high order structural information provided by dependency parsers is useful for a variety of NLP applications. We present a biomedical model for the EasyFirst parser, a fast and accurate parser for creating Stanford Dependencies. We evaluate the models trained in the biomedical domains of EasyFirst and Clear-Parser in a number of task oriented metrics. Both parsers provide stat of the art speed and accuracy in the Genia of over 89%. We show that Clear-Parser excels at tasks relating to negation identification while EasyFirst excels at tasks relating to Named Entities and is more robust to changes in domain.

  11. Classification of Clinically Useful Sentences in MEDLINE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morid, Mohammad Amin; Jonnalagadda, Siddhartha; Fiszman, Marcelo; Raja, Kalpana; Del Fiol, Guilherme

    2015-01-01

    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. 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. 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. 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.

  12. Higher language ability is related to angular gyrus activation increase during semantic processing, independent of sentence incongruency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helene eVan Ettinger-Veenstra

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available 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. 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, a significant increase of activation in the inferior frontal gyrus 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 there is no evidence 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.

  13. Assessing Risk-Based Policies for Pretrial Release and Split Sentencing in Los Angeles County Jails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usta, Mericcan; Wein, Lawrence M

    2015-01-01

    Court-mandated downsizing of the CA prison system has led to a redistribution of detainees from prisons to CA county jails, and subsequent jail overcrowding. Using data that is representative of the LA County jail system, we build a mathematical model that tracks the flow of individuals during arraignment, pretrial release or detention, case disposition, jail sentence, and possible recidivism during pretrial release, after a failure to appear in court, during non-felony probation and during felony supervision. We assess 64 joint pretrial release and split-sentencing (where low-level felon sentences are split between jail time and mandatory supervision) policies that are based on the type of charge (felony or non-felony) and the risk category as determined by the CA Static Risk Assessment tool, and compare their performance to that of the policy LA County used in early 2014, before split sentencing was in use. In our model, policies that offer split sentences to all low-level felons optimize the key tradeoff between public safety and jail congestion by, e.g., simultaneously reducing the rearrest rate by 7% and the mean jail population by 20% relative to the policy LA County used in 2014. The effectiveness of split sentencing is due to two facts: (i) convicted felony offenders comprised ≈ 45% of LA County's jail population in 2014, and (ii) compared to pretrial release, split sentencing exposes offenders to much less time under recidivism risk per saved jail day.

  14. Assessing Risk-Based Policies for Pretrial Release and Split Sentencing in Los Angeles County Jails.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mericcan Usta

    Full Text Available Court-mandated downsizing of the CA prison system has led to a redistribution of detainees from prisons to CA county jails, and subsequent jail overcrowding. Using data that is representative of the LA County jail system, we build a mathematical model that tracks the flow of individuals during arraignment, pretrial release or detention, case disposition, jail sentence, and possible recidivism during pretrial release, after a failure to appear in court, during non-felony probation and during felony supervision. We assess 64 joint pretrial release and split-sentencing (where low-level felon sentences are split between jail time and mandatory supervision policies that are based on the type of charge (felony or non-felony and the risk category as determined by the CA Static Risk Assessment tool, and compare their performance to that of the policy LA County used in early 2014, before split sentencing was in use. In our model, policies that offer split sentences to all low-level felons optimize the key tradeoff between public safety and jail congestion by, e.g., simultaneously reducing the rearrest rate by 7% and the mean jail population by 20% relative to the policy LA County used in 2014. The effectiveness of split sentencing is due to two facts: (i convicted felony offenders comprised ≈ 45% of LA County's jail population in 2014, and (ii compared to pretrial release, split sentencing exposes offenders to much less time under recidivism risk per saved jail day.

  15. The role of incremental parsing in syntactically conditioned word learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lidz, Jeffrey; White, Aaron Steven; Baier, Rebecca

    2017-09-01

    In a series of three experiments, we use children's noun learning as a probe into their syntactic knowledge as well as their ability to deploy this knowledge, investigating how the predictions children make about upcoming syntactic structure change as their knowledge changes. In the first two experiments, we show that children display a developmental change in their ability to use a noun's syntactic environment as a cue to its meaning. We argue that this pattern arises from children's reliance on their knowledge of verbs' subcategorization frame frequencies to guide parsing, coupled with an inability to revise incremental parsing decisions. We show that this analysis is consistent with the syntactic distributions in child-directed speech. In the third experiment, we show that the change arises from predictions based on verbs' subcategorization frame frequencies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Syntactic features of written discourse at early primary school age - a longitudinal approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivanović Maja

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available By the acquisition of written language form during the first years of schooling, the child starts to move away from the elementary structures by including new, more complex constructions into the existing base. The aim of this paper is to study the ability of producing different clause types in the texts of first- and fourth-grade primary school students, i.e. to study the existing differences in the syntactic structures of texts between the older and younger students. The initial research as well as the repeated measuring after three years included forty-two students of one primary school from Belgrade. Since in both the first and the second cycle of the study each child composed three texts, the corpus consisted of 252 texts. The analysis of the obtained material was performed using the SPSS software package. The results provide an insight into the average length of texts and sentences produced by first-grade and fourth-grade students. The longer the duration of schooling, the lower the number of simple clauses (both basic and extended, as well as coordinate clauses, while the number of constructions with subordinate clauses is increasing. This finding confirms the fact that early primary school age children are expanding their syntactic competence, i.e. that their later language development continues in the school period. This can be helpful for teachers in the process of literacy acquisition and in developing the strategies that facilitate reaching the higher levels of competence in written discourse and evolving of children’s syntax towards the writing patterns of adult speakers. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. OI 178002: Jezici i kulture u vremenu i prostoru i br. OI 179068: Evaluacija tretmana stečenih poremećaja govora i jezika

  17. Court sentences in the aspect of theorems of validity, justice and certainty of bisectrixity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey G. Ol’kov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective to prove the theorems of validity justice and certainty of bisectrixity to elaborate the mathematical bases of the theory of court sentences. Methods observation deduction and induction applying the law of formal logic comparative analysis formaljuridical method mathematical methods. Results 1 theorems of validity justice and certainty of bisectrixity are proved and detailed 2 equally probable equilibrium and diagonal court sentences are viewed in the 2dimensional 3dimensional 4dimensional and 5dimensional space of criminal liability when the scope of punishment is determined by four variables y f x1 x2 x3 x4 where y ndash scope of punishment x1 ndash character and degree of the public danger of the deed x2 ndash category of a criminal public danger of the personality x3 ndash circumstances aggravating punishment x4 ndash circumstances extenuating punishment f ndash parameters of the equation connecting the left and right parts of the equation 3 aggravating and extenuating circumstances can be integrated into a single variable in the form of a fraction where the numerator is the scope of circumstances aggravating punishment x3 and thenbspdenominator is the extenuating circumstances x4 thus we obtain an integrated variable x3 x4 4 it is proved that the certainty of diagonal sentence is s c or v c times larger than the certainty of the equally probable sentence where с is the length of the diagonal s is the area of sentences vnbspis the space of sentences 5 it is proved that the bisectral sentence is the most optimal among the equilibrium ones as it equally takes into account the functions of the defense and the prosecution. Scientific novelty the newly obtained scientific results. Practical significance possibility to use the obtained scientific results for the development of criminallegal and criminalprocedural theories tonbspincrease the level of justice of the court sentences. Keywords Criminal procedure Theorem of validity Theorem

  18. Properties of Syntactic Foam for Simulation of Mechanical Insults.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hubbard, Neal Benson [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Haulenbeek, Kimberly K. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Spletzer, Matthew A. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Ortiz, Lyndsy [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2017-02-01

    Syntactic foam encapsulation protects sensitive components. The energy mitigated by the foam is calculated with numerical simulations. The properties of a syntactic foam consisting of a mixture of an epoxy-rubber adduct and glass microballoons are obtained from published literature and test results. The conditions and outcomes of the tests are discussed. The method for converting published properties and test results to input for finite element models is described. Simulations of the test conditions are performed to validate the inputs.

  19. Parallel Processing and Sentence Comprehension Difficulty

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  20. Additive Manufacturing of Syntactic Foams: Part 2: Specimen Printing and Mechanical Property Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Ashish Kumar; Saltonstall, Brooks; Patil, Balu; Hoffmann, Niklas; Doddamani, Mrityunjay; Gupta, Nikhil

    2018-01-01

    High-density polyethylene (HDPE) and its fly ash cenosphere-filled syntactic foam filaments have been recently developed. These filaments are used for three-dimensional (3D) printing using a commercial printer. The developed syntactic foam filament (HDPE40) contains 40 wt.% cenospheres in the HDPE matrix. Printing parameters for HDPE and HDPE40 were optimized for use in widely available commercial printers, and specimens were three-dimensionally (3D) printed for tensile testing at strain rate of 10-3 s-1. Process optimization resulted in smooth operation of the 3D printer without nozzle clogging or cenosphere fracture during the printing process. Characterization results revealed that the tensile modulus values of 3D-printed HDPE and HDPE40 specimens were higher than those of injection-molded specimens, while the tensile strength was comparable, but the fracture strain and density were lower.

  1. Syntactic Skills of Spanish-Speaking Children With Low School Achievement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutierrez-Clellen, Vera F

    1998-10-01

    This study compared the syntactic skills of Spanish-speaking children with low and average school achievement from kindergarten to fifth grade using oral narratives that were elicited with book and film retelling tasks. Both narrative tasks required the child to provide information that was presumably unknown to the listener and that could not be derived from the visual context. Results indicated that children who were performing below grade expectations (according to curriculum-based assessments) exhibited limited use of complex syntax and greater formulation difficulties in their narratives than their peers. There were no significant task differences in the use of complex language. The analysis of children's syntactic performance in narratives provided information regarding language skills that appeared related to school achievement.

  2. Task-dependency and structure-dependency in number interference effects in sentence comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franck, Julie; Colonna, Saveria; Rizzi, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    We report three experiments on French that explore number mismatch effects in intervention configurations in the comprehension of object A'-dependencies, relative clauses and questions. The study capitalizes on the finding of object attraction in sentence production, in which speakers sometimes erroneously produce a verb that agrees in number with a plural object in object relative clauses. Evidence points to the role of three critical constructs from formal syntax: intervention, intermediate traces and c-command (Franck et al., 2010). Experiment 1, using a self-paced reading procedure on these grammatical structures with an agreement error on the verb, shows an enhancing effect of number mismatch in intervention configurations, with faster reading times with plural (mismatching) objects. Experiment 2, using an on-line grammaticality judgment task on the ungrammatical versions of these structures, shows an interference effect in the form of attraction, with slower response times with plural objects. Experiment 3 with a similar grammaticality judgment task shows stronger attraction from c-commanding than from preceding interveners. Overall, the data suggest that syntactic computations in performance refer to the same syntactic representations in production and comprehension, but that different tasks tap into different processes involved in parsing: whereas performance in self-paced reading reflects the intervention of the subject in the process of building an object A'-dependency, performance in grammaticality judgment reflects intervention of the object on the computation of the subject-verb agreement dependency. The latter shows the hallmarks of structure-dependent attraction effects in sentence production, in particular, a sensitivity to specific characteristics of hierarchical representations.

  3. Task-dependency and structure-dependency in number interference effects in sentence comprehension

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie eFranck

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available We report three experiments on French that explore number mismatch effects in intervention configurations in the comprehension of object A’-dependencies, relative clauses and questions. The study capitalizes on the finding of object attraction in sentence production, in which speakers sometimes erroneously produce a verb that agrees in number with a plural object in object relative clauses. Evidence points to the role of three critical constructs from formal syntax: intervention, intermediate traces and c-command (Franck et al., 2010. Experiment 1, using a self-paced reading procedure on these grammatical structures, shows the enhancing effect of number mismatch in intervention configurations, with faster reading times with plural (mismatching objects. Experiment 2, using an on-line grammaticality judgment task on the ungrammatical versions of these structures, shows an interference effect in the form of attraction, with slower response times with plural objects. Experiment 3 with a similar grammaticality judgment task shows stronger attraction from c-commanding than from preceding interveners. Overall, the data suggest that syntactic computations in performance refer to the same syntactic representations in production and comprehension, but that different tasks tap into different processes involved in parsing: whereas performance in self-paced reading reflects the intervention of the subject in the process of building an object A’-dependency, performance in grammaticality judgment reflects intervention of the object on the computation of the subject-verb agreement dependency. The latter shows the hallmarks of structure-dependent attraction effects in sentence production, in particular, a sensitivity to specific characteristics of hierarchical representations.

  4. A Guide to Sentencing DUI Offenders

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-03-01

    This sentencing guide is designed to assist judges and prosecutors in reducing recidivism among people convicted of drinking and driving offenses. Today's driving under the influence (DUI) arrestee is often a repeat offender and resistant to deterren...

  5. Sentence Comparison: An Activity for Teaching Style

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Edgar H.

    2005-01-01

    An English teacher provides some sentence comparison activities that enlarge students' linguistic resources for writing. He believes that students can learn to revise for style if they recognize the stylistic choices writers make.

  6. Meaningful questions: The acquisition of auxiliary inversion in a connectionist model of sentence production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitz, Hartmut; Chang, Franklin

    2017-09-01

    Nativist theories have argued that language involves syntactic principles which are unlearnable from the input children receive. A paradigm case of these innate principles is the structure dependence of auxiliary inversion in complex polar questions (Chomsky, 1968, 1975, 1980). Computational approaches have focused on the properties of the input in explaining how children acquire these questions. In contrast, we argue that messages are structured in a way that supports structure dependence in syntax. We demonstrate this approach within a connectionist model of sentence production (Chang, 2009) which learned to generate a range of complex polar questions from a structured message without positive exemplars in the input. The model also generated different types of error in development that were similar in magnitude to those in children (e.g., auxiliary doubling, Ambridge, Rowland, & Pine, 2008; Crain & Nakayama, 1987). Through model comparisons we trace how meaning constraints and linguistic experience interact during the acquisition of auxiliary inversion. Our results suggest that auxiliary inversion rules in English can be acquired without innate syntactic principles, as long as it is assumed that speakers who ask complex questions express messages that are structured into multiple propositions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. VALENCY AND SYNTACTICAL RELATION IN BIMANESS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Made Sri Satyawati

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available This study presents the findings and descriptions of the replies to severalproblems that have not been completely and deeply discussed in the researchespreviously conducted on Bimanese. The problems are related to micro-linguistic factors,namely valency and syntactical relation in Bimanese. Both deductive and inductiveapproaches were applied to obtain satisfactory results. The main theory employed in thisstudy is Role and Reference Grammar Theory (RRG by Van Valin and J. Lapolla. It wasemployed to completely analyze the collected data in accordance with the problemsproposed in this research, and the inductive approach was employed to analyze the datain order to get novelties.In this study, clause structure is given the first priority to discuss, followed by thediscussion on operator, voice markers, nominalizers, and definiteness. Based on thepredicate category, the clause in Bimanese can be constructed with the constituents thatare under the categories of verb, noun, adjective, number, and adverb (prepositionalphrase. Based on the clause analysis, it has been found that in Bimanese there are severaloperators, each of which has different functional boundary in marking the clausemeaning. One operator may only sign nucleus, core (nucleus and argument, or core andperiphery. Bimanese has also been identified to have four linguistic states expressed byverbs that are made to make sense based on state (Aktisontrat, achievement, andaccomplishment. RRG classifies verbs into ten instead of four. However, in this study, tomake the analysis easier, verbs are classified into four. The predicate in Bimanese can beboth serial verbs and secondary verbs. It has also been found that the mechanism ofchange in valency is marked by the attachment of markers to the verbs resulting incausativity, applicativity, and resultivity. From those syntactical constructions, thesyntactical relation in Bimanese can be clearly identified. The discussion on syntacticalrelation

  8. Syntactic Awareness and Text Production in Brazilian Portuguese Students with Learning Disabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha de Vasconcellos Hage, Simone; Crepaldi Azevedo, Natally; Nicolielo-Carrilho, Ana Paola; Merighi Tabaquim, Maria de Lourdes

    2015-01-01

    This study compared the syntactic awareness and textual production skills of school children and teenagers with and without learning disabilities (LD) and related their performances in both skills. The study group consisted of 15 children with an LD and 15 without language and learning alterations. To compare the performance of both groups, data were statistically analyzed using Fisher's exact test, and the association between the evidence in each group was demonstrated by Spearman's correlations, with a significance level of 5% (p < 0.05). Most subjects with LD showed a lower performance in tests of syntactic awareness and textual production. Statistical analysis indicated a significant difference in the performance of children with and without language disorders for both tested skills. A positive relationship was found between the children's performance in the test of textual production and the tasks of syntactic awareness. Our findings suggest that the ability to judge and correct grammatical structures can be an important factor in the development of the skills used to produce a text. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  9. The use of syntactic cues in lexical acquisition by children with SLI. Specific Language Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, M L; Cleave, P L; Oetting, J B

    2000-06-01

    This study investigated the syntactic bootstrapping abilities of children who differed by language abilities and age. In the first study, the performance of 5-year-old children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) was compared to that of two groups of typically developing children-one of equivalent language levels, as indexed by mean length of utterance (MLU), and the other of equivalent chronological age. In the second study, two groups of 7-year-old children, one whose language was developing typically and one with SLI, were involved. The count/mass distinction was used as the basis for the experimental tasks. A videotaped story was used to present the novel count and mass words, with syntactic cues in one condition and with neutral syntax in another. Results from the first study revealed that only the 5-year-old nonaffected control children showed evidence of using the syntactic cues. The 5-year-old SLI group and 3-year-old control group achieved comparable scores. However, error analyses suggested that different factors were operative in the two groups. The second study revealed that there was continued growth into the early school years for children with SLI and children whose language was developing typically.

  10. Video2Sentence and Vice Versa

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-10-25

    which outperforms a low-level audiovisual representation. Our novelty is to demonstrate the capabilities of semantic representations for translating ...demonstrate the translations using arbi- trary web videos and sentences related to everyday events. What is more, we will provide an automatically generated...explanation, in terms of concept detectors, on why a partic- ular video or sentence has been retrieved as the most likely translation . Categories and

  11. Translation Competence and Translation Performance: Lexical, Syntactic and Textual Patterns in Student Translations of a Specialized EU Genre

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karoly, Adrienn

    2012-01-01

    This paper reports the findings of a study aiming to reveal the recurring patterns of lexical, syntactic and textual errors in student translations of a specialized EU genre from English into Hungarian. By comparing the student translations to the official translation of the text, this article uncovers the most frequent errors that students made…

  12. Lexical, Morphological and Syntactic Development in Toddlers between 16 and 30 Months Old: A Comparison across European Portuguese and Galician

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viana, Fernanda Leopoldina; Pérez-Pereira, Miguel; Cadime, Irene; Silva, Carla; Santos, Sandra; Ribeiro, Iolanda

    2017-01-01

    The main aims of this study were to investigate the relationship between the lexical size and the emergence of morphological and syntactic markers in toddlers between the ages of 16 and 30 months and to compare these results between Galician and European Portuguese. Parents of 3012 Portuguese toddlers and those of 1081 Galician toddlers completed…

  13. Retrieval Interference in Syntactic Processing: The Case of Reflexive Binding in English.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, Umesh; Vasishth, Shravan; Lewis, Richard L

    2016-01-01

    It has been proposed that in online sentence comprehension the dependency between a reflexive pronoun such as himself/herself and its antecedent is resolved using exclusively syntactic constraints. Under this strictly syntactic search account, Principle A of the binding theory-which requires that the antecedent c-command the reflexive within the same clause that the reflexive occurs in-constrains the parser's search for an antecedent. The parser thus ignores candidate antecedents that might match agreement features of the reflexive (e.g., gender) but are ineligible as potential antecedents because they are in structurally illicit positions. An alternative possibility accords no special status to structural constraints: in addition to using Principle A, the parser also uses non-structural cues such as gender to access the antecedent. According to cue-based retrieval theories of memory (e.g., Lewis and Vasishth, 2005), the use of non-structural cues should result in increased retrieval times and occasional errors when candidates partially match the cues, even if the candidates are in structurally illicit positions. In this paper, we first show how the retrieval processes that underlie the reflexive binding are naturally realized in the Lewis and Vasishth (2005) model. We present the predictions of the model under the assumption that both structural and non-structural cues are used during retrieval, and provide a critical analysis of previous empirical studies that failed to find evidence for the use of non-structural cues, suggesting that these failures may be Type II errors. We use this analysis and the results of further modeling to motivate a new empirical design that we use in an eye tracking study. The results of this study confirm the key predictions of the model concerning the use of non-structural cues, and are inconsistent with the strictly syntactic search account. These results present a challenge for theories advocating the infallibility of the human

  14. Measurement of reading speed with standardized texts: a comparison of single sentences and paragraphs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altpeter, Elke Karin; Marx, Tobias; Nguyen, Nhung Xuan; Naumann, Aline; Trauzettel-Klosinski, Susanne

    2015-08-01

    We examined the influence of text length (single sentence versus a paragraph of several sentences) on the repeatability of reading speed measurements in normal-sighted subjects. We compared reading speeds for the German versions of the Radner charts (single sentences of 14 words each) and the International Reading Speed Texts (IReST) charts (paragraphs, on average 132 words) in 30 normal-sighted elderly subjects aged 51-81 years (mean 64.5 years ± 7.2 SD). Three texts each of both lengths were read aloud in random order. The influence of text length (single sentence or paragraph) and text sample (each single text) on reading speed was calculated by a regression model and Bland-Altman analysis. Mean reading speed (words per minute) showed no significant difference for single sentences (170 wpm ± 33 SD) and paragraphs (167 wpm ±31 SD). Differences in reading speeds within one type of reading material were higher between single sentences than between paragraphs. Correlation coefficients between speeds were higher for paragraphs (r = 0.96-0.98) than for single sentences (r = 0.69-0.78). Variations between reading speeds for three texts of each length were markedly lower for paragraphs than for single sentences: (median, interquartile range [IQR]): 6.7, IQR 13.9; 3.0, IQR 8.3; -2.0, IQR 9.7 versus -8.8, IQR 29.6; 15.6, IQR 29.4; 22.7, IQR 19.4, respectively. Since reading speeds assessed with paragraphs show lower variance among texts than those for single sentences, they are better suited for repeated measurements, especially for long-term monitoring of the course of reading performance and for assessing effects of interventions in subjects with reading disorders.

  15. On the Complexity of Chinese Sentences in Singapore Primary Textbooks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goh Saye Wee

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper uses the sentences from the Singapore primary school Chinese textbooks as the research material, using sentence as a unit; analyses sentence composition and sentence patterns, from quantity, distribution, characteristic and semantic type aspects to examine the progression of sentence complexity in Chinese language. The paper describes how the sentence develops in a systemic and complexity aspect in textbooks of various levels. The paper suggests 7 types of sentence pattern grading in term of complexity progression, and proposes a formula to examine and calculate the complexity index of a sentence. The findings derive a set of valuable data to expound the complexity of a sentence and discuss the variable factors influencing the complexity of sentences used in primary school Chinese textbooks.

  16. VLSI Architectures For Syntactic Image Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Y. P.; Fu, K. S.

    1984-01-01

    Earley's algorithm has been commonly used for the parsing of general context-free languages and error-correcting parsing in syntactic pattern recognition. The time complexity for parsing is 0(n3). In this paper we present a parallel Earley's recognition algorithm in terms of "x*" operation. By restricting the input context-free grammar to be X-free, we are able to implement this parallel algorithm on a triangular shape VLSI array. This system has an efficient way of moving data to the right place at the right time. Simulation results show that this system can recognize a string with length n in 2n+1 system time. We also present an error-correcting recognition algorithm. The parallel error-correcting recognition algorithm has also been im-plemented on a triangular VLSI array. This array recognizes an erroneous string length n in time 2n+1 and gives the correct error count. Applications of the proposed VLSI architectures to image analysis are illus-trated by examples.

  17. The Use of Linguistic Cues in Sentence Comprehension by Mandarin-Speaking Children with High-Functioning Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Peng; Crain, Stephen; Gao, Liqun; Jia, Meixiang

    2017-01-01

    Two studies were conducted to investigate how high-functioning children with autism use different linguistic cues in sentence comprehension. Two types of linguistic cues were investigated: word order and morphosyntactic cues. The results show that children with autism can use both types of cues in sentence comprehension. However, compared to…

  18. Specific aspects of cognitive and language proficiency account for variability in neural indices of semantic and syntactic processing in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hampton Wray, Amanda; Weber-Fox, Christine

    2013-07-01

    The neural activity mediating language processing in young children is characterized by large individual variability that is likely related in part to individual strengths and weakness across various cognitive abilities. The current study addresses the following question: How does proficiency in specific cognitive and language functions impact neural indices mediating language processing in children? Thirty typically developing seven- and eight-year-olds were divided into high-normal and low-normal proficiency groups based on performance on nonverbal IQ, auditory word recall, and grammatical morphology tests. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were elicited by semantic anomalies and phrase structure violations in naturally spoken sentences. The proficiency for each of the specific cognitive and language tasks uniquely contributed to specific aspects (e.g., timing and/or resource allocation) of neural indices underlying semantic (N400) and syntactic (P600) processing. These results suggest that distinct aptitudes within broader domains of cognition and language, even within the normal range, influence the neural signatures of semantic and syntactic processing. Furthermore, the current findings have important implications for the design and interpretation of developmental studies of ERPs indexing language processing, and they highlight the need to take into account cognitive abilities both within and outside the classic language domain. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. MAKNA KALIMAT DAN MAKNA TUTURAN (SENTENCE – UTTERANCE MEANING)

    OpenAIRE

    Sutrisno, Endro

    2015-01-01

    Language is a social phenomena, its use involves many nonlinguistic factors such as culture, tradition, ideology, and social status, as well as individual peculiarities (the level of insight, experience, and intelligence). Sentences and speech are materials studied the language.The sentence is a series of grammatical or structural shapes. The meaning of the sentence implies that what is meant by the words in the sentence itself, and the sentence itself can be understood as an ingredient of co...

  20. SCEGRAM: An image database for semantic and syntactic inconsistencies in scenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Öhlschläger, Sabine; Võ, Melissa Le-Hoa

    2017-10-01

    Our visual environment is not random, but follows compositional rules according to what objects are usually found where. Despite the growing interest in how such semantic and syntactic rules - a scene grammar - enable effective attentional guidance and object perception, no common image database containing highly-controlled object-scene modifications has been publically available. Such a database is essential in minimizing the risk that low-level features drive high-level effects of interest, which is being discussed as possible source of controversial study results. To generate the first database of this kind - SCEGRAM - we took photographs of 62 real-world indoor scenes in six consistency conditions that contain semantic and syntactic (both mild and extreme) violations as well as their combinations. Importantly, always two scenes were paired, so that an object was semantically consistent in one scene (e.g., ketchup in kitchen) and inconsistent in the other (e.g., ketchup in bathroom). Low-level salience did not differ between object-scene conditions and was generally moderate. Additionally, SCEGRAM contains consistency ratings for every object-scene condition, as well as object-absent scenes and object-only images. Finally, a cross-validation using eye-movements replicated previous results of longer dwell times for both semantic and syntactic inconsistencies compared to consistent controls. In sum, the SCEGRAM image database is the first to contain well-controlled semantic and syntactic object-scene inconsistencies that can be used in a broad range of cognitive paradigms (e.g., verbal and pictorial priming, change detection, object identification, etc.) including paradigms addressing developmental aspects of scene grammar. SCEGRAM can be retrieved for research purposes from http://www.scenegrammarlab.com/research/scegram-database/ .

  1. A single dual-stream framework for syntactic computations in music and language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musso, Mariacristina; Weiller, Cornelius; Horn, Andreas; Glauche, Volkmer; Umarova, Roza; Hennig, Jürgen; Schneider, Albrecht; Rijntjes, Michel

    2015-08-15

    This study is the first to compare in the same subjects the specific spatial distribution and the functional and anatomical connectivity of the neuronal resources that activate and integrate syntactic representations during music and language processing. Combining functional magnetic resonance imaging with functional connectivity and diffusion tensor imaging-based probabilistic tractography, we examined the brain network involved in the recognition and integration of words and chords that were not hierarchically related to the preceding syntax; that is, those deviating from the universal principles of grammar and tonal relatedness. This kind of syntactic processing in both domains was found to rely on a shared network in the left hemisphere centered on the inferior part of the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), including pars opercularis and pars triangularis, and on dorsal and ventral long association tracts connecting this brain area with temporo-parietal regions. Language processing utilized some adjacent left hemispheric IFG and middle temporal regions more than music processing, and music processing also involved right hemisphere regions not activated in language processing. Our data indicate that a dual-stream system with dorsal and ventral long association tracts centered on a functionally and structurally highly differentiated left IFG is pivotal for domain-general syntactic competence over a broad range of elements including words and chords. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Syntactic processing is distributed across the language system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blank, Idan; Balewski, Zuzanna; Mahowald, Kyle; Fedorenko, Evelina

    2016-02-15

    Language comprehension recruits an extended set of regions in the human brain. Is syntactic processing localized to a particular region or regions within this system, or is it distributed across the entire ensemble of brain regions that support high-level linguistic processing? Evidence from aphasic patients is more consistent with the latter possibility: damage to many different language regions and to white-matter tracts connecting them has been shown to lead to similar syntactic comprehension deficits. However, brain imaging investigations of syntactic processing continue to focus on particular regions within the language system, often parts of Broca's area and regions in the posterior temporal cortex. We hypothesized that, whereas the entire language system is in fact sensitive to syntactic complexity, the effects in some regions may be difficult to detect because of the overall lower response to language stimuli. Using an individual-subjects approach to localizing the language system, shown in prior work to be more sensitive than traditional group analyses, we indeed find responses to syntactic complexity throughout this system, consistent with the findings from the neuropsychological patient literature. We speculate that such distributed nature of syntactic processing could perhaps imply that syntax is inseparable from other aspects of language comprehension (e.g., lexico-semantic processing), in line with current linguistic and psycholinguistic theories and evidence. Neuroimaging investigations of syntactic processing thus need to expand their scope to include the entire system of high-level language processing regions in order to fully understand how syntax is instantiated in the human brain. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. A comparison of the responses to three comprehension and three production tasks assessing the morpho-syntactic abilities of Afrikaans-speaking preschoolers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frenette Southwood

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The lack of standardised assessment instruments for assessing the morpho-syntactic abilities of Afrikaans-speaking children often leads to the use of informal assessment tools and/or spontaneous language samples. The question that this paper addresses is how best to assess these morpho-syntactic abilities when using nonstandardised assessment instruments of this kind. The general aim of the present study was to answer this question. Eight typically developing, monolingual children (one boy and one girl of 3, 4, 5, and 6 years from monolingual Afrikaans-speaking homes participated. Tasks were administered to assess comprehension and production of grammatical features related to number, person, case, and tense, as well as questions forms, binding relations and passive constructions. The comprehension tasks entailed picture selection, judging the (incorrectness of utterances produced by the researcher, and question answering, whereas the production tasks consisted of sentence completion, question asking and a language sample. A specific aim of the study was to determine which method(s rendered the highest number of (i correct responses and (ii usable responses (i.e., responses strictly related to the aspect under assessment by these typically developing participants. The results indicate that picture selection elicited the highest number of both correct and usable responses in the comprehension tasks. The production task that provided the highest number of both correct and usable responses was language sample elicitation. This suggests that these tasks should receive precedence when assessing the morpho-syntactic abilities of Afrikaans-speaking preschool children.

  4. Validating Self-Paced Sentence-by-Sentence Reading: Story Comprehension, Recall, and Narrative Transportation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung-Fat-Yim, Ashley; Peterson, Jordan B.; Mar, Raymond A.

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies on discourse have employed a self-paced sentence-by-sentence paradigm to present text and record reading times. However, presenting discourse this way does not mirror real-world reading conditions; for example, this paradigm prevents regressions to earlier portions of the text. The purpose of the present study is to investigate…

  5. Ideology, Social Threat, and the Death Sentence: Capital Sentences across Time and Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  6. Pragmatic inferences modulate N400 during sentence comprehension: evidence from picture-sentence verification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Lamar; Politzer-Ahles, Stephen; Gibson, Linzi; Minai, Utako; Fiorentino, Robert

    2013-02-08

    The present study examines the online realization of pragmatic meaning using event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants read sentences including the English quantifier some, which has both a semantic meaning (at least one) and a pragmatic meaning (not all). Unlike previous ERP studies of this phenomenon, sentences in the current study were evaluated not in terms of their truth with respect to the real world, but in terms of their consistency with a picture presented before the sentence. Sentences (such as "The boy cut some of the steaks in this story") were constructed such that either (1) both the semantic and pragmatic interpretations were true with respect to the preceding picture (when the boy in fact cut some but not all of the steaks); (2) neither interpretation was true (when the boy in fact cut none of the steaks); or (3) the semantic interpretation was true but the pragmatic interpretation false (when the boy in fact cut all of the steaks). ERPs at the object word, which determined whether the sentence was consistent with the story, showed the largest N400 effect for objects that made the sentence false, whereas they showed an intermediate effect for objects that made the sentence false under the pragmatic interpretation but true under the semantic interpretation. The results suggest that this pragmatic aspect of meaning is computed online and integrated into the sentence model rapidly enough to influence comprehension of later words. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Automatically extracting clinically useful sentences from UpToDate to support clinicians' information needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Rashmi; Del Fiol, Guilherme; Kilicoglu, Halil; Jonnalagadda, Siddhartha; Fiszman, Marcelo

    2013-01-01

    Clinicians raise several information needs in the course of care. Most of these needs can be met by online health knowledge resources such as UpToDate. However, finding relevant information in these resources often requires significant time and cognitive effort. To design and assess algorithms for extracting from UpToDate the sentences that represent the most clinically useful information for patient care decision making. We developed algorithms based on semantic predications extracted with SemRep, a semantic natural language processing parser. Two algorithms were compared against a gold standard composed of UpToDate sentences rated in terms of clinical usefulness. Clinically useful sentences were strongly correlated with predication frequency (correlation= 0.95). The two algorithms did not differ in terms of top ten precision (53% vs. 49%; p=0.06). Semantic predications may serve as the basis for extracting clinically useful sentences. Future research is needed to improve the algorithms.

  8. Motor Response Selection in Overt Sentence Production: A Functional MRI Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblay, Pascale; Small, Steven L.

    2011-01-01

    Many different cortical areas are thought to be involved in the process of selecting motor responses, from the inferior frontal gyrus, to the lateral and medial parts of the premotor cortex. The objective of the present study was to examine the neural underpinnings of motor response selection in a set of overt language production tasks. To this aim, we compared a sentence repetition task (externally constrained selection task) with a sentence generation task (volitional selection task) in a group of healthy adults. In general, the results clarify the contribution of the pre-SMA, cingulate areas, PMv, and pars triangularis to the process of selecting motor responses in the context of sentence production, and shed light on the manner in which this network is modulated by selection mode. Further, the present study suggests that response selection in sentence production engages neural resources similar to those engaged in the production of isolated words and oral motor gestures. PMID:21994500

  9. Polysemy, syntactic constraints and reduction of ambiguity in controlled languages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krzysztof Bogacki

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The article considers such peculiarities of the controlled languages as the choice of lexical units and constraints on their syntax. We review various difficulties that arise during the selection of forms we would like to put in the lexicon of a controlled language. We compare the index of multiple meanings of the words used to form the vocabulary of a controlled language before and after the lexical control and calculate the change in the ambiguity rate of sentences due to the elimination of polysemy. The words allowed in the lexicon of a controlled language usually have a high polysemy index in the standard language. This is evident especially as far as grammatical and non-technical words are concerned. In contrast, technical terms are much more often monosemic. Thus the observation of the “one token = one meaning” principle in the lexicon for the controlled language has a great effect on the decline of ambiguity.

  10. Ocular position in sentence-picture comparisons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, R D; Setley, M A; Lerman, J M

    1982-02-01

    If oculomotor activity in verifying orally presented sentences about pictures is important, then there ought to be an increase in such activity in the area of a picture in which a critical feature in the analysis is missing. If the process is purely cognitive, there ought not be greater activity in that area. 32 sentences combining such attributes as positive/negative, true/false, subject of sentence shown/not shown, "before"/"after," resulting in sentences such as, "Star isn't before square," were orally presented to 10 college-age students along with tachistoscopically presented pictures with either an object on the right or left. True/false reaction times were recorded as well as horizontal eye fixations for the time interval via an electromyograph and chart recorder. Mean eye-location/time indices indicated that some sentence types seemed to be analyzed predominantly visually and others predominantly cognitively. Results suggested that there is a need for the development of a combined visual imagery and cognitive model.

  11. Sentence memory of individuals with Down's syndrome and typically developing children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seung, H-K; Chapman, R

    2004-02-01

    Individuals with Down's syndrome (DS) have an auditory short-term memory span disproportionately shorter than the non-verbal mental age (MA). This study evaluated the Baddeley model's claim that verbal short-term memory deficits might arise from slower speaking rates (and thus less material rehearsed in a 2 s passive store) by using the sentence memory subtest of the Stanford-Binet. Previous work had shown digit span recall speaking rate to be comparable to the examiner's slow rate (one syllable per second) for both DS and language-matched participants. Thirty individuals with DS were compared to two control groups [non-verbal MA-matched and mean length of utterance (MLU)-matched] on the sentence span and speaking rate for the longest verbatim recalled sentence. Sentence stimuli were presented at a normal speaking rate. The DS group had shorter sentence memory span than the MA-matched group and a faster, rather than slower, speaking rate (syllables per second) than the MLU-matched controls. Language production level accounted for a substantial portion of the variance in the sentence memory span in the DS group. Thus, language production skill, rather than speaking rate, predicts variability in verbal memory span.

  12. Lexical decay during online sentence processing in adults with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poll, Gerard H; Watkins, Holly S; Miller, Carol A

    2014-12-01

    Decay of memory traces is an important component of many theories of working memory, but there is conflicting evidence on whether the rate of decay differs for individuals with specific language impairment (SLI) as compared to peers with typical language. The authors tested the hypothesis that adults with SLI have a slower decay rate. Twenty adults with SLI, ages 18-27 years, and 23 age-matched peers identified target words in sentences. Sentences were presented at normal and slow rates. Participants separately judged whether a picture and sentence matched in meaning as a measure of sentence processing efficiency. After controlling for sentence processing efficiency, the group with SLI was slower to detect words in sentences. Response times for the group with SLI increased less in the slow condition as compared to the group with typical language, resulting in a Group × Presentation Rate interaction. The Group × Presentation Rate interaction is consistent with a slower lexical decay rate for adults with SLI, but differences in the ability to manage interference could not be ruled out. The findings suggest that decay rate differences may play a role in the working memory limitations found in individuals with SLI.

  13. The Syntactic Structure of the VP in Kihema | Mugisa | Stellenbosch ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... or “Object Clitic Pronoun” (OCP), while passivizability allows the object of an active sentence to become the subject of the corresponding passive sentence, and the subject optionally becomes the oblique PP introduced by the preposition na (the so-called by-phrase). In Kihema, the passive suffix w- is attached to the verb.

  14. Can Intonational Phrase Structure be Primed (like Syntactic Structure)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tooley, Kristen M.; Konopka, Agnieszka E.; Watson, Duane G.

    2013-01-01

    In three experiments, we investigated whether intonational phrase structure can be primed. In all experiments, participants listened to sentences in which the presence and location of intonational phrase boundaries was manipulated such that the recording either included no intonational phrase boundaries, a boundary in a structurally dispreferred location, in a preferred location, or in both locations. In Experiment 1, participants repeated the sentences to test whether they would reproduce the prosodic structure they had just heard. Experiments 2 and 3 used a prime-target paradigm to evaluate whether the intonational phrase structure heard in the prime sentence might influence that of a novel target sentence. Experiment 1 showed that participants did repeat back sentences that they just heard with the original intonational phrase structure, yet Experiments 2 and 3 found that exposure to intonational phrase boundaries on prime trials did not influence how a novel target sentence was prosodically phrased. These results suggest that speakers may retain the intonational phrasing of a sentence, but this effect is not long-lived and does not generalize across unrelated sentences. Furthermore, these findings provide no evidence that intonational phrase structure is formulated during a planning stage that is separate from other sources of linguistic information. PMID:24188467

  15. Syntactic Variation in Diminutive Suffixes: Russian, Kolyma Yukaghir, and Itelmen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Steriopolo

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available This article presents a syntactic analysis and comparison of diminutive suffixes in Russian, Kolyma Yukaghir, and Itelmen, three genetically unrelated languages of the Russian Federation. Kolyma Yukaghir and Itelmen are on the verge of extinction. This article investigates how contact with Russian (specifically the syntax of Russian diminutives has influenced the syntax of diminutives in Kolyma Yukaghir and Itlemen. Adopting the framework of Distributed Morphology, a syntactic analysis of diminutives across the three languages reveals that they share the same manner of syntactic attachment, but differ in regards to the site or place of attachment. Specifically, it is proposed that diminutives in all three languages are syntactic modifiers; however, in relation to the place of attachment, in Russian, diminutives attach below the functional category of Number, while diminutives in Kolyma Yukaghir and Itelmen attach above the Number category. This article contributes to our understanding of variation in universal grammar and linguistic outcomes of the syntactic feature ‘diminutive’ in a multilingual situation where a majority language is in contact with two genetically unrelated endangered languages.

  16. Psycholinguistic studies on the syntactic behavior of idioms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbs, R W; Nayak, N P

    1989-01-01

    Six experiments examined why some idioms can be syntactically changed and still retain their figurative meanings (e.g., John laid down the law can be passivized as The law was laid down by John), while other idioms cannot be syntactically altered without losing their figurative meanings (e.g., John kicked the bucket cannot be passivized into The bucket was kicked by John). Our thesis was that the syntactic behavior of idioms is determined, to a large extent, but speakers' assumptions about the way in which parts of idioms contribute to their figurative interpretations as a whole. The results of our studies indicated that idioms whose individual semantic components contribute to their overall figurative meanings (e.g., go out on a limb) were judged as more syntactically flexible or productive than nondecomposable phrases (e.g., kick the bucket). These findings suggested that idioms do not form a unique class of linguistic items (e.g., as "dead" metaphors), but can share many of the same compositional properties normally associated with more "literal" language. The implications of these data for theories of syntactic productivity of idioms and for models of idiom comprehension are discussed.

  17. Effects of speech clarity on recognition memory for spoken sentences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin J Van Engen

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. Effects of Speech Clarity on Recognition Memory for Spoken Sentences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Engen, Kristin J.; Chandrasekaran, Bharath; Smiljanic, Rajka

    2012-01-01

    Extensive research shows that inter-talker variability (i.e., changing the talker) affects recognition memory for speech signals. However, relatively little is known about the consequences of intra-talker variability (i.e. changes in speaking style within a talker) on the encoding of speech signals in memory. It is well established that speakers can modulate the characteristics of their own speech and produce a listener-oriented, intelligibility-enhancing speaking style in response to communication demands (e.g., when speaking to listeners with hearing impairment or non-native speakers of the language). Here we conducted two experiments to examine the role of speaking style variation in spoken language processing. First, we examined the extent to which clear speech provided benefits in challenging listening environments (i.e. speech-in-noise). Second, we compared recognition memory for sentences produced in conversational and clear speaking styles. In both experiments, semantically normal and anomalous sentences were included to investigate the role of higher-level linguistic information in the processing of speaking style variability. The results show that acoustic-phonetic modifications implemented in listener-oriented speech lead to improved speech recognition in challenging listening conditions and, crucially, to a substantial enhancement in recognition memory for sentences. PMID:22970141

  19. iSentenizer-μ: Multilingual Sentence Boundary Detection Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. iSentenizer-μ: multilingual sentence boundary detection model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Bidirectional syntactic priming across cognitive domains: from arithmetic to language and back.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheepers, Christoph; Sturt, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Scheepers et al. [Scheepers, C., Sturt, P., Martin, C. J., Myachykov, A., Teevan, K., & Viskupova, I. (2011). Structural priming across cognitive domains: From simple arithmetic to relative clause attachment. Psychological Science, 22, 1319-1326. doi:10.1177/0956797611416997] showed that the structure of a correctly solved mathematical equation affects how people subsequently complete sentences containing high versus low relative-clause attachment ambiguities. Here we investigated whether such effects generalize to different structures and tasks and, importantly, whether they also hold in the reverse direction (i.e., from linguistic to mathematical processing). In a questionnaire-based experiment, participants had to solve structurally left- or right-branching equations (e.g., 5 × 2 + 7 versus 5 + 2 × 7) and to provide sensicality ratings for structurally left- or right-branching adjective-noun-noun compounds (e.g., alien monster movie versus lengthy monster movie). In the first version of the experiment, the equations were used as primes and the linguistic expressions as targets (investigating structural priming from maths to language). In the second version, the order was reversed (language-to-maths priming). Both versions of the experiment showed clear structural priming effects, conceptually replicating and extending the findings from Scheepers and colleagues (2011). Most crucially, the observed bidirectionality of cross-domain structural priming strongly supports the notion of shared syntactic representations (or recursive procedures to generate and parse them) between arithmetic and language.

  2. The mandatory sentence and Section 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dell, S

    1986-01-01

    Sentencing in homicide depends on how psychiatrists view the issues of Section 2. In most killings that do not involve clear-cut mental disorder, strong emotions and stress play a part. Both can be cited in aid of diminished responsibility. If doctors cite them, however tentatively, it becomes feasible for the court to review any mitigating factors and to choose an appropriate penalty. Otherwise, the mandatory penalty is imposed. Thus doctors, by opining not on the medical but on the legal and moral aspects of Section 2, decide who shall automatically get a life sentence and who shall not. Anomaly and injustice are the results. They would be remedied by the abolition of the mandatory sentence for murder. PMID:3959037

  3. THE CHILD JUSTICE ACT: PROCEDURAL SENTENCING ISSUES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephan S Terblanche

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available In this contribution a number of procedural issues related to the sentencing of child offenders and emanating from the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008 are considered in some detail. As a general rule, the Act requires pre-sentence reports to be obtained from probation officers before sentencing any child offender, with only a limited number of exceptions. The article argues that the peremptory nature of the Act means that a probation report is always required, even if reports by other experts are also available. The exceptions are limited to instances other than those where the child offender is sentenced to any form of imprisonment or to residence in a care centre. The article addresses the question of whether or not the reference to imprisonment includes alternative imprisonment which is imposed only as an alternative to a fine. It suggests that alternative imprisonment should, generally, not be imposed on child offenders. When an exception is not prevented because of the sentence, a pre-sentence report may be dispensed with only when the offence is a schedule-1 offence (the least serious class of offences or when obtaining a report would prejudice the child. It is argued that these exceptions are likely to occur rather rarely. A final aspect of the Act’s provisions on pre-sentence reports is the requirement that reasons be given for a departure from the recommendations in a pre-sentence report. This requirement merely confirms the status quo.The Act permits the prosecutor to provide the court with a victim impact statement. Such a statement is defined in the Act. It is a sworn statement by a victim or someone authorised by the victim explaining the consequences to the victim of the commission of the crime. The article also addresses the issue of whether or not the child justice court might mero motu obtain a victim impact statement when the prosecution does not do so.Finally, the article addresses appeals against and reviews of the trial

  4. A DNA assembly model of sentence generation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ji-Hoon; Lee, Seung Hwan; Chung, Won-Hyong; Lee, Eun Seok; Park, Tai Hyun; Deaton, Russell; Zhang, Byoung-Tak

    2011-10-01

    Recent results of corpus-based linguistics demonstrate that context-appropriate sentences can be generated by a stochastic constraint satisfaction process. Exploiting the similarity of constraint satisfaction and DNA self-assembly, we explore a DNA assembly model of sentence generation. The words and phrases in a language corpus are encoded as DNA molecules to build a language model of the corpus. Given a seed word, the new sentences are constructed by a parallel DNA assembly process based on the probability distribution of the word and phrase molecules. Here, we present our DNA code word design and report on successful demonstration of their feasibility in wet DNA experiments of a small scale. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Sentence structures with the connective verbs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ružić Vladislava

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper talks about specific sentence structures in contemporary Serbian language that are a transition between simple and complex sentences, since they contain two finite forms of the verbs (e.g. To je da poludiš; Smisao pravde leži u tome da krivci budu kažnjeni, that however are a functionally - semantically unique predicate only when occurring together. At the position of the second part of the predicate phrase, there is a clause with a subordinate conjunction as its semantic core. Some types of the connective verbs are described, which have a specific role to connect subject argument and its related content or to mark the content of the sentence with a specific modality.

  6. Does gravity matter? Effects of semantic and syntactic inconsistencies on the allocation of attention during scene perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Võ, Melissa L-H; Henderson, John M

    2009-03-27

    It has been shown that attention and eye movements during scene perception are preferentially allocated to semantically inconsistent objects compared to their consistent controls. However, there has been a dispute over how early during scene viewing such inconsistencies are detected. In the study presented here, we introduced syntactic object-scene inconsistencies (i.e., floating objects) in addition to semantic inconsistencies to investigate the degree to which they attract attention during scene viewing. In Experiment 1 participants viewed scenes in preparation for a subsequent memory task, while in Experiment 2 participants were instructed to search for target objects. In neither experiment were we able to find evidence for extrafoveal detection of either type of inconsistency. However, upon fixation both semantically and syntactically inconsistent objects led to increased object processing as seen in elevated gaze durations and number of fixations. Interestingly, the semantic inconsistency effect was diminished for floating objects, which suggests an interaction of semantic and syntactic scene processing. This study is the first to provide evidence for the influence of syntactic in addition to semantic object-scene inconsistencies on eye movement behavior during real-world scene viewing.

  7. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Two Syntactic Treatment Procedures With Cantonese-Speaking, School-Age Children With Language Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    To, Carol K S; Lui, Hoi Ming; Li, Xin Xin; Lam, Gary Y H

    2015-08-01

    In this study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of sentence-combining (SC) and narrative-based (NAR) intervention approaches to syntax intervention using a randomized-controlled-trial design. Fifty-two Cantonese-speaking, school-age children with language impairment were assigned randomly to either the SC or the NAR treatment arm. Seven children did not receive treatment as assigned. Intervention in both arms targeted the same complex syntactical structures. The SC group focused on sentence combination training, whereas the NAR group made use of narratives in which the target structures were embedded. Pretest and posttest performances measured using a standardized language assessment were subjected to analyses of covariance mixed-effect-model analyses of variance. Children in both treatment arms demonstrated significant growth after 4 months of intervention. The main effect between treatment arms and time was not significant after controlling the pretest performance, suggesting that both treatment approaches showed similar effects. The main effect of time was significant. This study provided evidence to support language intervention in the school years in Cantonese-speaking children. However, neither approach was shown to be more efficacious than the other. Future researchers could examine the effects of a longer treatment period and include functional outcome measures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  9. Word Order and Voice Influence the Timing of Verb Planning in German Sentence Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauppe, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

    Theories of incremental sentence production make different assumptions about when speakers encode information about described events and when verbs are selected, accordingly. An eye tracking experiment on German testing the predictions from linear and hierarchical incrementality about the timing of event encoding and verb planning is reported. In the experiment, participants described depictions of two-participant events with sentences that differed in voice and word order. Verb-medial active sentences and actives and passives with sentence-final verbs were compared. Linear incrementality predicts that sentences with verbs placed early differ from verb-final sentences because verbs are assumed to only be planned shortly before they are articulated. By contrast, hierarchical incrementality assumes that speakers start planning with relational encoding of the event. A weak version of hierarchical incrementality assumes that only the action is encoded at the outset of formulation and selection of lexical verbs only occurs shortly before they are articulated, leading to the prediction of different fixation patterns for verb-medial and verb-final sentences. A strong version of hierarchical incrementality predicts no differences between verb-medial and verb-final sentences because it assumes that verbs are always lexically selected early in the formulation process. Based on growth curve analyses of fixations to agent and patient characters in the described pictures, and the influence of character humanness and the lack of an influence of the visual salience of characters on speakers' choice of active or passive voice, the current results suggest that while verb planning does not necessarily occur early during formulation, speakers of German always create an event representation early. PMID:29018379

  10. Word Order and Voice Influence the Timing of Verb Planning in German Sentence Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Sauppe

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Theories of incremental sentence production make different assumptions about when speakers encode information about described events and when verbs are selected, accordingly. An eye tracking experiment on German testing the predictions from linear and hierarchical incrementality about the timing of event encoding and verb planning is reported. In the experiment, participants described depictions of two-participant events with sentences that differed in voice and word order. Verb-medial active sentences and actives and passives with sentence-final verbs were compared. Linear incrementality predicts that sentences with verbs placed early differ from verb-final sentences because verbs are assumed to only be planned shortly before they are articulated. By contrast, hierarchical incrementality assumes that speakers start planning with relational encoding of the event. A weak version of hierarchical incrementality assumes that only the action is encoded at the outset of formulation and selection of lexical verbs only occurs shortly before they are articulated, leading to the prediction of different fixation patterns for verb-medial and verb-final sentences. A strong version of hierarchical incrementality predicts no differences between verb-medial and verb-final sentences because it assumes that verbs are always lexically selected early in the formulation process. Based on growth curve analyses of fixations to agent and patient characters in the described pictures, and the influence of character humanness and the lack of an influence of the visual salience of characters on speakers' choice of active or passive voice, the current results suggest that while verb planning does not necessarily occur early during formulation, speakers of German always create an event representation early.

  11. The suspended sentence in French Criminal Law

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jovašević Dragan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available From the ancient times until today, criminal law has provided different criminal sanctions as measures of social control. These coercive measures are imposed on the criminal offender by the competent court and aimed at limitting the offender's rights and freedoms or depriving the offender of certain rights and freedoms. These sanctions are applied to the natural or legal persons who violate the norms of the legal order and injure or endanger other legal goods that enjoy legal protection. In order to effectively protect social values, criminal legislations in all countries predict a number of criminal sanctions. These are: 1 imprisonment, 2 precautions, 3 safety measures, 4 penalties for juveniles, and 5 sanctions for legal persons. Apart and instead of punishment, warning measures have a significant role in the jurisprudence. Since they emerged in the early 20th century in the system of criminal sanctions, there has been an increase in their application to criminal offenders, especially when it comes to first-time offenders who committed a negligent or accidental criminal act. Warnings are applied in case of crimes that do not have serious consequences, and whose perpetrators are not hardened and incorrigible criminals. All contemporary criminal legislations (including the French legilation provide a warning measure of suspended sentence. Suspended sentence is a conditional stay of execution of sentence of imprisonment for a specified time, provided that the convicted person does not commit another criminal offense and fulfills other obligations. This sanction applies if the following two conditions are fulfilled: a forma! -which is attached to the sentence of imprisonment; and b material -which is the court assessment that the application of this sanction is justified and necessary in a particular case. In many modern criminal legislations, there are two different types of suspended (conditional sentence: 1 ordinary (classical suspended

  12. Development of equally intelligible Telugu sentence-lists to test speech recognition in noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanniru, Kishore; Narne, Vijaya Kumar; Jain, Chandni; Konadath, Sreeraj; Singh, Niraj Kumar; Sreenivas, K J Ramadevi; K, Anusha

    2017-09-01

    To develop sentence lists in the Telugu language for the assessment of speech recognition threshold (SRT) in the presence of background noise through identification of the mean signal-to-noise ratio required to attain a 50% sentence recognition score (SRTn). This study was conducted in three phases. The first phase involved the selection and recording of Telugu sentences. In the second phase, 20 lists, each consisting of 10 sentences with equal intelligibility, were formulated using a numerical optimisation procedure. In the third phase, the SRTn of the developed lists was estimated using adaptive procedures on individuals with normal hearing. A total of 68 native Telugu speakers with normal hearing participated in the study. Of these, 18 (including the speakers) performed on various subjective measures in first phase, 20 performed on sentence/word recognition in noise for second phase and 30 participated in the list equivalency procedures in third phase. In all, 15 lists of comparable difficulty were formulated as test material. The mean SRTn across these lists corresponded to -2.74 (SD = 0.21). The developed sentence lists provided a valid and reliable tool to measure SRTn in Telugu native speakers.

  13. Viability of an elementary syntactic structure in a population playing Naming Games

    CERN Document Server

    Brigatti, Edgardo

    2012-01-01

    We explore how the social dynamics of communication and learning can bring about the rise of a syntactic communication in a population of speakers. Our study is developed starting from a version of the Naming Game model where an elementary syntactic structure is introduced. This analysis shows how the transition from non-syntactic to syntactic communication is socially favored in communities which need to exchange a large number of concepts.

  14. Structure and Compressive Properties of Invar-Cenosphere Syntactic Foams

    OpenAIRE

    Dung Luong; Dirk Lehmhus; Nikhil Gupta; Joerg Weise; Mohamed Bayoumi

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigates the mechanical performance of syntactic foams produced by means of the metal powder injection molding process having an Invar (FeNi36) matrix and including cenospheres as hollow particles at weight fractions (wt.%) of 5 and 10, respectively, corresponding to approximately 41.6 and 60.0 vol.% in relation to the metal content and at 0.6 g/cm(3) hollow particle density. The synthesis process results in survival of cenospheres and provides low density syntactic foam...

  15. Use of Syntactic Elaboration Techniques to Enhance Comprehensibility of EST Texts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahimi, Mohammad Ali; Rezaei, Amir

    2011-01-01

    The current study examined differential effects of two pre-modification types, syntactic elaboration and syntactic simplification (at the level of syntax and irrespective of problematic lexis), on EST students' reading comprehension. The purpose was to see whether a priori syntactic elaborative adjustment, given its advantages over simplification,…

  16. Stereolithography fabrication and characterization of syntactic foams containing hollow glass microspheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roques-Carmes, T; Gigante, A; Corbel, S [Departement de Chimie Physique des Reactions, Nancy-Universite 1 (France); Marchal, Ph [Centre de Genie Chimique des Milieux Rheologiquement Complexes, Nancy-Universite (France)

    2009-04-30

    This review presents the stereolithography fabrication of epoxy and acrylate syntactic foams based on hollow glass microspheres. Physicochemical analysis has been performed on the fabricated 3D syntactic foam items containing different amounts of microspheres. The surface free energies, light transmittance, density of the syntactic foams were investigated. Criteria for the choice of a polymeric binder are discussed.

  17. Syntactic Cues for Inferences about Causality in Language Acquisition: Evidence from an Argument-Drop Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Takaaki; Kobayashi, Tessei

    2017-01-01

    Syntactic bootstrapping facilitates children's initial learning of verb meanings based on syntactic information. A challenging case is the argument-drop languages, where the number of argument NPs is not a reliable cue for distinguishing between transitive and intransitive verbs. Despite this fact, the availability of syntactic bootstrapping in…

  18. fMRI Syntactic and Lexical Repetition Effects Reveal the Initial Stages of Learning a New Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Kirsten; Christiansen, Morten H; Petersson, Karl Magnus; Indefrey, Peter; Hagoort, Peter

    2016-06-29

    When learning a new language, we build brain networks to process and represent the acquired words and syntax and integrate these with existing language representations. It is an open question whether the same or different neural mechanisms are involved in learning and processing a novel language compared with the native language(s). Here we investigated the neural repetition effects of repeating known and novel word orders while human subjects were in the early stages of learning a new language. Combining a miniature language with a syntactic priming paradigm, we examined the neural correlates of language learning on-line using functional magnetic resonance imaging. In left inferior frontal gyrus and posterior temporal cortex, the repetition of novel syntactic structures led to repetition enhancement, whereas repetition of known structures resulted in repetition suppression. Additional verb repetition led to an increase in the syntactic repetition enhancement effect in language-related brain regions. Similarly, the repetition of verbs led to repetition enhancement effects in areas related to lexical and semantic processing, an effect that continued to increase in a subset of these regions. Repetition enhancement might reflect a mechanism to build and strengthen a neural network to process novel syntactic structures and lexical items. By contrast, the observed repetition suppression points to overlapping neural mechanisms for native and new language constructions when these have sufficient structural similarities. Acquiring a second language entails learning how to interpret novel words and relations between words, and to integrate them with existing language knowledge. To investigate the brain mechanisms involved in this particularly human skill, we combined an artificial language learning task with a syntactic repetition paradigm. We show that the repetition of novel syntactic structures, as well as words in contexts, leads to repetition enhancement, whereas

  19. Processing speaker affect during spoken sentence comprehension

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Leeuwen, A.R.; Quené, H.; van Berkum, J.J.A.

    2013-01-01

    Anne van Leeuwen Utrecht institute of Linguistics OTS, Utrecht University Processing speaker affect during spoken sentence comprehension We often smile (and frown) while we talk. Speakers use facial expression, posture and prosody to provide additional cues that signal speaker stance. Speaker stance

  20. Individual Differences in Second Language Sentence Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  1. Dynamic Assessment of Sentence Structure (DASS): design and evaluation of a novel procedure for the assessment of syntax in children with language impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasson, Natalie; Dodd, Barbara; Botting, Nicola

    2012-01-01

    Sentence construction and syntactic organization are known to be poor in children with specific language impairments (SLI), but little is known about the way in which children with SLI approach language tasks, and static standardized tests contribute little to the differentiation of skills within the population of children with language impairments (LI). Information about the nature and intensity of prompts that facilitate sentence construction for a particular child may be useful in planning effective intervention. This paper describes the development of a dynamic assessment (DA) task which requires implicit knowledge of syntactic structure. The aim was to formulate a valid and reliable procedure for the DA of sentence formulation that could yield useful information for planning intervention for children with LI. The Dynamic Assessment of Sentence Structure (DASS) was employed on 24 children aged 8-10 years, with identified language impairments, who were tested four times, at 4 monthly intervals. A range of scores was elicited with no limiting ceiling or floor effects, and the test showed high internal reliability of α= 0.833. Inter-rater reliability was high. Concurrent validity was demonstrated by significant correlation with scores obtained on the CELF-3(UK) and predictive validity of the measure was also found to exceed that of the standardized test measure. Information about the ability of the children to use strategies and less directive prompts, and to transfer learning between items was elicited, and the information was thought to be useful by speech and language therapists involved in their management. The application of DA principles to the assessment of children previously diagnosed with LI, for the purposes of finding out more information about their potential to benefit from language intervention, was found to be effective. The tool developed was shown to be valid and reliable, and it has potentially important applications for the planning of

  2. Exploring the function of relative sentences in New Testament Greek

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2015-08-14

    concessive',. 'causal', 'final' and 'resultative' relative sentences as part of their adverbial use, despite strong evidence to the contrary. The conclusion reached is that relative sentences seem to have the following functions in New ...

  3. A systematic analysis of sentence update detection for temporal summarization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gârbacea, C.; Kanoulas, E.; Jose, J.M.; Hauff, C.; Altıngovde, I.S.; Song, D.; Albakour, D.; Watt, S.; Tait, J.

    2017-01-01

    Temporal summarization algorithms filter large volumes of streaming documents and emit sentences that constitute salient event updates. Systems developed typically combine in an ad-hoc fashion traditional retrieval and document summarization algorithms to filter sentences inside documents. Retrieval

  4. Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Background, Legal Analysis, and Policy Options

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Seghetti, Lisa M; Smith, Alison M

    2007-01-01

    In United States v. Booker, an unusual two-part opinion transformed federal criminal sentencing by restoring to judges much of the discretion that Congress took away when it put mandatory sentencing guidelines in place...

  5. Certain Verbs Are Syntactically Explicit Quantifiers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Szabolcsi

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Quantification over individuals, times, and worlds can in principle be made explicit in the syntax of the object language, or left to the semantics and spelled out in the meta-language. The traditional view is that quantification over individuals is syntactically explicit, whereas quantification over times and worlds is not. But a growing body of literature proposes a uniform treatment. This paper examines the scopal interaction of aspectual raising verbs (begin, modals (can, and intensional raising verbs (threaten with quantificational subjects in Shupamem, Dutch, and English. It appears that aspectual raising verbs and at least modals may undergo the same kind of overt or covert scope-changing operations as nominal quantifiers; the case of intensional raising verbs is less clear. Scope interaction is thus shown to be a new potential diagnostic of object-linguistic quantification, and the similarity in the scope behavior of nominal and verbal quantifiers supports the grammatical plausibility of ontological symmetry, explored in Schlenker (2006.ReferencesBen-Shalom, D. 1996. Semantic Trees. Ph.D. thesis, UCLA.Bittner, M. 1993. Case, Scope, and Binding. Dordrecht: Reidel.Cresswell, M. 1990. Entities and Indices. Dordrecht: Kluwer.Cresti, D. 1995. ‘Extraction and reconstruction’. Natural Language Semantics 3: 79–122.http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF01252885Curry, B. H. & Feys, R. 1958. Combinatory Logic I. Dordrecht: North-Holland.Dowty, D. R. 1988. ‘Type raising, functional composition, and non-constituent conjunction’. In Richard T. Oehrle, Emmon W. Bach & Deirdre Wheeler (eds. ‘Categorial Grammars and Natural Language Structures’, 153–197. Dordrecht: Reidel.Fox, D. 2002. ‘TOn Logical Form’. In Randall Hendrick (ed. ‘Minimalist Syntax’, 82–124. Oxford: Blackwell.Gallin, D. 1975. Intensional and higher-order modal logic: with applications to Montague semantics. North Holland Pub. Co.; American Elsevier Pub. Co., Amsterdam

  6. ChiShona periphrastic causatives as syntactic complex predicates ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ChiShona periphrastic causatives as syntactic complex predicates: An HPSG analysis. ... We utilise analytical insights from the notion of Argument Composition (AC) and Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG) theory. Since AC is considered as a lexical process, its account of complex predicates satisfies strict ...

  7. Igbo Preposition: A Syntactic Approach | Udemmadu | AFRREV IJAH ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Other lexical items that function as preposition in Igbo would be tested and analyzed syntactically using transformational generative grammar analysis. Data for the research piece were gathered through theoretical studies, simple observations, generation of data and verbal discussions with some grammarians and linguists.

  8. The Syntactic Positions of Adverbs and the Second Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zi-hong

    2010-01-01

    Based on the theory of linguistic universal and Second Language Acquisition (SLA), the paper discusses the acquisition of syntactic positions of adverbs in English. According to the data collected, the paper concludes that what adult learners acquire about adverbs is the distinction of different adverbs and the different scopes they take.…

  9. Syntactic Language Extension via an Algebra of Languages and Transformations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jacob; Brabrand, Claus

    2010-01-01

    We propose an algebra of languages and transformations as a means for extending languages syntactically. The algebra provides a layer of high-level abstractions built on top of languages (captured by context-free grammars) and transformations (captured by constructive catamorphisms). The algebra ...

  10. Plackett-Burman Analysis of Glass Microballoon Filled Syntactic Foams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keller, Jennie [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Smith, Zachary [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Bello, Mollie [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Cordes, Nikolaus Lynn [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2014-08-21

    Syntactic foams are an important category of composite materials that have abundant applications in a wide variety of fields. The current study utilized a Plackett-Burman (PB) experimental design to investigate the main effects of six variables on properties of syntactic foams formulated from a silicone elastomer and glass microballoons(MB). Findings from this investigation are meant to identify the most significant variables with respect to foam properties. Eight foam samples were created and tested using thermal, physical and mechanical techniques. The data from these tests was then evaluated using a Plackett-Burman response coefficient calculation (RCC). This calculation was applied to determine the statistical significance of the selected variables by comparison with a dummy variable. The data suggests that thermal properties, such as glass transition temperature and coefficient of thermal expansion, do not rely on any of the studied variables. Physical and mechanical measurements however were found to depend heavily on the matrix composition and the vacuum pressure used during mixing. Some variables were found to have little to no effect on any of the studied properties. Ultimately, this data could be used to formulate a comprehensive catalogue of syntactic foams based on their compositions. This type of database would allow customers in industry to identify which syntactic foam would best fit their application according to one or two properties.

  11. A Probabilistic Corpus-Based Model of Syntactic Parallelism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubey, Amit; Keller, Frank; Sturt, Patrick

    2008-01-01

    Work in experimental psycholinguistics has shown that the processing of coordinate structures is facilitated when the two conjuncts share the same syntactic structure [Frazier, L., Munn, A., & Clifton, C. (2000). "Processing coordinate structures." "Journal of Psycholinguistic Research," 29(4) 343-370]. In the present paper, we argue that this…

  12. Skipping Syntactically Illegal "the" Previews: The Role of Predictability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Matthew J.; Angele, Bernhard; Ahn, Y. Danbi; Rayner, Keith

    2015-01-01

    Readers tend to skip words, particularly when they are short, frequent, or predictable. Angele and Rayner (2013) recently reported that readers are often unable to detect syntactic anomalies in parafoveal vision. In the present study, we manipulated target word predictability to assess whether contextual constraint modulates…

  13. A SYNTACTIC ANALYSIS OF OLU OBAFEMI'S SONG OF HOPE ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A theory of syntax which formerly served as a descriptive vocabulary was replaced by a system of technical constructs designed specially to make description more ..... mastery of the structure of the language which he uses to express his thoughts. Although poets flout the conventional syntactic rules of language, there is a ...

  14. Syntactic discriminative language model rerankers for statistical machine translation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carter, S.; Monz, C.

    2011-01-01

    This article describes a method that successfully exploits syntactic features for n-best translation candidate reranking using perceptrons. We motivate the utility of syntax by demonstrating the superior performance of parsers over n-gram language models in differentiating between Statistical

  15. Evidence for Syntactic Alignment in Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Melissa L.; Haywood, Sarah; Rajendran, Gnanathusharan; Branigan, Holly

    2011-01-01

    We report an experiment that examined whether children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) spontaneously converge, or align, syntactic structure with a conversational partner. Children with ASD were more likely to produce a passive structure to describe a picture after hearing their interlocutor use a passive structure to describe an unrelated…

  16. Learning Driving Behavior by Timed Syntactic Pattern Recognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verwer, S.E.; De Weerdt, M.M.; Witteveen, C.

    2011-01-01

    We advocate the use of an explicit time representation in syntactic pattern recognition because it can result in more succinct models and easier learning problems. We apply this approach to the real-world problem of learning models for the driving behavior of truck drivers. We discretize the values

  17. An investigation of the morpho-syntactic abilities of Afrikaans ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A lack of standardised assessment instruments for use with Afrikaans-speaking children compels those who need to assess their expressive morpho-syntactic abilities to either devise their own informal assessment tools or make use of spontaneous language samples. However, to interpret the results of these, normative ...

  18. Semantic and syntactic forces in noun phrase production

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vigliocco, G.; Lauer, M.; Damian, M.F.; Levelt, W.J.M.

    2002-01-01

    Three experiments investigated semantic and syntactic effects in the production of phrases in Dutch. Bilingual participants were presented with English nouns and were asked to produce an adjective + noun phrase in Dutch including the translation of the noun. In 2 experiments, the authors blocked

  19. Individual Differences in Syntactic Priming in Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidd, Evan

    2012-01-01

    Although the syntactic priming methodology is a promising tool for language acquisition researchers, using the technique with children raises issues that are not problematic in adult research. The current paper reports on an individual differences study that addressed some of these outstanding issues. (a) Does priming purely reflect syntactic…

  20. Segmental phonology and the perception of syntactic structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Scott, D.R.; Cutler, A.

    1984-01-01

    Recent research in speech production has shown that syntactic structure is reflected in segmental phonology—the application of certain phonological rules of English (e.g., palatalization and alveolar flapping) is inhibited across phrase boundaries. We examined whether such segmental effects can be

  1. Spoken Language Production in Young Adults: Examining Syntactic Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nippold, Marilyn A.; Frantz-Kaspar, Megan W.; Vigeland, Laura M.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, we examined syntactic complexity in the spoken language samples of young adults. Its purpose was to contribute to the expanding knowledge base in later language development and to begin building a normative database of language samples that potentially could be used to evaluate young adults with known or suspected language…

  2. A syntactic language model based on incremental CCG parsing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hassan, H.; Sima'an, K.; Way, A.

    2008-01-01

    Syntactically-enriched language models (parsers) constitute a promising component in applications such as machine translation and speech-recognition. To maintain a useful level of accuracy, existing parsers are non-incremental and must span a combinatorially growing space of possible structures as

  3. Syntactic Deviations in the Novel "The Sound and the Fury"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alirezazadeh, Pooria; Talebinezhad, Mohammad Reza

    2014-01-01

    This article looks at William Faulkner's work "The Sound and the Fury." The goals are to investigate different types of syntactic deviations in the novel, and how these deviations helped the writer to create a literary work in the field of modernist literature and stream of consciousness. To this end, the theoretical framework for…

  4. Generalizing Semantic Role Annotations Across Syntactically Similar Verbs

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gordon, Andrew S; Swanson, Reid

    2007-01-01

    ...) with only a single training example. Our approach involves the identification of syntactically similar verbs found in Prop-Bank, the alignment of arguments in their corresponding rolesets, and the use of their corresponding annotations in Prop-Bank as surrogate training data.

  5. Learning Disabled Children's Syntactic Proficiency on a Communicative Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donahue, Mavis; And Others

    1982-01-01

    The syntactic proficiency of 67 learning disabled children was evaluated during a task requiring them to convey information to a listener. Learning disabled children in all grades were found to produce shorter mean main clauses than nondisabled children even on this relatively simple communicative task. (Author/SEW)

  6. Infants Can Use Distributional Cues to Form Syntactic Categories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerken, Louann; Wilson, Rachel; Lewis, William

    2005-01-01

    Nearly all theories of language development emphasize the importance of distributional cues for segregating words and phrases into syntactic categories like noun, feminine or verb phrase. However, questions concerning whether such cues can be used to the exclusion of referential cues have been debated. Using the headturn preference procedure,…

  7. A grammar of newspaper editorial language: The complex sentence ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... and specifically, to the dependent clause as it occurs in these editorials. At the end of the analysis, we identified the following patterns: (a) only declarative sentences were used, (b) there was overwhelming reliance on complex sentences and (c) most of the complex sentences consisted of multiple rankshifted structures.

  8. Unscrambling Jumbled Sentences: An Authentic Task for English Language Assessment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanteigne, Betty

    2017-01-01

    Jumbled sentence items in language assessment have been criticized by some authors as inauthentic. However, unscrambling jumbled sentences is a common occurrence in real-world communication in English as a lingua franca. Naturalistic inquiry identified 54 instances of jumbled sentence use in daily life in Dubai/Sharjah, where English is widely…

  9. 28 CFR 91.4 - Truth in Sentencing Incentive Grants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 28 Judicial Administration 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Truth in Sentencing Incentive Grants. 91... FACILITIES General § 91.4 Truth in Sentencing Incentive Grants. (a) Half of the total amount of funds... available for Truth in Sentencing Incentive Grants. (b) Eligibility. To be eligible to receive such a grant...

  10. The Child Justice Act : Procedural Sentencing Issues | Terblanche ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this contribution a number of procedural issues related to the sentencing of child offenders and emanating from the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008 are considered in some detail. As a general rule, the Act requires pre-sentence reports to be obtained from probation officers before sentencing any child offender, with only a ...

  11. The Role of Constraints in Creative Sentence Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haught, Catrinel

    2015-01-01

    Two experiments explored how people create novel sentences referring to given entities presented either in line drawings or in nouns. The line drawings yielded more creative sentences than the words, both as rated by judges and objectively by a measure of the amount of information that the sentences conveyed. A hypothesis about the cognitive…

  12. Sentence verification and event-related brain potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katayama, J; Miyata, Y; Yagi, A

    1987-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine whether the decision process affected scalp recorded event-related brain potentials (ERPs). ERPs were recorded while 10 subjects evaluated the veracity of four types of Japanese sentences; true-affirmative (TA), true-negative (TN), false-affirmative (FA), and false-negative (FN). Each sentence was presented visually, one word at a time in the following order: Subject (S); object (O); and verb (V). This order of words, which is normal in Japanese grammar, allowed the ERP waveforms associated with semantic mismatch between the S and O occurring in the middle of the sentence to be separated from those elicited by the decision concerning the sentence's truth or falsity occurring at the end of the sentence. Semantic mismatch was associated with a negative component (N310) following the O-word. In addition, P3s were elicited by sentence final words. Affirmative sentences elicited larger P3s than did negative sentences, and true sentences elicited earlier P3s than did false sentences. P3s were smaller in amplitude when they followed a mismatch between the S and O words. The result suggested that by using Japanese sentences, it may be possible to examine sentence-level rather than word-level processes.

  13. Sentence Comprehension in Slovak-Speaking Patients with Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marková, Jana; Horváthová, Lubica; Králová, Mária; Cséfalvay, Zsolt

    2017-01-01

    Background: According to some studies, sentence comprehension is diminished in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, but they differ on what underlies the sentence comprehension impairment. Sentence comprehension in AD patients has been studied mainly in the English language. It is less clear how patients with AD speaking a morphologically rich…

  14. Is the motor or the garage more important to the car? The difference between semantic associations in single word and sentence production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muehlhaus, Juliane; Heim, Stefan; Sachs, Olga; Schneider, Frank; Habel, Ute; Sass, Katharina

    2013-02-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of part-whole (e.g., car-motor) and functional associations (e.g., car-garage) on single word (Experiment 1) and sentence production (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, a classical picture-word task was used. In Experiment 2, the same stimuli and distractors were embedded into a sentence. The relation between target and distractor was either part-whole, functional or unrelated. At single word level, part-whole and functional relations facilitate naming. Additionally, the facilitation effect was stronger for part-whole in comparison to functional associations. During sentence production, facilitation shifted to interference. The difference between both relations disappeared. The findings of the different effects between functional and part-whole associations depend on the length of utterances and highlight the divergent impact of associations. The differences between part-whole and functional associations in single word production might reflect a differential organization of associative links at the conceptual level. In contrast, during sentence production the syntactic processing at the lexical level seem to be more important than types of semantic associations at the conceptual level.

  15. Lexical and Prosodic Effects on Syntactic Ambiguity Resolution in Aphasia

    OpenAIRE

    DeDe, Gayle

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether and when individuals with aphasia and healthy controls use lexical and prosodic information during on-line sentence comprehension. Individuals with aphasia and controls (n = 12 per group) participated in a self-paced listening experiment. The stimuli were early closure sentences, such as “While the parents watched(,) the child sang a song.” Both lexical and prosodic cues were manipulated. The cues were biased toward the subject- or object- of...

  16. What Goes Wrong during Passive Sentence Production in Agrammatic Aphasia: An Eyetracking Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Soojin; Thompson, Cynthia K

    2010-07-12

    BACKGROUND: Production of passive sentences is often impaired in agrammatic aphasia and has been attributed both to an underlying structural impairment (e.g., Schwartz, Saffran, Fink, Myers, & Martin, 1994) and to a morphological deficit (e.g., Caplan & Hanna, 1998; Faroqi-Shah & Thompson, 2003). However, the nature of the deficit in passive sentence production is not clear due to methodological issues present in previous studies. AIMS: This study examined active and passive sentence production in nine agrammatic aphasic speakers under conditions of structural priming using eyetracking to test whether structural impairments occur independently of morphological impairments and whether the underlying nature of error types is reflected in on-line measures, i.e., eye movements and speech onset latencies. METHODS #ENTITYSTARTX00026; PROCEDURES: Nine participants viewed and listened to a prime sentence in either active or passive voice, and then repeated it aloud. Next, a target picture appeared on the computer monitor and participants were instructed to describe it using the primed sentence structure. OUTCOMES #ENTITYSTARTX00026; RESULTS: Participants made substantial errors in sentence structure, i.e., passives with role reversals (RRs) and actives-for-passives, but few errors in passive morphology. Longer gaze durations to the first-produced noun for passives with RRs as compared to correct passives were found before and during speech. For actives-for-passives, however, this pattern was found during speech, but not before speech. CONCLUSIONS: The deficit in passive sentence production does not solely arise from a morphological deficit, rather it stems, at least in part, from a structural level impairment. The underlying nature of passives with RRs is qualitatively different from that of actives-for-passives, which cannot be clearly differentiated with off-line testing methodology.

  17. Effect of education on listening comprehension of sentences on healthy elderly: analysis of number of correct responses and task execution time.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-13

    To analyze the effect of education on sentence listening comprehension on cognitively healthy elderly. A total of 111 healthy elderly, aged 60-80 years of both genders were divided into two groups according to educational level: low education (0-8 years of formal education) and high education (≥9 years of formal education). The participants were assessed using the Revised Token Test, an instrument that supports the evaluation of auditory comprehension of orders with different working memory and syntactic complexity demands. The indicators used for performance analysis were the number of correct responses (accuracy analysis) and task execution time (temporal analysis) in the different blocks. The low educated group had a lower number of correct responses than the high educated group on all blocks of the test. In the temporal analysis, participants with low education had longer execution time for commands on the first four blocks related to working memory. However, the two groups had similar execution time for blocks more related to syntactic comprehension. Education influenced sentence listening comprehension on elderly. Temporal analysis allowed to infer over the relationship between comprehension and other cognitive abilities, and to observe that the low educated elderly did not use effective compensation strategies to improve their performances on the task. Therefore, low educational level, associated with aging, may potentialize the risks for language decline.

  18. Modality Effects on Sentence Memory and Understanding

    OpenAIRE

    岡, 直樹; 田中, 裕佳

    2016-01-01

    In this study, poems were presented in one of three modalities: auditory, visual, or audiovisual. Modality differences in recall performance were observed only in a word memory test, revealing that visual and audiovisual presentation exhibited superiority over auditory presentation. The modality effect was not observed in the serial recall test, or the meaning understanding test. These results are discussed in terms of sentence memory and understanding.

  19. [The speech audiometry using the matrix sentence test].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boboshko, M Yu; Zhilinskaia, E V; Warzybok, A; Maltseva, N V; Zokoll, M; Kollmeier, B

    The matrix sentence test in which the five-word semantically unpredictable sentences presented under the background noise conditions are used as the speech material was designed and validated for many languages. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the Russian version of the matrix sentence test (RuMatrix test) in the listeners of different ages with normal hearing. At the first stage of the study, 35 listeners at the age from 18 to 33 year were examined. The results of the estimation of the training effect dictated the necessity of conducting two training tracks before carrying out the RuMatrix test proper. The signal-to-noise ratio at which 50% speech recognition (SRT50) was obtained was found to be -8.8±0.8 dB SNR. A significant effect of exposure to the background noise was demonstrated: the noise level of 80 and 75 Db SPL led to a considerably lower intelligibility than the noise levels in the range from 45 to 70 dB SPL; in the subsequent studies, the noise level of 65 dB SPL was used. The high test-retest reliability of the RuMatrix test was proved. At the second stage of the study, 20 young (20-40 year old) listeners and 20 aged (62-74 year old) ones were examined. The mean SRT50 in the aged patients was found to be -6.9±1.1 dB SNR which was much worse than the mean STR50 in the young subjects (-8.7±0.9 dB SNR). It is concluded that, bearing in mind the excellent comparability of the results of the RUMat rix test across different languages, it can be used as a universal tool in international research projects.

  20. Real-time production of unergative and unaccusative sentences in normal and agrammatic speakers: An eyetracking study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jiyeon; Thompson, Cynthia K

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Speakers with agrammatic aphasia have greater difficulty producing unaccusative (float) compared to unergative (bark) verbs (Kegl, 1995; Lee & Thompson, 2004; Thompson, 2003), putatively because the former involve movement of the theme to the subject position from the post-verbal position, and are therefore more complex than the latter (Burzio, 1986; Perlmutter, 1978). However, it is unclear if and how sentence production processes are affected by the linguistic distinction between these two types of verbs in normal and impaired speakers. AIMS: This study examined real-time production of sentences with unergative (the black dog is barking) vs unaccusative (the black tube is floating) verbs in healthy young speakers and individuals with agrammatic aphasia, using eyetracking. METHODS #ENTITYSTARTX00026; PROCEDURES: Participants' eye movements and speech were recorded while they produced a sentence using computer displayed written stimuli (e.g., black, dog, is barking). OUTCOMES #ENTITYSTARTX00026; RESULTS: Both groups of speakers produced numerically fewer unaccusative sentences than unergative sentences. However, the eye movement data revealed significant differences in fixations between the adjective (black) vs the noun (tube) when producing unaccusatives, but not when producing unergatives for both groups. Interestingly, whereas healthy speakers showed this difference during speech, speakers with agrammatism showed this difference prior to speech onset. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that the human sentence production system differentially processes unaccusatives vs unergatives. This distinction is preserved in individuals with agrammatism; however, the time course of sentence planning appears to differ from healthy speakers (Lee & Thompson, 2010).