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Can Entropy Explain Successor Surprisal Effects In Reading?, Marten van Schijndel, Tal Linzen 2019 Johns Hopkins University

Can Entropy Explain Successor Surprisal Effects In Reading?, Marten Van Schijndel, Tal Linzen

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

Human reading behavior is sensitive to surprisal: more predictable words tend to be read faster. Unexpectedly, this applies not only to the surprisal of the word that is currently being read, but also to the surprisal of upcoming (successor) words that have not been fixated yet. This finding has been interpreted as evidence that readers can extract lexical information parafoveally. Calling this interpretation into question, Angele et al. (2015) showed that successor effects appear even in contexts in which those successor words are not yet visible. They hypothesized that successor surprisal predicts reading time because it approximates the reader’s ...


Guess Who’S Coming (And Who’S Going): Bringing Perspective To The Rational Speech Acts Framework, Carolyn Jane Anderson, Brian W. Dillon 2019 University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Guess Who’S Coming (And Who’S Going): Bringing Perspective To The Rational Speech Acts Framework, Carolyn Jane Anderson, Brian W. Dillon

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

We present a Rational Speech Acts approach to modeling how conversation participants reason about perspectival expressions. The interpretation of perspectival expressions, such as the motion verbs 'come' and 'go', depends on the point-of-view from which they are evaluated. In order to interpret a perspectival expression, the listener must jointly reason about the speaker’s intended message and their choice of perspective. We propose a Bayesian approach to this inference problem and describe an extension of the Rational Speech Acts model that incorporates perspective. We lay out three sets of predictions that this model makes relating to the lexical semantics of ...


Linguistic Alignment Is Affected More By Lexical Surprisal Rather Than Social Power, Yang Xu, Jeremy Cole, David Reitter 2019 San Diego State University

Linguistic Alignment Is Affected More By Lexical Surprisal Rather Than Social Power, Yang Xu, Jeremy Cole, David Reitter

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

No abstract provided.


Transient Blend States And Discrete Agreement-Driven Errors In Sentence Production, Matthew Goldrick, Laurel Brehm, Pyeong Whan Cho, Paul Smolensky 2019 Northwestern University

Transient Blend States And Discrete Agreement-Driven Errors In Sentence Production, Matthew Goldrick, Laurel Brehm, Pyeong Whan Cho, Paul Smolensky

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

Errors in subject-verb agreement are common in everyday language production. This has been studied using a preamble completion task in which a participant hears or reads a preamble containing inflected nouns and forms a complete English sentence (“The key to the cabinets” could be completed as "The key to the cabinets is gold.") Existing work has focused on errors arising in selecting the correct verb form for production in the presence of a more ‘local’ noun with different number features (The key to the cabinets are gold). However, the same paradigm elicits substantial numbers of preamble errors ("The key to ...


The Cognitive Effects Of Late Bilingualism On Executive Functions: Lifelong Benefits, Rachel Casper 2018 Brigham Young University

The Cognitive Effects Of Late Bilingualism On Executive Functions: Lifelong Benefits, Rachel Casper

Intuition: The BYU Undergraduate Journal in Psychology

Late bilinguals, those who learn a language past the critical period, are often thought to not receive much benefits from their language learning in comparison to their early bilingual counterparts. A large of body of recent research suggests otherwise. Late bilinguals receive the same cognitive benefits as early bilinguals; these benefits are in higher levels of executive functions, specifically in inhibitory control and attentional switching. Higher levels of executive functions assist learners in improving their mental processing and cognitive health over the course of their lifetime. Aging bilinguals have greater cognitive health due to more white and gray matter density ...


22 - “Make Me A Sandwich” - “Poof, You’Re A Sandwich!”: Ditransitive Syntax In The Brain, Haley Shea J. Barfield 2018 University of North Georgia

22 - “Make Me A Sandwich” - “Poof, You’Re A Sandwich!”: Ditransitive Syntax In The Brain, Haley Shea J. Barfield

Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference (GURC)

How does the brain distinguish between sentences with nearly identical structures? Neurolinguists have begun to form a fascinating picture of language in the brain in the decades since the first observation of event-related potentials during language tasks. A deeper understanding of syntactic activity—including pattern recognition, ambiguity resolution, and interpretation of functional constituents during sentence processing—would yield insights beneficial to the fields of language education, brain-computer interface, human-computer interaction, and neurolinguistic programs for language acquisition, speech therapy, and rehabilitation of communicative disorders.

To map the brain’s responses to sentence structures, we will use scalp electroencephalography (EEG) to measure ...


De-Centering The Monolingual: A Psychophysiological Study Of Heritage Speaker Language Processing, Christen N. Madsen II 2018 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

De-Centering The Monolingual: A Psychophysiological Study Of Heritage Speaker Language Processing, Christen N. Madsen Ii

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Models of grammar, processing and acquisition are primarily built on evidence from monolinguals and adult learners of a second language. Heritage speakers, who are bilinguals of a societal minority language, acquire and use their heritage language in informal settings; but who live, work, and are educated in the societal majority language. The differences between heritage speakers and both monolinguals and adult second language learners are extensive: heritage speakers are not educated in the heritage language, their input is typically not from a prestige variety of the heritage language, and they are dominant in the majority language, using it more frequently ...


Dual Route Model Of Idiom Processing In The Bilingual Context, Tianshu Zhu 2018 The University of Western Ontario

Dual Route Model Of Idiom Processing In The Bilingual Context, Tianshu Zhu

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

The dual route model predicts that idiomatic phrases show a processing advantage over matched novel phrases. This model postulates that familiar phrases are processed by a faster direct route, and novel phrases are processed by an indirect route. This thesis investigated the role of familiar form and concept in direct route activation. Study 1 provided norming evidence for experimental stimuli selection. Study 2 examined whether direct route can be activated for translated Chinese idioms in Chinese-English bilinguals. Bilinguals listened to the idiom up until the last word (e.g., draw a snake and add), then saw either the idiom ending ...


Polysemy In Spatially Ambiguous Prepositions, Veronica McKinny 2018 Lehigh University

Polysemy In Spatially Ambiguous Prepositions, Veronica Mckinny

Eckardt Scholars Projects

Human language strongly connects conveyed ideas to the spatial plane. Prepositions are some of the most important pieces in describing how two entities relate in spatial terms. Yet, within a preposition, there are many different variations in meaning that are conveyed. The word under, for example, might refer to a ball sitting under a table or a river flowing under a bridge, two uses which convey very different spatial and temporal information. In addition to differences in spatial senses, prepositions have metaphoric senses. Again following under as an example, a speaker could be under pressure. This experiment aims to determine ...


The Effect Of Idiomatic Language On Event Processing, Katrina Turick 2018 University of Connecticut

The Effect Of Idiomatic Language On Event Processing, Katrina Turick

Honors Scholar Theses

Mental representations of object states are necessary to keep track of changing objects in the world. When the object undergoes change and there are two representations, it creates competition between the object states. This is seen in sentences during which an object changes and is then subsequently referred to again (e.g. “The chef will chop the onion. And then, he will sniff the onion.”). When there is a larger degree of change between the states of the object, there is more competition, which is indicated by an increase in reading time when the object is referred to for the ...


Fresa Style In Mexico: Sociolinguistic Stereotypes And The Variability Of Social Meanings, Rebeca Martinez Gomez 2018 University of New Mexico - Main Campus

Fresa Style In Mexico: Sociolinguistic Stereotypes And The Variability Of Social Meanings, Rebeca Martinez Gomez

Linguistics ETDs

This dissertation examines the flexibility in the social meanings of sociolinguistic stereotypes and how linguistic and non-linguistic information affect these meanings. The investigation consists of four empirical studies surrounding the case of fresas in Mexico –members of the upper class that are perceived as using a unique linguistic style.

Study 1 investigates the linguistic and non-linguistic characteristics associated with the fresa stereotype. Through a qualitative analysis of 64 webpages and 3 performances of the style, it is shown that fresasare perceived as the counterpart of another construct, nacos,and that their linguistic style is linked to English due to ...


Reasoning With Pseudowords: How Properties Of Novel Verbal Stimuli Influence Item Difficulty And Linguistic-Group Score Differences On Cognitive Ability Assessments, Paul Agnello 2018 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Reasoning With Pseudowords: How Properties Of Novel Verbal Stimuli Influence Item Difficulty And Linguistic-Group Score Differences On Cognitive Ability Assessments, Paul Agnello

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Pseudowords (words that are not real but resemble real words in a language) have been used increasingly as a technique to reduce contamination due to construct-irrelevant variance in assessments of verbal fluid reasoning (Gf). However, despite pseudowords being researched heavily in other psychology sub-disciplines, they have received little attention in cognitive ability testing contexts. Thus, there has been an assumption that all pseudowords work equally and work equally well for all test-takers. The current research examined three objectives with the first being whether changes to the pseudoword properties of length and wordlikeness (how much a pseudoword resembles a typical or ...


Listener's Perceptions Of Stuttering, Katie Lauren Smith 2018 Cedarville University

Listener's Perceptions Of Stuttering, Katie Lauren Smith

Linguistics Senior Research Projects

Stuttering is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes disruptions in the normal flow of speech. Often, the disorder is accompanied by anxiety, stress, and discomfort in communication. Due to prominence of the disorder, stuttering can cause discomfort for both the listener and speaker. While some factors, such as level of fluency, familiarity with the disorder, and openness about the disorder can influence listener perceptions, the risk of negative stereotyping is high. In the following study, listener perceptions of stuttering are measured in a Christian, college-aged environment. 31 participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire about stuttering. Of the 31, 6 ...


Metaphor To Memory: Effects Of Spatiotemporal Metaphors On The Emotional Valence Of Autobiographical Memories, Jayne B. Williamson-Lee 2018 University of Colorado, Boulder

Metaphor To Memory: Effects Of Spatiotemporal Metaphors On The Emotional Valence Of Autobiographical Memories, Jayne B. Williamson-Lee

Undergraduate Honors Theses

English speakers conceptualize the passing of time in one of two ways: as events in time moving toward them (the time-moving perspective) or as themselves moving through time (the ego-moving perspective). Previous studies suggest that these construals of time have corresponding emotional valences (positive and negative, respectively), which influence perceptions of emotional experiences. This study investigates whether spatiotemporal metaphors evoke valence-specific memories – specifically whether the ego-moving perspective evokes positive memories and the time-moving perspective negative memories. Participants read statements depicting events in motion and wrote about autobiographical memories. Memories recalled were evaluated as positive or negative by the researcher. Results ...


The Unwilling Spectator: How Secondary Exposure To Trauma Through Journalism Affects Our Emotional Processing, Chanya Riddick 2018 Bard College

The Unwilling Spectator: How Secondary Exposure To Trauma Through Journalism Affects Our Emotional Processing, Chanya Riddick

Senior Projects Spring 2018

Police-brutality, especially directed towards black people, has been a hot-button issue in the media for the past few years. With the constant exposure to the death and brutalization of black bodies, however, some people, especially black people, have reported experiencing emotional defects as a result of these reports. The current study aims to see how exposure to police-brutality related journalism affects implicit emotional processes, such as approach-avoidance motivations. More specifically, the current study seeks to see if the race of the person whom police-brutality is directed towards in these journalistic reports further influences these effects. From a college-aged population, black ...


The Modulatory Effect Of Expectations On Memory Retrieval During Sentence Comprehension, Luca Campanelli, Julie A. Van Dyke, Klara Marton 2018 The Graduate Center, CUNY

The Modulatory Effect Of Expectations On Memory Retrieval During Sentence Comprehension, Luca Campanelli, Julie A. Van Dyke, Klara Marton

Publications and Research

Memory retrieval and probabilistic expectations are recognized factors in sentence comprehension that capture two different critical aspects of processing difficulty: the cost of retrieving and integrating previously processed elements with the new input words and the cost of incorrect predictions about upcoming words or structures in a sentence. Although these two factors have independently received substantial support from the extant literature, how they interact remains poorly understood. The present study investigated memory retrieval and expectation in a single experiment, pitting these factors against each other. Results showed a significant interference effect in both response time to the comprehension questions and ...


Detecting Language Impairments In Autism: A Computational Analysis Of Semi-Structured Conversations With Vector Semantics, Adam Goodkind, Michelle Lee, Gary E. Martin, Molly Losh, Klinton Bicknell 2018 Northwestern University

Detecting Language Impairments In Autism: A Computational Analysis Of Semi-Structured Conversations With Vector Semantics, Adam Goodkind, Michelle Lee, Gary E. Martin, Molly Losh, Klinton Bicknell

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

Many of the most significant impairments faced by individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) relate to pragmatic (i.e. social) language. There is also evidence that pragmatic language differences may map to ASD-related genes. Therefore, quantifying the social-linguistic features of ASD has the potential to both improve clinical treatment and help identify gene-behavior relationships in ASD. Here, we apply vector semantics to transcripts of semi-structured interactions with children with both idiopathic and syndromic ASD. We find that children with ASD are less semantically similar to a gold standard derived from typically developing participants, and are more semantically variable. We show ...


Explicit Discourse Connectives / Implicit Discourse Relations, Bonnie Webber, Hannah Rohde, Anna Dickinson, Annie Louis, Nathan Schneider 2018 University of Edinburgh

Explicit Discourse Connectives / Implicit Discourse Relations, Bonnie Webber, Hannah Rohde, Anna Dickinson, Annie Louis, Nathan Schneider

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

While explicit discourse connectives can signal coherence relations, a common assumption is that only their absence or ambiguity necessitates relation inference. Using a crowdsourced conjunction completion task to collect 40K+ judgments on 50 discourse adverbials, we find this common assumption to be false. Instead, naive subjects systematically infer an implicit connective alongside an explicit discourse adverbial. But sometimes different subsets of subjects may each endorse different connectives. The size of these subsets means that such differences cannot be written off as error. Rather, they demonstrate how the coherence associated with explicit adverbials relates to coherence inferred between the clauses themselves.


The Way You Make Me Feel: Semantic Response Behavior Following A Status Prime In The Context Of Romantic Relationships, Robert James Konefal 2018 Bard College

The Way You Make Me Feel: Semantic Response Behavior Following A Status Prime In The Context Of Romantic Relationships, Robert James Konefal

Senior Projects Spring 2018

Intimate Partner Violence is a potential result of an imbalance within a romantic relationship that comes with grave consequences. Often, abusers find that their higher status position assists them in their ability to harm someone with a lower status position, which thereby leading to higher likelihood of aggression. It is currently unknown whether or not people who verbalize this status imbalance through semantic choice will have a higher likelihood of aggressing. The power of suggestion is a strong phenomenon. Not only can semantics be used in priming to affect various types of behavior such as emotional responses (Hansen & Shantz, 1995 ...


Differentiating Phrase Structure Parsing And Memory Retrieval In The Brain, Shohini Bhattasali, John Hale, Christophe Pallier, Jonathan Brennan, Wen-Ming Luh, R. Nathan Spreng 2018 Cornell University

Differentiating Phrase Structure Parsing And Memory Retrieval In The Brain, Shohini Bhattasali, John Hale, Christophe Pallier, Jonathan Brennan, Wen-Ming Luh, R. Nathan Spreng

Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics

On some level, human sentence comprehension must involve both memory retrieval and structural composition. This study differentiates these two processes using neuroimaging data collected during naturalistic listening. Retrieval is formalized in terms of "multiword expressions" while structure-building is formalized in terms of bottom-up parsing. The results most strongly implicate Anterior Temporal regions for structure-building and Precuneus Cortex for memory retrieval.


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