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Journal of Memory and Language

Tamar H Gollan, Matthew Goldrick
The current study investigated the roles of grammaticality and executive control on bilingual language selection by examining production speed and failures of language control, or intrusion errors (e.g., saying el instead of the), in young and aging bilinguals. Production of mixed-language connected speech was elicited by asking Spanish-English bilinguals to read aloud paragraphs that had mostly grammatical (conforming to naturally occurring constraints) or mostly ungrammatical (haphazard mixing) language switches, and low or high switching rate...
October 2016: Journal of Memory and Language
Viridiana L Benitez, Daniel Yurovsky, Linda B Smith
Three experiments investigated competition between word-object pairings in a cross-situational word-learning paradigm. Adults were presented with One-Word pairings, where a single word labeled a single object, and Two-Word pairings, where two words labeled a single object. In addition to measuring learning of these two pairing types, we measured competition between words that refer to the same object. When the word-object co-occurrences were presented intermixed in training (Experiment 1), we found evidence for direct competition between words that label the same referent...
October 2016: Journal of Memory and Language
Kevin D Roon, Adamantios I Gafos
We offer a dynamical model of phonological planning that provides a formal instantiation of how the speech production and perception systems interact during online processing. The model is developed on the basis of evidence from an experimental task that requires concurrent use of both systems, the so-called response-distractor task in which speakers hear distractor syllables while they are preparing to produce required responses. The model formalizes how ongoing response planning is affected by perception and accounts for a range of results reported across previous studies...
August 2016: Journal of Memory and Language
Melinda Fricke, Judith F Kroll, Paola E Dussias
We exploit the unique phonetic properties of bilingual speech to ask how processes occurring during planning affect speech articulation, and whether listeners can use the phonetic modulations that occur in anticipation of a codeswitch to help restrict their lexical search to the appropriate language. An analysis of spontaneous bilingual codeswitching in the Bangor Miami Corpus (Deuchar et al., 2014) reveals that in anticipation of switching languages, Spanish-English bilinguals produce slowed speech rate and cross-language phonological influence on consonant voice onset time...
August 2016: Journal of Memory and Language
Esteban Buz, Michael K Tanenhaus, T Florian Jaeger
We ask whether speakers can adapt their productions when feedback from their interlocutors suggests that previous productions were perceptually confusable. To address this question, we use a novel web-based task-oriented paradigm for speech recording, in which participants produce instructions towards a (simulated) partner with naturalistic response times. We manipulate (1) whether a target word with a voiceless plosive (e.g., pill) occurs in the presence of a voiced competitor (bill) or an unrelated word (food) and (2) whether or not the simulated partner occasionally misunderstands the target word...
August 2016: Journal of Memory and Language
Sudha Arunachalam
This paper introduces a new experimental paradigm for studying children's real-time language processing of their parents' unscripted speech. Focusing on children's processing of referential expressions, or the phrases that parents used to label particular objects, we engaged dyads in a game in which parents labeled one of several objects displayed on a screen, and the child was to quickly identify it as their eye gaze was tracked. There were two conditions; one included a competitor object (e.g., the target was a striped umbrella and the display also included an umbrella with polka dots), while the other one did not (e...
June 1, 2016: Journal of Memory and Language
Ilker Yildirim, Judith Degen, Michael K Tanenhaus, T Florian Jaeger
Linguistic meaning has long been recognized to be highly context-dependent. Quantifiers like many and some provide a particularly clear example of context-dependence. For example, the interpretation of quantifiers requires listeners to determine the relevant domain and scale. We focus on another type of context-dependence that quantifiers share with other lexical items: talker variability. Different talkers might use quantifiers with different interpretations in mind. We used a web-based crowdsourcing paradigm to study participants' expectations about the use of many and some based on recent exposure...
April 1, 2016: Journal of Memory and Language
Tanja Roembke, Bob McMurray
Learning new words is difficult. In any naming situation, there are multiple possible interpretations of a novel word. Recent approaches suggest that learners may solve this problem by tracking co-occurrence statistics between words and referents across multiple naming situations (e.g. Yu & Smith, 2007), overcoming the ambiguity in any one situation. Yet, there remains debate around the underlying mechanisms. We conducted two experiments in which learners acquired eight word-object mappings using cross-situational statistics while eye-movements were tracked...
April 1, 2016: Journal of Memory and Language
Charles Clifton, Lyn Frazier
Mini-discourses like (ia) seem slightly odd compared to their counterparts containing a conjunction (ib). (i) a. Speaker A: John or Bill left. Speaker B: Sam did too. b. Speaker A: John and Bill left. Speaker B: Sam did too. One possibility is that or in Speaker A's utterance in (ia) raises the potential Question Under Discussion (QUD) whether it was John or Bill who left and Speaker B's reply fails to address this QUD. A different possibility is that the epistemic state of the speaker of (ia) is somewhat unlikely or uneven: the speaker knows that someone left, and that it was John or Bill, but doesn't know which one...
January 1, 2016: Journal of Memory and Language
C J Brainerd, Zheng Wang, Valerie F Reyna, K Nakamura
Fuzzy-trace theory's assumptions about memory representation are cognitive examples of the familiar superposition property of physical quantum systems. When those assumptions are implemented in a formal quantum model (QEMc), they predict that episodic memory will violate the additive law of probability: If memory is tested for a partition of an item's possible episodic states, the individual probabilities of remembering the item as belonging to each state must sum to more than 1. We detected this phenomenon using two standard designs, item false memory and source false memory...
October 1, 2015: Journal of Memory and Language
Tuan Q Lam, Viorica Marian
In natural conversation, speakers often mention the same referents multiple times. While referents that have been previously mentioned are produced with less prominence than those that have not been mentioned, it is unclear whether prominence reduction is due to repetition of concepts, words, or a combination of the two. In the current study, we dissociate these sources of repetition by examining bilingual speakers, who have more than one word for the same concept across their two languages. Three groups of Korean-English bilinguals (balanced, English-dominant, and Korean-dominant) performed an event description task involving repetition of referents within a single language (i...
October 1, 2015: Journal of Memory and Language
Cassandra L Jacobs, Loretta K Yiu, Duane G Watson, Gary S Dell
Acoustic reduction for repeated words could be the result of articulation and motor practice (Lam & Watson, 2014), facilitated production (Kahn & Arnold, 2015; Gahl et al., 2012), or audience design and shared common ground (Galati & Brennan, 2010). We sought to narrow down what kind of facilitation leads to repetition reduction. Repetition could, in principle, facilitate production on a conceptual, lexical, phonological, articulatory, or acoustic level (Kahn & Arnold, 2015). We compared the durations of the second utterance of a target word when the initial production was aloud or silent...
October 1, 2015: Journal of Memory and Language
Elizabeth R Schotter, Michelle Lee, Michael Reiderman, Keith Rayner
Semantic preview benefit in reading is an elusive and controversial effect because empirical studies do not always (but sometimes) find evidence for it. Its presence seems to depend on (at least) the language being read, visual properties of the text (e.g., initial letter capitalization), the type of relationship between preview and target, and as shown here, semantic constraint generated by the prior sentence context. Schotter (2013) reported semantic preview benefit for synonyms, but not semantic associates when the preview/target was embedded in a neutral sentence context...
August 1, 2015: Journal of Memory and Language
Neal P Fox, Megan Reilly, Sheila E Blumstein
Two experiments examined the influence of phonologically similar neighbors on articulation of words' initial stop consonants in order to investigate the conditions under which lexically-conditioned phonetic variation arises. In Experiment 1, participants produced words in isolation. Results showed that the voice-onset time (VOT) of a target's initial voiceless stop was predicted by its overall neighborhood density, but not by its having a voicing minimal pair. In Experiment 2, participants read aloud the same targets after semantically predictive sentence contexts and after neutral sentence contexts...
August 1, 2015: Journal of Memory and Language
Laura J Batterink, Paul J Reber, Helen J Neville, Ken A Paller
Statistical learning allows learners to detect regularities in the environment and appears to emerge automatically as a consequence of experience. Statistical learning paradigms bear many similarities to those of artificial grammar learning and other types of implicit learning. However, whether learning effects in statistical learning tasks are driven by implicit knowledge has not been thoroughly examined. The present study addressed this gap by examining the role of implicit and explicit knowledge within the context of a typical auditory statistical learning paradigm...
August 1, 2015: Journal of Memory and Language
Thomas P Urbach, Katherine A DeLong, Marta Kutas
Language interpretation is often assumed to be incremental. However, our studies of quantifier expressions in isolated sentences found N400 event-related brain potential (ERP) evidence for partial but not full immediate quantifier interpretation (Urbach & Kutas, 2010). Here we tested similar quantifier expressions in pragmatically supporting discourse contexts (Alex was an unusual toddler. Most/Few kids prefer sweets/vegetables…) while participants made plausibility judgments (Experiment 1) or read for comprehension (Experiment 2)...
August 1, 2015: Journal of Memory and Language
Ben D Amsel, Katherine A DeLong, Marta Kutas
Recent research has shown that language comprehension is guided by knowledge about the organization of objects and events in long-term memory. We use event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to determine the extent to which perceptuomotor object knowledge and event knowledge are immediately activated during incremental language processing. Event-related but anomalous sentence continuations preceded by single-sentence event descriptions elicited reduced N400s, despite their poor fit within local sentence contexts...
July 1, 2015: Journal of Memory and Language
David W Gow, Bruna B Olson
Phonotactic frequency effects play a crucial role in a number of debates over language processing and representation. It is unclear however, whether these effects reflect prelexical sensitivity to phonotactic frequency, or lexical "gang effects" in speech perception. In this paper, we use Granger causality analysis of MR-constrained MEG/EEG data to understand how phonotactic frequency influences neural processing dynamics during auditory lexical decision. Effective connectivity analysis showed weaker feedforward influence from brain regions involved in acoustic-phonetic processing (superior temporal gyrus) to lexical areas (supramarginal gyrus) for high phonotactic frequency words, but stronger top-down lexical influence for the same items...
July 1, 2015: Journal of Memory and Language
Kara Hawthorne, Reiko Mazuka, LouAnn Gerken
There is mounting evidence that prosody facilitates grouping the speech stream into syntactically-relevant units (e.g., Hawthorne & Gerken, 2014; Soderstrom, Kemler Nelson, & Jusczyk, 2005). We ask whether prosody's role in syntax acquisition relates to its general acoustic salience or to the learner's acquired knowledge of correlations between prosody and syntax in her native language. English- and Japanese-acquiring 19-month-olds listened to sentences from an artificial grammar with non-native prosody (Japanese or English, respectively), then were tested on their ability to recognize prosodically-marked constituents when the constituents had moved to a new position in the sentence...
July 1, 2015: Journal of Memory and Language
Noam Siegelman, Ram Frost
Although the power of statistical learning (SL) in explaining a wide range of linguistic functions is gaining increasing support, relatively little research has focused on this theoretical construct from the perspective of individual differences. However, to be able to reliably link individual differences in a given ability such as language learning to individual differences in SL, three critical theoretical questions should be posed: Is SL a componential or unified ability? Is it nested within other general cognitive abilities? Is it a stable capacity of an individual? Following an initial mapping sentence outlining the possible dimensions of SL, we employed a battery of SL tasks in the visual and auditory modalities, using verbal and non-verbal stimuli, with adjacent and non-adjacent contingencies...
May 1, 2015: Journal of Memory and Language
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