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Masako Hirotani, J Michael Terry, Norihiro Sadato
Prosody plays an important role in online sentence processing both explicitly and implicitly. It has been shown that prosodically packaging together parts of a sentence that are interpreted together facilitates processing of the sentence. This applies not only to explicit prosody but also implicit prosody. The present work hypothesizes that a line break in a written text induces an implicit prosodic break, which, in turn, should result in a processing bias for interpreting English wh-questions. Two experiments-one self-paced reading study and one questionnaire study-are reported...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Argyro Katsika
This study aims at examining and accounting for the scope of the temporal effect of phrase boundaries. Previous research has indicated that there is an interaction between boundary-related lengthening and prominence such that the former extends towards the nearby prominent syllable. However, it is unclear whether this interaction is due to lexical stress and/or phrasal prominence (marked by pitch accent) and how far towards the prominent syllable the effect extends. Here, we use an electromagnetic articulography (EMA) study of Greek to examine the scope of boundary-related lengthening as a function of lexical stress and pitch accent separately...
March 2016: Journal of Phonetics
Ashley de Marchena, Judith Miller
Many individuals with ASD have a distinctive behavioral presentation that is recognizable within moments, a phenomenon we call "frank" ASD. This phenomenon has been discussed informally for decades, perhaps as "classic" ASD; however, there is no unitary "classic" presentation, and classic autism does not seem to correspond to level of functioning. Thus, neither "frank" nor "classic" autism has been delineated or studied as a research construct. To initiate the empirical study of frank ASD, we surveyed 151 clinicians, from a range of disciplines that diagnose ASD, about this phenomenon...
October 21, 2016: Autism Research: Official Journal of the International Society for Autism Research
Esther Heinen, Peter Birkholz, Klaus Willmes, Christiane Neuschaefer-Rube
PURPOSE: To explore possible effects of tongue piercing on perceived speech quality. METHODS: Using a quasi-experimental design, we analyzed the effect of tongue piercing on speech in a perception experiment. Samples of spontaneous speech and read speech were recorded from 20 long-term pierced and 20 non-pierced individuals (10 males, 10 females each). The individuals having a tongue piercing were recorded with attached and removed piercing. The audio samples were blindly rated by 26 female and 20 male laypersons and by 5 female speech-language pathologists with regard to perceived speech quality along 5 dimensions: speech clarity, speech rate, prosody, rhythm and fluency...
October 18, 2016: Logopedics, Phoniatrics, Vocology
Delphine Raucher-Chéné, Amélie M Achim, Arthur Kaladjian, Chrystel Besche-Richard
BACKGROUND: One of the main features of bipolar disorder (BD), besides mood dysregulation, is an alteration of the structure of language. Bipolar patients present changes in semantic contents, impaired verbal associations, abnormal prosody and abnormal speed of language highlighted with various experimental tasks. Verbal fluency tasks are widely used to assess the abilities of bipolar patients to retrieve and produce verbal material from the lexico-semantic memory. Studies using these tasks have however yielded discrepant results...
October 5, 2016: Journal of Affective Disorders
Jacqueline Laures-Gore, Scott Russell, Rupal Patel, Michael Frankel
BACKGROUND/AIMS: This paper describes the design and collection of a comprehensive spoken language dataset from speakers with motor speech disorders in Atlanta, Ga., USA. This collaborative project aimed to gather a spoken database consisting of nonmainstream American English speakers residing in the Southeastern US in order to provide a more diverse perspective of motor speech disorders. METHODS: Ninety-nine adults with an acquired neurogenic disorder resulting in a motor speech disorder were recruited...
October 14, 2016: Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica
Piera Filippi
Across a wide range of animal taxa, prosodic modulation of the voice can express emotional information and is used to coordinate vocal interactions between multiple individuals. Within a comparative approach to animal communication systems, I hypothesize that the ability for emotional and interactional prosody (EIP) paved the way for the evolution of linguistic prosody - and perhaps also of music, continuing to play a vital role in the acquisition of language. In support of this hypothesis, I review three research fields: (i) empirical studies on the adaptive value of EIP in non-human primates, mammals, songbirds, anurans, and insects; (ii) the beneficial effects of EIP in scaffolding language learning and social development in human infants; (iii) the cognitive relationship between linguistic prosody and the ability for music, which has often been identified as the evolutionary precursor of language...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Julia Merrill, Marc Bangert, Daniela Sammler, Angela D Friederici
Song and speech represent two auditory categories the brain usually classifies fairly easily. Functionally, this classification ability may depend to a great extent on characteristic features of pitch patterns present in song melody and speech prosody. Anatomically, the temporal lobe (TL) has been discussed as playing a prominent role in the processing of both. Here we tested individuals with congenital amusia and patients with unilateral left and right TL lesions in their ability to categorize song and speech...
October 11, 2016: Neurocase
César F Lima, Olivia Brancatisano, Amy Fancourt, Daniel Müllensiefen, Sophie K Scott, Jason D Warren, Lauren Stewart
Some individuals show a congenital deficit for music processing despite normal peripheral auditory processing, cognitive functioning, and music exposure. This condition, termed congenital amusia, is typically approached regarding its profile of musical and pitch difficulties. Here, we examine whether amusia also affects socio-emotional processing, probing auditory and visual domains. Thirteen adults with amusia and 11 controls completed two experiments. In Experiment 1, participants judged emotions in emotional speech prosody, nonverbal vocalizations (e...
October 11, 2016: Scientific Reports
John E Drury, Shari R Baum, Hope Valeriote, Karsten Steinhauer
This study presents the first two ERP reading studies of comma-induced effects of covert (implicit) prosody on syntactic parsing decisions in English. The first experiment used a balanced 2 × 2 design in which the presence/absence of commas determined plausibility (e.g., John, said Mary, was the nicest boy at the party vs. John said Mary was the nicest boy at the party). The second reading experiment replicated a previous auditory study investigating the role of overt prosodic boundaries in closure ambiguities (Pauker et al...
2016: Frontiers in Psychology
Beth Fairfield, Alberto Di Domenico, Sonia Serricchio, Erika Borella, Nicola Mammarella
Prosody, or the way things are said, can modify the meaning of utterances making qualitatively different affective prosodies useful for understanding how auditory affective information is processed and remembered. In this study, we collected behavioral data from 225 younger (M age = 20.8 years, SD = 2.5 years; 119 males) and 225 older adults (M age = 71.6 years, SD = 6.5 years; 119 males) in order to examine age differences in emotional prosody effects on verbal memory. Participants were randomly divided into three subgroups according to different prosody listening conditions (positive, negative, and neutral) and prosody effects on a yes-no recognition memory task were investigated...
August 10, 2016: Neuropsychology, Development, and Cognition. Section B, Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition
Nathalie J Veenendaal, Margriet A Groen, Ludo Verhoeven
The purpose of this study was to examine the directionality of the relationship between text reading prosody and reading comprehension in the upper grades of primary school. We compared three theoretical possibilities: Two unidirectional relations from text reading prosody to reading comprehension and from reading comprehension to text reading prosody and a bidirectional relation between text reading prosody and reading comprehension. Further, we controlled for autoregressive effects and included decoding efficiency as a measure of general reading skill...
2016: Scientific Studies of Reading: the Official Journal of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading
Juan M Toro, Marisa Hoeschele
Prosody, a salient aspect of speech that includes rhythm and intonation, has been shown to help infants acquire some aspects of syntax. Recent studies have shown that birds of two vocal learning species are able to categorize human speech stimuli based on prosody. In the current study, we found that the non-vocal learning rat could also discriminate human speech stimuli based on prosody. Not only that, but rats were able to generalize to novel stimuli they had not been trained with, which suggests that they had not simply memorized the properties of individual stimuli, but learned a prosodic rule...
September 22, 2016: Animal Cognition
Doerte Simon, Michael Becker, Martin Mothes-Lasch, Wolfgang H R Miltner, Thomas Straube
Angry expressions of both voices and faces represent disorder-relevant stimuli in SAD. While individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD) show greater amygdala activation to angry faces, previous work has failed to find comparable effects for angry voices. Here, we investigated whether voice sound-intensity, a modulator of a voice's threat-relevance, affects brain responses to angry prosody in SAD. We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore brain responses to voices varying in sound intensity and emotional prosody in SAD patients and healthy controls (HC)...
September 20, 2016: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Ioanna Zioga, Caroline Di Bernardi Luft, Joydeep Bhattacharya
Current research on music processing and syntax or semantics in language suggests that music and language share partially overlapping neural resources. Pitch also constitutes a common denominator, forming melody in music and prosody in language. Further, pitch perception is modulated by musical training. The present study investigated how music and language interact on pitch dimension and whether musical training plays a role in this interaction. For this purpose, we used melodies ending on an expected or unexpected note (melodic expectancy being estimated by a computational model) paired with prosodic utterances which were either expected (statements with falling pitch) or relatively unexpected (questions with rising pitch)...
November 1, 2016: Brain Research
Robert Harris, Klaus L Leenders, Bauke M de Jong
Parkinson's disease is characterized not only by bradykinesia, rigidity, and tremor, but also by impairments of expressive and receptive linguistic prosody. The facilitating effect of music with a salient beat on patients' gait suggests that it might have a similar effect on vocal behavior, however it is currently unknown whether singing is affected by the disease. In the present study, fifteen Parkinson patients were compared with fifteen healthy controls during the singing of familiar melodies and improvised melodic continuations...
September 9, 2016: Brain and Language
Annick Razafimandimby, Pierre-Yves Hervé, Vincent Marzloff, Perrine Brazo, Nathalie Tzourio-Mazoyer, Sonia Dollfus
BACKGROUND: Functional brain imaging research has already demonstrated that patients with schizophrenia had difficulties with emotion processing, namely in facial emotion perception and emotional prosody. However, the moderating effect of social context and the boundary of perceptual categories of emotion attribution remain unclear. This study investigated the neural bases of emotional sentence attribution in schizophrenia. METHODS: Twenty-one schizophrenia patients and 25 healthy subjects underwent an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging paradigm including two tasks: one to classify sentences according to their emotional content, and the other to classify neutral sentences according to their grammatical person...
September 6, 2016: Schizophrenia Research
Jing Zhang, Zhongde Pan, Chao Gui, Jie Zhu, Donghong Cui
BACKGROUND: A new area of interest in the search for biomarkers for schizophrenia is the study of the acoustic parameters of speech called 'speech signal features'. Several of these features have been shown to be related to emotional responsiveness, a characteristic that is notably restricted in patients with schizophrenia, particularly those with prominent negative symptoms. AIM: Assess the relationship of selected acoustic parameters of speech to the severity of clinical symptoms in patients with chronic schizophrenia and compare these characteristics between patients and matched healthy controls...
April 25, 2016: Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry
Nawal Abboub, Thierry Nazzi, Judit Gervain
Experience with spoken language starts prenatally, as hearing becomes operational during the second half of gestation. While maternal tissues filter out many aspects of speech, they readily transmit speech prosody and rhythm. These properties of the speech signal then play a central role in early language acquisition. In this study, we ask how the newborn brain uses variation in duration, pitch and intensity (the three acoustic cues that carry prosodic information in speech) to group sounds. In four near-infrared spectroscopy studies (NIRS), we demonstrate that perceptual biases governing how sound sequences are perceived and organized are present in newborns from monolingual and bilingual language backgrounds...
August 24, 2016: Brain and Language
Lars Meyer, Molly J Henry, Phoebe Gaston, Noura Schmuck, Angela D Friederici
Language comprehension requires that single words be grouped into syntactic phrases, as words in sentences are too many to memorize individually. In speech, acoustic and syntactic grouping patterns mostly align. However, when ambiguous sentences allow for alternative grouping patterns, comprehenders may form phrases that contradict speech prosody. While delta-band oscillations are known to track prosody, we hypothesized that linguistic grouping bias can modulate the interpretational impact of speech prosody in ambiguous situations, which should surface in delta-band oscillations when grouping patterns chosen by comprehenders differ from those indicated by prosody...
August 27, 2016: Cerebral Cortex
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