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  • 1.
    Gerholm, Tove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Nods, headshakeas and the perception of multimodal constructions in child language2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Within gesture studies, gesture and speech is often conceived of as a single communicative system. This means that human production of gestures are temporally and semantically synchronized with the concurrent verbal phrase, or vice versa. These multimodal clusters are described as constructions where the modalities add different but interrelated content to a common semantic whole, an Utterance (e.g. Goldin-Meadow, 2009, 2011; Kendon, 2004; Murillo & Belinchón, 2012). While this appears to be true for a large amount of gesture types – in particular those who fall under the heading Co-speech Gestures (i.e. gesture that by definition co-occur with a spoken utterance) – there are other gestures that are less explored as to their relation to speech and multimodal meaning. Among these other gestures we find emblems, a vaguely defined group of gestures that are often claimed to carry a semantic meaning on their own, regardless of (optional) concurrent verbalizations (McNeill, 1992). The present study investigated two emblematic gesture forms – nods and headshakes – and their appearance and use in a longitudinal, naturalistic material of child-child and child-adult interaction. The data consists of 11 Swedish children in the ages 0;9 to 5;10 years of age, recorded during a period of 2 ½ years as they interacted with siblings, parents, and friends in their home environment. In all, 22 hours of video recordings were transcribed and analyzed. From the data we could conclude two main factors: i) even emblems appear to be largely speech dependent for their interpretation; and ii) nods and headshakes appear to follow different developmental trajectories and behave rather differently throughout the ages studied. These findings will be discussed in relation to language development in general and to the perceptive system of humans in particular.

  • 2.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The neurophysiological correlate to grammatical function reanalysis in Swedish2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Language comprehension is assumed to proceed incrementally, and comprehenders commit to initial interpretations even in the absence of unambiguous information (e.g., Crocker 1994; Hawkins 2007). Initial ambiguous object arguments are therefore preferably interpreted as subjects, an interpretation that needs to be revised towards an object initial interpretation once the disambiguating information is encountered (e.g, de Vincenzi 1991; Haupt, Schlesewsky, Roehm, Friederici, & Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, 2008). Most accounts of such grammatical function reanalyses (Haupt et al. 2008) assume that they involve phrase structure revisions, and do not differ from other syntactic reanalyses. A number of studies using measurements of event-related brain potentials (ERP:s) provide evidence for this view by showing that both reanalysis types engender similar neurophysiological responses (e.g., P600 effects) (e.g., Bornkessel, McElree, Schlesewsky, & Friederici, 2004; Friederici & Mecklinger, 1996; Matzke, Mai, Nager, Russeler, Munte, 2002). Others have claimed that grammatical function reanalyses rather involves revisions of the mapping of thematic roles to argument NP:s (Bornkessel & Schlesewsky, 2006; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky & Schlesewsky, 2009a, 2009b; Haupt et al., 2008). In line with this, it has been shown that grammatical function reanalysis during spoken language comprehension engender a N400 effect (Haupt et al., 2008), an effect which has been shown to correlate with general problems in the mapping of thematic roles to argument NP:s in a number of languages (see Bornkessel-Schlesewsky & Schlesewsky, 2009b for a review).

    This poster presents a study which investigated the ERP correlate to grammatical function reanalysis in Swedish. Post-verbal NP:s that disambiguated the interpretation of object-topicalized sentences towards an object-initial reading engendered a N400 effect with a local, left-parietal distribution. This ―reanalysis N400‖ effect provides further support for the view that grammatical function reanalysis is functionally distinct from syntactic reanalyses and rather involves a revision of the mapping of thematic roles to the sentence arguments.

  • 3.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Jaeger, T. Florian
    Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester.
    Deriving argument ordering biases from expectation-based processing2017In: Cognitive explanations in linguistic typology: Contemporary insights from language processing and language acquisition, 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Vejdemo, Susanne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Sahlgren, Magnus
    "Hot and cold — universal or language-specific"?2012Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Veselinova, Ljuba
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Applying the Negative Existential Cycle on the Uralic Language Family2012Conference paper (Refereed)
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