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Phonological and phonetic competence: between grammar, signal processing, and neural activity

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198092 Year: Pages: 160 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-809-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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The present collection of articles brings together experimental work in the field of segmental and prosodic processing and representation in phonology and phonetics. Contributions focus on the exploration of human cognitive, articulatory, and perceptual abilities dealing with all types of phonetic and phonological entities. Main topics of investigation include: (1) sounds and sound-changing processes—systemic and functional aspects, (2) prosodic units such as syllables and metrical feet—systemic properties, processing, and phonetic consequences, and (3) tones as building blocks of the sentence melody—their relation to the level of linguistic expressions on the one hand, their phonetic realization (e.g., tonal height and contours) and perception on the other hand. In addition, topics (1) and (2) extend to the question how phonological representations are stored in the mental lexicon: specified minimally in terms of categorical phonological information or as variable phonetic imprint of the exemplars in the input. Diagonally to these thematic domains, the present Research Topic shows a strong focus on up-to-date experimental approaches, going far beyond traditional linguistic analysis, and making use of psycho- and neurolinguistic methodologies.

The naïve language expert: How infants discover units and regularities in speech

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193295 Year: Pages: 156 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-329-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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The advent of behavior-independent measures of cognition and major progress in experimental designs have led to substantial advances in the investigation of infant language learning mechanisms. Research in the last two decades has shown that infants are very efficient users of perceptual and statistical cues in order to extract linguistic units and regular patterns from the speech input. This has lent support for learning-based accounts of language acquisition that challenge traditional nativist views. Still, there are many open questions with respect to when and how specific patterns can be learned and the relevance of different types of input cues. For example, first steps have been made to identify the neural mechanisms supporting on-line extraction of words and statistical regularities from speech. Here, the temporal cortex seems to be a major player. How this region works in concert with other brain areas in order to detect and store new linguistic units is a question of broad interest. In this Research Topic of Frontiers in Language Sciences, we bring together experimental and review papers across linguistic domains, ranging from phonology to syntax that address on-line language learning in infancy. Specifically, we focused on papers that explore one of the following or related questions: How and when do infants start to segment linguistic units from the speech input and discover the regularities according to which they are related to each other? What is the role of different linguistic cues during these acquisition stages and how do different kinds of information interact? How are these processes reflected in children’s behavior, how are they represented in the brain and how do they unfold in time? What are the characteristics of the acquired representations as they are established, consolidated and stored in long-term memory?By bringing together behavioral and neurophysiological evidence on language learning mechanisms, we aim to contribute to a more complete picture of the expeditious and highly efficient early stages of language acquisition and their neural implementation.

Expression of emotion in music and vocal communication

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192632 Year: Pages: 294 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-263-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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Two of the most important social skills in humans are the ability to determine the moods of those around us, and to use this to guide our behavior. To accomplish this, we make use of numerous cues. Among the most important are vocal cues from both speech and non-speech sounds. Music is also a reliable method for communicating emotion. It is often present in social situations and can serve to unify a group's mood for ceremonial purposes (funerals, weddings) or general social interactions. Scientists and philosophers have speculated on the origins of music and language, and the possible common bases of emotional expression through music, speech and other vocalizations. They have found increasing evidence of commonalities among them. However, the domains in which researchers investigate these topics do not always overlap or share a common language, so communication between disciplines has been limited. The aim of this Research Topic is to bring together research across multiple disciplines related to the production and perception of emotional cues in music, speech, and non-verbal vocalizations. This includes natural sounds produced by human and non-human primates as well as synthesized sounds. Research methodology includes survey, behavioral, and neuroimaging techniques investigating adults as well as developmental populations, including those with atypical development. Studies using laboratory tasks as well as studies in more naturalistic settings are included.

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