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Formational Units in Sign Languages

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Book Series: Sign Language Typology [SLT] ISSN: 2192-5186 ISBN: 9781614510680 Year: Volume: 3 Pages: 352 Language: English
Publisher: De Gruyter
Subject: Linguistics
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-14 18:42:56
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Sign languages and spoken languages have many fascinating differences, caused primarily by the reaction of the human mind to different modalities, but also by some important social differences. This book examines the effects of these and other differences on sign language phonology and phonetics using observation, experimentation and theory. Languages examined include Asian, Middle Eastern, European and American sign languages, and language situations include home signers and small village signers, children, gesturers, adult signers and non-native signers.

Acoustics of the Vowel - Preliminaries

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ISBN: 9783034320313 Year: Pages: 296 Language: English
Publisher: Peter Lang International Academic Publishing Group Grant: Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) - OAPEN-CH - 163510
Subject: Linguistics
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-08 11:01:17
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It seems as if the fundamentals of how we produce vowels and how they are acoustically represented have been clarified: we phonate and articulate. Using our vocal chords, we produce a vocal sound or noise which is then shaped into a specific vowel sound by the resonances of the pharyngeal, oral, and nasal cavities, that is, the vocal tract. Accordingly, the acoustic description of vowels relates to vowel-specific patterns of relative energy maxima in the sound spectra, known as patterns of formants. The intellectual and empirical reasoning presented in this treatise, however, gives rise to scepticism with respect to this understanding of the sound of the vowel. The reflections and materials presented provide reason to argue that, up to now, a comprehensible theory of the acoustics of the voice and of voiced speech sounds is lacking, and consequently, no satisfying understanding of vowels as an achievement and particular formal accomplishment of the voice exists. Thus, the question of the acoustics of the vowel—and with it the question of the acoustics of the voice itself—proves to be an unresolved fundamental problem.

Keywords

acoustics --- phonetics --- phonology --- vowel --- language

Oscillatory "Temporal Sampling" and Developmental Dyslexia: Towards an Over-Arching Theoretical Framework

Authors: --- --- ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194391 Year: Pages: 155 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Children with developmental dyslexia fail to acquire efficient reading and spelling skills despite adequate tuition and an absence of overt sensory and/ or neural deficits. Learning to read and spell requires linguistic skills, auditory skills and visual skills. Oscillatory 'temporal sampling' theory links the development of sensory and linguistic processes. The auditory system 'samples' acoustic information at different temporal rates, which for speech processing suggests that temporal information encoded by delta, theta and gamma oscillations is bound together in the final speech percept. Temporal sampling theory proposed a possible deficit in dyslexia in auditory sampling of the speech signal at syllable-relevant rates (< 10 Hz, delta and theta). This would hypothetically affect prosodic development prior to reading and syllable-based parsing, which would affect efficient linguistic skills and consequently reading development across languages. The visual system also samples information in the visuo-spatial field. In theory atypical visual oscillatory sampling could therefore be related to some of the visual features of developmental dyslexia. In this special issue, we bring together visual and auditory sensory processing studies around the general theme of oscillatory temporal sampling. Contributors were encouraged to discuss their findings within a temporal sampling perspective. The resulting studies cover a wide range of sensory processes, with findings both supporting and contradicting the theory. It is also important to note that studies covered a wide range of languages, and that the behavioural manifestations of a sampling impairment may differ both with language and over the course of development. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see such diverse findings considered within a single theoretical framework, even if at the same time, it is apparent that an over-arching theoretical framework encompassing both visual and auditory deficits in dyslexia is yet to be achieved.

Understanding Developmental Dyslexia: Linking Perceptual and Cognitive Deficits to Reading Processes

Authors: --- ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198641 Year: Pages: 309 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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Understanding the mechanisms responsible for developmental dyslexia (DD) is a key challenge for researchers. A large literature, mostly concerned with learning to read in opaque orthographies, emphasizes phono-logical interpretations of the disturbance. Other approaches focused on the visual-per-ceptual aspects of orthographic coding. Recently, this perspective was supported by imaging data showing that individuals with DD have hypo-activation in occipito-temporal areas (a finding common to both transpar-ent and opaque orthographies). Nevertheless, it is difficult to infer causal relationships from activation data. Accommodating these findings within the cognitive architecture of reading processes is still an open issue. This is a general problem, which is present in much of the literature. For example, several studies investigating the perceptual and cognitive abilities that distinguish groups of children with and without DD failed to provide explicit links with the reading process. Thus, several areas of investigation (e.g., acoustic deficits or magnocellular deficiencies) have been plagued by replication failures. Furthermore, much research has neglected the possible contribution of comorbid symptoms. By contrast, it is now well established that developmental disorders present a large spectrum of homotopic and heterotopic co-morbidities that make causal interpretations problematic. This has led to the idea that the etiology of learning difficulties is multifactorial, thus challenging the traditional models of DD. Recent genetic studies provide information on the multiple risk factors that contribute to the genesis of the disturbance. Another critical issue in DD is that much of the research has been conducted in English-speaking individuals. However, English is a highly irregular orthography and doubts have been raised on the appropriateness of automatically extending interpretations based on English to other more regular orthographies. By contrast, important information can be gotten from systematic comparisons across languages. Thus, the distinction between regular and irregular orthographies is another potentially fruitful area of investigation. Overall, in spite of much research current interpretations seem unable to integrate all available findings. Some proposals focus on the cognitive description of the reading profile and explicitly ignore the distal causes of the disturbance. Others propose visual, acoustic or phonological mech-anisms but fail to link them to the pattern of reading impairment present in different children. The present Research Topic brings together studies based on different methodological approaches (i.e., behavioural studies examining cognitive and psycholinguistic factors, eye movement inves-tigations, biological markers, neuroimaging and genetic studies), involving dyslexic groups with and without comorbid symptoms, and in different orthographies (transparent and opaque) to identify the mechanisms underlying DD. The RT does not focus on a single model or theory of dyslexia but rather brings together different approaches and ideas which we feel are fruitful for a deeper understanding developmental dyslexia.

Is the Language Faculty Non Linguistic?

Authors: ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199143 Year: Pages: 123 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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A line of research in cognitive science over several decades has been dedicated to finding an innate, language-specific cognitive system, a faculty which allows human infants to acquire languages natively without formal instruction and within short periods of time. In recent years, this search has attracted significant controversy in cognitive science generally, and in the language sciences specifically. Some maintain that the search has had meaningful results, though there are different views as to what the findings are: ranging from the view that there is a rich and rather specific set of principles, to the idea that the contents of the language faculty are - while specifiable - in fact extremely minimal. But other researchers rigorously oppose the continuation of this search, arguing that decades of effort have turned up nothing. The fact remains that the proposal of a language-specific faculty was made for a good reason, namely as an attempt to solve the vexing puzzle of language in our species. Much work has been developing to address this, and specifically, to look for ways to characterize the language faculty as an emergent phenomenon; i.e., not as a dedicated, language-specific system, but as the emergent outcome of a set of uniquely human but not specifically linguistic factors, in combination. A number of theoretical and empirical approaches are being developed in order to account for the great puzzles of language - language processing, language usage, language acquisition, the nature of grammar, and language change and diversification. This research topic aims at reviewing and exploring these recent developments and establishing bridges between these young frameworks, as well as with the traditions that have come before. The goal of this Research Topic is to focus on current developments in what many regard as a paradigm shift in the language sciences. In this Research Topic, we want to ask: If current explicit proposals for an innate, dedicated faculty for language are not supported by data or arguments, how can we solve the problems that UG was proposed to solve? Is it possible to solve the puzzles of language in our species with an appeal to causes that are not specifically linguistic?

Prosodic detail in Neapolitan Italian

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ISBN: 9783944675015 Year: Pages: 187 Language: English
Publisher: Language Science Press
Subject: Linguistics --- Arts in general
Added to DOAB on : 2014-09-24 15:13:46
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Recent findings on phonetic detail have been taken as supporting exemplar-based approaches to prosody. Through four experiments on both produc tion and perception of both melodic and temporal detail in Neapolitan Italian, we show that prosodic detail is not incompatible with abstractionist approaches either. Specifically, we suggest that the exploration of prosodic detail leads to a refined understanding of the relationships between the richly specified and continuously varying phonetic information on one side, and coarse phonologically structured contrasts on the other, thus of fering insights on how pragmatic information is conveyed by prosody.

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

Authors: --- ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889198092 Year: Pages: 160 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

Authors: ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889193295 Year: Pages: 156 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.

Learning a non-native language in a naturalistic environment: Insights from behavioural and neuroimaging research

Authors: ---
Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196395 Year: Pages: 150 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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It is largely accepted in the relevant literature that successful learning of one or more non-native languages is affected by a number of factors that are independent of the target language(s) per se; these factors include the age of acquisition (AoA) of the target language(s), the type and amount of formal instruction the learners have received, as well as the amount of language use that the learners demonstrate. Recent experimental evidence suggests that one crucial factor for efficient native-like performance in the non-native language is the amount of naturalistic exposure, or immersion, that the learners receive to that language. This can be broadly defined as the degree to which language learners use their non-native language outside the classroom and for their day-to-day activities, and usually presupposes that the learners live in an environment where their non-native language is exclusively or mostly used. Existing literature has suggested that linguistic immersion can be beneficial for lexical and semantic acquisition in a non-native language, as well as for non-native morphological and syntactic processing. More recent evidence has also suggested that naturalistic learning of a non-native language can also have an impact on the patterns of brain activity underlying language processing, as well as on the structure of brain regions that are involved, expressed as changes in the grey matter structure. This Research Topic brings together studies on the effects of learning and speaking a non-native language in a naturalistic environment. These include more efficient or “native-like” processing in behavioural tasks tapping on language (lexicon, morphology, syntax), as well as changes in the brain structure and function, as revealed by neuroimaging studies.

A grammar of Palula

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Book Series: Studies in Diversity Linguistics ISBN: 9783946234319 9783946234326 9783946234333 Year: Pages: 493 Language: English
Publisher: Language Science Press
Subject: Linguistics
Added to DOAB on : 2017-04-16 00:08:15
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"This grammar provides a grammatical description of Palula, an Indo-Aryan language of the Shina group. The language is spoken by about 10,000 people in the Chitral district in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. This is the first extensive description of the formerly little-documented Palula language, and is one of only a few in-depth studies available for languages in the extremely multilingual Hindukush-Karakoram region. The grammar is based on original fieldwork data, collected over the course of about ten years, commencing in 1998. It is primarily in the form of recorded, mainly narrative, texts, but supplemented by targeted elicitation as well as notes of observed language use. All fieldwork was conducted in close collaboration with the Palula-speaking community, and a number of native speakers took active part in the process of data gathering, annotation and data management. The main areas covered are phonology, morphology and syntax, illustrated with a large number of example items and utterances, but also a few selected lexical topics of some prominence have received a more detailed treatment as part of the morphosyntactic structure. Suggestions for further research that should be undertaken are given throughout the grammar. The approach is theory-informed rather than theory-driven, but an underlying functional-typological framework is assumed. Diachronic development is taken into account, particularly in the area of morphology, and comparisons with other languages and references to areal phenomena are included insofar as they are motivated and available. The description also provides a brief introduction to the speaker community and their immediate environment. "

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