Can a single adjective immediately influence message-building during sentence processing? We presented participants with 168 sentence contexts, such as "His skin was red from spending the day at the …" Sentences ended with either the most expected word ("beach") or a low cloze probability completion ("pool"). Nouns were preceded by adjectives that changed their relative likelihood (e.g., "neighborhood" increases the cloze probability of pool whereas "sandy" promotes beach). We asked if participants' online processing can be rapidly updated by the adjective, changing the resulting pattern of facilitation at the noun, and, if so, whether updates unfold symmetrically-not only increasing, but also decreasing, the fit of particular nouns. We measured event-related potentials (ERPs) to the adjective and the noun and modeled these with respect to (a) the overall amount of updating promoted by the adjective, (b) the preadjectival cloze probability of the noun and, (c) the amount of cloze probability change for the obtained noun after the adjective. Bayesian mixed-effects analysis of N400 amplitude at the noun revealed that adjectives rapidly influenced semantic processing of the noun, but did so asymmetrically, with positive updating (reducing N400 amplitudes) having a greater effect than negative updating (increasing N400s). At the adjective, the amount of (possible) updating was not associated with any discernible ERP modulation. Overall, these results suggest the information provided by adjectives is buffered until a head noun is encountered, at which point the access of the noun's semantics is shaped in parallel by both the adjective and the sentence-level representation. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
Korean can be transcribed in two different scripts, one alphabetic (Hangul) and one logographic (Hanja). How does the mental lexicon represent the contributions of multiple scripts? Hangul’s highly transparent one-to-one relationship between spellings and sounds creates homophones in spoken Korean that are also homographs in Hangul, which can only be disambiguated through Hanja. We thus tested whether native speakers encoded the semantic contributions of the different Hanja characters sharing the same homographic form in Hangul in their mental representation of Sino-Korean. Is processing modulated by the number of available meanings, that is, the size of the semantic cohort? In two cross-modal lexical decision tasks with semantic priming,participants were presented with auditory primes that were either syllables (Experiment 1) or full Sino-Korean words (Experiment 2), followed by visual Sino-Korean full word targets. In Experiment 1, reaction times were not significantly modulated by the size of the semantic cohort. However, in Experiment 2, we observed significantly faster reaction times for targets preceded by primes with larger semantic cohorts. We discuss these findings in relation to the structure of the mental lexicon for bi-scriptal languages and the representation of semantic cohorts across different scripts. 1. Introduction 2. Hanja and Hangul during processing 3. Experiment 1: Cross-modal fragment priming 3.1. Method 3.1.1. Participants 3.1.2. Materials and design 3.1.3. Procedure 3.2. Results 3.3. Discussion 4. Experiment 2: Cross-modal full word priming 4.1. Method 4.1.1. Participants 4.1.2. Materials and design 4.1.3. Procedure 4.2. Results 4.3. Discussion 5. General discussion 6. Conclusions
Although heritage language phonology is often argued to be fairly stable, heritage language speakers often sound noticeably different from both monolinguals and second-language learners. In order to model these types of asymmetries, I propose a theoretical framework—an integrated multilingual sound system—based on modular representations of an integrated set of phonological contrasts. An examination of general findings in laryngeal (voicing, aspiration, etc.) phonetics and phonology for heritage languages shows that procedures for pronouncing phonemes are variable and plastic, even if abstract may representations remain stable. Furthermore, an integrated multilingual sound system predicts that use of one language may require a subset of the available representations, which illuminates the mechanisms that underlie phonological transfer, attrition, and acquisition.
AbstractPeter Godfrey-Smith’s Metazoa and Joseph LeDoux’s The Deep History of Ourselves present radically different big pictures regarding the nature, evolution and distribution of consciousness in animals. In this essay review, I discuss the motivations behind these big pictures and try to steer a course between them.
In their recent paper on “Challenges in mathematical cognition”, Alcock and colleagues (Alcock et al. . Challenges in mathematical cognition: A collaboratively-derived research agenda. Journal of Numerical Cognition, 2, 20-41) defined a research agenda through 26 specific research questions. An important dimension of mathematical cognition almost completely absent from their discussion is the cultural constitution of mathematical cognition. Spanning work from a broad range of disciplines – including anthropology, archaeology, cognitive science, history of science, linguistics, philosophy, and psychology – we argue that for any research agenda on mathematical cognition the cultural dimension is indispensable, and we propose a set of exemplary research questions related to it. publishedVersion
Much categorization behavior can be explained by family resemblance: New items are classified by comparison with previously learned exemplars. However, categorization behavior also shows a variety of dimensional biases, where the underlying space has so-called "separable" dimensions: Ease of learning categories depends on how the stimuli align with the separable dimensions of the space. For example, if a set of objects of various sizes and colors can be accurately categorized using a single separable dimension (e.g., size), then category learning will be fast, while if the category is determined by both dimensions, learning will be slow. To capture these dimensional biases, almost all models of categorization supplement family resemblance with either rule-based systems or selective attention to separable dimensions. But these models do not explain how separable dimensions initially arise; they are presumed to be unexplained psychological primitives. We develop, instead, a pure family resemblance version of the Rational Model of Categorization (RMC), which we term the Rational Exclusively Family RESemblance Hierarchy (REFRESH), which does not presuppose any separable dimensions in the space of stimuli. REFRESH infers how the stimuli are clustered and uses a hierarchical prior to learn expectations about the variability of clusters across categories. We first demonstrate the dimensional alignment of natural-category features and then show how through a lifetime of categorization experience REFRESH will learn prior expectations that clusters of stimuli will align with separable dimensions. REFRESH captures the key dimensional biases and also explains their stimulus-dependence and how they are learned and develop. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
Publisher: Fеdегаl State Institution of Science Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sсiеnсеs
Project: EC | BantuFirst (724275)
In this paper we offer a first systematic account of the noun class system of Ngwi, a West-Coastal Bantu language spoken in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. First, we describe the synchronic system of noun class prefixes and the agreement patterns they trigger on constituents of the noun phrase and the verb. Second, we provide a diachronic analysis of the innovations the synchronic Ngwi noun class system underwent with respect to the noun class system reconstructed for the most recent common ancestor of all Narrow Bantu languages. Finally, we compare the morphological innovations found in the Ngwi noun class system with those identified in the noun class systems of other West-Coastal Bantu varieties and assess whether some of these could be diagnostic for internal classification within this western Bantu branch.
Abstract Research into representation learning models of lexical semantics usually utilizes some form of intrinsic evaluation to ensure that the learned representations reflect human semantic judgments. Lexical semantic similarity estimation is a widely used evaluation method, but efforts have typically focused on pairwise judgments of words in isolation, or are limited to specific contexts and lexical stimuli. There are limitations with these approaches that either do not provide any context for judgments, and thereby ignore ambiguity, or provide very specific sentential contexts that cannot then be used to generate a larger lexical resource. Furthermore, similarity between more than two items is not considered. We provide a full description and analysis of our recently proposed methodology for large-scale data set construction that produces a semantic classification of a large sample of verbs in the first phase, as well as multi-way similarity judgments made within the resultant semantic classes in the second phase. The methodology uses a spatial multi-arrangement approach proposed in the field of cognitive neuroscience for capturing multi-way similarity judgments of visual stimuli. We have adapted this method to handle polysemous linguistic stimuli and much larger samples than previous work. We specifically target verbs, but the method can equally be applied to other parts of speech. We perform cluster analysis on the data from the first phase and demonstrate how this might be useful in the construction of a comprehensive verb resource. We also analyze the semantic information captured by the second phase and discuss the potential of the spatially induced similarity judgments to better reflect human notions of word similarity. We demonstrate how the resultant data set can be used for fine-grained analyses and evaluation of representation learning models on the intrinsic tasks of semantic clustering and semantic similarity. In particular, we find that stronger static word embedding methods still outperform lexical representations emerging from more recent pre-training methods, both on word-level similarity and clustering. Moreover, thanks to the data set’s vast coverage, we are able to compare the benefits of specializing vector representations for a particular type of external knowledge by evaluating FrameNet- and VerbNet-retrofitted models on specific semantic domains such as “Heat” or “Motion.”
Axel Constant; Alexander Daniel Dunsmoir Tschantz; Alexander Daniel Dunsmoir Tschantz; Beren Millidge; Beren Millidge; Felipe Criado-Boado; Luis M Martinez; Johannes Müeller; Andy Clark; Andy Clark; +1 more
Axel Constant; Alexander Daniel Dunsmoir Tschantz; Alexander Daniel Dunsmoir Tschantz; Beren Millidge; Beren Millidge; Felipe Criado-Boado; Luis M Martinez; Johannes Müeller; Andy Clark; Andy Clark; Andy Clark;
This paper presents an active inference based simulation study of visual foraging. The goal of the simulation is to show the effect of the acquisition of culturally patterned attention styles on cognitive task performance, under active inference. We show how cultural artefacts like antique vase decorations drive cognitive functions such as perception, action and learning, as well as task performance in a simple visual discrimination task. We thus describe a new active inference based research pipeline that future work may employ to inquire on deep guiding principles determining the manner in which material culture drives human thought, by building and rebuilding our patterns of attention. Researchers on this article were supported by an Australian Laureate Fellowship project A Philosophy of Medicine for the 21st Century (Ref: FL170100160) and by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council doctoral fellowship (Ref: 752-2019-0065) (AC), by a PhD studentship from the Sackler Foundation and the School of Engineering and Informatics at the University of Sussex (AT); by an EPSRC PhD Studentship (BM), by a GAIN-Xunta de Galiza Groups of Excellence 2020 (FC-B), and by Horizon 2020 European Union ERC Advanced Grant XSPECT - DLV-692739 (AC). AT is grateful to the Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, which supports the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science.
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Project: EC | CoSaQ (716230)
While the languages of the world vary greatly, they exhibit systematic patterns, as well. Semantic universals are restrictions on the variation in meaning exhibit cross-linguistically (e.g., that, in all languages, expressions of a certain type can only denote meanings with a certain special property). This paper pursues an efficient communication analysis to explain the presence of semantic universals in a domain of function words: quantifiers. Two experiments measure how well languages do in optimally trading off between competing pressures of simplicity and informativeness. First, we show that artificial languages which more closely resemble natural languages are more optimal. Then, we introduce information-theoretic measures of degrees of semantic universals and show that these are not correlated with optimality in a random sample of artificial languages. These results suggest both that efficient communication shapes semantic typology in both content and function word domains, as well as that semantic universals may not stand in need of independent explanation.