434 research outputs found

    Tracking developmental patterns in learner corpora: Focus on longitudinal studies

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    The paper first briefly reviews some of the research data and methods used to track development in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) studies. The focus is then narrowed down to data and methods in learner corpus research (LCR) and arguments for the use mixed-method research approaches are presented. The third section consists in a concrete illustration of how such mixed-methods can be implemented through the presentation of a multi-disciplinary project on the acquisition of L2s in immersive and non-immersive settings. The last section includes concluding remarks

    Electrophysiological differences in older and younger adults’ anaphoric but not cataphoric pronoun processing in the absence of age-related behavioural slowdown

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    This study reports on an event-related potentials experiment to uncover whether per-millisecond electrophysiological brain activity and analogous behavioural responses are age-sensitive when comprehending anaphoric (referent-first) and cataphoric (pronoun-first) pronouns. Two groups of French speakers were recruited (young n = 18; aged 19–35 and older adults n = 15; aged 57–88) to read sentences where the anaphoric/cataphoric pronouns and their potential referents either matched or mismatched in gender. Our findings indicate that (1) the older adults were not less accurate or slower in their behavioural responses to the mismatches than the younger adults, (2) both anaphoric and cataphoric conditions evoked a central/parietally distributed P600 component with similar timing and amplitude in both the groups. Importantly, mean amplitudes of the P600 effect were modulated by verbal short-term memory span in the older adults but not in the younger adults, (3) nevertheless, the older but not the younger adults displayed an additional anterior negativity emerging on the frontal regions in response to the anaphoric mismatches. These results suggest that pronoun processing is resilient in healthy ageing individuals, but that functional recruitment of additional brain regions, evidenced with the anterior negativity, compensates for increased processing demands in the older adults’ anaphora processing

    L'amorçage sémantique masqué en situation de cocktail party.

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    International audienceCette étude vise à tester l'automaticité du traitement sémantique durant la perception de la parole grâce à la situation de cocktail party. Les participants devaient effectuer une tâche de décision lexicale sur un item cible inséré dans un cocktail de parole. Celui-ci était composé de voix prononçant des mots sémantiquement liés à la cible (voix amorces) , et d'autres voix prononçant des mots sémantiquement indépendants les uns des autres (voix masquante). L'analyse des résultats a montré qu'un effet d'amorçage n'apparaissait que lorsque le nombre de voix amorces était strictement supérieur au nombre de voix masquantes, mettant en évidence un besoin d'intelligibilité de l'amorce et la nature stratégique de l'effet d'amorçage observé

    Cross-linguistic Influences on Sentence Accent Detection in Background Noise.

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    This paper investigates whether sentence accent detection in a non-native language is dependent on (relative) similarity between prosodic cues to accent between the non-native and the native language, and whether cross-linguistic differences in the use of local and more widely distributed (i.e., non-local) cues to sentence accent detection lead to differential effects of the presence of background noise on sentence accent detection in a non-native language. We compared Dutch, Finnish, and French non-native listeners of English, whose cueing and use of prosodic prominence is gradually further removed from English, and compared their results on a phoneme monitoring task in different levels of noise and a quiet condition to those of native listeners. Overall phoneme detection performance was high for the native and the non-native listeners, but deteriorated to the same extent in the presence of background noise. Crucially, relative similarity between the prosodic cues to sentence accent of one's native language compared to that of a non-native language does not determine the ability to perceive and use sentence accent for speech perception in that non-native language. Moreover, proficiency in the non-native language is not a straightforward predictor of sentence accent perception performance, although high proficiency in a non-native language can seemingly overcome certain differences at the prosodic level between the native and non-native language. Instead, performance is determined by the extent to which listeners rely on local cues (English and Dutch) versus cues that are more distributed (Finnish and French), as more distributed cues survive the presence of background noise better

    Using auditory classification images for the identification of fine acoustic cues used in speech perception

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    International audienceAn essential step in understanding the processes underlying the general mechanism of perceptual categorization is to identify which portions of a physical stimulation modulate the behavior of our perceptual system. More specifically, in the context of speech comprehension, it is still a major open challenge to understand which information is used to categorize a speech stimulus as one phoneme or another, the auditory primitives relevant for the categorical perception of speech being still unknown. Here we propose to adapt a method relying on a Generalized Linear Model with smoothness priors, already used in the visual domain for the estimation of so-called classification images, to auditory experiments. This statistical model offers a rigorous framework for dealing with non-Gaussian noise, as it is often the case in the auditory modality, and limits the amount of noise in the estimated template by enforcing smoother solutions. By applying this technique to a specific two-alternative forced choice experiment between stimuli " aba " and " ada " in noise with an adaptive SNR, we confirm that the second formantic transition is key for classifying phonemes into /b/ or /d/ in noise, and that its estimation by the auditory system is a relative measurement across spectral bands and in relation to the perceived height of the second formant in the preceding syllable. Through this example, we show how the GLM with smoothness priors approach can be applied to the identification of fine functional acoustic cues in speech perception. Finally we discuss some assumptions of the model in the specific case of speech perception

    Acoustic cues for segmentation resist within speaker variation: An EEG study

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    In order to recognize spoken words, listeners must map sensory information from the acoustic input onto stored lexical entries. Because the speech signal is continuous, listeners must segment the speech stream in order to recognize words. To accomplish the task of segmentation listeners use their tacit knowledge of a wide range of patterns in their native language including cues from allophonic variation, phonotactic constraints, transitional probabilities, lexical stress etc. Among those cues, there is now a growing body of evidence suggesting that fine-grained acoustic information is available for lexical access and used for segmenting the speech stream. Although it is generally agreed that acoustic cues are used on line to segment the speech signal and to bias lexical access, some important questions remained unanswered. First we ought to know whether these cues are robust enough to be used in the context of multiple productions of the same segmentation as speech is by nature variable and listeners are never exposed to invariant speech. The second important open question is that of the timing of the use of the cues

    Nouvelles : actualité de la recherche en didactiques des disciplines

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    Nouvelles : actualité de la recherche en didactiques des discipline
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