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Electroencephalographic (EEG) signals can reveal the cost required to deal with information structure mismatches in speech or in text contexts. The present study investigates the costs related to the processing of different associations between the syntactic categories of Noun and Verb and the information categories of Topic and Focus. It is hypothesized that – due to the very nature (respectively, predicative and non-predicative) of verbal and nominal reference – sentences with Topics realized by verbs, and Focuses realized by nouns, should impose greater processing demands, compared to the decoding of nominal Topics and verbal Focuses. Data from event-related potential (ERP) measurements revealed an N400 effect in response to both nouns encoded as Focus and verbs packaged as Topic, confirming that the cost associated with information structure processing follows discourse-driven expectations also with respect to the word-class level.
This chapter presents basic information for a wide readership on how accents differ and how those differences are analyzed, then lays out the sample of performances to be studied, the phonemes and word classes to be analyzed, and the methods of phonetic, quantitative, and statistical analysis to be followed.
This chapter gives an introductory overview of the strategies for forming words in the languages of mainland Southeast Asia. The chapter begins with a discussion of the form class distinctions that are found, including the categories of noun, verb, adjective, adposition, and adverb. Of the various processes for forming words, the chapter focuses on compounding and reduplication, which are relied upon widely in languages of the area, and affixation, which is a speciality of Austroasiatic languages in particular. The chapter features a section on the uses of tone in word formation, a feature of Hmong-Mien languages. Psycho-collocations are discussed: an area-wide form of compounding involving the mention of body parts to denote emotional and psychological states.
This article investigates prototypically attributive versus predicative adjectives in English in terms of the phonological properties that have been associated especially with nouns versus verbs in a substantial body of psycholinguistic research (e.g. Kelly 1992) – often ignored in theoretical linguistic work on word classes. Inspired by Berg's (2000, 2009) ‘cross-level harmony constraint’, the hypothesis I test is that prototypically attributive adjectives not only align more with nouns than with verbs syntactically, semantically and pragmatically, but also phonologically – and likewise for prototypically predicative adjectives and verbs. I analyse the phonological structure of frequent adjectives from the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), and show that the data do indeed support the hypothesis. Berg's ‘cross-level harmony constraint’ may thus apply not only to the entire word classes noun, verb and adjective, but also to these two adjectival subclasses. I discuss several theoretical issues that emerge. The facts are most readily accommodated in a usage-based model, such as Radical Construction Grammar (Croft 2001), where these adjectives are seen as forming two distinct but overlapping classes. Drawing also on recent research by Boyd & Goldberg (2011) and Hao (2015), I explore the possible nature and emergence of these classes in some detail.
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