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Semantic Involvement of Initial and Final Lexical Embeddings during Sense-Making: The Advantage of Starting Late.

van Alphen PM, van Berkum JJ - Front Psychol (2012)

Bottom Line: Although carrier words with an initial embedding (day in daisy) did not elicit an embedding-related N400 effect relative to matched control words without embedding, carrier words with a final embedding (dean in sardine) did elicit such an effect.Together with prior work from our lab and the results of a Shortlist B simulation, our findings suggest that listeners do semantically interpret embedded words, albeit not under all conditions.We explain the latter by assuming that the sense-making system adjusts its hypothesis for how to interpret the external input at every new syllable, in line with recent ideas of active sampling in perception.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
During spoken language interpretation, listeners rapidly relate the meaning of each individual word to what has been said before. However, spoken words often contain spurious other words, like day in daisy, or dean in sardine. Do listeners also relate the meaning of such unintended, spurious words to the prior context? We used ERPs to look for transient meaning-based N400 effects in sentences that were completely plausible at the level of words intended by the speaker, but contained an embedded word whose meaning clashed with the context. Although carrier words with an initial embedding (day in daisy) did not elicit an embedding-related N400 effect relative to matched control words without embedding, carrier words with a final embedding (dean in sardine) did elicit such an effect. Together with prior work from our lab and the results of a Shortlist B simulation, our findings suggest that listeners do semantically interpret embedded words, albeit not under all conditions. We explain the latter by assuming that the sense-making system adjusts its hypothesis for how to interpret the external input at every new syllable, in line with recent ideas of active sampling in perception.

No MeSH data available.


Grand average event-related potentials from nine scalp sites to coherent carrier words with initial embeddings (solid line), coherent control words without embeddings (dashed line), and to coherent high-cloze words (dotted line), after baseline correction in the 200-ms prestimulus interval, time-locked to the onset of the carrier/control words, which corresponds to the onset of the initial embeddings. In these and all other figures, the time axis is in milliseconds, negative polarity is plotted upward, and waveforms are filtered (5 Hz high cut-off, 12 dB/oct) for presentation purposes. The bars in the lower left corner show the offset of the embedded words (EWOFF), and the offset of the carrier words (CWOFF). The start of the bar corresponds to the minimal value, the end to the maximal value and the middle to the mean.
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Figure 1: Grand average event-related potentials from nine scalp sites to coherent carrier words with initial embeddings (solid line), coherent control words without embeddings (dashed line), and to coherent high-cloze words (dotted line), after baseline correction in the 200-ms prestimulus interval, time-locked to the onset of the carrier/control words, which corresponds to the onset of the initial embeddings. In these and all other figures, the time axis is in milliseconds, negative polarity is plotted upward, and waveforms are filtered (5 Hz high cut-off, 12 dB/oct) for presentation purposes. The bars in the lower left corner show the offset of the embedded words (EWOFF), and the offset of the carrier words (CWOFF). The start of the bar corresponds to the minimal value, the end to the maximal value and the middle to the mean.

Mentions: Figure 1 displays the grand average waveforms for nine electrodes for the carrier words with initial embeddings, for the matching control words without embedding and for the high-cloze words. All waveforms were time-locked to the onset of these critical words (which for the carrier words also corresponds to the onset of the embeddings).


Semantic Involvement of Initial and Final Lexical Embeddings during Sense-Making: The Advantage of Starting Late.

van Alphen PM, van Berkum JJ - Front Psychol (2012)

Grand average event-related potentials from nine scalp sites to coherent carrier words with initial embeddings (solid line), coherent control words without embeddings (dashed line), and to coherent high-cloze words (dotted line), after baseline correction in the 200-ms prestimulus interval, time-locked to the onset of the carrier/control words, which corresponds to the onset of the initial embeddings. In these and all other figures, the time axis is in milliseconds, negative polarity is plotted upward, and waveforms are filtered (5 Hz high cut-off, 12 dB/oct) for presentation purposes. The bars in the lower left corner show the offset of the embedded words (EWOFF), and the offset of the carrier words (CWOFF). The start of the bar corresponds to the minimal value, the end to the maximal value and the middle to the mean.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3375653&req=5

Figure 1: Grand average event-related potentials from nine scalp sites to coherent carrier words with initial embeddings (solid line), coherent control words without embeddings (dashed line), and to coherent high-cloze words (dotted line), after baseline correction in the 200-ms prestimulus interval, time-locked to the onset of the carrier/control words, which corresponds to the onset of the initial embeddings. In these and all other figures, the time axis is in milliseconds, negative polarity is plotted upward, and waveforms are filtered (5 Hz high cut-off, 12 dB/oct) for presentation purposes. The bars in the lower left corner show the offset of the embedded words (EWOFF), and the offset of the carrier words (CWOFF). The start of the bar corresponds to the minimal value, the end to the maximal value and the middle to the mean.
Mentions: Figure 1 displays the grand average waveforms for nine electrodes for the carrier words with initial embeddings, for the matching control words without embedding and for the high-cloze words. All waveforms were time-locked to the onset of these critical words (which for the carrier words also corresponds to the onset of the embeddings).

Bottom Line: Although carrier words with an initial embedding (day in daisy) did not elicit an embedding-related N400 effect relative to matched control words without embedding, carrier words with a final embedding (dean in sardine) did elicit such an effect.Together with prior work from our lab and the results of a Shortlist B simulation, our findings suggest that listeners do semantically interpret embedded words, albeit not under all conditions.We explain the latter by assuming that the sense-making system adjusts its hypothesis for how to interpret the external input at every new syllable, in line with recent ideas of active sampling in perception.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
During spoken language interpretation, listeners rapidly relate the meaning of each individual word to what has been said before. However, spoken words often contain spurious other words, like day in daisy, or dean in sardine. Do listeners also relate the meaning of such unintended, spurious words to the prior context? We used ERPs to look for transient meaning-based N400 effects in sentences that were completely plausible at the level of words intended by the speaker, but contained an embedded word whose meaning clashed with the context. Although carrier words with an initial embedding (day in daisy) did not elicit an embedding-related N400 effect relative to matched control words without embedding, carrier words with a final embedding (dean in sardine) did elicit such an effect. Together with prior work from our lab and the results of a Shortlist B simulation, our findings suggest that listeners do semantically interpret embedded words, albeit not under all conditions. We explain the latter by assuming that the sense-making system adjusts its hypothesis for how to interpret the external input at every new syllable, in line with recent ideas of active sampling in perception.

No MeSH data available.