Barbara Hoehle

Barbara Hoehle
Universität Potsdam · Department Linguistik

About

151
Publications
21,214
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1,906
Citations
Citations since 2017
56 Research Items
1098 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (151)
Article
Young infants can segment continuous speech with statistical as well as prosodic cues. Understanding how these cues interact can be informative about how infants solve the segmentation problem. Here we investigate how German-speaking adults and 9-month-old German-learning infants weigh statistical and prosodic cues when segmenting continuous speech...
Preprint
Full-text available
Infants show impressive speech decoding abilities and detect acoustic regularities that highlight the syntactic relations of a language, often coded via non-adjacent dependencies (NADs, e.g., is singing). It has been claimed that infants learn NADs implicitly and associatively through passive listening and that there is a shift from effortless asso...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates the predictions of the Derivational Complexity Hypothesis by studying the acquisition of wh-questions in 4- and 5-year-old Akan-speaking children in an experimental approach using an elicited production and an elicited imitation task. Akan has two types of wh-question structures (wh-in-situ and wh-ex-situ questions), which a...
Article
Full-text available
Infants show impressive speech decoding abilities and detect acoustic regularities that highlight the syntactic relations of a language, often coded via non-adjacent dependencies (NADs, e.g., is singing). It has been claimed that infants learn NADs implicitly and associatively through passive listening and that there is a shift from effortless asso...
Article
The ability to determine how many objects are involved in physical events is fundamental for reasoning about the world that surrounds us. Previous studies suggest that infants can fail to individuate objects in ambiguous occlusion events until their first birthday and that learning words for the objects may play a crucial role in the development of...
Article
During the first year of life, infants undergo a process known as perceptual narrowing, which reduces their sensitivity to classes of stimuli which the infants do not encounter in their environment. It has been proposed that perceptual narrowing for faces and speech may be driven by shared domain-general processes. To investigate this theory, our s...
Article
Full-text available
In order to become proficient native speakers, children have to learn the morpho-syntactic relations between distant elements in a sentence, so-called non-adjacent dependencies (NADs). Previous research suggests that NAD learning in children comprises different developmental stages, where until 2 years of age children are able to learn NADs associa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Learning novel nouns in a language with grammatical gender requires the learner to memorize gender on an item-by-item basis and/or to use cues for gender assignment. While gender assignment in German is said to be largely arbitrary, several cues to gender do exist. Amongst them are phonological cues which are probabilistic not deterministic (e.g.,...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates the predictions of the Derivational Complexity Hypothesis by studying the acquisition of wh-questions in 4- and 5-year-old Akan-speaking children in an experimental approach using an elicited production and an elicited imitation task. Akan has two types of wh-question structures (wh-in-situ and wh-ex-situ questions), which a...
Article
Fourteen-month-olds' ability to distinguish a just learned word, /buːk/, from its minimally different word, /duːk/, was assessed under two pre-exposure conditions: one where /b, d/-initial forms occurred in a varying vowel context and another where the vowel was fixed but the final consonant varied. Infants in the experiments benefited from the var...
Article
Perceptual narrowing in the domain of face perception typically begins to reduce infants’ sensitivity to differences distinguishing other-race faces from approximately 6 months of age. The present study investigated whether it is possible to re-sensitize Caucasian 12-month-old infants to other-race Asian faces through statistical learning by famili...
Article
Full-text available
One of the most important social cognitive skills in humans is the ability to “put oneself in someone else’s shoes,” that is, to take another person’s perspective. In socially situated communication, perspective taking enables the listener to arrive at a meaningful interpretation of what is said (sentence meaning) and what is meant (speaker’s meani...
Article
Full-text available
We report two corpus analyses to examine the impact of animacy, definiteness, givenness and type of referring expression on the ordering of double objects in the spontaneous speech of German-speaking two- to four-year-old children and the child-directed speech of their mothers. The first corpus analysis revealed that definiteness, givenness and typ...
Article
Full-text available
The other-race effect (ORE) can be described as difficulties in discriminating between faces of ethnicities other than one’s own, and can already be observed at approximately 9 months of age. Recent studies also showed that infants visually explore same-and other-race faces differently. However, it is still unclear whether infants’ looking behavior...
Article
Many human infants grow up learning more than one language simultaneously but only recently has research started to study early language acquisition in this population more systematically. The paper gives an overview on findings on early language acquisition in bilingual infants during the first two years of life and compares these findings to curr...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated whether Tagalog-speaking children incrementally interpret the first noun as the agent, even if verbal and nominal markers for assigning thematic roles are given early in Tagalog sentences. We asked five- and seven-year-old children and adult controls to select which of two pictures of reversible actions matched the sentence they hea...
Article
Full-text available
One of the most important social cognitive skills in humans is the ability to “put oneself in someone else’s shoes,” that is, to take another person’s perspective. In socially situated communication, perspective taking enables the listener to arrive at a meaningful interpretation of what is said (sentence meaning) and what is meant (speaker’s meani...
Preprint
Full-text available
In order to become proficient native speakers, children have to learn the morpho-syntactic relations between distant elements in a sentence, so-called non-adjacent dependencies (NADs). Previous research suggests that NAD learning in children comprises different developmental stages, where until 2 years of age children are able to learn NADs associa...
Article
Full-text available
Non-adjacent dependencies (NADs) are important building blocks for language and extracting them from the input is a fundamental part of language acquisition. Prior event-related potential (ERP) studies revealed changes in the neural signature of NAD learning between infancy and adulthood, suggesting a developmental shift in the learning route for N...
Article
Full-text available
During the first year of life, infants undergo perceptual narrowing in the domains of speech and face perception. This is typically characterized by improvements in infants' abilities in discriminating among stimuli of familiar types, such as native speech tones and same-race faces. Simultaneously, infants begin to decline in their ability to discr...
Article
Full-text available
The other-race effect (ORE) can be described as difficulties in discriminating between faces of ethnicities other than one’s own, and can already be observed at approximately 9 months of age. Recent studies also showed that infants visually explore same-and other-race faces differently. However, it is still unclear whether infants’ looking behavior...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have suggested that musical rhythm perception ability can affect the phonological system. The most prevalent causal account for developmental dyslexia is the phonological deficit hypothesis. As rhythm is a subpart of phonology, we hypothesized that reading deficits in dyslexia are associated with rhythm processing in speech and in mu...
Article
Full-text available
Psychological scientists have become increasingly concerned with issues related to methodology and replicability, and infancy researchers in particular face specific challenges related to replicability: For example, high-powered studies are difficult to conduct, testing conditions vary across labs, and different labs have access to different infant...
Article
This study compares the development of prosodic processing in French- and German-learning infants. The emergence of language-specific perception of phrase boundaries was directly tested using the same stimuli across these two languages. French-learning (Experiment 1, 2) and German-learning 6- and 8-month-olds (Experiment 3) listened to the same Fre...
Article
Seminal work by Werker and colleagues (Stager & Werker, 1997) has found that 14‐month‐old infants do not show evidence for learning minimal pairs in the habituation‐switch paradigm. However, when multiple speakers produce the minimal pair in acoustically variable ways, infants’ performance improves in comparison to a single speaker condition (Rost...
Article
Full-text available
This study provides a novel approach for testing the universality of perceptual biases by looking at speech processing in simultaneous bilingual adults learning two languages that support the maintenance of this bias to different degrees. Specifically, we investigated the Iambic/Trochaic Law, an assumed universal grouping bias, in simultaneous Fren...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated whether Tagalog-speaking children incrementally interpret the first noun as the agent, even if verbal and nominal markers for assigning thematic roles are given early in Tagalog sentences. We asked five- and seven-year-old children and adult controls to select which of two pictures of reversible actions matched the sentence they hea...
Article
Full-text available
Many human infants grow up learning more than one language simultaneously but only recently has research started to study early language acquisition in this population more systematically. The paper gives an overview on findings on early language acquisition in bilingual infants during the first two years of life and compares these findings to curr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study investigates developmental differences in infants' attention to audiovisual information .
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated whether Mandarin speakers interpret prosodic information as focus markers in a sentence-picture verification task. Previous production studies have shown that both Mandarin-speaking adults and Mandarin-speaking children mark focus by prosodic information (Ouyang and Kaiser in Lang Cogn Neurosc 30(1–2):57–72, 2014; Yang and C...
Article
Full-text available
It is a common finding across languages that young children have problems in understanding patient-initial sentences. We used Tagalog, a verb-initial language with a reliable voice-marking system and highly frequent patient voice constructions, to test the predictions of several accounts that have been proposed to explain this difficulty: the frequ...
Article
Full-text available
During the first year of life, infants undergo perceptual narrowing in the domains of speech and face perception. This is typically characterized by improvements in infants’ abilities in discriminating among stimuli of familiar types, such as native speech tones and same-race faces. Simultaneously, infants begin to decline in their ability to discr...
Article
This article investigates the word order preferences of Tagalog-speaking adults and five- and seven-year-old children. The participants were asked to complete sentences to describe pictures depicting actions between two animate entities. Adults preferred agent-initial constructions in the patient voice but not in the agent voice, while the children...
Poster
Full-text available
Our fNIRS study shows a developmental shift in the ability to learn non-adjacent dependencies in the linguistic, but not in the non-linguistic domain. Two-year-old children show learning of non-adjacent dependencies in a novel natural language under passive listening conditions, whereas 3-year-olds do not. fNIRS data show that non-adjacent dependen...
Article
Full-text available
In a preferential looking paradigm, we studied how children's looking behavior and pupillary response were modulated by the degree of phonological mismatch between the correct label of a target referent and its manipulated form. We manipulated degree of mismatch by introducing one or more featural changes to the target label. Both looking behavior...
Article
Full-text available
We report two corpus analyses to examine the impact of animacy, definiteness, givenness and type of referring expression on the ordering of double objects in the spontaneous speech of German-speaking two- to four-year-old children and the child-directed speech of their mothers. The first corpus analysis revealed that definiteness, givenness and typ...
Chapter
This chapter reviews sensitivity to prosodic information at the lexical level during the first year of life, considering crosslinguistic data that bear on both monolingual and bilingual acquisition. First, we discuss infants' early ability to discriminate lexical stress, and how this sensitivity changes across development depending on the native la...
Article
Full-text available
Findings on the perceptual reorganization of lexical tones are mixed. Some studies report good tone discrimination abilities for all tested age groups, others report decreased or enhanced discrimination with increasing age, and still others report U-shaped developmental curves. Since prior studies have used a wide range of contrasts and experimenta...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigated Dutch-speaking four- to five-year-olds’ use of word order and prosody in distinguishing focus types (broad focus, narrow focus, and contrastive narrow focus) via an interactive answer-reconstruction game. We have found an overall preference for the unmarked word order SVO and no evidence for the use of OVS to distinguish foc...
Poster
Only is an exclusive focus particle (FP) and generally precedes the focused element with which it associates, and it establishes a contrast between the focused element and the set of alternatives that are presupposed and denied [1]. Many studies have investigated preschool children's understanding of the FP only across different languages and found...
Poster
Full-text available
We tested the perceptual development of prosodic boundaries, hypothesized to go from a general reliance on combined cues to a language-specific cue-weighting. Stimuli- and procedure-specific differences between previous studies make language-specific results difficult to interpret. We therefore replicated Wellmann et al. (2012)’s German HPP study t...
Article
Infants as young as six months are sensitive to prosodic phrase boundaries marked by three acoustic cues: pitch change, final lengthening, and pause. Behavioral studies suggest that a language-specific weighting of these cues develops during the first year of life; recent work on German revealed that eight-month-olds, unlike six-month-olds, are cap...
Article
According to the Shallow Structure Hypothesis (SSH), second language (L2) speakers, unlike native speakers, build shallow syntactic representations during sentence processing. In order to test the SSH, this study investigated the processing of a syntactic movement in both native speakers of English and proficient late L2 speakers of English using p...
Poster
Full-text available
The ability to extract and generalize abstract rules in an unknown language is present very early in life, but less pronounced in adulthood. Our previous EEG studies revealed that 3- to 4-month-old infants, but not adults, can learn nonadjacent dependencies in an unknown language under passive listening conditions. This raises the question whether...
Article
Full-text available
Our paper reports an act out task with German 5- and 6-year olds and adults involving doubly-quantified sentences with a universal object and an existential subject. We found that 5- and 6-year olds allow inverse scope in such sentences, while adults do not. Our findings contribute to a growing body of research (e.g. Gualmini et al. 2008; Musolino...
Article
Previous research on young children's knowledge of prosodic focus marking has revealed an apparent paradox, with comprehension appearing to lag behind production. Comprehension of prosodic focus is difficult to study experimentally due to its subtle and ambiguous contribution to pragmatic meaning. We designed a novel comprehension task, which revea...
Article
This study investigates prosodic phrasing of bracketed lists in German. We analyze variation in pauses, phrase-final lengthening and f0 in speech production and how these cues affect boundary perception. In line with the literature, it was found that pauses are often used to signal intonation phrase boundaries, while final lengthening and f0 are em...
Article
Full-text available
Language and music share many rhythmic properties, such as variations in intensity and duration leading to repeating patterns. Perception of rhythmic properties may rely on cognitive networks that are shared between the two domains. If so, then variability in speech rhythm perception may relate to individual differences in musicality. To examine th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study shows for the first time that mispronunciation detection in 24-month-old mono-and bilingual children can be assessed using pupil data from a preferential looking study. Mispronounced words (specifically, consonant, vowel and tone changes) resulted in larger degrees of pupil dilation for bilingual children than correctly produced words, w...
Article
Language experience clearly affects the perception of speech, but little is known about whether these differences in perception extend to non-speech sounds. In this study, we investigated rhythmic perception of non-linguistic sounds in speakers of French and German using a grouping task, in which complexity (variability in sounds, presence of pause...
Article
Full-text available
Rhythm perception is assumed to be guided by a domain-general auditory principle, the Iambic/Trochaic Law, stating that sounds varying in intensity are grouped as strong-weak, and sounds varying in duration are grouped as weak-strong. Recently, Bhatara et al. (2013) showed that rhythmic grouping is influenced by native language experience, French l...
Article
Full-text available
Rhythm in music and speech can be characterized by a constellation of several acoustic cues. Individually, these cues have different effects on rhythmic perception: sequences of sounds alternating in duration are perceived as short-long pairs (weak-strong/iambic pattern), whereas sequences of sounds alternating in intensity or pitch are perceived a...
Data
Segment from the middle of the familiarization stream with the three test conditions: (A) Intensity condition, (B) Pitch condition, and (C) Duration condition.
Article
This study examines the role of pitch and final lengthening in German intonation phrase boundary (IPB) perception. Since a prosody-related event-related potential (ERP) component termed Closure Positive Shift reflects the processing of major prosodic boundaries, we combined ERP and behavioural measures (i.e. a prosodic judgement task) to systematic...
Article
Full-text available
Children's interpretations of sentences containing focus particles do not seem adult-like until school age. This study investigates how German 4-year-old children comprehend sentences with the focus particle 'nur' (only) by using different tasks and controlling for the impact of general cognitive abilities on performance measures. Two sentence type...
Article
Full-text available
Infants start learning the prosodic properties of their native language before 12 months, as shown by the emergence of a trochaic bias in English-learning infants between 6 and 9 months (Jusczyk et al., 1993), and in German-learning infants between 4 and 6 months (Höhle et al., 2009, 2014), while French-learning infants do not show a bias at 6 mont...
Article
Full-text available
This study introduces a method ideally suited for investigating toddlers’ ability to detect mispronunciations in lexical representations: pupillometry. Previous research has established that the magnitude of pupil dilation reflects differing levels of cognitive effort. Building on those findings, we use pupil dilation to study the level of detail e...
Article
This study examines the role of pitch and final lengthening in German intonation phrase boundary (IPB) perception. Since a prosody-related event-related potential (ERP) component termed Closure Positive Shift reflects the processing of major prosodic boundaries, we combined ERP and behavioural measures (i.e. a prosodic judgement task) to systemati...
Article
Children’s interpretations of sentences containing focus particles do not seem adult-like until school age. This study investigates how German 4-year-old children comprehend sentences with the focus particle ‘nur’ (only) by using different tasks and controlling for the impact of general cognitive abilities on performance measures. Two sentence type...
Article
Background: Discourse abilities play an important role in the assessment, classification, and therapy outcome evaluation of people with aphasia. Discourse production in aphasia has been studied quite extensively in the last 15 years. Nevertheless, many questions still do not have definitive answers. Aims: The aim of this review is to present the cu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study shows for the first time that mispronunciation detection in 30-month-old children and adults can be measured using pupillometry. Compared to correctly pronounced words we found that mispronounced ones result in larger pupil dilations. For unrelated labels, which could either be a word or a non-word, we found different effects in children...
Chapter
Full-text available
Previous research on the comprehension of focus particles indicated that generally children interpret sentences with the focus particle only not target-like (e.g., Crain, Ni & Conway, 1994; Paterson et al., 2003; for contrary results see Berger & Höhle, 2012; Müller, Höhle & Schulz, 2011; Müller 2012). Different accounts have been proposed to expla...
Conference Paper
Recent findings indicate that early lexical representations contain sub-phonemic information: When presented with known words, children are sensitive to manner, place and voicing feature changes (Mani and Plunkett, 2011; White and Morgan, 2008). However, due to the methodological challenges in child language research, the level of detail and the fa...
Article
In this article we report on early rhythmic discrimination performance of children who participated in a longitudinal study following children from birth to their 6th year of life. Thirty-four children including 8 children with a family risk for developmental language impairment were tested on the discrimination of trochaic and iambic disyllabic se...
Article
This study examines the processing of sentences with and without subject–verb agreement violations in German-speaking children at three and five years of age. An eye-tracking experiment was conducted to measure whether children's looking behavior was influenced by the grammaticality of the test sentences. The older group of children turned their ga...
Article
Full-text available
Perceptual attunement to one's native language results in language-specific processing of speech sounds. This includes stress cues, instantiated by differences in intensity, pitch, and duration. The present study investigates the effects of linguistic experience on the perception of these cues by studying the Iambic-Trochaic Law (ITL), which states...