Isabell Wartenburger

Isabell Wartenburger
Universität Potsdam · Department Linguistik

PhD

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137
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (137)
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...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The German case marking system contains case syncretisms,which, along with a relatively free word order, can lead to sen-tences with local ambiguities, for instance, SVO and OVS sen-tences with string-identical noun phrases (NPs) in sentence-initial position. Prosodic marking constitutes one possibilityfor ambiguity resolution. Perception studies s...
Poster
Full-text available
The German case marking system contains case syncretisms,which, along with a relatively free word order, can lead to sen-tences with local ambiguities, for instance, SVO and OVS sen-tences with string-identical noun phrases (NPs) in sentence-initial position. Prosodic marking constitutes one possibilityfor ambiguity resolution. Perception studies s...
Preprint
Full-text available
The functional significance of the two prominent language-related ERP components N400 and P600 is still under debate. It has recently been suggested that one important dimension along which the two vary, is in terms of automaticity versus attentional control, with N400 amplitudes reflecting more automatic and P600 amplitudes reflecting more control...
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
Full-text available
Background According to the lexical retrieval hypothesis (LRH), the primary function of gestures is to facilitate word retrieval. Thus, individuals with aphasia (IWA) might benefit from gestures in case of word retrieval impairments. However, the facilitative effect of gestures on word finding is still unclear since most facilitation/treatment stud...
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...
Article
Human infants can segment action sequences into their constituent actions already during the first year of life. However, work to date has almost exclusively examined the role of infants’ conceptual knowledge of actions and their outcomes in driving this segmentation. The present study examined electrophysiological correlates of infants’ processing...
Conference Paper
In unserer Studie untersuchen wir die rezeptiven Fähigkeiten zur Identifikation prosodisch markierter Grenzen von P-RHL und P-LHL bei unterschiedlicher Kombination und Ausprägung der drei prosodischen Cues Pausendauer, f0-Variation und finale Längung.
Article
People with right hemisphere brain lesions (PRHL) are often faced with impairments in their communicative abilities, which can impact their participation. These impairments may be related to diminished executive functions and/or reduced attentional or socio-cognitive capacities. PRHL can also be a!ected by deficits in processing of linguistic proso...
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
Prosodic boundaries can be used to disambiguate the syntactic structure of coordinated name sequences ('coordinates'). To answer the question whether disambiguating prosody is produced in a situationally dependent or independent manner and to contribute to our understanding of the nature of the prosody-syntax link, we systematically explored variab...
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...
Poster
Full-text available
Speech perception study that makes use of a gating paradigm to test if it is possible to reliably detect intended grouping of a coordinate structure by exploiting prosodic information already before the Intonation Phrase Boundary that contains the strongest prosodic cues. Results from human listeners are compared to results from machine learning mo...
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
The attentional bias to negative information enables humans to quickly identify and to respond appropriately to potentially threatening situations. Because of its adaptive function, the enhanced sensitivity to negative information is expected to represent a universal trait, shared by all humans regardless of their cultural background. However, exis...
Article
Everyday communication is enriched by the visual environment that listeners concomitantly link to the linguistic input. If and when visual cues are integrated into the mental meaning representation of the communicative setting, is still unclear. In our earlier findings, the integration of linguistic cues (i.e., topic-hood of a discourse referent) r...
Article
Full-text available
Speech and action sequences are continuous streams of information that can be segmented into sub-units. In both domains, this segmentation can be facilitated by perceptual cues contained within the information stream. In speech, prosodic cues (e.g., a pause, pre-boundary lengthening, and pitch rise) mark boundaries between words and phrases, while...
Article
Full-text available
Children born preterm are at higher risk to develop language deficits. Auditory speech discrimination deficits may be early signs for language developmental problems. The present study used functional near-infrared spectroscopy to investigate neural speech discrimination in 15 preterm infants at term-equivalent age compared to 15 full term neonates...
Article
Full-text available
The present study investigated how lexical selection is influenced by the number of semantically related representations (semantic neighbourhood density) and their similarity (semantic distance) to the target in a speeded picture-naming task. Semantic neighbourhood density and similarity as continuous variables were used to assess lexical selection...
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
Recent treatment protocols have been successful in improving working memory (WM) in individuals with aphasia. However, the evidence to date is small and the extent to which improvements in trained tasks of WM transfer to untrained memory tasks, spoken sentence comprehension, and functional communication is yet poorly understood. To address these is...
Article
Full-text available
Sentence comprehension is optimised by indicating entities as salient through linguistic (i.e., information-structural) or visual means. We compare how salience of a depicted referent due to a linguistic (i.e., topic status) or visual cue (i.e., a virtual person's gaze shift) modulates sentence comprehension in German. We investigated processing of...
Article
Full-text available
Comprehension of transitive sentences relies on different kinds of information, like word order, case marking, and animacy contrasts between arguments. When no formal cues like case marking or number congruency are available, a contrast in animacy helps the parser to decide which argument is the grammatical subject and which the object. Processing...
Poster
Full-text available
Poster presentation at the 9th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language
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...
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
Breaking Continuous Flash Suppression (bCFS) has been adopted as an appealing means to study human visual awareness, but the literature is beclouded by inconsistent and contradictory results. Although previous reviews have focused chiefly on design pitfalls and instances of false reasoning, we show in this study that the choice of analysis pathway...
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...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Aphasia is frequently accompanied by working memory (WM) deficits that negatively influence spoken sentence comprehension (Novick et al., 2009) and functional communication (Frankel et al., 2007). Recent studies suggest that training WM may be beneficial for individuals with aphasia (IWA) (e.g., Murray, 2012; Salis, 2012; Zakariás et al., 2016). Ho...
Article
Full-text available
The age at which members of a semantic category are learned (age of acquisition), the typicality they demonstrate within their corresponding category, and the semantic domain to which they belong (living, non-living) are known to influence the speed and accuracy of lexical/semantic processing. So far, only a few studies have looked at the origin of...
Article
This study on analogical reasoning evaluates the impact of fluid intelligence on adaptive changes in neural efficiency over the course of an experiment and specifies the underlying cognitive processes. Grade 10 students (N=80) solved unfamiliar geometric analogy tasks of varying difficulty. Neural efficiency was measured by the event-related desync...
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
Age of acquisition (AOA) has frequently been shown to influence response times and accuracy rates in word processing and constitutes a meaningful variable in aphasic language processing, while its origin in the language processing system is still under debate. To find out where AOA originates and whether and how it is related to another important p...
Article
Full-text available
Aphasia, the language disorder following brain damage, is frequently accompanied by deficits of working memory (WM) and executive functions (EFs). Recent studies suggest that WM, together with certain EFs, can play a role in sentence comprehension in individuals with aphasia (IWA), and that WM can be enhanced with intensive practice. Our aim was to...
Article
Full-text available
The semantics of focus particles like only requires a set of alternatives (Rooth, 1992). In two experiments, we investigated the impact of such particles on the retrieval of alternatives that are mentioned in the prior context or unmentioned. The first experiment used a probe recognition task and showed that focus particles interfere with the recog...
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...
Poster
Because both heard language and observed action consist of continuous streams of to-be-processed information, they provide similar challenges to the listener/observer with respect to identifying and discriminating meaningful segments (e.g., phrases / actions). In the language domain, prosodic boundary cues (e.g., preboundary pitch-change, lengtheni...
Article
Neuropsychological lesion studies evidence the necessity to differentiate between various forms of tool-related actions such as real tool use, tool use demonstration with tool in hand and without physical target object, and pantomime without tool in hand. However, thus far, neuroimaging studies have primarily focused only on investigating tool use...
Article
Various behavioural studies show that semantic typicality (TYP) and age of acquisition (AOA) of a specific word influence processing time and accuracy during the performance of lexical-semantic tasks. This study examines the influence of TYP and AOA on semantic processing at behavioural (response times and accuracy data) and electrophysiological le...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Individuals with agrammatic aphasia (IWAs) have problems with grammatical decoding of tense inflection. However, these difficulties depend on the time frame that the tense refers to. Verb morphology with reference to the past is more difficult than with reference to the non-past, because a link needs to be made to the past event in dis...
Article
Full-text available
To communicate efficiently, speakers typically link their utterances to the discourse environment and adapt their utterances to the listener‘s discourse representation. Information structure describes how linguistic information is packaged within a discourse to optimize information transfer. The present study investigates the nature and time course...
Article
Full-text available
In addition to sensory decline, age-related losses in auditory perception also reflect impairments in attentional modulation of perceptual saliency. Using an attention and intensity-modulated dichotic listening paradigm, we investigated electrophysiological correlates of processing conflicts between attentional focus and perceptual saliency in 25 y...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Information structure describes how the information is packaged within a discourse to optimize information transfer. We addressed the question if and how a discourse context modulates the online processing of German declaratives. Native speakers of German read fictitious stories that depicted a simple action scene of two characters while we recorde...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Listeners are sensitive to contrastive alternatives in online language comprehension (e.g., Braun & Tagliapietra, 2010). Such alternatives play a crucial a role in the definition of particles like only which have been found (i) to facilitate recall of contextual alternatives (Spalek, et al., in revision) and (ii) to hamper the rejection of unmentio...
Article
Full-text available
Prosodic information is crucial for spoken language comprehension and especially for syntactic parsing, because prosodic cues guide the hearer's syntactic analysis. The time course and mechanisms of this interplay of prosody and syntax are not yet well-understood. In particular, there is an ongoing debate whether local prosodic cues are taken into...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies have revealed that infants aged 6-10 months are able to use the acoustic correlates of major prosodic boundaries, that is, pitch change, preboundary lengthening, and pause, for the segmentation of the continuous speech signal. Moreover, investigations with American-English- and Dutch-learning infants suggest that processing prosodi...