Rene Kager

Rene Kager
Utrecht University | UU

dr.

About

170
Publications
44,018
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2,191
Citations
Citations since 2017
41 Research Items
863 Citations
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
2017201820192020202120222023050100150
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (170)
Article
The ability to map similar sounding words to different meanings alone is far from enough for successful speech processing. To overcome variability in the speech signal, young learners must also recognize words across surface variations. Previous studies have shown that infants at 14 months are able to use variations in word-internal cues (i.e., aco...
Article
Full-text available
We identify evidence supporting two amendments to standard metrical theory: the inclusion of layered feet, and the allowance of syllable-integrity violations, where a foot parses some, but not all, of a syllable’s constituents. The evidence comes from a High tone spreading process attested in Copperbelt Bemba (CB), which as reported by Bickmore and...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines (1) whether infant-directed speech (IDS) facilitates children’s word learning compared to adult-directed speech (ADS); and (2) the link between the prosody of IDS in word-learning contexts and children’s word learning from ADS and IDS. Twenty-four Dutch mother-child dyads participated when children were 18 and 24 months old. We...
Article
The acoustic properties of infant-directed speech (IDS) have been widely studied, but whether and how young learners’ language development benefits from individual properties remains to be confirmed. This study investigated whether toddlers’ word processing was affected by tone hyperarticulation in the IDS of a tone language. Nineteen- and 23-month...
Article
Full-text available
In this response we argue that the factorial typology predicted in Martínez-Paricio & Kager (2015), which representationally relies on the existence of internally layered ternary feet, is complete and accurate. We demonstrate it does not suffer from the problematic cases of overgeneration pointed out by Golston (this issue). Additionally, we corrob...
Article
Full-text available
In the current study, we aimed at understanding the effect of exposure to complex input on speech sound development, by conducting a systematic meta-analysis review of the existing treatment-based studies employing complex input in children with speech sound disorders. In the meta-analysis review, using a list of inclusion criteria, we narrowed 280...
Article
The functions of acoustic-phonetic modifications in infant-directed speech (IDS) remain a question: do they specifically serve to facilitate language learning via enhanced phonemic contrasts (the hyperarticulation hypothesis) or primarily to improve communication via prosodic exaggeration (the prosodic hypothesis)? The study of lexical tones provid...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research indicates that infant-directed speech (IDS) is usually slower than adult-directed speech (ADS) and mothers prefer placing a focused word in isolation or utterance-final position in (English) IDS, which may benefit word learning. This study investigated the speaking rate and word position of IDS in two typologically-distinct langua...
Article
Previous studies have reported perceptual advantages, such as when discriminating non-native linguistic or musical pitch differences, among first-year infants growing up in bilingual over monolingual environments. It is unclear whether such effects should be attributed to bilinguals’ enhanced perceptual sensitivity and/or cognitive abilities, and w...
Article
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This study investigates the pitch properties of infant-directed speech (IDS) specific to word-learning contexts in which mothers introduce unfamiliar words to children. Using a semi-spontaneous story-book telling task, we examined (1) whether mothers made distinctions between unfamiliar and familiar words with pitch in IDS compared to adult-directe...
Article
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This study investigates the link between the perception and production in sound change in progress, both at the regional and the individual level. Two devoicing processes showing regional variation in Dutch are studied: the devoicing of initial labiodental fricatives and of initial bilabial stops. Five regions were selected, to represent different...
Article
Traditionally, learning is assumed to take place with exposure to simpler elements first followed by exposure to elements with increasing levels of difficulty. Recent reports suggest that exposure to complex elements leads to more widespread changes. However, whether learning via exposure to complex or to simple elements is more beneficial is a mat...
Chapter
The Study of Word Stress and Accent - edited by Rob Goedemans December 2018
Article
Full-text available
Cambridge Core - Phonetics and Phonology - The Study of Word Stress and Accent - edited by Rob Goedemans
Article
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Infants are faced with a challenge of disaggregating functions of pitch in the ambient language into affective, pragmatic or referential (the latter in tone languages only). This mini review discusses several factors that might facilitate the disaggregation of referential and affective pitch in infancy: acoustic characteristics of infant-directed s...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies reported a non-native word learning advantage for bilingual infants at around 18 months. We investigated developmental changes in infant interpretation of sounds that aid in object mapping. Dutch monolingual and bilingual (exposed to Dutch and a second non-tone-language) infants’ word learning ability was examined on two novel labe...
Article
Full-text available
Tonal information is essential to early word learning in tone languages. Although numerous studies have investigated the intonational and segmental properties of infant-directed speech (IDS), only a few studies have explored the properties of lexical tones in IDS. These studies mostly focused on the first year of life; thus little is known about ho...
Article
Recent metrical studies have proposed that, under certain circumstances, a weak syllable may be adjoined to a binary foot, giving rise to a minimally recursive foot. Adding to a growing body of research from metrical stress and foot-conditioned phenomena in various languages, the goals of this paper are twofold. First, we aim at providing empirical...
Article
Although statistical learning has been shown to be a domain general mechanism, its constraints, such as its interactions with perceptual development, are less well understood and discussed. This study is among the first to investigate the distributional learning of lexical pitch in non-tone-language learning infants, exploring its interaction with...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It has been widely accepted that infant-directed speech (IDS) has a slower speaking rate than adult-directed speech (ADS) (e.g., Cristia, 2013), which is assumed to facilitate language development. This study aims at finding out whether this finding holds for Dutch and Mandarin Chinese and whether mothers slow down speaking rate to highlight unfami...
Article
The effects of bilingualism on vowel perception and cue weighting behaviour have not been established definitively. What influence does heritage bilingualism have on cue weighting of spectral and durational cues? What role does the duration cue play in cue weighting behaviour of heritage bilinguals: is it universally accessible or related to the fi...
Article
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Previous studies investigating possible differences between monolingual and bilingual infants’ vocabulary development have produced mixed results. The current study examines the size of the total receptive and expressive vocabulary, total conceptual vocabulary, and specific Dutch vocabulary of two hundred 8- to 18-month-old monolingual and bilingua...
Article
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This paper examines the nature of categorical perception (CP) effects in Mandarin and Dutch adult listeners through identification and discrimination tasks using lexical tonal contrasts and through the CP index analysis (Schouten & van Hessen, 1992). In identification tasks, Mandarin listeners identify tones in accordance with their native tonal ca...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we identify a new type of ternarity found in bounded tone spreading in Copperbelt Bemba (Bickmore & Kula 2013).We argue that this ternarity must be metrical in nature, because it is quantity-sensitive and therefore not capturable in a straightforward counting rule.Traditional binary feet approaches to ternarity hinge on the minimal p...
Article
Full-text available
Pitch variation is pervasive in speech, regardless of the language to which infants are exposed. Lexical tone is influenced by general sensitivity to pitch. We examined whether the development in lexical tone perception may develop in parallel with perception of pitch in other cognitive domains namely music. Using a visual fixation paradigm, 100 an...
Article
MOL, C., Chen, A., Kager, R., ter Haar, S.M. Prosody in birdsong: A review and perspective. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV XX(X) XXX-XXX, XXXX. - Birdsong shows striking parallels with human speech. Previous comparisons between birdsong and human vocalizations focused on syntax, phonology and phonetics. In this review, we propose that future comparative res...
Article
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This article presents a reanalysis of the foot-based phonology of Chugach Alutiiq (henceforth CA), a language that displays a complex mixed ternary–binary rhythm, as well as metrically conditioned distributions of pitch, fortition and vowel lengthening. Elaborating on earlier analyses of CA that had posited some kind of ternary constituent (Hewitt,...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores the influence of bilingualism on the cognitive processing of language and music. Specifically, we investigate how infants learning a non-tone language perceive linguistic and musical pitch and how bilingualism affects cross-domain pitch perception. Dutch monolingual and bilingual infants of 8-9 months participated in the study....
Article
Full-text available
This study aims at testing whether there are regional differences in the perception of the labiodental fricative contrast in Dutch. Previous production studies have shown that the devoicing of initial labiodental fricatives is a change in progress in the Dutch language area. We present the results of a speeded identification task in which fricative...
Article
Full-text available
Language input is a key factor in bi-/multilingual research. It roots in the definition of bi-/multilingualism and influences infant cognitive development since and even before birth. The methods used to assess language exposure among bi-/multilingual infants vary across studies. This paper discusses the parental report patterns of the amount/degre...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study is devoted to exploring surface/underlying listening strategies adopted by native and non-native, tone and non-tone language groups in their perception of sandhied tones, and the possible effect of the coarticulatory/non-coarticulatory nature of the sandhi rule on tone perception. The mapping between surface sandhied tones and underlying...
Article
The current study explores how language experience may shape the correlation between lexical tone and musical pitch perception. A two domains (music and lexical tone) by two languages (tone, Mandarin Chinese and non-tone, Dutch) design is adopted. Participants were tested on their discrimination of Mandarin Chinese lexical tones, Montreal Battery o...
Article
Purpose Facing previous mixed findings between monolingual and bilingual infants’ phonetic development during perceptual reorganization, the current study aims at examining the perceptual development of a native vowel contrast (/I/-/i/) by Dutch monolingual and bilingual infants. Design We tested 390 Dutch monolingual and bilingual infants from 5...
Article
Full-text available
Highlights • If OCP-Labial holds as a gradient constraint, specific labial pairs can be exempt. • Dutch listeners know of such exceptions, which affect their processing of speech. • Phonotactic knowledge influenced their segmentation of artificial languages. • Detailed phonotactic knowledge affects processing when task demands are simple. • Abstra...
Article
This paper examines the ability of bilingual infants who were learning Dutch and another non-tone language to discriminate tonal contrasts. All infants from 5 to 18 months of age succeeded in discriminating a tonal contrast of Mandarin Chinese (Tone 1 versus Tone 4) and showed a U-shaped pattern when facing a less acoustically salient manipulated v...
Article
This article presents a novel OT analysis of ternary rhythm, using the restrictive format of McCarthy (2003)'s categorical alignment constraints, which we will refer to as ‘non-intervention constraints’, using the terminology of Ellison (1994), and argues for the rehabilitation of internally layered feet in metrical representations (i.e. feet with...
Article
Full-text available
Probabilistic phonotactic knowledge facilitates perception, but categorical phonotactic illegality can cause misperceptions, especially of non-native phoneme combinations. If misperceptions induced by first language (L1) knowledge filter second language input, access to second language (L2) probabilistic phonotactics is potentially blocked for L2 a...
Article
Linking the discrimination of voice onset time (VOT) in infancy with infant language background, we examine the perceptual changes of two VOT contrasts (/b/-/p/ and /ph/-/p/) by Dutch monolingual and bilingual infants from 8 to 15 months of age. Results showed that language exposure and language dominance had a strong impact on monolingual and bili...
Article
Full-text available
The change from universal to language-specific speech perception occurs in the second half of the first year. Through head turn preference procedures, we examined changes in Dutch infants' perception of two consonant, one vowel, and two tonal contrasts at three time windows in the first year of life. Sensitivity to some, but not all, native and non...
Article
In the current study, we examined what forms the phonological knowledge of T3 sandhi among native Mandarin listeners and we ask the question whether there are cognitively based perceptual constraints that relate to T3 sandhi. In Mandarin Chinese, T3 sandhi restricts the co-occurrence of low tones (T3), and neutralizes the rising tone (T2) and T3 wh...
Article
In the current study, we examined the developmental course of the perception of non-native tonal contrast. We tested 4, 6 and 12-month-old Dutch infants on their discrimination of Chinese low-rising tone and low-dipping tone using the visual fixation paradigm. The infants were tested in two conditions that differed in terms of degree of variability...
Article
Full-text available
OCP-PLACE, a cross-linguistically well-attested constraint against pairs of consonants with shared [place], is psychologically real. Studies have shown that the processing of words violating OCP-PLACE is inhibited. Functionalists assume that OCP arises as a consequence of low-level perception: a consonant following another with the same [place] can...
Chapter
In Dutch, onset /v/ is becoming voiceless. Regional differences have been observed in the degree of devoicing and in the acoustic implementation of the /v/-/f/ contrast. We test whether these regional differences - reflecting different stages of the change in progress - are reflected in perception. We present the results of a speeded categorization...
Article
This paper will draw up a survey of metrical window systems informed by typological databases. The survey confirms that the maximum window size equals three syllables at both edges. Only final syllables (not initial ones) can be obligatorily unstressed. Any syllable in initial and final windows can be a default position. Three metrical models will...
Article
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The Dutch lexicon contains very few sequences of a long vowel followed by a consonant cluster whose second member is a non-coronal. We provide experimental evidence that Dutch speakers have implicit knowledge of this gap, which cannot be reduced to the probability of segmental sequences or to word-likeness as measured by neighbourhood density. The...
Article
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Dutch infants and adults are tested on their discrimination of a lexical tone contrast in Mandarin Chinese and a manipulated tone contrast differing solely in acoustic salience. Results show homogeneous tone discrimination pattern between adults and infants as early as 8-9 months. Specifically, Dutch infants and adults discriminate acoustic salient...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies show that infants experience perceptual reorganization (PR) in the first year of life, after which their sensitivity towards most non-native speech contrasts greatly decreases. Also, it has been shown that infants can track distributional information from the ambient speech input. Dutch infants of 5-6 and 11-12 months were tested o...
Article
Emerging phonotactic knowledge facilitates the development of the mental lexicon, as demonstrated by studies showing that infants use the phonotactic patterns of their native language to extract words from continuous speech. The present study provides a computational account of how infants might induce phonotactics from their immediate language env...
Article
Can second language (L2) learners acquire a grammar that allows a subset of the structures allowed by their native grammar? This question is addressed here with respect to acquisition of phonotactics. On the assumption that the L2 initial state equals the native grammar's final state, learnability theory would predict that a lack of negative eviden...
Presentation
Workshop on Phonological Similarity: Perceptual and Articulatory Bases and Links to Grammatical Mechanisms, North East Linguistic Society (NELS) 40
Chapter
Ternary rhythmic systems differ from binary systems in stressing every third syllable in a word, rather than every second. Ternary rhythm is well-established for only a small group of languages, including Chugach Alutiiq, Cayuvava, and Estonian, and possibly Winnebago. Nevertheless the stress patterns of these languages are sufficiently complex to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study investigated whether abstract, gradient phonotactic constraints play a role in speech processing. Dutch listeners performed an auditory lexical decision task, in which the nonword stimuli either did or did not violate a phonotactic constraint. Listeners were faster to reject nonwords that violated a phonotactic constraint. This effect re...
Article
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We consider two theories of laryngeal representation, one using a single feature [voice] generalizing across prevoicing languages and aspiration languages, and the other using multiple features: [voice] for pre-voicing languages and [spread glottis] for aspiration languages. We derive predictions for children's early productions, and test these for...
Article
This paper(1) addresses the proper balance between the lexicon and grammar. Particularly, it takes a fresh look into lexical phonological irregularity and its implications for the lexicon-grammar interface, integrating insights from three domains: the use of prespecification in blocking alternations (Kiparsky 1993, Inkelas 1995, Inkelas, Orgun & Zo...
Article
The standard model of directional stress assignment in Optimality Theory uses two gradient alignment constraints which assess the distance between edges of feet and words. This model predicts a large amount of symmetry in metrical typology, in terms of directionality and in terms of foot type. Yet major gaps occur in the typology, such as leftward...
Article
This volume presents ten studies in phonological first language acquisition, an area of research that has become one of fast-growing importance in recent years. The reason for this is not just the fruitfulness and linguistic interest of this type of study per se: it is also the case that the more we come to know about phonological development, by t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Peer feedback blijkt onder een aantal omstandigheden een gewaardeerd onderdeel van een cursus te kunnen zijn voor studenten. Studenten blijken de peer feedback van hun medestudenten onder andere intensief te gebruiken voor het reviseren van hun werkstukken (Van den Berg, 2003; Berg, Admiraal & Pilot, 2001). Dit gegeven sloot aan bij de wens van de...
Article
Deze bijdrage beoogt een theoretische interpretatie van experimenteel onderzoek door Gillis en De Schutter (1996) naar intuïtieve syllabificatie bij Nederlands-lerende kinderen. Volgens Gillis en De Schutter (hierna: G&S) volgt syllabificatie bij kinderen grotendeels universele principes, zoals het Maximale Onset Principe, maar laat tevens een (naa...
Article
Editors’ preface Research into Language Typology poses two intriguing and related challenges to the linguist. One the one hand there is the challenge of isolating empirical data that either at long last seem to fill an inexplicable gap in what is commonly thought natural languages should be like, or that conversely call into question hitherto hous...
Article
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If there is such a person as the average phonologist, he might have a conception of the relation between phonetics and phonology that comes close to the relation between social perceptions of crimes and a Code of Criminal Law. The Code's definition of various types of crimes and the penalty each type carries ultimately reflect, to put it crudely, t...
Article
One particularly useful way of addressing the issue of adequacy of constraints is the construction of factorial typologies. If we compare factorial typologies on the criterion of how closely they match actually attested stress systems, we may find reasons to prefer one set of constraints over the other.
Article
This paper argues that metrification has direct access to morphological structure; specifically, it argues for an Optimality-Theoretic model of the morphology-prosody interface in which generalized alignment constraints (which require metrical edges and morphological edges to coincide) interact with other metrical well-formedness constraints (such...
Article
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This article seeks to develop alternatives to recent theories (Hayes 1985, 1987, 1991; McCarthy and Prince 1986, 1990; Prince 1991) that explain quantitative asymmetries between iambic and trochaic systems on the basis of a rhythmiciambic-trochaic law. The theory proposed here derives such asymmetries from two different rhythmic factors: moraic pro...