Distribution by Scientific Domains

Terms modified by Semantic

  • semantic analysis
  • semantic confusion
  • semantic content
  • semantic dementia
  • semantic fluency
  • semantic indexing
  • semantic information
  • semantic integration
  • semantic memory
  • semantic network
  • semantic processing
  • semantic relation
  • semantic theory
  • semantic web

  • Selected Abstracts


    RATIO, Issue 2 2007
    Giuseppina D'Oro
    This paper explores an alternative to the metaphysical challenge to physicalism posed by Jackson and Kripke and to the epistemological one exemplified by the positions of Nagel, Levine and McGinn. On this alternative the mind-body gap is neither ontological nor epistemological, but semantic. I claim that it is because the gap is semantic that the mind-body problem is a quintessentially philosophical problem that is not likely to wither away as our natural scientific knowledge advances.1 [source]

    The Transformation of the Educational Semantic within a Changing Society: A Study of the Westernization of Modern Chinese Education1

    In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the process of westernization of Chinese education , of the Chinese educational "system", was marked by ongoing conflicts between traditional Chinese and modern western culture. This paper looks at the process by which, within the larger context of the "world-society," educational thought was constituted or reconstituted (regenerated) in modern China, thus taking on a more hybrid form. My analysis is guided by a Luhmannian approach which focuses on the distinction between the educational system and its environment, and on the changing concept of "education" throughout an important period in the history of modern China. I will try to analyze the historical description of the distinction between traditional Chinese and modern Western educational ideas. [source]

    Effect of Episodic and Working Memory Impairments on Semantic and Cognitive Procedural Learning at Alcohol Treatment Entry

    ALCOHOLISM, Issue 2 2007
    Anne Lise Pitel
    Background: Chronic alcoholism is known to impair the functioning of episodic and working memory, which may consequently reduce the ability to learn complex novel information. Nevertheless, semantic and cognitive procedural learning have not been properly explored at alcohol treatment entry, despite its potential clinical relevance. The goal of the present study was therefore to determine whether alcoholic patients, immediately after the weaning phase, are cognitively able to acquire complex new knowledge, given their episodic and working memory deficits. Methods: Twenty alcoholic inpatients with episodic memory and working memory deficits at alcohol treatment entry and a control group of 20 healthy subjects underwent a protocol of semantic acquisition and cognitive procedural learning. The semantic learning task consisted of the acquisition of 10 novel concepts, while subjects were administered the Tower of Toronto task to measure cognitive procedural learning. Results: Analyses showed that although alcoholic subjects were able to acquire the category and features of the semantic concepts, albeit slowly, they presented impaired label learning. In the control group, executive functions and episodic memory predicted semantic learning in the first and second halves of the protocol, respectively. In addition to the cognitive processes involved in the learning strategies invoked by controls, alcoholic subjects seem to attempt to compensate for their impaired cognitive functions, invoking capacities of short-term passive storage. Regarding cognitive procedural learning, although the patients eventually achieved the same results as the controls, they failed to automate the procedure. Contrary to the control group, the alcoholic groups' learning performance was predicted by controlled cognitive functions throughout the protocol. Conclusion: At alcohol treatment entry, alcoholic patients with neuropsychological deficits have difficulty acquiring novel semantic and cognitive procedural knowledge. Compared with controls, they seem to use more costly learning strategies, which are nonetheless less efficient. These learning disabilities need to be considered when treatment requiring the acquisition of complex novel information is envisaged. [source]

    Implications of family environment and language development: comparing typically developing children to those with spina bifida

    B. Vachha
    Abstract Introduction This study examines the effect of family environment on language performance in children with myelomeningocele compared with age- and education-matched controls selected from the same geographic region. Methods Seventy-five monolingual (English) speaking children with myelomeningocele [males: 30; ages: 7,16 years; mean age: 10 years 1 month, standard deviation (SD) 2 years 7 months] and 35 typically developing children (males: 16; ages 7,16 years; mean age: 10 years 9 months, SD 2 years 6 months) participated in the study. The Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language (CASL) and the Wechsler tests of intelligence were administered individually to all participants. The CASL measures four subsystems: lexical, syntactic, supralinguistic and pragmatic. Parents completed the Family Environment Scale (FES) questionnaire and provided background demographic information. Standard independent sample t -tests, chi-squared and Fisher's exact tests were used to make simple comparisons between groups for age, socio-economic status, gender and ethnicity. Spearman correlation coefficients were used to detect associations between language and FES data. Group differences for the language and FES scores were analysed with a multivariate analysis of variance at a P -value of 0.05. Results For the myelomeningocele group, both Spearman correlation and partial correlation analyses revealed statistically significant positive relationships for the FES ,intellectual,cultural orientation' (ICO) variable and language performance in all subsystems (P < 0.01). For controls, positive associations were seen between: (1) ICO and lexical/semantic and syntactic subsystems; and (2) FES ,independence' and lexical/semantic and supralinguistic tasks. Conclusions The relationship between language performance and family environment appears statistically and intuitively sound. As in our previous study, the positive link between family focus on intellectually and culturally enhancing activities and language performance among children with myelomeningocele and shunted hydrocephalus remains robust. Knowledge of this relationship should assist parents and professionals in supporting language development through activities within the natural learning environment. [source]

    Choosing Rhetorical Structures To Plan Instructional Texts

    Leila Kosseim
    This paper discusses a fundamental problem in natural language generation: how to organize the content of a text in a coherent and natural way. In this research, we set out to determine the semantic content and the rhetorical structure of texts and to develop heuristics to perform this process automatically within a text generation framework. The study was performed on a specific language and textual genre: French instructional texts. From a corpus analysis of these texts, we determined nine senses typically communicated in instructional texts and seven rhetorical relations used to present these senses. From this analysis, we then developed a set of presentation heuristics that determine how the senses to be communicated should be organized rhetorically in order to create a coherent and natural text. The heuristics are based on five types of constraints: conceptual, semantic, rhetorical, pragmatic, and intentional constraints. To verify the heuristics, we developed the spin natural language generation system, which performs all steps of text generation but focuses on the determination of the content and the rhetorical structure of the text. [source]

    Adaptable cache service and application to grid caching

    Laurent d'Orazio
    Abstract Caching is an important element to tackle performance issues in largely distributed data management. However, caches are efficient only if they are well configured according to the context of use. As a consequence, they are usually built from scratch. Such an approach appears to be expensive and time consuming in grids where the various characteristics lead to many heterogeneous cache requirements. This paper proposes a framework facilitating the construction of sophisticated and dynamically adaptable caches for heterogeneous applications. Such a framework has enabled the evaluation of several configurations for distributed data querying systems and leads us to propose innovative approaches for semantic and cooperative caching. This paper also reports the results obtained in bioinformatics data management on grids showing the relevance of our proposals. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    ,Salience syndrome' replaces ,schizophrenia' in DSM-V and ICD-11: psychiatry's evidence-based entry into the 21st century?

    J. Van Os
    Objective:, Japan was the first country to abandon the 19th century term of ,mind-splitting disease' (schizophrenia). Revisions of DSM and ICD are forthcoming. Should the rest of the world follow Japan's example? Method:, A comprehensive literature search was carried out in order to review the scientific evidence for the validity, usefulness and acceptability of current concepts of psychotic disorder. Results:, The discussion about re-classifying and renaming schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders is clouded by conceptual confusion. First, it is often misunderstood as a misguided attempt to change societal stigma instead of an attempt to change iatrogenic stigma occasioned by the use of misleading and mystifying terminology. Second, the debate is misunderstood as purely semantic, whereas in actual fact it is about the core concepts underlying psychiatric nosology. Third, it has been suggested that the debate is political. However, solid scientific evidence pointing to the absence of nosological validity of diagnostic categories lies at the heart of the argument. Fourth, there is confusion about what constitutes a syndrome (a group of symptom dimensions that cluster in different combinations in different people and for which one or more underlying diseases may or may not be found) and a disease (a nosologically valid entity with specific causes, symptoms, treatment and course). Conclusion:, Scientific evidence favours a syndromal system of classification combining categorical and dimensional representations of psychosis. The concept of ,salience' has the potential to make the public recognize psychosis as relating to an aspect of human mentation and experience that is universal. It is proposed to introduce, analogous to the functional-descriptive term ,Metabolic syndrome', the diagnosis of ,Salience syndrome' to replace all current diagnostic categories of psychotic disorders. Within Salience syndrome, three subcategories may be identified, based on scientific evidence of relatively valid and specific contrasts, named Salience syndrome with affective expression, Salience syndrome with developmental expression and Salience syndrome not otherwise specified. [source]

    Spatial and temporal analysis of fMRI data on word and sentence reading

    Sven Haller
    Abstract Written language comprehension at the word and the sentence level was analysed by the combination of spatial and temporal analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Spatial analysis was performed via general linear modelling (GLM). Concerning the temporal analysis, local differences in neurovascular coupling may confound a direct comparison of blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response estimates between regions. To avoid this problem, we parametrically varied linguistic task demands and compared only task-induced within-region BOLD response differences across areas. We reasoned that, in a hierarchical processing system, increasing task demands at lower processing levels induce delayed onset of higher-level processes in corresponding areas. The flow of activation is thus reflected in the size of task-induced delay increases. We estimated BOLD response delay and duration for each voxel and each participant by fitting a model function to the event-related average BOLD response. The GLM showed increasing activations with increasing linguistic demands dominantly in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and the left superior temporal gyrus (STG). The combination of spatial and temporal analysis allowed a functional differentiation of IFG subregions involved in written language comprehension. Ventral IFG region (BA 47) and STG subserve earlier processing stages than two dorsal IFG regions (BA 44 and 45). This is in accordance with the assumed early lexical semantic and late syntactic processing of these regions and illustrates the complementary information provided by spatial and temporal fMRI data analysis of the same data set. [source]

    Variegated neoliberalization: geographies, modalities, pathways

    GLOBAL NETWORKS, Issue 2 2010
    Abstract Across the broad field of heterodox political economy, ,neoliberalism' appears to have become a rascal concept , promiscuously pervasive, yet inconsistently defined, empirically imprecise and frequently contested. Controversies regarding its precise meaning are more than merely semantic. They generally flow from underlying disagreements regarding the sources, expressions and implications of contemporary regulatory transformations. In this article, we consider the handling of ,neoliberalism' within three influential strands of heterodox political economy , the varieties of capitalism approach; historical materialist international political economy; and governmentality approaches. While each of these research traditions sheds light on contemporary processes of market-oriented regulatory restructuring, we argue that each also underplays and/or misreads the systemically uneven, or ,variegated', character of these processes. Enabled by a critical interrogation of how each approach interprets the geographies, modalities and pathways of neoliberalization processes, we argue that the problematic of variegation must be central to any adequate account of marketized forms of regulatory restructuring and their alternatives under post-1970s capitalism. Our approach emphasizes the cumulative impacts of successive ,waves' of neoliberalization upon uneven institutional landscapes, in particular: (a) their establishment of interconnected, mutually recursive policy relays within an increasingly transnational field of market-oriented regulatory transfer; and (b) their infiltration and reworking of the geoinstitutional frameworks, or ,rule regimes', within which regulatory experimentation unfolds. This mode of analysis has significant implications for interpreting the current global economic crisis. [source]

    The role of medial temporal lobe in retrieving spatial and nonspatial relations from episodic and semantic memory

    HIPPOCAMPUS, Issue 1 2010
    Lee Ryan
    Abstract This study examined the involvement of medial temporal lobe, especially the hippocampus, in processing spatial and nonspatial relations using episodic and semantic versions of a relational judgment task. Participants studied object arrays and were tested on different types of relations between pairs of objects. Three prevalent views of hippocampal function were considered. Cognitive map theory (O'Keefe and Nadel (1978) The Hippocampus as a Cognitive Map. USA: Oxford University Press) emphasizes hippocampal involvement in spatial relational tasks. Multiple trace theory (Nadel and Moscovitch (1997) Memory consolidation, retrograde amnesia and the hippocampal complex Curr Opin Neurobiol 7:217,227) emphasizes hippocampal involvement in episodic tasks. Eichenbaum and Cohen's ((2001) From Conditioning to Conscious Recollection: Memory Systems of the Brain. USA: Oxford University Press) relational theory predicts equivalent hippocampal involvement in all relational tasks within both semantic and episodic memory. The fMRI results provided partial support for all three theories, though none of them fit the data perfectly. We observed hippocampal activation during all relational tasks, with increased activation for spatial compared to nonspatial relations, and for episodic compared to semantic relations. The placement of activation along the anterior-posterior axis of the hippocampus also differentiated the conditions. We suggest a view of hippocampal function in memory that incorporates aspects of all three theories. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Common and distinct neural substrates for the perception of speech rhythm and intonation

    HUMAN BRAIN MAPPING, Issue 7 2010
    Linjun Zhang
    Abstract The present study examines the neural substrates for the perception of speech rhythm and intonation. Subjects listened passively to synthesized speech stimuli that contained no semantic and phonological information, in three conditions: (1) continuous speech stimuli with fixed syllable duration and fundamental frequency in the standard condition, (2) stimuli with varying vocalic durations of syllables in the speech rhythm condition, and (3) stimuli with varying fundamental frequency in the intonation condition. Compared to the standard condition, speech rhythm activated the right middle superior temporal gyrus (mSTG), whereas intonation activated the bilateral superior temporal gyrus and sulcus (STG/STS) and the right posterior STS. Conjunction analysis further revealed that rhythm and intonation activated a common area in the right mSTG but compared to speech rhythm, intonation elicited additional activations in the right anterior STS. Findings from the current study reveal that the right mSTG plays an important role in prosodic processing. Implications of our findings are discussed with respect to neurocognitive theories of auditory processing. Hum Brain Mapp, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    The neural response to changing semantic and perceptual complexity during language processing

    HUMAN BRAIN MAPPING, Issue 3 2010
    David J. Sharp
    Abstract Speech comprehension involves processing at different levels of analysis, such as acoustic, phonetic, and lexical. We investigated neural responses to manipulating the difficulty of processing at two of these levels. Twelve subjects underwent positron emission tomographic scanning while making decisions based upon the semantic relatedness between heard nouns. We manipulated perceptual difficulty by presenting either clear or acoustically degraded speech, and semantic difficulty by varying the degree of semantic relatedness between words. Increasing perceptual difficulty was associated with greater activation of the left superior temporal gyrus, an auditory-perceptual region involved in speech processing. Increasing semantic difficulty was associated with reduced activity in both superior temporal gyri and increased activity within the left angular gyrus, a heteromodal region involved in accessing word meaning. Comparing across all the conditions, we also observed increased activation within the left inferior prefrontal cortex as the complexity of language processing increased. These results demonstrate a flexible system for language processing, where activity within distinct parts of the network is modulated as processing demands change. Hum Brain Mapp, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    An fMRI study of canonical and noncanonical word order in German

    HUMAN BRAIN MAPPING, Issue 10 2007
    Jörg Bahlmann
    Abstract Understanding a complex sentence requires the processing of information at different (e.g., phonological, semantic, and syntactic) levels, the intermediate storage of this information and the unification of this information to compute the meaning of the sentence information. The present investigation homed in on two aspects of sentence processing: working memory and reanalysis. Event-related functional MRI was used in 12 healthy native speakers of German, while they read sentences. Half of the sentences had unambiguous initial noun-phrases (masculine nominative, masculine accusative) and thus signaled subject-first (canonical) or object-first (noncanonical) sentences. Noncanonical unambiguous sentences were supposed to entail greater demand on working memory, because of their more complex syntactic structure. The other half of the sentences had case-ambiguous initial noun-phrases (feminine gender). Only the second unambiguous noun-phrase (eighth position in the sentences) revealed, whether a canonical or noncanonical word order was present. Based on previous data it was hypothesized that ambiguous noncanonical sentences required a recomputation of the sentence, as subjects would initially commit to a subject first reading. In the respective contrasts two main areas of brain activation were observed. Unambiguous noncanonical sentences elicited more activation in left inferior frontal cortex relative unambiguous canonical sentences. This was interpreted in conjunction with the greater demands on working memory in the former condition. For noncanonical ambiguous relative to canonical ambiguous sentences, an activation of the left supramarginal gyrus was revealed, which was interpreted as a reflection of the reanalysis-requirements induced by this condition. Hum Brain Mapp, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    Late acquisition of literacy in a native language

    HUMAN BRAIN MAPPING, Issue 1 2007
    Jubin Abutalebi
    Abstract With event-related functional MRI (fMRI) and with behavioral measures we studied the brain processes underlying the acquisition of native language literacy. Adult dialect speakers were scanned while reading words belonging to three different conditions: dialect words, i.e., the native language in which subjects are illiterate (dialect), German words, i.e., the second language in which subjects are literate, and pseudowords. Investigating literacy acquisition of a dialect may reveal how novel readers of a language build an orthographic lexicon, i.e., establish a link between already available semantic and phonological representations and new orthographic word forms. The main results of the study indicate that a set of regions, including the left anterior hippocampal formation and subcortical nuclei, is involved in the buildup of orthographic representations. The repeated exposure to written dialect words resulted in a convergence of the neural substrate to that of the language in which these subjects were already proficient readers. The latter result is compatible with a "fast" brain plasticity process that may be related to a shift of reading strategies. Hum Brain Mapp, 2007. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

    A majority model in group decision making using QMA,OWA operators

    J.I. Peláez
    Group decision-making problems are situations where a number of experts work in a decision process to obtain a final value that is representative of the global opinion. One of the main problems in this context is to design aggregation operators that take into account the individual opinions of the decision makers. One of the most important operators used for synthesizing the individual opinions in a representative value of majority in the OWA operator, where the majority concept used aggregation processes, is modeled using fuzzy logic and linguistic quantifiers. In this work the semantic of majority used in OWA operators is analyzed, and it is shown how its application in group decision-making problems does not produce representative results of the concept expressed by the quantifier. To solve this type of problem, two aggregation operators, QMA,OWA, are proposed that use two quantification strategies and a quantified normalization process to model the semantic of the linguistic quantifiers in the group decision-making process. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Int Syst 21: 193,208, 2006. [source]

    Relation between self-knowledge reference and self-monitoring of emotional state1

    Abstract:, We used a task facilitation paradigm to examine whether self-knowledge reference and self-monitoring have a functional relationship. Eighteen participants performed a series of tasks: self-knowledge reference, evaluation, self-monitoring, and semantic. Responses on the self-knowledge reference task were faster when the previous task was self-monitoring rather than semantic. However, responses on the self-monitoring task were similar regardless of whether it was preceded by the self-knowledge reference task or the evaluation task. Our results suggest that self-monitoring induces self-knowledge reference. [source]

    Darkness visible: reflections on underground ecology

    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, Issue 2 2005
    A. H. FITTER
    Summary 1Soil science and ecology have developed independently, making it difficult for ecologists to contribute to urgent current debates on the destruction of the global soil resource and its key role in the global carbon cycle. Soils are believed to be exceptionally biodiverse parts of ecosystems, a view confirmed by recent data from the UK Soil Biodiversity Programme at Sourhope, Scotland, where high diversity was a characteristic of small organisms, but not of larger ones. Explaining this difference requires knowledge that we currently lack about the basic biology and biogeography of micro-organisms. 2It seems inherently plausible that the high levels of biological diversity in soil play some part in determining the ability of soils to undertake ecosystem-level processes, such as carbon and mineral cycling. However, we lack conceptual models to address this issue, and debate about the role of biodiversity in ecosystem processes has centred around the concept of functional redundancy, and has consequently been largely semantic. More precise construction of our experimental questions is needed to advance understanding. 3These issues are well illustrated by the fungi that form arbuscular mycorrhizas, the Glomeromycota. This ancient symbiosis of plants and fungi is responsible for phosphate uptake in most land plants, and the phylum is generally held to be species-poor and non-specific, with most members readily colonizing any plant species. Molecular techniques have shown both those assumptions to be unsafe, raising questions about what factors have promoted diversification in these fungi. One source of this genetic diversity may be functional diversity. 4Specificity of the mycorrhizal interaction between plants and fungi would have important ecosystem consequences. One example would be in the control of invasiveness in introduced plant species: surprisingly, naturalized plant species in Britain are disproportionately from mycorrhizal families, suggesting that these fungi may play a role in assisting invasion. 5What emerges from an attempt to relate biodiversity and ecosystem processes in soil is our extraordinary ignorance about the organisms involved. There are fundamental questions that are now answerable with new techniques and sufficient will, such as how biodiverse are natural soils? Do microbes have biogeography? Are there rare or even endangered microbes? [source]

    Alcoholism and Dampened Temporal Limbic Activation to Emotional Faces

    ALCOHOLISM, Issue 11 2009
    Ksenija Marinkovic
    Background:, Excessive chronic drinking is accompanied by a broad spectrum of emotional changes ranging from apathy and emotional flatness to deficits in comprehending emotional information, but their neural bases are poorly understood. Methods:, Emotional abnormalities associated with alcoholism were examined with functional magnetic resonance imaging in abstinent long-term alcoholic men in comparison to healthy demographically matched controls. Participants were presented with emotionally valenced words and photographs of faces during deep (semantic) and shallow (perceptual) encoding tasks followed by recognition. Results:, Overall, faces evoked stronger activation than words, with the expected material-specific laterality (left hemisphere for words, and right for faces) and depth of processing effects. However, whereas control participants showed stronger activation in the amygdala and hippocampus when viewing faces with emotional (relative to neutral) expressions, the alcoholics responded in an undifferentiated manner to all facial expressions. In the alcoholic participants, amygdala activity was inversely correlated with an increase in lateral prefrontal activity as a function of their behavioral deficits. Prefrontal modulation of emotional function as a compensation for the blunted amygdala activity during a socially relevant face appraisal task is in agreement with a distributed network engagement during emotional face processing. Conclusions:, Deficient activation of amygdala and hippocampus may underlie impaired processing of emotional faces associated with long-term alcoholism and may be a part of the wide array of behavioral problems including disinhibition, concurring with previously documented interpersonal difficulties in this population. Furthermore, the results suggest that alcoholics may rely on prefrontal rather than temporal limbic areas in order to compensate for reduced limbic responsivity and to maintain behavioral adequacy when faced with emotionally or socially challenging situations. [source]

    Effect of Episodic and Working Memory Impairments on Semantic and Cognitive Procedural Learning at Alcohol Treatment Entry

    ALCOHOLISM, Issue 2 2007
    Anne Lise Pitel
    Background: Chronic alcoholism is known to impair the functioning of episodic and working memory, which may consequently reduce the ability to learn complex novel information. Nevertheless, semantic and cognitive procedural learning have not been properly explored at alcohol treatment entry, despite its potential clinical relevance. The goal of the present study was therefore to determine whether alcoholic patients, immediately after the weaning phase, are cognitively able to acquire complex new knowledge, given their episodic and working memory deficits. Methods: Twenty alcoholic inpatients with episodic memory and working memory deficits at alcohol treatment entry and a control group of 20 healthy subjects underwent a protocol of semantic acquisition and cognitive procedural learning. The semantic learning task consisted of the acquisition of 10 novel concepts, while subjects were administered the Tower of Toronto task to measure cognitive procedural learning. Results: Analyses showed that although alcoholic subjects were able to acquire the category and features of the semantic concepts, albeit slowly, they presented impaired label learning. In the control group, executive functions and episodic memory predicted semantic learning in the first and second halves of the protocol, respectively. In addition to the cognitive processes involved in the learning strategies invoked by controls, alcoholic subjects seem to attempt to compensate for their impaired cognitive functions, invoking capacities of short-term passive storage. Regarding cognitive procedural learning, although the patients eventually achieved the same results as the controls, they failed to automate the procedure. Contrary to the control group, the alcoholic groups' learning performance was predicted by controlled cognitive functions throughout the protocol. Conclusion: At alcohol treatment entry, alcoholic patients with neuropsychological deficits have difficulty acquiring novel semantic and cognitive procedural knowledge. Compared with controls, they seem to use more costly learning strategies, which are nonetheless less efficient. These learning disabilities need to be considered when treatment requiring the acquisition of complex novel information is envisaged. [source]

    Language attitudes in interaction1

    Grit Liebscher
    This paper discusses the observation of language attitudes in interaction and argues that these approaches provide invaluable insights for the study of language attitudes. In the first half of the paper, the three different kinds of discourse-based methods of analysis that scholars have used to analyse language attitudes (content-based approaches, turn-internal semantic and pragmatic approaches, and interactional approaches) are discussed. In the second half, then, the third of these approaches is used to illustrate such an analysis with four stretches of conversation in different contexts. In the end, the argument is put forward that discourse-based approaches in general and interactional approaches in particular should be viewed as at least as fundamental to language attitude research as more commonly used quantitative methods of analysis, since the former can provide the researcher with insights that the latter do not. [source]


    Ho-Wen Chen
    ABSTRACT: This paper uses the grey fuzzy multiobjective programming to aid in decision making for the allocation of waste load in a river system under versatile uncertainties and risks. It differs from previous studies by considering a multicriteria objective function with combined grey and fuzzy messages under a cost benefit analysis framework. Such analysis technically integrates the prior information of water quality models, water quality standards, wastewater treatment costs, and potential benefits gained via in-stream water quality improvement. While fuzzy sets are characterized based on semantic and cognitive vagueness in decision making, grey numbers can delineate measurement errors in data collection. By employing three distinct set theoretic fuzzy operators, the synergy of grey and fuzzy implications may smoothly characterize the prescribed management complexity. With the aid of genetic algorithm in the solution procedure, the modeling outputs contribute to the development of an effective waste load allocation and reduction scheme for tributaries in this subwatershed located in the lower Tseng-Wen River Basin, South Taiwan. Research findings indicate that the inclusion of three fuzzy set theoretic operators in decision analysis may delineate different tradeoffs in decision making due to varying changes, transformations, and movements of waste load in association with land use pattern within the watershed. [source]

    The Effect of Frequency of Input-Enhancements on Word Learning and Text Comprehension

    LANGUAGE LEARNING, Issue 2 2007
    Susanne Rott
    Research on second language lexical development during reading has found positive effects for word frequency, the provision of glosses, and elaborative word processing. However, findings have been inconclusive regarding the effect of such intervention tasks on long-term retention. Likewise, few studies have looked at the cumulative effect of interventions on word learning or text comprehension. This investigation sought to assess the effect of increased frequency of target words (TWs) comparing lexical gain of words that occurred once (F1) or four times (F4) in the input passage. The study further investigated the combined effect of frequency (F4) and semantic or visual enhancements. It compared the following reading conditions: (a) TWs were glossed four times in the text (four-gloss: 4G); (b) TWs were first glossed, then retrieved in the first language, and bolded twice (gloss-retrieval: GR); and (c) TWs were first glossed and then bolded three times (gloss-bolding: GB). In addition, the study assessed the effect of these interventions on long-term retention (4,6 weeks) of lexical knowledge and on text comprehension. Findings revealed that the GR and 4G reading conditions resulted in more productive word gain than the GB condition or when readers encountered a TW only once. Repeated visual enhancements seemed to have no effect on strengthening word encoding. The comprehension of main ideas was highest when the TW was glossed four times followed by the gloss-bolding reading condition and the gloss-retrieval task. [source]

    Can a Horse Be a Donkey?

    LANGUAGE LEARNING, Issue 4 2006
    Form Interference Effects in Translation Recognition in Early, Late Proficient, Nonproficient Spanish-Catalan Bilinguals, Semantic
    The present study investigates the developmental aspect of the revised hierarchical model (Kroll & Stewart, 1994) concerning the access to the conceptual store from the second language (L2). We manipulated the level of proficiency and age of L2 acquisition. We tested Spanish-Catalan bilinguals (49 early proficient bilinguals, 28 late proficient bilinguals, and 28 late nonproficient bilinguals) in a translation recognition task in which they had to decide whether the second of two words was the correct translation of the first. The second word of the pair could be the true translation, a word related in form, a word more or less related in meaning, or an unrelated word. The results showed that both early and late proficient bilinguals were more sensitive to the semantic than to the form manipulation, but only in the case of words with a very close meaning. On the contrary, the late nonproficient group exhibited larger effects of the form than of the semantic manipulation. [source]

    Input and SLA: Adults' Sensitivity to Different Sorts of Cues to French Gender

    LANGUAGE LEARNING, Issue S1 2005
    Susanne E. Carroll
    All second language (L2) learning theories presuppose that learners learn the target language from the speech signal (or written material, when learners are reading), so an understanding of learners' ability to detect and represent novel patterns in linguistic stimuli will constitute a major building block in an adequate theory of second language acquisition (SLA) input. Pattern detection, a mainstay of current connectionist modeling of language learning, presupposes a sensitivity to particular properties of the signal. Learning abstract grammatical knowledge from the signal presupposes, as well, the capacity to map phonetic properties of the signal onto properties of another type (segments and syllables, morpheme categories, and so on). Thus, even seemingly "simple" grammatical phenomena may embody complex structural knowledge and be instantiated by a plethora of diverse cues. Moreover, cues have no a priori status; a phenomenon of a given sort takes on a value as a cue when acquisition of the grammatical system reveals it to be useful. My study deals with initial sensitivity to cues to gender attribution in French. Andersen (1984) asked: "What's gender good for anyway?" One answer comes from a number of studies, done mostly in the last 20 years, of gender processing by both monolingual and bilingual speakers (among many others, Bates, Devescovi, Hernandez, & Pizzamiglio, 1996; Bates & Liu, 1997; Friederici & Jacobsen, 1990; Grosjean, Dommergues, Cornu, Guillemon, & Besson, 1994; Guillemon & Grosjean, 2001; Taft & Meunier, 1998). These studies provide evidence that in monolinguals and early (but not late) L2 learners, prenominal morphosyntactic exponents of gender prime noun activation and speed up noun recognition. Over the same period, a growing number of studies detailing the course of L2 gender acquisition for a variety of different target languages and learner types (e.g., Bartning, 2000; Chini, 1995; Dewaele & Véronique, 2000; Granfeldt, 2003; Hawkins & Franceschina, 2004) have provided support for the hypothesis that developmental paths differ for early and later learners of gender. Yet despite its obvious importance to SLA theorizing, few studies have dealt directly with adult learners' ability to detect and analyze potential cues to gender at the initial stage of exposure to the L2 (and this despite considerable discussion in recent years of the nature of the "initial state" of L2 learning). The study reported on in this article, which was actually conducted in the late 1980s, was an attempt to shed some light on what the beginning learner can do with the gender attribution problem. This study was, at that time, and is even now, an anomaly; most research dealing with "input" provided descriptions of what people say to learners, not what learners can perceive and represent. Indeed, most studies that shed light on the initial analytical capacities of absolute beginners were concerned with "perceptual" learning, that is, with the acquisition of phonetic or phonological distinctions (e.g., Broselow, Hurtig, & Ringen's [1987] study of tone learning or various studies on the perception of the /r/ vs. /l/ phonemes in American English by Japanese speakers). In this update, it is therefore worth mentioning Rast's (2003) dissertation and Rast and Dommergues (2003), which is based on it, which examined the results of the first 8 hr of instructed learning of Polish by francophone adults. My study asked if anglophone adults, with little or no prior exposure to French, given auditory stimuli, were equally sensitive to phonological, morphosyntactic, or semantic cues to French gender classes. The issue of what learners can detect in the signal and encode is an empirical one. I presented 88 adult English speakers with highly patterned data in list form, namely, auditory sequences of [Det + N]French + translation equivalentEnglish forms. The patterns, all true generalizations, were drawn from linguistic descriptions of French. These cues are believed by grammarians of the language to be "psychologically real" to native speakers. I then measured in 3 different ways what my participants had acquired. Given the extreme limitations on the input (no visual supports to identify referents of names), the participants performed pretty well. Moreover, they proved to be highly sensitive to "natural" semantic and morphological patterns and could generalize accurately from learned instances to novel exemplars. These patterns, however, are not directly instantiated in the speech signal; they are abstractions imposed on the stimuli by human linguistic cognition. Moreover, although it would be inaccurate to describe the learning patterns as "transfer"(because English nouns have no gender feature), prior knowledge seemed to be implicated in the results. Above all, these Anglophones appear to perceive the gender learning problem as a semantic one and to make use of "top-down" information in solving it. It follows that the pattern detection that they can do when listening to speech is clearly biased by what they already know. These results, therefore, provide support for hypotheses that the initial state is to be defined in terms of the transfer of first language (L1) grammatical knowledge and/or the transfer of L1-based processing procedures. [source]

    Causatives and Transitivity in L2 English

    LANGUAGE LEARNING, Issue 1 2001
    Silvina Montrul
    This study investigates whether Spanish- and Turkish-speaking learners of English discover the semantic and syntactic constraints on the causative/inchoative alternation in the absence of overt morphological clues. Results of a Picture Judgment Task show that L2 learners do discover these properties, and that overall verbs appear to cluster in classes in their interlanguage grammars. However, the Turkish group, at a lower proficiency level than the Spanish one, accepted transitivity errors with unaccusative, unergative and non-alternating transitive verbs. Although some of the developmental trends observed could be attributed to L1 influence, lower-proficiency learners may start with a wider grammar, and therefore not differentiate lexico-syntactically among different verb classes. With higher proficiency, L2 learners eventually recover from overgeneralizations. [source]

    Teaching and Learning Guide for: Locutionary, Illocutionary, Perlocutionary

    Mikhail Kissine
    This guide accompanies the following article: Mikhail Kissine, ,Locutionary, Illocutionary, Perlocutionary', Language and Linguistics Compass 2/6 (2008) pp. 1189,1202. DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-818x.2008.00093.x. The terms locutionary act, illocutionary act and perlocutionary act originate from Austin's classical How to do with words. The corresponding notions, however, prove difficult to define. Yet, lack of careful delineating of each level can lead to important theoretical confusions. This Teaching and Learning Guide explains why proper understanding of Austin's trichotomy is crucial for semantics and pragmatics. Author's Introduction Most contemporary discussions in semantics and pragmatics employ , implicitly or explicitly , some or all of the concepts of locutionary,illocutionary or perlocutionary acts. These notions originate from Austin's posthumous and notoriously intricate book, How to do things with words. The point of interest for the linguist, however, is not so much the exegesis of Austin's ideas, as the precise delimitation of these levels of meaning. First, it is important to characterise the locutionary level , which falls short of any illocutionary force , to avoid contaminating analyses of utterance meanings with matters relative to the illocutionary level, viz. to the speech act performed. Second, the precise definition of illocutionary acts is an extremely difficult matter. However, the first, imperative step must be a clear demarcation between perlocutionary acts , relative to causal effects of the utterances , and the utterance's illocutionary force. Third, to assess theories of illocutionary forces, one must take into account the requirements for psychological and empirical plausibility. For instance, classical Gricean theories of illocutionary force attribution link it with the cognitive capacity to perform complex multi-layered mental state attributions, which is incompatible with the data available on the pragmatic and cognitive functioning of young children. In sum, gaining better understanding of the tripartite distinction between the locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary levels is not a taxonomical exercise, but a prerequisite for anyone willing to tackle semantic and/or pragmatic issues with the right tools. Suggested Reading Austin, J.L. (1975) How to do things with words, Second edition, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Lecture VIII. Difficult reading, but essential to understand Austin's intuitions and the origin of the debate. Strawson, P.F. (1964) "Intention and convention in speech acts", Philosophical Review, 73, 439,60. Classical criticism of Austin's claim abut the conventionality of illocutionary acts and first formulation of a Gricean theory of speech acts. Strawson, P.F. (1973) "Austin and ,Locutionary meaning'", in I. Berlin et al. (eds.) Essays on J.L. Austin, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 46,68. This equally classical paper sheds light onto the difficult notions of rhetic and locutionary acts; it paves the way for using these concepts interchangeably. Recanati, F. (1987) Meaning and Force. The pragmatics of performative utterances, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Chapter 9. This is a lucid discussion and elaboration of Strawson's conception of the locuitonary act as a potential for the illocutionary level. Wilson, D. and Sperber, D. (1988) "Mood and the analysis of non-declarative sentences", in J. Dancy et al. (eds.) Human Agency, Language, Duty and Value. Philosophical essayes in honour of J.O. Urmson, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 77,101. This paper gives important reasons for not confusing the analysis of mood , of the locutionary level , with the analysis of speech acts. Kissine, M. (2009) "Illocutionary forces and what is said", Mind and Language, 24, 122,38. Provides a definition of locutionary acts as linguistic representations of mental states, and lays grounds for a theory of speech acts as reasons to believe or to act. Bach, K. (1994) "Conversational impliciture", Mind and Language, 9, 124,62. An important defence of the distinction between illocutionary and locutionary acts. However, the reader should be warned that Bach conceives of locutionary acts as context-independent propositional radicals, which is not a self-evident position. Alston (2000) Illocutionary Acts and Sentence Meaning, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, Chapter 2. Contains a clear and lucid criticism of theories that confuse illocutionary and perlocutionary levels. Dominicy, M. (2008) "Epideictic rhetoric and the representation of human decision and choice", in K. Korta and J. Garmendia (eds.) Meaning, Intentions, and Argumentation, Stanford, CSLI, 179,207. This paper contains a useful test for distinguishing verbs that describe illocutionary acts form those that describe perlocutionary acts. It is also the first proposal to formulate the illocutionary/perlocutionary divide in Davidsonian terms. Focus Questions 1,What kind of philosophy of action is called for by the distinction between locutions, perlocutions and illocutions? 2,Should the locutionary level be always fully propositional? 3,Can illocutionary acts be characterised in terms of prototypical perlocutional effects? 4,Should illocutionary acts be divided in conventional (institutional) and non-conventional (non-insitutional) ones? 5,Are there good reasons for singling out a locutionary level? 6,,Does the attribution of illocutionary forces presuppose a complex mindreading process? Connexion with to Related Material in Lectures or Discussions 1,The distinction between the locutionary and illocutionary levels is crucial for any discussion about the semantics/pragmatics interface. Many scholars hastily characterise semantics as related to sentence-meaning and pragmatics as concerning the speech act performed. However, one should not take for granted that any level where the meaning is context-dependant is necessarily that of the illocutionary act performed. 2,This distinction can also be relevant for the discussions about the meaning of moods. For instance, the imperative mood is often analysed in terms of the directive illocutionary force. However, there are cases where utterances of imperative sentences do not correspond to a directive speech act. 3,The distinction between perlocutionary and illocutionary acts remains central for any attempt to classify or to define illocutionary forces. 4,Different conceptions of illocutionary acts are important for discussions about the ontogeny and phylogeny of the pragmatic dimension(s) of linguistic competence. [source]

    The Relationship Between Speaker's Reference and Semantic Reference

    David Lumsden
    The distinction between speaker's and semantic reference arose in connection with Donnellan's distinction between the referential use and the attributive use of definite descriptions. The central issue concerning the referential/attributive distinction is whether it is semantic or pragmatic. Kripke favours the pragmatic interpretation and developed the terminology of speaker's and semantic reference in his explanation. The notion of speaker's reference can apply also to uses of proper names, demonstratives, indefinite descriptions and quantifier expressions. The main danger for the speaker's reference/semantic reference distinction lies in controversy over the semantics/pragmatics interface. Both Relevance Theory and neo-Gricean theory acknowledge the phenomenon of pragmatic intrusion into semantics. If the pragmatic intrusion involves objective context rather than speaker's intentions this may permit a distinction between speaker's and semantic reference. [source]

    A Strictly Millian Approach to the Definition of the Proper Name

    MIND & LANGUAGE, Issue 4 2009
    A strictly Millian approach to proper names is defended, i.e. one in which expressions when used properly (,onymically') refer directly, i.e. without the semantic intermediaryship of the words that appear to comprise them. The approach may appear self-evident for names which appear to have no component parts (in current English) but less so for others. Two modes of reference are distinguished for potentially ambiguous expressions such as The Long Island. A consequence of this distinction is to allow a speculative neurolinguistics of proper (,onymic') and semantic (,non-onymic') reference. A further consequence is that translation of onymically referring expressions is impossible (since they have no semantic content), and some apparently self-evident objections to this view are met by insisting on a distinction between a proper name as a referring expression and its etymology. The nature of the linguistic mechanism(s) by which an expression becomes proper (i.e. loses sense) shows that etymological opacity is a precondition for the survival of words in certain proper names, furnishing evidence for reference without sense. The process of becoming proper amounts to abrogation of sense for the purpose of reference, which is precisely the requirement for a systematic defence of Mill. [source]

    Recognizing the temporal distinctions between landscape genetics and phylogeography

    MOLECULAR ECOLOGY, Issue 13 2010
    Abstract The steadily advancing fields of landscape genetics and phylogeography share many goals. However, there are some very distinct differences between these two disciplines, including the kinds of data and analyses commonly used, the timescale over which these data are informative, and the hypotheses the data are used to examine. Recently, a number of studies appear to have confused or synonymized phylogeography and landscape genetics. The difference is not merely semantic; understanding the distinctions between these fields is important for ensuring that researchers are aware of the temporal scale over which their data are informative. [source]

    Enriched video semantic metadata: Authorization, integration, and presentation

    Xiangming Mu
    An enriched video metadata framework including video authorization using VAST, metadata integration, and user level applications is presented. The Video Annotation and Summarization Tool (VAST) is a novel video metadata authorization system that integrates both semantic and visual metadata. Balance between accuracy and efficiency is achieved by adopting a semi-automatic authorization approach. Semantic information such as video annotation is integrated with the visual information under a XML schema. Results from user studies and field experiments using the VAST metadata demonstrated that the enriched metadata were seamlessly incorporated into application level programs such as the Interactive Shared Educational Environment (ISEE). Given the VAST metadata, a new video surrogate called the smartlink video surrogate was proposed and deployed in the ISEE. VAST has become a key component of the emerging Open Video Digital Library toolkit. [source]