Repository of University of Nova Gorica

Search the repository
A+ | A- | Help | SLO | ENG

Query: search in
search in
search in
search in
* old and bologna study programme

Options:
  Reset


1 - 9 / 9
First pagePrevious page1Next pageLast page
1.
Prosody and discourse structure in native and second language : hands on research using PRAAT
Alessandra Zappoli, 2022, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: This course focuses on the interplay between the speech sciences and the cognitive sciences, addressing the processing and acquisition of prosodic contours in Second Language (L2) Learning. We will introduce the theoretical framework of Autosegmental Metric Theory of Intonation and ToBI annotation, and we will cover the key notions of signal processing and speech analysis with a hands-on-research practical session, adopting the open-source software PRAAT. Furthermore, we will present studies targeting the cross-linguistic production of prosodic contours, focusing on the production of native speakers and L2 learners. Finally, we will address the behavioral and neurophysiological cognitive studies on the auditory processing of prosodic contours, targeting native speakers and L2 learners, and targeting the linguistic and paralinguistic function of pitch in speech. It is suggested to have a laptop and headphones, and to download the software PRAAT at one of the following links: windows: http://www.fon.hum.uva.nl/praat/download_win.html macintosh: http://www.fon.hum.uva.nl/praat/download_mac.html linux: http://www.fon.hum.uva.nl/praat/download_linux.html
Keywords: speech, cognitive sciences, PRAAT, prosody, second language acquisition, autosegmental metric theory of intonation, hands-on research, multilingualism
Published in RUNG: 30.08.2022; Views: 790; Downloads: 7
URL Link to full text
This document has many files! More...

2.
Categorical Perception of a vowel contrast in native speakers and second language learners.
Alessandra Zappoli, 2022, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: The perceptual space of a speaker is shaped in infancy according to the phonological inventory of the L1. Phonological categories correlate with Categorical Perception (CP) and Perceptual Magnet (PM) effects, lowering the discrimination rate between the same category’s sounds and increasing it at the Category Boundaries (Liberman et al., 1967; Kuhl et al., 1992). Second Language (L2) learning in adulthood requires creating new categories, some overlapping with the existing ones. When L2 and L1 categories overlap, the PM and CP effects might block the creation of the target L2 sounds, linked to Foreign Accented speech. In this study, I investigate with the CP paradigm, the categorization, and discrimination of two German words: ʃɔːn] (‘already’) vs. [ʃøːn] (‘beautiful’) distinguished by a vowel contrast existing in German but not in Italian. I tested: i) 20 L1 speakers of German (L1); 34 L2 learners of German, L1 speakers of Italian – ii) 14 exposed to native speech (Tandem); iii) 18 not exposed to it; iv) 20 L1 speakers of Italian (Naïve). The oddball discrimination task presented the stimuli in 6 orders: AAB, ABA, ABB, BAA, BAB, BBA. L2 learners performed the LEXTALE in German (Lemhöfer & Broersma, 2012). Results show that the categorization and discrimination performance linearly increase with language proficiency. Categorization only correlates with LEXTALE. Exposure to native speech is relevant. The presence of CP - as classically reported in the literature - is affected by the order of presentation of the stimuli in the oddball paradigm, emerging with BAB, ABA, BBA orders.
Keywords: vowel categorization, speech categorization, naive listeners, native speakers, L2 learners, categorical perception paradigm, perceptual space
Published in RUNG: 30.08.2022; Views: 799; Downloads: 0
This document has many files! More...

3.
Prosodia e Foreign Accent - Prosody and Foreign Accent : Prominenza accentuale e deaccentazione in Italiano e Tedesco come lingue seconde
Alessandra Zappoli, 2012, master's thesis

Abstract: This thesis investigates the production and acquisition of prosodic contours in Italian learners of German, and German learners of Italian as second languages (L2). The thesis compares speech production in L2 with speech production in the native language (L1). The goal is to verify whether the speech production in L2 is affected by Transfer phenomena that are linked to the phonological properties of the L1. The thesis also tests, in light of the Markedness Differential Hypothesis, whether the direction of acquisition - the acquisition of German as L2, being an L1 speaker of Italian vs. the acquisition of Italian as L2, being an L1 speaker of German – can predict a production in L2 connotated by Foreign Accent (FA). The thesis describes: i) the current state of the art of acquisitional theories of an L2 in adulthood; ii) the theoretical description of the patterns of prosodic prominence in Italian and German within the Autosegmental Theory of Intonation framework; iii) the interaction of the phonological structure with the Information Packaging of the Discourse Structure that differently affects the realization of prosodic patterns in Germanic and Romance languages. Finally, the thesis reports the preliminary results of a production experiment that adopts the paradigm of Swerts et. al (2002) in which participants utter a sequence of Noun-Phrases composed by a Noun and Adjective in which the Information Status rotates between the conditions of New, Given, and Contrastive information. The data highlight the presence of H+L* as the most frequently used Pitch Accent in the production of Italian speakers, that emerges also in the production of the German L2 speakers of Italian; in contrast, the data show the presence of Deaccentuation in the production of L1 speakers of German in correlation with the Given information status of a referent that is not successfully acquired by Italian L1 speakers of German as L2. The data indicate that it appears to be easier to successfully acquire the Italian prosodic system, being a native speaker of German, than vice-versa, supporting the MDH. The facilitatory effect is explainable by the less relevant role of the Discourse Structure in guiding the prominence patterns in Italian, which more heavily relies on the phonological structure, resulting in a less marked prosodic system compared to the prosodic system of German.
Keywords: pitch accents, prosody, foreign accent, prominence, second language acquisition, german, Italian, markedness, speech production
Published in RUNG: 06.12.2021; Views: 1396; Downloads: 0
This document has many files! More...

4.
Indirect speech acts in high functioning autism.
Eleonora Marocchini, Simona Di Paola, Greta Mazzaggio, Filippo Domaneschi, unpublished conference contribution

Keywords: autism, speech acts, requests
Published in RUNG: 23.09.2021; Views: 1270; Downloads: 0
This document has many files! More...

5.
Understanding indirect requests for information in high-functioning autism
Eleonora Marocchini, Simona Di Paola, Greta Mazzaggio, Filippo Domaneschi, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Few works have addressed the processing of indirect requests in High-Functioning Autism (HFA), and results are conflicting. Some studies report HFA individuals’ difficulties in indirect requests comprehension; others suggest that it might be preserved in HFA. Furthermore, the role of Theory of Mind in understanding indirect requests is an open issue. The goal of this work is twofold: first, assessing whether comprehension of indirect requests for information is preserved in HFA; second, exploring whether mind-reading skills predict this ability. We tested a group of (n = 14; 9–12 years) HFA children and two groups of younger (n = 19; 5–6 years) and older (n = 28; 9–12 years) typically developing (TD) children in a semi-structured task involving direct, indirect and highly indirect requests for information. Results suggested that HFA can understand indirect and highly indirect requests, as well as TD children. Yet, while Theory of Mind skills seem to enhance older TD children understanding, this is not the case for HFA children. Therefore, interestingly, they could rely on different interpretative strategies.
Keywords: autism, indirect requests, speech acts, pragamtics
Published in RUNG: 22.09.2021; Views: 1165; Downloads: 0
This document has many files! More...

6.
What a pro-drop language can tell us about pronouns' use in high-functioning ASD children
Greta Mazzaggio, Greta Mazzaggio, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: Background. Traditionally, pragmatic abilities are thought to be impaired in ASD and this is attributed to an impairment of Theory of Mind (ToM). Yet, a clear characterization of pragmatic impairments in ASD and, particularly, in High Functioning Autism (HFA) is still lacking. Recently, the traditional view has been mitigated by the finding that some pragmatic phenomena (e.g., scalar implicatures) are partly preserved in HFA. What about Indirect Speech Acts? The picture is fragmented. On the one hand, some studies suggest that HFAs perform well on conventionalised indirect requests (Paul & Cohen, 1985); on the other, some studies report HFAs’ difficulties in explaining why indirect requests are used in a given context (MacKay & Shaw, 2005). However, following the traditional view, one would expect ASD population to experience difficulties with indirect speech acts. Beyond this, it is a shared idea that typical subjects show more difficulties with indirect speech acts than conventionalized indirect requests (Clark, 1979; Clark & Lucy, 1975) Kissine et al. (2015) tested indirect speech acts comprehension in HFAs and typically developing (TD) children. In a 3-pronged semi-structured task involving Mr. Potato Head, they found that HFAs performed better than TDs and concluded that indirect requests understanding may be preserved in HFA. However, this study compared TDs and HFAs at very different age ranges (TDs: 2;7-to-3;6 years; HFAs: 7-to-12 years) and only assumed a homogeneous development of ToM, given that no measure for children’s ToM skills and general cognitive functioning was collected. As such, it is unclear whether the HFAs’ better performance reflects age group-related differences rather than genuine speech acts comprehension in autism. Here, we further explore the hypothesis that indirect requests may be preserved/compromised in autism by comparing HFA and TD participants matched for age in a semi-structured task. We also assess children’s linguistic and ToM skills, to investigate whether such cognitive functions predict indirect requests comprehension. Methods. 43 Italian children were tested: 14 HFA children [MA = 10,6; SD = 1.17; 2f] and 26 age-matched TD children [MA = 11.03; SD = 0.61; 9f]. To test indirect speech acts understanding, we designed a task in which children were first presented with the drawing of a farm showing several animals and objects; then, while still looking at the drawing, they were asked some questions about the drawing (N. 24). The goal was to answer the questions in order to help the experimenter recreating the drawing. Questions were presented in 3 conditions: Direct (DIR: Is there a bunny in the farm?), Indirect (IND: I don’t remember if there is a bunny in the farm) and Highly Indirect (HIND: It is hard to remember whether there is a bunny in the farm). This generated 3 levels of the indirectness of the request (Direct, Indirect, Highly Indirect), which involved increasing processing efforts. Children’s accuracy to target questions was collected. After the indirect speech acts task, we administered the BVL test (morphosyntactic abilities) and 2 ToM tests (1st and 2nd order ToM). Results. Data were analysed with binomial logistic regression models. We analysed (i) whether children’s speech acts understanding varies depending on the indirectness of the request (i.e., DIR, IND, HIND) and on Group (i.e., TD vs. ASD); and (ii) whether this ability is predicted by their linguistic and ToM skills. Table 1 reports the accuracy rates in the speech act task as well as the BVL and ToM tests scores. (i) Accuracy in Speech Acts. Children’s accuracy significantly differed depending on condition only (Condition: p<.0001). Importantly, children performed significantly worse with indirect and highly indirect requests than with direct requests (DIR vs. IND: p< .005; DIR vs. HIND: p< .0001; IND vs. HIND: p=n.s.). (ii) Predictors. Both children’s linguistic and ToM skills significantly predicted their accuracy, as revealed by a significant positive correlation between accuracy in speech acts task and the scores in BVL (p<.05; β=4.78) and ToM tests (1st order ToM: p<.05; β=1.59; 2nd order ToM: p<.05; β=2.71). Interestingly, a significant negative correlation also emerged between (i) children’s BVL scores and their accuracy to HIND (p<.05; β=-0.16); and (ii) children’s scores in the 2nd order ToM test and their accuracy in both Indirect and HIND (Cond Indirect X 2nd order ToM: p<.05, β = -2.55; Cond HIND X 2nd order ToM: p<.05, β = - 3.04) (see Fig 1). Conclusion. These data support three main results. First, in line with previous studies on adults (Clark & Lucy, 1975; Coulson & Lovett, 2010), both TDs and HFAs exhibit more difficulties understanding indirect - and highly indirect - than direct requests (i.e., effect of condition). Second, both ToM and morphosyntactic abilities seem to predict the ability to understand speech acts: participants with better morphosyntactic and ToM skills also exhibited a better understanding of speech acts (i.e., positive correlations with the BVL and ToM test scores), thus suggesting that the better the linguistic and ToM abilities the better children’s understanding of speech acts. However, third, this general pattern seems to be influenced by the indirectness of the request. In fact, participants with better morphosyntactic and 1st order ToM abilities still performed lower with highly indirect requests than direct and indirect ones (i.e, negative correlations). Similarly, the better 2nd order ToM the better speech acts understanding, but still this was more the case with direct requests than indirect and highly indirect requests (i.e., negative correlations). Overall, this suggests that the cognitive functions under scrutiny likely enhance children’s speech acts understanding, but the level of indirectness of the request might involve these functions to different extents, at least in the age-range targeted here. To the best of our knowledge, though still preliminary, this is first evidence of the cognitive functions involved in indirect speech acts comprehension in typical and atypical development. It might be worth exploring further the possibility that ToM is more prominently involved than linguistic abilities. Finally, differently from Kissine et al. (2015), we observed no significant accuracy differences between TDs and HFAs. This result deserves further clarifications. However, two tentative interpretations can be outlined. First, contra Kissine et al. (2015), when matched for age, HFAs are not more facilitated in understanding indirect speech acts than TDs. Second, the sample of HFA participants is still too narrow to make any appreciable difference emerge. We are collecting more data to cast light on this.We tested 26 Italian children with ASD (mean age: 87.1 mo.) and a control group of 35 typically developing (TD) children (mean age: 65.5 mo.), matched for syntactic abilities using a standard Italian assessment, the BVL 4-12 (Marini, Marotta, Bulgheroni, & Fabbro, 2015). 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-person subject pronouns were elicited in focus position as well as in conjunction with a verb. Children’s theory of mind ability (Sullivan, Zaitchik, & Tager-Flusberg, 1994; Wellman & Liu, 2004), nonverbal intelligence (Raven’s Coloured Progressive Matrices; Belacchi, Scalisi, Cannoni, & Cornoldi, 2008), lexical knowledge (Marini et al., 2015), and comprehension of 1st- and 2nd-person pronouns were also tested. Pronoun comprehension was at ceiling in both groups (TD = 97.1%, ASD = 100%). However, the groups differed in their production of 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd person pronouns (Figure 1), with TD children producing the correct forms significantly more often than the children with ASD (1st- person: TD 92.9%; ASD 72.2%; U = 588.5; p = .006; 2nd-person: TD 97.1%; ASD 76%; U = 590.5; p = .003; 3rd-person: TD 100%; ASD 93.5%; U = 525; p = .02). When eliciting pronouns in isolation (focus position), children with ASD were more likely than TD children to produce their own name rather than a 1st-person pronoun (χ2 (1) = 5.34, p = .02). On the pronoun-verb elicitation task, children with ASD omitted optional subject pronouns significantly less often than TD children (null 1st-person: χ2 (1) = 7.58, p < .01; null 2nd-person: χ2 (1) = 8.43, p < .01). With regard to verb inflections, children with ASD produced a number of different verb forms (e.g., verbs in the infinitive, 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-person singular forms). Finally, a Pearson partial correlation analysis (controlling for age) revealed that for both groups, linguistic abilities were the best predictors of pronoun mastery (ASD: 1st-person pronoun and syntactic abilities, r = .390, p = .05; 2nd-person pronoun and lexicon abilities, r = .406, p = .04. TD: 1st-person pronoun and syntactic abilities, r = .446, p = .008). In line with at least three other studies on American and British children (Jordan, 1989; Lee, Hobson, & Chiat, 1994; Shield, Meier, & Tager-Flusberg, 2015), Italian children with ASD produced their own name rather than the 1st-person subject pronoun more often than TD children. However, children with ASD were more likely than TD children to produce subject pronouns in non-obligatory contexts, such as when the subject can be inferred from the verb. This pattern suggests that Italian children with ASD are generally able to acquire and use pronominal forms, but struggle with understanding when and where to use them appropriately, pointing to underlying challenges with pragmatics.
Keywords: indirect speech acts, indirect requests, autism developmental disorders
Published in RUNG: 22.09.2021; Views: 1225; Downloads: 88
URL Link to full text
This document has many files! More...

7.
Indirect speech acts in high functioning autism
Greta Mazzaggio, Simona Di Paola, Eleonora Marocchini, Filippo Domaneschi, 2019, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: Few works have addressed the processing of indirect requests in High-Functioning Autism (HFA), and results are conflicting. Some studies report HFA individuals’ difficulties in indirect requests comprehension; others suggest that it might be preserved in HFA. Furthermore, the role of Theory of Mind in understanding indirect requests is an open issue. The goal of this work is twofold: first, assessing whether comprehension of indirect requests for information is preserved in HFA; second, explor- ing whether mind-reading skills predict this ability. We tested a group of (n = 14; 9–12 years) HFA children and two groups of younger (n = 19; 5–6 years) and older (n = 28; 9–12 years) typically developing (TD) children in a semi-structured task involving direct, indirect and highly indirect requests for information. Results suggested that HFA can understand indirect and highly indirect requests, as well as TD children. Yet, while Theory of Mind skills seem to enhance older TD children under- standing, this is not the case for HFA children. Therefore, interestingly, they could rely on different interpretative strategies
Keywords: indirect speech act, indirect requests, theory of mind, autism developmental disorders, experimental pragmatics
Published in RUNG: 22.09.2021; Views: 1293; Downloads: 44
URL Link to full text
This document has many files! More...

8.
Tanto per intenderci. Breve introduzione alla pragmatica sperimentale.
Greta Mazzaggio, 2021, scientific monograph

Abstract: Ogni giorno, a volte senza nemmeno rendercene conto, comunichiamo alle persone attorno a noi molto più di quello che diciamo. Non veicoliamo messaggi solo attraverso le parole, ma, sorprendentemente, anche con ciò che “non diciamo”, e il contesto condiziona profondamente il messaggio. In che modo linguaggio e contesto si relazionano per risolvere le ambiguità, comprendere ciò che gli altri ci dicono implicitamente, apprezzare la metafora o l’ironia? Tutto questo sembra avvenire senza sforzo alcuno, ma è veramente così? A queste domande prova a rispondere una nuova disciplina di ricerca, la pragmatica sperimentale, la quale adotta metodologie scientifiche per studiare quanto la relazione fra parlanti e contesto sia alla base della comunicazione umana. In questo libro passeremo in rassegna molti fenomeni linguistici e pragmatici, cercando di analizzare come la ricerca possa essere d’aiuto nel capire i meccanismi che ci permettono di comunicare e cosa succede quando questi si inceppano.
Keywords: experimental pragmatics, italian, pragmatics, implicatures, presuppositions, pronouns, speech acts, gricean maxims, irony
Published in RUNG: 14.09.2021; Views: 1517; Downloads: 0
This document has many files! More...

9.
Narrative discourse in anomic aphasia
Sara Andreetta, Anna Cantagallo, Andrea Marini, 2012, original scientific article

Abstract: Anomic aphasia is a disturbance affecting lexical retrieval. Nonetheless, persons with this disorder may also experience difficulties in the construction of coherent narratives. Whether this symptom is a sign of a macrolinguistic difficulty per se or reflects the lexical disorder is still an open debate. In order to analyze the effect of the lexical impairment on macrolinguistic processing, we compared the narrative skills of a group of ten participants with chronic anomic aphasia with those of ten healthy control individuals matched for age and educational level. The anomic participants produced narratives with lowered speech rate, reduced mean length of utterance, fewer grammatically well-formed sentences, more semantic paraphasias. The macrolinguistic analysis showed that they also produced more errors of cohesion and global coherence and fewer lexical information units. Interestingly, their levels of thematic selection were normal. A bivariate correlational analysis showed a strong correlation between the production of errors of cohesion and production of complete sentences, and between production of errors of global coherence and lexical information units. These correlations showed that aspects related to lexical retrieval may affect macrolinguistic processing during the construction of a narrative. Indeed, it is suggested that lexical deficits lead to two main consequences: First, patients with anomia frequently interrupt the utterances they are producing and this reduces the levels of sentence completeness and the overall degree of cohesion across the utterances; Second, they use strategies to cope with the lexical impairment and produce a quantity of lexical fillers and repetitions that, clustered in utterances, reduce the levels of global coherence.
Keywords: aphasia, neurolinguistics, speech disorders, discourse analysis
Published in RUNG: 07.03.2016; Views: 3973; Downloads: 0
This document has many files! More...

Search done in 0.05 sec.
Back to top