Heidi Wind Cowles

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This study investigates brain responses to violations of information structure in wh-question-answer pairs, with particular emphasis on violations of focus assignment in it-clefts (It was the queen that silenced the banker). Two types of ERP responses in answers to wh-questions were found. First, all words in the focus-marking (cleft) position elicited a(More)
BACKGROUND The frequency components of the human voice play a major role in signalling the gender of the speaker. A voice imitation study was conducted to investigate individuals' ability to make behavioural adjustments to fundamental frequency (F0), and formants (Fi) in order to manipulate their expression of voice gender. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS(More)
The degree of semantic similarity between an anaphoric noun phrase (e.g., the bird) and its antecedent (e.g., a robin) is known to affect the anaphor resolution process, but the mechanisms that underlie this effect are not known. One proposal (Almor, 1999) is that semantic similarity triggers interference effects in working memory and makes two crucial(More)
Where did words come from? The traditional view is that the relation between the sound of a word and its meaning is arbitrary. An alternative hypothesis, known as sound symbolism, holds that formmeaning correspondence is systematic. Numerous examples of sound symbolism exist across natural language phyla. Moreover, cross-linguistic similarities suggest that(More)
Four experiments investigate the influence of topic status and givenness on how speakers and writers structure sentences. The results of these experiments show that when a referent is previously given, it is more likely to be produced early in both sentences and word lists, confirming prior work showing that givenness increases the accessibility of given(More)
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