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Results of twin studies clearly demonstrate that genetic factors play an important role in the rate of language acquisition and linguistic proficiency attained by normal and impaired children and adults [see Stromswold, K. (2001). The heritability of language: A review and meta-analysis of twin, adoption and linkage studies. Language, 77, 647-723.]. That(More)
In two eye-tracking experiments, we investigate adults' and children's on-line processing of referentially ambiguous English pronouns. Sixteen adults and 16 four-to-seven-year-olds listened to sentences with either an unambiguous reflexive (himself) or an ambiguous pronoun (him) and chose a picture with two characters that corresponded to those in the(More)
In this paper I argue that genetic studies of language provide insights about the evolution of language. The finding that genetic factors affect all aspects of language is consistent with theories that argue that language is at least partially the result of innate factors, and that the factors have evolved. Genetic factors appear to play a greater role for(More)
Without instruction, most children master the complexities of spoken language by the age of 6 or 7 years. About 5% of apparently healthy children, however, struggle to acquire basic competence in one or more aspects of spoken language and are classified as having specific language impairment. Genetic factors have an important role in many such cases. 1,2(More)
Biolinguistics aims to shed light on the specifically biological nature of human language focusing on five foundational questions: (1) What are the properties of the language phenotype? (2) How does language ability grow and mature in individuals? (3) How is language put to use? (4) How is language implemented in the brain? (5) What evolutionary processes(More)
This paper discusses successes and failures of computational linguistics techniques in the study of how inter-event time intervals in a story affect the narrator's use of different types of referring expressions. The success story shows that a conditional frequency distribution analysis of proper nouns and pronouns yields results that are consistent with(More)
This document contains the full text of the dissertation submitted to the Graduate School—New Brunswick, reformatted in order to reduce the number of pages and to give a more pleasant look than the official thesis style. Abstract Focus below the word level (e.g. Jill only brought home a stalagMITE from the cave) and coordination of parts of words (ortho and(More)
This paper investigates how detailed a linguistic representation is formed for descriptions of visual events. In two experiments, participants watched captioned videos and decided whether the captions accurately described the videos. In both experiments, videos depicted geometric shapes moving around the screen. In the first experiment, all of the captions(More)