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Orthographic and semantic opacity in masked and delayed priming: Evidence from Greek

Research using the masked priming paradigm has suggested that there is a form of morphological decomposition that is robust to orthographic alterations, even when the words are not semantically related (e.g., badger/badge). In contrast, delayed priming is influenced by semantic relatedness but it is not clear whether it can survive orthographic changes. In this paper, we ask whether morpho-orthographic segmentation breaks down in the presence of the extensive orthographic changes found in Greek morphology (orthographic opacity). The effects of semantic relatedness and orthographic opacity are examined in masked (Experiment 1) and delayed priming (Experiment 2). Significant masked priming was observed for pairs that shared orthography, irrespective of whether they shared meaning (mania/mana, “mania/mother”). Delayed priming was observed for pairs that were semantically related, irrespective of orthographic opacity (poto/pino, “drink/I drink”). The results are discussed in terms of theories of morphological processing in visual word recognition.

from Language and Cognitive Processes

Event categorisation and language: A cross-linguistic study of motion

It is well known that languages differ in how they encode motion. Languages such as English use verbs that communicate the manner of motion (e.g., slide, skip), while languages such as Greek regularly encode motion paths in verbs (e.g., enter, ascend). Here we ask how such cross-linguistic encoding patterns interface with event cognition by comparing labelling and categorisation preferences for motion events by English- and Greek-speaking adults and 5-year-olds. Our studies show that, despite cross-linguistic encoding differences, the categorisation of dynamically unfolding motion events proceeds in identical ways in members of these two linguistic communities. Nevertheless, language-congruent categorisation preferences emerge in tasks that implicitly encourage the use of linguistic stimuli during event apprehension. These data have implications for the relationship between language and event categorisation.

from Language and Cognitive Processes

Exploring wh-questions in agrammatism: Evidence from Greek

This study investigates the ability of three Greek-speaking agrammatic patients to produce and comprehend wh-questions by means of a wh-question elicitation task and a picture-pointing task. The role of question type is explored by comparing argument with adjunct questions and subject with object questions. Overall, production was found significantly more impaired than comprehension. The agrammatic participants had better performance on argument than on adjunct questions, while no dissociation was observed between subject and object questions. The overall difficulty with wh-questions indicates that the agrammatic participants had a deficit in syntactic movement or in handling CP, a finding which is compatible with other cross-linguistic results. Although this finding could be accounted for by existing hypotheses, an alternative account is proposed, according to which wh-questions are difficult to process because they are associated with LF-interpretable features, which increase their processing load. Finally, the preponderance of argument over adjunct questions reinforces the (double) dissociation between these two question types reported in the literature, while the lack of a dissociation between the subject- and the object-questions suggests that both question types involve syntactic movement to CP.

from the Journal of Neurolinguistics

Adaptation and validation of standardized aphasia tests in different languages: Lessons from the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination – Short Form in Greek

The aim of the current study was to adapt the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination – Short Form (BDAE-SF) [1] to the Greek language and culture, determine the influence of demographic variables on performance and in particular the effects of age and education, develop normative data, and examine the discriminative validity of the test for acute stroke patients. A sample of 129 community healthy adults participated in the study (66 women), covering a broad range of ages and education levels so as to maximize representation of the Greek population and be able to examine the effects of age and education in language performance. Regression models showed that, overall, younger and more educated individuals presented higher performance on several subtests. Normative data for the Greek population are presented in percentile tables. Neurological patients’ performance was compared to that of the neurologically intact population using Wilcoxon’s rank sum test and for the most part was found to be significantly inferior, indicating good discriminant validity of the test. Qualitative errors of patients diagnosed with aphasia on the test are presented, and limitations and generalizable strengths of this adaptation are discussed.

from Behavioural Neurology

Event categorisation and language: A cross-linguistic study of motion

It is well known that languages differ in how they encode motion. Languages such as English use verbs that communicate the manner of motion (e.g., slide, skip), while languages such as Greek regularly encode motion paths in verbs (e.g., enter, ascend). Here we ask how such cross-linguistic encoding patterns interface with event cognition by comparing labelling and categorisation preferences for motion events by English- and Greek-speaking adults and 5-year-olds. Our studies show that, despite cross-linguistic encoding differences, the categorisation of dynamically unfolding motion events proceeds in identical ways in members of these two linguistic communities. Nevertheless, language-congruent categorisation preferences emerge in tasks that implicitly encourage the use of linguistic stimuli during event apprehension. These data have implications for the relationship between language and event categorisation.

from Language and Cognitive Processes

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