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Key Publications 2020

Hahn, L.E., Benders, T., Snijders, T.M. & Fikkert, J.P.M. (2020). Six-month-old infants recognize phrases in song and speech. Infancy, 25 (5), 699-718.

Children's songs often contain rhyming words at phrase endings. In this study, we investigated whether infants can already recognize this phonological pattern in songs. Earlier studies using lists of spoken words were equivocal on infants' spontaneous processing of rhymes (Hayes et al., 2000; Jusczyk et al., 1999). Songs, however, constitute an ecologically valid rhyming stimulus, which could allow for spontaneous processing of this phonological pattern in infants. Novel children's songs with rhyming and non-rhyming lyrics using pseudo-words were presented to 35 9-month-old Dutch infants using the Headturn Preference Procedure. Infants on average listened longer to the non-rhyming songs, with around half of the infants however exhibiting a preference for the rhyming songs. These results highlight that infants have the processing abilities to benefit from their natural rhyming input for the development of their phonological abilities.

Bultena, S., Danielmeier, C., Bekkering, H., & Lemhöfer, K. (2020). The Role of Conflicting Representations and Uncertainty in Internal Error Detection During L2 Learning. Language Learning 70 (S2), 75-103. DOI: 10.1111/lang.12401

A feedback-guided 2AFC task that asked German learners of Dutch to decide on the correct gender of nouns shows that these L2 learners are informed by subjective (L1) intuitions. Behavioural responses and response-locked EEG components indicate internal error monitoring for correct responses to Dutch-German cognates whose gender is incongruent between the two languages ('de auto' / das Auto). In the course of learning, such reverse error responses change into native-like error response patterns.

Hornikx, J., & Meurs, F. van (2020). Foreign languages in advertising: Linguistic and marketing perspectives. Cham: Palgrave MacMillan.

Integrating insights from marketing and linguistics, this book distinguishes three language strategies used in advertising: foreign language display to express foreignness, English to highlight globalness, and local language to appeal to ethnicity. It concludes that language attitudes, language-product congruence and comprehension are central to each strategy.

Hubers, F., T. Trompenaars, S. Collin, K. de Schepper, & H. de Hoop (2020). Hypercorrection as a By-product of Education. Applied Linguistics 41(4), 552-574, https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amz001

We showed that an emphasis on prescriptive norms in education can lead to hypercorrection whereby poorly understood grammatical rules are extended to grammatical constructions to which they should not apply, resulting in poorer grammatical performance in the higher-educated portion of the Dutch high school population. We conclude that whilst the current practice of grammar teaching might result in higher performance in the targeted constructions, this comes at the cost of poorer performance elsewhere.

Struik, T. & Kemenade, A.M.C. van (2020). On the givenness of OV word order: a re)examination of OV/VO variation in Old English. English Language and Linguistics, 24(1), 1-22. doi: 10.1017/s1360674318000187

This paper provides new insights into the long-debated issue of OV/VO variation in the history of English. By means of a sophisticated corpus analysis we show that object-verb order is reserved for discourse-given information; discourse-new objects surface in verb-object order. We conclude that this supports an analysis in which Old English is analysed as a VO language, and that OV is derived by leftward movement, triggered by the discourse-givenness of the object.