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  • 1.
    Brandtler, Johan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Scandinavian Languages.
    Håkansson, David
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Subjektet – en svårplacerad mittfältare: Om den relativa ledföljden mellan subjekt och negation i modern svenska2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    I beskrivningar av svenskans ledföljd har subjektet normalt sin plats före satsadverbial i satsens mittfält (se t.ex. SAG IV:12). Samtidigt är det välkänt att den inbördes ordningen mellan subjekt och satsadverbialkan variera:"Om allting klaffar reagerar inte revisorerna ≈ Om allting klaffar reagerar revisorerna inte" (SAG IV:19). I tidigare studier har ofta informationsstrukturella faktorer lyfts fram för att förklara variationen, men sådana slutsatser bygger ofta på ganska begränsade empiriska material — åtminstone vad substantiviska subjekt anbelangar eftersom pronominella subjekt är så totalt dominerade i naturligt språkbruk. Som exempel kan nämnas att en korpus som SUC med en omfattning om drygt 74 000 meningar inte ens innehåller 200 exempel där växlingen mellan substantiviska subjekt och negation kan studeras. För att närmare frilägga olika orsaker till variationen blir det därför nödvändigt att undersöka mycket stora material. I vårt föredrag ska vi presentera resultatet av en omfattande korpusstudie, där vi med hjälp av statistiska metoder analyserar växlingen mellan subjekt och adverbial i satsens mittfält i ett stort empiriskt material (cirka 1,7 miljoner meningar). Vi visar att subjektets placering påverkas av ett komplext samspel mellan en rad olika faktorer— såväl grammatiska som pragmatiska. Genom logistisk regressionsanalys (Paolillo 2002) beräknar vi vidare de olika faktorernas inflytande på valet av variant, och visar bl.a. att både faktorer som LÄNGD och DEFINITHET har signifikant inverkan på valet av ledföljd i modern svenska. Utifrån våra resultat vill vi först och främst föra diskussion om variations-möjligheterna i satsens mittfält i svenskan och de nordiska språken, men resultaten kommer också att kunna ge ett bidrag till vår förståelse av samspelet mellan syntax och informationsstrukturpå ett mer generellt plan. Med ’informationsstruktur’ avses normalt en mängd samverkande faktorer, men genom att vi kan visa i vilken utsträckning som olika faktorer faktiskt bidrar till valet av en viss språklig variant kan de olika faktorernas enskilda betydelse isoleras vilket i förlängningen kan bidra till en djupare förståelse av informationsstrukturens betydelse för ledföljden i de nordiska språken.

  • 2.
    Börstell, Carl
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Östling, Robert
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Computational Linguistics.
    Distribution and duration of signs and parts of speech in Swedish Sign Language2016In: Sign Language and Linguistics, ISSN 1387-9316, E-ISSN 1569-996X, Vol. 19, no 2, p. 143-196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we investigate frequency and duration of signs and parts of speech in Swedish Sign Language (SSL) using the SSL Corpus. The duration of signs is correlated with frequency, with high-frequency items having shorter duration than low-frequency items. Similarly, function words (e.g. pronouns) have shorter duration than content words (e.g. nouns). In compounds, forms annotated as reduced display shorter duration. Fingerspelling duration correlates with word length of corresponding Swedish words, and frequency and word length play a role in the lexicalization of fingerspellings. The sign distribution in the SSL Corpus shows a great deal of cross-linguistic similarity with other sign languages in terms of which signs appear as high-frequency items, and which categories of signs are distributed across text types (e.g. conversation vs. narrative). We find a correlation between an increase in age and longer mean sign duration, but see no significant difference in sign duration between genders.

  • 3.
    Gerholm, Tove
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Tonér, Signe
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Kallioinen, Petter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Phonetics.
    Frankenberg, Sofia
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
    Kjällander, Susanne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
    Palmer, Anna
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
    Lenz Taguchi, Hillevi
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Child and Youth Studies.
    A protocol for a three-arm cluster randomized controlled superiority trial investigating the effects of two pedagogical methodologies in Swedish preschool settings on language and communication, executive functions, auditive selective attention, socioemotional skills and early maths skills2018In: BMC Psychology, E-ISSN 2050-7283, Vol. 6, article id 29Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background

    During the preschool years, children develop abilities and skills in areas crucial for later success in life. These abilities include language, executive functions, attention, and socioemotional skills. The pedagogical methods used in preschools hold the potential to enhance these abilities, but our knowledge of which pedagogical practices aid which abilities, and for which children, is limited. The aim of this paper is to describe an intervention study designed to evaluate and compare two pedagogical methodologies in terms of their effect on the above-mentioned skills in Swedish preschool children.

    Method

    The study is a randomized control trial (RCT) where two pedagogical methodologies were tested to evaluate how they enhanced children’s language, executive functions and attention, socioemotional skills, and early maths skills during an intensive 6-week intervention. Eighteen preschools including 28 units and 432 children were enrolled in a municipality close to Stockholm, Sweden. The children were between 4;0 and 6;0 years old and each preschool unit was randomly assigned to either of the interventions or to the control group. Background information on all children was collected via questionnaires completed by parents and preschools. Pre- and post-intervention testing consisted of a test battery including tests on language, executive functions, selective auditive attention, socioemotional skills and early maths skills. The interventions consisted of 6 weeks of intensive practice of either a socioemotional and material learning paradigm (SEMLA), for which group-based activities and interactional structures were the main focus, or an individual, digitally implemented attention and math training paradigm, which also included a set of self-regulation practices (DIL). All preschools were evaluated with the ECERS-3.

    Discussion

    If this intervention study shows evidence of a difference between group-based learning paradigms and individual training of specific skills in terms of enhancing children’s abilities in fundamental areas like language, executive functions and attention, socioemotional skills and early math, this will have big impact on the preschool agenda in the future. The potential for different pedagogical methodologies to have different impacts on children of different ages and with different backgrounds invites a wider discussion within the field of how to develop a preschool curriculum suited for all children.

  • 4.
    Horberg, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm Univ, Dept Psychol, S-11419 Stockholm, Sweden..
    Sjons, Johan
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology.
    Speakers balance their use of cues to grammatical functions in informative discourse contexts2023In: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, ISSN 2327-3798, E-ISSN 2327-3801, Vol. 38, no 2, p. 175-196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Grammatical encoding has been suggested to be driven by communicative efficiency - a balance between production ease and communicative success. Evidence for this view comes from studies indicating that speakers balance their use of morphosyntactic cues to grammatical functions with respect to animacy. However, these studies have not taken cues in the discourse context into account. In a picture-description task, we investigate the influence of animacy on the morphosyntactic encoding of grammatical functions in Swedish transitive sentences. These sentences are produced in discourse contexts with additional information about grammatical functions. We find various morphosyntactic cues to grammatical functions (e.g. SVO word order and case marking) to more frequently be used when the object referent is animate. Speakers thus balance their use of cues to grammatical functions, even when the discourse context is informative about those functions. These findings provide direct evidence for the view that grammatical encoding is influenced by communicative efficiency.

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  • 5.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Data-Driven and Survey-Based Approaches to Obtaining the Semantic Organization of Olfactory Vocabularies2023In: 2023 Monell Spring Colloquium, 2023, p. 17-Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Odor experiences are hard to verbalize (Olofsson & Gottfried 2015), partly because most languages lack dedicated vocabularies for describing odor qualities (compared to, e.g., color vocabulary) (Majid 2021). Odors are instead described on the basis of their sources (e.g., woody), with reference to abstract properties (e.g., musty), with cross-modal sensory metaphors (e.g., sweet) or by hedonic evaluation (e.g., pleasant) (e.g., Poulton 2020). Since most of these descriptors are frequently used in other situations, odor vocabularies tend to be fuzzy and not clearly defined or differentiated. Thus, it is often unclear which set of words constitute the olfactory vocabulary within a language. In this talk, I present two approaches that identify the most frequently used odor descriptors in a given language and map the semantic organization of those descriptors. The first method is based on large-scale natural language data (Hörberg et al. 2022) and the second on web-based surveys. I give examples of the semantic organization of the odor vocabularies of a couple of languages that have been derived on the basis of these methods (Hörberg et al. 2022; Wnuk et al. 2020). If time permits, I will also present a practical application of the first approach in the domain of parosmia evaluation.

  • 6.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Expectation-based processing of grammatical functions in Swedish2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Much research indicate that language processing is expectation-based, drawing on statistical patterns in the input (MacDonald 2013). In this talk, I present evidence for this idea from experimental and corpus-based studies on the comprehension and production of grammatical functions (GFs) in Swedish transitive sentences. The preferred word order in such sentences is SVO. However, Swedish also allows for OVS word ordering, with the object placed sentence-initially and the subject post-verbally. Since the NP argument GFs of such sentences may not be correctly determined from the sentence constituent order (i.e., NPs and verb), they are potentially ambiguous. They can therefore be costly to comprehend when the initial NP lacks case marking. In such cases, comprehenders need to revise their initial sentence interpretation as subject-initial upon encountering the disambiguating post-verbal subject NP (Hörberg et al. 2013).

    However, corpus-based and typological research shows that GFs correlate with prominence-based (e.g., animacy and definiteness) and verb-semantic (e.g., volitionality) information, both in the frequency distributions in language use within individual languages (e.g., Bouma 2008), and the grammatical encoding of GFs across languages (e.g., Aissen 2003), creating complex statistical regularities in the distribution of  prominence-based, morphosyntactic and verb-semantic properties. These properties and their interplay may be utilized during encoding and decoding of GFs in production and comprehension in order to overcome potential ambiguity problems.

    I will present results from a corpus study of written Swedish investigating the distribution of these properties in subject-initial, object-initial and passive sentences. I will argue that writers tend to balance their use of these properties in order to avoid GF ambiguities. In particular, writers less frequently use OVS sentences when other morphosyntactic or animacy-based information about GFs are unavailible (Hörberg 2018). In such cases, writers more frequently use the unambiguous passive construction.

    I will then present an expectation-based model of processing difficulty during incremental GF assignment in Swedish transitive sentences, based upon the statistical regularities observed in the corpus data (Hörberg 2016). Processing difficulty is quantified as the on-line change in the expectation of a particular GF assignment (subject- or object-initial) upon encountering the properties of a constituent (e.g., NP2) with respect to the previously encountered properties (e.g., NP1 and verb(s)) in terms of Bayesian surprise.

    I will finally provide empirical evidence for this expectation-based model on the basis of a self-paced reading experiment, testing some of the most prominent model predictions. Here, by-region reading times converged with the region-specific Bayesian surprise predicted by the model. For example, NP2 reading times in ambiguous OVS sentences were mitigated when NP1 animacy and its interaction with verb class bias towards an object-initial word order.

    These findings provide evidence for the expectation-based account in that they indicate that language users are sensitive to statistical regularities in their language during both production and comprehension of GFs. During production, writers seem to balance their use of morphosyntactic and prominence-based cues to GFs in a manner that accommodates comprehension. During comprehension, incremental GF assignment draws upon statistical regularities in the distribution of morphosyntactic, prominence-based and verb-semantic properties.

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  • 7.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Functional motivations behind direct object fronting in written Swedish: A corpus-distributional account2018In: Glossa: a journal of general linguistics, E-ISSN 2397-1835, Vol. 3, no 1, article id 81Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Swedish, grammatical functions are primarily encoded by word order. In prototypical transitive sentences, the subject precedes the direct object. However, Swedish also allows for fronting of the direct object, although such sentences are potentially ambiguous with respect to grammatical functions. This study therefore investigates direct object fronting in written Swedish with respect to 1) which functions this construction serves and 2) whether the use of direct object fronting is dispreferred when the grammatical functions cannot be determined on other information types. These questions are investigated on the basis of quantitative differences in the distribution of NP prominence properties (e.g., givenness and animacy) and formal, morphosyntactic cues to grammatical functions (e.g., case marking and verb particles) between OVS and SVO sentences, and between OVS sentences and passives. The results indicate that direct object fronting is used when the object either is topical and highly discourse prominent, or when it is contrastive. I also argue that direct object fronting is used to introduce new topics into the discourse. Subjects are more frequently high in discourse prominence in object-initial sentences than in subject-initial sentences. I suggest that this stems from a motivation to keep the information in object-initial sentences following the sentence-initial object “informationally light” and predictable. Unambiguous formal markers of grammatical functions are used more frequently in OVS sentences than in SVO sentences, but less frequently in passives than in SVO sentences. OVS sentences also more frequently contain an animate subject and an inanimate object than SVO sentences, and in passives, animate subjects and inanimate objects are even less frequent. Writers therefore seem to prefer the structurally unambiguous passive construction over the potentially ambiguous object-initial construction, when grammatical functions cannot be determined on the basis of other formal markers or an NP argument animacy difference. Further, sentences with two animate arguments more frequently contain formal markers than sentences with at most one animate argument. These findings indicate that writers actively avoid direct object fronting when it potentially results in an ambiguity, and provide evidence for the hypothesis that writers are inclined to actively avoid ambiguities more generally.

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  • 8.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Incremental syntactic prediction in the comprehension of Swedish2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Comprehenders need to incrementally integrate incoming input with previously processed material. Constraint-based and probabilistic theories of language understanding hold that comprehenders do this by drawing on implicit knowledge about the statistics of the language signal, as observed in their previous experience. I test this prediction against the processing of grammatical relations in Swedish transitive sentences, combining corpus-based modeling and a self-paced reading experiment.

    Grammatical relations are often assumed to express role-semantic (e.g., Actor and Undergoer) and discourse-related (such as topic and focus) functions that are encoded on the basis of a systematic interplay between morphosyntactic (e.g., case and word order), semantic / referential (e.g., animacy and definiteness) and verb semantic (e.g., volitionality and sentience) information. Constraint-based and probabilistic theories predict that these information types serve as cues in the process of assigning functions to the argument NPs during language comprehension. The weighting, interplay and availability of these cues vary across languages but do so in systematic ways. For example, languages with fixed word orders tend to have less morphological marking of grammatical relations than languages with less rigid word order restrictions. The morphological marking of grammatical relations is also in many languages restricted to NP arguments which are non-prototypical or marked in terms of semantic or referential properties, given their functions (overt case marking of objects is, e.g., restricted to personal pronouns in English and Swedish). I first assess how these factors affect constituent order (i.e. the order of grammatical relations) in a corpus of Swedish and then test whether comprehenders use the statistical information contained in these cues.

    Corpus study. The distribution of SVO and OVS orders conditional on semantic / referential (e.g., animacy and givenness), morphosyntactic (e.g., case) and verb semantic (e.g. volitionality) information was calculated on the basis of 16552 transitive sentences, extracted from a syntactically annotated corpus of Swedish. Three separate mixed logistic regression models were fit to derive the incremental predictions that a simulated comprehender with experience in Swedish would have after seeing the sentence up to and including the first NP (model 1), the verb (model 2), or the second NP (model 3). The regression models provide separate estimates of the objective probability of SVO vs. OVS word order at each point in the sentence. This information was used to design stimuli for a self-paced reading experiment to test whether comprehenders draw on this objectively present information in the input.

    Self-paced reading experiment. 45 participants read transitive sentences that varied with respect to word order (SVO vs. OVS), NP1 animacy (animate vs. inanimate) and verb class (volitional vs. experiencer).  By-region reading times were well-described by the region-by-region shifts in the probability of SVO vs. OVS word order, calculated as the relative entropy. For example, reading times in the NP2 region observed in locally ambiguous, object-initial sentences were mitigated when the animacy of NP1 and its interaction with the verb class bias towards an object-initial word order, as predicted by the constraint-based and probabilistic theories.

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  • 9.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Influences of Form and Function on Spatial Relations: Establishing functional and geometric influences on projective prepositions in Swedish2006Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The present work is concerned with projective prepositions, which express the relation between two objects by referring to a direction in three-dimensional space. The projective prepositions have been regarded as expressing simple schematic relations of a geometric nature. A theory of the apprehension of projective relations can account for their meanings when they express strictly geometric relations. However, many studies have shown that the appropriateness of the prepositions also depends on the functional relation between the objects and that a number of functional factors influence the comprehension of English prepositions. This experimental study investigates if the acceptability of the Swedish prepositions över, under, ovanför and nedanför are influenced by functional factors as well, and whether acceptability judgments about över and under are more sensitive to functional influences than judgments about ovanför and nedanför, as has been shown for the corresponding English prepositions over and under, and above and below, respectively. It also investigates how the shapes and the parts of the related objects influence their functional interaction, and how the acceptability of the prepositions is in consequence influenced by the shapes of the objects. It was found that the theory of apprehension can indeed account for the acceptability of the prepositions when the relation between the objects is strictly geometric. It was further found that acceptability judgments about them are influenced by functional factors in a similar manner to the corresponding English prepositions when the objects are functionally related, although judgments about under and nedanför are not differentially influenced by these factors. Furthermore, the shapes and the parts of both of the related objects influence acceptability judgments about the prepositions in predictable manners. An extension of the theory of apprehension is suggested which can account for the functional influences indicated in the present study.

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  • 10.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Influences of form and function on the acceptability of projective prepositions in Swedish2008In: Spatial Cognition and Computation, ISSN 1387-5868, E-ISSN 1573-9252, ISSN 1387-5868, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 193-218Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Projective prepositions express the relation between two objects by referring to a direction in space and have traditionally been regarded as expressing purely geometric relations. Recent studies have shown that the appropriateness of English and Spanish projectives also depends on functional relations between objects. This study investigates if the acceptability of the Swedish projectives över, under, ovanför and nedanför are influenced by functional factors as well, and whether över and under are differentially influenced by function than ovanför and nedanför, as has been shown for their English cognates. It also investigates how the shape and parts of the related objects influence their functional interaction, and thereby the acceptability of the prepositions. This is done with respect to the predictions of the AVS-model, a model of the perceptual processes underlying the apprehension of projectives, which takes both the geometric and the functional relation between objects into account. It was found that acceptability judgments about the prepositions are influenced by function as their corresponding English and Spanish prepositions. The acceptability of över was more sensitive to function than ovanför, whereas under and nedanför were not differentially influenced by function, as has been shown for Spanish. It was further found that the shape and parts of both of the related objects influence acceptability regions associated with the prepositions in predictable ways, as functional interactions between objects largely depend on their parts. The results finally show that the AVS-model needs to be further developed in order to account for the form and function of the located object.

  • 11.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Probabilistic and Prominence-driven Incremental Argument Interpretation in Swedish2016Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation investigates how grammatical functions in transitive sentences (i.e., `subject' and `direct object') are distributed in written Swedish discourse with respect to morphosyntactic as well as semantic and referential (i.e., prominence-based) information. It also investigates how assignment of grammatical functions during on-line comprehension of transitive sentences in Swedish is influenced by interactions between morphosyntactic and prominence-based information.

    In the dissertation, grammatical functions are assumed to express role-semantic (e.g., Actor and Undergoer) and discourse-pragmatic (e.g., Topic and Focus) functions of NP arguments. Grammatical functions correlate with prominence-based information that is associated with these functions (e.g., animacy and definiteness). Because of these correlations, both prominence-based and morphosyntactic information are assumed to serve as argument interpretation cues during on-line comprehension. These cues are utilized in a probabilistic fashion. The weightings, interplay and availability of them are reflected in their distribution in language use, as shown in corpus data. The dissertation investigates these assumptions by using various methods in a triangulating fashion.

    The first contribution of the dissertation is an ERP (event-related brain potentials) experiment that investigates the ERP response to grammatical function reanalysis, i.e., a revision of a tentative grammatical function assignment, during on-line comprehension of transitive sentences. Grammatical function reanalysis engenders a response that correlates with the (re-)assignment of thematic roles to the NP arguments. This suggests that the comprehension of grammatical functions involves assigning role-semantic functions to the NPs.

    The second contribution is a corpus study that investigates the distribution of prominence-based, verb-semantic and morphosyntactic features in transitive sentences in written discourse. The study finds that overt morphosyntactic information about grammatical functions is used more frequently when the grammatical functions cannot be determined on the basis of word order or animacy. This suggests that writers are inclined to accommodate the understanding of their recipients by more often providing formal markers of grammatical functions in potentially ambiguous sentences. The study also finds that prominence features and their interactions with verb-semantic features are systematically distributed across grammatical functions and therefore can predict these functions with a high degree of confidence.

    The third contribution consists of three computational models of incremental grammatical function assignment. These models are based upon the distribution of argument interpretation cues in written discourse. They predict processing difficulties during grammatical function assignment in terms of on-line change in the expectation of different grammatical function assignments over the presentation of sentence constituents. The most prominent model predictions are qualitatively consistent with reading times in a self-paced reading experiment of Swedish transitive sentences. These findings indicate that grammatical function assignment draws upon statistical regularities in the distribution of morphosyntactic and prominence-based information in language use. Processing difficulties in the comprehension of Swedish transitive sentences can therefore be predicted on the basis of corpus distributions.

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    Probabilistic and Prominence-driven Incremental Argument Interpretation in Swedish
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  • 12.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Projektiva prepositioner och perspektivtagande: en experimentell studie om tre faktorers relativa betydelse för användning av projektiva prepositioner i svenska2004Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Traditionellt har det antagits att användning och förståelse av spatiala prepositioner i första hand sker utifrån geometriska kriterier. Senare studier har visat att prepositioner också påverkas dels av huruvida de spatialt relaterade objekten också är funktionellt relaterade eller inte och dels av den visuella miljö som objekten utgör en del av. Dessa faktorer påverkar valet av perspektiv utifrån vilket prepositioner tillskrivs spatiala relationer, samt användning och förståelse av dem i situationer då de enbart kan tillskrivas utifrån ett perspektiv. Detta arbete undersöker experimentellt hur dessa två faktorer påverkar användning och perspektivtagande vid användning av de projektiva prepositionerna ovanför, nedanför, framför, bakom och bredvid. Resultaten visar att en funktionell relation mellan de spatialt relaterade föremålen och tillgången till en visuell miljö ökar benägenheten att använda prepositionerna utifrån ett perspektiv som utgår från föremålens egna orienteringar. Resultaten talar för att användningen av dessa prepositioner är mer situations-beroende än vad som traditionellt har antagits.

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  • 13.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    The neurophysiological correlate to grammatical function reanalysis in Swedish2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Language comprehension is assumed to proceed incrementally, and comprehenders commit to initial interpretations even in the absence of unambiguous information (e.g., Crocker 1994; Hawkins 2007). Initial ambiguous object arguments are therefore preferably interpreted as subjects, an interpretation that needs to be revised towards an object initial interpretation once the disambiguating information is encountered (e.g, de Vincenzi 1991; Haupt, Schlesewsky, Roehm, Friederici, & Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, 2008). Most accounts of such grammatical function reanalyses (Haupt et al. 2008) assume that they involve phrase structure revisions, and do not differ from other syntactic reanalyses. A number of studies using measurements of event-related brain potentials (ERP:s) provide evidence for this view by showing that both reanalysis types engender similar neurophysiological responses (e.g., P600 effects) (e.g., Bornkessel, McElree, Schlesewsky, & Friederici, 2004; Friederici & Mecklinger, 1996; Matzke, Mai, Nager, Russeler, Munte, 2002). Others have claimed that grammatical function reanalyses rather involves revisions of the mapping of thematic roles to argument NP:s (Bornkessel & Schlesewsky, 2006; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky & Schlesewsky, 2009a, 2009b; Haupt et al., 2008). In line with this, it has been shown that grammatical function reanalysis during spoken language comprehension engender a N400 effect (Haupt et al., 2008), an effect which has been shown to correlate with general problems in the mapping of thematic roles to argument NP:s in a number of languages (see Bornkessel-Schlesewsky & Schlesewsky, 2009b for a review).

    This poster presents a study which investigated the ERP correlate to grammatical function reanalysis in Swedish. Post-verbal NP:s that disambiguated the interpretation of object-topicalized sentences towards an object-initial reading engendered a N400 effect with a local, left-parietal distribution. This ―reanalysis N400‖ effect provides further support for the view that grammatical function reanalysis is functionally distinct from syntactic reanalyses and rather involves a revision of the mapping of thematic roles to the sentence arguments.

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  • 14.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    The Processing of Grammatical Functions in Swedish is Expectation-based2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background. In order to facilitate information transfer during communication, natural language processing is assumed to be expectation-based, drawing on statistical regularities in the input (e.g., Jaeger 2013; MacDonald 2013; Venhuizen et al. 2019). During comprehension, linguistic and extra-linguistic information in the previous discourse set up expectations that facilitate interpretation. During production, information in the discourse is utilized to balance the upcoming utterance in a way that limits production costs, but also that ensures that the message is informative enough. Central to language processing is the processing of grammatical functions (GFs). GFs enable communication about how participants are related to events or states (e.g., who is doing what to whom), and are related to information structural properties such as a topichood (e.g. Foley 2011). In many languages, speakers have many ways to encode GFs syntactically (word order) and morphologically (e.g., case). Speakers' GF encoding preferences depend on an interplay between NP properties (e.g, animacy and definiteness) and verb semantic properties (e.g., volitionality and sentience) (e.g. Hörberg 2016). This creates complex statistical patterns in the distribution of these GF information types that can be utilized during on-line GF processing. In this talk, I will present findings that show how both GF encoding and decoding in transitive sentences in written Swedish is influenced by sentence-level expectations as based upon such statistical patterns. I will also present my current research project which extends on these findings, investigating how GF processing is affected by discourse-level expectations.

    GFs in Swedish. In Swedish, the preferred word order is SVO. However, when the direct object is topical or contrastive (Hörberg 2018), OVS word order is also used. OVS sentences with a lexical initial NP as 1) Läraren gillade vi inte ('the teacher we didn't like') are potentially ambiguous with respect to GFs, and can be costly to comprehend. Using event-related brain potentials (ERPs), Hörberg et al. (2013) found pronominal subject NPs in OVS sentences (e.g., vi in 1) to engender a "reanalysis N400" effect (a right-parietal negativity in the 375-550 ms time window), reflecting a revision of a tentative subject-first GF assignment upon encountering the disambiguating post-verbal subject NP.

    Influences of sentence-level expectations in GF processing. I will present results indicating that language users are sensitive to statistical regularities in the distribution of GF information, and can utilize them to overcome potential GF ambiguity problems during GF encoding and decoding in written language processing.Writers, on the one hand, tend to balance their use of OVS word order with respect to the availability of GF information in a manner that accommodates comprehension. A corpus-study of 14500 transitive sentences of written Swedish showed that OVS sentences are less frequently used when morphosyntactic or animacy information about GFs are unavailable. In such cases, writers more frequently use an unambiguous passive construction, thereby avoiding ambiguity. Readers, on the other hand, utilize statistical regularities in the distribution of GF information during on-line GF assignment. Such distributions in written corpora was used to train an expectation-based model of incremental GF assignment in transitive sentences. Based on estimates of the objective probability of an object-initial GF assignment at each constituent (NP1, verb, and NP2), the model quantifies the change in the expectation of a GF assignment in terms of Bayesian surprise (i.e., relative entropy over GF assignments before and after seeing the constituent, cf. Kuperberg & Jaeger, 2016). A self-paced reading experiment where 45 participants read 64 transitive sentences varying with respect to word order (SVO vs. OVS), NP1 animacy (animate vs. inanimate) and verb class (volitional vs. experiencer) confirmed the most prominent model predictions. By-region reading times on the verb and NP2 converged with region-specific Bayesian surprise predicted by the model. For example, NP2 reading times in ambiguous OVS sentences were mitigated when NP1 animacy and its interaction with verb class bias towards an object-initial word order.

    Influences of discourse-level expectations on GF processing. Although these findings indicate that sentence-level GF processing is sensitive to statistical regularities in the distribution of GF information, it does not address whether such regularities causally influence GF processing in spoken discourse contexts. Since sentence-level ambiguities often can be resolved in context, the utility of GF information during communication might be limited in discourse contexts (Rahkonen 2006). Indeed, sentence-level ambiguities have even been suggested to be beneficial for communication when they can be resolved in context (Piantadosi et al. 2012). In the final part of the talk, I will present my current research project that aims to address this question. The project investigates how a specific type of GF information - animacy - causally affects GF processing in transitive sentences in short story discourse contexts. It also addresses whether an appropriate discourse context can facilitate on-line GF comprehension. It consists of three experimental studies with the same stimulus material; spoken short stories accompanied with cartooned images, making up scenes that are presented sequentially. Crucially, the stories set up discourse contexts which licence OVS word order; two critical scenes are accompanied with OVS sentences in which the direct object is contrastive (Hörberg 2018).Study 1 is a picture-description task (similar to Prat-Sala & Branigan 2000), investigating whether speakers' propensity for using OVS word order is causally influenced by animacy in spoken discourse contexts, i.e., whether speakers balance their productions in a way that accomodates comprehension. Participants are exposed to the OVS sentence in the first critical scene (functioning as a prime sentence), but are asked to describe the second critical scene themselves. Crucially, the direct object of the target sentence is either animate or inanimate. If speakers are sensitive to the availibility of the animacy information and balance their use of OVS word order accordingly - in order to avoid a potential ambiguity - OVS word order descriptions should be more frequent when the direct object is inanimate.Study 2 and 3 are comprehension studies, investigating whether a discourse context, animacy information, and/or their interaction causally affect listeners' processing and anticipations regarding GF assignments during OVS sentence comprehension. Participants are exposed to the critical sentences, either with an animate or inanimate direct object, and either with or without the discourse context. Study 1 investigates the ERP response to post-verbal subject NPs in the critical OVS sentences, and - crucially - whether the previously observed reanalysis N400 (Hörberg et al. 2013) is reduced or absent when animacy and/or the discourse context provides support for an OVS interpretation. Using the visual-world eye-trackning paradigm (e.g. Altmann & Kamide 2009), study 3 investigates whether comprehenders can predict (as indexed by eye fixations) unexpected GF assignments when animacy and/or the discourse context is provided.The project will provide novel insights about the processing of GFs in spoken discourse contexts and to what extent animacy, discourse information, and their interaction guide these processes.

    Altmann, G. T. M., & Kamide, Y. (2009). Discourse-mediation of the mapping between language and the visual world: Eye movements and mental representation. Cognition, 111(1), 55–71.

    Foley, W. A. (2011). A typology of information packaging in the clause. In T. Shopen (Ed.), Language Typology and Syntactic Description: Vol. Volume 1:Clause Structure (pp. 362–446).

    Hörberg, T. (2016). Probabilistic and Prominence-driven Incremental Argument Interpretation in Swedish (PhD thesis, Stockholm University).

    Hörberg, T. (2018). Functional motivations behind direct object fronting in written Swedish: A corpus-distributional account. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 3(1), 81.

    Hörberg, T., Koptjevskaja-Tamm, M., & Kallioinen, P. (2013). The neurophysiological correlate to grammatical function reanalysis in Swedish. Language and Cognitive Processes, 28(3), 388–416.

    Jaeger, T. F. (2013). Production preferences cannot be understood without reference to communication. Frontiers in Psychology, 4.

    Kuperberg, G. R., & Jaeger, T. F. (2016). What do we mean by prediction in language comprehension? Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31(1), 32–59.

    MacDonald, M. C. (2013). How language production shapes language form and comprehension. Frontiers in Psychology, 4.

    Piantadosi, S. T., Tily, H., & Gibson, E. (2012). The communicative function of ambiguity in language. Cognition, 122(3), 280–291.

    Prat-Sala, M., & Branigan, H. P. (2000). Discourse Constraints on Syntactic Processing in Language Production: A Cross-Linguistic Study in English and Spanish. Journal of Memory and Language, 42(2), 168–182.

    Rahkonen, M. (2006). Some aspects of topicalization in Swedish declaratives. Linguistics, 44(1), 23–55.

    Venhuizen, N. J., Crocker, M. W., & Brouwer, H. (2019). Expectation-based Comprehension: Modeling the Interaction of World Knowledge and Linguistic Experience. Discourse Processes, 56(3), 229–255.

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  • 15.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    The Processing of Grammatical Functions in Swedish is Expectation-based2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Language comprehension is expectation-based (e.g. Venhuizen et al. 2019). Statistical regularities in the linguistic input set up expectations that are utilized during incremental interpretation. A central part of language comprehension involves assigning grammatical functions (GFs) to NPs, thereby determining how participants are related to events or states. In many languages, speakers have many ways to encode GFs morphosyntactically (e.g. word order, case), and their encoding preferences depend on an interplay between NP properties (e.g, animacy) and verb semantic properties (e.g., volitionality) (Hörberg 2016). This creates complex statistical patterns in the distribution of these GF information types that can be utilized during on-line GF processing. In this talk, I present evidence indicating that GF assignment in transitive sentences in written Swedish is expectation-based, drawing upon such statistical patterns. I will present a corpus-based probabilistic model of incremental GF assignment in Swedish transitive sentences, together with results from a self-paced reading experiment, showing that the model’s strongest predictions are confirmed by human processing preferences.

    The model is based upon 16552 transitive sentences, extracted from a corpus of written Swedish, that were annotated for word order (SVO vs. OVS), GF information (e.g., animacy, definiteness, case), and verb semantic properties (e.g. volitionality, sentience). Based on the distribution of these features, estimates of the probability for SVO vs. OVS GF assignment at each sentence region (NP1, verb, NP2) were calculated, using logistic mixed effects regression modeling. In the model, these estimates are used to predict incremental processing costs related to the change in the expectation for a GF assignment at each sentence region. This is done in terms of Bayesian surprise - the relative entropy over the two possible GF assignments before and after seeing the constituent at hand (Kuperberg & Jaeger 2016). Bayesian surprise (over syntactic trees) has also been argued to underlie the correlation between word surprisal and both processing times (Smith & Levy 2013) and certain neural responses (e.g., the N400 effect, Frank et al. 2015).

    In the self-paced reading experiment, 45 participants read 64 transitive sentences that varied with respect to word order (SVO vs. OVS), NP1 animacy (animate vs. inanimate) and verb class (volitional vs. experiencer). By-region reading times on NP1, the verb, and NP2 were well-described by the region-specific Bayesian surprise predicted by the model. For example, reading times in the NP2 region observed in locally ambiguous, object-initial sentences were mitigated when the animacy of NP1 and its interaction with the verb class bias towards an object-initial word order.

    These findings indicate that on-line GF assignment draws upon statistical regularities in the previous language input, as predicted by expectation-based accounts.

    Frank, S. L., Otten, L. J., Galli, G., & Vigliocco, G. (2015). The ERP response to the amount of information conveyed by words in sentences. Brain and Language, 140, 1–11.

    Hörberg, T. (2016). Probabilistic and Prominence-driven Incremental Argument Interpretation in Swedish (PhD thesis, Stockholm University).

    Kuperberg, G. R., & Jaeger, T. F. (2016). What do we mean by prediction in language comprehension? Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31(1), 32–59.

    Smith, N. J., & Levy, R. (2013). The effect of word predictability on reading time is logarithmic. Cognition, 128(3), 302–319.

    Venhuizen, N. J., Crocker, M. W., & Brouwer, H. (2019). Expectation-based Comprehension: Modeling the Interaction of World Knowledge and Linguistic Experience. Discourse Processes, 56(3), 229–255.

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  • 16.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    The Processing of Grammatical Functions in Swedish is Expectation-based2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Language comprehension is expectation-based (e.g. Venhuizen et al. 2019). Statistical regularities in the linguistic input set up expectations that are utilized during incremental interpretation. A central part of language comprehension involves assigning grammatical functions (GFs) to NPs, thereby determining how participants are related to events or states. In many languages, speakers have many ways to encode GFs morphosyntactically (e.g. word order, case), and their encoding preferences depend on an interplay between NP properties (e.g., animacy) and verb semantic properties (e.g., volitionality) (Hörberg 2016). This creates complex statistical patterns in the distribution of these GF information types that can be utilized during on-line GF processing. I will present evidence indicating that GF assignment in transitive sentences in written Swedish is expectation-based, drawing upon such statistical patterns. I present a corpus-based probabilistic model of incremental GF assignment in Swedish transitive sentences, together with results from a self-paced reading experiment, showing that the model’s strongest predictions are confirmed by human processing preferences.

    The model is based upon 16552 transitive sentences, extracted from a corpus of written Swedish, that were annotated for word order (SVO vs. OVS), GF information (e.g., animacy, definiteness, case), and verb semantic properties (e.g. volitionality, sentience). Based on the distribution of these features, estimates of the probability for SVO vs. OVS GF assignment at each sentence region (NP1, verb, NP2) were calculated, using logistic mixed effects regression modeling. In the model, these estimates are used to predict incremental processing costs related to the change in the expectation for a GF assignment at each sentence region. This is done in terms of Bayesian surprise - the relative entropy over the two possible GF assignments before and after seeing the constituent at hand (Kuperberg & Jaeger 2016). Bayesian surprise (over syntactic trees) has also been argued to underlie the correlation between word surprisal and both processing times (Smith & Levy 2013) and certain neural responses (e.g., the N400 effect, Frank et al. 2015).

    In the self-paced reading experiment, 45 participants read 64 transitive sentences that varied with respect to word order (SVO vs. OVS), NP1 animacy (animate vs. inanimate) and verb class (volitional vs. experiencer). By-region reading times on NP1, the verb, and NP2 were well-described by the region-specific Bayesian surprise predicted by the model. For example, reading times in the NP2 region observed in locally ambiguous, object-initial sentences were mitigated when the animacy of NP1 and its interaction with the verb class bias towards an object-initial word order.

    These findings indicate that on-line GF assignment draws upon statistical regularities in the previous language input, as predicted by expectation-based accounts.

    Frank, S. L., Otten, L. J., Galli, G., & Vigliocco, G. (2015). The ERP response to the amount of information conveyed by words in sentences. Brain and Language, 140, 1–11.

    Hörberg, T. (2016). Probabilistic and Prominence-driven Incremental Argument Interpretation in Swedish (PhD thesis, Stockholm University).

    Kuperberg, G. R., & Jaeger, T. F. (2016). What do we mean by prediction in language comprehension? Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31(1), 32–59.

    Smith, N. J., & Levy, R. (2013). The effect of word predictability on reading time is logarithmic. Cognition, 128(3), 302–319.

    Venhuizen, N. J., Crocker, M. W., & Brouwer, H. (2019). Expectation-based Comprehension: Modeling the Interaction of World Knowledge and Linguistic Experience. Discourse Processes, 56(3), 229–255.

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  • 17.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics. KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Jaeger, T. Florian
    University of Rochester, United States.
    A Rational Model of Incremental Argument Interpretation: The Comprehension of Swedish Transitive Clauses2021In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 12, article id 674202Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A central component of sentence understanding is verb-argument interpretation, determining how the referents in the sentence are related to the events or states expressed by the verb. Previous work has found that comprehenders change their argument interpretations incrementally as the sentence unfolds, based on morphosyntactic (e.g., case, agreement), lexico-semantic (e.g., animacy, verb-argument fit), and discourse cues (e.g., givenness). However, it is still unknown whether these cues have a privileged role in language processing, or whether their effects on argument interpretation originate in implicit expectations based on the joint distribution of these cues with argument assignments experienced in previous language input. We compare the former, linguistic account against the latter, expectation-based account, using data from production and comprehension of transitive clauses in Swedish. Based on a large corpus of Swedish, we develop a rational (Bayesian) model of incremental argument interpretation. This model predicts the processing difficulty experienced at different points in the sentence as a function of the Bayesian surprise associated with changes in expectations over possible argument interpretations. We then test the model against reading times from a self-paced reading experiment on Swedish. We find Bayesian surprise to be a significant predictor of reading times, complementing effects of word surprisal. Bayesian surprise also captures the qualitative effects of morpho-syntactic and lexico-semantic cues. Additional model comparisons find that it—with a single degree of freedom—captures much, if not all, of the effects associated with these cues. This suggests that the effects of form- and meaning-based cues to argument interpretation are mediated through expectation-based processing.

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  • 18.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Jaeger, T. Florian
    Bayesian surprise predicts incremental processing of grammatical functions2021In: CUNY 2021, 34th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, March 4-6, 2021, University of Pennsylvania: Program and Abstracts, 2021, p. 360-361Conference paper (Refereed)
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  • 19.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Jaeger, T. Florian
    Deriving argument ordering biases from expectation-based processing2017In: Cognitive explanations in linguistic typology: Contemporary insights from language processing and language acquisition, 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
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  • 20.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Kallioinen, Petter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Phonetics.
    The neurophysiological correlate to grammatical function reanalysis in Swedish2013In: Language and cognitive processes (Print), ISSN 0169-0965, E-ISSN 1464-0732, Vol. 28, no 3, p. 388-416Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Language comprehension is assumed to proceed incrementally, and comprehenders commit to initial interpretations even in the absence of unambiguous information. Initial ambiguous object arguments are therefore preferably interpreted as subjects, an interpretation that needs to be revised towards an object initial interpretation once the disambiguating information is encountered. Most accounts of such grammatical function reanalyses assume that they involve phrase structure revisions, and do not differ from other syntactic reanalyses. A number of studies using measurements of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) provide evidence for this view by showing that both reanalysis types engender similar neurophysiological responses (e.g., P600 effects). Others have claimed that grammatical function reanalyses rather involve revisions of the mapping of thematic roles to argument noun phrases (NPs). In line with this, it has been shown that grammatical function reanalysis during spoken language comprehension engenders a N400 effect, an effect which has been shown to correlate with general problems in the mapping of thematic roles to argument NPs in a number of languages. This study investigated the ERP correlate to grammatical function reanalysis in Swedish. Postverbal NPs that disambiguated the interpretation of object-topicalised sentences towards an object-initial reading engendered a N400 effect with a local, right-parietal distribution. This ‘‘reanalysis N400’’ effect provides further support for the view that grammatical function reanalysis is functionally distinct from syntactic reanalyses and rather involves a revision of the mapping of thematic roles to the sentence arguments. Postverbal subject pronouns in object-topicalised sentences were also found to engender an enhanced P300 wave in comparison to object pronouns, an effect which seems to depend on the overall infrequency of object-topicalised constructions. This finding provides support for the view that the ‘‘reanalysis N400’’ in some cases can be attenuated by a task-related P300 component.

  • 21.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Ekström, Ingrid
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Sandöy, Camilla
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Lundén, Peter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olfactory Influences on Visual Categorization: Behavioral and ERP Evidence2020In: Cerebral Cortex, ISSN 1047-3211, E-ISSN 1460-2199, Vol. 30, no 7, p. 4220-4237Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Visual stimuli often dominate nonvisual stimuli during multisensory perception. Evidence suggests higher cognitive processes prioritize visual over nonvisual stimuli during divided attention. Visual stimuli should thus be disproportionally distracting when processing incongruent cross-sensory stimulus pairs. We tested this assumption by comparing visual processing with olfaction, a “primitive” sensory channel that detects potentially hazardous chemicals by alerting attention. Behavioral and event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were assessed in a bimodal object categorization task with congruent or incongruent odor–picture pairings and a delayed auditory target that indicated whether olfactory or visual cues should be categorized. For congruent pairings, accuracy was higher for visual compared to olfactory decisions. However, for incongruent pairings, reaction times (RTs) were faster for olfactory decisions. Behavioral results suggested that incongruent odors interfered more with visual decisions, thereby providing evidence for an “olfactory dominance” effect. Categorization of incongruent pairings engendered a late “slow wave” ERP effect. Importantly, this effect had a later amplitude peak and longer latency during visual decisions, likely reflecting additional categorization effort for visual stimuli in the presence of incongruent odors. In sum, contrary to what might be inferred from theories of “visual dominance,” incongruent odors may in fact uniquely attract mental processing resources during perceptual incongruence.

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  • 22.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Ekström, Ingrid
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Sandöy, Camilla
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Incongruent odors suppress perceptual categorization of visual objects: Behavioral and ERP evidenceManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Visual stimuli often dominate non-visual stimuli during multisensory perception, and evidence suggests higher cognitive processes prioritize visual over non-visual stimuli during divided attention. Visual stimuli may therefore have privileged access to higher mental processing resources, relative to other senses, and should be disproportionally distracting when processing incongruent cross-sensory stimuli. We tested this assumption by comparing visual processing with olfaction, a “primitive” sensory channel that detects potentially hazardous chemicals by alerting attention. Behavioral and event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were assessed in a bimodal object categorization task with congruent or incongruent odor-picture pairings and a delayed auditory response target. For congruent pairings, accuracy was higher for visual compared to olfactory decisions. However, for incongruent pairings, reaction times (RTs) were faster for olfactory decisions, suggesting incongruent odors interfered more with visual decisions, thereby showing an “olfactory dominance effect”. Categorization of incongruent pairings engendered a late “slow wave” ERP effect. Importantly, this effect had a later amplitude peak and longer latency during visual decisions, likely reflecting additional categorization effort for visual stimuli. In sum, contrary to what might be inferred from theories of ”visual dominance”, incongruent odors may in fact uniquely attract mental processing resources during perceptual incongruence.

  • 23.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    The semantic organization of the English odor vocabulary2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Most people find it difficult to name familiar odors. Many languages, including English, lack a vocabulary devoted to describing odor qualities (compared to, e.g., a color term vocabulary), and little is known about the vocabulary used to describe odors. Attempts to establish “primary odor descriptors” have been unsuccessful. To date, research on odor vocabulary has rarely been done from a data-driven, empirical perspective.

    We present a study on the semantic organization of odor vocabulary, based on the distribution of words in olfactory and gustatory contexts, using a three-billion-word corpus of written English. Using a data-driven, computational linguistic approach developed in our lab, we quantify terms with respect to the degree of olfactory-semantic content they convey. We then derive the semantic organization of the top 200 olfactory-related terms, using a distributional-semantic word vector model, which represent semantic distances as multidimensional vector distances. The model is trained on olfactory and gustatory contexts, using the word2vec neural network implementation. Based on the semantic distances, we then use dimensionality reduction and clustering techniques (i.e., PCA and hierarchical clustering) to derive a 3-dimensional, corpus-based semantic space, and six principal descriptor clusters.

    Using distances based on the Draveneiks odor-term ratings data set, we also derive a semantic space with six specific clusters for the Draveneiks terms. The organization and clustering of our corpus-based semantic space match with the ratings-based semantic space, thereby showing the viability of our corpus-based approach. Based on our corpus-based data, we finally propose a novel domain-general odor term taxonomy (i.e., a domain-general odor wheel) that captures the dimensions and clusters identified in our analyses.

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  • 24.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    The Semantic Organization of the English Odor Vocabulary2022In: Cognitive science, ISSN 0364-0213, E-ISSN 1551-6709, Vol. 46, no 11, article id e13205Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The vocabulary for describing odors in English natural language is not well understood, as prior studies of odor descriptions have often relied on preselected descriptors and odor ratings. Here, we present a data-driven approach that automatically identifies English odor descriptors based on their degree of olfactory association, and derive their semantic organization from their distributions in natural texts, using a distributional-semantic language model. We identify 243 descriptors that are much more strongly associated with olfaction than English words in general. We then derive the semantic organization of these olfactory descriptors, and find that it is captured by four clusters that we name Offensive, Malodorous, Fragrant, and Edible. The semantic space derived from our model primarily differentiates descriptors in terms of pleasantness and edibility along which our four clusters are positioned, and is similar to a space derived from perceptual data. The semantic organization of odor vocabulary can thus be mapped using natural language data (e.g., online text), without the limitations of odor-perceptual data and preselected descriptors. Our method may thus facilitate research on olfaction, a sensory system known to often elude verbal description. 

  • 25.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    The semantic organization of the English odor vocabulary2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Most people find it difficult to name familiar odors (e.g. Herz & Engen, 1996; Jönsson & Stevenson, 2014). Most languages, including English, lack a vocabulary that is devoted to describing odor qualities (as compared to, e.g., a color term vocabulary). Across languages, olfaction has been shown to be the sense with the poorest linguistic codability (i.e. naming consistency, see e.g. Majid et al., 2018). Instead of using devoted, abstract terms for describing odors, speakers of many languages often resort to source-based (e.g. ‘citrusy’) odor descriptions, and relatively little is still known about the vocabulary that is used to describe odors. Attempts to establish “primary odor descriptors” have been unsuccessful in describing wider varieties of odor qualities, and no standard has been agreed upon (e.g. Kaeppler & Mueller, 2013).To date, research on odor vocabulary has rarely been done from a data-driven, empirical perspective.

    We present a study on the semantic organization of the odor vocabulary, based on the distribution of words in olfactory and gustatory contexts, using a three-billion-word corpus of written English. Using a data-driven, computational linguistic approach recently developed in our lab (Iatropoulos et al., 2018), we quantify terms with respect to degree of olfactory-semantic content they convey. We then derive the semantic organization of the top 200 olfactory-related terms, using a distributional-semantic word vector model, which represents semantic distances as vector distances in a multidimensional space. In order to capture olfactory and gustatory word senses, the model is trained on olfactory and gustatory contexts, using the word2vec neural network implementation (Mikolov, Chen, Corrado, & Dean, 2013). Based on the semantic distances, we then use dimensionality reduction and clustering techniques (i.e., PCA and hierarchical clustering) to derive a 3-dimensional, corpus-based semantic space of the descriptors, and six principal descriptor clusters.

    Using descriptor distances based on the Draveneiks odor-term rating data set (Dravnieks, 1992), we also derive a semantic space with six specific clusters for the Draveneiks terms. The organization and clustering of our corpus-based semantic space matches with the ratings-based semantic space, thereby showing the viability of our corpus-based approach. Based on our analyses of the corpus-based data, we finally propose a novel domain-general odor term taxonomy (i.e., a domain-general odor wheel) that captures the dimensions and clusters identified in our analyses.

    Dravnieks, A. (1992). Atlas of odor character profiles. Philadelphia, PA, USA: American Society for Testing and Materials.

    Herz, R. S., & Engen, T. (1996). Odor memory: Review and analysis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 3(3), 300–313.

    Iatropoulos, G., Herman, P., Lansner, A., Karlgren, J., Larsson, M., & Olofsson, J. K. (2018). The language of smell: Connecting linguistic and psychophysical properties of odor descriptors. Cognition, 178, 37–49.

    Jönsson, F. U., & Stevenson, R. J. (2014). Odor Knowledge, Odor Naming, and the “Tip-of-the-Nose” Experience. I B. L. Schwartz & A. S. Brown (Red.), Tip-of-the-Tongue States and Related Phenomena (s. 305–326).

    Kaeppler, K., & Mueller, F. (2013). Odor Classification: A Review of Factors Influencing Perception-Based Odor Arrangements. Chemical Senses, 38(3), 189–209.

    Majid, A., Roberts, S. G., Cilissen, L., Emmorey, K., Nicodemus, B., O’Grady, L., … Levinson, S. C. (2018). Differential coding of perception in the world’s languages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(45), 11369–11376.

    Mikolov, T., Chen, K., Corrado, G., & Dean, J. (2013). Efficient Estimation of Word Representations in Vector Space. arXiv:1301.3781 [cs].

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  • 26.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Sekine, Rumi
    Overbeck, Clara
    Hummel, Thomas
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    A parosmia severity index based on word-classification predicts olfactory abilities and impairment2023In: European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, ISSN 0937-4477, E-ISSN 1434-4726, Vol. 280, no 8, p. 3695-3706Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Parosmia is an olfactory disorder that involves distortions of specific odors that may co-occur with anosmia, loss of smell of other odors. Little is known about which odors frequently trigger parosmia, and measures of parosmia severity are lacking. Here, we present an approach to understand and diagnose parosmia that is based on semantic properties (e.g., valence) of words describing odor sources (“fish”, “coffee”, etc.). Using a data-driven method based on natural language data, we identified 38 odor descriptors. Descriptors were evenly dispersed across an olfactory-semantic space, which was based on key odor dimensions. Parosmia patients (n = 48) classified the corresponding odors in terms of whether they trigger parosmic or anosmic sensations. We investigated whether these classifications are related to semantic properties of the descriptors. Parosmic sensations were most often reported for words describing unpleasant odors of inedibles that are highly associated to olfaction (e.g., “excrement”). Based on PCA modeling, we derived the Parosmia Severity Index—a measure of parosmia severity that can be determined solely from our non-olfactory behavioral task. This index predicts olfactory-perceptual abilities, self-reported olfactory impairment, and depression. We thus provide a novel approach for investigating parosmia and establishing its severity that does not require odor exposure. Our work may enhance our understanding of how parosmia changes over time and how it is expressed differently across individuals.

  • 27.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Sjons, Johan
    Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University.
    Speakers balance their use of cues to grammatical functions in informative discourse contexts2023In: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, ISSN 2327-3798, E-ISSN 2327-3801, Vol. 38, no 2, p. 175-196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Grammatical encoding has been suggested to be driven by communicative efficiency - a balance between production ease and communicative success. Evidence for this view comes from studies indicating that speakers balance their use of morphosyntactic cues to grammatical functions with respect to animacy. However, these studies have not taken cues in the discourse context into account. In a picture-description task, we investigate the influence of animacy on the morphosyntactic encoding of grammatical functions in Swedish transitive sentences. These sentences are produced in discourse contexts with additional information about grammatical functions. We find various morphosyntactic cues to grammatical functions (e.g. SVO word order and case marking) to more frequently be used when the object referent is animate. Speakers thus balance their use of cues to grammatical functions, even when the discourse context is informative about those functions. These findings provide direct evidence for the view that grammatical encoding is influenced by communicative efficiency.

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  • 28.
    Keidel Fernández, Alejandra
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Qualitative differences in L3 learners’ neurophysiological response to L1versus L2 transfer2017In: Proceedings of Interspeech 2017 / [ed] Francisco Lacerda, David House, Mattias Heldner, Joakim Gustafson, Sofia Strömbergsson, Marcin Włodarczak, The International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), 2017, p. 1789-1793Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Third language (L3) acquisition differs from first language (L1) and second language (L2) acquisition. There are different views on whether L1 or L2 is of primary influence on L3 acquisition in terms of transfer. This study examines differences in the event-related brain potentials (ERP) response to agreement incongruencies between L1 Spanish speakers and L3 Spanish learners, comparing response differences to incongruencies that are transferrable from the learners’ L1 (Swedish), or their L2 (English). Whereas verb incongruencies, available in L3 learners’ L2 but not their L1, engendered a similar response for L1 speakers and L3 learners, adjective incongruencies, available in L3 learners’ L1 but not their L2, elicited responses that differed between groups: Adjective incongruencies engendered a negativity in the 450-550 ms time window for L1 speakers only. Both congruent and incongruent adjectives also engendered an enhanced P3 wave in L3 learners compared to L1 speakers. Since the P300 correlates with task-related, strategic processing, this indicates that L3 learners process grammatical features that are transferrable from their L1 in a less automatic mode than features that are transferrable from their L2. L3 learners therefore seem to benefit more from their knowledge of their L2 than their knowledge of their L1.

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  • 29.
    Lindroos, Robert
    et al.
    Stockholm Univ, Dept Psychol, Gosta Ekman Lab, Albanovagen 12, S-11419 Stockholm, Sweden..
    Raj, Rohan
    Stockholm Univ, Dept Psychol, Gosta Ekman Lab, Albanovagen 12, S-11419 Stockholm, Sweden..
    Pierzchajlo, Stephen
    Stockholm Univ, Dept Psychol, Gosta Ekman Lab, Albanovagen 12, S-11419 Stockholm, Sweden..
    Horberg, Thomas
    Stockholm Univ, Dept Psychol, Gosta Ekman Lab, Albanovagen 12, S-11419 Stockholm, Sweden..
    Herman, Pawel
    KTH, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), Computer Science, Computational Science and Technology (CST).
    Challma, Sandra
    Stockholm Univ, Dept Psychol, Gosta Ekman Lab, Albanovagen 12, S-11419 Stockholm, Sweden..
    Hummel, Thomas
    Tech Univ Dresden, Dept Otorhinolaryngol, Smell & Taste Clin, Dresden, Germany..
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm Univ, Dept Psychol, Gosta Ekman Lab, Albanovagen 12, S-11419 Stockholm, Sweden..
    Laukka, Erika J.
    Karoliska Inst, Aging Res Ctr, Dept Neurobiol Care Sci & Soc, Stockholm, Sweden..
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm Univ, Dept Psychol, Gosta Ekman Lab, Albanovagen 12, S-11419 Stockholm, Sweden..
    Perceptual odor qualities predict successful odor identification in old age2022In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 47, article id bjac025Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Odor identification is a common assessment of olfaction, and it is affected in a large number of diseases. Identification abilities decline with age, but little is known about whether there are perceptual odor features that can be used to predict identification. Here, we analyzed data from a large, population-based sample of 2,479 adults, aged 60 years or above, from the Swedish National study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen. Participants performed both free and cued odor identification tests. In a separate experiment, we assessed perceived pleasantness, familiarity, intensity, and edibility of all odors in the first sample, and examined how odor identification performance is associated with these variables. The analysis showed that high-intensity odors are easier to identify than low-intensity odors overall, but also that they are more susceptible to the negative repercussions of old age. This result indicates that sensory decline is a major aspect of age-dependent odor identification impairment, and suggests a framework where identification likelihood is proportional to the perceived intensity of the odor. Additional analyses further showed that high-performing individuals can discriminate target odors from distractors along the pleasantness and edibility dimensions and that unpleasant and inedible odors show smaller age-related differences in identification. Altogether, these results may guide further development and optimization of brief and efficient odor identification tests as well as influence the design of odorous products targeted toward older consumers.

  • 30.
    Lindroos, Robert
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Raj, Rohan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Pierzchajlo, Stephen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Herman, Pawel
    Challma, Sandra
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hummel, Thomas
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Laukka, Erika J.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Perceptual odor qualities predict successful odor identification in old age 2022In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 47, article id bjac025Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Odor identification is a common assessment of olfaction, and it is affected in a large number of diseases. Identification abilities decline with age, but little is known about whether there are perceptual odor features that can be used to predict identification. Here, we analyzed data from a large, population-based sample of 2,479 adults, aged 60 years or above, from the Swedish National study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen. Participants performed both free and cued odor identification tests. In a separate experiment, we assessed perceived pleasantness, familiarity, intensity, and edibility of all odors in the first sample, and examined how odor identification performance is associated with these variables. The analysis showed that high-intensity odors are easier to identify than low-intensity odors overall, but also that they are more susceptible to the negative repercussions of old age. This result indicates that sensory decline is a major aspect of age-dependent odor identification impairment, and suggests a framework where identification likelihood is proportional to the perceived intensity of the odor. Additional analyses further showed that high-performing individuals can discriminate target odors from distractors along the pleasantness and edibility dimensions and that unpleasant and inedible odors show smaller age-related differences in identification. Altogether, these results may guide further development and optimization of brief and efficient odor identification tests as well as influence the design of odorous products targeted toward older consumers. 

  • 31.
    Olofsson, Jonas
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Ekström, Ingrid
    Camilla, Sandöy
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olfaction Dominates Visual Perception: Behavioral and Cortical Effects2019Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 32.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Ekström, Ingrid
    Sandöy, Camilla
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olfaction Dominates Visual Perception: Behavioral and Cortical Effects2019In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 44, no 7, p. E32-E32, article id PD200Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    During multisensory experiences, visual stimuli typically override non-visual stimuli. Such “visual dominance” effects might stem from inhibition across sensory systems. Does visual dominance generalize to odor-visual pairings? We developed a binary categorization task (fruits vs flowers) with congruent and incongruent odor-picture pairings and a delayed auditory target probe that informed about categorization modality (olfactory vs visual). We investigated behavioral and cortical (ERP) responses.For congruent pairings, we found better accuracy for visual decisions. However, for incongruent pairings, we instead observed faster RTs for olfactory decisions. Incongruent olfactory stimuli thus interfere more with visual decisions than vice versa.Our ERP results from auditory targets on incongruent trials gave supporting evidence for olfactory dominance over visual perception; higher P300 amplitudes were more strongly correlated with faster RTs during visual categorization. A late “slow wave” ERP effect had later onset and longer latency during visual vs olfactory decisions. This indicates that in order to rapidly and successfully categorize visual stimuli (and ignore incongruent odors), participants need to allocate additional attentional and working memory resources. In sum, both behavioral and ERP effects suggest a higher level of interference from incongruent olfactory, compared to visual, input.These findings suggest that asymmetric inhibition across sensory systems is a fruitful way of studying perceptual dominance, and that olfactory stimuli can dominate visual perception, refuting the general notion of “visual dominance”.

  • 33.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Sandöy, Camilla
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Ekström, Ingrid
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Incongruent odors suppress perceptual categorization of visual objects2019Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    During multisensory experiences, visual stimuli typically suppress non-visual stimuli. Such ”visual dominance” effects might stem from inhibition across sensory systems. Does visual dominance generalize to odor-visual pairings? We developed a categorization task (fruits vs flowers) with congruent and incongruent odor-picture pairings and a delayed auditory response target that informed about categorization modality (olfactory vs visual). We investigated behavioral and cortical (ERP) responses. For congruent pairings, we found better accuracy for visual decisions. However, for incongruent pairings, we insteadobserved faster RTs for olfactory decisions. Incongruent olfactory stimuli thus interfere more with visualdecisions than vice versa. Our ERP results from auditory targets on incongruent trials gave supporting evidence of olfactory suppression over visual perception; higher P300 amplitudes were more strongly correlated with faster RTs during visual categorization. A late “slow wave” ERP effect had later onset andlonger latency during visual vs olfactory decisions. This indicates that in order to rapidly and successfully categorize visual stimuli (and ignore incongruent odors), participants need to allocate additional attentional and working memory resources. In sum, both behavioral and ERP effects suggest a higher level of interference from incongruent olfactory, compared to visual, input. These findings suggest that asymmetric inhibition across sensory systems is a fruitful way of studying sensory dominance, and that olfactory stimuli can dominate visual stimuli, refuting the general notion of ”visual dominance”.

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  • 34.
    Pagmar, David
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Gerholm, Tove
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Phonetics.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Dahl, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Growth of parental assessed productive vocabulary informs later core language skill but not later language useManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research has shown longitudinal connections between children’s growth rate of observed number of word types in spontaneous production and later language abilities. It is unknown whether this relationship also can be identified through parental reports representing the productive vocabulary. Using longitudinal parental reports (N=64), we examined the predictive value of size, velocity, and acceleration of the parental reported assessments of the productive vocabulary for measures of later core language ability (measures of receptive vocabulary and productive grammar), and later measures tracking language use and pragmatic skill (measures of conversational conduct and the comprehension of conversational implicatures). For a small subset of our sample, we also examined the relationship between parental reported assessment of productive vocabulary and observed number of word types in spontaneous production at the same ages, at four different occasions. Results show that growth rates from parental reports of productive vocabulary inform later language ability, but not to the same extent as in previous research. One suggested explanation for this finding is differences between measures representing vocabulary. No connections were found between early assessment of the productive vocabulary and later language use/pragmatic skill, which is in agreement with one of two suggested outcomes, indicating that the early state of the lexicon is not informative for the included measures of later language use. Lastly, as expected, we found high correlation coefficients between assessment of productive vocabulary and number of word types in spontaneous production, which can be explained by the vast variance in lexical access during early development rather than the accuracy of the included measures.

  • 35. Pellegrino, Robert
    et al.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Luckett, Curtis R.
    Duality of Smell: Route-Dependent Effects on Olfactory Perception and Language2021In: Chemical Senses, ISSN 0379-864X, E-ISSN 1464-3553, Vol. 46, p. 1-11Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Olfactory research in humans has largely focused on odors perceived via sniffing, orthonasal olfaction, whereas odors perceived from the mouth, retronasal olfaction, are less well understood. Prior work on retronasally presented odors involves animal models and focus mainly on odor sensitivity, but little is known about retronasal olfactory perception and cognition in humans. In this study, we compared orthonasal and retronasal odor presentation routes to investigate differences in odor descriptions and evaluations. Thirty-six individuals participated in a within-subjects study using twelve odors (varying in pleasantness and edibility) in perceptual and semantic tasks. Orthonasal presentation was associated with a better ability to identify odors, and with more concrete (and source-based) language. Exploratory analyses revealed that whereas orthonasal odors were described with words that had visual associations, retronasal odors were described with words that had interoceptive associations. Interestingly, these route-dependent differences in descriptor usage were not explained by differences in sensitivity and intensity, suggesting instead a cognitive and linguistic processing difference between odors presented orthonasally and retronasally. Our results indicate that olfaction is, in fact, a dual sense, in which the routes change the perception of an odor.

  • 36. Pellegrino, Robert
    et al.
    Olofsson, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Luckett, Curtis
    The effect of presentation route on olfaction perception2019Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 37.
    Raj, Rohan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Lindroos, Robert
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Larsson, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Herman, Pawel
    Laukka, Erika J.
    Olofsson, Jonas K.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Odor identification errors reveal cognitive aspects of age-associated smell loss2023In: Cognition, ISSN 0010-0277, E-ISSN 1873-7838, Vol. 236, article id 105445Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Human olfaction can be extraordinarily sensitive, and its most common assessment method is odor identification (OID), where everyday odors are matched to word labels in a multiple-choice format. However, many older persons are unable to identify familiar odors, a deficit that is associated with the risk of future dementia and mortality. The underlying processes subserving OID in older adults are poorly understood. Here, we analyzed error patterns in OID to test whether errors could be explained by perceptual and/or semantic similarities among the response alternatives. We investigated the OID response patterns in a large, population-based sample of older adults in Sweden (n = 2479; age 60–100 years). Olfaction was assessed by a ‘Sniffin ́ TOM OID test with 16 odors; each trial involved matching a target odor to a correct label among three distractors. We analyzed the pattern of misidentifications, and the results showed that some distractors were more frequently selected than others, suggesting cognitive or perceptual factors may be present. Relatedly, we conducted a large online survey of older adults (n = 959, age 60–90 years) who were asked to imagine and rate the perceptual similarity of the target odors and the three corresponding distractors (e.g. “How similar are these smells: apple and mint?”). We then used data from the Swedish web corpus and the Word2Vec neural network algorithm to quantify the semantic association strength between the labels of each target odor and its three distractors. These data sources were used to predict odor identification errors. We found that the error patterns were partly explained by both the semantic similarity between target-distractor pairs, and the imagined perceptual similarity of the target-distractor pair. Both factors had, however, a diminished prediction in older ages, as responses became gradually less systematic. In sum, our results suggest that OID tests not only reflect olfactory perception, but also likely involve the mental processing of odor-semantic associations. This may be the reason why these tests are useful in predicting dementia onset. Our insights into olfactory-language interactions could be harnessed to develop new olfactory tests that are tailored for specific clinical purposes.

  • 38.
    Sjons, Johan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Computational Linguistics.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Articulation rate in child-directed speech increases as a function of child age2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    It has been shown that articulation rate (AR), the number of produced linguistic units per time unit with pauses excluded, is lower in child-directed speech (CDS) than in adult-directed speech (ADS). The present study is the first corpus-based longitudinal study to investigate AR in Swedish CDS as a function of child age while also control-ling for utterance length in terms of number of syllables and for individual differences between speakers. AR in transcribed utterances of 7 parents directed at their respective child during different ages was analyzed with mixed effects modeling. Results show a signif-icantly higher AR in longer than in shorter utterances and a significant increase in AR as a function of infant age. Future studies include comparison with entropy-based measures.

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  • 39.
    Sjons, Johan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Computational Linguistics.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Östling, Robert
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Computational Linguistics.
    Bjerva, Johannes
    Articulation rate in Swedish child-directed speech increases as a function of the age of the child even when surprisal is controlled for2017In: / [ed] Francisco Lacerda, David House, Mattias Heldner, Joakim Gustafson, Sofia Strömbergsson, Marcin Włodarczak, The International Speech Communication Association (ISCA), 2017, p. 1794-1798Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In earlier work, we have shown that articulation rate in Swedish child-directed speech (CDS) increases as a function of the age of the child, even when utterance length and differences in articulation rate between subjects are controlled for. In this paper we show on utterance level in spontaneous Swedish speech that i) for the youngest children, articulation rate in CDS is lower than in adult-directed speech (ADS), ii) there is a significant negative correlation between articulation rate and surprisal (the negative log probability) in ADS, and iii) the increase in articulation rate in Swedish CDS as a function of the age of the child holds, even when surprisal along with utterance length and differences in articulation rate between speakers are controlled for. These results indicate that adults adjust their articulation rate to make it fit the linguistic capacity of the child.

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  • 40.
    Vejdemo, Susanne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Hörberg, Thomas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.
    Semantic Factors Predict the Rate of Lexical Replacement of Content Words2016In: PLOS ONE, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 1, article id e0147924Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The rate of lexical replacement estimates the diachronic stability of word forms on the basis of how frequently a proto-language word is replaced or retained in its daughter languages. Lexical replacement rate has been shown to be highly related to word class and word frequency. In this paper, we argue that content words and function words behave differently with respect to lexical replacement rate, and we show that semantic factors predict the lexical replacement rate of content words. For the 167 content items in the Swadesh list, data was gathered on the features of lexical replacement rate, word class, frequency, age of acquisition, synonyms, arousal, imageability and average mutual information, either from published databases or gathered from corpora and lexica. A linear regression model shows that, in addition to frequency, synonyms, senses and imageability are significantly related to the lexical replacement rate of content words–in particular the number of synonyms that a word has. The model shows no differences in lexical replacement rate between word classes, and outperforms a model with word class and word frequency predictors only.

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    Semantic Factors Predict the Rate of LexicalReplacement of Content Words
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