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Cluster B:

Limits of variability in language processing within and between individuals

B01: Prosodic cue variability:
Effects on spoken language comprehension and production in different populations

This project investigates the limits of intra- and inter-individual variability in comprehending and producing prosodic cues in structurally ambiguous sentences or utterances. We aim to characterize in more depth the internal organization of the prosody-syntax-interface as part of the mental grammar and to specify neuro-cognitive models of prosody processing. To maximally bring to light the limits of variability at the prosody-syntax-interface, the project targets prosodic cue processing across a wide range of listeners and speakers (young and elderly adults, participants with acquired lesions in the left or right hemisphere of the brain), using various ambiguous structures, and comparing prosody-syntax processing across variable task demands.

PIs: Prof I. Wartenburger und Dr. S. Hanne

B02: Understanding variability and its limits in impaired and unimpaired sentence comprehension

This project aims to identify the constraints that determine sentence comprehension difficulty in healthy and aphasic participants; we will focus on understanding the sources of inter- and intra-individual variability and stability in performance. We will use both computational modelling and experimental research to achieve these goals. A longer-term goal is to investigate whether and to what extent aphasic patients can benefit from our empirical and modelling work through the development of impairment-specific treatment protocols.

PIs: Prof. S. Vasishth , Dr. F. Burchert und Dr. N. Stadie

B03: Modelling the interaction between eye-movement control and parsing processes

This project aims to develop mathematical/computational models to investigate how eye movements and natural language parsing processes influence and interact with each other. Based on novel experimental designs and an integrated modeling approach, we will seek to explain how the dynamical interaction of subprocesses (vision, attention, parsing, sensorimotor control) generates the observed variability in language processing between and within participants under varying task demands. 

PIs: Prof. R. Engbert und Prof. S. Vasishth

B04: Variability in bilingual language processing

This project examines how Turkish/German bilingual speakers’ processing of sentences and morphologically complex words is influenced by grammatical vs non-grammatical constraints. We specifically investigate two important sources for inter-individual variability in bilinguals: age of acquisition and amount of exposure and practice. We also determine the range of intra-individual variability in bilinguals’ performance across different processing tasks and modalities. The project aims to develop a model that accounts both for linguistic choices which are subject to variability and for those which are consistent and robust in bilingual language processing. 

PIs: Prof H. Clahsen und Dr. C. Felser

B05: Variability and its limits in the time course of language production processes

The aim of this project is to refine current psycholinguistic models of word production by integrating precise information about the dynamics of encoding processes (i.e. grammatical, phonological, and phonetic encoding), about the constraints that operate to limit the variability of these processes (i.e. speaker-specific variables and contextual factors) and about how the linguistic system interacts with other cognitive functions during actual speech production. It addresses this goal by examining and modelling inter-speaker and intra-speaker variability and their limits in the timing of word production processes using time course data (Electroencephalography and eye movements).

PI: Dr. A. Bürki