Published Papers

Cognitive and communicative pressures in the emergence of grammatical structure: A closer look at whether number sense is encoded in privileged ways

Journal: 

Cognitive Neuropsychology

Date: 

August, 2020

In this short commentary, we contest the possibility that the distribution of Number values in natural languages is economically explained as consequence of cultural factors, as proposed by Everett (2019). We discuss in favor of a in interplay of referential, cognitive and communicative pressures, related to the core knowledge and to general properties of codes; we wish that our proposal can a first step to operationalize further experimental questions targeting each of these levels.
 

Effects of animacy on the processing of morphological Number: a cognitive inheritance?

Journal: 

Word Structure

Date: 

March, 2020

Language encodes into morphology part of the information present in the referential world. Some features are marked in the great majority of languages, such as the numerosity of the referents that is encoded in morphological Number. Other features do not surface as frequently in morphological markings, yet they are pervasive in natural languages. This is the case of animacy, that can ground Gender systems as well as constrain the surfacing of Number. The diffusion of numerosity and animacy could mirror their biological salience at the extra-linguistic cognitive level.

Orthographic consistency influences morphological processing in reading aloud: Evidence from a cross-linguistic study

Journal: 

Developmental Science

Date: 

February, 2020

This is a cross-linguistic experiment that we were involved in by Betty Mousikou and Sascha Schroeder. We tested children's reading of morphologically structured words and nonwords in English, German, Italian and French, and find that orthographic consistency determines how important is morphology in reading aloud. Go the journal article here and the OSF repository (with data and analyses) here.

Consistency measures individuate dissociating semantic activation networks in priming paradigms: A new look on semantics in the processing of (complex) words

Journal: 

Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

Date: 

February, 2020

Here we show (see also Marelli et al., QJEP 2015; Amenta et al., PBR 2017; and Marelli and Amenta, BRM 2018) how the reading/language system is sensitive to islands of (probabilistic) regularity in the mapping between form and language. In particular, we show how this qualifies priming patterns, both morphological and semantic, masked and overt. Paper available here[Read more by clicking on the title.]  

A new test of action verb naming: Normative data from 290 Italian adults

Journal: 

Neurological Sciences

Date: 

November, 2019

In this paper, we provide normative values for the action verb naming test used in Crepaldi et al. (2006, Neuropsychologia, 44, 73-89). This work makes the test, whose material is available upon request to the authors, effectively usable in day-to-day clinical activity.

Long term follow-up of neuropsychological functions in patients with high grade gliomas: can cognitive status predict patients' outcome after surgery?

Journal: 

Acta Neurochirurgica

Date: 

September, 2019

Here we tested whether the neuropsychological profile of High-Grade Glioma patients can predict tumour relapse, on an unselected sample of 102 patients. It turns out that this is indeed the case. We also developed and validated a wide-spectrum neuropsychological battery for HGG. [Click on the title to read more.] 

Focus on What’s Informative and Ignore What’s not: Communication Strategies in a Referential Game

Date: 

September, 2019

Venue: 

Workshop on Emergent Communication: Towards Natural Language. Neurips 2019

In a simple referential game with two neural network-based agents, we analyze the object-symbol mapping trying to understand what kind of strategy was used to develop the emergent language. We see that, when the environment is uniformly distributed, the agents rely on a random subset of features to describe the objects. When we modify the objects making one feature non-uniformly distributed, the agents realize it is less informative and start to ignore it. Surprisingly, they make a better use of the remaining features. This interesting result suggests that more natural, less uniformly distributed environments might aid in spurring the emergence of better-behaved languages. [The paper is available on arXiv]

Semantic activation of embedded stems in the presence or absence of a morphological structure

Journal: 

Psychonomic Bulletin and Review

Date: 

August, 2019

In this paper we investigate the effect of embedded words (e.g., HAT in THAT), and whether/how this is modulated by morphological structure. To learn more about what we found, click on the title or go straight to our post-print or the final published paper.

Augmented Modality Exclusivity Norms for Concrete and Abstract Italian Property Words

Journal: 

Journal of Cognition

Date: 

July, 2019

We developed a new set of modality exclusivity norms for 643 Italian concrete and abstract words, which we augmented with a number of ratings-based (e.g., familiarity, age of acquisition) and corpus-based covariates (e.g., frequency, contextual diversity). [Read more by clicking on the title.]

For a probabilistic and multidisciplinary approach to the investigation of morphological processing

Journal: 

Cortex

Date: 

May, 2019

This is a position paper on the future of research on Linguistic Morphology and an Editorial that introduces the Special Issue “Structure in words: The present and future of morphological processing from a multidisciplinary perspective”, which Davide edited with Simona Amenta (University of Trento) and Marco Marelli (University of Milano Bicocca).

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