SAGE Journal Articles

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SAGE Journal User Guide

Article 1: Arnold, J. E., Tanenhaus, M. K., Altmann, R. J., & Fagnano, M. (2004). The old and thee, uh, new: disfluency and reference resolution. Psychological Science, 15(9), 578-582. doi: 10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00723.x 

  • An empirical study comparing fluent vs. disfluent speech that preceded referring to a visible referent. Results revealed that fluent utterances were more often interpreted as indicating known or old information, while disfluent ones biased listeners’ attention toward a new entity in the discourse.

Discussion Questions

  1. We are sometimes told that saying uh or  um indicates lack of intelligence, but according to the introduction, what do disfluencies typically reveal about a speaker’s cognition?
  2. What is a cohort competitor? Provide and describe an example, with a target and competitor. How is a cohort competitor related to lexical access?
  3. Given the four conditions in the experiment, what was the main hypothesis? 
  4. Describe the main results in relation to the hypothesis. Try seeing if you can become aware of yourself experiencing this as a listener, or whether it seems to occur more automatically.  

Article 2: Sherlock Campbell, R., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2003). The secret life of pronouns: flexibility in writing style and physical health. Psychological Science, 14, 60-65. 

  • A correlational study that reanalyzed existing data for linguistic changes in participants’ writing about personal trauma over time. Increased flexibility in function words, especially personal pronouns, predicted better health outcomes.

Discussion Questions

  1. Define LSA and describe its typical function. How are the authors using this approach to analyzing language in a new way?  
  2. For each of the three main research questions in the results section, what were the main findings for the Content, Style, and Particles semantic space analyses? Were the findings consistent for all three groups of participants?     
  3. Do you think the finding that flexibility in pronoun use predicted health improvements could be extended to a causal link? That is, if you started using different pronouns in your personal writing on purpose, do you think that would therefore cause you to have better health outcomes? Why or why not?

Article 3: Rowe, M. L., Özçaliskan, S., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2008). Learning words by hand: Gesture’s role in predicting vocabulary development. First Language, 28(2), 182-199. doi: 10.1177/0142723707088310 

  • An empirical longitudinal study showing that the number of gestures children produced at 14 months positively predicted greater spoken vocabulary at 42 months. Parent gesturing mediated this relationship, being positively correlated with child gesture rates at 14 months, but did not predict later spoken vocabulary directly.  

Discussion Questions

  1. Describe the kind of gestures that this study examines, identifying examples. Think about why or how these kinds of gestures would relate to vocabulary acquisition.
  2. Describe the study’s procedure and identify the time points at which child gesture, parent gesture, and child speech were measured. Why were these time points chosen?
  3. Consulting Table 2 and the text, describe the best fit model 5. Interpret what it means. 
  4. What do you think comes first – parents gesturing or a child gesturing? Explain.