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Constraints of vowels and consonants on lexical selection: cross-linguistic comparisons. Languages differ in the constitution of their phonemic repertoire and in the relative distinctiveness of phonemes within the repertoire. In the present study, we asked whether such differences constrain spoken-word recognition, via two word reconstruction experiments, in which listeners turned non-words into real words by changing single sounds. The experiments were carried out in Dutch (which has a relatively balanced vowel-consonant ratio and many similar vowels) and in Spanish (which has many more consonants than vowels and high distinctiveness among the vowels). Both Dutch and Spanish listeners responded significantly faster and more accurately when required to change vowels as opposed to consonants; when allowed to change any phoneme, they more often altered vowels than consonants. Vowel information thus appears to constrain lexical selection less tightly (allow more potential candidates) than does consonant information, independent of language-specific phoneme repertoire and of relative distinctiveness of vowels.jpr
Minority language education in unbalanced bilingual situations: a case for the linguistic interdependence hypothesis. This paper is placed in the linguistic and sociocultural context of Eastern Aragon, a region of Spain where two contact languages (Spanish and Catalan) coexist in an unbalanced situation favoring Spanish. The research was prompted by the regulation for the teaching of Catalan in that area, by means of the Cooperation Agreement signed by the Spanish Educational Ministry (MEC) and the local autonomous Cultural and Educational Department of the Diputación General de Aragon in November 1986. A comparative analysis is made between Eastern Aragon students' linguistic competence in Catalan and Spanish; a further comparison is established between these students and others living in bilingual Catalonia and in monolingual Aragon. We conclude by pointing out that the Linguistic Interdependence Hypothesis accounts for the results obtained in the study.
Validation of a model for the prediction of verbal semantic fluency. INTRODUCTION: The diagnosis of dementia requires documentation of cognitive loss with respect to the patient's previous level. It would therefore be very useful to have models available which would predict the result expected in the tests normally used in the diagnosis of dementia. OBJECTIVE: To validate a model for prediction of the results of a test of semantic verbal fluency in persons with no dementia. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A model for the prediction of semantic verbal fluency deduced from a sample of 138 persons was applied to two other independent samples: the first of 86 persons from the same environment as the original sample and a second multicentric sample of 92 persons. The validity of the model was evaluated by residual analysis. RESULTS: No sex differences were seen between the samples, but there were differences regarding the other variables, including the observed and predicted verbal fluency. The residuals of the samples did not differ from each other nor vary from zero, but were normally distributed. CONCLUSION: The model proposed based on sociodemographic and clinical variables is valid and satisfactorily predicts the verbal fluency to be expected in each case.