What is Irish?
Nua Ghaeilge, University College Cork
This is a general introductory talk about the history and current position of the Irish language. It will look at its origins, relations and the course of its fortunes.
Where did it begin, if such a question makes any sense? What is a Celtic
language? Were there Celts? What are its main grammatical features? Who spoke it, speaks it and when and why? Why was it once spoken by everybody in Ireland and now only by a minority? Does it have a literature and is it worth reading? How did it influence the English language, if at all? How does it influence the English spoken in Ireland today? What is its likely future? All of these questions will be put and answered, but not to everybody’s satisfaction.
Dissecting the neural network involved in speech and language through structural and functional brain imaging: FOXP2 and the KE family
UCL Institute of Child Health, University College London, and Great
Ormond Street Hospital for Children
The discovery of FOXP2 as the first gene associated with the development of the uniquely human gift of speech, has opened a molecular window onto investigations that examine the role of this gene in setting up speech and language, and the motor sequencing circuitry in the brain. The discovery of FOXP2 was made possible through a series of genetic, neuropsychological, and brain imaging investigations of the large three-generational KE family, half of whose members are affected with a speech and language disorder and a verbal and orofacial dyspraxia.
This presentation will focus on the phenotype of verbal and orofacial dyspraxia (i.e. the core deficit in the affected KE family members) and examine its neural correlates through structural and functional brain imaging studies. The structural brain imaging investigations highlight bilateral abnormalities in a number of motor, and speech and language-related brain regions, whilst the functional neuroimaging examinations during word and non word repetition tasks reveal the differential recruitment of the “language network” in comparison with a predominantly “motor network” involved in the imitation and vocal learning of novel sequences of speech sounds. These findings will be discussed in relation to a neuroanatomical model of the speech and language circuit.
Language processing in children with cochlear implants: Lexical access
Richard G. Schwartz
City University of New York and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
New York, USA
Many studies of language development in children with cochlear implants (CIs) have employed standardized, language tests which examine off-line or endpoint language responses (pointing to, naming, or describing pictures), but reveal little about the underlying representations or processes leading up to these responses. One critical area of language for these children is the lexical representation and processing underlying word production and comprehension.
This study is part of a larger effort to examine lexical access in production and recognition using several methods (e.g., auditory priming with lexical decision (APLD), cross-modal picture-word interference (PWI), picture-picture interference (PPI), and eye tracking studies of recognition and production) across a variety of phonological and semantic variables. The participants are children with CIs (8;0-10:0) and age-matched children with normal hearing. The primary focus will be on the APLD, PWI, and PPI studies, with preliminary data from eye tracking.
Verbs in aphasia: What is the problem?
Department of Linguistics, University of Groningen
Groningen, The Netherlands
Agrammatical speech has classically been defined as consisting of mainly
content words: nouns, verbs and adjectives. Fluent aphasia speech is
characterized by word findings problems but has mainly been studied in relation to nouns. However, the problems with verbs are evident in both populations: naming of actions is impaired, the use of lexical verbs in spontaneous speech is reduced and verb inflection is different from normal. This presentation will be a search for the underlying cause of these verb deficits, using data from a wide range of languages (among which English, Turkish and Swahili) and from bilingual agrammatic speakers. Not only can these underlying disorders shed a light on how language is represented in the brain, it may also give important directions for treatment of aphasiac disorders.