mw. drs. S.M.M. (Sophie) ter Schure
Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
1012 VT Amsterdam
- Language acquisition
- Influence of input on learning
- Acquiring categories of words and sounds
- Evolution of language
In 2011/12, I taught Taal- en spraakvermogen (Psycholinguistics) to second year students. In this course we focus on the language ability of normal adults: what cognitive processes are engaged in the production and comprehension of words, sentences, discourse? We discussed the mono- and multilingual lexicon, the neurological basis of language, models of language processing and the connection between language and thought.
Category learning across linguistic and object representation
domains (PhD project, 2010-2014).
This study is part of the research project ' Models and tests of early category formation: interactions between cognitive, emotional and neural mechanisms ' (see link below) within the university priority program Brain and Cognition. My project focuses on the difference between learning categories in the linguistic domain and in the object-perception domain within the first year of life.
Together with Dorothy Mandell, Paola Escudero and Maartje Raijmakers, I investigated multimodal learning in infants. When learning object-side associations, do 8- to 11-month-old infants benefit from getting both visual and auditory information, or is it easier when there is just one source for learning to categorize objects?
The second experiment is on the mechanism behind learning categories from visual and auditory information. Do infants use statistical mechanisms to learn sounds as proposed in Maye et al. (2002)? If there is indeed a 'distributional learning mechanism' behind learning sound categories, does it play a role in learning from both auditory (formants) and visual sound information (mouth shapes)?
Although I am a member of the Capaciteitsgroep
Taalwetenschap (Linguistics), I also work at the
Roeterseilandcomplex (building D, souterrain) with the other
Brain & Cognition researchers, usually on Thursdays. The
address is Nieuwe Achtergracht 129-131. My room number there is
DS-19. There is no phone installed, but I reply to emails
fairly quickly. When I'm at the Bungehuis, you can reach me at
020-5253811. My pidgeon hole is at the Bungehuis (4th
Page last updated: May 1, 2012
Apart from doing research
- I sing folk songs. Studying in Edinburgh during my BA gave me the opportunity to learn beautiful old and new songs from Scots and Scottish singers, and I haven't stopped singing them since. Apart from in bands - The Lasses and Bound for the waves - I often sing solo or at sessions (for example, Mulligans' Wednesday session: 21.00-1.00, Amstel 100, Amsterdam).
- I edit texts for hard/ /hoofd , online magazine for journalism and art. Texts and images on politics, beauty, philosophy, music, food, random observations, people, science. My favourite topics of these are science and food, and so I edit and streamline the texts on those subjects.
Possible student projects
I have room for some projects for students at the CSCA or the BA/MA
Linguistics in the field of experimental psycholinguistics. At the moment, I'm
mainly working on distributional learning and categorical perception. For
questions, don't hesitate to contact me:
Learning speech sounds
Since Maye et al. (2002) published their results supporting the idea that infants learn phonetic categories by paying attention to statistical distributions of sounds, and that this might enable them to learn these categories before acquiring words, this finding seems to have been accepted as common knowledge (e.g., reviews by Johnson & Munakata, 2005; Kuhl, 2004; Swingley, 2009). Yet, distributional learning for speech sounds in infants has proven difficult to replicate. Also, the ultimate test of the role of statistical learning for category learning has yet to be executed. In your project, you will carry out an eye-tracking experiment with Dutch 8-month-old infants to test whether they are able to learn two phonetic categories if sounds are paired with two distinctive objects, but the statistical distribution suggests one category.
This is an experimental (psycho)linguistic project with drs. Sophie ter Schure at the ACLC. Candidates should have an interest in experimental psychology and/or linguistics and preferably, but not necessarily some experience with E-Prime and SPSS. The period for this project should be between February 2013 and February 2014.
- S. ter Schure, K. Chládková & J.W. van Leussen (2011). Comparing identification of artificial and natural vowels. In The 17th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences: Hong Kong, China, August 17-21, 2011: congress proceedings (pp. 1770-1773). Hong Kong: Department of Chinese, Translation & Linguistics, City University of Hong Kong.[go to publisher's site]
- R. de Graaff, S. Unsworth & S. ter Schure (2011). Tweetalige ontwikkeling en tweetalig onderwijs: een verslag van een symposium over visies uit onderzoek, beleid en praktijk. In B. Weltens, W. Lowie, P. Poelmans & A. de Blauw (Eds.), Taalbeleid en meertaligheid Vol. 86. Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen (pp. 61-70, 93). Tilburg: ANéLA.[go to publisher's site]
- S. ter Schure (2010). Weak and strong verbs: a new attempt at a single-route approach. View[z], 19(1&2), 108-130.