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The paper argues that even in studying genetically disordered populations, taking a cross-linguistic and cross-cultural approach seems to be fruitful. Using data from several languages, including Hungarian, might help to clarify the real nature of some cognitive and linguistic disorders. Data from the longitudinal Hungarian Williams Syndrome Project, which included mainly children between five and eighteen, are presen__

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The paper surveys the different attitudes and oeuvres in early twentieth-century Catholic psychology in Hungary. Some authors like Gyula Kornis tried to introduce experimental psychology into the Catholic intellectual panorama, while avoiding any open conflicts between faith and science. Others like Antal Schutz tried to combine their interest towards psychology with a clear anti-positivist credo and went back to Tomistic notions regarding the integrity of personality. Still others like Paul von Schiller became leading experimental scientists in whose work the Catholic element is revealed by his interest in animal intentionality. On the whole, Catholic psychology in the Hungarian context has many faces but also some underlying common features such as anti-elementarism and an interest in the active aspects of mental life.

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Acta Linguistica Hungarica
Authors: Csaba Pléh and Ágnes Lukács
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In two acoustic sentence recognition experiments the relative importance of recognition times (0 to 40 seconds) and relationships between the target sentence and test sentences were varied. Hungarian promised to be a good testing ground for traditional theories that claim that while form is readily forgotten, sentence meaning is preserved. In Hungarian, the informational structure of sentences allows for clear contrasts between neutral and meaning-related order variations. In the stimulus material, target sentences were compared in recognition scores with identical, neutral word order, paraphrased, and focused sentence pairs. The results partly support our starting hypotheses, but partly show that the intricacies of Hungarian sentential syntax call for a more reserved and more carefully qualified expression of the initial proposals of Sachs (1967) and Johnson-Laird and Stevenson (1970). Focused sentences are clearly contrasted with non-focused initial targets even after 40 seconds. It seems that the information structure of Hungarian sentences is somehow maintained in the long-term memory system. In accordance with the classical results, meaning-neutral word order variations are misrecognized in about 60 per cent after 16 seconds already. Contrary to our hypothesis, even after 40 seconds, paraphrases were correctly recognized more than 60 per cent of the time. Thus, to clarify memorial paraphrase equivalence to cross-linguistic validity, more types of sentential paraphrases should be compared. The study supports the main ideas underlying the experiments: the informational structure of the Hungarian sentence seems to be retained in long-term memory, unlike neutral word order variations. This finding calls for a more detailed study with more varied stimulus materials to clarify some further issues of what is ‘form’ and what is ‘meaning’ for the memory system.

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This paper explores how bidirectional and unidirectional comitative constructions are processed at the level of argument structure. Bidirectional comitative constructions describe events where the two actors undergo the same effect described by the predicate (e.g., John was kissing with Mary), whereas unidirectional comitative constructions describe events in which one of the actors is the agent, and the other one is the patient (e.g., John was messing with Mary). In particular, we used the self-paced reading paradigm to determine if the two constructions access distinct mental representations. The findings suggest that distinct mental representations are activated automatically by bidirectional and unidirectional verbs during online language comprehension.

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The primary goal of this research was to examine the processing of emotionally valenced and neutral words in the context of bilingualism. The objective was to find out, using an experimental measure of automatic emotional activation, if there were differences in response time in the first and the second language, Hungarian and Serbian respectively. The sample consisted of early Hungarian-Serbian bilinguals, assimilated into the Serbian majority culture.The emotional Stroop task is an experimental paradigm, which has been adapted to measure bilingual population in the past few years. The emotional Stroop interference could be counted from response time latencies, which is usually an effect showing longer responses to negative vs. neutral information.Hungarian and Serbian negatively, positively and neutrally valenced words were used in the research. Our hypothesis was that there would be a similar emotional activation in the first and the second language and that negative words would be processed the longest.The result of the research was a significant main effect of word type, where the negative information captured the attention for a longer period of time than the neutral one. A similar pattern of word processing showed in both languages, there were no significant differences between Hungarian and Serbian reaction times and the interaction between word type and language was not significant. The results suggested that early Hungarian-Serbian bilinguals were equally effective and fast in monitoring emotional information in both of their languages, giving emphasis through more elaborative processing to the threatening stimuli.

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The paper reviews the role of Noam Chomsky in the conceptual changes in modern psychology that are described by many as the cognitive revolution. Several aspects of the work of Chomsky are identified as key elements in the changes regarding the human mind, and the determinants of human nature. The mentalism of Chomsky resulted in the general spread of theory theories about human development, where the human mind is interpreted as a theory-using open, creative system. The peculiarities of sequential behavioral organization and later the sequential interface issues as well as the concentration on (syntactic) pure form were important inspirations for several general theories of human cognition. Chomsky, with his differentiation between competence and performance, opened the road along with David Marr to multilayered computational theories of the mind. While the innatist commitments of Chomsky regarding human development created many fruitful controversies during half a century, they also tied the underdetermined nature of human language with the philosophical issues of freedom. Language with its innate recursive system is a basic factor of human freedom. Freedom is connected to a rational image of humanity.

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