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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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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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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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Mérei Ferenc a polgári és a szocialista embereszmény feszültségei közepette

Ferenc Mérei in the Middle of Tensions of a Citoyen and Socialist Image of Man

Educatio
Author: Csaba Pléh

Összefoglaló. Mérei Ferenc (1909–1986) életműve sok nyilvánvaló paradoxont tartalmaz. Ott áll az egyik oldalon az 1945 és 1949 közti kommunista nevelési vezér, aki az általa vezetett budapesti műhelyben és a nagy hatáskörű Országos Neveléstudományi Intézetben aktívan alakította az államilag szervezett szocialista iskolát, és ott van az 1950-től a partvonalra került, majd bebörtönzött értelmiségi, harmadik lépésként pedig az 1970-es évektől a lelki ellenállás alapú, egyéni életmód-szerveződések és csoportterápiák irányítója. Felfogásom szerint a kettősségek nem csupán az élet külsőségeiből fakadó kényszerek következményei, hanem Mérei szellemi arculatára végig jellemző belső dilemmákból fakadtak. A Franciaországban töltött korai 1930-as évek óta élt benne az a hit, hogy összhang teremthető a francia felvilágosodás örökségeként értelmezett baloldali, gyerekközpontú pedagógiai hitvallás (én ezt a polgári, individualizációs eszménynek tartom) és a kommunista társadalomszervezés egyenlősítő centralizációs elvei között. Szervező munkájában, miközben sokat tett azért, hogy a demokratikus eszményképeket követő általános iskola egyenlőség eszméje hassa át a szocialista nevelést, ezt összekapcsolta azzal a hittel, hogy a gyermeki közösségek sajátos érzelmikohó-szerepe meg tudja teremteni az összhangot az egyenlőség és a centralizáció között. Igyekszem rámutatni arra, hogy valójában nehezen összeegyeztethető a polgári individualizáció, mint a modern pszichológia egyik kiindulópontja és a hivatalnok eszményű szocialista közösségi felszabadítás. A gyermekből induló liberális és az egyenlőség elvű baloldali eszmények az oktatás irányába nem olyan könnyen illeszkednek, mint sok baloldali polgár, köztük Mérei hitte volt.

Summary. The work of Ferenc Mérei (1909–1986) the Hungarian social and clinical psychologist and for a time communist educational leader involves several paradoxes. On one hand, we have the leader of the communist education reform between 1945 and 1949, who, as head of the Budapest municipal institute for education and the Countrywide Institute for Educational Research helped shape socialist schooling. On the other hand, from 1950 on, there is the expelled ostracized intellectual, who is even sentenced to prison after the 1956 revolution. As a third step, from the 1970s on, he appears as the leader of small groups, displaying life style reforms relying on mental resistance and resilience. In my view, these dualities are not only due to constraints of external life events, but are embedded in the internal dilemmas of the intellectual tensions continuously characterizing Mérei. From the time he spent in France in the early 1930s he cherished the belief that a harmony could be found between a child-centered educational commitment as a continuation of the heritage of French enlightenment (I consider this to be a citoyen individuation ideal) and the centralizing principles of communist social organization aimed at equalization. In his organizational work while he made many efforts to center socialist education around the program of a comprehensive school based on principles of democratic equality, he connected these to the belief that the peculiar emotional atmosphere of child communities could reconcile equality and centralization. I try to show that bourgeois individualization as one starting point of modern psychology is difficult to reconcile with community liberation with burocratic inspirations. The liberal child based ideals of education are not easy to reconcile with leftist ideals of equality – contrary to what was and is believed by many left wing citoyen thinkers, among them by Mérei.

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Acta Linguistica Hungarica
Authors: Dezső Németh, Rozália Ivády, Alessandro Guida, Márton Miháltz, Donald Peckham, Attila Krajcsi, and Csaba Pléh

The main purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between verbal short-term memory and the morphological complexity of words. Hungarian, as an agglutinative language, is of special interest for psycholinguistic inquiries in morphology. The authors presented two word-list recall experiments. The recall of the word list was measured by the classical span design. The item lists consisted of two-syllable stems (base words) and two-syllable morphologically complex words (stem+suffix). Within each list the words were of the same length, the same phonological structure (CVCVC), the same frequency and the same concreteness. The same experimental design was used with three-syllable words as well. Results indicated that morphological complexity had a significant negative effect on shortterm memory span, and that memory was better for derived words (e.g., boy+hood) than inflected words (e.g., boy+s), and regular than irregular words.

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