Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Grammatical case


Children and adults follow cues such as case marking and word order in their assignment of semantic roles in simple transitives (e.g., the dog chased the cat). It has been suggested that the same cues are used for the interpretation of complex sentences, such as transitive relative clauses (RCs) (e.g., that’s the dog that chased the cat) (Bates, Devescovi, & D'Amico, 1999). We used a pointing paradigm to test German-speaking 3-, 4-, and 6-year-old children’s sensitivity to case marking and word order in their interpretation of simple transitives and transitive RCs. In Experiment 1, case marking was ambiguous. The only cue available was word order. In Experiment 2, case was marked on lexical NPs or demonstrative pronouns. In Experiment 3, case was marked on lexical NPs or personal pronouns. Whereas the younger children mainly followed word order, the older children were more likely to base their interpretations on the more reliable case-marking cue. In most cases, children from both age groups were more likely to use these cues in their interpretation of simple transitives than in their interpretation of transitive RCs. Finally, children paid more attention to nominative case when it was marked on first-person personal pronouns than when it was marked on third-person lexical NPs or demonstrative pronouns, such as der Löwe ‘the-NOM lion’ or der ‘he-NOM.’ They were able to successfully integrate this case-marking cue in their sentence processing even when it appeared late in the sentence. We discuss four potential reasons for these differences across development, constructions, and lexical items. (1) Older children are relatively more sensitive to cue reliability. (2) Word order is more reliable in simple transitives than in transitive RCs. (3) The processing of case marking might initially be item-specific. (4) The processing of case marking might depend on its saliency and position in the sentence.

Concepts: Subject, English language, German language, Grammatical case, Nominative case, Accusative case, Dative case, Personal pronoun


Adoption, adaptation, scale-up, spread, and sustainability are ill-defined, undertheorised, and little-researched implementation science concepts. An instrumental case study will track the adoption and adaptation, or not, of a locally developed innovation about dysphagia as a patient safety issue. The case study will examine a conceptual framework with a continuum of spread comprising hierarchical control or ‘making it happen,’ participatory adaptation or ‘help it happen,’ and facilitated evolution or ‘let it happen.’ METHODS: This case study is a prospective, longitudinal design using mixed methods. The fifteen-month (October 2012 to December 2013) instrumental case study is set in large, healthcare organisation in England. The innovation refers to introducing a nationally recognised, inter-disciplinary dysphagia competency framework to guide workforce development about fundamental aspects of care. Adoption and adaptation will be examined at an organisational level and along two, contrasting care pathways: stroke and fractured neck of femur. A number of educational interventions will be deployed, including training a cadre of trainers to cascade the essentials of dysphagia management and developing a Dysphagia Toolkit as a learning resource. Mixed methods will be used to investigate scale-up, spread, and sustainability in acute and community settings. A purposive sample of senior managers and clinical leaders will be interviewed to identify path dependency or the context specific particularities of implementation. A pre- and post-evaluation, using mealtime observations and a survey, will investigate the learning effect on staff adherence to patient specific dysphagia recommendations and attitudes towards dysphagia, respectively. Official documents and an ethnographic field journal allow critical junctures, temporal aspects and confounding factors to be explored.

Concepts: Evaluation methods, Management, Case study, Concept, Sanskrit, Grammatical case, Dative case, Ablative case


Cancer patients and their caregivers want information about their disease and are interested in finding health information online. Despite the abundance of cancer information online, it is often fragmented, its quality is highly variable, and it can be difficult to navigate without expert-level knowledge of the cancer system. The Patient & Family Library at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre offers a broad collection of high-quality cancer health information and staff are available to help patrons refine their questions and explore information needs that they may not have considered.

Concepts: Health care provider, Epidemiology, Oncology, Patient, Illness, Patience, Case study, Grammatical case


Swallowing difficulties challenge patient safety due to the increased risk of malnutrition, dehydration and aspiration pneumonia. A theoretically driven study was undertaken to examine the spread and sustainability of a locally developed innovation that involved using the Inter-Professional Dysphagia Framework to structure education for the workforce. A conceptual framework with 3 spread strategies (hierarchical control, participatory adaptation and facilitated evolution) was blended with a processual approach to sustaining organisational change. The aim was to understand the processes, mechanism and outcomes associated with the spread and sustainability of this safety initiative.

Concepts: Pneumonia, Structure, Aspiration pneumonia, Achalasia, Dysphagia, Swallowing, Sanskrit, Grammatical case


Previous cross-linguistic research has found that comprehenders are immediately sensitive to various kinds of agreement violations across languages. We focused on Basque, a verb-final ergative language with both subject-verb (SV) and object-verb (OV) agreement. We compared the effects of SV agreement violations on comprehenders' event-related brain potentials (ERPs) in transitive sentences (where OV agreement is present, and the subject is ergative) and intransitive sentences (where OV agreement is absent, and the subject is absolutive). We observed a P600 effect in both cases, but only violations with intransitive subjects elicited an early posterior negativity. Such a qualitative difference suggests that distinct neurocognitive mechanisms are involved in processing agreement with transitive subjects (which are marked with ergative case) versus intransitive subjects (which bear absolutive case). Building on theoretical proposals that in languages such as Basque, true agreement occurs with absolutive subjects but not with ergative subjects, we submit that the early posterior negativity may be an electrophysiological signature for true agreement.

Concepts: Basque language, Grammatical case, Transitive verb, Intransitive verb, Ergative–absolutive language, Ergative case, Morphosyntactic alignment, Absolutive case


In this survey, almost thirty borrowed words in anatomical Latin were found to differ from the original Greek noun in gender and/or inflection. A third of these cases were judged to be errors. The rest are long-standing or widely-accepted exceptions to the usual adoption rules for borrowed Greek words. Possible linguistic explanations for these exceptions are presented. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Grammar, Noun, Latin, Greek language, Grammatical number, Article, Grammatical case, Ancient Greek


To provide the basis for designing an interprofessional patient safety training for medical treatment teams, the current situation regarding patient safety and existing training programs in southern German hospitals should be explored. Moreover, need-based content regarding the subject areas teamwork, safety culture, and patient involvement should be derived, a conducive learning format suggested, and wishes and concerns regarding the training explored.

Concepts: Psychology, Medicine, Physician, Subject, Germany, The Current, Safety, Grammatical case


To assess the readability and comprehensibility of web-based German-language patient education material (PEM) issued by urological associations.

Concepts: Educational psychology, Grammatical case


The Patient Global Index of Severity (PGI-S) and the Patient Global Index of Improvement (PGI-I) are global impression questionnaires developed in English and validated in women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI). This validation study tested the psychometric properties of German-language versions of the two questionnaires in German-speaking women with SUI.

Concepts: Urinary incontinence, Urinary bladder, United Kingdom, Spanish language, English language, Canada, German language, Grammatical case


This study investigates the comprehension of wh-questions in individuals with aphasia (IWA) speaking Turkish, a non-wh-movement language, and German, a wh-movement language. We examined six German-speaking and 11 Turkish-speaking IWA using picture-pointing tasks. Findings from our experiments show that the Turkish IWA responded more accurately to both object who and object which questions than to subject questions, while the German IWA performed better for subject which questions than in all other conditions. Using random forest models, a machine learning technique used in tree-structured classification, on the individual data revealed that both the Turkish and German IWA’s response accuracy is largely predicted by the presence of overt and unambiguous case marking. We discuss our results with regard to different theoretical approaches to the comprehension of wh-questions in aphasia.

Concepts: Scientific method, Machine learning, Object, German language, Grammatical case, Genitive case, Accusative case, Dative case