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The neurophysiological correlate to grammatical function reanalysis in Swedish
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, General Linguistics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0897-8911
2011 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Language comprehension is assumed to proceed incrementally, and comprehenders commit to initial interpretations even in the absence of unambiguous information (e.g., Crocker 1994; Hawkins 2007). Initial ambiguous object arguments are therefore preferably interpreted as subjects, an interpretation that needs to be revised towards an object initial interpretation once the disambiguating information is encountered (e.g, de Vincenzi 1991; Haupt, Schlesewsky, Roehm, Friederici, & Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, 2008). Most accounts of such grammatical function reanalyses (Haupt et al. 2008) assume that they involve phrase structure revisions, and do not differ from other syntactic reanalyses. A number of studies using measurements of event-related brain potentials (ERP:s) provide evidence for this view by showing that both reanalysis types engender similar neurophysiological responses (e.g., P600 effects) (e.g., Bornkessel, McElree, Schlesewsky, & Friederici, 2004; Friederici & Mecklinger, 1996; Matzke, Mai, Nager, Russeler, Munte, 2002). Others have claimed that grammatical function reanalyses rather involves revisions of the mapping of thematic roles to argument NP:s (Bornkessel & Schlesewsky, 2006; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky & Schlesewsky, 2009a, 2009b; Haupt et al., 2008). In line with this, it has been shown that grammatical function reanalysis during spoken language comprehension engender a N400 effect (Haupt et al., 2008), an effect which has been shown to correlate with general problems in the mapping of thematic roles to argument NP:s in a number of languages (see Bornkessel-Schlesewsky & Schlesewsky, 2009b for a review).

This poster presents a study which investigated the ERP correlate to grammatical function reanalysis in Swedish. Post-verbal NP:s that disambiguated the interpretation of object-topicalized sentences towards an object-initial reading engendered a N400 effect with a local, left-parietal distribution. This ―reanalysis N400‖ effect provides further support for the view that grammatical function reanalysis is functionally distinct from syntactic reanalyses and rather involves a revision of the mapping of thematic roles to the sentence arguments.

Bornkessel, I., McElree, B., Schlesewsky, M., & Friederici, A. D. (2004). Multi-dimensional contributions to garden path strength: Dissociating phrase structure from case marking. Journal of Memory and Language, 51(4), 495-522.

Bornkessel, I., & Schlesewsky, M. (2006). The extended argument dependency model: A neurocognitive approach to sentence comprehension across languages. Psychological Review, 113(4), 787-821.

Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I., & Schlesewsky, M. (2009a). Processing syntax and morphology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I., & Schlesewsky, M. (2009b). The role of prominence information in the real-time comprehension of transitive constructions: A cross-linguistic approach. Language and Linguistics Compass, 3(1), 19-58.

Crocker, M. W. (1994). On the nature of the principle-based sentence processor. In C. Clifton, Jr., L. Frazier, & K. Rayner (Eds.), Perspectives on sentence processing (pp. 245–266). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.

de Vincenzi, M. (1991). Syntactic parsing strategies in Italian. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Friederici, A. D., & Mecklinger, A. (1996). Syntactic parsing as revealed by brain responses: First-pass and second-pass parsing processes. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 25(25), 157-176.

Haupt, F. S., Schlesewsky, M., Roehm, D., Friederici, A. D., & Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I. (2008). The status of subject-object reanalyses in the language comprehension architecture. Journal of Memory and Language, 59(1), 54-96.

Matzke, M., Mai, H., Nager, W., Russeler, J., Munte, T. (2002). The costs of freedom: An ERP-study of noncanonical sentences. Clinical Neurophysiology, 113(6), 844-852.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Copenhagen, Denmark, 2011.
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
General Linguistics; Linguistics; Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-158093OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-158093DiVA, id: diva2:1233068
Conference
The 3rd Conference of the Scandinavian Association for Language and Cognition
Available from: 2018-07-14 Created: 2018-07-14 Last updated: 2018-07-14

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