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The brain knows the difference: two types of grammatical violations


Friederici, Angela D; Meyer, Martin (2004). The brain knows the difference: two types of grammatical violations. Brain Research, 1000(1-2):72-77.

Abstract

The brain has been shown to honor the fundamental linguistic difference between semantic and syntactic information. Here we demonstrate that it even further indicates the necessity to distinguish between two differential syntactic processes: that is to say between the processing of phrase structure information necessary to build up syntactic structures on-line and verb argument structure information crucial to build up representations of who is doing what to whom. The former process is reflected in the event-related brain potentials (ERPs) as an anterior negativity followed by a late centro-parietal positivity, whereas the latter process is reflected as a centro-parietal negativity-positivity pattern. The different ERP patterns clearly suggest that the theoretically assumed difference between local syntactic structure building and argument structure processing is neurophysiologically real.

Abstract

The brain has been shown to honor the fundamental linguistic difference between semantic and syntactic information. Here we demonstrate that it even further indicates the necessity to distinguish between two differential syntactic processes: that is to say between the processing of phrase structure information necessary to build up syntactic structures on-line and verb argument structure information crucial to build up representations of who is doing what to whom. The former process is reflected in the event-related brain potentials (ERPs) as an anterior negativity followed by a late centro-parietal positivity, whereas the latter process is reflected as a centro-parietal negativity-positivity pattern. The different ERP patterns clearly suggest that the theoretically assumed difference between local syntactic structure building and argument structure processing is neurophysiologically real.

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20 citations in Web of Science®
21 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2004
Deposited On:29 Apr 2013 14:00
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 21:05
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0006-8993
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2003.10.057
PubMed ID:15053954

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