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  Why pitch sensitivity matters: Event-related potential evidence of metric and syntactic violation detection among Spanish late learners of German

Schmidt-Kassow, M., Roncaglia-Denissen, M. P., & Kotz, S. A. (2011). Why pitch sensitivity matters: Event-related potential evidence of metric and syntactic violation detection among Spanish late learners of German. Frontiers in Psychology, 2: 131. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00131.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-093E-2 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-4C93-3
Genre: Journal Article

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Schmidt-Kassow, Maren1, Author              
Roncaglia-Denissen, M. Paula2, Author              
Kotz, Sonja A.2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Institute of Medical Psychology, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Minerva Research Group Neurocognition of Rhythm in Communication, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634560              

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 Abstract: Event-related potential (ERP) data in monolingual German speakers have shown that sentential metric expectancy violations elicit a biphasic ERP pattern consisting of an anterior negativity and a posterior positivity (P600). This pattern is comparable to that elicited by syntactic violations. However, proficient French late learners of German do not detect violations of metric expectancy in German. They also show qualitatively and quantitatively different ERP responses to metric and syntactic violations. We followed up the questions whether (1) latter evidence results from a potential pitch cue insensitivity in speech segmentation in French speakers, or (2) if the result is founded in rhythmic language differences. Therefore, we tested Spanish late learners of German, as Spanish, contrary to French, uses pitch as a segmentation cue even though the basic segmentation unit is the same in French and Spanish (i.e., the syllable). We report ERP responses showing that Spanish L2 learners are sensitive to syntactic as well as metric violations in German sentences independent of attention to task in a P600 response. Overall, the behavioral performance resembles that of German native speakers. The current data suggest that Spanish L2 learners are able to extract metric units (trochee) in their L2 (German) even though their basic segmentation unit in Spanish is the syllable. In addition Spanish in contrast to French L2 learners of German are sensitive to syntactic violations indicating a tight link between syntactic and metric competence. This finding emphasizes the relevant role of metric cues not only in L2 prosodic but also in syntactic processing.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2011-06-052011-06-20
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00131
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Title: Frontiers in Psychology
  Abbreviation : Front Psychol
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Pully, Switzerland : Frontiers Research Foundation
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 2 Sequence Number: 131 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1664-1078
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1664-1078