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  Young children's sentence comprehension: Neural correlates of syntax-semantic competition

Strotseva-Feinschmidt, A., Schipke, C. S., Gunter, T. C., Brauer, J., & Friederici, A. D. (2019). Young children's sentence comprehension: Neural correlates of syntax-semantic competition. Brain and Cognition, 134, 110-121. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2018.09.003.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-837D-E Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-BF3F-1
Genre: Journal Article

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Strotseva-Feinschmidt_Schipke_2018.pdf (Publisher version), 995KB
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 Creators:
Strotseva-Feinschmidt, Anna1, Author              
Schipke, Christine S.2, Author
Gunter, Thomas C.1, Author              
Brauer, Jens1, Author              
Friederici, Angela D.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              
2Research Focus Cognitive Sciences, University of Potsdam, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: Sentence comprehension requires the assignment of thematic relations between the verb and its noun arguments in order to determine who is doing what to whom. In some languages, such as English, word order is the primary syntactic cue. In other languages, such as German, case-marking is additionally used to assign thematic roles. During development children have to acquire the thematic relevance of these syntactic cues and weigh them against semantic cues. Here we investigated the processing of syntactic cues and semantic cues in 2- and 3-year-old children by analyzing their behavioral and neurophysiological responses. Case-marked subject-first and object-first sentences (syntactic cue) including animate and inanimate nouns (semantic cue) were presented auditorily. The semantic animacy cue either conflicted with or supported the thematic roles assigned by syntactic case-marking. In contrast to adults, for whom semantics did not interfere with case-marking, children attended to both syntactic and to semantic cues with a stronger reliance on semantic cues in early development. Children’s event-related brain potentials indicated sensitivity to syntactic information but increased processing costs when case-marking and animacy assigned conflicting thematic roles. These results demonstrate an early developmental sensitivity and ongoing shift towards the use of syntactic cues during sentence comprehension.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018-07-242018-01-292018-09-132018-11-122019-08
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2018.09.003
PMID: 30442450
PII: S0278-2626(18)30030-7
Other: Epub 2018 Nov 12
 Degree: -

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Project name : Neural basis of syntax in the developing brain / NEUROSYNTAX
Grant ID : 269505
Funding program : Funding Programme 7
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)

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Title: Brain and Cognition
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Orlando, Fla. : Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 134 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 110 - 121 Identifier: ISSN: 0278-2626
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922648105