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  Processing relative clauses varying on syntactic and semantic dimensions - An analysis with event-related potentials

Mecklinger, A., Schriefers, H., Steinhauer, K., & Friederici, A. D. (1995). Processing relative clauses varying on syntactic and semantic dimensions - An analysis with event-related potentials. Memory and Cognition, 23(4), 477-494. doi:10.3758/BF03197249.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-D2C6-F Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-DBA5-5
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Mecklinger, Axel1, Author              
Schriefers, Herbert, Author
Steinhauer, Karsten2, Author              
Friederici, Angela D.1, Author              
Affiliations:
1MPI of Cognitive Neuroscience (Leipzig, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634574              
2External Organizations, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: Event-related potentials were used to study how parsing of German relative clauses is influenced by semantic information. Subjects read well-formed sentences containing either a subject or an object relative clause and answered questions concerning the thematic roles expressed in those sentences. Half of the sentences contained past participles that on grounds of semantic plausibility biased either a subject or an object relative reading; the other half contained past participles that provided no semantic information favoring either reading. The past participle elicited an N400 component, larger in amplitude for neutral than for semantically biased verbs, but this occurred only in the case of subject relative clauses. More specific effects were obtained only for a subgroup of subjects, when these were grouped into fast and slow comprehenders on the basis of their questionanswering reaction times. Fast comprehenders showed larger N400 amplitudes for neutral than for semantically biased past participles in general and larger N400s for the latter when there was a bias for an object relative reading as opposed to a subject relative reading. Syntactic ambiguity resolution, indicated by an auxiliary in sentence final position, was associated in this subgroup with a positive component (P345), larger in amplitude for auxiliaries indicating an object relative reading than for those indicating a subject relative reading. The latter component was independent of semantically biasing information given by a preceding past participle. Implications of these findings for models of language comprehension are considered.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 1995
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: -
 Identifiers: eDoc: 239454
Other: P6906
DOI: 10.3758/BF03197249
 Degree: -

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Title: Memory and Cognition
Source Genre: Journal
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Pages: - Volume / Issue: 23 (4) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 477 - 494 Identifier: -