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The impact of semantic-free second-language training on ERPs during case processing

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Mueller,  Jutta L.
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Girgsdies,  Stefan
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Friederici,  Angela D.
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Mueller, J. L., Girgsdies, S., & Friederici, A. D. (2008). The impact of semantic-free second-language training on ERPs during case processing. Neuroscience Letters, 443(2), 77-81. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2008.07.054.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-E0FB-F
Abstract
Some language-related ERP responses are only observed in high proficiency L2 speakers. It is unknown, however, how these ERP patterns are influenced by language training. We tested the effect of semantic-free training on ERPs related to syntactic processing in auditory sentence comprehension in German participants learning a miniature version of Japanese. When presented with correct sentences and sentences containing a case violation, the learners showed an N400-like negativity and a P600-like positivity resembling the ERP pattern reported for Japanese natives. They contrasted with a previously tested group of learners who, though they had been provided with full language training including semantic information, had only shown the P600. The results suggest that the absence of semantic input facilitates the development of some aspects of native-like language processing operations in L2 learners.