Syntax-first models (Friederici, 2002) posit that syntactic analysis starts at a very early stage (100-300 ms). Consistently, a number of MEG and ERP studies have shown syntactic effects as early as 150 ms after stimulus onset (Dykker et al., 2009; Pulvermuller et al., 2007). The aim of the present study was to establish how early grammatical gender became available to the reader. Given its important role in syntactic structure building (especially in Romance languages), we hypothesized that grammatical gender information should become available between 100 and 300 ms, as predicted by syntax-first models. To this aim, we conducted an ERP study adopting a paradigm designed to monitor an early ERP component, the N2pc. This attentional component was chosen because of its early sensitivity to linguistic variables (Dell’Acqua et al., 2007). 600 Italian noun-adjective pairs whose gender agreed or disagreed were selected. The noun was presented centrally and was followed by two lateralized stimuli (the adjective and a distractor) presented for 200 ms. Participants judged noun-adjective gender agreement. ERP results showed that agreement violations influenced the amplitude of the N2pc between 170 and 310 ms. Specifically, a greater negativity was observed at P7 for the agreement condition relative to the disagreement condition. These results suggest that grammatical gender information is available at an early stage of language comprehension (100-300 ms).
|Titolo:||How early is grammatical gender information available to the reader?|
|Autori:||Sendy Caffarra; Francesca Pesciarelli; & Cristina Cacciari|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Poster|
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