Burkhardt, Petra (2006). Inferential bridging relations reveal distinct neural mechanisms: Evidence from event-related brain potentials. Brain and Language, 98 (2). pp. 159-168. ISSN 0093-934X

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This study investigates the online comprehension of Determiner Phrases (DPs) as a function of the given-new distinction in two-sentence texts in German and further focuses on DPs whose interpretation depends on inferential information (so-called ‘bridging relations’). Previous reaction time studies report an advantage of given over new information. In the present study, this difference is reflected in distinct neural mechanisms: event-related potentials reveal that previously introduced (i.e., given) DPs elicit a reduced N400, while new DPs show an enhanced N400 followed by a P600. Crucially, inferentially bridged DPs, which are hypothesized to share properties with new and given information, first pattern with given DPs (showing an attenuated N400) and then with new DPs (showing an enhanced P600). The data demonstrate that salience relations between DPs and prior context ease DP integration and that additional cost arises from the establishment of independent reference. They further reveal that processing cost associated with the interpretation of bridged DPs results from the anaphoric complexity of introducing an independent referent.

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-370114
DOI: 10.1016/j.bandl.2006.04.005
Journal or Publication Title: Brain and Language
Volume: 98
Number: 2
Page Range: pp. 159-168
Date: 2006
ISSN: 0093-934X
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Zentrale Forschungseinrichtungen > Cologne Center of Language Sciences - Kölner Zentrum Sprachwissenschaften (CCLS)
Subjects: Psychology
Language, Linguistics
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/37011


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