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Semantic Processing Persists despite Anomalous Syntactic Category: ERP Evidence from Chinese Passive Sentences.

Yang Y, Wu F, Zhou X - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: The syntax-first model and the parallel/interactive models make different predictions regarding whether syntactic category processing has a temporal and functional primacy over semantic processing.This construction was selected because it is the most-commonly used Chinese passive and very much resembles German passives, upon which the syntax-first hypothesis was primarily based.Converging with recent findings of Chinese ERP studies on various constructions, our study provides further evidence that syntactic category processing does not precede semantic processing in reading Chinese.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Linguistics, Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai, 200083, China.

ABSTRACT
The syntax-first model and the parallel/interactive models make different predictions regarding whether syntactic category processing has a temporal and functional primacy over semantic processing. To further resolve this issue, an event-related potential experiment was conducted on 24 Chinese speakers reading Chinese passive sentences with the passive marker BEI (NP1 + BEI + NP2 + Verb). This construction was selected because it is the most-commonly used Chinese passive and very much resembles German passives, upon which the syntax-first hypothesis was primarily based. We manipulated semantic consistency (consistent vs. inconsistent) and syntactic category (noun vs. verb) of the critical verb, yielding four conditions: CORRECT (correct sentences), SEMANTIC (semantic anomaly), SYNTACTIC (syntactic category anomaly), and COMBINED (combined anomalies). Results showed both N400 and P600 effects for sentences with semantic anomaly, with syntactic category anomaly, or with combined anomalies. Converging with recent findings of Chinese ERP studies on various constructions, our study provides further evidence that syntactic category processing does not precede semantic processing in reading Chinese.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Grand average ERPs at 9 exemplar electrodes time-locked to the onset of the critical words for the four experimental conditions.
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pone.0131936.g001: Grand average ERPs at 9 exemplar electrodes time-locked to the onset of the critical words for the four experimental conditions.

Mentions: As shown in Fig 1 and Fig 2, in the 300–500 ms time window, compared with the CORRECT sentences, anomalous sentences in all the other three conditions (SYNTACTIC, SEMANTIC and COMBINED) elicited larger negativities (N400 effects). These effects had somewhat different distributions over the scalp (Fig 2), with the effect for SYNTACTIC predominantly on the left hemisphere and the effect for COMBINED over the whole scalp. In the time window of 500–800 ms, compared with the CORRECT sentences, sentences in the SYNTACTIC and COMBINED conditions elicited larger positivities (P600) in the centro-posterior areas whereas the effect for the SEMANTIC conditions was more left-lateralized. Statistical analyses confirmed these observations.


Semantic Processing Persists despite Anomalous Syntactic Category: ERP Evidence from Chinese Passive Sentences.

Yang Y, Wu F, Zhou X - PLoS ONE (2015)

Grand average ERPs at 9 exemplar electrodes time-locked to the onset of the critical words for the four experimental conditions.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4488374&req=5

pone.0131936.g001: Grand average ERPs at 9 exemplar electrodes time-locked to the onset of the critical words for the four experimental conditions.
Mentions: As shown in Fig 1 and Fig 2, in the 300–500 ms time window, compared with the CORRECT sentences, anomalous sentences in all the other three conditions (SYNTACTIC, SEMANTIC and COMBINED) elicited larger negativities (N400 effects). These effects had somewhat different distributions over the scalp (Fig 2), with the effect for SYNTACTIC predominantly on the left hemisphere and the effect for COMBINED over the whole scalp. In the time window of 500–800 ms, compared with the CORRECT sentences, sentences in the SYNTACTIC and COMBINED conditions elicited larger positivities (P600) in the centro-posterior areas whereas the effect for the SEMANTIC conditions was more left-lateralized. Statistical analyses confirmed these observations.

Bottom Line: The syntax-first model and the parallel/interactive models make different predictions regarding whether syntactic category processing has a temporal and functional primacy over semantic processing.This construction was selected because it is the most-commonly used Chinese passive and very much resembles German passives, upon which the syntax-first hypothesis was primarily based.Converging with recent findings of Chinese ERP studies on various constructions, our study provides further evidence that syntactic category processing does not precede semantic processing in reading Chinese.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Linguistics, Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai, 200083, China.

ABSTRACT
The syntax-first model and the parallel/interactive models make different predictions regarding whether syntactic category processing has a temporal and functional primacy over semantic processing. To further resolve this issue, an event-related potential experiment was conducted on 24 Chinese speakers reading Chinese passive sentences with the passive marker BEI (NP1 + BEI + NP2 + Verb). This construction was selected because it is the most-commonly used Chinese passive and very much resembles German passives, upon which the syntax-first hypothesis was primarily based. We manipulated semantic consistency (consistent vs. inconsistent) and syntactic category (noun vs. verb) of the critical verb, yielding four conditions: CORRECT (correct sentences), SEMANTIC (semantic anomaly), SYNTACTIC (syntactic category anomaly), and COMBINED (combined anomalies). Results showed both N400 and P600 effects for sentences with semantic anomaly, with syntactic category anomaly, or with combined anomalies. Converging with recent findings of Chinese ERP studies on various constructions, our study provides further evidence that syntactic category processing does not precede semantic processing in reading Chinese.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus