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Predictability speeds up the re-analysis process: An ERP investigation of gender agreement and cloze probability

Loerts, Hanneke and Stowe, Laurie A and Schmid, Monika S (2013) 'Predictability speeds up the re-analysis process: An ERP investigation of gender agreement and cloze probability.' Journal of Neurolinguistics, 26 (5). pp. 561-580. ISSN 0911-6044

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To investigate the timing relationship between lexical access and later processes, the present study compared event-related potentials (ERPs) in response to spoken Dutch sentences that were either correct or contained gender agreement violations on the article or adjective preceding the noun. The target noun was either unpredictable from the preceding sentence information (low cloze) or was preceded by a highly constraining context (high cloze) to investigate whether contextual constraints influence morphological processing of grammatical gender in real-time. In line with previous findings, gender violations elicited a clear P600 indicating processes of repair or re-analysis evoked by the gender mismatch. Low cloze items, independent of the gender mismatch, elicited an increased N400 reflecting lexical access and semantic integration difficulty. Interestingly, an interaction between gender mismatch and cloze probability occurred in the early portion of the P600 time window, with the P600 starting significantly later in the low cloze conditions as compared to the high cloze conditions, although they had the same amplitude in the later part of the window. These results indicate that semantic expectancy facilitates the late processes sensitive to syntactic violations, suggesting an interplay between semantics and syntax in later stages of processing and supporting interactive accounts of language comprehension. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Grammatical gender; Cloze probability; Event-related potentials (ERPs); Auditory language processing; N400; P600
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2014 10:16
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 13:01

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