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Morphological encoding beyond slots and fillers: An ERP study of comparative formation in English

Clahsen, H and Paulmann, S and Budd, MJ and Barry, C (2018) 'Morphological encoding beyond slots and fillers: An ERP study of comparative formation in English.' PLoS ONE, 13 (7). ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

One important organizational property of morphology is competition. Different means of expression are in conflict with each other for encoding the same grammatical function. In the current study, we examined the nature of this control mechanism by testing the formation of comparative adjectives in English during language production. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded during cued silent production, the first study of this kind for comparative adjective formation. We specifically examined the ERP correlates of producing synthetic relative to analytic comparatives, e.g. angrier vs. more angry. A frontal, bilaterally distributed, enhanced negative-going waveform for analytic comparatives (vis-a-vis synthetic ones) emerged approximately 300ms after the (silent) production cue. We argue that this ERP effect reflects a control mechanism that constrains grammatically-based computational processes (viz. more comparative formation). We also address the possibility that this particular ERP effect may belong to a family of previously observed negativities reflecting cognitive control monitoring, rather than morphological encoding processes per se.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2018 10:12
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2018 10:12
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22804

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