Grounding the cognitive neuroscience of semantics in linguistic theory

Liina Pylkkänen, Jonathan Brennan, Douglas K. Bemis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The mission of cognitive neuroscience is to represent the interaction of cognitive science and neuroscience: cognitive models of the mind guide a neuroscientific investigation of the brain bases of mental processes. In this endeavour, a cognitive model is crucial as without it, the cognitive neuroscientist does not know what to look for in the brain, what the nature of the relevant representations might be, or how the different components of a process might interact with each other. In the cognitive neuroscience of language, the interaction of theoretical models and brain research has, however, been far from ideal, especially when it comes to the study of meaning at the sentence level. Although theoretical semantics has a long history in linguistics and thus offers detailed and comprehensive models of the nature of semantic representations, these theories have had minimal impact on the brain investigation of semantic processing. In this article, we outline what a theoretically grounded cognitive neuroscience of semantics might look like and summarise our own findings regarding the neural bases of semantic composition, the basic combinatory operation that builds the complex meanings of natural language.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1317-1337
    Number of pages21
    JournalLanguage and Cognitive Processes
    Volume26
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Nov 2011

    Fingerprint

    Linguistics
    neurosciences
    Semantics
    semantics
    linguistics
    brain
    Brain
    Language
    Cognitive Science
    Mental Processes
    Base Composition
    interaction
    language
    Theoretical Models
    History
    Cognitive Neuroscience
    Linguistic Theory
    Grounding
    history
    science

    Keywords

    • AMF
    • Cognitive neuroscience
    • Formal semantics
    • Magnetoencephalography

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Linguistics and Language
    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Language and Linguistics
    • Education

    Cite this

    Grounding the cognitive neuroscience of semantics in linguistic theory. / Pylkkänen, Liina; Brennan, Jonathan; Bemis, Douglas K.

    In: Language and Cognitive Processes, Vol. 26, No. 9, 11.2011, p. 1317-1337.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Pylkkänen, Liina ; Brennan, Jonathan ; Bemis, Douglas K. / Grounding the cognitive neuroscience of semantics in linguistic theory. In: Language and Cognitive Processes. 2011 ; Vol. 26, No. 9. pp. 1317-1337.
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