Processing events

Behavioral and neuromagnetic correlates of Aspectual Coercion

Jonathan Brennan, Liina Pylkkänen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Much recent psycho- and neuro-linguistic work has aimed to elucidate the mechanisms by which sentence meanings are composed by investigating the processing of semantic mismatch. One controversial case for theories of semantic composition is expressions such as the clown jumped for ten minutes, in which the aspectual properties of a punctual verb clash with those of a durative modifier. Such sentences have been proposed to involve a coercion operation which shifts the punctual meaning of the verb to an iterative one. However, processing studies addressing this hypothesis have yielded mixed results. In this study, we tested four hypotheses of how aspectual mismatch is resolved with self-paced reading and magnetoencephalography. Using a set of verbs normed for punctuality, we identified an immediate behavioral cost of mismatch. The neural correlates of this processing were found to match effects in midline prefrontal regions previously implicated in the resolution of complement coercion. We also identified earlier effects in right-lateral frontal and temporal sites. We suggest that of the representational hypotheses currently in the literature, these data are most consistent with an account where aspectual mismatch initially involves the composition of an anomalous meaning that is later repaired via coercion.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)132-143
    Number of pages12
    JournalBrain and Language
    Volume106
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Aug 2008

    Fingerprint

    Coercion
    mismatch
    Semantics
    event
    Magnetoencephalography
    semantics
    Linguistics
    Reading
    Costs and Cost Analysis
    linguistics
    Aspectual Coercion
    Mismatch
    costs
    Verbs

    Keywords

    • AMF
    • Aspectual Coercion
    • MEG
    • Semantic composition

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
    • Neuroscience(all)

    Cite this

    Processing events : Behavioral and neuromagnetic correlates of Aspectual Coercion. / Brennan, Jonathan; Pylkkänen, Liina.

    In: Brain and Language, Vol. 106, No. 2, 08.2008, p. 132-143.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Brennan, Jonathan ; Pylkkänen, Liina. / Processing events : Behavioral and neuromagnetic correlates of Aspectual Coercion. In: Brain and Language. 2008 ; Vol. 106, No. 2. pp. 132-143.
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