Restrictive vs. non-restrictive composition

A magnetoencephalography study

Timothy Leffel, Miriam Lauter, Masha Westerlund, Liina Pylkkänen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Recent research on the brain mechanisms underlying language processing has implicated the left anterior temporal lobe (LATL) as a central region for the composition of simple phrases. Because these studies typically present their critical stimuli without contextual information, the sensitivity of LATL responses to contextual factors is unknown. In this magnetoencephalography (MEG) study, we employed a simple question-answer paradigm to manipulate whether a prenominal adjective or determiner is interpreted restrictively, i.e., as limiting the set of entities under discussion. Our results show that the LATL is sensitive to restriction, with restrictive composition eliciting higher responses than non-restrictive composition. However, this effect was only observed when the restricting element was a determiner, adjectival stimuli showing the opposite pattern, which we hypothesise to be driven by the special pragmatic properties of non-restrictive adjectives. Overall, our results demonstrate a robust sensitivity of the LATL to high level contextual and potentially also pragmatic factors.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1191-1204
    Number of pages14
    JournalLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
    Volume29
    Issue number10
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2014

    Fingerprint

    Magnetoencephalography
    Temporal Lobe
    stimulus
    pragmatics
    brain
    paradigm
    language
    Language
    Brain
    Research
    Adjective
    Determiners
    Contextual
    Stimulus

    Keywords

    • Composition
    • Left anterior temporal lobe
    • MEG
    • Pragmatics

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Linguistics and Language
    • Cognitive Neuroscience

    Cite this

    Restrictive vs. non-restrictive composition : A magnetoencephalography study. / Leffel, Timothy; Lauter, Miriam; Westerlund, Masha; Pylkkänen, Liina.

    In: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, Vol. 29, No. 10, 2014, p. 1191-1204.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Leffel, Timothy ; Lauter, Miriam ; Westerlund, Masha ; Pylkkänen, Liina. / Restrictive vs. non-restrictive composition : A magnetoencephalography study. In: Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. 2014 ; Vol. 29, No. 10. pp. 1191-1204.
    @article{4b0f34a48ece4c3ab731a2a8d3224e5f,
    title = "Restrictive vs. non-restrictive composition: A magnetoencephalography study",
    abstract = "Recent research on the brain mechanisms underlying language processing has implicated the left anterior temporal lobe (LATL) as a central region for the composition of simple phrases. Because these studies typically present their critical stimuli without contextual information, the sensitivity of LATL responses to contextual factors is unknown. In this magnetoencephalography (MEG) study, we employed a simple question-answer paradigm to manipulate whether a prenominal adjective or determiner is interpreted restrictively, i.e., as limiting the set of entities under discussion. Our results show that the LATL is sensitive to restriction, with restrictive composition eliciting higher responses than non-restrictive composition. However, this effect was only observed when the restricting element was a determiner, adjectival stimuli showing the opposite pattern, which we hypothesise to be driven by the special pragmatic properties of non-restrictive adjectives. Overall, our results demonstrate a robust sensitivity of the LATL to high level contextual and potentially also pragmatic factors.",
    keywords = "Composition, Left anterior temporal lobe, MEG, Pragmatics",
    author = "Timothy Leffel and Miriam Lauter and Masha Westerlund and Liina Pylkk{\"a}nen",
    year = "2014",
    doi = "10.1080/23273798.2014.956765",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "29",
    pages = "1191--1204",
    journal = "Language, Cognition and Neuroscience",
    issn = "2327-3798",
    publisher = "Taylor and Francis",
    number = "10",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Restrictive vs. non-restrictive composition

    T2 - A magnetoencephalography study

    AU - Leffel, Timothy

    AU - Lauter, Miriam

    AU - Westerlund, Masha

    AU - Pylkkänen, Liina

    PY - 2014

    Y1 - 2014

    N2 - Recent research on the brain mechanisms underlying language processing has implicated the left anterior temporal lobe (LATL) as a central region for the composition of simple phrases. Because these studies typically present their critical stimuli without contextual information, the sensitivity of LATL responses to contextual factors is unknown. In this magnetoencephalography (MEG) study, we employed a simple question-answer paradigm to manipulate whether a prenominal adjective or determiner is interpreted restrictively, i.e., as limiting the set of entities under discussion. Our results show that the LATL is sensitive to restriction, with restrictive composition eliciting higher responses than non-restrictive composition. However, this effect was only observed when the restricting element was a determiner, adjectival stimuli showing the opposite pattern, which we hypothesise to be driven by the special pragmatic properties of non-restrictive adjectives. Overall, our results demonstrate a robust sensitivity of the LATL to high level contextual and potentially also pragmatic factors.

    AB - Recent research on the brain mechanisms underlying language processing has implicated the left anterior temporal lobe (LATL) as a central region for the composition of simple phrases. Because these studies typically present their critical stimuli without contextual information, the sensitivity of LATL responses to contextual factors is unknown. In this magnetoencephalography (MEG) study, we employed a simple question-answer paradigm to manipulate whether a prenominal adjective or determiner is interpreted restrictively, i.e., as limiting the set of entities under discussion. Our results show that the LATL is sensitive to restriction, with restrictive composition eliciting higher responses than non-restrictive composition. However, this effect was only observed when the restricting element was a determiner, adjectival stimuli showing the opposite pattern, which we hypothesise to be driven by the special pragmatic properties of non-restrictive adjectives. Overall, our results demonstrate a robust sensitivity of the LATL to high level contextual and potentially also pragmatic factors.

    KW - Composition

    KW - Left anterior temporal lobe

    KW - MEG

    KW - Pragmatics

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84930625970&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84930625970&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1080/23273798.2014.956765

    DO - 10.1080/23273798.2014.956765

    M3 - Article

    VL - 29

    SP - 1191

    EP - 1204

    JO - Language, Cognition and Neuroscience

    JF - Language, Cognition and Neuroscience

    SN - 2327-3798

    IS - 10

    ER -