The LATL as locus of composition

MEG evidence from English and Arabic

Masha Westerlund, Itamar Kastner, Meera Al Kaabi, Liina Pylkkänen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Neurolinguistic investigations into the processing of structured sentences as well as simple adjective-noun phrases point to the left anterior temporal lobe (LATL) as a leading candidate for basic linguistic composition. Here, we characterized the combinatory profile of the LATL over a variety of syntactic and semantic environments, and across two languages, English and Arabic. The contribution of the LATL was investigated across two types of composition: the optional modification of a predicate (modification) and the satisfaction of a predicate's argument position (argument saturation). Target words were presented during MEG recordings, either in combinatory contexts (e.g. "eats meat") or in non-combinatory contexts (preceded by an unpronounceable consonant string, e.g. "xqkr meat"). Across both languages, the LATL showed increased responses to words in combinatory contexts, an effect that was robust to composition type and word order. Together with related findings, these results solidify the role of the LATL in basic semantic composition.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)124-134
    Number of pages11
    JournalBrain and Language
    Volume141
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

    Fingerprint

    Temporal Lobe
    semantics
    evidence
    English language
    recording
    Semantics
    candidacy
    Meat
    linguistics
    Language
    language
    Linguistics
    Locus

    Keywords

    • Composition
    • Left anterior temporal lobe
    • MEG
    • Semantics

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Linguistics and Language
    • Speech and Hearing
    • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
    • Cognitive Neuroscience
    • Language and Linguistics
    • Medicine(all)

    Cite this

    The LATL as locus of composition : MEG evidence from English and Arabic. / Westerlund, Masha; Kastner, Itamar; Al Kaabi, Meera; Pylkkänen, Liina.

    In: Brain and Language, Vol. 141, 01.02.2015, p. 124-134.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Westerlund, M, Kastner, I, Al Kaabi, M & Pylkkänen, L 2015, 'The LATL as locus of composition: MEG evidence from English and Arabic', Brain and Language, vol. 141, pp. 124-134. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandl.2014.12.003
    Westerlund, Masha ; Kastner, Itamar ; Al Kaabi, Meera ; Pylkkänen, Liina. / The LATL as locus of composition : MEG evidence from English and Arabic. In: Brain and Language. 2015 ; Vol. 141. pp. 124-134.
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