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SLTC 2008

November 20 - 21, 2008

On the importance of argument-argument dependencies in human language comprehension: a cross-linguistic neurocognitive perspective

Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky

Research Group Neurotypology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany

Many accounts of language processing (both psycholinguistic and computational) assume that the establishment and resolution of dependencies forms an integral part of the parsing process. The approach to language comprehension which I outline in this talk also subscribes to a dependency-based perspective. It is novel, however, in postulating a crucial role for dependencies between arguments in incremental interpretation. Particularly in languages with a verb-final word order, these dependencies play an important role in allowing for argument interpretation to take place even before the verb is reached. Moreover, they can be used to make predictions about upcoming elements in the linguistic input. I will support these claims with electrophysiological and functional-neuroanatomical data from a range of languages (including German, Turkish, Hindi, Tamil and Chinese) and will describe how the assumption of argument-argument depencies can be situated within a broader conceptualisation of the neural language architecture.

Important dates

June 1, 2008:
Deadline workshop proposals
September 15, 2008
Deadline papers
October 30, 2008
Deadline of revised abstract
November 6, 2008
Deadline registration
November, 20-21