Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky (Research Group Neurotypology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences), talar under rubriken "Cross-linguistic similarities and differences in the neurocognition of language comprehension: a prominence-based approach"

Tid och plats: måndagen 17 november 2008, kl. 16-18, C 307.


Research on linguistic typology and universals has revealed a number of so-called “prominence scales” (e.g. +animate > -animate; +definite/specific > -definite/specific). In this talk, I will review a range of empirical findings which suggest that these scales are also of crucial importance in online language comprehension. Particularly in languages with a verb-final word order, prominence information plays an important role in allowing for argument interpretation to take place even before the verb is reached. On the basis of electrophysiological and functional-neuroanatomical data from a range of languages (including German, Turkish, Hindi, Tamil and Chinese), I will argue that the neural language comprehension system treats prominence features as functionally equivalent to morphosyntactic information such as case marking and word order. Finally, I will show how these and other findings constrain the modelling of cross-linguistic similarities and differences in the neurocognition of language comprehension.