MPI für Psycholinguistik / Yearbook 2010 |
|Semantic illusion depends on information structure: ERP evidence|
|Authors:||Wang, Lin; Hagoort, Peter; Yang, Yufang|
|Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):||2009|
|Title of Journal:||Brain Research|
|Journal Abbrev.:||Brain Res.|
|Intended Educational Use:||No|
|Abstract / Description:||Next to propositional content, speakers distribute information in their utterances in such a way that listeners can make a distinction between new (focused) and given (non-focused) information. This is referred to as information structure. We measured event-related|
potentials (ERPs) to explore the role of information structure in semantic processing. Following different questions in wh-question-answer pairs (e.g. What kind of vegetable did Ming buy for cooking today? /Who bought the vegetables for cooking today?), the answer sentences (e.g., Ming bought eggplant/beef to cook today.) contained a critical word, which was either semantically appropriate (eggplant) or inappropriate (beef), and either focus or non-focus. The results showed a full N400 effect only when the critical words were in focus position. In non-focus position a strongly reduced N400 effect was observed, in line with the well-known semantic illusion effect. The results suggest that information structure facilitates semantic
processing by devoting more resources to focused information.
|Free Keywords:||Information structure Wh-question-answer pair Semantic integration Semantic illusion N400 effect|
|External Publication Status:||published|
|Affiliations:||MPI für Psycholinguistik|
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