Electrophysiological correlates of morphosyntactic integration in German phrasal context
Davidson, D. J., Hanulikova, A., & Indefrey, P.
Electrophysiological correlates of morphosyntactic integration in German phrasal context. Language and Cognitive Processes, 27
, 288-311. doi:10.1080/01690965.2011.616448.
The morphosyntactic paradigm of an inflected word can influence isolated word recognition, but its role in multiple-word phrasal integration is less clear. We examined the electrophysiological response to adjectives in short German prepositional phrases to evaluate whether strong and weak forms of the adjective show a differential response, and whether paradigm variables are related to this response. Twenty native German speakers classified serially presented phrases as grammatically correct or not while the electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded. A functional mixed effects model of the response to grammatically correct trials revealed a differential response to strong and weak forms of the adjectives. This response difference depended on whether the preceding preposition imposed accusative or dative case. The lexically conditioned information content of the adjectives modulated a later interval of the response. The results indicate that grammatical context modulates the response to morphosyntactic information content, and lends support to the role of paradigm structure in integrative phrasal processing.