117,650 research outputs found

    The neurocognition of syntactic processing

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    Neural connectivity in syntactic movement processing

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    Linguistic theory suggests non-canonical sentences subvert the dominant agent-verb-theme order in English via displacement of sentence constituents to argument (NP-movement) or non-argument positions (wh-movement). Both processes have been associated with the left inferior frontal gyrus and posterior superior temporal gyrus, but differences in neural activity and connectivity between movement types have not been investigated. In the current study, functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired from 21 adult participants during an auditory sentence-picture verification task using passive and active sentences contrasted to isolate NP-movement, and object- and subject-cleft sentences contrasted to isolate wh-movement. Then, functional magnetic resonance imaging data from regions common to both movement types were entered into a dynamic causal modeling analysis to examine effective connectivity for wh-movement and NP-movement. Results showed greater left inferior frontal gyrus activation for Wh > NP-movement, but no activation for NP > Wh-movement. Both types of movement elicited activity in the opercular part of the left inferior frontal gyrus, left posterior superior temporal gyrus, and left medial superior frontal gyrus. The dynamic causal modeling analyses indicated that neither movement type significantly modulated the connection from the left inferior frontal gyrus to the left posterior superior temporal gyrus, nor vice-versa, suggesting no connectivity differences between wh- and NP-movement. These findings support the idea that increased complexity of wh-structures, compared to sentences with NP-movement, requires greater engagement of cognitive resources via increased neural activity in the left inferior frontal gyrus, but both movement types engage similar neural networks.This work was supported by the NIH-NIDCD, Clinical Research Center Grant, P50DC012283 (PI: CT), and the Graduate Research Grant and School of Communication Graduate Ignition Grant from Northwestern University (awarded to EE). (P50DC012283 - NIH-NIDCD, Clinical Research Center Grant; Graduate Research Grant and School of Communication Graduate Ignition Grant from Northwestern University)Published versio

    Some Syntactic Evidence for Topdown Processing

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    Keystroke dynamics as signal for shallow syntactic parsing

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    Keystroke dynamics have been extensively used in psycholinguistic and writing research to gain insights into cognitive processing. But do keystroke logs contain actual signal that can be used to learn better natural language processing models? We postulate that keystroke dynamics contain information about syntactic structure that can inform shallow syntactic parsing. To test this hypothesis, we explore labels derived from keystroke logs as auxiliary task in a multi-task bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (bi-LSTM). Our results show promising results on two shallow syntactic parsing tasks, chunking and CCG supertagging. Our model is simple, has the advantage that data can come from distinct sources, and produces models that are significantly better than models trained on the text annotations alone.Comment: In COLING 201

    A paradox of syntactic priming: why response tendencies show priming for passives, and response latencies show priming for actives

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    Speakers tend to repeat syntactic structures across sentences, a phenomenon called syntactic priming. Although it has been suggested that repeating syntactic structures should result in speeded responses, previous research has focused on effects in response tendencies. We investigated syntactic priming effects simultaneously in response tendencies and response latencies for active and passive transitive sentences in a picture description task. In Experiment 1, there were priming effects in response tendencies for passives and in response latencies for actives. However, when participants' pre-existing preference for actives was altered in Experiment 2, syntactic priming occurred for both actives and passives in response tendencies as well as in response latencies. This is the first investigation of the effects of structure frequency on both response tendencies and latencies in syntactic priming. We discuss the implications of these data for current theories of syntactic processing

    SKOPE: A connectionist/symbolic architecture of spoken Korean processing

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    Spoken language processing requires speech and natural language integration. Moreover, spoken Korean calls for unique processing methodology due to its linguistic characteristics. This paper presents SKOPE, a connectionist/symbolic spoken Korean processing engine, which emphasizes that: 1) connectionist and symbolic techniques must be selectively applied according to their relative strength and weakness, and 2) the linguistic characteristics of Korean must be fully considered for phoneme recognition, speech and language integration, and morphological/syntactic processing. The design and implementation of SKOPE demonstrates how connectionist/symbolic hybrid architectures can be constructed for spoken agglutinative language processing. Also SKOPE presents many novel ideas for speech and language processing. The phoneme recognition, morphological analysis, and syntactic analysis experiments show that SKOPE is a viable approach for the spoken Korean processing.Comment: 8 pages, latex, use aaai.sty & aaai.bst, bibfile: nlpsp.bib, to be presented at IJCAI95 workshops on new approaches to learning for natural language processin

    ERP analysis of cognitive sequencing : a left-anterior negativity related to structural transformation processing

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    A major objective of cognitive neuroscience is to identify those neurocomputational processes that may be shared by multiple cognitive functions vs those that are highly specifc. This problem of identifying general vs specialized functions is of particular interest in the domain of language processing. Within this domain, event related brain potential (ERP) studies have demonstrated a left anterior negativity (LAN) in a range 300 to 700 ms, associated with syntactic processing, often linked to grammatical function words. These words have little or no semantic content, but rather play a role in encoding syntactic structure required for parsing. In the current study we test the hypothesis that the LAN reflects the operation of a more general sequence processing capability in which special symbols encode structural information that, when combined with past elements in the sequence, allows the prediction of successor elements. We recorded ERPs during a non-linguistic sequencing task that required subjects (nà10) to process special symbols possessing the functional property defined above. When compared to ERPs in a control condition, function symbol processing elicits a left anterior negative shift between with temporal and spatial characteristics quite similar to the LAN described during function word processing in language, supporting our hypothesis. These results are discussed in the context of related studies of syntactic and cognitive sequence processing

    Shared Syntax in Language Production and Language Comprehension—An fMRI Study

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    During speaking and listening syntactic processing is a crucial step. It involves specifying syntactic relations between words in a sentence. If the production and comprehension modality share the neuronal substrate for syntactic processing then processing syntax in one modality should lead to adaptation effects in the other modality. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment, participants either overtly produced or heard descriptions of pictures. We looked for brain regions showing adaptation effects to the repetition of syntactic structures. In order to ensure that not just the same brain regions but also the same neuronal populations within these regions are involved in syntactic processing in speaking and listening, we compared syntactic adaptation effects within processing modalities (syntactic production-to-production and comprehension-to-comprehension priming) with syntactic adaptation effects between processing modalities (syntactic comprehension-to-production and production-to-comprehension priming). We found syntactic adaptation effects in left inferior frontal gyrus (Brodmann's area [BA] 45), left middle temporal gyrus (BA 21), and bilateral supplementary motor area (BA 6) which were equally strong within and between processing modalities. Thus, syntactic repetition facilitates syntactic processing in the brain within and across processing modalities to the same extent. We conclude that that the same neurobiological system seems to subserve syntactic processing in speaking and listening
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