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Competing Motivations in Grammar and Usage$
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Brian MacWhinney, Andrej Malchukov, and Edith Moravcsik

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198709848

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198709848.001.0001

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Competition in argument interpretation: Evidence from the neurobiology of language

Competition in argument interpretation: Evidence from the neurobiology of language

Chapter:
(p.107) 7 Competition in argument interpretation: Evidence from the neurobiology of language
Source:
Competing Motivations in Grammar and Usage
Author(s):

Ina Bornkessel‐Schlesewsky

Matthias Schlesewsky

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198709848.003.0007

This chapter presents an approach to competition in incremental argument interpretation based on the latest version of the extended Argument Dependency Model (eADM; Bornkessel and Schlesewsky 2006). It argues that, during real time language comprehension, each potential argument (i.e. every “nouny” constituent in a sentence) competes for three cardinal categories (CCs) of argument interpretation: actor, subject (privileged syntactic argument), and topic. The CCs serve to anchor arguments in the current event (actor), the upcoming discourse (subject), and the preceding discourse (topic). It outlines a neurobiological processing architecture based on the CCs and independent assumptions about information processing in the human brain and discusses existing evidence in favor of this approach as well as testable new predictions.

Keywords:   cardinal category, attractor, brain, neurobiology, language comprehension, extended Argument Dependence Model, eADM

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