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The P600 as an indicator of syntactic ambiguity

Frisch, S., Schlesewsky, M., Saddy, D. and Alpermann, A. (2002) The P600 as an indicator of syntactic ambiguity. Cognition, 85 (3). B83-B92. ISSN 0010-0277

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/S0010-0277(02)00126-9

Abstract/Summary

In a study using event-related brain potentials, we show that the current characterization of the P600 component as an indicator of revision processes (reanalysis and repair) in sentence comprehension must be extended to include the recognition of syntactic ambiguity. By comparing the processing of ambiguous and unambiguous sentence constituents in German, we show that the P600 is elicited when our language processing system has syntactic alternatives at a certain item given in the input string. That the P600 is sensitive to syntactic ambiguity adds crucial evidence to current debates in psycholinguistic modelling, as the results clearly favour parallel models of syntactic processing which assume that ambiguity is recognized and costly.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:72835
Publisher:Elsevier

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