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Processing polarity items: contrastive licensing costs

Saddy, D. ORCID:, Drenhaus, H. and Frisch, S. (2004) Processing polarity items: contrastive licensing costs. Brain and Language, 90 (1-3). pp. 495-502. ISSN 0093-934x

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/S0093-934X(03)00470-X


We describe an experiment that investigated the failure to license polarity items in German using event-related brain potentials (ERPs). The results reveal distinct processing reflexes associated with failure to license positive polarity items in comparison to failure to license negative polarity items. Failure to license both negative and positive polarity items elicited an N400 component reflecting semantic integration cost. Failure to license positive polarity items, however, also elicited a P600 component. The additional P600 in the positive polarity violations may reflect higher processing complexity associated with a negative operator. This difference between the two types of violation suggests that the processing of negative and positive polarity items does not involve identical mechanisms. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
ID Code:72821
Uncontrolled Keywords:polarity; licensing; ERP; lexicon; integration; complexity

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