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Investigating syntactic movement in the brain. Dr Zarinah Agnew Dr Hans van de Koot Professor Sophie Scott. UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. Background: syntactic movement.

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slide1

Investigating syntactic movement in the brain

Dr Zarinah Agnew

Dr Hans van de Koot

Professor Sophie Scott

UCL Institute of

Cognitive Neuroscience

slide2

Background: syntactic movement

When a phrase appears in a displaced position in a sentence, so that its position does not coincide with the position in which it is interpreted

THAT vase

e.g. THAT vase, you should not break

Passive:

e.g. The vase was broken

THE vase

Unaccusative:

e.g. The vase broke

THE vase

Unergative :

e.g. John slept

THE vase

slide3

Experimental Setup

5 conditions - passive listening to:

- unaccusative verbs (e.g. The colours faded the day after the wash)

Internal argument

- unergative verbs (e.g. one athlete hesitated a moment into his jump)

External argument

- transitive verbs (e.g. the thief abandoned the car after the crash)

Both

- auditory baseline

- silent rest

Want to capture this

1 to 2 seconds

4 sec stimuli

3 sec scan

2 sec ISI

1 sec

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

30 events, 5 conditions, 10sec TR: 25 minutes

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What do we expect to find:

Conjunction: Unaccusative VS Unergatives and Unaccusatives Vs Transitives:

Left IFG and left MTG

Shetreet, Friedmann & Hadar, 2009

Key difference: In Hebrew some unaccusatives have a morphological marking. This is not the case in English