ABC seminar: Morphemes in the Brain

Dr. Alec Marantz (Department of Linguistics, New York University, USA) will present his work regarding neural implementation of language processing from both theoretical and neurocognitive perspectives.
ABC Seminar

Welcome to the ABC Seminar! This seminar series is open for everyone. The talk will take place in the Auditorium F239a in Health Technology House (Otakaari 3). After the talk, coffee and pulla will be served.

Speaker: Dr. Alec Marantz, Department of Linguistics, New York University, USA

Title: Morphemes in the Brain

Abstract: This talk will bring the audience up to date on continuing research from the NYU MorphLab illustrates the productive interaction between neuroscience and linguistic theory.  First, I will clarify how the separation of morphemes (minimal units of grammatical processing, as in real-iz-ation-s) from their sound or written realizations underpins neurolinguistic work on the processing of morphologically complex words.  In recognizing spoken or written words, we first identify these “realizations” of morphemes as acoustic or visual objects.  Our brains quickly and automatically generate a parse of the linguistic input into a structure of these units, in either sounds or letters, which serves as the basis for a-modal morphological analysis, and in the case of spoken language, prediction of upcoming sounds.   I will present new MEG data from studies of English, Arabic, Tagalog and Japanese where experiments add significantly to our general understanding of linguistic structure.  Early MEG responses from the visual and auditory processing pathways in the brain show sensitivity to complex grammatical knowledge, as manifested in the statistical relation among the realizations of morphemes

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