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Brain potentials during language production in children and adults - an ERP study of the English past tense

  • The current study examines the neural correlates of 8-to-12-year-old children and adults producing inflected word forms, specifically regular vs. irregular past-tense forms in English, using a silent production paradigm. ERPs were time-locked to a visual cue for silent production of either a regular or irregular past-tense form or a 3rd person singular present tense form of a given verb (e.g., walked/sang vs. walks/sings). Subsequently, another visual stimulus cued participants for an overt vocalization of their response. ERP results for the adult group revealed a negativity 300-450 ms after the silent-production cue for regular compared to irregular past-tense forms. There was no difference in the present form condition. Children's brain potentials revealed developmental changes, with the older children demonstrating more adult-like ERP responses than the younger ones. We interpret the observed ERP responses as reflecting combinatorial processing involved in regular (but not irregular) past-tense formation.

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Author:Mary-Jane Budd, Silke Paulmann, Christopher Barry, Harald ClahsenORCiDGND
ISSN:0093-934X (print)
ISSN:1090-2155 (online)
Parent Title (English):Brain & language : a journal of the neurobiology of language
Place of publication:San Diego
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2013
Year of Completion:2013
Release Date:2017/03/26
Tag:Children; ERP; Morphology; Past tense; Production
First Page:345
Last Page:355
Funder:Leverhulme Trust [F/00213/U]
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Linguistik / Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Peer Review:Referiert