LINGUIST List 13.2844

Tue Nov 5 2002

Diss: Syntax: Steinhauer "Hirnphysiologische..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. ks42, Syntax: Steinhauer "Hirnphysiologische Korrelate..."

Message 1: Syntax: Steinhauer "Hirnphysiologische Korrelate..."

Date: Sat, 02 Nov 2002 01:53:50 +0000
From: ks42 <>
Subject: Syntax: Steinhauer "Hirnphysiologische Korrelate..."

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: Max-Planck-Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
Program: Neurocognition of Language
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2000

Author: Karsten Steinhauer 

Dissertation Title: 
Hirnphysiologische Korrelate prosodischer Satzverarbeitung bei
gesprochener und geschriebener Sprache. [Neurophysiological correlates
of prosodic sentence processing in spoken and written language.]

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field: 
Syntax, Psycholinguistics, Phonology, Cognitive Science, Neurolinguistics

Dissertation Director 1: Angela D. Friederici
Dissertation Director 2: Randolf Menzel

Dissertation Abstract: 

In a series of six event-related brain potential (ERP) experiments, I
demonstrate that prosodic boundaries in German guide syntactic parsing
preferences online and can either prevent or cause garden path
effects. The real-time processing of such boundaries is reflected by a
novel ERP component, the Closure Positive Shift (CPS). The closure
positive shift appears to be a specific marker of phonological
phrasing and has proven distinct from other ERP effects, such as the
P600/SPS. Interestingly, commas during silent reading elicit a very
similar brain response, pointing to a common mechanism involved in
both overt and covert prosody.
The CPS has been replicated by several follow-up studies using new
sentence types (in both German and other languages) and testing
additional subject groups (patients, children). The robustness of the
CPS component may be utilized in clinical diagnosis of prosodic
impairments. Most recently, it was shown that the CPS can also be used
to elucidate the processing of information structure in dialogues.
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