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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Electrophysiology of Language Comprehension: A Neurocomputational Model Add Dissertation
Author: Harm Brouwer Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Alpha-Informatica
Completed in: 2014
Linguistic Subfield(s): Psycholinguistics; Neurolinguistics; Cognitive Science;
Director(s): John Nerbonne
John Hoeks

Abstract: One decade ago, researchers using event-related brain potential (ERP) measurements stumbled upon what looked like a 'Semantic Illusion' in language comprehension: Semantically anomalous, but otherwise well- formed sentences did not affect the 'meaning-related' N400 component, but instead increased the amplitude of the 'structure-related' P600 component. This finding spawned five new models of language comprehension, which claim that language is processed in two or even more separate processing streams, at least one of which is not driven by structure, but by word meaning alone. In this thesis, I argue instead that language is processed in a single stream, where N400 amplitude reflects lexical retrieval, and P600 amplitude reflects semantic integration. I present evidence from neurocomputational simulations showing that this alternative, and most parsimonious explanation is able to predict the relevant ERP patterns found in the literature.