Temporal characteristics of online syntactic sentence planning: an event-related potential study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

During sentence production, linguistic information (semantics, syntax, phonology) of words is retrieved and assembled into a meaningful utterance. There is still debate on how we assemble single words into more complex syntactic structures such as noun phrases or sentences. In the present study, event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to investigate the time course of syntactic planning. Thirty-three volunteers described visually animated scenes using naming formats varying in syntactic complexity: from simple words ('W', e.g., "triangle", "red", "square", "green", "to fly towards"), to noun phrases ('NP', e.g., "the red triangle", "the green square", "to fly towards"), to a sentence ('S', e.g., "The red triangle flies towards the green square."). Behaviourally, we observed an increase in errors and corrections with increasing syntactic complexity, indicating a successful experimental manipulation. In the ERPs following scene onset, syntactic complexity variations were found in a P300-like component ('S'/'NP'>'W') and a fronto-central negativity (linear increase with syntactic complexity). In addition, the scene could display two actions - unpredictable for the participant, as the disambiguation occurred only later in the animation. Time-locked to the moment of visual disambiguation of the action and thus the verb, we observed another P300 component ('S'>'NP'/'W'). The data show for the first time evidence of sensitivity to syntactic planning within the P300 time window, time-locked to visual events critical of syntactic planning. We discuss the findings in the light of current syntactic planning views.
Original languageEnglish
Article number82884
Number of pages11
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume8
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2013

Keywords

  • BRAIN
  • COMPREHENSION
  • DYNAMICS
  • ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE
  • INFORMATION
  • LANGUAGE PRODUCTION
  • LEXICAL ACCESS
  • SCOPE
  • SPEAKING
  • TIME-COURSE

Cite this

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title = "Temporal characteristics of online syntactic sentence planning: an event-related potential study",
abstract = "During sentence production, linguistic information (semantics, syntax, phonology) of words is retrieved and assembled into a meaningful utterance. There is still debate on how we assemble single words into more complex syntactic structures such as noun phrases or sentences. In the present study, event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to investigate the time course of syntactic planning. Thirty-three volunteers described visually animated scenes using naming formats varying in syntactic complexity: from simple words ('W', e.g., {"}triangle{"}, {"}red{"}, {"}square{"}, {"}green{"}, {"}to fly towards{"}), to noun phrases ('NP', e.g., {"}the red triangle{"}, {"}the green square{"}, {"}to fly towards{"}), to a sentence ('S', e.g., {"}The red triangle flies towards the green square.{"}). Behaviourally, we observed an increase in errors and corrections with increasing syntactic complexity, indicating a successful experimental manipulation. In the ERPs following scene onset, syntactic complexity variations were found in a P300-like component ('S'/'NP'>'W') and a fronto-central negativity (linear increase with syntactic complexity). In addition, the scene could display two actions - unpredictable for the participant, as the disambiguation occurred only later in the animation. Time-locked to the moment of visual disambiguation of the action and thus the verb, we observed another P300 component ('S'>'NP'/'W'). The data show for the first time evidence of sensitivity to syntactic planning within the P300 time window, time-locked to visual events critical of syntactic planning. We discuss the findings in the light of current syntactic planning views.",
keywords = "BRAIN, COMPREHENSION, DYNAMICS, ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE, INFORMATION, LANGUAGE PRODUCTION, LEXICAL ACCESS, SCOPE, SPEAKING, TIME-COURSE",
author = "I. Timmers and F. Gentile and M.E. Rubio-Gozalbo and B.M. Jansma",
year = "2013",
month = "12",
day = "20",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0082884",
language = "English",
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journal = "PLOS ONE",
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Temporal characteristics of online syntactic sentence planning: an event-related potential study. / Timmers, I.; Gentile, F.; Rubio-Gozalbo, M.E.; Jansma, B.M.

In: PLOS ONE, Vol. 8, No. 12, 82884, 20.12.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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T1 - Temporal characteristics of online syntactic sentence planning: an event-related potential study

AU - Timmers, I.

AU - Gentile, F.

AU - Rubio-Gozalbo, M.E.

AU - Jansma, B.M.

PY - 2013/12/20

Y1 - 2013/12/20

N2 - During sentence production, linguistic information (semantics, syntax, phonology) of words is retrieved and assembled into a meaningful utterance. There is still debate on how we assemble single words into more complex syntactic structures such as noun phrases or sentences. In the present study, event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to investigate the time course of syntactic planning. Thirty-three volunteers described visually animated scenes using naming formats varying in syntactic complexity: from simple words ('W', e.g., "triangle", "red", "square", "green", "to fly towards"), to noun phrases ('NP', e.g., "the red triangle", "the green square", "to fly towards"), to a sentence ('S', e.g., "The red triangle flies towards the green square."). Behaviourally, we observed an increase in errors and corrections with increasing syntactic complexity, indicating a successful experimental manipulation. In the ERPs following scene onset, syntactic complexity variations were found in a P300-like component ('S'/'NP'>'W') and a fronto-central negativity (linear increase with syntactic complexity). In addition, the scene could display two actions - unpredictable for the participant, as the disambiguation occurred only later in the animation. Time-locked to the moment of visual disambiguation of the action and thus the verb, we observed another P300 component ('S'>'NP'/'W'). The data show for the first time evidence of sensitivity to syntactic planning within the P300 time window, time-locked to visual events critical of syntactic planning. We discuss the findings in the light of current syntactic planning views.

AB - During sentence production, linguistic information (semantics, syntax, phonology) of words is retrieved and assembled into a meaningful utterance. There is still debate on how we assemble single words into more complex syntactic structures such as noun phrases or sentences. In the present study, event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to investigate the time course of syntactic planning. Thirty-three volunteers described visually animated scenes using naming formats varying in syntactic complexity: from simple words ('W', e.g., "triangle", "red", "square", "green", "to fly towards"), to noun phrases ('NP', e.g., "the red triangle", "the green square", "to fly towards"), to a sentence ('S', e.g., "The red triangle flies towards the green square."). Behaviourally, we observed an increase in errors and corrections with increasing syntactic complexity, indicating a successful experimental manipulation. In the ERPs following scene onset, syntactic complexity variations were found in a P300-like component ('S'/'NP'>'W') and a fronto-central negativity (linear increase with syntactic complexity). In addition, the scene could display two actions - unpredictable for the participant, as the disambiguation occurred only later in the animation. Time-locked to the moment of visual disambiguation of the action and thus the verb, we observed another P300 component ('S'>'NP'/'W'). The data show for the first time evidence of sensitivity to syntactic planning within the P300 time window, time-locked to visual events critical of syntactic planning. We discuss the findings in the light of current syntactic planning views.

KW - BRAIN

KW - COMPREHENSION

KW - DYNAMICS

KW - ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICAL EVIDENCE

KW - INFORMATION

KW - LANGUAGE PRODUCTION

KW - LEXICAL ACCESS

KW - SCOPE

KW - SPEAKING

KW - TIME-COURSE

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0082884

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0082884

M3 - Article

VL - 8

JO - PLOS ONE

JF - PLOS ONE

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 12

M1 - 82884

ER -