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ERIC Number: EJ867436
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1363-755X
Two-Year-Olds Compute Syntactic Structure On-Line
Bernal, Savita; Dehaene-Lambertz, Ghislaine; Millotte, Severine; Christophe, Anne
Developmental Science, v13 n1 p69-76 Jan 2010
Syntax allows human beings to build an infinite number of new sentences from a finite stock of words. Because toddlers typically utter only one or two words at a time, they have been thought to have no syntax. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), we demonstrated that 2-year-olds do compute syntactic structure when listening to spoken sentences. We observed an early left-lateralized brain response when an expected verb was incorrectly replaced by a noun (or vice versa). Thus, toddlers build on-line expectations as to the syntactic category of the next word in a sentence. In addition, the response topography was different for nouns and verbs, suggesting that different neural networks already underlie noun and verb processing in toddlers, as they do in adults.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A