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Biological Foundations and Origin of Syntax$
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Derek Bickerton and Eörs Szathmáry

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262013567

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262013567.001.0001

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What Are the Brain Mechanisms Underlying Syntactic Operations?

What Are the Brain Mechanisms Underlying Syntactic Operations?

(p.299) 14 What Are the Brain Mechanisms Underlying Syntactic Operations?
Biological Foundations and Origin of Syntax

Fedor Anna

Pléh Csaba

Brauer Jens

Caplan David

Friederici Angela D.

Gulyás Balázs

Hagoort Peter

Nazir Tatjana

Singer Wolf

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the neuronal mechanisms underlying syntactic structure and processing. In order to elucidate the neurobiology of syntax, it looks at syntactic encoding in language production. In particular, it explores processes that store and activate syntactic representations in neuronal networks, as well as how syntactic representations and processes relate to larger-scale neural features such as event-related potentials and areas of the brain determined functionally or anatomically. It also discusses the neural organization for processing syntax in the first spoken languages of adults, focusing on lateralization and regional specialization. The chapter considers other brain features involved in syntactic processing, including the receptor structure, before concluding with a discussion of neural organization for processing syntax in children and individuals with impaired development.

Keywords:   syntax, syntactic processing, syntactic encoding, language, neurobiology, receptor structure, neuronal networks, brain, event-related potentials, impaired development

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