In network models, the learning of static combinations of the same linguistic units (syllables, morphemes) leads to the formation of distributed neuronal assemblies (DNAs) for these elements of a “lexicon”. In contrast, the learning of flexible combinations between words from specific lexical-semantic categories sets up indirect links by way of circuits we call combinatorial neuronal assemblies (CNAs), which may realize aspects of a “grammar”. DNAs and CNAs motivate the proposal of distinct neurobiological mechanisms for combining meaningful elements into strings, one for whole form storage of static complex-lexical elements and fixed constructions, with distinct brain signatures. Consistent with this model, we found different neurophysiological signatures for violations of static-lexical and flexible-grammatical predictions, These signatures may be useful for addressing questions in linguistics and brain science.
Project: Fixed vs. combinatorial constructions: a biolinguistic perspective on combinatorial schemas and the lexicon
- Hanna, J., Shtyrov, Y., Williams, J., & Pulvermüller, F. (2016) Early neurophysiological indices of second language morphosyntax learning. Neuropsychologia, 82, 18-30. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.01.001.
- Hanna, J., Pulvermüller, F., (2014). Neurophysiological evidence for whole form retrieval of complex derived words: a mismatch negativity study. Front. Hum. Neurosci.8:886.doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00886
- Moseley, R.L., Pulvermüller, F. (2014) Nouns, verbs, objects, actions, and abstractions: Local fMRI activity indexes semantivs, not lexical categories. Brain and Language, 132 (5), 28-42. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2014.03.001
- Pulvermüller, F., et al. (2013) Brain basis of meaning, words, constructions, and grammar. In: Oxford Handbook of Construction Grammar (Hoffmann, T. and Trousdale, G., eds), pp. 397-416, Oxford University Press.
- Pulvermüller, F. and Shtyrov, Y. (2006) Language outside the focus of attention: the mismatch negativity as a tool for studying higher cognitive processes. Progress in Neurobiology 79, 49-71.