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  • 1.
    Andersson, Annika
    et al.
    Lund University.
    Gullberg, Marianne
    Lund University.
    An ERP study of the relationship between verb semantics and events2016In: The 8th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Neurobiology of Language, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Languages differ in how events are described, but little is known about how semantics interacts with online event processing. This study targets this question examining placement events in Swedish. Swedish has three obligatory placement verbs for events where objects have support from below: sätta ’set’, ställa ’stand’, and lägga ’lay’. Swedish lacks a superordinate general term like English put (Gullberg & Burenhult, 2011). For every placement event the verb choice depends on object properties, and the direction of the object’s extension from the ground. We use event-related potentials (ERPs) and appropriateness ratings of verb usage to investigate the interaction between verb semantics and event properties. Typically violations of semantic congruency positively affect the amplitude of the N400 (Kutas & Hillyard, 1980). Studies also report a centro-parietal positivity (P600) when real-world knowledge is violated and verbs are incongruous to preceding contexts (Kuperberg, 2007, for a review). Previous ERP studies of visually presented images or movies of actions and events have reported an N400 followed by a P600 when the function of an object is violated (e.g., using a screwdriver as a key, Bach, et al., 2009; Balconi & Caldiroli, 2011).

    Method: Native speakers (N = 24, 18-35 years) watched still images of placement events followed by sentences visually presented word by word. Sentences described the depicted events while ERPs were recorded and time-locked to the placement verbs. Participants also did an appropriateness rating offline. Object properties (Base/Without base), symmetry (Sym/Asym), and orientation from the ground (Vertical/Horizontal) were varied and sentences with the three different placement verbs were combined with each image in a cross-subject design.

    Results: Base was important for appropriateness ratings of verb usage with symmetric objects while orientation was important for asymmetric objects. In contrast, there were no ERP effects to base (Base/Without) for symmetric objects. Asymmetric-base objects showed increased N400s and P600s with verbs incongruent with the depicted events (orientation, e.g., ‘lay’ with vertical glass). Asymmetric-Without base elicited an increased P600 when verbs were incongruent to depicted events when horizontally oriented (e.g., ‘set’ with horizontal avocado), but an increased N400 when verbs were incongruent to the atypical vertical placement of the objects (e.g., ‘lay’ with a vertical avocado).

    Discussion: Results showed an increased amplitude of both ERP effects (N400/P600) when placement verbs were incongruent with typical placement scenarios of objects that in the real-world are placed vertically or horizontally (Asymmetric-Base, e.g., a candle; cf. Bach et al., 2009). However, for objects without a base the anterior negativity was increased with a mismatch between the verb and the presented images (the depicted events), while the P600 increased for mismatches between the verb and typical real-world events. These results suggest the anterior N400 and the P600 indeed index different relationships with event processing as previously suggested for images (Sitnikova, et al., 2008). Our results agree with previous studies suggesting that the processing of verb meaning in language cannot be separated from knowledge of object handling in the real world (cf., Van Berkum, et al., 2008).

  • 2.
    Andersson, Annika
    et al.
    Lund University.
    Gullberg, Marianne
    Lund University.
    Event processing is affected by an interaction between actual and canonical event properties and language: a visual ERP study2016In: Cognitive Neuroscience Society : 23rd Annual Meeting, April 2-5, 2016, New York Hilton Midtown, New York City, New York: 2016 Annual Meeting Program, Davis, CA: Cognitive Neuroscience Society , 2016, p. 94-94Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Languages differ in how events are described, but little is known about how language interacts with online event processing. To explore this question we examined placement events in Swedish. Swedish has three obligatory placement verbs, sätta, ‘set’, ställa ‘stand’, lägga, ‘lay’, and lacks a superordinate general term like English put (Gullberg & Burenhult, 2011; Viberg, 1999). Every placement event in Swedish must be labelled by one of the three verbs, whose choice depends on object properties, and the object's relationship to the ground. The current study investigates how sensitive Swedes are to the relationship between event properties and verb labels. Native speakers (N = 20, 18-35-years) watched images of a hand placing an object on a table followed by visually presented sentences that were either congruent or incongruent with the images while event-related potentials were recorded and time-locked to the placement verbs. We varied object properties such as ± base (e.g., glass/orange), spatial extension (e.g., tall/short glass), and orientation (vertical/horizontal). The three verbs were combined with each image in a cross-subject design. The results showed that, as expected, incongruent picture-verb combinations elicited an increased centro-medial N400 modulated by verb appropriateness. Congruent picture-verb combinations also elicited an N400 when objects were placed in non-canonical positions (e.g. laying a glass on its side), suggesting that native placement event processing may depend on an interaction between actual and canonical event properties and language. A follow up study presenting auditory sentences simultaneously with images will explore this hypothesis further.

  • 3.
    Andersson, Annika
    et al.
    Lund University.
    Gullberg, Marianne
    Lund University.
    Kan du ställa en avokado?: När det uppstår en konflikt mellan språket och vad hjärnan tycker2016In: Humanist- och teologdagarna 2016, Lund: Lund University , 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Andersson, Annika
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Swedish Language.
    Gullberg, Marianne
    Lund University.
    Standing avocados, or when ratings of sentences and brain processing tells different stories2018In: The ASLA Symposium 2018, Karlstad: Karlstad University , 2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Languages differ in how placement events are described. Swedish has three obligatory placement verbs for events where objects have support from below: sätta ’set’, ställa ’stand’, and lägga ’lay’. These verbs are highly frequent yet difficult to acquire for learners of Swedish. The verb choice depends on object properties, and the direction of the object’s extension from the ground. We extend previous findings by introducing event-related potentials (ERPs) and appropriateness ratings of verb usage to investigate the interaction between verb semantics and event properties. Native speakers of Swedish watched still images of placement events followed by visually presented sentences describing these events while ERPs were recorded. Participants also did appropriateness ratings offline. Object properties (Base/Without base), symmetry (Symmetric/Asymmetric), and orientation from the ground (Vertical/Horizontal) were varied and each placement verb was combined with each image across participants. Previous ERP-studies have shown that different types of violations are related to different types of ERP effects. Semantic congruency affect a centro-medial negativity—the N400 (Kutas & Hillyard, 1980) while a centro-parietal positivity—the P600 is affected when real-world knowledge is violated (e.g., using a screwdriver as a key, Balconi & Caldiroli, 2011). Results showed an increased amplitude of both ERP effects when placement verbs were incongruent with the depicted event including objects with a base. For objects without a base the ERP effects were in addition related to incongruency with real world knowledge—e.g., avocados are usually not vertically placed i.e., standing on a table. With the inclusion of the neurophysiological measure sensitivity to event features not captured by ratings was revealed. Combined results corroborate and elucidate existing analyses of the complexity of verb semantics. A better understanding of native speakers’ processing of placement verbs opens new options for probing the difficulties of learning Swedish placement verbs for adult second language learners.

  • 5.
    Andersson, Annika
    et al.
    Lund University.
    Gullberg, Marianne
    Lund University.
    Sayehli, Susan
    Lund University.
    Today read she the paper: An ERP study of the processing of word order in Swedish L22014In: Eurosla 24: Book of Abstracts, York: European Second Language Association , 2014, p. 46-46Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is ample evidence that word order is a problematic domain in L2 usage. In particular, production of the verb-second (V2) phenomenon, which requires the finite verb in main clauses to appear in second position, (e.g., Ganuza, 2008 for an overview). Surprisingly, we know very little about how these structures are processed and how production relates to comprehension. We therefore examined how advanced German (N=14) and English (N=14) adult learners, matched for proficiency and age of acquisition (AoA; German M=22, English M=23), process word order in Swedish compared to native speakers (N=20) depending on language background (L1 with [German] or without [English] V2), preposed adverb frequency (frequent idag ‘today’ vs. infrequent hemma ‘at home’, ex. 1), and the length of the preposed constituent (short vs. long prefield, ex. 2). (1) Idag/Hemma läste hon tidningen. vs. *Idag/Hemma hon läste tidningen. Today/At home read she paper.def vs. *Today/At home she read paper.def (2) Idag/Hemma hos Maria läste hon tidningen. vs. *Idag/Hemma hos Maria hon läste tidningen. Today/At home at Maria read she paper.def vs. *Today/At home at Maria she read paper.def. We examined responses to word order violations in an acceptability judgement task and an ERP experiment, and probed the production of word order in a sentence completion task.

    Preliminary results from the judgment task indicated that native speakers were faster and more accurate on judging sentences than both L2 groups who did not differ. Overall, the more frequent adverb, idag, also affected accuracy and reaction times positively, but there were no interactions with group. The outcome from the sentence completion task showed similar results: native speakers were more accurate than the L2 groups who did not differ, and an overall adverb frequency effect was found, but not difference across groups. In contrast, the ERP data showed different patterns. In native speakers V2 violations elicited a bimodal ERP response, an anterior negativity followed by a posterior P600. These effects were increased in amplitude and the anterior negativity was left lateralized (LAN) when the prefield was long. In the German group a bimodal response was detected only when V2 violations followed a frequent adverb in a long prefield. In other cases only a posterior P600 was evident. The English group, in contrast, showed an early anterior positivity, and a later lateral parietal negativity in the N400 time window that was followed by a posterior P600. These responses were affected only by prefield length and only in amplitude.

    Overall, the results indicated that advanced German and English learners, matched on proficiency and AoA, who performed similarly on behavioural measures of comprehension and production of word order, still differed in online processing. More specifically, language background mattered since the German learners whose L1 share V2 with target Swedish, overall showed similar ERP patterns to native speakers. In contrast, the English learners, whose L1 does not share V2, showed more variation in their ERP responses. We discuss the implications of these findings for theories of crosslinguistic influence and theories of nativelike syntactic processing.

  • 6.
    Andersson, Annika
    et al.
    Lund University.
    Sayehli, Susan
    Lund University.
    Gullberg, Marianne
    Lund University.
    Ditt förstaspråks grammatik påverkar hur din hjärna bearbetar dina andraspråk2015In: Grammatikdagen 2015, Lund, 2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Neurokognitiva studier av hjärnans bearbetning av första- och andraspråksgrammatik relaterar skillnader till inlärningsålder och andraspråksfärdighet. Dessa studier undersöker typiskt inte hur skillnader och likheter i språkens strukturer påverkar bearbetningen. Vi utforskade hur andraspråkstalare med goda språkfärdigheter i Svenska bearbetade svenskans verbplacering beroende på om deras första språk hade samma verbplacering som svenskan (tyska) eller inte (engelska). Denna studie visar att hjärnans bearbetning av ett andra språk inte kan begränsas till en diskussion om ålder vid inlärande eller språkfärdighet.

  • 7.
    Andersson, Annika
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Swedish Language. Lund University, Sweden.
    Sayehli, Susan
    Stockholm University, Sweden;Lund University, Sweden.
    Gullberg, Marianne
    Lund University, Sweden.
    Language background affects online word order processing in a second language but not offline2019In: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, ISSN 1366-7289, E-ISSN 1469-1841, Vol. 22, no 4, p. 802-825Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines possible crosslinguistic influence on basic word order processing in a second language (L2). Targeting Swedish V2 word order we investigate adult German learners (+V2 in the L1) and English learners (-V2 in the L1) of Swedish who are matched for proficiency. We report results from two offline behavioural tasks (written production, metalinguistic judgments), and online processing as measured by event-related potentials (ERPs). All groups showed sensitivity to word order violations behaviourally and neurocognitively. Behaviourally, the learners differed from the native speakers only on judgements. Crucially, they did not differ from each other. Neurocognitively, all groups showed a similar increased centro-parietal P600 ERP-effect, but German learners (+V2) displayed more nativelike anterior ERP-effects than English learners (-V2). The results suggest crosslinguistic influence in that the presence of a similar word order in the L1 can facilitate online processing in an L2-- even if no offline behavioural effects are discerned.

  • 8.
    Andersson, Annika
    et al.
    Lund University.
    Sayehli, Susan
    Lund University.
    Gullberg, Marianne
    Lund University.
    Language background affects word order processing in a second language online but not offline2014In: Culture, Brain, Learning : Wallenberg Network Initiative: Lund University, nov 19-24, 2014 / [ed] Maja Petersson, Lund: Lund University , 2014, p. 15-15Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Different languages organize information differently, for example in different word orders. A large body of work shows that learning to use word order in a new, second language (L2) is difficult. An example is the production of verb-second (V2) word order, which requires the finite verb in main clauses to appear in second position even when the sentence does not start with a subject. V2 difficulties are ubiquitous and only partially modulated by patterns in thefirst language (L1; e.g., Ganuza, 2008 for an overview). Despite the body of work on L2 production, we know surprisingly little about how word order is processed behaviorally and neurocognitively, and how production relates to comprehension. This study therefore examined how advanced German (n=14) and English (n=14) adult learners, matched for proficiency and age of acquisition, process word order in Swedish compared to native speakers (n=20) depending on L1 background (i.e., ±similar word order in the L1; German [+V2] vs. English [-V2]), sentence-initial adverb frequency (frequent idag ‘today’ vs. infrequent hemma ‘at home’ (1)), and length of the sentence-initial constituent (short vs. long prefield; (2)).

    (1) Idag/Hemma läste hon tidningen. vs. *Idag/Hemma hon läste tidningen. Today/At home read she paper.def vs. *Today/At home she read paper.def

    (2) Idag/Hemma hos Maria läste hon tidningen. vs. *Idag/Hemma hos Maria hon läste tidningen. Today/At home at Maria’s read she paper.def vs. *Today/At home at Maria’s she read paper.def.

    We probed the production of word order in a sentence completion task and examined responses to word order (violations) in a timed acceptability judgment task during which participants were presented with sentences word by word while event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. At the end of the sentence participants judged the sentence acceptability.

    Overall, the results indicated that the two learner groups behaved similarly on behavioral measures of comprehension and production, but crucially differed in online processing. All groups, including learners, showed sensitivity to V2-violations in the ERPs. Swedish native speakers were also sensitive to length of prefield showing the typical biphasic ERP response only to violations with long prefields allowing build up of expectations. Importantly, the learners, who did not differ behaviorally, showed different responses. The German learners [+V2] showed similar ERP patterns to native Swedish speakers, whereas the English learners [-V2] showed more variation in their ERP responses. We discuss these findings in terms of theories of crosslinguistic influence and theories of native-like syntacticprocessing.

  • 9.
    Andersson, Annika
    et al.
    Lund University.
    Sayehli, Susan
    Lund University.
    Gullberg, Marianne
    Lund University.
    Native word order processing is not uniform: An ERP study of verb-second word order2015In: Cognitive Neuroscience Society, 22nd Annual Meeting, March 28-31, 2015 Hyatt Regency Hotel, San Francisco, California: 2015 Annual Meeting Program, San Fransisco: Cognitive Neuroscience Society , 2015, p. 218-218Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Most Germanic languages share verb-second (V2) word order: the finite verb occurs in second position in a main clause regardless of whether it starts with a subject (e.g., she; SVO), or an adverbial (e.g., today; AdvVSO). Swedish allows for certain exceptions to V2 resulting in clauses with V3 word order (AdvSVO) (Bohnacker, 2006). Despite the general acknowledgment that V3 occurs, little is known about the factors that license it and about how these structures are processed. This study therefore investigated V2-/V3-processing in 20 adult native Swedish speakers, manipulating initial semantic adverbial type (idag Œtoday¹, hemma Œat home¹, and kanske Œmaybe¹), and subject type (lexical noun, Œthe boy¹, vs. pronoun, Œhe¹) in a sentence completion task and in acceptability judgments made after event-related potentials were recorded. The results showed effects of adverbial- and subject-type across tasks and measures. Behavioral results showed positive effects of pronominal subjects; moreover, idag-sentences were the most accurate, and kanske-sentences the least accurate. Neurocognitively, there was a main effect of V2 reflected in a medial negativity in the N400 time window, a left anterior positivity, and a late posterior negativity. Importantly, the negativities were strongest in amplitude with kanske, while the left anterior positivity was only elicited with hemma and idag. The results thus suggest that V2-violations in Swedish are more acceptable with some adverbials (here kanske Œmaybe¹), and that such sentences are also processed differently from sentences starting with other adverbials. Native word order processing is thus not uniform.

  • 10.
    Andrén, Mats
    et al.
    Linköping University.
    Andersson, Annika
    Lund University.
    Håkansson, Gisela
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Swedish Language.
    Gullberg, Marianne
    Lund University.
    Johansson, Victoria
    Lund University.
    Sayehli, Susan
    Stockholm University.
    Att lära sig språk2013In: Språket, människan och världen: Människans språk 1-2 / [ed] Victoria Johansson, Gerd Carling, Arthur Holmer, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2013, p. 73-89Chapter in book (Other academic)
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