Maria Mercedes Piñango

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We monitored regional cerebral activity with BOLD fMRI while subjects were presented written sentences differing in their grammatical structure (subject-relative or object-relative center-embedded clauses) and their short-term memory demands (short or long antecedent-gap linkages). A core region of left posterior superior temporal cortex was recruited(More)
This study reports results on the real-time consequences of aspectual coercion. We define aspectual coercion as a combinatorial semantic operation requiring computation over and above that provided by combining lexical items through expected syntactic processes. An experiment is described assessing whether or not parsing of a string requiring coercion--in(More)
We investigate Broca's sentence comprehension as an impairment on normal syntactic composition: the slow-syntax hypothesis (SSH). Experiment 1 examines comprehension of object-relative clauses (Wh-movement). Experiment 2 examines comprehension of sentences with unaccusative verbs (NP-movement), which like passives, base-generate their theme-argument in(More)
We reexamine the empirical record of the comprehension abilities of Broca's aphasic patients. We establish clear, commonly accepted, selection criteria and obtain a pool of results. We then subject these results to a detailed statistical analysis and show that these patients comprehend certain canonical sentences (actives, subject relatives, and clefts with(More)
Although Complement Coercion has been systematically associated with computational cost, there remains a serious confound in the experimental evidence built up in previous studies. The confound arises from the fact that lexico-semantic differences within the set of verbs assumed to involve coercion have not been taken into consideration. From among the set(More)
We provide data on the neurological basis of two semantic operations at the sentence level: aspectual coercion and complement coercion. These operations are characterized by being purely semantic in nature; that is, they lack morphosyntactic reflections. Yet, the operations are mandatory (i.e., they are indispensable for the semantic well formedness of a(More)
Culicover and Jackendoff have recently described an approach to language representation where semantic structure works, alongside syntax, as a generative system with its own structure and principles of composition. Well-known neurological observations support this view. They show that in the presence of a syntactic impairment, comprehension can take place(More)
We examine the time-course of semantic structure formation during real-time sentence comprehension. We do this through the lens of aspectual coercion, a semantic combinatorial operation that lacks morpho-syntactic reflections, yet is indispensable for sentence interpretation. We describe two experiments. Experiment 1 replicates the results of a previously(More)
Berndt and Caramazza (1999) claim that Grodzinsky, Piñango, Zurif, and Drai (1999) were able to show a canonical-noncanonical difference (e.g., actives vs. passives) in the comprehension of Broca's aphasic patients only because of a patient selection bias. We show that the canonical-noncanonical comprehension pattern exists apart from any such bias, and(More)
Several hypotheses have been advanced whose aim has been to provide a descriptive generalization of comprehension patterns in agrammatic aphasia in terms of current linguistic theory, most notably, the Trace-Deletion Hypothesis. The basic insight of these syntactic accounts of aphasia is that chains are disrupted. In this paper, we seek to confront the(More)