Maria Mercedes Piñango

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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 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)
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 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)
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)
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)
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)
We investigate the processing and neurological basis of Light Verb Constructions (LVCs) such as The girl gives a kiss (to the boy) where the thrust of the event argument structure is provided not by the verb give but by the NP a kiss. LVCs contrasts with " heavy " counterparts (HVC) as in photograph in The girl photographs a kiss (between her friends). We(More)
We investigate the compositional properties of metonymy through self-paced reading (SPR) and ERP. We examine lexical metonymy (Novel producer-for-product: All freshmen read/meet Wickstrom) and circumstantial/pragmatic metonymy (A waitress says to another: " Table-13/That couple asked for more wine "). We test the hypothesis that both metonymic types are(More)