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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter deals with the question of whether there is one syntactic system that is shared by language production and comprehension or whether there are two separate systems. It first discusses arguments in favor of one or the other option and then presents the current evidence on the brain structures involved in sentence processing. The results of meta-analyses of numerous neuroimaging studies suggest that there is one system consisting of functionally distinct cortical regions: the dorsal part of Broca’s area subserving compositional syntactic processing; the ventral part of Broca’s area subserving compositional semantic processing; and the left posterior temporal cortex (Wernicke’s area) subserving the retrieval of lexical syntactic and semantic information. Sentence production, the comprehension of simple and complex sentences, and the parsing of sentences containing grammatical violations differ with respect to the recruitment of these functional components.

Keywords: sentence processing, syntactic processing, semantic processing, Broca’s area, Wernicke’s area

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