Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ambivalent Unintelligible Syntax

The folks at Talking Brains posted a detailed walk through HERE of a neurolinguistic experiment that looked at where in the brain syntax and intelligibility are processed. They are happy that the research concludes that it is NOT "a left hemisphere function that primarily involves anterior temporal regions" nor is it "a portion of Broca's area, BA44, [that is] is critical for hierarchical structure processing."  Their ambivalence is based on their perception that the original authors don't see the contradictions inherent in their study. Money Quote:

What possible syntactic computation could be invoked BOTH by a grammatical violation and unintelligible noises but not by grammatical sentences?

Yes, what computation indeed.

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Putting the Linguistics into Kaggle Competitions

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