The Role of Working Memory in Syntactic Representation and Processing (1/4)

Lundi 12 Septembre 2016, 14:00 to 16:00
Robert Kluender (Université San Diego, invité Labex EFL)
Barbara Hemforth (LLF, Labex EFL)

ODG – Salle 166

Robert Kluender (Université San Diego)
The Role of Working Memory in Syntactic Representation and Processing (1/4)

This session focus more narrowly on investigating the event-related brain potential literature on long-distance syntactic dependencies. From its inception, this literature (a) has assumed that sustained potentials index verbal working memory processes, specifically maintenance or storage operations, which have more recently been called into question in favor of an emphasis on encoding and retrieval, and (b) has for the most part been based on capacity-constrained models of verbal working memory, now largely falsified. We will consider the extent to which these original ERP data can be successfully recast in terms of encoding and retrieval to the exclusion of storage operations – and will see that here the evidence actually looks quite favorable. On a side historical note, it turns out that the results of early cross-modal priming studies of long-distance syntactic dependencies were ironically quite compatible with current models of verbal working memory, despite the disfavor this methodology fell into in the 1990s.