Production of compound nouns: Neurolinguistic studies

Product details

Project duration: 01/2011 - 12/2013

Follow-up application approved for 2 years: "Processing of Compound Nouns: Psycho- and Neurolinguistic Investigations"

Responsible for the project: Margret Seyboth, M.A., Psycholinguistics


Language & Mind:

  • Models of language processing
  • Language/Mind Intersection

Language & brain:

  • Aphasia
  • Dyslexia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Therapy

Language & Age:

  • Language in old age
  • Language acquisition
  • Dementias

Language & Modality:

  • Synaesthesias

DFG application

project: "Production of compound nouns: Neurolinguistic investigations"

Project duration: 1/2011-12/2013

Research question: The aim of the project is to conduct psycho-/neurolinguistic research into the production processes of compound nouns in German by examining the picture-naming performance of aphasic and patients with dementia. The question is how morpho-phonological processes are influenced by a) conceptual processes and b) syntactic processes.

A basic assumption here is that all semantically transparent compound nouns (lexical and de novo compounds) are constructed with the help of an activation of the concepts involved and their relation (conceptual combination). In addition, it is assumed that lemma access, which takes place under control of the concepts, involves the activation of the individual components (cf. the Two-Stage Model by Levelt and co-workers). Accordingly, the leading question of the project is what influences of a compositional nature the concept-level and lemma-level processes exert on morpho-phonological processing during the production of compound nouns in German.

To test the semantic-conceptual planning level, experimental investigations on the role of thematic relations between the compound components (modifier and head) are carried out against the background of the theory of conceptual combination by Gagné and co-workers. In particular, the processing of rare and frequent compound-internal relations will be compared. The aim is to demonstrate semantic combination processes even for compounds that are not constructed de novo.

To test the syntactic planning level (lemma level), the possible influence of the grammatical status of the components will be investigated. This is done by comparing the naming performances for compound nouns with two denominal components and those with a deverbal first or second component.

It is expected that the nature of the patients' disorder (semantic and/or syntactic deficit) as determined by independent neurolinguistic tests will be reflected in the results of the experimental investigations on the conceptual and syntactic level.

Research group: Project leader Prof. Dr. phil. Gerhard Blanken, Psycholinguistics, Department of Linguistics, University of Erfurt; Dr. rer. nat. Tobias Bormann, Psychologist, Neurological Clinic of the University of Freiburg

Responsible for the project: Margret Seyboth, M.A., Psycholinguistics, University of Erfurt

Student assistants: Christine Engelmann, Friederike Seyfried