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Title: Neural correlates of Italian nominal compounds and potential impact of headedness effect: an ERP study
Authors: El Yagoubi, Radouane
Chiarelli, Valentina
Mondini, Sara
Perrone, Gelsomina
Danieli, Morena
Semenza, Carlo
Keywords: Noun-noun compounds
Headedness effect
LAN component
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: An event-related potential (ERP) technique was used to investigate the way in which noun–noun compounds are processed during a lexical decision task with Italian speakers. Reaction times and error rates were higher for compounds than for noncompounds. ERP data showed a more negative peak in the left anterior negativity (LAN) component for compounds. These results are compatible with a dual-route model that posits not only whole-word access for compounds but also an activation of decomposed representations of compound constituents. A final result relates to head position, which in Italian compounds could be on either the left- or the right-hand side of the word. While behavioural analysis did not reveal a difference between left- and right-headed compounds, a difference was found with the P300 component. The role of the compound head as a crucial informationbearing component is discussed.
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