Identification Of Grammatical Functions In Three Languages

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The present study investigated brain activity (ERP) in trilingual (Arabic/Hebrew/English) readers when processing the grammatical functions of words while reading sentences in three languages. Twenty native Arabic-speaking university students participated in this study. Differences between syntactic processing strategies in Arabic, Hebrew and English, as first, second and third languages respectively, were investigated. P300, N400 and P600 ERP components were identified for three grammatical functions (subject, predicate and object) in each sentence, in all reading items, in all three languages. Analysis of the results showed that, in English, the participants used the word-order strategy, whereas in Hebrew, a mixed (word-order, verb-oriented, and morphology-based) strategy was used. The verboriented strategy was also used in Arabic. The findings suggest that the different processing strategies are influenced specifically by the language in which reading takes place and the morphological and grammatical properties of that language. Differences in localization patterns between the languages and the grammatical functions were also observed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-195
Number of pages16
JournalThe European Proceedings of Social & Behavioural Sciences
StatePublished - 13 Dec 2017


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