In these pages, I present a project for an ERP study aiming to investigate the neural processing underlying the expression of surprise and surprise-disapproval, with special reference to gesture. So far, electrophysiological investigations dealt with the semantic (in)congruence between gesture and speech, the influence of gesture in disambiguation and the effect of the context on the processing of gesture and speech. Not much is known on non-iconic gestures, and still less on how the different types of gestures affect linguistic-gesture integration. Studies like the one I am presenting here could be useful in contributing to the detailed neural processing of gestures. My project aims to understand how the brain works when it has to process a special type of gestures, namely those gestures that are not aligned with the onset of a target word and do not specifically refer to any word in the sentence. These gestures take their meaning from the (emotional) context they rely on, whereas they do not show a correspondence with the semantics of the linguistic expression associated with them. In fact, these gestures turned out to be regularly aligned with syntax (and not with the onset of a specific target word) in that they usually are realized in correspondence with the nuclear syllable of the verbal form and/or with the negation in case of yes/no counter-expectational surprise questions and with negation and/or with the wh-phrase in case of wh- surprise-disapproval questions.

A project for an ERP study in the expression of surprise and surprise disapproval

Erika Petrocchi
2020

Abstract

In these pages, I present a project for an ERP study aiming to investigate the neural processing underlying the expression of surprise and surprise-disapproval, with special reference to gesture. So far, electrophysiological investigations dealt with the semantic (in)congruence between gesture and speech, the influence of gesture in disambiguation and the effect of the context on the processing of gesture and speech. Not much is known on non-iconic gestures, and still less on how the different types of gestures affect linguistic-gesture integration. Studies like the one I am presenting here could be useful in contributing to the detailed neural processing of gestures. My project aims to understand how the brain works when it has to process a special type of gestures, namely those gestures that are not aligned with the onset of a target word and do not specifically refer to any word in the sentence. These gestures take their meaning from the (emotional) context they rely on, whereas they do not show a correspondence with the semantics of the linguistic expression associated with them. In fact, these gestures turned out to be regularly aligned with syntax (and not with the onset of a specific target word) in that they usually are realized in correspondence with the nuclear syllable of the verbal form and/or with the negation in case of yes/no counter-expectational surprise questions and with negation and/or with the wh-phrase in case of wh- surprise-disapproval questions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3723315
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