Research Topic

Featural Relations in the Brain: Theoretical and Experimental Perspectives on Grammatical Agreement

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Successful speaking and understanding hinges on the almost effortless capacity of speakers to decode and build dependencies among words in a sentence, based on covariance in some specific feature(s). Whenever two features covary, an agreement relation is established. Agreement is a widespread and varied ...

Successful speaking and understanding hinges on the almost effortless capacity of speakers to decode and build dependencies among words in a sentence, based on covariance in some specific feature(s). Whenever two features covary, an agreement relation is established. Agreement is a widespread and varied phenomenon: its pervasiveness in some languages contrasts with its near absence in others, which poses a challenge for linguists and psycholinguists that attempt to explain the mechanics of its representation, processing and acquisition.

Agreement has been extensively investigated from a theoretical perspective, but also from the point of view of psycholinguistics and the cognitive neuroscience of language. Theoretical linguistics has provided an articulated system of structural representations and computations on which the establishment of agreement relations hinges, while psycholinguistics and cognitive neuroscience have aimed at unveiling the algorithms that underlie the use of these computations and their behavioral and neuro-physiological bases. The goal of this Research Topic is to draw together multiple and interdisciplinary work to highlight the state of the art in the study of agreement and propose new perspectives on this research topic.

We welcome original research articles, reviews, hypothesis and theory articles, methodological articles, and also brief commentaries/opinion articles. We also welcome experimental, theoretical, and computational contributions that address topics such as agreement comprehension and production (in healthy and brain-damaged individuals), agreement acquisition (first- and second-language) in monolinguals, monomodal and bimodal bilinguals that use a variety of techniques and paradigms including behavioral (eye-tracking, self-paced reading, speed-accuracy tradeoff), EEG, MEG fMRI, corpus studies, and computational modeling.


Keywords: Grammatical Agreement, Bilingualism, Language Impairment and Acquisition, Sentence Production and Comprehension, Syntax


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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