29th European Summer School in Logic, Language, and Information
University of Toulouse (France), 17-28 July, 2017

Bridging language processing data and formal theories of meaning: event-related brain potentials as a tool of investigating semantic and pragmatic theories

Maria Spychalska

Language and Computation (Foundational)

First week, from 14:00 to 15:30


Over the last few decades electroencephalography (EEG) has become a popular tool of investigating linguistic processing and has also been extensively applied to the study of semantic and pragmatic theories. Yet, the interpretation of the results of EEG experiments remains debated, especially their relevance for formal theories of meaning. On the one hand it often is difficult to formulate clear processing predictions for semantic and pragmatic theories, on the other hand the theoretical interpretation of the activations observed with EEG is not fully understood. As a result the neurolinguistic and formal semantic/pragmatic communities remain still rather disjoint. In this course I aim at bridging this gap. I provide a thorough introduction to the method of EEG, accessible to everyone interested in the experimental research on language. Focusing primarily on the application of EEG in the area of semantics and pragmatics, I aim at a critical discussion of the role of EEG in this field, its methodological aspects and limitations.