How Incremental is the Processing of Perfective and Imperfective Aspect in Polish?
An Exploratory Event-Related Potential Study
Keywords:processing of aspectual mismatches, perfective and imperfective aspect, Polish, domain of aspectual interpretation, semantic (un)specificity, ERPs
The present paper reports two ERP experiments in Polish that examined the processing of mismatches between perfective and imperfective verbs and temporal modifiers, which preceded the VP (Experiment 1) and followed it (Experiment 2). The mismatch between perfective verb and a preceding durative adverbial elicited an N400 on the object. No ERP effect was found for the analogous mismatch between imperfective verbs and a preceding time-span adverbial. The mismatching temporal adverbial elicited an early positivity (potentially an early P600) when it followed a perfective VP and a LAN when it followed an imperfective VP. The results suggest that: (i) the domain of aspectual interpretation in Polish is a VP; (ii) mismatches with perfective and imperfective verbs are resolved differently depending on the degree of their semantic specificity (only semantically underspecified imperfective verbs can be easily adjusted to the requirements of the preceding context); (iii) the position of the temporal adverbial plays a role in that a preverbal adverbial sets up a frame within which the eventuality should be interpreted and the aspectual value computed on AspP can be potentially adjusted to it (semantic integration reflected in N400), whereas a postverbal adverbial must agree with the aspectual value already computed on AspP (syntactic integration reflected in an early positivity or a LAN).
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Dorota Klimek-Jankowska, Joanna Błaszczak
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.