Liz Bates bates at CRL.UCSD.EDU
Fri Apr 25 19:51:14 UTC 1997

You still are silent about grammar and phonology... TG

I see ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE to suggest that there are areas of the brain
devoted UNIQUELY to grammar or phonology.  Re phonology, see David
Poeppel's recent review in Brain and Language, a meta-analysis of several
PET studies putatively about phonological processing: aside from the fact
that the left hemisphere is more important than the right, there is no
evidence for an overlap between studies that could be viewed as a
"phonological area".  There is also some fMRI work (presented at
Neurosciences last fall) showing that each and every subcomponent of the
Broca complex that is involved in phonological production is also involved
in at least one non-verbal motor planning task (of the handful of mouth,
face and hand movement tasks that they used).  A similar story follows for
grammar.  I would be happy to send you my forthcoming paper "On the
inseparability of grammar and the lexicon" (coming out in Language and
Cognitive Processes) where I review extensive evidence that is SUPPOSED To
show a double dissociation between grammar and the lexicon, and show that
the claims of separability do not go through.  In short, although there is
no doubt that the brain PARTICIPATES in grammar and phonology, there is no
evidence that I have been able to find that unambiguously supports the idea
that specific areas of the brain are DEDICATED to grammar or phonology.  I
would be happy to discuss this with you in more detail, although the
above-mentioned paper might be a good place to start. -liz

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