David Pesetsky pesetsk at MIT.EDU
Sat Apr 26 02:10:45 UTC 1997

At 3:51 PM -0400 4/25/97, Liz Bates wrote:

> 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".  [...]

I don't think this brings Poeppel's contribution into proper focus. The
purpose of his paper was to call attention to a variety of *inadequacies*
in the existing PET work.  He argues that the methodological and conceptual
problems with existing studies are sufficiently serious that they could not
have converged on a "phonological area" even if one were to exist.

That is, (if Poeppel's paper is correct)  we have no evidence for a
phonological area because the proper work has not yet been done -- not
because we've looked real hard and not found it.

-David Pesetsky

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