Semantics between cognitive neuroscience and linguistic theory: Guest editors' introduction

Wolfram Hinzen, David Poeppel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This special issue provides a selection of some current approaches to the cognitive neuroscience of semantic processing. These have been selected with a view to identifying an area of inquiry under the label of "semantics" that allows for a rich interface between neurolinguistics and linguistic theory. A look at these papers makes clear that the term "semantics" as used in cognitive neuroscience covers a wide range of inquiries, encompassing the study of topics as diverse as: perception-based conceptual structures, the impact of specific concepts such as animacy on syntactically determined aspects of sentential meaning, the unification of all incoming information in the construction of a discourse model, and the neural correlates of basic formal operations of sentence-level semantic composition. In this paper, we aim to contextualise the approaches collected here, identify what they are about, and to what extent they are compatible with the aim of delineating commonalities between them and what might be a well-circumscribed area of research in semantic processing in the context of current of linguistic theory over the coming decades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1297-1316
Number of pages20
JournalLanguage and Cognitive Processes
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Compositionality
  • Conceptual structure
  • Deixis
  • Semantics broad and narrow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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