The representation of grammatical categories in the brain

Trends Cogn Sci. 2003 May;7(5):201-206. doi: 10.1016/s1364-6613(03)00060-3.


Language relies on the rule-based combination of words with different grammatical properties, such as nouns and verbs. Yet most research on the problem of word retrieval has focused on the production of concrete nouns, leaving open a crucial question: how is knowledge about different grammatical categories represented in the brain, and what components of the language production system make use of it? Drawing on evidence from neuropsychology, electrophysiology and neuroimaging, we argue that information about a word's grammatical category might be represented independently of its meaning at the levels of word form and morphological computation.