DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROSCIENCEBrain responses to case-marking violations in German preschool childrenSchipke, Christine S.a,b; Friederici, Angela D.a,b; Oberecker, Reginea Author Information aMax Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig bBerlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's website (www.neuroreport.com). Correspondence to Christine S. Schipke, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Stephanstraße 1a, Leipzig 04103, Germany Tel: +4930 5518 5193; fax: +4930 5518 5195; e-mail: [email protected] Received August 8, 2011 Accepted August 18, 2011 NeuroReport: November 16, 2011 - Volume 22 - Issue 16 - p 850-854 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32834c1578 Buy SDC Metrics Abstract The processing of case-marking and argument structures was investigated in children at the age of 3 years, 4 years and 6 months, and 6 years. Two event-related potential (ERP) experiments were conducted in a case-marked language, i.e. German, comparing the processing of (a) double-nominative violations with subject-initial structures and (b) double-accusative violations with object-initial structures. It is known that for both violation types, adults display a biphasic N400/P600 ERP response, reflecting thematic-semantic, and syntactic processes. For double-nominative violations, 3-year-old children already show an adult-like processing pattern revealing their abilities to repair the tested structure. For double-accusative violations, ERP results indicate developmental processing differences with even 6-year-old children not showing an adult pattern. This suggests a late development of the complete function of the accusative case. © 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.