About ProGram – University of Copenhagen

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About ProGram

ProGram is short for Information PROminence and GRAMmar in mind and brain. ProGram studies how the human mind processes grammar. The project has two overall goals:

  • Institutional - ProGram will establish a research and education center for neurolinguistics at the University of Copenhagen. It will offer university courses and supervision in different neurolinguistic fields. Read more about ProGram's previous and current courses and supervision here.
  • Scientific - ProGram will contribute to the current knowledge of the neurocognitive foundation of grammar to improve diagnosis and treatment of patients with from agrammatic aphasia and to improve the teaching of grammar in the educational system.

The "back door" to grammar

The project is looking for a connection between grammar and non-linguistic background information - i.e. a kind of "back door" to grammar.

Agrammatic aphasia may be diagnosed through the ability to process non-linguistic background information. That means that patients that suffer from agrammatic aphasia may not only benefit from doing linguistic excercises, but also excercises that stimulate the processing non-linguistic background information. Similarly, people learning grammar (both natively and as a second language) may profit from increasing their ability to process background information. In this way, ProGram is also societal impact.

Theoretical background

Two new theories form the basis of the project:

  • A linguistic theory that defines the nature of grammar, developed by PI Kasper Boye and professor Peter Harder.
  • a neuropsychological theory that describes the relation between cognitive functions and their neural basis developed by project co-PI Jesper Mogensen.

These theories form the basis for our hypothesis: that we process grammar with some of the same mechanisms used when processing non-linguistic background information. Read more about ProGram's research and hypotheses here (only in Danish).

Researchers and students from the Faculty of Humanities, the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, and the Faculty of Social Sciences are participating in this project.