Description: To understand memory retrieval processes and syntactic-composition in language comprehension participants' cerebral~activity was recorded while they listened to a book, The Little Prince. We analysed the resulting fMRI time-series using quantifications of these two hypothesised~processes that are used in computational linguistics. One quantification identifies expressions likely to be stored as a unit, rather than built-up compositionally. Another tracks tree-building work needed in composed syntactic phrases. Regression analyses localise these to spatially-distinct brain regions. Structure-building mainly correlates with bilateral activity in Anterior Temporal Lobe and Inferior Frontal Gyrus. Retrieval of these stored linguistic elements drives right-lateralised activation in the~Precuneus. Less cohesive expressions activate well-known nodes of the language network implicated in composition. These results help to detail the neuroanatomical bases of two widely-assumed cognitive operations in language processing.
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