Attention plays an important role in critical aspects of the use of grammar and lexicon in human discourse. Spoken language is a good example of a species-specific behavior of human beings. The ability to read represents a high-level skill, closely coordinated with spoken language, but learned only by a subset of the human community. This chapter explores methods for the activation of these operations during the choice of an adequate syntactic structure, referential control, and other grammatical operations, during the processing of word and sentence meaning and in the skill of reading. Neuroimaging has suggested separate systems for syntactic and semantic processing and has provided some details on the anatomy of attentional systems related to semantic analysis. This chapter considers empirical methods and results that trace the role of attention in processing language and report some imaging experiments that have examined the mechanisms involved.