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Sample records for african sign language

  1. Dictionaries of African Sign Languages: An Overview

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmaling, Constanze H.

    2012-01-01

    This article gives an overview of dictionaries of African sign languages that have been published to date most of which have not been widely distributed. After an introduction into the field of sign language lexicography and a discussion of some of the obstacles that authors of sign language dictionaries face in general, I will show problems…

  2. Sign Language Versus Spoken Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stokoe, William C.

    1978-01-01

    In the debate over continuities versus discontinuities in the emergence of language, sign language is not taken to be the antithesis, but is presented as the antecedent of spoken languages. (Author/HP)

  3. Standardization of Sign Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adam, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Over the years attempts have been made to standardize sign languages. This form of language planning has been tackled by a variety of agents, most notably teachers of Deaf students, social workers, government agencies, and occasionally groups of Deaf people themselves. Their efforts have most often involved the development of sign language books…

  4. Sign language Web pages.

    PubMed

    Fels, Deborah I; Richards, Jan; Hardman, Jim; Lee, Daniel G

    2006-01-01

    The WORLD WIDE WEB has changed the way people interact. It has also become an important equalizer of information access for many social sectors. However, for many people, including some sign language users, Web accessing can be difficult. For some, it not only presents another barrier to overcome but has left them without cultural equality. The present article describes a system that allows sign language-only Web pages to be created and linked through a video-based technique called sign-linking. In two studies, 14 Deaf participants examined two iterations of signlinked Web pages to gauge the usability and learnability of a signing Web page interface. The first study indicated that signing Web pages were usable by sign language users but that some interface features required improvement. The second study showed increased usability for those features; users consequently couldnavigate sign language information with ease and pleasure.

  5. Sign language and autism.

    PubMed

    Bonvillian, J D; Nelson, K E; Rhyne, J M

    1981-03-01

    Research findings and issues in teaching sign language to nonspeaking autistic children are reviewed. Data on over 100 children indicate that nearly all autistic children learn receptive and expressive signs, and many learn to combine signs. These children also exhibit marked improvement in adaptive behaviors. Speech skills are acquired by fewer children and may be developed through simultaneous speech and sign training. Possible explanations for these results are given, together with suggestions for future research and data collection. Recommended innovations include exposure to fluent signers and training in discourse and code-switching. Different sign language teaching methods need to be investigated more fully, including emphasis on training sign language within the children's total environment and with greater staff and parental participation.

  6. Sign Language Web Pages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fels, Deborah I.; Richards, Jan; Hardman, Jim; Lee, Daniel G.

    2006-01-01

    The World Wide Web has changed the way people interact. It has also become an important equalizer of information access for many social sectors. However, for many people, including some sign language users, Web accessing can be difficult. For some, it not only presents another barrier to overcome but has left them without cultural equality. The…

  7. Sign Language Comprehension: The Case of Spanish Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodriguez Ortiz, I. R.

    2008-01-01

    This study aims to answer the question, how much of Spanish Sign Language interpreting deaf individuals really understand. Study sampling included 36 deaf people (deafness ranging from severe to profound; variety depending on the age at which they learned sign language) and 36 hearing people who had good knowledge of sign language (most were…

  8. Sign language comprehension: the case of Spanish sign language.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez Ortiz, I R

    2008-01-01

    This study aims to answer the question, how much of Spanish Sign Language interpreting deaf individuals really understand. Study sampling included 36 deaf people (deafness ranging from severe to profound; variety depending on the age at which they learned sign language) and 36 hearing people who had good knowledge of sign language (most were interpreters). Sign language comprehension was assessed using passages of secondary level. After being exposed to the passages, the participants had to tell what they had understood about them, answer a set of related questions, and offer a title for the passage. Sign language comprehension by deaf participants was quite acceptable but not as good as that by hearing signers who, unlike deaf participants, were not only late learners of sign language as a second language but had also learned it through formal training.

  9. Planning Sign Languages: Promoting Hearing Hegemony? Conceptualizing Sign Language Standardization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eichmann, Hanna

    2009-01-01

    In light of the absence of a codified standard variety in British Sign Language and German Sign Language ("Deutsche Gebardensprache") there have been repeated calls for the standardization of both languages primarily from outside the Deaf community. The paper is based on a recent grounded theory study which explored perspectives on sign…

  10. The Sign Language Situation in Mali

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nyst, Victoria

    2015-01-01

    This article gives a first overview of the sign language situation in Mali and its capital, Bamako, located in the West African Sahel. Mali is a highly multilingual country with a significant incidence of deafness, for which meningitis appears to be the main cause, coupled with limited access to adequate health care. In comparison to neighboring…

  11. Kinship in Mongolian Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geer, Leah

    2011-01-01

    Information and research on Mongolian Sign Language is scant. To date, only one dictionary is available in the United States (Badnaa and Boll 1995), and even that dictionary presents only a subset of the signs employed in Mongolia. The present study describes the kinship system used in Mongolian Sign Language (MSL) based on data elicited from…

  12. Arabic Sign Language: A Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abdel-Fattah, M. A.

    2005-01-01

    Sign language in the Arab World has been recently recognized and documented. Many efforts have been made to establish the sign language used in individual countries, including Jordan, Egypt, Libya, and the Gulf States, by trying to standardize the language and spread it among members of the Deaf community and those concerned. Such efforts produced…

  13. Sign language perception research for improving automatic sign language recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ten Holt, Gineke A.; Arendsen, Jeroen; de Ridder, Huib; Koenderink-van Doorn, Andrea J.; Reinders, Marcel J. T.; Hendriks, Emile A.

    2009-02-01

    Current automatic sign language recognition (ASLR) seldom uses perceptual knowledge about the recognition of sign language. Using such knowledge can improve ASLR because it can give an indication which elements or phases of a sign are important for its meaning. Also, the current generation of data-driven ASLR methods has shortcomings which may not be solvable without the use of knowledge on human sign language processing. Handling variation in the precise execution of signs is an example of such shortcomings: data-driven methods (which include almost all current methods) have difficulty recognizing signs that deviate too much from the examples that were used to train the method. Insight into human sign processing is needed to solve these problems. Perceptual research on sign language can provide such insights. This paper discusses knowledge derived from a set of sign perception experiments, and the application of such knowledge in ASLR. Among the findings are the facts that not all phases and elements of a sign are equally informative, that defining the 'correct' form for a sign is not trivial, and that statistical ASLR methods do not necessarily arrive at sign representations that resemble those of human beings. Apparently, current ASLR methods are quite different from human observers: their method of learning gives them different sign definitions, they regard each moment and element of a sign as equally important and they employ a single definition of 'correct' for all circumstances. If the object is for an ASLR method to handle natural sign language, then the insights from sign perception research must be integrated into ASLR.

  14. Symmetry in Sign Language Poetry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutton-Spence, Rachel; Kaneko, Michiko

    2007-01-01

    This paper considers the range of ways that sign languages use geometric symmetry temporally and spatially to create poetic effect. Poets use this symmetry in sign language art to highlight duality and thematic contrast, and to create symbolic representations of beauty, order and harmony. (Contains 8 tables, 14 figures and 6 notes.)

  15. Keresan Pueblo Indian Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelley, Walter P.; McGregor, Tony L.

    This paper describes the use of Keresan Pueblo Indian Sign Language (KPISL) in one small, Keresan-speaking pueblo in central New Mexico, where 15 out of 650 tribal members have severe to profound hearing loss (twice the national average). KPISL did not originate for the same purposes as the Plains Indian Sign Language, (PISL) which was developed…

  16. The Sociolinguistics of Sign Languages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lucas, Ceil, Ed.

    This collection of papers examines how sign languages are distributed around the world; what occurs when they come in contact with spoken and written languages, and how signers use them in a variety of situations. Each chapter introduces the key issues in a particular area of inquiry and provides a comprehensive review of the literature. The seven…

  17. American Sign Language

    MedlinePlus

    ... own rules for pronunciation, word order, and complex grammar. While every language has ways of signaling different ... The research team is learning more about how grammar is built and expanded in situations where there ...

  18. Signs of Change: Contemporary Attitudes to Australian Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slegers, Claudia

    2010-01-01

    This study explores contemporary attitudes to Australian Sign Language (Auslan). Since at least the 1960s, sign languages have been accepted by linguists as natural languages with all of the key ingredients common to spoken languages. However, these visual-spatial languages have historically been subject to ignorance and myth in Australia and…

  19. The Struggles over African Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maseko, Pam; Vale, Peter

    2016-01-01

    In this interview, African Language expert Pam Maseko speaks of her own background and her first encounter with culture outside of her mother tongue, isiXhosa. A statistical breakdown of South African languages is provided as background. She discusses Western (originally missionary) codification of African languages and suggests that this approach…

  20. Lexical Borrowing in American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Battison, Robbin

    This book is written primarily for those studying linguistic topics in the area of sign language, but also can be useful to sign language teachers who want to understand more about American Sign Language (ASL). Pen-and-ink illustrations allow the reader with no knowledge of sign language to follow the discussion. The hypothesis examined in this…

  1. Sign Language Interpreter Needs Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oakland Community Coll., Farmington, MI. Office of Institutional Planning and Analysis.

    In 1991, a study was conducted by Oakland Community College (OCC) in order to evaluate the need for a proposed Sign Language Interpreter program. OCC's study focused on validating and updating findings from a similar research project begun in fall 1989 by Macomb Community College (MCC) in Warren, Michigan. Federal and state legislation, data from…

  2. Lexical Frequency in Sign Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Trevor

    2012-01-01

    Measures of lexical frequency presuppose the existence of corpora, but true machine-readable corpora of sign languages (SLs) are only now being created. Lexical frequency ratings for SLs are needed because there has been a heavy reliance on the interpretation of results of psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic experiments in the SL research…

  3. Numeral Incorporation in Japanese Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ktejik, Mish

    2013-01-01

    This article explores the morphological process of numeral incorporation in Japanese Sign Language. Numeral incorporation is defined and the available research on numeral incorporation in signed language is discussed. The numeral signs in Japanese Sign Language are then introduced and followed by an explanation of the numeral morphemes which are…

  4. Potential Prometheus Effects of Sign Language as Research Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, David G.

    1992-01-01

    This article promotes the utilization of Sign Language of the Deaf as a primary and secondary research language. The article discusses English as the traditional research language, the role of sign language in bilingualism, possible uses for American Sign Language (ASL) as a research language, and the availability of ASL-based literature for…

  5. The Legal Recognition of Sign Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Meulder, Maartje

    2015-01-01

    This article provides an analytical overview of the different types of explicit legal recognition of sign languages. Five categories are distinguished: constitutional recognition, recognition by means of general language legislation, recognition by means of a sign language law or act, recognition by means of a sign language law or act including…

  6. On the System of Person-Denoting Signs in Estonian Sign Language: Estonian Name Signs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paales, Liina

    2010-01-01

    This article discusses Estonian personal name signs. According to study there are four personal name sign categories in Estonian Sign Language: (1) arbitrary name signs; (2) descriptive name signs; (3) initialized-descriptive name signs; (4) loan/borrowed name signs. Mostly there are represented descriptive and borrowed personal name signs among…

  7. Sign Language From the Space Station

    NASA Video Gallery

    Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson sent a special sign language message to Earth. Interpretation done by non-certified users of American Sign Language (ASL) who are fluent in conversational ASL; syntax...

  8. Similarities & Differences in Two Brazilian Sign Languages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferreira-Brito, Lucinda

    1984-01-01

    mparison of sign language used by Urubu-Kaapor Indians in the Amazonian jungle (UKSL) and sign language used by deaf people in Sao Paulo (SPSL). In the former situation, deaf people are more integrated and accepted into their community than in Sao Paulo, because most hearing individuals are able and willing to use sign language to communicate with…

  9. Sign Language Planning: Pragmatism, Pessimism and Principles

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turner, Graham H.

    2009-01-01

    This article introduces the present collection of sign language planning studies. Contextualising the analyses against the backdrop of core issues in the theory of language planning and the evolution of applied sign linguistics, it is argued that--while the sociolinguistic circumstances of signed languages worldwide can, in many respects, be…

  10. Eye Gaze in Creative Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaneko, Michiko; Mesch, Johanna

    2013-01-01

    This article discusses the role of eye gaze in creative sign language. Because eye gaze conveys various types of linguistic and poetic information, it is an intrinsic part of sign language linguistics in general and of creative signing in particular. We discuss various functions of eye gaze in poetic signing and propose a classification of gaze…

  11. Awareness of Deaf Sign Language and Gang Signs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Cynthia; Morgan, Robert L.

    There have been increasing incidents of innocent people who use American Sign Language (ASL) or another form of sign language being victimized by gang violence due to misinterpretation of ASL hand formations. ASL is familiar to learners with a variety of disabilities, particularly those in the deaf community. The problem is that gang members have…

  12. Language Policy and Planning: The Case of Italian Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geraci, Carlo

    2012-01-01

    Italian Sign Language (LIS) is the name of the language used by the Italian Deaf community. The acronym LIS derives from Lingua italiana dei segni ("Italian language of signs"), although nowadays Italians refers to LIS as Lingua dei segni italiana, reflecting the more appropriate phrasing "Italian sign language." Historically,…

  13. Sign Lowering and Phonetic Reduction in American Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Tyrone, Martha E.; Mauk, Claude E.

    2010-01-01

    This study examines sign lowering as a form of phonetic reduction in American Sign Language. Phonetic reduction occurs in the course of normal language production, when instead of producing a carefully articulated form of a word, the language user produces a less clearly articulated form. When signs are produced in context by native signers, they often differ from the citation forms of signs. In some cases, phonetic reduction is manifested as a sign being produced at a lower location than in the citation form. Sign lowering has been documented previously, but this is the first study to examine it in phonetic detail. The data presented here are tokens of the sign WONDER, as produced by six native signers, in two phonetic contexts and at three signing rates, which were captured by optoelectronic motion capture. The results indicate that sign lowering occurred for all signers, according to the factors we manipulated. Sign production was affected by several phonetic factors that also influence speech production, namely, production rate, phonetic context, and position within an utterance. In addition, we have discovered interesting variations in sign production, which could underlie distinctions in signing style, analogous to accent or voice quality in speech. PMID:20607146

  14. Spoken Language Activation Alters Subsequent Sign Language Activation in L2 Learners of American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Williams, Joshua T; Newman, Sharlene D

    2017-02-01

    A large body of literature has characterized unimodal monolingual and bilingual lexicons and how neighborhood density affects lexical access; however there have been relatively fewer studies that generalize these findings to bimodal (M2) second language (L2) learners of sign languages. The goal of the current study was to investigate parallel language activation in M2L2 learners of sign language and to characterize the influence of spoken language and sign language neighborhood density on the activation of ASL signs. A priming paradigm was used in which the neighbors of the sign target were activated with a spoken English word and compared the activation of the targets in sparse and dense neighborhoods. Neighborhood density effects in auditory primed lexical decision task were then compared to previous reports of native deaf signers who were only processing sign language. Results indicated reversed neighborhood density effects in M2L2 learners relative to those in deaf signers such that there were inhibitory effects of handshape density and facilitatory effects of location density. Additionally, increased inhibition for signs in dense handshape neighborhoods was greater for high proficiency L2 learners. These findings support recent models of the hearing bimodal bilingual lexicon, which posit lateral links between spoken language and sign language lexical representations.

  15. A Bibliography of African Languages and Linguistics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, John D., Comp.; Goff, Harry, Comp.

    The present bibliography of African languages and linguistics includes not only works relating to the "Negro-African" languages, but also those dealing with the African varieties of Arabic, the Hamitic languages, Malagasy, Afrikaans, and various Creoles. (The greater part of the entries relate to the indigenous languages of the African continent…

  16. Audience Effects in American Sign Language Interpretation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weisenberg, Julia

    2009-01-01

    There is a system of English mouthing during interpretation that appears to be the result of language contact between spoken language and signed language. English mouthing is a voiceless visual representation of words on a signer's lips produced concurrently with manual signs. It is a type of borrowing prevalent among English-dominant…

  17. A Field Guide for Sign Language Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stokoe, William; Kuschel, Rolf

    Field researchers of sign language are the target of this methodological guide. The prospective researcher is briefed on the rationale of sign language study as language study and as distinct from the study of kinesics. Subjects covered include problems of translating, use of interpreters, and ethics. Instruments for obtaining social and language…

  18. Grandfather Moose: Sign Language Nursery Rhymes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamilton, Harley

    1987-01-01

    "Grandfather Moose" rhymes, written to follow the Mother Goose tradition, are short, appealing, easy-to-memorize sign language nursery rhymes which employ visual poetic devices such as similar signs and transitional flow of movement. (CB)

  19. THE PARADOX OF SIGN LANGUAGE MORPHOLOGY

    PubMed Central

    Aronoff, Mark; Meir, Irit; Sandler, Wendy

    2011-01-01

    Sign languages have two strikingly different kinds of morphological structure: sequential and simultaneous. The simultaneous morphology of two unrelated sign languages, American and Israeli Sign Language, is very similar and is largely inflectional, while what little sequential morphology we have found differs significantly and is derivational. We show that at least two pervasive types of inflectional morphology, verb agreement and classifier constructions, are iconically grounded in spatiotemporal cognition, while the sequential patterns can be traced to normal historical development. We attribute the paucity of sequential morphology in sign languages to their youth. This research both brings sign languages much closer to spoken languages in their morphological structure and shows how the medium of communication contributes to the structure of languages.* PMID:22223926

  20. American Sign Language Curricula: A Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosen, Russell S.

    2010-01-01

    There is an exponential growth in the number of schools that offer American Sign Language (ASL) for foreign language credit and the different ASL curricula that were published. This study analyzes different curricula in its assumptions regarding language, learning, and teaching of second languages. It is found that curricula vary in their…

  1. Signed Language Working Memory Capacity of Signed Language Interpreters and Deaf Signers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Jihong; Napier, Jemina

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of hearing status and age of signed language acquisition on signed language working memory capacity. Professional Auslan (Australian sign language)/English interpreters (hearing native signers and hearing nonnative signers) and deaf Auslan signers (deaf native signers and deaf nonnative signers) completed an…

  2. Sign Language and the Brain: A Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Ruth; MacSweeney, Mairead; Waters, Dafydd

    2008-01-01

    How are signed languages processed by the brain? This review briefly outlines some basic principles of brain structure and function and the methodological principles and techniques that have been used to investigate this question. We then summarize a number of different studies exploring brain activity associated with sign language processing…

  3. Phonological Awareness for American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corina, David P.; Hafer, Sarah; Welch, Kearnan

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines the concept of phonological awareness (PA) as it relates to the processing of American Sign Language (ASL). We present data from a recently developed test of PA for ASL and examine whether sign language experience impacts the use of metalinguistic routines necessary for completion of our task. Our data show that deaf signers…

  4. Research Ethics in Sign Language Communities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Raychelle; Holmes, Heidi M.; Mertens, Donna M.

    2009-01-01

    Codes of ethics exist for most professional associations whose members do research on, for, or with sign language communities. However, these ethical codes are silent regarding the need to frame research ethics from a cultural standpoint, an issue of particular salience for sign language communities. Scholars who write from the perspective of…

  5. Numeral Variation in New Zealand Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKee, David; McKee, Rachel; Major, George

    2011-01-01

    Lexical variation abounds in New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) and is commonly associated with the introduction of the Australasian Signed English lexicon into Deaf education in 1979, before NZSL was acknowledged as a language. Evidence from dictionaries of NZSL collated between 1986 and 1997 reveal many coexisting variants for the numbers from one…

  6. Historical Development of Hong Kong Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sze, Felix; Lo, Connie; Lo, Lisa; Chu, Kenny

    2013-01-01

    This article traces the origins of Hong Kong Sign Language (hereafter HKSL) and its subsequent development in relation to the establishment of Deaf education in Hong Kong after World War II. We begin with a detailed description of the history of Deaf education with a particular focus on the role of sign language in such development. We then…

  7. LSE-Sign: A lexical database for Spanish Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez-Sigut, Eva; Costello, Brendan; Baus, Cristina; Carreiras, Manuel

    2016-03-01

    The LSE-Sign database is a free online tool for selecting Spanish Sign Language stimulus materials to be used in experiments. It contains 2,400 individual signs taken from a recent standardized LSE dictionary, and a further 2,700 related nonsigns. Each entry is coded for a wide range of grammatical, phonological, and articulatory information, including handshape, location, movement, and non-manual elements. The database is accessible via a graphically based search facility which is highly flexible both in terms of the search options available and the way the results are displayed. LSE-Sign is available at the following website: http://www.bcbl.eu/databases/lse/.

  8. Developing anatomical terms in an African language.

    PubMed

    Madzimbamuto, Farai Daniel

    2012-02-23

    Clinical and technical information imparted in most African languages involves inexact terminology and code switching, so it lacks the explanatory power characterised by the English language. African languages are absent in the tertiary science education environment and forums where African scientists could present scientific material in the medium of African languages. This limits the development of African languages in the scientific domain. There has recently been a trend in several African languages to develop and intellectualise them, especially in the field of medical sciences. The ChiShona language is used to explore the ability of an African language to develop new terminology, to name the vertebral skeleton and describe it scientifically. It uses word compounding to demonstrate terminology development. ChiShona has similarities with several hundred other Bantu languages in East, Central and Southern Africa. Advancing this language can promote similar developments in others, making them more explanatory for the lay public and health professionals.

  9. Spoken Language Activation Alters Subsequent Sign Language Activation in L2 Learners of American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Joshua T.; Newman, Sharlene D.

    2017-01-01

    A large body of literature has characterized unimodal monolingual and bilingual lexicons and how neighborhood density affects lexical access; however there have been relatively fewer studies that generalize these findings to bimodal (M2) second language (L2) learners of sign languages. The goal of the current study was to investigate parallel…

  10. American Sign Language as a Foreign Language. ERIC Digest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilcox, Sherman; Peyton, Joy Kreeft

    This digest provides a brief overview of American Sign Language (ASL) and discusses its study as a foreign language in U.S. schools and institutions of higher education. The following questions are addressed: (1) Is ASL a language?; (2) If ASL is used in the United States, how can it be considered a "foreign" language; (3) Are ASL users…

  11. Foreign Language Requirement? Why Not American Sign Language? ERIC Digests

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilcox, Sherman

    A discussion focusing on whether American Sign Language (ASL) should be accepted in fulfillment of university foreign language requirements attempts to dispel misconceptions about the language; and to show that ASL can provide the same benefits as the study of more traditional foreign languages, including the opportunity to communicate in another…

  12. Levels of Sign Language Processing: Qualitative Measures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fischer, Susan D.; Mayberry, Rachel

    This discussion is based on the results of an earlier experiment in which four groups of deaf subjects, ranging in age of first exposure to signing from birth to over eighteen, were given lists of sentences in American Sign Language to shadow and recall immediately after presentation. It was found that in terms of overall accuracy, early learners…

  13. Sign Language Subtitling by Highly Comprehensible "Semantroids"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adamo-Villani, Nicolleta; Beni, Gerardo

    2007-01-01

    We introduce a new method of sign language subtitling aimed at young deaf children who have not acquired reading skills yet, and can communicate only via signs. The method is based on: 1) the recently developed concept of "semantroid[TM]" (an animated 3D avatar limited to head and hands); 2) the design, development, and psychophysical evaluation…

  14. Identifying Depiction in American Sign Language Presentations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thumann, Mary Agnes

    2010-01-01

    This dissertation examines depiction in American Sign Language (ASL) presentations. The impetus for this study came from my work as an instructor in an interpreter education program. The majority of ASL/English interpreters are second language learners of ASL, and many of them find some features of ASL challenging to learn. These features are…

  15. Mobile Sign Language Learning Outside the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weaver, Kimberly A.; Starner, Thad

    2012-01-01

    The majority of deaf children in the United States are born to hearing parents with limited prior exposure to American Sign Language (ASL). Our research involves creating and validating a mobile language tool called SMARTSign. The goal is to help hearing parents learn ASL in a way that fits seamlessly into their daily routine. (Contains 3 figures.)

  16. The psychotherapist and the sign language interpreter.

    PubMed

    de Bruin, Ed; Brugmans, Petra

    2006-01-01

    Specialized psychotherapy for deaf people in the Dutch and Western European mental health systems is still a rather young specialism. A key policy principle in Dutch mental health care for the deaf is that they should receive treatment in the language most accessible to them, which is usually Dutch Sign Language (Nederlandse Gebarentaal or NGT). Although psychotherapists for the deaf are trained to use sign language, situations will always arise in which a sign language interpreter is needed. Most psychotherapists have the opinion that working with a sign language interpreter in therapy sessions can be a valuable alternative option but also see it as a second-best solution because of its impact on the therapeutic process. This paper describes our years of collaborationship as a therapist and a sign language interpreter. If this collaborationship is optimal, it can generate a certain "therapeutic power" in the therapy sessions. Achieving this depends largely on the interplay between the therapist and the interpreter, which in our case is the result of literature research and our experiences during the last 17 years. We analyze this special collaborative relationship, which has several dimensions and recurrent themes like, the role conception of the interpreter, situational interpreting, organizing the interpretation setting, or managing therapeutic phenomena during therapy sessions.

  17. Approaching Sign Language Test Construction: Adaptation of the German Sign Language Receptive Skills Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haug, Tobias

    2011-01-01

    There is a current need for reliable and valid test instruments in different countries in order to monitor deaf children's sign language acquisition. However, very few tests are commercially available that offer strong evidence for their psychometric properties. A German Sign Language (DGS) test focusing on linguistic structures that are acquired…

  18. Adaptation of a Vocabulary Test from British Sign Language to American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mann, Wolfgang; Roy, Penny; Morgan, Gary

    2016-01-01

    This study describes the adaptation process of a vocabulary knowledge test for British Sign Language (BSL) into American Sign Language (ASL) and presents results from the first round of pilot testing with 20 deaf native ASL signers. The web-based test assesses the strength of deaf children's vocabulary knowledge by means of different mappings of…

  19. Syntactic priming in American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Hall, Matthew L; Ferreira, Victor S; Mayberry, Rachel I

    2015-01-01

    Psycholinguistic studies of sign language processing provide valuable opportunities to assess whether language phenomena, which are primarily studied in spoken language, are fundamentally shaped by peripheral biology. For example, we know that when given a choice between two syntactically permissible ways to express the same proposition, speakers tend to choose structures that were recently used, a phenomenon known as syntactic priming. Here, we report two experiments testing syntactic priming of a noun phrase construction in American Sign Language (ASL). Experiment 1 shows that second language (L2) signers with normal hearing exhibit syntactic priming in ASL and that priming is stronger when the head noun is repeated between prime and target (the lexical boost effect). Experiment 2 shows that syntactic priming is equally strong among deaf native L1 signers, deaf late L1 learners, and hearing L2 signers. Experiment 2 also tested for, but did not find evidence of, phonological or semantic boosts to syntactic priming in ASL. These results show that despite the profound differences between spoken and signed languages in terms of how they are produced and perceived, the psychological representation of sentence structure (as assessed by syntactic priming) operates similarly in sign and speech.

  20. Phonological awareness for american sign language.

    PubMed

    Corina, David P; Hafer, Sarah; Welch, Kearnan

    2014-10-01

    This paper examines the concept of phonological awareness (PA) as it relates to the processing of American Sign Language (ASL). We present data from a recently developed test of PA for ASL and examine whether sign language experience impacts the use of metalinguistic routines necessary for completion of our task. Our data show that deaf signers exposed to ASL from infancy perform better than deaf signers exposed to ASL later in life and that this relationship remains even after controlling for the number of years of experience with a signed language. For a subset of participants, we examine the relationship between PA for ASL and performance on a PA test of English and report a positive correlation between ASL PA and English PA in native signers. We discuss the implications of these findings in relation to the development of reading skills in deaf children.

  1. Approaching sign language test construction: adaptation of the German sign language receptive skills test.

    PubMed

    Haug, Tobias

    2011-01-01

    There is a current need for reliable and valid test instruments in different countries in order to monitor deaf children's sign language acquisition. However, very few tests are commercially available that offer strong evidence for their psychometric properties. A German Sign Language (DGS) test focusing on linguistic structures that are acquired in preschool- and school-aged children (4-8 years old) is urgently needed. Using the British Sign Language Receptive Skills Test, that has been standardized and has sound psychometric properties, as a template for adaptation thus provides a starting point for tests of a sign language that is less documented, such as DGS. This article makes a novel contribution to the field by examining linguistic, cultural, and methodological issues in the process of adapting a test from the source language to the target language. The adapted DGS test has sound psychometric properties and provides the basis for revision prior to standardization.

  2. Signed language working memory capacity of signed language interpreters and deaf signers.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jihong; Napier, Jemina

    2013-04-01

    This study investigated the effects of hearing status and age of signed language acquisition on signed language working memory capacity. Professional Auslan (Australian sign language)/English interpreters (hearing native signers and hearing nonnative signers) and deaf Auslan signers (deaf native signers and deaf nonnative signers) completed an Auslan working memory (WM) span task. The results revealed that the hearing signers (i.e., the professional interpreters) significantly outperformed the deaf signers on the Auslan WM span task. However, the results showed no significant differences between the native signers and the nonnative signers in their Auslan working memory capacity. Furthermore, there was no significant interaction between hearing status and age of signed language acquisition. Additionally, the study found no significant differences between the deaf native signers (adults) and the deaf nonnative signers (adults) in their Auslan working memory capacity. The findings are discussed in relation to the participants' memory strategies and their early language experience. The findings present challenges for WM theories.

  3. Language Policies in Uruguay and Uruguayan Sign Language (LSU)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behares, Luis Ernesto; Brovetto, Claudia; Crespi, Leonardo Peluso

    2012-01-01

    In the first part of this article the authors consider the policies that apply to Uruguayan Sign Language (Lengua de Senas Uruguaya; hereafter LSU) and the Uruguayan Deaf community within the general framework of language policies in Uruguay. By analyzing them succinctly and as a whole, the authors then explain twenty-first-century innovations.…

  4. Psychological Testing of Sign Language Interpreters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seal, Brenda C.

    2004-01-01

    Twenty-eight sign language interpreters participated in a battery of tests to determine if a profile of cognitive, motor, attention, and personality attributes might distinguish them as a group and at different credential levels. Eight interpreters held Level II and nine held Level III Virginia Quality Assurance Screenings (VQAS); the other 11…

  5. Self Assessment of a Sign Language Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kemp, Mike

    1988-01-01

    The CIPP (Context Input Process Product) Evaluation Model is recommended for use in self-assessment of sign language programs. Five areas should be assessed: personnel selection, curriculum, student placement, media utilization, and supervision. For each area, a checklist is offered to determine whether existing goals and objectives require…

  6. Word Order in Russian Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kimmelman, Vadim

    2012-01-01

    In this paper the results of an investigation of word order in Russian Sign Language (RSL) are presented. A small corpus of narratives based on comic strips by nine native signers was analyzed and a picture-description experiment (based on Volterra et al. 1984) was conducted with six native signers. The results are the following: the most frequent…

  7. Conceptual Representation of Actions in Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dobel, Christian; Enriquez-Geppert, Stefanie; Hummert, Marja; Zwitserlood, Pienie; Bolte, Jens

    2011-01-01

    The idea that knowledge of events entails a universal spatial component, that is conceiving agents left of patients, was put to test by investigating native users of German sign language and native users of spoken German. Participants heard or saw event descriptions and had to illustrate the meaning of these events by means of drawing or arranging…

  8. Capturing a Movement: Sign Language Preservation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burch, Susan

    2004-01-01

    This article examines the various ways in which deaf people have protected and promoted sign language during the early decades of the twentieth century. Arguing that deaf people played an active role in their own history, the author shows how members of the community--through formal and informal collaboration--ultimately defeated strict oralist…

  9. Direction Asymmetries in Spoken and Signed Language Interpreting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicodemus, Brenda; Emmorey, Karen

    2013-01-01

    Spoken language (unimodal) interpreters often prefer to interpret from their non-dominant language (L2) into their native language (L1). Anecdotally, signed language (bimodal) interpreters express the opposite bias, preferring to interpret from L1 (spoken language) into L2 (signed language). We conducted a large survey study ("N" =…

  10. Gesture, sign and language: The coming of age of sign language and gesture studies

    PubMed Central

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Brentari, Diane

    2016-01-01

    How does sign language compare to gesture, on the one hand, and to spoken language on the other? At one time, sign was viewed as nothing more than a system of pictorial gestures with no linguistic structure. More recently, researchers have argued that sign is no different from spoken language with all of the same linguistic structures. The pendulum is currently swinging back toward the view that sign is gestural, or at least has gestural components. The goal of this review is to elucidate the relationships among sign language, gesture, and spoken language. We do so by taking a close look not only at how sign has been studied over the last 50 years, but also at how the spontaneous gestures that accompany speech have been studied. We come to the conclusion that signers gesture just as speakers do. Both produce imagistic gestures along with more categorical signs or words. Because, at the moment, it is difficult to tell where sign stops and where gesture begins, we suggest that sign should not be compared to speech alone, but should be compared to speech-plus-gesture. Although it might be easier (and, in some cases, preferable) to blur the distinction between sign and gesture, we argue that making a distinction between sign (or speech) and gesture is essential to predict certain types of learning, and allows us to understand the conditions under which gesture takes on properties of sign, and speech takes on properties of gesture. We end by calling for new technology that may help us better calibrate the borders between sign and gesture. PMID:26434499

  11. Gesture, sign and language: The coming of age of sign language and gesture studies.

    PubMed

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Brentari, Diane

    2015-10-05

    How does sign language compare to gesture, on the one hand, and to spoken language on the other? At one time, sign was viewed as nothing more than a system of pictorial gestures with no linguistic structure. More recently, researchers have argued that sign is no different from spoken language with all of the same linguistic structures. The pendulum is currently swinging back toward the view that sign is gestural, or at least has gestural components. The goal of this review is to elucidate the relationships among sign language, gesture, and spoken language. We do so by taking a close look not only at how sign has been studied over the last 50 years, but also at how the spontaneous gestures that accompany speech have been studied. We come to the conclusion that signers gesture just as speakers do. Both produce imagistic gestures along with more categorical signs or words. Because, at the moment, it is difficult to tell where sign stops and where gesture begins, we suggest that sign should not be compared to speech alone, but should be compared to speech-plus-gesture. Although it might be easier (and, in some cases, preferable) to blur the distinction between sign and gesture, we argue that making a distinction between sign (or speech) and gesture is essential to predict certain types of learning, and allows us to understand the conditions under which gesture takes on properties of sign, and speech takes on properties of gesture. We end by calling for new technology that may help us better calibrate the borders between sign and gesture.

  12. A Sign Language Screen Reader for Deaf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El Ghoul, Oussama; Jemni, Mohamed

    Screen reader technology has appeared first to allow blind and people with reading difficulties to use computer and to access to the digital information. Until now, this technology is exploited mainly to help blind community. During our work with deaf people, we noticed that a screen reader can facilitate the manipulation of computers and the reading of textual information. In this paper, we propose a novel screen reader dedicated to deaf. The output of the reader is a visual translation of the text to sign language. The screen reader is composed by two essential modules: the first one is designed to capture the activities of users (mouse and keyboard events). For this purpose, we adopted Microsoft MSAA application programming interfaces. The second module, which is in classical screen readers a text to speech engine (TTS), is replaced by a novel text to sign (TTSign) engine. This module converts text into sign language animation based on avatar technology.

  13. Sign Language Aphasia from a Neurodegenerative Disease

    PubMed Central

    Falchook, Adam D.; Mayberry, Rachel I.; Poizner, Howard; Burtis, David Brandon; Doty, Leilani; Heilman, Kenneth M.

    2012-01-01

    While Alois Alzheimer recognized the effects of the disease he described on speech and language in his original description of the disease in 1907, the effects of Alzheimer disease on language in deaf signers has not previously been reported. We evaluated a 55 year old right handed congenitally deaf woman with a two year history of progressive memory loss and a deterioration of her ability to communicate in American Sign Language, which she learned at the age of eight. Examination revealed that she had impaired episodic memory as well as marked impairments in the production and comprehension of fingerspelling and grammatically complex sentences. She also had signs of anomia as well as an ideomotor apraxia and visual-spatial dysfunction. This report illustrates the challenges in evaluation of a patient for the presence of degenerative dementia when the person is deaf from birth, uses sign language, and has a late age of primary language acquisition. Although our patient could neither speak nor hear, in many respects her cognitive disorders mirror those of patients with Alzheimer disease who had normally learned to speak. PMID:22823942

  14. Intelligent Thai Text--Thai Sign Translation for Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dangsaart, Srisavakon; Naruedomkul, Kanlaya; Cercone, Nick; Sirinaovakul, Booncharoen

    2008-01-01

    We present the Intelligent Thai text--Thai sign translation for language learning (IT[superscript 3]STL). IT[superscript 3]STL is able to translate Thai text into Thai sign language simply and conveniently anytime, anywhere. Thai sign language is the language of the deaf in Thailand. In the translation process, the distinction between Thai text…

  15. A Stronger Reason for the Right to Sign Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trovato, Sara

    2013-01-01

    Is the right to sign language only the right to a minority language? Holding a capability (not a disability) approach, and building on the psycholinguistic literature on sign language acquisition, I make the point that this right is of a stronger nature, since only sign languages can guarantee that each deaf child will properly develop the…

  16. Sign Language in Astronomy and Space Sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cova, J.; Movilio, V.; Gómez, Y.; Gutiérrez, F.; García, R.; Moreno, H.; González, F.; Díaz, J.; Villarroel, C.; Abreu, E.; Aparicio, D.; Cárdenas, J.; Casneiro, L.; Castillo, N.; Contreras, D.; La Verde, N.; Maita, M.; Martínez, A.; Villahermosa, J.; Quintero, A.

    2009-05-01

    Teaching science to school children with hearing deficiency and impairment can be a rewarding and valuable experience for both teacher and student, and necessary to society as a whole in order to reduce the discriminative policies in the formal educational system. The one most important obstacle to the teaching of science to students with hearing deficiency and impairments is the lack of vocabulary in sign language to express the precise concepts encountered in scientific endeavor. In a collaborative project between Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomía ``Francisco J. Duarte'' (CIDA), Universidad Pedagógica Experimental Libertador-Instituto Pedagógico de Maturín (UPEL-IPM) and Unidad Educativa Especial Bolivariana de Maturín (UEEBM) initiated in 2006, we have attempted to fill this gap by developing signs for astronomy and space sciences terminology. During two three-day workshops carried out at CIDA in Mérida in July 2006 and UPEL-IPM in Maturín in March 2007 a total of 112 concepts of astronomy and space sciences were coined in sign language using an interactive method which we describe in the text. The immediate goal of the project is to incorporate these terms into Venezuelan Sign Language (LSV).

  17. Phonological reduplication in sign language: Rules rule.

    PubMed

    Berent, Iris; Dupuis, Amanda; Brentari, Diane

    2014-01-01

    Productivity-the hallmark of linguistic competence-is typically attributed to algebraic rules that support broad generalizations. Past research on spoken language has documented such generalizations in both adults and infants. But whether algebraic rules form part of the linguistic competence of signers remains unknown. To address this question, here we gauge the generalization afforded by American Sign Language (ASL). As a case study, we examine reduplication (X→XX)-a rule that, inter alia, generates ASL nouns from verbs. If signers encode this rule, then they should freely extend it to novel syllables, including ones with features that are unattested in ASL. And since reduplicated disyllables are preferred in ASL, such a rule should favor novel reduplicated signs. Novel reduplicated signs should thus be preferred to nonreduplicative controls (in rating), and consequently, such stimuli should also be harder to classify as nonsigns (in the lexical decision task). The results of four experiments support this prediction. These findings suggest that the phonological knowledge of signers includes powerful algebraic rules. The convergence between these conclusions and previous evidence for phonological rules in spoken language suggests that the architecture of the phonological mind is partly amodal.

  18. The emergence of temporal language in Nicaraguan Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Kocab, Annemarie; Senghas, Ann; Snedeker, Jesse

    2016-11-01

    Understanding what uniquely human properties account for the creation and transmission of language has been a central goal of cognitive science. Recently, the study of emerging sign languages, such as Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL), has offered the opportunity to better understand how languages are created and the roles of the individual learner and the community of users. Here, we examined the emergence of two types of temporal language in NSL, comparing the linguistic devices for conveying temporal information among three sequential age cohorts of signers. Experiment 1 showed that while all three cohorts of signers could communicate about linearly ordered discrete events, only the second and third generations of signers successfully communicated information about events with more complex temporal structure. Experiment 2 showed that signers could discriminate between the types of temporal events in a nonverbal task. Finally, Experiment 3 investigated the ordinal use of numbers (e.g., first, second) in NSL signers, indicating that one strategy younger signers might have for accurately describing events in time might be to use ordinal numbers to mark each event. While the capacity for representing temporal concepts appears to be present in the human mind from the onset of language creation, the linguistic devices to convey temporality do not appear immediately. Evidently, temporal language emerges over generations of language transmission, as a product of individual minds interacting within a community of users.

  19. Sign Language: Meeting Diverse Needs in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simpson, Cynthia G.; Lynch, Sharon A.

    2007-01-01

    For a number of years, sign language has been used in special education settings for learners with disabilities. Children with hearing loss, autism, cognitive disabilities, and language disorders have demonstrated improved communication skills with the use of signs. Recently, however, teachers have begun to use sign language with typical learners…

  20. The Linguistics of British Sign Language: An Introduction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutton-Spence, Rachel; Woll, Bencie

    This textbook provides support for learners of British Sign Language (BSL) and others interested in the structure and use of BSL, and assumes no previous knowledge of linguistics or sign language; technical terms and linguistic jargon are kept to a minimum. The text contains many examples from English, BSL, and other spoken and signed languages,…

  1. SignMT: An Alternative Language Learning Tool

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ditcharoen, Nadh; Naruedomkul, Kanlaya; Cercone, Nick

    2010-01-01

    Learning a second language is very difficult, especially, for the disabled; the disability may be a barrier to learn and to utilize information written in text form. We present the SignMT, Thai sign to Thai machine translation system, which is able to translate from Thai sign language into Thai text. In the translation process, SignMT takes into…

  2. Sign Language with Babies: What Difference Does It Make?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnes, Susan Kubic

    2010-01-01

    Teaching sign language--to deaf or other children with special needs or to hearing children with hard-of-hearing family members--is not new. Teaching sign language to typically developing children has become increasingly popular since the publication of "Baby Signs"[R] (Goodwyn & Acredolo, 1996), now in its third edition. Attention to signing with…

  3. Adapting tests of sign language assessment for other sign languages--a review of linguistic, cultural, and psychometric problems.

    PubMed

    Haug, Tobias; Mann, Wolfgang

    2008-01-01

    Given the current lack of appropriate assessment tools for measuring deaf children's sign language skills, many test developers have used existing tests of other sign languages as templates to measure the sign language used by deaf people in their country. This article discusses factors that may influence the adaptation of assessment tests from one natural sign language to another. Two tests which have been adapted for several other sign languages are focused upon: the Test for American Sign Language and the British Sign Language Receptive Skills Test. A brief description is given of each test as well as insights from ongoing adaptations of these tests for other sign languages. The problems reported in these adaptations were found to be grounded in linguistic and cultural differences, which need to be considered for future test adaptations. Other reported shortcomings of test adaptation are related to the question of how well psychometric measures transfer from one instrument to another.

  4. Adapting Tests of Sign Language Assessment for Other Sign Languages--A Review of Linguistic, Cultural, and Psychometric Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haug, Tobias; Mann, Wolfgang

    2008-01-01

    Given the current lack of appropriate assessment tools for measuring deaf children's sign language skills, many test developers have used existing tests of other sign languages as templates to measure the sign language used by deaf people in their country. This article discusses factors that may influence the adaptation of assessment tests from…

  5. Pinky Extension as a Phonestheme in Mongolian Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Healy, Christina

    2011-01-01

    Mongolian Sign Language (MSL) is a visual-gestural language that developed from multiple languages interacting as a result of both geographic proximity and political relations and of the natural development of a communication system by deaf community members. Similar to the phonological systems of other signed languages, MSL combines handshapes,…

  6. Notation Systems for Reading and Writing Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCarty, Amy L.

    2004-01-01

    Without written forms, signed languages do not permit the type of textual record available to speakers of English and other written languages. Deaf signers have generally relied on the language of the dominant hearing culture for this purpose. Because of their visual-gestural modality, signed languages present a unique set of challenges for…

  7. Should All Deaf Children Learn Sign Language?

    PubMed

    Napoli, Donna Jo; Mellon, Nancy K; Niparko, John K; Rathmann, Christian; Mathur, Gaurav; Humphries, Tom; Handley, Theresa; Scambler, Sasha; Lantos, John D

    2015-07-01

    Every year, 10,000 infants are born in the United States with sensorineural deafness. Deaf children of hearing (and nonsigning) parents are unique among all children in the world in that they cannot easily or naturally learn the language that their parents speak. These parents face tough choices. Should they seek a cochlear implant for their child? If so, should they also learn to sign? As pediatricians, we need to help parents understand the risks and benefits of different approaches to parent-child communication when the child is deaf [corrected].

  8. Why American Sign Language Gloss Must Matter.

    PubMed

    Supalla, Samuel J; Cripps, Jody H; Byrne, Andrew P

    2017-01-01

    Responding to an article by Grushkin on how deaf children best learn to read, published, along with the present article, in an American Annals of the Deaf special issue, the authors review American Sign Language gloss. Topics include how ASL gloss enables deaf children to learn to read in their own language and simultaneously experience a transition to written English, and what gloss looks like and how it underlines deaf children's learning and mastery of English literacy through ASL. Rebuttal of Grushkin's argument includes data describing a deaf child's engagement in reading aloud (entirely in ASL) with a gloss text, which occurred without the breakdown implied by Grushkin. The authors characterize Grushkin's argument that deaf children need to learn to read through a conventional ASL writing system as limiting, asserting that ASL gloss contributes more by providing a path for learning and mastering English literacy.

  9. Sociolinguistic Variation and Change in British Sign Language Number Signs: Evidence of Leveling?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stamp, Rose; Schembri, Adam; Fenlon, Jordan; Rentelis, Ramas

    2015-01-01

    This article presents findings from the first major study to investigate lexical variation and change in British Sign Language (BSL) number signs. As part of the BSL Corpus Project, number sign variants were elicited from 249 deaf signers from eight sites throughout the UK. Age, school location, and language background were found to be significant…

  10. The Mechanics of Fingerspelling: Analyzing Ethiopian Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duarte, Kyle

    2010-01-01

    Ethiopian Sign Language utilizes a fingerspelling system that represents Amharic orthography. Just as each character of the Amharic abugida encodes a consonant-vowel sound pair, each sign in the Ethiopian Sign Language fingerspelling system uses handshape to encode a base consonant, as well as a combination of timing, placement, and orientation to…

  11. New Perspectives on the History of American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shaw, Emily; Delaporte, Yves

    2011-01-01

    Examinations of the etymology of American Sign Language have typically involved superficial analyses of signs as they exist over a short period of time. While it is widely known that ASL is related to French Sign Language, there has yet to be a comprehensive study of this historic relationship between their lexicons. This article presents…

  12. Forced Choice Recognition of Sign in Novice Learners of British Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Ruth; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Investigation of the accuracy of novice learners of British Sign Language (BSL) and sign-naive subjects in recognizing possible and impossible BSL signs and in naming signs suggests that rated iconicity and the ability to process potentially meaningful gestures, determined recognition and naming accuracy. (19 references) (Author/CB)

  13. Linguistic Policies, Linguistic Planning, and Brazilian Sign Language in Brazil

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Quadros, Ronice Muller

    2012-01-01

    This article explains the consolidation of Brazilian Sign Language in Brazil through a linguistic plan that arose from the Brazilian Sign Language Federal Law 10.436 of April 2002 and the subsequent Federal Decree 5695 of December 2005. Two concrete facts that emerged from this existing language plan are discussed: the implementation of bilingual…

  14. Regional Sign Language Varieties in Contact: Investigating Patterns of Accommodation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stamp, Rose; Schembri, Adam; Evans, Bronwen G.; Cormier, Kearsy

    2016-01-01

    Short-term linguistic accommodation has been observed in a number of spoken language studies. The first of its kind in sign language research, this study aims to investigate the effects of regional varieties in contact and lexical accommodation in British Sign Language (BSL). Twenty-five participants were recruited from Belfast, Glasgow,…

  15. Visual Intonation in the Prosody of a Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dachkovsky, Svetlana; Sandler, Wendy

    2009-01-01

    While visual signals that accompany spoken language serve to augment the communicative message, the same visual ingredients form the substance of the linguistic system in sign languages. This article provides an analysis of visual signals that comprise part of the intonational system of a sign language. The system is conveyed mainly by particular…

  16. Validity of the American Sign Language Discrimination Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bochner, Joseph H.; Samar, Vincent J.; Hauser, Peter C.; Garrison, Wayne M.; Searls, J. Matt; Sanders, Cynthia A.

    2016-01-01

    American Sign Language (ASL) is one of the most commonly taught languages in North America. Yet, few assessment instruments for ASL proficiency have been developed, none of which have adequately demonstrated validity. We propose that the American Sign Language Discrimination Test (ASL-DT), a recently developed measure of learners' ability to…

  17. Language and the African American Child

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Lisa J.

    2011-01-01

    How do children acquire African American English? How do they develop the specific language patterns of their communities? Drawing on spontaneous speech samples and data from structured elicitation tasks, this book explains the developmental trends in the children's language. It examines topics such as the development of tense/aspect marking,…

  18. Sentence Repetition in Deaf Children with Specific Language Impairment in British Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Chloë; Mason, Kathryn; Rowley, Katherine; Herman, Rosalind; Atkinson, Joanna; Woll, Bencie; Morgan, Gary

    2015-01-01

    Children with specific language impairment (SLI) perform poorly on sentence repetition tasks across different spoken languages, but until now, this methodology has not been investigated in children who have SLI in a signed language. Users of a natural sign language encode different sentence meanings through their choice of signs and by altering…

  19. Synesthesia for manual alphabet letters and numeral signs in second-language users of signed languages.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, Joanna; Lyons, Tanya; Eagleman, David; Woll, Bencie; Ward, Jamie

    2016-08-01

    Many synesthetes experience colors when viewing letters or digits. We document, for the first time, an analogous phenomenon among users of signed languages who showed color synesthesia for fingerspelled letters and signed numerals. Four synesthetes experienced colors when they viewed manual letters and numerals (in two cases, colors were subjectively projected on to the hands). There was a correspondence between the colors experienced for written graphemes and their manual counterparts, suggesting that the development of these two types of synesthesia is interdependent despite the fact that these systems are superficially distinct and rely on different perceptual recognition mechanisms in the brain.

  20. On the Conventionalization of Mouth Actions in Australian Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Trevor; van Roekel, Jane; Schembri, Adam

    2016-03-01

    This study investigates the conventionalization of mouth actions in Australian Sign Language. Signed languages were once thought of as simply manual languages because the hands produce the signs which individually and in groups are the symbolic units most easily equated with the words, phrases and clauses of spoken languages. However, it has long been acknowledged that non-manual activity, such as movements of the body, head and the face play a very important role. In this context, mouth actions that occur while communicating in signed languages have posed a number of questions for linguists: are the silent mouthings of spoken language words simply borrowings from the respective majority community spoken language(s)? Are those mouth actions that are not silent mouthings of spoken words conventionalized linguistic units proper to each signed language, culturally linked semi-conventional gestural units shared by signers with members of the majority speaking community, or even gestures and expressions common to all humans? We use a corpus-based approach to gather evidence of the extent of the use of mouth actions in naturalistic Australian Sign Language-making comparisons with other signed languages where data is available--and the form/meaning pairings that these mouth actions instantiate.

  1. Constraints on Negative Prefixation in Polish Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Tomaszewski, Piotr

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this article is to describe a negative prefix, NEG-, in Polish Sign Language (PJM) which appears to be indigenous to the language. This is of interest given the relative rarity of prefixes in sign languages. Prefixed PJM signs were analyzed on the basis of both a corpus of texts signed by 15 deaf PJM users who are either native or near-native signers, and material including a specified range of prefixed signs as demonstrated by native signers in dictionary form (i.e. signs produced in isolation, not as part of phrases or sentences). In order to define the morphological rules behind prefixation on both the phonological and morphological levels, native PJM users were consulted for their expertise. The research results can enrich models for describing processes of grammaticalization in the context of the visual-gestural modality that forms the basis for sign language structure. PMID:26619066

  2. Constraints on Negative Prefixation in Polish Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Tomaszewski, Piotr

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this article is to describe a negative prefix, NEG-, in Polish Sign Language (PJM) which appears to be indigenous to the language. This is of interest given the relative rarity of prefixes in sign languages. Prefixed PJM signs were analyzed on the basis of both a corpus of texts signed by 15 deaf PJM users who are either native or near-native signers, and material including a specified range of prefixed signs as demonstrated by native signers in dictionary form (i.e. signs produced in isolation, not as part of phrases or sentences). In order to define the morphological rules behind prefixation on both the phonological and morphological levels, native PJM users were consulted for their expertise. The research results can enrich models for describing processes of grammaticalization in the context of the visual-gestural modality that forms the basis for sign language structure.

  3. Input Processing at First Exposure to a Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ortega, Gerardo; Morgan, Gary

    2015-01-01

    There is growing interest in learners' cognitive capacities to process a second language (L2) at first exposure to the target language. Evidence suggests that L2 learners are capable of processing novel words by exploiting phonological information from their first language (L1). Hearing adult learners of a sign language, however, cannot fall back…

  4. Evaluating Effects of Language Recognition on Language Rights and the Vitality of New Zealand Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKee, Rachel Locker; Manning, Victoria

    2015-01-01

    Status planning through legislation made New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) an official language in 2006. But this strong symbolic action did not create resources or mechanisms to further the aims of the act. In this article we discuss the extent to which legal recognition and ensuing language-planning activities by state and community have affected…

  5. Building an "Assessment Use Argument" for Sign Language: The BSL Nonsense Sign Repetition Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mann, Wolfgang; Marshall, Chloe R.

    2010-01-01

    In this article, we adapt a concept designed to structure language testing more effectively, the "Assessment Use Argument" ("AUA"), as a framework for the development and/or use of sign language assessments for deaf children who are taught in a sign bilingual education setting. By drawing on data from a recent investigation of…

  6. Signs of Resistance: Peer Learning of Sign Languages within "Oral" Schools for the Deaf

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anglin-Jaffe, Hannah

    2013-01-01

    This article explores the role of the Deaf child as peer educator. In schools where sign languages were banned, Deaf children became the educators of their Deaf peers in a number of contexts worldwide. This paper analyses how this peer education of sign language worked in context by drawing on two examples from boarding schools for the deaf in…

  7. The road to language learning is iconic: evidence from British Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Robin L; Vinson, David P; Woll, Bencie; Vigliocco, Gabriella

    2012-12-01

    An arbitrary link between linguistic form and meaning is generally considered a universal feature of language. However, iconic (i.e., nonarbitrary) mappings between properties of meaning and features of linguistic form are also widely present across languages, especially signed languages. Although recent research has shown a role for sign iconicity in language processing, research on the role of iconicity in sign-language development has been mixed. In this article, we present clear evidence that iconicity plays a role in sign-language acquisition for both the comprehension and production of signs. Signed languages were taken as a starting point because they tend to encode a higher degree of iconic form-meaning mappings in their lexicons than spoken languages do, but our findings are more broadly applicable: Specifically, we hypothesize that iconicity is fundamental to all languages (signed and spoken) and that it serves to bridge the gap between linguistic form and human experience.

  8. Workplace Concepts in Sign and Text. A Computerized Sign Language Dictionary.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, Pittsburgh.

    This document is a dictionary of essential vocabulary, signs, and illustrations of workplace activities to be used to train deaf or hearing-impaired adults. It contains more than 500 entries with workplace-relevant vocabulary, each including an illustration of the signed word or phrase in American Sign Language, a description of how to make the…

  9. Sign Vocabulary in Deaf Toddlers Exposed to Sign Language since Birth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rinaldi, Pasquale; Caselli, Maria Cristina; Di Renzo, Alessio; Gulli, Tiziana; Volterra, Virginia

    2014-01-01

    Lexical comprehension and production is directly evaluated for the first time in deaf signing children below the age of 3 years. A Picture Naming Task was administered to 8 deaf signing toddlers (aged 2-3 years) who were exposed to Sign Language since birth. Results were compared with data of hearing speaking controls. In both deaf and hearing…

  10. The Effect of New Technologies on Sign Language Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lucas, Ceil; Mirus, Gene; Palmer, Jeffrey Levi; Roessler, Nicholas James; Frost, Adam

    2013-01-01

    This paper first reviews the fairly established ways of collecting sign language data. It then discusses the new technologies available and their impact on sign language research, both in terms of how data is collected and what new kinds of data are emerging as a result of technology. New data collection methods and new kinds of data are…

  11. The Verbal System of Catalan Sign Language (LSC)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morales-Lopez, Esperanza; Boldu-Menasanch, Rosa Maria; Alonso-Rodriguez, Jesus Amador; Gras-Ferrer, Victoria; Rodriguez-Gonzalez, Maria Angeles

    2005-01-01

    This article describes the predicative verbal system of Catalan Sign Language (LSC) as it is used by Deaf people in the province of Barcelona. We also present a historical perspective of the research on this topic, which provides insight into the changes that have taken place over the last few decades in sign language linguistics. The principal…

  12. Sign Language Interpreter Training, Testing, and Accreditation: An International Comparison

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Napier, Jemina

    2004-01-01

    The article explores sign language interpreter training, testing, and accreditation in three major English-speaking countries, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, by providing an overview of the training and assessment of sign language interpreters in each country. The article highlights the reasons these countries can be…

  13. Meemul Tziij: An Indigenous Sign Language Complex of Mesoamerica

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tree, Erich Fox

    2009-01-01

    This article examines sign languages that belong to a complex of indigenous sign languages in Mesoamerica that K'iche'an Maya people of Guatemala refer to collectively as Meemul Tziij. It explains the relationship between the Meemul Tziij variety of the Yukatek Maya village of Chican (state of Yucatan, Mexico) and the hitherto undescribed Meemul…

  14. Social Construction of American Sign Language--English Interpreters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDermid, Campbell

    2009-01-01

    Instructors in 5 American Sign Language--English Interpreter Programs and 4 Deaf Studies Programs in Canada were interviewed and asked to discuss their experiences as educators. Within a qualitative research paradigm, their comments were grouped into a number of categories tied to the social construction of American Sign Language--English…

  15. The Bimodal Bilingual Brain: Effects of Sign Language Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emmorey, Karen; McCullough, Stephen

    2009-01-01

    Bimodal bilinguals are hearing individuals who know both a signed and a spoken language. Effects of bimodal bilingualism on behavior and brain organization are reviewed, and an fMRI investigation of the recognition of facial expressions by ASL-English bilinguals is reported. The fMRI results reveal separate effects of sign language and spoken…

  16. The Birth and Rebirth of "Sign Language Studies"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Armstrong, David F.

    2012-01-01

    As most readers of this journal are aware, "Sign Language Studies" ("SLS") served for many years as effectively the only serious scholarly outlet for work in the nascent field of sign language linguistics. Now reaching its 40th anniversary, the journal was founded by William C. Stokoe and then edited by him for the first quarter century of its…

  17. Reading and American Sign Language: Strategies for Translation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burkholder, Kim

    1999-01-01

    A hearing teacher for whom American Sign Language is a second language identifies nine strategies developed for reading and telling stories to deaf children. These include: ask obvious questions related to the story, portray written dialog as conversation, emphasize points by saying the same thing with different signs, and adapt the story to…

  18. Effectively Teaching Discourse to Sign Language Interpreting Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Napier, Jemina

    2006-01-01

    This paper explores discourse features of Australian Sign Language (Auslan) and the need for sign language interpreting students to acquire an understanding of, and skills in, a range of discourse genres in Auslan in order to effectively carry out the work required in their profession. Discourse features of spoken English are outlined and compared…

  19. Neural Language Processing in Adolescent First-Language Learners: Longitudinal Case Studies in American Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Ferjan Ramirez, Naja; Leonard, Matthew K.; Davenport, Tristan S.; Torres, Christina; Halgren, Eric; Mayberry, Rachel I.

    2016-01-01

    One key question in neurolinguistics is the extent to which the neural processing system for language requires linguistic experience during early life to develop fully. We conducted a longitudinal anatomically constrained magnetoencephalography (aMEG) analysis of lexico-semantic processing in 2 deaf adolescents who had no sustained language input until 14 years of age, when they became fully immersed in American Sign Language. After 2 to 3 years of language, the adolescents' neural responses to signed words were highly atypical, localizing mainly to right dorsal frontoparietal regions and often responding more strongly to semantically primed words (Ferjan Ramirez N, Leonard MK, Torres C, Hatrak M, Halgren E, Mayberry RI. 2014. Neural language processing in adolescent first-language learners. Cereb Cortex. 24 (10): 2772–2783). Here, we show that after an additional 15 months of language experience, the adolescents' neural responses remained atypical in terms of polarity. While their responses to less familiar signed words still showed atypical localization patterns, the localization of responses to highly familiar signed words became more concentrated in the left perisylvian language network. Our findings suggest that the timing of language experience affects the organization of neural language processing; however, even in adolescence, language representation in the human brain continues to evolve with experience. PMID:25410427

  20. Neural Language Processing in Adolescent First-Language Learners: Longitudinal Case Studies in American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Ferjan Ramirez, Naja; Leonard, Matthew K; Davenport, Tristan S; Torres, Christina; Halgren, Eric; Mayberry, Rachel I

    2016-03-01

    One key question in neurolinguistics is the extent to which the neural processing system for language requires linguistic experience during early life to develop fully. We conducted a longitudinal anatomically constrained magnetoencephalography (aMEG) analysis of lexico-semantic processing in 2 deaf adolescents who had no sustained language input until 14 years of age, when they became fully immersed in American Sign Language. After 2 to 3 years of language, the adolescents' neural responses to signed words were highly atypical, localizing mainly to right dorsal frontoparietal regions and often responding more strongly to semantically primed words (Ferjan Ramirez N, Leonard MK, Torres C, Hatrak M, Halgren E, Mayberry RI. 2014. Neural language processing in adolescent first-language learners. Cereb Cortex. 24 (10): 2772-2783). Here, we show that after an additional 15 months of language experience, the adolescents' neural responses remained atypical in terms of polarity. While their responses to less familiar signed words still showed atypical localization patterns, the localization of responses to highly familiar signed words became more concentrated in the left perisylvian language network. Our findings suggest that the timing of language experience affects the organization of neural language processing; however, even in adolescence, language representation in the human brain continues to evolve with experience.

  1. A dictionary of Astronomy for the French Sign Language (LSF)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Proust, Dominique; Abbou, Daniel; Chab, Nasro

    2011-06-01

    Since a few years, the french deaf communauty have access to astronomy at Paris-Meudon observatory through a specific teaching adapted from the French Sign Language (Langue des Signes Françcaise, LSF) including direct observations with the observatory telescopes. From this experience, an encyclopedic dictionary of astronomy The Hands in the Stars is now available, containing more than 200 astronomical concepts. Many of them did not existed in Sign Language and can be now fully expressed and explained.

  2. Examination of Sign Language Education According to the Opinions of Members from a Basic Sign Language Certification Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akmese, Pelin Pistav

    2016-01-01

    Being hearing impaired limits one's ability to communicate in that it affects all areas of development, particularly speech. One of the methods the hearing impaired use to communicate is sign language. This study, a descriptive study, intends to examine the opinions of individuals who had enrolled in a sign language certification program by using…

  3. Sign Language and Language Acquisition in Man and Ape. New Dimensions in Comparative Pedolinguistics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peng, Fred C. C., Ed.

    A collection of research materials on sign language and primatology is presented here. The essays attempt to show that: sign language is a legitimate language that can be learned not only by humans but by nonhuman primates as well, and nonhuman primates have the capability to acquire a human language using a different mode. The following…

  4. The Use of Sign Language Pronouns by Native-Signing Children with Autism

    PubMed Central

    Shield, Aaron; Meier, Richard P.; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2015-01-01

    We report the first study on pronoun use by an under-studied research population, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exposed to American Sign Language (ASL) from birth by their deaf parents. Personal pronouns cause difficulties for hearing children with ASD, who sometimes reverse or avoid them. Unlike speech pronouns, sign pronouns are indexical points to self and other. Despite this transparency, we find evidence from an elicitation task and parental report that signing children with ASD avoid sign pronouns in favor of names. An analysis of spontaneous usage showed that all children demonstrated the ability to point, but only children with better-developed sign language produced pronouns. Differences in language abilities and self-representation may explain these phenomena in sign and speech. PMID:25643865

  5. The Use of Sign Language Pronouns by Native-Signing Children with Autism.

    PubMed

    Shield, Aaron; Meier, Richard P; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2015-07-01

    We report the first study on pronoun use by an under-studied research population, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exposed to American Sign Language from birth by their deaf parents. Personal pronouns cause difficulties for hearing children with ASD, who sometimes reverse or avoid them. Unlike speech pronouns, sign pronouns are indexical points to self and other. Despite this transparency, we find evidence from an elicitation task and parental report that signing children with ASD avoid sign pronouns in favor of names. An analysis of spontaneous usage showed that all children demonstrated the ability to point, but only children with better-developed sign language produced pronouns. Differences in language abilities and self-representation may explain these phenomena in sign and speech.

  6. Australian Aboriginal Deaf People and Aboriginal Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Power, Des

    2013-01-01

    Many Australian Aboriginal people use a sign language ("hand talk") that mirrors their local spoken language and is used both in culturally appropriate settings when speech is taboo or counterindicated and for community communication. The characteristics of these languages are described, and early European settlers' reports of deaf…

  7. American Sign Language: Acceptance at the University Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Katrina R.

    2008-01-01

    American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual-gestural language identified as the first or natural language of many persons who are deaf in the United States. For over 200 years, it has been the focal point of a heated controversy regarding optimal teaching methodologies for deaf children in the American elementary and secondary educational systems.…

  8. Observations on Word Order in Saudi Arabian Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sprenger, Kristen; Mathur, Gaurav

    2012-01-01

    This article focuses on the syntactic level of the grammar of Saudi Arabian Sign Language by exploring some word orders that occur in personal narratives in the language. Word order is one of the main ways in which languages indicate the main syntactic roles of subjects, verbs, and objects; others are verbal agreement and nominal case morphology.…

  9. Impacts of Visual Sonority and Handshape Markedness on Second Language Learning of American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Joshua T.; Newman, Sharlene D.

    2016-01-01

    The roles of visual sonority and handshape markedness in sign language acquisition and production were investigated. In Experiment 1, learners were taught sign-nonobject correspondences that varied in sign movement sonority and handshape markedness. Results from a sign-picture matching task revealed that high sonority signs were more accurately…

  10. Vygotsky, sign language, and the education of deaf pupils.

    PubMed

    Zaitseva, G; Pursglove, M; Gregory, S

    1999-01-01

    This article considers the impact of Vygotsky on the education of deaf children in Russia and is a translation/adaptation of an article currently being published in Defektologiia. While Vygotsky perceived sign language as limited in some aspects nevertheless, he always considered that it had a role in education of deaf pupils. He believed that sign language should not be 'treated like an the enemy' and said that 'bilingualism of def people is an objective reality'. However, sign language was banned from Russian schools following a conference decision in 1938. The changing political climate in Russia has lead to the reevaluation of many aspects of life, including approaches to education, and to a reassessment of Vygotsky's ideas and an appreciation of their continuing relevance. Among other things, this has resulted in a reevaluation of the role of sign language for deaf pupils and an emerging interest in sign bilingualism.

  11. The role of syllables in sign language production

    PubMed Central

    Baus, Cristina; Gutiérrez, Eva; Carreiras, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the functional role of syllables in sign language and how the different phonological combinations influence sign production. Moreover, the influence of age of acquisition was evaluated. Deaf signers (native and non-native) of Catalan Signed Language (LSC) were asked in a picture-sign interference task to sign picture names while ignoring distractor-signs with which they shared two phonological parameters (out of three of the main sign parameters: Location, Movement, and Handshape). The results revealed a different impact of the three phonological combinations. While no effect was observed for the phonological combination Handshape-Location, the combination Handshape-Movement slowed down signing latencies, but only in the non-native group. A facilitatory effect was observed for both groups when pictures and distractors shared Location-Movement. Importantly, linguistic models have considered this phonological combination to be a privileged unit in the composition of signs, as syllables are in spoken languages. Thus, our results support the functional role of syllable units during phonological articulation in sign language production. PMID:25431562

  12. The role of syllables in sign language production.

    PubMed

    Baus, Cristina; Gutiérrez, Eva; Carreiras, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the functional role of syllables in sign language and how the different phonological combinations influence sign production. Moreover, the influence of age of acquisition was evaluated. Deaf signers (native and non-native) of Catalan Signed Language (LSC) were asked in a picture-sign interference task to sign picture names while ignoring distractor-signs with which they shared two phonological parameters (out of three of the main sign parameters: Location, Movement, and Handshape). The results revealed a different impact of the three phonological combinations. While no effect was observed for the phonological combination Handshape-Location, the combination Handshape-Movement slowed down signing latencies, but only in the non-native group. A facilitatory effect was observed for both groups when pictures and distractors shared Location-Movement. Importantly, linguistic models have considered this phonological combination to be a privileged unit in the composition of signs, as syllables are in spoken languages. Thus, our results support the functional role of syllable units during phonological articulation in sign language production.

  13. Discriminative exemplar coding for sign language recognition with Kinect.

    PubMed

    Sun, Chao; Zhang, Tianzhu; Bao, Bing-Kun; Xu, Changsheng; Mei, Tao

    2013-10-01

    Sign language recognition is a growing research area in the field of computer vision. A challenge within it is to model various signs, varying with time resolution, visual manual appearance, and so on. In this paper, we propose a discriminative exemplar coding (DEC) approach, as well as utilizing Kinect sensor, to model various signs. The proposed DEC method can be summarized as three steps. First, a quantity of class-specific candidate exemplars are learned from sign language videos in each sign category by considering their discrimination. Then, every video of all signs is described as a set of similarities between frames within it and the candidate exemplars. Instead of simply using a heuristic distance measure, the similarities are decided by a set of exemplar-based classifiers through the multiple instance learning, in which a positive (or negative) video is treated as a positive (or negative) bag and those frames similar to the given exemplar in Euclidean space as instances. Finally, we formulate the selection of the most discriminative exemplars into a framework and simultaneously produce a sign video classifier to recognize sign. To evaluate our method, we collect an American sign language dataset, which includes approximately 2000 phrases, while each phrase is captured by Kinect sensor with color, depth, and skeleton information. Experimental results on our dataset demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed approach for sign language recognition.

  14. Increasing probability of sign language learning by severely mentally retarded individuals: a discussion of learner, sign production, and linguistic variables.

    PubMed

    Luftig, R L

    1982-01-01

    A pervasive problem for educators of the severely mentally retarded is language training. In spite of extensive oral language training, many severely mentally retarded individuals never acquire functional oral language. Many of these clients, however, are able to acquire sign language communication skills. The present article discusses sign language learning in terms of learner attributes, production variables in sign, and the referential concepts which the signs represent. More specifically, it is hypothesized that by taking into account variables such as sign translucency, referential concreteness, learning readiness, and by externally organizing the signs to be learned along visual continuums, the probability of sign learning by severely mentally retarded individuals can be increased.

  15. Lexical Processing in Spanish Sign Language (LSE)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carreiras, Manuel; Gutierrez-Sigut, Eva; Baquero, Silvia; Corina, David

    2008-01-01

    Lexical access is concerned with how the spoken or visual input of language is projected onto the mental representations of lexical forms. To date, most theories of lexical access have been based almost exclusively on studies of spoken languages and/or orthographic representations of spoken languages. Relatively few studies have examined how…

  16. Legal Pathways to the Recognition of Sign Languages: A Comparison of the Catalan and Spanish Sign Language Acts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quer, Josep

    2012-01-01

    Despite being minority languages like many others, sign languages have traditionally remained absent from the agendas of policy makers and language planning and policies. In the past two decades, though, this situation has started to change at different paces and to different degrees in several countries. In this article, the author describes the…

  17. Sign vocabulary in deaf toddlers exposed to sign language since birth.

    PubMed

    Rinaldi, Pasquale; Caselli, Maria Cristina; Di Renzo, Alessio; Gulli, Tiziana; Volterra, Virginia

    2014-07-01

    Lexical comprehension and production is directly evaluated for the first time in deaf signing children below the age of 3 years. A Picture Naming Task was administered to 8 deaf signing toddlers (aged 2-3 years) who were exposed to Sign Language since birth. Results were compared with data of hearing speaking controls. In both deaf and hearing children, comprehension was significantly higher than production. The deaf group provided a significantly lower number of correct responses in production than did the hearing controls, whereas in comprehension, the 2 groups did not differ. Difficulty and ease of items in comprehension and production was similar for signing deaf children and hearing speaking children, showing that, despite size differences, semantic development followed similar paths. For signing children, predicates production appears easier than nominals production compared with hearing children acquiring spoken language. Findings take into account differences in input modalities and language structures.

  18. ONE GRAMMAR OR TWO? Sign Languages and the Nature of Human Language.

    PubMed

    Lillo-Martin, Diane C; Gajewski, Jon

    2014-01-01

    Linguistic research has identified abstract properties that seem to be shared by all languages - such properties may be considered defining characteristics. In recent decades, the recognition that human language is found not only in the spoken modality, but also in the form of sign languages, has led to a reconsideration of some of these potential linguistic universals. In large part, the linguistic analysis of sign languages has led to the conclusion that universal characteristics of language can be stated at an abstract enough level to include languages in both spoken and signed modalities. For example, languages in both modalities display hierarchical structure at sub-lexical and phrasal level, and recursive rule application. However, this does not mean that modality-based differences between signed and spoken languages are trivial. In this article, we consider several candidate domains for modality effects, in light of the overarching question: are signed and spoken languages subject to the same abstract grammatical constraints, or is a substantially different conception of grammar needed for the sign language case? We look at differences between language types based on the use of space, iconicity, and the possibility for simultaneity in linguistic expression. The inclusion of sign languages does support some broadening of the conception of human language - in ways that are applicable for spoken languages as well. Still, the overall conclusion is that one grammar applies for human language, no matter the modality of expression.

  19. Deaf children creating written texts: contributions of American Sign Language and signed forms of English.

    PubMed

    Mayer, C; Akamatsu, C T

    2000-12-01

    The objectives of this descriptive study were to investigate the ways in which American Sign Language (ASL) and English-based sign allow for comprehension of text content, and to determine how these two avenues of communication might mediate the process of reconstructing "signed meaning" in a written text. The authors argue that comprehensible input in a visual mode is possible in either ASL or English-based sign. They further claim that English-based signing may be an effective means of bridging the gap between inner speech and written text.

  20. Directionality Effects in Simultaneous Language Interpreting: The Case of Sign Language Interpreters in the Netherlands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Dijk, Rick; Boers, Eveline; Christoffels, Ingrid; Hermans, Daan

    2011-01-01

    The quality of interpretations produced by sign language interpreters was investigated. Twenty-five experienced interpreters were instructed to interpret narratives from (a) spoken Dutch to Sign Language of the Netherlands (SLN), (b) spoken Dutch to Sign Supported Dutch (SSD), and (c) SLN to spoken Dutch. The quality of the interpreted narratives…

  1. Sign language interpreter training, testing, and accreditation: an international comparison.

    PubMed

    Napier, Jemina

    2004-01-01

    The article explores sign language interpreter training, testing, and accreditation in three major English-speaking countries, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, by providing an overview of the training and assessment of sign language interpreters in each country. The article highlights the reasons these countries can be considered leaders in the profession and compares similarities and differences among them. Key similarities include the provision of university interpreter training, approval for training courses, license "maintenance" systems, and educational interpreting guidelines. Differences are noted in relation to training prerequisites, types and levels of accreditation, administration of the testing system, and accreditation of deaf interpreters. The article concludes with predictions about future developments related to the establishment of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters and the development of sign language interpreting research as a research discipline.

  2. The Use of Sign Language Pronouns by Native-Signing Children with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shield, Aaron; Meier, Richard P.; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2015-01-01

    We report the first study on pronoun use by an under-studied research population, children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exposed to American Sign Language from birth by their deaf parents. Personal pronouns cause difficulties for hearing children with ASD, who sometimes reverse or avoid them. Unlike speech pronouns, sign pronouns are…

  3. Segmentation of British Sign Language (BSL): mind the gap!

    PubMed

    Orfanidou, Eleni; McQueen, James M; Adam, Robert; Morgan, Gary

    2015-01-01

    This study asks how users of British Sign Language (BSL) recognize individual signs in connected sign sequences. We examined whether this is achieved through modality-specific or modality-general segmentation procedures. A modality-specific feature of signed languages is that, during continuous signing, there are salient transitions between sign locations. We used the sign-spotting task to ask if and how BSL signers use these transitions in segmentation. A total of 96 real BSL signs were preceded by nonsense signs which were produced in either the target location or another location (with a small or large transition). Half of the transitions were within the same major body area (e.g., head) and half were across body areas (e.g., chest to hand). Deaf adult BSL users (a group of natives and early learners, and a group of late learners) spotted target signs best when there was a minimal transition and worst when there was a large transition. When location changes were present, both groups performed better when transitions were to a different body area than when they were within the same area. These findings suggest that transitions do not provide explicit sign-boundary cues in a modality-specific fashion. Instead, we argue that smaller transitions help recognition in a modality-general way by limiting lexical search to signs within location neighbourhoods, and that transitions across body areas also aid segmentation in a modality-general way, by providing a phonotactic cue to a sign boundary. We propose that sign segmentation is based on modality-general procedures which are core language-processing mechanisms.

  4. Regional Sign Language Varieties in Contact: Investigating Patterns of Accommodation.

    PubMed

    Stamp, Rose; Schembri, Adam; Evans, Bronwen G; Cormier, Kearsy

    2016-01-01

    Short-term linguistic accommodation has been observed in a number of spoken language studies. The first of its kind in sign language research, this study aims to investigate the effects of regional varieties in contact and lexical accommodation in British Sign Language (BSL). Twenty-five participants were recruited from Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester, and Newcastle and paired with the same conversational partner. Participants completed a "spot-the-difference" task which elicited a considerable amount of contrasting regionally specific sign data in the participant-confederate dyads. Accommodation was observed during the task with younger signers accommodating more than older signers. The results are interpreted with reference to the relationship between language contact and lexical accommodation in BSL, and address how further studies could help us better understand how contact and accommodation contribute to language change more generally.

  5. Lexical access in sign language: a computational model.

    PubMed

    Caselli, Naomi K; Cohen-Goldberg, Ariel M

    2014-01-01

    PSYCHOLINGUISTIC THEORIES HAVE PREDOMINANTLY BEEN BUILT UPON DATA FROM SPOKEN LANGUAGE, WHICH LEAVES OPEN THE QUESTION: How many of the conclusions truly reflect language-general principles as opposed to modality-specific ones? We take a step toward answering this question in the domain of lexical access in recognition by asking whether a single cognitive architecture might explain diverse behavioral patterns in signed and spoken language. Chen and Mirman (2012) presented a computational model of word processing that unified opposite effects of neighborhood density in speech production, perception, and written word recognition. Neighborhood density effects in sign language also vary depending on whether the neighbors share the same handshape or location. We present a spreading activation architecture that borrows the principles proposed by Chen and Mirman (2012), and show that if this architecture is elaborated to incorporate relatively minor facts about either (1) the time course of sign perception or (2) the frequency of sub-lexical units in sign languages, it produces data that match the experimental findings from sign languages. This work serves as a proof of concept that a single cognitive architecture could underlie both sign and word recognition.

  6. Conceptual Locations and Pronominal Reference in American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emmorey, Karen; Falgier, Brenda

    2004-01-01

    We report the results of an experiment investigating the ramifications of using space to express coreference in American Sign Language (ASL). Nominals in ASL can be associated with locations in signing space, and pronouns are directed toward those locations to convey coreference. A probe recognition technique was used to investigate the case of…

  7. Selected Lexical Patterns in Saudi Arabian Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Lesa; Palmer, Jeffrey Levi; Reynolds, Wanette

    2012-01-01

    This combined paper will focus on the description of two selected lexical patterns in Saudi Arabian Sign Language (SASL): metaphor and metonymy in emotion-related signs (Young) and lexicalization patterns of objects and their derivational roots (Palmer and Reynolds). The over-arcing methodology used by both studies is detailed in Stephen and…

  8. Information Status and Word Order in Croatian Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Milkovic, Marina; Bradaric-Joncic, Sandra; Wilbur, Ronnie B.

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents the results of research on information structure and word order in narrative sentences taken from signed short stories in Croatian Sign Language (HZJ). The basic word order in HZJ is SVO. Factors that result in other word orders include: reversible arguments, verb categories, locative constructions, contrastive focus, and prior…

  9. The Nature of Object Marking in American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gokgoz, Kadir

    2013-01-01

    In this dissertation, I examine the nature of object marking in American Sign Language (ASL). I investigate object marking by means of directionality (the movement of the verb towards a certain location in signing space) and by means of handling classifiers (certain handshapes accompanying the verb). I propose that object marking in ASL is…

  10. An Intelligent Computer-Based System for Sign Language Tutoring

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ritchings, Tim; Khadragi, Ahmed; Saeb, Magdy

    2012-01-01

    A computer-based system for sign language tutoring has been developed using a low-cost data glove and a software application that processes the movement signals for signs in real-time and uses Pattern Matching techniques to decide if a trainee has closely replicated a teacher's recorded movements. The data glove provides 17 movement signals from…

  11. Basic Color Terms in Estonian Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hollman, Liivi; Sutrop, Urmas

    2011-01-01

    The article is written in the tradition of Brent Berlin and Paul Kay's theory of basic color terms. According to this theory there is a universal inventory of eleven basic color categories from which the basic color terms of any given language are always drawn. The number of basic color terms varies from 2 to 11 and in a language having a fully…

  12. One grammar or two? Sign Languages and the Nature of Human Language

    PubMed Central

    Lillo-Martin, Diane C; Gajewski, Jon

    2014-01-01

    Linguistic research has identified abstract properties that seem to be shared by all languages—such properties may be considered defining characteristics. In recent decades, the recognition that human language is found not only in the spoken modality but also in the form of sign languages has led to a reconsideration of some of these potential linguistic universals. In large part, the linguistic analysis of sign languages has led to the conclusion that universal characteristics of language can be stated at an abstract enough level to include languages in both spoken and signed modalities. For example, languages in both modalities display hierarchical structure at sub-lexical and phrasal level, and recursive rule application. However, this does not mean that modality-based differences between signed and spoken languages are trivial. In this article, we consider several candidate domains for modality effects, in light of the overarching question: are signed and spoken languages subject to the same abstract grammatical constraints, or is a substantially different conception of grammar needed for the sign language case? We look at differences between language types based on the use of space, iconicity, and the possibility for simultaneity in linguistic expression. The inclusion of sign languages does support some broadening of the conception of human language—in ways that are applicable for spoken languages as well. Still, the overall conclusion is that one grammar applies for human language, no matter the modality of expression. PMID:25013534

  13. Brazilian Sign Language Lexicography and Technology: Dictionary, Digital Encyclopedia, Chereme-based Sign Retrieval, and Quadriplegic Deaf Communication Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Capovilla, Fernando C.; Duduchi, Marcelo; Raphael, Walkiria D.; Luz, Renato D.; Rozados, Daniela; Capovilla, Alessandra G. S.; Macedo, Elizeu C.

    2003-01-01

    Discusses the Brazilian Sign language digital encyclopedia, which contains a databank of 5,600 signs glossed in Portuguese and English, along with descriptions and illustrations of their signed form. (Author/VWL)

  14. Ideologies and Attitudes toward Sign Languages: An Approximation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krausneker, Verena

    2015-01-01

    Attitudes are complex and little research in the field of linguistics has focused on language attitudes. This article deals with attitudes toward sign languages and those who use them--attitudes that are influenced by ideological constructions. The article reviews five categories of such constructions and discusses examples in each one.

  15. On Selected Morphemes in Saudi Arabian Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morris, Carla; Schneider, Erin

    2012-01-01

    Following a year of study of Saudi Arabian Sign Language (SASL), we are documenting our findings to provide a grammatical sketch of the language. This paper represents one part of that endeavor and focuses on a description of selected morphemes, both manual and non-manual, that have appeared in the course of data collection. While some of the…

  16. Sign Language Planning in the Netherlands between 1980 and 2010

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schermer, Trude

    2012-01-01

    This article discusses several aspects of language planning with respect to Sign Language of the Netherlands, or Nederlandse Gebarentaal (NGT). For nearly thirty years members of the Deaf community, the Dutch Deaf Council (Dovenschap) have been working together with researchers, several organizations in deaf education, and the organization of…

  17. Hierarchically Structured Non-Intrusive Sign Language Recognition. Chapter 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zieren, Jorg; Zieren, Jorg; Kraiss, Karl-Friedrich

    2007-01-01

    This work presents a hierarchically structured approach at the nonintrusive recognition of sign language from a monocular frontal view. Robustness is achieved through sophisticated localization and tracking methods, including a combined EM/CAMSHIFT overlap resolution procedure and the parallel pursuit of multiple hypotheses about hands position and movement. This allows handling of ambiguities and automatically corrects tracking errors. A biomechanical skeleton model and dynamic motion prediction using Kalman filters represents high level knowledge. Classification is performed by Hidden Markov Models. 152 signs from German sign language were recognized with an accuracy of 97.6%.

  18. ASL-LEX: A lexical database of American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Caselli, Naomi K; Sehyr, Zed Sevcikova; Cohen-Goldberg, Ariel M; Emmorey, Karen

    2016-05-18

    ASL-LEX is a lexical database that catalogues information about nearly 1,000 signs in American Sign Language (ASL). It includes the following information: subjective frequency ratings from 25-31 deaf signers, iconicity ratings from 21-37 hearing non-signers, videoclip duration, sign length (onset and offset), grammatical class, and whether the sign is initialized, a fingerspelled loan sign, or a compound. Information about English translations is available for a subset of signs (e.g., alternate translations, translation consistency). In addition, phonological properties (sign type, selected fingers, flexion, major and minor location, and movement) were coded and used to generate sub-lexical frequency and neighborhood density estimates. ASL-LEX is intended for use by researchers, educators, and students who are interested in the properties of the ASL lexicon. An interactive website where the database can be browsed and downloaded is available at http://asl-lex.org .

  19. Information status and word order in Croatian Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Milkovic, Marina; Bradaric-Joncic, Sandra; Wilbur, Ronnie B

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents the results of research on information structure and word order in narrative sentences taken from signed short stories in Croatian Sign Language (HZJ). The basic word order in HZJ is SVO. Factors that result in other word orders include: reversible arguments, verb categories, locative constructions, contrastive focus, and prior context. Word order in context depends on communication rules, based on the relationship between old (theme) and new (rheme) information, which is predicated of the theme. In accordance with Grice's Maxim of Quantity, HZJ has a tendency to omit old information, or to reduce it to pronominal status. If old information is overtly signed in non-pronominal form, it precedes the rheme. We have observed a variety of sign language mechanisms that are used to show items of reduced contextual significance: use of assigned spatial location for previously introduced referents; eyegaze to indicate spatial location of previously introduced referents; use of the non-dominant hand for backgrounded information; use of a special category of signs known as classifiers as pronominal indicators of previously introduced referents; and complex noun phrases that allow a single occurrence of a noun to simultaneously serve multiple functions. These devices permit information to be conveyed without the need for separate signs for every referent, which would create longer constructions that could be taxing to both production and perception. The results of this research are compatible with well-known word order generalizations - HZJ has its own grammar, independent of spoken language, like any other sign language.

  20. African American Preschoolers' Language, Emergent Literacy Skills, and Use of African American English: A Complex Relation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Connor, Carol McDonald; Craig, Holly K.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: This study examined the relation between African American preschoolers' use of African American English (AAE) and their language and emergent literacy skills in an effort to better understand the perplexing and persistent difficulties many African American children experience learning to read proficiently. Method: African American…

  1. The Field of African Languages in the New Millennium.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moshi, Lioba

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the field of African languages as it enters the 21st century, focusing on its field base, the Language Learning Framework, and strategies planning. Suggests that the present as well as the future of African language instruction in the United States is very strong. (Author/VWL)

  2. Recognition of Indian Sign Language in Live Video

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singha, Joyeeta; Das, Karen

    2013-05-01

    Sign Language Recognition has emerged as one of the important area of research in Computer Vision. The difficulty faced by the researchers is that the instances of signs vary with both motion and appearance. Thus, in this paper a novel approach for recognizing various alphabets of Indian Sign Language is proposed where continuous video sequences of the signs have been considered. The proposed system comprises of three stages: Preprocessing stage, Feature Extraction and Classification. Preprocessing stage includes skin filtering, histogram matching. Eigen values and Eigen Vectors were considered for feature extraction stage and finally Eigen value weighted Euclidean distance is used to recognize the sign. It deals with bare hands, thus allowing the user to interact with the system in natural way. We have considered 24 different alphabets in the video sequences and attained a success rate of 96.25%.

  3. The Assessment and Achievement of Proficiency in a Native Sign Language within a Sign Bilingual Program: The Pilot Auslan Receptive Skills Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Trevor

    2004-01-01

    The assessment of sign language proficiency is essential for evaluating the outcomes of sign bilingual education. This paper reports an attempt to assess the sign language proficiency of children in a self-described sign bilingual program in Sydney by adapting a British Sign Language (BSL) test to Australian Sign Language (Auslan). The test…

  4. Rating the Vitality of Sign Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bickford, J. Albert; Lewis, M. Paul; Simons, Gary F.

    2015-01-01

    The Expanded Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (EGIDS), developed by Lewis and Simons and based on work by Fishman, provides a means of rating "language vitality"--the level of development or endangerment--where "development" is understood as adding or preserving functions and "endangerment" as loss of…

  5. Neural Basis of Action Understanding: Evidence from Sign Language Aphasia

    PubMed Central

    Rogalsky, Corianne; Raphel, Kristin; Tomkovicz, Vivian; O'Grady, Lucinda; Damasio, Hanna; Bellugi, Ursula; Hickok, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    Background The neural basis of action understanding is a hotly debated issue. The mirror neuron account holds that motor simulation in fronto-parietal circuits is critical to action understanding including speech comprehension, while others emphasize the ventral stream in the temporal lobe. Evidence from speech strongly supports the ventral stream account, but on the other hand, evidence from manual gesture comprehension (e.g., in limb apraxia) has led to contradictory findings. Aims Here we present a lesion analysis of sign language comprehension. Sign language is an excellent model for studying mirror system function in that it bridges the gap between the visual-manual system in which mirror neurons are best characterized and language systems which have represented a theoretical target of mirror neuron research. Methods & Procedures Twenty-one life long deaf signers with focal cortical lesions performed two tasks: one involving the comprehension of individual signs and the other involving comprehension of signed sentences (commands). Participants' lesions, as indicated on MRI or CT scans, were mapped onto a template brain to explore the relationship between lesion location and sign comprehension measures. Outcomes & Results Single sign comprehension was not significantly affected by left hemisphere damage. Sentence sign comprehension impairments were associated with left temporal-parietal damage. We found that damage to mirror system related regions in the left frontal lobe were not associated with deficits on either of these comprehension tasks. Conclusions We conclude that the mirror system is not critically involved in action understanding. PMID:24031116

  6. The history of sign language and deaf education in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Kemaloğlu, Yusuf Kemal; Kemaloğlu, Pınar Yaprak

    2012-01-01

    Sign language is the natural language of the prelingually deaf people particularly without hearing-speech rehabilitation. Otorhinolaryngologists, regarding health as complete physical, mental and psychosocial well-being, aim hearing by diagnosing deafness as deviance from normality. However, it's obvious that the perception conflicted with the behavior which does not meet the mental and social well-being of the individual also contradicts with the definition mentioned above. This article aims to investigate the effects of hearing-speech target ignoring the sign language in Turkish population and its consistency with the history through statistical data, scientific publications and historical documents and to support critical perspective on this issue. The study results showed that maximum 50% of the deaf benefited from hearing-speech program for last 60 years before hearing screening programs; however, systems including sign language in education were not generated. In the light of these data, it is clear that the approach ignoring sign language particularly before the development of screening programs is not reasonable. In addition, considering sign language being part of the Anatolian history from Hittites to Ottomans, it is a question to be answered that why evaluation, habilitation and education systems excluding sign language are still the only choice for deaf individuals in Turkey. Despite legislative amendments in the last 6-7 years, the primary cause of failure to come into force is probably because of inadequate conception of the issue content and importance, as well as limited effort to offer solutions by academicians and authorized politicians. Within this context, this paper aims to make a positive effect on this issue offering a review for the medical staff, particularly otorhinolaryngologists and audiologists.

  7. On the temporal dynamics of sign production: An ERP study in Catalan Sign Language (LSC).

    PubMed

    Baus, Cristina; Costa, Albert

    2015-06-03

    This study investigates the temporal dynamics of sign production and how particular aspects of the signed modality influence the early stages of lexical access. To that end, we explored the electrophysiological correlates associated to sign frequency and iconicity in a picture signing task in a group of bimodal bilinguals. Moreover, a subset of the same participants was tested in the same task but naming the pictures instead. Our results revealed that both frequency and iconicity influenced lexical access in sign production. At the ERP level, iconicity effects originated very early in the course of signing (while absent in the spoken modality), suggesting a stronger activation of the semantic properties for iconic signs. Moreover, frequency effects were modulated by iconicity, suggesting that lexical access in signed language is determined by the iconic properties of the signs. These results support the idea that lexical access is sensitive to the same phenomena in word and sign production, but its time-course is modulated by particular aspects of the modality in which a lexical item will be finally articulated.

  8. Training Literacy Skills through Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rudner, Mary; Andin, Josefine; Rönnberg, Jerker; Heimann, Mikael; Hermansson, Anders; Nelson, Keith; Tjus, Tomas

    2015-01-01

    The literacy skills of deaf children generally lag behind those of their hearing peers. The mechanisms of reading in deaf individuals are only just beginning to be unraveled but it seems that native language skills play an important role. In this study 12 deaf pupils (six in grades 1-2 and six in grades 4-6) at a Swedish state primary school for…

  9. American Sign Language Comprehension Test: A Tool for Sign Language Researchers.

    PubMed

    Hauser, Peter C; Paludneviciene, Raylene; Riddle, Wanda; Kurz, Kim B; Emmorey, Karen; Contreras, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    The American Sign Language Comprehension Test (ASL-CT) is a 30-item multiple-choice test that measures ASL receptive skills and is administered through a website. This article describes the development and psychometric properties of the test based on a sample of 80 college students including deaf native signers, hearing native signers, deaf non-native signers, and hearing ASL students. The results revealed that the ASL-CT has good internal reliability (α = 0.834). Discriminant validity was established by demonstrating that deaf native signers performed significantly better than deaf non-native signers and hearing native signers. Concurrent validity was established by demonstrating that test results positively correlated with another measure of ASL ability (r = .715) and that hearing ASL students' performance positively correlated with the level of ASL courses they were taking (r = .726). Researchers can use the ASL-CT to characterize an individual's ASL comprehension skills, to establish a minimal skill level as an inclusion criterion for a study, to group study participants by ASL skill (e.g., proficient vs. nonproficient), or to provide a measure of ASL skill as a dependent variable.

  10. Deaf-And-Mute Sign Language Generation System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawai, Hideo; Tamura, Shinichi

    1984-08-01

    We have developed a system which can recognize speech and generate the corresponding animation-like sign language sequence. The system is implemented in a popular personal computer. This has three video-RAM's and a voice recognition board which can recognize only registered voice of a specific speaker. Presently, fourty sign language patterns and fifty finger spellings are stored in two floppy disks. Each sign pattern is composed of one to four sub-patterns. That is, if the pattern is composed of one sub-pattern, it is displayed as a still pattern. If not, it is displayed as a motion pattern. This system will help communications between deaf-and-mute persons and healthy persons. In order to display in high speed, almost programs are written in a machine language.

  11. Telesign: a videophone system for sign language distant communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mozelle, Gerard; Preteux, Francoise J.; Viallet, Jean-Emmanuel

    1998-09-01

    This paper presents a low bit rate videophone system for deaf people communicating by means of sign language. Classic video conferencing systems have focused on head and shoulders sequences which are not well-suited for sign language video transmission since hearing impaired people also use their hands and arms to communicate. To address the above-mentioned functionality, we have developed a two-step content-based video coding system based on: (1) A segmentation step. Four or five video objects (VO) are extracted using a cooperative approach between color-based and morphological segmentation. (2) VO coding are achieved by using a standardized MPEG-4 video toolbox. Results of encoded sign language video sequences, presented for three target bit rates (32 kbits/s, 48 kbits/s and 64 kbits/s), demonstrate the efficiency of the approach presented in this paper.

  12. Deficits in Narrative Abilities in Child British Sign Language Users with Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herman, Ros; Rowley, Katherine; Mason, Kathryn; Morgan, Gary

    2014-01-01

    This study details the first ever investigation of narrative skills in a group of 17 deaf signing children who have been diagnosed with disorders in their British Sign Language development compared with a control group of 17 deaf child signers matched for age, gender, education, quantity, and quality of language exposure and non-verbal…

  13. The Multimedia Dictionary of American Sign Language: Learning Lessons About Language, Technology, and Business.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilcox, Sherman

    2003-01-01

    Reports on the the Multimedia Dictionary of American Sign language, which was was conceived in he late 1980s as a melding of the pioneering work in American Sign language lexicography that had been carried out decades earlier and the newly emerging computer technologies that were integrating use of graphical user-interface designs, rapidly…

  14. Pointing and Reference in Sign Language and Spoken Language: Anchoring vs. Identifying

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barberà, Gemma; Zwets, Martine

    2013-01-01

    In both signed and spoken languages, pointing serves to direct an addressee's attention to a particular entity. This entity may be either present or absent in the physical context of the conversation. In this article we focus on pointing directed to nonspeaker/nonaddressee referents in Sign Language of the Netherlands (Nederlandse Gebarentaal,…

  15. Facilitating Exposure to Sign Languages of the World: The Case for Mobile Assisted Language Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parton, Becky Sue

    2014-01-01

    Foreign sign language instruction is an important, but overlooked area of study. Thus the purpose of this paper was two-fold. First, the researcher sought to determine the level of knowledge and interest in foreign sign language among Deaf teenagers along with their learning preferences. Results from a survey indicated that over a third of the…

  16. Imitation, Sign Language Skill and the Developmental Ease of Language Understanding (D-ELU) Model

    PubMed Central

    Holmer, Emil; Heimann, Mikael; Rudner, Mary

    2016-01-01

    Imitation and language processing are closely connected. According to the Ease of Language Understanding (ELU) model (Rönnberg et al., 2013) pre-existing mental representation of lexical items facilitates language understanding. Thus, imitation of manual gestures is likely to be enhanced by experience of sign language. We tested this by eliciting imitation of manual gestures from deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) signing and hearing non-signing children at a similar level of language and cognitive development. We predicted that the DHH signing children would be better at imitating gestures lexicalized in their own sign language (Swedish Sign Language, SSL) than unfamiliar British Sign Language (BSL) signs, and that both groups would be better at imitating lexical signs (SSL and BSL) than non-signs. We also predicted that the hearing non-signing children would perform worse than DHH signing children with all types of gestures the first time (T1) we elicited imitation, but that the performance gap between groups would be reduced when imitation was elicited a second time (T2). Finally, we predicted that imitation performance on both occasions would be associated with linguistic skills, especially in the manual modality. A split-plot repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated that DHH signers imitated manual gestures with greater precision than non-signing children when imitation was elicited the second but not the first time. Manual gestures were easier to imitate for both groups when they were lexicalized than when they were not; but there was no difference in performance between familiar and unfamiliar gestures. For both groups, language skills at T1 predicted imitation at T2. Specifically, for DHH children, word reading skills, comprehension and phonological awareness of sign language predicted imitation at T2. For the hearing participants, language comprehension predicted imitation at T2, even after the effects of working memory capacity and motor skills were taken into

  17. Imitation, Sign Language Skill and the Developmental Ease of Language Understanding (D-ELU) Model.

    PubMed

    Holmer, Emil; Heimann, Mikael; Rudner, Mary

    2016-01-01

    Imitation and language processing are closely connected. According to the Ease of Language Understanding (ELU) model (Rönnberg et al., 2013) pre-existing mental representation of lexical items facilitates language understanding. Thus, imitation of manual gestures is likely to be enhanced by experience of sign language. We tested this by eliciting imitation of manual gestures from deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) signing and hearing non-signing children at a similar level of language and cognitive development. We predicted that the DHH signing children would be better at imitating gestures lexicalized in their own sign language (Swedish Sign Language, SSL) than unfamiliar British Sign Language (BSL) signs, and that both groups would be better at imitating lexical signs (SSL and BSL) than non-signs. We also predicted that the hearing non-signing children would perform worse than DHH signing children with all types of gestures the first time (T1) we elicited imitation, but that the performance gap between groups would be reduced when imitation was elicited a second time (T2). Finally, we predicted that imitation performance on both occasions would be associated with linguistic skills, especially in the manual modality. A split-plot repeated measures ANOVA demonstrated that DHH signers imitated manual gestures with greater precision than non-signing children when imitation was elicited the second but not the first time. Manual gestures were easier to imitate for both groups when they were lexicalized than when they were not; but there was no difference in performance between familiar and unfamiliar gestures. For both groups, language skills at T1 predicted imitation at T2. Specifically, for DHH children, word reading skills, comprehension and phonological awareness of sign language predicted imitation at T2. For the hearing participants, language comprehension predicted imitation at T2, even after the effects of working memory capacity and motor skills were taken into

  18. From gesture to sign language: conventionalization of classifier constructions by adult hearing learners of British Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Marshall, Chloë R; Morgan, Gary

    2015-01-01

    There has long been interest in why languages are shaped the way they are, and in the relationship between sign language and gesture. In sign languages, entity classifiers are handshapes that encode how objects move, how they are located relative to one another, and how multiple objects of the same type are distributed in space. Previous studies have shown that hearing adults who are asked to use only manual gestures to describe how objects move in space will use gestures that bear some similarities to classifiers. We investigated how accurately hearing adults, who had been learning British Sign Language (BSL) for 1-3 years, produce and comprehend classifiers in (static) locative and distributive constructions. In a production task, learners of BSL knew that they could use their hands to represent objects, but they had difficulty choosing the same, conventionalized, handshapes as native signers. They were, however, highly accurate at encoding location and orientation information. Learners therefore show the same pattern found in sign-naïve gesturers. In contrast, handshape, orientation, and location were comprehended with equal (high) accuracy, and testing a group of sign-naïve adults showed that they too were able to understand classifiers with higher than chance accuracy. We conclude that adult learners of BSL bring their visuo-spatial knowledge and gestural abilities to the tasks of understanding and producing constructions that contain entity classifiers. We speculate that investigating the time course of adult sign language acquisition might shed light on how gesture became (and, indeed, becomes) conventionalized during the genesis of sign languages.

  19. Identifying Overlapping Language Communities: The Case of Chiriquí and Panamanian Signed Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parks, Elizabeth S.

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, I use a holographic metaphor to explain the identification of overlapping sign language communities in Panama. By visualizing Panama's complex signing communities as emitting community "hotspots" through social drama on multiple stages, I employ ethnographic methods to explore overlapping contours of Panama's sign language…

  20. Lexical and sentential processing in British Sign Language.

    PubMed

    MacSweeney, Mairéad; Campbell, Ruth; Woll, Bencie; Brammer, Michael J; Giampietro, Vincent; David, Anthony S; Calvert, Gemma A; McGuire, Philip K

    2006-01-01

    Studies of spoken and written language suggest that the perception of sentences engages the left anterior and posterior temporal cortex and the left inferior frontal gyrus to a greater extent than non-sententially structured material, such as word lists. This study sought to determine whether the same is true when the language is gestural and perceived visually. Regional neural activity was measured using functional MRI while Deaf and hearing native signers of British Sign Language (BSL) detected semantic anomalies in well-formed BSL sentences and when they detected nonsense signs in lists of unconnected BSL signs. Processing BSL sentences, when contrasted with signed lists, was reliably associated with greater activation in the posterior portions of the left middle and superior temporal gyri and in the left inferior frontal cortex, but not in the anterior temporal cortex, which was activated to a similar extent whether lists or sentences were processed. Further support for the specificity of these areas for processing the linguistic-rather than visuospatial-features of signed sentences came from a contrast of hearing native signers and hearing sign-naïve participants. Hearing signers recruited the left posterior temporal and inferior frontal regions during BSL sentence processing to a greater extent than hearing non-signers. These data suggest that these left perisylvian regions are differentially associated with sentence processing, whatever the modality of the linguistic input.

  1. Comparing Action Gestures and Classifier Verbs of Motion: Evidence from Australian Sign Language, Taiwan Sign Language, and Nonsigners' Gestures without Speech

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schembri, Adam; Jones, Caroline; Burnham, Denis

    2005-01-01

    Recent research into signed languages indicates that signs may share some properties with gesture, especially in the use of space in classifier constructions. A prediction of this proposal is that there will be similarities in the representation of motion events by sign-naive gesturers and by native signers of unrelated signed languages. This…

  2. Motivational and attitudinal orientations in learning American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Lang, H; Foster, S; Gustina, D; Mowl, G; Liu, Y

    1996-01-01

    Integrative motivation was found to correlate significantly with sign language proficiency of adult learners at a post-secondary program for deaf students. Instrumental motives, however, were perceived as less important. Higher achievement in ASL was also associated with a positive cultural attitude toward deaf people. Learning of ASL as a second language may be enhanced if instructors design strategies that build upon these cultural and integrative motives and provide rewarding experiences to adult learners.

  3. The African Storybook and Language Teacher Identity in Digital Times

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stranger--Johannessen, Espen; Norton, Bonny

    2017-01-01

    The African Storybook (ASb) is a digital initiative that promotes multilingual literacy for African children by providing openly licenced children's stories in multiple African languages, as well as English, French, and Portuguese. Based on Darvin and Norton's (2015) model of identity and investment, and drawing on the Douglas Fir Group's (2016)…

  4. A Lexical Comparison of Signs from Icelandic and Danish Sign Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aldersson, Russell R.; McEntee-Atalianis, Lisa J.

    2008-01-01

    This article reports on a comparison of lexical items in the vocabulary of Icelandic and Danish sign languages prompted by anecdotal reports of similarity and historical records detailing close contact between the two communities. Drawing on previous studies, including Bickford (2005), McKee and Kennedy (1998, 2000a, 2000b) and Parkhurst and…

  5. African Language Books for Children: Issues for Authors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Viv; Ngwaru, Jacob Marriote

    2012-01-01

    Growing interest in bilingual education in sub-Saharan Africa has highlighted an urgent need for reading material in African languages. In this paper, we focus on authors, one of several groups of stakeholders with responsibility for meeting this demand. We address three main issues: the nature and extent of African language publishing for…

  6. Impacts of Visual Sonority and Handshape Markedness on Second Language Learning of American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Williams, Joshua T; Newman, Sharlene D

    2016-04-01

    The roles of visual sonority and handshape markedness in sign language acquisition and production were investigated. In Experiment 1, learners were taught sign-nonobject correspondences that varied in sign movement sonority and handshape markedness. Results from a sign-picture matching task revealed that high sonority signs were more accurately matched, especially when the sign contained a marked handshape. In Experiment 2, learners produced these familiar signs in addition to novel signs, which differed based on sonority and markedness. Results from a key-release reaction time reproduction task showed that learners tended to produce high sonority signs much more quickly than low sonority signs, especially when the sign contained an unmarked handshape. This effect was only present in familiar signs. Sign production accuracy rates revealed that high sonority signs were more accurate than low sonority signs. Similarly, signs with unmarked handshapes were produced more accurately than those with marked handshapes. Together, results from Experiments 1 and 2 suggested that signs that contain high sonority movements are more easily processed, both perceptually and productively, and handshape markedness plays a differential role in perception and production.

  7. Languages Are More than Words: Spanish and American Sign Language in Early Childhood Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherman, Judy; Torres-Crespo, Marisel N.

    2015-01-01

    Capitalizing on preschoolers' inherent enthusiasm and capacity for learning, the authors developed and implemented a dual-language program to enable young children to experience diversity and multiculturalism by learning two new languages: Spanish and American Sign Language. Details of the curriculum, findings, and strategies are shared.

  8. Identifying Specific Language Impairment in Deaf Children Acquiring British Sign Language: Implications for Theory and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, Kathryn; Rowley, Katherine; Marshall, Chloe R.; Atkinson, Joanna R.; Herman, Rosalind; Woll, Bencie; Morgan, Gary

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents the first ever group study of specific language impairment (SLI) in users of sign language. A group of 50 children were referred to the study by teachers and speech and language therapists. Individuals who fitted pre-determined criteria for SLI were then systematically assessed. Here, we describe in detail the performance of 13…

  9. The Onset and Mastery of Spatial Language in Children Acquiring British Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morgan, Gary; Herman, Rosalind; Barriere, Isabelle; Woll, Bencie

    2008-01-01

    In the course of language development children must solve arbitrary form-to-meaning mappings, in which semantic components are encoded onto linguistic labels. Because sign languages describe motion and location of entities through iconic movements and placement of the hands in space, child signers may find spatial semantics-to-language mapping…

  10. A Prototype Greek Text to Greek Sign Language Conversion System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kouremenos, Dimitris; Fotinea, Stavroula-Evita; Efthimiou, Eleni; Ntalianis, Klimis

    2010-01-01

    In this article, a prototype Greek text to Greek Sign Language (GSL) conversion system is presented. The system is integrated into an educational platform that addresses the needs of teaching GSL grammar and was developed within the SYNENNOESE project (Efthimiou "et al." 2004a. Developing an e-learning platform for the Greek sign…

  11. Access to Sign Language Interpreters in the Criminal Justice System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Katrina R.

    2001-01-01

    This study surveyed 46 professional sign language interpreters working in criminal justice settings and evaluated 22 cases to evaluate access issues for individuals with hearing impairments. Recommendations to increase the accessibility of interpreting services included providing ongoing awareness training to criminal justice personnel and…

  12. Deaf People as British Sign Language Teachers: Experiences and Aspirations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atherton, Martin; Barnes, Lynne

    2012-01-01

    Little research has been undertaken into the profession of British Sign Language (BSL) teaching, despite a huge increase in the number of BSL classes offered over the past twenty years. Following the introduction of Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills standards in 2007, BSL teachers working in "further education" (FE) colleges were…

  13. Hand/Wrist Disorders among Sign Language Communicators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Susan M.; Kress, Tyler A.; Hart, William M.

    2000-01-01

    A study assessed the frequency of self-reported hand/wrist problems among 184 sign-language communicators. Fifty-nine percent reported experiencing hand/wrist problems, 26 percent reported experiencing hand/wrist problems severe enough to limit their ability to work, and 18 percent reported a medical diagnosis of wrist tendinitis, carpal tunnel…

  14. A Functional Description of SELF in American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilkinson, Erin

    2013-01-01

    Past studies have identified the function of SELF as a canonical reflexive pronoun in American Sign Language (ASL). This study examines the use of SELF with fifteen hours of naturalistic ASL discourse framed by the cognitive-functionalist approach. The analysis reveals that the category of SELF is expressed in three phonological forms and exhibits…

  15. Interactive Printouts Integrating Multilingual Multimedia and Sign Language Electronic Resources

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kanev, Kamen; Barneva, Reneta P.; Brimkov, Valentin E.; Kaneva, Dimitrina

    2010-01-01

    In this article we outline our previous implementations of multilingual multimedia dictionaries and discuss possibilities for adding new functionalities and expanding their coverage. Independently developed sign language dictionary resources are further explored and considered for inclusion in an integrated multilingual multimedia dictionary with…

  16. The Relationship between Kenyan Sign Language and English Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aura, Lillie Josephine; Venville, Grady; Marais, Ida

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents results of an investigation into the relationship between Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) and English literacy skills. It is derived from research undertaken towards an MEd degree awarded by The University of Western Australia in 2011. The study employed a correlational survey strategy. Sixty upper primary deaf students from four…

  17. Sign Language of the Netherlands (SLN) and Deaf Culture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van den Bogaerde, Beppie; Stuifzand, Marjan

    2003-01-01

    Describes a new professional training program for teachers and interpreters in Sign Language of the Netherlands. Includes courses in Deaf culture linked to practical assignments that encourage students to go forth into the Deaf community and link the theoretical knowledge taught in the classes with their own experiences among the Deaf. (Contains…

  18. Sign Language Culture as Part of Multiculturalism in Hungary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sarolta, Simigne Fenyo

    2011-01-01

    The objective of the present study is to investigate sign language culture as part of multiculturalism in Hungary. The study consists of two parts. Referring to the 13 national and linguistic minorities living in the territory of Hungary, the first part gives a short account of the narrower interpretation of multiculturalism according to which it…

  19. Ideological Barriers to American Sign Language: Unpacking Linguistic Resistance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reagan, Timothy

    2011-01-01

    This article addresses the debate about the status of American Sign Language (ASL) as an example of ideological beliefs that impact linguistic judgments and policies. It also discusses the major challenges to the status of ASL with respect to formal legislative recognition, its utility as a medium of instruction, and its status as a legitimate…

  20. On Selected Phonological Patterns in Saudi Arabian Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomita, Nozomi; Kozak, Viola

    2012-01-01

    This paper focuses on two selected phonological patterns that appear unique to Saudi Arabian Sign Language (SASL). For both sections of this paper, the overall methodology is the same as that discussed in Stephen and Mathur (this volume), with some additional modifications tailored to the specific studies discussed here, which will be expanded…

  1. A human mirror neuron system for language: Perspectives from signed languages of the deaf.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Heather Patterson; Corina, David P

    2010-01-01

    Language is proposed to have developed atop the human analog of the macaque mirror neuron system for action perception and production [Arbib M.A. 2005. From monkey-like action recognition to human language: An evolutionary framework for neurolinguistics (with commentaries and author's response). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 105-167; Arbib M.A. (2008). From grasp to language: Embodied concepts and the challenge of abstraction. Journal de Physiologie Paris 102, 4-20]. Signed languages of the deaf are fully-expressive, natural human languages that are perceived visually and produced manually. We suggest that if a unitary mirror neuron system mediates the observation and production of both language and non-linguistic action, three prediction can be made: (1) damage to the human mirror neuron system should non-selectively disrupt both sign language and non-linguistic action processing; (2) within the domain of sign language, a given mirror neuron locus should mediate both perception and production; and (3) the action-based tuning curves of individual mirror neurons should support the highly circumscribed set of motions that form the "vocabulary of action" for signed languages. In this review we evaluate data from the sign language and mirror neuron literatures and find that these predictions are only partially upheld.

  2. Phonological Development in Hearing Learners of a Sign Language: The Influence of Phonological Parameters, Sign Complexity, and Iconicity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ortega, Gerardo; Morgan, Gary

    2015-01-01

    The present study implemented a sign-repetition task at two points in time to hearing adult learners of British Sign Language and explored how each phonological parameter, sign complexity, and iconicity affected sign production over an 11-week (22-hour) instructional period. The results show that training improves articulation accuracy and that…

  3. Which Sign Language System Should Be Used with Young Deaf Children?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greenwood-Logsdon, Marsha

    This paper examines the evolution of sign language's role in education, beginning with the debate over sign language versus oral communication, followed by the debate over American Sign Language (ASL) versus other sign systems. The paper points out that this debate process is hindering the educational experience for thousands of deaf children and…

  4. Social construction of American sign language--English interpreters.

    PubMed

    McDermid, Campbell

    2009-01-01

    Instructors in 5 American Sign Language--English Interpreter Programs and 4 Deaf Studies Programs in Canada were interviewed and asked to discuss their experiences as educators. Within a qualitative research paradigm, their comments were grouped into a number of categories tied to the social construction of American Sign Language--English interpreters, such as learners' age and education and the characteristics of good citizens within the Deaf community. According to the participants, younger students were adept at language acquisition, whereas older learners more readily understood the purpose of lessons. Children of deaf adults were seen as more culturally aware. The participants' beliefs echoed the theories of P. Freire (1970/1970) that educators consider the reality of each student and their praxis and were responsible for facilitating student self-awareness. Important characteristics in the social construction of students included independence, an appropriate attitude, an understanding of Deaf culture, ethical behavior, community involvement, and a willingness to pursue lifelong learning.

  5. Mapping language to the world: the role of iconicity in the sign language input.

    PubMed

    Perniss, Pamela; Lu, Jenny C; Morgan, Gary; Vigliocco, Gabriella

    2017-03-12

    Most research on the mechanisms underlying referential mapping has assumed that learning occurs in ostensive contexts, where label and referent co-occur, and that form and meaning are linked by arbitrary convention alone. In the present study, we focus on iconicity in language, that is, resemblance relationships between form and meaning, and on non-ostensive contexts, where label and referent do not co-occur. We approach the question of language learning from the perspective of the language input. Specifically, we look at child-directed language (CDL) in British Sign Language (BSL), a language rich in iconicity due to the affordances of the visual modality. We ask whether child-directed signing exploits iconicity in the language by highlighting the similarity mapping between form and referent. We find that CDL modifications occur more often with iconic signs than with non-iconic signs. Crucially, for iconic signs, modifications are more frequent in non-ostensive contexts than in ostensive contexts. Furthermore, we find that pointing dominates in ostensive contexts, and suggest that caregivers adjust the semiotic resources recruited in CDL to context. These findings offer first evidence for a role of iconicity in the language input and suggest that iconicity may be involved in referential mapping and language learning, particularly in non-ostensive contexts.

  6. Development of Geography and Geology Terminology in British Sign Language

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meara, Rhian; Cameron, Audrey; Quinn, Gary; O'Neill, Rachel

    2016-04-01

    The BSL Glossary Project, run by the Scottish Sensory Centre at the University of Edinburgh focuses on developing scientific terminology in British Sign Language for use in the primary, secondary and tertiary education of deaf and hard of hearing students within the UK. Thus far, the project has developed 850 new signs and definitions covering Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Astronomy and Mathematics. The project has also translated examinations into BSL for students across Scotland. The current phase of the project has focused on developing terminology for Geography and Geology subjects. More than 189 new signs have been developed in these subjects including weather, rivers, maps, natural hazards and Geographical Information Systems. The signs were developed by a focus group with expertise in Geography and Geology, Chemistry, Ecology, BSL Linguistics and Deaf Education all of whom are deaf fluent BSL users.

  7. Effects of Iconicity and Semantic Relatedness on Lexical Access in American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bosworth, Rain G.; Emmorey, Karen

    2010-01-01

    Iconicity is a property that pervades the lexicon of many sign languages, including American Sign Language (ASL). Iconic signs exhibit a motivated, nonarbitrary mapping between the form of the sign and its meaning. We investigated whether iconicity enhances semantic priming effects for ASL and whether iconic signs are recognized more quickly than…

  8. Deficits in narrative abilities in child British Sign Language users with specific language impairment.

    PubMed

    Herman, Ros; Rowley, Katherine; Mason, Kathryn; Morgan, Gary

    2014-01-01

    This study details the first ever investigation of narrative skills in a group of 17 deaf signing children who have been diagnosed with disorders in their British Sign Language development compared with a control group of 17 deaf child signers matched for age, gender, education, quantity, and quality of language exposure and non-verbal intelligence. Children were asked to generate a narrative based on events in a language free video. Narratives were analysed for global structure, information content and local level grammatical devices, especially verb morphology. The language-impaired group produced shorter, less structured and grammatically simpler narratives than controls, with verb morphology particularly impaired. Despite major differences in how sign and spoken languages are articulated, narrative is shown to be a reliable marker of language impairment across the modality boundaries.

  9. Event segmentation in a visual language: neural bases of processing American Sign Language predicates.

    PubMed

    Malaia, Evie; Ranaweera, Ruwan; Wilbur, Ronnie B; Talavage, Thomas M

    2012-02-15

    Motion capture studies show that American Sign Language (ASL) signers distinguish end-points in telic verb signs by means of marked hand articulator motion, which rapidly decelerates to a stop at the end of these signs, as compared to atelic signs (Malaia and Wilbur, in press). Non-signers also show sensitivity to velocity in deceleration cues for event segmentation in visual scenes (Zacks et al., 2010; Zacks et al., 2006), introducing the question of whether the neural regions used by ASL signers for sign language verb processing might be similar to those used by non-signers for event segmentation. The present study investigated the neural substrate of predicate perception and linguistic processing in ASL. Observed patterns of activation demonstrate that Deaf signers process telic verb signs as having higher phonological complexity as compared to atelic verb signs. These results, together with previous neuroimaging data on spoken and sign languages (Shetreet et al., 2010; Emmorey et al., 2009), illustrate a route for how a prominent perceptual-kinematic feature used for non-linguistic event segmentation might come to be processed as an abstract linguistic feature due to sign language exposure.

  10. Symbiotic symbolization by hand and mouth in sign language.

    PubMed

    Sandler, Wendy

    2009-04-01

    Current conceptions of human language include a gestural component in the communicative event. However, determining how the linguistic and gestural signals are distinguished, how each is structured, and how they interact still poses a challenge for the construction of a comprehensive model of language. This study attempts to advance our understanding of these issues with evidence from sign language. The study adopts McNeill's criteria for distinguishing gestures from the linguistically organized signal, and provides a brief description of the linguistic organization of sign languages. Focusing on the subcategory of iconic gestures, the paper shows that signers create iconic gestures with the mouth, an articulator that acts symbiotically with the hands to complement the linguistic description of objects and events. A new distinction between the mimetic replica and the iconic symbol accounts for the nature and distribution of iconic mouth gestures and distinguishes them from mimetic uses of the mouth. Symbiotic symbolization by hand and mouth is a salient feature of human language, regardless of whether the primary linguistic modality is oral or manual. Speakers gesture with their hands, and signers gesture with their mouths.

  11. Symbiotic symbolization by hand and mouth in sign language*

    PubMed Central

    Sandler, Wendy

    2010-01-01

    Current conceptions of human language include a gestural component in the communicative event. However, determining how the linguistic and gestural signals are distinguished, how each is structured, and how they interact still poses a challenge for the construction of a comprehensive model of language. This study attempts to advance our understanding of these issues with evidence from sign language. The study adopts McNeill’s criteria for distinguishing gestures from the linguistically organized signal, and provides a brief description of the linguistic organization of sign languages. Focusing on the subcategory of iconic gestures, the paper shows that signers create iconic gestures with the mouth, an articulator that acts symbiotically with the hands to complement the linguistic description of objects and events. A new distinction between the mimetic replica and the iconic symbol accounts for the nature and distribution of iconic mouth gestures and distinguishes them from mimetic uses of the mouth. Symbiotic symbolization by hand and mouth is a salient feature of human language, regardless of whether the primary linguistic modality is oral or manual. Speakers gesture with their hands, and signers gesture with their mouths. PMID:20445832

  12. Reading Methodologies for African Languages: Avoiding Linguistic and Pedagogical Imperialism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trudell, Barbara; Schroeder, Leila

    2007-01-01

    Learning to read and write is a psycholinguistic and social process. That is why mother-tongue speakers of minority African languages find learning to read in the language they speak is a qualitatively better learning experience than learning to read in a language they are unfamiliar with. However, reading methodologies used for teaching reading…

  13. Software Junctus: Joining Sign Language and Alphabetical Writing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valentini, Carla Beatris; Bisol, Cláudia A.; Dalla Santa, Cristiane

    The authors’ aim is to describe the workshops developed to test the use of an authorship program that allows the simultaneous use of sign language and alphabetical writing. The workshops were prepared and conducted by a Computer Science undergraduate, with the support of the Program of Students’ Integration and Mediation (Programa de Integração e Mediação do Acadêmico - PIMA) at the University of Caxias do Sul. Two sign language interpreters, two deaf students and one hearing student, who also teach at a special school for the deaf, participated in the workshops. The main characteristics of the software and the development of the workshops are presented with examples of educational projects created during their development. Possible improvements are also outlined.

  14. Iconicity as a General Property of Language: Evidence from Spoken and Signed Languages

    PubMed Central

    Perniss, Pamela; Thompson, Robin L.; Vigliocco, Gabriella

    2010-01-01

    Current views about language are dominated by the idea of arbitrary connections between linguistic form and meaning. However, if we look beyond the more familiar Indo-European languages and also include both spoken and signed language modalities, we find that motivated, iconic form-meaning mappings are, in fact, pervasive in language. In this paper, we review the different types of iconic mappings that characterize languages in both modalities, including the predominantly visually iconic mappings found in signed languages. Having shown that iconic mapping are present across languages, we then proceed to review evidence showing that language users (signers and speakers) exploit iconicity in language processing and language acquisition. While not discounting the presence and importance of arbitrariness in language, we put forward the idea that iconicity need also be recognized as a general property of language, which may serve the function of reducing the gap between linguistic form and conceptual representation to allow the language system to “hook up” to motor, perceptual, and affective experience. PMID:21833282

  15. Visual Recognition of American Sign Language Using Hidden Markov Models.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1995-02-01

    3.3 Previous Use of Hidden Markov Models in Gesture Recognition 19 3.4 Use of HMM’s for Recognizing Sign Language 20 4 Tracking and Modeling...Instead, computer systems may be employed to annotate certain features of sequences. A human gesture recognition system adds another dimension to...focus for many gesture recognition systems. Tracking the natural hand in real time using camera imagery is dif- ficult, but successful systems have

  16. Second Language Acquisition across Modalities: Production Variability in Adult L2 Learners of American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hilger, Allison I.; Loucks, Torrey M. J.; Quinto-Pozos, David; Dye, Matthew W. G.

    2015-01-01

    A study was conducted to examine production variability in American Sign Language (ASL) in order to gain insight into the development of motor control in a language produced in another modality. Production variability was characterized through the spatiotemporal index (STI), which represents production stability in whole utterances and is a…

  17. Language Justice for Sign Language Peoples: The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Batterbury, Sarah C. E.

    2012-01-01

    Sign Language Peoples (SLPs) across the world have developed their own languages and visuo-gestural-tactile cultures embodying their collective sense of Deafhood (Ladd 2003). Despite this, most nation-states treat their respective SLPs as disabled individuals, favoring disability benefits, cochlear implants, and mainstream education over language…

  18. Order of the major constituents in sign languages: implications for all language

    PubMed Central

    Napoli, Donna Jo; Sutton-Spence, Rachel

    2014-01-01

    A survey of reports of sign order from 42 sign languages leads to a handful of generalizations. Two accounts emerge, one amodal and the other modal. We argue that universal pressures are at work with respect to some generalizations, but that pressure from the visual modality is at work with respect to others. Together, these pressures conspire to make all sign languages order their major constituents SOV or SVO. This study leads us to the conclusion that the order of S with regard to verb phrase (VP) may be driven by sensorimotor system concerns that feed universal grammar. PMID:24860523

  19. Order of the major constituents in sign languages: implications for all language.

    PubMed

    Napoli, Donna Jo; Sutton-Spence, Rachel

    2014-01-01

    A survey of reports of sign order from 42 sign languages leads to a handful of generalizations. Two accounts emerge, one amodal and the other modal. We argue that universal pressures are at work with respect to some generalizations, but that pressure from the visual modality is at work with respect to others. Together, these pressures conspire to make all sign languages order their major constituents SOV or SVO. This study leads us to the conclusion that the order of S with regard to verb phrase (VP) may be driven by sensorimotor system concerns that feed universal grammar.

  20. Directionality effects in simultaneous language interpreting: the case of sign language interpreters in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Van Dijk, Rick; Boers, Eveline; Christoffels, Ingrid; Hermans, Daan

    2011-01-01

    The quality of interpretations produced by sign language interpreters was investigated. Twenty-five experienced interpreters were instructed to interpret narratives from (a) spoken Dutch to Sign Language of The Netherlands (SLN), (b) spoken Dutch to Sign Supported Dutch (SSD), and (c) SLN to spoken Dutch. The quality of the interpreted narratives was assessed by 5 certified sign language interpreters who did not participate in the study. Two measures were used to assess interpreting quality: the propositional accuracy of the interpreters' interpretations and a subjective quality measure. The results showed that the interpreted narratives in the SLN-to-Dutch interpreting direction were of lower quality (on both measures) than the interpreted narratives in the Dutch-to-SLN and Dutch-to-SSD directions. Furthermore, interpreters who had begun acquiring SLN when they entered the interpreter training program performed as well in all 3 interpreting directions as interpreters who had acquired SLN from birth.

  1. Monitoring Different Phonological Parameters of Sign Language Engages the Same Cortical Language Network but Distinctive Perceptual Ones.

    PubMed

    Cardin, Velia; Orfanidou, Eleni; Kästner, Lena; Rönnberg, Jerker; Woll, Bencie; Capek, Cheryl M; Rudner, Mary

    2016-01-01

    The study of signed languages allows the dissociation of sensorimotor and cognitive neural components of the language signal. Here we investigated the neurocognitive processes underlying the monitoring of two phonological parameters of sign languages: handshape and location. Our goal was to determine if brain regions processing sensorimotor characteristics of different phonological parameters of sign languages were also involved in phonological processing, with their activity being modulated by the linguistic content of manual actions. We conducted an fMRI experiment using manual actions varying in phonological structure and semantics: (1) signs of a familiar sign language (British Sign Language), (2) signs of an unfamiliar sign language (Swedish Sign Language), and (3) invented nonsigns that violate the phonological rules of British Sign Language and Swedish Sign Language or consist of nonoccurring combinations of phonological parameters. Three groups of participants were tested: deaf native signers, deaf nonsigners, and hearing nonsigners. Results show that the linguistic processing of different phonological parameters of sign language is independent of the sensorimotor characteristics of the language signal. Handshape and location were processed by different perceptual and task-related brain networks but recruited the same language areas. The semantic content of the stimuli did not influence this process, but phonological structure did, with nonsigns being associated with longer RTs and stronger activations in an action observation network in all participants and in the supramarginal gyrus exclusively in deaf signers. These results suggest higher processing demands for stimuli that contravene the phonological rules of a signed language, independently of previous knowledge of signed languages. We suggest that the phonological characteristics of a language may arise as a consequence of more efficient neural processing for its perception and production.

  2. Rationale and strategies for American Sign Language intervention.

    PubMed

    Stewart, D A

    1990-07-01

    A Midwest school district established a demonstration Total Communication Project. Its goal was for teachers to become consistent in their role modeling of English and American Sign Language (ASL). English was the primary language of the classroom and ASL was used as an intervention tool. There has been little research on the effectiveness of ASL in the classroom. By implementing an ASL intervention program this project is a first step in establishing an environment conducive to investigating the effectiveness of ASL intervention for teaching deaf students. This paper describes: (a) techniques used for identifying classroom situations that call for the use of ASL; (b) discourse situations that influence the use of different language codes in total communication classrooms; and (c) guidelines for code-switching between English and ASL.

  3. Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Sign Language Test Development: Results of an International Survey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haug, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Sign language test development is a relatively new field within sign linguistics, motivated by the practical need for assessment instruments to evaluate language development in different groups of learners (L1, L2). Due to the lack of research on the structure and acquisition of many sign languages, developing an assessment instrument poses…

  4. Medical Signbank as a Model for Sign Language Planning? A Review of Community Engagement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Napier, Jemina; Major, George; Ferrara, Lindsay; Johnston, Trevor

    2015-01-01

    This paper reviews a sign language planning project conducted in Australia with deaf Auslan users. The Medical Signbank project utilised a cooperative language planning process to engage with the Deaf community and sign language interpreters to develop an online interactive resource of health-related signs, in order to address a gap in the health…

  5. Sign Languages: An Introduction to Their Social Context and Their Structure. CLCS Occasional Paper No. 36.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maguire, Frank

    Research into the sign languages of the deaf is reviewed, particularly as it relates to the study and use of sign language in the Irish context. The first section offers an overview of deafness, the deaf experience, acquisition of linguistic and social identity, the sociology of the deaf community, and the role of sign language. Subsequent…

  6. Is Teaching Sign Language in Early Childhood Classrooms Feasible for Busy Teachers and Beneficial for Children?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brereton, Amy Elizabeth

    2010-01-01

    Infants' hands are ready to construct words using sign language before their mouths are ready to speak. These research findings may explain the popularity of parents and caregivers teaching and using sign language with infants and toddlers, along with speech. The advantages of using sign language with young children go beyond the infant and…

  7. Numeral-Incorporating Roots in Numeral Systems: A Comparative Analysis of Two Sign Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuentes, Mariana; Massone, Maria Ignacia; Fernandez-Viader, Maria del Pilar; Makotrinsky, Alejandro; Pulgarin, Francisca

    2010-01-01

    Numeral-incorporating roots in the numeral systems of Argentine Sign Language (LSA) and Catalan Sign Language (LSC), as well as the main features of the number systems of both languages, are described and compared. Informants discussed the use of numerals and roots in both languages (in most cases in natural contexts). Ten informants took part in…

  8. An investigation of the need for sign language assessment in deaf education.

    PubMed

    Mann, Wolfgang; Prinz, Philip M

    2006-01-01

    The attitudes of educators of the deaf and other professionals in deaf education concerning assessment of the use of American Sign Language (ASL) and other sign systems was investigated. A questionnaire was distributed to teachers in a residential school for the deaf in California. In addition to questions regarding the availability of sign language assessment at their schools, participants responded to items concerning their motivation to use a test for sign language measurement. Of the 100 distributed surveys, 85 were completed and returned. Results showed overwhelming agreement among respondents concerning the importance of sign language assessment, along with the need for tools that appropriately measure signing skills.

  9. Legal and Ethical Imperatives for Using Certified Sign Language Interpreters in Health Care Settings: How to "Do No Harm" When "It's (All) Greek" (Sign Language) to You.

    PubMed

    Nonaka, Angela M

    2016-09-01

    Communication obstacles in health care settings adversely impact patient-practitioner interactions by impeding service efficiency, reducing mutual trust and satisfaction, or even endangering health outcomes. When interlocutors are separated by language, interpreters are required. The efficacy of interpreting, however, is constrained not just by interpreters' competence but also by health care providers' facility working with interpreters. Deaf individuals whose preferred form of communication is a signed language often encounter communicative barriers in health care settings. In those environments, signing Deaf people are entitled to equal communicative access via sign language interpreting services according to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Executive Order 13166, the Limited English Proficiency Initiative. Yet, litigation in states across the United States suggests that individual and institutional providers remain uncertain about their legal obligations to provide equal communicative access. This article discusses the legal and ethical imperatives for using professionally certified (vs. ad hoc) sign language interpreters in health care settings. First outlining the legal terrain governing provision of sign language interpreting services, the article then describes different types of "sign language" (e.g., American Sign Language vs. manually coded English) and different forms of "sign language interpreting" (e.g., interpretation vs. transliteration vs. translation; simultaneous vs. consecutive interpreting; individual vs. team interpreting). This is followed by reviews of the formal credentialing process and of specialized forms of sign language interpreting-that is, certified deaf interpreting, trilingual interpreting, and court interpreting. After discussing practical steps for contracting professional sign language interpreters and addressing ethical issues of confidentiality, this article concludes by offering suggestions for working more effectively

  10. Lexical Variation and Change in British Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Stamp, Rose; Schembri, Adam; Fenlon, Jordan; Rentelis, Ramas; Woll, Bencie; Cormier, Kearsy

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents results from a corpus-based study investigating lexical variation in BSL. An earlier study investigating variation in BSL numeral signs found that younger signers were using a decreasing variety of regionally distinct variants, suggesting that levelling may be taking place. Here, we report findings from a larger investigation looking at regional lexical variants for colours, countries, numbers and UK placenames elicited as part of the BSL Corpus Project. Age, school location and language background were significant predictors of lexical variation, with younger signers using a more levelled variety. This change appears to be happening faster in particular sub-groups of the deaf community (e.g., signers from hearing families). Also, we find that for the names of some UK cities, signers from outside the region use a different sign than those who live in the region. PMID:24759673

  11. The perception of handshapes in American Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Stephanie E.; Idsardi, William J.; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Petitto, Laura-Ann

    2009-01-01

    Despite the constantly varying stream of sensory information that surrounds us, we humans can discern the small building blocks of words that constitute language (phonetic forms) and perceive them categorically (categorical perception, CP). Decades of controversy have prevailed regarding what is at the heart of CP, with many arguing that it is due to domain-general perceptual processing and others that it is determined by the existence of domain-specific linguistic processing. What is most key: perceptual or linguistic patterns? Here, we study whether CP occurs with soundless handshapes that are nonetheless phonetic in American Sign Language (ASL), in signers and nonsigners. Using innovative methods and analyses of identification and, crucially, discrimination tasks, we found that both groups separated the soundless handshapes into two classes perceptually but that only the ASL signers exhibited linguistic CP. These findings suggest that CP of linguistic stimuli is based on linguistic categorization, rather than on purely perceptual categorization. PMID:16383176

  12. Methodological and Theoretical Issues in the Adaptation of Sign Language Tests: An Example from the Adaptation of a Test to German Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haug, Tobias

    2012-01-01

    Despite the current need for reliable and valid test instruments in different countries in order to monitor the sign language acquisition of deaf children, very few tests are commercially available that offer strong evidence for their psychometric properties. This mirrors the current state of affairs for many sign languages, where very little…

  13. First-language acquisition after childhood differs from second-language acquisition: the case of American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Mayberry, R I

    1993-12-01

    This study determined whether the long-range outcome of first-language acquisition, when the learning begins after early childhood, is similar to that of second-language acquisition. Subjects were 36 deaf adults who had contrasting histories of spoken and sign language acquisition. Twenty-seven subjects were born deaf and began to acquire American Sign Language (ASL) as a first language at ages ranging from infancy to late childhood. Nine other subjects were born with normal hearing, which they lost in late childhood; they subsequently acquired ASL as a second language (because they had acquired spoken English as a first language in early childhood). ASL sentence processing was measured by recall of long and complex sentences and short-term memory for signed digits. Subjects who acquired ASL as a second language after childhood outperformed those who acquired it as a first language at exactly the same age. In addition, the performance of the subjects who acquired ASL as a first language declined in association with increasing age of acquisition. Effects were most apparent for sentence processing skills related to lexical identification, grammatical acceptability, and memory for sentence meaning. No effects were found for skills related to fine-motor production and pattern segmentation.

  14. Spoken English Language Development Among Native Signing Children With Cochlear Implants

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Kathryn

    2014-01-01

    Bilingualism is common throughout the world, and bilingual children regularly develop into fluently bilingual adults. In contrast, children with cochlear implants (CIs) are frequently encouraged to focus on a spoken language to the exclusion of sign language. Here, we investigate the spoken English language skills of 5 children with CIs who also have deaf signing parents, and so receive exposure to a full natural sign language (American Sign Language, ASL) from birth, in addition to spoken English after implantation. We compare their language skills with hearing ASL/English bilingual children of deaf parents. Our results show comparable English scores for the CI and hearing groups on a variety of standardized language measures, exceeding previously reported scores for children with CIs with the same age of implantation and years of CI use. We conclude that natural sign language input does no harm and may mitigate negative effects of early auditory deprivation for spoken language development. PMID:24150489

  15. Making sense of nonsense in British Sign Language (BSL): The contribution of different phonological parameters to sign recognition.

    PubMed

    Orfanidou, Eleni; Adam, Robert; McQueen, James M; Morgan, Gary

    2009-04-01

    Do all components of a sign contribute equally to its recognition? In the present study, misperceptions in the sign-spotting task (based on the word-spotting task; Cutler & Norris, 1988) were analyzed to address this question. Three groups of deaf signers of British Sign Language (BSL) with different ages of acquisition (AoA) saw BSL signs combined with nonsense signs, along with combinations of two nonsense signs. They were asked to spot real signs and report what they had spotted. We will present an analysis of false alarms to the nonsense-sign combinations-that is, misperceptions of nonsense signs as real signs (cf. van Ooijen, 1996). Participants modified the movement and handshape parameters more than the location parameter. Within this pattern, however, there were differences as a function of AoA. These results show that the theoretical distinctions between form-based parameters in sign-language models have consequences for online processing. Vowels and consonants have different roles in speech recognition; similarly, it appears that movement, handshape, and location parameters contribute differentially to sign recognition.

  16. Segmenting sign language into motor primitives with Bayesian binning

    PubMed Central

    Endres, Dominik; Meirovitch, Yaron; Flash, Tamar; Giese, Martin A.

    2013-01-01

    The endpoint trajectories of human movements fulfill characteristic power laws linking velocity and curvature. The parameters of these power laws typically vary between different segments of longer action sequences. These parameters might thus be exploited for the unsupervised segmentation of actions into movement primitives. For the example of sign language we investigate whether such segments can be identified by Bayesian binning (BB), using a Gaussian observation model whose mean has a polynomial time dependence. We show that this method yields good segmentation and correctly models ground truth kinematics composed of consecutive segments derived from wrist trajectories recorded from users of Israeli Sign Language (ISL). Importantly, polynomial orders between 3 and 5 yield an optimal trade-off between complexity and accuracy of the trajectory approximation, in accordance with the minimum acceleration and minimum jerk models. Comparing the orders of the polynomials best approximating natural kinematics against those needed to fit the power law ground truth data suggests that kinematic properties not compatible with power laws are also not adequately represented by low order polynomials and require higher order polynomials for a good approximation. PMID:23750135

  17. Recognition of Arabic Sign Language Alphabet Using Polynomial Classifiers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Assaleh, Khaled; Al-Rousan, M.

    2005-12-01

    Building an accurate automatic sign language recognition system is of great importance in facilitating efficient communication with deaf people. In this paper, we propose the use of polynomial classifiers as a classification engine for the recognition of Arabic sign language (ArSL) alphabet. Polynomial classifiers have several advantages over other classifiers in that they do not require iterative training, and that they are highly computationally scalable with the number of classes. Based on polynomial classifiers, we have built an ArSL system and measured its performance using real ArSL data collected from deaf people. We show that the proposed system provides superior recognition results when compared with previously published results using ANFIS-based classification on the same dataset and feature extraction methodology. The comparison is shown in terms of the number of misclassified test patterns. The reduction in the rate of misclassified patterns was very significant. In particular, we have achieved a 36% reduction of misclassifications on the training data and 57% on the test data.

  18. Assessing Health Literacy in Deaf American Sign Language Users.

    PubMed

    McKee, Michael M; Paasche-Orlow, Michael K; Winters, Paul C; Fiscella, Kevin; Zazove, Philip; Sen, Ananda; Pearson, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Communication and language barriers isolate Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users from mass media, health care messages, and health care communication, which, when coupled with social marginalization, places them at a high risk for inadequate health literacy. Our objectives were to translate, adapt, and develop an accessible health literacy instrument in ASL and to assess the prevalence and correlates of inadequate health literacy among Deaf ASL users and hearing English speakers using a cross-sectional design. A total of 405 participants (166 Deaf and 239 hearing) were enrolled in the study. The Newest Vital Sign was adapted, translated, and developed into an ASL version (ASL-NVS). We found that 48% of Deaf participants had inadequate health literacy, and Deaf individuals were 6.9 times more likely than hearing participants to have inadequate health literacy. The new ASL-NVS, available on a self-administered computer platform, demonstrated good correlation with reading literacy. The prevalence of Deaf ASL users with inadequate health literacy is substantial, warranting further interventions and research.

  19. Assessing Health Literacy in Deaf American Sign Language Users

    PubMed Central

    McKee, Michael M.; Paasche-Orlow, Michael; Winters, Paul C.; Fiscella, Kevin; Zazove, Philip; Sen, Ananda; Pearson, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Communication and language barriers isolate Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users from mass media, healthcare messages, and health care communication, which when coupled with social marginalization, places them at a high risk for inadequate health literacy. Our objectives were to translate, adapt, and develop an accessible health literacy instrument in ASL and to assess the prevalence and correlates of inadequate health literacy among Deaf ASL users and hearing English speakers using a cross-sectional design. A total of 405 participants (166 Deaf and 239 hearing) were enrolled in the study. The Newest Vital Sign was adapted, translated, and developed into an ASL version of the NVS (ASL-NVS). Forty-eight percent of Deaf participants had inadequate health literacy, and Deaf individuals were 6.9 times more likely than hearing participants to have inadequate health literacy. The new ASL-NVS, available on a self-administered computer platform, demonstrated good correlation with reading literacy. The prevalence of Deaf ASL users with inadequate health literacy is substantial, warranting further interventions and research. PMID:26513036

  20. African Language Resource Handbook: A Resource Handbook of the Eighty-two Highest Priority African Languages. Prepublication Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dwyer, David J.; Yankee, Everyl

    A directory of the 82 African languages given high priority for instruction in the United States contains a profile for each language that includes its classification and where it is spoken, the number of speakers, dialect situation, usage, orthography status, and listings of related human and institutional resources for the purpose of…

  1. Five Nonmanual Modifiers that Mitigate Requests and Rejections in American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoza, Jack

    2008-01-01

    A notable difference between signed and spoken languages is the use of nonmanual linguistic signals that co-occur with the production of signs. These nonmanual signals involve primarily the face and upper torso and are an important feature of American Sign Language (ASL). They include grammatical markers that indicate syntactic categories such as…

  2. Atypical Speech and Language Development: A Consensus Study on Clinical Signs in the Netherlands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Visser-Bochane, Margot I.; Gerrits, Ellen; van der Schans, Cees P.; Reijneveld, Sijmen A.; Luinge, Margreet R.

    2017-01-01

    Background: Atypical speech and language development is one of the most common developmental difficulties in young children. However, which clinical signs characterize atypical speech-language development at what age is not clear. Aim: To achieve a national and valid consensus on clinical signs and red flags (i.e. most urgent clinical signs) for…

  3. The Role of Sign Language for Deaf Children with Cochlear Implants: Good Practice in Sign Bilingual Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swanwick, Ruth; Tsverik, Isabel

    2007-01-01

    A central feature of a sign bilingual approach is the use of sign language, and the associated role of deaf adults in deaf children's education. This project explores whether this approach is compatible with the goals of cochlear implantation, which are to maximise a deaf child's potential to hear and improve speech perception. There is no…

  4. Sign Language as a Communication Prosthesis with Language-Impaired Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Konstantareas, M. Mary

    1984-01-01

    Results of a study involving 14 three- to 11-year-olds with language impairments revealed that, for both functor acquisition and functor recall, speech and sign training was superior to speech training. Type of functor trained was also important, with prepositions faring better than pronouns. (Author/CL)

  5. Language between Bodies: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding Linguistic Politeness in American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roush, Daniel R.

    2011-01-01

    This article proposes an answer to the primary question of how the American Sign Language (ASL) community in the United States conceptualizes (im)politeness and its related notions. It begins with a review of evolving theoretical issues in research on (im)politeness and related methodological problems with studying (im)politeness in natural…

  6. Standardizing Chinese Sign Language for Use in Post-Secondary Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lin, Christina Mien-Chun; Gerner de Garcia, Barbara; Chen-Pichler, Deborah

    2009-01-01

    There are over 100 languages in China, including Chinese Sign Language. Given the large population and geographical dispersion of the country's deaf community, sign variation is to be expected. Language barriers due to lexical variation may exist for deaf college students in China, who often live outside their home regions. In presenting an…

  7. Teacher Certification of American Sign Language Faculty at K-12 and Higher Education Institutions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Ashley Leann Chance

    2010-01-01

    American Sign Language (ASL) is ranked fourth among heritage languages taken by students in the United States. The number of ASL classes offered at the K-12 and Institutions of Higher Education are on the rise, yet the number of certified ASL teachers remains stagnant. This study examines the reasons why American Sign Language teachers choose to…

  8. Fingerspelling and Sign Language as Alternative Codes for Reading and Writing Words for Chilean Deaf Signers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Puente, Anibal; Alvarado, Jesus M.; Herrera, Valeria

    2006-01-01

    The study examined the role of sign language and fingerspelling in the development of the reading and writing skills of deaf children and youth. Twenty-six deaf participants (13 children, 13 adolescents), whose first language was Chilean Sign Language (CHSL), were examined. Their dactylic abilities were evaluated with tasks involving the reading…

  9. The Link between Form and Meaning in American Sign Language: Lexical Processing Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Robin L.; Vinson, David P.; Vigliocco, Gabriella

    2009-01-01

    Signed languages exploit iconicity (the transparent relationship between meaning and form) to a greater extent than spoken languages. where it is largely limited to onomatopoeia. In a picture-sign matching experiment measuring reaction times, the authors examined the potential advantage of iconicity both for 1st- and 2nd-language learners of…

  10. Text generation from Taiwanese Sign Language using a PST-based language model for augmentative communication.

    PubMed

    Wu, Chung-Hsien; Chiu, Yu-Hsien; Guo, Chi-Shiang

    2004-12-01

    This paper proposes a novel approach to the generation of Chinese sentences from ill-formed Taiwanese Sign Language (TSL) for people with hearing impairments. First, a sign icon-based virtual keyboard is constructed to provide a visualized interface to retrieve sign icons from a sign database. A proposed language model (LM), based on a predictive sentence template (PST) tree, integrates a statistical variable n-gram LM and linguistic constraints to deal with the translation problem from ill-formed sign sequences to grammatical written sentences. The PST tree trained by a corpus collected from the deaf schools was used to model the correspondence between signed and written Chinese. In addition, a set of phrase formation rules, based on trigger pair category, was derived for sentence pattern expansion. These approaches improved the efficiency of text generation and the accuracy of word prediction and, therefore, improved the input rate. For the assessment of practical communication aids, a reading-comprehension training program with ten profoundly deaf students was undertaken in a deaf school in Tainan, Taiwan. Evaluation results show that the literacy aptitude test and subjective satisfactory level are significantly improved.

  11. Testing the Development of Linguistic Knowledge in Adult Naive Learners of American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Von Pein, Margreta; Altarriba, Jeanette

    2011-01-01

    The present study was designed to investigate the ways in which notions of semantics and phonology are acquired by adult naive learners of American Sign Language (ASL) when they are first exposed to a set of simple signs. First, a set of ASL signs was tested for nontransparency and a set of signs was selected for subsequent use. Next, a set of…

  12. Cerebellar activation patterns in deaf participants for perception of sign language and written text.

    PubMed

    Gizewski, Elke R; Lambertz, Nicole; Ladd, Mark E; Timmann, Dagmar; Forsting, Michael

    2005-11-28

    To address the influence of language presentation on cerebellar activation, hearing volunteers were compared with deaf individuals using functional magnetic resonance imaging during observation of German sign language and text reading. In deaf participants, German sign language revealed activation of the auditory and language-related areas including the medial temporal gyrus (BA 21) and Crus I. In normal hearing participants not understanding German sign language, Crus I was less activated during observation of German sign language but strongly activated during text reading and accompanied by activation of the medial temporal gyrus. Our results indicate that cerebellar activation in Crus I corresponds to language perception as correlated with cortical activation in language-related areas and is not dependent on the mode of language presentation.

  13. Bimodal bilingualism as multisensory training?: Evidence for improved audiovisual speech perception after sign language exposure.

    PubMed

    Williams, Joshua T; Darcy, Isabelle; Newman, Sharlene D

    2016-02-15

    The aim of the present study was to characterize effects of learning a sign language on the processing of a spoken language. Specifically, audiovisual phoneme comprehension was assessed before and after 13 weeks of sign language exposure. L2 ASL learners performed this task in the fMRI scanner. Results indicated that L2 American Sign Language (ASL) learners' behavioral classification of the speech sounds improved with time compared to hearing nonsigners. Results indicated increased activation in the supramarginal gyrus (SMG) after sign language exposure, which suggests concomitant increased phonological processing of speech. A multiple regression analysis indicated that learner's rating on co-sign speech use and lipreading ability was correlated with SMG activation. This pattern of results indicates that the increased use of mouthing and possibly lipreading during sign language acquisition may concurrently improve audiovisual speech processing in budding hearing bimodal bilinguals.

  14. A Comparison of Comprehension Processes in Sign Language Interpreter Videos with or without Captions

    PubMed Central

    Debevc, Matjaž; Milošević, Danijela; Kožuh, Ines

    2015-01-01

    One important theme in captioning is whether the implementation of captions in individual sign language interpreter videos can positively affect viewers’ comprehension when compared with sign language interpreter videos without captions. In our study, an experiment was conducted using four video clips with information about everyday events. Fifty-one deaf and hard of hearing sign language users alternately watched the sign language interpreter videos with, and without, captions. Afterwards, they answered ten questions. The results showed that the presence of captions positively affected their rates of comprehension, which increased by 24% among deaf viewers and 42% among hard of hearing viewers. The most obvious differences in comprehension between watching sign language interpreter videos with and without captions were found for the subjects of hiking and culture, where comprehension was higher when captions were used. The results led to suggestions for the consistent use of captions in sign language interpreter videos in various media. PMID:26010899

  15. A Comparison of Comprehension Processes in Sign Language Interpreter Videos with or without Captions.

    PubMed

    Debevc, Matjaž; Milošević, Danijela; Kožuh, Ines

    2015-01-01

    One important theme in captioning is whether the implementation of captions in individual sign language interpreter videos can positively affect viewers' comprehension when compared with sign language interpreter videos without captions. In our study, an experiment was conducted using four video clips with information about everyday events. Fifty-one deaf and hard of hearing sign language users alternately watched the sign language interpreter videos with, and without, captions. Afterwards, they answered ten questions. The results showed that the presence of captions positively affected their rates of comprehension, which increased by 24% among deaf viewers and 42% among hard of hearing viewers. The most obvious differences in comprehension between watching sign language interpreter videos with and without captions were found for the subjects of hiking and culture, where comprehension was higher when captions were used. The results led to suggestions for the consistent use of captions in sign language interpreter videos in various media.

  16. Signing Earth Science: Accommodations for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Whose First Language Is Sign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vesel, J.; Hurdich, J.

    2014-12-01

    TERC and Vcom3D used the SigningAvatar® accessibility software to research and develop a Signing Earth Science Dictionary (SESD) of approximately 750 standards-based Earth science terms for high school students who are deaf and hard of hearing and whose first language is sign. The partners also evaluated the extent to which use of the SESD furthers understanding of Earth science content, command of the language of Earth science, and the ability to study Earth science independently. Disseminated as a Web-based version and App, the SESD is intended to serve the ~36,000 grade 9-12 students who are deaf or hard of hearing and whose first language is sign, the majority of whom leave high school reading at the fifth grade or below. It is also intended for teachers and interpreters who interact with members of this population and professionals working with Earth science education programs during field trips, internships etc. The signed SESD terms have been incorporated into a Mobile Communication App (MCA). This App for Androids is intended to facilitate communication between English speakers and persons who communicate in American Sign Language (ASL) or Signed English. It can translate words, phrases, or whole sentences from written or spoken English to animated signing. It can also fingerspell proper names and other words for which there are no signs. For our presentation, we will demonstrate the interactive features of the SigningAvatar® accessibility software that support the three principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and have been incorporated into the SESD and MCA. Results from national field-tests will provide insight into the SESD's and MCA's potential applicability beyond grade 12 as accommodations that can be used for accessing the vocabulary deaf and hard of hearing students need for study of the geosciences and for facilitating communication about content. This work was funded in part by grants from NSF and the U.S. Department of Education.

  17. Tools for language: patterned iconicity in sign language nouns and verbs.

    PubMed

    Padden, Carol; Hwang, So-One; Lepic, Ryan; Seegers, Sharon

    2015-01-01

    When naming certain hand-held, man-made tools, American Sign Language (ASL) signers exhibit either of two iconic strategies: a handling strategy, where the hands show holding or grasping an imagined object in action, or an instrument strategy, where the hands represent the shape or a dimension of the object in a typical action. The same strategies are also observed in the gestures of hearing nonsigners identifying pictures of the same set of tools. In this paper, we compare spontaneously created gestures from hearing nonsigning participants to commonly used lexical signs in ASL. Signers and gesturers were asked to respond to pictures of tools and to video vignettes of actions involving the same tools. Nonsigning gesturers overwhelmingly prefer the handling strategy for both the Picture and Video conditions. Nevertheless, they use more instrument forms when identifying tools in pictures, and more handling forms when identifying actions with tools. We found that ASL signers generally favor the instrument strategy when naming tools, but when describing tools being used by an actor, they are significantly more likely to use more handling forms. The finding that both gesturers and signers are more likely to alternate strategies when the stimuli are pictures or video suggests a common cognitive basis for differentiating objects from actions. Furthermore, the presence of a systematic handling/instrument iconic pattern in a sign language demonstrates that a conventionalized sign language exploits the distinction for grammatical purpose, to distinguish nouns and verbs related to tool use.

  18. Away with Good Bantus: De-Linking African Language Literature from Culture, "Tribe" and Propriety

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mkhize, Nomalanga

    2016-01-01

    This paper argues that the "institutionalisation" model used by universities to spearhead the intellectualisation of African languages is a non-starter for taking African languages in new creative directions. The major constraint for African language literary culture is that written output has historically been heavily bent towards…

  19. African Language Instruction in the United States: Directions and Priorities for the 1980s.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiley, David, Comp.; Dwyer, David, Comp.

    A conference of African scholars was held in the United States in 1979 to develop a consensus and a statement about the direction that African language teaching and learning should take in this decade. African languages are among the so-called "less-commonly taught languages," and funding for their teaching and study has come from…

  20. Discourses of prejudice in the professions: the case of sign languages.

    PubMed

    Humphries, Tom; Kushalnagar, Poorna; Mathur, Gaurav; Napoli, Donna Jo; Padden, Carol; Rathmann, Christian; Smith, Scott

    2017-03-09

    There is no evidence that learning a natural human language is cognitively harmful to children. To the contrary, multilingualism has been argued to be beneficial to all. Nevertheless, many professionals advise the parents of deaf children that their children should not learn a sign language during their early years, despite strong evidence across many research disciplines that sign languages are natural human languages. Their recommendations are based on a combination of misperceptions about (1) the difficulty of learning a sign language, (2) the effects of bilingualism, and particularly bimodalism, (3) the bona fide status of languages that lack a written form, (4) the effects of a sign language on acquiring literacy, (5) the ability of technologies to address the needs of deaf children and (6) the effects that use of a sign language will have on family cohesion. We expose these misperceptions as based in prejudice and urge institutions involved in educating professionals concerned with the healthcare, raising and educating of deaf children to include appropriate information about first language acquisition and the importance of a sign language for deaf children. We further urge such professionals to advise the parents of deaf children properly, which means to strongly advise the introduction of a sign language as soon as hearing loss is detected.

  1. Effects of Iconicity and Semantic Relatedness on Lexical Access in American Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Bosworth, Rain G.; Emmorey, Karen

    2010-01-01

    Iconicity is a property that pervades the lexicon of many sign languages, including American Sign Language (ASL). Iconic signs exhibit a motivated, non-arbitrary mapping between the form of the sign and its meaning. We investigated whether iconicity enhances semantic priming effects for ASL and whether iconic signs are recognized more quickly than non-iconic signs (controlling for strength of iconicity, semantic relatedness, familiarity, and imageability). Twenty deaf signers made lexical decisions to the second item of a prime-target pair. Iconic target signs were preceded by prime signs that were a) iconic and semantically related, b) non-iconic and semantically related, or c) semantically unrelated. In addition, a set of non-iconic target signs was preceded by semantically unrelated primes. Significant facilitation was observed for target signs when preceded by semantically related primes. However, iconicity did not increase the priming effect (e.g., the target sign PIANO was primed equally by the iconic sign GUITAR and the non-iconic sign MUSIC). In addition, iconic signs were not recognized faster or more accurately than non-iconic signs. These results confirm the existence of semantic priming for sign language and suggest that iconicity does not play a robust role in on-line lexical processing. PMID:20919784

  2. Towards a Sign Language Synthesizer: a Bridge to Communication Gap of the Hearing/Speech Impaired Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maarif, H. A.; Akmeliawati, R.; Gunawan, T. S.; Shafie, A. A.

    2013-12-01

    Sign language synthesizer is a method to visualize the sign language movement from the spoken language. The sign language (SL) is one of means used by HSI people to communicate to normal people. But, unfortunately the number of people, including the HSI people, who are familiar with sign language is very limited. These cause difficulties in the communication between the normal people and the HSI people. The sign language is not only hand movement but also the face expression. Those two elements have complimentary aspect each other. The hand movement will show the meaning of each signing and the face expression will show the emotion of a person. Generally, Sign language synthesizer will recognize the spoken language by using speech recognition, the grammatical process will involve context free grammar, and 3D synthesizer will take part by involving recorded avatar. This paper will analyze and compare the existing techniques of developing a sign language synthesizer, which leads to IIUM Sign Language Synthesizer.

  3. Social Interaction Affects Neural Outcomes of Sign Language Learning As a Foreign Language in Adults

    PubMed Central

    Yusa, Noriaki; Kim, Jungho; Koizumi, Masatoshi; Sugiura, Motoaki; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2017-01-01

    Children naturally acquire a language in social contexts where they interact with their caregivers. Indeed, research shows that social interaction facilitates lexical and phonological development at the early stages of child language acquisition. It is not clear, however, whether the relationship between social interaction and learning applies to adult second language acquisition of syntactic rules. Does learning second language syntactic rules through social interactions with a native speaker or without such interactions impact behavior and the brain? The current study aims to answer this question. Adult Japanese participants learned a new foreign language, Japanese sign language (JSL), either through a native deaf signer or via DVDs. Neural correlates of acquiring new linguistic knowledge were investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The participants in each group were indistinguishable in terms of their behavioral data after the instruction. The fMRI data, however, revealed significant differences in the neural activities between two groups. Significant activations in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) were found for the participants who learned JSL through interactions with the native signer. In contrast, no cortical activation change in the left IFG was found for the group who experienced the same visual input for the same duration via the DVD presentation. Given that the left IFG is involved in the syntactic processing of language, spoken or signed, learning through social interactions resulted in an fMRI signature typical of native speakers: activation of the left IFG. Thus, broadly speaking, availability of communicative interaction is necessary for second language acquisition and this results in observed changes in the brain.

  4. How sensory-motor systems impact the neural organization for language: direct contrasts between spoken and signed language

    PubMed Central

    Emmorey, Karen; McCullough, Stephen; Mehta, Sonya; Grabowski, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    To investigate the impact of sensory-motor systems on the neural organization for language, we conducted an H215O-PET study of sign and spoken word production (picture-naming) and an fMRI study of sign and audio-visual spoken language comprehension (detection of a semantically anomalous sentence) with hearing bilinguals who are native users of American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Directly contrasting speech and sign production revealed greater activation in bilateral parietal cortex for signing, while speaking resulted in greater activation in bilateral superior temporal cortex (STC) and right frontal cortex, likely reflecting auditory feedback control. Surprisingly, the language production contrast revealed a relative increase in activation in bilateral occipital cortex for speaking. We speculate that greater activation in visual cortex for speaking may actually reflect cortical attenuation when signing, which functions to distinguish self-produced from externally generated visual input. Directly contrasting speech and sign comprehension revealed greater activation in bilateral STC for speech and greater activation in bilateral occipital-temporal cortex for sign. Sign comprehension, like sign production, engaged bilateral parietal cortex to a greater extent than spoken language. We hypothesize that posterior parietal activation in part reflects processing related to spatial classifier constructions in ASL and that anterior parietal activation may reflect covert imitation that functions as a predictive model during sign comprehension. The conjunction analysis for comprehension revealed that both speech and sign bilaterally engaged the inferior frontal gyrus (with more extensive activation on the left) and the superior temporal sulcus, suggesting an invariant bilateral perisylvian language system. We conclude that surface level differences between sign and spoken languages should not be dismissed and are critical for understanding the neurobiology of language

  5. Symptomatology of peripheral neuropathy in an African language.

    PubMed

    Shaikh, Asma; Bentley, Alison; Kamerman, Peter R

    2013-01-01

    The terminology used to describe neuropathic pain appears to be conserved across languages, which facilitates the translation of validated neuropathic pain screening tools into other languages. However, this assumption has not been assessed in an African language. Therefore we investigated the terminology used by 54 patients whose native language was isiZulu, a major Bantu language of Africa, when describing their symptomatic HIV-associated sensory neuropathy. Also, because English is a commonly spoken second-language in the region, we assessed these patients' knowledge and understanding of 21 English terms commonly used to describe neuropathic pain. English translations of the most commonly used isiZulu symptom descriptors included: "hot/burning" (50%), "cramping" (35%), "painful/sore/aching" (32%), "itching" (22%), "numb" (22%), "cold/freezing" (17%), and "stabbing/pricking/pins-and-needles" (13%). Thus, the isiZulu terminology to describe neuropathic pain was very similar to that used in non-African languages. However, knowledge and understanding of English neuropathic pain descriptors by these non-native English speakers was highly variable. For example, knowledge of English terms ranged from >98% ("hot", "cold/freezing", "cramping") to <25% ("pricking", "radiating", "throbbing"), and true understanding of English terms ranged from >90% ("hot", "burning", "cramping") to <35% ("tingling", "jumping", "shooting", "radiating"). In conclusion, we show significant similarity in the terms used to describe neuropathic pain in isiZulu compared to non-African languages, thus indicating that translation of existing neuropathic pain screening tools into this, and possibly other Bantu languages, is a viable option. However, the usefulness of English-language screening tools in this non-native English speaking population may be limited.

  6. The Acquisition of Task-Specific Word Formation Devices in American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lillo-Martin, Diane

    The acquisition of several word formation devices in American Sign Language (ASL) by deaf children learning ASL as a native language focused on some devices analogous to word formation devices in spoken languages (compounding, affixation, and derivation) and some in ASL that may not have counterparts in spoken languages. They were examined using…

  7. Deaf Writers' Application of American Sign Language Knowledge to English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolbers, Kimberly A.; Bowers, Lisa M.; Dostal, Hannah M.; Graham, Shannon C.

    2014-01-01

    Language transfer theory elucidates how first language (L1) knowledge and grammatical features are applied in second language (L2) writing. Deaf and hard of hearing (d/hh) students who use or are developing American Sign Language (ASL) as their L1 may demonstrate the use of ASL linguistic features in their writing of English. In this study, we…

  8. We Need to Communicate! Helping Hearing Parents of Deaf Children Learn American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weaver, Kimberly A.; Starner, Thad

    2011-01-01

    Language immersion from birth is crucial to a child's language development. However, language immersion can be particularly challenging for hearing parents of deaf children to provide as they may have to overcome many difficulties while learning American Sign Language (ASL). We are in the process of creating a mobile application to help hearing…

  9. The Evolutionary Significance of Pongid Sign Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hewes, Gordon W.

    Experiments in teaching language or language-like behavior to chimpanzees and other primates may bear on the problem of the origin of language. Evidence appears to support the theory that man's first language was gestural. Recent pongid language experiments suggest: (1) a capacity for language is not solely human and therefore does not represent…

  10. Prosodic and narrative processing in American Sign Language: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Newman, Aaron J; Supalla, Ted; Hauser, Peter C; Newport, Elissa L; Bavelier, Daphne

    2010-08-15

    Signed languages such as American Sign Language (ASL) are natural human languages that share all of the core properties of spoken human languages but differ in the modality through which they are communicated. Neuroimaging and patient studies have suggested similar left hemisphere (LH)-dominant patterns of brain organization for signed and spoken languages, suggesting that the linguistic nature of the information, rather than modality, drives brain organization for language. However, the role of the right hemisphere (RH) in sign language has been less explored. In spoken languages, the RH supports the processing of numerous types of narrative-level information, including prosody, affect, facial expression, and discourse structure. In the present fMRI study, we contrasted the processing of ASL sentences that contained these types of narrative information with similar sentences without marked narrative cues. For all sentences, Deaf native signers showed robust bilateral activation of perisylvian language cortices as well as the basal ganglia, medial frontal, and medial temporal regions. However, RH activation in the inferior frontal gyrus and superior temporal sulcus was greater for sentences containing narrative devices, including areas involved in processing narrative content in spoken languages. These results provide additional support for the claim that all natural human languages rely on a core set of LH brain regions, and extend our knowledge to show that narrative linguistic functions typically associated with the RH in spoken languages are similarly organized in signed languages.

  11. The Effect of Sign Language Structure on Complex Word Reading in Chinese Deaf Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Niu, Jiaxin; Zhang, John X.

    2015-01-01

    The present study was carried out to investigate whether sign language structure plays a role in the processing of complex words (i.e., derivational and compound words), in particular, the delay of complex word reading in deaf adolescents. Chinese deaf adolescents were found to respond faster to derivational words than to compound words for one-sign-structure words, but showed comparable performance for two-sign-structure words. For both derivational and compound words, response latencies to one-sign-structure words were shorter than to two-sign-structure words. These results provide strong evidence that the structure of sign language affects written word processing in Chinese. Additionally, differences between derivational and compound words in the one-sign-structure condition indicate that Chinese deaf adolescents acquire print morphological awareness. The results also showed that delayed word reading was found in derivational words with two signs (DW-2), compound words with one sign (CW-1), and compound words with two signs (CW-2), but not in derivational words with one sign (DW-1), with the delay being maximum in DW-2, medium in CW-2, and minimum in CW-1, suggesting that the structure of sign language has an impact on the delayed processing of Chinese written words in deaf adolescents. These results provide insight into the mechanisms about how sign language structure affects written word processing and its delayed processing relative to their hearing peers of the same age. PMID:25799066

  12. The effect of sign language structure on complex word reading in Chinese deaf adolescents.

    PubMed

    Lu, Aitao; Yu, Yanping; Niu, Jiaxin; Zhang, John X

    2015-01-01

    The present study was carried out to investigate whether sign language structure plays a role in the processing of complex words (i.e., derivational and compound words), in particular, the delay of complex word reading in deaf adolescents. Chinese deaf adolescents were found to respond faster to derivational words than to compound words for one-sign-structure words, but showed comparable performance for two-sign-structure words. For both derivational and compound words, response latencies to one-sign-structure words were shorter than to two-sign-structure words. These results provide strong evidence that the structure of sign language affects written word processing in Chinese. Additionally, differences between derivational and compound words in the one-sign-structure condition indicate that Chinese deaf adolescents acquire print morphological awareness. The results also showed that delayed word reading was found in derivational words with two signs (DW-2), compound words with one sign (CW-1), and compound words with two signs (CW-2), but not in derivational words with one sign (DW-1), with the delay being maximum in DW-2, medium in CW-2, and minimum in CW-1, suggesting that the structure of sign language has an impact on the delayed processing of Chinese written words in deaf adolescents. These results provide insight into the mechanisms about how sign language structure affects written word processing and its delayed processing relative to their hearing peers of the same age.

  13. Reproducing American Sign Language sentences: cognitive scaffolding in working memory

    PubMed Central

    Supalla, Ted; Hauser, Peter C.; Bavelier, Daphne

    2014-01-01

    The American Sign Language Sentence Reproduction Test (ASL-SRT) requires the precise reproduction of a series of ASL sentences increasing in complexity and length. Error analyses of such tasks provides insight into working memory and scaffolding processes. Data was collected from three groups expected to differ in fluency: deaf children, deaf adults and hearing adults, all users of ASL. Quantitative (correct/incorrect recall) and qualitative error analyses were performed. Percent correct on the reproduction task supports its sensitivity to fluency as test performance clearly differed across the three groups studied. A linguistic analysis of errors further documented differing strategies and bias across groups. Subjects' recall projected the affordance and constraints of deep linguistic representations to differing degrees, with subjects resorting to alternate processing strategies when they failed to recall the sentence correctly. A qualitative error analysis allows us to capture generalizations about the relationship between error pattern and the cognitive scaffolding, which governs the sentence reproduction process. Highly fluent signers and less-fluent signers share common chokepoints on particular words in sentences. However, they diverge in heuristic strategy. Fluent signers, when they make an error, tend to preserve semantic details while altering morpho-syntactic domains. They produce syntactically correct sentences with equivalent meaning to the to-be-reproduced one, but these are not verbatim reproductions of the original sentence. In contrast, less-fluent signers tend to use a more linear strategy, preserving lexical status and word ordering while omitting local inflections, and occasionally resorting to visuo-motoric imitation. Thus, whereas fluent signers readily use top-down scaffolding in their working memory, less fluent signers fail to do so. Implications for current models of working memory across spoken and signed modalities are considered. PMID

  14. Korean. London Oriental and African Language Library.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Suk-Jin

    The grammar of the Korean language presented here is descriptive and structural, and does not align with any particular theory. An introductory chapter gives some background information about the language and related research. Subsequent chapters treat: writing and sound systems, including some sound rules and suprasegmental features; morphology…

  15. The Effects of Learning American Sign Language on Co-Speech Gesture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casey, Shannon; Emmorey, Karen; Larrabee, Heather

    2012-01-01

    Given that the linguistic articulators for sign language are also used to produce co-speech gesture, we examined whether one year of academic instruction in American Sign Language (ASL) impacts the rate and nature of gestures produced when speaking English. A survey study revealed that 75% of ASL learners (N = 95), but only 14% of Romance language…

  16. The Parameters of Sign Language Defined: Translation and Definition Rules. Research Report No. 83.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoffmeister, Robert J.; And Others

    Presented are rules of sign language structure which have provided a framework for linguistic analysis in a project studying the acquisition of sign language by 10 deaf children of deaf parents. Two levels of rules are outlined: definition rules, which deal with definitions of terms used in the analysis and their relation to terms used in other…

  17. Sociolinguistic Variation in the Use of Fingerspelling in Australian Sign Language: A Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schembri, Adam; Johnston, Trevor

    2007-01-01

    This article presents the results from a preliminary investigation into the use of fingerspelling in Australian Sign Language (Auslan), drawing on data collected as part of the Sociolinguistic Variation in Australian Sign Language project (Schembri and Johnston 2004; Schembri, Johnston, and Goswell in press). This major project is a replication in…

  18. The Link between Form and Meaning in British Sign Language: Effects of Iconicity for Phonological Decisions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Robin L.; Vinson, David P.; Vigliocco, Gabriella

    2010-01-01

    Signed languages exploit the visual/gestural modality to create iconic expression across a wide range of basic conceptual structures in which the phonetic resources of the language are built up into an analogue of a mental image (Taub, 2001). Previously, we demonstrated a processing advantage when iconic properties of signs were made salient in a…

  19. Interpreter's Wrist: Repetitive Stress Injury and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Sign Language Interpreters.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stedt, Joe D.

    1992-01-01

    In a survey concerning repetitive stress injury (RSI) and carpal tunnel syndrome, 87 percent of the 40 sign language interpreters reported that they had at some time experienced at least 2 symptoms associated with RSI, and most interpreters knew others with RSI problems. Data indicate that RSI is a severe problem among sign language interpreters.…

  20. Perception of Sign Language and Its Application to Visual Communications for Deaf People

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muir, Laura J.; Richardson, Iain E. G.

    2005-01-01

    Video communication systems for deaf people are limited in terms of quality and performance. Analysis of visual attention mechanisms for sign language may enable optimization of video coding systems for deaf users. Eye-movement tracking experiments were conducted with profoundly deaf volunteers while watching sign language video clips. Deaf people…

  1. Sign Language Vocabulary Development Practices and Internet Use Among Educational Interpreters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Storey, Brian C.; Jamieson, Janet R.

    2004-01-01

    Sign language interpreters working in schools often face isolation in terms of their sign language vocabulary development opportunities. The purposes of this study were to determine the key demographic characteristics of educational interpreters in British Columbia, to identify the resources they use to learn new vocabulary, and to shed light on…

  2. Regional Cerebral Blood Flow during Sign Language Perception: Deaf and Hearing Subjects with Deaf Parents Compared.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soderfeldt, Birgitta; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Examined cerebral activation during sign language comprehension in six persons with deafness and nine hearing persons, all of whose parents were deaf. The group with deafness showed more activation than the hearing group in the right parieto-occipital region, indicating that they were more dependent on the spatial components in sign language than…

  3. Identifying Movement Patterns and Severity of Associated Pain in Sign Language Interpreters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freeman, Julie K.; Rogers, Janet L.

    2010-01-01

    Our research sought to identify the most common movement patterns and postures performed by sign language interpreters and the frequency and severity of any pain that may be associated with the movements. A survey was developed and mailed to registered sign language interpreters throughout the state of Illinois. For each specific upper extremity…

  4. Iconicity and Productivity in Sign Language Discourse: An Analysis of Three LIS Discourse Registers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Russo, Tommaso

    2004-01-01

    In this article the linguistic features of three Italian Sign Language (Lingua Italiana dei Segni, or LIS) registers are analyzed focusing on iconic phenomena. Previous treatments of iconicity and motivation in spoken and signed language are discussed. Iconicity is defined as a regular mapping between expressive form and meaning that can be active…

  5. Gesture in Multiparty Interaction: A Study of Embodied Discourse in Spoken English and American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shaw, Emily P.

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation is an examination of gesture in two game nights: one in spoken English between four hearing friends and another in American Sign Language between four Deaf friends. Analyses of gesture have shown there exists a complex integration of manual gestures with speech. Analyses of sign language have implicated the body as a medium…

  6. In a Different Voice: Sign Language Preservation and America's Deaf Community.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burch, Susan

    2000-01-01

    Oralism, which teaches lip reading and speech instead of American Sign Language (ASL), was hostile to deaf culture in the early 1900s. Deaf resistance to oralism solidified the deaf community through support of deaf teachers; establishment of deaf newspapers, clubs, and churches; and production of sign-language films and dictionaries. (Contains 60…

  7. Deaf Students' Receptive and Expressive American Sign Language Skills: Comparisons and Relations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beal-Alvarez, Jennifer S.

    2014-01-01

    This article presents receptive and expressive American Sign Language skills of 85 students, 6 through 22 years of age at a residential school for the deaf using the American Sign Language Receptive Skills Test and the Ozcaliskan Motion Stimuli. Results are presented by ages and indicate that students' receptive skills increased with age and…

  8. Lexical Properties of Slovene Sign Language: A Corpus-Based Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vintar, Špela

    2015-01-01

    Slovene Sign Language (SZJ) has as yet received little attention from linguists. This article presents some basic facts about SZJ, its history, current status, and a description of the Slovene Sign Language Corpus and Pilot Grammar (SIGNOR) project, which compiled and annotated a representative corpus of SZJ. Finally, selected quantitative data…

  9. Constructing an Online Test Framework, Using the Example of a Sign Language Receptive Skills Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haug, Tobias; Herman, Rosalind; Woll, Bencie

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents the features of an online test framework for a receptive skills test that has been adapted, based on a British template, into different sign languages. The online test includes features that meet the needs of the different sign language versions. Features such as usability of the test, automatic saving of scores, and score…

  10. Shared Thinking Processes with Four Deaf Poets: A Window on "the Creative" in "Creative Sign Language"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    West, Donna; Sutton-Spence, Rachel

    2012-01-01

    This article discusses a new way of thinking about analyzing sign-language poetry. Rather than merely focusing on the product, the method involves observing the process of its creation. Recent years have witnessed increasing literary and linguistic analysis of sign-language poetry, with commentaries on texts and performances being set within and…

  11. Tracking the Demographics of (Urban) Language Shift--An Analysis of South African Census Data

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deumert, Ana

    2010-01-01

    This paper provides an analysis of language shift from African languages to English (and Afrikaans) in South Africa, using home language data from the South African population census (1996 and 2001). Although census data have been criticised for its "essentialist" construction of language, they nevertheless provide sociolinguists with a…

  12. Health websites: accessibility and usability for American sign language users.

    PubMed

    Kushalnagar, Poorna; Naturale, Joan; Paludneviciene, Raylene; Smith, Scott R; Werfel, Emily; Doolittle, Richard; Jacobs, Stephen; DeCaro, James

    2015-01-01

    To date, there have been efforts toward creating better health information access for Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users. However, the usability of websites with access to health information in ASL has not been evaluated. Our article focuses on the usability of four health websites that include ASL videos. We seek to obtain ASL users' perspectives on the navigation of these ASL-accessible websites, finding the health information that they needed, and perceived ease of understanding ASL video content. ASL users (n = 32) were instructed to find specific information on four ASL-accessible websites, and answered questions related to (a) navigation to find the task, (b) website usability, and (c) ease of understanding ASL video content for each of the four websites. Participants also gave feedback on what they would like to see in an ASL health library website, including the benefit of added captioning and/or signer model to medical illustration of health videos. Participants who had lower health literacy had greater difficulty in finding information on ASL-accessible health websites. This article also describes the participants' preferences for an ideal ASL-accessible health website, and concludes with a discussion on the role of accessible websites in promoting health literacy in ASL users.

  13. Arabic sign language recognition based on HOG descriptor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben Jmaa, Ahmed; Mahdi, Walid; Ben Jemaa, Yousra; Ben Hamadou, Abdelmajid

    2017-02-01

    We present in this paper a new approach for Arabic sign language (ArSL) alphabet recognition using hand gesture analysis. This analysis consists in extracting a histogram of oriented gradient (HOG) features from a hand image and then using them to generate an SVM Models. Which will be used to recognize the ArSL alphabet in real-time from hand gesture using a Microsoft Kinect camera. Our approach involves three steps: (i) Hand detection and localization using a Microsoft Kinect camera, (ii) hand segmentation and (iii) feature extraction using Arabic alphabet recognition. One each input image first obtained by using a depth sensor, we apply our method based on hand anatomy to segment hand and eliminate all the errors pixels. This approach is invariant to scale, to rotation and to translation of the hand. Some experimental results show the effectiveness of our new approach. Experiment revealed that the proposed ArSL system is able to recognize the ArSL with an accuracy of 90.12%.

  14. Towards a Transcription System of Sign Language for 3D Virtual Agents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Do Amaral, Wanessa Machado; de Martino, José Mario

    Accessibility is a growing concern in computer science. Since virtual information is mostly presented visually, it may seem that access for deaf people is not an issue. However, for prelingually deaf individuals, those who were deaf since before acquiring and formally learn a language, written information is often of limited accessibility than if presented in signing. Further, for this community, signing is their language of choice, and reading text in a spoken language is akin to using a foreign language. Sign language uses gestures and facial expressions and is widely used by deaf communities. To enabling efficient production of signed content on virtual environment, it is necessary to make written records of signs. Transcription systems have been developed to describe sign languages in written form, but these systems have limitations. Since they were not originally designed with computer animation in mind, in general, the recognition and reproduction of signs in these systems is an easy task only to those who deeply know the system. The aim of this work is to develop a transcription system to provide signed content in virtual environment. To animate a virtual avatar, a transcription system requires explicit enough information, such as movement speed, signs concatenation, sequence of each hold-and-movement and facial expressions, trying to articulate close to reality. Although many important studies in sign languages have been published, the transcription problem remains a challenge. Thus, a notation to describe, store and play signed content in virtual environments offers a multidisciplinary study and research tool, which may help linguistic studies to understand the sign languages structure and grammar.

  15. Report on BAAL "Language in Africa" SIG Meetings Reading in African Languages: Developing Literacies and Reading Methodologies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wildsmith-Cromarty, Rosemary

    2015-01-01

    This report describes ongoing research on reading in African languages. It draws mainly on contributions from two British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL) "Language in Africa" (LiA) Special Interest Group (SIG) meetings: the LiA SIG strand at BAAL 2013 and the seminar on "Reading Methodologies in African Languages"…

  16. American Sign Language as a Foreign Language in U.S. High Schools: State of the Art

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosen, Russell S.

    2008-01-01

    The last 2 decades witnessed a growth in American Sign Language (ASL) as a foreign language in U.S. secondary schools. This overview of the current state of ASL as a foreign language in the schools consists of a history and a survey. The information on history was drawn from a study conducted by Rosen (2006). This history is followed by a national…

  17. ERP correlates of German Sign Language processing in deaf native signers

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The present study investigated the neural correlates of sign language processing of Deaf people who had learned German Sign Language (Deutsche Gebärdensprache, DGS) from their Deaf parents as their first language. Correct and incorrect signed sentences were presented sign by sign on a computer screen. At the end of each sentence the participants had to judge whether or not the sentence was an appropriate DGS sentence. Two types of violations were introduced: (1) semantically incorrect sentences containing a selectional restriction violation (implausible object); (2) morphosyntactically incorrect sentences containing a verb that was incorrectly inflected (i.e., incorrect direction of movement). Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded from 74 scalp electrodes. Results Semantic violations (implausible signs) elicited an N400 effect followed by a positivity. Sentences with a morphosyntactic violation (verb agreement violation) elicited a negativity followed by a broad centro-parietal positivity. Conclusions ERP correlates of semantic and morphosyntactic aspects of DGS clearly differed from each other and showed a number of similarities with those observed in other signed and oral languages. These data suggest a similar functional organization of signed and oral languages despite the visual-spacial modality of sign language. PMID:24884527

  18. Event representations constrain the structure of language: Sign language as a window into universally accessible linguistic biases

    PubMed Central

    Strickland, Brent; Geraci, Carlo; Chemla, Emmanuel; Schlenker, Philippe; Kelepir, Meltem; Pfau, Roland

    2015-01-01

    According to a theoretical tradition dating back to Aristotle, verbs can be classified into two broad categories. Telic verbs (e.g., “decide,” “sell,” “die”) encode a logical endpoint, whereas atelic verbs (e.g., “think,” “negotiate,” “run”) do not, and the denoted event could therefore logically continue indefinitely. Here we show that sign languages encode telicity in a seemingly universal way and moreover that even nonsigners lacking any prior experience with sign language understand these encodings. In experiments 1–5, nonsigning English speakers accurately distinguished between telic (e.g., “decide”) and atelic (e.g., “think”) signs from (the historically unrelated) Italian Sign Language, Sign Language of the Netherlands, and Turkish Sign Language. These results were not due to participants' inferring that the sign merely imitated the action in question. In experiment 6, we used pseudosigns to show that the presence of a salient visual boundary at the end of a gesture was sufficient to elicit telic interpretations, whereas repeated movement without salient boundaries elicited atelic interpretations. Experiments 7–10 confirmed that these visual cues were used by all of the sign languages studied here. Together, these results suggest that signers and nonsigners share universally accessible notions of telicity as well as universally accessible “mapping biases” between telicity and visual form. PMID:25918419

  19. Event representations constrain the structure of language: Sign language as a window into universally accessible linguistic biases.

    PubMed

    Strickland, Brent; Geraci, Carlo; Chemla, Emmanuel; Schlenker, Philippe; Kelepir, Meltem; Pfau, Roland

    2015-05-12

    According to a theoretical tradition dating back to Aristotle, verbs can be classified into two broad categories. Telic verbs (e.g., "decide," "sell," "die") encode a logical endpoint, whereas atelic verbs (e.g., "think," "negotiate," "run") do not, and the denoted event could therefore logically continue indefinitely. Here we show that sign languages encode telicity in a seemingly universal way and moreover that even nonsigners lacking any prior experience with sign language understand these encodings. In experiments 1-5, nonsigning English speakers accurately distinguished between telic (e.g., "decide") and atelic (e.g., "think") signs from (the historically unrelated) Italian Sign Language, Sign Language of the Netherlands, and Turkish Sign Language. These results were not due to participants' inferring that the sign merely imitated the action in question. In experiment 6, we used pseudosigns to show that the presence of a salient visual boundary at the end of a gesture was sufficient to elicit telic interpretations, whereas repeated movement without salient boundaries elicited atelic interpretations. Experiments 7-10 confirmed that these visual cues were used by all of the sign languages studied here. Together, these results suggest that signers and nonsigners share universally accessible notions of telicity as well as universally accessible "mapping biases" between telicity and visual form.

  20. Sign language recognition and translation: a multidisciplined approach from the field of artificial intelligence.

    PubMed

    Parton, Becky Sue

    2006-01-01

    In recent years, research has progressed steadily in regard to the use of computers to recognize and render sign language. This paper reviews significant projects in the field beginning with finger-spelling hands such as "Ralph" (robotics), CyberGloves (virtual reality sensors to capture isolated and continuous signs), camera-based projects such as the CopyCat interactive American Sign Language game (computer vision), and sign recognition software (Hidden Markov Modeling and neural network systems). Avatars such as "Tessa" (Text and Sign Support Assistant; three-dimensional imaging) and spoken language to sign language translation systems such as Poland's project entitled "THETOS" (Text into Sign Language Automatic Translator, which operates in Polish; natural language processing) are addressed. The application of this research to education is also explored. The "ICICLE" (Interactive Computer Identification and Correction of Language Errors) project, for example, uses intelligent computer-aided instruction to build a tutorial system for deaf or hard-of-hearing children that analyzes their English writing and makes tailored lessons and recommendations. Finally, the article considers synthesized sign, which is being added to educational material and has the potential to be developed by students themselves.

  1. Recessive hereditary deafness, assortative mating, and persistence of a sign language.

    PubMed

    Aoki, K; Feldman, M W

    1991-06-01

    We model the cultural transmission of sign language when there is one-locus genetic variation for deafness and hearing. Our premises are that the deaf are more motivated to learn sign language than the hearing, and that a vertically transmitted sign language, unlike recessive hereditary deafness, cannot "jump a generation." Conditions are obtained for persistence (i.e. protection from loss) of signers. These conditions are more easily satisfied the greater the fraction of the hearing who also learn sign language and as the frequency of the recessive gene for deafness increases. Persistence is also facilitated by assortative mating for deafness, but not by assortment for signing. With vertical transmission only, it is necessary that one signer parent be able to transmit sign language with greater than one-half the efficiency of two. Under the assumption that the hearing do not learn sign language, the following additional results are obtained. Persistence is more likely with dominant as opposed to recessive inheritance. When recessive hereditary and acquired deafness co-occur, increasing the frequency of the latter has opposite effects depending on the degree of assortment. Opportunities for the deaf to learn sign language outside the family seem not to affect the conditions for persistence.

  2. A Kinect-Based Sign Language Hand Gesture Recognition System for Hearing- and Speech-Impaired: A Pilot Study of Pakistani Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Halim, Zahid; Abbas, Ghulam

    2015-01-01

    Sign language provides hearing and speech impaired individuals with an interface to communicate with other members of the society. Unfortunately, sign language is not understood by most of the common people. For this, a gadget based on image processing and pattern recognition can provide with a vital aid for detecting and translating sign language into a vocal language. This work presents a system for detecting and understanding the sign language gestures by a custom built software tool and later translating the gesture into a vocal language. For the purpose of recognizing a particular gesture, the system employs a Dynamic Time Warping (DTW) algorithm and an off-the-shelf software tool is employed for vocal language generation. Microsoft(®) Kinect is the primary tool used to capture video stream of a user. The proposed method is capable of successfully detecting gestures stored in the dictionary with an accuracy of 91%. The proposed system has the ability to define and add custom made gestures. Based on an experiment in which 10 individuals with impairments used the system to communicate with 5 people with no disability, 87% agreed that the system was useful.

  3. Bridge of Signs: Can Sign Language Empower Non-Deaf Children to Triumph over Their Communication Disabilities?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toth, Anne

    2009-01-01

    This pilot research project examined the use of sign language as a communication bridge for non-Deaf children between the ages of 0-6 years who had been diagnosed with, or whose communication difficulties suggested, the presence of such disorders as Autism, Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and/or learning disabilities.…

  4. How Deaf American Sign Language/English Bilingual Children Become Proficient Readers: An Emic Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mounty, Judith L.; Pucci, Concetta T.; Harmon, Kristen C.

    2014-01-01

    A primary tenet underlying American Sign Language/English bilingual education for deaf students is that early access to a visual language, developed in conjunction with language planning principles, provides a foundation for literacy in English. The goal of this study is to obtain an emic perspective on bilingual deaf readers transitioning from…

  5. Comprehension of Spoken, Written and Signed Sentences in Childhood Language Disorders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bishop, D. V. M.

    1982-01-01

    Nine children suffering from Landau-Kleffner (L-K) syndrome and 25 children with developmental expressive disorders were tested for comprehension of English grammatical structures in spoken, written, and signed language modalities. L-K children demonstrated comprehension problems in all three language modalities and tended to treat language as…

  6. Sign Language and Pantomime Production Differentially Engage Frontal and Parietal Cortices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emmorey, Karen; McCullough, Stephen; Mehta, Sonya; Ponto, Laura L. B.; Grabowski, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the functional organisation of neural systems supporting language production when the primary language articulators are also used for meaningful, but nonlinguistic, expression such as pantomime. Fourteen hearing nonsigners and 10 deaf native users of American Sign Language (ASL) participated in an H[subscript 2][superscript…

  7. Using African Languages for Democracy and Lifelong Learning in Africa: A Post-2015 Challenge and the Work of CASAS

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brock-Utne, Birgit; Mercer, Malcolm

    2014-01-01

    Africans speak African languages in their everyday lives while lessons in school are delivered in an exogenous language. In many places adult education is also carried out in a language the majority of people do not speak. The exogenous languages, which are the languages of the former colonial powers and mastered just by a small African elite, are…

  8. Sexual Health Behaviors of Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) Users

    PubMed Central

    Heiman, Erica; Haynes, Sharon; McKee, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Background Little is known about the sexual health behaviors of Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users. Objective We sought to characterize the self-reported sexual behaviors of Deaf individuals. Methods Responses from 282 Deaf participants aged 18–64 from the greater Rochester, NY area who participated in the 2008 Deaf Health were analyzed. These data were compared with weighted data from a general population comparison group (N=1890). We looked at four sexual health-related outcomes: abstinence within the past year; number of sexual partners within the last year; condom use at last intercourse; and ever tested for HIV. We performed descriptive analyses, including stratification by gender, age, income, marital status, and educational level. Results Deaf respondents were more likely than the general population respondents to self-report two or more sexual partners in the past year (30.9% vs 10.1%) but self-reported higher condom use at last intercourse (28.0% vs 19.8%). HIV testing rates were similar between groups (47.5% vs 49.4%) but lower for certain Deaf groups: Deaf women (46.0% vs. 58.1%), lower-income Deaf (44.4% vs. 69.7%) and among less educated Deaf (31.3% vs. 57.7%) than among respondents from corresponding general population groups. Conclusion Deaf respondents self-reported higher numbers of sexual partners over the past year compared to the general population. Condom use was higher among Deaf participants. HIV was similar between groups, though HIV testing was significantly lower among lower-income, less well-educated, and female Deaf respondents. Deaf individuals have a sexual health risk profile that is distinct from that of the general population. PMID:26242551

  9. A Kinect based sign language recognition system using spatio-temporal features

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Memiş, Abbas; Albayrak, Songül

    2013-12-01

    This paper presents a sign language recognition system that uses spatio-temporal features on RGB video images and depth maps for dynamic gestures of Turkish Sign Language. Proposed system uses motion differences and accumulation approach for temporal gesture analysis. Motion accumulation method, which is an effective method for temporal domain analysis of gestures, produces an accumulated motion image by combining differences of successive video frames. Then, 2D Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT) is applied to accumulated motion images and temporal domain features transformed into spatial domain. These processes are performed on both RGB images and depth maps separately. DCT coefficients that represent sign gestures are picked up via zigzag scanning and feature vectors are generated. In order to recognize sign gestures, K-Nearest Neighbor classifier with Manhattan distance is performed. Performance of the proposed sign language recognition system is evaluated on a sign database that contains 1002 isolated dynamic signs belongs to 111 words of Turkish Sign Language (TSL) in three different categories. Proposed sign language recognition system has promising success rates.

  10. Written Forms of Signed languages: A Route to Literacy for Deaf Learners?

    PubMed

    Mayer, Connie

    2017-01-01

    While there have been attempts to develop written systems for signed languages, none have been widely used or adopted. In his article in an American Annals of the Deaf special issue that also includes the present article, Grushkin makes a case not only for why, but how efforts should be renewed to develop a written signed language, suggesting that increased written-English competence will be a consequence of increased competence in written and signed American Sign Language, with literacy-related skills transferring across languages. The present author responds in terms of what is known about linguistic interdependence in spoken-language contexts and in light of the evidence base from hearing bilinguals. She argues that, given the field's current context, no compelling rationale exists for pursuing this route to literacy for deaf learners, and that other routes are more workable from pragmatic, theoretical, and evidence-based perspectives.

  11. Teachers' perceptions of promoting sign language phonological awareness in an ASL/English bilingual program.

    PubMed

    Crume, Peter K

    2013-10-01

    The National Reading Panel emphasizes that spoken language phonological awareness (PA) developed at home and school can lead to improvements in reading performance in young children. However, research indicates that many deaf children are good readers even though they have limited spoken language PA. Is it possible that some deaf students benefit from teachers who promote sign language PA instead? The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine teachers' beliefs and instructional practices related to sign language PA. A thematic analysis is conducted on 10 participant interviews at an ASL/English bilingual school for the deaf to understand their views and instructional practices. The findings reveal that the participants had strong beliefs in developing students' structural knowledge of signs and used a variety of instructional strategies to build students' knowledge of sign structures in order to promote their language and literacy skills.

  12. Neural systems supporting linguistic structure, linguistic experience, and symbolic communication in sign language and gesture.

    PubMed

    Newman, Aaron J; Supalla, Ted; Fernandez, Nina; Newport, Elissa L; Bavelier, Daphne

    2015-09-15

    Sign languages used by deaf communities around the world possess the same structural and organizational properties as spoken languages: In particular, they are richly expressive and also tightly grammatically constrained. They therefore offer the opportunity to investigate the extent to which the neural organization for language is modality independent, as well as to identify ways in which modality influences this organization. The fact that sign languages share the visual-manual modality with a nonlinguistic symbolic communicative system-gesture-further allows us to investigate where the boundaries lie between language and symbolic communication more generally. In the present study, we had three goals: to investigate the neural processing of linguistic structure in American Sign Language (using verbs of motion classifier constructions, which may lie at the boundary between language and gesture); to determine whether we could dissociate the brain systems involved in deriving meaning from symbolic communication (including both language and gesture) from those specifically engaged by linguistically structured content (sign language); and to assess whether sign language experience influences the neural systems used for understanding nonlinguistic gesture. The results demonstrated that even sign language constructions that appear on the surface to be similar to gesture are processed within the left-lateralized frontal-temporal network used for spoken languages-supporting claims that these constructions are linguistically structured. Moreover, although nonsigners engage regions involved in human action perception to process communicative, symbolic gestures, signers instead engage parts of the language-processing network-demonstrating an influence of experience on the perception of nonlinguistic stimuli.

  13. Lexicalisation and de-lexicalisation processes in sign languages: Comparing depicting constructions and viewpoint gestures

    PubMed Central

    Cormier, Kearsy; Quinto-Pozos, David; Sevcikova, Zed; Schembri, Adam

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we compare so-called “classifier” constructions in signed languages (which we refer to as “depicting constructions”) with comparable iconic gestures produced by non-signers. We show clear correspondences between entity constructions and observer viewpoint gestures on the one hand, and handling constructions and character viewpoint gestures on the other. Such correspondences help account for both lexicalisation and de-lexicalisation processes in signed languages and how these processes are influenced by viewpoint. Understanding these processes is crucial when coding and annotating natural sign language data. PMID:23805017

  14. A dynamic gesture recognition system for the Korean sign language (KSL).

    PubMed

    Kim, J S; Jang, W; Bien, Z

    1996-01-01

    The sign language is a method of communication for the deaf-mute. Articulated gestures and postures of hands and fingers are commonly used for the sign language. This paper presents a system which recognizes the Korean sign language (KSL) and translates into a normal Korean text. A pair of data-gloves are used as the sensing device for detecting motions of hands and fingers. For efficient recognition of gestures and postures, a technique of efficient classification of motions is proposed and a fuzzy min-max neural network is adopted for on-line pattern recognition.

  15. On the linguistic status of ‘agreement’ in sign languages

    PubMed Central

    LILLO-MARTIN, DIANE; MEIER, RICHARD P.

    2013-01-01

    In signed languages, the arguments of verbs can be marked by a system of verbal modification that has been termed “agreement” (more neutrally, “directionality”). Fundamental issues regarding directionality remain unresolved and the phenomenon has characteristics that call into question its analysis as agreement. We conclude that directionality marks person in American Sign Language, and the ways person marking interacts with syntactic phenomena are largely analogous to morpho-syntactic properties of familiar agreement systems. Overall, signed languages provide a crucial test for how gestural and linguistic mechanisms can jointly contribute to the satisfaction of fundamental aspects of linguistic structure. PMID:23495262

  16. Neural stages of spoken, written, and signed word processing in beginning second language learners.

    PubMed

    Leonard, Matthew K; Ferjan Ramirez, Naja; Torres, Christina; Hatrak, Marla; Mayberry, Rachel I; Halgren, Eric

    2013-01-01

    WE COMBINED MAGNETOENCEPHALOGRAPHY (MEG) AND MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) TO EXAMINE HOW SENSORY MODALITY, LANGUAGE TYPE, AND LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY INTERACT DURING TWO FUNDAMENTAL STAGES OF WORD PROCESSING: (1) an early word encoding stage, and (2) a later supramodal lexico-semantic stage. Adult native English speakers who were learning American Sign Language (ASL) performed a semantic task for spoken and written English words, and ASL signs. During the early time window, written words evoked responses in left ventral occipitotemporal cortex, and spoken words in left superior temporal cortex. Signed words evoked activity in right intraparietal sulcus that was marginally greater than for written words. During the later time window, all three types of words showed significant activity in the classical left fronto-temporal language network, the first demonstration of such activity in individuals with so little second language (L2) instruction in sign. In addition, a dissociation between semantic congruity effects and overall MEG response magnitude for ASL responses suggested shallower and more effortful processing, presumably reflecting novice L2 learning. Consistent with previous research on non-dominant language processing in spoken languages, the L2 ASL learners also showed recruitment of right hemisphere and lateral occipital cortex. These results demonstrate that late lexico-semantic processing utilizes a common substrate, independent of modality, and that proficiency effects in sign language are comparable to those in spoken language.

  17. Motives and Outcomes of New Zealand Sign Language Legislation: A Comparative Study between New Zealand and Finland

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reffell, Hayley; McKee, Rachel Locker

    2009-01-01

    The medicalized interpretation of deafness has until recently seen the rights and protections of sign language users embedded in disability law. Yet the rights and protections crucial to sign language users centre predominantly on matters of language access, maintenance and identity. Legislators, motivated by pressure from sign language…

  18. Copula Deletion and West African Languages: A Source for Covert Norms in American Black English.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donahue, Thomas S.

    The loss of the copula in Black English Vernacular (BEV) is demonstrably traceable to norms of pidginization that have their roots in West African languages and in contact among those languages. An extensive examination of the verb systems of a number of West African languages reveals that in every case a variety of verbal forms serves the many…

  19. The South African English Language Scene within a (Global) Holographic Triadic Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gray, Rosemary

    2008-01-01

    The main focus of this paper is on the triangulated work of the 1996 South African Constitution, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), and one of the latter's eleven language subsidiaries: the English National Language Body (ENLB), with special reference to the ENLB's likewise triadic projects on literature; on variation and…

  20. Lexical prediction via forward models: N400 evidence from German Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Hosemann, Jana; Herrmann, Annika; Steinbach, Markus; Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, Ina; Schlesewsky, Matthias

    2013-09-01

    Models of language processing in the human brain often emphasize the prediction of upcoming input-for example in order to explain the rapidity of language understanding. However, the precise mechanisms of prediction are still poorly understood. Forward models, which draw upon the language production system to set up expectations during comprehension, provide a promising approach in this regard. Here, we present an event-related potential (ERP) study on German Sign Language (DGS) which tested the hypotheses of a forward model perspective on prediction. Sign languages involve relatively long transition phases between one sign and the next, which should be anticipated as part of a forward model-based prediction even though they are semantically empty. Native speakers of DGS watched videos of naturally signed DGS sentences which either ended with an expected or a (semantically) unexpected sign. Unexpected signs engendered a biphasic N400-late positivity pattern. Crucially, N400 onset preceded critical sign onset and was thus clearly elicited by properties of the transition phase. The comprehension system thereby clearly anticipated modality-specific information about the realization of the predicted semantic item. These results provide strong converging support for the application of forward models in language comprehension.

  1. Neural systems supporting linguistic structure, linguistic experience, and symbolic communication in sign language and gesture

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Aaron J.; Supalla, Ted; Fernandez, Nina; Newport, Elissa L.; Bavelier, Daphne

    2015-01-01

    Sign languages used by deaf communities around the world possess the same structural and organizational properties as spoken languages: In particular, they are richly expressive and also tightly grammatically constrained. They therefore offer the opportunity to investigate the extent to which the neural organization for language is modality independent, as well as to identify ways in which modality influences this organization. The fact that sign languages share the visual–manual modality with a nonlinguistic symbolic communicative system—gesture—further allows us to investigate where the boundaries lie between language and symbolic communication more generally. In the present study, we had three goals: to investigate the neural processing of linguistic structure in American Sign Language (using verbs of motion classifier constructions, which may lie at the boundary between language and gesture); to determine whether we could dissociate the brain systems involved in deriving meaning from symbolic communication (including both language and gesture) from those specifically engaged by linguistically structured content (sign language); and to assess whether sign language experience influences the neural systems used for understanding nonlinguistic gesture. The results demonstrated that even sign language constructions that appear on the surface to be similar to gesture are processed within the left-lateralized frontal-temporal network used for spoken languages—supporting claims that these constructions are linguistically structured. Moreover, although nonsigners engage regions involved in human action perception to process communicative, symbolic gestures, signers instead engage parts of the language-processing network—demonstrating an influence of experience on the perception of nonlinguistic stimuli. PMID:26283352

  2. Detecting Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Deaf People: The British Sign Language Cognitive Screening Test.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, Joanna; Denmark, Tanya; Marshall, Jane; Mummery, Cath; Woll, Bencie

    2015-11-01

    To provide accurate diagnostic screening of deaf people who use signed communication, cognitive tests must be devised in signed languages with normative deaf samples. This article describes the development of the first screening test for the detection of cognitive impairment and dementia in deaf signers. The British Sign Language Cognitive Screening Test uses standardized video administration to screen cognition using signed, rather than spoken or written, instructions and a large norm-referenced sample of 226 deaf older people. Percentiles are provided for clinical comparison. The tests showed good reliability, content validity, and correlation with age, intellectual ability, and education. Clinical discrimination was shown between the normative sample and 14 deaf patients with dementia. This innovative testing approach transforms the ability to detect dementia in deaf people, avoids the difficulties of using an interpreter, and enables culturally and linguistically sensitive assessment of deaf signers, with international potential for adaptation into other signed languages.

  3. Fingerspelling and sign language as alternative codes for reading and writing words for Chilean deaf signers.

    PubMed

    Puente, Aníbal; Alvarado, Jesús M; Herrera, Valeria

    2006-01-01

    The study examined the role of sign language and fingerspelling in the development of the reading and writing skills of deaf children and youth. Twenty-six deaf participants (13 children, 13 adolescents), whose first language was Chilean Sign Language (CHSL), were examined. Their dactylic abilities were evaluated with tasks involving the reading and writing of dactylic and orthographic codes. The study included three experiments: (a) the identification of Chilean signs and fingerspelled words, (b) the matching of fingerspelled words with commercial logos, and (c) the decoding of fingerspelled words and the mapping of these words onto the writing system. The results provide convergent evidence that the use of fingerspelling and sign language is related to orthographic skills. It is concluded that fingerspelling can facilitate the internal representation of words and serve as a supporting mechanism for reading acquisition.

  4. Sign language users' education and employment levels: keeping pace with changes in the general Australian population?

    PubMed

    Willoughby, Louisa

    2011-01-01

    This article draws on data from the 2006 Australian census to explore the education and employment outcomes of sign languages users living in Victoria, Australia, and to compare them with outcomes reported in the general population. Census data have the advantage of sampling the entire population on the one night, avoiding problems of population comparability and sampling errors that may affect survey-based research. The analysis shows that sign language users are approaching parity with the general population on some measures of educational attainment, but there remains a gap in employment levels and particularly income. Sign language users aged 25-44 years show higher attainment than those in the 45-64 age group, suggesting that educational reforms in the last 30 years are having a positive impact on both education and employment levels. However, younger sign language users are still struggling to keep pace with improvements in certain employment outcomes that are seen in the general population.

  5. A Selected Annotated Bibliography of Books, Films, and Teaching Media on Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Association of the Deaf, Silver Spring, MD.

    The selected and annotated bibliography contains 22 book entries and nine entries on films and teaching media dealing with sign language. Each entry is described and its usage analyzed. Asterisks precede new titles. (JM)

  6. Independent transmission of sign language interpreter in DVB: assessment of image compression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zatloukal, Petr; Bernas, Martin; Dvořák, LukáÅ.¡

    2015-02-01

    Sign language on television provides information to deaf that they cannot get from the audio content. If we consider the transmission of the sign language interpreter over an independent data stream, the aim is to ensure sufficient intelligibility and subjective image quality of the interpreter with minimum bit rate. The work deals with the ROI-based video compression of Czech sign language interpreter implemented to the x264 open source library. The results of this approach are verified in subjective tests with the deaf. They examine the intelligibility of sign language expressions containing minimal pairs for different levels of compression and various resolution of image with interpreter and evaluate the subjective quality of the final image for a good viewing experience.

  7. The Relationship between American Sign Language Vocabulary and the Development of Language-Based Reasoning Skills in Deaf Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henner, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

    The language-based analogical reasoning abilities of Deaf children are a controversial topic. Researchers lack agreement about whether Deaf children possess the ability to reason using language-based analogies, or whether this ability is limited by a lack of access to vocabulary, both written and signed. This dissertation examines factors that…

  8. The neurobiology of sign language and the mirror system hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Emmorey, Karen

    2014-01-01

    I suggest two puzzles for the Mirror System Hypothesis. First, there is little evidence that mirror neuron populations for words or for signs exist in Broca’s area, and a mirror system is not critical for either speech or sign perception. Damage to Broca’s area (or to the mirror system for human action) does not result in deficits in sign or speech perception. Second, the gesticulations of speakers are highly integrated with speech, but pantomimes and modern protosigns (conventional gestures) are not co-expressive with speech, and they do not co-occur with speech. Further, signers also produce global, imagistic gesticulations with their mouths and bodies simultaneously while signing with their hands. The expanding spiral of protosign and protospeech does not predict the integrated and co-expressive nature of modern gestures produced by signers and speakers. PMID:24707322

  9. The Role of Language Program Directors in the Articulation of American Sign Language Foreign Language Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knigga, Margaret E.

    2012-01-01

    Lange (1988) has defined "articulation" as "the interrelationship and continuity of contents, curriculum, instruction, and evaluation with programs which focus on the progress of student in learning to both comprehend and communicate in a second language" (p. 16-17). It is the continuity of one course to the next without…

  10. Preliminary findings of similarities and differences in the signed and spoken language of children with autism.

    PubMed

    Shield, Aaron

    2014-11-01

    Approximately 30% of hearing children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) do not acquire expressive language, and those who do often show impairments related to their social deficits, using language instrumentally rather than socially, with a poor understanding of pragmatics and a tendency toward repetitive content. Linguistic abnormalities can be clinically useful as diagnostic markers of ASD and as targets for intervention. Studies have begun to document how ASD manifests in children who are deaf for whom signed languages are the primary means of communication. Though the underlying disorder is presumed to be the same in children who are deaf and children who hear, the structures of signed and spoken languages differ in key ways. This article describes similarities and differences between the signed and spoken language acquisition of children on the spectrum. Similarities include echolalia, pronoun avoidance, neologisms, and the existence of minimally verbal children. Possible areas of divergence include pronoun reversal, palm reversal, and facial grammar.

  11. Cross-Modal Bilingualism: Language Contact as Evidence of Linguistic Transfer in Sign Bilingual Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Menendez, Bruno

    2010-01-01

    New positive attitudes towards language interaction in the realm of bilingualism open new horizons for sign bilingual education. Plaza-Pust and Morales-Lopez have innovatively reconceptualised a new cross-disciplinary approach to sign bilingualism, based on both sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics. According to this framework, cross-modal…

  12. Testing Comprehension Abilities in Users of British Sign Language Following Cva

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkinson, J.; Marshall, J.; Woll, B.; Thacker, A.

    2005-01-01

    Recent imaging (e.g., MacSweeney et al., 2002) and lesion (Hickok, Love-Geffen, & Klima, 2002) studies suggest that sign language comprehension depends primarily on left hemisphere structures. However, this may not be true of all aspects of comprehension. For example, there is evidence that the processing of topographic space in sign may be…

  13. Sign Language Recognition and Translation: A Multidisciplined Approach from the Field of Artificial Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parton, Becky Sue

    2006-01-01

    In recent years, research has progressed steadily in regard to the use of computers to recognize and render sign language. This paper reviews significant projects in the field beginning with finger-spelling hands such as "Ralph" (robotics), CyberGloves (virtual reality sensors to capture isolated and continuous signs), camera-based…

  14. Music and Sign Language to Promote Infant and Toddler Communication and Enhance Parent-Child Interaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colwell, Cynthia; Memmott, Jenny; Meeker-Miller, Anne

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of using music and/or sign language to promote early communication in infants and toddlers (6-20 months) and to enhance parent-child interactions. Three groups used for this study were pairs of participants (care-giver(s) and child) assigned to each group: 1) Music Alone 2) Sign Language…

  15. Classroom Control through Manual Communication: The Use of Sign Language with Behaviorally Disordered Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Denise T.

    Sign language with verbal behaviorally disordered children is an alternative mode of communication for helping to maintain behavioral control. Also, fingerspelling is used to teach letter-sound association, particularly with vowels. The use of signs in the classroom reduces unnecessary conversation and expands on simple cues and signals most…

  16. Effects of Rate of Presentation on the Reception of American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fischer, Susan D.; Delhorne, Lorraine A.; Reed, Charlotte M.

    1999-01-01

    Videotaped productions of isolated American Sign Language signs or sentences were presented at speeds of two to six times normal. Results indicated a breakdown in intelligibility at around 2.5 to 3 times the normal rate. Results are similar to those found for auditory reception of time-compressed speech suggesting a modality-independent limit to…

  17. Schoolization: An Account of the Origins of Regional Variation in British Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quinn, Gary

    2010-01-01

    British Sign Language has a number of regional variations. This article examines the role of residential schools in the development of sign variants. Citing data collected during interviews with members of the Lancaster and Morecambe Deaf community (who of necessity attended schools elsewhere), it explores the peer-to-peer transmission of sign…

  18. Structure of the Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) for Computational Tools: Citizenship and Social Inclusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guimaraes, Cayley; Antunes, Diego R.; de F. Guilhermino Trindade, Daniela; da Silva, Rafaella A. Lopes; Garcia, Laura Sanchez

    This work presents a computational model (XML) of the Brazilian Sign Language (Libras), based on its phonology. The model was used to create a sample of representative signs to aid the recording of a base of videos whose aim is to support the development of tools to support genuine social inclusion of the deaf.

  19. Deaf Children Attending Different School Environments: Sign Language Abilities and Theory of Mind

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomasuolo, Elena; Valeri, Giovanni; Di Renzo, Alessio; Pasqualetti, Patrizio; Volterra, Virginia

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined whether full access to sign language as a medium for instruction could influence performance in Theory of Mind (ToM) tasks. Three groups of Italian participants (age range: 6-14 years) participated in the study: Two groups of deaf signing children and one group of hearing-speaking children. The two groups of deaf…

  20. Computer-Assisted Learning in British Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mertzani, Maria

    2011-01-01

    The fact that language teaching can be operationalized through computer-assisted language learning (CALL) has directed researchers' attention to the learning task, which, in this case, is considered to be the unit that demands analysis of the communicative processes in which the learner is involved while working with CALL. Research focuses on…

  1. Three-dimensional grammar in the brain: Dissociating the neural correlates of natural sign language and manually coded spoken language.

    PubMed

    Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Bola, Łukasz; Mostowski, Piotr; Szwed, Marcin; Boguszewski, Paweł M; Marchewka, Artur; Rutkowski, Paweł

    2015-05-01

    In several countries natural sign languages were considered inadequate for education. Instead, new sign-supported systems were created, based on the belief that spoken/written language is grammatically superior. One such system called SJM (system językowo-migowy) preserves the grammatical and lexical structure of spoken Polish and since 1960s has been extensively employed in schools and on TV. Nevertheless, the Deaf community avoids using SJM for everyday communication, its preferred language being PJM (polski język migowy), a natural sign language, structurally and grammatically independent of spoken Polish and featuring classifier constructions (CCs). Here, for the first time, we compare, with fMRI method, the neural bases of natural vs. devised communication systems. Deaf signers were presented with three types of signed sentences (SJM and PJM with/without CCs). Consistent with previous findings, PJM with CCs compared to either SJM or PJM without CCs recruited the parietal lobes. The reverse comparison revealed activation in the anterior temporal lobes, suggesting increased semantic combinatory processes in lexical sign comprehension. Finally, PJM compared with SJM engaged left posterior superior temporal gyrus and anterior temporal lobe, areas crucial for sentence-level speech comprehension. We suggest that activity in these two areas reflects greater processing efficiency for naturally evolved sign language.

  2. The influence of the visual modality on language structure and conventionalization: insights from sign language and gesture.

    PubMed

    Perniss, Pamela; Özyürek, Asli; Morgan, Gary

    2015-01-01

    For humans, the ability to communicate and use language is instantiated not only in the vocal modality but also in the visual modality. The main examples of this are sign languages and (co-speech) gestures. Sign languages, the natural languages of Deaf communities, use systematic and conventionalized movements of the hands, face, and body for linguistic expression. Co-speech gestures, though non-linguistic, are produced in tight semantic and temporal integration with speech and constitute an integral part of language together with speech. The articles in this issue explore and document how gestures and sign languages are similar or different and how communicative expression in the visual modality can change from being gestural to grammatical in nature through processes of conventionalization. As such, this issue contributes to our understanding of how the visual modality shapes language and the emergence of linguistic structure in newly developing systems. Studying the relationship between signs and gestures provides a new window onto the human ability to recruit multiple levels of representation (e.g., categorical, gradient, iconic, abstract) in the service of using or creating conventionalized communicative systems.

  3. When "Prof" Speaks, Who Listens? The African Elite and the Use of African Languages for Education and Development in African Communities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trudell, Barbara

    2010-01-01

    The role of African languages in formal and nonformal learning is the subject of increasing local, national and international interests. Cognitive and pedagogical reasons abound for using the language best understood by the learner. However, many nonpedagogical factors related to politics, economics, language attitudes and colonial history are…

  4. Assessment of Sign Language Development: The Case of Deaf Children in the Netherlands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hermans, Daan; Knoors, Harry; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2010-01-01

    In this article, we will describe the development of an assessment instrument for Sign Language of the Netherlands (SLN) for deaf children in bilingual education programs. The assessment instrument consists of nine computerized tests in which the receptive and expressive language skills of deaf children at different linguistic levels (phonology,…

  5. Lexical Organization in Deaf Children Who Use British Sign Language: Evidence from a Semantic Fluency Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Chloe R.; Rowley, Katherine; Mason, Kathryn; Herman, Rosalind; Morgan, Gary

    2013-01-01

    We adapted the semantic fluency task into British Sign Language (BSL). In Study 1, we present data from twenty-two deaf signers aged four to fifteen. We show that the same "cognitive signatures" that characterize this task in spoken languages are also present in deaf children, for example, the semantic clustering of responses. In Study…

  6. A Barking Dog That Never Bites? The British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Meulder, Maartje

    2015-01-01

    This article describes and analyses the pathway to the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill and the strategies used to reach it. Data collection has been done by means of interviews with key players, analysis of official documents, and participant observation. The article discusses the bill in relation to the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005…

  7. The processing of biologically plausible and implausible forms in American Sign Language: evidence for perceptual tuning

    PubMed Central

    Almeida, Diogo; Poeppel, David; Corina, David

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The human auditory system distinguishes speech-like information from general auditory signals in a remarkably fast and efficient way. Combining psychophysics and neurophysiology (MEG), we demonstrate a similar result for the processing of visual information used for language communication in users of sign languages. We demonstrate that the earliest visual cortical responses in deaf signers viewing American Sign Language signs show specific modulations to violations of anatomic constraints that would make the sign either possible or impossible to articulate. These neural data are accompanied with a significantly increased perceptual sensitivity to the anatomical incongruity. The differential effects in the early visual evoked potentials arguably reflect an expectation-driven assessment of somatic representational integrity, suggesting that language experience and/or auditory deprivation may shape the neuronal mechanisms underlying the analysis of complex human form. The data demonstrate that the perceptual tuning that underlies the discrimination of language and non-language information is not limited to spoken languages but extends to languages expressed in the visual modality. PMID:27135041

  8. Dissociating Linguistic and Non-Linguistic Gesture Processing: Electrophysiological Evidence from American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grosvald, Michael; Gutierrez, Eva; Hafer, Sarah; Corina, David

    2012-01-01

    A fundamental advance in our understanding of human language would come from a detailed account of how non-linguistic and linguistic manual actions are differentiated in real time by language users. To explore this issue, we targeted the N400, an ERP component known to be sensitive to semantic context. Deaf signers saw 120 American Sign Language…

  9. The Processing of Biologically Plausible and Implausible forms in American Sign Language: Evidence for Perceptual Tuning.

    PubMed

    Almeida, Diogo; Poeppel, David; Corina, David

    The human auditory system distinguishes speech-like information from general auditory signals in a remarkably fast and efficient way. Combining psychophysics and neurophysiology (MEG), we demonstrate a similar result for the processing of visual information used for language communication in users of sign languages. We demonstrate that the earliest visual cortical responses in deaf signers viewing American Sign Language (ASL) signs show specific modulations to violations of anatomic constraints that would make the sign either possible or impossible to articulate. These neural data are accompanied with a significantly increased perceptual sensitivity to the anatomical incongruity. The differential effects in the early visual evoked potentials arguably reflect an expectation-driven assessment of somatic representational integrity, suggesting that language experience and/or auditory deprivation may shape the neuronal mechanisms underlying the analysis of complex human form. The data demonstrate that the perceptual tuning that underlies the discrimination of language and non-language information is not limited to spoken languages but extends to languages expressed in the visual modality.

  10. Distinctive Feature Extraction for Indian Sign Language (ISL) Gesture using Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patil, Sandeep Baburao; Sinha, G. R.

    2016-07-01

    India, having less awareness towards the deaf and dumb peoples leads to increase the communication gap between deaf and hard hearing community. Sign language is commonly developed for deaf and hard hearing peoples to convey their message by generating the different sign pattern. The scale invariant feature transform was introduced by David Lowe to perform reliable matching between different images of the same object. This paper implements the various phases of scale invariant feature transform to extract the distinctive features from Indian sign language gestures. The experimental result shows the time constraint for each phase and the number of features extracted for 26 ISL gestures.

  11. Distinctive Feature Extraction for Indian Sign Language (ISL) Gesture using Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patil, Sandeep Baburao; Sinha, G. R.

    2017-02-01

    India, having less awareness towards the deaf and dumb peoples leads to increase the communication gap between deaf and hard hearing community. Sign language is commonly developed for deaf and hard hearing peoples to convey their message by generating the different sign pattern. The scale invariant feature transform was introduced by David Lowe to perform reliable matching between different images of the same object. This paper implements the various phases of scale invariant feature transform to extract the distinctive features from Indian sign language gestures. The experimental result shows the time constraint for each phase and the number of features extracted for 26 ISL gestures.

  12. Automatic Mexican sign language and digits recognition using normalized central moments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solís, Francisco; Martínez, David; Espinosa, Oscar; Toxqui, Carina

    2016-09-01

    This work presents a framework for automatic Mexican sign language and digits recognition based on computer vision system using normalized central moments and artificial neural networks. Images are captured by digital IP camera, four LED reflectors and a green background in order to reduce computational costs and prevent the use of special gloves. 42 normalized central moments are computed per frame and used in a Multi-Layer Perceptron to recognize each database. Four versions per sign and digit were used in training phase. 93% and 95% of recognition rates were achieved for Mexican sign language and digits respectively.

  13. Bilingual signed and spoken language acquisition from birth: implications for the mechanisms underlying early bilingual language acquisition.

    PubMed

    Petitto, L A; Katerelos, M; Levy, B G; Gauna, K; Tétreault, K; Ferraro, V

    2001-06-01

    Divergent hypotheses exist concerning the types of knowledge underlying early bilingualism, with some portraying a troubled course marred by language delays and confusion, and others portraying one that is largely unremarkable. We studied the extraordinary case of bilingual acquisition across two modalities to examine these hypotheses. Three children acquiring Langues des Signes Québécoise and French, and three children acquiring French and English (ages at onset approximately 1;0, 2;6 and 3;6 per group) were videotaped regularly over one year while we empirically manipulated novel and familiar speakers of each child's two languages. The results revealed that both groups achieved their early linguistic milestones in each of their languages at the same time (and similarly to monolinguals), produced a substantial number of semantically corresponding words in each of their two languages from their very first words or signs (translation equivalents), and demonstrated sensitivity to the interlocutor's language by altering their language choices. Children did mix their languages to varying degrees, and some persisted in using a language that was not the primary language of the addressee, but the propensity to do both was directly related to their parents' mixing rates, in combination with their own developing language preference. The signing-speaking bilinguals did exploit the modality possibilities, and they did simultaneously mix their signs and speech, but in semantically principled and highly constrained ways. It is concluded that the capacity to differentiate between two languages is well in place prior to first words, and it is hypothesized that this capacity may result from biological mechanisms that permit the discovery of early phonological representations. Reasons why paradoxical views of bilingual acquisition have persisted are also offered.

  14. Visual sign phonology: insights into human reading and language from a natural soundless phonology.

    PubMed

    Petitto, L A; Langdon, C; Stone, A; Andriola, D; Kartheiser, G; Cochran, C

    2016-11-01

    Among the most prevailing assumptions in science and society about the human reading process is that sound and sound-based phonology are critical to young readers. The child's sound-to-letter decoding is viewed as universal and vital to deriving meaning from print. We offer a different view. The crucial link for early reading success is not between segmental sounds and print. Instead the human brain's capacity to segment, categorize, and discern linguistic patterning makes possible the capacity to segment all languages. This biological process includes the segmentation of languages on the hands in signed languages. Exposure to natural sign language in early life equally affords the child's discovery of silent segmental units in visual sign phonology (VSP) that can also facilitate segmental decoding of print. We consider powerful biological evidence about the brain, how it builds sound and sign phonology, and why sound and sign phonology are equally important in language learning and reading. We offer a testable theoretical account, reading model, and predictions about how VSP can facilitate segmentation and mapping between print and meaning. We explain how VSP can be a powerful facilitator of all children's reading success (deaf and hearing)-an account with profound transformative impact on learning to read in deaf children with different language backgrounds. The existence of VSP has important implications for understanding core properties of all human language and reading, challenges assumptions about language and reading as being tied to sound, and provides novel insight into a remarkable biological equivalence in signed and spoken languages. WIREs Cogn Sci 2016, 7:366-381. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1404 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

  15. Static sign language recognition using 1D descriptors and neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solís, José F.; Toxqui, Carina; Padilla, Alfonso; Santiago, César

    2012-10-01

    A frame work for static sign language recognition using descriptors which represents 2D images in 1D data and artificial neural networks is presented in this work. The 1D descriptors were computed by two methods, first one consists in a correlation rotational operator.1 and second is based on contour analysis of hand shape. One of the main problems in sign language recognition is segmentation; most of papers report a special color in gloves or background for hand shape analysis. In order to avoid the use of gloves or special clothing, a thermal imaging camera was used to capture images. Static signs were picked up from 1 to 9 digits of American Sign Language, a multilayer perceptron reached 100% recognition with cross-validation.

  16. On language acquisition in speech and sign: development of combinatorial structure in both modalities

    PubMed Central

    Morgan, Gary

    2014-01-01

    Languages are composed of a conventionalized system of parts which allow speakers and signers to generate an infinite number of form-meaning mappings through phonological and morphological combinations. This level of linguistic organization distinguishes language from other communicative acts such as gestures. In contrast to signs, gestures are made up of meaning units that are mostly holistic. Children exposed to signed and spoken languages from early in life develop grammatical structure following similar rates and patterns. This is interesting, because signed languages are perceived and articulated in very different ways to their spoken counterparts with many signs displaying surface resemblances to gestures. The acquisition of forms and meanings in child signers and talkers might thus have been a different process. Yet in one sense both groups are faced with a similar problem: “how do I make a language with combinatorial structure”? In this paper I argue first language development itself enables this to happen and by broadly similar mechanisms across modalities. Combinatorial structure is the outcome of phonological simplifications and productivity in using verb morphology by children in sign and speech. PMID:25426085

  17. Assessing language skills in adult key word signers with intellectual disabilities: Insights from sign linguistics.

    PubMed

    Grove, Nicola; Woll, Bencie

    2017-03-01

    Manual signing is one of the most widely used approaches to support the communication and language skills of children and adults who have intellectual or developmental disabilities, and problems with communication in spoken language. A recent series of papers reporting findings from this population raises critical issues for professionals in the assessment of multimodal language skills of key word signers. Approaches to assessment will differ depending on whether key word signing (KWS) is viewed as discrete from, or related to, natural sign languages. Two available assessments from these different perspectives are compared. Procedures appropriate to the assessment of sign language production are recommended as a valuable addition to the clinician's toolkit. Sign and speech need to be viewed as multimodal, complementary communicative endeavours, rather than as polarities. Whilst narrative has been shown to be a fruitful context for eliciting language samples, assessments for adult users should be designed to suit the strengths, needs and values of adult signers with intellectual disabilities, using materials that are compatible with their life course stage rather than those designed for young children.

  18. Cross-linguistic differences in the neural representation of human language: evidence from users of signed languages.

    PubMed

    Corina, David P; Lawyer, Laurel A; Cates, Deborah

    2012-01-01

    Studies of deaf individuals who are users of signed languages have provided profound insight into the neural representation of human language. Case studies of deaf signers who have incurred left- and right-hemisphere damage have shown that left-hemisphere resources are a necessary component of sign language processing. These data suggest that, despite frank differences in the input and output modality of language, core left perisylvian regions universally serve linguistic function. Neuroimaging studies of deaf signers have generally provided support for this claim. However, more fine-tuned studies of linguistic processing in deaf signers are beginning to show evidence of important differences in the representation of signed and spoken languages. In this paper, we provide a critical review of this literature and present compelling evidence for language-specific cortical representations in deaf signers. These data lend support to the claim that the neural representation of language may show substantive cross-linguistic differences. We discuss the theoretical implications of these findings with respect to an emerging understanding of the neurobiology of language.

  19. Dual Language Use in Sign-Speech Bimodal Bilinguals: fNIRS Brain-Imaging Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Kovelman, Ioulia; Shalinsky, Mark H.; White, Katherine S.; Schmitt, Shawn N.; Berens, Melody S.; Paymer, Nora; Petitto, Laura-Ann

    2009-01-01

    The brain basis of bilinguals’ ability to use two languages at the same time has been a hotly debated topic. On the one hand, behavioral research has suggested that bilingual dual language use involves complex and highly principled linguistic processes. On the other hand, brain-imaging research has revealed that bilingual language switching involves neural activations in brain areas dedicated to general executive functions not specific to language processing, such as general task maintenance. Here we address the involvement of language-specific versus cognitive-general brain mechanisms for bilingual language processing by studying a unique population and using an innovative brain-imaging technology: bimodal bilinguals proficient in signed and spoken languages and functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS; Hitachi ETG-4000), which, like fMRI, measures hemodynamic change, but which is also advanced in permitting movement for unconstrained speech and sign production. Participant groups included (i) hearing ASL-English bilinguals, (ii) ASL monolinguals, and (iii) English monolinguals. Imaging tasks included picture naming in “Monolingual mode” (using one language at a time) and in “Bilingual mode” (using both languages either simultaneously or in rapid alternation). Behavioral results revealed that accuracy was similar among groups and conditions. By contrast, neuroimaging results revealed that bilinguals in Bilingual mode showed greater signal intensity within posterior temporal regions (“Wernicke’s area”) than in Monolingual mode. Significance: Bilinguals’ ability to use two languages effortlessly and without confusion involves the use of language-specific posterior temporal brain regions. This research with both fNIRS and bimodal bilinguals sheds new light on the extent and variability of brain tissue that underlies language processing, and addresses the tantalizing questions of how language modality, sign and speech, impact language

  20. Sign language recognition using intrinsic-mode sample entropy on sEMG and accelerometer data.

    PubMed

    Kosmidou, Vasiliki E; Hadjileontiadis, Leontios J

    2009-12-01

    Sign language forms a communication channel among the deaf; however, automated gesture recognition could further expand their communication with the hearers. In this work, data from five-channel surface electromyogram and 3-D accelerometer from the signer's dominant hand were analyzed using intrinsic-mode entropy (IMEn) for the automated recognition of Greek sign language (GSL) isolated signs. Discriminant analysis was used to identify the effective scales of the intrinsic-mode functions and the window length for the calculation of the IMEn that contributes to the efficient classification of the GSL signs. Experimental results from the IMEn analysis applied to GSL signs corresponding to 60-word lexicon repeated ten times by three native signers have shown more than 93% mean classification accuracy using IMEn as the only source of the classification feature set. This provides a promising bed-set toward the automated GSL gesture recognition.

  1. The status of sign language instruction in institutions of higher education: 1994-2004.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Sheryl B; Reisman, Joel I; Watson, Douglas

    2008-01-01

    Surveys of sign language programs in institutions of higher education in the United States, conducted in 1994 and 2004, are compared to reveal changes over time. Data are presented concerning the institutional environment of programs, program administrators, and instructors. Institutions examined in 2004 were on average 5 years older than those examined in 1994. More institutions accepted sign language for general education and foreign language requirements. Program administrators in 2004 were more likely to have primary duties as teachers rather than administrators, and to have greater understanding of the subject matter. Faculty in 2004 had more education and teaching experience. Full-time faculty showed increases in the proportion who were Deaf and the proportion who were in tenure-track positions. Program staff size increased. Overall, evidence indicates that sign language has become more accepted as an academic discipline and that programs are more entrenched at their institutions.

  2. V2S: Voice to Sign Language Translation System for Malaysian Deaf People

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mean Foong, Oi; Low, Tang Jung; La, Wai Wan

    The process of learning and understand the sign language may be cumbersome to some, and therefore, this paper proposes a solution to this problem by providing a voice (English Language) to sign language translation system using Speech and Image processing technique. Speech processing which includes Speech Recognition is the study of recognizing the words being spoken, regardless of whom the speaker is. This project uses template-based recognition as the main approach in which the V2S system first needs to be trained with speech pattern based on some generic spectral parameter set. These spectral parameter set will then be stored as template in a database. The system will perform the recognition process through matching the parameter set of the input speech with the stored templates to finally display the sign language in video format. Empirical results show that the system has 80.3% recognition rate.

  3. Effects of Race and Dialect of Examiner on Language Samples Elicited from Southern African American Preschoolers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Agerton, Emily P.; Moran, Michael J.

    1995-01-01

    Language samples were elicited from 17 African American preschoolers by 3 examiners; a white female using standard English and 2 African American females using either standard English or black English. Samples elicited by the African American examiners contained more different Black English features, with examiner usage of Black English eliciting…

  4. Referential shift in Nicaraguan Sign Language: a transition from lexical to spatial devices

    PubMed Central

    Kocab, Annemarie; Pyers, Jennie; Senghas, Ann

    2015-01-01

    Even the simplest narratives combine multiple strands of information, integrating different characters and their actions by expressing multiple perspectives of events. We examined the emergence of referential shift devices, which indicate changes among these perspectives, in Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL). Sign languages, like spoken languages, mark referential shift grammatically with a shift in deictic perspective. In addition, sign languages can mark the shift with a point or a movement of the body to a specified spatial location in the three-dimensional space in front of the signer, capitalizing on the spatial affordances of the manual modality. We asked whether the use of space to mark referential shift emerges early in a new sign language by comparing the first two age cohorts of deaf signers of NSL. Eight first-cohort signers and 10 second-cohort signers watched video vignettes and described them in NSL. Narratives were coded for lexical (use of words) and spatial (use of signing space) devices. Although the cohorts did not differ significantly in the number of perspectives represented, second-cohort signers used referential shift devices to explicitly mark a shift in perspective in more of their narratives. Furthermore, while there was no significant difference between cohorts in the use of non-spatial, lexical devices, there was a difference in spatial devices, with second-cohort signers using them in significantly more of their narratives. This suggests that spatial devices have only recently increased as systematic markers of referential shift. Spatial referential shift devices may have emerged more slowly because they depend on the establishment of fundamental spatial conventions in the language. While the modality of sign languages can ultimately engender the syntactic use of three-dimensional space, we propose that a language must first develop systematic spatial distinctions before harnessing space for grammatical functions. PMID:25713541

  5. Referential shift in Nicaraguan Sign Language: a transition from lexical to spatial devices.

    PubMed

    Kocab, Annemarie; Pyers, Jennie; Senghas, Ann

    2014-01-01

    Even the simplest narratives combine multiple strands of information, integrating different characters and their actions by expressing multiple perspectives of events. We examined the emergence of referential shift devices, which indicate changes among these perspectives, in Nicaraguan Sign Language (NSL). Sign languages, like spoken languages, mark referential shift grammatically with a shift in deictic perspective. In addition, sign languages can mark the shift with a point or a movement of the body to a specified spatial location in the three-dimensional space in front of the signer, capitalizing on the spatial affordances of the manual modality. We asked whether the use of space to mark referential shift emerges early in a new sign language by comparing the first two age cohorts of deaf signers of NSL. Eight first-cohort signers and 10 second-cohort signers watched video vignettes and described them in NSL. Narratives were coded for lexical (use of words) and spatial (use of signing space) devices. Although the cohorts did not differ significantly in the number of perspectives represented, second-cohort signers used referential shift devices to explicitly mark a shift in perspective in more of their narratives. Furthermore, while there was no significant difference between cohorts in the use of non-spatial, lexical devices, there was a difference in spatial devices, with second-cohort signers using them in significantly more of their narratives. This suggests that spatial devices have only recently increased as systematic markers of referential shift. Spatial referential shift devices may have emerged more slowly because they depend on the establishment of fundamental spatial conventions in the language. While the modality of sign languages can ultimately engender the syntactic use of three-dimensional space, we propose that a language must first develop systematic spatial distinctions before harnessing space for grammatical functions.

  6. It's Not the Language: Alternative Explanations of the Education Gap for African American Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weddington, Gloria

    2010-01-01

    This article encourages educators and speech-language pathologists to look beyond the language of African American English speakers for an explanation of the Black-White achievement gap in education. A brief historical overview shows that the attention to the performance of African American children in school began many years ago but gained…

  7. The Importance of Early Sign Language Acquisition for Deaf Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, M. Diane; Hauser, Peter C.; Miller, Paul; Kargin, Tevhide; Rathmann, Christian; Guldenoglu, Birkan; Kubus, Okan; Spurgeon, Erin; Israel, Erica

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have used various theories to explain deaf individuals' reading skills, including the dual route reading theory, the orthographic depth theory, and the early language access theory. This study tested 4 groups of children--hearing with dyslexia, hearing without dyslexia, deaf early signers, and deaf late signers (N = 857)--from 4…

  8. Infusing Sign Language and Spanish into Physical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lieberman, Lauren J.; Columna, Luis; de la Vega Mansilla, Patricia Martinez; Taylor, Carah

    2010-01-01

    Hardness of hearing or deafness is the number one disability in the United States. The United States also has an extremely diverse population, including a growing Hispanic population. Based on these facts, physical educators need to find ways to help their students to overcome language and cultural barriers in order to ensure learning. One way to…

  9. The Effects of Electronic Communication on American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schneider, Erin; Kozak, L. Viola; Santiago, Roberto; Stephen, Anika

    2012-01-01

    Technological and language innovation often flow in concert with one another. Casual observation by researchers has shown that electronic communication memes, in the form of abbreviations, have found their way into spoken English. This study focuses on the current use of electronic modes of communication, such as cell smartphones, and e-mail, and…

  10. Handshape monitoring: Evaluation of linguistic and perceptual factors in the processing of American Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Grosvald, Michael; Lachaud, Christian; Corina, David

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the relevance of linguistic and perceptual factors to sign processing by comparing hearing individuals and deaf signers as they performed a handshape monitoring task, a sign-language analogue to the phoneme-monitoring paradigms used in many spoken-language studies. Each subject saw a series of brief video clips, each of which showed either an ASL sign or a phonologically possible but non-lexical “non-sign,” and responded when the viewed action was formed with a particular handshape. Stimuli varied with respect to the factors of Lexicality, handshape Markedness (Battison, 1978), and Type, defined according to whether the action is performed with one or two hands and for two-handed stimuli, whether or not the action is symmetrical. Deaf signers performed faster and more accurately than hearing non-signers, and effects related to handshape Markedness and stimulus Type were observed in both groups. However, no effects or interactions related to Lexicality were seen. A further analysis restricted to the deaf group indicated that these results were not dependent upon subjects' age of acquisition of ASL. This work provides new insights into the processes by which the handshape component of sign forms is recognized in a sign language, the role of language experience, and the extent to which these processes may or may not be considered specifically linguistic. PMID:22822282

  11. American Sign Language Syntax and Analogical Reasoning Skills Are Influenced by Early Acquisition and Age of Entry to Signing Schools for the Deaf

    PubMed Central

    Henner, Jon; Caldwell-Harris, Catherine L.; Novogrodsky, Rama; Hoffmeister, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Failing to acquire language in early childhood because of language deprivation is a rare and exceptional event, except in one population. Deaf children who grow up without access to indirect language through listening, speech-reading, or sign language experience language deprivation. Studies of Deaf adults have revealed that late acquisition of sign language is associated with lasting deficits. However, much remains unknown about language deprivation in Deaf children, allowing myths and misunderstandings regarding sign language to flourish. To fill this gap, we examined signing ability in a large naturalistic sample of Deaf children attending schools for the Deaf where American Sign Language (ASL) is used by peers and teachers. Ability in ASL was measured using a syntactic judgment test and language-based analogical reasoning test, which are two sub-tests of the ASL Assessment Inventory. The influence of two age-related variables were examined: whether or not ASL was acquired from birth in the home from one or more Deaf parents, and the age of entry to the school for the Deaf. Note that for non-native signers, this latter variable is often the age of first systematic exposure to ASL. Both of these types of age-dependent language experiences influenced subsequent signing ability. Scores on the two tasks declined with increasing age of school entry. The influence of age of starting school was not linear. Test scores were generally lower for Deaf children who entered the school of assessment after the age of 12. The positive influence of signing from birth was found for students at all ages tested (7;6–18;5 years old) and for children of all age-of-entry groupings. Our results reflect a continuum of outcomes which show that experience with language is a continuous variable that is sensitive to maturational age. PMID:28082932

  12. American Sign Language Syntax and Analogical Reasoning Skills Are Influenced by Early Acquisition and Age of Entry to Signing Schools for the Deaf.

    PubMed

    Henner, Jon; Caldwell-Harris, Catherine L; Novogrodsky, Rama; Hoffmeister, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Failing to acquire language in early childhood because of language deprivation is a rare and exceptional event, except in one population. Deaf children who grow up without access to indirect language through listening, speech-reading, or sign language experience language deprivation. Studies of Deaf adults have revealed that late acquisition of sign language is associated with lasting deficits. However, much remains unknown about language deprivation in Deaf children, allowing myths and misunderstandings regarding sign language to flourish. To fill this gap, we examined signing ability in a large naturalistic sample of Deaf children attending schools for the Deaf where American Sign Language (ASL) is used by peers and teachers. Ability in ASL was measured using a syntactic judgment test and language-based analogical reasoning test, which are two sub-tests of the ASL Assessment Inventory. The influence of two age-related variables were examined: whether or not ASL was acquired from birth in the home from one or more Deaf parents, and the age of entry to the school for the Deaf. Note that for non-native signers, this latter variable is often the age of first systematic exposure to ASL. Both of these types of age-dependent language experiences influenced subsequent signing ability. Scores on the two tasks declined with increasing age of school entry. The influence of age of starting school was not linear. Test scores were generally lower for Deaf children who entered the school of assessment after the age of 12. The positive influence of signing from birth was found for students at all ages tested (7;6-18;5 years old) and for children of all age-of-entry groupings. Our results reflect a continuum of outcomes which show that experience with language is a continuous variable that is sensitive to maturational age.

  13. HAPPEN CAN'T HEAR: An Analysis of Code-Blends in Hearing, Native Signers of American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bishop, Michele

    2011-01-01

    Hearing native signers often learn sign language as their first language and acquire features that are characteristic of sign languages but are not present in equivalent ways in English (e.g., grammatical facial expressions and the structured use of space for setting up tokens and surrogates). Previous research has indicated that bimodal…

  14. Signing Science! Andy And Tonya Are Just Like Me! They Wear Hearing Aids And Know My Language!?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vesel, Judy

    2005-01-01

    Are these students talking about their classmates? No, they are describing the Signing Avatar characters--3-D figures who appear on the EnViSci Network Web site and sign the resources and activities in American Sign Language (ASL) or Signed English (SE). During the 2003?04 school year, students in schools for the deaf and hard of hearing…

  15. Preservice Teacher and Interpreter American Sign Language Abilities: Self-Evaluations and Evaluations of Deaf Students' Narrative Renditions.

    PubMed

    Beal-Alvarez, Jennifer S; Scheetz, Nanci A

    2015-01-01

    In deaf education , the sign language skills of teacher and interpreter candidates are infrequently assessed; when they are, formal measures are commonly used upon preparation program completion, as opposed to informal measures related to instructional tasks. Using an informal picture storybook task, the authors investigated the receptive and expressive narrative sign language skills of 10 teacher and interpreter candidates in a university preparation program. The candidates evaluated signed renditions of two signing children, as well as their own expressive renditions, using the Signed Reading Fluency Rubric (Easterbrooks & Huston, 2008) at the completion of their fifth sign language course. Candidates' evaluations were compared overall and across 12 sign language indicators to ratings of two university program professors. Some variation existed across ratings for individual indicators, but generally the candidates were aware of and could accurately rate their own abilities and those of two signing children.

  16. The effects of learning American Sign Language on co-speech gesture().

    PubMed

    Casey, Shannon; Emmorey, Karen; Larrabee, Heather

    2012-10-01

    Given that the linguistic articulators for sign language are also used to produce co-speech gesture, we examined whether one year of academic instruction in American Sign Language (ASL) impacts the rate and nature of gestures produced when speaking English. A survey study revealed that 75% of ASL learners (N = 95), but only 14% of Romance language learners (N = 203), felt that they gestured more after one year of language instruction. A longitudinal study confirmed this perception. Twenty-one ASL learners and 20 Romance language learners (French, Italian, Spanish) were filmed re-telling a cartoon story before and after one academic year of language instruction. Only the ASL learners exhibited an increase in gesture rate, an increase in the production of iconic gestures, and an increase in the number of handshape types exploited in co-speech gesture. Five ASL students also produced at least one ASL sign when re-telling the cartoon. We suggest that learning ASL may (i) lower the neural threshold for co-speech gesture production, (ii) pose a unique challenge for language control, and (iii) have the potential to improve cognitive processes that are linked to gesture.

  17. What You Don't Know Can Hurt You: The Risk of Language Deprivation by Impairing Sign Language Development in Deaf Children.

    PubMed

    Hall, Wyatte C

    2017-02-09

    A long-standing belief is that sign language interferes with spoken language development in deaf children, despite a chronic lack of evidence supporting this belief. This deserves discussion as poor life outcomes continue to be seen in the deaf population. This commentary synthesizes research outcomes with signing and non-signing children and highlights fully accessible language as a protective factor for healthy development. Brain changes associated with language deprivation may be misrepresented as sign language interfering with spoken language outcomes of cochlear implants. This may lead to professionals and organizations advocating for preventing sign language exposure before implantation and spreading misinformation. The existence of one-time-sensitive-language acquisition window means a strong possibility of permanent brain changes when spoken language is not fully accessible to the deaf child and sign language exposure is delayed, as is often standard practice. There is no empirical evidence for the harm of sign language exposure but there is some evidence for its benefits, and there is growing evidence that lack of language access has negative implications. This includes cognitive delays, mental health difficulties, lower quality of life, higher trauma, and limited health literacy. Claims of cochlear implant- and spoken language-only approaches being more effective than sign language-inclusive approaches are not empirically supported. Cochlear implants are an unreliable standalone first-language intervention for deaf children. Priorities of deaf child development should focus on healthy growth of all developmental domains through a fully-accessible first language foundation such as sign language, rather than auditory deprivation and speech skills.

  18. Deaf children attending different school environments: sign language abilities and theory of mind.

    PubMed

    Tomasuolo, Elena; Valeri, Giovanni; Di Renzo, Alessio; Pasqualetti, Patrizio; Volterra, Virginia

    2013-01-01

    The present study examined whether full access to sign language as a medium for instruction could influence performance in Theory of Mind (ToM) tasks. Three groups of Italian participants (age range: 6-14 years) participated in the study: Two groups of deaf signing children and one group of hearing-speaking children. The two groups of deaf children differed only in their school environment: One group attended a school with a teaching assistant (TA; Sign Language is offered only by the TA to a single deaf child), and the other group attended a bilingual program (Italian Sign Language and Italian). Linguistic abilities and understanding of false belief were assessed using similar materials and procedures in spoken Italian with hearing children and in Italian Sign Language with deaf children. Deaf children attending the bilingual school performed significantly better than deaf children attending school with the TA in tasks assessing lexical comprehension and ToM, whereas the performance of hearing children was in between that of the two deaf groups. As for lexical production, deaf children attending the bilingual school performed significantly better than the two other groups. No significant differences were found between early and late signers or between children with deaf and hearing parents.

  19. Sign Language Recognition System using Neural Network for Digital Hardware Implementation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vargas, Lorena P.; Barba, Leiner; Torres, C. O.; Mattos, L.

    2011-01-01

    This work presents an image pattern recognition system using neural network for the identification of sign language to deaf people. The system has several stored image that show the specific symbol in this kind of language, which is employed to teach a multilayer neural network using a back propagation algorithm. Initially, the images are processed to adapt them and to improve the performance of discriminating of the network, including in this process of filtering, reduction and elimination noise algorithms as well as edge detection. The system is evaluated using the signs without including movement in their representation.

  20. Dissociating linguistic and non-linguistic gesture processing: Electrophysiological evidence from American Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Grosvald, Michael; Gutierrez, Eva; Hafer, Sarah; Corina, David

    2012-01-01

    A fundamental advance in our understanding of human language would come from a detailed account of how non-linguistic and linguistic manual actions are differentiated in real time by language users. To explore this issue, we targeted the N400, an ERP component known to be sensitive to semantic context. Deaf signers saw 120 American Sign Language sentences, each consisting of a “frame” (a sentence without the last word; e.g. BOY SLEEP IN HIS) followed by a “last item” belonging to one of four categories: a high-cloze-probability sign (a “semantically reasonable” completion to the sentence; e.g. BED), a low-cloze-probability sign (a real sign that is nonetheless a “semantically odd” completion to the sentence; e.g. LEMON), a pseudo-sign (phonologically legal but non-lexical form), or a non-linguistic grooming gesture (e.g. the performer scratching her face). We found significant N400-like responses in the incongruent and pseudo-sign contexts, while the gestures elicited a large positivity. PMID:22341555

  1. Dissociating linguistic and non-linguistic gesture processing: electrophysiological evidence from American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Grosvald, Michael; Gutierrez, Eva; Hafer, Sarah; Corina, David

    2012-04-01

    A fundamental advance in our understanding of human language would come from a detailed account of how non-linguistic and linguistic manual actions are differentiated in real time by language users. To explore this issue, we targeted the N400, an ERP component known to be sensitive to semantic context. Deaf signers saw 120 American Sign Language sentences, each consisting of a "frame" (a sentence without the last word; e.g. BOY SLEEP IN HIS) followed by a "last item" belonging to one of four categories: a high-close-probability sign (a "semantically reasonable" completion to the sentence; e.g. BED), a low-close-probability sign (a real sign that is nonetheless a "semantically odd" completion to the sentence; e.g. LEMON), a pseudo-sign (phonologically legal but non-lexical form), or a non-linguistic grooming gesture (e.g. the performer scratching her face). We found significant N400-like responses in the incongruent and pseudo-sign contexts, while the gestures elicited a large positivity.

  2. Optimized sign language video coding based on eye-tracking analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agrafiotis, Dimitris; Canagarajah, C. N.; Bull, David R.; Dye, Matt; Twyford, Helen; Kyle, Jim; Chung How, James

    2003-06-01

    The imminent arrival of mobile video telephony will enable deaf people to communicate - as hearing people have been able to do for a some time now - anytime/anywhere in their own language sign language. At low bit rates coding of sign language sequences is very challenging due to the high level of motion and the need to maintain good image quality to aid with understanding. This paper presents optimised coding of sign language video at low bit rates in a way that will favour comprehension of the compressed material by deaf users. Our coding suggestions are based on an eye-tracking study that we have conducted which allows us to analyse the visual attention of sign language viewers. The results of this study are included in this paper. Analysis and results for two coding methods, one using MPEG-4 video objects and the second using foveation filtering are presented. Results with foveation filtering are very promising, offering a considerable decrease in bit rate in a way which is compatible with the visual attention patterns of deaf people, as these were recorded in the eye tracking study.

  3. Vocabulary Instruction through Books Read in American Sign Language for English-Language Learners with Hearing Loss

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cannon, Joanna E.; Fredrick, Laura D.; Easterbrooks, Susan R.

    2010-01-01

    Reading to children improves vocabulary acquisition through incidental exposure, and it is a best practice for parents and teachers of children who can hear. Children who are deaf or hard of hearing are at risk for not learning vocabulary as such. This article describes a procedure for using books read on DVD in American Sign Language with…

  4. Transforming E-Assessment in American Sign Language: Pedagogical and Technological Enhancements in Online Language Learning and Performance Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Charles; Hooper, Simon; Rose, Susan; Montalto-Rook, Michael

    2008-01-01

    The rapid increase in demand for American Sign Language (ASL) instruction between 1998 and 2002 created pervasive challenges in effectively assessing and documenting ASL learner performance. To address these challenges, we designed and developed the "Avenue ASL" e-assessment environment: an integrated, network-based software system to capture,…

  5. Mexican sign language recognition using normalized moments and artificial neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solís-V., J.-Francisco; Toxqui-Quitl, Carina; Martínez-Martínez, David; H.-G., Margarita

    2014-09-01

    This work presents a framework designed for the Mexican Sign Language (MSL) recognition. A data set was recorded with 24 static signs from the MSL using 5 different versions, this MSL dataset was captured using a digital camera in incoherent light conditions. Digital Image Processing was used to segment hand gestures, a uniform background was selected to avoid using gloved hands or some special markers. Feature extraction was performed by calculating normalized geometric moments of gray scaled signs, then an Artificial Neural Network performs the recognition using a 10-fold cross validation tested in weka, the best result achieved 95.83% of recognition rate.

  6. Application of demand-control theory to sign language interpreting: implications for stress and interpreter training.

    PubMed

    Dean, R K; Pollard, R Q

    2001-01-01

    The translation work of sign language interpreters involves much more than language. The characteristics and goings-on in the physical environment, the dynamics and interactions between the people who are present, and even the "inner noise" of the interpreter contribute to the accuracy, or lack thereof, of the resulting translation. The competent interpreter must understand and respond appropriately to the language and nonlanguage aspects of each interpreting assignment. We use the framework of demand-control theory (Karasek, 1979) to examine the complex occupation of sign language interpreting. Demand-control theory is a job analysis method useful in studies of occupational stress and reduction of stress-related illness, injury, and burnout. We describe sources of demand in the interpreting profession, including demands that arise from factors other than those associated with languages (linguistic demands). These include environmental, interpersonal, and intrapersonal demands. Karasek's concept of control, or decision latitude, is also explored in relation to the interpreting profession. We discuss the prevalence of cumulative trauma disorders (CTD), turnover, and burnout in the interpreting profession in light of demand-control theory and data from interpreter surveys, including a new survey study described herein. We conclude that nonlinguistic demand factors in particular and perceived restrictions in decision latitude likely contribute to stress, CTD, burnout, and the resulting shortage of sign language interpreters. We make suggestions for improvements in interpreter education and professional development, including the institution of an advanced, supervised professional training period, modeled after internships common in other high demand professional occupations.

  7. Variation in handshape and orientation in British Sign Language: The case of the ‘1’ hand configuration

    PubMed Central

    Fenlon, Jordan; Schembri, Adam; Rentelis, Ramas; Cormier, Kearsy

    2013-01-01

    This paper investigates phonological variation in British Sign Language (BSL) signs produced with a ‘1’ hand configuration in citation form. Multivariate analyses of 2084 tokens reveals that handshape variation in these signs is constrained by linguistic factors (e.g., the preceding and following phonological environment, grammatical category, indexicality, lexical frequency). The only significant social factor was region. For the subset of signs where orientation was also investigated, only grammatical function was important (the surrounding phonological environment and social factors were not significant). The implications for an understanding of pointing signs in signed languages are discussed. PMID:23805018

  8. Modality-specific processing precedes amodal linguistic processing during L2 sign language acquisition: A longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Williams, Joshua T; Darcy, Isabelle; Newman, Sharlene D

    2016-02-01

    The present study tracked activation pattern differences in response to sign language processing by late hearing second language learners of American Sign Language. Learners were scanned before the start of their language courses. They were scanned again after their first semester of instruction and their second, for a total of 10 months of instruction. The study aimed to characterize modality-specific to modality-general processing throughout the acquisition of sign language. Results indicated that before the acquisition of sign language, neural substrates related to modality-specific processing were present. After approximately 45 h of instruction, the learners transitioned into processing signs on a phonological basis (e.g., supramarginal gyrus, putamen). After one more semester of input, learners transitioned once more to a lexico-semantic processing stage (e.g., left inferior frontal gyrus) at which language control mechanisms (e.g., left caudate, cingulate gyrus) were activated. During these transitional steps right hemispheric recruitment was observed, with increasing left-lateralization, which is similar to other native signers and L2 learners of spoken language; however, specialization for sign language processing with activation in the inferior parietal lobule (i.e., angular gyrus), even for late learners, was observed. As such, the present study is the first to track L2 acquisition of sign language learners in order to characterize modality-independent and modality-specific mechanisms for bilingual language processing.

  9. Electrophysiological evidence for phonological priming in Spanish Sign Language lexical access.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, Eva; Müller, Oliver; Baus, Cristina; Carreiras, Manuel

    2012-06-01

    Interactive activation models of lexical access assume that the presentation of a given word activates not only its lexical representation but also those corresponding to words similar in form. Current theories are based on data from oral and written languages, and therefore signed languages represent a special challenge for existing theories of word recognition and lexical access since they allow us to question what the genuine fundamentals of human language are and what might be modality-specific adaptation. The aim of the present study is to determine the electrophysiological correlates and time course of phonological processing of Spanish Sign Language (LSE). Ten deaf native LSE signers and ten deaf non-native but highly proficient LSE signers participated in the experiment. We used the ERP methodology and form-based priming in the context of a delayed lexical decision task, manipulating phonological overlap (i.e. related prime-target pairs shared either handshape or location parameters). Results showed that both parameters under study modulated brain responses to the stimuli in different time windows. Phonological priming of location resulted in a higher amplitude of the N400 component (300-500 ms window) for signs but not for non-signs. This effect may be explained in terms of initial competition among candidates. Moreover, the fact that a higher amplitude N400 for related pairs was found for signs but not for non-signs points to an effect at the lexical level. Handshape overlap produced a later effect (600-800 ms window). In this window, a more negative-going wave for the related condition than for the unrelated condition was found for non-signs in the native signers group. The findings are discussed in relation to current models of lexical access and word recognition. Finally, differences between native and non-native signers point to a less efficient use of phonological information among the non-native signers.

  10. The Impact of Input Quality on Early Sign Development in Native and Non-Native Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lu, Jenny; Jones, Anna; Morgan, Gary

    2016-01-01

    There is debate about how input variation influences child language. Most deaf children are exposed to a sign language from their non-fluent hearing parents and experience a delay in exposure to accessible language. A small number of children receive language input from their deaf parents who are fluent signers. Thus it is possible to document the…

  11. Negotiating Speech and Language in the African Diaspora: Politics of Linguistic Diversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watkins, Audrey P.

    2008-01-01

    This work addresses the politics of speech and language communication with respect to Africans in the Diaspora in Jamaica and in the United States of America. Language hegemony is an expression of the power and control sustained by means of institutions such as schools. Depending on their linguistic choices or situational language use, post…

  12. Racial Identity, Language Attitudes and Educational Experiences: The Voices of African American College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Gail A.

    2012-01-01

    The current study examines the language attitudes, racial identity and educational experiences of 75 African American university and community college students. This study is motivated by the hypothesis that the power of language attitudes dictates, to a large extent, the language one speaks, which is intimately tied to one's sense of…

  13. Advances to the development of a basic Mexican sign-to-speech and text language translator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garcia-Bautista, G.; Trujillo-Romero, F.; Diaz-Gonzalez, G.

    2016-09-01

    Sign Language (SL) is the basic alternative communication method between deaf people. However, most of the hearing people have trouble understanding the SL, making communication with deaf people almost impossible and taking them apart from daily activities. In this work we present an automatic basic real-time sign language translator capable of recognize a basic list of Mexican Sign Language (MSL) signs of 10 meaningful words, letters (A-Z) and numbers (1-10) and translate them into speech and text. The signs were collected from a group of 35 MSL signers executed in front of a Microsoft Kinect™ Sensor. The hand gesture recognition system use the RGB-D camera to build and storage data point clouds, color and skeleton tracking information. In this work we propose a method to obtain the representative hand trajectory pattern information. We use Euclidean Segmentation method to obtain the hand shape and Hierarchical Centroid as feature extraction method for images of numbers and letters. A pattern recognition method based on a Back Propagation Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is used to interpret the hand gestures. Finally, we use K-Fold Cross Validation method for training and testing stages. Our results achieve an accuracy of 95.71% on words, 98.57% on numbers and 79.71% on letters. In addition, an interactive user interface was designed to present the results in voice and text format.

  14. Making Sense of an Unexpected Detrimental Effect of Sign Language Use in a Visual Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romero Lauro, Leonor J.; Crespi, Marta; Papagno, Costanza; Cecchetto, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    What supports deaf signers advantage over nonsigners on visuospatial short-term memory (STM) tasks is still a matter of debate. We compared the performance of 18 deaf Italian Sign Language (LIS) users with that of a matched group of Italian hearing nonsigners in three different tasks: two versions of the Corsi Block test, namely span forward and…

  15. The Relationship between Attitudes and Perspectives of American Sign Language University Students towards Deaf People

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brightman, Beth Lilessie Cagle

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to analyze attitudes and perspectives of university students towards D/deafness before and after studying American Sign Language, ASL, and to determine if any relationship between them exists. A double pre-test quasi-experiment design was used with participants who were students enrolled in a basic ASL course at a…

  16. Interactive Application in Spanish Sign Language for a Public Transport Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Viera-Santana, José Guillermo; Hernández-Haddad, Juan C.; Rodríguez-Esparragón, Dionisio; Castillo-Ortiz, Jesús

    2014-01-01

    People with hearing disability find it difficult to access to information and communication in public places. According to this fact, it is considered the possibility to design a communication system based on the Spanish Sign Language (SSL), which helps to overcome this barrier in public environments of wide concurrence, where much of the…

  17. Deaf People, Modernity, and a Contentious Effort to Unify Arab Sign Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Fityani, Kinda

    2010-01-01

    This dissertation examines a project to unify sign languages across twenty-two Arab countries. Proponents of the project, mainly pan-Arab governmental bodies with the support of members of the staff at the Al Jazeera satellite network, have framed the project as a human rights effort to advance the welfare of deaf Arab people. They have urged its…

  18. Do Signers Understand Regional Varieties of a Sign Language? A Lexical Recognition Experiment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stamp, Rose

    2016-01-01

    The degree of mutual intelligibility of British Sign Language (BSL) regional varieties has been a subject of some debate. Recent research in which dyads of signers from contrasting regional backgrounds engaged in a conversational task showed no problems understanding one another. The present study investigated signers' knowledge of different BSL…

  19. American Sign Language-English Interpreting Program Faculty: Characteristics, Tenure Perceptions, and Productivity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hale, Kimberly J.

    2012-01-01

    American Sign Language (ASL)-English interpreting education, which began as a community apprenticeship and vetting process, has within the last several decades moved into higher education. Most recently, the number of baccalaureate-granting ASL-English interpreting programs have continued to increase while the number of associate's degree…

  20. The Status of Sign Language Instruction in Institutions of Higher Education: 1994-2004

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Sheryl B.; Reisman, Joel I.; Watson, Douglas

    2008-01-01

    Surveys of sign language programs in institutions of higher education in the United States, conducted in 1994 and 2004, are compared to reveal changes over time. Data are presented concerning the institutional environment of programs, program administrators, and instructors. Institutions examined in 2004 were on average 5 years older than those…

  1. Seeing the Big Picture: Deaf Adults' Development of Summarization through Book Discussion in American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Kevin J.; Rosenthal, Lore Lyon

    1995-01-01

    Describes a classroom-based project that examines whether three deaf adults enrolled in an adult literacy program could use American Sign Language to access English and improve their literacy skills. The project focused on their first attempt at reading and discussing a novel. Describes a three-step process that guided the learners toward…

  2. Educational Resources and Implementation of a Greek Sign Language Synthesis Architecture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karpouzis, K.; Caridakis, G.; Fotinea, S.-E.; Efthimiou, E.

    2007-01-01

    In this paper, we present how creation and dynamic synthesis of linguistic resources of Greek Sign Language (GSL) may serve to support development and provide content to an educational multitask platform for the teaching of GSL in early elementary school classes. The presented system utilizes standard virtual character (VC) animation technologies…

  3. Sign Language Users' Education and Employment Levels: Keeping Pace with Changes in the General Australian Population?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Willoughby, Louisa

    2011-01-01

    This article draws on data from the 2006 Australian census to explore the education and employment outcomes of sign languages users living in Victoria, Australia, and to compare them with outcomes reported in the general population. Census data have the advantage of sampling the entire population on the one night, avoiding problems of population…

  4. The Changing Context for Sign Bilingual Education Programs: Issues in Language and the Development of Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayer, Connie; Leigh, Greg

    2010-01-01

    The widespread implementation of newborn hearing screening and advances in amplification technologies (including cochlear implants) have fundamentally changed the educational landscape for deaf learners. These changes are discussed in terms of their impact on sign bilingual education programs with a focus on the relationships between language and…

  5. Storytelling with Sign Language Interpretation as a Multimodal Literacy Event: Implications for Deaf and Hearing Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poveda, David; Pulido, Laura; Morgade, Marta; Messina, Claudia; Hedlova, Zuzana

    2008-01-01

    This article examines storytelling events for children in a library and a children's bookstore in which storytellers are accompanied by sign language interpreters. The result is that both hearing and Deaf children participate in a literacy event in which storyteller and interpreter produce a multilingual, multimodal and multimedial narrative.…

  6. Application of Demand-Control Theory to Sign Language Interpreting: Implications for Stress and Interpreter Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dean, Robyn K.; Pollard, Robert Q., Jr.

    2001-01-01

    This article uses the framework of demand-control theory to examine the occupation of sign language interpreting. It discusses the environmental, interpersonal, and intrapersonal demands that impinge on the interpreter's decision latitude and notes the prevalence of cumulative trauma disorders, turnover, and burnout in the interpreting profession.…

  7. Making Learning Accessible for Sign Language Interpreters: A Process of Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Napier, Jemina

    2005-01-01

    This article outlines an innovative project conducted at Macquarie University, in order to instigate a change in the delivery of the Postgraduate Diploma in Auslan/English Interpreting. This is the first reported educational change project focusing on the training of sign language interpreters. The goal of the project was to research and develop a…

  8. Do Sign Language Videos Improve Web Navigation for Deaf Signer Users?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fajardo, Inmaculada; Parra, Elena; Canas, Jose J.

    2010-01-01

    The efficacy of video-based sign language (SL) navigation aids to improve Web search for Deaf Signers was tested by two experiments. Experiment 1 compared 2 navigation aids based on text hyperlinks linked to embedded SL videos, which differed in the spatial contiguity between the text hyperlink and SL video (contiguous vs. distant). Deaf Signers'…

  9. What Does "Informed Consent" Mean in the Internet Age? Publishing Sign Language Corpora as Open Content

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crasborn, Onno

    2010-01-01

    Recent technologies in the area of video and Internet are allowing the creation and online publication of large signed language corpora. Primarily addressing the needs of linguists and other researchers, because of their unique character in history these data collections are also made accessible online for a general audience. This "open access"…

  10. American Sign Language and Deaf Culture Competency of Osteopathic Medical Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lapinsky, Jessica; Colonna, Caitlin; Sexton, Patricia; Richard, Mariah

    2015-01-01

    The study examined the effectiveness of a workshop on Deaf culture and basic medical American Sign Language for increasing osteopathic student physicians' confidence and knowledge when interacting with ASL-using patients. Students completed a pretest in which they provided basic demographic information, rated their confidence levels, took a video…

  11. Complexity constrained rate-distortion optimization of sign language video using an objective intelligibility metric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciaramello, Frank M.; Hemami, Sheila S.

    2008-01-01

    Sign language users are eager for the freedom and convenience of video communication over cellular devices. Compression of sign language video in this setting offers unique challenges. The low bitrates available make encoding decisions extremely important, while the power constraints of the device limit the encoder complexity. The ultimate goal is to maximize the intelligibility of the conversation given the rate-constrained cellular channel and power constrained encoding device. This paper uses an objective measure of intelligibility, based on subjective testing with members of the Deaf community, for rate-distortion optimization of sign language video within the H.264 framework. Performance bounds are established by using the intelligibility metric in a Lagrangian cost function along with a trellis search to make optimal mode and quantizer decisions for each macroblock. The optimal QP values are analyzed and the unique structure of sign language is exploited in order to reduce complexity by three orders of magnitude relative to the trellis search technique with no loss in rate-distortion performance. Further reductions in complexity are made by eliminating rarely occuring modes in the encoding process. The low complexity SL optimization technique increases the measured intelligibility up to 3.5 dB, at fixed rates, and reduces rate by as much as 60% at fixed levels of intelligibility with respect to a rate control algorithm designed for aesthetic distortion as measured by MSE.

  12. Areas Recruited during Action Understanding Are Not Modulated by Auditory or Sign Language Experience

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Yuxing; Chen, Quanjing; Lingnau, Angelika; Han, Zaizhu; Bi, Yanchao

    2016-01-01

    The observation of other people’s actions recruits a network of areas including the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), the inferior parietal lobule (IPL), and posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG). These regions have been shown to be activated through both visual and auditory inputs. Intriguingly, previous studies found no engagement of IFG and IPL for deaf participants during non-linguistic action observation, leading to the proposal that auditory experience or sign language usage might shape the functionality of these areas. To understand which variables induce plastic changes in areas recruited during the processing of other people’s actions, we examined the effects of tasks (action understanding and passive viewing) and effectors (arm actions vs. leg actions), as well as sign language experience in a group of 12 congenitally deaf signers and 13 hearing participants. In Experiment 1, we found a stronger activation during an action recognition task in comparison to a low-level visual control task in IFG, IPL and pMTG in both deaf signers and hearing individuals, but no effect of auditory or sign language experience. In Experiment 2, we replicated the results of the first experiment using a passive viewing task. Together, our results provide robust evidence demonstrating that the response obtained in IFG, IPL, and pMTG during action recognition and passive viewing is not affected by auditory or sign language experience, adding further support for the supra-modal nature of these regions. PMID:27014025

  13. Testing comprehension abilities in users of British Sign Language following CVA.

    PubMed

    Atkinson, Jo; Marshall, Jane; Woll, Bencie; Thacker, Alice

    2005-08-01

    Recent imaging (e.g., MacSweeney et al., 2002) and lesion (Hickok, Love-Geffen, & Klima, 2002) studies suggest that sign language comprehension depends primarily on left hemisphere structures. However, this may not be true of all aspects of comprehension. For example, there is evidence that the processing of topographic space in sign may be vulnerable to right hemisphere damage (e.g., Hickok, Say, Bellugi, & Klima, 1996), and the influence of iconicity on comprehension has yet to be explored. In this study, comprehension testing was conducted with 15 signers with unilateral brain damage, and with elderly Deaf controls. Four tests were administered: a test of iconic and non-iconic noun comprehension, a test of verb and sentence comprehension, a test of locative sentence comprehension, and a test of classifier comprehension. All tests were administered in British Sign Language (BSL), a language that has only recently been explored with lesioned signers (see Atkinson, Marshall, Thacker, & Woll, 2004; Marshall, Atkinson, Thacker, Woll, & Smulevitch, 2004; Marshall, Atkinson, Woll, & Thacker, in press). People with left hemisphere damage were impaired relative to controls on all tests. Those with right hemisphere damage performed well in the first two tests, but were impaired on locative sentences and classifiers. Neither group showed any effect of iconicity. The results shed further light on the laterality of sign language comprehension.

  14. Motion-sensitive cortex and motion semantics in American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    McCullough, Stephen; Saygin, Ayse Pinar; Korpics, Franco; Emmorey, Karen

    2012-10-15

    Previous research indicates that motion-sensitive brain regions are engaged when comprehending motion semantics expressed by words or sentences. Using fMRI, we investigated whether such neural modulation can occur when the linguistic signal itself is visually dynamic and motion semantics is expressed by movements of the hands. Deaf and hearing users of American Sign Language (ASL) were presented with signed sentences that conveyed motion semantics ("The deer walked along the hillside.") or were static, conveying little or no motion ("The deer slept along the hillside."); sentences were matched for the amount of visual motion. Motion-sensitive visual areas (MT+) were localized individually in each participant. As a control, the Fusiform Face Area (FFA) was also localized for the deaf participants. The whole-brain analysis revealed static (locative) sentences engaged regions in left parietal cortex more than motion sentences, replicating previous results implicating these regions in comprehending spatial language for sign languages. Greater activation was observed in the functionally defined MT+ ROI for motion than static sentences for both deaf and hearing signers. No modulation of neural activity by sentence type was observed in the FFA. Deafness did not affect modulation of MT+ by motion semantics, but hearing signers exhibited stronger neural activity in MT+ for both sentence types, perhaps due to differences in exposure and/or use of ASL. We conclude that top down modulation of motion-sensitive cortex by linguistic semantics is not disrupted by the visual motion that is present in sign language sentences.

  15. The Emergence of Two Functions for Spatial Devices in Nicaraguan Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Senghas, Ann

    2011-01-01

    The emergence of a new sign language since the late 1970s in Nicaragua enables us to capture the effects of successive cohorts of learners on an emerging grammar and to observe how elements are reshaped from one form and function to another. Here we document the contrastive use of a device that has been found to be central to the grammars of sign languages: the spatial modulation of signs. In Nicaraguan Sign Language, this device has two primary functions: expressing the participants of events (that is, indicating who), and describing locations and orientations of referents (that is, indicating where). We ask whether the two uses reduce to a single construction type, or if the more abstract who construction derived from the more iconic and concrete where construction. We compare the first two successive cohorts of deaf signers to acquire the language in its first decade. We find that as learners created new constructions to meet the new functions, they did not simply apply an already developed form more broadly, nor did they develop the more abstract application from the more iconic one. Instead, the more abstract who construction appears to have conventionalized first. Thus, the forms either emerged independently, or split very early in the 1980s, before either had developed as a consistently applied form. PMID:22476198

  16. Acquiring Word Class Distinctions in American Sign Language: Evidence from Handshape

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brentari, Diane; Coppola, Marie; Jung, Ashley; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Handshape works differently in nouns versus a class of verbs in American Sign Language (ASL) and thus can serve as a cue to distinguish between these two word classes. Handshapes representing characteristics of the object itself ("object" handshapes) and handshapes representing how the object is handled ("handling" handshapes)…

  17. Creating a Digital Jamaican Sign Language Dictionary: A R2D2 Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacKinnon, Gregory; Soutar, Iris

    2015-01-01

    The Jamaican Association for the Deaf, in their responsibilities to oversee education for individuals who are deaf in Jamaica, has demonstrated an urgent need for a dictionary that assists students, educators, and parents with the practical use of "Jamaican Sign Language." While paper versions of a preliminary resource have been explored…

  18. Family-Centered Practices and American Sign Language (ASL): Challenges and Recommendations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hardin, Belinda J.; Blanchard, Sheresa Boone; Kemmery, Megan A.; Appenzeller, Margo; Parker, Samuel D.

    2014-01-01

    Families with children who are deaf face many important decisions, especially the mode(s) of communication their children will use. The purpose of this focus group study was to better understand the experiences and recommendations of families who chose American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary mode of communication and to identify strategies…

  19. Longitudinal Receptive American Sign Language Skills across a Diverse Deaf Student Body

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beal-Alvarez, Jennifer S.

    2016-01-01

    This article presents results of a longitudinal study of receptive American Sign Language (ASL) skills for a large portion of the student body at a residential school for the deaf across four consecutive years. Scores were analyzed by age, gender, parental hearing status, years attending the residential school, and presence of a disability (i.e.,…

  20. Sign Language as Medium of Instruction in Botswana Primary Schools: Voices from the Field

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mpuang, Kerileng D.; Mukhopadhyay, Sourav; Malatsi, Nelly

    2015-01-01

    This descriptive phenomenological study investigates teachers' experiences of using sign language for learners who are deaf in the primary schools in Botswana. Eight in-service teachers who have had more than ten years of teaching deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) learners were purposively selected for this study. Data were collected using multiple…

  1. Areas Recruited during Action Understanding Are Not Modulated by Auditory or Sign Language Experience.

    PubMed

    Fang, Yuxing; Chen, Quanjing; Lingnau, Angelika; Han, Zaizhu; Bi, Yanchao

    2016-01-01

    The observation of other people's actions recruits a network of areas including the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), the inferior parietal lobule (IPL), and posterior middle temporal gyrus (pMTG). These regions have been shown to be activated through both visual and auditory inputs. Intriguingly, previous studies found no engagement of IFG and IPL for deaf participants during non-linguistic action observation, leading to the proposal that auditory experience or sign language usage might shape the functionality of these areas. To understand which variables induce plastic changes in areas recruited during the processing of other people's actions, we examined the effects of tasks (action understanding and passive viewing) and effectors (arm actions vs. leg actions), as well as sign language experience in a group of 12 congenitally deaf signers and 13 hearing participants. In Experiment 1, we found a stronger activation during an action recognition task in comparison to a low-level visual control task in IFG, IPL and pMTG in both deaf signers and hearing individuals, but no effect of auditory or sign language experience. In Experiment 2, we replicated the results of the first experiment using a passive viewing task. Together, our results provide robust evidence demonstrating that the response obtained in IFG, IPL, and pMTG during action recognition and passive viewing is not affected by auditory or sign language experience, adding further support for the supra-modal nature of these regions.

  2. Where "Sign Language Studies" Has Led Us in Forty Years: Opening High School and University Education for Deaf People in Viet Nam through Sign Language Analysis, Teaching, and Interpretation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woodward, James; Hoa, Nguyen Thi

    2012-01-01

    This paper discusses how the Nippon Foundation-funded project "Opening University Education to Deaf People in Viet Nam through Sign Language Analysis, Teaching, and Interpretation," also known as the Dong Nai Deaf Education Project, has been implemented through sign language studies from 2000 through 2012. This project has provided deaf…

  3. Kinect-based sign language recognition of static and dynamic hand movements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalawis, Rando C.; Olayao, Kenneth Deniel R.; Ramos, Evan Geoffrey I.; Samonte, Mary Jane C.

    2017-02-01

    A different approach of sign language recognition of static and dynamic hand movements was developed in this study using normalized correlation algorithm. The goal of this research was to translate fingerspelling sign language into text using MATLAB and Microsoft Kinect. Digital input image captured by Kinect devices are matched from template samples stored in a database. This Human Computer Interaction (HCI) prototype was developed to help people with communication disability to express their thoughts with ease. Frame segmentation and feature extraction was used to give meaning to the captured images. Sequential and random testing was used to test both static and dynamic fingerspelling gestures. The researchers explained some factors they encountered causing some misclassification of signs.

  4. Acquisition of sign language by autistic children. III: Generalized descriptive phrases.

    PubMed

    Carr, E G; Kologinsky, E; Leff-Simon, S

    1987-06-01

    Sign language training has emerged as a viable alternative to speech for those autistic children who remain nonverbal in spite of remediation efforts. Yet the variables responsible for the acquisition of specific signing skills have not been fully investigated. The present study was undertaken to validate experimentally a portion of a general language intervention program developed by the authors. Specifically, we focused on descriptive signing that involved action-object phrases. Four autistic children were successfully taught such phrases following an intervention composed of prompting, fading, stimulus rotation, and differential reinforcement. After being trained on a small number of action-object phrases, the children displayed skill generalization to new situations. The results were discussed with respect to the likely need for added incidental teaching to bring about communicative use of the skills taught.

  5. Selecting a response form for nonverbal persons: Facilitated communication, pointing systems, or sign language?

    PubMed Central

    Sundberg, Mark L.

    1993-01-01

    The three major types of augmentative communication for nonverbal persons consist of writing (or typing), pointing, and signing. These alternative response forms are examined in terms of their advantages and disadvantages for establishing effective verbal behavior. In addition, these systems are examined using the concepts from Skinner's (1957) analysis of verbal behavior (i.e., mand, tact, intraverbal, and autoclitic). The results of this analysis show that sign language has the most advantages and the fewest disadvantages, and more closely parallels speech in terms of the verbal operants. Although, the current trend is to favor facilitated communication (typing) and pointing systems, both of these response forms have several disadvantages that impede the development of the verbal operants. It is suggested that for many nonverbal individuals sign language is a better alternative response form, and has a better chance of improving speech. PMID:22477084

  6. Evaluation of language and communication skills in adult key word signing users with intellectual disability: advantages of a narrative task.

    PubMed

    Meuris, Kristien; Maes, Bea; Zink, Inge

    2014-10-01

    The evaluation of language and communication skills in adults who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in general and key word signing (KWS) in particular, can be an elaborate task. Besides being time-consuming and not very similar to natural communication, standard language tests often do not take AAC or KWS into account. Therefore, we developed a narrative task specifically for adults with intellectual disability (ID) who use KWS. The task was evaluated in a group of 40 adult KWS users. Outcome measures on the narrative task correlated significantly with measures of standard language and communication tests for verbal language, but not for use of manual signs. All narrative measures, for both verbal language and manual signing, correlated highly with similar measures from a conversation sample. The developed narrative task proved useful and valid to evaluate the language and communication skills of adults with ID taking into account both their verbal language and manual sign use.

  7. Response bias reveals enhanced attention to inferior visual field in signers of American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Dye, Matthew W G; Seymour, Jenessa L; Hauser, Peter C

    2016-04-01

    Deafness results in cross-modal plasticity, whereby visual functions are altered as a consequence of a lack of hearing. Here, we present a reanalysis of data originally reported by Dye et al. (PLoS One 4(5):e5640, 2009) with the aim of testing additional hypotheses concerning the spatial redistribution of visual attention due to deafness and the use of a visuogestural language (American Sign Language). By looking at the spatial distribution of errors made by deaf and hearing participants performing a visuospatial selective attention task, we sought to determine whether there was evidence for (1) a shift in the hemispheric lateralization of visual selective function as a result of deafness, and (2) a shift toward attending to the inferior visual field in users of a signed language. While no evidence was found for or against a shift in lateralization of visual selective attention as a result of deafness, a shift in the allocation of attention from the superior toward the inferior visual field was inferred in native signers of American Sign Language, possibly reflecting an adaptation to the perceptual demands imposed by a visuogestural language.

  8. "I Never Really Knew the History behind African American Language": Critical Language Pedagogy in an Advanced Placement English Language Arts Class

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker-Bell, April

    2013-01-01

    This article responds to two long-standing dilemmas that limit the effectiveness of language education for students who speak and write in African American Language (AAL): (1) the gap between theory and research on AAL and classroom practice, and (2) the need for critical language pedagogies. This article presents the effectiveness of a critical…

  9. Language lateralization of hearing native signers: A functional transcranial Doppler sonography (fTCD) study of speech and sign production

    PubMed Central

    Gutierrez-Sigut, Eva; Daws, Richard; Payne, Heather; Blott, Jonathan; Marshall, Chloë; MacSweeney, Mairéad

    2016-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies suggest greater involvement of the left parietal lobe in sign language compared to speech production. This stronger activation might be linked to the specific demands of sign encoding and proprioceptive monitoring. In Experiment 1 we investigate hemispheric lateralization during sign and speech generation in hearing native users of English and British Sign Language (BSL). Participants exhibited stronger lateralization during BSL than English production. In Experiment 2 we investigated whether this increased lateralization index could be due exclusively to the higher motoric demands of sign production. Sign naïve participants performed a phonological fluency task in English and a non-sign repetition task. Participants were left lateralized in the phonological fluency task but there was no consistent pattern of lateralization for the non-sign repetition in these hearing non-signers. The current data demonstrate stronger left hemisphere lateralization for producing signs than speech, which was not primarily driven by motoric articulatory demands. PMID:26605960

  10. Language lateralization of hearing native signers: A functional transcranial Doppler sonography (fTCD) study of speech and sign production.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez-Sigut, Eva; Daws, Richard; Payne, Heather; Blott, Jonathan; Marshall, Chloë; MacSweeney, Mairéad

    2015-12-01

    Neuroimaging studies suggest greater involvement of the left parietal lobe in sign language compared to speech production. This stronger activation might be linked to the specific demands of sign encoding and proprioceptive monitoring. In Experiment 1 we investigate hemispheric lateralization during sign and speech generation in hearing native users of English and British Sign Language (BSL). Participants exhibited stronger lateralization during BSL than English production. In Experiment 2 we investigated whether this increased lateralization index could be due exclusively to the higher motoric demands of sign production. Sign naïve participants performed a phonological fluency task in English and a non-sign repetition task. Participants were left lateralized in the phonological fluency task but there was no consistent pattern of lateralization for the non-sign repetition in these hearing non-signers. The current data demonstrate stronger left hemisphere lateralization for producing signs than speech, which was not primarily driven by motoric articulatory demands.

  11. A Case Study of Two Sign Language Interpreters Working in Post-Secondary Education in New Zealand

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Powell, Denise

    2013-01-01

    A case study of two qualified New Zealand Sign Language interpreters working in a post-secondary education setting in New Zealand was undertaken using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Educational sign language interpreting at the post-secondary level requires a different set of skills and is a reasonably new development in New Zealand.…

  12. Evidence for Website Claims about the Benefits of Teaching Sign Language to Infants and Toddlers with Normal Hearing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Lauri H.; White, Karl R.; Grewe, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    The development of proficient communication skills in infants and toddlers is an important component to child development. A popular trend gaining national media attention is teaching sign language to babies with normal hearing whose parents also have normal hearing. Thirty-three websites were identified that advocate sign language for hearing…

  13. Engaging the Discourse of International Language Recognition through ISO 639-3 Signed Language Change Requests

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parks, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Linguistic ideologies that are left unquestioned and unexplored, especially as reflected and produced in marginalized language communities, can contribute to inequality made real in decisions about languages and the people who use them. One of the primary bodies of knowledge guiding international language policy is the International Organization…

  14. Deaf children's engagement in an educational video in American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Golos, Debbie B

    2010-01-01

    Over time, children's educational television has successfully modified programming to incorporate research-based strategies to facilitate learning and engagement during viewing. However, research has been limited on whether these same strategies would work with preschool deaf children viewing videos in American Sign Language. In a descriptive study, engagement behaviors of 25 preschool deaf children during multiple viewings of an educational video in ASL were examined. The video incorporated research-based interactive strategies to facilitate engagement while targeting vocabulary through ASL, fingerspelling, and English print. Each of 3 viewing sessions was recorded; videos were transcribed and coded for frequency of children's movements, pointing, fingerspelling, and signing. Behaviors were analyzed for frequency within and across multiple viewings and by level of signing skills. It was found that each of these engagement behaviors occurred frequently throughout viewings and increased across multiple viewings regardless of a child's age or signing skills.

  15. A Component-Based Vocabulary-Extensible Sign Language Gesture Recognition Framework

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Shengjing; Chen, Xiang; Yang, Xidong; Cao, Shuai; Zhang, Xu

    2016-01-01

    Sign language recognition (SLR) can provide a helpful tool for the communication between the deaf and the external world. This paper proposed a component-based vocabulary extensible SLR framework using data from surface electromyographic (sEMG) sensors, accelerometers (ACC), and gyroscopes (GYRO). In this framework, a sign word was considered to be a combination of five common sign components, including hand shape, axis, orientation, rotation, and trajectory, and sign classification was implemented based on the recognition of five components. Especially, the proposed SLR framework consisted of two major parts. The first part was to obtain the component-based form of sign gestures and establish the code table of target sign gesture set using data from a reference subject. In the second part, which was designed for new users, component classifiers were trained using a training set suggested by the reference subject and the classification of unknown gestures was performed with a code matching method. Five subjects participated in this study and recognition experiments under different size of training sets were implemented on a target gesture set consisting of 110 frequently-used Chinese Sign Language (CSL) sign words. The experimental results demonstrated that the proposed framework can realize large-scale gesture set recognition with a small-scale training set. With the smallest training sets (containing about one-third gestures of the target gesture set) suggested by two reference subjects, (82.6 ± 13.2)% and (79.7 ± 13.4)% average recognition accuracy were obtained for 110 words respectively, and the average recognition accuracy climbed up to (88 ± 13.7)% and (86.3 ± 13.7)% when the training set included 50~60 gestures (about half of the target gesture set). The proposed framework can significantly reduce the user’s training burden in large-scale gesture recognition, which will facilitate the implementation of a practical SLR system. PMID:27104534

  16. A Component-Based Vocabulary-Extensible Sign Language Gesture Recognition Framework.

    PubMed

    Wei, Shengjing; Chen, Xiang; Yang, Xidong; Cao, Shuai; Zhang, Xu

    2016-04-19

    Sign language recognition (SLR) can provide a helpful tool for the communication between the deaf and the external world. This paper proposed a component-based vocabulary extensible SLR framework using data from surface electromyographic (sEMG) sensors, accelerometers (ACC), and gyroscopes (GYRO). In this framework, a sign word was considered to be a combination of five common sign components, including hand shape, axis, orientation, rotation, and trajectory, and sign classification was implemented based on the recognition of five components. Especially, the proposed SLR framework consisted of two major parts. The first part was to obtain the component-based form of sign gestures and establish the code table of target sign gesture set using data from a reference subject. In the second part, which was designed for new users, component classifiers were trained using a training set suggested by the reference subject and the classification of unknown gestures was performed with a code matching method. Five subjects participated in this study and recognition experiments under different size of training sets were implemented on a target gesture set consisting of 110 frequently-used Chinese Sign Language (CSL) sign words. The experimental results demonstrated that the proposed framework can realize large-scale gesture set recognition with a small-scale training set. With the smallest training sets (containing about one-third gestures of the target gesture set) suggested by two reference subjects, (82.6 ± 13.2)% and (79.7 ± 13.4)% average recognition accuracy were obtained for 110 words respectively, and the average recognition accuracy climbed up to (88 ± 13.7)% and (86.3 ± 13.7)% when the training set included 50~60 gestures (about half of the target gesture set). The proposed framework can significantly reduce the user's training burden in large-scale gesture recognition, which will facilitate the implementation of a practical SLR system.

  17. The Signer and the Sign: Cortical Correlates of Person Identity and Language Processing from Point-Light Displays

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Ruth; Capek, Cheryl M.; Gazarian, Karine; MacSweeney, Mairead; Woll, Bencie; David, Anthony S.; McGuire, Philip K.; Brammer, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the first to explore the cortical correlates of signed language (SL) processing under point-light display conditions, the observer identified either a signer or a lexical sign from a display in which different signers were seen producing a number of different individual signs. Many of the regions activated by point-light under these…

  18. Early Vocabulary Development in Deaf Native Signers: A British Sign Language Adaptation of the Communicative Development Inventories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woolfe, Tyron; Herman, Rosalind; Roy, Penny; Woll, Bencie

    2010-01-01

    Background: There is a dearth of assessments of sign language development in young deaf children. This study gathered age-related scores from a sample of deaf native signing children using an adapted version of the MacArthur-Bates CDI (Fenson et al., 1994). Method: Parental reports on children's receptive and expressive signing were collected…

  19. Making the Connection: Language and Academic Achievement among African American Students. Proceedings of a Conference of the Coalition on Language Diversity in Education (January 1998). Language in Education 92.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adger, Carolyn Temple, Ed.; Christian, Donna, Ed.; Taylor, Orlando, Ed.

    Papers from a conference on the role of language in the academic achievement of African Americans include: "Language Diversity and Academic Achievement in the Education of African American Students: An Overview of the Issues" (John R. Rickford); "The Language of African American Students in Classroom Discourse" (Courtney B.…

  20. African Language Publishing for Children in South Africa: Challenges for Translators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Viv; Ngwaru, Jacob Marriote

    2011-01-01

    The commitment to multilingualism embedded in the 1996 South African Constitution has wide ranging implications for many aspects of education. This paper focuses on the dearth of teaching and learning materials in African languages required to deliver effective bilingual education, and on the potential role of translation in offering solutions for…

  1. Language Policy and Practice in the Multilingual Southern African Development Community

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mooko, Theophilus

    2009-01-01

    This study explores the language policy and practice of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), an African regional economic organisation made up of 14 member states (Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia…

  2. Bidialectal African American Adolescents' Beliefs about Spoken Language Expectations in English Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Godley, Amanda; Escher, Allison

    2012-01-01

    This article describes the perspectives of bidialectal African American adolescents--adolescents who speak both African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and Standard English--on spoken language expectations in their English classes. Previous research has demonstrated that many teachers hold negative views of AAVE, but existing scholarship has…

  3. The impact of input quality on early sign development in native and non-native language learners.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jenny; Jones, Anna; Morgan, Gary

    2016-05-01

    There is debate about how input variation influences child language. Most deaf children are exposed to a sign language from their non-fluent hearing parents and experience a delay in exposure to accessible language. A small number of children receive language input from their deaf parents who are fluent signers. Thus it is possible to document the impact of quality of input on early sign acquisition. The current study explores the outcomes of differential input in two groups of children aged two to five years: deaf children of hearing parents (DCHP) and deaf children of deaf parents (DCDP). Analysis of child sign language revealed DCDP had a more developed vocabulary and more phonological handshape types compared with DCHP. In naturalistic conversations deaf parents used more sign tokens and more phonological types than hearing parents. Results are discussed in terms of the effects of early input on subsequent language abilities.

  4. The Design and Evaluation of African Language Learning Materials. Proceedings of the Spring 1984 Conference on Developing Guidelines for the Evaluation of African Language Learning Materials (East Lansing, Michigan, April 13-14, 1984).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dwyer, David J., Ed.

    Representatives from major institutions teaching African languages convened to discuss the design of African language textbooks and to propose guidelines for the writing of new textbooks and evaluation of existing ones. Conference papers include: "Language Acquisition Theory and Materials Construction" (Stephen Krashen); "The Structures of Verbal…

  5. MobileASL: intelligibility of sign language video over mobile phones.

    PubMed

    Cavender, Anna; Vanam, Rahul; Barney, Dane K; Ladner, Richard E; Riskin, Eve A

    2008-01-01

    For Deaf people, access to the mobile telephone network in the United States is currently limited to text messaging, forcing communication in English as opposed to American Sign Language (ASL), the preferred language. Because ASL is a visual language, mobile video phones have the potential to give Deaf people access to real-time mobile communication in their preferred language. However, even today's best video compression techniques can not yield intelligible ASL at limited cell phone network bandwidths. Motivated by this constraint, we conducted one focus group and two user studies with members of the Deaf Community to determine the intelligibility effects of video compression techniques that exploit the visual nature of sign language. Inspired by eye tracking results that show high resolution foveal vision is maintained around the face, we studied region-of-interest encodings (where the face is encoded at higher quality) as well as reduced frame rates (where fewer, better quality, frames are displayed every second). At all bit rates studied here, participants preferred moderate quality increases in the face region, sacrificing quality in other regions. They also preferred slightly lower frame rates because they yield better quality frames for a fixed bit rate. The limited processing power of cell phones is a serious concern because a real-time video encoder and decoder will be needed. Choosing less complex settings for the encoder can reduce encoding time, but will affect video quality. We studied the intelligibility effects of this tradeoff and found that we can significantly speed up encoding time without severely affecting intelligibility. These results show promise for real-time access to the current low-bandwidth cell phone network through sign-language-specific encoding techniques.

  6. The emergence of embedded structure: insights from Kafr Qasem Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Kastner, Itamar; Meir, Irit; Sandler, Wendy; Dachkovsky, Svetlana

    2014-01-01

    This paper introduces data from Kafr Qasem Sign Language (KQSL), an as-yet undescribed sign language, and identifies the earliest indications of embedding in this young language. Using semantic and prosodic criteria, we identify predicates that form a constituent with a noun, functionally modifying it. We analyze these structures as instances of embedded predicates, exhibiting what can be regarded as very early stages in the development of subordinate constructions, and argue that these structures may bear directly on questions about the development of embedding and subordination in language in general. Deutscher (2009) argues persuasively that nominalization of a verb is the first step—and the crucial step—toward syntactic embedding. It has also been suggested that prosodic marking may precede syntactic marking of embedding (Mithun, 2009). However, the relevant data from the stage at which embedding first emerges have not previously been available. KQSL might be the missing piece of the puzzle: a language in which a noun can be modified by an additional predicate, forming a proposition within a proposition, sustained entirely by prosodic means. PMID:24917837

  7. Effects of Hearing Status and Sign Language Use on Working Memory.

    PubMed

    Marschark, Marc; Sarchet, Thomastine; Trani, Alexandra

    2016-04-01

    Deaf individuals have been found to score lower than hearing individuals across a variety of memory tasks involving both verbal and nonverbal stimuli, particularly those requiring retention of serial order. Deaf individuals who are native signers, meanwhile, have been found to score higher on visual-spatial memory tasks than on verbal-sequential tasks and higher on some visual-spatial tasks than hearing nonsigners. However, hearing status and preferred language modality (signed or spoken) frequently are confounded in such studies. That situation is resolved in the present study by including deaf students who use spoken language and sign language interpreting students (hearing signers) as well as deaf signers and hearing nonsigners. Three complex memory span tasks revealed overall advantages for hearing signers and nonsigners over both deaf signers and deaf nonsigners on 2 tasks involving memory for verbal stimuli (letters). There were no differences among the groups on the task involving visual-spatial stimuli. The results are consistent with and extend recent findings concerning the effects of hearing status and language on memory and are discussed in terms of language modality, hearing status, and cognitive abilities among deaf and hearing individuals.

  8. The emergence of embedded structure: insights from Kafr Qasem Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Kastner, Itamar; Meir, Irit; Sandler, Wendy; Dachkovsky, Svetlana

    2014-01-01

    This paper introduces data from Kafr Qasem Sign Language (KQSL), an as-yet undescribed sign language, and identifies the earliest indications of embedding in this young language. Using semantic and prosodic criteria, we identify predicates that form a constituent with a noun, functionally modifying it. We analyze these structures as instances of embedded predicates, exhibiting what can be regarded as very early stages in the development of subordinate constructions, and argue that these structures may bear directly on questions about the development of embedding and subordination in language in general. Deutscher (2009) argues persuasively that nominalization of a verb is the first step-and the crucial step-toward syntactic embedding. It has also been suggested that prosodic marking may precede syntactic marking of embedding (Mithun, 2009). However, the relevant data from the stage at which embedding first emerges have not previously been available. KQSL might be the missing piece of the puzzle: a language in which a noun can be modified by an additional predicate, forming a proposition within a proposition, sustained entirely by prosodic means.

  9. A Human Mirror Neuron System for Language: Perspectives from Signed Languages of the Deaf

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knapp, Heather Patterson; Corina, David P.

    2010-01-01

    Language is proposed to have developed atop the human analog of the macaque mirror neuron system for action perception and production [Arbib M.A. 2005. From monkey-like action recognition to human language: An evolutionary framework for neurolinguistics (with commentaries and author's response). "Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28", 105-167; Arbib…

  10. When It Comes to Explaining: A Preliminary Investigation of the Expository Language Skills of African American School-Age Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koonce, Nicole M.

    2015-01-01

    This research investigated the expository language of school-age speakers of African American English. Specifically, the study describes the language productivity, syntax, and pragmatic features present in expository language samples produced by African American children and compares their performance with White children in the extant literature.…

  11. Real-Time Processing of ASL Signs: Delayed First Language Acquisition Affects Organization of the Mental Lexicon

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lieberman, Amy M.; Borovsky, Arielle; Hatrak, Marla; Mayberry, Rachel I.

    2015-01-01

    Sign language comprehension requires visual attention to the linguistic signal and visual attention to referents in the surrounding world, whereas these processes are divided between the auditory and visual modalities for spoken language comprehension. Additionally, the age-onset of first language acquisition and the quality and quantity of…

  12. Intrinsic mode entropy: an enhanced classification means for automated Greek Sign Language gesture recognition.

    PubMed

    Kosmidou, Vasiliki E; Hadjileontiadis, Leontios J

    2008-01-01

    Sign language forms a communication channel among the deaf; however, automated gesture recognition could further expand their communication with the hearers. In this work, data from three-dimensional accelerometer and five-channel surface electromyogram of the user's dominant forearm are analyzed using intrinsic mode entropy (IMEn) for the automated recognition of Greek Sign Language (GSL) gestures. IMEn was estimated for various window lengths and evaluated by the Mahalanobis distance criterion. Discriminant analysis was used to identify the effective scales of the intrinsic mode functions and the window length for the calculation of the IMEn that contributes to the correct classification of the GSL gestures. Experimental results from the IMEn analysis of GSL gestures corresponding to ten words have shown 100% classification accuracy using IMEn as the only classification feature. This provides a promising bed-set towards the automated GSL gesture recognition.

  13. Comprehending Sentences With the Body: Action Compatibility in British Sign Language?

    PubMed

    Vinson, David; Perniss, Pamela; Fox, Neil; Vigliocco, Gabriella

    2016-08-03

    Previous studies show that reading sentences about actions leads to specific motor activity associated with actually performing those actions. We investigate how sign language input may modulate motor activation, using British Sign Language (BSL) sentences, some of which explicitly encode direction of motion, versus written English, where motion is only implied. We find no evidence of action simulation in BSL comprehension (Experiments 1-3), but we find effects of action simulation in comprehension of written English sentences by deaf native BSL signers (Experiment 4). These results provide constraints on the nature of mental simulations involved in comprehending action sentences referring to transfer events, suggesting that the richer contextual information provided by BSL sentences versus written or spoken English may reduce the need for action simulation in comprehension, at least when the event described does not map completely onto the signer's own body.

  14. The body and the fading away of abstract concepts and words: a sign language analysis

    PubMed Central

    Borghi, Anna M.; Capirci, Olga; Gianfreda, Gabriele; Volterra, Virginia

    2014-01-01

    One of the most important challenges for embodied and grounded theories of cognition concerns the representation of abstract concepts, such as “freedom.” Many embodied theories of abstract concepts have been proposed. Some proposals stress the similarities between concrete and abstract concepts showing that they are both grounded in perception and action system while other emphasize their difference favoring a multiple representation view. An influential view proposes that abstract concepts are mapped to concrete ones through metaphors. Furthermore, some theories underline the fact that abstract concepts are grounded in specific contents, as situations, introspective states, emotions. These approaches are not necessarily mutually exclusive, since it is possible that they can account for different subsets of abstract concepts and words. One novel and fruitful way to understand the way in which abstract concepts are represented is to analyze how sign languages encode concepts into signs. In the present paper we will discuss these theoretical issues mostly relying on examples taken from Italian Sign Language (LIS, Lingua dei Segni Italiana), the visual-gestural language used within the Italian Deaf community. We will verify whether and to what extent LIS signs provide evidence favoring the different theories of abstract concepts. In analyzing signs we will distinguish between direct forms of involvement of the body and forms in which concepts are grounded differently, for example relying on linguistic experience. In dealing with the LIS evidence, we will consider the possibility that different abstract concepts are represented using different levels of embodiment. The collected evidence will help us to discuss whether a unitary embodied theory of abstract concepts is possible or whether the different theoretical proposals can account for different aspects of their representation. PMID:25120515

  15. Motion-sensitive cortex and motion semantics in American Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    McCullough, Stephen; Saygin, Ayse Pinar; Korpics, Franco; Emmorey, Karen

    2012-01-01

    Previous research indicates that motion-sensitive brain regions are engaged when comprehending motion semantics expressed by words or sentences. Using fMRI, we investigated whether such neural modulation can occur when the linguistic signal itself is visually dynamic and motion semantics is expressed by movements of the hands. Deaf and hearing users of American Sign Language (ASL) were presented with signed sentences that conveyed motion semantics (“The deer walked along the hillside.”) or were static, conveying little or no motion (“The deer slept along the hillside.”); sentences were matched for amount of visual motion. Motion-sensitive visual areas (MT+) were localized individually in each participant. As a control, the Fusiform Face Area (FFA) was also localized for the deaf participants. The whole-brain analysis revealed static (locative) sentences engaged regions in left parietal cortex more than motion sentences, replicating previous results implicating these regions in comprehending spatial language for sign languages. Greater activation was observed in the functionally defined MT+ ROI for motion than static sentences for both deaf and hearing signers. No modulation of neural activity by sentence type was observed in the FFA. Deafness did not affect modulation of MT+ by motion semantics, but hearing signers exhibited stronger neural activity in MT+ for both sentence types, perhaps due to differences in exposure and/or use of ASL. We conclude that top down modulation of motion-sensitive cortex by linguistic semantics is not disrupted by the visual motion that is present in sign language sentences. PMID:22750056

  16. Fingerspelling, signed language, text and picture processing in deaf native signers: the role of the mid-fusiform gyrus.

    PubMed

    Waters, Dafydd; Campbell, Ruth; Capek, Cheryl M; Woll, Bencie; David, Anthony S; McGuire, Philip K; Brammer, Michael J; MacSweeney, Mairéad

    2007-04-15

    In fingerspelling, different hand configurations are used to represent the different letters of the alphabet. Signers use this method of representing written language to fill lexical gaps in a signed language. Using fMRI, we compared cortical networks supporting the perception of fingerspelled, signed, written, and pictorial stimuli in deaf native signers of British Sign Language (BSL). In order to examine the effects of linguistic knowledge, hearing participants who knew neither fingerspelling nor a signed language were also tested. All input forms activated a left fronto-temporal network, including portions of left inferior temporal and mid-fusiform gyri, in both groups. To examine the extent to which activation in this region was influenced by orthographic structure, two contrasts of orthographic and non-orthographic stimuli were made: one using static stimuli (text vs. pictures), the other using dynamic stimuli (fingerspelling vs. signed language). Greater activation in left and right inferior temporal and mid-fusiform gyri was found for pictures than text in both deaf and hearing groups. In the fingerspelling vs. signed language contrast, a significant interaction indicated locations within the left and right mid-fusiform gyri. This showed greater activation for fingerspelling than signed language in deaf but not hearing participants. These results are discussed in light of recent proposals that the mid-fusiform gyrus may act as an integration region, mediating between visual input and higher-order stimulus properties.

  17. Vital Signs: The Current State of African Americans in Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 2000

    2000-01-01

    Presents statistics on the progress of African Americans in U.S. institutions of higher education, including data from the Black-White Higher Education Equality Index; statistics measuring the state of racial inequality in the United States; data ranking the nation's law schools according to percentages of African American students; and data on…

  18. Vital Signs: The Current State of African Americans in Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 2002

    2002-01-01

    Presents a statistical record of the progress of African Americans in U.S. higher education institutions, focusing on the black-white higher education equality index, statistics that measure the state of racial inequality, ranking the nation's law schools by percentages of black students, state-by-state review of African American enrollments in…

  19. An Investigation into the Relationship of Foreign Language Learning Motivation and Sign Language Use among Deaf and Hard of Hearing Hungarians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kontra, Edit H.; Csizer, Kata

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study is to point out the relationship between foreign language learning motivation and sign language use among hearing impaired Hungarians. In the article we concentrate on two main issues: first, to what extent hearing impaired people are motivated to learn foreign languages in a European context; second, to what extent sign…

  20. Education, Language, and Identity amongst Students at a South African University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parkinson, Jean; Crouch, Alison

    2011-01-01

    This article reports on a study of language and cultural identity of mother-tongue Zulu students at an English-medium South African university. The data consist of focus group interviews, questionnaires, and student opinions in essays. Findings include a strong identification of the participants with the Zulu language and Zulu culture, and a view…

  1. Auxiliary BE Production by African American English-Speaking Children with and without Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garrity, April W.; Oetting, Janna B.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: To examine 3 forms ("am," "is," "are") of auxiliary BE production by African American English (AAE)-speaking children with and without specific language impairment (SLI). Method: Thirty AAE speakers participated: 10 six-year-olds with SLI, 10 age-matched controls, and 10 language-matched controls. BE production was examined through…

  2. Piquing the Interest of African American Students in Foreign Languages: The Case of Spelman College.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dahl, Anthony G.

    2000-01-01

    Discusses growing enrollments in foreign languages at Spelman College, a small language arts college for African American women in Atlanta, Georgia. Attributes the growing enrollments to the willingness of faculty to attend to student needs, interests, and specific black heritage. Suggests strategies for attracting students of color to languages…

  3. Language Policy and Science: Could Some African Countries Learn from Some Asian Countries?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brock-Utne, Birgit

    2012-01-01

    This article deals with the fact that most children in Africa are taught in a language neither they nor their teachers master, resulting in poor education outcomes. While there are also donor interests and donor competition involved in retaining ex-colonial languages, as well as an African elite that may profit from this system, one of the main…

  4. The Neural Correlates of Highly Iconic Structures and Topographic Discourse in French Sign Language as Observed in Six Hearing Native Signers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Courtin, C.; Herve, P. -Y.; Petit, L.; Zago, L.; Vigneau, M.; Beaucousin, V.; Jobard, G.; Mazoyer, B.; Mellet, E.; Tzourio-Mazoyer, N.

    2010-01-01

    "Highly iconic" structures in Sign Language enable a narrator to act, switch characters, describe objects, or report actions in four-dimensions. This group of linguistic structures has no real spoken-language equivalent. Topographical descriptions are also achieved in a sign-language specific manner via the use of signing-space and…

  5. Students who are deaf and hard of hearing and use sign language: considerations and strategies for developing spoken language and literacy skills.

    PubMed

    Nussbaum, Debra; Waddy-Smith, Bettie; Doyle, Jane

    2012-11-01

    There is a core body of knowledge, experience, and skills integral to facilitating auditory, speech, and spoken language development when working with the general population of students who are deaf and hard of hearing. There are additional issues, strategies, and challenges inherent in speech habilitation/rehabilitation practices essential to the population of deaf and hard of hearing students who also use sign language. This article will highlight philosophical and practical considerations related to practices used to facilitate spoken language development and associated literacy skills for children and adolescents who sign. It will discuss considerations for planning and implementing practices that acknowledge and utilize a student's abilities in sign language, and address how to link these skills to developing and using spoken language. Included will be considerations for children from early childhood through high school with a broad range of auditory access, language, and communication characteristics.

  6. Mental rotation within linguistic and non-linguistic domains in users of American sign language.

    PubMed

    Emmorey, K; Klima, E; Hickok, G

    1998-09-01

    American sign language (ASL) uses space itself to encode spatial information. Spatial scenes are most often described from the perspective of the person signing (the 'narrator'), such that the viewer must perform what amounts to a 180 degrees mental rotation to correctly comprehend the description. But scenes can also be described, non-canonically, from the viewer's perspective, in which case no rotation is required. Is mental rotation during sign language processing difficult for ASL signers? Are there differences between linguistic and non-linguistic mental rotation? Experiment 1 required subjects to decide whether a signed description matched a room presented on videotape. Deaf ASL signers were more accurate when viewing scenes described from the narrator's perspective (even though rotation is required) than from the viewer's perspective (no rotation required). In Experiment 2, deaf signers and hearing non-signers viewed videotapes of objects appearing briefly and sequentially on a board marked with an entrance. This board either matched an identical board in front of the subject or was rotated 180 degrees. Subjects were asked to place objects on their board in the orientation and location shown on the video, making the appropriate rotation when required. All subjects were significantly less accurate when rotation was required, but ASL signers performed significantly better than hearing non-signers under rotation. ASL signers were also more accurate in remembering object orientation. Signers then viewed a video in which the same scenes were signed from the two perspectives (i.e. rotation required or no rotation required). In contrast to their performance with real objects, signers did not show the typical mental rotation effect. Males outperformed females on the rotation task with objects, but the superiority disappeared in the linguistic condition. We discuss the nature of the ASL mental rotation transformation, and we conclude that habitual use of ASL can

  7. Suspending the next turn as a form of repair initiation: evidence from Argentine Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Manrique, Elizabeth; Enfield, N J

    2015-01-01

    Practices of other-initiated repair deal with problems of hearing or understanding what another person has said in the fast-moving turn-by-turn flow of conversation. As such, other-initiated repair plays a fundamental role in the maintenance of intersubjectivity in social interaction. This study finds and analyses a special type of other-initiated repair that is used in turn-by-turn conversation in a sign language: Argentine Sign Language (Lengua de Señas Argentina or LSA). We describe a type of response termed a "freeze-look," which occurs when a person has just been asked a direct question: instead of answering the question in the next turn position, the person holds still while looking directly at the questioner. In these cases it is clear that the person is aware of having just been addressed and is not otherwise accounting for their delay in responding (e.g., by displaying a "thinking" face or hesitation, etc.). We find that this behavior functions as a way for an addressee to initiate repair by the person who asked the question. The "freeze-look" results in the questioner "re-doing" their action of asking a question, for example by repeating or rephrasing it. Thus, we argue that the "freeze-look" is a practice for other-initiation of repair. In addition, we argue that it is an "off-record" practice, thus contrasting with known on-record practices such as saying "Huh?" or equivalents. The findings aim to contribute to research on human understanding in everyday turn-by-turn conversation by looking at an understudied sign language, with possible implications for our understanding of visual bodily communication in spoken languages as well.

  8. Suspending the next turn as a form of repair initiation: evidence from Argentine Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Manrique, Elizabeth; Enfield, N. J.

    2015-01-01

    Practices of other-initiated repair deal with problems of hearing or understanding what another person has said in the fast-moving turn-by-turn flow of conversation. As such, other-initiated repair plays a fundamental role in the maintenance of intersubjectivity in social interaction. This study finds and analyses a special type of other-initiated repair that is used in turn-by-turn conversation in a sign language: Argentine Sign Language (Lengua de Señas Argentina or LSA). We describe a type of response termed a “freeze-look,” which occurs when a person has just been asked a direct question: instead of answering the question in the next turn position, the person holds still while looking directly at the questioner. In these cases it is clear that the person is aware of having just been addressed and is not otherwise accounting for their delay in responding (e.g., by displaying a “thinking” face or hesitation, etc.). We find that this behavior functions as a way for an addressee to initiate repair by the person who asked the question. The “freeze-look” results in the questioner “re-doing” their action of asking a question, for example by repeating or rephrasing it. Thus, we argue that the “freeze-look” is a practice for other-initiation of repair. In addition, we argue that it is an “off-record” practice, thus contrasting with known on-record practices such as saying “Huh?” or equivalents. The findings aim to contribute to research on human understanding in everyday turn-by-turn conversation by looking at an understudied sign language, with possible implications for our understanding of visual bodily communication in spoken languages as well. PMID:26441710

  9. "What's the Sign for 'Catch 22'?": Barriers to Professional Formation for Deaf Teachers of British Sign Language in the Further Education Sector

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnes, Lynne; Atherton, Martin

    2015-01-01

    In 2007, Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills standards (QTLS) were introduced for all teachers working in UK further education institutions, with the expressed aim of improving professional standards within the sector. British Sign Language (BSL) teaching is largely delivered by deaf native signers through evening classes at local FE colleges,…

  10. Linguistic flexibility in signed and written language productions of deaf children.

    PubMed

    Everhart, V S; Marschark, M

    1988-10-01

    Linguistic flexibility of deaf and hearing children was compared by examining the relative frequencies of their nonliteral constructions in stories written and signed (by the deaf) or written and spoken (by the hearing). Seven types of nonliteral constructions were considered: novel figurative language, frozen figurative language, gestures, pantomime, linguistic modifications, linguistic inventions, and lexical substitutions. Among the hearing 8- to 15-year-olds, oral and written stories contained comparable numbers of nonliteral constructions. Among their age-matched deaf peers, however, nonliteral constructions were significantly stories contained comparable numbers of nonliteral constructions. Among their age-matched deaf peers, however, nonliteral constructions were significantly more common in signed than written stories. Overall, hearing students used more nonliteral constructions in their written stories than did their deaf peers (who used very few), whereas deaf students used more nonliteral constructions in their signed stories than their hearing peers did in their spoken stories. The results suggest that deaf children are linguistically and cognitively more competent than is generally assumed on the basis of evaluations in English. Although inferior to hearing age-mates in written expression, they are comparable to, and in some ways better than those peers when evaluated using their primary mode of communication.

  11. Benefits of Sign Language Interpreting and Text Alternatives for Deaf Students' Classroom Learning

    PubMed Central

    Marschark, Marc; Leigh, Greg; Sapere, Patricia; Burnham, Denis; Convertino, Carol; Stinson, Michael; Knoors, Harry; Vervloed, Mathijs P. J.; Noble, William

    2006-01-01

    Four experiments examined the utility of real-time text in supporting deaf students' learning from lectures in postsecondary (Experiments 1 and 2) and secondary classrooms (Experiments 3 and 4). Experiment 1 compared the effects on learning of sign language interpreting, real-time text (C-Print), and both. Real-time text alone led to significantly higher performance by deaf students than the other two conditions, but performance by deaf students in all conditions was significantly below that of hearing peers who saw lectures without any support services. Experiment 2 compared interpreting and two forms of real-time text, C-Print and Communication Access Real-Time Translation, at immediate testing and after a 1-week delay (with study notes). No significant differences among support services were obtained at either testing. Experiment 3 also failed to reveal significant effects at immediate or delayed testing in a comparison of real-time text, direct (signed) instruction, and both. Experiment 4 found no significant differences between interpreting and interpreting plus real-time text on the learning of either new words or the content of television programs. Alternative accounts of the observed pattern of results are considered, but it is concluded that neither sign language interpreting nor real-time text have any inherent, generalized advantage over the other in supporting deaf students in secondary or postsecondary settings. Providing deaf students with both services simultaneously does not appear to provide any generalized benefit, at least for the kinds of materials utilized here. PMID:16928778

  12. Handling movement epenthesis and hand segmentation ambiguities in continuous sign language recognition using nested dynamic programming.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ruiduo; Sarkar, Sudeep; Loeding, Barbara

    2010-03-01

    We consider two crucial problems in continuous sign language recognition from unaided video sequences. At the sentence level, we consider the movement epenthesis (me) problem and at the feature level, we consider the problem of hand segmentation and grouping. We construct a framework that can handle both of these problems based on an enhanced, nested version of the dynamic programming approach. To address movement epenthesis, a dynamic programming (DP) process employs a virtual me option that does not need explicit models. We call this the enhanced level building (eLB) algorithm. This formulation also allows the incorporation of grammar models. Nested within this eLB is another DP that handles the problem of selecting among multiple hand candidates. We demonstrate our ideas on four American Sign Language data sets with simple background, with the signer wearing short sleeves, with complex background, and across signers. We compared the performance with Conditional Random Fields (CRF) and Latent Dynamic-CRF-based approaches. The experiments show more than 40 percent improvement over CRF or LDCRF approaches in terms of the frame labeling rate. We show the flexibility of our approach when handling a changing context. We also find a 70 percent improvement in sign recognition rate over the unenhanced DP matching algorithm that does not accommodate the me effect.

  13. Signed language and human action processing: evidence for functional constraints on the human mirror-neuron system.

    PubMed

    Corina, David P; Knapp, Heather Patterson

    2008-12-01

    In the quest to further understand the neural underpinning of human communication, researchers have turned to studies of naturally occurring signed languages used in Deaf communities. The comparison of the commonalities and differences between spoken and signed languages provides an opportunity to determine core neural systems responsible for linguistic communication independent of the modality in which a language is expressed. The present article examines such studies, and in addition asks what we can learn about human languages by contrasting formal visual-gestural linguistic systems (signed languages) with more general human action perception. To understand visual language perception, it is important to distinguish the demands of general human motion processing from the highly task-dependent demands associated with extracting linguistic meaning from arbitrary, conventionalized gestures. This endeavor is particularly important because theorists have suggested close homologies between perception and production of actions and functions of human language and social communication. We review recent behavioral, functional imaging, and neuropsychological studies that explore dissociations between the processing of human actions and signed languages. These data suggest incomplete overlap between the mirror-neuron systems proposed to mediate human action and language.

  14. [Are deaf patients in Germany informed about their legal rights for a sign language interpreter?].

    PubMed

    Höcker, J T; Letzel, S; Münster, E

    2012-12-01

    Deaf citizens are confronted with barriers in a health-care system shaped by hearing people. Therefore the German legislature provides a supply with sign language interpreters at the expense of the health insurances. The present study initially examines in how far the deaf are informed about this and use said interpreters. Traditional surveys are based on spoken and written language and therefore are unsuitable for the target audience. Because of this, a cross-sectional online study was performed using sign language videos and visually oriented answers to allow a barrier-free participation. With a multivariate analysis, factors increasing deaf people's risks not to be informed of the supply with interpreters were identified: Of 841 deaf participants, 31.4% were not informed of their rights. 41.3% have experience with an interpreter at the doctor's and report a mainly trouble-free reimbursement of costs. Young and modestly educated deaf have a higher risk of not being informed of the interpreter supply. Further information is necessary to provide equality of opportunities to deaf patients utilising medical benefits.

  15. Functional connectivity in task-negative network of the Deaf: effects of sign language experience.

    PubMed

    Malaia, Evie; Talavage, Thomas M; Wilbur, Ronnie B

    2014-01-01

    Prior studies investigating cortical processing in Deaf signers suggest that life-long experience with sign language and/or auditory deprivation may alter the brain's anatomical structure and the function of brain regions typically recruited for auditory processing (Emmorey et al., 2010; Pénicaud et al., 2013 inter alia). We report the first investigation of the task-negative network in Deaf signers and its functional connectivity-the temporal correlations among spatially remote neurophysiological events. We show that Deaf signers manifest increased functional connectivity between posterior cingulate/precuneus and left medial temporal gyrus (MTG), but also inferior parietal lobe and medial temporal gyrus in the right hemisphere- areas that have been found to show functional recruitment specifically during sign language processing. These findings suggest that the organization of the brain at the level of inter-network connectivity is likely affected by experience with processing visual language, although sensory deprivation could be another source of the difference. We hypothesize that connectivity alterations in the task negative network reflect predictive/automatized processing of the visual signal.

  16. The hands and mouth do not always slip together in British sign language: dissociating articulatory channels in the lexicon.

    PubMed

    Vinson, David P; Thompson, Robin L; Skinner, Robert; Fox, Neil; Vigliocco, Gabriella

    2010-08-01

    In contrast to the single-articulatory system of spoken languages, sign languages employ multiple articulators, including the hands and the mouth. We asked whether manual components and mouthing patterns of lexical signs share a semantic representation, and whether their relationship is affected by the differing language experience of deaf and hearing native signers. We used picture-naming tasks and word-translation tasks to assess whether the same semantic effects occur in manual production and mouthing production. Semantic errors on the hands were more common in the English-translation task than in the picture-naming task, but errors in mouthing patterns showed a different trend. We conclude that mouthing is represented and accessed through a largely separable channel, rather than being bundled with manual components in the sign lexicon. Results were comparable for deaf and hearing signers; differences in language experience did not play a role. These results provide novel insight into coordinating different modalities in language production.

  17. Real-time processing of ASL signs: Delayed first language acquisition affects organization of the mental lexicon.

    PubMed

    Lieberman, Amy M; Borovsky, Arielle; Hatrak, Marla; Mayberry, Rachel I

    2015-07-01

    Sign language comprehension requires visual attention to the linguistic signal and visual attention to referents in the surrounding world, whereas these processes are divided between the auditory and visual modalities for spoken language comprehension. Additionally, the age-onset of first language acquisition and the quality and quantity of linguistic input for deaf individuals is highly heterogeneous, which is rarely the case for hearing learners of spoken languages. Little is known about how these modality and developmental factors affect real-time lexical processing. In this study, we ask how these factors impact real-time recognition of American Sign Language (ASL) signs using a novel adaptation of the visual world paradigm in deaf adults who learned sign from birth (Experiment 1), and in deaf adults who were late-learners of ASL (Experiment 2). Results revealed that although both groups of signers demonstrated rapid, incremental processing of ASL signs, only native signers demonstrated early and robust activation of sublexical features of signs during real-time recognition. Our findings suggest that the organization of the mental lexicon into units of both form and meaning is a product of infant language learning and not the sensory and motor modality through which the linguistic signal is sent and received.

  18. The question of sign-language and the utility of signs in the instruction of the deaf: two papers by Alexander Graham Bell (1898).

    PubMed

    Bell, Alexander Graham

    2005-01-01

    Alexander Graham Bell is often portrayed as either hero or villain of deaf individuals and the Deaf community. His writings, however, indicate that he was neither, and was not as clearly definite in his beliefs about language as is often supposed. The following two articles, reprinted from The Educator (1898), Vol. V, pp. 3-4 and pp. 38-44, capture Bell's thinking about sign language and its use in the classroom. Contrary to frequent claims, Bell does not demand "oral" training for all deaf children--even if he thinks it is the superior alternative--but does advocate for it for "the semi-deaf" and "the semi-mute." "In regard to the others," he writes, "I am not so sure." Although he clearly voices his support for oral methods and fingerspelling (the Rochester method) over sign language, Bell acknowledges the use and utility of signing in a carefully-crafted discussion that includes both linguistics and educational philosophy. In separating the language used at home from that in school and on the playground, Bell reveals a far more complex view of language learning by deaf children than he is often granted. (M. Marschark).

  19. The Relation between the Working Memory Skills of Sign Language Interpreters and the Quality of Their Interpretations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Dijk, Rick; Christoffels, Ingrid; Postma, Albert; Hermans, Daan

    2012-01-01

    In two experiments we investigated the relationship between the working memory skills of sign language interpreters and the quality of their interpretations. In Experiment 1, we found that scores on 3-back tasks with signs and words were not related to the quality of interpreted narratives. In Experiment 2, we found that memory span scores for…

  20. To Capture a Face: A Novel Technique for the Analysis and Quantification of Facial Expressions in American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grossman, Ruth B.; Kegl, Judy

    2006-01-01

    American Sign Language uses the face to express vital components of grammar in addition to the more universal expressions of emotion. The study of ASL facial expressions has focused mostly on the perception and categorization of various expression types by signing and nonsigning subjects. Only a few studies of the production of ASL facial…

  1. Where to Look for American Sign Language (ASL) Sublexical Structure in the Visual World: Reply to Salverda (2016)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lieberman, Amy M.; Borovsky, Arielle; Hatrak, Marla; Mayberry, Rachel I.

    2016-01-01

    In this reply to Salverda (2016), we address a critique of the claims made in our recent study of real-time processing of American Sign Language (ASL) signs using a novel visual world eye-tracking paradigm (Lieberman, Borovsky, Hatrak, & Mayberry, 2015). Salverda asserts that our data do not support our conclusion that native signers and…

  2. The Influence of Visual Feedback and Register Changes on Sign Language Production: A Kinematic Study with Deaf Signers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emmorey, Karen; Gertsberg, Nelly; Korpics, Franco; Wright, Charles E.

    2009-01-01

    Speakers monitor their speech output by listening to their own voice. However, signers do not look directly at their hands and cannot see their own face. We investigated the importance of a visual perceptual loop for sign language monitoring by examining whether changes in visual input alter sign production. Deaf signers produced American Sign…

  3. Do Signers Understand Regional Varieties of a Sign Language? A Lexical Recognition Experiment.

    PubMed

    Stamp, Rose

    2016-01-01

    The degree of mutual intelligibility of British Sign Language (BSL) regional varieties has been a subject of some debate. Recent research in which dyads of signers from contrasting regional backgrounds engaged in a conversational task showed no problems understanding one another. The present study investigated signers' knowledge of different BSL regional varieties. Twenty-five participants from Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester, and Newcastle took part in a computer-based lexical recognition task in which they had to identify the meaning of 47 color signs from various regions in the United Kingdom. The results indicate that overall signers have a poor knowledge of regional signs for colors when signs are presented in isolation and without mouthing. Furthermore, signers with deaf parents performed better in the recognition task than signers with hearing parents and varieties from London and Birmingham were easiest to recognize. This article discusses how signers cope with regional differences and considers the features that facilitate in the recognition of regional varieties in BSL.

  4. First language acquisition differs from second language acquisition in prelingually deaf signers: Evidence from sensitivity to grammaticality judgement in British Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Cormier, Kearsy; Schembri, Adam; Vinson, David; Orfanidou, Eleni

    2012-01-01

    Age of acquisition (AoA) effects have been used to support the notion of a critical period for first language acquisition. In this study, we examine AoA effects in deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users via a grammaticality judgment task. When English reading performance and nonverbal IQ are factored out, results show that accuracy of grammaticality judgement decreases as AoA increases, until around age 8, thus showing the unique effect of AoA on grammatical judgement in early learners. No such effects were found in those who acquired BSL after age 8. These late learners appear to have first language proficiency in English instead, which may have been used to scaffold learning of BSL as a second language later in life. PMID:22578601

  5. First language acquisition differs from second language acquisition in prelingually deaf signers: evidence from sensitivity to grammaticality judgement in British Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Cormier, Kearsy; Schembri, Adam; Vinson, David; Orfanidou, Eleni

    2012-07-01

    Age of acquisition (AoA) effects have been used to support the notion of a critical period for first language acquisition. In this study, we examine AoA effects in deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users via a grammaticality judgment task. When English reading performance and nonverbal IQ are factored out, results show that accuracy of grammaticality judgement decreases as AoA increases, until around age 8, thus showing the unique effect of AoA on grammatical judgement in early learners. No such effects were found in those who acquired BSL after age 8. These late learners appear to have first language proficiency in English instead, which may have been used to scaffold learning of BSL as a second language later in life.

  6. Using sample entropy for automated sign language recognition on sEMG and accelerometer data.

    PubMed

    Kosmidou, Vasiliki E; Hadjileontiadis, Leontios I

    2010-03-01

    Communication using sign language (SL) provides alternative means for information transmission among the deaf. Automated gesture recognition involved in SL, however, could further expand this communication channel to the world of hearers. In this study, data from five-channel surface electromyogram and three-dimensional accelerometer from signers' dominant hand were subjected to a feature extraction process. The latter consisted of sample entropy (SampEn)-based analysis, whereas time-frequency feature (TFF) analysis was also performed as a baseline method for the automated recognition of 60-word lexicon Greek SL (GSL) isolated signs. Experimental results have shown a 66 and 92% mean classification accuracy threshold using TFF and SampEn, respectively. These results justify the superiority of SampEn against conventional methods, such as TFF, to provide with high recognition hit-ratios, combined with feature vector dimension reduction, toward a fast and reliable automated GSL gesture recognition.

  7. American sign language and deaf culture competency of osteopathic medical students.

    PubMed

    Lapinski, Jessica; Colonna, Caitlin; Sexton, Patricia; Richard, Mariah

    2015-01-01

    The study examined the effectiveness of a workshop on Deaf culture and basic medical American Sign Language for increasing osteopathic student physicians' confidence and knowledge when interacting with ASL-using patients. Students completed a pretest in which they provided basic demographic information, rated their confidence levels, took a video quiz on basic medical signs, and experienced a practical standardized encounter with a Deaf patient. They then attended a 4-hour workshop and, 2 weeks later, completed a posttest. Thirty-three students completed the pretest; 29 attended the workshop; 26 completed the posttest. Video quiz scores increased significantly from pretest to posttest, as did scores for the standardized patient encounter after completion of the workshop. Students also reported increased levels of confidence in interactions with the Deaf community. The results suggest that a single workshop was effective in increasing both confidence and short-term knowledge in interactions with Deaf patients.

  8. Using African languages for democracy and lifelong learning in Africa: A post-2015 challenge and the work of CASAS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brock-Utne, Birgit; Mercer, Malcolm

    2014-12-01

    Africans speak African languages in their everyday lives while lessons in school are delivered in an exogenous language. In many places adult education is also carried out in a language the majority of people do not speak. The exogenous languages, which are the languages of the former colonial powers and mastered just by a small African elite, are used in most parliaments in Africa and in most newspapers. This problem is largely ignored by the international community. An argument often put forward against using African languages as Languages of Instruction (LOIs) is that there are so many of them, and it may be problematic to select one as an LOI. But is this really the case? And does one need to select one language? The main work of the Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS) located in Cape Town has been to harmonise the written forms of most African languages so that these languages can be used as LOIs and as languages of government and the press. This paper examines in some detail the work undertaken by CASAS, its successes and challenges. It shows that the political process of getting the harmonised languages adopted is more difficult and unpredictable than the linguistic work itself.

  9. AILA Africa Research Network Launch 2007: Research into the Use of the African Languages for Academic Purposes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wildsmith-Cromarty, Rosemary

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the one-day symposium was to bring together scholars in applied linguistics with an interest in the African languages for the launch of the new AILA Africa regional network. Contributions were in the form of invited research papers from several African countries. This report focuses on the South African contribution, which highlighted…

  10. Examining the contribution of motor movement and language dominance to increased left lateralization during sign generation in native signers.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez-Sigut, Eva; Payne, Heather; MacSweeney, Mairéad

    2016-08-01

    The neural systems supporting speech and sign processing are very similar, although not identical. In a previous fTCD study of hearing native signers (Gutierrez-Sigut, Daws, et al., 2015) we found stronger left lateralization for sign than speech. Given that this increased lateralization could not be explained by hand movement alone, the contribution of motor movement versus 'linguistic' processes to the strength of hemispheric lateralization during sign production remains unclear. Here we directly contrast lateralization strength of covert versus overt signing during phonological and semantic fluency tasks. To address the possibility that hearing native signers' elevated lateralization indices (LIs) were due to performing a task in their less dominant language, here we test deaf native signers, whose dominant language is British Sign Language (BSL). Signers were more strongly left lateralized for overt than covert sign generation. However, the strength of lateralization was not correlated with the amount of time producing movements of the right hand. Comparisons with previous data from hearing native English speakers suggest stronger laterality indices for sign than speech in both covert and overt tasks. This increased left lateralization may be driven by specific properties of sign production such as the increased use of self-monitoring mechanisms or the nature of phonological encoding of signs.

  11. Language Deficits or Differences: What We Know about African American Vernacular English in the 21st Century

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Yvette R.; Schroeder, Valarie M.

    2013-01-01

    This focus of this paper is to present an overview of the current research which examines the language and literacy performance of African American children who speak African American Vernacular English (AAVE), as presented from a deficit versus difference perspective. Language and literacy and assessment and remediation of AAVE speakers are…

  12. Malik Goes to School: Examining the Language Skills of African American Students from Preschool-5th Grade

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Craig, Holly K.; Washington, Julie A.

    2005-01-01

    "Malik Goes to School: Examining the Language Skills of African American Students From Preschool-5th Grade" synthesizes a decade of research by the authors, Holly Craig and Julie Washington, on the oral language and literacy skills of African American children from preschool to fifth grade. Their research has characterized significant influences…

  13. Vital Signs: The Current State of African Americans in Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 2003

    2003-01-01

    Presents a statistical record of African Americans' progress in U.S. higher education institutions, discussing: the black-white higher education equality index; statistics that measure racial inequality; ranking law schools by percentage of black students; black enrollments at the nation's highest-ranked universities and highest-ranked liberal…

  14. Sign language ability in young deaf signers predicts comprehension of written sentences in English.

    PubMed

    Andrew, Kathy N; Hoshooley, Jennifer; Joanisse, Marc F

    2014-01-01

    We investigated the robust correlation between American Sign Language (ASL) and English reading ability in 51 young deaf signers ages 7;3 to 19;0. Signers were divided into 'skilled' and 'less-skilled' signer groups based on their performance on three measures of ASL. We next assessed reading comprehension of four English sentence structures (actives, passives, pronouns, reflexive pronouns) using a sentence-to-picture-matching task. Of interest was the extent to which ASL proficiency provided a foundation for lexical and syntactic processes of English. Skilled signers outperformed less-skilled signers overall. Error analyses further indicated greater single-word recognition difficulties in less-skilled signers marked by a higher rate of errors reflecting an inability to identify the actors and actions described in the sentence. Our findings provide evidence that increased ASL ability supports English sentence comprehension both at the levels of individual words and syntax. This is consistent with the theory that first language learning promotes second language through transference of linguistic elements irrespective of the transparency of mapping of grammatical structures between the two languages.

  15. Tradition, globalisation and language dilemma in education: African options for the 21st century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rwantabagu, Hermenegilde

    2011-08-01

    This paper addresses the dilemma of language in education in African countries with particular reference to Burundi. African languages are still marginalised by colonial languages such as French and English. Looking at other African countries in general and at the case of Burundi in detail, an analysis is made of the adopted policies aimed at promoting the use of the mother tongue as a basis for knowledge acquisition and cultural integration. Burundi has gone through a series of educational reforms both before and after gaining independence in 1962, with French and Kirundi competing as curricular teaching languages. After the integration of Burundi into the East African Community in July 2007, English and Kiswahili were added to the curriculum, complicating education policies. This article places particular emphasis on the contextual challenges that tend to impair the full implementation of the adopted policy reforms. The paper concludes by advocating for a multilingual approach in which the indigenous mother tongue serves as the basis for the acquisition of other languages in the curriculum.

  16. Synthesis of image sequences for Korean sign language using 3D shape model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Mun-Ho; Choi, Chang-Seok; Kim, Chang-Seok; Jeon, Joon-Hyeon

    1995-05-01

    This paper proposes a method for offering information and realizing communication to the deaf-mute. The deaf-mute communicates with another person by means of sign language, but most people are unfamiliar with it. This method enables to convert text data into the corresponding image sequences for Korean sign language (KSL). Using a general 3D shape model of the upper body leads to generating the 3D motions of KSL. It is necessary to construct the general 3D shape model considering the anatomical structure of the human body. To obtain a personal 3D shape model, this general model is to adjust to the personal base images. Image synthesis for KSL consists of deforming a personal 3D shape model and texture-mapping the personal images onto the deformed model. The 3D motions for KSL have the facial expressions and the 3D movements of the head, trunk, arms and hands and are parameterized for easily deforming the model. These motion parameters of the upper body are extracted from a skilled signer's motion for each KSL and are stored to the database. Editing the parameters according to the inputs of text data yields to generate the image sequences of 3D motions.

  17. Recognition of sign language with an inertial sensor-based data glove.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kyung-Won; Lee, Mi-So; Soon, Bo-Ram; Ryu, Mun-Ho; Kim, Je-Nam

    2015-01-01

    Communication between people with normal hearing and hearing impairment is difficult. Recently, a variety of studies on sign language recognition have presented benefits from the development of information technology. This study presents a sign language recognition system using a data glove composed of 3-axis accelerometers, magnetometers, and gyroscopes. Each data obtained by the data glove is transmitted to a host application (implemented in a Window program on a PC). Next, the data is converted into angle data, and the angle information is displayed on the host application and verified by outputting three-dimensional models to the display. An experiment was performed with five subjects, three females and two males, and a performance set comprising numbers from one to nine was repeated five times. The system achieves a 99.26% movement detection rate, and approximately 98% recognition rate for each finger's state. The proposed system is expected to be a more portable and useful system when this algorithm is applied to smartphone applications for use in some situations such as in emergencies.

  18. Recognition of American Sign Language (ASL) Classifiers in a Planetarium Using a Head-Mounted Display

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hintz, Eric G.; Jones, Michael; Lawler, Jeannette; Bench, Nathan

    2015-01-01

    A traditional accommodation for the deaf or hard-of-hearing in a planetarium show is some type of captioning system or a signer on the floor. Both of these have significant drawbacks given the nature of a planetarium show. Young audience members who are deaf likely don't have the reading skills needed to make a captioning system effective. A signer on the floor requires light which can then splash onto the dome. We have examined the potential of using a Head-Mounted Display (HMD) to provide an American Sign Language (ASL) translation. Our preliminary test used a canned planetarium show with a pre-recorded sound track. Since many astronomical objects don't have official ASL signs, the signer had to use classifiers to describe the different objects. Since these are not official signs, these classifiers provided a way to test to see if students were picking up the information using the HMD.We will present results that demonstrate that the use of HMDs is at least as effective as projecting a signer on the dome. This also showed that the HMD could provide the necessary accommodation for students for whom captioning was ineffective. We will also discuss the current effort to provide a live signer without the light splash effect and our early results on teaching effectiveness with HMDs.This work is partially supported by funding from the National Science Foundation grant IIS-1124548 and the Sorenson Foundation.

  19. How Do Typically Developing Deaf Children and Deaf Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Use the Face When Comprehending Emotional Facial Expressions in British Sign Language?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Denmark, Tanya; Atkinson, Joanna; Campbell, Ruth; Swettenham, John

    2014-01-01

    Facial expressions in sign language carry a variety of communicative features. While emotion can modulate a spoken utterance through changes in intonation, duration and intensity, in sign language specific facial expressions presented concurrently with a manual sign perform this function. When deaf adult signers cannot see facial features, their…

  20. A common neural system is activated in hearing non-signers to process French sign language and spoken French.

    PubMed

    Courtin, Cyril; Jobard, Gael; Vigneau, Mathieu; Beaucousin, Virginie; Razafimandimby, Annick; Hervé, Pierre-Yves; Mellet, Emmanuel; Zago, Laure; Petit, Laurent; Mazoyer, Bernard; Tzourio-Mazoyer, Nathalie

    2011-01-15

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the areas activated by signed narratives in non-signing subjects naïve to sign language (SL) and compared it to the activation obtained when hearing speech in their mother tongue. A subset of left hemisphere (LH) language areas activated when participants watched an audio-visual narrative in their mother tongue was activated when they observed a signed narrative. The inferior frontal (IFG) and precentral (Prec) gyri, the posterior parts of the planum temporale (pPT) and of the superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), and the occipito-temporal junction (OTJ) were activated by both languages. The activity of these regions was not related to the presence of communicative intent because no such changes were observed when the non-signers watched a muted video of a spoken narrative. Recruitment was also not triggered by the linguistic structure of SL, because the areas, except pPT, were not activated when subjects listened to an unknown spoken language. The comparison of brain reactivity for spoken and sign languages shows that SL has a special status in the brain compared to speech; in contrast to unknown oral language, the neural correlates of SL overlap LH speech comprehension areas in non-signers. These results support the idea that strong relationships exist between areas involved in human action observation and language, suggesting that the observation of hand gestures have shaped the lexico-semantic language areas as proposed by the motor theory of speech. As a whole, the present results support the theory of a gestural origin of language.