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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. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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 language…

  5. 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…

  6. Arabic sign language: a perspective.

    PubMed

    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 many sign languages, almost as many as Arabic-speaking countries, yet with the same sign alphabets. This article gives a tentative account of some sign languages in Arabic through reference to their possible evolution, which is believed to be affected by the diglossic situation in Arabic, and by comparing some aspects of certain sign languages (Jordanian, Palestinian, Egyptian, Kuwaiti, and Libyan) for which issues such as primes, configuration, and movement in addition to other linguistic features are discussed. A contrastive account that depicts the principal differences among Arabic sign languages in general and the spoken language is given. PMID:15778217

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Sign language for telemanipulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pook, Polly K.; Ballard, Dana H.

    1995-12-01

    Literal teleoperation doesn't work very well. Limited bandwidth, long latencies, non- anthropomorphic mappings all make the effort of teleoperation tedious at best and ineffective at worst. Instead, users of teleoperated and semi-autonomous systems want their robots to `just do it for them,' without sacrificing the operator's intent. Our goal is to maximize human strategic control in teleoperator assisted robotics. In our teleassisted regime, the human operator provides high-level contexts for low-level autonomous robot behaviors. The operator wears an EXOS hand master to communicate via a natural sign language, such as pointing to objects and adopting a grasp preshape. Each sign indicates intention: e.g., reaching or grasping; and, where applicable, a spatial context: e.g., the pointing axis or preshape frame. The robot, a Utah/MIT hand on a Puma arm, acts under local servo control within the proscribed contexts. This paper extends earlier work [Pook & Ballard 1994a] by adding remote visual sensors to the teleassistance repertoire. To view the robot site, the operator wears a virtual research helmet that is coupled to binocular cameras mounted on a second Puma 760. The combined hand-head sensors allows teleassistance to be performed remotely. The example task is to open a door. We also demonstrate the flexibility of the teleassistance model by bootstrapping a `pick and place' task from the door opening task.

  11. 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.)

  12. 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…

  13. Deaf Phone: Sign Language Telephone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsing, R.; Sosnowski, Thomas P.

    1985-12-01

    Using the technologies of image processing, spatial/temporal resolution reduction and picture coding, a terminal has been designed and constructed which allows the transmission of deaf sign language over low bandwidth telephone lines in real time. Using the hardware, six deaf subjects have evaluated this system. A series of psycho-physical experiments were conducted to determine the minimum image quality required to convey meaning in hand-sign language as used by the deaf.

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Pronouns in Mexican Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plumlee, Marilyn

    This paper provides an analysis of the manual and non-manual pronouns identified in Mexican Sign Language (MSL) used by a female speaker in 1993, discusses syntactic uses of each type, and examines pronoun deletion. MSL has two distinct modes of expressing pronominal relationships: manual pronouns (including indexical, incorporated, classifiers,…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Exploring the Ancestral Roots of American Sign Language: Lexical Borrowing from Cistercian Sign Language and French Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cagle, Keith Martin

    2010-01-01

    American Sign Language (ASL) is the natural and preferred language of the Deaf community in both the United States and Canada. Woodward (1978) estimated that approximately 60% of the ASL lexicon is derived from early 19th century French Sign Language, which is known as "langue des signes francaise" (LSF). The lexicon of LSF and ASL may be derived…

  2. 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…

  3. 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...

  4. Sign Order in Argentine Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Massone, Maria Ignacia; Curiel, Monica

    2004-01-01

    This article focuses on word order - the order of constituents in the sentence - as one way in which languages establish the relationship between a verb and its arguments. The spoken languages of the world have been classified into three, major word-order types: SVO, VSO, and SOV. Greenberg' work (1963) on language typology has been a stimulus to…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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, Italy's linguistic…

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. The cognitive neuroscience of signed language.

    PubMed

    Rönnberg, J; Söderfeldt, B; Risberg, J

    2000-12-01

    The present article is an assessment of the current state of knowledge in the field of cognitive neuroscience of signed language. Reviewed lesion data show that the left hemisphere is dominant for perception and production of signed language in aphasics, in a fashion similar to spoken language aphasia. Several neuropsychological dissociations support this claim: Non-linguistic visuospatial functions can be dissociated from spatial functions and general motor deficits can be dissociated from execution of signs. Reviewed imaging data corroborate the lesion data in that the importance of the left hemisphere is re-confirmed. The data also establish the role of the right hemisphere in signed language processing. Alternative hypotheses regarding what aspects of signed language processing are handled by the right hemisphere are currently tested. The second section of the paper starts by addressing the role that early acquisition of signed and spoken language play for the neurofunctional activation patterns in the brain. Compensatory cognitive and communicative enhancements have also been documented as a function of early sign language use, suggesting an interesting interaction between language and cognition. Recent behavioural data on sign processing in working memory--a cognitive system important for language perception and production suggest e.g. phonological loop effects analogous to those obtained for speech processing. Neuroimaging studies will have to address this potential communality. PMID:11194414

  14. 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…

  15. Lexical Variation in Mexican Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bickford, J. Albert

    A study of dialectal variation in Mexican Sign Language (MSL), the primary language for a large segment of Mexico's deaf community, is presented. Signs used by nine different sources representing various locations, ages, and social groups are compared. The first section reviews a number of previous informal assessments of dialectal variation in…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. The Uniformity and Diversity of Language: Evidence from Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Sandler, Wendy

    2010-01-01

    Evidence from sign language strongly supports three positions: (1) language is a coherent system with universal properties; (2) sign languages diverge from spoken languages in some aspects of their structure; and (3) domain-external factors can be identified that account for some crucial aspects of language structure -- uniform and diverse -- in both modalities. Assuming that any of these positions excludes the others defeats the purpose of the enterprise. PMID:21076645

  2. Developing anatomical terms in an African language.

    PubMed

    Madzimbamuto, Farai Daniel

    2012-03-01

    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. PMID:22380900

  3. 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 in this…

  4. 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…

  5. Sign language and the brain: a review.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Ruth; MacSweeney, Mairéad; 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 especially as compared to speech processing. We focus on lateralization: is signed language lateralized to the left hemisphere (LH) of native signers, just as spoken language is lateralized to the LH of native speakers, or could sign processing involve the right hemisphere to a greater extent than speech processing? Experiments that have addressed this question are described, and some problems in obtaining a clear answer are outlined. PMID:17602162

  6. THE PHONOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION OF SIGN LANGUAGES

    PubMed Central

    SANDLER, WENDY

    2013-01-01

    Visually perceivable and movable parts of the body – the hands, facial features, head, and upper body – are the articulators of sign language. It is through these articulators that that words are formed, constrained, and contrasted with one another, and that prosody is conveyed. This article provides an overview of the way in which phonology is organized in the alternative modality of sign language. PMID:23539295

  7. 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…

  8. 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.)

  9. 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…

  10. Sign Language Studies with Chimpanzees and Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Cantfort, Thomas E.; Rimpau, James B.

    1982-01-01

    Reviews methodologies of sign language studies with chimpanzees and compares major findings of those studies with studies of human children. Considers relevance of input conditions for language acquisition, evidence used to demonstrate linguistic achievements, and application of rigorous testing procedures in developmental psycholinguistics.…

  11. Exploring Power & Ethnocentrism in Sign language Translation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leneham, Marcel

    2007-01-01

    This article demonstrates that theories intended to prevent ethnocentric influence for one pair of languages may, in fact, be the catalyst for the phenomenon it purports to prevent in another pair. While it explores the issue in relation to sign language translation, the article raises the question of whether the findings can be extrapolated to…

  12. The Psychotherapist and the Sign Language Interpreter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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).…

  13. 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/. PMID:25630312

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Syntactic Priming in American Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25786230

  17. 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. PMID:25149961

  18. 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.…

  19. 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" =…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Grammar, Gesture, and Meaning in American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liddell, Scott K.

    In sign languages of the Deaf, now recognized as fully legitimate human languages, some signs can meaningfully point toward things or can be meaningfully placed in the space ahead of the signer. Such spatial uses of sign are an obligatory part of fluent grammatical signing. There is no parallel for this in vocally produced languages. This book…

  5. 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…

  6. Notation systems for reading and writing sign language

    PubMed Central

    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 developing written forms. These issues are considered from a behavioral perspective, and two sign language notation systems, Stokoe Notation and Sutton SignWriting, are described. PMID:22477294

  7. 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).

  8. A Tool for Assessing Sign Language Skills of Rehabilitation Counselors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Krafcik, Nancy H.; Gibson-Harman, Kim

    1987-01-01

    The article describes development in Illinois of the Department of Rehabilitation Services Sign Language Assessment Tool. The instrument is designed to evaluate the level of receptive and expressive sign language proficiency of rehabilitation personnel serving the deaf. (DB)

  9. 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. PMID:27591549

  10. Phonological reduplication in sign language: Rules rule

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24959158

  11. 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…

  12. 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,…

  13. A Comprehensive Bibliography on American Sign Language: A Resource Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Federlin, Tom

    The document contains over 900 entries with information on resources relating to American Sign Language. Entries, grouped into four major categories (linguistics, pedagogy, sign language with deaf populations, and general), are listed alphabetically by author under the following 23 chapter headings: attitudes toward sign language,…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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,…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. Breaking the Molds: Signed Languages and the Nature of Human Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slobin, Dan I.

    2008-01-01

    Grammars of signed languages tend to be based on grammars established for written languages, particularly the written language in use in the surrounding hearing community of a sign language. Such grammars presuppose categories of discrete elements which are combined into various sorts of structures. Recent analyses of signed languages go beyond…

  20. 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]. PMID:26077481

  1. Facial Expressions, Emotions, and Sign Languages

    PubMed Central

    Elliott, Eeva A.; Jacobs, Arthur M.

    2013-01-01

    Facial expressions are used by humans to convey various types of meaning in various contexts. The range of meanings spans basic possibly innate socio-emotional concepts such as “surprise” to complex and culture specific concepts such as “carelessly.” The range of contexts in which humans use facial expressions spans responses to events in the environment to particular linguistic constructions within sign languages. In this mini review we summarize findings on the use and acquisition of facial expressions by signers and present a unified account of the range of facial expressions used by referring to three dimensions on which facial expressions vary: semantic, compositional, and iconic. PMID:23482994

  2. Sign language in Landau-Kleffner syndrome.

    PubMed

    Deonna, Thierry; Prelaz-Girod, Anne-Claude; Mayor-Dubois, Claire; Roulet-Perez, Eliane

    2009-08-01

    This article reviews the history of sign language (SL) and the rationale for its use in children with profound auditory agnosia due to Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS), illustrated by studies of children and adults followed for many years and rare cases from the literature. The reasons that SL was successful and brought some children out of isolation while it could not be implemented in others are discussed. The nowadays earlier recognition and treatment of LKS and better awareness of the crucial need to maintain communication have certainly improved the outcome of affected children. Alternatives to oral language, even for less severe cases, are increasingly accepted. SL can be learned at different ages with a clear benefit, but the ambivalence of the patients and their families with the world and culture of the deaf may sometimes explain its refusal or limited acceptance. There are no data to support the fear that SL learning may delay or prevent oral language recovery in children with LKS. On the contrary, SL may even facilitate this recovery by stimulating functionally connected core language networks and by helping speech therapy and auditory training. PMID:19682058

  3. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Lexical access in Catalan Signed Language (LSC) production.

    PubMed

    Baus, Cristina; Gutiérrez-Sigut, Eva; Quer, Josep; Carreiras, Manuel

    2008-09-01

    This paper investigates whether the semantic and phonological levels in speech production are specific to spoken languages or universal across modalities. We examined semantic and phonological effects during Catalan Signed Language (LSC: Llengua de Signes Catalana) production using an adaptation of the picture-word interference task: native and non-native signers were asked to sign picture names while ignoring signs produced in the background. The results showed semantic interference effects for semantically related distractor signs and phonological facilitation effects when target signs and distractor signs shared either Handshape or Movement but phonological interference effects when target and distractor shared Location. The results suggest that the general distinction between semantic and phonological levels seems to hold across modalities. However, differences in sign language and spoken production become evident in the mechanisms underlying phonological encoding, shown by the different role that Location, Handshape, and Movement play during phonological encoding in sign language. PMID:18656181

  8. Equity in Education: Signed Language and the Courts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Snoddon, Kristin

    2009-01-01

    This article examines several legal cases in Canada, the USA, and Australia involving signed language in education for Deaf students. In all three contexts, signed language rights for Deaf students have been viewed from within a disability legislation framework that either does not extend to recognizing language rights in education or that…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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,…

  12. 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…

  13. 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,…

  14. 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. PMID:27351751

  15. A Specialized Language System in Working Memory: Evidence from American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Losiewicz, Beth L.

    1999-01-01

    Investigates whether users of a visual spatial language, American Sign Language, also have a separate working memory subsystem for their visual spatial language, or whether their language working memory is part of their general visual-spatial memory. Results suggest prelingually deaf signers of ASL have a sign language working memory system that…

  16. 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. PMID:27089804

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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. PMID:26619066

  1. 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. PMID:25410427

  2. 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…

  3. The Neural Representation of Language in Users of American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corina, David P.; McBurney, Susan L.

    2001-01-01

    Studies of American Sign language including functional magnetic resonance imaging of deaf signers confirms the importance of left hemisphere structures in signed language, but also the contributions of right hemisphere regions to sign language processing. A case study involving cortical stimulation mapping in a deaf signer provides evidence for…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Two Sign Languages in a Single Village in India.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jepson, Jill

    1991-01-01

    Exploration of two sign languages independently employed by two isolated deaf signers in a single northern India village found that both languages included such negative structure elements as context-dependence, multichannels, and nondiscrete, ambiguous signs. One signer, strongly embedded in close relationships that formed a tiny speech…

  7. 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 language. "In":…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. Sign Language Conversational Interaction between Chimpanzees.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fouts, Roger S.; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Systematic sampling was done of signing between five home-reared chimpanzees who had had 4-7 years of complete immersion in integrating their signing interaction into their nonverbal communication. Eight-eight percent of all signs reported fell into the social categories of reassurance, social interaction, and play. (SL)

  17. 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.…

  18. 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.…

  19. 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 Aboriginal…

  20. 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…

  1. 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. PMID:25643865

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:15579874

  4. 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. PMID:25431562

  5. 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

  6. 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. PMID:23797313

  7. Sentence Repetition in American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mayberry, Rachel; And Others

    Interest is focused on the relationship between how old a person is when he or she first begins to learn a language and the fluency with which he or she can produce and understand that language in adulthood. The goal is to describe and measure the relationship between early experience and environment in language learning. In particular, the…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Visual feedback and self-monitoring of sign language

    PubMed Central

    Emmorey, Karen; Bosworth, Rain; Kraljic, Tanya

    2009-01-01

    The perceptual loop theory of self-monitoring posits that auditory speech output is parsed by the comprehension system. For sign language, however, visual input from one’s own signing is distinct from visual input received from another’s signing. Two experiments investigated the role of visual feedback in the production of American Sign Language (ASL). Experiment 1 revealed that signers were poor at recognizing ASL signs when viewed as they would appear during self-produced signing. Experiment 2 showed that the absence or blurring of visual feedback did not affect production performance when deaf signers learned to reproduce signs from Russian Sign Language, and production performance of hearing non-signers was slightly worse with visual feedback. Signers may rely primarily on somatosensory feedback when monitoring language output, and if the perceptual loop theory is to be maintained, the comprehension system must be able to parse a somatosensory signal as well as an external perceptual signal for both sign and speech. PMID:20161058

  12. 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. PMID:24688068

  13. Sign Languages: Evidence for Language Universals & the Linguistic Capacity of the Human Brain.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fromkin, Victoria A.

    1988-01-01

    An examination of the linguistics of American Sign Language (ASL) establishes beyond a doubt that ASL is a natural language distinct from English and provides insight into how the abstract cognitive system called language finds expression in the signed modality. (CB)

  14. 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

  15. The bimodal bilingual brain: effects of sign language experience.

    PubMed

    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 language experience on activation patterns within the superior temporal sulcus. In addition, the strong left-lateralized activation for facial expression recognition previously observed for deaf signers was not observed for hearing signers. We conclude that both sign language experience and deafness can affect the neural organization for recognizing facial expressions, and we argue that bimodal bilinguals provide a unique window into the neurocognitive changes that occur with the acquisition of two languages. PMID:18471869

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Investigating Deaf Children's Vocabulary Knowledge in British Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mann, Wolfgang; Marshall, Chloe

    2012-01-01

    This study explores different aspects of the mapping between phonological form and meaning of signs in British Sign Language (BSL) by means of four tasks to measure meaning recognition, form recognition, form recall, and meaning recall. The aim was to investigate whether there is a hierarchy of difficulty for these tasks and, therefore, whether…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. Sign Languages: Contribution to Neurolinguistics from Cross-Modal Research

    PubMed Central

    Malaia, Evie; Wilbur, Ronnie

    2010-01-01

    Using sign language research as an example, we argue that both the cross-linguistic descriptive approach to data, advocated by Evans and Levinson (2009), as well as abstract (‘formal’) analyses are necessary steps towards the development of “neurolinguistic primitives” for investigating how human languages are instantiated in the brain. PMID:20953339

  7. The Digital Playground: Kindergarten Children Learning Sign Language through Multimedia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellis, Kirsten; Blashki, Kathy

    2007-01-01

    The article discusses a study of 4-5 year old children's use of technology to assist and enhance the acquisition of a play lexicon within a formal educational setting. The new language system to be learned was Auslan, a signed/nonverbal language. A purpose specific software program was developed by the authors, "Auslan Kids," in order to test and…

  8. Writing Profiles of Deaf Children Taught through British Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burman, Diana; Nunes, Terezinha; Evans, Deborah

    2007-01-01

    Congenitally, profoundly deaf children whose first language is British Sign Language (BSL) and whose speech is largely unintelligible need to be literate to communicate effectively in a hearing society. Both spelling and writing skills of such children can be limited, to the extent that no currently available assessment method offers an adequate…

  9. 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%.

  10. African-American Students and Foreign Language Learning. ERIC Digest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, James J.

    The performance and attitudes of African-American students of foreign languages are discussed in this digest. Three major areas are reported: (1) Black English and foreign language learning, including theories of language deficiency, sociolinguistic research, phonology and syntax; (2) research on the performance of African-American students of…

  11. Language Learning and Use by African American Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Battle, Dolores E.

    1996-01-01

    This article reviews recent investigations of the development of phonology, morphology, semantics, and pragmatics in the development of speech and language by African American children. Clinical implications are offered to aid the distinction between normal language development using features of African American English and language disorders.…

  12. 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%.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Manual Signing: A Communication Tool for Language Delayed Preschool Hearing Children: An Exploratory Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Read, Mary Ann

    To explore the effects of the use of sign language as an intervention technique to facilitate the development of expressive and receptive communication skills, manual sign language (Signing Exact English) was employed with 12 multihandicapped, language delayed and/or nonverbal Ss (18 to 36 months old). Sign language was studied both as a…

  16. Vital Signs: The Current State of African Americans in Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 1998

    1998-01-01

    The "Vital Signs" section of this journal presents a statistical record of the progress of African Americans in institutions of higher education. Every issue contains a composite index of higher educational indicators. This issue features data on African American college enrollment, the enrollment of African American women, and law school…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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,…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:26590608

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

    PubMed

    Baus, Cristina; Costa, Albert

    2015-06-01

    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. PMID:25801115

  6. Why Doesn't Everyone Here Speak Sign Language? Questions of Language Policy, Ideology and Economics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rayman, Jennifer

    2009-01-01

    This paper is a thought experiment exploring the possibility of establishing universal bilingualism in Sign Languages. Focusing in the first part on historical examples of inclusive signing societies such as Martha's Vineyard, the author suggests that it is not possible to create such naturally occurring practices of Sign Bilingualism in societies…

  7. 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…

  8. 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. PMID:25329326

  9. 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…

  10. Contrastive Studies - African Languages and English. Specialised Bibliography C9.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    British Council, London (England). English-Teaching Information Centre.

    This selective bibliography lists 8 books and 19 journal articles dealing with contrastive studies of African languages and English. The entries range in date from 1953 to 1972 with the majority published since 1965. The books cited are African and British publications and the articles appeared in well-known African, European or American…

  11. Teaching and Learning in Two Languages in African Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clegg, John; Afitska, Oksana

    2011-01-01

    In sub-Saharan Africa, education conducted through a European language is associated with low school achievement. Both teachers and learners may often not be fluent enough to use the language as a medium of instruction. In these circumstances, both also make use of a common African language. They switch between two languages in the plenary…

  12. 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…

  13. African Americans Who Teach German Language and Culture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fikes, Robert Jr.

    2001-01-01

    A large number of black scholars have pursued advanced degrees in the German language, history, and culture. Describes the history of African American interest in the German language and culture, highlighting various black scholars who have studied German over the years. Presents data on African Americans in German graduate programs and examines…

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:19576628

  17. Identifying specific language impairment in deaf children acquiring British Sign Language: implications for theory and practice.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

    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 signing deaf children aged 5-14 years on normed tests of British Sign Language (BSL) sentence comprehension, repetition of nonsense signs, expressive grammar and narrative skills, alongside tests of non-verbal intelligence and fine motor control. Results show these children to have a significant language delay compared to their peers matched for age and language experience. This impaired development cannot be explained by poor exposure to BSL, or by lower general cognitive, social, or motor abilities. As is the case for SLI in spoken languages, we find heterogeneity within the group in terms of which aspects of language are affected and the severity of the impairment. We discuss the implications of the existence of language impairments in a sign language for theories of SLI and clinical practice. PMID:20306624

  18. 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. PMID:26644551

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. American Sign Language Verb Categories in Constructed Action

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, K. Larry

    2012-01-01

    The American Sign Language construction commonly known as "role-shift" (referred to afterward as Constructed Action) superficially resembles mimic forms, however unlike mime, Constructed Action is a type of depicting construction in ASL discourse (Roy 1989). The signer may use eye gaze, head shift, facial expression, stylistic variation,…

  5. 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…

  6. Morphological Innovation in the Acquisition of American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Hoek, Karen; And Others

    A study examined aspects of the acquisition of spatialized morphology and syntax in American Sign Language (ASL) learned natively by deaf children of deaf parents. Children aged 2 to 8 were shown story books to elicit narratives, and the resulting use of verbs contained morphological forms not appearing in adult grammar. Analysis of the creative…

  7. American Sign Language: An Innovative Middle School Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burnside, Karen

    2009-01-01

    American Sign Language (ASL) began at Seminole Middle School in August 2007 as part of the program, D.E.C.A.L (Division of Communication and Law), the brainchild of principal, Dr. Kris Black. Her goal was to offer a program that would entice advanced middle school students from around Broward County to Seminole and the hook she used to entice them…

  8. Using Signs to Facilitate Vocabulary in Children with Language Delays

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lederer, Susan Hendler; Battaglia, Dana

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to explore recommended practices in choosing and using key word signs (i.e., simple single-word gestures for communication) to facilitate first spoken words in hearing children with language delays. Developmental, theoretical, and empirical supports for this practice are discussed. Practical recommendations for…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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. PMID:24617640

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. Children creating language: how Nicaraguan sign language acquired a spatial grammar.

    PubMed

    Senghas, A; Coppola, M

    2001-07-01

    It has long been postulated that language is not purely learned, but arises from an interaction between environmental exposure and innate abilities. The innate component becomes more evident in rare situations in which the environment is markedly impoverished. The present study investigated the language production of a generation of deaf Nicaraguans who had not been exposed to a developed language. We examined the changing use of early linguistic structures (specifically, spatial modulations) in a sign language that has emerged since the Nicaraguan group first came together: In tinder two decades, sequential cohorts of learners systematized the grammar of this new sign language. We examined whether the systematicity being added to the language stems from children or adults: our results indicate that such changes originate in children aged 10 and younger Thus, sequential cohorts of interacting young children collectively: possess the capacity not only to learn, but also to create, language. PMID:11476100

  17. 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

  18. Language and Literacy Acquisition through Parental Mediation in American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailes, Cynthia Neese; Erting, Lynne C.; Thumann-Prezioso, Carlene; Erting, Carol J.

    2009-01-01

    This longitudinal case study examined the language and literacy acquisition of a Deaf child as mediated by her signing Deaf parents during her first three years of life. Results indicate that the parents' interactions with their child were guided by linguistic and cultural knowledge that produced an intuitive use of child-directed signing (CDSi)…

  19. 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

  20. Reflections on Language Policy in African Countries with Portuguese as an Official Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vilela, Mario

    2002-01-01

    Examines the place of Portuguese in Portugal's former African Colonies. Characterizes the postcolonial position of Portuguese in Africa as a complex relationship between Portuguese as the official language and the other languages of these countries. (Author/VWL)

  1. Windows into Sensory Integration and Rates in Language Processing: Insights from Signed and Spoken Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hwang, So-One K.

    2011-01-01

    This dissertation explores the hypothesis that language processing proceeds in "windows" that correspond to representational units, where sensory signals are integrated according to time-scales that correspond to the rate of the input. To investigate universal mechanisms, a comparison of signed and spoken languages is necessary. Underlying the…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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. PMID

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Some Handy New Ideas on Pidgins and Creoles: Pidgin Sign Languages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Woodward, James; Markowicz, Harry

    The study of pidgin and creole languages, usually emphasizing oral language codes, offers insights into language, especially as an observably dynamic phenomenon. However, channel is highly influential on the surface form of the language code. Pidgin sign language codes, not dependent on oral language codes, can serve as an ideal forum for the…

  11. Dataglove measurement of joint angles in sign language handshapes

    PubMed Central

    Eccarius, Petra; Bour, Rebecca; Scheidt, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    In sign language research, we understand little about articulatory factors involved in shaping phonemic boundaries or the amount (and articulatory nature) of acceptable phonetic variation between handshapes. To date, there exists no comprehensive analysis of handshape based on the quantitative measurement of joint angles during sign production. The purpose of our work is to develop a methodology for collecting and visualizing quantitative handshape data in an attempt to better understand how handshapes are produced at a phonetic level. In this pursuit, we seek to quantify the flexion and abduction angles of the finger joints using a commercial data glove (CyberGlove; Immersion Inc.). We present calibration procedures used to convert raw glove signals into joint angles. We then implement those procedures and evaluate their ability to accurately predict joint angle. Finally, we provide examples of how our recording techniques might inform current research questions. PMID:23997644

  12. Multimodal Semantic Quantity Representations: Further Evidence from Korean Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Domahs, Frank; Klein, Elise; Moeller, Korbinian; Nuerk, Hans-Christoph; Yoon, Byung-Chen; Willmes, Klaus

    2012-01-01

    Korean deaf signers performed a number comparison task on pairs of Arabic digits. In their response times profiles, the expected magnitude effect was systematically modified by properties of number signs in Korean sign language in a culture-specific way (not observed in hearing and deaf Germans or hearing Chinese). We conclude that finger-based quantity representations are automatically activated even in simple tasks with symbolic input although this may be irrelevant and even detrimental for task performance. These finger-based numerical representations are accessed in addition to another, more basic quantity system which is evidenced by the magnitude effect. In sum, these results are inconsistent with models assuming only one single amodal representation of numerical quantity. PMID:22291669

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:8114493

  15. An Avatar-Based Italian Sign Language Visualization System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falletto, Andrea; Prinetto, Paolo; Tiotto, Gabriele

    In this paper, we present an experimental system that supports the translation from Italian to Italian Sign Language (ISL) of the deaf and its visualization through a virtual character. Our objective is to develop a complete platform useful for any application and reusable on several platforms including Web, Digital Television and offline text translation. The system relies on a database that stores both a corpus of Italian words and words coded in the ISL notation system. An interface for the insertion of data is implemented, that allows future extensions and integrations.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  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. PMID:26513036

  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. 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.

  1. How Grammar Can Cope with Limited Short-Term Memory: Simultaneity and Seriality in Sign Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geraci, Carlo; Gozzi, Marta; Papagno, Costanza; Cecchetto, Carlo

    2008-01-01

    It is known that in American Sign Language (ASL) span is shorter than in English, but this discrepancy has never been systematically investigated using other pairs of signed and spoken languages. This finding is at odds with results showing that short-term memory (STM) for signs has an internal organization similar to STM for words. Moreover, some…

  2. Language Interdependence between American Sign Language and English: A Review of Empirical Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rusher, Melissa Ausbrooks

    2012-01-01

    This study provides a contemporary definition of American Sign Language/English bilingual education (AEBE) and outlines an essential theoretical framework. Included is a history and evolution of the methodology. The author also summarizes the general findings of twenty-six (26) empirical studies conducted in the United States that directly or…

  3. 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)

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Out of the Hands of Babes: On a Possible Sign Advantage in Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meier, Richard P.; Newport, Elissa L.

    1990-01-01

    Discusses recent research that has examined the early stages of language development in signed and spoken languages as well as suggestions that there is an advantage for the acquisition of signed languages. Specific attention is focused on whether or not a single timing mechanism underlies early milestones in the acquisition of both vocabulary and…

  7. 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…

  8. 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. PMID:26740404

  9. 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

  10. Vietnamese. London Oriental and African Language Library.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nguyen, Dinh-Hoa

    A descriptive introduction to the Vietnamese language is presented. An introductory chapter gives an overview of the population using Vietnamese, its affiliation with Chinese and other languages, dialects, role in religion, history, writing systems, syllabic structure, and body language. Chapter 2 describes its sound system, syllable boundaries,…

  11. Evidence from an emerging sign language reveals that language supports spatial cognition

    PubMed Central

    Pyers, Jennie E.; Shusterman, Anna; Senghas, Ann; Spelke, Elizabeth S.; Emmorey, Karen

    2010-01-01

    Although spatial language and spatial cognition covary over development and across languages, determining the causal direction of this relationship presents a challenge. Here we show that mature human spatial cognition depends on the acquisition of specific aspects of spatial language. We tested two cohorts of deaf signers who acquired an emerging sign language in Nicaragua at the same age but during different time periods: the first cohort of signers acquired the language in its infancy, and 10 y later the second cohort of signers acquired the language in a more complex form. We found that the second-cohort signers, now in their 20s, used more consistent spatial language than the first-cohort signers, now in their 30s. Correspondingly, they outperformed the first cohort in spatially guided searches, both when they were disoriented and when an array was rotated. Consistent linguistic marking of left–right relations correlated with search performance under disorientation, whereas consistent marking of ground information correlated with search in rotated arrays. Human spatial cognition therefore is modulated by the acquisition of a rich language. PMID:20616088

  12. Modelling and Recognition of the Linguistic Components in American Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Liya; Martinez, Aleix M.

    2009-01-01

    The manual signs in sign languages are generated and interpreted using three basic building blocks: handshape, motion, and place of articulation. When combined, these three components (together with palm orientation) uniquely determine the meaning of the manual sign. This means that the use of pattern recognition techniques that only employ a subset of these components is inappropriate for interpreting the sign or to build automatic recognizers of the language. In this paper, we define an algorithm to model these three basic components form a single video sequence of two-dimensional pictures of a sign. Recognition of these three components are then combined to determine the class of the signs in the videos. Experiments are performed on a database of (isolated) American Sign Language (ASL) signs. The results demonstrate that, using semi-automatic detection, all three components can be reliably recovered from two-dimensional video sequences, allowing for an accurate representation and recognition of the signs. PMID:20161003

  13. 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…

  14. Tradition, Globalisation and Language Dilemma in Education: African Options for the 21st Century

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rwantabagu, Hermenegilde

    2011-01-01

    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…

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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 H2 (15)O-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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. The efficiency and effectiveness of an interactive videodisc system to teach sign language vocabulary.

    PubMed

    Slike, S B; Chiavacci, J P; Hobbis, D H

    1989-10-01

    Forty students enrolled in the course 74.153, Introduction to Sign Language, at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania participated in a study using an interactive videodisc system to teach sign language vocabulary. The experimental group (n = 20) learned signs via an interactive videodisc system while the control group (n = 20) learned the same signs through a traditional classroom approach. Results indicated no significant differences between the groups in their ability to recognize signs. In addition, the experimental group took one-third less time to learn as many signs as the control group. PMID:2686371

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. An Evaluation of Video Intelligibility for Novice American Sign Language Learners on a Mobile Device

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weaver, Kimberly A.; Starner, Thad; Hamilton, Harley

    2010-01-01

    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 sign language. We intend to create a mobile device-based system to help hearing parents learn sign…

  3. Effects of iconicity and semantic relatedness on lexical access in american sign language.

    PubMed

    Bosworth, Rain G; Emmorey, Karen

    2010-11-01

    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 noniconic signs are (controlling for strength of iconicity, semantic relatedness, familiarity, and imageability). Twenty deaf signers made lexical decisions to the 2nd item of a prime-target pair. Iconic target signs were preceded by prime signs that were (a) iconic and semantically related, (b) noniconic and semantically related, or (c) semantically unrelated. In addition, a set of noniconic target signs was preceded by semantically unrelated primes. Significant facilitation was observed for target signs when they were 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 noniconic sign MUSIC). In addition, iconic signs were not recognized faster or more accurately than were noniconic signs. These results confirm the existence of semantic priming for sign language and suggest that iconicity does not play a robust role in online lexical processing. PMID:20919784

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. The Teaching of African Languages: Content, Context, and Methodology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moshi, Lioba

    1994-01-01

    Three interdependent components--content, context, and methodology--are discussed as they relate to the teaching of African languages to non-native speakers. Content depends on type and availability of instructional materials, which may be quite limited. If textbooks are not available, the teacher must select from varied authentic materials and…

  7. Prosodic and narrative processing in American Sign Language: An fMRI study

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20347996

  8. 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

  9. 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 unique…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. The Acquisition of Spatial Constructions in American Sign Language and English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Amber Joy; Sera, Maria D.

    2006-01-01

    Spatial relations in American Sign Language (ASL) are often signed from the perspective of the signer and so involve a shift in perspective and mental rotation. This study examined developing knowledge of language used to refer to the spatial relations "front," "behind," "left," "right," "towards," "away," "above," and "below" by children learning…

  14. A Procedure for Directing a Sign-Language Theatre Production for a Child Audience.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allen, Darlene Kaye

    This paper sets forth step-by-step procedures which novice sign-language theatre directors can use as a guide for their first sign-language theatre experiences. Since the procedures were developed during the production of a play for a mixed adult and child audience, it is assumed that the general guidelines set forth are applicable to a production…

  15. 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…

  16. Emergence and Development of Signed Languages: From a Semiogenetic Point of View

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fusellier-Souza, Ivani

    2006-01-01

    This article first introduces some theoretical considerations concerning the emergence and evolution of sign languages from the semiogenetic perspective. It then presents results from a linguistic study of the phenomenon of lexical stabilization in three emerging sign languages used by Brazilian deaf adults who live in a hearing environment…

  17. 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…

  18. Sign Language Use and the Appreciation of Diversity in Hearing Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brereton, Amy

    2008-01-01

    This article is the result of a year-long study into the effects of sign language use on participation in one mainstream preschool setting. Observations and interviews were the primary data-collection tools used during this investigation. This article focuses on how the use of sign language in the classroom affected the learning community's…

  19. A Computerized Lexicon of American Sign Language: The "DASL" in FORTRAN.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teuber, Hartmut; And Others

    1980-01-01

    Describes a method for organizing, storing, and retrieving lexical data from computerized files of American Sign Language. The results of sample searches of the dictionary files are presented with a discussion of how these files and applications might be expanded. The lexicon is useful for researchers and teachers of sign languages. (Author/PJM)

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Poetic Cohesion in American Sign Language: Valli's "Snowflake"& Coleridge's "Frost at Midnight."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ormsby, Alec

    1995-01-01

    Focuses on original poetic composition in American Sign Language (ASL). The development of a documented body of poetry in ASL and of a framework for poetic usage has demonstrated that the limitations of gestural sign systems are inherent in the cultural development of the deaf and has affirmed the legitimacy of the deaf community and its language.…

  3. 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.…

  4. Sign Language, Culture and Community in a Traditional Yucatec Maya Village.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Robert E.

    1991-01-01

    Examines a traditional Mayan village in the Yucatan where deaf inhabitants use a sign language that is distinct from that used in other Mexican communities. Because the hearing villagers are able to communicate in this sign language, the deaf inhabitants are almost fully integrated into the social and economic life of the village. (22 references)…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  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. 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…

  10. 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"…

  11. 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. PMID:24901350

  12. Health Websites: Accessibility and Usability for American Sign Language Users

    PubMed Central

    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 towards 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 paper 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: 1) navigation to find the task, 2) website usability, and 3) 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 paper 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. PMID:24901350

  13. The Efficiency and Effectiveness of an Interactive Videodisc System to Teach Sign Language Vocabulary.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slike, Samuel B.; And Others

    1989-01-01

    Twenty college students learned sign language vocabularly via an interactive videodisc system, while 20 control group students learned the same signs through a traditional classroom approach. The experimental group took one-third less time to learn as many signs as the control group. (Author/JDD)

  14. 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

  15. 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. PMID:25918419

  16. 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.

  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. 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. PMID:26132224

  19. Hand and mouth: Cortical correlates of lexical processing in British Sign Language and speechreading English

    PubMed Central

    Capek, Cheryl M.; Waters, Dafydd; Woll, Bencie; MacSweeney, Mairéad; Brammer, Michael J.; McGuire, Philip K.; David, Anthony S.; Campbell, Ruth

    2012-01-01

    Spoken languages use one set of articulators – the vocal tract, whereas signed languages use multiple articulators, including both manual and facial actions. How sensitive are the cortical circuits for language processing to the particular articulators that are observed? This question can only be addressed with participants who use both speech and a signed language. In this study, we used fMRI to compare the processing of speechreading and sign processing in deaf native signers of British Sign Language (BSL) who were also proficient speechreaders. The following questions were addressed: To what extent do these different language types rely on a common brain network? To what extent do the patterns of activation differ? How are these networks affected by the articulators that languages use? Common perisylvian regions were activated both for speechreading English words and for BSL signs. Distinctive activation was also observed reflecting the language form. Speechreading elicited greater activation in the left mid-superior temporal cortex than BSL, whereas BSL processing generated greater activation at the parieto-occipito-temporal junction in both hemispheres. We probed this distinction further within BSL, where manual signs can be accompanied by different sorts of mouth action. BSL signs with speech-like mouth actions showed greater superior temporal activation, while signs made with non-speech-like mouth actions showed more activation in posterior and inferior temporal regions. Distinct regions within the temporal cortex are not only differentially sensitive to perception of the distinctive articulators for speech and for sign, but also show sensitivity to the different articulators within the (signed) language. PMID:18284353

  20. The Subsystem of Numerals in Catalan Sign Language: Description and Examples from a Psycholinguistic Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuentes, Mariana; Tolchinsky, Liliana

    2004-01-01

    Linguistic descriptions of sign languages are important to the recognition of their linguistic status. These languages are an essential part of the cultural heritage of the communities that create and use them and vital in the education of deaf children. They are also the reference point in language acquisition studies. Ours is exploratory…

  1. Recognition of Signed and Spoken Language: Different Sensory Inputs, the Same Segmentation Procedure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

    Signed languages are articulated through simultaneous upper-body movements and are seen; spoken languages are articulated through sequential vocal-tract movements and are heard. But word recognition in both language modalities entails segmentation of a continuous input into discrete lexical units. According to the Possible Word Constraint (PWC),…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.…

  6. How grammar can cope with limited short-term memory: simultaneity and seriality in sign languages.

    PubMed

    Geraci, Carlo; Gozzi, Marta; Papagno, Costanza; Cecchetto, Carlo

    2008-02-01

    It is known that in American Sign Language (ASL) span is shorter than in English, but this discrepancy has never been systematically investigated using other pairs of signed and spoken languages. This finding is at odds with results showing that short-term memory (STM) for signs has an internal organization similar to STM for words. Moreover, some methodological questions remain open. Thus, we measured span of deaf and matched hearing participants for Italian Sign Language (LIS) and Italian, respectively, controlling for all the possible variables that might be responsible for the discrepancy: yet, a difference in span between deaf signers and hearing speakers was found. However, the advantage of hearing subjects was removed in a visuo-spatial STM task. We attribute the source of the lower span to the internal structure of signs: indeed, unlike English (or Italian) words, signs contain both simultaneous and sequential components. Nonetheless, sign languages are fully-fledged grammatical systems, probably because the overall architecture of the grammar of signed languages reduces the STM load. Our hypothesis is that the faculty of language is dependent on STM, being however flexible enough to develop even in a relatively hostile environment. PMID:17537417

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:23676530

  9. 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. PMID:26283352

  10. Anthropomorphism in Sign Languages: A Look at Poetry and Storytelling with a Focus on British Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutton-Spence, Rachel; Napoli, Donna Jo

    2010-01-01

    The work presented here considers some linguistic methods used in sign anthropomorphism. We find a cline of signed anthropomorphism that depends on a number of factors, including the skills and intention of the signer, the animacy of the entities represented, the form of their bodies, and the form of vocabulary signs referring to those entities.…

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. 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. PMID:26245349

  20. 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. PMID:25858311

  1. 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. PMID:25321855

  2. 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…

  3. The Effects of Digital Video Quality on Learner Comprehension in an American Sign Language Assessment Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hooper, Simon; Miller, Charles; Rose, Susan; Veletsianos, George

    2007-01-01

    The effects of digital video frame rate and size on American Sign Language (ASL) learner comprehension were investigated. Fifty-one students were randomly assigned to one of three video-size treatment groups: 480x360, 320x240, and 240x180 pixels. Within each treatment, three 30-second videos of signed narratives at frame rates of 6, 12, and 18…

  4. 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…

  5. 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 projects such…

  6. 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…

  7. An Investigation of the Need for Sign Language Assessment in Deaf Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. Theme, Rheme, Topic, and Comment in the Syntax of American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ingram, Robert M.

    1978-01-01

    The syntax of lexical units, or signs, of American Sign Language (ASL) is analyzed. Previous areas of study concerning pauses, functional sentence perspective, theme and rheme, and topic and comment are discussed. A model is offered to depict topic-comment relationships in ASL using space, vectors, and relationship rules. (SW)

  13. A Crosslinguistic, Crosscultural Analysis of Metaphors in Two Italian Sign Language (LIS) Registers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Russo, Tommaso

    2005-01-01

    This article deals with two main topics: the interplay of iconicity and metaphors in signed language discourse and the relevance of sociocultural knowledge for a full understanding of LIS metaphors. In metaphors, the iconic features of signs play a role in the creative process of determining a mental fit between two different domains. Iconicity…

  14. 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. PMID:25565249

  15. The Signs B [Image Omitted] and B-Bent [Image Omitted] in Israeli Sign Language According to the Theory of Phonology as Human Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fuks, Orit; Tobin, Yishai

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of the present research is to examine which of the two factors: (1) the iconic-semiotic factor; or (2) the human-phonetic factor is more relevant in explaining the appearance and distribution of the hand shape B-bent in Israeli Sign Language (ISL). The B-bent shape has been the subject of much attention in sign language research…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Consequences of the Now-or-Never bottleneck for signed versus spoken languages.

    PubMed

    Emmorey, Karen

    2016-01-01

    Signed and spoken languages emerge, change, are acquired, and are processed under distinct perceptual, motor, and memory constraints. Therefore, the Now-or-Never bottleneck has different ramifications for these languages, which are highlighted in this commentary. The extent to which typological differences in linguistic structure can be traced to processing differences provides unique evidence for the claim that structure is processing. PMID:27562833

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. Cross-Linguistic Differences in the Neural Representation of Human Language: Evidence from Users of Signed Languages

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23293624

  3. Language Therapy for a Child with Delayed Language Development: A Preliminary Study of Language Therapy Using Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wakaba, Yoko Yamaguchi; And Others

    1989-01-01

    A 3-years-and-11-months-old Japanese girl showed delayed language development and emotional disturbance and was believed to suffer from maternal deprivation. A treatment program was developed consisting of three kinds of therapy: (1) nondirective play therapy; (2) language training; and (3) counseling for the mother. The language training involved…

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:18619071

  8. 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.

  9. Some Thoughts on the Study of Sign Language Talk.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McIlvenny, Paul

    Preliminary results are described of an attempt to analyze the talk of the Finnish deaf signing community from the perspective of conversation analysis (CA). CA is described as an empirical approach to the study of spoken conversation deriving from the field of ethnomethodology, which itself emerged as a reaction to traditional sociology in the…

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. How deaf American Sign Language/English bilingual children become proficient readers: an emic perspective.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    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 learning to read to reading to learn. Analysis of 12 interactive, semi-structured interviews identified informal and formal teaching and learning practices in ASL/English bilingual homes and classrooms. These practices value, reinforce, and support the bidirectional acquisition of both languages and provide a strong foundation for literacy. PMID:24212202

  16. 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…

  17. 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. PMID:23335853

  18. The effects of learning American Sign Language on co-speech gesture*

    PubMed Central

    CASEY, SHANNON; EMMOREY, KAREN; LARRABEE, HEATHER

    2013-01-01

    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 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. PMID:23335853

  19. First Language Acquisition Differs from Second Language Acquisition in Prelingually Deaf Signers: Evidence from Sensitivity to Grammaticality Judgement in British Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  20. 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. PMID:23131578

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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,…

  4. 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. PMID:22341555

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:26720258

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Family History of Speech and Language Impairment in African American Children: Implications for Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pruitt, Sonja L.; Garrity, April W.; Oetting, Janna B.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: We explored the prevalence of a positive family history of speech and language impairment in African American children as a function of their socioeconomic status (SES), receipt of speech-language services, and diagnosis of specific language impairment (SLI). Method: Data were collected in 2 phases. Phase 1 included family questionnaires…

  12. Removing Obstacles for African American English-Speaking Children through Greater Understanding of Language Difference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pearson, Barbara Zurer; Conner, Tracy; Jackson, Janice E.

    2013-01-01

    Language difference among speakers of African American English (AAE) has often been considered language deficit, based on a lack of understanding about the AAE variety. Following Labov (1972), Wolfram (1969), Green (2002, 2011), and others, we define AAE as a complex rule-governed linguistic system and briefly discuss language structures that it…

  13. 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…

  14. "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…

  15. Nouns and Verbs in Australian Sign Language: An Open and Shut Case?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Trevor

    2001-01-01

    Re-examination of data on noun-verb pair comprehension and production in Australian and American Sign Language confirm the existence of formationally related noun-verb pairs in Auslan in which the verb displays a single movement and the noun displays a repeated movement. Overall, the derivational process appears closely linked to an iconic base…

  16. 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. PMID:27014025

  17. 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…

  18. 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)…

  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. Deaf Children's Engagement in an Educational Video in American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  1. Your Case Will Now Be Heard: Sign Language Interpreters as Problematic Accommodations in Legal Interactions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brunson, Jeremy L.

    2008-01-01

    This paper uses data from open-ended, videotaped interviews with 12 deaf people to examine their experiences negotiating access during interactions with legal authorities. In every case, these deaf persons preferred an accommodation that involved the use of an American Sign Language interpreter, and in every case, these accommodations were…

  2. 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…

  3. Sign-Supported Dutch in Children with Severe Speech and Language Impairments: A Multiple Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wijkamp, Inge; Gerritsen, Betsy; Bonder, Freke; Haisma, Hinke; van der Schans, Cees

    2010-01-01

    In the Netherlands, many educators and care providers working at special schools for children with severe speech and language impairments (SSLI) use sign-supported Dutch (SSD) to facilitate communication. Anecdotal experiences suggest positive results, but empirical evidence is lacking. In this multiple case study the changes that occur in the way…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Shielding Yourself from the Perils of Empathy: The Case of Sign Language Interpreters.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harvey, Michael A.

    2003-01-01

    This article explores the psychological mechanisms of empathy with specific reference to sign language interpreters. It stresses that one must achieve a healthy balance of empathizing enough while shielding oneself from its perils to work effectively and ethically with a member of a minority group such as the deaf community. (Contains references.)…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. The Emergence of Two Functions for Spatial Devices in Nicaraguan Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Senghas, Ann

    2010-01-01

    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…

  10. 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…

  11. Double Mapping in Metaphorical Expressions of Thought and Communication in Catalan Sign Language (LSC)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jarque, Maria-Josep

    2005-01-01

    This document illustrates that mental functioning and communication in Catalan Sign Language (LSC) are conceptual through metaphorical projection of bodily experiences. The data in this document show how concepts are grasped, put on student's heads, exchanged, manipulated, and so on, constituting instantiations of the basic metaphors: ideas are…

  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. 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"…

  14. 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'…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  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. 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…

  20. Sign Language Structure: An Outline of the Visual Communication Systems of the American Deaf

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stokoe, William C., Jr.

    2005-01-01

    It is approaching a half century since Bill Stokoe published his revolutionary monograph, "Sign Language Structure: An Outline of the Visual Communication Systems of the American Deaf." It is rare for a work of innovative scholarship to spark a social as well as an intellectual revolution, but that is just what Stokoe's 1960 paper did. And it is…

  1. 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.…

  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 adults in…

  3. 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…

  4. 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. PMID:26708522

  5. Lexical organization in deaf children who use British Sign Language: evidence from a semantic fluency task.

    PubMed

    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 2, we present data from thirteen deaf children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) in BSL, in comparison to a subset of children from Study 1 matched for age and BSL exposure. The two groups' results were comparable in most respects. However, the group with SLI made occasional word-finding errors and gave fewer responses in the first 15 seconds. We conclude that deaf children with SLI do not differ from their controls in terms of the semantic organization of the BSL lexicon, but that they access signs less efficiently. PMID:22717181

  6. To Sign or Not to Sign? The Impact of Encouraging Infants to Gesture on Infant Language and Maternal Mind-Mindedness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kirk, Elizabeth; Howlett, Neil; Pine, Karen J.; Fletcher, Ben C.

    2013-01-01

    Findings are presented from the first randomized control trial of the effects of encouraging symbolic gesture (or "baby sign") on infant language, following 40 infants from age 8 months to 20 months. Half of the mothers were trained to model a target set of gestures to their infants. Frequent measures were taken of infant language development and…

  7. Sign-Language Theatre and Deaf Theatre: New Definitions and Directions. Center on Deafness Publication Series No. 2.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miles, Dorothy S.; Fant, Louie J., Jr.

    Offered are guidelines to the development of theatre for, by, and about deaf persons. Various terms used for sign-language theatre and deaf theatre are defined and discussed in an introductory section, and the use of sign language as a theatrical medium is explained. The production of theatre is covered by sections on the history of deaf theatre,…

  8. 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…

  9. 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.…

  10. 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

  11. 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. PMID:26605960

  12. 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. Cazden); "Enhancing…

  13. Interactive use of sign language by cross-fostered chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).

    PubMed

    Jensvold, M L; Gardner, R A

    2000-12-01

    Cross-fostered as infants in Reno, Nevada, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) Washoe, Moja, Tatu, and Dar freely converse in signs of American Sign Language with each other as well as with humans in Ellensburg, Washington. In this experiment, a human interlocutor waited for a chimpanzee to initiate conversations with her and then responded with 1 of 4 types of probes: general requests for more information, on-topic questions, off-topic questions, or negative statements. The responses of the chimpanzees to the probes depended on the type of probe and the particular signs in the probes. They reiterated, adjusted, and shifted the signs in their utterances in conversationally appropriate rejoinders. Their reactions to and interactions with a conversational partner resembled patterns of conversation found in similar studies of human children. PMID:11149537

  14. 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

  15. A Component-Based Vocabulary-Extensible Sign Language Gesture Recognition Framework.

    PubMed

    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. Performance of African-American Adolescents on a Measure of Language Proficiency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivers, Kenyatta O.; Rosa-Lugo, Linda I.; Hedrick, Dona L.

    2004-01-01

    The relationship between the frequency of African-American English (AAE) features used by African-American adolescent males (n = 16) and their performance on the seven clusters comprising the "Woodcock Language Proficiency Battery-Revised" (WLPB-R) was investigated. All participants were between the ages of 15 and 19 years who had a class standing…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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. PMID:26922911

  3. Computers and African Languages in Education: An ICT Tool for the Promotion of Multilingualism at a South African University. Conversations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dalvit, Lorenzo; Murray, Sarah; Mini, Buyiswa; Terzoli, Alfredo; Zhao, Xiaogeng

    2005-01-01

    This article describes a web-based application designed to provide meaningful access to the study of Computer Science to speakers of an African language who have limited experience of using English for academic purposes. Our research is focused upon students of Computer Skills in the Extended Studies Programme at Rhodes University who have studied…

  4. 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…

  5. Effects of Teacher-Mediated Repeated Viewings of Stories in American Sign Language on Classifier Production of Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beal-Alvarez, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Students who are deaf and use sign language frequently have language delays that affect their literacy skills. Students who use American Sign Language (ASL) often lack fluent language models in both the home and school settings, delaying both the development of a first language and the development of literacy in printed English. Mediated and…

  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. PMID:26755684

  8. 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.…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Your case will now be heard: sign language interpreters as problematic accommodations in legal interactions.

    PubMed

    Brunson, Jeremy L

    2008-01-01

    This paper uses data from open-ended, videotaped interviews with 12 deaf people to examine their experiences negotiating access during interactions with legal authorities. In every case, these deaf persons preferred an accommodation that involved the use of an American Sign Language interpreter, and in every case, these accommodations were problematic. Three major themes emerged from the informants' narratives: difficulty obtaining the desired accommodation, dealing with a problematic accommodation, and enduring a partial accommodation. These findings suggest that accommodations involving sign language interpreters are not neutral and transparent and that they often have tangible effects on the experiences of and outcomes for deaf persons in the context of dealing with legal matters. Deaf people have very little control over the accommodation they receive and yet are held fully responsible for ensuring its efficacy. These results are discussed in relation to policies and procedures for ensuring that deaf persons have full access in their interactions with American legal institutions. PMID:17595172

  12. Acquisition of sign language by autistic children. II: Spontaneity and generalization effects.

    PubMed Central

    Carr, E G; Kologinsky, E

    1983-01-01

    Autistic children typically do not use their language repertoire in order to communicate. Six autistic children who exhibited poor communication skills were trained to use their sign repertoire to make spontaneous requests of adults. Training consisted of imitative prompting, fading, and differential reinforcement, and included aspects of incidental teaching. The children displayed an increase in the rate and variety of spontaneous sign requests (Experiment 1). Generalization of spontaneity across adults (Experiments 1 and 2) and settings (Experiment 2) was also observed. We suggest that spontaneity may be facilitated when language is brought under the control of broadly defined stimuli such as adult attention rather than narrowly defined stimuli such as the presence of specific objects or verbal prompting in the form of questions. Finally, response generalization was observed as well (Experiment 1). Specifically, as spontaneity increased, self-stimulatory behavior decreased. This result may be accounted for in terms of reinforcer competition, reinforcer consistency, or discriminative stimulus effects. PMID:6643322

  13. 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

  14. The body and the fading away of abstract concepts and words: a sign language analysis.

    PubMed

    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. The Sound of Silence in Nohya: A Preliminary Account of Sign Language Use by the Deaf in a Maya Community in Yucatan, Mexico.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shuman, Malcom L.

    1980-01-01

    A description of the sign language used in a Mexican village shows its parallels with other sign languages, its similarity to the folk gestural system of Mexico and its distinguishing aspects. Examples illustrate its syntax, grammar and lexicon. (PMJ)

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. True to the Language Game: African American Discourse, Cultural Politics, and Pedagogy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilyard, Keith

    2011-01-01

    In "True to the Language Game", Keith Gilyard, one of the major African American figures to emerge in language and cultural studies, makes his most seminal work available in one volume. This collection of new and previously published essays contains Gilyard's most relevant scholarly contributions to deliberations about linguistic diversity,…

  19. Performance of African American Preschool Children from Low-Income Families on Expressive Language Measures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Qi, Cathy H.; Kaiser, Ann P.; Marley, Scott C.; Milan, Stephanie

    2012-01-01

    The purposes of the study were to determine (a) the ability of two spontaneous language measures, mean length of utterance in morphemes (MLU-m) and number of different words (NDW), to identify African American preschool children at low and high levels of language ability; (b) whether child chronological age was related to the performance of either…

  20. Features of Digital African American Language in a Social Network Site

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cunningham, Jennifer M.

    2014-01-01

    This study examines a social network site (SNS) where specific interlocutors communicate by combining aspects of academic American English (AE), digital language (DL), and African American Language (AAL)--creating a digital form of AAL or digital AAL (DAAL). This article describes the features of DAAL in the discursive, online context of MySpace,…

  1. 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…

  2. Language Practices and Perceptions: A Case Study of Six South African Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomson, Carol; Stakhnevich, Julia

    2010-01-01

    Using a critical perspective as its framework, this article reports on a case study that explored language practices and perceptions of six South African teachers who participated in a professional development workshop entitled "Language Across the Curriculum." The study reveals the conflicting attitudes of the teachers toward the role of language…

  3. 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…

  4. The Right (Write) Start: African American Language and the Discourse of Sounding Right

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dyson, Anne Haas; Smitherman, Geneva

    2009-01-01

    Background: Both academic research and educational policy have focused on the diverse language resources of young schoolchildren. African American Language (AAL) in particular has a rich history of scholarship that both documents its historical evolution and sociolinguistic complexity and reveals the persistent lack of knowledge about AAL in our…

  5. Oral Language Expectations for African American Children in Grades 1 through 5

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Craig, Holly K.; Washington, Julie A.; Thompson, Connie A.

    2005-01-01

    Reference profiles for characterizing the language abilities of elementary-grade African American students are important for assessment and instructional planning. H. K. Craig and J. A. Washington (2002) reported performance for 100 typically developing preschoolers and kindergartners on 5 traditional language measures: mean length of…

  6. Attention-getting skills of deaf children using American Sign Language in a preschool classroom

    PubMed Central

    LIEBERMAN, AMY M.

    2014-01-01

    Visual attention is a necessary prerequisite to successful communication in sign language. The current study investigated the development of attention-getting skills in deaf native-signing children during interactions with peers and teachers. Seven deaf children (aged 21–39 months) and five adults were videotaped during classroom activities for approximately 30 hr. Interactions were analyzed in depth to determine how children obtained and maintained attention. Contrary to previous reports, children were found to possess a high level of communicative competence from an early age. Analysis of peer interactions revealed that children used a range of behaviors to obtain attention with peers, including taps, waves, objects, and signs. Initiations were successful approximately 65% of the time. Children followed up failed initiation attempts by repeating the initiation, using a new initiation, or terminating the interaction. Older children engaged in longer and more complex interactions than younger children. Children’s early exposure to and proficiency in American Sign Language is proposed as a likely mechanism that facilitated their communicative competence. PMID:26166917

  7. 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…

  8. 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. PMID:23081791

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:26441710

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:22578601

  14. Eye gaze during comprehension of American Sign Language by native and beginning signers.

    PubMed

    Emmorey, Karen; Thompson, Robin; Colvin, Rachael

    2009-01-01

    An eye-tracking experiment investigated where deaf native signers (N = 9) and hearing beginning signers (N = 10) look while comprehending a short narrative and a spatial description in American Sign Language produced live by a fluent signer. Both groups fixated primarily on the signer's face (more than 80% of the time) but differed with respect to fixation location. Beginning signers fixated on or near the signer's mouth, perhaps to better perceive English mouthing, whereas native signers tended to fixate on or near the eyes. Beginning signers shifted gaze away from the signer's face more frequently than native signers, but the pattern of gaze shifts was similar for both groups. When a shift in gaze occurred, the sign narrator was almost always looking at his or her hands and was most often producing a classifier construction. We conclude that joint visual attention and attention to mouthing (for beginning signers), rather than linguistic complexity or processing load, affect gaze fixation patterns during sign language comprehension. PMID:18832075

  15. 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

  16. Functional connectivity in task-negative network of the Deaf: effects of sign language experience

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25024915

  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. PMID:25528091

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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). PMID:15778208

  3. 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…

  4. 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. PMID:27388786

  5. 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…

  6. Increasing Literacy Skills for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Effects of Integrating Comprehensive Reading Instruction with Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beecher, Larissa; Childre, Amy

    2012-01-01

    This study evaluated the impact of a comprehensive reading program enhanced with sign language on the literacy and language skills of three elementary school students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Students received individual and small group comprehensive reading instruction for approximately 55 minutes per session. Reading…

  7. Sensitivity to verb bias in American sign language-English bilinguals.

    PubMed

    Anible, Benjamin; Twitchell, Paul; Waters, Gabriel S; Dussias, Paola E; Piñar, Pilar; Morford, Jill P

    2015-07-01

    Native speakers of English are sensitive to the likelihood that a verb will appear in a specific subcategorization frame, known as verb bias. Readers rely on verb bias to help them resolve temporary ambiguity in sentence comprehension. We investigate whether deaf sign-print bilinguals who have acquired English syntactic knowledge primarily through print exposure show sensitivity to English verb biases in both production and comprehension. We first elicited sentence continuations for 100 English verbs as an offline production measure of sensitivity to verb bias. We then collected eye movement records to examine whether deaf bilinguals' online parsing decisions are influenced by English verb bias. The results indicate that exposure to a second language primarily via print is sufficient to influence use of implicit frequency-based characteristics of a language in production and also to inform parsing decisions in comprehension for some, but not all, verbs. PMID:25833965

  8. Sign Language Ability in Young Deaf Signers Predicts Comprehension of Written Sentences in English

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24587174

  9. 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. PMID:24587174

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. Sign Language: An Effective Strategy to Reduce the Gap between English Language Learners Native Language and English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicholson, Sheryl; Graves, Emily

    2010-01-01

    Linguistic diversity provides even greater challenges for our educational system. English Language Learners (ELLs) are a diverse population of students who are learning English in school. They come from numerous cultural and economic backgrounds, and live throughout the country. The task of the classroom teacher is to find a way to reach these…

  14. Pragmatic Language of African American Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Synthesis of the Literature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyter, Yvette D.; Rivers, Kenyatta O.; DeJarnette, Glenda

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: A systematic review and synthesis was performed on published articles and dissertations produced between 1970 and 2013 that focused on selected pragmatic language behaviors of African American children and adolescents. Methods: Electronic databases and hand searches of articles located in the databases were used to identify the published…

  15. Papers in African Linguistics. Current Inquiry into Language and Linguistics I.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Chin-Wu, Ed.; Stahlke, Herbert, Ed.

    This volume, a collection of selected papers from the Conference on African Languages and Linguistics organized by the Department of Linguistics of the University of Illinois and held at Urbana-Champaign on April 24-25, 1970, contains: W. E. Welmers, "The Typology of the Proto-Niger-Kordofanian Noun Class System"; D. Dalby, "A Referential Approach…

  16. Necessary versus Sufficient Conditions for Using New Languages in South African Higher Education: A Linguistic Appraisal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mesthrie, Rajend

    2008-01-01

    This paper critically examines one particular issue against the background of changes in South Africa's higher education system consequent upon the advent of a non-racial democracy--the possibility of implementing multilingual instructional polices that include indigenous African languages in its universities. Currently, a great deal of applied…

  17. Language and Social Justice in South Africa's Higher Education: Insights from a South African University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mwaniki, Munene

    2012-01-01

    The paper interrogates the issue of language and social justice in South Africa's higher education using quantitative and qualitative data collected at the University of the Free State (UFS). Data were collected using questionnaires. Through purposive sampling based on South African and UFS demographics, 120 questionnaires were administered to UFS…

  18. Ladies Are Seen, Not Heard: Language Socialization in a Southern, African American Cosmetology School.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacobs-Huey, Lanita

    2003-01-01

    Examined classroom discourse at a southern cosmetology school, noting African American students' language socialization. Highlighted freshmen's and seniors' engagement with formal/textbook scripts about proper communication, analyzing how teachers and students made sense of official metacommunicative scripts about proper salon communication.…

  19. Nonstandard Maternal Work Schedules: Implications for African American Children's Early Language Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Odom, Erika C.; Vernon-Feagans, Lynne; Crouter, Ann C.

    2013-01-01

    In this study, observed maternal positive engagement and perception of work-family spillover were examined as mediators of the association between maternal nonstandard work schedules and children's expressive language outcomes in 231 African American families living in rural households. Mothers reported their work schedules when their child was 24…

  20. Expressive and Receptive Language Effects of African American English on a Sentence Imitation Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Terry, J. Michael; Jackson, Sandra C.; Evangelou, Evangelos; Smith, Richard L.

    2010-01-01

    This study tests the extent to which giving credit for African American English (AAE) responses on a General American English sentence imitation test mitigates dialect effects. Forty-eight AAE-speaking second graders completed the Recalling Sentences subtest of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Third Edition (1995). A Bayesian…

  1. Report of the Legislative Task Force on American Sign Language to the Members of the 69th Session of the Nevada Legislature.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loux, Donny

    This booklet presents basic issues and recommendations of a Nevada legislative task force on the establishment of courses in American Sign Language (ASL) for credit as a foreign language in the public schools and institutions of higher education. An introductory section, "American Sign Language and Deaf Culture Issues and Answers: A Basic Guide…

  2. 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…

  3. Language policy and science: Could some African countries learn from some Asian countries?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brock-Utne, Birgit

    2012-08-01

    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 reasons why teaching in ex-colonial languages persists lies in the fact that a large proportion of the general public still believes that the best way to learn a foreign language is to have it as a language of instruction. By contrast, research studies conducted in Africa, as well as examples from Asian countries such as Sri Lanka and Malaysia, have shown that children actually learn mathematics and science much better in local and familiar languages. Though the recent World Bank Education Strategy policy paper is entitled Learning for All, it does not specify which language learning should take place in. A claim one often hears in countries of so-called Anglophone Africa is that English is the language of science and technology, and that teaching these subjects through English (instead of teaching English as a subject in its own right as a foreign language) is best. The monolingual island of Zanzibar is in fact about to reintroduce English as the language of instruction in maths and science from grade 5 onwards in primary school. The author of this paper suggests that when it comes to language policy, some African and some Asian countries could learn from each other.

  4. Multilingualism in South Africa with Particular Reference to the Role of African Languages in Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desai, Zubeida

    2001-07-01

    In this paper it is argued that language policy can play a central role in enabling citizens of a country to participate in the political, educational, social and economic life of that country. Or it can deny them that right. In discussions on the role of African languages, there is a tendency to confine the discussion to language in education. I argue that unless we locate the discussion in a broader context, we are not going to make much progress in extending the use of African languages beyond the home domain. The paper therefore consists of three sections. The first section looks broadly at the domains where language has an impact. The second section briefly outlines a process underway in South Africa to develop a framework for a national language policy, whilst the final section looks at the implications of this for education. Here I look at language in Education Policy in Practice. I give examples from a piece of primary research that I have conducted with Xhosa -speaking Grade 4 and Grade 7 learners who have been given pictures to describe first in Xhosa and then in English. The examples show the rich vocabulary children have when they express themselves in Xhosa and the poor vocabulary they have when they express themselves in English.

  5. Reading books with young deaf children: strategies for mediating between American Sign Language and English.

    PubMed

    Berke, Michele

    2013-01-01

    Research on shared reading has shown positive results on children's literacy development in general and for deaf children specifically; however, reading techniques might differ between these two populations. Families with deaf children, especially those with deaf parents, often capitalize on their children's visual attributes rather than primarily auditory cues. These techniques are believed to provide a foundation for their deaf children's literacy skills. This study examined 10 deaf mother/deaf child dyads with children between 3 and 5 years of age. Dyads were videotaped in their homes on at least two occasions reading books that were provided by the researcher. Descriptive analysis showed specifically how deaf mothers mediate between the two languages, American Sign Language (ASL) and English, while reading. These techniques can be replicated and taught to all parents of deaf children so that they can engage in more effective shared reading activities. Research has shown that shared reading, or the interaction of a parent and child with a book, is an effective way to promote language and literacy, vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, and metalinguistic awareness (Snow, 1983), making it critical for educators to promote shared reading activities at home between parent and child. Not all parents read to their children in the same way. For example, parents of deaf children may present the information in the book differently due to the fact that signed languages are visual rather than spoken. In this vein, we can learn more about what specific connections deaf parents make to the English print. Exploring strategies deaf mothers may use to link the English print through the use of ASL will provide educators with additional tools when working with all parents of deaf children. This article will include a review of the literature on the benefits of shared reading activities for all children, the relationship between ASL and English skill development, and the techniques

  6. New Branches from Old Roots: Experts Respond to Questions about African American English Development and Language Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burns, Frances A.; Velleman, Shelley L.; Green, Lisa J.; Roeper, Tom

    2010-01-01

    This article uses a question-and-answer format to respond to questions about working with children who speak African American English (AAE) in clinical and educational contexts. The respondents urge speech-language pathologists to appreciate AAE as students' first language, to view all language for its communicative potential, and to remain aware…

  7. Routes to short term memory indexing: Lessons from deaf native users of American Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Hirshorn, Elizabeth A.; Fernandez, Nina M.; Bavelier, Daphne

    2012-01-01

    Models of working memory (WM) have been instrumental in understanding foundational cognitive processes and sources of individual differences. However, current models cannot conclusively explain the consistent group differences between deaf signers and hearing speakers on a number of short-term memory (STM) tasks. Here we take the perspective that these results are not due to a temporal order-processing deficit in deaf individuals, but rather reflect different biases in how different types of memory cues are used to do a given task. We further argue that the main driving force behind the shifts in relative biasing is a consequence of language modality (sign vs. speech) and the processing they afford, and not deafness, per se. PMID:22871205

  8. Engaging the Deaf American Sign Language Community: Lessons From a Community-Based Participatory Research Center

    PubMed Central

    McKee, Michael; Thew, Denise; Starr, Matthew; Kushalnagar, Poorna; Reid, John T.; Graybill, Patrick; Velasquez, Julia; Pearson, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Background Numerous publications demonstrate the importance of community-based participatory research (CBPR) in community health research, but few target the Deaf community. The Deaf community is understudied and underrepresented in health research despite suspected health disparities and communication barriers. Objectives The goal of this paper is to share the lessons learned from the implementation of CBPR in an understudied community of Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users in the greater Rochester, New York, area. Methods We review the process of CBPR in a Deaf ASL community and identify the lessons learned. Results Key CBPR lessons include the importance of engaging and educating the community about research, ensuring that research benefits the community, using peer-based recruitment strategies, and sustaining community partnerships. These lessons informed subsequent research activities. Conclusions This report focuses on the use of CBPR principles in a Deaf ASL population; lessons learned can be applied to research with other challenging-to-reach populations. PMID:22982845

  9. Bandwidth Reduction For The Transmission Of Sign Language Over Telephone Lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boubekker, Mansouria

    1988-10-01

    This paper describes a system for the transmission of American Sign Language (ASL) over standard telephone lines. Video quality digital images require a transmission bandwidth at least 4000 times wider than that allowable by the standard voice telephone network. This study presents compression, segmentation and coding techniques that reduce the information content of visual images while preserving the meaning of the transmitted message. The resulting processed information can be transmitted at digital rates within the range of the commercially available 9600 baud modems. The simulated real-time animations of the decoded cartoon images used for the experimental data represent ASL and finger spelling with an intelligibility approximating 85%. This result is within the range of the intelligibility provided by speech communication over telephone lines.

  10. Longitudinal Receptive American Sign Language Skills Across a Diverse Deaf Student Body.

    PubMed

    Beal-Alvarez, Jennifer S

    2016-04-01

    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., deaf with a disability). Years 1 through 4 included the ASL Receptive Skills Test (ASL-RST); Years 2 through 4 also included the Receptive Test of ASL (RT-ASL). Student performance for both measures positively correlated with age; deaf students with deaf parents scored higher than their same-age peers with hearing parents in some instances but not others; and those with a documented disability tended to score lower than their peers without disabilities. These results provide longitudinal findings across a diverse segment of the deaf/hard of hearing residential school population. PMID:26864689

  11. The Cognitive Neuroscience of Sign Language: Engaging Undergraduate Students’ Critical Thinking Skills Using the Primary Literature

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Courtney

    2015-01-01

    This article presents a modular activity on the neurobiology of sign language that engages undergraduate students in reading and analyzing the primary functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature. Drawing on a seed empirical article and subsequently published critique and rebuttal, students are introduced to a scientific debate concerning the functional significance of right-hemisphere recruitment observed in some fMRI studies of sign language processing. The activity requires minimal background knowledge and is not designed to provide students with a specific conclusion regarding the debate. Instead, the activity and set of articles allow students to consider key issues in experimental design and analysis of the primary literature, including critical thinking regarding the cognitive subtractions used in blocked-design fMRI studies, as well as possible confounds in comparing results across different experimental tasks. By presenting articles representing different perspectives, each cogently argued by leading scientists, the readings and activity also model the type of debate and dialogue critical to science, but often invisible to undergraduate science students. Student self-report data indicate that undergraduates find the readings interesting and that the activity enhances their ability to read and interpret primary fMRI articles, including evaluating research design and considering alternate explanations of study results. As a stand-alone activity completed primarily in one 60-minute class block, the activity can be easily incorporated into existing courses, providing students with an introduction both to the analysis of empirical fMRI articles and to the role of debate and critique in the field of neuroscience. PMID:26557797

  12. The Cognitive Neuroscience of Sign Language: Engaging Undergraduate Students' Critical Thinking Skills Using the Primary Literature.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Courtney

    2015-01-01

    This article presents a modular activity on the neurobiology of sign language that engages undergraduate students in reading and analyzing the primary functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature. Drawing on a seed empirical article and subsequently published critique and rebuttal, students are introduced to a scientific debate concerning the functional significance of right-hemisphere recruitment observed in some fMRI studies of sign language processing. The activity requires minimal background knowledge and is not designed to provide students with a specific conclusion regarding the debate. Instead, the activity and set of articles allow students to consider key issues in experimental design and analysis of the primary literature, including critical thinking regarding the cognitive subtractions used in blocked-design fMRI studies, as well as possible confounds in comparing results across different experimental tasks. By presenting articles representing different perspectives, each cogently argued by leading scientists, the readings and activity also model the type of debate and dialogue critical to science, but often invisible to undergraduate science students. Student self-report data indicate that undergraduates find the readings interesting and that the activity enhances their ability to read and interpret primary fMRI articles, including evaluating research design and considering alternate explanations of study results. As a stand-alone activity completed primarily in one 60-minute class block, the activity can be easily incorporated into existing courses, providing students with an introduction both to the analysis of empirical fMRI articles and to the role of debate and critique in the field of neuroscience. PMID:26557797

  13. Translation of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scales for Users of American Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Samady, Waheeda; Sadler, Georgia Robins; Nakaji, Melanie; Malcarne, Vanessa L.; Trybus, Raymond; Athale, Ninad

    2008-01-01

    This paper describes the translation of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) scales into American Sign Language (ASL). Translation is an essential first step toward validating the instrument for use in the Deaf community, a commonly overlooked minority community. This translated MHLC/ASL can be utilized by public health nurses researching the Deaf community to create and evaluate targeted health interventions. It can be used in clinical settings to guide the context of the provider-patient dialogue. The MHLC was translated using focus groups, following recommended procedures. Five bilingual participants translated the MHLC into ASL; five others back-translated the ASL version into English. Both focus groups identified and addressed language and cultural problems before the final ASL version of the MHLC was permanently captured on by motion picture photography for consistent administration. Nine of the 24 items were directly translatable into ASL. The remaining items required further discussion to achieve cultural equivalence with ASL expressions. The MHLC/ASL is now ready for validation within the Deaf community. PMID:18816365

  14. Sign language and pantomime production differentially engage frontal and parietal cortices

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    We investigated the functional organization of neural systems supporting language production when the primary language articulators are also used for meaningful, but non-linguistic, expression such as pantomime. Fourteen hearing non-signers and 10 deaf native users of American Sign Language (ASL) participated in an H2 15O-PET study in which they generated action pantomimes or ASL verbs in response to pictures of tools and manipulable objects. For pantomime generation, participants were instructed to “show how you would use the object.” For verb generation, signers were asked to “generate a verb related to the object.” The objects for this condition were selected to elicit handling verbs that resemble pantomime (e.g., TO-HAMMER (hand configuration and movement mimic the act of hammering) and non-handling verbs that do not (e.g., POUR-SYRUP, produced with a “Y” handshape). For the baseline task, participants viewed pictures of manipulable objects and an occasional non-manipulable object and decided whether the objects could be handled, gesturing “yes” (thumbs up) or “no” (hand wave). Relative to baseline, generation of ASL verbs engaged left inferior frontal cortex, but when non-signers produced pantomimes for the same objects, no frontal activation was observed. Both groups recruited left parietal cortex during pantomime production. However, for deaf signers the activation was more extensive and bilateral, which may reflect a more complex and integrated neural representation of hand actions. We conclude that the production of pantomime versus ASL verbs (even those that resemble pantomime) engage partially segregated neural systems that support praxic versus linguistic functions. PMID:21909174

  15. Adaptation of the Language Proficiency Interview (LPI) for Assessing Sign Communicative Competence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Newell, William; And Others

    1983-01-01

    Describes the Sign Communication Proficiency Interview (SCPI) and discusses the SCPI rating scale, linguistic and cultural factors important for sign communicative competence, and skills in communicating simultaneously in signing and speaking. (EKN)

  16. Language, School Functioning, and Behavior among African American Urban Kindergartners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowman, Margo; Barnett, Douglas; Johnson, Alex; Reeve, Kirsti

    2006-01-01

    Significant relations among language impairments, academic difficulties, and behavioral problems have been well established in previous research, primarily with impaired children or non-minority samples. However, how and why these three developmental domains tend to co-vary has received only limited attention. Preliminary research suggests that…

  17. An Assessment of Language Attitudes towards African American Vernacular English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Nikole D.

    2012-01-01

    Speakers of stigmatized varieties are often judged as less educated and less competent than speakers of prestigious varieties. This can have profound effects on speakers' academic achievement and language assessment in schools. Linguists' efforts to destigmatize AAVE have included providing commentary in media outlets, publishing…

  18. Assessing the Level of Performance of Sign Language Interpreters from Impaired Hearing Students' Perspectives at Public and Private Jordanian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shanikat, Feryal Abdel-Hadi

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed at assessing the level of performance of sign language interpreters in both public and private Jordanian universities, as well as to recognize the effect of the study variables specifically gender and qualifications for acoustically disabled and interpreter, and the experience of the interpreter on the level of the performance…

  19. Lexical Noun Phrases in Texts Written by Deaf Children and Adults with Different Proficiency Levels in Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Beijsterveldt, Liesbeth Maria; van Hell, Janet

    2010-01-01

    We report an analysis of lexical noun phrases (NPs) in narrative and expository texts written by Dutch deaf individuals from a bimodal bilingual perspective. Texts written by Dutch deaf children and adults who are either proficient in Sign Language of the Netherlands (SLN) or low-proficient in SLN were compared on structures that either overlap in…

  20. Mixed Signals: Combining Linguistic and Affective Functions of Eyebrows in Questions in Sign Language of the Netherlands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Vos, Connie; van der Kooij, Els; Crasborn, Onno

    2009-01-01

    The eyebrows are used as conversational signals in face-to-face spoken interaction (Ekman, 1979). In Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT), the eyebrows are typically furrowed in content questions, and raised in polar questions (Coerts, 1992). On the other hand, these eyebrow positions are also associated with anger and surprise, respectively, in…

  1. Deaf Families with Children Who Have Cochlear Implants: Perspectives and Beliefs on Bilingualism in American Sign Language and English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchiner, Julie Cantrell

    2012-01-01

    This study examines Deaf parents with children who have cochlear implants on their beliefs and perspectives of bilingualism in American Sign Language and English using complementary mixed methods through surveys and follow-up interviews. Seventeen families participated in the survey and eight families continued their participation in semi-formal…

  2. Vocabulary Instruction for the Development of American Sign Language in Deaf Children: An Investigation into Teacher Knowledge and Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pizzo, Lianna

    2013-01-01

    The acquisition of vocabulary is an important aspect of young children's development that may impact their later literacy skills (National Reading Panel, 2000; Cunningham & Stanovitch, 1997). Deaf children who are American Sign Language users, however, often have smaller vocabularies and lower literacy levels than their hearing peers…

  3. Motor-Iconicity of Sign Language Does Not Alter the Neural Systems Underlying Tool and Action Naming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emmorey, Karen; Grabowski, Thomas; McCullough, Stephen; Damasio, Hannah; Ponto, Laurie; Hichwa, Richard; Bellugi, Ursula

    2004-01-01

    Positron emission tomography was used to investigate whether the motor-iconic basis of certain forms in American Sign Language (ASL) partially alters the neural systems engaged during lexical retrieval. Most ASL nouns denoting tools and ASL verbs referring to tool-based actions are produced with a handshape representing the human hand holding a…

  4. The Development of Antonym Knowledge in American Sign Language (ASL) and Its Relationship to Reading Comprehension in English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Novogrodsky, Rama; Caldwell-Harris, Catherine; Fish, Sarah; Hoffmeister, Robert J.

    2014-01-01

    It is unknown if the developmental path of antonym knowledge in deaf children increases continuously with age and correlates with reading comprehension, as it does in hearing children. In the current study we tested 564 students aged 4-18 on a receptive multiple-choice American Sign Language (ASL) antonym test. A subgroup of 138 students aged 7-18…

  5. Bilingualism and Attention: A Study of Balanced and Unbalanced Bilingual Deaf Users of American Sign Language and English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kushalnagar, Poorna; Hannay, H. Julia; Hernandez, Arturo E.

    2010-01-01

    Early deafness is thought to affect low-level sensorimotor processing such as selective attention, whereas bilingualism is thought to be strongly associated with higher order cognitive processing such as attention switching under cognitive load. This study explores the effects of bimodal-bilingualism (in American Sign Language and written English)…

  6. Diversity in Education: Kenyan Sign Language as a Medium of Instruction in Schools for the Deaf in Kenya

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mweri, Jefwa G.

    2014-01-01

    In Kenya, the only official document that deals with the use of mother tongue (MT) in Schools is the 1967 Gachathi report. The report has clear-cut guidance and policy regarding MT use by the hearing children. However, for deaf children, no such policy exists; therefore, the use of the deaf child's MT (Kenyan Sign Language (KSL)) in schools…

  7. American Sign Language Syntactic and Narrative Comprehension in Skilled and Less Skilled Readers: Bilingual and Bimodal Evidence for the Linguistic Basis of Reading

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chamberlain, Charlene; Mayberry, Rachel I.

    2008-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that syntactic and narrative comprehension of a natural sign language can serve as the linguistic basis for skilled reading. Thirty-one adults who were deaf from birth and used American Sign Language (ASL) were classified as skilled or less skilled readers using an eighth-grade criterion. Proficiency with ASL syntax, and…

  8. The Golden Lady: The Storied Life of a Multilingual Teacher and Author of Supplemental Reading Materials in a Marginalized South African Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horan, Deborah A.; Sailors, Misty; Martinez, Miriam; Skerrett, Allison; Makalela, Leketi

    2012-01-01

    Personal narratives can be powerful venues for understanding human experiences. In this paper, we tell the story of Lutanyani, a Black South African multilingual teacher and author of supplemental reading materials in a marginalized South African language. Through various word images, we convey the role of language, in particular written language,…

  9. Physical exposure of sign language interpreters: baseline measures and reliability analysis.

    PubMed

    Delisle, Alain; Larivière, Christian; Imbeau, Daniel; Durand, Marie-José

    2005-07-01

    Measurement of physical exposure to musculoskeletal disorder risk factors must generally be performed directly in the field to assess the effectiveness of ergonomic interventions. To perform such an evaluation, the reliability of physical exposure measures under similar field conditions must be known. The objectives of this study were to estimate the reliability of physical exposure measures performed in the field and to establish the baseline values of physical exposure in sign language interpreters (SLI) before the implementation of an intervention. The electromyography (EMG) of the trapezius muscles as well as the wrist motions of the dominant arm were measured using goniometry on nine SLI on four different days. Several exposure parameters, proposed in the literature, were computed and the generalizability theory was used as a framework to assess reliability. Overall, SLI showed a relatively low level of trapezius muscle activity, but with little time at rest, and highly dynamic wrist motions. Electromyography exposure parameters showed poor to moderate reliability, while goniometry parameter reliability was moderate to excellent. For EMG parameters, performing repeated measurements on different days was more effective in increasing reliability than extending the duration of the measurement over one day. For goniometry, repeating measurements on different days was also effective in improving reliability, although good reliability could be obtained with a single sufficiently long measurement period. PMID:15830245

  10. Development of American Sign Language Guidelines for K-12 Academic Assessments.

    PubMed

    Higgins, Jennifer A; Famularo, Lisa; Cawthon, Stephanie W; Kurz, Christopher A; Reis, Jeanne E; Moers, Lori M

    2016-10-01

    The U.S. federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was enacted with goals of closing achievement gaps and providing all students with access to equitable and high-quality instruction. One requirement of ESSA is annual statewide testing of students in grades 3-8 and once in high school. Some students, including many deaf or hard-of-hearing (D/HH) students, are eligible to use test supports, in the form of accommodations and accessibility tools, during state testing. Although technology allows accommodations and accessibility tools to be embedded within a digital assessment system, the success of this approach depends on the ability of test developers to appropriately represent content in accommodated forms. The Guidelines for Accessible Assessment Project (GAAP) sought to develop evidence- and consensus-based guidelines for representing test content in American Sign Language. In this article, we present an overview of GAAP, review of the literature, rationale, qualitative and quantitative research findings, and lessons learned. PMID:27542953

  11. Robust Real-Time and Rotation-Invariant American Sign Language Alphabet Recognition Using Range Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lahamy, H.; Lichti, D.

    2012-07-01

    The automatic interpretation of human gestures can be used for a natural interaction with computers without the use of mechanical devices such as keyboards and mice. The recognition of hand postures have been studied for many years. However, most of the literature in this area has considered 2D images which cannot provide a full description of the hand gestures. In addition, a rotation-invariant identification remains an unsolved problem even with the use of 2D images. The objective of the current study is to design a rotation-invariant recognition process while using a 3D signature for classifying hand postures. An heuristic and voxelbased signature has been designed and implemented. The tracking of the hand motion is achieved with the Kalman filter. A unique training image per posture is used in the supervised classification. The designed recognition process and the tracking procedure have been successfully evaluated. This study has demonstrated the efficiency of the proposed rotation invariant 3D hand posture signature which leads to 98.24% recognition rate after testing 12723 samples of 12 gestures taken from the alphabet of the American Sign Language.

  12. Quality versus intelligibility: studying human preferences for American Sign Language video

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciaramello, Frank M.; Hemami, Sheila S.

    2011-03-01

    Real-time videoconferencing using cellular devices provides natural communication to the Deaf community. For this application, compressed American Sign Language (ASL) video must be evaluated in terms of the intelligibility of the conversation and not in terms of the overall aesthetic quality of the video. This work presents a paired comparison experiment to determine the subjective preferences of ASL users in terms of the trade-off between intelligibility and quality when varying the proportion of the bitrate allocated explicitly to the regions of the video containing the signer. A rate-distortion optimization technique, which jointly optimizes a quality criteria and an intelligibility criteria according to a user-specified parameter, generates test video pairs for the subjective experiment. Experimental results suggest that at sufficiently high bitrates, all users prefer videos in which the non-signer regions in the video are encoded with some nominal rate. As the total encoding bitrate decreases, users generally prefer video in which a greater proportion of the rate is allocated to the signer. The specific operating points preferred in the quality-intelligibility trade-off vary with the demographics of the users.

  13. Designing an American Sign Language Avatar for Learning Computer Science Concepts for Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Students and Deaf Interpreters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrei, Stefan; Osborne, Lawrence; Smith, Zanthia

    2013-01-01

    The current learning process of Deaf or Hard of Hearing (D/HH) students taking Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses needs, in general, a sign interpreter for the translation of English text into American Sign Language (ASL) signs. This method is at best impractical due to the lack of availability of a specialized sign…

  14. Language and "New" African Migration to South Africa: An Overview and Some Reflections on Theoretical Implications for Policy and Planning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orman, Jon

    2012-01-01

    This article examines the phenomenon of African migration to post-apartheid South Africa from a language-sociological perspective. Although the subject has been one largely neglected by language scholars, the handful of studies which have addressed the issue have yielded ethnographic data and raised questions of considerable significance for the…

  15. "They're in My Culture, They Speak the Same Way": African American Language in Multiethnic High Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paris, Django

    2009-01-01

    In this article, Paris explores the deep linguistic and cultural ways in which youth in a multiethnic urban high school employ linguistic features of African American Language (AAL) across ethnic lines. The author also discusses how knowledge about the use of AAL in multiethnic contexts might be applied to language and literacy education and how…

  16. 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?

    PubMed

    Denmark, Tanya; Atkinson, Joanna; Campbell, Ruth; Swettenham, John

    2014-10-01

    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 ability to judge emotion in a signed utterance is impaired (Reilly et al. in Sign Lang Stud 75:113-118, 1992). We examined the role of the face in the comprehension of emotion in sign language in a group of typically developing (TD) deaf children and in a group of deaf children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We replicated Reilly et al.'s (Sign Lang Stud 75:113-118, 1992) adult results in the TD deaf signing children, confirming the importance of the face in understanding emotion in sign language. The ASD group performed more poorly on the emotion recognition task than the TD children. The deaf children with ASD showed a deficit in emotion recognition during sign language processing analogous to the deficit in vocal emotion recognition that has been observed in hearing children with ASD. PMID:24803370

  17. Educational Policy and the Choice of Language in Linguistically Complex South African Schools. Formative Decision-Making by Significant Language Professionals and Governing Bodies. Education Policy Unit (Natal) Research Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, David

    A 1996 South African law vested elementary/secondary school governing bodies with formation of school policy concerning both language(s) used for instruction and those selected for second-language study. The study reported here investigated the perceptions of language teachers, principals, and governing body members on language policy, policy…

  18. Discriminant Features and Temporal Structure of Nonmanuals in American Sign Language

    PubMed Central

    Benitez-Quiroz, C. Fabian; Gökgöz, Kadir; Wilbur, Ronnie B.; Martinez, Aleix M.

    2014-01-01

    To fully define the grammar of American Sign Language (ASL), a linguistic model of its nonmanuals needs to be constructed. While significant progress has been made to understand the features defining ASL manuals, after years of research, much still needs to be done to uncover the discriminant nonmanual components. The major barrier to achieving this goal is the difficulty in correlating facial features and linguistic features, especially since these correlations may be temporally defined. For example, a facial feature (e.g., head moves down) occurring at the end of the movement of another facial feature (e.g., brows moves up), may specify a Hypothetical conditional, but only if this time relationship is maintained. In other instances, the single occurrence of a movement (e.g., brows move up) can be indicative of the same grammatical construction. In the present paper, we introduce a linguistic–computational approach to efficiently carry out this analysis. First, a linguistic model of the face is used to manually annotate a very large set of 2,347 videos of ASL nonmanuals (including tens of thousands of frames). Second, a computational approach is used to determine which features of the linguistic model are more informative of the grammatical rules under study. We used the proposed approach to study five types of sentences – Hypothetical conditionals, Yes/no questions, Wh-questions, Wh-questions postposed, and Assertions – plus their polarities – positive and negative. Our results verify several components of the standard model of ASL nonmanuals and, most importantly, identify several previously unreported features and their temporal relationship. Notably, our results uncovered a complex interaction between head position and mouth shape. These findings define some temporal structures of ASL nonmanuals not previously detected by other approaches. PMID:24516528

  19. Discriminant features and temporal structure of nonmanuals in American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Benitez-Quiroz, C Fabian; Gökgöz, Kadir; Wilbur, Ronnie B; Martinez, Aleix M

    2014-01-01

    To fully define the grammar of American Sign Language (ASL), a linguistic model of its nonmanuals needs to be constructed. While significant progress has been made to understand the features defining ASL manuals, after years of research, much still needs to be done to uncover the discriminant nonmanual components. The major barrier to achieving this goal is the difficulty in correlating facial features and linguistic features, especially since these correlations may be temporally defined. For example, a facial feature (e.g., head moves down) occurring at the end of the movement of another facial feature (e.g., brows moves up), may specify a Hypothetical conditional, but only if this time relationship is maintained. In other instances, the single occurrence of a movement (e.g., brows move up) can be indicative of the same grammatical construction. In the present paper, we introduce a linguistic-computational approach to efficiently carry out this analysis. First, a linguistic model of the face is used to manually annotate a very large set of 2,347 videos of ASL nonmanuals (including tens of thousands of frames). Second, a computational approach is used to determine which features of the linguistic model are more informative of the grammatical rules under study. We used the proposed approach to study five types of sentences--Hypothetical conditionals, Yes/no questions, Wh-questions, Wh-questions postposed, and Assertions--plus their polarities--positive and negative. Our results verify several components of the standard model of ASL nonmanuals and, most importantly, identify several previously unreported features and their temporal relationship. Notably, our results uncovered a complex interaction between head position and mouth shape. These findings define some temporal structures of ASL nonmanuals not previously detected by other approaches. PMID:24516528

  20. Random Forest-Based Recognition of Isolated Sign Language Subwords Using Data from Accelerometers and Surface Electromyographic Sensors.

    PubMed

    Su, Ruiliang; Chen, Xiang; Cao, Shuai; Zhang, Xu

    2015-01-01

    Sign language recognition (SLR) has been widely used for communication amongst the hearing-impaired and non-verbal community. This paper proposes an accurate and robust SLR framework using an improved decision tree as the base classifier of random forests. This framework was used to recognize Chinese sign language subwords using recordings from a pair of portable devices worn on both arms consisting of accelerometers (ACC) and surface electromyography (sEMG) sensors. The experimental results demonstrated the validity of the proposed random forest-based method for recognition of Chinese sign language (CSL) subwords. With the proposed method, 98.25% average accuracy was obtained for the classification of a list of 121 frequently used CSL subwords. Moreover, the random forests method demonstrated a superior performance in resisting the impact of bad training samples. When the proportion of bad samples in the training set reached 50%, the recognition error rate of the random forest-based method was only 10.67%, while that of a single decision tree adopted in our previous work was almost 27.5%. Our study offers a practical way of realizing a robust and wearable EMG-ACC-based SLR systems. PMID:26784195