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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. Controversy within Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vernon, McCay

    1987-01-01

    A review of problems with using such manual communication systems as cued speech, fingerspelling, Signed or Manual English, American Sign Language, and Pidgin Sign provides a rationale for using a combination of American Sign Language and Pidgin Sign and a few markers from Signed English for a Total Communication system. (CB)

  3. Sign Language Structure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stokoe, William C.

    The sign language of the American deaf community (ASL) is analyzed from a linguistic point of view. The history of the application of linguistic principles to sign language studies is briefly traced. The cherology (phonology) of sign language is treated with respect to finger spelling, manual numeration, ASL phonetics, and conventions of sign…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Language Standardization and Signed Language Dictionaries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Trevor

    2003-01-01

    Discusses the issue of the use of signed language dictionaries in the standardization of signed languages with reference to the Australian Sign language (Auslan) dictionaries. Details the structure of the Auslan dictionaries and argues that bilingual, bidirectional dictionaries of this type must be produced if communities are to encourage language…

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

    PubMed

    Rodríguez Ortiz, I R

    2008-01-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. Say It with Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crawford, Wendy

    2001-01-01

    Impressed by Marilyn Daniels' research on the educational benefits of signing for hearing children, a New Jersey early childhood education center trained its staff in sign language as a teaching tool. Students enthusiastically incorporated sign language into their activities as they increased word recognition and vocabulary growth. (MLH)

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  13. 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…

  14. Symmetry in Sign Language Poetry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sutton-Spence, Rachel; Kaneko, Michiko

    2007-01-01

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

  15. English as an African Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Desai, Gaurav

    1993-01-01

    Discusses the role of the English language in postcolonial African literature, focusing on the politics of language, "Africanized" English, and the social languages used in Chinua Achebe's novels and concludes that English today is as much an African language as a British or American one. (Contains 37 references.) (MDM)

  16. Linguistic, Social and Cultural Perspectives on Sign Language in South Africa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Penn, Claire; Reagan, Timothy

    1999-01-01

    Provides an overview of the nature of different types of signed languages and offers a detailed discussion of the research currently available with respect to South African Sign Language. (Author/VWL)

  17. Wavelets for sign language translation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Beth J.; Anspach, Gretel

    1993-10-01

    Wavelet techniques are applied to help extract the relevant parameters of sign language from video images of a person communicating in American Sign Language or Signed English. The compression and edge detection features of two-dimensional wavelet analysis are exploited to enhance the algorithms under development to classify the hand motion, hand location with respect to the body, and handshape. These three parameters have different processing requirements and complexity issues. The results are described for applying various quadrature mirror filter designs to a filterbank implementation of the desired wavelet transform. The overall project is to develop a system that will translate sign language to English to facilitate communication between deaf and hearing people.

  18. 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…

  19. Sign Vocabulary Recognition in Students of American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lupton, Linda; Fristoe, Macalyne

    1992-01-01

    This investigation explored recognition memory for sign language vocabulary in sign language students. Ten beginning and 10 advanced students were asked to judge their familiarity with 50 old and new vocabulary items presented in both written (sign gloss) and signed stimulus modes. (JL)

  20. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mason, David G.

    1992-01-01

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

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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...

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. American Sign Language and Pidgin Sign English: What's the Difference?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reilly, Judy; McIntire, Marina L.

    1980-01-01

    The differences between Pidgin Sign English and American Sign Language in simultaneity, or the visible presence of two or more linguistic units (manual or nonmanual) co-occurring, are demonstrated. Differences are exemplified in handshape-classifier pronouns, directional verbs, co-occurring manual signs, and nonmanual behavior. (PMJ)

  12. 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…

  13. Frequency Characteristics of American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morford, Jill P.; MacFarlane, James

    2003-01-01

    Reports results of a preliminary study of sign frequency in American Sign language(ASL). Identifies some surprising trends in the organization of the ASL lexicon that merit further investigation. (Author/VWL)

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  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. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Sign Language and the Brain: A Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Ruth; MacSweeney, Mairead; Waters, Dafydd

    2008-01-01

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

  3. Is It Necessary To Create Abbreviations of Signed Languages?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andersson, Yerker

    2001-01-01

    Suggests considering the following before creating abbreviations of sign languages: the recognition of signed languages as official languages; the standardization of signed languages; the existence of different signed languages using the same spoken language as a substitute language; whether attention should be given to countries whose names share…

  4. 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/.

  5. 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

  6. Introducing Sign Language Systems to Parents of Young Deaf Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moser, Barbara Walsh

    1987-01-01

    The three major sign language systems (American Sign Language, Pidgin Sign English, and Manual English) are compared in table form. A brief description of each language highlights salient points that parents of deaf children need to understand. (DB)

  7. Content-based Instruction for African Languages.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moshi, Lioba

    2001-01-01

    Examines content-based instruction for African languages and considers Schleicher's (2000) expatiation of goal-based instruction for African languages. Focuses on the parameters for content-based instruction, the profile of a content-based instructional program, the nature of content-based instruction, the first steps for African languages, and…

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  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. 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…

  13. 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…

  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. 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

  16. When does Iconicity in Sign Language Matter?

    PubMed

    Baus, Cristina; Carreiras, Manuel; Emmorey, Karen

    2013-03-01

    We examined whether iconicity in American Sign Language (ASL) enhances translation performance for new learners and proficient signers. Fifteen hearing nonsigners and 15 proficient ASL-English bilinguals performed a translation recognition task and a production translation task. Nonsigners were taught 28 ASL verbs (14 iconic; 14 non-iconic) prior to performing these tasks. Only new learners benefited from sign iconicity, recognizing iconic translations faster and more accurately and exhibiting faster forward (English-ASL) and backward (ASL-English) translation times for iconic signs. In contrast, proficient ASL-English bilinguals exhibited slower recognition and translation times for iconic signs. We suggest iconicity aids memorization in the early stages of adult sign language learning, but for fluent L2 signers, iconicity interacts with other variables that slow translation (specifically, the iconic signs had more translation equivalents than the non-iconic signs). Iconicity may also have slowed translation performance by forcing conceptual mediation for iconic signs, which is slower than translating via direct lexical links. PMID:23543899

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

    PubMed

    Haug, Tobias

    2011-01-01

    There is a current need for reliable and valid test instruments in different countries in order to monitor deaf children's sign language acquisition. However, very few tests are commercially available that offer strong evidence for their psychometric properties. A German Sign Language (DGS) test focusing on linguistic structures that are acquired in preschool- and school-aged children (4-8 years old) is urgently needed. Using the British Sign Language Receptive Skills Test, that has been standardized and has sound psychometric properties, as a template for adaptation thus provides a starting point for tests of a sign language that is less documented, such as DGS. This article makes a novel contribution to the field by examining linguistic, cultural, and methodological issues in the process of adapting a test from the source language to the target language. The adapted DGS test has sound psychometric properties and provides the basis for revision prior to standardization. PMID:21208998

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

    PubMed

    Haug, Tobias

    2011-01-01

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

  19. What sign language creation teaches us about language.

    PubMed

    Brentari, Diane; Coppola, Marie

    2013-03-01

    How do languages emerge? What are the necessary ingredients and circumstances that permit new languages to form? Various researchers within the disciplines of primatology, anthropology, psychology, and linguistics have offered different answers to this question depending on their perspective. Language acquisition, language evolution, primate communication, and the study of spoken varieties of pidgin and creoles address these issues, but in this article we describe a relatively new and important area that contributes to our understanding of language creation and emergence. Three types of communication systems that use the hands and body to communicate will be the focus of this article: gesture, homesign systems, and sign languages. The focus of this article is to explain why mapping the path from gesture to homesign to sign language has become an important research topic for understanding language emergence, not only for the field of sign languages, but also for language in general. WIREs Cogn Sci 2013, 4:201-211. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1212 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.

  20. 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.…

  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. 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…

  3. Psychological Testing of Sign Language Interpreters

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seal, Brenda C.

    2004-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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).

  9. Neural networks for sign language translation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Beth J.; Anspach, Gretel

    1993-09-01

    A neural network is used to extract relevant features of sign language from video images of a person communicating in American Sign Language or Signed English. The key features are hand motion, hand location with respect to the body, and handshape. A modular hybrid design is under way to apply various techniques, including neural networks, in the development of a translation system that will facilitate communication between deaf and hearing people. One of the neural networks described here is used to classify video images of handshapes into their linguistic counterpart in American Sign Language. The video image is preprocessed to yield Fourier descriptors that encode the shape of the hand silhouette. These descriptors are then used as inputs to a neural network that classifies their shapes. The network is trained with various examples from different signers and is tested with new images from new signers. The results have shown that for coarse handshape classes, the network is invariant to the type of camera used to film the various signers and to the segmentation technique.

  10. Phonological reduplication in sign language: Rules rule.

    PubMed

    Berent, Iris; Dupuis, Amanda; Brentari, Diane

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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,…

  14. 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,…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Haug, Tobias; Mann, Wolfgang

    2008-01-01

    Given the current lack of appropriate assessment tools for measuring deaf children's sign language skills, many test developers have used existing tests of other sign languages as templates to measure the sign language used by deaf people in their country. This article discusses factors that may influence the adaptation of assessment tests from one natural sign language to another. Two tests which have been adapted for several other sign languages are focused upon: the Test for American Sign Language and the British Sign Language Receptive Skills Test. A brief description is given of each test as well as insights from ongoing adaptations of these tests for other sign languages. The problems reported in these adaptations were found to be grounded in linguistic and cultural differences, which need to be considered for future test adaptations. Other reported shortcomings of test adaptation are related to the question of how well psychometric measures transfer from one instrument to another. PMID:17569751

  18. 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,…

  19. 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].

  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. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  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. 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…

  9. 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…

  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. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Validity of the American Sign Language Discrimination Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Ruth; And Others

    1992-01-01

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

  16. 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…

  17. Language and the African American Child

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Lisa J.

    2011-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. Sign language and motor functioning in students with autistic disorder.

    PubMed

    Seal, B C; Bonvillian, J D

    1997-08-01

    Sign language production of 14 low-functioning students diagnosed with autistic disorder was examined. Videotapes of the students signing with their teachers were analyzed for frequency and accuracy of sign location, handshape, and movement production. The location aspect of signs was produced more accurately by the subjects than either the handshape or movement aspects. Wide individual differences were evident among the students in the number of signs they produced, accuracy of sign formation, and performance on measures of motor functioning. Students' sign vocabulary size and accuracy of sign formation were highly correlated with their performance on two measures of apraxia and with their fine motor age scores.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. A study of the tactual reception of sign language.

    PubMed

    Reed, C M; Delhorne, L A; Durlach, N I; Fischer, S D

    1995-04-01

    One of the natural methods of tactual communication in common use among individuals who are both deaf and blind is the tactual reception of sign language. In this method, the receiver (who is deaf-blind) places a hand (or hands) on the dominant (or both) hand(s) of the signer in order to receive, through the tactual sense, the various formational properties associated with signs. In the study reported here, 10 experienced deaf-blind users of either American Sign Language (ASL) or Pidgin Sign English (PSE) participated in experiments to determine their ability to receive signed materials including isolated signs and sentences. A set of 122 isolated signs was received with an average accuracy of 87% correct. The most frequent type of error made in identifying isolated signs was related to misperception of individual phonological components of signs. For presentation of signed sentences (translations of the English CID sentences into ASL or PSE), the performance of individual subjects ranged from 60-85% correct reception of key signs. Performance on sentences was relatively independent of rate of presentation in signs/sec, which covered a range of roughly 1 to 3 signs/sec. Sentence errors were accounted for primarily by deletions and phonological and semantic/syntactic substitutions. Experimental results are discussed in terms of differences in performance for isolated signs and sentences, differences in error patterns for the ASL and PSE groups, and communication rates relative to visual reception of sign language and other natural methods of tactual communication.

  8. 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

  9. On the Role of Sign Order and Morphological Structure in Memory for American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanson, Vicki L.; Bellugi, Ursula

    1982-01-01

    Investigates sentence processing in a visual-gestural language by testing signers' recognition for American Sign Language sentences. Results indicate that signers decompose a complex sign into its lexical and inflectional components during sentence comprehension and remember the meaning expressed by these components rather than remembering the…

  10. Memory for Nonsemantic Attributes of American Sign Language Signs and English Words

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Siple, Patricia

    1977-01-01

    Two recognition memory experiments were used to study the retention of language and modality of input. A bilingual list of American Sign Language signs and English words was presented to two deaf and two hearing groups, one instructed to remember mode of input, and one hearing group. Findings are analyzed. (CHK)

  11. Signs as Pictures and Signs as Words: Effect of Language Knowledge on Memory for New Vocabulary.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Siple, Patricia; And Others

    1982-01-01

    The role of sensory attributes in a vocabulary learning task was investigated for a non-oral language using deaf and hearing individuals, more or less skilled in the use of sign language. Skilled signers encoded invented signs in terms of linguistic structure rather than as visual-pictorial events. (Author/RD)

  12. 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…

  13. Non-antecedent Suppression in American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emmorey, Karen

    1997-01-01

    Discusses two experiments investigating non-antecedent suppression in American Sign Language (ASL). Findings indicate that spoken and signed languages use the same processing mechanisms in resolving co-reference relations. Results also indicate that within the probe recognition paradigm, the spatial indexing of ASL pronouns is similar to gender…

  14. 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…

  15. Effectively Teaching Discourse to Sign Language Interpreting Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Napier, Jemina

    2006-01-01

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

  16. 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…

  17. Lexical Access in Catalan Signed Language (LSC) Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

    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…

  18. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDermid, Campbell

    2009-01-01

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

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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":…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. The Communicative Orientation of First-Year African language Textbooks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schleicher, Antonia Folarin; Gleisner, Karin

    2001-01-01

    Examines how well first-year African language textbooks convey communicative competency issues to African language learners and provides a suitable guide for the selection of communicatively-oriented first-year textbooks. (Author/VWL)

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Sign Language and Motor Functioning in Students with Autistic Disorder.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seal, Brenda C.; Bonvillian, John D.

    1997-01-01

    Sign language production of 14 low-functioning students (ages 9 to 20) with autistic disorder were examined. The location aspect of signs was produced more accurately by subjects than either the handshape or movement aspects. Wide individual differences were observed. Sign vocabulary size and accuracy was correlated with performance on two…

  9. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akmese, Pelin Pistav

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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.…

  14. 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.…

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Lillo-Martin, Diane C; Gajewski, Jon

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lillo-Martin, Diane C; Gajewski, Jon

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. Signed and Spoken Language: A Unique Underlying System?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peperkamp, Sharon; Mehler, Jacques

    1999-01-01

    Reviews research from the fields of cognitive neuroscience and psycholinguistics, comparing spoken and signed language by looking at data concerning either cortical representations or early acquisition. (Author/VWL)

  10. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Short-term linguistic accommodation has been observed in a number of spoken language studies. The first of its kind in sign language research, this study aims to investigate the effects of regional varieties in contact and lexical accommodation in British Sign Language (BSL). Twenty-five participants were recruited from Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester, and Newcastle and paired with the same conversational partner. Participants completed a "spot-the-difference" task which elicited a considerable amount of contrasting regionally specific sign data in the participant-confederate dyads. Accommodation was observed during the task with younger signers accommodating more than older signers. The results are interpreted with reference to the relationship between language contact and lexical accommodation in BSL, and address how further studies could help us better understand how contact and accommodation contribute to language change more generally. PMID:26405209

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    This study asks how users of British Sign Language (BSL) recognize individual signs in connected sign sequences. We examined whether this is achieved through modality-specific or modality-general segmentation procedures. A modality-specific feature of signed languages is that, during continuous signing, there are salient transitions between sign locations. We used the sign-spotting task to ask if and how BSL signers use these transitions in segmentation. A total of 96 real BSL signs were preceded by nonsense signs which were produced in either the target location or another location (with a small or large transition). Half of the transitions were within the same major body area (e.g., head) and half were across body areas (e.g., chest to hand). Deaf adult BSL users (a group of natives and early learners, and a group of late learners) spotted target signs best when there was a minimal transition and worst when there was a large transition. When location changes were present, both groups performed better when transitions were to a different body area than when they were within the same area. These findings suggest that transitions do not provide explicit sign-boundary cues in a modality-specific fashion. Instead, we argue that smaller transitions help recognition in a modality-general way by limiting lexical search to signs within location neighbourhoods, and that transitions across body areas also aid segmentation in a modality-general way, by providing a phonotactic cue to a sign boundary. We propose that sign segmentation is based on modality-general procedures which are core language-processing mechanisms. PMID:25628070

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

    Caselli, Naomi K; Cohen-Goldberg, Ariel M

    2014-01-01

    PSYCHOLINGUISTIC THEORIES HAVE PREDOMINANTLY BEEN BUILT UPON DATA FROM SPOKEN LANGUAGE, WHICH LEAVES OPEN THE QUESTION: How many of the conclusions truly reflect language-general principles as opposed to modality-specific ones? We take a step toward answering this question in the domain of lexical access in recognition by asking whether a single cognitive architecture might explain diverse behavioral patterns in signed and spoken language. Chen and Mirman (2012) presented a computational model of word processing that unified opposite effects of neighborhood density in speech production, perception, and written word recognition. Neighborhood density effects in sign language also vary depending on whether the neighbors share the same handshape or location. We present a spreading activation architecture that borrows the principles proposed by Chen and Mirman (2012), and show that if this architecture is elaborated to incorporate relatively minor facts about either (1) the time course of sign perception or (2) the frequency of sub-lexical units in sign languages, it produces data that match the experimental findings from sign languages. This work serves as a proof of concept that a single cognitive architecture could underlie both sign and word recognition. PMID:24860539

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2003-01-01

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

  7. 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%.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents the results of research on information structure and word order in narrative sentences taken from signed short stories in Croatian Sign Language (HZJ). The basic word order in HZJ is SVO. Factors that result in other word orders include: reversible arguments, verb categories, locative constructions, contrastive focus, and prior context. Word order in context depends on communication rules, based on the relationship between old (theme) and new (rheme) information, which is predicated of the theme. In accordance with Grice's Maxim of Quantity, HZJ has a tendency to omit old information, or to reduce it to pronominal status. If old information is overtly signed in non-pronominal form, it precedes the rheme. We have observed a variety of sign language mechanisms that are used to show items of reduced contextual significance: use of assigned spatial location for previously introduced referents; eyegaze to indicate spatial location of previously introduced referents; use of the non-dominant hand for backgrounded information; use of a special category of signs known as classifiers as pronominal indicators of previously introduced referents; and complex noun phrases that allow a single occurrence of a noun to simultaneously serve multiple functions. These devices permit information to be conveyed without the need for separate signs for every referent, which would create longer constructions that could be taxing to both production and perception. The results of this research are compatible with well-known word order generalizations - HZJ has its own grammar, independent of spoken language, like any other sign language. PMID:17972196

  9. 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%.

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Kemaloğlu, Yusuf Kemal; Kemaloğlu, Pınar Yaprak

    2012-01-01

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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parton, Becky Sue

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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,…

  17. 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…

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Deaf-And-Mute Sign Language Generation System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawai, Hideo; Tamura, Shinichi

    1984-08-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. Interpreting sign components from accelerometer and sEMG data for automatic sign language recognition.

    PubMed

    Li, Yun; Chen, Xiang; Zhang, Xu; Wang, Kongqiao; Yang, Jihai

    2011-01-01

    The identification of constituent components of each sign gesture is a practical way of establishing large-vocabulary sign language recognition (SLR) system. Aiming at developing such a system using portable accelerometer (ACC) and surface electromyographic (sEMG) sensors, this work proposes a method for automatic SLR at the component level. The preliminary experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method and the feasibility of interpreting sign components from ACC and sEMG data. Our study improves the performance of SLR based on ACC and sEMG sensors and will promote the realization of a large-vocabulary portable SLR system. PMID:22255059

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Signing for Success: Using American Sign Language to Learn Sight Vocabulary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherman, Judy

    2011-01-01

    Many school systems mandate sight word mastery by their students, and this can be challenging for certain student populations. With a Professional Development School, college interns conducted an inquiry project with struggling first graders to learn required sight vocabulary. The inquiry project explored the use of American Sign Language to…

  17. Ten Reasons for Allowing Deaf Children Exposure to American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duffy, J. Trey

    A literature-based rationale for teaching American Sign Language (ASL) as the primary language system for deaf children elaborates on the following points: Sign languages are visual-manual; spoken languages are oral-aural. Competency in a first language tremendously increases a person's ability to learn a second language. Deaf children have not…

  18. Indo-Pakistani Sign Language Grammar: A Typological Outline.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zeshan, Ulrike

    2003-01-01

    Examines the variety of sign language used in Southern and central Pakistan and Northwestern India, including its grammatical profile, word classes, the relationship between word class and functional slot, the marking of basic syntactic relations, shifters, number systems, types of possession, negation, questions, subordinate clauses, and…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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,…

  3. Extending the Lexicon of Irish Sign Language (ISL).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Patrick A.

    1996-01-01

    Ways in which the lexicon of Irish Sign Language (ISL) has developed, and how it is being continually extended, are examined. Change occurs in several ways. Research to date indicates that there are 59 basic handshapes, from which all vocabulary items are created. Classifiers are used extensively in the nominal and verbal system of ISL, and 15 of…

  4. 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…

  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. Cognitive-Developmental Training with Elevated Boards and Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Arnold; Miller, Eileen Eller

    1973-01-01

    Described is the cognitive-developmental training of 19 mute autistic children, mean age 11 years, with special language signs and connected boards elevated 3 to 6 feet above the ground to promote awareness of body in relation to surrounding objects. (MC)

  7. 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…

  8. Exploring the Efficacy of Online American Sign Language Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Radford, Curt L.

    2012-01-01

    Advances in technology have significantly influenced educational delivery options, particularly in the area of American Sign Language (ASL) instruction. As a result, ASL online courses are currently being explored in higher education. The review of literature remains relatively unexplored regarding the effectiveness of learning ASL online. In…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  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. Sign language indexation within the MPEG-7 framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaharia, Titus; Preda, Marius; Preteux, Francoise J.

    1999-06-01

    In this paper, we address the issue of sign language indexation/recognition. The existing tools, like on-like Web dictionaries or other educational-oriented applications, are making exclusive use of textural annotations. However, keyword indexing schemes have strong limitations due to the ambiguity of the natural language and to the huge effort needed to manually annotate a large amount of data. In order to overcome these drawbacks, we tackle sign language indexation issue within the MPEG-7 framework and propose an approach based on linguistic properties and characteristics of sing language. The method developed introduces the concept of over time stable hand configuration instanciated on natural or synthetic prototypes. The prototypes are indexed by means of a shape descriptor which is defined as a translation, rotation and scale invariant Hough transform. A very compact representation is available by considering the Fourier transform of the Hough coefficients. Such an approach has been applied to two data sets consisting of 'Letters' and 'Words' respectively. The accuracy and robustness of the result are discussed and a compete sign language description schema is proposed.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  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. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trudell, Barbara; Schroeder, Leila

    2007-01-01

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

  1. A Goal-Based Approach to African Language Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Folarin-Schleicher, Antonia

    1999-01-01

    Discusses a goal-based approach to African language instruction, which seeks to integrate the overall interests and specific goals of the learner with the language learning and teaching objectives. Shows why content based and language across the curriculum programs may not adequately account for students' needs and interests. (Author/VWL)

  2. Effects of Language Experience on the Perception of American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morford, Jill P.; Grieve-Smith, Angus B.; MacFarlane, James; Staley, Joshua; Waters, Gabriel

    2008-01-01

    Perception of American Sign Language (ASL) handshape and place of articulation parameters was investigated in three groups of signers: deaf native signers, deaf non-native signers who acquired ASL between the ages of 10 and 18, and hearing non-native signers who acquired ASL as a second language between the ages of 10 and 26. Participants were…

  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. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. Comparing action gestures and classifier verbs of motion: evidence from Australian Sign Language, Taiwan Sign Language, and nonsigners' gestures without speech.

    PubMed

    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 prediction is tested for deaf native signers of Australian Sign Language (Auslan), deaf signers of Taiwan Sign Language (TSL), and hearing nonsigners using the Verbs of Motion Production task from the Test Battery for American Sign Language (ASL) Morphology and Syntax. Results indicate that differences between the responses of nonsigners, Auslan signers, and TSL signers and the expected ASL responses are greatest with handshape units; movement and location units appear to be very similar. Although not definitive, these data are consistent with the claim that classifier constructions are blends of linguistic and gestural elements.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cross, Theodore L.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Presents a statistical record of the progress of African Americans in institutions of higher education in the United States. Statistics include trends in black enrollment, library resources in historically black colleges, leading foundation grants, blacks in business schools, and comparative analysis of Asian Americans and blacks in higher…

  16. 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

  17. The perception of handshapes in American Sign Language

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hoza, Jack

    2008-01-01

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

  5. 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)

  6. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. Teaching Sign Language to Hearing Parents of Deaf Children: An Action Research Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Napier, Jemina; Leigh, Greg; Nann, Sharon

    2007-01-01

    This paper provides an overview of the challenges in learning a signed language as a second language, in particular for hearing parents with deaf children, and details an action research process that led to the design of a new curriculum for teaching Australian Sign Language (Auslan) to the families of deaf children. The curriculum was developed…

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-12-01

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

  11. Can Experience with Co-Speech Gesture Influence the Prosody of a Sign Language? Sign Language Prosodic Cues in Bimodal Bilinguals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brentari, Diane; Nadolske, Marie A.; Wolford, George

    2012-01-01

    In this paper the prosodic structure of American Sign Language (ASL) narratives is analyzed in deaf native signers (L1-D), hearing native signers (L1-H), and highly proficient hearing second language signers (L2-H). The results of this study show that the prosodic patterns used by these groups are associated both with their ASL language experience…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Von Pein, Margreta; Altarriba, Jeanette

    2011-01-01

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

  13. The Role of Iconicity in Sign Language Learning by Hearing Adults.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lieberth, Ann K.; Gamble, Mary Ellen Bellile

    1991-01-01

    This study evaluated the recognition and retention of transparent and nontransparent manual signs by 50 sign-naive hearing college freshmen. There was a significant decrease in the number of nontransparent signs retained as the period of time after training increased. Implications for sign language training with nonverbal hearing persons are…

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Debevc, Matjaž; Milošević, Danijela; Kožuh, Ines

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    When naming certain hand-held, man-made tools, American Sign Language (ASL) signers exhibit either of two iconic strategies: a handling strategy, where the hands show holding or grasping an imagined object in action, or an instrument strategy, where the hands represent the shape or a dimension of the object in a typical action. The same strategies are also observed in the gestures of hearing nonsigners identifying pictures of the same set of tools. In this paper, we compare spontaneously created gestures from hearing nonsigning participants to commonly used lexical signs in ASL. Signers and gesturers were asked to respond to pictures of tools and to video vignettes of actions involving the same tools. Nonsigning gesturers overwhelmingly prefer the handling strategy for both the Picture and Video conditions. Nevertheless, they use more instrument forms when identifying tools in pictures, and more handling forms when identifying actions with tools. We found that ASL signers generally favor the instrument strategy when naming tools, but when describing tools being used by an actor, they are significantly more likely to use more handling forms. The finding that both gesturers and signers are more likely to alternate strategies when the stimuli are pictures or video suggests a common cognitive basis for differentiating objects from actions. Furthermore, the presence of a systematic handling/instrument iconic pattern in a sign language demonstrates that a conventionalized sign language exploits the distinction for grammatical purpose, to distinguish nouns and verbs related to tool use. PMID:25408329

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ding, Liya; Martinez, Aleix M

    2009-11-01

    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

  20. 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.

  1. Train-Gone-Sorry: The Etiquette of Social Conversations in American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Stephanie

    1983-01-01

    Describes in detail the conventions of polite language of deaf Americans using American Sign Language and examines how it differs from the conversational patterns of English-speaking hearing Americans. (EKN)

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lillo-Martin, Diane

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

  9. The Evolutionary Significance of Pongid Sign Language Acquisition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hewes, Gordon W.

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

  10. Sign language recognition with the Kinect sensor based on conditional random fields.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hee-Deok

    2015-01-01

    Sign language is a visual language used by deaf people. One difficulty of sign language recognition is that sign instances of vary in both motion and shape in three-dimensional (3D) space. In this research, we use 3D depth information from hand motions, generated from Microsoft's Kinect sensor and apply a hierarchical conditional random field (CRF) that recognizes hand signs from the hand motions. The proposed method uses a hierarchical CRF to detect candidate segments of signs using hand motions, and then a BoostMap embedding method to verify the hand shapes of the segmented signs. Experiments demonstrated that the proposed method could recognize signs from signed sentence data at a rate of 90.4%. PMID:25609039

  11. The Globalisation of Communication and the African Foreign Language User

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sonaiya, Remi

    2003-01-01

    This article discusses, from an African perspective, the two dimensions associable with the question of the globalisation of communication: the promotion of the learning of some international languages (the quantitative dimension) and the teaching and learning of communication skills (the qualitative dimension). It suggests that the time is ripe…

  12. Korean. London Oriental and African Language Library.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chang, Suk-Jin

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2005-01-01

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

  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. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Attitudes of Deaf Adults Regarding Preferred Sign Language Systems Used in the Classroom with Deaf Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kautzky-Bowden, Sally M.; Gonzales, B. Robert

    1987-01-01

    A questionnaire survey assessing attitudes of 50 deaf adults toward sign language systems used in schools found the majority supported American Sign Language and Manually Coded English-Pidgin with some reservations. Respondents were also concerned about needs of individual deaf children and deaf adult involvement in educational decision making for…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  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. 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.…

  9. 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…

  10. Sign Language Interpreting: The Relationship between Metalinguistic Awareness and the Production of Interpreting Omissions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Napier, Jemina; Barker, Roz

    2004-01-01

    This article presents the findings of the first linguistic analysis of sign language interpreting carried out in Australia. A study was conducted on 10 Australian Sign Language/English interpreters to determine the rate and occurrence of interpreting omissions and the interpreters' level of metalinguistic awareness in relation to their production…

  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. Postmodernist Perspectives on Local Languages: African Mother-Tongue Education in Times of Globalisation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stroud, Christopher

    2003-01-01

    Analyses of how African communities use language show that indigenous languages coexist with metropolitan languages in complex configurations of speech practices. Argues that these practices should suggest a rethinking of the purpose, function, and methodology of teaching languages in developing African contexts, building on the ways that local…

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wildsmith-Cromarty, Rosemary

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.…

  1. A Method for Assessing the Language Development of Students Who Use Signed-and-Spoken English.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luetke-Stahlman, Barbara

    1987-01-01

    Analyzing language use samples of students who use bimodal (signed-and-spoken) communication can help assess specific language skills, determine language development level, and measure progress over time. Tables present an example of bimodal transcription, semantic and pragmatic skills taxonomies, and the milestones of pragmatic development. (VW)

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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),…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bishop, D. V. M.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Heiman, Erica; Haynes, Sharon; McKee, Michael

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Weakly supervised training of a sign language recognition system using multiple instance learning density matrices.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Daniel; Mc Donald, John; Markham, Charles

    2011-04-01

    A system for automatically training and spotting signs from continuous sign language sentences is presented. We propose a novel multiple instance learning density matrix algorithm which automatically extracts isolated signs from full sentences using the weak and noisy supervision of text translations. The automatically extracted isolated samples are then utilized to train our spatiotemporal gesture and hand posture classifiers. The experiments were carried out to evaluate the performance of the automatic sign extraction, hand posture classification, and spatiotemporal gesture spotting systems. We then carry out a full evaluation of our overall sign spotting system which was automatically trained on 30 different signs. PMID:20875974

  9. A sign-component-based framework for Chinese sign language recognition using accelerometer and sEMG data.

    PubMed

    Li, Yun; Chen, Xiang; Zhang, Xu; Wang, Kongqiao; Wang, Z Jane

    2012-10-01

    Identification of constituent components of each sign gesture can be beneficial to the improved performance of sign language recognition (SLR), especially for large-vocabulary SLR systems. Aiming at developing such a system using portable accelerometer (ACC) and surface electromyographic (sEMG) sensors, we propose a framework for automatic Chinese SLR at the component level. In the proposed framework, data segmentation, as an important preprocessing operation, is performed to divide a continuous sign language sentence into subword segments. Based on the features extracted from ACC and sEMG data, three basic components of sign subwords, namely the hand shape, orientation, and movement, are further modeled and the corresponding component classifiers are learned. At the decision level, a sequence of subwords can be recognized by fusing the likelihoods at the component level. The overall classification accuracy of 96.5% for a vocabulary of 120 signs and 86.7% for 200 sentences demonstrate the feasibility of interpreting sign components from ACC and sEMG data and clearly show the superior recognition performance of the proposed method when compared with the previous SLR method at the subword level. The proposed method seems promising for implementing large-vocabulary portable SLR systems. PMID:22438511

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.…

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    LILLO-MARTIN, DIANE; MEIER, RICHARD P.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    We combined magnetoencephalography (MEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine how sensory modality, language type, and language proficiency interact during two fundamental stages of word processing: (1) an early word encoding stage, and (2) a later supramodal lexico-semantic stage. Adult native English speakers who were learning American Sign Language (ASL) performed a semantic task for spoken and written English words, and ASL signs. During the early time window, written words evoked responses in left ventral occipitotemporal cortex, and spoken words in left superior temporal cortex. Signed words evoked activity in right intraparietal sulcus that was marginally greater than for written words. During the later time window, all three types of words showed significant activity in the classical left fronto-temporal language network, the first demonstration of such activity in individuals with so little second language (L2) instruction in sign. In addition, a dissociation between semantic congruity effects and overall MEG response magnitude for ASL responses suggested shallower and more effortful processing, presumably reflecting novice L2 learning. Consistent with previous research on non-dominant language processing in spoken languages, the L2 ASL learners also showed recruitment of right hemisphere and lateral occipital cortex. These results demonstrate that late lexico-semantic processing utilizes a common substrate, independent of modality, and that proficiency effects in sign language are comparable to those in spoken language. PMID:23847496

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reffell, Hayley; McKee, Rachel Locker

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Sign Recognition Processes in American Sign Language: The Effect of Context.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Lorene E.; Grosjean, Francois

    1982-01-01

    Individual signs were presented to deaf fluent signers both in context and without context. Within context, signs were isolated sooner, perfect confidence in the response was reached sooner, and a narrowing-in process was found that was both semantic and phonological. Current spoken-word-recognition models could be modified to reflect…

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  1. 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…

  2. Sign Language Recognition Based on Position and Movement Using Multi-Stream HMM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishida, Masafumi; Maebatake, Masaru; Suzuki, Iori; Horiuchi, Yasuo; Kuroiwa, Shingo

    To establish a universal communication environment, computer systems should recognize various modal communication languages. In conventional sign language recognition, recognition is performed by the word unit using gesture information of hand shape and movement. In the conventional studies, each feature has same weight to calculate the probability for the recognition. We think hand position is very important for sign language recognition, since the implication of word differs according to hand position. In this study, we propose a sign language recognition method by using a multi-stream HMM technique to show the importance of position and movement information for the sign language recognition. We conducted recognition experiments using 28,200 sign language word data. As a result, 82.1 % recognition accuracy was obtained with the appropriate weight (position:movement=0.2:0.8), while 77.8 % was obtained with the same weight. As a result, we demonstrated that it is necessary to put weight on movement than position in sign language recognition.

  3. Looking through phonological shape to lexical meaning: the bottleneck of non-native sign language processing.

    PubMed

    Mayberry, R I; Fischer, S D

    1989-11-01

    In two studies, we find that native and non-native acquisition show different effects on sign language processing. Subjects were all born deaf and used sign language for interpersonal communication, but first acquired it at ages ranging from birth to 18. In the first study, deaf signers shadowed (simultaneously watched and reproduced) sign language narratives given in two dialects, American Sign Language (ASL) and Pidgin Sign English (PSE), in both good and poor viewing conditions. In the second study, deaf signers recalled and shadowed grammatical and ungrammatical ASL sentences. In comparison with non-native signers, natives were more accurate, comprehended better, and made different kinds of lexical changes; natives primarily changed signs in relation to sign meaning independent of the phonological characteristics of the stimulus. In contrast, non-native signers primarily changed signs in relation to the phonological characteristics of the stimulus independent of lexical and sentential meaning. Semantic lexical changes were positively correlated to processing accuracy and comprehension, whereas phonological lexical changes were negatively correlated. The effects of non-native acquisition were similar across variations in the sign dialect, viewing condition, and processing task. The results suggest that native signers process lexical structural automatically, such that they can attend to and remember lexical and sentential meaning. In contrast, non-native signers appear to allocate more attention to the task of identifying phonological shape such that they have less attention available for retrieval and memory of lexical meaning.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Henner, Jonathan

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Shield, Aaron

    2014-11-01

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

  11. 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…

  12. A Sensitive Period for the Acquisition of Complex Morphology: Evidence from American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galvan, Dennis

    A study investigated acquisition of three independent yet simulatneously produced morphological systems in American Sign Language (ASL): the linguistic use of space, use of classifiers, and inflections for aspect, all information incorporated into the production of a sign. Subjects were 30 deaf children with severe or profound prelingual hearing…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Involving Institutional Staff in the Development and Maintenance of Sign Language Skills with Profoundly Retarded Persons.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Faw, Gerald D.; And Others

    1981-01-01

    A program to involve institutional staff in developing manual sign language skills with six profoundly retarded persons was evaluated. Results indicated that all participating residents learned to communicate with signing during structured interactions on their living unit and the skills maintained during follow-up assessments ranging from 39 to…

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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)

  1. The Link Between Form and Meaning in American Sign Language: Lexical Processing Effects

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Signed languages exploit iconicity (the transparent relationship between meaning and form) to a greater extent than spoken languages. where it is largely limited to onomatopoeia. In a picture–sign matching experiment measuring reaction times, the authors examined the potential advantage of iconicity both for 1st- and 2nd-language learners of American Sign Language (ASL). The results show that native ASL signers are faster to respond when a specific property iconically represented in a sign is made salient in the corresponding picture, thus providing evidence that a closer mapping between meaning and form can aid in lexical retrieval. While late 2nd-language learners appear to use iconicity as an aid to learning sign, they did not show the same facilitation effect as native ASL signers, suggesting that the task tapped into more automatic language processes. Overall, the findings suggest that completely arbitrary mappings between meaning and form may not be more advantageous in language and that, rather, arbitrariness may simply be an accident of modality. PMID:19271866

  2. The link between form and meaning in American Sign Language: lexical processing effects.

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

    Signed languages exploit iconicity (the transparent relationship between meaning and form) to a greater extent than spoken languages. where it is largely limited to onomatopoeia. In a picture-sign matching experiment measuring reaction times, the authors examined the potential advantage of iconicity both for 1st- and 2nd-language learners of American Sign Language (ASL). The results show that native ASL signers are faster to respond when a specific property iconically represented in a sign is made salient in the corresponding picture, thus providing evidence that a closer mapping between meaning and form can aid in lexical retrieval. While late 2nd-language learners appear to use iconicity as an aid to learning sign (R. Campbell, P. Martin, & T. White, 1992), they did not show the same facilitation effect as native ASL signers, suggesting that the task tapped into more automatic language processes. Overall, the findings suggest that completely arbitrary mappings between meaning and form may not be more advantageous in language and that, rather, arbitrariness may simply be an accident of modality.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hermans, Daan; Knoors, Harry; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2010-01-01

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

  10. 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…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patil, Sandeep Baburao; Sinha, G. R.

    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.

  12. The signs B and B-bent in Israeli sign language according to the theory of Phonology as Human Behavior.

    PubMed

    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 revolving around the question of its status as a phoneme. The arguments supporting the phonemic status of the B-bent hand shape have been primarily based on the semiotic opposition between the hand shape B and the hand shape B-bent. It has been claimed that in Italian Sign Language the hand shape B is perceptually distinct from the hand shape B-bent, i.e. in opposition to the general, neutral, unmarked meaning of the hand shape B, the iconic hand shape B-bent has a more narrow, specific and marked meaning: DELIMIT. The B-bent hand shape appears in spatial-temporal signs such as "a little before, ahead, postpone or behind". In these signs the iconic structure of the hand shape B-bent is utilized to mark borders in space and time. The arguments opposing the perceptual/phonemic distinction between these hand shapes is based on the human-phonetic factor, i.e. the need to reduce the effort on the part of the wrist joints in specific phonetic environments. We performed a quantitative and qualitative content analysis of the distribution of the basic units of 560 lexical signs taken from a stratified random sample from the ISL dictionary. The results were analyzed in the framework of the sign-oriented linguistic theory of the Columbia School including the theory of Phonology as Human Behavior. Our data revealed that the B-bent hand shape--as all the "building blocks" of the ISL--is a morpho-phonemic unit. We found that there is not only a phonemic distinction between hand shape B and hand shape B-bent in ISL (based on minimal pairs), but there is also a perceptual distinction between them. The qualitative analysis shows that the

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. Family Factors Associated with Language Competence among Toddlers in French, North African, and African Families in France.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Honig, Alice Sterling; Park, Kyung-Ja

    Language adequacy was coded for 403 toddlers 24 months of age who had received medical and psychological examinations in a Bilan de Sante clinic in Paris, France. The children were from three cultures: native French middle class, immigrant North African Moslem, and immigrant Black African. Demographic, socioeconomic, medical, biological,…

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

    Surveys of sign language programs in institutions of higher education in the United States, conducted in 1994 and 2004, are compared to reveal changes over time. Data are presented concerning the institutional environment of programs, program administrators, and instructors. Institutions examined in 2004 were on average 5 years older than those examined in 1994. More institutions accepted sign language for general education and foreign language requirements. Program administrators in 2004 were more likely to have primary duties as teachers rather than administrators, and to have greater understanding of the subject matter. Faculty in 2004 had more education and teaching experience. Full-time faculty showed increases in the proportion who were Deaf and the proportion who were in tenure-track positions. Program staff size increased. Overall, evidence indicates that sign language has become more accepted as an academic discipline and that programs are more entrenched at their institutions. PMID:18619071

  2. 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

  3. How Many Words Can Your Students Read? Using a Sign Language Game To Increase Sight Word Recognition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brennan, Kathleen B.; Miller, April D.

    2000-01-01

    This article discusses using sign language to help students with learning disabilities remember sight words. It describes the rationale for using sign language, gives directions for playing a game called Sign-o (similar to the game Bingo), provides extension activities, and includes a game board ready for duplication. (Contains references.)…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weddington, Gloria

    2010-01-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    Grosvald, Michael; Lachaud, Christian; Corina, David

    2011-01-01

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

  9. The link between form and meaning in British sign language: effects of iconicity for phonological decisions.

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

    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 corresponding picture during a picture and sign matching task (Thompson, Vinson, & Vigliocco, 2009). The current study investigates the extent of iconicity effects with a phonological decision task (does the sign involve straight or curved fingers?) in which the meaning of the sign is irrelevant. The results show that iconicity is a significant predictor of response latencies and accuracy, with more iconic signs leading to slower responses and more errors. We conclude that meaning is activated automatically for highly iconic properties of a sign, and this leads to interference in making form-based decisions. Thus, the current study extends previous work by demonstrating that iconicity effects permeate the entire language system, arising automatically even when access to meaning is not needed. PMID:20565217

  10. Lexical access in American Sign Language: an ERP investigation of effects of semantics and phonology.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez, Eva; Williams, Deborah; Grosvald, Michael; Corina, David

    2012-08-15

    That language forms (phonology) are arbitrarily related to their meanings (semantics) is often considered a basic property of human languages. Naturally occurring sign languages, however, often appear to conflate form and meaning. In this paper we examine whether this close coupling has processing consequences for lexical access. We examine the electrophysiological correlates of on-line sentence processing in an attempt to clarify the time-course of lexical access in American Sign Language. EEG was recorded while 17 native signers watched ASL sentences for comprehension. Participants were presented with sentences in which semantic expectancy and phonological form were systematically manipulated to create four types of violations. These four conditions of interest are contrasted to a baseline sentence with a preferred semantic ending. Two different effects were observed in early time windows. Evidence for an early effect of semantic pre-activation of plausible candidates (150-250 ms) was found, followed by a negativity associated with lexical selection (350-450 ms) for only phonologically related (-S, +P) and for only semantically related (+S, -P) signs. These findings provide evidence for a novel mapping of signal form and meaning that may be a unique signature of sign language. In the 450 to 600 ms window, all conditions showed an increased N400 with respect to the expected ending, suggesting greater difficulty in semantic integration with the established context. Overall, these findings provide important insights into the on-line processing of visual-manual language.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Beal-Alvarez, Jennifer S; Scheetz, Nanci A

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Psychometric properties of a sign language version of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background There is a need for psychiatric assessment instruments that enable reliable diagnoses in persons with hearing loss who have sign language as their primary language. The objective of this study was to assess the validity of the Norwegian Sign Language (NSL) version of the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). Methods The MINI was translated into NSL. Forty-one signing patients consecutively referred to two specialised psychiatric units were assessed with a diagnostic interview by clinical experts and with the MINI. Inter-rater reliability was assessed with Cohen’s kappa and “observed agreement”. Results There was 65% agreement between MINI diagnoses and clinical expert diagnoses. Kappa values indicated fair to moderate agreement, and observed agreement was above 76% for all diagnoses. The MINI diagnosed more co-morbid conditions than did the clinical expert interview (mean diagnoses: 1.9 versus 1.2). Kappa values indicated moderate to substantial agreement, and “observed agreement” was above 88%. Conclusion The NSL version performs similarly to other MINI versions and demonstrates adequate reliability and validity as a diagnostic instrument for assessing mental disorders in persons who have sign language as their primary and preferred language. PMID:24886297

  19. 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.

  20. The use of graphic representations of sign language in leveled texts to support deaf readers.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Mary; Wang, Ye

    2010-01-01

    The study considered whether adding sign language graphics to the books being used for reading instruction in a first-grade classroom would promote the literacy development of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The researchers also sought to discover whether materials existed to put the process of modifying leveled texts within the reach of the typical classroom teacher, in terms of cost and procedure. Students' reading behaviors seemed to indicate that the presence of sign graphics supported their development as readers. The materials needed to create sign support for the English print in the leveled books were commercially available.

  1. Application of demand-control theory to sign language interpreting: implications for stress and interpreter training.

    PubMed

    Dean, R K; Pollard, R Q

    2001-01-01

    The translation work of sign language interpreters involves much more than language. The characteristics and goings-on in the physical environment, the dynamics and interactions between the people who are present, and even the "inner noise" of the interpreter contribute to the accuracy, or lack thereof, of the resulting translation. The competent interpreter must understand and respond appropriately to the language and nonlanguage aspects of each interpreting assignment. We use the framework of demand-control theory (Karasek, 1979) to examine the complex occupation of sign language interpreting. Demand-control theory is a job analysis method useful in studies of occupational stress and reduction of stress-related illness, injury, and burnout. We describe sources of demand in the interpreting profession, including demands that arise from factors other than those associated with languages (linguistic demands). These include environmental, interpersonal, and intrapersonal demands. Karasek's concept of control, or decision latitude, is also explored in relation to the interpreting profession. We discuss the prevalence of cumulative trauma disorders (CTD), turnover, and burnout in the interpreting profession in light of demand-control theory and data from interpreter surveys, including a new survey study described herein. We conclude that nonlinguistic demand factors in particular and perceived restrictions in decision latitude likely contribute to stress, CTD, burnout, and the resulting shortage of sign language interpreters. We make suggestions for improvements in interpreter education and professional development, including the institution of an advanced, supervised professional training period, modeled after internships common in other high demand professional occupations.

  2. Application of demand-control theory to sign language interpreting: implications for stress and interpreter training.

    PubMed

    Dean, R K; Pollard, R Q

    2001-01-01

    The translation work of sign language interpreters involves much more than language. The characteristics and goings-on in the physical environment, the dynamics and interactions between the people who are present, and even the "inner noise" of the interpreter contribute to the accuracy, or lack thereof, of the resulting translation. The competent interpreter must understand and respond appropriately to the language and nonlanguage aspects of each interpreting assignment. We use the framework of demand-control theory (Karasek, 1979) to examine the complex occupation of sign language interpreting. Demand-control theory is a job analysis method useful in studies of occupational stress and reduction of stress-related illness, injury, and burnout. We describe sources of demand in the interpreting profession, including demands that arise from factors other than those associated with languages (linguistic demands). These include environmental, interpersonal, and intrapersonal demands. Karasek's concept of control, or decision latitude, is also explored in relation to the interpreting profession. We discuss the prevalence of cumulative trauma disorders (CTD), turnover, and burnout in the interpreting profession in light of demand-control theory and data from interpreter surveys, including a new survey study described herein. We conclude that nonlinguistic demand factors in particular and perceived restrictions in decision latitude likely contribute to stress, CTD, burnout, and the resulting shortage of sign language interpreters. We make suggestions for improvements in interpreter education and professional development, including the institution of an advanced, supervised professional training period, modeled after internships common in other high demand professional occupations. PMID:15451859

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Electrophysiological evidence for phonological priming in Spanish Sign Language lexical access.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez, Eva; Müller, Oliver; Baus, Cristina; Carreiras, Manuel

    2012-06-01

    Interactive activation models of lexical access assume that the presentation of a given word activates not only its lexical representation but also those corresponding to words similar in form. Current theories are based on data from oral and written languages, and therefore signed languages represent a special challenge for existing theories of word recognition and lexical access since they allow us to question what the genuine fundamentals of human language are and what might be modality-specific adaptation. The aim of the present study is to determine the electrophysiological correlates and time course of phonological processing of Spanish Sign Language (LSE). Ten deaf native LSE signers and ten deaf non-native but highly proficient LSE signers participated in the experiment. We used the ERP methodology and form-based priming in the context of a delayed lexical decision task, manipulating phonological overlap (i.e. related prime-target pairs shared either handshape or location parameters). Results showed that both parameters under study modulated brain responses to the stimuli in different time windows. Phonological priming of location resulted in a higher amplitude of the N400 component (300-500 ms window) for signs but not for non-signs. This effect may be explained in terms of initial competition among candidates. Moreover, the fact that a higher amplitude N400 for related pairs was found for signs but not for non-signs points to an effect at the lexical level. Handshape overlap produced a later effect (600-800 ms window). In this window, a more negative-going wave for the related condition than for the unrelated condition was found for non-signs in the native signers group. The findings are discussed in relation to current models of lexical access and word recognition. Finally, differences between native and non-native signers point to a less efficient use of phonological information among the non-native signers. PMID:22401990

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  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. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. The Status of Sign Language Instruction in Institutions of Higher Education: 1994-2004

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

    Surveys of sign language programs in institutions of higher education in the United States, conducted in 1994 and 2004, are compared to reveal changes over time. Data are presented concerning the institutional environment of programs, program administrators, and instructors. Institutions examined in 2004 were on average 5 years older than those…

  17. 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…

  18. Making Learning Accessible for Sign Language Interpreters: A Process of Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Napier, Jemina

    2005-01-01

    This article outlines an innovative project conducted at Macquarie University, in order to instigate a change in the delivery of the Postgraduate Diploma in Auslan/English Interpreting. This is the first reported educational change project focusing on the training of sign language interpreters. The goal of the project was to research and develop a…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    Senghas, Ann

    2011-01-01

    The emergence of a new sign language since the late 1970s in Nicaragua enables us to capture the effects of successive cohorts of learners on an emerging grammar and to observe how elements are reshaped from one form and function to another. Here we document the contrastive use of a device that has been found to be central to the grammars of sign languages: the spatial modulation of signs. In Nicaraguan Sign Language, this device has two primary functions: expressing the participants of events (that is, indicating who), and describing locations and orientations of referents (that is, indicating where). We ask whether the two uses reduce to a single construction type, or if the more abstract who construction derived from the more iconic and concrete where construction. We compare the first two successive cohorts of deaf signers to acquire the language in its first decade. We find that as learners created new constructions to meet the new functions, they did not simply apply an already developed form more broadly, nor did they develop the more abstract application from the more iconic one. Instead, the more abstract who construction appears to have conventionalized first. Thus, the forms either emerged independently, or split very early in the 1980s, before either had developed as a consistently applied form. PMID:22476198

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. When Is a Difference Really Different? Learners' Discrimination of Linguistic Contrasts in American Sign Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bochner, Joseph H.; Christie, Karen; Hauser, Peter C.; Searls, J. Matt

    2011-01-01

    Learners' ability to recognize linguistic contrasts in American Sign Language (ASL) was investigated using a paired-comparison discrimination task. Minimal pairs containing contrasts in five linguistic categories (i.e., the formational parameters of movement, handshape, orientation, and location in ASL phonology, and a category comprised of…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Motion-sensitive cortex and motion semantics in American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    McCullough, Stephen; Saygin, Ayse Pinar; Korpics, Franco; Emmorey, Karen

    2012-10-15

    Previous research indicates that motion-sensitive brain regions are engaged when comprehending motion semantics expressed by words or sentences. Using fMRI, we investigated whether such neural modulation can occur when the linguistic signal itself is visually dynamic and motion semantics is expressed by movements of the hands. Deaf and hearing users of American Sign Language (ASL) were presented with signed sentences that conveyed motion semantics ("The deer walked along the hillside.") or were static, conveying little or no motion ("The deer slept along the hillside."); sentences were matched for the amount of visual motion. Motion-sensitive visual areas (MT+) were localized individually in each participant. As a control, the Fusiform Face Area (FFA) was also localized for the deaf participants. The whole-brain analysis revealed static (locative) sentences engaged regions in left parietal cortex more than motion sentences, replicating previous results implicating these regions in comprehending spatial language for sign languages. Greater activation was observed in the functionally defined MT+ ROI for motion than static sentences for both deaf and hearing signers. No modulation of neural activity by sentence type was observed in the FFA. Deafness did not affect modulation of MT+ by motion semantics, but hearing signers exhibited stronger neural activity in MT+ for both sentence types, perhaps due to differences in exposure and/or use of ASL. We conclude that top down modulation of motion-sensitive cortex by linguistic semantics is not disrupted by the visual motion that is present in sign language sentences.

  10. Creating and Contesting Signs in Contemporary Japan: Language Ideologies, Identity, and Community in Flux

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nakamura, Karen

    2006-01-01

    Japanese Sign Language (JSL) is currently in a state of transition as various elements within and outside the Deaf community contest the creation of new terms. Represented by the Japanese Federation of the Deaf, the older generation is creating new words in order to compete with the national public television service while at the same time fending…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. Application of Demand-Control Theory to Sign Language Interpreting: Implications for Stress and Interpreter Training.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dean, Robyn K.; Pollard, Robert Q., Jr.

    2001-01-01

    This article uses the framework of demand-control theory to examine the occupation of sign language interpreting. It discusses the environmental, interpersonal, and intrapersonal demands that impinge on the interpreter's decision latitude and notes the prevalence of cumulative trauma disorders, turnover, and burnout in the interpreting profession.…

  16. Intensive Training Seminar for American Sign Language Interpreters, Post-Secondary Employment Emphasis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eastfield Coll., Mesquite, TX.

    The intensive four-week seminar described in this report was designed for sign language interpreters currently employed or desiring employment in public post-secondary technical and vocational education. After explaining the objectives of the seminar, its targeted participants, and the training structure, the report presents an outline of the…

  17. 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.)…

  18. Atypical Lateralization of Memory for Location: Effects of Deafness and Sign Language Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cattani, A.; Clibbens, J.

    2005-01-01

    This paper examines the impact of auditory deprivation and sign language use on the enhancement of location memory and hemispheric specialization using two matching tasks. Forty-one deaf signers and non-signers and 51 hearing signers and non-signers were tested on location memory for shapes and objects (Study 1) and on categorical versus…

  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. 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)…

  1. A Linguistic Analysis of the Negative Headshake in American Sign Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veinberg, Silvana C.; Wilbur, Ronnie B.

    1990-01-01

    Examination of two native American Sign Language signers' use of negative headshakes found that negative headshakes (1) were used syntactically to indicate negation; (2) could be accompanied by other nonmanual behaviors; (3) could accompany a negative lexical item; and (4) were synchronized generally with syntactic constituents. (Author/CB)

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. Evaluation of language and communication skills in adult key word signing users with intellectual disability: advantages of a narrative task.

    PubMed

    Meuris, Kristien; Maes, Bea; Zink, Inge

    2014-10-01

    The evaluation of language and communication skills in adults who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in general and key word signing (KWS) in particular, can be an elaborate task. Besides being time-consuming and not very similar to natural communication, standard language tests often do not take AAC or KWS into account. Therefore, we developed a narrative task specifically for adults with intellectual disability (ID) who use KWS. The task was evaluated in a group of 40 adult KWS users. Outcome measures on the narrative task correlated significantly with measures of standard language and communication tests for verbal language, but not for use of manual signs. All narrative measures, for both verbal language and manual signing, correlated highly with similar measures from a conversation sample. The developed narrative task proved useful and valid to evaluate the language and communication skills of adults with ID taking into account both their verbal language and manual sign use.

  5. Selecting a response form for nonverbal persons: Facilitated communication, pointing systems, or sign language?

    PubMed Central

    Sundberg, Mark L.

    1993-01-01

    The three major types of augmentative communication for nonverbal persons consist of writing (or typing), pointing, and signing. These alternative response forms are examined in terms of their advantages and disadvantages for establishing effective verbal behavior. In addition, these systems are examined using the concepts from Skinner's (1957) analysis of verbal behavior (i.e., mand, tact, intraverbal, and autoclitic). The results of this analysis show that sign language has the most advantages and the fewest disadvantages, and more closely parallels speech in terms of the verbal operants. Although, the current trend is to favor facilitated communication (typing) and pointing systems, both of these response forms have several disadvantages that impede the development of the verbal operants. It is suggested that for many nonverbal individuals sign language is a better alternative response form, and has a better chance of improving speech. PMID:22477084

  6. "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…

  7. Idiosyncratic sound systems of the South African Bantu languages: Research and clinical implications for speech-language pathologists and audiologists.

    PubMed

    Van der Merwe, Anita; le Roux, Mia

    2014-12-03

    The objective of this article is to create awareness amongst speech-language pathologists and audiologists in South Africa regarding the difference between the sound systems of Germanic languages and the sound systems of South African Bantu languages. A brief overview of the sound systems of two Bantu languages, namely isiZulu and Setswana, is provided. These two languages are representative of the Nguni language group and the Sotho group respectively.Consideration is given to the notion of language-specific symptoms of speech, language and hearing disorders in addition to universal symptoms. The possible impact of speech production, language and hearing disorders on the ability to produce and perceive speech in these languages, and the challenges that this holds for research and clinical practice, are pointed out.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. The Design of Hand Gestures for Human-Computer Interaction: Lessons from Sign Language Interpreters

    PubMed Central

    Rempel, David; Camilleri, Matt J.; Lee, David L.

    2015-01-01

    The design and selection of 3D modeled hand gestures for human-computer interaction should follow principles of natural language combined with the need to optimize gesture contrast and recognition. The selection should also consider the discomfort and fatigue associated with distinct hand postures and motions, especially for common commands. Sign language interpreters have extensive and unique experience forming hand gestures and many suffer from hand pain while gesturing. Professional sign language interpreters (N=24) rated discomfort for hand gestures associated with 47 characters and words and 33 hand postures. Clear associations of discomfort with hand postures were identified. In a nominal logistic regression model, high discomfort was associated with gestures requiring a flexed wrist, discordant adjacent fingers, or extended fingers. These and other findings should be considered in the design of hand gestures to optimize the relationship between human cognitive and physical processes and computer gesture recognition systems for human-computer input. PMID:26028955

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. Deaf children's engagement in an educational video in American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Golos, Debbie B

    2010-01-01

    Over time, children's educational television has successfully modified programming to incorporate research-based strategies to facilitate learning and engagement during viewing. However, research has been limited on whether these same strategies would work with preschool deaf children viewing videos in American Sign Language. In a descriptive study, engagement behaviors of 25 preschool deaf children during multiple viewings of an educational video in ASL were examined. The video incorporated research-based interactive strategies to facilitate engagement while targeting vocabulary through ASL, fingerspelling, and English print. Each of 3 viewing sessions was recorded; videos were transcribed and coded for frequency of children's movements, pointing, fingerspelling, and signing. Behaviors were analyzed for frequency within and across multiple viewings and by level of signing skills. It was found that each of these engagement behaviors occurred frequently throughout viewings and increased across multiple viewings regardless of a child's age or signing skills.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. SignStream: a tool for linguistic and computer vision research on visual-gestural language data.

    PubMed

    Neidle, C; Sclaroff, S; Athitsos, V

    2001-08-01

    Research on recognition and generation of signed languages and the gestural component of spoken languages has been held back by the unavailability of large-scale linguistically annotated corpora of the kind that led to significant advances in the area of spoken language. A major obstacle has been the lack of computational tools to assist in efficient analysis and transcription of visual language data. Here we describe SignStream, a computer program that we have designed to facilitate transcription and linguistic analysis of visual language. Machine vision methods to assist linguists in detailed annotation of gestures of the head, face, hands, and body are being developed. We have been using SignStream to analyze data from native signers of American Sign Language (ASL) collected in our new video collection facility, equipped with multiple synchronized digital video cameras. The video data and associated linguistic annotations are being made publicly available in multiple formats.

  20. The Design and Evaluation of African Language Learning Materials. Proceedings of the Spring 1984 Conference on Developing Guidelines for the Evaluation of African Language Learning Materials (East Lansing, Michigan, April 13-14, 1984).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dwyer, David J., Ed.

    Representatives from major institutions teaching African languages convened to discuss the design of African language textbooks and to propose guidelines for the writing of new textbooks and evaluation of existing ones. Conference papers include: "Language Acquisition Theory and Materials Construction" (Stephen Krashen); "The Structures of Verbal…

  1. Functional and anatomical correlates of word-, sentence-, and discourse-level integration in sign language

    PubMed Central

    Inubushi, Tomoo; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L.

    2013-01-01

    In both vocal and sign languages, we can distinguish word-, sentence-, and discourse-level integration in terms of hierarchical processes, which integrate various elements into another higher level of constructs. In the present study, we used magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to test three language tasks in Japanese Sign Language (JSL): word-level (Word), sentence-level (Sent), and discourse-level (Disc) decision tasks. We analyzed cortical activity and gray matter (GM) volumes of Deaf signers, and clarified three major points. First, we found that the activated regions in the frontal language areas gradually expanded in the dorso-ventral axis, corresponding to a difference in linguistic units for the three tasks. Moreover, the activations in each region of the frontal language areas were incrementally modulated with the level of linguistic integration. These dual mechanisms of the frontal language areas may reflect a basic organization principle of hierarchically integrating linguistic information. Secondly, activations in the lateral premotor cortex and inferior frontal gyrus were left-lateralized. Direct comparisons among the language tasks exhibited more focal activation in these regions, suggesting their functional localization. Thirdly, we found significantly positive correlations between individual task performances and GM volumes in localized regions, even when the ages of acquisition (AOAs) of JSL and Japanese were factored out. More specifically, correlations with the performances of the Word and Sent tasks were found in the left precentral/postcentral gyrus and insula, respectively, while correlations with those of the Disc task were found in the left ventral inferior frontal gyrus and precuneus. The unification of functional and anatomical studies would thus be fruitful for understanding human language systems from the aspects of both universality and individuality. PMID:24155706

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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…

  6. Enhanced Sign Language Recognition Using Weighted Intrinsic-Mode Entropy and Signer's Level of Deafness.

    PubMed

    Kosmidou, V E; Petrantonakis, P C; Hadjileontiadis, L J

    2011-12-01

    Sign language (SL) forms an important communication canal for the deaf. In this paper, enhanced SL recognition, by relating the individual way of signing with the signer's level of deafness (LoD) through a novel hybrid adaptive weighting (HAW) process applied to surface electromyogram and 3-D accelerometer data, is proposed. Using a LoD-driven genetic algorithm, HAW optimally weights the intrinsic modes of the acquired signals, preparing them for sample entropy (SampEn) estimation that follows. The resulting feature set, namely, weighted intrinsic-mode entropy (IMEn) (wIMEn), aims at increasing the SL-sign-classification accuracy alone or boosted by signer identification and/or signer's LoD-based group identification. The wIMEn was compared with three other feature sets, i.e., time frequency, SampEn, and IMEn, regarding their discrimination ability (both among signers and SL signs). Data from the dominant hand of nine subjects with various LoD were analyzed for the classification of 61 Greek SL (GSL) signs. Experimental results have shown that the introduced wIMEn feature set exhibited higher performance compared to others, both in signer identification and signer's LoD-based group identification and in GSL sign classification. The findings suggest that LoD could be considered in the construction of a signer-independent SL-classification system toward the enhancement of its performance. PMID:21659032

  7. 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.…

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. Community participatory research with deaf sign language users to identify health inequities.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Steven; Klein, Jonathan D; Pollard, Robert Q; Samar, Vincent; Schlehofer, Deirdre; Starr, Matthew; Sutter, Erika; Yang, Hongmei; Pearson, Thomas A

    2011-12-01

    Deaf people who use American Sign Language (ASL) are medically underserved and often excluded from health research and surveillance. We used a community participatory approach to develop and administer an ASL-accessible health survey. We identified deaf community strengths (e.g., a low prevalence of current smokers) and 3 glaring health inequities: obesity, partner violence, and suicide. This collaborative work represents the first time a deaf community has used its own data to identify health priorities.

  11. Neurological soft signs feature a double dissociation within the language system in Williams syndrome.

    PubMed

    Tavano, Alessandro; Gagliardi, Chiara; Martelli, Sara; Borgatti, Renato

    2010-09-01

    The neurocognitive profile of Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) is characterized by visuospatial deficits, apparently fluent language, motor soft signs, and hypersociability. We investigated the association between neuromotor soft signs and visuospatial, executive-attentive, mnestic and linguistic functions in a group of 26 children and young adults with WBS. We hypothesized that neurological soft signs could be an index of subtle neurofunctional deficits and thus provide a behavioural window into the processes underlying neurocognition in Williams-Beuren syndrome. Dysmetria and dystonic movements were selected as grouping neurological variables, indexing cerebellar and basal ganglia dysfunction, respectively. No detrimental effects on visuospatial/visuoconstructive skills were evident following the presence of either neurological variable. As for language skills, participants with dysmetria showed markedly reduced expressive syntactic and lexico-semantic skills as compared to non-affected individuals, while no difference in chronological age was evident. Participants with dystonic movements showed reduced receptive syntax and increased lexical comprehension skills as compared to non-affected individuals, the age factor being significant. In both instances, the effect size was greater for syntactic measures. We take these novel findings as suggestive of a double dissociation between expressive and receptive skills at sentence level within the WBS linguistic phenotype. The investigation of neuromotor soft signs and neuropsychological functions may provide a key to new non-cortico-centric genotype/phenotype relationships. PMID:20643153

  12. Effects of rate of presentation on the reception of American Sign Language.

    PubMed

    Fischer, S D; Delhorne, L A; Reed, C M

    1999-06-01

    Previous research on the visual reception of fingerspelled English suggests that communication rates are limited primarily by constraints on production. Studies of artificially accelerated fingerspelling indicate that reception of fingerspelled sentences is highly accurate for rates up to 2 to 3 times those that can be produced naturally. The current paper reports on the results of a comparable study of the reception of American Sign Language (ASL). Fourteen native deaf ASL signers participated in an experiment in which videotaped productions of isolated ASL signs or ASL sentences were presented at normal playback speed and at speeds of 2, 3, 4, and 6 times normal speed. For isolated signs, identification scores decreased from 95% correct to 46% correct across the range of rates that were tested; for sentences, the ability to identify key signs decreased from 88% to 19% over the range of rates tested. The results indicate a breakdown in processing at around 2.5-3 times the normal rate as evidenced both by a substantial drop in intelligibility in this region and by a shift in error patterns away from semantic and toward formational. These results parallel those obtained in previous studies of the intelligibility of the auditory reception of time-compressed speech and the visual reception of accelerated fingerspelling. Taken together, these results suggest a modality-independent upper limit to language processing. PMID:10391623

  13. Neurological soft signs feature a double dissociation within the language system in Williams syndrome.

    PubMed

    Tavano, Alessandro; Gagliardi, Chiara; Martelli, Sara; Borgatti, Renato

    2010-09-01

    The neurocognitive profile of Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) is characterized by visuospatial deficits, apparently fluent language, motor soft signs, and hypersociability. We investigated the association between neuromotor soft signs and visuospatial, executive-attentive, mnestic and linguistic functions in a group of 26 children and young adults with WBS. We hypothesized that neurological soft signs could be an index of subtle neurofunctional deficits and thus provide a behavioural window into the processes underlying neurocognition in Williams-Beuren syndrome. Dysmetria and dystonic movements were selected as grouping neurological variables, indexing cerebellar and basal ganglia dysfunction, respectively. No detrimental effects on visuospatial/visuoconstructive skills were evident following the presence of either neurological variable. As for language skills, participants with dysmetria showed markedly reduced expressive syntactic and lexico-semantic skills as compared to non-affected individuals, while no difference in chronological age was evident. Participants with dystonic movements showed reduced receptive syntax and increased lexical comprehension skills as compared to non-affected individuals, the age factor being significant. In both instances, the effect size was greater for syntactic measures. We take these novel findings as suggestive of a double dissociation between expressive and receptive skills at sentence level within the WBS linguistic phenotype. The investigation of neuromotor soft signs and neuropsychological functions may provide a key to new non-cortico-centric genotype/phenotype relationships.

  14. 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

  15. 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,…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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,…

  20. 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…

  1. Auxiliary BE Production by African American English-Speaking Children with and without Specific Language Impairment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garrity, April W.; Oetting, Janna B.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: To examine 3 forms ("am," "is," "are") of auxiliary BE production by African American English (AAE)-speaking children with and without specific language impairment (SLI). Method: Thirty AAE speakers participated: 10 six-year-olds with SLI, 10 age-matched controls, and 10 language-matched controls. BE production was examined through…

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Mental rotation within linguistic and non-linguistic domains in users of American sign language.

    PubMed

    Emmorey, K; Klima, E; Hickok, G

    1998-09-01

    American sign language (ASL) uses space itself to encode spatial information. Spatial scenes are most often described from the perspective of the person signing (the 'narrator'), such that the viewer must perform what amounts to a 180 degrees mental rotation to correctly comprehend the description. But scenes can also be described, non-canonically, from the viewer's perspective, in which case no rotation is required. Is mental rotation during sign language processing difficult for ASL signers? Are there differences between linguistic and non-linguistic mental rotation? Experiment 1 required subjects to decide whether a signed description matched a room presented on videotape. Deaf ASL signers were more accurate when viewing scenes described from the narrator's perspective (even though rotation is required) than from the viewer's perspective (no rotation required). In Experiment 2, deaf signers and hearing non-signers viewed videotapes of objects appearing briefly and sequentially on a board marked with an entrance. This board either matched an identical board in front of the subject or was rotated 180 degrees. Subjects were asked to place objects on their board in the orientation and location shown on the video, making the appropriate rotation when required. All subjects were significantly less accurate when rotation was required, but ASL signers performed significantly better than hearing non-signers under rotation. ASL signers were also more accurate in remembering object orientation. Signers then viewed a video in which the same scenes were signed from the two perspectives (i.e. rotation required or no rotation required). In contrast to their performance with real objects, signers did not show the typical mental rotation effect. Males outperformed females on the rotation task with objects, but the superiority disappeared in the linguistic condition. We discuss the nature of the ASL mental rotation transformation, and we conclude that habitual use of ASL can

  6. Signed language and human action processing: evidence for functional constraints on the human mirror-neuron system.

    PubMed

    Corina, David P; Knapp, Heather Patterson

    2008-12-01

    In the quest to further understand the neural underpinning of human communication, researchers have turned to studies of naturally occurring signed languages used in Deaf communities. The comparison of the commonalities and differences between spoken and signed languages provides an opportunity to determine core neural systems responsible for linguistic communication independent of the modality in which a language is expressed. The present article examines such studies, and in addition asks what we can learn about human languages by contrasting formal visual-gestural linguistic systems (signed languages) with more general human action perception. To understand visual language perception, it is important to distinguish the demands of general human motion processing from the highly task-dependent demands associated with extracting linguistic meaning from arbitrary, conventionalized gestures. This endeavor is particularly important because theorists have suggested close homologies between perception and production of actions and functions of human language and social communication. We review recent behavioral, functional imaging, and neuropsychological studies that explore dissociations between the processing of human actions and signed languages. These data suggest incomplete overlap between the mirror-neuron systems proposed to mediate human action and language.

  7. "What's the Sign for 'Catch 22'?": Barriers to Professional Formation for Deaf Teachers of British Sign Language in the Further Education Sector

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnes, Lynne; Atherton, Martin

    2015-01-01

    In 2007, Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills standards (QTLS) were introduced for all teachers working in UK further education institutions, with the expressed aim of improving professional standards within the sector. British Sign Language (BSL) teaching is largely delivered by deaf native signers through evening classes at local FE colleges,…

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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).

  18. Do Signers Understand Regional Varieties of a Sign Language? A Lexical Recognition Experiment.

    PubMed

    Stamp, Rose

    2016-01-01

    The degree of mutual intelligibility of British Sign Language (BSL) regional varieties has been a subject of some debate. Recent research in which dyads of signers from contrasting regional backgrounds engaged in a conversational task showed no problems understanding one another. The present study investigated signers' knowledge of different BSL regional varieties. Twenty-five participants from Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester, and Newcastle took part in a computer-based lexical recognition task in which they had to identify the meaning of 47 color signs from various regions in the United Kingdom. The results indicate that overall signers have a poor knowledge of regional signs for colors when signs are presented in isolation and without mouthing. Furthermore, signers with deaf parents performed better in the recognition task than signers with hearing parents and varieties from London and Birmingham were easiest to recognize. This article discusses how signers cope with regional differences and considers the features that facilitate in the recognition of regional varieties in BSL. PMID:26399952

  19. American sign language and deaf culture competency of osteopathic medical students.

    PubMed

    Lapinski, Jessica; Colonna, Caitlin; Sexton, Patricia; Richard, Mariah

    2015-01-01

    The study examined the effectiveness of a workshop on Deaf culture and basic medical American Sign Language for increasing osteopathic student physicians' confidence and knowledge when interacting with ASL-using patients. Students completed a pretest in which they provided basic demographic information, rated their confidence levels, took a video quiz on basic medical signs, and experienced a practical standardized encounter with a Deaf patient. They then attended a 4-hour workshop and, 2 weeks later, completed a posttest. Thirty-three students completed the pretest; 29 attended the workshop; 26 completed the posttest. Video quiz scores increased significantly from pretest to posttest, as did scores for the standardized patient encounter after completion of the workshop. Students also reported increased levels of confidence in interactions with the Deaf community. The results suggest that a single workshop was effective in increasing both confidence and short-term knowledge in interactions with Deaf patients.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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…

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Sign language recognition using competitive learning in the HAVNET neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sujan, Vivek A.; Meggiolaro, Marco A.

    2000-04-01

    An optical modeless Sign Language Recognition (SLR) system is presented. The system uses the HAusdorf-Voronoi NETwork (HAVNET), an artificial neural network designed for 2D binary pattern recognition. It uses adaptation of the Hausdorff distance to determine the similarity between an input pattern and a learned representation. A detailed review of the architecture, the learning equations, and the recognition equations for the HAVNET network are presented. Competitive learning has been implemented in training the network using a nearest-neighbor technique. The SLR system is applied to the optical recognition of 24 static symbols from the American Sign Language convention. The SLR system represents the target images in a 80 X 80 pixel format. The implemented HAVNET network classifies the inputs into categories representing each of the symbols, using an output layer of 24 nodes. The network is trained with 5 different formats for each symbol and is tested with all 24 symbols in 15 new formats. Results from the SLR system without competitive training show shape identification problems, when distinguishing symbols with similar shapes. Implementation of competitive learning in the HAVNET neural network improved recognition accuracy on this task to 89%. The hand gestures are identified through a window search algorithm. Feature recognition is obtained from edge enhancement by applying a Laplacian filter and thresholding, which provides robustness to pose, color and background variations.

  11. Recognition of sign language with an inertial sensor-based data glove.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kyung-Won; Lee, Mi-So; Soon, Bo-Ram; Ryu, Mun-Ho; Kim, Je-Nam

    2015-01-01

    Communication between people with normal hearing and hearing impairment is difficult. Recently, a variety of studies on sign language recognition have presented benefits from the development of information technology. This study presents a sign language recognition system using a data glove composed of 3-axis accelerometers, magnetometers, and gyroscopes. Each data obtained by the data glove is transmitted to a host application (implemented in a Window program on a PC). Next, the data is converted into angle data, and the angle information is displayed on the host application and verified by outputting three-dimensional models to the display. An experiment was performed with five subjects, three females and two males, and a performance set comprising numbers from one to nine was repeated five times. The system achieves a 99.26% movement detection rate, and approximately 98% recognition rate for each finger's state. The proposed system is expected to be a more portable and useful system when this algorithm is applied to smartphone applications for use in some situations such as in emergencies. PMID:26444804

  12. Synthesis of image sequences for Korean sign language using 3D shape model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Mun-Ho; Choi, Chang-Seok; Kim, Chang-Seok; Jeon, Joon-Hyeon

    1995-05-01

    This paper proposes a method for offering information and realizing communication to the deaf-mute. The deaf-mute communicates with another person by means of sign language, but most people are unfamiliar with it. This method enables to convert text data into the corresponding image sequences for Korean sign language (KSL). Using a general 3D shape model of the upper body leads to generating the 3D motions of KSL. It is necessary to construct the general 3D shape model considering the anatomical structure of the human body. To obtain a personal 3D shape model, this general model is to adjust to the personal base images. Image synthesis for KSL consists of deforming a personal 3D shape model and texture-mapping the personal images onto the deformed model. The 3D motions for KSL have the facial expressions and the 3D movements of the head, trunk, arms and hands and are parameterized for easily deforming the model. These motion parameters of the upper body are extracted from a skilled signer's motion for each KSL and are stored to the database. Editing the parameters according to the inputs of text data yields to generate the image sequences of 3D motions.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 2000

    2000-01-01

    Presents a statistical record of the progress of African Americans in higher education, offering: the Black-White Higher Education Equality Index; statistics that measure racial inequality; states in which black college enrollments are expected to grow over the next 15 years; and differences among the states in their percentages of low-income…

  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. 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…

  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. 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…