WorldWideScience

Sample records for sign language acquisition

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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)…

  2. The Road to Language Learning Is Not Entirely Iconic: Iconicity, Neighborhood Density, and Frequency Facilitate Acquisition of Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caselli, Naomi K; Pyers, Jennie E

    2017-07-01

    Iconic mappings between words and their meanings are far more prevalent than once estimated and seem to support children's acquisition of new words, spoken or signed. We asked whether iconicity's prevalence in sign language overshadows two other factors known to support the acquisition of spoken vocabulary: neighborhood density (the number of lexical items phonologically similar to the target) and lexical frequency. Using mixed-effects logistic regressions, we reanalyzed 58 parental reports of native-signing deaf children's productive acquisition of 332 signs in American Sign Language (ASL; Anderson & Reilly, 2002) and found that iconicity, neighborhood density, and lexical frequency independently facilitated vocabulary acquisition. Despite differences in iconicity and phonological structure between signed and spoken language, signing children, like children learning a spoken language, track statistical information about lexical items and their phonological properties and leverage this information to expand their vocabulary.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Fred C. C., Ed.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  5. On language acquisition in speech and sign:development drives combinatorial structure in both modalities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary eMorgan

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Languages are composed of a conventionalized system of parts which allow speakers and signers to compose 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.

  6. First language acquisition differs from second language acquisition in prelingually deaf signers: evidence from sensitivity to grammaticality judgement in British Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Content validation: clarity/relevance, reliability and internal consistency of enunciative signs of language acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crestani, Anelise Henrich; Moraes, Anaelena Bragança de; Souza, Ana Paula Ramos de

    2017-08-10

    To analyze the results of the validation of building enunciative signs of language acquisition for children aged 3 to 12 months. The signs were built based on mechanisms of language acquisition in an enunciative perspective and on clinical experience with language disorders. The signs were submitted to judgment of clarity and relevance by a sample of six experts, doctors in linguistic in with knowledge of psycholinguistics and language clinic. In the validation of reliability, two judges/evaluators helped to implement the instruments in videos of 20% of the total sample of mother-infant dyads using the inter-evaluator method. The method known as internal consistency was applied to the total sample, which consisted of 94 mother-infant dyads to the contents of the Phase 1 (3-6 months) and 61 mother-infant dyads to the contents of Phase 2 (7 to 12 months). The data were collected through the analysis of mother-infant interaction based on filming of dyads and application of the parameters to be validated according to the child's age. Data were organized in a spreadsheet and then converted to computer applications for statistical analysis. The judgments of clarity/relevance indicated no modifications to be made in the instruments. The reliability test showed an almost perfect agreement between judges (0.8 ≤ Kappa ≥ 1.0); only the item 2 of Phase 1 showed substantial agreement (0.6 ≤ Kappa ≥ 0.79). The internal consistency for Phase 1 had alpha = 0.84, and Phase 2, alpha = 0.74. This demonstrates the reliability of the instruments. The results suggest adequacy as to content validity of the instruments created for both age groups, demonstrating the relevance of the content of enunciative signs of language acquisition.

  8. The effects of sign language on spoken language acquisition in children with hearing loss: a systematic review protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth M; Stevens, Adrienne; Garritty, Chantelle; Moher, David

    2013-12-06

    Permanent childhood hearing loss affects 1 to 3 per 1000 children and frequently disrupts typical spoken language acquisition. Early identification of hearing loss through universal newborn hearing screening and the use of new hearing technologies including cochlear implants make spoken language an option for most children. However, there is no consensus on what constitutes optimal interventions for children when spoken language is the desired outcome. Intervention and educational approaches ranging from oral language only to oral language combined with various forms of sign language have evolved. Parents are therefore faced with important decisions in the first months of their child's life. This article presents the protocol for a systematic review of the effects of using sign language in combination with oral language intervention on spoken language acquisition. Studies addressing early intervention will be selected in which therapy involving oral language intervention and any form of sign language or sign support is used. Comparison groups will include children in early oral language intervention programs without sign support. The primary outcomes of interest to be examined include all measures of auditory, vocabulary, language, speech production, and speech intelligibility skills. We will include randomized controlled trials, controlled clinical trials, and other quasi-experimental designs that include comparator groups as well as prospective and retrospective cohort studies. Case-control, cross-sectional, case series, and case studies will be excluded. Several electronic databases will be searched (for example, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO) as well as grey literature and key websites. We anticipate that a narrative synthesis of the evidence will be required. We will carry out meta-analysis for outcomes if clinical similarity, quantity and quality permit quantitative pooling of data. We will conduct subgroup analyses if possible according to severity

  9. Modality-specific processing precedes amodal linguistic processing during L2 sign language acquisition: A longitudinal study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Real-Time Processing of ASL Signs: Delayed First Language Acquisition Affects Organization of the Mental Lexicon

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  11. Comic Books: A Learning Tool for Meaningful Acquisition of Written Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guimarães, Cayley; Oliveira Machado, Milton César; Fernandes, Sueli F.

    2018-01-01

    Deaf people use Sign Language (SL) for intellectual development, communications and other human activities that are mediated by language--such as the expression of complex and abstract thoughts and feelings; and for literature, culture and knowledge. The Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) is a complete linguistic system of visual-spatial manner,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Using the Hands to Represent Objects in Space: Gesture as a Substrate for Signed Language Acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janke, Vikki; Marshall, Chloë R

    2017-01-01

    An ongoing issue of interest in second language research concerns what transfers from a speaker's first language to their second. For learners of a sign language, gesture is a potential substrate for transfer. Our study provides a novel test of gestural production by eliciting silent gesture from novices in a controlled environment. We focus on spatial relationships, which in sign languages are represented in a very iconic way using the hands, and which one might therefore predict to be easy for adult learners to acquire. However, a previous study by Marshall and Morgan (2015) revealed that this was only partly the case: in a task that required them to express the relative locations of objects, hearing adult learners of British Sign Language (BSL) could represent objects' locations and orientations correctly, but had difficulty selecting the correct handshapes to represent the objects themselves. If hearing adults are indeed drawing upon their gestural resources when learning sign languages, then their difficulties may have stemmed from their having in manual gesture only a limited repertoire of handshapes to draw upon, or, alternatively, from having too broad a repertoire. If the first hypothesis is correct, the challenge for learners is to extend their handshape repertoire, but if the second is correct, the challenge is instead to narrow down to the handshapes appropriate for that particular sign language. 30 sign-naïve hearing adults were tested on Marshall and Morgan's task. All used some handshapes that were different from those used by native BSL signers and learners, and the set of handshapes used by the group as a whole was larger than that employed by native signers and learners. Our findings suggest that a key challenge when learning to express locative relations might be reducing from a very large set of gestural resources, rather than supplementing a restricted one, in order to converge on the conventionalized classifier system that forms part of the

  14. Sociolinguistic Typology and Sign Languages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schembri, Adam; Fenlon, Jordan; Cormier, Kearsy; Johnston, Trevor

    2018-01-01

    This paper examines the possible relationship between proposed social determinants of morphological 'complexity' and how this contributes to linguistic diversity, specifically via the typological nature of the sign languages of deaf communities. We sketch how the notion of morphological complexity, as defined by Trudgill (2011), applies to sign languages. Using these criteria, sign languages appear to be languages with low to moderate levels of morphological complexity. This may partly reflect the influence of key social characteristics of communities on the typological nature of languages. Although many deaf communities are relatively small and may involve dense social networks (both social characteristics that Trudgill claimed may lend themselves to morphological 'complexification'), the picture is complicated by the highly variable nature of the sign language acquisition for most deaf people, and the ongoing contact between native signers, hearing non-native signers, and those deaf individuals who only acquire sign languages in later childhood and early adulthood. These are all factors that may work against the emergence of morphological complexification. The relationship between linguistic typology and these key social factors may lead to a better understanding of the nature of sign language grammar. This perspective stands in contrast to other work where sign languages are sometimes presented as having complex morphology despite being young languages (e.g., Aronoff et al., 2005); in some descriptions, the social determinants of morphological complexity have not received much attention, nor has the notion of complexity itself been specifically explored.

  15. Sociolinguistic Typology and Sign Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schembri, Adam; Fenlon, Jordan; Cormier, Kearsy; Johnston, Trevor

    2018-01-01

    This paper examines the possible relationship between proposed social determinants of morphological ‘complexity’ and how this contributes to linguistic diversity, specifically via the typological nature of the sign languages of deaf communities. We sketch how the notion of morphological complexity, as defined by Trudgill (2011), applies to sign languages. Using these criteria, sign languages appear to be languages with low to moderate levels of morphological complexity. This may partly reflect the influence of key social characteristics of communities on the typological nature of languages. Although many deaf communities are relatively small and may involve dense social networks (both social characteristics that Trudgill claimed may lend themselves to morphological ‘complexification’), the picture is complicated by the highly variable nature of the sign language acquisition for most deaf people, and the ongoing contact between native signers, hearing non-native signers, and those deaf individuals who only acquire sign languages in later childhood and early adulthood. These are all factors that may work against the emergence of morphological complexification. The relationship between linguistic typology and these key social factors may lead to a better understanding of the nature of sign language grammar. This perspective stands in contrast to other work where sign languages are sometimes presented as having complex morphology despite being young languages (e.g., Aronoff et al., 2005); in some descriptions, the social determinants of morphological complexity have not received much attention, nor has the notion of complexity itself been specifically explored. PMID:29515506

  16. Sociolinguistic Typology and Sign Languages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Schembri

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines the possible relationship between proposed social determinants of morphological ‘complexity’ and how this contributes to linguistic diversity, specifically via the typological nature of the sign languages of deaf communities. We sketch how the notion of morphological complexity, as defined by Trudgill (2011, applies to sign languages. Using these criteria, sign languages appear to be languages with low to moderate levels of morphological complexity. This may partly reflect the influence of key social characteristics of communities on the typological nature of languages. Although many deaf communities are relatively small and may involve dense social networks (both social characteristics that Trudgill claimed may lend themselves to morphological ‘complexification’, the picture is complicated by the highly variable nature of the sign language acquisition for most deaf people, and the ongoing contact between native signers, hearing non-native signers, and those deaf individuals who only acquire sign languages in later childhood and early adulthood. These are all factors that may work against the emergence of morphological complexification. The relationship between linguistic typology and these key social factors may lead to a better understanding of the nature of sign language grammar. This perspective stands in contrast to other work where sign languages are sometimes presented as having complex morphology despite being young languages (e.g., Aronoff et al., 2005; in some descriptions, the social determinants of morphological complexity have not received much attention, nor has the notion of complexity itself been specifically explored.

  17. Signed languages and globalization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hiddinga, A.; Crasborn, O.

    2011-01-01

    Deaf people who form part of a Deaf community communicate using a shared sign language. When meeting people from another language community, they can fall back on a flexible and highly context-dependent form of communication called international sign, in which shared elements from their own sign

  18. Standardization of Sign Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  20. Name signs in Danish Sign Language

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bakken Jepsen, Julie

    2018-01-01

    in spoken languages, where a person working as a blacksmith by his friends might be referred to as ‘The Blacksmith’ (‘Here comes the Blacksmith!’) instead of using the person’s first name. Name signs are found not only in Danish Sign Language (DSL) but in most, if not all, sign languages studied to date....... This article provides examples of the creativity of the users of Danish Sign Language, including some of the processes in the use of metaphors, visual motivation and influence from Danish when name signs are created.......A name sign is a personal sign assigned to deaf, hearing impaired and hearing persons who enter the deaf community. The mouth action accompanying the sign reproduces all or part of the formal first name that the person has received by baptism or naming. Name signs can be compared to nicknames...

  1. Sign language: an international handbook

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pfau, R.; Steinbach, M.; Woll, B.

    2012-01-01

    Sign language linguists show here that all the questions relevant to the linguistic investigation of spoken languages can be asked about sign languages. Conversely, questions that sign language linguists consider - even if spoken language researchers have not asked them yet - should also be asked of

  2. Sign Language Web Pages

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  3. Flemish Sign Language Standardisation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Herreweghe, Mieke; Vermeerbergen, Myriam

    2009-01-01

    In 1997, the Flemish Deaf community officially rejected standardisation of Flemish Sign Language. It was a bold choice, which at the time was not in line with some of the decisions taken in the neighbouring countries. In this article, we shall discuss the choices the Flemish Deaf community has made in this respect and explore why the Flemish Deaf…

  4. The Beneficial Role of L1 Spoken Language Skills on Initial L2 Sign Language Learning: Cognitive and Linguistic Predictors of M2L2 Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Understanding how language modality (i.e., signed vs. spoken) affects second language outcomes in hearing adults is important both theoretically and pedagogically, as it can determine the specificity of second language (L2) theory and inform how best to teach a language that uses a new modality. The present study investigated which…

  5. Malaysian sign language dataset for automatic sign language ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Journal of Fundamental and Applied Sciences. Journal Home · ABOUT ... SL recognition system based on the Malaysian Sign Language (MSL). Implementation results are described. Keywords: sign language; pattern classification; database.

  6. Sign language typology: The contribution of rural sign languages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vos, C.; Pfau, R.

    2015-01-01

    Since the 1990s, the field of sign language typology has shown that sign languages exhibit typological variation at all relevant levels of linguistic description. These initial typological comparisons were heavily skewed toward the urban sign languages of developed countries, mostly in the Western

  7. A Stronger Reason for the Right to Sign Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  9. Language Acquisition and Language Revitalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Grady, William; Hattori, Ryoko

    2016-01-01

    Intergenerational transmission, the ultimate goal of language revitalization efforts, can only be achieved by (re)establishing the conditions under which an imperiled language can be acquired by the community's children. This paper presents a tutorial survey of several key points relating to language acquisition and maintenance in children,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ten Holt, G.A.; Arendsen, J.; De Ridder, H.; Van Doorn, A.J.; Reinders, M.J.T.; Hendriks, E.A.

    2009-01-01

    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

  12. Inuit Sign Language: a contribution to sign language typology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuit, J.; Baker, A.; Pfau, R.

    2011-01-01

    Sign language typology is a fairly new research field and typological classifications have yet to be established. For spoken languages, these classifications are generally based on typological parameters; it would thus be desirable to establish these for sign languages. In this paper, different

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichmann, Hanna

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Sociolinguistic Typology and Sign Languages

    OpenAIRE

    Adam Schembri; Jordan Fenlon; Kearsy Cormier; Trevor Johnston

    2018-01-01

    This paper examines the possible relationship between proposed social determinants of morphological ‘complexity’ and how this contributes to linguistic diversity, specifically via the typological nature of the sign languages of deaf communities. We sketch how the notion of morphological complexity, as defined by Trudgill (2011), applies to sign languages. Using these criteria, sign languages appear to be languages with low to moderate levels of morphological complexity. This may partly reflec...

  15. Kinship in Mongolian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  16. Tell-Tale Signs: Reflection towards the Acquisition of Academic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Tell-Tale Signs: Reflection towards the Acquisition of Academic Discourses as Second Languages. ... Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics ... After enrolling in a sign language course, we – lecturers teaching academic discourses – decided to explore this phenomenon and determine the implications for pedagogical practice.

  17. Issues in Sign Language Lexicography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zwitserlood, Inge; Kristoffersen, Jette Hedegaard; Troelsgård, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    ge lexicography has thus far been a relatively obscure area in the world of lexicography. Therefore, this article will contain background information on signed languages and the communities in which they are used, on the lexicography of sign languages, the situation in the Netherlands as well...

  18. The Danish Sign Language Dictionary

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristoffersen, Jette Hedegaard; Troelsgård, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    The entries of the The Danish Sign Language Dictionary have four sections:  Entry header: In this section the sign headword is shown as a photo and a gloss. The first occurring location and handshape of the sign are shown as icons.  Video window: By default the base form of the sign headword...... forms of the sign (only for classifier entries). In addition to this, frequent co-occurrences with the sign are shown in this section. The signs in the The Danish Sign Language Dictionary can be looked up through:  Handshape: Particular handshapes for the active and the passive hand can be specified...... to find signs that are not themselves lemmas in the dictionary, but appear in example sentences.  Topic: Topics can be chosen as search criteria from a list of 70 topics....

  19. First Language Acquisition and Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena

    2011-01-01

    "First language acquisition" commonly means the acquisition of a single language in childhood, regardless of the number of languages in a child's natural environment. Language acquisition is variously viewed as predetermined, wondrous, a source of concern, and as developing through formal processes. "First language teaching" concerns schooling in…

  20. Quantifiers in Russian Sign Language

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kimmelman, V.; Paperno, D.; Keenan, E.L.

    2017-01-01

    After presenting some basic genetic, historical and typological information about Russian Sign Language, this chapter outlines the quantification patterns it expresses. It illustrates various semantic types of quantifiers, such as generalized existential, generalized universal, proportional,

  1. American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... combined with facial expressions and postures of the body. It is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and ... their eyebrows, widening their eyes, and tilting their bodies forward. Just as with other languages, specific ways of expressing ideas in ASL vary ...

  2. Sign Languages of the World

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    This handbook provides information on some 38 sign languages, including basic facts about each of the languages, structural aspects, history and culture of the Deaf communities, and history of research. The papers are all original, and each has been specifically written for the volume by an expert...

  3. Complexity in language acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Alexander; Lappin, Shalom

    2013-01-01

    Learning theory has frequently been applied to language acquisition, but discussion has largely focused on information theoretic problems-in particular on the absence of direct negative evidence. Such arguments typically neglect the probabilistic nature of cognition and learning in general. We argue first that these arguments, and analyses based on them, suffer from a major flaw: they systematically conflate the hypothesis class and the learnable concept class. As a result, they do not allow one to draw significant conclusions about the learner. Second, we claim that the real problem for language learning is the computational complexity of constructing a hypothesis from input data. Studying this problem allows for a more direct approach to the object of study--the language acquisition device-rather than the learnable class of languages, which is epiphenomenal and possibly hard to characterize. The learnability results informed by complexity studies are much more insightful. They strongly suggest that target grammars need to be objective, in the sense that the primitive elements of these grammars are based on objectively definable properties of the language itself. These considerations support the view that language acquisition proceeds primarily through data-driven learning of some form. Copyright © 2013 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  5. What sign language creation teaches us about language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. Second Language Acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLaughlin, Barry; Harrington, Michael

    1989-01-01

    A distinction is drawn between representational and processing models of second-language acquisition. The first approach is derived primarily from linguistics, the second from psychology. Both fields, it is argued, need to collaborate more fully, overcoming disciplinary narrowness in order to achieve more fruitful research. (GLR)

  7. Unsupervised Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Marcken, Carl

    1996-11-01

    This thesis presents a computational theory of unsupervised language acquisition, precisely defining procedures for learning language from ordinary spoken or written utterances, with no explicit help from a teacher. The theory is based heavily on concepts borrowed from machine learning and statistical estimation. In particular, learning takes place by fitting a stochastic, generative model of language to the evidence. Much of the thesis is devoted to explaining conditions that must hold for this general learning strategy to arrive at linguistically desirable grammars. The thesis introduces a variety of technical innovations, among them a common representation for evidence and grammars, and a learning strategy that separates the ``content'' of linguistic parameters from their representation. Algorithms based on it suffer from few of the search problems that have plagued other computational approaches to language acquisition. The theory has been tested on problems of learning vocabularies and grammars from unsegmented text and continuous speech, and mappings between sound and representations of meaning. It performs extremely well on various objective criteria, acquiring knowledge that causes it to assign almost exactly the same structure to utterances as humans do. This work has application to data compression, language modeling, speech recognition, machine translation, information retrieval, and other tasks that rely on either structural or stochastic descriptions of language.

  8. Language Acquisition without an Acquisition Device

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Grady, William

    2012-01-01

    Most explanatory work on first and second language learning assumes the primacy of the acquisition phenomenon itself, and a good deal of work has been devoted to the search for an "acquisition device" that is specific to humans, and perhaps even to language. I will consider the possibility that this strategy is misguided and that language…

  9. Compiling a Sign Language Dictionary

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristoffersen, Jette Hedegaard; Troelsgård, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    As we began working on the Danish Sign Language (DTS) Dictionary, we soon realised the truth in the statement that a lexicographer has to deal with problems within almost any linguistic discipline. Most of these problems come down to establishing simple rules, rules that can easily be applied every...... – or are they homonyms?" and so on. Very often such questions demand further research and can't be answered sufficiently through a simple standard formula. Therefore lexicographic work often seems like an endless series of compromises. Another source of compromise arises when you set out to decide which information...... this dilemma, as we see DTS learners and teachers as well as native DTS signers as our target users. In the following we will focus on four problem areas with particular relevance for the sign language lexicographer: Sign representation Spoken languague equivalents and mouth movements Example sentences Partial...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  11. Visual Sonority Modulates Infants' Attraction to Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Adam; Petitto, Laura-Ann; Bosworth, Rain

    2018-01-01

    The infant brain may be predisposed to identify perceptually salient cues that are common to both signed and spoken languages. Recent theory based on spoken languages has advanced sonority as one of these potential language acquisition cues. Using a preferential looking paradigm with an infrared eye tracker, we explored visual attention of hearing…

  12. Numeral Incorporation in Japanese Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  13. The Legal Recognition of Sign Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  14. Schizophrenia and second language acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bersudsky, Yuly; Fine, Jonathan; Gorjaltsan, Igor; Chen, Osnat; Walters, Joel

    2005-05-01

    Language acquisition involves brain processes that can be affected by lesions or dysfunctions in several brain systems and second language acquisition may depend on different brain substrates than first language acquisition in childhood. A total of 16 Russian immigrants to Israel, 8 diagnosed schizophrenics and 8 healthy immigrants, were compared. The primary data for this study were collected via sociolinguistic interviews. The two groups use language and learn language in very much the same way. Only exophoric reference and blocking revealed meaningful differences between the schizophrenics and healthy counterparts. This does not mean of course that schizophrenia does not induce language abnormalities. Our study focuses on those aspects of language that are typically difficult to acquire in second language acquisition. Despite the cognitive compromises in schizophrenia and the manifest atypicalities in language of speakers with schizophrenia, the process of acquiring a second language seems relatively unaffected by schizophrenia.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  16. Acquisition of a bodily-tactile language as first language

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ask Larsen, Flemming

    2013-01-01

    Language acquisition in the bodily-tactile modality is difficult to understand, describe, and support. This chapter advocates a reinterpretation of the gestural and idiosyncratic bodily-tactile communication of people with congenital deafblindness (CDB) in terms of early language acquisition...... towards Tactile Sign Language (TSL). The access to participation in complex TSL culture is crucial for language acquisition. We already know how to transfer the patterns of social interaction into the bodily-tactile modality. This is the fundation on which to build actual linguistic participation. TSL...... as a first language is presently a theoretic possibility. We need more research on how to accommodate TSL to language Development and on how to fit TSL into participation in complex cultural activities....

  17. Dictionaries of African Sign Languages: An Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  18. Eye Gaze in Creative Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  19. Bootstrapping language acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abend, Omri; Kwiatkowski, Tom; Smith, Nathaniel J; Goldwater, Sharon; Steedman, Mark

    2017-07-01

    The semantic bootstrapping hypothesis proposes that children acquire their native language through exposure to sentences of the language paired with structured representations of their meaning, whose component substructures can be associated with words and syntactic structures used to express these concepts. The child's task is then to learn a language-specific grammar and lexicon based on (probably contextually ambiguous, possibly somewhat noisy) pairs of sentences and their meaning representations (logical forms). Starting from these assumptions, we develop a Bayesian probabilistic account of semantically bootstrapped first-language acquisition in the child, based on techniques from computational parsing and interpretation of unrestricted text. Our learner jointly models (a) word learning: the mapping between components of the given sentential meaning and lexical words (or phrases) of the language, and (b) syntax learning: the projection of lexical elements onto sentences by universal construction-free syntactic rules. Using an incremental learning algorithm, we apply the model to a dataset of real syntactically complex child-directed utterances and (pseudo) logical forms, the latter including contextually plausible but irrelevant distractors. Taking the Eve section of the CHILDES corpus as input, the model simulates several well-documented phenomena from the developmental literature. In particular, the model exhibits syntactic bootstrapping effects (in which previously learned constructions facilitate the learning of novel words), sudden jumps in learning without explicit parameter setting, acceleration of word-learning (the "vocabulary spurt"), an initial bias favoring the learning of nouns over verbs, and one-shot learning of words and their meanings. The learner thus demonstrates how statistical learning over structured representations can provide a unified account for these seemingly disparate phenomena. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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,…

  1. Awareness of Deaf Sign Language and Gang Signs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Cynthia; Morgan, Robert L.

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

  2. Automatic sign language recognition inspired by human sign perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ten Holt, G.A.

    2010-01-01

    Automatic sign language recognition is a relatively new field of research (since ca. 1990). Its objectives are to automatically analyze sign language utterances. There are several issues within the research area that merit investigation: how to capture the utterances (cameras, magnetic sensors,

  3. Signs of the arctic: Typological aspects of Inuit Sign Language

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schuit, J.M.

    2014-01-01

    In this thesis, the native sign language used by deaf Inuit people is described. Inuit Sign Language (IUR) is used by less than 40 people as their sole means of communication, and is therefore highly endangered. Apart from the description of IUR as such, an additional goal is to contribute to the

  4. Brain correlates of constituent structure in sign language comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Antonio; Limousin, Fanny; Dehaene, Stanislas; Pallier, Christophe

    2018-02-15

    During sentence processing, areas of the left superior temporal sulcus, inferior frontal gyrus and left basal ganglia exhibit a systematic increase in brain activity as a function of constituent size, suggesting their involvement in the computation of syntactic and semantic structures. Here, we asked whether these areas play a universal role in language and therefore contribute to the processing of non-spoken sign language. Congenitally deaf adults who acquired French sign language as a first language and written French as a second language were scanned while watching sequences of signs in which the size of syntactic constituents was manipulated. An effect of constituent size was found in the basal ganglia, including the head of the caudate and the putamen. A smaller effect was also detected in temporal and frontal regions previously shown to be sensitive to constituent size in written language in hearing French subjects (Pallier et al., 2011). When the deaf participants read sentences versus word lists, the same network of language areas was observed. While reading and sign language processing yielded identical effects of linguistic structure in the basal ganglia, the effect of structure was stronger in all cortical language areas for written language relative to sign language. Furthermore, cortical activity was partially modulated by age of acquisition and reading proficiency. Our results stress the important role of the basal ganglia, within the language network, in the representation of the constituent structure of language, regardless of the input modality. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  6. Sign Lowering and Phonetic Reduction in American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyrone, Martha E; Mauk, Claude E

    2010-04-01

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

  7. Information structure in Russian Sign Language and Sign Language of the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kimmelman, V.

    2014-01-01

    This dissertation explores Information Structure in two sign languages: Sign Language of the Netherlands and Russian Sign Language. Based on corpus data and elicitation tasks we show how topic and focus are expressed in these languages. In particular, we show that topics can be marked syntactically

  8. An electronic dictionary of Danish Sign Language

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristoffersen, Jette Hedegaard; Troelsgård, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Compiling sign language dictionaries has in the last 15 years changed from most often being simply collecting and presenting signs for a given gloss in the surrounding vocal language to being a complicated lexicographic task including all parts of linguistic analysis, i.e. phonology, phonetics......, morphology, syntax and semantics. In this presentation we will give a short overview of the Danish Sign Language dictionary project. We will further focus on lemma selection and some of the problems connected with lemmatisation....

  9. Visual cortex entrains to sign language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookshire, Geoffrey; Lu, Jenny; Nusbaum, Howard C; Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Casasanto, Daniel

    2017-06-13

    Despite immense variability across languages, people can learn to understand any human language, spoken or signed. What neural mechanisms allow people to comprehend language across sensory modalities? When people listen to speech, electrophysiological oscillations in auditory cortex entrain to slow ([Formula: see text]8 Hz) fluctuations in the acoustic envelope. Entrainment to the speech envelope may reflect mechanisms specialized for auditory perception. Alternatively, flexible entrainment may be a general-purpose cortical mechanism that optimizes sensitivity to rhythmic information regardless of modality. Here, we test these proposals by examining cortical coherence to visual information in sign language. First, we develop a metric to quantify visual change over time. We find quasiperiodic fluctuations in sign language, characterized by lower frequencies than fluctuations in speech. Next, we test for entrainment of neural oscillations to visual change in sign language, using electroencephalography (EEG) in fluent speakers of American Sign Language (ASL) as they watch videos in ASL. We find significant cortical entrainment to visual oscillations in sign language sign is strongest over occipital and parietal cortex, in contrast to speech, where coherence is strongest over the auditory cortex. Nonsigners also show coherence to sign language, but entrainment at frontal sites is reduced relative to fluent signers. These results demonstrate that flexible cortical entrainment to language does not depend on neural processes that are specific to auditory speech perception. Low-frequency oscillatory entrainment may reflect a general cortical mechanism that maximizes sensitivity to informational peaks in time-varying signals.

  10. The role of syllables in sign language production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. A tour in sign language

    CERN Document Server

    François Briard

    2016-01-01

    In early May, CERN welcomed a group of deaf children for a tour of Microcosm and a Fun with Physics demonstration.   On 4 May, around ten children from the Centre pour enfants sourds de Montbrillant (Montbrillant Centre for Deaf Children), a public school funded by the Office médico-pédagogique du canton de Genève, took a guided tour of the Microcosm exhibition and were treated to a Fun with Physics demonstration. The tour guides’ explanations were interpreted into sign language in real time by a professional interpreter who accompanied the children, and the pace and content were adapted to maximise the interaction with the children. This visit demonstrates CERN’s commitment to remaining as widely accessible as possible. To this end, most of CERN’s visit sites offer reduced-mobility access. In the past few months, CERN has also welcomed children suffering from xeroderma pigmentosum (a genetic disorder causing extreme sensiti...

  12. Historical Development of Hong Kong Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  13. Research Ethics in Sign Language Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Phonological Awareness for American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  15. [First language acquisition research and theories of language acquisition].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, S; Jungheim, M; Ptok, M

    2014-04-01

    In principle, a child can seemingly easily acquire any given language. First language acquisition follows a certain pattern which to some extent is found to be language independent. Since time immemorial, it has been of interest why children are able to acquire language so easily. Different disciplinary and methodological orientations addressing this question can be identified. A selective literature search in PubMed and Scopus was carried out and relevant monographies were considered. Different, partially overlapping phases can be distinguished in language acquisition research: whereas in ancient times, deprivation experiments were carried out to discover the "original human language", the era of diary studies began in the mid-19th century. From the mid-1920s onwards, behaviouristic paradigms dominated this field of research; interests were focussed on the determination of normal, average language acquisition. The subsequent linguistic period was strongly influenced by the nativist view of Chomsky and the constructivist concepts of Piaget. Speech comprehension, the role of speech input and the relevance of genetic disposition became the centre of attention. The interactionist concept led to a revival of the convergence theory according to Stern. Each of these four major theories--behaviourism, cognitivism, interactionism and nativism--have given valuable and unique impulses, but no single theory is universally accepted to provide an explanation of all aspects of language acquisition. Moreover, it can be critically questioned whether clinicians consciously refer to one of these theories in daily routine work and whether therapies are then based on this concept. It remains to be seen whether or not new theories of grammar, such as the so-called construction grammar (CxG), will eventually change the general concept of language acquisition.

  16. Music and Early Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Anthony; Gebrian, Molly; Slevc, L. Robert

    2012-01-01

    Language is typically viewed as fundamental to human intelligence. Music, while recognized as a human universal, is often treated as an ancillary ability – one dependent on or derivative of language. In contrast, we argue that it is more productive from a developmental perspective to describe spoken language as a special type of music. A review of existing studies presents a compelling case that musical hearing and ability is essential to language acquisition. In addition, we challenge the prevailing view that music cognition matures more slowly than language and is more difficult; instead, we argue that music learning matches the speed and effort of language acquisition. We conclude that music merits a central place in our understanding of human development. PMID:22973254

  17. Phonological Similarity in American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrandt, Ursula; Corina, David

    2002-01-01

    Investigates deaf and hearing subjects' ratings of American Sign Language (ASL) signs to assess whether linguistic experience shapes judgments of sign similarity. Findings are consistent with linguistic theories that posit movement and location as core structural elements of syllable structure in ASL. (Author/VWL)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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/.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Joshua T.; Newman, Sharlene D.

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  1. Rhythm in language acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langus, Alan; Mehler, Jacques; Nespor, Marina

    2017-10-01

    Spoken language is governed by rhythm. Linguistic rhythm is hierarchical and the rhythmic hierarchy partially mimics the prosodic as well as the morpho-syntactic hierarchy of spoken language. It can thus provide learners with cues about the structure of the language they are acquiring. We identify three universal levels of linguistic rhythm - the segmental level, the level of the metrical feet and the phonological phrase level - and discuss why primary lexical stress is not rhythmic. We survey experimental evidence on rhythm perception in young infants and native speakers of various languages to determine the properties of linguistic rhythm that are present at birth, those that mature during the first year of life and those that are shaped by the linguistic environment of language learners. We conclude with a discussion of the major gaps in current knowledge on linguistic rhythm and highlight areas of interest for future research that are most likely to yield significant insights into the nature, the perception, and the usefulness of linguistic rhythm. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The role of affordances in Libras acquisition as second language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jéssica Puhl

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Libras is a visual-spatial language used by the Brazilian deaf community. Following the principles of spatiality and vision, the user of the sign language resorts more easily to stimuli from the environment than the user of the oral language. Thus, the hypothesis of this research is that the affordances (environmental properties that enable psychologically possible actions would be a facilitator element in the process of Libras acquisition. In this paper we use the narrative and interpretive-qualitative research to discuss the role of affordances in the listener perception, interpretation and action cycle in Libras acquisition as second language. Results show that the Libras’ iconic signs can be considered important affordances in the early stages of the acquisition. It is also observed the importance of the permanence in the niche where Libras is used for the sign language development.

  3. FACTORS INFLUENCING SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siti Khasinah

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Motivation, attitude, age, intelligence, aptitude, cognitive style, and personality are considered as factors that greatly influence someone in the process of his or her second language acquisition. Experts state that those factors give a more dominant contribution in SLA to learners variedly, depend on who the learners are, their age, how they behave toward the language, their cognitive ability, and also the way they learn.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Brentari, Diane

    2017-01-01

    How does sign language compare with gesture, on the one hand, and spoken language on the other? Sign was once viewed as nothing more than a system of pictorial gestures without linguistic structure. More recently, researchers have argued that sign is no different from spoken language, with all of the same linguistic structures. The pendulum is currently swinging back toward the view that sign is gestural, or at least has gestural components. The goal of this review is to elucidate the relationships among sign language, gesture, and spoken language. We do so by taking a close look not only at how sign has been studied over the past 50 years, but also at how the spontaneous gestures that accompany speech have been studied. We conclude that signers gesture just as speakers do. Both produce imagistic gestures along with more categorical signs or words. Because at present it is difficult to tell where sign stops and gesture begins, we suggest that sign should not be compared with speech alone but should be compared with speech-plus-gesture. Although it might be easier (and, in some cases, preferable) to blur the distinction between sign and gesture, we argue that distinguishing between sign (or speech) and gesture is essential to predict certain types of learning and allows us to understand the conditions under which gesture takes on properties of sign, and speech takes on properties of gesture. We end by calling for new technology that may help us better calibrate the borders between sign and gesture.

  5. The benefits of sign language for deaf learners with language challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Staden, Annalene

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available This article argues the importance of allowing deaf children to acquire sign language from an early age. It demonstrates firstly that the critical/sensitive period hypothesis for language acquisition can be applied to specific language aspects of spoken language as well as sign languages (i.e. phonology, grammatical processing and syntax. This makes early diagnosis and early intervention of crucial importance. Moreover, research findings presented in this article demonstrate the advantage that sign language offers in the early years of a deaf child’s life by comparing the language development milestones of deaf learners exposed to sign language from birth to those of late-signers, orally trained deaf learners and hearing learners exposed to spoken language. The controversy over the best medium of instruction for deaf learners is briefly discussed, with emphasis placed on the possible value of bilingual-bicultural programmes to facilitate the development of deaf learners’ literacy skills. Finally, this paper concludes with a discussion of the implications/recommendations of sign language teaching and Deaf education in South Africa.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Studies in Filipino Second Language Acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Teresita V.

    Very little research has been done on first or second language acquisition in the Philippines. Most second language learning studies cited in the literature concern acquisition of English in English-speaking communities, and most American studies of Filipino language acquisition are superficial, consisting primarily of morpheme analysis. The…

  8. Syntactic priming in American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Syntactic priming in American Sign Language.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew L Hall

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  11. THE BENEFIT OF EARLY EXPOSURE TO SIGN LANGUAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ljubica PRIBANIKJ

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Early diagnosis and intervention are now recognized as undeniable rights of deaf and hard-of-hearing children and their families. The deaf child’s family must have the opportunity to socialize with deaf children and deaf adults. The deaf child’s family must also have access to all the information on the general development of their child, and to special information on hearing impairment, communication options and linguistic development of the deaf child.The critical period hypothesis for language acquisition proposes that the outcome of language acquisition is not uniform over the lifespan but rather is best during early childhood. Individuals who learned sign language from birth performed better on linguistic and memory tasks than individuals who did not start learning sign language until after puberty. The old prejudice that the deaf child must learn the spoken language at a very young age, and that sign language can wait because it can be easily learned by any person at any age, cannot be maintained anymore.The cultural approach to deafness emphasizes three necessary components in the development of a deaf child: 1. stimulating early communication using natural sign language within the family and interacting with the Deaf community; 2. bilingual / bicultural education and 3. ensuring deaf persons’ rights to enjoy the services of high quality interpreters throughout their education from kindergarten to university. This new view of the phenomenology of deafness means that the environment needs to be changed in order to meet the deaf person’s needs, not the contrary.

  12. [Information technology in learning sign language].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Cesar; Pulido, Jose L; Arias, Jorge E

    2015-01-01

    To develop a technological tool that improves the initial learning of sign language in hearing impaired children. The development of this research was conducted in three phases: the lifting of requirements, design and development of the proposed device, and validation and evaluation device. Through the use of information technology and with the advice of special education professionals, we were able to develop an electronic device that facilitates the learning of sign language in deaf children. This is formed mainly by a graphic touch screen, a voice synthesizer, and a voice recognition system. Validation was performed with the deaf children in the Filadelfia School of the city of Bogotá. A learning methodology was established that improves learning times through a small, portable, lightweight, and educational technological prototype. Tests showed the effectiveness of this prototype, achieving a 32 % reduction in the initial learning time for sign language in deaf children.

  13. Repetitions in French Belgian Sign Language (LSFB) and Flemish Sign Language (VGT) narratives and conversations

    OpenAIRE

    Notarrigo, Ingrid; Meurant, Laurence; Van Herreweghe, Mieke; Vermeerbergen, Myriam

    2016-01-01

    Repetition was described in the nineties by a limited number of sign linguists: Vermeerbergen & De Vriendt (1994) looked at a small corpus of VGT data, Fisher & Janis (1990) analysed “verb sandwiches” in ASL and Pinsonneault (1994) “verb echos” in Quebec Sign Language. More recently the same phenomenon has been the focus of research in a growing number of signed languages, including American (Nunes and de Quadros 2008), Hong Kong (Sze 2008), Russian (Shamaro 2008), Polish (Flilipczak and Most...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Chloë R; Morgan, Gary

    2015-01-01

    There has long been interest in why languages are shaped the way they are, and in the relationship between sign language and gesture. In sign languages, entity classifiers are handshapes that encode how objects move, how they are located relative to one another, and how multiple objects of the same type are distributed in space. Previous studies have shown that hearing adults who are asked to use only manual gestures to describe how objects move in space will use gestures that bear some similarities to classifiers. We investigated how accurately hearing adults, who had been learning British Sign Language (BSL) for 1-3 years, produce and comprehend classifiers in (static) locative and distributive constructions. In a production task, learners of BSL knew that they could use their hands to represent objects, but they had difficulty choosing the same, conventionalized, handshapes as native signers. They were, however, highly accurate at encoding location and orientation information. Learners therefore show the same pattern found in sign-naïve gesturers. In contrast, handshape, orientation, and location were comprehended with equal (high) accuracy, and testing a group of sign-naïve adults showed that they too were able to understand classifiers with higher than chance accuracy. We conclude that adult learners of BSL bring their visuo-spatial knowledge and gestural abilities to the tasks of understanding and producing constructions that contain entity classifiers. We speculate that investigating the time course of adult sign language acquisition might shed light on how gesture became (and, indeed, becomes) conventionalized during the genesis of sign languages. Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  15. [Prosody, speech input and language acquisition].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungheim, M; Miller, S; Kühn, D; Ptok, M

    2014-04-01

    In order to acquire language, children require speech input. The prosody of the speech input plays an important role. In most cultures adults modify their code when communicating with children. Compared to normal speech this code differs especially with regard to prosody. For this review a selective literature search in PubMed and Scopus was performed. Prosodic characteristics are a key feature of spoken language. By analysing prosodic features, children gain knowledge about underlying grammatical structures. Child-directed speech (CDS) is modified in a way that meaningful sequences are highlighted acoustically so that important information can be extracted from the continuous speech flow more easily. CDS is said to enhance the representation of linguistic signs. Taking into consideration what has previously been described in the literature regarding the perception of suprasegmentals, CDS seems to be able to support language acquisition due to the correspondence of prosodic and syntactic units. However, no findings have been reported, stating that the linguistically reduced CDS could hinder first language acquisition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermid, Campbell

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.…

  18. The Sign Language Situation in Mali

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  19. Word Order in Russian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  20. Iconicity as a general property of language: evidence from spoken and signed languages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamela Perniss

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available 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 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 and perceptual experience.

  1. A Sign Language Screen Reader for Deaf

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Structural borrowing: The case of Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) is a visual gestural language used by members of the deaf community in Kenya. Kiswahili on the other hand is a Bantu language that is used as the national language of Kenya. The two are world's apart, one being a spoken language and the other a signed language and thus their “… basic ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Orfanidou, E.; McQueen, J.; Adam, R.; Morgan, G.

    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 prec...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. The sign language skills classroom observation: a process for describing sign language proficiency in classroom settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, J B; Newell, W; Holcomb, B R; Stinson, M

    2000-10-01

    In collaboration with teachers and students at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), the Sign Language Skills Classroom Observation (SLSCO) was designed to provide feedback to teachers on their sign language communication skills in the classroom. In the present article, the impetus and rationale for development of the SLSCO is discussed. Previous studies related to classroom signing and observation methodology are reviewed. The procedure for developing the SLSCO is then described. This procedure included (a) interviews with faculty and students at NTID, (b) identification of linguistic features of sign language important for conveying content to deaf students, (c) development of forms for recording observations of classroom signing, (d) analysis of use of the forms, (e) development of a protocol for conducting the SLSCO, and (f) piloting of the SLSCO in classrooms. The results of use of the SLSCO with NTID faculty during a trial year are summarized.

  7. Sign language for the information society: an ICT roadmap for South African Sign Language

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Olivrin, G

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available of work made in SASL. There is currently no collection of the cultural and linguistic heritage of SASL. Public signage and localisation: Provision for SASL-specifi c sign names of places, people, companies and brands, as well as the localisation... upgrading the aging data and voice infrastructures for visual grade technologies, new usages of technologies will emerge in public signage and communications, in advertising and for visual languages such as SASL. Research and development in Sign Language...

  8. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE (ASL AND BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE (BSL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zora JACHOVA

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available In the communication of deaf people between them­selves and hearing people there are three ba­sic as­pects of interaction: gesture, finger signs and writing. The gesture is a conditionally agreed manner of communication with the help of the hands followed by face and body mimic. The ges­ture and the move­ments pre-exist the speech and they had the purpose to mark something, and later to emphasize the speech expression.Stokoe was the first linguist that realised that the signs are not a whole that can not be analysed. He analysed signs in insignificant parts that he called “chemeres”, and many linguists today call them pho­nemes. He created three main phoneme catego­ries: hand position, location and movement.Sign languages as spoken languages have back­ground from the distant past. They developed par­allel with the development of spoken language and undertook many historical changes. Therefore, to­day they do not represent a replacement of the spoken language, but are languages themselves in the real sense of the word.Although the structures of the English language used in USA and in Great Britain is the same, still their sign languages-ASL and BSL are different.

  9. The Effects of Foreign Language Motivation in Second Language Acquisition

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU Miao-ru

    2013-01-01

    Foreign language motivation is regarded as one source of individual differences in second language acquisition. Learn-ing motivation is a dynamic mechanism which gives rise to learning activities. Learners ’motivation is a decisive factor for the suc-cess of second language acquisition.

  10. Sign Language Recognition using Neural Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabaheta Djogic

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available – Sign language plays a great role as communication media for people with hearing difficulties.In developed countries, systems are made for overcoming a problem in communication with deaf people. This encouraged us to develop a system for the Bosnian sign language since there is a need for such system. The work is done with the use of digital image processing methods providing a system that teaches a multilayer neural network using a back propagation algorithm. Images are processed by feature extraction methods, and by masking method the data set has been created. Training is done using cross validation method for better performance thus; an accuracy of 84% is achieved.

  11. South African sign language assistive translation

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Olivrin, GJ

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available , the fact that the target structure is SASL, the home language of the Deaf user, already facilitates the communication. Ul- timately the message will be delivered more naturally by a signing avatar [14]. We shall present further scenarios for future... Work 6.1 Disambiguation Disambiguation can be improved on two levels: firstly, by eliciting more or better information from the user through the AAC interface and secondly, by improving certain as- pects of the MT system. We discuss both...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Phonological reduplication in sign language: rules rule

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iris eBerent

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available 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 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.

  14. 75 FR 13751 - Office of English Language Acquisition; Overview Information; Language Enhancement, and Academic...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-23

    ... DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Office of English Language Acquisition; Overview Information; Language... Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students (OELA) may... Secretary and Director, Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Orfanidou, E.; McQueen, J.M.; Adam, R.; Morgan, G.

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Input and Intake in Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagliardi, Ann C.

    2012-01-01

    This dissertation presents an approach for a productive way forward in the study of language acquisition, sealing the rift between claims of an innate linguistic hypothesis space and powerful domain general statistical inference. This approach breaks language acquisition into its component parts, distinguishing the input in the environment from…

  19. Child Language Acquisition: Contrasting Theoretical Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambridge, Ben; Lieven, Elena V. M.

    2011-01-01

    Is children's language acquisition based on innate linguistic structures or built from cognitive and communicative skills? This book summarises the major theoretical debates in all of the core domains of child language acquisition research (phonology, word-learning, inflectional morphology, syntax and binding) and includes a complete introduction…

  20. Comparing the Picture Exchange Communication System and Sign Language Training for Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tincani, Matt

    2004-01-01

    This study compared the effects of Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and sign language training on the acquisition of mands (requests for preferred items) of students with autism. The study also examined the differential effects of each modality on students' acquisition of vocal behavior. Participants were two elementary school students…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  2. Sign Language and Spoken Language for Children With Hearing Loss: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth M; Hamel, Candyce; Stevens, Adrienne; Pratt, Misty; Moher, David; Doucet, Suzanne P; Neuss, Deirdre; Bernstein, Anita; Na, Eunjung

    2016-01-01

    Permanent hearing loss affects 1 to 3 per 1000 children and interferes with typical communication development. Early detection through newborn hearing screening and hearing technology provide most children with the option of spoken language acquisition. However, no consensus exists on optimal interventions for spoken language development. To conduct a systematic review of the effectiveness of early sign and oral language intervention compared with oral language intervention only for children with permanent hearing loss. An a priori protocol was developed. Electronic databases (eg, Medline, Embase, CINAHL) from 1995 to June 2013 and gray literature sources were searched. Studies in English and French were included. Two reviewers screened potentially relevant articles. Outcomes of interest were measures of auditory, vocabulary, language, and speech production skills. All data collection and risk of bias assessments were completed and then verified by a second person. Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) was used to judge the strength of evidence. Eleven cohort studies met inclusion criteria, of which 8 included only children with severe to profound hearing loss with cochlear implants. Language development was the most frequently reported outcome. Other reported outcomes included speech and speech perception. Several measures and metrics were reported across studies, and descriptions of interventions were sometimes unclear. Very limited, and hence insufficient, high-quality evidence exists to determine whether sign language in combination with oral language is more effective than oral language therapy alone. More research is needed to supplement the evidence base. Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  3. Sign Language Echolalia in Deaf Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shield, Aaron; Cooley, Frances; Meier, Richard P.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: We present the first study of echolalia in deaf, signing children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We investigate the nature and prevalence of sign echolalia in native-signing children with ASD, the relationship between sign echolalia and receptive language, and potential modality differences between sign and speech. Method: Seventeen…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Opposite cerebral dominance for reading and sign language

    OpenAIRE

    Komakula, Sirisha. T.; Burr, Robert. B.; Lee, James N.; Anderson, Jeffrey

    2010-01-01

    We present a case of right hemispheric dominance for sign language but left hemispheric dominance for reading, in a left-handed deaf patient with epilepsy and left mesial temporal sclerosis. Atypical language laterality for ASL was determined by preoperative fMRI, and congruent with ASL modified WADA testing. We conclude that reading and sign language can have crossed dominance and preoperative fMRI evaluation of deaf patients should include both reading and sign language evaluations.

  6. Acquisition of speech rhythm in first language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyanskaya, Leona; Ordin, Mikhail

    2015-09-01

    Analysis of English rhythm in speech produced by children and adults revealed that speech rhythm becomes increasingly more stress-timed as language acquisition progresses. Children reach the adult-like target by 11 to 12 years. The employed speech elicitation paradigm ensured that the sentences produced by adults and children at different ages were comparable in terms of lexical content, segmental composition, and phonotactic complexity. Detected differences between child and adult rhythm and between rhythm in child speech at various ages cannot be attributed to acquisition of phonotactic language features or vocabulary, and indicate the development of language-specific phonetic timing in the course of acquisition.

  7. 76 FR 14954 - National Professional Development Program; Office of English Language Acquisition, Language...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-18

    ... Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students; Overview... to provide instruction that accelerates ELs' acquisition of language, literacy, and content knowledge.... Rosalinda Barrera, Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director for English Language Acquisition, Language...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  9. The Mechanics of Fingerspelling: Analyzing Ethiopian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  10. New Perspectives on the History of American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  11. Validity of the American Sign Language Discrimination Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Quadros, Ronice Muller

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Equity in Education: Signed Language and the Courts

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  15. Topics and topic prominence in two sign languages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kimmelman, V.

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we describe topic marking in Russian Sign Language (RSL) and Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT) and discuss whether these languages should be considered topic prominent. The formal markers of topics in RSL are sentence-initial position, a prosodic break following the topic, and

  16. Generative Research on Second Language Acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eubank, Lynn

    1995-01-01

    Reviews recent trends in generative research on second language acquisition, focusing on the role of universal grammar, parameter resetting, and anaphoric binding. An annotated bibliography discusses five important works in the field. (61 references) (MDM)

  17. Language acquisition from a biolinguistic perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crain, Stephen; Koring, Loes; Thornton, Rosalind

    2017-10-01

    This paper describes the biolinguistic approach to language acquisition. We contrast the biolinguistic approach with a usage-based approach. We argue that the biolinguistic approach is superior because it provides more accurate and more extensive generalizations about the properties of human languages, as well as a better account of how children acquire human languages. To distinguish between these accounts, we focus on how child and adult language differ both in sentence production and in sentence understanding. We argue that the observed differences resist explanation using the cognitive mechanisms that are invoked by the usage-based approach. In contrast, the biolinguistic approach explains the qualitative parametric differences between child and adult language. Explaining how child and adult language differ and demonstrating that children perceive unity despite apparent diversity are two of the hallmarks of the biolinguistic approach to language acquisition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Linearization of weak hand holds in Russian Sign Language

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kimmelman, V.

    2017-01-01

    Russian Sign Language (RSL) makes use of constructions involving manual simultaneity, in particular, weak hand holds, where one hand is being held in the location and configuration of a sign, while the other simultaneously produces one sign or a sequence of several signs. In this paper, I argue that

  20. The Influence of Deaf People's Dual Category Status on Sign Language Planning: The British Sign Language (Scotland) Act (2015)

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Meulder, Maartje

    2017-01-01

    Through the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act, British Sign Language (BSL) was given legal status in Scotland. The main motives for the Act were a desire to put BSL on a similar footing with Gaelic and the fact that in Scotland, BSL signers are the only group whose first language is not English who must rely on disability discrimination…

  1. Information and Signs: The Language of Images

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inna Semetsky

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Since time immemorial, philosophers and scientists were searching for a “machine code” of the so-called Mentalese language capable of processing information at the pre-verbal, pre-expressive level. In this paper I suggest that human languages are only secondary to the system of primitive extra-linguistic signs which are hardwired in humans and serve as tools for understanding selves and others; and creating meanings for the multiplicity of experiences. The combinatorial semantics of the Mentalese may find its unorthodox expression in the semiotic system of Tarot images, the latter serving as the ”keys” to the encoded proto-mental information. The paper uses some works in systems theory by Erich Jantsch and Erwin Laszlo and relates Tarot images to the archetypes of the field of collective unconscious posited by Carl Jung. Our subconscious beliefs, hopes, fears and desires, of which we may be unaware at the subjective level, do have an objective compositional structure that may be laid down in front of our eyes in the format of pictorial semiotics representing the universe of affects, thoughts, and actions. Constructing imaginative narratives based on the expressive “language” of Tarot images enables us to anticipate possible consequences and consider a range of future options. The thesis advanced in this paper is also supported by the concept of informational universe of contemporary cosmology.

  2. Dictionary of the Slovenian Sign Language on the WWW

    OpenAIRE

    Cempre, Luka; Bešir, Aleksander; Solina, Franc

    2013-01-01

    The article describes technical and user-interface issues of transferring the contents and functionality of the CD-ROM version of the Slovenian sing language dictionary to the web. The dictionary of Slovenian sign language consist of video clips showing the demonstra- tion of signs that deaf people use for communication, text description of the words corresponding to the signs and pictures illustrating the same word/sign. A new technical solution—a video sprite—for concatenating subsections o...

  3. An Interpreter's Interpretation: Sign Language Interpreters' View of Musculoskeletal Disorders

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Johnson, William L

    2003-01-01

    Sign language interpreters are at increased risk for musculoskeletal disorders. This study used content analysis to obtain detailed information about these disorders from the interpreters' point of view...

  4. Toward More Substantial Theories of Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenson, Cinnamon Ann

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive linguists argue that certain sets of knowledge of language are innate. However, critics have argued that the theoretical concept of "innateness" should be eliminated since it is ambiguous and insubstantial. In response, I aim to strengthen theories of language acquisition and identify ways to make them more substantial. I…

  5. Second Language Acquisition and Applied Linguistics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen-Freeman, Diane

    2000-01-01

    Discusses the second language acquisition (SLA) process and the differential success of second language learners. Examines the fundamental challenges that this characterization faces, and highlights the contributions SLA is capable of in the coming decade. Offers topics for a training and development of curriculum for future applied linguists from…

  6. A Research on Second Language Acquisition and College English Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Changyu

    2009-01-01

    It was in the 1970s that American linguist S.D. Krashen created the theory of "language acquisition". The theories on second language acquisition were proposed based on the study on the second language acquisition process and its rules. Here, the second language acquisition process refers to the process in which a learner with the…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Input Processing at First Exposure to a Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  10. Constraints on Negative Prefixation in Polish Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Early Sign Language Exposure and Cochlear Implantation Benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geers, Ann E; Mitchell, Christine M; Warner-Czyz, Andrea; Wang, Nae-Yuh; Eisenberg, Laurie S

    2017-07-01

    Most children with hearing loss who receive cochlear implants (CI) learn spoken language, and parents must choose early on whether to use sign language to accompany speech at home. We address whether parents' use of sign language before and after CI positively influences auditory-only speech recognition, speech intelligibility, spoken language, and reading outcomes. Three groups of children with CIs from a nationwide database who differed in the duration of early sign language exposure provided in their homes were compared in their progress through elementary grades. The groups did not differ in demographic, auditory, or linguistic characteristics before implantation. Children without early sign language exposure achieved better speech recognition skills over the first 3 years postimplant and exhibited a statistically significant advantage in spoken language and reading near the end of elementary grades over children exposed to sign language. Over 70% of children without sign language exposure achieved age-appropriate spoken language compared with only 39% of those exposed for 3 or more years. Early speech perception predicted speech intelligibility in middle elementary grades. Children without sign language exposure produced speech that was more intelligible (mean = 70%) than those exposed to sign language (mean = 51%). This study provides the most compelling support yet available in CI literature for the benefits of spoken language input for promoting verbal development in children implanted by 3 years of age. Contrary to earlier published assertions, there was no advantage to parents' use of sign language either before or after CI. Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  12. Age and Second Language Acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singleton, David

    2001-01-01

    Reviews the age factor in second language learning. Sketches some of the relevant research findings that have emerged in the last three decades and hones in on the results recently published on age-related research. Concludes with a discussion of whether there is an age factor in second language learning. (Author/VWL)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  16. Poetry in South African Sign Language: What is different? | Baker ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads. ... Poetry in a sign language can make use of literary devices just as poetry in a ... This poem illustrates well the multi-layered meaning that can be created in sign language poetry through ...

  17. Italian Sign Language (LIS) Poetry: Iconic Properties and Structural Regularities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Tommaso; Giuranna, Rosaria; Pizzuto, Elena

    2001-01-01

    Explores and describes from a crosslinguistic perspective, some of the major structural irregularities that characterize poetry in Italian Sign Language and distinguish poetic from nonpoetic texts. Reviews findings of previous studies of signed language poetry, and points out issues that need to be clarified to provide a more accurate description…

  18. Recognition of sign language gestures using neural networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Vamplew

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the structure and performance of the SLARTI sign language recognition system developed at the University of Tasmania. SLARTI uses a modular architecture consisting of multiple feature-recognition neural networks and a nearest-neighbour classifier to recognise Australian sign language (Auslan hand gestures.

  19. Recognition of sign language gestures using neural networks

    OpenAIRE

    Simon Vamplew

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes the structure and performance of the SLARTI sign language recognition system developed at the University of Tasmania. SLARTI uses a modular architecture consisting of multiple feature-recognition neural networks and a nearest-neighbour classifier to recognise Australian sign language (Auslan) hand gestures.

  20. The Effect of New Technologies on Sign Language Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Technology to Support Sign Language for Students with Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donne, Vicki

    2013-01-01

    This systematic review of the literature provides a synthesis of research on the use of technology to support sign language. Background research on the use of sign language with students who are deaf/hard of hearing and students with low incidence disabilities, such as autism, intellectual disability, or communication disorders is provided. The…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  3. Question-Answer Pairs in Sign Language of the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kimmelman, V.; Vink, L.

    2017-01-01

    Several sign languages of the world utilize a construction that consists of a question followed by an answer, both of which are produced by the same signer. For American Sign Language, this construction has been analyzed as a discourse-level rhetorical question construction (Hoza et al. 1997), as a

  4. Introduction: Sign Language, Sustainable Development, and Equal Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Clerck, Goedele A. M.

    2017-01-01

    This article has been excerpted from "Introduction: Sign Language, Sustainable Development, and Equal Opportunities" (De Clerck) in "Sign Language, Sustainable Development, and Equal Opportunities: Envisioning the Future for Deaf Students" (G. A. M. De Clerck & P. V. Paul (Eds.) 2016). The idea of exploring various…

  5. Implementing Language Acquisition in Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrigan, Richard P.

    2009-01-01

    Ads that read, "If you can speak it, you can teach it," attracted thousands of young people to travel the world to teach English as a Second Language (ESL). English language schools of the 1960s and 1970s flourished with the influx of native speakers who were given a scripted textbook with all the "right" things to say. However, by the end of the…

  6. Neurolinguistics Aspects of Second Language Acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laleh Fakhraee Faruji

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available   Fundamental breakthroughs in the neurosciences, combined with technical innovations for measuring brain activity, are shedding new light on the neural basis of second language (L2
    processing, and on its relationship to native language processing (L1 (Perani & Abutalebi, 2005.  Over the past two decades, a large body of neuroimaging studies has been devoted to the study of the neural organization of language (De´monet, Thierry, & Cardebat, 2005; Indefrey & Levelt, 2004; Price, 2000 as cited in Abutalebi, 2008. The value that functional neuroimaging adds to language research is to improve the perspective on the distributed anatomy of language. Thus, it can be used with considerable precision to identify the neural networks underlying the different domains of language processing. In this paper some main issues related to neurolinguistics and second language acquisition with a focus on bilingualism will be discussed.

  7. "Hearing" the signs:influence of sign language in an inclusive classroom

    OpenAIRE

    Monney, M. (Mariette)

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Finding new methods to achieve the goals of Education For All is a constant worry for primary school teachers. Multisensory methods have been proved to be efficient in the past decades. Sign Language, being a visual and kinesthetic language, could become a future educational tool to fulfill the needs of a growing diversity of learners. This ethnographic study describes how Sign Language exposure in inclusive classr...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  9. Individual Differences in Language Acquisition and Processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidd, Evan; Donnelly, Seamus; Christiansen, Morten H

    2018-02-01

    Humans differ in innumerable ways, with considerable variation observable at every level of description, from the molecular to the social. Traditionally, linguistic and psycholinguistic theory has downplayed the possibility of meaningful differences in language across individuals. However, it is becoming increasingly evident that there is significant variation among speakers at any age as well as across the lifespan. Here, we review recent research in psycholinguistics, and argue that a focus on individual differences (IDs) provides a crucial source of evidence that bears strongly upon core issues in theories of the acquisition and processing of language; specifically, the role of experience in language acquisition, processing, and attainment, and the architecture of the language system. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Second Language Acquisition and Schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dugan, James E.

    2014-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder that results in language-related symptoms at various discourse levels, ranging from semantics (e.g. inventing words and producing nonsensical strands of similar-sounding words) to pragmatics and higher-level functioning (e.g. too little or too much information given to interlocutors, and tangential…

  11. The Phonetics of Head and Body Movement in the Realization of American Sign Language Signs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyrone, Martha E; Mauk, Claude E

    2016-01-01

    Because the primary articulators for sign languages are the hands, sign phonology and phonetics have focused mainly on them and treated other articulators as passive targets. However, there is abundant research on the role of nonmanual articulators in sign language grammar and prosody. The current study examines how hand and head/body movements are coordinated to realize phonetic targets. Kinematic data were collected from 5 deaf American Sign Language (ASL) signers to allow the analysis of movements of the hands, head and body during signing. In particular, we examine how the chin, forehead and torso move during the production of ASL signs at those three phonological locations. Our findings suggest that for signs with a lexical movement toward the head, the forehead and chin move to facilitate convergence with the hand. By comparison, the torso does not move to facilitate convergence with the hand for signs located at the torso. These results imply that the nonmanual articulators serve a phonetic as well as a grammatical or prosodic role in sign languages. Future models of sign phonetics and phonology should take into consideration the movements of the nonmanual articulators in the realization of signs. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. Observations on Word Order in Saudi Arabian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.…

  13. Australian Aboriginal Deaf People and Aboriginal Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  14. Extended, Embodied Cognition and Second Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Dwight

    2010-01-01

    A "cognitivist" approach to cognition has traditionally dominated second language acquisition (SLA) studies. In this article, I examine two alternative approaches--"extended cognition" and "embodied cognition"--for how they might help us conceptualize SLA. More specifically, I present: (i) summaries of extended and embodied cognition, followed by…

  15. Interaction and Instructed Second Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loewen, Shawn; Sato, Masatoshi

    2018-01-01

    Interaction is an indispensable component in second language acquisition (SLA). This review surveys the instructed SLA research, both classroom and laboratory-based, that has been conducted primarily within the interactionist approach, beginning with the core constructs of interaction, namely input, negotiation for meaning, and output. The review…

  16. Auditory Processing Disorder and Foreign Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veselovska, Ganna

    2015-01-01

    This article aims at exploring various strategies for coping with the auditory processing disorder in the light of foreign language acquisition. The techniques relevant to dealing with the auditory processing disorder can be attributed to environmental and compensatory approaches. The environmental one involves actions directed at creating a…

  17. Complexity and Conflicting Grammars in Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westergaard, Marit

    2014-01-01

    The article by Amaral and Roeper (this issue; henceforth A&R) presents many interesting ideas about first and second language acquisition as well as some experimental data convincingly illustrating the difference between production and comprehension. The article extends the concept of Universal Bilingualism proposed in Roeper (1999) to second…

  18. Naturalistic acquisition in an early language classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahl, Anne; Vulchanova, Mila D

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated whether it is possible to provide naturalistic second language acquisition (SLA) of vocabulary for young learners in a classroom situation without resorting to a classical immersion approach. Participants were 60 first-grade pupils in two Norwegian elementary schools in their first year. The control group followed regular instruction as prescribed by the school curriculum, while the experimental group received increased naturalistic target language input. This entailed extensive use of English by the teacher during English classes, and also during morning meetings and for simple instructions and classroom management throughout the day. Our hypothesis was that it is possible to facilitate naturalistic acquisition through better quality target language exposure within a normal curriculum. The students' English vocabulary knowledge was measured using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, version 4 (PPVT-IV, Dunn and Dunn, 2007a), at the beginning and the end of the first year of school. Findings are that (1) early-start second-language (L2) programs in school do not in themselves guarantee vocabulary development in the first year, (2) a focus on increased exposure to the L2 can lead to a significant increase in receptive vocabulary comprehension in the course of only 8 months, and (3) even with relatively modest input, learners in such an early-start L2 program can display vocabulary acquisition comparable in some respects to that of younger native children matched on vocabulary size. The overall conclusion is that naturalistic vocabulary acquisition is in fact possible in a classroom setting.

  19. Neuroimaging and Research into Second Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabourin, Laura

    2009-01-01

    Neuroimaging techniques are becoming not only more and more sophisticated but are also coming to be increasingly accessible to researchers. One thing that one should take note of is the potential of neuroimaging research within second language acquisition (SLA) to contribute to issues pertaining to the plasticity of the adult brain and to general…

  20. Ovide Decroly's Views on Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebrun, Yvan; Van De Craen, Piet

    1975-01-01

    Belgian physician and psychologist Ovide Decroly, keenly interested in language acquisition, devised tests to measure verbal skills in children and campaigned for the adoption of the sentence method rather than the word-building method in teaching reading and writing. (Author/CL)

  1. About using serious games to teach (Portuguese) sign language

    OpenAIRE

    Gameiro, João Manuel Ferreira

    2014-01-01

    Sign language is the form of communication used by Deaf people, which, in most cases have been learned since childhood. The problem arises when a non-Deaf tries to contact with a Deaf. For example, when non-Deaf parents try to communicate with their Deaf child. In most cases, this situation tends to happen when the parents did not have time to properly learn sign language. This dissertation proposes the teaching of sign language through the usage of serious games. Currently, similar soluti...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  3. QAL: a language for nuclear physics data acquisition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perry, D.G.

    1979-01-01

    QAL is a data-acquisition language designed to facilitate the experimental interface to the LAMPF-designed Q data-acquisition system. The language constructs available are reviewed. The language is designed around the CAMAC standard and provides experimenters a language interface to the hardware which is easy to understand. Software written in the QAL language is modular and simple to modify

  4. Age of acquisition effects on the functional organization of language in the adult brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayberry, Rachel I; Chen, Jen-Kai; Witcher, Pamela; Klein, Denise

    2011-10-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we neuroimaged deaf adults as they performed two linguistic tasks with sentences in American Sign Language, grammatical judgment and phonemic-hand judgment. Participants' age-onset of sign language acquisition ranged from birth to 14 years; length of sign language experience was substantial and did not vary in relation to age of acquisition. For both tasks, a more left lateralized pattern of activation was observed, with activity for grammatical judgment being more anterior than that observed for phonemic-hand judgment, which was more posterior by comparison. Age of acquisition was linearly and negatively related to activation levels in anterior language regions and positively related to activation levels in posterior visual regions for both tasks. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Wyatte C

    2017-05-01

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

  6. Early Sign Language Experience Goes along with an Increased Cross-Modal Gain for Affective Prosodic Recognition in Congenitally Deaf CI Users

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fengler, Ineke; Delfau, Pia-Céline; Röder, Brigitte

    2018-01-01

    It is yet unclear whether congenitally deaf cochlear implant (CD CI) users' visual and multisensory emotion perception is influenced by their history in sign language acquisition. We hypothesized that early-signing CD CI users, relative to late-signing CD CI users and hearing, non-signing controls, show better facial expression recognition and…

  7. On Cultivating Students' Motivation in Second Language Acquisition

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    沈小平

    2009-01-01

    This paper attempts to explore the cultivation of motivation in second language acquisition based on shedding new light on the definition, the importance, and the classification of learners' motivation in second language acquisition.

  8. The acquisition of English as a second language in Rwanda ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The acquisition of English as a second language in Rwanda: Challenges and ... E Sibomana ... Building on the factors which are believed to affect second language (L2) acquisition and learning, this article explores constraints, challenges, ...

  9. Endogenous sources of variation in language acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Chung-Hye; Musolino, Julien; Lidz, Jeffrey

    2016-01-26

    A fundamental question in the study of human language acquisition centers around apportioning explanatory force between the experience of the learner and the core knowledge that allows learners to represent that experience. We provide a previously unidentified kind of data identifying children's contribution to language acquisition. We identify one aspect of grammar that varies unpredictably across a population of speakers of what is ostensibly a single language. We further demonstrate that the grammatical knowledge of parents and their children is independent. The combination of unpredictable variation and parent-child independence suggests that the relevant structural feature is supplied by each learner independent of experience with the language. This structural feature is abstract because it controls variation in more than one construction. The particular case we examine is the position of the verb in the clause structure of Korean. Because Korean is a head-final language, evidence for the syntactic position of the verb is both rare and indirect. We show that (i) Korean speakers exhibit substantial variability regarding this aspect of the grammar, (ii) this variability is attested between speakers but not within a speaker, (iii) this variability controls interpretation in two surface constructions, and (iv) it is independent in parents and children. According to our findings, when the exposure language is compatible with multiple grammars, learners acquire a single systematic grammar. Our observation that children and their parents vary independently suggests that the choice of grammar is driven in part by a process operating internal to individual learners.

  10. The translation of biblical texts into South African Sign Language ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The translation of biblical texts into South African Sign Language. ... Native signers were used as translators with the assistance of hearing specialists in the fields of religion and translation studies. ... AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO ...

  11. Making an Online Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... is n example of a contemporary sign language dictionary that leverages the 21st ... informed development of this bilingual, bi-directional, multimedia dictionary. ... and dealing with sociolinguistic variation in the selection and performance of ...

  12. Basic Color Terms in Estonian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Lexical access in sign language: A computational model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi Kenney Caselli

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  16. Indonesian Sign Language Number Recognition using SIFT Algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahfudi, Isa; Sarosa, Moechammad; Andrie Asmara, Rosa; Azrino Gustalika, M.

    2018-04-01

    Indonesian sign language (ISL) is generally used for deaf individuals and poor people communication in communicating. They use sign language as their primary language which consists of 2 types of action: sign and finger spelling. However, not all people understand their sign language so that this becomes a problem for them to communicate with normal people. this problem also becomes a factor they are isolated feel from the social life. It needs a solution that can help them to be able to interacting with normal people. Many research that offers a variety of methods in solving the problem of sign language recognition based on image processing. SIFT (Scale Invariant Feature Transform) algorithm is one of the methods that can be used to identify an object. SIFT is claimed very resistant to scaling, rotation, illumination and noise. Using SIFT algorithm for Indonesian sign language recognition number result rate recognition to 82% with the use of a total of 100 samples image dataset consisting 50 sample for training data and 50 sample images for testing data. Change threshold value get affect the result of the recognition. The best value threshold is 0.45 with rate recognition of 94%.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  18. Selected Lexical Patterns in Saudi Arabian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  20. Poetry in South African Sign Language: What is different?

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mary Theresa Biberauer

    The study of literary expression in sign languages has increased over the last twenty .... extensively to express emotion on the part of a character in the narrative. ... township in her non-manual facial expressions while signing manually what is ...

  1. The morphosyntax of verbs of motion in serial constructions: a crosslinguistic study in three signed languages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benedicto, E.; Cvejanov, S.; Quer, J.; Quer, J.F.

    2008-01-01

    This paper provides a comparative analysis of the structural properties of serial verb constructions (SVC) in three sign languages: LSA (Lengua de Señas Argentina, Argentinean Sign Language), LSC (Llengua de Signes Catalana, Catalan Sign Language) and ASL (American Sign Language). The paper presents

  2. Authentic Language Input Through Audiovisual Technology and Second Language Acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taher Bahrani

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Second language acquisition cannot take place without having exposure to language input. With regard to this, the present research aimed at providing empirical evidence about the low and the upper-intermediate language learners’ preferred type of audiovisual programs and language proficiency development outside the classroom. To this end, 60 language learners (30 low level and 30 upper-intermediate level were asked to have exposure to their preferred types of audiovisual program(s outside the classroom and keep a diary of the amount and the type of exposure. The obtained data indicated that the low-level participants preferred cartoons and the upper-intermediate participants preferred news more. To find out which language proficiency level could improve its language proficiency significantly, a post-test was administered. The results indicated that only the upper-intermediate language learners gained significant improvement. Based on the findings, the quality of the language input should be given priority over the amount of exposure.

  3. Semantic facilitation in bilingual first language acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilson, Samuel; Yoshida, Hanako; Tran, Crystal D; Woods, Elizabeth A; Hills, Thomas T

    2015-07-01

    Bilingual first language learners face unique challenges that may influence the rate and order of early word learning relative to monolinguals. A comparison of the productive vocabularies of 435 children between the ages of 6 months and 7 years-181 of which were bilingual English learners-found that monolinguals learned both English words and all-language concepts faster than bilinguals. However, bilinguals showed an enhancement of an effect previously found in monolinguals-the preference for learning words with more associative cues. Though both monolinguals and bilinguals were best fit by a similar model of word learning, semantic network structure and growth indicated that the two groups were learning English words in a different order. Further, in comparison with a model of two-monolinguals-in-one-mind, bilinguals overproduced translational equivalents. Our results support an emergent account of bilingual first language acquisition, where learning a word in one language facilitates its acquisition in a second language. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. A study of syllable codas in South African Sign Language

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Kate H

    A South African Sign Language Dictionary for Families with Young Deaf Children (SLED 2006) was used with permission ... Figure 1: Syllable structure of a CVC syllable in the word “bed”. In spoken languages .... often than not, there is a societal emphasis on 'fixing' a child's deafness and attempting to teach deaf children to ...

  5. Ideologies and Attitudes toward Sign Languages: An Approximation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krausneker, Verena

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  7. Processability in Scandinavian second language acquisition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Glahn, Esther; Håkansson, Gisela; Hammerberg, Björn

    2001-01-01

    . The three languages mentioned are very closely related and have the same adjective morphology and subordinate clause syntax. We can, therefore, treat them as one language for the purposes of this study. Three analyses have been carried out: The first follows Pienemann's theory and is concerned only...... with syntactic levels; the second is a semantic analysis of the acquisition of number versus that of gender; the third analysis studies the various kinds of mismatches between the inflection of the noun, the controller, and the adjective. The results are the following: The first test supports PT as it has been...... described by Pienemann. The second analysis shows that there is an acquisitional hierarchy such that number is acquired before gender (in adjectives), and the mismatch analysis raises questions about the fundamental assumptions of the theory....

  8. Frames of reference in spatial language acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shusterman, Anna; Li, Peggy

    2016-08-01

    Languages differ in how they encode spatial frames of reference. It is unknown how children acquire the particular frame-of-reference terms in their language (e.g., left/right, north/south). The present paper uses a word-learning paradigm to investigate 4-year-old English-speaking children's acquisition of such terms. In Part I, with five experiments, we contrasted children's acquisition of novel word pairs meaning left-right and north-south to examine their initial hypotheses and the relative ease of learning the meanings of these terms. Children interpreted ambiguous spatial terms as having environment-based meanings akin to north and south, and they readily learned and generalized north-south meanings. These studies provide the first direct evidence that children invoke geocentric representations in spatial language acquisition. However, the studies leave unanswered how children ultimately acquire "left" and "right." In Part II, with three more experiments, we investigated why children struggle to master body-based frame-of-reference words. Children successfully learned "left" and "right" when the novel words were systematically introduced on their own bodies and extended these words to novel (intrinsic and relative) uses; however, they had difficulty learning to talk about the left and right sides of a doll. This difficulty was paralleled in identifying the left and right sides of the doll in a non-linguistic memory task. In contrast, children had no difficulties learning to label the front and back sides of a doll. These studies begin to paint a detailed account of the acquisition of spatial terms in English, and provide insights into the origins of diverse spatial reference frames in the world's languages. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  10. The Influence of Language Distance and Language Status on the Acquisition of L3 Phonology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llama, Raquel; Cardoso, Walcir; Collins, Laura

    2010-01-01

    Research in the field of third language acquisition has consistently identified two key factors which have an effect on the ways in which the two known languages may influence the acquisition of a third. These factors are language distance (typology) and language status (more specifically, second language, L2, or non-native language status). To…

  11. Recognition of Indian Sign Language in Live Video

    Science.gov (United States)

    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%.

  12. Real-time lexical comprehension in young children learning American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Kyle; LaMarr, Todd; Corina, David; Marchman, Virginia A; Fernald, Anne

    2018-04-16

    When children interpret spoken language in real time, linguistic information drives rapid shifts in visual attention to objects in the visual world. This language-vision interaction can provide insights into children's developing efficiency in language comprehension. But how does language influence visual attention when the linguistic signal and the visual world are both processed via the visual channel? Here, we measured eye movements during real-time comprehension of a visual-manual language, American Sign Language (ASL), by 29 native ASL-learning children (16-53 mos, 16 deaf, 13 hearing) and 16 fluent deaf adult signers. All signers showed evidence of rapid, incremental language comprehension, tending to initiate an eye movement before sign offset. Deaf and hearing ASL-learners showed similar gaze patterns, suggesting that the in-the-moment dynamics of eye movements during ASL processing are shaped by the constraints of processing a visual language in real time and not by differential access to auditory information in day-to-day life. Finally, variation in children's ASL processing was positively correlated with age and vocabulary size. Thus, despite competition for attention within a single modality, the timing and accuracy of visual fixations during ASL comprehension reflect information processing skills that are important for language acquisition regardless of language modality. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Serbian language acquisition in communist Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sorescu-Marinković Annemarie

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper analyzes a unique linguistic phenomenon characterizing Romania’s western border areas for almost a decade, in the 1980s: the acquisition of the Serbian language by Romanians in Timişoara under the communist regime, primarily through exposure to Yugoslav television programmes. It gives a necessarily sketchy overview of private life under communism, notably the situation in the Banat province, whose privileged position as a result of being closest to the West both geographically and culturally was reflected in the acceptance of pluralism and a critical attitude towards authoritarianism. Taking into account the literature on foreign language acquisition through exposure to television programmes, the study is based on a research involving Romanian natives of Timişoara who, although lacking any formal instruction in Serbian, intensively and regularly watched Yugoslav television programmes in the period in question, and on evaluating their competence and proficiency in Serbian, through language tests, narrative interviews in Romanian and free conversations in Serbian. The conclusion is that most respondents, despite the varying degree of proficiency in Serbian depending on their active use of the language before and after 1989, showed a strong pragmatic competence, which appears to contradict the author’s initial hypothesis.

  14. Word order in Russian Sign Language

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kimmelman, V.

    2012-01-01

    The article discusses word order, the syntactic arrangement of words in a sentence, clause, or phrase as one of the most crucial aspects of grammar of any spoken language. It aims to investigate the order of the primary constituents which can either be subject, object, or verb of a simple

  15. On the System of Place Name Signs in Estonian Sign Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liina Paales

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available A place name sign is a linguistic-cultural marker that includes both memory and landscape. The author regards toponymic signs in Estonian Sign Language as representations of images held by the Estonian Deaf community: they reflect the geographical place, the period, the relationships of the Deaf community with hearing community, and the common and distinguishing features of the two cultures perceived by community's members. Name signs represent an element of signlore, which includes various types of creative linguistic play. There are stories hidden behind the place name signs that reveal the etymological origin of place name signs and reflect the community's memory. The purpose of this article is twofold. Firstly, it aims to introduce Estonian place name signs as Deaf signlore forms, analyse their structure and specify the main formation methods. Secondly, it interprets place-denoting signs in the light of understanding the foundations of Estonian Sign Language, Estonian Deaf education and education history, the traditions of local Deaf communities, and also of the cultural and local traditions of the dominant hearing communities. Both perspectives - linguistic and folkloristic - are represented in the current article.

  16. Papers in Language Learning and Language Acquisition. AFinLA Yearbook 1980. No. 28.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajavaara, Kari, Ed.; And Others

    Papers include: (1) "Language Acquisitional Universals: L1, L2, Pidgins, and FLT" (Henning Wode); (2) "Language Acquisition, Language Learning and the School Curriculum" (Norman F. Davies); (3) "Language Teaching and Acquisition of Communication" (Kari Sajavaara, Jaakko Lehtonen); (4) "On the Distinction between…

  17. Training Literacy Skills through Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  18. FORMS OF HAND IN SIGN LANGUAGE IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Husnija Hasanbegović

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Sign in sign language, equivalent to the word, phrase or a sentence in the oral-language, can be divided in linguistic units of lower levels: shape of the hand, place of articulation, type of movement and orientation of the palm. The first description of these units, which today is present and applicable in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H, was given by Zimmerman in 1986, who found 27 shapes of hand, while other types were not systematically developed or described. The target of this study was to determine the possible existence of other forms of hand movements present in sign language in B&H. By the method of content analysis, the 425 analyzed signs in sign launguage in B&H, confirmed their existence, but we also discovered and presented 14 new shapes of the hand. This way, we confirmed the need of implementing a detailed research, standardization and publishing of sign language in B&H, which would provide adequate conditions for its study and application, as for the deaf, and all the others who come into direct contact with them.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. MODEL NATIVIS LANGUAGE ACQUISITION DEVICE (SEBUAH TEORI PEMEROLEHAN BAHASA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mamluatul Hasanah

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The ability of using mother tongue has been possessed by every child. They can master the language without getting specific education. In a short time a child has mastered the language to communicate with others. There are many theories of language acquisition. One of them that still exists is The Native Model of Language Acquisition (LAD. This theory was pioneered by Noam Chomsky. In this language naturally. This ability develops automatically when the language is used is Language Acquisition Device (LAD. LAD constitutes a hypothesis of feature of grammatical rules used progressively by a child in accordance with his psychological development.

  1. Structural brain changes linked to delayed first language acquisition in congenitally deaf individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pénicaud, Sidonie; Klein, Denise; Zatorre, Robert J; Chen, Jen-Kai; Witcher, Pamela; Hyde, Krista; Mayberry, Rachel I

    2013-02-01

    Early language experience is essential for the development of a high level of linguistic proficiency in adulthood and in a recent functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) experiment, we showed that a delayed acquisition of a first language results in changes in the functional organization of the adult brain (Mayberry et al., 2011). The present study extends the question to explore if delayed acquisition of a first language also modulates the structural development of the brain. To this end, we carried out anatomical MRI in the same group of congenitally deaf individuals who varied in the age of acquisition of a first language, American Sign Language -ASL (Mayberry et al., 2011) and used a neuroanatomical technique, Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM), to explore changes in gray and white matter concentrations across the brain related to the age of first language acquisition. The results show that delayed acquisition of a first language is associated with changes in tissue concentration in the occipital cortex close to the area that has been found to show functional recruitment during language processing in these deaf individuals with a late age of acquisition. These findings suggest that a lack of early language experience affects not only the functional but also the anatomical organization of the brain. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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,…

  4. Language policies and sign language translation and interpreting: connections between Brazil and Mozambique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvana Aguiar dos Santos

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/1984-8420.2015v16n2p101 This paper is the result of an initial attempt to establish a connection between Brazil and Mozambique regarding sign language translation and interpreting. It reviews some important landmarks in language policies aimed at sign languages in these countries and discusses how certain actions directly impact political decisions related to sign lan­guage translation and interpreting. In this context, two lines of argument are developed. The first one addresses the role of sign language translation and interpreting in the Por­tuguese-speaking context, since Portuguese is the official language in both countries; the other offers some reflections about the Deaf movements and the movements of sign lan­guage translators and interpreters, the legal recognition of sign languages, the develop­ment of undergraduate courses and the contemporary challenges in the work of transla­tion professionals. Finally, it is suggested that sign language translators and interpreters in both Brazil and Mozambique undertake efforts to press government bodies to invest in: (i area-specific training for translators and interpreters, (ii qualification of the ser­vices provided by such professionals, and (iii development of human resources at mas­ter’s and doctoral levels in order to strengthen research on sign language translation and interpreting in the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries.

  5. Words, rules, and mechanisms of language acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Endress, Ansgar D; Bonatti, Luca L

    2016-01-01

    We review recent artificial language learning studies, especially those following Endress and Bonatti (Endress AD, Bonatti LL. Rapid learning of syllable classes from a perceptually continuous speech stream. Cognition 2007, 105:247-299), suggesting that humans can deploy a variety of learning mechanisms to acquire artificial languages. Several experiments provide evidence for multiple learning mechanisms that can be deployed in fluent speech: one mechanism encodes the positions of syllables within words and can be used to extract generalization, while the other registers co-occurrence statistics of syllables and can be used to break a continuum into its components. We review dissociations between these mechanisms and their potential role in language acquisition. We then turn to recent criticisms of the multiple mechanisms hypothesis and show that they are inconsistent with the available data. Our results suggest that artificial and natural language learning is best understood by dissecting the underlying specialized learning abilities, and that these data provide a rare opportunity to link important language phenomena to basic psychological mechanisms. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. Imitation, sign language skill and the Developmental Ease of Language Understanding (D-ELU model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emil eHolmer

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available 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 the 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

  8. Information Transfer Capacity of Articulators in American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malaia, Evie; Borneman, Joshua D; Wilbur, Ronnie B

    2018-03-01

    The ability to convey information is a fundamental property of communicative signals. For sign languages, which are overtly produced with multiple, completely visible articulators, the question arises as to how the various channels co-ordinate and interact with each other. We analyze motion capture data of American Sign Language (ASL) narratives, and show that the capacity of information throughput, mathematically defined, is highest on the dominant hand (DH). We further demonstrate that information transfer capacity is also significant for the non-dominant hand (NDH), and the head channel too, as compared to control channels (ankles). We discuss both redundancy and independence in articulator motion in sign language, and argue that the NDH and the head articulators contribute to the overall information transfer capacity, indicating that they are neither completely redundant to, nor completely independent of, the DH.

  9. Sign language processing and the mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corina, David P; Knapp, Heather

    2006-05-01

    In this paper we review evidence for frontal and parietal lobe involvement in sign language comprehension and production, and evaluate the extent to which these data can be interpreted within the context of a mirror neuron system for human action observation and execution. We present data from three literatures--aphasia, cortical stimulation, and functional neuroimaging. Generally, we find support for the idea that sign language comprehension and production can be viewed in the context of a broadly-construed frontal-parietal human action observation/execution system. However, sign language data cannot be fully accounted for under a strict interpretation of the mirror neuron system. Additionally, we raise a number of issues concerning the lack of specificity in current accounts of the human action observation/execution system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baus, Cristina; Costa, Albert

    2015-06-03

    This study investigates the temporal dynamics of sign production and how particular aspects of the signed modality influence the early stages of lexical access. To that end, we explored the electrophysiological correlates associated to sign frequency and iconicity in a picture signing task in a group of bimodal bilinguals. Moreover, a subset of the same participants was tested in the same task but naming the pictures instead. Our results revealed that both frequency and iconicity influenced lexical access in sign production. At the ERP level, iconicity effects originated very early in the course of signing (while absent in the spoken modality), suggesting a stronger activation of the semantic properties for iconic signs. Moreover, frequency effects were modulated by iconicity, suggesting that lexical access in signed language is determined by the iconic properties of the signs. These results support the idea that lexical access is sensitive to the same phenomena in word and sign production, but its time-course is modulated by particular aspects of the modality in which a lexical item will be finally articulated. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  13. Bi-channel Sensor Fusion for Automatic Sign Language Recognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kim, Jonghwa; Wagner, Johannes; Rehm, Matthias

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, we investigate the mutual-complementary functionality of accelerometer (ACC) and electromyogram (EMG) for recognizing seven word-level sign vocabularies in German sign language (GSL). Results are discussed for the single channels and for feature-level fusion for the bichannel senso......-independent condition, where subjective differences do not allow for high recognition rates. Finally we discuss a problem of feature-level fusion caused by high disparity between accuracies of each single channel classification....

  14. Sign language in dental education-A new nexus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, T; Cumberbatch, K

    2017-08-14

    The introduction of the landmark mandatory teaching of sign language to undergraduate dental students at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus in Kingston, Jamaica, to bridge the communication gap between dentists and their patients is reviewed. A review of over 90 Doctor of Dental Surgery and Doctor of Dental Medicine curricula in North America, the United Kingdom, parts of Europe and Australia showed no inclusion of sign language in those curricula as a mandatory component. In Jamaica, the government's training school for dental auxiliaries served as the forerunner to the UWI's introduction of formal training of sign language in 2012. Outside of the UWI, a couple of dental schools have sign language courses, but none have a mandatory programme as the one at the UWI. Dentists the world over have had to rely on interpreters to sign with their deaf patients. The deaf in Jamaica have not appreciated the fact that dentists cannot sign and they have felt insulted and only go to the dentist in emergency situations. The mandatory inclusion of sign language in the Undergraduate Dental Programme curriculum at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, sought to establish a direct communication channel to formally bridge this gap. The programme of two sign language courses and a direct clinical competency requirement was developed during the second year of the first cohort of the newly introduced undergraduate dental programme through a collaborating partnership between two faculties on the Mona Campus. The programme was introduced in 2012 in the third year of the 5-year undergraduate dental programme. To date, two cohorts have completed the programme, and the preliminary findings from an ongoing clinical study have shown a positive impact on dental care access and dental treatment for deaf patients at the UWI Mona Dental Polyclinic. The development of a direct communication channel between dental students and the deaf that has led to increased dental

  15. Second Language Acquisition and Its Pscycho-cultural Implications

    OpenAIRE

    Waskita, Dana

    2009-01-01

    Bilingualism or multilingualism may imply socioeconomic advantages. But a further literature study indicates that this may also affect psychological and cultural viewpoints. The acquisition of second language would significantly influence the mentality or perceptual framework of the language users. Consequently, this finding may inspire to the appropriate pedagogical methods in language acquisition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2014 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Teaching and Learning Sign Language as a “Foreign” Language ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In recent years, there has been a growing debate in the United States, Europe, and Australia about the nature of the Deaf community as a cultural community,1 and the recognition of signed languages as “real” or “legitimate” languages comparable in all meaningful ways to spoken languages. An important element of this ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. A random matrix approach to language acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolaidis, A.; Kosmidis, Kosmas; Argyrakis, Panos

    2009-12-01

    Since language is tied to cognition, we expect the linguistic structures to reflect patterns that we encounter in nature and are analyzed by physics. Within this realm we investigate the process of lexicon acquisition, using analytical and tractable methods developed within physics. A lexicon is a mapping between sounds and referents of the perceived world. This mapping is represented by a matrix and the linguistic interaction among individuals is described by a random matrix model. There are two essential parameters in our approach. The strength of the linguistic interaction β, which is considered as a genetically determined ability, and the number N of sounds employed (the lexicon size). Our model of linguistic interaction is analytically studied using methods of statistical physics and simulated by Monte Carlo techniques. The analysis reveals an intricate relationship between the innate propensity for language acquisition β and the lexicon size N, N~exp(β). Thus a small increase of the genetically determined β may lead to an incredible lexical explosion. Our approximate scheme offers an explanation for the biological affinity of different species and their simultaneous linguistic disparity.

  1. A random matrix approach to language acquisition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicolaidis, A; Kosmidis, Kosmas; Argyrakis, Panos

    2009-01-01

    Since language is tied to cognition, we expect the linguistic structures to reflect patterns that we encounter in nature and are analyzed by physics. Within this realm we investigate the process of lexicon acquisition, using analytical and tractable methods developed within physics. A lexicon is a mapping between sounds and referents of the perceived world. This mapping is represented by a matrix and the linguistic interaction among individuals is described by a random matrix model. There are two essential parameters in our approach. The strength of the linguistic interaction β, which is considered as a genetically determined ability, and the number N of sounds employed (the lexicon size). Our model of linguistic interaction is analytically studied using methods of statistical physics and simulated by Monte Carlo techniques. The analysis reveals an intricate relationship between the innate propensity for language acquisition β and the lexicon size N, N∼exp(β). Thus a small increase of the genetically determined β may lead to an incredible lexical explosion. Our approximate scheme offers an explanation for the biological affinity of different species and their simultaneous linguistic disparity

  2. Sign Language Legislation as a Tool for Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pabsch, Annika

    2017-01-01

    This article explores three models of sustainability (environmental, economic, and social) and identifies characteristics of a sustainable community necessary to sustain the Deaf community as a whole. It is argued that sign language legislation is a valuable tool for achieving sustainability for the generations to come.

  3. On Selected Phonological Patterns in Saudi Arabian Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  4. Achieving mutual understanding in Argentine Sign Language (LSA)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Manrique Cordeje, M.E.

    2017-01-01

    How does (mis)understanding works in conversation? Problems of understanding occur all the time in our everyday social life. How does miscommunication happen and how do we deal with it? This thesis reports on how sign language users manage to understand each other based on a large Conversational

  5. Gesture and Signing in Support of Expressive Language Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker-Ramos, Leslie K.

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this teacher inquiry is to explore the effects of signing and gesturing on the expressive language development of non-verbal children. The first phase of my inquiry begins with the observations of several non-verbal students with various etiologies in three different educational settings. The focus of these observations is to…

  6. Face Recognition Is Shaped by the Use of Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoll, Chloé; Palluel-Germain, Richard; Caldara, Roberto; Lao, Junpeng; Dye, Matthew W. G.; Aptel, Florent; Pascalis, Olivier

    2018-01-01

    Previous research has suggested that early deaf signers differ in face processing. Which aspects of face processing are changed and the role that sign language may have played in that change are however unclear. Here, we compared face categorization (human/non-human) and human face recognition performance in early profoundly deaf signers, hearing…

  7. Space and iconicity in German Sign Language (DGS)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perniss, P.M.

    2007-01-01

    This dissertation investigates the expression of spatial relationships in German Sign Language (Deutsche Gebärdensprache, DGS). The analysis focuses on linguistic expression in the spatial domain in two types of discourse: static scene description (location) and event narratives (location and

  8. Sign language interpreting education : Reflections on interpersonal skills

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hammer, A.; van den Bogaerde, B.; Cirillo, L.; Niemants, N.

    2017-01-01

    We present a description of our didactic approach to train undergraduate sign language interpreters on their interpersonal and reflective skills. Based predominantly on the theory of role-space by Llewellyn-Jones and Lee (2014), we argue that dialogue settings require a dynamic role of the

  9. Sign language interpreting education : Reflections on interpersonal skills

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Annemiek Hammer; Dr. Beppie van den Bogaerde

    2017-01-01

    We present a description of our didactic approach to train undergraduate sign language interpreters on their interpersonal and reflective skills. Based pre-dominantly on the theory of role-space by Llewellyn-Jones and Lee (2014), we argue that dialogue settings require a dynamic role of the

  10. Sign language indexation within the MPEG-7 framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Language Acquisition and Language Learning: Developing the System of External and Internal Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zascerinska, Jelena

    2010-01-01

    Introduction. The use of three-five languages is of the greatest importance in order to form varied cooperative networks for the creation of new knowledge. Aim of the paper is to analyze the synergy between language acquisition and language learning. Materials and Methods. The search for the synergy between language acquisition and language…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Computerized Sign Language-Based Literacy Training for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmer, Emil; Heimann, Mikael; Rudner, Mary

    2017-01-01

    Strengthening the connections between sign language and written language may improve reading skills in deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) signing children. The main aim of the present study was to investigate whether computerized sign language-based literacy training improves reading skills in DHH signing children who are learning to read. Further,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Production and Comprehension of Prosodic Markers in Sign Language Imperatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane Brentari

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In signed and spoken language sentences, imperative mood and the corresponding speech acts such as for instance, command, permission or advice, can be distinguished by morphosyntactic structures, but also solely by prosodic cues, which are the focus of this paper. These cues can express paralinguistic mental states or grammatical meaning, and we show that in American Sign Language (ASL, they also exhibit the function, scope, and alignment of prosodic, linguistic elements of sign languages. The production and comprehension of prosodic facial expressions and temporal patterns therefore can shed light on how cues are grammaticalized in sign languages. They can also be informative about the formal semantic and pragmatic properties of imperative types not only in ASL, but also more broadly. This paper includes three studies: one of production (Study 1 and two of comprehension (Studies 2 and 3. In Study 1, six prosodic cues are analyzed in production: temporal cues of sign and hold duration, and non-manual cues including tilts of the head, head nods, widening of the eyes, and presence of mouthings. Results of Study 1 show that neutral sentences and commands are well distinguished from each other and from other imperative speech acts via these prosodic cues alone; there is more limited differentiation among explanation, permission, and advice. The comprehension of these five speech acts is investigated in Deaf ASL signers in Study 2, and in three additional groups in Study 3: Deaf signers of German Sign Language (DGS, hearing non-signers from the United States, and hearing non-signers from Germany. Results of Studies 2 and 3 show that the ASL group performs significantly better than the other 3 groups and that all groups perform above chance for all meaning types in comprehension. Language-specific knowledge, therefore, has a significant effect on identifying imperatives based on targeted cues. Command has the most cues associated with it and is the

  16. Expressive Vocabulary Acquisition in Children with Intellectual Disability: Speech or Manual Signs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandereet, Joke; Maes, Bea; Lembrechts, Dirk; Zink, Inge

    2011-01-01

    Background: The aim of this study was to examine the degree to which children with intellectual disability (ID) depend on manual signs during their expressive vocabulary acquisition, in relation to child and social-environmental characteristics. Method: Expressive vocabulary acquisition in speech and manual signs was monitored over a 2-year period…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senghas, A; Coppola, M

    2001-07-01

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

  19. A review of theoretical perspectives on language learning and acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norbahira Mohamad Nor

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews three main theoretical perspectives on language learning and acquisition in an attempt to elucidate how people acquire their first language (L1 and learn their second language (L2. Behaviorist, Innatist and Interactionist offer different perspectives on language learning and acquisition which influence the acceptance of how an L2 should be taught and learned. This paper also explicates the relationship between L1 and L2, and elaborates on the similarities and differences between the two. This paper concludes that there is no one solid linguistic theory which can provide the ultimate explanation of L1 acquisition and L2 learning as there are many interrelated factors that influence the success of language acquisition or language learning. The implication is that teachers should base their classroom management practices and pedagogical techniques on several theories rather than a single theory as learners learn and acquire language differently. It is hoped that this paper provides useful insights into the complex process involved in language acquisition and learning, and contributes to the increased awareness of the process among the stakeholders in the field of language education. Keywords: behaviorist, innatist, interactionist, language acquisition, second language learning

  20. Proactive Interference & Language Change in Hearing Adult Students of American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoemann, Harry W.; Kreske, Catherine M.

    1995-01-01

    Describes a study that found, contrary to previous reports, that a strong, symmetrical release from proactive interference (PI) is the normal outcome for switches between American Sign Language (ASL) signs and English words and with switches between Manual and English alphabet characters. Subjects were college students enrolled in their first ASL…

  1. Neural correlates of British sign language comprehension: spatial processing demands of topographic language.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-10-01

    In all signed languages used by deaf people, signs are executed in "sign space" in front of the body. Some signed sentences use this space to map detailed "real-world" spatial relationships directly. Such sentences can be considered to exploit sign space "topographically." Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we explored the extent to which increasing the topographic processing demands of signed sentences was reflected in the differential recruitment of brain regions in deaf and hearing native signers of the British Sign Language. When BSL signers performed a sentence anomaly judgement task, the occipito-temporal junction was activated bilaterally to a greater extent for topographic than nontopographic processing. The differential role of movement in the processing of the two sentence types may account for this finding. In addition, enhanced activation was observed in the left inferior and superior parietal lobules during processing of topographic BSL sentences. We argue that the left parietal lobe is specifically involved in processing the precise configuration and location of hands in space to represent objects, agents, and actions. Importantly, no differences in these regions were observed when hearing people heard and saw English translations of these sentences. Despite the high degree of similarity in the neural systems underlying signed and spoken languages, exploring the linguistic features which are unique to each of these broadens our understanding of the systems involved in language comprehension.

  2. Revisiting First Language Acquisition through Empirical and Rational Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahriri, Abdorreza

    2012-01-01

    Acquisition in general and first language acquisition in particular is a very complex and a multifaceted phenomenon. The way that children acquire a language in a very limited period is astonishing. Various approaches have been proposed so far to account for this extraordinary phenomenon. These approaches are indeed based on various philosophical…

  3. A Shared Platform for Studying Second Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacWhinney, Brian

    2017-01-01

    The study of second language acquisition (SLA) can benefit from the same process of datasharing that has proven effective in areas such as first language acquisition and aphasiology. Researchers can work together to construct a shared platform that combines data from spoken and written corpora, online tutors, and Web-based experimentation. Many of…

  4. Assess the Critical Period Hypothesis in Second Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Lihong

    2010-01-01

    The Critical Period Hypothesis aims to investigate the reason for significant difference between first language acquisition and second language acquisition. Over the past few decades, researchers carried out a series of studies to test the validity of the hypothesis. Although there were certain limitations in these studies, most of their results…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. South African Sign Language and language-in-education policy in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    KATEVG

    As this passage suggests, there is extensive and growing literature, both in .... For instance, sign language mediates experience in a unique way, as of ..... entail Deaf students studying together, in a setting not unlike that provided by residential .... of ASL as a foreign language option in secondary schools and universities.

  7. Sign languages and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages : Descriptors and approaches to assessment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L. Leeson; Dr. Beppie van den Bogaerde; Tobias Haug; C. Rathmann

    2015-01-01

    This resource establishes European standards for sign languages for professional purposes in line with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and provides an overview of assessment descriptors and approaches. Drawing on preliminary work undertaken in adapting the CEFR to

  8. Book Review : A DICTIONARY OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION: A COMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW OF KEY TERMS IN FIRST AND SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaswan Kaswan

    2014-10-01

    on their own to ensure that language develops. Nor is simple exposure to language enough. What is important is the interaction, both linguistic and non-linguistic, which derives from the child’s need to communicate (Tavakoli, 2012: 323.   Next factor is cognitive development which refers to “developmental changes in cognitive abilities, processes, and structures” (Tavakoli, 2012: 62. The best known theory of childhood cognitive development is that of Jean Piaget. For Piaget language was both a social and a cognitive phenomenon. It was not an independent modular faculty but part of general cognitive and perceptual processing. Language acquisition was thus dependent upon cognitive development. The child’s level of language was determined by whether it had acquired certain fundamental concepts and by the complexity of the processing operations of which it was capable. Piaget suggested that cognitive development fell into four phases. They constitute a gradual progression in which previous stages are revisited cyclically. The age at which a particular child goes through each stage varies considerably. Each stage has implications for linguistic development.   1 Sensorimotor (birth to 2 years. The child achieves recognition of object permanence (the fact that an object still exists even when it is not in view. This is a prerequisite to the formation of concepts (including lexical concepts.   2 Preoperational (2 to 6 or 7 years. The child’s behavior reflects egocentric thought: it is unable to identify with the views of others. The child’s language progresses through echolalia (repeating others’ utterances to monologues (speaking aloud what would normally be private thoughts. It may engage in collective monologues with other children, in which participants appear to be taking turns, but express their own ideas without responding to those of others.   3 Concrete operational (6/7 to 11/12. The child’s vocabulary shows signs of organization into

  9. Continuous Chinese sign language recognition with CNN-LSTM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Su; Zhu, Qing

    2017-07-01

    The goal of sign language recognition (SLR) is to translate the sign language into text, and provide a convenient tool for the communication between the deaf-mute and the ordinary. In this paper, we formulate an appropriate model based on convolutional neural network (CNN) combined with Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) network, in order to accomplish the continuous recognition work. With the strong ability of CNN, the information of pictures captured from Chinese sign language (CSL) videos can be learned and transformed into vector. Since the video can be regarded as an ordered sequence of frames, LSTM model is employed to connect with the fully-connected layer of CNN. As a recurrent neural network (RNN), it is suitable for sequence learning tasks with the capability of recognizing patterns defined by temporal distance. Compared with traditional RNN, LSTM has performed better on storing and accessing information. We evaluate this method on our self-built dataset including 40 daily vocabularies. The experimental results show that the recognition method with CNN-LSTM can achieve a high recognition rate with small training sets, which will meet the needs of real-time SLR system.

  10. Foreign Language Acquisition Of Souvenir Seller In Bawomataluo Village

    OpenAIRE

    Saniago Dakhi; Nur Intan Zagoto

    2016-01-01

    This research is addresses language functional and lexical acquisition domains of souvenir seller in Bawomataluo village, South Nias, North Sumatera. The reasons of lexical items acquired by souvenir seller is regarded as the function of language acquisition. On the contrary, form and process of lexical items acquired are totally viewed as language lexical domains. To obtain the whole accurate data of these research problems interview and observation were conducted. The research ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Is CALL Obsolete? Language Acquisition and Language Learning Revisited in a Digital Age

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarvis, Huw; Krashen, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    In this article, Huw Jarvis and Stephen Krashen ask "Is CALL Obsolete?" When the term CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning) was introduced in the 1960s, the language education profession knew only about language learning, not language acquisition, and assumed the computer's primary contribution to second language acquisition…

  13. Child Modifiability as a Predictor of Language Abilities in Deaf Children Who Use American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Wolfgang; Peña, Elizabeth D; Morgan, Gary

    2015-08-01

    This research explored the use of dynamic assessment (DA) for language-learning abilities in signing deaf children from deaf and hearing families. Thirty-seven deaf children, aged 6 to 11 years, were identified as either stronger (n = 26) or weaker (n = 11) language learners according to teacher or speech-language pathologist report. All children received 2 scripted, mediated learning experience sessions targeting vocabulary knowledge—specifically, the use of semantic categories that were carried out in American Sign Language. Participant responses to learning were measured in terms of an index of child modifiability. This index was determined separately at the end of the 2 individual sessions. It combined ratings reflecting each child's learning abilities and responses to mediation, including social-emotional behavior, cognitive arousal, and cognitive elaboration. Group results showed that modifiability ratings were significantly better for stronger language learners than for weaker language learners. The strongest predictors of language ability were cognitive arousal and cognitive elaboration. Mediator ratings of child modifiability (i.e., combined score of social-emotional factors and cognitive factors) are highly sensitive to language-learning abilities in deaf children who use sign language as their primary mode of communication. This method can be used to design targeted interventions.

  14. Generation of Signs within Semantic and Phonological Categories: Data from Deaf Adults and Children Who Use American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beal-Alvarez, Jennifer S.; Figueroa, Daileen M.

    2017-01-01

    Two key areas of language development include semantic and phonological knowledge. Semantic knowledge relates to word and concept knowledge. Phonological knowledge relates to how language parameters combine to create meaning. We investigated signing deaf adults' and children's semantic and phonological sign generation via one-minute tasks,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Multilingual Communication and Language Acquisition: New Research Directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canagarajah, A. Suresh; Wurr, Adrian J.

    2011-01-01

    In this article, we outline the differences between a monolingual and multilingual orientation to language and language acquisition. The increasing contact between languages in the context of globalization motivates such a shift of paradigms. Multilingual communicative practices have remained vibrant in non-western communities for a long time. We…

  17. How to describe mouth patterns in the Danish Sign Language Dictionary

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristoffersen, Jette Hedegaard; Boye Niemela, Janne

    2008-01-01

    The Danish Sign Language dictionary project aims at creating an electronic dictionary of the basic vocabulary of Danish Sign Language. One of many issues in compiling the dictionary has been to analyse the status of mouth patterns in Danish Sign Language and, consequently, to decide at which level...

  18. Semantic Fluency in Deaf Children Who Use Spoken and Signed Language in Comparison with Hearing Peers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, C. R.; Jones, A.; Fastelli, A.; Atkinson, J.; Botting, N.; Morgan, G.

    2018-01-01

    Background: Deafness has an adverse impact on children's ability to acquire spoken languages. Signed languages offer a more accessible input for deaf children, but because the vast majority are born to hearing parents who do not sign, their early exposure to sign language is limited. Deaf children as a whole are therefore at high risk of language…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  20. Language Nests and Language Acquisition: An Empirical Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okura, Eve K.

    2017-01-01

    This dissertation presents the findings from interviews conducted with language nest workers, teachers, language nest coordinators, administrators of language revitalization programs, principals and directors of language immersion schools that work in close proximity with language nests, and linguists involved in language revitalization efforts.…

  1. First and second language acquisition: Towards a reconcillation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nau Nicole

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available For the past two decades, research on first language acquisition on the one side, and on second language acquisition and learning on the other have largely developed separately, probably as a reaction to the failure of earlier attempts to use the same methods or simply transfer insights gained in one of the fields to the other. T his article argues that a reconciliation may be fruitful, provided that different aspects which have often got blurred in the discussion are considered separately. These aspects include the assessment of multilingualism and monolingualism, the age factor and the definition of “first” and “second” language, the understanding of linguistic competence and of completeness of acquisition, different forms of acquisition and learning, and uniformity vs. individual differences in the process of language acquisition. By challenging some widely held views on characteristics of first language acquisition and its differences to second language learning, more fine-grained research questions are revealed, some of which have been addressed in recent studies on language acquisition and multilingualism

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoo eInubushi

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available 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 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 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 gray matter volumes in localized regions, even when the ages of acquisition 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  4. Functional changes in people with different hearing status and experiences of using Chinese sign language: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiang; Xia, Shuang; Zhao, Fei; Qi, Ji

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess functional changes in the cerebral cortex in people with different sign language experience and hearing status whilst observing and imitating Chinese Sign Language (CSL) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). 50 participants took part in the study, and were divided into four groups according to their hearing status and experience of using sign language: prelingual deafness signer group (PDS), normal hearing non-signer group (HnS), native signer group with normal hearing (HNS), and acquired signer group with normal hearing (HLS). fMRI images were scanned from all subjects when they performed block-designed tasks that involved observing and imitating sign language stimuli. Nine activation areas were found in response to undertaking either observation or imitation CSL tasks and three activated areas were found only when undertaking the imitation task. Of those, the PDS group had significantly greater activation areas in terms of the cluster size of the activated voxels in the bilateral superior parietal lobule, cuneate lobe and lingual gyrus in response to undertaking either the observation or the imitation CSL task than the HnS, HNS and HLS groups. The PDS group also showed significantly greater activation in the bilateral inferior frontal gyrus which was also found in the HNS or the HLS groups but not in the HnS group. This indicates that deaf signers have better sign language proficiency, because they engage more actively with the phonetic and semantic elements. In addition, the activations of the bilateral superior temporal gyrus and inferior parietal lobule were only found in the PDS group and HNS group, and not in the other two groups, which indicates that the area for sign language processing appears to be sensitive to the age of language acquisition. After reading this article, readers will be able to: discuss the relationship between sign language and its neural mechanisms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc

  5. South African sign language human-computer interface in the context of the national accessibility portal

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Olivrin, GJ

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available example, between a deaf person who can sign and an able person or a person with a different disability who cannot sign). METHODOLOGY A signing avatar is set up to work together with a chatterbot. The chatterbot is a natural language dialogue interface... are then offered in sign language as the replies are interpreted by a signing avatar, a living character that can reproduce human-like gestures and expressions. To make South African Sign Language (SASL) available digitally, computational models of the language...

  6. Lexical Variation and Change in British Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. A Proposed Pedagogical Mobile Application for Learning Sign Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samir Abou El-Seoud

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A handheld device system, such as cellular phone or a PDA, can be used in acquiring Sign Language (SL. The developed system uses graphic applications. The user uses the graphical system to view and to acquire knowledge about sign grammar and syntax based on the local vernacular particular to the country. This paper explores and exploits the possibility of the development of a mobile system to help the deaf and other people to communicate and learn using handheld devices. The pedagogical assessment of the prototype application that uses a recognition-based interface e.g., images and videos, gave evidence that the mobile application is memorable and learnable. Additionally, considering primary and recency effects in the interface design will improve memorability and learnability.

  8. Multimodal semantic quantity representations: further evidence from Korean Sign Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank eDomahs

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonaka, Angela M

    2016-09-01

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

  10. DAISY, the best way to author sign language publications

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Olivrin, G

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available /detail.shtml?i=41 Eberius, Wolfram (2008): Multimodale Erwiterung Und Distribution Von Digital Talking Books. Germany: Technische universität Dresden. Fédération Internationale de Football Association (2008): Laws of the Game 2008/2009. Switzerland: FIFA... are further discussed that will influence the design of future DAISY standards. 2.1 Creation of Sign Language Content To create a full-text/full-audio and full-text/full-video DAISY test-book, the original content of “Laws of the Game 2008/2009” (FIFA...

  11. Book Review : A DICTIONARY OF LANGUAGE ACQUISITION: A COMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW OF KEY TERMS IN FIRST AND SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

    OpenAIRE

    Kaswan Kaswan

    2014-01-01

    As  with language, language acquisition (LA), particularly second language acquisition (SLA)  is not simple. SLA  is complex  and paradoxical.  SLA is complex because it cannot be scrutinized using a single approach.  SLA  is complex;  nevertheless  it is  a curious fact that the study of  (SLA has historically been dominated by a single broad approach—that which goes by the name of “cognitive (Atkinson (ed), 2011). Among views on acquisition which can be characterized as cognitive are: 1...

  12. Language Learning Strategies in Second & Foreign Language Acquisition

    OpenAIRE

    TAKEUCHI, Osamu

    1991-01-01

    This article is an attempt to the work on language learning strategies(LLS) in second & foreign language acquisiton (SFLA) research, and to give suggestions for future language learning strategies research. In the first section, I will discuss briefly the background of language learning strategies reserch, and in the ensuing sections, I will review articles on: (i) the identification & classification of language learning strategies; (ii) the variables affecting the use of language learning st...

  13. Review Article: Second Language Acquisition of Bantu Languages--A (Mostly) Untapped Research Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinner, Patti

    2011-01-01

    This review article presents a summary of research on the second language acquisition of Bantu languages, including Swahili, Zulu, Xhosa and Lingala. Although second language (L2) research on these languages is currently very limited, work in morphosyntax and phonology suggests promising directions for future study, particularly on noun class,…

  14. Second Language Acquisition, Culture Shock and Language Stress of Adult Latina Students in New York.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buttaro, Lucia

    This study identified the second language acquisition, culture shock, and language stress of adult Latinas in New York as related to language, culture, and education. Participants were eight adult Latinas, for whom Spanish was the first language, who had come to the United States 10-15 years previously and developed some functioning English as a…

  15. The "SignOn"-Model for Teaching Written Language to Deaf People

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marlene Hilzensauer

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper shows a method of teaching written language to deaf people using sign language as the language of instruction. Written texts in the target language are combined with sign language videos which provide the users with various modes of translation (words/phrases/sentences. As examples, two EU projects for English for the Deaf are presented which feature English texts and translations into the national sign languages of all the partner countries plus signed grammar explanations and interactive exercises. Both courses are web-based; the programs may be accessed free of charge via the respective homepages (without any download or log-in.

  16. Age of language acquisition and cortical language organization in multilingual patients undergoing awake brain mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Coello, Alejandro; Havas, Viktória; Juncadella, Montserrat; Sierpowska, Joanna; Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni; Gabarrós, Andreu

    2017-06-01

    OBJECTIVE Most knowledge regarding the anatomical organization of multilingualism is based on aphasiology and functional imaging studies. However, the results have still to be validated by the gold standard approach, namely electrical stimulation mapping (ESM) during awake neurosurgical procedures. In this ESM study the authors describe language representation in a highly specific group of 13 multilingual individuals, focusing on how age of acquisition may influence the cortical organization of language. METHODS Thirteen patients who had a high degree of proficiency in multiple languages and were harboring lesions within the dominant, left hemisphere underwent ESM while being operated on under awake conditions. Demographic and language data were recorded in relation to age of language acquisition (for native languages and early- and late-acquired languages), neuropsychological pre- and postoperative language testing, the number and location of language sites, and overlapping distribution in terms of language acquisition time. Lesion growth patterns and histopathological characteristics, location, and size were also recorded. The distribution of language sites was analyzed with respect to age of acquisition and overlap. RESULTS The functional language-related sites were distributed in the frontal (55%), temporal (29%), and parietal lobes (16%). The total number of native language sites was 47. Early-acquired languages (including native languages) were represented in 97 sites (55 overlapped) and late-acquired languages in 70 sites (45 overlapped). The overlapping distribution was 20% for early-early, 71% for early-late, and 9% for late-late. The average lesion size (maximum diameter) was 3.3 cm. There were 5 fast-growing and 7 slow-growing lesions. CONCLUSIONS Cortical language distribution in multilingual patients is not homogeneous, and it is influenced by age of acquisition. Early-acquired languages have a greater cortical representation than languages acquired

  17. First and second language acquisition: Towards a reconcillation

    OpenAIRE

    Nau Nicole

    2015-01-01

    For the past two decades, research on first language acquisition on the one side, and on second language acquisition and learning on the other have largely developed separately, probably as a reaction to the failure of earlier attempts to use the same methods or simply transfer insights gained in one of the fields to the other. T his article argues that a reconciliation may be fruitful, provided that different aspects which have often got blurred in the discussion are considered separately. T...

  18. How Much of Language Acquisition Does Operant Conditioning Explain?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher B. Sturdy

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Since the 1950s, when Chomsky argued that Skinner’s arguments could not explain syntactic acquisition, psychologists have generally avoided explicitly invoking operant or instrumental conditioning as a learning mechanism for language among human children. In this article, we argue that this is a mistake. We focus on research that has been done on language learning in human infants and toddlers in order to illustrate our points. Researchers have ended up inventing learning mechanisms that, in actual practice, not only resemble but also in fact are examples of operant conditioning (OC by any other name they select. We argue that language acquisition researchers should proceed by first ruling out OC before invoking alternative learning mechanisms. While it is possible that OC cannot explain all of the language acquisition, simple learning mechanisms that work across species may have some explanatory power in children’s language learning.

  19. How Much of Language Acquisition Does Operant Conditioning Explain?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturdy, Christopher B.; Nicoladis, Elena

    2017-01-01

    Since the 1950s, when Chomsky argued that Skinner’s arguments could not explain syntactic acquisition, psychologists have generally avoided explicitly invoking operant or instrumental conditioning as a learning mechanism for language among human children. In this article, we argue that this is a mistake. We focus on research that has been done on language learning in human infants and toddlers in order to illustrate our points. Researchers have ended up inventing learning mechanisms that, in actual practice, not only resemble but also in fact are examples of operant conditioning (OC) by any other name they select. We argue that language acquisition researchers should proceed by first ruling out OC before invoking alternative learning mechanisms. While it is possible that OC cannot explain all of the language acquisition, simple learning mechanisms that work across species may have some explanatory power in children’s language learning. PMID:29163295

  20. How Much of Language Acquisition Does Operant Conditioning Explain?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturdy, Christopher B; Nicoladis, Elena

    2017-01-01

    Since the 1950s, when Chomsky argued that Skinner's arguments could not explain syntactic acquisition, psychologists have generally avoided explicitly invoking operant or instrumental conditioning as a learning mechanism for language among human children. In this article, we argue that this is a mistake. We focus on research that has been done on language learning in human infants and toddlers in order to illustrate our points. Researchers have ended up inventing learning mechanisms that, in actual practice, not only resemble but also in fact are examples of operant conditioning (OC) by any other name they select. We argue that language acquisition researchers should proceed by first ruling out OC before invoking alternative learning mechanisms. While it is possible that OC cannot explain all of the language acquisition, simple learning mechanisms that work across species may have some explanatory power in children's language learning.

  1. The Ubiquity of Frequency Effects in First Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambridge, Ben; Kidd, Evan; Rowland, Caroline F.; Theakston, Anna L.

    2015-01-01

    This review article presents evidence for the claim that frequency effects are pervasive in children's first language acquisition, and hence constitute a phenomenon that any successful account must explain. The article is organized around four key domains of research: children's acquisition of single words, inflectional morphology, simple…

  2. Frequency Effects in Second Language Acquisition: An Annotated Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kartal, Galip; Sarigul, Ece

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between frequency and language acquisition from many perspectives including implicit and explicit instruction, frequency effects on morpheme acquisition in L2, the relationship between frequency and multi-word constructions, frequency effects on phonetics, vocabulary, gerund and infinitive…

  3. Deliberate Learning and Vocabulary Acquisition in a Second Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elgort, Irina

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates outcomes of deliberate learning on vocabulary acquisition in a second language (L2). Acquisition of 48 pseudowords was measured using the lexical decision task with visually presented stimuli. The experiments drew on form priming, masked repetition priming, and automatic semantic priming procedures. Data analyses revealed a…

  4. Emergency Department utilization among Deaf American Sign Language users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Michael M; Winters, Paul C; Sen, Ananda; Zazove, Philip; Fiscella, Kevin

    2015-10-01

    Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users comprise a linguistic minority population with poor health care access due to communication barriers and low health literacy. Potentially, these health care barriers could increase Emergency Department (ED) use. To compare ED use between deaf and non-deaf patients. A retrospective cohort from medical records. The sample was derived from 400 randomly selected charts (200 deaf ASL users and 200 hearing English speakers) from an outpatient primary care health center with a high volume of deaf patients. Abstracted data included patient demographics, insurance, health behavior, and ED use in the past 36 months. Deaf patients were more likely to be never smokers and be insured through Medicaid. In an adjusted analysis, deaf individuals were significantly more likely to use the ED (odds ratio [OR], 1.97; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11-3.51) over the prior 36 months. Deaf American Sign Language users appear to be at greater odds for elevated ED utilization when compared to the general hearing population. Efforts to further understand the drivers for increased ED utilization among deaf ASL users are much needed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Assessing Health Literacy in Deaf American Sign Language Users

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. Recognition of Arabic Sign Language Alphabet Using Polynomial Classifiers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Al-Rousan

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. Some Implications of Research in Second Language Acquisition for Foreign Language Teaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardo, Linda

    On the continuum along which theories of first and second language acquisition are located, the two extremes represent the classic controversy of nature (nativist) vs. nurture (environmentalist), while those in the middle view language acquisition as a result of a more or less balanced interaction between innate capacities and linguistic…

  8. Infant Language Development Is Related to the Acquisition of Walking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walle, Eric A.; Campos, Joseph J.

    2014-01-01

    The present investigation explored the question of whether walking onset is related to infant language development. Study 1 used a longitudinal design (N = 44) to assess infant locomotor and language development every 2 weeks from 10 to 13.5 months of age. The acquisition of walking was associated with a significant increase in both receptive and…

  9. Dissimilation in the Second Language Acquisition of Mandarin Chinese Tones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hang

    2016-01-01

    This article extends Optimality Theoretic studies to the research on second language tone phonology. Specifically, this work analyses the acquisition of identical tone sequences in Mandarin Chinese by adult speakers of three non-tonal languages: English, Japanese and Korean. This study finds that the learners prefer not to use identical lexical…

  10. Modularity, Working Memory, and Second Language Acquisition: A Research Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truscott, John

    2017-01-01

    Considerable reason exists to view the mind, and language within it, as modular, and this view has an important place in research and theory in second language acquisition (SLA) and beyond. But it has had very little impact on the study of working memory and its role in SLA. This article considers the need for modular study of working memory,…

  11. The Spacing Effect and Its Relevance to Second Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, John

    2017-01-01

    This commentary discusses some theoretical and methodological issues related to research on the spacing effect in second language acquisition research (SLA). There has been a growing interest in SLA in how the temporal distribution of input might impact language development. SLA research in this area has frequently drawn upon the rich field of…

  12. Environmental Correlates of Individual Differences in Language Acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furrow, David; Nelson, Katherine

    1984-01-01

    Reports on a study of mothers' uses of nouns and pronouns and their references to objects and persons as environmental variables which might relate to children's nominal preferences. Findings suggest that environmental factors do contribute to stylistic differences in language acquisition and that the communicative functions of language are an…

  13. Variability in the Second Language Acquisition of Verb Morphology ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This article seeks to make a developmental study of variability in the acquisition of verb morphology by second language (L2) pupils who learn at an English input impoverished school where variability in learner language is often presumed to be quite extensive. By studying variability in such settings, it is hoped that we can ...

  14. Psychological Features of Foreign Language Acquisition in Different Age Groups

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N V Kudinova

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The influence of age factor on the foreign language learning is examined in the article from the practical point of view. The specific age features and their influence on the foreign language acquisition at different stages of age are highlighted and analyzed on the basis of psychological research.

  15. Prediction in a visual language: real-time sentence processing in American Sign Language across development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Amy M; Borovsky, Arielle; Mayberry, Rachel I

    2018-01-01

    Prediction during sign language comprehension may enable signers to integrate linguistic and non-linguistic information within the visual modality. In two eyetracking experiments, we investigated American Sign language (ASL) semantic prediction in deaf adults and children (aged 4-8 years). Participants viewed ASL sentences in a visual world paradigm in which the sentence-initial verb was either neutral or constrained relative to the sentence-final target noun. Adults and children made anticipatory looks to the target picture before the onset of the target noun in the constrained condition only, showing evidence for semantic prediction. Crucially, signers alternated gaze between the stimulus sign and the target picture only when the sentential object could be predicted from the verb. Signers therefore engage in prediction by optimizing visual attention between divided linguistic and referential signals. These patterns suggest that prediction is a modality-independent process, and theoretical implications are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Learning theories in computer-assisted foreign language acquisition

    OpenAIRE

    Baeva, D.

    2013-01-01

    This paper reviews the learning theories, focusing to the strong interest in technology use for language learning. It is important to look at how technology has been used in the field thus far. The goals of this review are to understand how computers have been used in the past years to support foreign language learning, and to explore any research evidence with regards to how computer technology can enhance language skills acquisition

  18. Understanding Language Change: Phonetics, Phonology and Child Language Acquisition

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Volk, Kevin

    1999-01-01

    Language change is a phenomenon that has fascinated scholars for centuries. As a science, linguistic theory has evolved considerably during the 20th century, but the overall puzzle of language change still remains unsolved...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  1. Hypermedia and Vocabulary Acquisition for Second Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meli, Rocio

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of multimedia as a delivery tool for enhancing vocabulary in second-language classrooms. The mixed method design focused on specific techniques to help students acquire Spanish vocabulary and communication skills. The theoretical framework for this study consisted of second language theories…

  2. Introduction : language acquisition and sociolinguistic variation

    OpenAIRE

    Chevrot, Jean-Pierre; Foulkes, Paul

    2013-01-01

    International audience; The special issue appears in a new scientific landscape of innovative attempts to link sociolinguistics and cognitive psycholinguistics. Studies on acquisition of variation have been conducted since the late 1960s, but the changing scientific landscape gives them a new impetus. On the one hand, our work draws on and contributes to sociolinguistics. As a result, it focuses on the acquisition of sociolinguistic patterns conceived of as properties shared by communities of...

  3. Transfer and access to universal grammar in adult second language acquisition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sauter, Kim

    2002-01-01

    Summary This dissertation focuses on the roles of first language transfer and Universal Grammar in adult second (or foreign) language acquisition. It contributes to the ongoing debate whether second language acquisition is constrained by Universal Grammar. According to generative linguists,

  4. Sign Language Translator Application Using OpenCV

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triyono, L.; Pratisto, E. H.; Bawono, S. A. T.; Purnomo, F. A.; Yudhanto, Y.; Raharjo, B.

    2018-03-01

    This research focuses on the development of sign language translator application using OpenCV Android based, this application is based on the difference in color. The author also utilizes Support Machine Learning to predict the label. Results of the research showed that the coordinates of the fingertip search methods can be used to recognize a hand gesture to the conditions contained open arms while to figure gesture with the hand clenched using search methods Hu Moments value. Fingertip methods more resilient in gesture recognition with a higher success rate is 95% on the distance variation is 35 cm and 55 cm and variations of light intensity of approximately 90 lux and 100 lux and light green background plain condition compared with the Hu Moments method with the same parameters and the percentage of success of 40%. While the background of outdoor environment applications still can not be used with a success rate of only 6 managed and the rest failed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2014 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Foreign Language Acquisition Of Souvenir Seller In Bawomataluo Village

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saniago Dakhi

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This research is addresses language functional and lexical acquisition domains of souvenir seller in Bawomataluo village, South Nias, North Sumatera. The reasons of lexical items acquired by souvenir seller is regarded as the function of language acquisition. On the contrary, form and process of lexical items acquired are totally viewed as language lexical domains. To obtain the whole accurate data of these research problems interview and observation were conducted. The research finding indicates four specified language lexical acquisition reasons: internal motivation, external motivation, access to native speaker and experience. In addition, eight English part of speech are acquired.It is discovered that lexical items acquired are dominated by noun. Verb and adjective posites at the next level of the amount of lexicals acquired. Adverb, conjunction, pronoun are less acquired. Interjection is more easily acquired by souvenir sellers. The processes involved to acquire the lexical consist of social, memory, compensation, and affective process. Finally, the research finding is thoroughly expected to be language teacher’s consideration in employing material selection and determining natural, contextual and situational language teaching model. Language leaners are highly advised to recall the language competence theoretically mastered in naturall setting in attempt to obtain practical competence.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Øhre, Beate; Saltnes, Hege; von Tetzchner, Stephen; Falkum, Erik

    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 diagnos...

  9. Deaf New Zealand Sign Language users' access to healthcare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witko, Joanne; Boyles, Pauline; Smiler, Kirsten; McKee, Rachel

    2017-12-01

    The research described was undertaken as part of a Sub-Regional Disability Strategy 2017-2022 across the Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Capital and Coast District Health Boards (DHBs). The aim was to investigate deaf New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) users' quality of access to health services. Findings have formed the basis for developing a 'NZSL plan' for DHBs in the Wellington sub-region. Qualitative data was collected from 56 deaf participants and family members about their experiences of healthcare services via focus group, individual interviews and online survey, which were thematically analysed. Contextual perspective was gained from 57 healthcare professionals at five meetings. Two professionals were interviewed, and 65 staff responded to an online survey. A deaf steering group co-designed the framework and methods, and validated findings. Key issues reported across the health system include: inconsistent interpreter provision; lack of informed consent for treatment via communication in NZSL; limited access to general health information in NZSL and the reduced ability of deaf patients to understand and comply with treatment options. This problematic communication with NZSL users echoes international evidence and other documented local evidence for patients with limited English proficiency. Deaf NZSL users face multiple barriers to equitable healthcare, stemming from linguistic and educational factors and inaccessible service delivery. These need to be addressed through policy and training for healthcare personnel that enable effective systemic responses to NZSL users. Deaf participants emphasise that recognition of their identity as members of a language community is central to improving their healthcare experiences.

  10. Self-Organizing Map Models of Language Acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping eLi

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Connectionist models have had a profound impact on theories of language. While most early models were inspired by the classic PDP architecture, recent models of language have explored various other types of models, including self-organizing models for language acquisition. In this paper we aim at providing a review of the latter type of models, and highlight a number of simulation experiments that we have conducted based on these models. We show that self-organizing connectionist models can provide significant insights into long-standing debates in both monolingual and bilingual language development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Incidental learning in second language acquisition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hulstijn, J.H.; Chapelle, C.A.

    2013-01-01

    The term incidental learning is used, in applied linguistics, to refer to the acquisition of a word or expression without the conscious intention to commit the element to memory, such as "picking up" an unknown word from listening to someone or from reading a text.

  13. The Ecology of Second Language Acquisition and Socialization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Steffensen, Sune Vork; Kramsch, Claire

    2017-01-01

    Various theories of second language acquisition (SLA) and socialization (SLS) have adopted ecology as a convenient metaphor to promote sociocultural (van Lier 2004) or sociocognitive (Atkinson 2011) approaches to the study of SLA, and socioethnographic approaches (Duff 2011; Duff and Talmy 2011...... such a development is to be welcomed, it also raises serious concerns about the autonomy of the language learner, the collective pressure on individuals to align with the expectations of the community, alternative theories of knowledge and of knowledge acquisition, and the socializing dominance of English around...... the world. This chapter discusses the history of the relationship between acquisition and socialization with regard to foreign/second language learning and use, and the role played by ecological theory in that relationship....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Extricating Manual and Non-Manual Features for Subunit Level Medical Sign Modelling in Automatic Sign Language Classification and Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    R, Elakkiya; K, Selvamani

    2017-09-22

    Subunit segmenting and modelling in medical sign language is one of the important studies in linguistic-oriented and vision-based Sign Language Recognition (SLR). Many efforts were made in the precedent to focus the functional subunits from the view of linguistic syllables but the problem is implementing such subunit extraction using syllables is not feasible in real-world computer vision techniques. And also, the present recognition systems are designed in such a way that it can detect the signer dependent actions under restricted and laboratory conditions. This research paper aims at solving these two important issues (1) Subunit extraction and (2) Signer independent action on visual sign language recognition. Subunit extraction involved in the sequential and parallel breakdown of sign gestures without any prior knowledge on syllables and number of subunits. A novel Bayesian Parallel Hidden Markov Model (BPaHMM) is introduced for subunit extraction to combine the features of manual and non-manual parameters to yield better results in classification and recognition of signs. Signer independent action aims in using a single web camera for different signer behaviour patterns and for cross-signer validation. Experimental results have proved that the proposed signer independent subunit level modelling for sign language classification and recognition has shown improvement and variations when compared with other existing works.

  17. Language Comprehension and the Acquisition of Knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freedle, Roy O., Ed.; Carroll, John B., Ed.

    Thirteen papers given by language specialists are presented. These analyze special linguistic (semantic) problems that occur when interconnected strings of sentences constitute data base; they also analyze special psychological problems (of memory, inference, and motivation) that occur when human subjects are exposed to discourse materials in…

  18. How Much of Language Acquisition Does Operant Conditioning Explain?

    OpenAIRE

    Sturdy, Christopher B.; Nicoladis, Elena

    2017-01-01

    Since the 1950s, when Chomsky argued that Skinner’s arguments could not explain syntactic acquisition, psychologists have generally avoided explicitly invoking operant or instrumental conditioning as a learning mechanism for language among human children. In this article, we argue that this is a mistake. We focus on research that has been done on language learning in human infants and toddlers in order to illustrate our points. Researchers have ended up inventing learning mechanisms that, in ...

  19. Germanic heritage languages in North America: Acquisition, attrition and change

    OpenAIRE

    Johannessen, Janne Bondi; Salmons, Joseph C.; Westergaard, Marit; Anderssen, Merete; Arnbjörnsdóttir, Birna; Allen, Brent; Pierce, Marc; Boas, Hans C.; Roesch, Karen; Brown, Joshua R.; Putnam, Michael; Åfarli, Tor A.; Newman, Zelda Kahan; Annear, Lucas; Speth, Kristin

    2015-01-01

    This book presents new empirical findings about Germanic heritage varieties spoken in North America: Dutch, German, Pennsylvania Dutch, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, West Frisian and Yiddish, and varieties of English spoken both by heritage speakers and in communities after language shift. The volume focuses on three critical issues underlying the notion of ‘heritage language’: acquisition, attrition and change. The book offers theoretically-informed discussions of heritage language processe...

  20. Reproducing American Sign Language Sentences: Cognitive Scaffolding in Working Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ted eSupalla

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available 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 in the absence of linguistic knowledge. 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

  1. Sign Language Recognition with the Kinect Sensor Based on Conditional Random Fields

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hee-Deok Yang

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available 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%.

  2. Minimalism and Beyond: Second Language Acquisition for the Twenty-First Century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balcom, Patricia A.

    2001-01-01

    Provides a general overview of two books--"The Second Time Around: Minimalism and Second Language Acquisition" and "Second Language Syntax: A Generative Introduction--and shows how the respond to key issues in second language acquisition, including the process of second language acquisition, access to universal grammar, the role of…

  3. Multiunit Sequences in First Language Acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theakston, Anna; Lieven, Elena

    2017-07-01

    Theoretical and empirical reasons suggest that children build their language not only out of individual words but also out of multiunit strings. These are the basis for the development of schemas containing slots. The slots are putative categories that build in abstraction while the schemas eventually connect to other schemas in terms of both meaning and form. Evidence comes from the nature of the input, the ways in which children construct novel utterances, the systematic errors that children make, and the computational modeling of children's grammars. However, much of this research is on English, which is unusual in its rigid word order and impoverished inflectional morphology. We summarize these results and explore their implications for languages with more flexible word order and/or much richer inflectional morphology. Copyright © 2017 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aitao Lu

    Full Text Available 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.

  6. COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE STRUCTURE OF THE AMERICAN AND MACEDONIAN SIGN LANGUAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandra KAROVSKA RISTOVSKA

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Aleksandra Karovska Ristovska, M.A. in special education and rehabilitation sciences, defended her doctoral thesis on 9 of March 2014 at the Institute of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Philosophy, University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius”- Skopje in front of the commission composed of: Prof. Zora Jachova, PhD; Prof. Jasmina Kovachevikj, PhD; Prof. Ljudmil Spasov, PhD; Prof. Goran Ajdinski, PhD; Prof. Daniela Dimitrova Radojicikj, PhD. The Macedonian Sign Language is a natural language, used by the community of Deaf in the Republic of Macedonia. This doctoral paper aimed towards the analyses of the characteristics of the Macedonian Sign Language: its phonology, morphology and syntax as well as towards the comparison of the Macedonian and the American Sign Language. William Stokoe was the first one who in the 1960’s started the research of the American Sign Language. He set the base of the linguistic research in sign languages. The analysis of the signs in the Macedonian Sign Language was made according Stokoe’s parameters: location, hand shape and movement. Lexicostatistics showed that MSL and ASL belong to a different language family. Beside this fact, they share some iconic signs, whose presence can be attributed to the phenomena of lexical borrowings. Phonologically, in ASL and MSL, if we make a change of one of Stokoe’s categories, the meaning of the word changes as well. Non-manual signs which are grammatical markers in sign languages are identical in ASL and MSL. The production of compounds and the production of plural forms are identical in both sign languages. The inflection of verbs is also identical. The research showed that the most common order of words in ASL and MSL is the SVO order (subject-verb-object, while the SOV and OVS order can seldom be met. Questions and negative sentences are produced identically in ASL and MSL.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. Arabic sign language recognition based on HOG descriptor

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  9. Accessibility perspectives on enabling South African sign language in the South African National Accessibility Portal

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Coetzee, L

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available and services. One such mechanism is by embedding animated Sign Language in Web pages. This paper analyses the effectiveness and appropriateness of using this approach by embedding South African Sign Language in the South African National Accessibility Portal...

  10. The non- (existent) native signer: sign language research in a small deaf population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Costello, B.; Fernández, J.; Landa, A.; Quadros, R.; Möller de Quadros,

    2008-01-01

    This paper examines the concept of a native language user and looks at the different definitions of native signer within the field of sign language research. A description of the deaf signing population in the Basque Country shows that the figure of 5-10% typically cited for deaf individuals born

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  12. Comprehending Sentences with the Body: Action Compatibility in British Sign Language?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinson, David; Perniss, Pamela; Fox, Neil; Vigliocco, Gabriella

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies show that reading sentences about actions leads to specific motor activity associated with actually performing those actions. We investigate how sign language input may modulate motor activation, using British Sign Language (BSL) sentences, some of which explicitly encode direction of motion, versus written English, where motion…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  16. An Empirical Generative Framework for Computational Modeling of Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waterfall, Heidi R.; Sandbank, Ben; Onnis, Luca; Edelman, Shimon

    2010-01-01

    This paper reports progress in developing a computer model of language acquisition in the form of (1) a generative grammar that is (2) algorithmically learnable from realistic corpus data, (3) viable in its large-scale quantitative performance and (4) psychologically real. First, we describe new algorithmic methods for unsupervised learning of…

  17. Application Features of Language Acquisition Assessment System in Kazakhstan: KAZTEST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinayeva, Bekzat B.; Sapina, Sabira M.; Utanova, Aizada K.; Aitova, Nurlykhan N.

    2016-01-01

    The article deals with the analysis of peculiarities of language acquisition assessment system in Kazakhstan--KAZTEST. The author pays attention to the role of control as a way of assessment students' skills, habits and knowledge. In addition, author determined the place and functions of tests as a form of control. The author explores the…

  18. Informed Consent in Research on Second Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Margaret; Pettitt, Nicole

    2017-01-01

    The practice of securing informed consent from research participants has a relatively low profile in second language (L2) acquisition research, despite its prominence in the biomedical and social sciences. This review article analyses the role that informed consent now typically plays in L2 research; discusses an example of an L2 study where…

  19. Consonants and Vowels: Different Roles in Early Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochmann, Jean-Remy; Benavides-Varela, Silvia; Nespor, Marina; Mehler, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    Language acquisition involves both acquiring a set of words (i.e. the lexicon) and learning the rules that combine them to form sentences (i.e. syntax). Here, we show that consonants are mainly involved in word processing, whereas vowels are favored for extracting and generalizing structural relations. We demonstrate that such a division of labor…

  20. Language Acquisition in Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Developmental Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eigsti, Inge-Marie; de Marchena, Ashley B.; Schuh, Jillian M.; Kelley, Elizabeth

    2011-01-01

    This paper reviews the complex literature on language acquisition in the autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Because of the high degree of interest in ASD in the past decade, the field has been changing rapidly, with progress in both basic science and applied clinical areas. In addition, psycholinguistically-trained researchers have increasingly…

  1. Exact Repetition as Input Enhancement in Second Language Acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Eva Dam; Vinther, Thora

    2003-01-01

    Reports on two studies on input enhancement used to support learners' selection of focus of attention in Spanish second language listening material. Input consisted of video recordings of dialogues between native speakers. Exact repetition and speech rate reduction were examined for effect on comprehension, acquisition of decoding strategies, and…

  2. The role of mirror neurons in language acquisition and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behme, Christina

    2014-04-01

    I argue that Cook et al.'s attack of the genetic hypothesis of mirror neurons misses its target because the authors miss the point that genetics may specify how neurons may learn, not what they learn. Paying more attention to recent work linking mirror neurons to language acquisition and evolution would strengthen Cook et al.'s arguments against a rigid genetic hypothesis.

  3. Statistical Literacy among Applied Linguists and Second Language Acquisition Researchers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loewen, Shawn; Lavolette, Elizabeth; Spino, Le Anne; Papi, Mostafa; Schmidtke, Jens; Sterling, Scott; Wolff, Dominik

    2014-01-01

    The importance of statistical knowledge in applied linguistics and second language acquisition (SLA) research has been emphasized in recent publications. However, the last investigation of the statistical literacy of applied linguists occurred more than 25 years ago (Lazaraton, Riggenbach, & Ediger, 1987). The current study undertook a partial…

  4. SECOND-LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND THE SYSTEM OF EDUCATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CAMELIA NEAGU

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available As a branch of applied linguistics, language education or educational linguistics2 has had a long history dating back in ancient times. However, at present, under the influence of globalization, second-language acquisition3 has become a sine qua non condition for any potential employee or employer in the knowledge society. Basically, democratic regimes and developing countries encourage language education which they regard as an important asset in the process of globalization. Moreover, the study of foreign languages significantly contributes to the development of any human being’s personality and implicitly of any society by eliminating cultural biases and borders. Currently, countries which fail to understand the importance of second-language acquisition deprive their citizens of a key social and cultural development factor. Last but not least, we could say that at present the ability to speak English has become synonym with acquiring a universal language. In consequence, educational policies should seriously focus on the study of the new lingua franca4, i.e. English, while accepting as an undeniable possibility – given the rapidly changing political and economic environment – the fact that another language (such as Chinese or Spanish etc. may replace English in time.

  5. Nominal compound acquisition in 10 languages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dressler, Wolfgang U.; Kilani-Schoch, Marianne; Ketrez, Nihan

    phases which usually differ among the participants in tests and are limited to single morphological patterns, whereas our study shows that first compound patterns emerge simultaneously or quasi-simultaneously with first inflection and derivation patterns. Finally it will be discussed whether and to which...... degree findings of test results from single languages are supported or not by our typological comparison of longitudinal studies. Examples are inversion of compound constituents [5], postulated non-occurrence of “regular” inflection of left-hand constituents [6], status of interfixes (linking elements...

  6. Acquisition of French as a second language new developmental perspectives

    CERN Document Server

    Lindqvist, Christina

    2014-01-01

    It has been argued that the study of child L2 development can inform different maturational accounts of language acquisition. One such specific proposal was put forward by Meisel (2008), arguing for a cut-off point for monolingual or bilingual first language acquisition - (2)L1 - type of development at 3-4 years. The paper analyses the longitudinal development of object clitics in child L2 French (L1 Swedish) and compares the developmental sequence in child L2 learners (n = 7) with different Ages of onset of Acquisition (AoA) (from 3;0 to 6;5) to the adult L2 sequence that was found in previou

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. A Case of Specific Language Impairment in a Deaf Signer of American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinto-Pozos, David; Singleton, Jenny L; Hauser, Peter C

    2017-04-01

    This article describes the case of a deaf native signer of American Sign Language (ASL) with a specific language impairment (SLI). School records documented normal cognitive development but atypical language development. Data include school records; interviews with the child, his mother, and school professionals; ASL and English evaluations; and a comprehensive neuropsychological and psychoeducational evaluation, and they span an approximate period of 7.5 years (11;10-19;6) including scores from school records (11;10-16;5) and a 3.5-year period (15;10-19;6) during which we collected linguistic and neuropsychological data. Results revealed that this student has average intelligence, intact visual perceptual skills, visuospatial skills, and motor skills but demonstrates challenges with some memory and sequential processing tasks. Scores from ASL testing signaled language impairment and marked difficulty with fingerspelling. The student also had significant deficits in English vocabulary, spelling, reading comprehension, reading fluency, and writing. Accepted SLI diagnostic criteria exclude deaf individuals from an SLI diagnosis, but the authors propose modified criteria in this work. The results of this study have practical implications for professionals including school psychologists, speech language pathologists, and ASL specialists. The results also support the theoretical argument that SLI can be evident regardless of the modality in which it is communicated. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Saying What We Mean: Making a Case for "Language Acquisition" to Become "Language Development"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen-Freeman, Diane

    2015-01-01

    As applied linguists know very well, how we use language both constructs and reflects our understanding. It is therefore important that we use terms that do justice to our concerns. In this presentation, I suggest that a more apt designation than "multilingual" or "second language acquisition" (SLA) is "multilingual"…

  11. "Language Learning" Roundtable: Memory and Second Language Acquisition 2012, Hong Kong

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Zhisheng; McNeill, Arthur; Mota, Mailce Borges

    2014-01-01

    Organized under the auspices of the "Language Learning" Roundtable Conference Grant (2012), this seminar aimed to provide an interactive forum for a group of second language acquisition (SLA) researchers with particular interests in cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics to discuss key theoretical and methodological issues in the…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parton, Becky Sue

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hänel-Faulhaber, Barbara; Skotara, Nils; Kügow, Monique; Salden, Uta; Bottari, Davide; Röder, Brigitte

    2014-05-10

    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. 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. 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.

  15. The Relationship between Second Language Acquisition Process and English Language Teaching in Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Pritz Hutabarat

    2016-01-01

    English as a global language is learned worldwide and a plethora of methods and approaches have been developed and practiced in English classrooms by dedicated teachers and students. Understanding the underlying theories of second and foreign language acquisition and learning will help both teachers and students in learning and teaching a target language. There has not been many research conducted in the area, especially within Indonesian context. This research therefore attempts to fill in g...

  16. Comparing Acquisition of Exchange-Based and Signed Mands with Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, Kathryn E.; Tiger, Jeffrey H.; Slocum, Sarah K.; Miller, Sarah J.

    2013-01-01

    Therapists and educators frequently teach alternative-communication systems, such as picture exchanges or manual signs, to individuals with developmental disabilities who present with expressive language deficits. Michael (1985) recommended a taxonomy for alternative communication systems that differentiated between selection-based systems in…

  17. The Bilingual Brain: Human Evolution and Second Language Acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Kirk Hagen

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available For the past half-century, psycholinguistic research has concerned itself with two mysteries of human cognition: (1 that children universally acquire a highly abstract, computationally complex set of linguistic rules rapidly and effortlessly, and (2 that second language acquisition (SLA among adults is, conversely, slow, laborious, highly variable, and virtually never results in native fluency. We now have a decent, if approximate, understanding of the biological foundations of first language acquisition, thanks in large part to Lenneberg's (1964, 1984 seminal work on the critical period hypothesis. More recently, the elements of a promising theory of language and evolution have emerged as well (see e.g. Bickerton, 1981, 1990; Leiberman, 1984, 1987. I argue here that the empirical foundations of an evolutionary theory of language are now solid enough to support an account of bilingualism and adult SLA as well. Specifically, I will show that evidence from the environment of evolutionary adaptation of paleolithic humans suggests that for our nomadic ancestors, the ability to master a language early in life was an eminently useful adaptation. However, the ability to acquire another language in adulthood was not, and consequently was not selected for propagation.

  18. Sexual health behaviors of Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heiman, Erica; Haynes, Sharon; McKee, Michael

    2015-10-01

    Little is known about the sexual health behaviors of Deaf American Sign Language (ASL) users. We sought to characterize the self-reported sexual behaviors of Deaf individuals. 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. 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. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. Acquisition of speech rhythm in a second language by learners with rhythmically different native languages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordin, Mikhail; Polyanskaya, Leona

    2015-08-01

    The development of speech rhythm in second language (L2) acquisition was investigated. Speech rhythm was defined as durational variability that can be captured by the interval-based rhythm metrics. These metrics were used to examine the differences in durational variability between proficiency levels in L2 English spoken by French and German learners. The results reveal that durational variability increased as L2 acquisition progressed in both groups of learners. This indicates that speech rhythm in L2 English develops from more syllable-timed toward more stress-timed patterns irrespective of whether the native language of the learner is rhythmically similar to or different from the target language. Although both groups showed similar development of speech rhythm in L2 acquisition, there were also differences: German learners achieved a degree of durational variability typical of the target language, while French learners exhibited lower variability than native British speakers, even at an advanced proficiency level.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  2. Facilitating vocabulary acquisition of young English language learners.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lugo-Neris, Mirza J; Jackson, Carla Wood; Goldstein, Howard

    2010-07-01

    This study examined whether English-only vocabulary instruction or English vocabulary instruction enhanced with Spanish bridging produced greater word learning in young Spanish-speaking children learning English during a storybook reading intervention while considering individual language characteristics. Twenty-two Spanish-speaking children learning English (ages 4-6) who participated in a summer education program for migrant families were randomly assigned to receive 2 weeks of each instruction: (a) word expansions in English or (b) English readings with word expansions in Spanish. Researcher-created measures of target vocabulary were administered, as were English and Spanish standardized measures of language proficiency and vocabulary. Results revealed significant improvement in naming, receptive knowledge, and expressive definitions for those children who received Spanish bridging. Spanish expansions produced the greatest gains in the children's use of expressive definitions. Initial language proficiency in both languages was found to affect participants' gains from intervention, as those with limited skills in both languages showed significantly less vocabulary growth than those with strong skills in Spanish. Additional benefits to using Spanish expansions in vocabulary instruction were observed. Future research should explore additional ways of enhancing the vocabulary growth of children with limited skills in both languages in order to support and strengthen the child's first language and promote second language acquisition.

  3. Cross-Modal Recruitment of Auditory and Orofacial Areas During Sign Language in a Deaf Subject.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martino, Juan; Velasquez, Carlos; Vázquez-Bourgon, Javier; de Lucas, Enrique Marco; Gomez, Elsa

    2017-09-01

    Modern sign languages used by deaf people are fully expressive, natural human languages that are perceived visually and produced manually. The literature contains little data concerning human brain organization in conditions of deficient sensory information such as deafness. A deaf-mute patient underwent surgery of a left temporoinsular low-grade glioma. The patient underwent awake surgery with intraoperative electrical stimulation mapping, allowing direct study of the cortical and subcortical organization of sign language. We found a similar distribution of language sites to what has been reported in mapping studies of patients with oral language, including 1) speech perception areas inducing anomias and alexias close to the auditory cortex (at the posterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus and supramarginal gyrus); 2) speech production areas inducing speech arrest (anarthria) at the ventral premotor cortex, close to the lip motor area and away from the hand motor area; and 3) subcortical stimulation-induced semantic paraphasias at the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus at the temporal isthmus. The intraoperative setup for sign language mapping with intraoperative electrical stimulation in deaf-mute patients is similar to the setup described in patients with oral language. To elucidate the type of language errors, a sign language interpreter in close interaction with the neuropsychologist is necessary. Sign language is perceived visually and produced manually; however, this case revealed a cross-modal recruitment of auditory and orofacial motor areas. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Self-organizing map models of language acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ping; Zhao, Xiaowei

    2013-01-01

    Connectionist models have had a profound impact on theories of language. While most early models were inspired by the classic parallel distributed processing architecture, recent models of language have explored various other types of models, including self-organizing models for language acquisition. In this paper, we aim at providing a review of the latter type of models, and highlight a number of simulation experiments that we have conducted based on these models. We show that self-organizing connectionist models can provide significant insights into long-standing debates in both monolingual and bilingual language development. We suggest future directions in which these models can be extended, to better connect with behavioral and neural data, and to make clear predictions in testing relevant psycholinguistic theories. PMID:24312061

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Variability and Variation in Second Language Acquisition Orders: A Dynamic Reevaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowie, Wander; Verspoor, Marjolijn

    2015-01-01

    The traditional morpheme order studies in second language acquisition have tried to demonstrate the existence of a fixed order of acquisition of English morphemes, regardless of the second language learner's background. Such orders have been taken as evidence of the preprogrammed nature of language acquisition. This article argues for a…

  7. Language acquisition is model-based rather than model-free.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Felix Hao; Mintz, Toben H

    2016-01-01

    Christiansen & Chater (C&C) propose that learning language is learning to process language. However, we believe that the general-purpose prediction mechanism they propose is insufficient to account for many phenomena in language acquisition. We argue from theoretical considerations and empirical evidence that many acquisition tasks are model-based, and that different acquisition tasks require different, specialized models.

  8. Input processing at first exposure to a sign language

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ortega, G.; Morgan, G.

    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

  9. Phonological memory in sign language relies on the visuomotor neural system outside the left hemisphere language network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanazawa, Yuji; Nakamura, Kimihiro; Ishii, Toru; Aso, Toshihiko; Yamazaki, Hiroshi; Omori, Koichi

    2017-01-01

    Sign language is an essential medium for everyday social interaction for deaf people and plays a critical role in verbal learning. In particular, language development in those people should heavily rely on the verbal short-term memory (STM) via sign language. Most previous studies compared neural activations during signed language processing in deaf signers and those during spoken language processing in hearing speakers. For sign language users, it thus remains unclear how visuospatial inputs are converted into the verbal STM operating in the left-hemisphere language network. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the present study investigated neural activation while bilinguals of spoken and signed language were engaged in a sequence memory span task. On each trial, participants viewed a nonsense syllable sequence presented either as written letters or as fingerspelling (4-7 syllables in length) and then held the syllable sequence for 12 s. Behavioral analysis revealed that participants relied on phonological memory while holding verbal information regardless of the type of input modality. At the neural level, this maintenance stage broadly activated the left-hemisphere language network, including the inferior frontal gyrus, supplementary motor area, superior temporal gyrus and inferior parietal lobule, for both letter and fingerspelling conditions. Interestingly, while most participants reported that they relied on phonological memory during maintenance, direct comparisons between letters and fingers revealed strikingly different patterns of neural activation during the same period. Namely, the effortful maintenance of fingerspelling inputs relative to letter inputs activated the left superior parietal lobule and dorsal premotor area, i.e., brain regions known to play a role in visuomotor analysis of hand/arm movements. These findings suggest that the dorsal visuomotor neural system subserves verbal learning via sign language by relaying gestural inputs to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. PROPOSING A LANGUAGE EXPERIENCE AND SELF-ASSESSMENT OF PROFICIENCY QUESTIONNAIRE FOR BILINGUAL BRAZILIAN SIGN LANGUAGE/PORTUGUESE HEARING TEACHERS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingrid FINGER

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available This article presents a language experience and self-assessment of proficiency questionnaire for hearing teachers who use Brazilian Sign Language and Portuguese in their teaching practice. By focusing on hearing teachers who work in Deaf education contexts, this questionnaire is presented as a tool that may complement the assessment of linguistic skills of hearing teachers. This proposal takes into account important factors in bilingualism studies such as the importance of knowing the participant’s context with respect to family, professional and social background (KAUFMANN, 2010. This work uses as model the following questionnaires: LEAP-Q (MARIAN; BLUMENFELD; KAUSHANSKAYA, 2007, SLSCO – Sign Language Skills Classroom Observation (REEVES et al., 2000 and the Language Attitude Questionnaire (KAUFMANN, 2010, taking into consideration the different kinds of exposure to Brazilian Sign Language. The questionnaire is designed for bilingual bimodal hearing teachers who work in bilingual schools for the Deaf or who work in the specialized educational department who assistdeaf students.

  12. Foreign language aptitude of pupils with learning disabilities at the beginning of the foreign language acquisition at the elementary school

    OpenAIRE

    Špačková, Klára

    2011-01-01

    The dissertation is dealing with the issue of foreign language aptitude and foreign language abilities of pupils with learning disabilities at the beginning of the foreign language acquisition. The first part of the work describes general theories of the foreign language acquisition and introduces the current trends in education of pupils with learning disabilities in the process of foreign language learning. The second part of the work describes the research, which aim was to investigate the...

  13. Declarative vs. Procedural Memory: Roles in Second Language Acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laleh Fakhraee Faruji

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Memory is not a single faculty but is a combination of multiple distinct abilities (Schacter, 1987. The declarative-procedural distinction is used both with regard to knowledge and memory that stores this knowledge. Ellis (2008 used the terms explicit/implicit, and declarative/procedural interchangeably. In this article the researcher aims at identifying the different aspects of declarative/procedural memory, interaction between these two types of memory, and the role they may play in second language acquisition.

  14. Linguistic Diversity in First Language Acquisition Research: Moving beyond the Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Barbara F.; Forshaw, William; Nordlinger, Rachel; Wigglesworth, Gillian

    2015-01-01

    The field of first language acquisition (FLA) needs to take into account data from the broadest typological array of languages and language-learning environments if it is to identify potential universals in child language development, and how these interact with socio-cultural mechanisms of acquisition. Yet undertaking FLA research in remote…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Testing hypotheses on frequency effects in first language acquisition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjærbæk, Laila; Basbøll, Hans

    2015-01-01

    On the basis of extensive literature studies, Ambridge, Kidd, Rowland and Theakston (2015) present five theses on frequency effects on language acquisition: i) the Levels and Kinds Thesis argues that frequency effects exist at all levels and are of many different kinds (e.g., type and token...... frequency effects as well as absolute and relative frequency effects); ii) the Age of Acquisition Thesis argues that all other things being equal, frequent forms will be acquired before less frequent forms. Since all other things are not equal, this claim does not entail a one-to-one relationship between...... frequency and age of acquisition; iii) the Prevent Error Thesis argues that high-frequency forms prevent (or reduce) errors in contexts in which they are the target; iv) the Cause Error Thesis argues that high-frequency forms also cause errors in contexts in which a competing, related lower-frequency form...

  17. A brief discussion on the biological factors in the acquisition of language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronivaldo Braz da Silva

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available The understanding of how language is acquired and the role the brain plays in the language acquisition process are crucial because the development of language is one of the most important factcrs in human development. The analysis of language development is intrinsically connected with one's awareness of how human beings or human brains perceive, learn, control, and coordinate elaborate behaviour. The study of language development, therefore, involves research on motor, perceptual, and cognitive development. This paper reviews the three major theories of language acquisition, namely, behaviouristic, psycholinguistic, and interactionistic and examines the biological component of language acquisition and the brain's role in the language development process.

  18. Using the "Common European Framework of Reference for Languages" to Teach Sign Language to Parents of Deaf Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snoddon, Kristin

    2015-01-01

    No formal Canadian curriculum presently exists for teaching American Sign Language (ASL) as a second language to parents of deaf and hard of hearing children. However, this group of ASL learners is in need of more comprehensive, research-based support, given the rapid expansion in Canada of universal neonatal hearing screening and the…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  20. Everyday activities and social contacts among older deaf sign language users

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Werngren-Elgström, Monica; Brandt, Ase; Iwarsson, Susanne

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to describe the everyday activities and social contacts among older deaf sign language users, and to investigate relationships between these phenomena and the health and well-being within this group. The study population comprised deaf sign language users, 65 years...... or older, in Sweden. Data collection was based on interviews in sign language, including open-ended questions covering everyday activities and social contacts as well as self-rated instruments measuring aspects of health and subjective well-being. The results demonstrated that the group of participants...... aspects of health and subjective well-being and the frequency of social contacts with family/relatives or visiting the deaf club and meeting friends. It is concluded that the variety of activities at the deaf clubs are important for the subjective well-being of older deaf sign language users. Further...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Deaf leaders’ strategies for working with signed language interpreters: An examination across seven countries.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haug, T.; Bontempo, K.; Leeson, L.; Napier, J.; Nicodemus, B.; Van den Bogaerde, B.; Vermeerbergen, M.

    In this paper, we report interview data from 14 Deaf leaders across seven countries (Australia, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States) regarding their perspectives on signed language interpreters. Using a semistructured survey questionnaire, seven

  3. HIV/AIDS knowledge among adolescent sign-language users in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    , particularly sign language users, in HIV-prevention programmes. Keywords: communication, disability, disability studies, hearing impairment, qualitative research, scoping study. African Journal of AIDS Research 2010, 9(3): 307–313 ...

  4. Making an Online Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language*

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    of a digital medium and an existing body of descriptive research on the language, ... ing lexemes and word class in a polysynthetic language, deriving usage ..... higher education, white-collar occupations, the arts, media, and political advo- cacy. ..... and Niemalä explain that if mouth patterns are treated as a formational ele-.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Review of Data Preprocessing Methods for Sign Language Recognition Systems based on Artificial Neural Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zorins Aleksejs

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The article presents an introductory analysis of relevant research topic for Latvian deaf society, which is the development of the Latvian Sign Language Recognition System. More specifically the data preprocessing methods are discussed in the paper and several approaches are shown with a focus on systems based on artificial neural networks, which are one of the most successful solutions for sign language recognition task.

  7. Early vocabulary development in deaf native signers: a British Sign Language adaptation of the communicative development inventories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woolfe, Tyron; Herman, Rosalind; Roy, Penny; Woll, Bencie

    2010-03-01

    There is a dearth of assessments of sign language development in young deaf children. This study gathered age-related scores from a sample of deaf native signing children using an adapted version of the MacArthur-Bates CDI (Fenson et al., 1994). Parental reports on children's receptive and expressive signing were collected longitudinally on 29 deaf native British Sign Language (BSL) users, aged 8-36 months, yielding 146 datasets. A smooth upward growth curve was obtained for early vocabulary development and percentile scores were derived. In the main, receptive scores were in advance of expressive scores. No gender bias was observed. Correlational analysis identified factors associated with vocabulary development, including parental education and mothers' training in BSL. Individual children's profiles showed a range of development and some evidence of a growth spurt. Clinical and research issues relating to the measure are discussed. The study has developed a valid, reliable measure of vocabulary development in BSL. Further research is needed to investigate the relationship between vocabulary acquisition in native and non-native signers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  11. Health care accessibility and the role of sign language interpreters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Bogaerde, B.; de Lange, R.; Nicodemus, B.; Metzger, M.

    2014-01-01

    In healthcare, the accuracy of interpretation is the most critical component of safe and effective communication between providers and patients in medical settings characterized by language and cultural barriers. Although medical education should prepare healthcare providers for common issues they

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Diogo; Poeppel, David; Corina, David

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

  14. Role of sign language in intellectual and social development of deaf children: Review of foreign publications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khokhlova A. Yu.

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The article provides an overview of foreign psychological publications concerning the sign language as a means of communication in deaf people. The article addresses the question of sing language's impact on cognitive development, efficiency and positive way of interacting with parents as well as academic achievement increase in deaf children.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hermans, D.; Knoors, H.E.T.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    2009-01-01

    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

  16. The relation between language and arithmetic in bilinguals: insights from different stages of language acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amandine eVan Rinsveld

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Solving arithmetic problems is a cognitive task that heavily relies on language processing. One might thus wonder whether this language-reliance leads to qualitative differences (e.g. greater difficulties, error types, etc. in arithmetic for bilingual individuals who frequently have to solve arithmetic problems in more than one language. The present study investigated how proficiency in two languages interacts with arithmetic problem solving throughout language acquisition in adolescents and young adults. Additionally, we examined whether the number word structure that is specific to a given language plays a role in number processing over and above bilingual proficiency. We addressed these issues in a German-French educational bilingual setting, where there is a progressive transition from German to French as teaching language. Importantly, German and French number naming structures differ clearly, as two-digit number names follow a unit-ten order in German, but a ten-unit order in French. We implemented a transversal developmental design in which bilingual pupils from grades 7, 8, 10, 11, and young adults were asked to solve simple and complex additions in both languages. The results confirmed that language proficiency is crucial especially for complex addition computation. Simple additions in contrast can be retrieved equally well in both languages after extended language practice. Additional analyses revealed that over and above language proficiency, language-specific number word structures (e.g. unit-ten vs. ten-unit also induced significant modulations of bilinguals’ arithmetic performances. Taken together, these findings support the view of a strong relation between language and arithmetic in bilinguals.

  17. Combining Language Corpora with Experimental and Computational Approaches for Language Acquisition Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monaghan, Padraic; Rowland, Caroline F.

    2017-01-01

    Historically, first language acquisition research was a painstaking process of observation, requiring the laborious hand coding of children's linguistic productions, followed by the generation of abstract theoretical proposals for how the developmental process unfolds. Recently, the ability to collect large-scale corpora of children's language…

  18. Language Aptitude and Its Relationship to Instructional Effectiveness in Second Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erlam, Rosemary

    2005-01-01

    Experimental second language acquisition research typically investigates the effectiveness of instruction in terms of overall group gains. A particular instructional method may not, however, benefit all learners uniformly. This study, conducted in a New Zealand secondary school, establishes whether there is any relationship between the…

  19. Bilingual First Language Acquisition: Exploring the Limits of the Language Faculty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genesee, Fred

    2001-01-01

    Reviews current research in three domains of bilingual acquisition: pragmatic features of bilingual code mixing, grammatical constraints on child bilingual code mixing, and bilingual syntactic development. Examines implications from these domains for the understanding of the limits of the mental faculty to acquire language. (Author/VWL)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. Exploring the use of dynamic language assessment with deaf children, who use American Sign Language: Two case studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Wolfgang; Peña, Elizabeth D; Morgan, Gary

    2014-01-01

    We describe a model for assessment of lexical-semantic organization skills in American Sign Language (ASL) within the framework of dynamic vocabulary assessment and discuss the applicability and validity of the use of mediated learning experiences (MLE) with deaf signing children. Two elementary students (ages 7;6 and 8;4) completed a set of four vocabulary tasks and received two 30-minute mediations in ASL. Each session consisted of several scripted activities focusing on the use of categorization. Both had experienced difficulties in providing categorically related responses in one of the vocabulary tasks used previously. Results showed that the two students exhibited notable differences with regards to their learning pace, information uptake, and effort required by the mediator. Furthermore, we observed signs of a shift in strategic behavior by the lower performing student during the second mediation. Results suggest that the use of dynamic assessment procedures in a vocabulary context was helpful in understanding children's strategies as related to learning potential. These results are discussed in terms of deaf children's cognitive modifiability with implications for planning instruction and how MLE can be used with a population that uses ASL. The reader will (1) recognize the challenges in appropriate language assessment of deaf signing children; (2) recall the three areas explored to investigate whether a dynamic assessment approach is sensitive to differences in deaf signing children's language learning profiles (3) discuss how dynamic assessment procedures can make deaf signing children's individual language learning differences visible. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. "If We Lose Their Language We Lose Our History": Knowledge and Disposition in Maori Language Acquisition Policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albury, Nathan John

    2018-01-01

    Localising knowledge and dispositions helps to predict the likely success of top-down language policies. In so far as language acquisition is a pillar of language revitalisation policy, then community perspectives on learning a minority language deserve attention. This article presents the knowledge, dispositions, and ideas of around 1,300…

  3. Sign Language Translation in State Administration in Germany: Barrier Free Web Accessibility

    OpenAIRE

    Lišková, Kateřina

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this thesis is to describe Web accessibility in state administration in the Federal Republic of Germany in relation to the socio-demographic group of deaf sign language users who did not have the opportunity to gain proper knowledge of a written form of the German language. The demand of the Deaf to information in an accessible form as based on legal documents is presented in relation to the theory of translation. How translating from written texts into sign language works in pract...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  5. Incidental Vocabulary Learning in Second Language Acquisition: A Literature Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Falcon Dario Restrepo Ramos

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This literature review aims to analyze previous studies that address the incidental learning of vocabulary in second language acquisition. The articles included in this literature review look into the understanding of vocabulary learning through incidental means, the relationship of reading and incidental vocabulary learning, and the strategies and tasks that promote the incidental learning of vocabulary. The findings show that L2 learners develop much of their vocabulary by incidental means through exposure to words in informative contexts. Moreover, this exposure is promoted by reading, and enhanced through multimodal glosses. Further research may focus on listening for higher lexical retention rates, the circumstances that allow incidental learning of multi-word phrases and collocations, and the use of technology-based methods for incidental vocabulary acquisition.

  6. Plasticity, Variability and Age in Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birdsong, David

    2018-01-01

    Much of what is known about the outcome of second language acquisition and bilingualism can be summarized in terms of inter-individual variability, plasticity and age. The present review looks at variability and plasticity with respect to their underlying sources, and at age as a modulating factor in variability and plasticity. In this context we consider critical period effects vs. bilingualism effects, early and late bilingualism, nativelike and non-nativelike L2 attainment, cognitive aging, individual differences in learning, and linguistic dominance in bilingualism. Non-uniformity is an inherent characteristic of both early and late bilingualism. This review shows how plasticity and age connect with biological and experiential sources of variability, and underscores the value of research that reveals and explains variability. In these ways the review suggests how plasticity, variability and age conspire to frame fundamental research issues in L2 acquisition and bilingualism, and provides points of reference for discussion of the present Frontiers in Psychology Research Topic.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grove, Nicola; Woll, Bencie

    2017-03-01

    Manual signing is one of the most widely used approaches to support the communication and language skills of children and adults who have intellectual or developmental disabilities, and problems with communication in spoken language. A recent series of papers reporting findings from this population raises critical issues for professionals in the assessment of multimodal language skills of key word signers. Approaches to assessment will differ depending on whether key word signing (KWS) is viewed as discrete from, or related to, natural sign languages. Two available assessments from these different perspectives are compared. Procedures appropriate to the assessment of sign language production are recommended as a valuable addition to the clinician's toolkit. Sign and speech need to be viewed as multimodal, complementary communicative endeavours, rather than as polarities. Whilst narrative has been shown to be a fruitful context for eliciting language samples, assessments for adult users should be designed to suit the strengths, needs and values of adult signers with intellectual disabilities, using materials that are compatible with their life course stage rather than those designed for young children. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  9. Chemogenetic manipulation of ventral pallidal neurons impairs acquisition of sign-tracking in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Stephen E; Todd, Travis P; Bucci, David J; Smith, Kyle S

    2015-12-01

    Cues associated with rewarding events acquire value themselves as a result of the incentive value of the reward being transferred to the cue. Consequently, presentation of a reward-paired cue can trigger reward-seeking behaviours towards the cue itself (i.e. sign-tracking). The ventral pallidum (VP) has been demonstrated to be involved in a number of motivated behaviours, both conditioned and unconditioned. However, its contribution to the acquisition of incentive value is unknown. Using a discriminative autoshaping procedure with levers, the effects of disrupting VP activity in rats on the emergence of sign-tracking was investigated using chemogenetics, i.e. Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs). Transient disruption of VP neurons [activation of the inhibitory hM4D(Gi) DREADD through systemic injections of clozapine N-oxide (CNO) prior to each autoshaping session] impaired acquisition of sign-tracking (lever press rate) without having any effect on approach to the site of reward delivery (i.e. goal-tracking) or on the expression of sign-tracking after it was acquired. In addition, electrophysiological recordings were conducted in freely behaving rats following VP DREADD activation. The majority of VP units that were responsive to CNO injections exhibited rapid inhibition relative to baseline, a subset of CNO-responsive units showed delayed excitation, and a smaller subset displayed a mixed response of inhibition and excitation following CNO injections. It is argued that disruption of VP during autoshaping specifically disrupted the transfer of incentive value that was attributed to the lever cue, suggesting a surprisingly fundamental role for the VP in acquiring, compared with expressing, Pavlovian incentive values. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Does the teaching of thinking promote language acquisition?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Puhl, Carol A.

    1991-12-01

    Full Text Available Combining the teaching of thinking skills and a second language seems a plausible way to promote language acquisition. The teaching of thinking is explained, with an example from the curriculum of de Bono. Arguments supporting the thinking-L2 combination come from theory, practice, its benefits to teaching skills, national needs, and successful implementation. Research literature is reviewed, and a major study in South Africa is summarized. Die kombinasie van die onderrig van denkvaardighede en tweede taal blyk 'n aanneemlike metode om taalverwerwing te bevorder. Die onderrig van denke word aangedui, met 'n voorbeeld uit die kurrikulum van De Bono. Argumente wat die kombinasie van denke en tweede taal ondersteun, word gebaseer op teorie, praktyk, voordele vir onderwysvaardighede, nasionale behoeftes, en suksesvolle toepassing. Navorsingsartikels word in oi!nskou geneem, en 'n belangrike navorsingstudie word opgesom.

  11. Variability and Variation in Second Language Acquisition Orders : A Dynamic Reevaluation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lowie, Wander; Verspoor, Marjolijn

    2015-01-01

    The traditional morpheme order studies in second language acquisition have tried to demonstrate the existence of a fixed order of acquisition of English morphemes, regardless of the second language learner's background. Such orders have been taken as evidence of the preprogrammed nature of language

  12. A Correlational Study: Personality Types and Foreign Language Acquisition in Undergraduate Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capellan, Frank

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between personality types and second language acquisition. The study addressed a problem that is inadequately investigated in foreign language acquisition research; specifically, personality traits as predictors of language learning in college students studying Spanish as a foreign…

  13. A Particle of Indefiniteness in American Sign Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Neidle

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available We describe here the characteristics of a very frequently-occurring ASL indefinite focus particle, which has not previously been recognized as such. We show here that, despite its similarity to the question sign "WHAT", the particle is distinct from that sign in terms of articulation, function, and distribution. The particle serves to express "uncertainty" in various ways, which can be formalized semantically in terms of a domain-widening effect of the same sort as that proposed for English "any" by Kadmon & Landman (1993. Its function is to widen the domain of possibilities under consideration from the typical to include the non-typical as well, along a dimension appropriate in the context.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocab, Annemarie; Pyers, Jennie; Senghas, Ann

    2014-01-01

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

  15. The Effects of Electronic Communication on American Sign Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  16. 75 FR 60261 - Federal Acquisition Regulation; Award-Fee Language Revision

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-29

    ...-AL42 Federal Acquisition Regulation; Award-Fee Language Revision AGENCIES: Department of Defense (DoD...: Final rule. SUMMARY: The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils) have adopted as final, with changes, the interim rule amending the Federal Acquisition...

  17. Syntactic transfer in the initial stages of adult third language and fourth language acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahbube Tavakol

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper elucidates the articulated proposals for the initial stages of adult third language (L3 syntactic transfer, addressing their application for L3 and the subsequent fourth language (L4 acquisition. The study was set to demonstrate empirical evidence in line with or against the tenets of the models and to indicate if and how syntactic transfer might obtain differently depending on the language being acquired– L3 vs. L4. The models to be tested were Full Transfer/Full Access (FT/FA, L2 Status Factor Hypothesis (LSFH, Cumulative Enhancement Model (CEM and Typological Primacy Model (TPM. Following a principles and parameters framework, six parameters were selected to generate several language pairings and an adult female’s L3 Italian and L4 German’s early spontaneous productions of the selected features were audio-recorded. The accuracy levels with which the features were produced in tandem with the results of error analyses violated the positions of FT/FA as considered for L3/s acquisition and CEM and consistently identified Typological proximity and L2 status as affecting syntactic transfer during the early stages multilingual acquisition.

  18. Evaluating Attributions of Delay and Confusion in Young Bilinguals: Special Insights from Infants Acquiring a Signed and a Spoken Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petitto, Laura Ann; Holowka, Siobhan

    2002-01-01

    Examines whether early simultaneous bilingual language exposure causes children to be language delayed or confused. Cites research suggesting normal and parallel linguistic development occurs in each language in young children and young children's dual language developments are similar to monolingual language acquisition. Research on simultaneous…

  19. Incidental acquisition of foreign language vocabulary through brief multi-modal exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisson, Marie-Josée; van Heuven, Walter J B; Conklin, Kathy; Tunney, Richard J

    2013-01-01

    First language acquisition requires relatively little effort compared to foreign language acquisition and happens more naturally through informal learning. Informal exposure can also benefit foreign language learning, although evidence for this has been limited to speech perception and production. An important question is whether informal exposure to spoken foreign language also leads to vocabulary learning through the creation of form-meaning links. Here we tested the impact of exposure to foreign language words presented with pictures in an incidental learning phase on subsequent explicit foreign language learning. In the explicit learning phase, we asked adults to learn translation equivalents of foreign language words, some of which had appeared in the incidental learning phase. Results revealed rapid learning of the foreign language words in the incidental learning phase showing that informal exposure to multi-modal foreign language leads to foreign language vocabulary acquisition. The creation of form-meaning links during the incidental learning phase is discussed.

  20. Predictors of second language acquisition in Latino children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutiérrez-Clellen, Vera; Simon-Cereijido, Gabriela; Sweet, Monica

    2012-02-01

    This study evaluated the extent to which the language of intervention, the child's development in Spanish, and the effects of English vocabulary, use, proficiency, and exposure predict differences in the rates of acquisition of English in Latino children with specific language impairment (SLI). In this randomized controlled trial, 188 Latino preschoolers with SLI participated in a small-group academic enrichment program for 12 weeks and were followed up 3 and 5 months later. Children were randomly assigned to either a bilingual or an English-only program. Predictors of English growth included measures of Spanish language skills and English vocabulary, use, proficiency, and exposure. Performance on English outcomes (i.e., picture description and narrative sample) was assessed over time. A series of longitudinal models were tested via multilevel modeling with baseline and posttreatment measures nested within child. Children demonstrated growth on the English outcomes over time. The language of intervention, Spanish skills, English vocabulary, and English use significantly predicted differences in rates of growth across children for specific measures of English development. This study underscores the role of the child's first language skills, the child's level of English vocabulary development, and level of English use for predicting differences in English acquisition in Latino preschoolers with SLI. These factors should be carefully considered in making clinical decisions.

  1. Psych verbs, the Linking Problem, and the Acquisition of Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartshorne, Joshua K.; O'Donnell, Timothy J.; Sudo, Yasutada; Uruwashi, Miki; Lee, Miseon; Snedeker, Jesse

    2016-01-01

    In acquiring language, children must learn to appropriately place the different participants of an event (e.g., causal agent, affected entity) into the correct syntactic positions (e.g., subject, object) so that listeners will know who did what to whom. While many of these mappings can be characterized by broad generalizations, both within and across languages (e.g., semantic agents tend to be mapped onto syntactic subjects), not all verbs fit neatly into these generalizations. One particularly striking example is verbs of psychological state: The experiencer of the state can appear as either the subject (Agnes fears/hates/loves Bartholomew) or the direct object (Agnes frightens/angers/delights Bartholomew). The present studies explore whether this apparent variability in subject/object mapping may actually result from differences in these verbs’ underlying meanings. Specifically, we suggest that verbs like fear describe a habitual attitude towards some entity whereas verbs like frighten describe an externally caused emotional episode. We find that this distinction systematically characterizes verbs in English, Mandarin, and Korean. This pattern is generalized to novel verbs by adults in English, Japanese, and Russian, and even by English-speaking children who are just beginning to acquire psych verbs. This results support a broad role for systematic mappings between semantics and syntax in language acquisition. PMID:27693942

  2. BILINGUAL MULTIMODAL SYSTEM FOR TEXT-TO-AUDIOVISUAL SPEECH AND SIGN LANGUAGE SYNTHESIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Karpov

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available We present a conceptual model, architecture and software of a multimodal system for audio-visual speech and sign language synthesis by the input text. The main components of the developed multimodal synthesis system (signing avatar are: automatic text processor for input text analysis; simulation 3D model of human's head; computer text-to-speech synthesizer; a system for audio-visual speech synthesis; simulation 3D model of human’s hands and upper body; multimodal user interface integrating all the components for generation of audio, visual and signed speech. The proposed system performs automatic translation of input textual information into speech (audio information and gestures (video information, information fusion and its output in the form of multimedia information. A user can input any grammatically correct text in Russian or Czech languages to the system; it is analyzed by the text processor to detect sentences, words and characters. Then this textual information is converted into symbols of the sign language notation. We apply international «Hamburg Notation System» - HamNoSys, which describes the main differential features of each manual sign: hand shape, hand orientation, place and type of movement. On their basis the 3D signing avatar displays the elements of the sign language. The virtual 3D model of human’s head and upper body has been created using VRML virtual reality modeling language, and it is controlled by the software based on OpenGL graphical library. The developed multimodal synthesis system is a universal one since it is oriented for both regular users and disabled people (in particular, for the hard-of-hearing and visually impaired, and it serves for multimedia output (by audio and visual modalities of input textual information.

  3. Graph theoretical analysis of functional network for comprehension of sign language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Lanfang; Yan, Xin; Liu, Jin; Xia, Mingrui; Lu, Chunming; Emmorey, Karen; Chu, Mingyuan; Ding, Guosheng

    2017-09-15

    Signed languages are natural human languages using the visual-motor modality. Previous neuroimaging studies based on univariate activation analysis show that a widely overlapped cortical network is recruited regardless whether the sign language is comprehended (for signers) or not (for non-signers). Here we move beyond previous studies by examining whether the functional connectivity profiles and the underlying organizational structure of the overlapped neural network may differ between signers and non-signers when watching sign language. Using graph theoretical analysis (GTA) and fMRI, we compared the large-scale functional network organization in hearing signers with non-signers during the observation of sentences in Chinese Sign Language. We found that signed sentences elicited highly similar cortical activations in the two groups of participants, with slightly larger responses within the left frontal and left temporal gyrus in signers than in non-signers. Crucially, further GTA revealed substantial group differences in the topologies of this activation network. Globally, the network engaged by signers showed higher local efficiency (t (24) =2.379, p=0.026), small-worldness (t (24) =2.604, p=0.016) and modularity (t (24) =3.513, p=0.002), and exhibited different modular structures, compared to the network engaged by non-signers. Locally, the left ventral pars opercularis served as a network hub in the signer group but not in the non-signer group. These findings suggest that, despite overlap in cortical activation, the neural substrates underlying sign language comprehension are distinguishable at the network level from those for the processing of gestural action. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Language acquisition for deaf children: Reducing the harms of zero tolerance to the use of alternative approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humphries Tom

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Children acquire language without instruction as long as they are regularly and meaningfully engaged with an accessible human language. Today, 80% of children born deaf in the developed world are implanted with cochlear devices that allow some of them access to sound in their early years, which helps them to develop speech. However, because of brain plasticity changes during early childhood, children who have not acquired a first language in the early years might never be completely fluent in any language. If they miss this critical period for exposure to a natural language, their subsequent development of the cognitive activities that rely on a solid first language might be underdeveloped, such as literacy, memory organization, and number manipulation. An alternative to speech-exclusive approaches to language acquisition exists in the use of sign languages such as American Sign Language (ASL, where acquiring a sign language is subject to the same time constraints of spoken language development. Unfortunately, so far, these alternatives are caught up in an "either - or" dilemma, leading to a highly polarized conflict about which system families should choose for their children, with little tolerance for alternatives by either side of the debate and widespread misinformation about the evidence and implications for or against either approach. The success rate with cochlear implants is highly variable. This issue is still debated, and as far as we know, there are no reliable predictors for success with implants. Yet families are often advised not to expose their child to sign language. Here absolute positions based on ideology create pressures for parents that might jeopardize the real developmental needs of deaf children. What we do know is that cochlear implants do not offer accessible language to many deaf children. By the time it is clear that the deaf child is not acquiring spoken language with cochlear devices, it might already be

  5. Acquisition of Speech Acts by Second Language Learners : Suggestion for future research on Japanese language education

    OpenAIRE

    畑佐, 由紀子

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines previous studies on the use and acquisition of speech acts by second language learners in order to identify issues that are yet to be investigated. The paper begins with a brief overview of the theoretical background for L2 speech act theory. Then, factors that affect native speakers’ choice of expressions are explained and the extent to which they are investigated in L2 pragmatic studies is considered. Thirdly, the strengths and weaknesses of methodology employed are disc...

  6. Visual Iconicity Across Sign Languages: Large-Scale Automated Video Analysis of Iconic Articulators and Locations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Östling, Robert; Börstell, Carl; Courtaux, Servane

    2018-01-01

    We use automatic processing of 120,000 sign videos in 31 different sign languages to show a cross-linguistic pattern for two types of iconic form–meaning relationships in the visual modality. First, we demonstrate that the degree of inherent plurality of concepts, based on individual ratings by non-signers, strongly correlates with the number of hands used in the sign forms encoding the same concepts across sign languages. Second, we show that certain concepts are iconically articulated around specific parts of the body, as predicted by the associational intuitions by non-signers. The implications of our results are both theoretical and methodological. With regard to theoretical implications, we corroborate previous research by demonstrating and quantifying, using a much larger material than previously available, the iconic nature of languages in the visual modality. As for the methodological implications, we show how automatic methods are, in fact, useful for performing large-scale analysis of sign language data, to a high level of accuracy, as indicated by our manual error analysis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

  9. Translation and interpretation of sign language in the postgraduate context: problematizing positions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Daniel Rodrigues Dinarte

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This article aims, based in sign language translation researches, and at the same time entering discussions with inspiration in contemporary theories on the concept of "deconstruction" (DERRIDA, 2004 DERRIDA e ROUDINESCO, 2004 ARROJO, 1993, to reflect on some aspects concerning to the definition of the role and duties of translators and interpreters. We conceive that deconstruction does not consist in a method to be applied on the linguistic and social phenomena, but a set of political strategies that comes from a speech community which translate texts, and thus put themselves in a translational task performing an act of reading that inserts sign language in the academic linguistic multiplicity.

  10. The Advantages and Disadvantages of Computer Technology in Second Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Cheng-Chieh; Kritsonis, William Allan

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of computer technology and Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) programs for current second language learning. According to the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition & Language Instruction Educational Programs' report (2002), more than nine million…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

    A fundamental advance in our understanding of human language would come from a detailed account of how non-linguistic and linguistic manual actions are differentiated in real time by language users. To explore this issue, we targeted the N400, an ERP component known to be sensitive to semantic context. Deaf signers saw 120 American Sign Language sentences, each consisting of a "frame" (a sentence without the last word; e.g. BOY SLEEP IN HIS) followed by a "last item" belonging to one of four categories: a high-close-probability sign (a "semantically reasonable" completion to the sentence; e.g. BED), a low-close-probability sign (a real sign that is nonetheless a "semantically odd" completion to the sentence; e.g. LEMON), a pseudo-sign (phonologically legal but non-lexical form), or a non-linguistic grooming gesture (e.g. the performer scratching her face). We found significant N400-like responses in the incongruent and pseudo-sign contexts, while the gestures elicited a large positivity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Øhre, Beate; Saltnes, Hege; von Tetzchner, Stephen; Falkum, Erik

    2014-05-22

    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). 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". 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%. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  14. Prior knowledge of deaf students fluent in brazilian sign languages regarding the algebraic language in high school

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Teresinha Frizzarini

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available There are few researches with deeper reflections on the study of algebra with deaf students. In order to validate and disseminate educational activities in that context, this article aims at highlighting the deaf students’ prior knowledge, fluent in Brazilian Sign Language, referring to the algebraic language used in high school. The theoretical framework used was Duval’s theory, with analysis of the changes, by treatment and conversion, of different registers of semiotic representation, in particular inequalities. The methodology used was the application of a diagnostic evaluation performed with deaf students, all fluent in Brazilian Sign Language, in a special school located in the north of Paraná State. We emphasize the need to work in both directions of conversion, in different languages, especially when the starting record is the graphic. Therefore, the conclusion reached was that one should not separate the algebraic representation from other records, due to the need of sign language perform not only the communication function, but also the functions of objectification and treatment, fundamental in cognitive development.

  15. Words and possible words in early language acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchetto, Erika; Bonatti, Luca L

    2013-11-01

    In order to acquire language, infants must extract its building blocks-words-and master the rules governing their legal combinations from speech. These two problems are not independent, however: words also have internal structure. Thus, infants must extract two kinds of information from the same speech input. They must find the actual words of their language. Furthermore, they must identify its possible words, that is, the sequences of sounds that, being morphologically well formed, could be words. Here, we show that infants' sensitivity to possible words appears to be more primitive and fundamental than their ability to find actual words. We expose 12- and 18-month-old infants to an artificial language containing a conflict between statistically coherent and structurally coherent items. We show that 18-month-olds can extract possible words when the familiarization stream contains marks of segmentation, but cannot do so when the stream is continuous. Yet, they can find actual words from a continuous stream by computing statistical relationships among syllables. By contrast, 12-month-olds can find possible words when familiarized with a segmented stream, but seem unable to extract statistically coherent items from a continuous stream that contains minimal conflicts between statistical and structural information. These results suggest that sensitivity to word structure is in place earlier than the ability to analyze distributional information. The ability to compute nontrivial statistical relationships becomes fully effective relatively late in development, when infants have already acquired a considerable amount of linguistic knowledge. Thus, mechanisms for structure extraction that do not rely on extensive sampling of the input are likely to have a much larger role in language acquisition than general-purpose statistical abilities. Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  16. A higher level language data acquisition system (III) - the user data acquisition program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finn, J.M.; Gulbranson, R.L.; Huang, T.L.

    1983-01-01

    The nuclear physics group at the University of Illinois has implemented a data acquisition system using modified versions of the Concurrent Pascal and Sequential Pascal languages. The user, a physicist, develops a data acquisition ''operating system'', written in these higher level languages, which is tailored to the planned experiment. The user must include only those system functions which are essential to the task, thus improving efficiency. The user program is constructed from simple modules, mainly consisting of Concurrent Pascal PROCESSes, MONITORs, and CLASSes together with appropriate data type definitions. Entire programs can be put together using ''cut and paste'' techniques. Planned enhancements include the automating of this process. Systems written for the Perkin-Elmer 3220 using this approach can easily exceed 2 kHz data rates for event by event handling; 20 kHz data rates have been achieved by the addition of buffers in the interrupt handling software. These rates have been achieved without the use of special-purpose hardware such as micro-programmed branch drivers. With the addition of such devices even higher data rates should be possible

  17. Mexican sign language recognition using normalized moments and artificial neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. A Critical Review of Motivation in Second Language Acquisition Research

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    欧阳晓娟

    2009-01-01

    As one of the major factors affecting second language learners' success to their acquisition achievement, motivation has been examined in a wide variety of research papers. It is thus instructive to conduct a critical review of both theoretical and empirical developments in SLA research from over the last few decades. This approach will provide a broad, and integrated perspective onto the current understanding of the complex topic of motivation. Such an undertaking is valuable for teachers, and researchers alike, in developing useful teaching methods, and finding future avenues of SLA motivation research respectively.The following paper provides an overview of recent theoretical and empirical findings, examines some of the problems and contradictions found/11 current SLA research, and gives an initial departure point for future directions of research in the area of motivation. The paper concludes with a discussion of some of the implications for teachers, and possible classroom strategies that axe drawn from the current body of motivation research.

  19. Variation in handshape and orientation in British Sign Language: The case of the ‘1’ hand configuration

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. The Impact of Input Quality on Early Sign Development in Native and Non-Native Language Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  1. "Real Language": Combining Intermediate Spanish Language Learners and ESOL/Native Speakers for Vernacular Language Acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joe LaValle

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper addresses the possibilities of combining Spanish language learners and English language learners in high school and post-secondary institutions for mutual benefit to learn authentic language. Academic or "classroom" Spanish is insufficient to empower students for today's workplace. The concept behind "Real Language" is illustrated by an example of an interdisciplinary activity to facilitate communicative interaction in genuine language and promote cultural understanding between intermediate Spanish students and ESOL/native speakers at the high school and post-secondary level. Students are asked to utilize their life skills in interactive, freestyle conversation without the intervention of an instructor. The learning space for language exchange is an out-of-class venue for a non-intimidating, more authentic setting. This simple qualitative study investigates the potential value of this sort of interdisciplinary activity. The intent is to evaluate attitudes of the participants in relation to confidence in their ability to use the target language, and their willingness to use it in social and professional environments and, in addition, to facilitate cultural understanding. The positive result of the project is validated by the voice of the student participants as they reflect on their experience in "Real Language". Could this concept facilitate evolving strategies for interdisciplinary contemporary foreign language learning?

  2. Abstract concepts, language and sociality: from acquisition to inner speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borghi, Anna M; Barca, Laura; Binkofski, Ferdinand; Tummolini, Luca

    2018-08-05

    The problem of representation of abstract concepts, such as 'freedom' and 'justice', has become particularly crucial in recent years, owing to the increased success of embodied and grounded views of cognition. We will present a novel view on abstract concepts and abstract words. Since abstract concepts do not have single objects as referents, children and adults might rely more on input from others to learn them; we, therefore, suggest that linguistic and social experience play an important role for abstract concepts. We will discuss evidence obtained in our and other laboratories showing that processing of abstract concepts evokes linguistic interaction and social experiences, leading to the activation of the mouth motor system. We will discuss the possible mechanisms that underlie this activation. Mouth motor system activation can be due to re-enactment of the experience of conceptual acquisition, which occurred through the mediation of language. Alternatively, it could be due to the re-explanation of the word meaning, possibly through inner speech. Finally, it can be due to a metacognitive process revealing low confidence in the meaning of our concepts. This process induces in us the need to rely on others to ask/negotiate conceptual meaning. We conclude that with abstract concepts language works as a social tool: it extends our thinking abilities and pushes us to rely on others to integrate our knowledge.This article is part of the theme issue 'Varieties of abstract concepts: development, use, and representation in the brain'. © 2018 The Author(s).

  3. Do Adults Show an Effect of Delayed First Language Acquisition When Calculating Scalar Implicatures?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Kathryn; Mayberry, Rachel I.

    2015-01-01

    Language acquisition involves learning not only grammatical rules and a lexicon but also what people are intending to convey with their utterances: the semantic/pragmatic component of language. In this article we separate the contributions of linguistic development and cognitive maturity to the acquisition of the semantic/pragmatic component of…

  4. Some Aspects of Developing Background Knowledge in Second Language Acquisition Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zashchitina, Galina; Moysyak, Natalia

    2017-01-01

    The article focuses on defining how background knowledge impacts on second-language acquisition by giving a brief overview of schema theory, the interaction of the basic modes of information processing. A challenge of dealing with culturally specific texts in second language acquisition is also touched upon. Different research-supported views on…

  5. The Utility of Cognitive Plausibility in Language Acquisition Modeling: Evidence from Word Segmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Lawrence; Pearl, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    The informativity of a computational model of language acquisition is directly related to how closely it approximates the actual acquisition task, sometimes referred to as the model's "cognitive plausibility." We suggest that though every computational model necessarily idealizes the modeled task, an informative language acquisition…

  6. Incidental Foreign-Language Acquisition by Children Watching Subtitled Television Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ina, Lekkai

    2014-01-01

    Series of international studies have shown that subtitled television programs provide a rich context for foreign language acquisition. This study investigated whether incidental language acquisition occurs from watching a television program with/without subtitles. Children in the experimental conditions watch: (a) a 15 minute snapshot of a well…

  7. A spatial economic perspective on language acquisition: Segregation, networking, and assimilation of immigrants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Florax, R.J.G.M.; de Graaff, T.; Waldorf, B.S.

    2005-01-01

    Immigration and multiculturalism are at the heart of modern Western societies. The issue of language acquisition of immigrants is intrinsically linked to immigration. We formally link language acquisition of immigrants to the relative size of the immigrant stock, employing a microeconomic trading

  8. Assessment of Language Learners' Strategies: Do They Prefer Learning or Acquisition Strategies?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altmisdort, Gonca

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate learning and acquisition strategies used by second/foreign language learners. This study is a comparative investigation of learning and acquisition strategies of successful and less successful language learners. The main question of the study is to investigate if there is a relationship between the learners'…

  9. Specific Cognitive Antecedents of Structures and Functions Involved in Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moerk, Ernst L.

    1973-01-01

    The antecedents of verbal behavior, together with the teaching skills of the adult linguistic community, probably constitute all the necessary bases for language acquisition. As they seemed to be sufficient for the explanation of all the known phenomena, an assumption of an innate linguistic language acquisition device was rejected as superfluous.…

  10. Engaging the Discourse of International Language Recognition through ISO 639-3 Signed Language Change Requests

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  11. Flusser and the "?" Sign: the musicality of poetry and the limits of language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiago Hermano Breunig

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available When inquiring the sign “?”, Flusser postulates that meaning is “one of the main problems of the present times thought.” From the sign above, Flusser differentiates meaning and sense, which defines as “what means”. Thus, the problem of meaning converges with the problem of thought itself, since, according to Flusser, all thoughts come from a tautology, i.e., what “means nothing”. If the understanding of meaning implies the musical aspects of the language, as the sign “?”, according to Flusser, music falls “in the same abyss of tautology” as it overcomes the language limit. Flusser believes that the discussion of language limits contributes to the problem of the meaning of music and confesses that among all the existential signs the “?” is the one that articulates better the situation in which we are. It is in this sense, in this “Stimmung”, as Flusser says about the meaning of the sign “?”, that this paper aims to reflect, from the problem of meaning, on the relationship between music and poetry contemporary to Flusser.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.…

  13. Sign Language as Medium of Instruction in Botswana Primary Schools: Voices from the Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mpuang, Kerileng D.; Mukhopadhyay, Sourav; Malatsi, Nelly

    2015-01-01

    This descriptive phenomenological study investigates teachers' experiences of using sign language for learners who are deaf in the primary schools in Botswana. Eight in-service teachers who have had more than ten years of teaching deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) learners were purposively selected for this study. Data were collected using multiple…

  14. Areas Recruited during Action Understanding Are Not Modulated by Auditory or Sign Language Experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. The Readiness of Typical Student in Communication By Using Sign Language in Hearing Impairment Integration Programe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohd Hanafi Mohd Yasin

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available This research is regarding the readiness of typical student in communication by using sign language in Hearing Impairment Integration Programme. There were 60 typical students from a Special Education Integration Programme of secondary school in Malacca were chosen as research respondents. The instrument of the research was a set of questionnaire which consisted of four parts, namely Student’s demography (Part A, Student’s knowledge (Part B, Student’s ability to communicate (Part C and Student’s interest to communicate (Part D. The questionnaire was adapted from the research of Asnul Dahar and Rabiah's 'The Readiness of Students in Following Vocational Subjects at Jerantut District, Rural Secondary School in Pahang'.  Descriptive analysis was used to analysis the data. Mean score was used to determine the level of respondents' perception of each question. The findings showed a positive relationship between typical students towards communication medium by using sign language. Typical students were seen to be interested in communicating using sign language and were willing to attend the Sign Language class if offered.

  16. Creating a Digital Jamaican Sign Language Dictionary: A R2D2 Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  17. Longitudinal Receptive American Sign Language Skills across a Diverse Deaf Student Body

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.,…

  18. Educational Resources and Implementation of a Greek Sign Language Synthesis Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  19. Kinect-based sign language recognition of static and dynamic hand movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalawis, Rando C.; Olayao, Kenneth Deniel R.; Ramos, Evan Geoffrey I.; Samonte, Mary Jane C.

    2017-02-01

    A different approach of sign language recognition of static and dynamic hand movements was developed in this study using normalized correlation algorithm. The goal of this research was to translate fingerspelling sign language into text using MATLAB and Microsoft Kinect. Digital input image captured by Kinect devices are matched from template samples stored in a database. This Human Computer Interaction (HCI) prototype was developed to help people with communication disability to express their thoughts with ease. Frame segmentation and feature extraction was used to give meaning to the captured images. Sequential and random testing was used to test both static and dynamic fingerspelling gestures. The researchers explained some factors they encountered causing some misclassification of signs.

  20. 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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  1. Response bias reveals enhanced attention to inferior visual field in signers of American Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dye, Matthew W G; Seymour, Jenessa L; Hauser, Peter C

    2016-04-01

    Deafness results in cross-modal plasticity, whereby visual functions are altered as a consequence of a lack of hearing. Here, we present a reanalysis of data originally reported by Dye et al. (PLoS One 4(5):e5640, 2009) with the aim of testing additional hypotheses concerning the spatial redistribution of visual attention due to deafness and the use of a visuogestural language (American Sign Language). By looking at the spatial distribution of errors made by deaf and hearing participants performing a visuospatial selective attention task, we sought to determine whether there was evidence for (1) a shift in the hemispheric lateralization of visual selective function as a result of deafness, and (2) a shift toward attending to the inferior visual field in users of a signed language. While no evidence was found for or against a shift in lateralization of visual selective attention as a result of deafness, a shift in the allocation of attention from the superior toward the inferior visual field was inferred in native signers of American Sign Language, possibly reflecting an adaptation to the perceptual demands imposed by a visuogestural language.

  2. Bilingual Language Acquisition in a Minority Context: Using the Irish-English Communicative Development Inventory to Track Acquisition of an Endangered Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Toole, Ciara; Hickey, Tina M.

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the role of language exposure in vocabulary acquisition in Irish, a threatened minority language in Ireland which is usually acquired with English in a bilingual context. Using a bilingual Irish-English adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories) [Fenson, L., V. A. Marchman, D. J. Thal, P. S.…

  3. The sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis for language acquisition and language evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imai, Mutsumi; Kita, Sotaro

    2014-09-19

    Sound symbolism is a non-arbitrary relationship between speech sounds and meaning. We review evidence that, contrary to the traditional view in linguistics, sound symbolism is an important design feature of language, which affects online processing of language, and most importantly, language acquisition. We propose the sound symbolism bootstrapping hypothesis, claiming that (i) pre-verbal infants are sensitive to sound symbolism, due to a biologically endowed ability to map and integrate multi-modal input, (ii) sound symbolism helps infants gain referential insight for speech sounds, (iii) sound symbolism helps infants and toddlers associate speech sounds with their referents to establish a lexical representation and (iv) sound symbolism helps toddlers learn words by allowing them to focus on referents embedded in a complex scene, alleviating Quine's problem. We further explore the possibility that sound symbolism is deeply related to language evolution, drawing the parallel between historical development of language across generations and ontogenetic development within individuals. Finally, we suggest that sound symbolism bootstrapping is a part of a more general phenomenon of bootstrapping by means of iconic representations, drawing on similarities and close behavioural links between sound symbolism and speech-accompanying iconic gesture. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  4. Listening to accented speech in a second language: First language and age of acquisition effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larraza, Saioa; Samuel, Arthur G; Oñederra, Miren Lourdes

    2016-11-01

    Bilingual speakers must acquire the phonemic inventory of 2 languages and need to recognize spoken words cross-linguistically; a demanding job potentially made even more difficult due to dialectal variation, an intrinsic property of speech. The present work examines how bilinguals perceive second language (L2) accented speech and where accommodation to dialectal variation takes place. Dialectal effects were analyzed at different levels: An AXB discrimination task tapped phonetic-phonological representations, an auditory lexical-decision task tested for effects in accessing the lexicon, and an auditory priming task looked for semantic processing effects. Within that central focus, the goal was to see whether perceptual adjustment at a given level is affected by 2 main linguistic factors: bilinguals' first language and age of acquisition of the L2. Taking advantage of the cross-linguistic situation of the Basque language, bilinguals with different first languages (Spanish or French) and ages of acquisition of Basque (simultaneous, early, or late) were tested. Our use of multiple tasks with multiple types of bilinguals demonstrates that in spite of very similar discrimination capacity, French-Basque versus Spanish-Basque simultaneous bilinguals' performance on lexical access significantly differed. Similarly, results of the early and late groups show that the mapping of phonetic-phonological information onto lexical representations is a more demanding process that accentuates non-native processing difficulties. L1 and AoA effects were more readily overcome in semantic processing; accented variants regularly created priming effects in the different groups of bilinguals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  5. 76 FR 46206 - NASA Implementation of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Award Fee Language Revision

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-02

    ... of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Award Fee Language Revision AGENCY: National Aeronautics and... Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-46. DATES: Effective Date: August 2, 2011. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT... on February 8, 2011 (76 FR 6696) implementing Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-46 which...

  6. 76 FR 6696 - NASA Implementation of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Award Fee Language Revision

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-08

    ... of Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Award Fee Language Revision AGENCY: National Aeronautics and... (NFS) to implement the FAR Award Fee revision issued in Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-46.... Background Federal Acquisition Circular (FAC) 2005-46 significantly revised FAR Parts 16.305, 16.401, and 16...

  7. LITERARY LANGUAGE AS A SIGN. SEMIOTIC CONSIDERATIONS ON THE CROATIAN LANGUAGE IN THE CULTURAL SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej Czerwiński

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In the article the question of the existence of the Croatian literary language in the semiotic space, i.e. the system of culture, is taken into consideration. In order to affirm the idea of the justification of the very term Croatian language, and thus acceptance of the thesis of the existence of such a language, this argumentation is directed towards theoretical investigation in the semiotic field. There is an attempt to envisage that discussions in the post-Yugoslav linguistics are not the problem, conventionally speaking, ‘ontological’ but ‘epistemological’. Thus, it is not important the question whether the Croatian language or any other language, e.g. Montenegrin, exists but rather the following question: what does it mean that literary language exists or does not exist?

  8. The Effect of Sign Language Rehearsal on Deaf Subjects' Immediate and Delayed Recall of English Word Lists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonvillian, John D.; And Others

    1987-01-01

    The relationship between sign language rehearsal and written free recall was examined by having deaf college students rehearse the sign language equivalents of printed English words. Studies of both immediate and delayed memory suggested that word recall increased as a function of total rehearsal frequency and frequency of appearance in rehearsal…

  9. Evidence for Website Claims about the Benefits of Teaching Sign Language to Infants and Toddlers with Normal Hearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  10. The influence of language deprivation in early childhood on L2 processing: An ERP comparison of deaf native signers and deaf signers with a delayed language acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skotara, Nils; Salden, Uta; Kügow, Monique; Hänel-Faulhaber, Barbara; Röder, Brigitte

    2012-05-03

    To examine which language function depends on early experience, the present study compared deaf native signers, deaf non-native signers and hearing German native speakers while processing German sentences. The participants watched simple written sentences while event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded. At the end of each sentence they were asked to judge whether the sentence was correct or not. Two types of violations were introduced in the middle of the sentence: a semantically implausible noun or a violation of subject-verb number agreement. The results showed a similar ERP pattern after semantic violations (an N400 followed by a positivity) in all three groups. After syntactic violations, native German speakers and native signers of German sign language (DGS) with German as second language (L2) showed a left anterior negativity (LAN) followed by a P600, whereas no LAN but a negativity over the right hemisphere instead was found in deaf participants with a delayed onset of first language (L1) acquisition. The P600 of this group had a smaller amplitude and a different scalp distribution as compared to German native speakers. The results of the present study suggest that language deprivation in early childhood alters the cerebral organization of syntactic language processing mechanisms for L2. Semantic language processing instead was unaffected.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Shengjing; Chen, Xiang; Yang, Xidong; Cao, Shuai; Zhang, Xu

    2016-04-19

    Sign language recognition (SLR) can provide a helpful tool for the communication between the deaf and the external world. This paper proposed a component-based vocabulary extensible SLR framework using data from surface electromyographic (sEMG) sensors, accelerometers (ACC), and gyroscopes (GYRO). In this framework, a sign word was considered to be a combination of five common sign components, including hand shape, axis, orientation, rotation, and trajectory, and sign classification was implemented based on the recognition of five components. Especially, the proposed SLR framework consisted of two major parts. The first part was to obtain the component-based form of sign gestures and establish the code table of target sign gesture set using data from a reference subject. In the second part, which was designed for new users, component classifiers were trained using a training set suggested by the reference subject and the classification of unknown gestures was performed with a code matching method. Five subjects participated in this study and recognition experiments under different size of training sets were implemented on a target gesture set consisting of 110 frequently-used Chinese Sign Language (CSL) sign words. The experimental results demonstrated that the proposed framework can realize large-scale gesture set recognition with a small-scale training set. With the smallest training sets (containing about one-third gestures of the target gesture set) suggested by two reference subjects, (82.6 ± 13.2)% and (79.7 ± 13.4)% average recognition accuracy were obtained for 110 words respectively, and the average recognition accuracy climbed up to (88 ± 13.7)% and (86.3 ± 13.7)% when the training set included 50~60 gestures (about half of the target gesture set). The proposed framework can significantly reduce the user's training burden in large-scale gesture recognition, which will facilitate the implementation of a practical SLR system.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shengjing Wei

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  13. The duplication of the number of hands in Sign Language, and its semantic effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Nogueira Xavier

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available According to Xavier (2006, there are signs in the Brazilian sign language (Libras that are typically developed with one hand, while others are made by both hands. However, recent studies document the communication, with both hands, of signs which usually use only one hand, and vice-versa (XAVIER, 2011; XAVIER, 2013; BARBOSA, 2013. This study aims the discussion of 27 Libras' signs which are typically made with one hand and that, when articulated with both hands, present changes in their meanings. The data discussed hereby, even though originally collected from observations of spontaneous signs from different Libras' users, have been elicited by two deaf patients in distinct sessions. After presenting the two forms of the selected signs (made with one and two hands, the patients were asked to create examples of use for each of the signs. The results proved that the duplication of hands, at least for the same signal in some cases, may happen due to different factors (such as plurality, aspect and intensity.

  14. PSYCHOLINGUISTIC SIMILARITIES IN THE ACQUISITION OF ENGLISH AND RUSSIAN AS NATIVE LANGUAGES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    SLOBIN, DAN I.

    ONE APPROACH TO CHILD LANGUAGE ACQUISITION IS THAT OF TRANSFORMATIONAL, GENERATIVE GRAMMAR WHICH EMPHASIZES MAN'S ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND AND PRODUCE AN UNLIMITED VARIETY OF SENTENCES THROUGH CONTROL OF A LIMITED NUMBER OF LANGUAGE RULES. THUS, A CHILD LEARNS TO SPEAK BY DEVELOPING HIS OWN THEORIES OF THE STRUCTURE OF HIS LANGUAGE. STUDIES OF…

  15. Very Early Processing Skills and Language Acquisition in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushner, Nicole Blake

    2017-01-01

    With the increasing prevalence of autism diagnoses, large percentage of diagnosed individuals with comorbid language difficulties, and negative effects of these difficulties on language development and overall functioning, research on language acquisition in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder is essential. The current study used data…

  16. A Human Mirror Neuron System for Language: Perspectives from Signed Languages of the Deaf

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  17. Recovery from First-Language Transfer: The Second Language Acquisition of English Double Objects by Korean Speakers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Eunjeong

    2010-01-01

    Previous studies on second language (L2) acquisition of English dative alternation by Korean speakers (Oh and Zubizarreta, 2003, 2006a, 2006b) have shown that the acquisition of English benefactive double object (DO) (e.g. "John baked Mary a cake") lags behind that of its counterpart goal double object (e.g. "John sent Mary the letter"). This…

  18. Cochlear Implantation (CI for prelingual deafness: the relevance of studies of brain organization and the role of first language acquisition in considering outcome success.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth eCampbell

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Cochlear implantation (CI for profound congenital hearing impairment, while often successful in restoring hearing to the deaf child, does not always result in effective speech processing. Exposure to non-auditory signals during the pre-implantation period is widely held to be responsible for such failures. Here, we question the inference that such exposure irreparably distorts the function of auditory cortex, negatively impacting the efficacy of cochlear implantation. Animal studies suggest that in congenital early deafness there is a disconnection between (disordered activation in primary auditory cortex (A1 and activation in secondary auditory cortex (A2. In humans, one factor contributing to this functional decoupling is assumed to be abnormal activation of A1 by visual projections – including exposure to sign language. In this paper we show that that this abnormal activation of A1 does not routinely occur, while A2 functions effectively supramodally and multimodally to deliver spoken language irrespective of hearing status. What, then, is responsible for poor outcomes for some individuals with CI and for apparent abnormalities in cortical organization in these people? Since infancy is a critical period for the acquisition of language, deaf children born to hearing parents are at risk of developing inefficient neural structures to support skilled language processing. A sign language, acquired by a deaf child as a first language in a signing environment, is cortically organized like a heard spoken language in terms of specialization of the dominant perisylvian system. However, very few deaf children are exposed to sign language in early infancy. Moreover, no studies to date have examined sign language proficiency in relation to cortical organization in individuals with CI. Given the paucity of such relevant findings, we suggest that the best guarantee of good language outcome after CI is the establishment of a secure first language pre

  19. Acquisition of Picture Exchange-Based vs. Signed Mands and Implications to Teach Functional Communication Skills to Children with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Sang S.; Hwang, Young S.

    2016-01-01

    A literature review was conducted to describe important concepts involved in functional analysis of verbal behavior as well as to evaluate empirical research findings on acquisition of picture exchange-based vs. signed mands to suggest instructional implications for teachers and therapists to teach functional communication skills to children with…

  20. First Language Proficiency as a Facilitator in Foreign/ Second Language Acquisition: A Case Study in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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    Mohammed Marajan Awad Adam

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available English is taught as a foreign language in the Arab world even though practical concerns call for greater emphasis on the language. In all personal interactions too Arabic is the preferred language. Thus the environment for English is really very limited as by the time the learners are exposed to the language they are well entrenched in Arabic. While this may be a handicap in some EFL situations (for example where adults are concerned, in the Arab context this can prove a big boon. This is because young language learners who are proficient in their first language can apply the learning techniques while acquiring the second language. This paper targets the teaching fraternity in the Arab world to help them understand how first language proficiency can aid second/foreign language acquisition.