ERIC Number: ED233582
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Jul
Reference Count: 0
From Gesture to Symbol: The Relation Between Form and Meaning in the Acquisition of Personal Pronouns in American Sign Language.
Petitto, Laura A.
The transition from pre-linguistic to linguistic communication was investigated in the acquisition of pronouns in American Sign Language (ASL). Data were obtained from a congenitally deaf child learning ASL as a first language from deaf parents. Longitudinal data from the age of 6 months to 2 years and pronoun elicitation task data were analyzed. The purpose of the analysis was to determine how early pointing gestures come under grammatical control, the learning process for personal pronouns in ASL, and the developmental relationship between pre-linguistic gestures and linguistic expression. It was observed that the child's acquisition of personal pronouns resembled that of hearing children despite the differences in modality that would be expected to facilitate the sign process in relation to spoken language. A discontinuity was noted between pre-linguistic and linguistic knowledge, indicating a restructuring and reorganization of gesture processing during ASL acquisition. It is concluded that linguistic knowledge of ASL is not merely constructed out of available pre-linguistic material. (RW)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Child Language, Deafness, Language Acquisition, Pronouns, Sign Language, Young Children
PRCLD, Department of Linguistics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 ($12.00)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Dept. of Linguistics.
Note: In its: Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, Volume 22, p100-105, July 1983. Paper presented at the Annual Stanford Child Language Research Forum (14th, Stanford, CA, March 1983).