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ERIC Number: ED526895
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 115
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-6352-2
Mastering the Pressures of Variation: A Cognitive Linguistic Examination of Advanced Hearing ASL L2 Signers
Nadolske, Marie Anne
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University
Despite the fact that American Sign Language (ASL) courses at the college-level have been increasing in frequency, little is understood about the capabilities of hearing individuals learning a sign language as a second language. This study aims to begin assessing the language skills of advanced L2 learners of ASL by comparing L2 signer productions to those of native signers. Three groups of adult ASL signers were examined in this study: Deaf native, hearing native, and hearing nonnative. Language assessment and analyses were conducted on three language domains: (1) handshape selection in the "classifier" sign VEHICLE, (2) narrative structure, and (3) sign modification strategies. Results from this study contribute to both the field of second language acquisition and the field of linguistics by furthering our understanding of the use and structure of ASL in a second language learner population and two native signer populations. Baseline analyses show that Deaf native signers consider several factors in selecting a handshape variant in the sign VEHICLE. These signers also utilize a story frame to aid in packaging narrative information efficiently and cohesively. They also employ several strategies to manipulate signs to convey spatial relationships, which were categorized based on the underlying similarities discovered using a Cognitive Linguistic approach. Hearing native signers, in general, were similar to Deaf native signers, however they exhibited more variability and did not employ the described systems as extensively or completely as Deaf natives. Finally, hearing nonnative signers' results were the most variable of the three groups across all domains of assessment. The L2 signers, for the most part, even at the advanced level did not exhibit the ability to master the consideration of the systematic factors that guide Deaf native signers. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A