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ERIC Number: ED556584
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 405
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-0806-0
Is That a Y or a...? Representation of Hand Configuration Data in Different Notation Systems for Child Acquisition of ASL
Hochgesang, Julie A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Gallaudet University
In my dissertation, I examine four notation systems used to represent hand configurations in child acquisition of signed languages. Linguists have long recognized the descriptive limitations of Stokoe notation, currently the most commonly used system for phonetic or phonological transcription, but continue using it because of its widespread influence (Siedlecki & Bonvillian, 2000). With the emergence of newer notation systems, the field now requires an evaluation of the notation systems. It is necessary to understand the outcomes of choosing one notational system or another for representation of signed language. Such a choice has lasting effect on the understanding of patterns in signed languages. This evaluation is timely now when technology has revolutionized the study of signed languages around the world and is increasingly using particular transcription practices for creating corpora. In this study, I review the practice of transcribing hand configuration by assessing the accuracy of representation of four different notation systems. Using one dataset of child and adult productions of the same ASL signs from a bilingual-bimodal ASL acquisition corpus, I have coded the hand configurations in selected signs using Stokoe notation (Stokoe, Casterline & Croneberg, 1965), the Hamburg Notation System or HamNoSys (Prillwitz, Leven, Zienert, Hanke, & Henning, 1989), the revised Prosodic Model Handshape Coding system (Eccarius & Brentari, 2008) and Sign Language Phonetic Annotation, a notation system that has grown from the Movement-Hold model (Johnson & Liddell, 2010, 2011a, 2011b, 2012). I then discuss the representativeness of each system. Representativeness, in this study, refers to the ability of the notation system to represent the hand configurations in the dataset. This information is used to explore the understanding of the organization of hand configurations in ASL and to discuss the potential ways in which these notations may have shaped perceptions and claims about child acquisition of hand configuration. The claims I will address in this study include the notion of selected fingers and errors with certain features of the hand configuration (thumb opposition, abduction, and degree of extension). While I will address these claims, child acquisition data serves as the context for the study which poses the general question of how our representational devices shape our data and influence our findings. While I will focus on just one aspect of the transcription process, the phonetic or phonological form of the hand configuration, this represents an important first step in evaluating current transcription practices in general. Transcription practices, another main theme in this dissertation, have to do with how original data is represented in research. This theme examines issues about how the researcher selects a certain set of data, decides how to represent that data and adds the necessary codes to help facilitate analysis. This aspect of research usually do es not receive much attention. It is hoped that the same type of investigation will be carried out for other aspects of transcription. [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