ERIC Number: EJ1128556
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Spoken Language Activation Alters Subsequent Sign Language Activation in L2 Learners of American Sign Language
Williams, Joshua T.; Newman, Sharlene D.
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, v46 n1 p211-225 Feb 2017
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 language activation in M2L2 learners of sign language and to characterize the influence of spoken language and sign language neighborhood density on the activation of ASL signs. A priming paradigm was used in which the neighbors of the sign target were activated with a spoken English word and compared the activation of the targets in sparse and dense neighborhoods. Neighborhood density effects in auditory primed lexical decision task were then compared to previous reports of native deaf signers who were only processing sign language. Results indicated reversed neighborhood density effects in M2L2 learners relative to those in deaf signers such that there were inhibitory effects of handshape density and facilitatory effects of location density. Additionally, increased inhibition for signs in dense handshape neighborhoods was greater for high proficiency L2 learners. These findings support recent models of the hearing bimodal bilingual lexicon, which posit lateral links between spoken language and sign language lexical representations.
Descriptors: Oral Language, American Sign Language, Second Language Learning, Deafness, Native Language, Priming, Decision Making, Task Analysis, Inhibition, English, Language Proficiency, Bilingualism, Vocabulary, Correlation, Language Processing, Second Language Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
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