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ERIC Number: EJ1146802
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1081-4159
Operationalization of Sign Language Phonological Similarity and Its Effects on Lexical Access
Williams, Joshua T.; Stone, Adam; Newman, Sharlene D.
Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, v22 n3 p303-315 Jul 2017
Cognitive mechanisms for sign language lexical access are fairly unknown. This study investigated whether phonological similarity facilitates lexical retrieval in sign languages using measures from a new lexical database for American Sign Language. Additionally, it aimed to determine which similarity metric best fits the present data in order to inform theories of how phonological similarity is constructed within the lexicon and to aid in the operationalization of phonological similarity in sign language. Sign repetition latencies and accuracy were obtained when native signers were asked to reproduce a sign displayed on a computer screen. Results indicated that, as predicted, phonological similarity facilitated repetition latencies and accuracy as long as there were no strict constraints on the type of sublexical features that overlapped. The data converged to suggest that one similarity measure, MaxD, defined as the overlap of any 4 sublexical features, likely best represents mechanisms of phonological similarity in the mental lexicon. Together, these data suggest that lexical access in sign language is facilitated by phonologically similar lexical representations in memory and the optimal operationalization is defined as liberal constraints on overlap of 4 out of 5 sublexical features--similar to the majority of extant definitions in the literature.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DGE1342962; DGE0903495; SBE1041725