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ERIC Number: EJ845112
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 41
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 93
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8309
Effects of Varying Rate of Signing on ASL Manual Signs and Nonmanual Markers
Wilbur, Ronnie B.
Language and Speech, v52 n2-3 p245-285 2009
Spoken languages are characterized by flexible, multivariate prosodic systems. As a natural language, American Sign Language (ASL), and other sign languages (SLs), are also expected to be characterized in the same way. Artificially created signing systems for classroom use, such as signed English, serve as a contrast to natural sign languages. The present article explores the effects of changes in signing rate on signs, pauses, and, unlike previous studies, a variety of nonmanual markers. Rate was a main effect on the duration of signs, the number of pauses and pause duration, the duration of brow raises, the duration of licensed lowered brows, the number and duration of blinks, all of which decreased with increased signing rate. This indicates that signers produced their different signing rates without making dramatic changes in the number of signs, but instead by varying the sign duration, in accordance with previous observations (Grosjean, 1978, 1979). These results can be brought to bear on three different issues: (1) the difference between grammatical nonmanuals and non-grammatical nonmanuals; (2) the fact that nonmanuals in general are not just a modality effect; and (3) the use of some nonmanuals as pragmatically determined as opposed to overt morphophonological markers reflecting the semantic-syntax-pragmatic interfaces. (Contains 13 tables, 14 figures and 1 footnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana