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ERIC Number: EJ851458
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jul
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0090-6905
Conceptual Locations and Pronominal Reference in American Sign Language
Emmorey, Karen; Falgier, Brenda
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, v33 n4 p321-331 Jul 2004
We report the results of an experiment investigating the ramifications of using space to express coreference in American Sign Language (ASL). Nominals in ASL can be associated with locations in signing space, and pronouns are directed toward those locations to convey coreference. A probe recognition technique was used to investigate the case of "locus doubling" in which a single referent is associated with two distinct spatial locations. The experiment explored whether an ASL pronoun activates both its antecedent referent and the location associated with that referent. An introductory discourse associated a referent (e.g., MOTHER) with two distinct locations (e.g., STORE[subscript left], KITCHEN[subscript right]), and a continuation sentence followed that either contained a pronoun referring to the referent in one location or contained no anaphora (the control sentence). Twenty-four deaf participants made lexical decisions to probe signs presented during the continuation sentences. The probe signs were either the referent of the pronoun, the referent-location determined by the pronoun, or the most recently mentioned location (not referenced by the pronoun). The results indicated that response times to referent nouns were faster in the pronoun than in the no-pronoun control condition and that response times to the location signs did not differ across conditions. Thus, the spatial nature of coreference in ASL does not alter the processing mechanism underlying the on-line interpretation of pronouns. Pronouns activate only referent nouns, not spatial location nouns associated with the referent.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A