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ERIC Number: EJ876595
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0749-596X
Recognition of Signed and Spoken Language: Different Sensory Inputs, the Same Segmentation Procedure
Orfanidou, Eleni; Adam, Robert; Morgan, Gary; McQueen, James M.
Journal of Memory and Language, v62 n3 p272-283 Apr 2010
Signed languages are articulated through simultaneous upper-body movements and are seen; spoken languages are articulated through sequential vocal-tract movements and are heard. But word recognition in both language modalities entails segmentation of a continuous input into discrete lexical units. According to the Possible Word Constraint (PWC), listeners segment speech so as to avoid impossible words in the input. We argue here that the PWC is a modality-general principle. Deaf signers of British Sign Language (BSL) spotted real BSL signs embedded in nonsense-sign contexts more easily when the nonsense signs were possible BSL signs than when they were not. A control experiment showed that there were no articulatory differences between the different contexts. A second control experiment on segmentation in spoken Dutch strengthened the claim that the main BSL result likely reflects the operation of a lexical-viability constraint. It appears that signed and spoken languages, in spite of radical input differences, are segmented so as to leave no residues of the input that cannot be words. (Contains 2 tables and 2 figures.)
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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