Coarticulation of hand height in Sign Language of the Netherlands is affected by contact type

Autor/a: ORMEL, Ellen; CRASBORN, Onno; KOOIJ, Els van der
Año: 2013
Editorial: Journal of Phonetics, Vol. 51, nº 3-4 (2013) pp. 156-171
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


Recently, several studies found coarticulation effects for hand location in American Sign Language. In the present study, we established similar effects for Sign Language of the Netherlands (NGT). Moreover, we examined whether the degree of coarticulation of location is sensitive to phonological distinctions. We investigated whether types of major locations in the lexicon (i.e., ‘weak hand’, ‘torso’, and ‘neutral space’) showed different degrees of sensitivity to the surrounding signs. Additionally, we investigated whether different types of movement (i.e., initial contact or final contact with the body) influenced the susceptibility of a sign to change its location under the influence of neighbouring signs. Five deaf adult signers participated in our study. The data were collected using CyberGlove and Flock of Bird, respectively tracking the bending of the fingers with 22 resistant bend-sensors and the X, Y, and Z coordinates. Location of hand height was measured in sign series, comparing the effect of surrounding signs at high and low locations. Results showed that height of the neighbouring signs influenced location height of the target sign. Moreover, coarticulation of location was sensitive to phonological distinctions in the lexicon. Strongest effects of coarticulation were observed at the location ‘weak hand’, and were heavily influenced by contact type.