Making sense of nonsense in British Sign Language (BSL): The contribution of different phonological parameters to sign recognition

Autor/a: ORFANIDOU, Eleni; ADAM, Robert; McQUEEN, James M.; MORGAN, Gary
Año: 2009
Editorial: Memory & Cognition, 37, pp. 302–315
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


Do all components of a sign contribute equally to its recognition? In the present study, misperceptions in the sign-spotting task (based on the word-spotting task; Cutler & Norris, 1988) were analyzed to address this question. Three groups of deaf signers of British Sign Language (BSL) with different ages of acquisition (AoA) saw BSL signs combined with nonsense signs, along with combinations of two nonsense signs. They were asked to spot real signs and report what they had spotted. We will present an analysis of false alarms to the nonsense-sign combinations—that is, misperceptions of nonsense signs as real signs (cf. van Ooijen, 1996). Participants modified the movement and handshape parameters more than the location parameter. Within this pattern, however, there were differences as a function of AoA. These results show that the theoretical distinctions between formbased parameters in sign-language models have consequences for online processing. Vowels and consonants have different roles in speech recognition; similarly, it appears that movement, handshape, and location parameters contribute differentially to sign recognition.