When is a difference really different? Learners' discrimination of linguistic contrasts in American Sign Language

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dc.contributor.author Bochner, Joseph
dc.contributor.author Christie, Karen
dc.contributor.author Hauser, Peter
dc.contributor.author Searls, J. Matt
dc.date.accessioned 2011-10-30T17:39:44Z
dc.date.available 2011-10-30T17:39:44Z
dc.date.issued 2011
dc.identifier.citation Bochner, Joseph, et. al. "When is a difference really different? Learners' discrimination of linguistic constrasts in American Sign Language", Language Learning. 2011. en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1850/14250
dc.description.abstract Learners’ ability to recognize linguistic contrasts in American Sign Language (ASL)was investigated using a paired-comparison discrimination task. Minimal pairs containing contrasts in five linguistic categories (i.e., the formational parameters of movement, handshape, orientation, and location in ASL phonology, and a category comprised of contrasts in complex morphology) were presented in sentence contexts to a sample of 127 hearing learners at beginning and intermediate levels of proficiency and 10 Deaf native signers. Participants’ responses were analyzed to determine the relative difficulty of the linguistic categories and the effect of proficiency level on performance. The results indicated that movement contrasts were the most difficult and location contrasts the easiest, with the other categories of stimuli of intermediate difficulty. These findings have implications for language learning in situations in which the first language is a spoken language and the second language (L2) is a signed language. In such situations, the construct of language transfer does not apply to the acquisition of L2 phonology because of fundamental differences between the phonological systems of signed and spoken languages, which are associated with differences between the modalities of speech and sign. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Rochester Institute of Technology en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries pp. 1-26 en_US
dc.subject Acquisition of L2 phonology en_US
dc.subject American Sign Language en_US
dc.subject ASL phonology en_US
dc.subject Deaf formational parameters en_US
dc.subject Linguistic contrasts en_US
dc.subject Second language acquisition en_US
dc.subject Sign language en_US
dc.title When is a difference really different? Learners' discrimination of linguistic contrasts in American Sign Language en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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