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Making sense of the hands and mouth: the role of "secondary" cues to meaning in British Sign Language and English

Perniss, P; Vinson, D; Vigliocco, G; (2020) Making sense of the hands and mouth: the role of "secondary" cues to meaning in British Sign Language and English. Cognitive Science , 44 (7) , Article e12868. 10.1111/cogs.12868. Green open access

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Abstract

Successful face‐to‐face communication involves multiple channels, notably hand gestures in addition to speech for spoken language, and mouth patterns in addition to manual signs for sign language. In four experiments, we assess the extent to which comprehenders of British Sign Language (BSL) and English rely, respectively, on cues from the hands and the mouth in accessing meaning. We created congruent and incongruent combinations of BSL manual signs and mouthings and English speech and gesture by video manipulation and asked participants to carry out a picture‐matching task. When participants were instructed to pay attention only to the primary channel, incongruent “secondary” cues still affected performance, showing that these are reliably used for comprehension. When both cues were relevant, the languages diverged: Hand gestures continued to be used in English, but mouth movements did not in BSL. Moreover, non‐fluent speakers and signers varied in the use of these cues: Gestures were found to be more important for non‐native than native speakers; mouth movements were found to be less important for non‐fluent signers. We discuss the results in terms of the information provided by different communicative channels, which combine to provide meaningful information.

Type: Article
Title: Making sense of the hands and mouth: the role of "secondary" cues to meaning in British Sign Language and English
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/cogs.12868
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12868
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Sign language, Mouthings, Audio‐visual speech, Gesture, Integration, Primary and secondary cues, Multimodality, Language learners
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10096971
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