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Modality-Dependent and -Independent Factors in the Organisation of the Signed Language Lexicon: Insights From Semantic and Phonological Fluency Tasks in BSL

Marshall, C; Rowley, K; Atkinson, J; (2014) Modality-Dependent and -Independent Factors in the Organisation of the Signed Language Lexicon: Insights From Semantic and Phonological Fluency Tasks in BSL. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research , 43 (5) pp. 587-610. 10.1007/s10936-013-9271-5. Green open access

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Abstract

We used fluency tasks to investigate lexical organisation in Deaf adults who use British Sign Language (BSL). The number of responses produced to semantic categories did not differ from reports in spoken languages. However, there was considerable variability in the number of responses across phonological categories, and some signers had difficulty retrieving items. Responses were richly clustered according to semantic and/or phonological properties. With respect to phonology, there was significantly more clustering around the parameters “handshape” and “location” compared to “movement”. We conclude that the BSL lexicon is organised in similar ways to the lexicons of spoken languages, but that lexical retrieval is characterised by strong links between semantics and phonology; movement is less readily retrieved than handshape and location; and phonological fluency is difficult for signers because they have little metaphonological awareness in BSL and because signs do not display the onset salience that characterises spoken words.

Type: Article
Title: Modality-Dependent and -Independent Factors in the Organisation of the Signed Language Lexicon: Insights From Semantic and Phonological Fluency Tasks in BSL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10936-013-9271-5
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10936-013-9271-5
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013.The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10936-013-9271-5
Keywords: British Sign Language; semantic fluency tasks; phonological fluency tasks; sign language phonology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
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 > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1453646
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