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Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2020

Language experience in LSF development: Behavioral evidence from a sentence repetition task

Caroline Bogliotti
Hatice Aksen
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Frédéric Isel

Abstract

In psycholinguistics and clinical linguistics, the Sentence Repetition Task (SRT) is known to be a valuable tool to screen general language abilities in both spoken and signed languages. This task enables users to reliably and quickly assess linguistic abilities at different levels of linguistic analysis such as phonology, morphology, lexicon, and syntax. To evaluate sign language proficiency in deaf children using French Sign Language (LSF), we designed a new SRT comprising 20 LSF sentences. The task was administered to a cohort of 62 children-34 native signers (6;09-12 years) and 28 non-native signers (6;08-12;08 years)-in order to study their general linguistic development as a function of age of sign language acquisition (AOA) and chronological age (CA). Previously, a group of 10 adult native signers was also evaluated with this task. As expected, our results showed a significant effect of AOA, indicating that the native signers repeated more signs and were more accurate than non-native signers. A similar pattern of results was found for CA. Furthermore, native signers made fewer phonological errors (i.e., handshape, movement, and location) than nonnative signers. Finally, as shown in previous sign language studies, handshape and movement proved to be the most difficult parameters to master regardless of AOA and CA. Taken together, our findings support the assumption that AOA is a crucial factor in the development of phonological skills regardless of language modality (spoken vs. signed). This study thus constitutes a first step toward a theoretical description of the developmental trajectory in LSF, a hitherto understudied language.
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Dates and versions

hal-03122589 , version 1 (27-01-2021)

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Caroline Bogliotti, Hatice Aksen, Frédéric Isel. Language experience in LSF development: Behavioral evidence from a sentence repetition task. PLoS ONE, 2020, 15 (11), pp.e0236729. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0236729⟩. ⟨hal-03122589⟩
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