SAGE Journal Articles

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SAGE Journal User Guide

Article 1: Thompson, R., Emmorey, K., & Gollan, T. H. (2005). “Tip of the fingers” experiences by deaf signers: insights into the organization of a sign-based lexicon. Psychological Science, 16(11), 856-860.  

  • An empirical study showing that signers experience the tip of the fingers state during lexical access in much the same way speakers experience tip of the tongue. Like spoken languages, phonological features are often available before semantic information, although several phonological features may be available simultaneously, unlike spoken languages.

Discussion Questions

  1. Define the tip of the tongue state for a speaker (see also chapter 11 of the textbook). Explain an example.
  2. Explain the differences between the semantic phonology theory and the sign language model approach to phonological and semantic information. How do iconicity and arbitrariness play a role in these two frameworks?
  3. Describe what kinds of information were available to signers during a tip of the fingers state, and which were more prevalent.
  4. In what ways are TOFs similar to TOTs, and in what ways are they different? Provide specific evidence.

Article 2: Brentari, D., Gonzalez, C., Seidl A., & Wilbur, R. (2011). Sensitivity to visual prosodic cues in signers and nonsigners. Language and Speech, 54(1), 49-72. doi: 10.1177/0023830910388011

  • An empirical study testing to what degree non-signers can correctly perceive prosodic aspects of a sign language. Nonsigners were quite accurate at perceiving phrase and word level units based on movement, but less able to make use of other elements occurring simultaneously.

Discussion Questions

  1. Describe what an intonational phrase unit is and explain an example.
  2. Compare experiments 1 and 2. Were adult or infant nonsigners, or both, sensitive to intonational phrases? Which cues helped them identify intonational phrase boundaries?
  3. Describe the results of experiment 3. What kinds of information were nonsigners sensitive to? Were signers sensitive to the same cues or different ones? What is the authors’ explanation of these results?
  4. Think about the gestures you make spontaneously while you talk. In what ways do they coordinate with what you are saying? Do you think they are more iconic or more componential?