Chapter

Modality and Language in the Second Language Acquisition of American Sign Language

Russell S. Rosen

in Deaf around the World

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199732548
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866359 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732548.003.0006
Modality and Language in the Second Language Acquisition of American Sign Language

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Many studies of second language learning regarding sign languages are phonetic, where the modality difference between spoken and sign languages is most apparent. However, studies of phonological, syntactic, and semantic phenomena allow a broader view of language differences. For signers whose first language is spoken, the modality difference can affect acquisition of morphology based not on concatenation but on processes (such as changing dynamics or size of a sign). It can also affect non-linear syntax, since this kind of syntax cannot occur in speech given a single speech track. On the other hand, for signers whose first language is sign, differences in the interface between modality and sign in the two languages will be important.

Keywords: second language learning; language modality; nonconcatenative morphology; syntax; interfaces; sign language linguistics; American Sign Language

Chapter.  2031 words. 

Subjects: Language Teaching and Learning

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