Journal Article

The Role of Spoken and Sign Languages in the Retention of Written Words by Prelingually Deafened Native Signers

Paul Miller

in The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education

Volume 12, issue 2, pages 184-208
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1081-4159
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1465-7325 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enl031
The Role of Spoken and Sign Languages in the Retention of Written Words by Prelingually Deafened Native Signers

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The purpose of this study was to determine the nature and efficiency of the strategies used by prelingually deafened native signers for the temporary retention of written words with reference to a primary language-coding hypothesis (M. A. Shand, 1982). For the gathering of the data, participants were shown lists of serially presented written target words that they were asked to recognize according to their presentation order from within word pools that contained different types of code-specific distracter words. Three performance dimensions were examined: (a) false recognition of target words, (b) correct recognition of target words, and (c) retention of target word presentation order. Participants were prelingually deafened native signers (n = 11, average grade level = 8.18 [1.17]) and a hearing control group (n = 25, average grade level = 9.00 [0.76]). Findings from the analysis of the nature of false recognition and the number of correctly recognized words show convincingly that formationally similar distracter words interfered with the memory performance of the native signers and phonologically similar distracter words with that of the hearing control group. It was concluded that the participants decoded written words into a code reflecting their primary language experience for their temporary retention in working memory.

Journal Article.  15370 words. 

Subjects: Education ; Linguistics ; Teaching of Specific Groups and Special Educational Needs

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