Discriminating signs: perceptual precursors to acquiring a visual-gestural language.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

We tested hearing 6- and 10-month-olds' ability to discriminate among three American Sign Language (ASL) parameters (location, handshape, and movement) as well as a grammatical marker (facial expression). ASL-naïve infants were habituated to a signer articulating a two-handed symmetrical sign in neutral space. During test, infants viewed novel two-handed signs that varied in only one parameter or in facial expression. Infants detected changes in the signer's facial expression and in the location of the sign but provided no evidence of detecting the changes in handshape or movement. These findings are consistent with children's production errors in ASL and reveal that infants can distinguish among some parameters of ASL more easily than others.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wilbourn, MP; Casasola, M

Published Date

  • February 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 30 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 153 - 160

PubMed ID

  • 17292788

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC1885556

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1934-8800

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0163-6383

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.infbeh.2006.08.006


  • eng