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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

American Sign Language and age of acquisition: Classifiers and role shifting in a retelling of a story
by Sakata, Diana Megumi, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2013, 84; 1527582
Abstract (Summary)

This study looks at two aspects of American Sign Language (ASL) grammatical structures, classifiers and role shifting, and analyzes how those structures might be affected by differing ages of acquisition in participants who are prelingually deaf. Twenty-four prelingually deaf participants with different ages of acquisition of ASL and educational backgrounds were involved in this study. Participants were asked to retell a one-minute wordless cartoon video clip into ASL and answer questions relating to their language usage. These retellings were analyzed specifically regarding two ASL grammatical structures: classifiers and role shifting. The results indicated that the age when the participant learned ASL mattered on how well they were able to sign classifiers and perform role shifting correctly. Age of acquisition did not seem to be the only correlation however; other factors such as attitude, socialization and environment seemed to influence how well a person was able to portray these structures correctly.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: LeMaster, Barbara
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 52/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics
Publication Number: 1527582
ISBN: 978-1-303-79621-0
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