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Start Date

April 2021

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Department

Linguistics

Faculty Mentor

Sandra Wood, PhD

Keywords

ASL, English Modalities, EEG

Abstract

American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English differ in modalities, but prosody can be found in both. Previous studies show that the Closure Positive Shift (CPS) (an established component of an Event-Related Potential [ERP]) occurs in response to acoustic stimuli indicative of prosodic phrasing (Pannekamp et al., 2005; Steinhauer et al., 1999). Prosodic processing in relation to these two modalities was studied using EEG. Sixteen Deaf ASL speakers and 34 hearing English speakers participated in the study by watching video or listening to audio recordings of stimuli while a portable electroencephalogram, or EEG (a device that detects abnormalities in brain waves through electrodes attached to the scalp) recorded activity. We expect similar findings across modalities, indicating that the CPS occurs in the brain activity recorded irrespective of modality.

The timing data for the English stimuli has been collected and results as seen in Table 1 (see attached PDF) indicate that there is a significant pause detected after the target phrase boundary.

ASL data was analyzed using ELAN, an annotation/transcription program, marking the timing for the entire sentence, the critical word, the pause, and the complement. We expect data to be similar across modalities. In English, prosodic pauses are marked by silence, whereas in ASL, the prosodic pause is conveyed by holding the last hand shape of the last sign before proceeding to the next sign in the utterance. The preliminary ASL data are shown in Table 2 (see attached PDF).

We see a similar pattern between the word and the prosodic boundary marker. There is a noted pause after the target word. ASL differs in that there is a durational pause noted after the complement, which may be an artifact of the modality. However, the prosodic boundary marker is not a manifestation of modality, as it shows up in recorded brain activity in both English and ASL.

Comments

See attached PDF for tables.

Thinking Matters 2021.pptx (1011 kB)
Timing Comparisons Across American Sign Language And English - Slides

TM2021_Barlett_tables.pdf (190 kB)
Timing Comparisons Across American Sign Language And English - Tables

TM2021_Bartlett-J_transcript.txt (7 kB)
Timing Comparisons Across American Sign Language And English - transcript

TM2021_Bartlett-J_English.srt (15 kB)
Timing Comparisons Across American Sign Language And English - captions .srt

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Apr 30th, 12:00 AM

Timing Comparisons Across American Sign Language And English

American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English differ in modalities, but prosody can be found in both. Previous studies show that the Closure Positive Shift (CPS) (an established component of an Event-Related Potential [ERP]) occurs in response to acoustic stimuli indicative of prosodic phrasing (Pannekamp et al., 2005; Steinhauer et al., 1999). Prosodic processing in relation to these two modalities was studied using EEG. Sixteen Deaf ASL speakers and 34 hearing English speakers participated in the study by watching video or listening to audio recordings of stimuli while a portable electroencephalogram, or EEG (a device that detects abnormalities in brain waves through electrodes attached to the scalp) recorded activity. We expect similar findings across modalities, indicating that the CPS occurs in the brain activity recorded irrespective of modality.

The timing data for the English stimuli has been collected and results as seen in Table 1 (see attached PDF) indicate that there is a significant pause detected after the target phrase boundary.

ASL data was analyzed using ELAN, an annotation/transcription program, marking the timing for the entire sentence, the critical word, the pause, and the complement. We expect data to be similar across modalities. In English, prosodic pauses are marked by silence, whereas in ASL, the prosodic pause is conveyed by holding the last hand shape of the last sign before proceeding to the next sign in the utterance. The preliminary ASL data are shown in Table 2 (see attached PDF).

We see a similar pattern between the word and the prosodic boundary marker. There is a noted pause after the target word. ASL differs in that there is a durational pause noted after the complement, which may be an artifact of the modality. However, the prosodic boundary marker is not a manifestation of modality, as it shows up in recorded brain activity in both English and ASL.

 

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