A preliminary study of a measurement tool for American Sign Language stories
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study proposes an adaptation of Hunt's (1965) Terminal Miminal Syntactic Unit (T-Unit) to measure syntactic complexity in American Sign Language (ASL) syntax. Criterion for determining an American Sign Language T-Unit is based upon research into the linguistic structure and development of ASL. Nine deaf elementary aged students watched a non-verbal film and retold the story in ASL on videotape (Newport et al., in press). The stories were then transcribed into the Vista Glossing System (Smith, Lentz & Mikos, 1988). Transcriptions were segmented into T-Units and further analyzed for syntactic complexity. Results reveal an increase in ASL T-Units for all children from the fall to the spring. An increase in ASL T-Units translates to greater syntactic complexity. Results from the study suggest that an ASL T-unit analysis is an effective measure of ASL proficiency.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Special Education and Rehabilitation