Early produced signs are iconic: Evidence from Turkish Sign Language
Sumer, B., Grabitz, C., & Küntay, A.
Early produced signs are iconic: Evidence from Turkish Sign Language. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. Davelaar (Eds.
), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci 2017)
(pp. 3273-3278). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.
Motivated form-meaning mappings are pervasive in sign
languages, and iconicity has recently been shown to facilitate
sign learning from early on. This study investigated the role of
iconicity for language acquisition in Turkish Sign Language
(TID). Participants were 43 signing children (aged 10 to 45
months) of deaf parents. Sign production ability was recorded
using the adapted version of MacArthur Bates Communicative
Developmental Inventory (CDI) consisting of 500 items for
TID. Iconicity and familiarity ratings for a subset of 104 signs
were available. Our results revealed that the iconicity of a sign
was positively correlated with the percentage of children
producing a sign and that iconicity significantly predicted the
percentage of children producing a sign, independent of
familiarity or phonological complexity. Our results are
consistent with previous findings on sign language acquisition
and provide further support for the facilitating effect of iconic
form-meaning mappings in sign learning.