Word order preference in sign influences speech in hearing bimodal bilinguals but not vice versa: Evidence from behavior and eye-gaze
Manhardt, F., Brouwer, S., Van Wijk, E., & Ozyurek, A.
Word order preference in sign influences speech in hearing bimodal bilinguals but not vice versa: Evidence from behavior and eye-gaze. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 26
(1), 48-61. doi:10.1017/S1366728922000311.
We investigated cross-modal influences between speech and sign in hearing bimodal bilinguals, proficient in a spoken and a sign language, and its consequences on visual attention during message preparation using eye-tracking. We focused on spatial expressions in which sign languages, unlike spoken languages, have a modality-driven preference to mention grounds (big objects) prior to figures (smaller objects). We compared hearing bimodal bilinguals’ spatial expressions and visual attention in Dutch and Dutch Sign Language (N = 18) to those of their hearing non-signing (N = 20) and deaf signing peers (N = 18). In speech, hearing bimodal bilinguals expressed more ground-first descriptions and fixated grounds more than hearing non-signers, showing influence from sign. In sign, they used as many ground-first descriptions as deaf signers and fixated grounds equally often, demonstrating no influence from speech. Cross-linguistic influence of word order preference and visual attention in hearing bimodal bilinguals appears to be one-directional modulated by modality-driven differences.
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