Modality and Language in the Second Language Acquisition of American Sign Language
Many studies of second language learning regarding sign languages are phonetic, where the modality difference between spoken and sign languages is most apparent. However, studies of phonological, syntactic, and semantic phenomena allow a broader view of language differences. For signers whose first language is spoken, the modality difference can affect acquisition of morphology based not on concatenation but on processes (such as changing dynamics or size of a sign). It can also affect non-linear syntax, since this kind of syntax cannot occur in speech given a single speech track. On the other hand, for signers whose first language is sign, differences in the interface between modality and sign in the two languages will be important.
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