The Development of Semantic Associations in Profoundly Deaf Children Studies of the development of associations in profoundly deaf children using English words and English associations have not presented clear evidence of a syntagmatic-paradigmatic shift. This study used stimulus words in and allowed responses in American Sign Language. Forty-Six profoundly deaf children (CA 9–CA 13) were tested and compared to ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1973
The Development of Semantic Associations in Profoundly Deaf Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ryan D. Tweney
    Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
  • Harry W. Hoemann
    Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1973
The Development of Semantic Associations in Profoundly Deaf Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1973, Vol. 16, 309-318. doi:10.1044/jshr.1602.309
History: Received January 11, 1973 , Accepted April 26, 1973
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1973, Vol. 16, 309-318. doi:10.1044/jshr.1602.309
History: Received January 11, 1973; Accepted April 26, 1973

Studies of the development of associations in profoundly deaf children using English words and English associations have not presented clear evidence of a syntagmatic-paradigmatic shift. This study used stimulus words in and allowed responses in American Sign Language. Forty-Six profoundly deaf children (CA 9–CA 13) were tested and compared to 30 hearing children (CA 7, CA 9, CA 13) given the same word list in English. Both groups manifested a clear syntagmatic-paradigmatic shift, though the level of paradigmatic responding was lower for deaf children, suggesting quantitative but not qualitative differences. The results provide clear evidence for a syntagmatic-paradigmatic shift in deaf children’s American Sign Language lexical items, in contrast to previous reports using English lexical items. The results further suggest that evaluation of a deaf child’s psycholinguistic functioning may be more appropriate when conducted in the child’s aominant language system, whether sign language or English.

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