The Development of American Sign Language–Based Analogical Reasoning in Signing Deaf Children Purpose This article examines whether syntactic and vocabulary abilities in American Sign Language (ASL) facilitate 6 categories of language-based analogical reasoning. Method Data for this study were collected from 267 deaf participants, aged 7;6 (years;months) to 18;5. The data were collected from an ongoing study initially funded by ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   December 06, 2018
The Development of American Sign Language–Based Analogical Reasoning in Signing Deaf Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jon Henner
    Professions in Deafness Program, Department of Specialized Education Services, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    Center for Research and Training, Framingham, MA
  • Rama Novogrodsky
    Center for Research and Training, Framingham, MA
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
    Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, Boston University, MA
  • Catherine Caldwell-Harris
    Department of Psychology, Boston University, MA
  • Robert Hoffmeister
    Center for Research and Training, Framingham, MA
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Jonathan Henner: j_henner@uncg.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond
    Editor-in-Chief: Sean Redmond×
  • Editor: Jill Morford
    Editor: Jill Morford×
Article Information
Development / Hearing Disorders / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   December 06, 2018
The Development of American Sign Language–Based Analogical Reasoning in Signing Deaf Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-18-0062
History: Received February 16, 2018 , Revised July 5, 2018 , Accepted August 17, 2018
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-18-0062
History: Received February 16, 2018; Revised July 5, 2018; Accepted August 17, 2018

Purpose This article examines whether syntactic and vocabulary abilities in American Sign Language (ASL) facilitate 6 categories of language-based analogical reasoning.

Method Data for this study were collected from 267 deaf participants, aged 7;6 (years;months) to 18;5. The data were collected from an ongoing study initially funded by the U.S. Institute of Education Sciences in 2010. The participants were given assessments of ASL vocabulary and syntax knowledge and a task of language-based analogies presented in ASL. The data were analyzed using mixed-effects linear modeling to first see how language-based analogical reasoning developed in deaf children and then to see how ASL knowledge influenced this developmental trajectory.

Results Signing deaf children were shown to demonstrate language-based reasoning abilities in ASL consistent with both chronological age and home language environment. Notably, when ASL vocabulary and syntax abilities were statistically taken into account, these were more important in fostering the development of language-based analogical reasoning abilities than were chronological age and home language. We further showed that ASL vocabulary ability and ASL syntactic knowledge made different contributions to different analogical reasoning subconstructs.

Conclusions ASL is a viable language that supports the development of language-based analogical reasoning abilities in deaf children.

Acknowledgment
Portions of the data collected were done under United States Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences R324A100176 (2010–2015; PI: Robert Hoffmeister). During the writing of this manuscript, RN was funded by Israel Science Foundation Grant 1068/16 (PI: Rama Novogrodsky). The authors would like to acknowledge Rachel Benedict, Patrick Rosenburg, Jeanne Reis, and Sarah Fish for their many years of work on the ASLAI and The Learning Center for the Deaf for both their involvement in the research and their commitment to a bilingual education for deaf students. The authors also declare an equal contribution from the first and second authors.
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