International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Errors in Second Language Learners’ Production of Phonological Contrasts in American Sign Language
Deirdre A. Schlehofer, Isaiah J. Tyler

In this study, we investigated the performance of second language learners at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of American Sign Language (ASL) proficiency on a sentence repetition task involving sets of items illustrating phonological contrasts. The findings revealed the rate of error across all second language learners is highest with movement, followed closely by location and palm orientation. The lowest rate of error by far was handshape. Advanced learners produced fewer phonological errors than both beginner and intermediate learners, yet unexpected results confounded our hypotheses regarding distribution of errors across phonological parameters. This study shows that the phonological complexity of ASL influences perception and production in second language acquisition.

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