Limits...
Phonological processing in deaf signers and the impact of age of first language acquisition.

MacSweeney M, Waters D, Brammer MJ, Woll B, Goswami U - Neuroimage (2008)

Bottom Line: This, we suggest, is due to increased reliance on the articulatory component of speech when the auditory component is absent.With regard to age of first language acquisition, non-native signers activated the left inferior frontal gyrus more than native signers during the BSL task, and also during the task performed in English, which both groups acquired late.This is the first neuroimaging demonstration that age of first language acquisition has implications not only for the neural systems supporting the first language, but also for networks supporting languages learned subsequently.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Behavioural and Brain Sciences Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK. m.macsweeney@ich.ucl.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
Just as words can rhyme, the signs of a signed language can share structural properties, such as location. Linguistic description at this level is termed phonology. We report that a left-lateralised fronto-parietal network is engaged during phonological similarity judgements made in both English (rhyme) and British Sign Language (BSL; location). Since these languages operate in different modalities, these data suggest that the neural network supporting phonological processing is, to some extent, supramodal. Activation within this network was however modulated by language (BSL/English), hearing status (deaf/hearing), and age of BSL acquisition (native/non-native). The influence of language and hearing status suggests an important role for the posterior portion of the left inferior frontal gyrus in speech-based phonological processing in deaf people. This, we suggest, is due to increased reliance on the articulatory component of speech when the auditory component is absent. With regard to age of first language acquisition, non-native signers activated the left inferior frontal gyrus more than native signers during the BSL task, and also during the task performed in English, which both groups acquired late. This is the first neuroimaging demonstration that age of first language acquisition has implications not only for the neural systems supporting the first language, but also for networks supporting languages learned subsequently.

Show MeSH

Related in: MedlinePlus

These BSL signs (A) NAME and (B) AFTERNOON differ only in location; handshape and movement are the same.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2278232&req=5

fig1: These BSL signs (A) NAME and (B) AFTERNOON differ only in location; handshape and movement are the same.

Mentions: Phonology describes the level of analysis at which meaningless, contrastive units of language combine to form meaningful units. In spoken languages these are auditory/articulatory elements. Substitution of a single element creates a new lexical item, e.g., in English /pin/–/bin/. The same level of analysis has been applied to signed languages, where phonology is visual, with handshapes, movements and locations combined to form signs (Stokoe, 1960; Brentari, 1999; Sandler and Lillo-Martin, 2006). As with words, the substitution of just one element can create a new sign. For example, the BSL sign NAME is located at the forehead while AFTERNOON differs only in that it is located at the chin (see Fig. 1).


Phonological processing in deaf signers and the impact of age of first language acquisition.

MacSweeney M, Waters D, Brammer MJ, Woll B, Goswami U - Neuroimage (2008)

These BSL signs (A) NAME and (B) AFTERNOON differ only in location; handshape and movement are the same.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2278232&req=5

fig1: These BSL signs (A) NAME and (B) AFTERNOON differ only in location; handshape and movement are the same.
Mentions: Phonology describes the level of analysis at which meaningless, contrastive units of language combine to form meaningful units. In spoken languages these are auditory/articulatory elements. Substitution of a single element creates a new lexical item, e.g., in English /pin/–/bin/. The same level of analysis has been applied to signed languages, where phonology is visual, with handshapes, movements and locations combined to form signs (Stokoe, 1960; Brentari, 1999; Sandler and Lillo-Martin, 2006). As with words, the substitution of just one element can create a new sign. For example, the BSL sign NAME is located at the forehead while AFTERNOON differs only in that it is located at the chin (see Fig. 1).

Bottom Line: This, we suggest, is due to increased reliance on the articulatory component of speech when the auditory component is absent.With regard to age of first language acquisition, non-native signers activated the left inferior frontal gyrus more than native signers during the BSL task, and also during the task performed in English, which both groups acquired late.This is the first neuroimaging demonstration that age of first language acquisition has implications not only for the neural systems supporting the first language, but also for networks supporting languages learned subsequently.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Behavioural and Brain Sciences Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK. m.macsweeney@ich.ucl.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
Just as words can rhyme, the signs of a signed language can share structural properties, such as location. Linguistic description at this level is termed phonology. We report that a left-lateralised fronto-parietal network is engaged during phonological similarity judgements made in both English (rhyme) and British Sign Language (BSL; location). Since these languages operate in different modalities, these data suggest that the neural network supporting phonological processing is, to some extent, supramodal. Activation within this network was however modulated by language (BSL/English), hearing status (deaf/hearing), and age of BSL acquisition (native/non-native). The influence of language and hearing status suggests an important role for the posterior portion of the left inferior frontal gyrus in speech-based phonological processing in deaf people. This, we suggest, is due to increased reliance on the articulatory component of speech when the auditory component is absent. With regard to age of first language acquisition, non-native signers activated the left inferior frontal gyrus more than native signers during the BSL task, and also during the task performed in English, which both groups acquired late. This is the first neuroimaging demonstration that age of first language acquisition has implications not only for the neural systems supporting the first language, but also for networks supporting languages learned subsequently.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus