Title

DEICTIC POINTS IN THE VISUAL-GESTURAL AND TACTILE- GESTURAL MODALITIES

Document Type

Document

Publication Date

2002

Abstract

This book chapter begins by reviewing the similarities and differences in signed language between blind and sighted signers and then describes a study that examined the use of deictic points in narratives produced by two deaf-blind adults as compared to their use in two deaf-sighted adults. Nonmanual signals (e.g., eyebrow shifts, head and torso movement, and eye gaze) are integral to sign language as it is used by deaf-sighted signers. This study found that sign language production by deaf-blind individuals differs from that of sighted deaf individuals in that deaf-blind signers do not use nonmanual signs extensively. Additionally, sighted-deaf signers utilize deictic points for referential purposes while deaf-blind signers use other strategies to accomplish the same task. The ability to perceive eye gaze appears to be a crucial component in the realization of deictic points for referential purposes. Modality and Structure in Signed and Spoken Languages. Richard P. Meier, Kearsy Cormier, & David Quinto-Pozos (Eds.), pp. 442-467

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