Late First Language Acquisition Effects on Phonological Processing in ASL

Language deprivation and subsequent late first language acquisition affect language production and comprehension, but less is known about how late first language signers acquire and process phonology specifically. Through psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic methods, my work aims to provide a better understanding of phonological processing of deaf late first language signers who learned American Sign Language (ASL) as a first language after early childhood. This work can foremost help us to better understand the effects of language deprivation and late first language acquisition on language processing and can also provide insight into language acquisition and human cognition more broadly. 

Sign Language Phonological Typology

This is collaborative work with Rachel Miles, a PhD candidate also in the UC San Diego Linguistics Department. We are looking at the phonological inventories across seven sign languages (Hong Kong Sign Language, Ho Chi Minh Vietnamese Sign Language, Sri Lankan Sign Language, Jakarta Indonesian Sign Language, Yogyakarata Sign Language, Japanese Sign Language, and American Sign Language) to further the understanding of what aspects of phonology are universal and which are language-specific across sign languages from different language families. We thank the researchers working on the databases (Asian SignBank and ASL-LEX) we are using for this project.

Grants & Awards

NSF Linguistics Program Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (Ling-DDRI) grant for work on "Late first language acquisition effects on phonological processing in American Sign Language"

NIH NIDCD Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA F31 Predoctoral fellowship for doctoral training and research on the effects of late first language acquisition on phonological processing in American Sign Language

Best Theory Presentation by a Student Researcher at the International Conference on Sign Language Acquisition 4, June 23-25, 2022, virtually, at Boston University