Performance in an ASL Boundary Perception Task Using Naturalistic Stimuli


  • Kate Mesh The University of Texas at Austin



This study compares the performance of two groups on an American Sign Language (ASL) perception task. Twenty-two L1 signers of ASL and twelve sign-naive English speakers watched a filmed lecture in ASL and pressed a response pad to identify "natural breaks" in the signing. Responses from each subject group were analyzed into agreement clusters--time slices of up to 2 seconds in which a substantial percentage of participants identified a boundary. Comparison of the response patterns of signers and non-signers revealed a one-way implication between signer agreement clusters and non-signer agreement clusters. That is, where signers agreed about the location of a boundary, non-signers did as well, but it was not the case that non-signer agreement about a boundary was a predictor that signers would identify the same boundary.

Author Biography

  • Kate Mesh, The University of Texas at Austin
    Ph.D student, Department of Linguistics