Facial locations in ASL based on production and perception data

Veronica Miatto


This study tests the phonological distinctiveness of eight facial locations in ASL, with both production and perception experiments. This kind of work is crucial because, due to scarceness of minimal pairs in sign languages, phonemic locations are difficult to determine. Moreover, claims made but not tested by previous theoretic models (Stokoe et al. 1960, Stokoe 1965, Battison et al. 1975, Battison 1978, Friedman 1977, Kegl & Wilbur 1976, Wilbur 1979, Sandler’s 1989, Brentari’s 1998) are here investigated, including whether locations that are predicted to be contrastive are indeed distinct (e.g. ‘chin’ vs ‘mouth’). The specific goal of the first experiment (elicited production) is to determine what are the places of articulation, the aim of the second experiment (perception) is to determine if these places are contrastive.


ASL; phonology; location; categorical boundary

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v7i1.5166

Copyright (c) 2022 Veronica Miattp

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