Anne Wienholz, Derya Nuhbalaoglu, Markus Steinbach, Annika Hermann, and Nivedita Mani (2020)

Phonological priming in German Sign Language: An eye tracking study using the Visual World Paradigm

Sign Language and Linguistics.

A number of studies provide evidence for a phonological priming effect in the recognition of single signs based on phonological parameters and that the specific phonological parameters modulated in the priming effect can influence the robustness of this effect. This eye tracking study on German Sign Language examined phonological priming effects at the sentence level, while varying the phonological relationship between prime-target sign pairs. We recorded participants’ eye movements while presenting videos of sentences containing either related or unrelated prime-target sign pairs, and pictures of the target and an unrelated distractor. We observed a phonological priming effect for sign pairs sharing handshape and movement while differing in location parameter. Taken together, the data suggest a difference in the contribution of sign parameters to sign recognition and that sub-lexical features influence sign language processing.