Signed languages present a natural opportunity to explore what aspects of language processing are universal and what aspects are affected by the particular characteristics of audition versus vision or by the specific constraints on manual versus vocal articulation. In this project, we use a variety of psycholinguistic methods to address the following questions:
- Can models of speech production be applied to sign production?
- How do signers monitor their language output to catch signing mistakes?
- Does iconicity (the resemblance between a sign and its meaning) have an impact on language comprehension or production?
- How is sign language phonology represented and accessed in the mental lexicon (our mental “dictionary”)?
- How does speech perception differ from sign perception?
- Do signers and speakers refer to space in the same way?
- How do signers gesture?
This research is supported by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (R01 DC101977) and by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD13249).
- Brozdowski, C., & Emmorey, K. (2020). Shadowing in the manual modality. Acta Psychologica, 208. PMCID: PMC7387226 https://doi/org/10.1016/j.actpsy.2020.103092
- Emmorey, K., Winsler, K., Midgley, K.J., Grainger, J., & Holcomb, P.J. (2020). Neurophysiological correlates of frequency, concreteness, and iconicity in American Sign Language. Neurobiology of Language, 1(2), 249-267. PMCID: PMC pending https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/nol_a_00012
- McGarry, M., Mott, M., Midgley, K.J., Holcomb, P.J., & Emmorey, K. (2020). Picture-naming in American Sign Language: an electrophysiological study of the effects of iconicity and structured alignment. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. PMCID: PMC pending https://doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2020.1804601
- Secora, K., & Emmorey, K. (2020). Visual perspective-taking in spatial scenes and in American Sign Language. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. PMCID: PMC pending https://doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enaa006
- Thompson, W., Perlman, M., Lupyan, G., Sehyr, Z.S., & Emmorey, K. (2020). A data-driven approach to the semantics of iconicity in American Sign Language and English. Language and Cognition, 12, 182-202. https://doi:10.1017/langcog.2019.52
- Brozdowski, C., Secora, K., Emmorey, K. (2019). Assessing the comprehension of spatial perspectives in ASL classifier constructions. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 24(3), 214–222.
- Sehyr, Z.S., Giezen, M., & Emmorey, K. (2018). Comparing semantic fluency in ASL and English. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 23(4), 399-407.
- Sehyr, Z.S., Nicodemus, B., Petrich, J., & Emmorey, K. (2018). Referring strategies in American Sign Language and English: The role of modality in creating reference to non-namable shapes. Applied Psycholinguistics, 39(5), 961-987.
- Emmorey, K. (2017). How to distinguish gesture from sign: New technology is not the answer. Commentary on “Gesture, sign, and language: The coming of age of sign language and gesture studies” S. Goldin-Meadow & D. Brentari, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40.
- Emmorey, K., Giezen, M., Petrich, J.A.F., Spurgeon, E., & O’Grady Farnady, L. (2017). The relation between working memory and language comprehension for signers vs. speakers. Acta Psychologica, 177, 69-77. Click to request PDF
- Emmorey, K. (2019). Towards the development of standardized methods for psycholinguistic and neurolinguistics experiments. Invited paper presented at the Workshop on doing reproduceable and rigorous science with Deaf children, Deaf communities, and sign languages, September, Berlin, Germany.
- McGarry, M.E., Massa, N., Mott, M., Midgley, K.J., Holcomb, P.J., & Emmorey, K. (2019). Matching pictures and signs: An ERP study of the effects of iconic structural alignment in American Sign Language. Poster presented at the meeting of Sign Language Linguistics Society (TISLR13). September, Hamburg, Germany. (pdf)
- Massa, N., Lee, B., Midgley, K.J., Holcomb, P.J., & Meade, G. (2019). N400 phonological priming effects in ASL are modulated by task. Poster presented at the meeting of Sign Language Linguistics Society (TISLR13). September, Hamburg, Germany. (pdf)
- Emmorey, K. (2019). Lexical iconicity. Invited paper presented at the workshop on Form-Meaning Units, June, Berg en Dal, The Netherlands.
- Emmorey, K. (2019). Lexical iconicity in sign language. Keynote speaker at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, May, Chicago, Il.
- Emmorey, K. (2019). Neural effects of iconicity in sign language. Invited presentation at Neuroscience of Language Conference, April, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
- Lu, J., Emmorey, K., & Goldin-Meadow, S. (2019). Signers often (but not always) modify their signs to enhance iconicity. Poster presented at the 12th International Symposium on Iconicity in Language and Literature, April, Lund, Sweden.
- McCullough, S., Brozdowski, C., & Emmorey, K. (2019). Neural correlates for comprehending perspective-independent and perspective-dependent spatial expressions in ASL and English. Poster presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, March, San Francisco. (pdf)
- McGarry, M., Mott, M., Midgley, K.J., Holcomb, P.J., & Emmorey, K. (2019). Picture-naming in American Sign Language: an ERP study of the effects of iconicity and alignment. Poster presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, March, San Francisco. (pdf)
- Emmorey, K., & Sevcikova Sehyr, Z. (2018). Measuring iconicity in sign language: Effects of linguistic knowledge and transparency on perceived iconicity. Paper presented at the International Society for Gesture Studies, July, Cape Town, South Africa.