Sensitivity to verb bias in American Sign Language-English bilinguals

Benjamin Anible, Paul Twitchell, Gabriel S. Waters, Paola E. Dussias, Pilar Piñar, Jill P. Morford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Native speakers of English are sensitive to the likelihood that a verb will appear in a specific subcategorization frame, known as verb bias. Readers rely on verb bias to help them resolve temporary ambiguity in sentence comprehension. We investigate whether deaf sign-print bilinguals who have acquired English syntactic knowledge primarily through print exposure show sensitivity to English verb biases in both production and comprehension. We first elicited sentence continuations for 100 English verbs as an offline production measure of sensitivity to verb bias. We then collected eye movement records to examine whether deaf bilinguals' online parsing decisions are influenced by English verb bias. The results indicate that exposure to a second language primarily via print is sufficient to influence use of implicit frequency-based characteristics of a language in production and also to inform parsing decisions in comprehension for some, but not all, verbs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-228
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 18 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Speech and Hearing


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