Infant Sensitivity To Natural Language Rhythms in Fingerspelling

Infant Sensitivity To Natural Language Rhythms in Fingerspelling

Question: How can we understand the nature of visual-manual rhythmic-temporal patterns which are central to visual sign phonology, and how infants’ visual language experience changes their sensitivity to these patterns?

Goal: Fingerspelling, a manual representation of English orthography, contains such patterns and has been hypothesized to play a crucial role in later language and literacy acquisition. Findings will permit us to better identify components of the language signal to which infants are most sensitive, and the contribution of visual sign phonology to language and literacy acquisition.