Elena Pretato, Francesca Peressotti, Eduardo Navarrete

Iconicity norms for 234 sign in Italian Sign Language (LIS)

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Sign Language; Iconicity; Italian Sign Language; Psycholinguistic Database.

The study of sign languages has received increasing interest in recent years; however there exist hardly any norms for psycholinguistic variables that have appeared to play an important role in sign language processing. Spoken and sign languages share the processes underlying the linguistic function, but also present specific features. One of these is the fundamental role of iconicity in sign languages, both in production and in their understanding. Research on the Italian Sign Language (LIS) is becoming more frequent and it is essential to have available linguistic databases. The objective of this study, therefore, is to offer a first corpus in LIS, which links iconicity with different psycholinguistic variables. Hearing Italian participants provided ratings of iconicity on a total of 234 sign of the www.spreadthesign.com site. Besides iconicity, the variables studied were: concreteness, imaginability, familiarity, age of acquisition and frequency. The analyzes suggest that imaginability is related to iconicity. This is the first psycholinguistic description based on a corpus of 234 signs and can be useful to other researchers interested in LIS.

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