The Effects of Morphological Complexity on Phonological Simplification in ASL Journal Article uri icon



  • ; Researchers have observed that children learning American Sign Language produce incorrect handshapes when they attempt to sign multi-morphemic classifier predicates. Classifiers use distinctive handshapes for morphemes selected to categorize the referent noun. Previous reports suggest that the earliest handshapes children use in forming classifiers reflect stages of their handshape acquisition that are determined by anatomical and cognitive complexity. In this study a conversational game prompted 24 children to produce three types of multi-morphemic classifier predicates. Results indicate that handshape production is influenced both by morphological complexity and by factors more appropriately viewed as syntactic. Handshape errors produced do not support predictions based on anatomical complexity alone.;

publication date

  • March 1, 1990

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • November 20, 2014 6:05 AM

Full Author List

  • Schick BS

author count

  • 1

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1533-6263

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 25

end page

  • 41


  • 66


  • 1