Date of Award

Spring 4-14-2011

Document Type


First Advisor

Gaurav Mather

Second Advisor

Daniel Koo

Third Advisor

Deborah Maxwell McCaw


Common criteria for a native ASL signer include exposure to ASL from birth and having Deaf parents. This study questions the necessity of the second criterion by comparing two groups: 16 Deaf adults with Deaf parents and exposed to ASL from birth, and 16 Deaf adults with hearing parents and exposed to ASL before age two. All determined whether pairs of pseudosigns, sometimes differing in phonological details, matched. The two groups did not differ significantly on accuracy, but the first group responded faster than the second group on average. These findings suggest processing differences between the two groups, but otherwise the criterion of having Deaf parents is not necessary for achieving native-like accuracy on a test of phonological perception.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.