Acquiring Sign Language as a First Language / Acquisition d’une langue des signes comme langue première
  • ISSN 1879-7865
  • E-ISSN: 1879-7873
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A picture naming task, the Boston Naming Test, originally developed for spoken language, has been adapted to Italian Sign Language in order to assess the vocabulary of Italian deaf signing children. Thirty deaf and thirty hearing children and adolescents (aged 6–14 years) participated in the study. In the deaf signing group, half of the children attended a bilingual school. Results show no significant differences between deaf and hearing participants in the number of correct responses provided, but do show interesting differences in the lexical accuracy observed for individual items and in error types reported for sign and speech. In the deaf group, children attending a bilingual school performed significantly better than those who did not attend a bilingual programme.


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