Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1879-7865
  • E-ISSN: 1879-7873



This paper concerns the acquisition of the sign lexicon in L2 learners of Swedish Sign Language. Sampled data (conversation and narrative retelling) from a longitudinal learner corpus with 16 adult L2 signers was analyzed and compared with data from nine L1 signers. The use of three broad types of signs was analyzed: lexical signs, partly-lexical signs (i.e. depicting signs) and non-lexical signs. The results revealed some differences between L1 and L2 signers, especially with regard to depicting signs. The number of depicting signs used by L2 learners increased over time, approaching the target language use. Qualitatively, we observed differences between L1 and L2 signers in their use of depicting signs, related to handshape choice and sign constructions. We discuss these findings in light of previous research linked to L2 vocabulary as well as the role of gestural knowledge in sign L2 acquisition.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): L2M2; lexicon; sign language; sign types

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