Volume 23, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN 1387-9316
  • E-ISSN: 1569-996X
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Meir’s (2010) (DMC) states the use of iconic signs in metaphors is restricted to signs that preserve the structural correspondence between the articulators and the concrete source domain and between the concrete and metaphorical domains. We investigated ASL signers’ comprehension of English metaphors whose translations complied with the DMC () or violated the DMC (). Metaphors were preceded by the ASL translation of the English verb, an unrelated sign, or a still video. Participants made sensibility judgments. Response times (RTs) were faster for DMC-Compliant sentences with verb primes compared to unrelated primes or the still baseline. RTs for DMC-Violation sentences were longer when preceded by verb primes. We propose the structured iconicity of the ASL verbs primed the semantic features involved in the iconic mapping and these primed semantic features facilitated comprehension of DMC-Compliant metaphors and slowed comprehension of DMC-Violation metaphors.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): bimodal bilingualism; iconicity; metaphor; sign language
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