Lexical Access in ASL
Psycholinguistic theories have predominantly been built upon data from spoken language. In my work on sign language processing I ask whether these theories reflect modality-general principles or modality-specific ones. I use a combination of behavioral studies and computational modeling (Caselli & Cohen-Goldberg, 2014) to understand how signers perceive and produce signs. In my current work, I ask whether neighborhood density and iconicity play a role in sign perception.
People who use sign language vary tremendously in their early language experiences; some deaf people do not receive accessible linguistic input until many years after birth. I aim to understand how these varied linguistic experiences affect language processing. My goal is for this work to serve as a roadmap for developing targeted interventions for people who had limited exposure to language early in life. Studying people with varied early language experiences can shed light on whether and how lexical access is shaped by language acquisition.