Diane Lillo-Martin

Diane Lillo-Martin
University of Connecticut | UConn · Department of Linguistics

B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

About

113
Publications
19,207
Reads
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3,275
Citations
Introduction
I'm interested in research on sign languages, linguistics, and language acquisition. See my personal web page lillomartin.linguistics.uconn.edu (including reprints) and lab page slla.lab.uconn.edu for more! If you would like a reprint that you can't find on the personal or lab web pages, a personal email would be welcome.
Additional affiliations
October 1986 - present
Haskins Laboratories
Position
  • Senior Research Scientist
August 1986 - present
University of Connecticut
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (113)
Article
In this commentary on the article by Kidd and Garcia, we point out that research on natural signed languages is an important component of the goal of broadening the database of knowledge about how languages are acquired. While signed languages do display some modality effects, they also have many similarities to spoken languages, both in function a...
Article
Deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children experience systematic barriers to equitable education due to intentional or unintentional ableist views that can lead to a general lack of awareness about the value of natural sign languages and insufficient resources supporting sign language development. Furthermore, an imbalance of information in favor of s...
Chapter
Chomsky's “revolution” and the revolution in sign language linguistics began around the same time, but they did not directly affect each other for a while. This chapter focuses on Chomsky‐inspired research on sign language grammar and the ways that the study of sign languages connects to theories of innateness, the two main ways that Chomsky's impa...
Article
Full-text available
Este artigo apresenta o fenômeno da sobreposição de línguas em bilíngues bimodais, que apresentam um bilinguismo simultâneo peculiar, pois as línguas que adquirem ao longo do desenvolvimento linguístico envolvem diferentes modalidades: língua de sinais e língua falada. A investigação que dá origem a esse estudo trabalha com dois pares de línguas: l...
Article
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A proposta deste artigo é apresentar aspectos metodológicos envolvidos em pesquisas com participantes bilíngues bimodais, ou seja, aqueles que utilizam duas línguas em diferentes modalidades (uma língua de sinais, visual-espacial e uma língua falada, oral-auditiva). O artigo vai abordar o uso de estudos experimentais considerando-se a elaboração da...
Article
Sign languages are frequently described as having three verb classes. One, ‘agreeing’ verbs, indicates the person/number of its subject and object by modification of the beginning and ending locations of the verb. The second, ‘spatial’ verbs, makes a similar appearing modification of verb movement to represent the source and goal locations of the t...
Article
Natural sign languages of deaf communities are acquired on the same time scale as that of spoken languages if children have access to fluent signers providing input from birth. Infants are sensitive to linguistic information provided visually, and early milestones show many parallels. The modality may affect various areas of language acquisition; s...
Article
Bimodal bilinguals sometimes use code-blending, simultaneous production of (parts of) an utterance in both speech and sign. We ask what spoken language material is blended with entity and handling depicting signs (DS), representations of action that combine discrete components with iconic depictions of aspects of a referenced event in a gradient, a...
Article
Sign language use in the (re)habilitation of children with cochlear implants (CIs) remains a controversial issue. Concerns that signing impedes spoken language development are based on research comparing children exposed to spoken and signed language (bilinguals) to children exposed only to speech (monolinguals), although abundant research demonstr...
Article
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This paper presents an analysis of heritage signers: bimodal bilinguals, who are adult hearing children of Deaf parents who acquired sign language at home with their parents and the spoken language from the surrounding community. Analyzing heritage language with bimodal bilinguals who possess pairs of languages in different modalities provides a ne...
Article
Purpose: Deaf children are frequently reported to be at risk for difficulties in executive function (EF); however, the literature is divided over whether these difficulties are the result of deafness itself or of delays/deficits in language that often co-occur with deafness. The purpose of this study is to discriminate these hypotheses by assessin...
Article
The keynote article by Mayberry and Kluender (2017) clearly shows that there are important effects of delayed exposure to a first language (L1), in linguistic comprehension, production, processing, and even in the brain areas that are active for language. This set of findings is of great importance for both theoretical and practical reasons. As May...
Article
Research interest in heritage speakers and their patterns of bilingual development has grown substantially over the last decade, prompting sign language researchers to consider how the concepts of heritage language and heritage speakers apply in the Deaf community. This overview builds on previous proposals that ASL and other natural sign languages...
Article
Full-text available
Developmental psychology plays a central role in shaping evidence-based best practices for prelingually deaf children. The Auditory Scaffolding Hypothesis (Conway et al., 2009) asserts that a lack of auditory stimulation in deaf children leads to impoverished implicit sequence learning abilities, measured via an artificial grammar learning (AGL) ta...
Chapter
Sign languages are natural languages, they are not consciously invented by anyone, but rather develop spontaneously wherever deaf people have an opportunity to congregate and communicate regularly with each other. This chapter briefly explains how they do so. It examines the structure of the sentence (syntax), and then moves to the structure of the...
Article
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A wide range of linguistic phenomena contribute to our understanding of the architecture of the human linguistic system. In this paper we present a proposal dubbed Language Synthesis to capture bilingual phenomena including code-switching and ‘transfer’ as automatic consequences of the addition of a second language, using basic concepts of Minimali...
Article
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Deaf children are often described as having difficulty with executive function (EF), often manifesting in behavioral problems. Some researchers view these problems as a consequence of auditory deprivation; however, the behavioral problems observed in previous studies may not be due to deafness but to some other factor, such as lack of early languag...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we present novel data concerning the marking of contrastive focus in two modalities. Using data from an elicitation task conducted with children acquiring English and children acquiring American Sign Language, we demonstrate that focused constituents in both speech and sign modalities are marked by a bundle of prosodic features. We o...
Article
This article addresses the special challenges associated with collecting longitudinal samples of the spontaneous sign language and spoken language production by young bimodal bilingual children. We discuss the methods used in our study of children in the United States and Brazil. Since one of our goals is to observe both sign language and speech, a...
Chapter
Reynolds ]co-box[Chapter Overview ]fo[This chapter presents experimental methods for investigating the bilingual development of signed and spoken language. We begin with an introduction to a research project for which these methods were developed. Next we describe the process of selection, adaptation, or development of parallel test batteries for t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Studies of children with cochlear implants from hearing families (CIH) have consistently found that they perform below their hearing peers for speech perception. On phonemic discrimination tasks, CIHs have been found to exhibit shallower discrimination functions than hearing children (Geizen 2011). CIHs are typically discouraged from signing and ha...
Article
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Crianças bilíngues desenvolvem sensibilidade para escolher as línguas de seus interlocutores de forma muito precoce, o que se reflete nas proporções diferenciadas do uso de cada língua. Os fatores tais como o contexto do discurso e a relativa dominância das línguas na comunidade podem também determinar o grau de diferenciação dos usos das línguas n...
Article
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Bilingual children develop sensitivity to the language used by their interlocutors at an early age, reflected in differential use of each language by the child depending on their interlocutor. Factors such as discourse context and relative language dominance in the community may mediate the degree of language differentiation in preschool age childr...
Article
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Linguistic research has identified abstract properties that seem to be shared by all languages - such properties may be considered defining characteristics. In recent decades, the recognition that human language is found not only in the spoken modality, but also in the form of sign languages, has led to a reconsideration of some of these potential...
Article
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p>Here we discuss an investigation of handshape markedness based on frequency of occurrence in an ASL database. Using a database of the most frequently used signs in a corpus of child language and other early-acquired signs we examined the handshapes of approximately 1000 signs by using two annotation systems, BTS and Stokoe annotation. Results ind...
Article
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Bilingualism is common throughout the world, and bilingual children regularly develop into fluently bilingual adults. In contrast, children with cochlear implants (CIs) are frequently encouraged to focus on a spoken language to the exclusion of sign language. Here, we investigate the spoken English language skills of 5 children with CIs who also ha...
Article
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The goal of this work is to present what our research with hearing children from Deaf parents, acquiring Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) and Portuguese, and American Sign Language (ASL) and English (Lillo-Martin et. al. 2010) have to say about bilingual development. The data analyzed in this study is part of the database of spontaneous interaction...
Article
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Signed languages display a variety of pointing signs that serve the functions of deictic and anaphoric pronouns, possessive and reflexive pronouns, demonstratives, locatives, determiners, body part labels, and verb agreement. We consider criteria for determining the linguistic status of pointing signs. Among those criteria are conventionality, inde...
Article
Child development researchers often discuss a "two-word" stage during language acquisition. However, there is still debate over whether the existence of this stage reflects primarily cognitive or linguistic constraints. Analyses of longitudinal data from two Deaf children, Mei and Cal, not exposed to an accessible first language (American Sign Lang...
Article
Full-text available
In signed languages, the arguments of verbs can be marked by a system of verbal modification that has been termed "agreement" (more neutrally, "directionality"). Fundamental issues regarding directionality remain unresolved and the phenomenon has characteristics that call into question its analysis as agreement. We conclude that directionality mark...
Article
This study examines the proposal that the syntax-discourse interface is particularly vulnerable, and therefore components of this interface are acquired later than those of the syntax-semantics interface. The proposal is examined using data from the native language acquisition of markers of point of view in American Sign Language and Brazilian Sign...
Article
Full-text available
This article extends current methodologies for the linguistic analysis of sign language acquisition to cases of bimodal bilingual acquisition. Using ELAN, we are transcribing longitudinal spontaneous production data from hearing children of Deaf parents who are learning either American Sign Language (ASL) and American English (AE), or Brazilian Sig...
Article
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We investigated effects of sign language experience on deaf and hearing participants' categorical perception of minimal manual contrast stimuli that met key criteria of speech perception research. A continuum of meaningless dynamic stimuli was created with a morphing approach, which manipulated videorecorded productions of phonotactically permissib...
Chapter
Introduction This chapter is concerned with the clause structure of Brazilian Sign Language (LSB) and American Sign Language (ASL). In order to investigate clause structure, we devote some consideration to issues of basic and derived word order. These considerations allow us to formulate a proposed structure which captures the word order possibilit...
Article
Passives has been the focus of much research in language acquisition since the 1970s. It has been clear from this research that young children seldom produce passives spontaneously, particularly "long" or "full" passives with a by-phrase; and they usually perform poorly on experimental tests of the comprehension of passives, especially passives of...
Article
The study of sign language syntax can shed light on proposed universals of grammar. When the same constraints apply, it can be concluded that they are intrinsic to language. Constraints on syntactic movement do hold in sign languages as in spoken languages. In addition, sign languages fall within the range of variation shown across spoken language...
Chapter
Practitioners of sign languages use movements of their hands, face, and body for communicating what language speakers convey using their mouth, tongue, and vocal chords. The natural sign languages of Deaf communities have the properties of human language, including grammatical structure at the phonological, morphological, and syntactic levels.
Article
Sign languages are of great interest to linguists because, while they are produced by the same brain, their physical transmission differs greatly from that of spoken languages. Wendy Sandler and Diane Lillo-Martin compare spoken languages with those that are signed, in order to seek universal properties of human languages. No prior background in si...
Article
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Article
This chapter focuses on syntactic categories in the signed versus spoken languages. Linguistic categories include both language-specific and language-universal types. By considering the properties that languages share, linguists develop theories which attempt to capture the permissible range of variation. Most of these theories are based on the ana...
Chapter
This chapter examines the acquisition of two aspects of sign language morphosyntax: verb agreement and word order. For each of these areas, it asks whether the theories developed on the basis of spoken languages make the right predictions for sign language. If there are differences between sign languages and spoken languages, what would the reasons...
Article
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WH-Questions in American Sign Language (ASL) and Brazilian Sign Language (LSB) can be formed with the WH-element in a variety of surface positions. This situation has led to different accounts, falling into two main groups: one posits optionally overt WH-movement to a sentence-final (Spec, CP) position; the other posits optional overt WH-movement t...
Article
L'A. tente de determiner dans quelle mesure l'analyse des pronoms de la langue des signes americaine peut contribuer a preciser la theorie linguistique. Il reprend les travaux de Lacy et Kegl sur les pronoms en langue des signes americaine et s'interroge sur le caractere pronominal ou anaphorique des signes qui montrent du doigt une personne et qui...
Article
Book reviewed in this article: The Syntax of American Sign Language: Functional Categories and Hierachical Structure by Carol Neidle, Judy Kegl, Dawn MacLaughlin, Benjamin Bahan and Robert G. Lee
Article
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Some researchers have claimed that WH-movement in ASL is rightward, contrary to the apparent universality of leftward WH-movement. In contrast to this claim, we argue that WH-movement in ASL is to a leftward specifier of CP. We account for the occurrence of rightward WH-elements by independently motivated syntactic and discourse factors which lead...
Article
It is widely believed that even children as old as 4 or 5 misunderstand sentences with the universal quantifier, such as Every farmer is feeding a donkey. It is claimed that English-speaking children understand this sentence to entail that every farmer is feeding a donkey and that every donkey is being fed by a farmer. A linguistic account of the d...
Article
Unlike English, American Sign Language (ASL) permits phonologically null pronouns in tensed clauses. Null pronouns are licensed by morphological marking of “agreeing” verbs which agree with the spatial loci of the subject and object noun phrases of the sentence. We present two probe recognition experiments which investigated whether overt and null...
Article
Because young English-speaking children use null subjects systematically, it has been proposed that they begin with an initial parameter setting allowing null arguments (NAs) and must change this setting on the basis of linguistic evidence that adult English prohibits NAs. A recent proposal suggests that the licensing and identification of NAs used...