Relationships certainly one of lexical and phonological characteristics
Next we examined relationships among the lexical and phonological properties of the signs in ASL-LEX to gain insight into how phonological, lexical, and semantic factors interact in the ASL lexicon. s = –0.14, p < 0.001. Although it is possible that this inverse correlation is driven by the relatively higher frequency of closed-class words which may be lower in iconicity than other signs, the negative correlation remains when closed-class words (i.e., words with a “minor” Lexical Class) are excluded (r s = –0.17, p < 0.001). This result is compatible with the early proposal that with frequent use, signs may move away from their iconic origins, perhaps due to linguistic pressures to become more integrated into the phonological system (Frishberg, 1975). Interestingly, the direction of this relationship was the opposite of that found for British Sign Language; that is, Vinson et al. (2008) reported a weak positive correlation between frequency and iconicity: r = .146, p < .05. Alternatively, the different correlations might be due differences in stimuli selection. Vinson et al. (2008) intentionally selected stimuli that had a range of iconicity values which resulted in a bimodal iconicity distribution while we did not select signs for inclusion in ASL-LEX based on their iconicity.
Frequency and you will iconicity z-score (SignFrequency(Z) and you will Iconicity(Z)) was in fact rather negatively synchronised collectively (look for Desk 1), with additional regular cues ranked as the smaller renowned; although not, this relationship are poor, roentgen
Numerous phonological characteristics is actually very coordinated plus in of numerous times it is because the way they is actually outlined (come across Desk step one). Eg, for every biggest location comes with one or more lesser urban centers-high frequency small places often thus almost inevitably be found for the highest volume major metropolises, and you may handshape volume was furthermore associated with chosen thumb and you will bending regularity. Additionally, every around three procedures regarding Area Thickness are extremely correlated having one to other partly because they’re furthermore laid out and you may partially as one residents you to definitely display five of one’s four sandwich-lexical characteristics (Maximal People Density) tend to always also show one of five sub-lexical services (Limited People Density). Ultimately, every about three Area Thickness procedures is actually correlated with every of one’s sub-lexical frequency procedures. This will make sense once the by the definition, preferred sandwich-lexical functions appear in of a lot signs.
Interestingly, the basic sub-lexical frequencies are completely uncorrelated with each other, with the exception of selected fingers and minor location which are significantly but weakly correlated (r = .10, p < .01). This finding suggests that the space of possible ASL signs is rather large as each sub-lexical property can (to a first degree of approximation) vary independently of the others. This property contrasts with spoken languages where phoneme frequency is correlated across different syllable positions. For example, using position-specific uniphone frequencies from Vitevitch and Luce (2004) we estimate that in English monosyllabic words, vowel frequency is negatively correlated with the frequency of the preceding consonant (r = –.07, p < .001) and positively correlated with the following consonant (r = .17, p < .001), and that onset consonants have highly correlated frequencies (r = –.51, p < .001). We speculate that the relative independence of ASL sub-lexical features is related to both the motoric independence of the manual articulators (e.g., finger flexion is unaffected by the location of the hand in signing space) as well as the relative simultaneity of manual articulation (as opposed to serial oral articulation). We note that these non-significant correlations are for sub-lexical frequency only; specific sub-lexical properties have been argued to co-vary systematically (e.g., signs produced in locations far from the face may be more likely to be symmetrical, two-handed, and have larger, horizontal, and vertical motions; Siple, 1978).