The time course of cross-language activation in deaf ASL-English bilinguals

Jill P. Morford, Corrine Occhino-Kehoe, Pilar Piñar, Erin Wilkinson, Judith F. Kroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


What is the time course of cross-language activation in deaf sign-print bilinguals? Prior studies demonstrating cross-language activation in deaf bilinguals used paradigms that would allow strategic or conscious translation. This study investigates whether cross-language activation can be eliminated by reducing the time available for lexical processing. Deaf ASL-English bilinguals and hearing English monolinguals viewed pairs of English words and judged their semantic similarity. Half of the stimuli had phonologically related translations in ASL, but participants saw only English words. We replicated prior findings of cross-language activation despite the introduction of a much faster rate of presentation. Further, the deaf bilinguals were as fast or faster than hearing monolinguals despite the fact that the task was in their second language. The results allow us to rule out the possibility that deaf ASL-English bilinguals only activate ASL phonological forms when given ample time for strategic or conscious translation across their two languages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-350
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bilingualism
  • Deaf
  • Sign language
  • Word recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'The time course of cross-language activation in deaf ASL-English bilinguals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this