Eye fixation measures were used to examine English relative clause processing by adult ASL-English bilingual deaf readers. Participants processed subject relative clauses faster than object relative clauses, but expected animacy cues eliminated processing difficulty in object relative clauses. This brings into question previous claims that deaf readers' sentence processing strategies are qualitatively different from those of hearing English native speakers. Measures of English comprehension predicted reading speed, but not differences in syntactic processing. However, a trend for ASL self-ratings to predict the ability to handle syntactic complexity approached significance. Results suggest a need to explore how objective ASL proficiency measures might provide insights into deaf readers' ability to exploit syntactic cues in English.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language