Planning an Initial Expressive Sign Lexicon for Persons with Severe Communication Impairment Selecting an initial sign lexicon for an individual requires far more than simply making a list of useful words or translating a spoken lexicon into signs through use of a sign dictionary. It requires knowledge of child language acquisition, knowledge of manual signs and linguistic constraints on their use, and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 01, 1980
Planning an Initial Expressive Sign Lexicon for Persons with Severe Communication Impairment
 
Author Notes
  • An expansion of a paper presented at the Eleventh Annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research in Mental Retardation, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, March 8, 1978.
    An expansion of a paper presented at the Eleventh Annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research in Mental Retardation, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, March 8, 1978.×
Article Information
Research Article   |   May 01, 1980
Planning an Initial Expressive Sign Lexicon for Persons with Severe Communication Impairment
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, May 1980, Vol. 45, 170-180. doi:10.1044/jshd.4502.170
History: Received June 11, 1979 , Accepted August 7, 1979
 
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, May 1980, Vol. 45, 170-180. doi:10.1044/jshd.4502.170
History: Received June 11, 1979; Accepted August 7, 1979

Selecting an initial sign lexicon for an individual requires far more than simply making a list of useful words or translating a spoken lexicon into signs through use of a sign dictionary. It requires knowledge of child language acquisition, knowledge of manual signs and linguistic constraints on their use, and knowledge of the needs and desires of the individual for whom the lexicon is intended. Suggestions of writers such as Holland (1975) and Lahey and Bloom (1977) are studied in terms of their appropriateness for visual-manual communication and are applied to approximately 50 signs most frequently taught to retarded and autistic persons (Fristoe and Lloyd, 1979a) to aid in lexicon planning. Additional signs are proposed for extending this basic list. The resulting sample lexicon is evaluated against the suggestions of Holland and of Lahey and Bloom. Rationales given for determining these selections, deletions, and additions can be applied to modify this initial lexicon to make it better suited for a specific individual.

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