1. Iconicity does not enhance semantic priming effects for American Sign Language (ASL).
2. Iconic signs are not recognized more quickly or accurately than noniconic signs in a lexical decision task.
3. Semantic priming effects for sign language suggest modality-independent principles of semantic organization and representation.
The article "Effects of Iconicity and Semantic Relatedness on Lexical Access in American Sign Language" investigates whether iconicity enhances semantic priming effects for American Sign Language (ASL) and whether iconic signs are recognized more quickly than noniconic signs. The study found that while significant facilitation was observed for target signs when they were preceded by semantically related primes, iconicity did not increase the priming effect, nor were iconic signs recognized faster or more accurately than noniconic signs.
The article provides a comprehensive overview of previous research on lexical processing in sign languages, including phonological and morphological priming effects. However, the article's focus on semantic priming effects is limited to only one previous study, which may suggest a bias towards investigating the role of iconicity in sign language processing.
The article acknowledges the ongoing debate about the significance of iconicity in sign language processing but does not provide a balanced discussion of both sides. While some studies have found evidence for a strong link between form and meaning in sign language, others consider iconicity an attribute that is not linguistically relevant. The article primarily focuses on studies that support the latter view, suggesting a potential bias towards downplaying the role of iconicity.
Additionally, while the study controlled for factors such as strength of iconicity, semantic relatedness, familiarity, and imageability when investigating the role of iconicity in lexical access, it did not control for other potentially confounding variables such as age or education level. This limitation may affect the generalizability of the study's findings.
Overall, while the article provides valuable insights into lexical processing in ASL and highlights important questions about the role of iconicity in sign language processing, its potential biases towards downplaying the significance of iconicity and its limitations should be considered when interpreting its findings.