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Overview

The project investigates the mental language faculty from the perspective of bimodal bilingualism, or bilingualism in a sign language and a spoken language.

The project studies the language of American adults with normal hearing who grew up in households with at least one Deaf parent using sign language (such adults are known as codas), and so they learned both spoken English and American Sign Language (ASL) together. Some of the studies will involve deaf native signers to provide a comparison baseline against which the ASL performance of the codas is measured.

The main focus of the proposed project is to investigate code-blending, the simultaneous production of (parts of) a proposition in both sign and speech, with the goal of refining a previously proposed theoretical model, the Language Synthesis model.

Data will be collected using experiments that include interviews, narrative production, elicitation, and grammaticality judgments. We will also use the data to see whether codas behave linguistically as Heritage language users, whose home language is different from the dominant community language.

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Bimodal Bilingual Code-blending: Language Synthesis

Helen Thumann

202-250-2043

202-448-7067

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