Bimodal Bilingualism: Code-blending between Spoken English and

Bimodal Bilingualism: Code-blending between Spoken English and

12 Pages · 2004 · 403 KB · English

Bimodal Bilingualism: Code-blending between. Spoken English and American Sign Language. Karen Emmorey,. 1. Helsa B. Borinstein,. 1 and Robin Thompson.

Bimodal Bilingualism: Code-blending between Spoken English and free download


Bimodal Bilingualism: Code-blending between S poken English and American Sign Language Karen Emmorey , 1 Helsa B. Borinstein , 1 and Robin Thompson 1, 2 1The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and 2University of California, San Diego 1. Introduction The vast majority of bilingual studies involve two spoken languages. Such “unimodal” bilingualism automatically entails a severe produc tion constraint because one cannot physically produce two spoken words or phrases at the same time. For unimodal (speech-speech) bilinguals, there is a single output channel, th e vocal tract, for both languages. In contrast, for bimodal (speech- sign) bilinguals, there are two output channels: the vo cal tract and the hands. In addition, for unimodal bilinguals both languages are perceived by the same sensory system (audition), whereas for bimodal bilinguals one language is perceived auditorily and the other is perceived visually. In this article, we present a preliminary investigation of bimoda l bilingual communication among hearing people who are native users of American Sign Language (A SL) and who are also native English speakers. First, it is important to emphasize that American Sign Language has a grammar that is independent of and quite distinct from English (see Emmorey (2002) for a review). For example, ASL allows much freer word order compared to English. English marks tense morphologically on verbs, whereas ASL (like many languages) expresses tense lexically via temporal adverbs. Conversely, ASL contains several verbal aspect markers (expressed as distinct movement patterns superimposed on a verb root) that are not found in English, but are found in many other spoken languages (e.g., habitual, punctual, and durational aspect). Obviously, ASL and English also differ in structure at the level of phonology. Signed languages, like spoken languages, exhibit a level of sublexical structure that

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