Abstract

Abstract:

A number of language acquisition patterns have been identified in the signing of a newly designated population of bimodal bilingual individuals—heritage signers. This article examines subject-referent tracking forms in the ASL (American Sign Language) narratives of six elementary-school-aged, native-signing, bimodal bilinguals made at different ages (5;02–6;09 and 6;07–8;02). These narratives are compared to those created by six Deaf counterparts (5;05–7;10) in a video-retelling task. The results show that, just as their Deaf peers, early bimodal bilinguals prefer nominal forms (for referent introduction and reintroduction) and null forms (for maintenance). However, the bimodal bilingual children increasingly diverge from their Deaf counterparts in the use of overt and fingerspelled forms. The increasing use of overt forms for maintenance and reintroduction is similar to patterns previously documented for heritage speakers, young unimodal bilinguals, and late bimodal bilinguals. Four of the six bimodal bilinguals showed an increased use of fingerspelled nominal forms for all discourse functions, yet these forms were rarely used by the Deaf children and instead were reserved for referent introduction. The greater prevalence of fingerspelled forms by the young bimodal

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6263
Print ISSN
0302-1475
Pages
pp. 328-354
Launched on MUSE
2018-05-25
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.