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Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing

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Academic Paper


Title: Bimodal bilingualism
Author: Karen Emmorey
Institution: San Diego State University
Author: Helsa B. Borinstein
Institution: Salk Institute for Biological Sciences
Author: Robin Thompson
Institution: University of California, San Diego
Author: Tamar H. Gollan
Institution: University of California, San Diego
Linguistic Field: Linguistic Theories; Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: American Sign Language
English
Abstract: Speech–sign or “bimodal” bilingualism is exceptional because distinct modalities allow for simultaneous production of two languages. We investigated the ramifications of this phenomenon for models of language production by eliciting language mixing from eleven hearing native users of American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Instead of switching between languages, bilinguals frequently produced code-blends (simultaneously produced English words and ASL signs). Code-blends resembled co-speech gesture with respect to synchronous vocal–manual timing and semantic equivalence. When ASL was the Matrix Language, no single-word code-blends were observed, suggesting stronger inhibition of English than ASL for these proficient bilinguals. We propose a model that accounts for similarities between co-speech gesture and code-blending and assumes interactions between ASL and English Formulators. The findings constrain language production models by demonstrating the possibility of simultaneously selecting two lexical representations (but not two propositions) for linguistic expression and by suggesting that lexical suppression is computationally more costly than lexical selection.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 11, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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