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Languages 2018, 3(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages3030032

Brazilian Bimodal Bilinguals as Heritage Signers

1
Departamento de Libras, Centro de Comunicação e Expressão, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, R. Eng. Agronômico Andrei Cristian Ferreira s/n, Trindade, Florianópolis SC 88040-900, Brazil
2
Department of Linguistics, University of Connecticut, 365 Fairfield Way, Storrs, CT 06269-1145, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 5 August 2018 / Accepted: 6 August 2018 / Published: 10 August 2018
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Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of heritage signers: bimodal bilinguals, who are adult hearing children of Deaf parents who acquired sign language at home with their parents and the spoken language from the surrounding community. Analyzing heritage language with bimodal bilinguals who possess pairs of languages in different modalities provides a new kind of evidence for understanding the heritage language phenomenon as well as for theoretical issues regarding human language. Language production data were collected from four Brazilian bimodal bilinguals separately in both sign and speech, as well as from monolingual comparison Deaf signers and hearing speakers. The data were subsequently analyzed for various grammatical components. As with other types of heritage speakers, we observed a great degree of individual variation in the sign (heritage) language of balanced participants who patterned similarly to the monolingual signers, compared to those whose use of sign language differed greatly from monolinguals. One participant showed some weaknesses in the second (spoken) language. We approach the variation in language fluency in the two languages by considering the different contexts of language development and continuing use. View Full-Text
Keywords: bimodal; bilingual; heritage language; sign language; code-blending; Brazilian Sign Language; Brazilian Portuguese bimodal; bilingual; heritage language; sign language; code-blending; Brazilian Sign Language; Brazilian Portuguese
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Quadros, R.M.; Lillo-Martin, D. Brazilian Bimodal Bilinguals as Heritage Signers. Languages 2018, 3, 32.

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