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Sign language contact and interference: ASL and LSM

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 March 2008

DAVID QUINTO-POZOS
Affiliation:
Department of Speech and Hearing Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, MC 482, 901 S. Sixth Street, Champaign, IL 61820, davidqp@uiuc.edu

Abstract

This work concerns structural outcomes of contact between Mexican Sign Language (LSM) and American Sign Language (ASL). A brief description of the social environment that leads to contact between LSM and ASL along the U.S.–Mexico border is provided, and two claims are advanced: (i) Contact between sign languages can exhibit characteristics of contact between spoken languages (e.g., interference), but there are also unique features of signed-language contact due to the ability to produce elements from a signed and spoken language simultaneously; and (ii) examples of interference from one sign language in the production of the other are sometimes systematic and predictable based on the signer's linguistic background, but cases of lack of interference also provide evidence that some signers are able to employ subtle articulatory differences, either consciously or not, when producing signs from the sign language that was learned after they acquired their first sign language.This work was supported by a National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders grant (F31 DC00352) to the author. I would also like to thank two anonymous reviewers and Barbara Johnstone for their comments on an earlier draft of this article, and Claire Ramsey and Sergio Peña provided input about the Mexican Deaf situation as well. Any errors are, of course, my own.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2008 Cambridge University Press

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References

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