Article published in:Sign Language Acquisition
Edited by Anne E. Baker and Bencie Woll
[Benjamins Current Topics 14] 2008
► pp. 141–163
Code mixing in mother-child interaction in deaf families
In this paper we discuss the mixed language input of four deaf mothers and the mixed output of their three deaf and three hearing children. Taking a strict definition of code-mixing (as defined by Muysken 2000) we find that the deaf mothers mainly use a form of code-mixing, or mixed code-blending, called congruent lexicalization, which results in a mixed form between NGT (Sign Language of the Netherlands) and Dutch in a structure which is compatible with both NGT and Dutch. The deaf children (up to 3 years), who are only just beginning to become bilingual, hardly produce any code-mixed utterances. The hearing children, however, are clearly bilingual in NGT and Dutch, and use code-blending of the mixed type in more or less the same form as their mothers do.
Keywords: bilingual acquisition, code-blending, code-mixing, interaction, NGT, sign language acquisition
Published online: 14 January 2009