General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 8 September, 2016 Poster
Linguistic interfaces and narrative development in deaf learners’ bilingual acquisition of sign language and written language
Speaker: Carolina Plaza-Pust, J. W. Goethe-Universitaet Frankfurt

Authors: Plaza-Pust, Carolina


Recent language acquisition research conducted within the generative paradigm has been concerned with the challenges faced by different types of learners in their attainment of linguistic properties that involve grammar-internal and grammar-external interfaces. Several proposals have been put forward regarding the linguistic and cognitive factors that might determine developmental delays in the attainment of language phenomena related to these interfaces (Lillo-Martin & Quadros 2011, Rothman & Guijarro-Fuentes 2012, White 2011). In a different line of research, studies on narrative development reveal that full mastery of the orchestration of linguistic devices for narrative purposes is the result of a protracted development, as form-function relationships develop over time as does the organisation of extended discourse types (Berman 2009). As we argue in this paper, an integrated perspective is needed for a comprehensive account of the acquisition of phenomena that involve the syntax-discourse interface. Based on a collection of signed and written narratives covering the first two years of a longitudinal investigation, the present study explores the bilingual acquisition of German Sign Language (DGS) and German in deaf learners (n = 6). Individual developmental profiles were established based on diagnostic criteria used in qualitative and quantitative analyses of the data. The analyses reveal that none of participants but one had attained the target German structure by the end of the study, whereas they all had a command of the full DGS structure from the beginning of the investigation, which is indicative of the developmental asymmetry between the two languages. Furthermore, the analyses not only reveal a protracted development of the use of linguistic devices to create cohesion and coherence in both languages, but also individual variation as some learners use linguistic devices at a local, sentential level while other learners pay attention to a consistent use of linguistic devices for narrative purposes. References Berman, R. A. 2009. “Language development in narrative contexts." In: E. L. Bavin (ed.) The Cambridge Handbook of Child Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lillo-Martin, D. & Quadros, R. M. de 2011. “Acquisition of the syntax–discourse interface: The expression of point of view”. Lingua 121, 623–636. Rothman, J. & Guijarro-Fuentes, P. 2012. “Linguistic interfaces and language acquisition in childhood: Introduction to the special issue”. First Language 32(1-2) 3–16. White, L. 2011. Second language acquisition at the interfaces. Lingua 121, 577–590.
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Coffee break and poster session
Place: Hall First floor area A

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10:00 h. to 11:00 h.Coffee break

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