Friday, February 19, 2010

The Development of Bimodal Bilingualism

(click on images to enlarge)


Joseph Pietro Riolo said...

It is about the time that the researchers start serious study on the phenomenon of bimodal communication! For long time, it was put aside, ignored or trivialized all just because it does not fit the ideal paradigm of "pure" languages even though it exists since the beginning of history. I can safely say that it will give us more insight in how diverse the communication is.

It surprises me that even Gallaudet University is supporting the research, given its reputation for strong ASL-only philosophy. I think that the researchers at the university are starting to realize that they can't simply ignore the growing population of deaf children who have cochlear implant.

Joseph Pietro Riolo

Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this post in the public domain.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully this will support the idea that being bilingual is not detrimental to a child (though I do anticipate differences in learning between the hearing-deaf groups) and that ASL is a true language.

Anonymous said...

My good friend, Hilde Schlesinger, author of "Sign and Sound", said that ASL and English are two separate languages. Speaking English and French simulanelously is "SO UNHEARD OF." The same is true that ASL and English cannot be utlised simultaneously. The late Dr. Schlesinger, who used to do research with Dr. Urusla Bellugi at the Salk Institute, said that "bimodal" (ASL and English) should not and must not be utilized. Even SEE#2 should not be used bimodally with the spoken English. ASL is to be used for signing without the spoken English. The written English is for reading and writing only. She said that scholars not in the field of linguistics terribly misunderstand the concept of bimodality. Gallaudet professors shrug and continue utilising two languages simultaneously because they do not know ASL thoroughly.

Anonymous said...

I suspect a lot of hard of hearing, especially those that are from deaf family that signs uses this method of communication unawares. Interesting article and I'll be sure to follow this research.

This notion that ASL and spoken English cannot be used simultaneously has always been something I've disagreed with. I'm living proof of being able to achieve that feat.


JR said...

I agree with Joseph Riolo.

While there are ASL purists, these people also have admitted that nonmanual features including mouth movements derived from the primary language vocabulary are also part of signs and have become distinguishing markers for identifying specific words. People who sign with their lips tightly shut aren't signing properly.

Also, the problem with research saying "don't use ASL and English" or don't use bimodal communication is that it ignores and tries to structure reality instead of studying what really happens. In reality almost every person plays with the use of both languages while they communicate. This happens in other cultures, also. "Should do"s aren't scientific.

On the other hand, I disagree with Joseph that this is an aspect of cochlear implantation. I think this is a response to the development of the concept of the Deaf person as a cultural individual who draws from all cultures of which they are members - American, for example, as well as Deaf.

(Of course, for me, that development also has to include respect for diverse ways of being. It's just as bad to be a "Should be" for ASL as it is for being an oralist as it is for saying Spanish people should speak only Spanish and English people should speak only English. What should Americans speak, then, Navajo? Cherokee?)

AL said...

Clarification- bimodal bilingualism does NOT mean sim-com. It simply means ASL/spoken English, or the ability to use a sign language and a spoken language, not both at the same time.

Starrynight said...

I have noticed that children with CI of Deaf Parents are similar to KODA in many ways if they received CI at an early age and have used ASL since birth. Those groups both use spoken language and ASL. Children with CI are also probably similar to hard of hearing children. I'd like to see the research on those groups someday.