Code mixing in mother-child interaction in deaf families

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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.


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