Menendez Corpus

Bruno Menéndez
Pompeu Fabra University

Participants: 13
Type of Study: written
Location: Spain
Media type: writing samples
DOI: doi:10.21415/T57389

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Citation information

Menéndez, B. 2010. Cross-modal bilingualism: language contact as evidence of linguistic transfer in sign bilingual education. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. Vol 13, Issue 2: Deafness and Bilingual Education (201-223). Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group.

Menéndez, B. 2012. Caracterización psicolingüística de la interlengua de alumnos sordos multilingües/multimodales en su acceso al castellano (l2/3)
como lengua escrita. Monografías MarcoELE Issue 15: Estudios sobre el aprendizaje y adquisición de lenguas en sus contextos.

In accordance with TalkBank rules, any use of data from this corpus must be accompanied by at least one of the above references.

Project Description

Cross-modal multilingualism is here portrayed as a highly sophisticated multilingual acquisition process involving a set of deaf students simultaneously acquiring multiple languages. Two language modalities are implied in the process: audio-oral (English, Spanish and Catalan) and visual-gestural (Catalan Sign Language). This corpus includes the analysis of the English, Spanish and Catalan writings of 13 deaf participants whose first language was Catalan Sign Language (LSC). The intention was to categorize divergences and establish their possible origin in cross-linguistic association, developmental reasons or a combination of both. CHILDES analysis was here used for computing divergences. The measure used to analyze performance was divergences per 100 words , which accounted for length difference in writings. Participants, as summarized in this table had writing divergences which were classified according to their possible origin using this coding system. The following hypothesis were being tested:

  1. Cross-modal language contact or cross-linguistic transfer is possible. To what extent? What is the measure of the potential importance of this cognitive process relying on association?
  2. Language transfer decreases over time: Is transfer less present in the English writings (L3) than in Spanish and Catalan (L2.2/L2.2)?
  3. Language is sensitive to atmospheric circumstantial variables and initial conditions, being an emergent bottom-up complex dynamic system rising out of socio-cultural interactions rather than an innate top-down static universal process.
  4. The following atmospheric circumstances and/or initial conditions are relevant for linguistic development: L2, relevant hearing rests, deaf parenting, deafness type (severe/profound), years of Catalan Sign Language pre-high-schooling, motivation, sex, age of exposure to any L1.
In order to avoid oversimplifications from previous studies diminishing the importance of transfer, both developmental and transfer divergences were computed at their maximum span as the sum of 1, 2, 8, 9 and 10 in the coding system. The following general principles were used to interpret the texts during the analysis: