The development of discourse referencing in Cantonese of deaf/hard-of-hearing children

Autor/a: SZE, Felix; TANG, Gladys; LAU, Tammy; LAM, Emily; YIU, Chris
Año: 2015
Editorial: Journal of Child Language, Vol. 42, nº 2 (2015) pp. 351-393
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


This paper investigates the development of discourse referencing in spoken Cantonese of fifteen deaf/hard-of-hearing children studying in a sign bilingual and co-enrolment education programme in a mainstream setting in Hong Kong. A comparison of their elicited narratives with those of the hearing children and adults shows that, despite a delay in acquiring the grammatical markings for (in)definiteness in Cantonese, these d/hh children show sensitivity towards the referential properties of different types of nominal expressions and their corresponding mappings with discourse functions. Specifically, they produced more bare nouns across all discourse contexts but fewer existential constructions, pronouns, demonstratives, and classifier-related constructions. Their choice of nominal expressions and the observed errors show striking similarities to the productions by the younger hearing children in this study, suggesting that the d/hh children’s route of development of discourse referencing is likely to be similar to that of hearing children despite a slower rate of development.