Linguistic Portraits of Children of Deaf Families: Representations of a Signed Heritage Language

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ikala.355259

Keywords:

bilingualism, children of deaf adults, linguistic identity, heritage languages, sign languages

Abstract

Hearing people from Deaf families, called Children of Deaf Adults (CODA), can acquire their signed heritage language and embrace their cultural identity. However, the question is how they manage to do so, being hearing in a world where invisibilization and stigmatization of their family language and culture are commonplace. The aim of this article is to show how the identity construction of the CODA person is related to the identification with his or her heritage language and culture. The research method followed a phenomenological, interpretative design, with semi-structured interviews with twenty-two adult coda people in Spain. The study reveals their representations of their linguistic repertoires through linguistic portraits. The contributions of this research open new questions about the purposes of heritage languages. The linguistic and cultural legacy of the Deaf community, which has been denied in the Deaf parents' generation, may persist through the family connection to the heritage language and culture in the second generation. This research supports the conceptualization of the heritage speaker from a cultural and not just a linguistic point of view.

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Author Biography

Stephanie Papin, Rey Juan Carlos University

Visiting Professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain.

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Published

2024-06-21

How to Cite

Papin, S. (2024). Linguistic Portraits of Children of Deaf Families: Representations of a Signed Heritage Language. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 29(2), 1–21. https://doi.org/10.17533/udea.ikala.355259