Exploring Linguistic Interdependence between American Sign Language and English through Correlational and Multiple Regression Analyses of the Abilities of Biliterate Deaf Adults

Melissa M. Ausbrooks, Mary Anne Gentry


The purpose of this study was to explore issues of linguistic interdependence between American Sign Language (ASL) and English within the context of reading comprehension skills among thirty-two bilingual Deaf (Note 1)adults. By synthesizing findings within existing literature, a prediction model of reading comprehension was developed. Researchers investigated whether or not the threshold hypothesis and linguistic interdependence theory (Cummins, 1976, 1979, 1981, 2003) could be generalizable to bimodal bilinguals. Researchers investigated relationships among six instructional constructs and several environmental variables thought to be predictor variables for reading comprehension. Statistically significant findings included the identification of ten relationships among instructional predictors and five relationships regarding environmental factors. Statistically significant relationships are presented and implications for the generalizability of linguistic interdependence for bimodal bilinguals are summarized. Results of this study suggest that both the threshold hypothesis and linguistic interdependence theory are both generalizable to ASL and English, despite linguistic incongruency. Specific proficiencies transferred among ASL Morphology and English Reading Vocabulary, ASL Morphology and English Reading Comprehension, and ASL Semantics and English Language Mechanics.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v4n1p1

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)   E-mail: ijel@ccsenet.org

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