LINGUIST List 9.202

Tue Feb 10 1998

Qs: ASL as L2, Distinctive Feature, "papoose"

Editor for this issue: Anita Huang <>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate.


  1. Megan Elizabeth Melancon, ASL as L2
  2. MARC PICARD, Peripheral
  3. Ilona M. Turner, definition of "papoose"

Message 1: ASL as L2

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 11:24:56 -0600 (CST)
From: Megan Elizabeth Melancon <>
Subject: ASL as L2

Dear Linguists,

Can anyone help me with references or publications about deaf children who
have parents who do not speak English? The L1 of the child would be the
'other' language (i.e. Spanish), but the child would learn American Sign
Language at school, and thereby communicate by signing or spelling English
words. It seems a bit odd to refer to the primary communication method
(ASL) of a deaf person as his or her L2, but it would not be the
'mother-tongue' per se. 

I'll post a summary if enough replies come in. Please respond to my
e-mail address:

Many thanks,

Megan Melancon
Louisiana State University
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Message 2: Peripheral

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 12:37:56 +0000
Subject: Peripheral

I'm looking for information on the distinctive feature [peripheral]. So far 
I've only seen it discussed in Lindau's (1978) LANGUAGE article "Vowel 
features", and in Labov's (1994) PRINCIPLES OF LINGUISTIC CHANGE. 
Does anybody know of any other references to this elusive feature?

Marc Picard
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Message 3: definition of "papoose"

Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 01:05:45 -0800 (PST)
From: Ilona M. Turner <>
Subject: definition of "papoose"

Can anyone help me uncover the true definition of the English (via some 
North American Indian language) word "papoose"? I've heard two conflicting 
versions: 1) a North American Indian infant or young child, and 2) a 
wrapping or basket in which a mother carries a child on her back. I've 
found literary and pop-culture references supporting both definitions. 
So I'd like to ask the members of this list which definition you ascribe 
to in your own usage. Also, I'm curious if anyone can tell me the origin of 
this word's presence in American English, and if they can explain the 
existence of the two definitions (each held as passionately and firmly as 
the other by the opposing factions of my non-linguist friends whom I 
polled about this matter).

Thanks for any help you can provide.

-Ilona Turner
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