Ginger Pizer,
Associate Professor &
Director of Undergraduate Studies

2305 Lee Hall
Department of English
P.O. Box E
Mississippi State, MS   39762
Office Phone: 662.325.2240

Ginger Pizer

Professional Bio

Ginger Pizer teaches courses in linguistics, including Introduction to Linguistics, Language & Society, Descriptive English Grammar, and the History of the English Language. Her research combines approaches from sociolinguistics, first language acquisition, and the linguistics of signed languages to address issues of language use in family contexts, especially among families whose linguistic repertoires include American Sign Language. She has conducted research on the use of “baby signs” between hearing parents and hearing infants and has also investigated the adaptations that deaf parents make to their ASL when they address their deaf infants. Her recent publications look at communication in families with deaf parents and hearing children, and she is beginning a project on the language acquisition of deaf children in Mississippi.


Ph.D.   2008    University of Texas at Austin
M.A.    2002    University of Texas at Austin
B.A.    1994    Brown University

Teaching interests:

Linguistics, sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology

Courses taught:

Selected Publications

Bimodal bilingual families: The negotiation of communication practices between deaf parents and their hearing children. In M. Schwartz & A. Verschik (Eds.), Succesful family language policy: Parents, children, and educators in interaction. Series Multilingual Education. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. 2013.

“We communicated that way for a reason”: Language practices and language ideologies among hearing adults whose parents are deaf. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 18, 75-92, 2013. First author, with K. Walters & R. P. Meier.

Child-directed signing as a linguistic register. In R. Channon & H. van der Hulst (Eds.), Formational Units in Sign Languages. Sign Language Typology Series Vol. 3. Nijmegen/Berlin: Ishara Press/Mouton de Gruyter. 2011. First author, with R. P. Meier & K. S. Points.

Bringing up baby with baby signs: Language ideologies and socialization in hearing families. Sign Language Studies, 7, 387-430, 2007. First author, with K. Walters & R. P. Meier.