Ginger Pizer

Ginger Pizer

Associate Professor


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


  • 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

Recent Courses

  • Introduction to Linguistics
  • Language and Culture
  • Language and Society
  • History of the English Language


Ginger Pizer teaches courses in linguistics and linguistic anthropology. Her research combines approaches from sociolinguistics and first language acquisition to investigate the development and use of signed languages and gesture, especially in family contexts. She has studied the use of “baby signs” between hearing parents and hearing infants, the adaptations that deaf parents make to their American Sign Language when they address their deaf infants, and language choices in families with deaf parents and hearing children. Her current projects address how hearing children learn to adapt their co-speech gesturing to suit the demands of different communicative situations.

Selected Publications

To be seen and/or heard: Audience design in bimodal bilingual families. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 2018. doi:10.1080/13670050.2018.1517723

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.

Faculty & Staff