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Bilingualism and Identity in Deaf Communities

Melanie Metzger, Editor

Publication Year: 2000

perception reality? Editor Melanie Metzger investigates the cultural perceptions by and of deaf people around the world in volume six of the Sociolinguistics series Bilingualism and Identity in Deaf Communities. “All sociocultural groups offer possible solutions to the dilemma that a deaf child presents to the larger group,” write Claire Ramsey and Jose Antonio Noriega in their essay, “Ninos Milagrizados: Language Attitudes, Deaf Education, and Miracle Cures in Mexico.” In this case, Ramsey and Noriega analyze cultural attempts to “unify” deaf children with the rest of the community. Other contributors report similar phenomena in deaf communities in New Zealand, Nicaragua, and Spain, paying particular attention to how society’s view of deaf people affects how deaf people view themselves. A second theme pervasive in this collection, akin to the questions of perception and identity, is the impact of bilingualism in deaf communities. Peter C. Hauser offers a study of an American child proficient in both ASL and Cued English while Annica Detthow analyzes “transliteration” between Spoken Swedish and Swedish Sign Language. Like its predecessors, this sixth volume of the Sociolinguistics series distinguishes itself by the depth and diversity of its research, making it a welcome addition to any scholar’s library.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press

Title Page

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Editorial Advisory Board

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pp. vii


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pp. viii-viv

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pp. xi-xii

It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve as guest editor for the sixth volume of the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities series. The topics contained in this volume include the wide range of sociolinguistic issues that readers of this series have come to expect, including variation, language contact, multilingualism, language policy and planning, discourse analysis, and language attitudes. ...

Part 1

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Name Signs and Identity in New Zealand Sign Language

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pp. 3-40

Personal names in any culture are a potential gold mine of information about social relationships, identity, history, and linguistic processes. In Deaf communities around the world, members are commonly referred to by sign names given to them by other Deaf people at various stages of life, which are different from the legal (spoken language) names given by parents at birth. The study of name signs provides a window on the ...

Part 2

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An Analysis of Codeswitching: American Sign Language and Cued English

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pp. 43-78

Sociolinguistic studies on the codeswitching that occurs when American Sign Language (ASL) and English come into contact have claimed that the codeswitching is qualitatively different from spoken language codeswitching (e.g., Davis 1989, 1990; Lucas and Valli 1989, 1992). These studies have focused on the contact between users of ASL and users of spoken English. However, the codeswitching between English in a visual ...

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Transliteration between Spoken Swedish and Swedish Signs

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pp. 79-92

Interpreting is the process of conveying the meaning of a message from one language into another. Transliteration is the process of representing the discourse of a language in a different form. There is no standardized form of transliteration, but certain strategies used by sign language interpreters have been identified (Winston 1989, Siple 1995). ...

Part 3

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The Education of Deaf Children in Barcelona

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pp. 95-113

The history of the education of deaf people in Spain is little known both within Spain and abroad. For example, the Scientific Commission on Sign Language of the World Federation of the Deaf (1993) reports that even the inception of deaf education in Spain is unknown. ...

Part 4

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Niños Milagrizados: Language Attitudes,Deaf Education, and Miracle Cures in Mexico

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pp. 117-141

In all but deaf cultural groups, the appearance of a deaf child is an extraordinary event that must be accounted for. Many "causes" of deafness emerge from cultural accounts that have at best shaky bases in science; even unknown causes wield cultural power, illuminating the mysteriousness of this condition to hearing people. In addition, the deaf child must be dealt with (treated or rehabilitated). All sociocultural groups offer possible ...

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Sign Languages and the Minority Language Policy of the European Union

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pp. 142-158

The political demands and requests--formulated in unequivocal terms--by the Deaf community (and their interest groups) in the 1990s served as the impetus for this chapter. The key issue within these demands has been the request for linguistic rights, which one might even call linguistic human rights. ...

Part 5

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Educational Policy and Signed Language Interpretation

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pp. 161-183

Signed language interpreting in educational settings has seen more than twenty-five years of concerted effort.1 As a result of laws intended to provide deaf children a greater variety of educational opportunities (e.g., PL 94--142, PL 101--476), signed language interpreters have enjoyed increased employment opportunities in educational settings. Educational interpreting is evidently motivated by a real need, the education of deaf children. ...

Part 6

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Tactile Swedish Sign Language:Turn Taking in Signed Conversations of People Who Are Deaf and Blind

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pp. 187-203

In visual signing the eyebrows are used as articulators (raised or squinted brows signal interrogative sentences), and the eyes function as turn-taking regulators (Bergman 1984; Vogt-Svendsen 1990; Coerts 1992). Although many people who are deaf and blind use sign language, a deaf-blind addressee cannot receive such nonmanual signals. When I started working on my doctoral thesis, with special focus on conversations ...

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Semiotic Aspects of Argentine Sign Language: Analysis of a Videotaped "Interview"

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pp. 204-216

An examination of the semiotic aspects of a language involves asking questions such as: What is a text? What are the characteristics of an interview? What semiotic value does television have, especially when we analyze an interview with a Deaf signer? Although all of these questions deserve our attention, we explain ...

Part 7

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The Development of Sociolinguistic Meanings:The Worldview of a Deaf Child within His Home Environment

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pp. 219-254

Henry Camillo is one of the 92 percent of deaf children raised by hearing family members--his parents are hearing, as well as his five siblings and all of his extended family members (e.g., aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents).1 Researchers have raised scientific questions and conducted lively discussions regarding the choices of communication modality that hearing family members make ...

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The Search for Proto-NSL: Looking for the Roots of the Nicaraguan Deaf Community

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pp. 255-305

It was mid-July, and nearly impossible to breathe in the small office without air conditioning in the deaf association in Managua. Because both audio and video were being recorded, it had been necessary to close the outside windows to shut out the traffic noise from the street, but the blare of television and laughter from the adjoining room meant the door also had to be shut. In this ovenlike atmosphere, Mariana ...


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pp. 307-317

E-ISBN-13: 9781563681660
E-ISBN-10: 1563681668
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563680953
Print-ISBN-10: 1563680955

Page Count: 330
Illustrations: 10 tables, 1 figure
Publication Year: 2000