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Pinky Extension and Eye Gaze

Language Use in Deaf Communities

Ceil Lucas, Editor

Publication Year: 1998

The Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities Series continues its detailed exploration of language dynamics among deaf people in the fourth entry, Pinky Extension and Eye Gaze: Language Use in Deaf Communities. This volume’s ten meticulously prepared chapters reflect the refinements of research in six major sociolinguistics areas. Rob Hoopes’ work, “A Preliminary Examination of Pinky Extension: Suggestions Regarding Its Occurrence, Constraints, and Function,” commences Part One: Variation with a sound explanation of this American Sign Language (ASL) phonological characteristic. Part Two: Languages in Contact includes findings by Jean Ann on contact between Taiwanese Sign Language and written Taiwanese. Priscilla Shannon Gutierrez considers the relationship of educational policy with language and cognition in deaf children in Part Three: Language in Education, and in Part Four: Discourse Analysis, Melanie Metzger discusses eye gaze and pronominal reference in ASL. Part Five: Second-Language Learning presents the single chapter “An Acculturation Model for ASL Learners,” by Mike Kemp. Sarah E. Burns defines Irish Sign Language as Ireland’s second minority language after Gaelic, in Part Six: Language Attitudes, the final area of concentration in this rigorously researched volume. These studies and the others by the respected scholars featured in Pinky Extension and Eye Gaze make it an outstanding and eminently valuable addition to this series.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press

Title Page

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pp. v-vi

Editorial Advisory Board

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pp. vii


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pp. viii

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pp. ix

The title of volume 4 of the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities series focuses on an aspect of variation in sign languages-pinky extension- and an aspect of sign language discourse-eye gaze-in order to evoke the richness and uniqueness of language use in Deaf communities. Pinky Extension and Eye Gaze: Language Use in Deaf Communities is a ...

Part I. Variation

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A Preliminary Examination of Pinky Extension:Suggestions regarding Its Occurrence,Constraints, and Function

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pp. 3-17

Studies of the phonological and phonetic structure of signed languages have indicated both parallels with and contrasts to the phonological structure of spoken languages. One interesting parallel is the description of the prosodic structure of signed languages. This paper presents findings of a preliminary study of a phonological characteristic of American ...

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What Happens in Tactile ASLl

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pp. 18-37

In American Sign Language (ASL), the receiver watches the signer and receives the communication through a visual mode. However, many Deaf-Blind people use ASL even though they are unable to see the signer. Instead, these Deaf-Blind people put one hand on top of the signer's hand and receive ASL tactilely. What happens when a language that was ...

Part 2. Languages in Contact

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Grammatical Constraints on Flngerspelled English Verb Loans In BSL

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pp. 41-58

Fingerspelling is used in many countries in communication among and with the deaf community. It is an important part of sign languages in countries where deaf people receive regular education and are literate. It has been defined as "delivering a rapid sequence of hand-configurations, each corresponding to a letter of the alphabet" (Padden 1991b). In many ...

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Contact between a Sign Language and a Written Language:Character Signs in Taiwan Sign Language

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pp. 59-99

This article examines a contact situation between Taiwan Sign Language (TSL) and written Chinese that has resulted in the invention of "character signs" —signs that are representations of Chinese characters. The specific claim of the article is that, phonologically, the character signs of TSL are somewhat outside the system. The article is divided into three ...

Part 3. Language in Education

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The Relationship of Educational Policy to Language and Cognition in Deaf Children

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pp. 103-134

Language plays a critical role in the development of cognition and communicative competence in humans. Language is required to process information, construct meaning, and participate in human interaction. Children who have limited language capabilities are disadvantaged learners. Proficiency in language is critical for facilitating communication and ...

Part 4. Discourse Analysis

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Conversational Repairs in ASL

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pp. 137-169

Studies on spoken language conversations indicate that natural languages contain mechanisms called repairs. Repairs are used for handling breakdowns in the conversation but also come into play when a speaker is monitoring and adjusting his or her own utterances. In fact, speakers in conversations are more likely to repair their own utterances than ...

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Eye Gaze and Pronominal Reference in American Sign Language

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pp. 170-182

For many years linguists have focused on the role of the hands in the phonology and syntax of signed languages. More recently, researchers have focused on other aspects of signed languages, including meaningful forms conveyed by body movements, head tilts, and eyebrow, cheek, and mouth movements. These aspects of signed languages, appropriately ...

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Spatial Mapping and Involvement in ASL Storytelling

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pp. 183-210

Spatial mapping is an essential ASL discourse feature and is used by fluent signers throughout discourse. Signers use space and spatial structuring in ASL to help the audience process the flow of information they are watching, structuring it into coherent and cohesive chunks of language. By using space both referentially and prosodically, signers can structure, ...

Part 5. Second-Language Learning

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An Acculturation Model for Learners of ASL

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pp. 213-230

Why do some ASL students learn the target language well while other students struggle? What do the "strong" students have that the weak students do not? For the past few years, educators have been attempting to find the best method for teaching ASL, yet some of our students continue to have problems learning the language. Why? ...

Part 6. Language Attitudes

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Irish Sign Language:Ireland's Second Minority Language

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pp. 233-273

Irish Sign Language (ISL) is the native language of the Irish Deaf community. It is the third indigenous language in Ireland after Irish and English. Over the years, it has been suppressed and subjugated-much like the Irish language-and its use has been forbidden in the schools for Deaf people. More recently, inspired by the Deaf Pride movement in the United ...


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pp. 275-285

E-ISBN-13: 9781563682414
E-ISBN-10: 1563682419
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563680700
Print-ISBN-10: 156368070X

Page Count: 296
Illustrations: 21 tables, 54 figures
Publication Year: 1998