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Multicultural Aspects of Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities

Ceil Lucas, Editor

Publication Year: 2001

This collection offers a wide variety of fascinating studies that consider multicultural aspects among deaf people worldwide. Mala Kleinfeld and Noni Warner investigate variation in the use of gay, lesbian, and bisexual signs in the Deaf community; Jan Branson, Don Miller, and I Gede Marsaja, assisted by I Wayan Negara, profile a deaf village in Bali, Indonesia in which hearing people are fluent in both sign and spoken languages. Alejandro Oviedo in Venezuela comments on bilingual deaf education in Venezuela, and Sara Schley outlines the sociolinguistic and educational implications of comparing ASL and English word definitions. Susan Mather discusses initiation in visually constructed dialogue from reading books with 3- to 8-year-old students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Pietro Celo offers insights on the interrogative in Italian Sign Language, and Julie Wilson examines narrative structure in American Sign Language ASL) through her analysis of “the tobacco story.” Rhonda Jacobs completes this significant, wide-ranging volume with her research on second language learning, as she presents the case for ASL as a truly foreign language by posing the question, “Just how hard is it to learn ASL?”

Published by: Gallaudet University Press


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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

This series, which began in 1995, provides an ongoing forum for current data-based research on the various aspects of sociolinguistics in Deaf communities around the world. The first volume contained papers revealing the variety and range of sociolinguistic issues currently facing Deaf communities ...

Part One: Variation

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Variation in the Deaf Community: Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Signs

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pp. 3-36

How one should speak or sign is becoming an issue of importance to users of American Sign Language (ASL) in the Deaf community today. Over the past decade, ASL signers, in keeping with current trends in language use, have adopted attitudes about the appropriateness of certain signs. ...

Part Two: Multilingualism

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Everyone Here Speaks Sign Language, Too: A Deaf Village in Bali, Indonesia

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pp. 39-58

This article introduces the people and sign language of a very special village in north Bali, in eastern Indonesia. Like the community of Martha's Vineyard, this village has a substantial hereditary Deaf population that uses sign language, a language known and used freely by hearing members of the village. ...

Part Three: Language in Deaf Education

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Bilingual Deaf Education in Venezuela: Linguistic Comments on the Current Situation

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pp. 61-79

Since 1985 Venezuela has developed intriguing experiments in deaf education. That same year, the Dirección de Educación Especial1 (henceforth, DEE), the office that directs education policy for the almost fifty public schools for the deaf all over the country decided to change from its oralist practices to a bilingual model, ...

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What's a Clock? "Suppose the Alarm Lights Are Flashing ...": Sociolinguistic and Educational Implications of Comparing ASL and English Word Definitions

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pp. 80-106

With the theoretical and applied attention being given to bilingual! bicultural (hereafter, BiBi) education of Deaf students today, one must consider how American Sign Language (ASL) and English are used in sociolinguistic terms before determining how to implement bilingual curriculum materials. ...

Part Four: Discourse Analysis

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Initiation in Visually Constructed Dialogue: Reading Books with Three- to Eight-Year-Old Students Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

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pp. 109-131

Simply reading a book aloud to a student is not enough—the story must be read with the student, including the student and adult in an interpersonal process that "involves not only an interaction between author and reader but also reader and listener" (Davidson, Lia, and Troyer 1988, 19). ...

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Linguistic and Pragmatic Aspects of the Interrogative Form in Italian Sign Language

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pp. 132-151

Because this research is based on observation, it is important to define an observer's qualifications. The observer does not simply observe; he must also "be able to give sense and meaning to what he sees, learns and proves; he is someone who, beyond observing, also possesses the skills of interpreting" ...

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The Tobacco Story: Narrative Structure in an American Sign Language Story

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pp. 152-180

This chapter presents an in-depth analysis of the structure of an ASL narrative, the "Tobacco Story." In this paper, we focus on two leading methods by which narratives have been analyzed: Labov's (1972) narrative sections of abstract, orientation, complicating action, and evaluation, ...

Part Five: Second Language Learning

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Just How Hard Is It to Learn ASL? The Case for ASL as a Truly Foreign Language

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pp. 183-226

The question of how difficult it is learn ASL (American Sign Language) is asked of D/deaf1 people, interpreters, and hearing signers on an almost daily basis. The standard response, at least since ASL began to receive recognition as a formal language in the 1960s and 1970s,2 has been along the lines of ...


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pp. 227-235

E-ISBN-13: 9781563682643
E-ISBN-10: 1563682648
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563681080
Print-ISBN-10: 1563681080

Page Count: 246
Illustrations: 12 tables, 1 figure, 19 photos
Publication Year: 2001