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Multilingualism and Sign Languages

From the Great Plains to Australia

Ceil Lucas, Editor

Publication Year: 2007

The latest entry in the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities series continues to mine the rich resources found in signing communities throughout the world. Divided into four parts, this collection features 16 internationally renowned linguistics experts whose absorbing studies reflect an astonishing range of linguistic diversity. The sole essay in Part One: Multilingualism describes historic and contemporary uses of North American Indian Sign Language. Part Two: Language Contact examines language-contact phenomena between Auslan/English interpreters and Deaf people in Australia, and the features of bimodal bilingualism in hearing, Italian, native signers. Part Three: Variation reports the results of a study on location variation in Australian Sign Language. Part Four: Discourse Analysis begins with an analysis of how deaf parents and their hearing toddlers establish and maintain sight triangles when conducting signed conversations. The ensuing chapter explores the use of evaluation within an informal narrative in Langue des Signes Québécoise. The final chapter explicates how a signer depersonalizes the concept of “self” in an American Sign Language narrative through the use of signs for “he” and “I.”

Published by: Gallaudet University Press

Title Page

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pp. iii


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pp. iv


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pp. v-vi

Editorial Advisory Board

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pp. vii

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Editor’s Introduction

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pp. ix

The papers in this twelfth volume of the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities series demonstrate very clearly how much the !eld has grown in the eleven years since the first volume in 1995. As can be seen in the title, the papers cover topics that range from the sign language used by American Indians in the Great Plains to variation and issues of interpretation...

Part 1

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A Historical Linguistic Account of Sign Language among North American Indians

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pp. 3-35

Signed communication among various indigenous peoples has been observed and documented across the North American continent since fifteenth- and sixteenth-century European contact. Early scholars of this subject (e.g., Clark 1885; Mallery 1880; Scott 1931; Tomkins 1926) have made cases for the North American Indian1 sign variety to justify...

Part 2

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Comparing Language Contact Phenomena between Auslan–English Interpreters and Deaf Australians: A Preliminary Study

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pp. 39-77

This paper reports the findings of a study that explores the influence of language contact on the interpretations of Australian Sign Language (Auslan)–English interpreters and compares it with the influence of language contact on deaf Australians producing text1 in Auslan. Inspired by the work of Davis...

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Capitalizing on Simultaneity: Features of Bimodal Bilingualism in Hearing Italian Native Signers

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pp. 79-118

Essentially three main groups of bimodal bilinguals need to be considered in bimodal bilingual research, each of which has its own range of bimodal bilingualism: deaf people who not only know a signed language but also have learned to read, write, and sometimes speak a spoken language; hearing people who come from deaf families and who often acquire...

Part 3

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NAME Dropping: Location Variation in Australian Sign Language

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pp. 121-156

This paper presents the results from the first study in the Sociolinguistic Variation in Australian Sign Language project (Schembri and Johnston 2004). This major project is a replication in the Australian deaf community of the quantitative investigations into variation in American Sign...

Part 4

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Establishing and Maintaining Sight Triangles: Conversations between Deaf Parents and Hearing Toddlers in Puerto Rico

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pp. 159-187

An unexplored area of child language research is the study of hearing toddlers of Deaf parents. These children of Deaf adults, or Codas, represent a unique population in which to study parent-child discourse. Although Codas do not share their parents’ hearing loss, they inherit...

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TORTOISE, HARE, CHILDREN: Evaluation and Narrative Genre in Qu

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pp. 188-251

In a seminal paper, Labov and Waletzky (1967) bring the analysis of narrative structure to bear on vernacular, unplanned narratives of personal experience. Before their paper, these types of narratives had received less attention than the planned, literary narratives that were traditionally...

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He and I: The Depersonalization of Self in an American Sign Language Narrative

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pp. 252-279

The purpose of this paper1 is to demonstrate connections between theories in linguistic anthropology and actual instances of discourse in the DEAF-WORLD.2 I focus on the attempts of a Deaf person to illuminate and recreate connections between himself and...


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pp. 281-282


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pp. 283-285

E-ISBN-13: 9781563683794
E-ISBN-10: 1563683792
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563682964
Print-ISBN-10: 1563682966

Page Count: 296
Illustrations: 12 tables, 66 figures, 25 photos
Publication Year: 2007