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Sign Languages in Contact

David Quinto-Pozos, Editor

Publication Year: 2007

This volume collects for the first time various accounts of contact between sign languages throughout the world, presenting an exciting opportunity to further understand the structural and social factors of this linguistic component in Deaf communities. Editor David Quinto-Pozos has divided Sign Languages in Contact into four parts, starting with Contact in a Trilingual Setting. The sole essay in this section features a study of Maori signs by Rachel McKee, David McKee, Kirsten Smiler, and Karen Pointon that reveals the construction of indigenous Deaf identity in New Zealand Sign Language. In Part Two: Lexical Comparisons, Jeffrey Davis conducts an historic, linguistic assessment of varieties of North American Indian sign languages. Daisuke Sasaki compares the Japanese Sign Language lexicon with that of Taiwan Sign Language by focusing on signs that share the same meaning and all parameters except for their handshapes. Judith Yoel’s chapter takes up the entirety of Part Three: Language Attrition, with her analysis of the erosion of Russian Sign Language among immigrants to Israel. The final part describes how educators and other “foreign”visitors can influence indigenous sign languages. Karin Hoyer delineates the effects of international sign and gesture on Albanian Sign Language. Jean Ann, Wayne H. Smith, and Chiangsheng Yu close this significant collection by assessing contact between Mainland China’s sign language and Taiwan Sign Language in the Ch’iying School in Taiwan.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press


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p. c-c

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv


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pp. v-vi

Editorial Advisory Board

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pp. vii-viii

Series Editor’s Introduction

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pp. ix-x

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Editor’s Introduction: Outlining Considerations for the Study of Signed Language Contact

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pp. 1-28

To my knowledge, this volume represents the first book-length collection of various accounts of contact between sign languages, and this brings with it excitement as well as the realization of challenges that lie ahead.1 As many researchers who are interested in language contact...

Part 1 Contact in a Trilingual Setting

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pp. 29-30

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Māori Signs: The Construction of Indigenous Deaf Identity in New Zealand Sign Language

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pp. 31-82

The assertion of Deaf cultural identity, minority rights and indigenous self-determination in recent decades has created a platform from which Deaf people of ethnic minority family heritage have begun to voice their multilayered experiences of cultural socialization and identity (Ahmad...

Part 2 Lexical Comparisons

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pp. 83-84

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North American Indian Signed Language Varieties: A Comparative Historical Linguistic Assessment

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pp. 85-122

As an alternative to spoken language, signed language has been observed and documented for certain North American Indian groups (e.g., Davis 2005, 2006; Davis and Supalla 1995; Mallery 1880, 1881; McKay-Cody 1997; Taylor 1978, 1997; Tomkins 1926; Umiker-Sebeok...

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The Lexicons of Japanese Sign Language and Taiwan Sign Language: A Preliminary Comparative Study of Handshape Differences

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pp. 123-150

It is often said that sign languages in Taiwan and Korea are quite similar to Japanese Sign Language (JSL) (e.g., Smith 1989, 1990). Yasuhiro Ichida, a hearing signer and researcher of JSL, made a trip to Korea in the spring of 2002 and reports on the similarity between JSL and Korean...

Part 3 Language Attrition

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pp. 151-152

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Evidence for First-Language Attrition of Russian Sign Language among Immigrants to Israel

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pp. 153-192

People who immigrate to another country where the citizens speak a different language stand a good chance of losing some of their first-language skills. Often perceived as simply forgetting or regression, such loss is known as natural language attrition.1 Linguistic research has...

Part 4 Foreign Assistance and Language Contact

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pp. 193-194

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Albanian Sign Language: Language Contact, International Sign, and Gesture

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pp. 195-234

After World War II, Albania was the most inaccessible country in Europe. The Communist regime under the longtime party leadership of Enver Hoxha was characterized by isolation from the rest of the world, propaganda, and political persecution. When people adjusted their TV...

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The Sign Language of Mainland China at the Ch’iying School in Taiwan

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pp. 235-258

In Taiwan today, the language of the Deaf community is Taiwan Sign Language (TSL), one of the most studied sign languages of Asia.1 Western researchers perceive the groundbreaking works on TSL to be Smith and Ting (1979), Ting and Smith (1984), Chao, Chu, and Liu...


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pp. 259-262


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pp. 263-274

E-ISBN-13: 9781563683909
E-ISBN-10: 1563683903
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563683565
Print-ISBN-10: 1563683563

Page Count: 284
Illustrations: 7 tables, 58 figures, 20 photos
Publication Year: 2007