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Language Policy and Planning for Sign Languages

Timothy G. Reagan

Publication Year: 2010

This volume addresses the burgeoning need for language policy and language planning for the sign languages used by deaf people. Author Timothy Reagan writes for two audiences in his new book, those who know language policy and language planning but not the Deaf World, and those well-versed in the Deaf cultural community but unfamiliar with language planning studies. To begin, Chapter 1 presents an overview of the Deaf World and a brief introduction to sign language in general. The second chapter outlines a broad overview of language policy and language planning studies both as an academic discipline and an applied type of social engineering. In Chapter 3, Reagan examines the specifics of American Sign Language (ASL) in terms of the history of language policy and planning from the nineteenth century to the post-Congress of Milan period and its form in recent years. The fourth chapter critically examines the creation of manual codes used in deaf education in the U.S. and elsewhere. Chapter 5 analyzes language policy and planning in settings around the world, and the final chapter recommends steps and methods for future language policy and planning efforts for sign languages. The cohesive rationale offered in Language Policy and Planning for Sign Languages will prove to be invaluable to all administrators and educators working with populations that use sign languages.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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List of Figures

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pp. x-xi

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xii-xiii

Editorial Advisory Board

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pp. xiv-xv

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Editor’s Note

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pp. xvi-xvii

And so, with this volume, I pass the editorship of the Sociolinguistics J. Mulrooney, faculty member in the Department of Linguistics at Gallaudet University. We co-edited this volume. As I look back at the contents of the sixteen volumes produced since 1994, I can say that the series has done what I wanted it to do when I conceived of it those sixteen years ...

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pp. xviii-xix

This book is an attempt to address an important and timely topic: language planning efforts, and the related language policies that arise from these efforts, for the sign languages used by deaf people. This is a huge topic on its own, but it is made more difficult in this book by my desire to provide an understandable introduction to these issues for two very ...

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Chapter 1. Sign Language and the Deaf∩World as a Special Case: An Overview

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pp. 1-30

For those interested in language planning and language policy, deaf people, as a cultural and linguistic community, are an especially fascinating case study.1 Both the Deaf∩World and sign language exist only in the plural; that is, although deaf people in different countries and settings certainly share certain experiences, attitudes, values, and concerns, they are also quite distinct in nature. In addition, and making ...

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Chapter 2. Language Planning and Language Policy: An Introduction

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pp. 31-96

Language planning is both an academic discipline and a practical activity resulting in the development and implementation of specific language policies. It is thus at the same time an effort to guide individual and communal behavior with respect to language use (typically undertaken by governmental bodies and agencies), and the engagement in the study ...

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Chapter 3. American Sign Language, Language Planning, and Language Policy

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pp. 97-128

American Sign Language (ASL) emerged at the hands of Laurent Clerc and his students in the first quarter of the nineteenth century in Hartford, Connecticut, at what was then the Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons, and is today the American School for the Deaf (ASD).1 Harlan Lane, historically and narratively ...

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Chapter 4. The Creation and Use of Manual Sign Codes as Language Planning

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pp. 129-154

From the mid-nineteenth century until recently, the education of deaf children was characterized by a deep division between educators favoring an “oral” approach, in which signing was generally forbidden and children were even punished for signing, and those supporting a “manual” approach, in which signing of some sort was allowed generally ...

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Chapter 5. International Perspectives on Sign Language, Language Planning, and Language Policy

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pp. 155-179

These two quotations provide an appropriate opening for this chapter, which deals with the international aspects of language planning and language policy for sign languages. The first quote raises both the question of the status of sign languages and, as a closely related matter, the issue of the rights of users of sign languages, while the second addresses the fascinating ...

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Chapter 6. Conclusion: The DEAF∩WORLD, Language, and Power

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pp. 180-185

The complexity of language planning referred to by Joshua Fishman is not true only in the case of spoken languages; where sign languages are concerned, the complexity is far greater. Sign languages are not merely minority languages, although they certainly are minority languages. Nor are deaf communities merely subcultures surrounded by dominant cultures, ...

Appendix I. European Parliament Resolution on Sign Languages 1988

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pp. 186-189

Appendix II. Statement on the Recognition of the National Sign Languages of the Deaf

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pp. 189-191

Appendix III. World Federation of the Deaf “Call for Recognition of Sign Languages,” 1991

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pp. 192-195


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pp. 196-240


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pp. 241-252

E-ISBN-13: 9781563684630
E-ISBN-10: 1563684632
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563684623
Print-ISBN-10: 1563684624

Page Count: 270
Illustrations: 21 figures
Publication Year: 2010