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In a diverse signing community, it is not unusual to encounter a wide variety of expression in the types of signs used by different people. Perceptions of signing proficiency often vary within the community, however. Conventional wisdom intimates that those who learned at an early age at home or in school know true basic or standard American Sign Language. Those who learned ASL later in life or use contact or coded signs are considered to be less skillful Joseph Christopher Hill shows in Language Attitudes in the American Deaf Community various contradictions in the use of signed languages. Hill’s new study explores the linguistic and social factors that govern such stereotypical perceptions of social groups about signing differences. Hill’s analysis focuses on affective, cognitive, and behavioral types of evaluative responses toward particular language varieties, such as ASL, contact signing, and Signed English. His work takes into account the perceptions of these signing types among the social groups of the American Deaf community that vary based on generation, age of acquisition, and race. He also gauges the effects of social information on these perceptions, and their evaluation and descriptions of signing that departs from their respective concept of a signing standard. Language Attitudes concludes that standard ASL’s value will continue to rise and the Deaf/Hearing cultural dichotomy will remain relevant without the occurrence of a dramatic cultural shift.
The Making of a Mother Tongue
What makes someone willing to die, not for a nation, but for a language? In the mid-20th century, southern India saw a wave of dramatic suicides in the name of language. Lisa Mitchell traces the colonial-era changes in knowledge and practice linked to the Telugu language that lay behind some of these events. As identities based on language came to appear natural, the road was paved for the political reorganization of the Indian state along linguistic lines after independence.
Exploring the Nature of Sign
This enjoyable book first introduces sign language and communication, follows with a history of sign languages in general, then delves into the structure of ASL. Later chapters outline the special skills of fingerspelling and assess the the academic offshoot of artificial sign systems and their value to young deaf children. Language in Motion offers for consideration the process required to learn sign language and putting sign language to work to communicate in the Deaf community. Appendices featuring the manual alphabets of three countries and a notation system developed to write signs complete this enriching book. Its delightful potpourri of entertaining, accessible knowledge makes it a perfect primer for those interested in learning more about sign language, Deaf culture, and Deaf communities.
Cognitive and Discourse Perspectives on Language and Language Learning
Language in Use creatively brings together, for the first time, perspectives from cognitive linguistics, language acquisition, discourse analysis, and linguistic anthropology. The physical distance between nations and continents, and the boundaries between different theories and subfields within linguistics have made it difficult to recognize the possibilities of how research from each of these fields can challenge, inform, and enrich the others. This book aims to make those boundaries more transparent and encourages more collaborative research. The unifying theme is studying how language is used in context and explores how language is shaped by the nature of human cognition and social-cultural activity. Language in Use examines language processing and first language learning and illuminates the insights that discourse and usage-based models provide in issues of second language learning. Using a diverse array of methodologies, it examines how speakers employ various discourse-level resources to structure interaction and create meaning. Finally, it addresses issues of language use and creation of social identity. Unique in approach and wide-ranging in application, the contributions in this volume place emphasis on the analysis of actual discourse and the insights that analyses of such data bring to language learning as well as how language shapes and reflects social identityùmaking it an invaluable addition to the library of anyone interested in cutting-edge linguistics.
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.
A linguistic analysis supporting a new model of the colonization of the Antilles before 1492.
This work formulates a testable hypothesis of the origins and migration patterns of the aboriginal peoples of the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico), the Lucayan Islands (the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and the Crown Colony of the Turks and Caicos), the Virgin Islands, and the northernmost of the Leeward Islands, prior to European contact. Using archaeological data as corroboration, the authors synthesize evidence that has been available in scattered locales for more than 500 years but which has never before been correlated and critically examined.
Within any well-defined geographical area (such as these islands), the linguistic expectation and norm is that people speaking the same or closely related language will intermarry, and, by participating in a common gene pool, will show similar socioeconomic and cultural traits, as well as common artifact preferences. From an archaeological perspective, the converse is deducible: artifact inventories of a well-defined sociogeographical area are likely to have been created by speakers of the same or closely related language or languages.
Languages of the Pre-Columbian Antilles presents information based on these assumptions. The data is scant—scattered words and phrases in Spanish explorers' journals, local place names written on maps or in missionary records—but the collaboration of the authors, one a linguist and the other an archaeologist, has tied the linguistics to the ground wherever possible and allowed the construction of a framework with which to understand the relationships, movements, and settlement patterns of Caribbean peoples before Columbus arrived.
"This exhaustive study . . . does a splendid job in pulling together the disparate data of the Ta&iactue;no and other pre-Contact languages of the Caribbean and organizing them into a coherent whole."—Charles Ewen, East Carolina University
This book will appeal to discourse analysts, commercial consultants, legal trainers, translators, and applied researchers in professional communication, especially in the field of legal writing and languages for specific purposes.
Un patrimoine en danger
Depuis Les langues autochtones du Québec, sous la direction de Jacques Maurais, publiées il y a vingt ans par le Conseil de la langue française, aucun ouvrage n’est venu faire le point sur la situation des langues autochtones au Québec, si bien qu’elles en sont venues en quelque sorte à disparaître de l’écran radar. La recherche sur les questions reliées à la langue et au répertoire oral en milieu autochtone est pourtant bien vivante. De nombreux partenariats entre des chercheurs universitaires et des représentants de l’une ou l’autre des Premières Nations ont notamment permis de réaliser des avancées remarquables.Ce livre vient illustrer les progrès qui ont été accomplis au cours des dernières années en matière de conservation, de préservation, et même, de revitalisation des langues autochtones. Les études de cas présentées reflètent la diversité des situations et la complexité des enjeux auxquels les communautés autochtones sont confrontées. Alors que les problématiques sont diverses et abordées sous une multiplicité d’angles, le portrait composite qui s’en dégage permet d’avoir une vue d’ensemble nuancée et équilibrée. Il vient rappeler l’existence d’un patrimoine linguistique précieux qu’il convient de préserver de la disparition rapide qui le menace.
This book discusses words used in the Southeast and how they have changed
during the 20th century. It also describes how the lexicon varies according
to the speaker's age, race, education, sex, and place of residence
(urban versus rural; coastal versus piedmont versus mountain). Data collected
in the 1930s as part of the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic
States project were compared with data collected in 1990 from similar speakers
in the same communities.
The results show that region was the most important
factor in differentiating dialects in the 1930s but that it is the least
important element in the 1990s, with age, education, race, and age all
showing about the same influence on the use of vocabulary. An appendix
contains a tally of the responses given by 78 speakers to 150 questions
about vocabulary items, along with speakers' commentary. Results
from the 1930s may be compared to those from 1990, making this a treasure
trove for anyone interested in regional terms or in how our speech is changing
as the South moves from an agricultural economy through industrialization
and into the information age.