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International Variation in Deaf Communities
The recent explosion of sociocultural, linguistic, and historical research on signed languages throughout the world has culminated in Many Ways to Be Deaf, an unmatched collection of in-depth articles about linguistic diversity in Deaf communities on five continents. Twenty-four international scholars have contributed their findings from studying Deaf communities in Japan, Thailand, Viet Nam, Taiwan, Russia, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, Ireland, Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, Nicaragua, and the United States. Sixteen chapters consider the various antecedents of each country’s native signed language, taking into account the historical background of their development and also the effects of foreign influences and changes in philosophies by the larger, dominant hearing societies. The remarkable range of topics covered in Many Ways to Be Deaf will fascinate readers, from the evolution of British fingerspelling traced back to the 17th century; the comparison of Swiss German Sign Language with Rhaeto-Romansch, another Swiss minority language; the analysis of seven signed languages described in Thailand and how they differ in relation to their distance from isolated Deaf communities to Bangkok and other urban centers; to the vaulting development of a nascent sign language in Nicaragua, and much more. The diversity of background and training among the contributors to Many Ways to Be Deaf distinguishes it as a genuine and unique multicultural examination of the myriad manifestations of being Deaf in a diverse world.
Mixed-Messages, Tales of Missing and Mobile Communities at the University of Khartoum
This detailed, meticulous ethnographic study on mobile phone use among Nuba students at the University of Khartoum in Sudan, distinguishes itself from other studies by taking a focused look at the linguistic content of mobile phone interactions via text-messaging, portraying it as a site for the expression of personalized and affective language. While men and women appear to be equally aggressive consumers and producers of text-message poetry, women are formally discouraged in using the phone for relations that go beyond the publicly acceptable norms of ëkeeping in touchí and making arrangements. Nonetheless, women use it for such purposes and many manage it discreetly, showing how this technology can serve to subvert discursive norms on gender and marriage. The mobile phone in Sudan enhances individual autonomy over interactions, making possible the extension and creation of social spaces. It simultaneously enlarges private space and trespasses into public space. Poetic themes and language, previously limited to elite producers ñ those both more literate and who had control over mass media domains, radio and newspapers ñ are exposed to anonymous recipients, who draw from, copy or forward them in continuous circulation, thereby staking a claim in the public sphere. Similarly, the mobile phone serves as a site for the exercise of several layers of identity in negotiation, and reflects or creates alternative identities and the contestation of existing discourses, communities in physical space and notions of belonging.
Only recently have linguists ceased to regard metaphors as mere frills on the periphery of language and begun to recognize them as cornerstones of discourse. Phyllis Wilcox takes this innovation one step further in her fascinating study of metaphors in American Sign Language (ASL). Such an inquiry has long been obscured by, as Wilcox calls it, “the shroud of iconicity.” ASL’s iconic nature once discouraged people from recognizing it as a language; more recently it has served to confuse linguists examining its metaphors. Wilcox, however, presents methods for distinguishing between icon and metaphor, allowing the former to clarify, not cloud, the latter. “If the iconic influence that surrounds metaphor is set aside, the results will be greater understanding, and interpretations that are less opaque.” Wilcox concludes her study with a close analysis of the ASL poem, “The Dogs,” by Ella Mae Lentz. In presenting Deaf Americans’, Deaf Germans’, and Deaf Italians’ reactions to the poem, Wilcox manages not only to demonstrate the influence of culture upon metaphors, but also to illuminate the sources of sociopolitical division within the American Deaf community. Metaphor in American Sign Language proves an engrossing read for those interested in linguistics and Deaf culture alike.
Spanish as a Heritage Language in the United States, Research and Practice
An increasing number of U.S. Latinos are seeking to become more proficient in Spanish. The Spanish they may have been exposed to in childhood may not be sufficient when they find themselves as adults in more demanding environments, academic or professional. Heritage language learners appear in a wide spectrum of proficiency, from those who have a low level of speaking abilities, to those who may have a higher degree of bilingualism, but not fluent. Whatever the individual case may be, these heritage speakers of Spanish have different linguistic and pedagogical needs than those students learning Spanish as a second or foreign language.
The members of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) have identified teaching heritage learners as their second greatest area of concern (after proficiency testing). Editors Ana Roca and Cecilia Colombi saw a great need for greater availability and dissemination of scholarly research in applied linguistics and pedagogy that address the development and maintenance of Spanish as a heritage language and the teaching of Spanish to U.S. Hispanic bilingual students in grades K-16. The result is Mi lengua: Spanish as a Heritage Language in the United States.
Mi lengua delves into the research, theory, and practice of teaching Spanish as a heritage language in the United States. The editors and contributors examine theoretical considerations in the field of Heritage Language Development (HLD) as well as community and classroom-based research studies at the elementary, secondary, and university levels. Some chapters are written in Spanish and each chapter presents a practical section on pedagogical implications that provides practice-related suggestions for the teaching of Spanish as a heritage language to students from elementary grades to secondary and college and university levels.
Methods, Theory, and Practice
How do people learn nonnative languages? Is there one part or function of our brains solely dedicated to language processing, or do we apply our general information-processing abilities when learning a new language? In this book, an interdisciplinary collaboration of scholars and researchers presents an overview of the latter approach to adult second language acquisition and brings together, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of the latest research on this subject. Clearly organized into four distinct but integrated parts, Mind and Context in Adult Second Language Acquisition first provides an introduction to information-processing approaches and the tools for students to understand the data. The next sections explain factors that affect language learning, both internal (attention and awareness, individual differences, and the neural bases of language acquisition) and external (input, interaction, and pedagogical interventions). It concludes by looking at two pedagogical applications: processing instruction and content based instruction. This important and timely volume is a must-read for students of language learning, second language acquisition, and linguists who want to better understand the information-processing approaches to learning a non-primary language. This book will also be of immense interest to language scholars, program directors, teachers, and administrators in both second language acquisition and cognitive psychology.
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?”
From the Great Plains to Australia
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.”
Fruit du colloque international Multilinguisme et traitement automatique des langues, tenu à Ottawa le 11 mai 2009, les articles recueillis dans cet ouvrage présentent les dernières avancées scientifiques en matière de traitement automatique des langues, et ce, tant sur le plan théorique que de l’application. Une description des méthodes d’évaluation des résumés automatiques, de détection des entités atypiques dans les ontologies ou encore d’autoconstruction assistée d’un lexique sémantique y est notamment proposée. Des exemples d’environnements informatiques intégrant des outils de traitement automatique de la langue sont également présentés, tout comme une application d’autocorrection en cours d’élaboration destinée aux francophones rédigeant en anglais.