In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

REVIEWS123 language that is more accepting, even enthusiastic. Sign language interpreters are publicly visible. The reader expects B to conclude that the debate has collapsed under the weight of belief that the oralist perspective of sign language is not only incorrect but immoral. But he doesn't. Instead he lays out a new uncertain scenario, a more subtle version ofthe issues that held deafeducation in its grip for somany years. There is now a national impulseto integrate the disabled into the mainstream ofAmerican life. As a result there has been a large exodus of deaf children out ofregional schools and into public schools with hearing children. While the goal ofde-institutionalization is laudable, nearlytwocenturies afterAmericabuiltits firstinstitutions, therealityis only nowbecomingvisible. Deaf children may be returning to the very small, irregular collectives they formed before the first schools were built for them. In many ofthese integrated public schools, deaf children are educated alongside only a few of their deaf peers. Regional schools that once taught as many as 500 deaf children have shrunk in size, some drastically. Redistributing deaf education away from a small number of regional schools to far more numerous public schools has changed the scope of deaf education, and possibly, the cohesiveness of the deaf community. B worries that deafpeople today, as in past years, cannot have a real impact on these issues. The dual nature of deafness, its physical reality and the complicated ways in which deafness is intertwined with a culture and a society, make it an especially difficult construct for hearing people. Very simply, he says, hearing people do not understand, and possibly will never understand, the phenomenon ofdeafness and deaf society: 'The metaphors employed by hearing people to come to some understanding ofdeafness are indispensable; however, they also mislead' (160). Instead, with all good intentions, they organize education, establish social service, and continue to govern lives of deaf people. The book ends where another might begin: How do deaf people live in such shadows? B offers a final observation: 'Regardless of efforts to do so—regardless of how hearing people try to imagine, reimagine, and reconstruct deafness—ASL and the deaf community, it would seem, will not be undone' (163). Sign languages exist not because there are manualists, or because there are no oralists, but because they must. Communities of deaf people all over the world rely on them. Maybe for this reason, and this one alone, these languages will endure. This is an honestly written book about not just sign language but about the long and complex history of how we think about humans and their capacity for language. Department of Communication University of California, San Diego La Jolla, CA 92093-0503 [] Growing up bilingual: Puerto Rican children in New York. By Ana Celia Zentella. Oxford & Maiden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1997. Pp. 323. Reviewed by Yolanda Rivera-Castillo, University ofAlabama-Tuscaloosa Ana Celia Zentella's book achieves its goal of describing the social and linguistic realities of New York Puerto Ricans (NYPR). A commitment of 'anthropolitical' linguistics 'to understand and facilitate the stigmatized group's attempts to construct a positive self within an economic and political context that relegates its members to static and disparaged ethnic, racial and class identities, and that identifies with static and disparaged linguistic codes' (13) permeates its content. Multidiaiectalism and code-switching reveal the makings of community life in el bloque, a NYPR community. The identity of the members of el bloque is reflected not in the exclusive use of Spanish or English but in the use of both languages in their conversational strategies. With an anti-Whorfian perspective, Z proposes a model in which a multilectal community uses code-switching as an identity tag. Z's work presents language attrition and shift towards English monolingualism as the result of language planning in educational settings and forced changes 124LANGUAGE, VOLUME 75, NUMBER 1 (1999) in composition of the community, following current sociolinguistic research (Grosjean 1982: 179). Growing up bilingual consists of case studies and data analyses divided into twelve chapters: Ch. 1, 'Hablamos los dos. We speak both: Studying bilingualism in the community context' (1-16); Ch. 2, 'The community: el bloque' (17-40); Ch. 3...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 123-126
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.