This pilot study examines whether the increased virtual "mobility" of ASL users via videophone and video-relay services is contributing to the standardization of ASL. In addition, language attitudes are identified and suggested to be influencing the perception of correct versus incorrect standard forms. ASL users around the country have their own regional variant forms of some signs. In the past decade, the spread of video-relay technology and video-relay services (VRS), has allowed Deaf callers to be more connected with other Deaf callers and interpreters across the country. This new technology allows signers the opportunity to be more exposed to regional sign variation. Awareness of regional variation and the skill level of video-relay interpreters are possible factors that may encourage Deaf consumers to limit usage of local or regional variants, replacing them with more standard forms. This study illustrates ways in which the interaction between video-relay interpreters and Deaf consumers across the country may be impacting the structure and use of ASL.


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pp. 371-397
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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