Abstract

Regional dialects in many sign languages have traditionally been linked to schools for deaf students. Focusing on three such schools in Saxony (southeast Germany), our study for the first time examines whether this link is also evident in German Sign Language (Deutsche Gebärdensprache, DGS). We compare and contrast sign language data from deaf adults and children who used to attend or are still being educated in these schools, respectively. Our study shows that the effect size between choice of variant and school attended is notably weaker in the child language data than in the adult data. Considering social and policy changes in the educational landscape, our research raises the question of whether schools for deaf students still function as cradles of German Sign Language dialects.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6263
Print ISSN
0302-1475
Pages
pp. 175-202
Launched on MUSE
2014-02-27
Open Access
No
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