Abstract

Abstract:

In Nebaj, Guatemala, deaf residents are born into a community with no established sign language and little contact with the national sign language of Guatemala, Guatemalan Sign Language (GSM). In spite of this, deaf individuals interact with hearing and deaf relatives, friends, and neighbors using their hands. They incorporate both recognizable gestural emblems, used throughout the hearing community, and iconic and deictic signs to engage with others in their communicative ecology. In this article, I explore how Lucia, a deaf woman from Nebaj, mobilizes a genre of interaction, which I refer to as price-checking, to facilitate her conversation with a hearing interlocutor. Both deaf and hearing residents of Nebaj share social and embodied experiences, even in the absence of shared linguistic codes. I argue that familiar, recognizable scripts or genres offer a pathway to mutual comprehension as intelligible interlocutors.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-6263
Print ISSN
0302-1475
Pages
pp. 644-663
Launched on MUSE
2020-09-01
Open Access
No
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