Chapter

Village Sign Languages

Ulrike Zeshan

in Deaf around the World

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199732548
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866359 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732548.003.0012
Village Sign Languages

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The study of village sign languages is at the forefront of new approaches to developing a typology of languages. Indeed, recent research has shown that the study of village sign disconfirms some of our previously held assumptions about the linguistic structure of sign languages based on the study of the better-known sign languages of Europe and North America (such as that they all use classifiers — Adamorobe Sign Language does not). Further, village sign languages present distinct sociolinguistic contexts that are instructive to study with respect to understanding language contact issues. Finally, the endangered status of these languages raises philosophical questions about the nature of human language.

Keywords: sign language linguistics; village sign languages; Adamorobe Sign Language; sign languages; Ghana; sociolinguistics; language contact; endangered languages

Chapter.  4380 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Language Teaching and Learning

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