Language Ideologies, Policies, and Attitudes toward Signed Languages

Joseph Hill

in The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199744084
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Language Ideologies, Policies, and Attitudes toward Signed Languages

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This chapter describes how ideologies about signed languages have come about, and what policies and attitudes have resulted. Language ideologies have governed the formal recognition of signed language at local, national, and international levels, such as that of the United Nations. The chapter discusses three major areas in the study of attitudes toward signed languages: Attitudes versus structural reality; the social factors and educational policies that have contributed to language attitudes; and the impact of language attitudes on identity and educational policy. Even in the United States, American Sign Language does not get recognition as a language in every region, and the attempt to suppress sign language is still operative. This is a worldwide issue for many countries with histories of opposition tosigned languages that parallel the history of the United States.

Keywords: language status; language attitudes; educational policy; United States; American Sign Language; English language

Article.  8256 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Sociolinguistics

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