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SIGN LANGUAGES IN VILLAGE COMMUNITIES

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Julie Tait

on 23 June 2016

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Transcript of SIGN LANGUAGES IN VILLAGE COMMUNITIES

SIGN LANGUAGES IN VILLAGE COMMUNITIES
Chican
Sign Language
Geography:
Village of

Chican , Yucatec, Mexico
Size of Signing Community:
1
7 deaf signers 332 hearing signers (varying proficiency)
Cause of Deafness:

Unknown
Time Depth:

3 generations of deaf signers
Contexts of Language Use:

All aspects of village life
Risk Factors:

Language contact with LSM
Alipur, Sign Language
Geography:
Village of
Alipur, India
Size of Signing Community:

150 deaf signers
Cause of Deafness:

Hereditary
Time Depth:
At least 6 generations
Contexts of Language Use:

Social, professional and educational settings (local deaf education since 2008)
Risk Factors:

Introduction of ASL
Ban Khor
Sign Language
Geography:
Village of Ban Khor, Thailand
Size of Signing Community:
24 deaf signers and approx 400 hearing signers
Cause of Deafness:
Hereditary
Time Depth:
1st cohort of 2 deaf signers in the 1930s
Contexts of Language Use:
All aspects of village life
Risk Factors:
Language contact with TSL
Adamorobe Sign Language
Al Sayyid Bedouin
Sign Language
Algerian Jewish
Sign Language
Bengkala & Bila,
Bali, Indonesia
Konchri Sain
Inuit
Sign Language
Mardin
Sign Language
Yolgnu
Sign Language
Geography:
Village of

Adamorobe, Ghana

Size of Signing Community:

35-45 deaf signers
Cause of Deafness:

Hereditary
Time Depth:

200 years
Contexts of Language Use:

All aspects of village life
Risk Factors:

Language contact with GSL
Geography:
Village of

Al-Sayyid, Negev, Israel
Size of Signing Community:

130 deaf signers and
approx 700 hearing signers
Cause of Deafness:

Hereditary
Time Depth:

90 years
Contexts of Language Use:

All aspects of village life
Risk Factors:

Language contact with ISL; changing marital patterns
Origins:
Ghardaia, Algeria
Geography:
Currently spread across areas of Israel and France
Size of Signing Community:
Unknown
Cause of Deafness:
Hereditary
Time Depth:
Unknown
Contexts of Language Use:
In the home and at family gatherings
Risk Factors:
Language contact with ISL; low prestige; changing marital patterns
Geography:
Villages of Bengkala & Bila, Bali, Indonesia
Size of Signing Community:
46
deaf signers, more than 1,200 hearing signers (varying proficiency)
Cause of Deafness:
Hereditary
Time Depth:
5
generations of deaf native signers
Contexts of Language Use:
Social, professional, liturgical and educational settings (local deaf education established in 2007)
Risk Factors:

Language contact with IndoSL; low prestige; changing marital patterns
Geography:
Hill Top, Jamaica


Size of Signing Community:
Only a few elderly,
deaf monolingual signers
Cause of Deafness:

Unknown
Time Depth:
Unknown
Contexts of Language Use:

At home and in church
Risk Factors:

Language is moribund due to long term contact with JSL
Geography:
Used across vast geographical distances
in Canada
Size of Signing Community:
4
7 deaf signers use IUR
as a primary mode of communication
Cause of Deafness:

Unknown
Time Depth:
Unknown
Contexts of Language Use:

At home
Risk Factors:

Language contact with ASL
Geography: Istanbul
and Izmir, Turkey

Size of Signing Community:
40
deaf and hearing signers
in an extended family
Cause of Deafness:
Hereditary
Time Depth:
4
generations of deafness
Contexts of Language Use:

At home and at family gatherings
Risk Factors:
Geographical dispersion;
Language contact with TID
Geography:
Galiwin'ku, Arnhemland, Australia
Size of Signing Community:
5
deaf signers and 70 hearing individuals in Galiwin'ku
Cause of Deafness:

Non-hereditary
Time Depth:
Unknown
Contexts of Language Use:

Alternate sign language of hearing community members; primary communication for deaf Yolgnu
Risk Factors:

Language contact with Auslan
"SIGN LANGUAGES IN VILLAGE COMMUNITIES - Anthropological & Linguistic Insights" edited by Ulrike Zeshan and Connie de Vos looks in particular at 11 village sign languages that have been researched over the last few decades from demographic, anthropological and linguistic perspectives.
In contrast to the national sign languages used in urban deaf communities, these indigenous sign languages are typically shared between deaf and hearing community members, thus facilitating a high degree of integration between deaf and hearing individuals.
There are many terms used when discussing sign language in village communities:
deaf village
shared signing community
assimilative Deaf community
speech/sign community
rural sign language
indigenous sign language
These rural sign languages are all moderately or critically endangered or at significant risk of becoming endangered to varying degrees.
Significant Risk Factors include:
Language contact with urban sign languages
Changing marital patterns
Low prestige
Geographical dispersion

Conclusions:
As these languages are critically endangered, there is an urgent need to document both their unique sociocultural settings and their linguistic structures.
Current conceptual understanding and terminology in sign language linguistics maybe insufficient for this research.
The various sociolinguistic settings in which these signing varieties arise call for flexible & alternative language documentation methods.
The role of researchers in these communities must also be considered.

Most of the communities researched have labour intensive economies, where deaf and hearing community members hold similar occupations. However differential education opportunities allow hearing villagers to hold professional jobs outside the community.
Kata Kolok
These hand signs (Marumpu wagka) are shown by the Kukatja-speaking women elders in the remote Aboriginal community of Balgo, Western Australia. These signs are used to communicate for a variety of cultural and social purposes.
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