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Issues in American Sign Language

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Jessica Frank

on 2 February 2015

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Transcript of Issues in American Sign Language

The Deaf President Now (DPN) movement in 1988
The publication of Unlocking the Curriculum by Bob Johnson, Scott Liddell, and Carol Erting in 1989
Deaf Way conference in 1989

These were all mentioned in the introduction of the book, which was published in 2001. Now, as we enter 2014, can you name other significant sociolinguistic movements in the Deaf community other than the three mentioned?
Levels of
Sociolinguistic Analysis
Micro-level: The use of language in daily interactions
Discourse analysis
Language events

Macro-level: The distribution and roles of sign languages in the world, on political, economic, social and ideological conditions of their existence
Systematic analysis
Language policy, planning
Sign Languages in the Deaf Community
Deaf Sign Languages: The preferred/native language of Deaf communities
American Sign Language
British Sign Language
Auslan, etc
Auxillary Sign Languages: Sign languages that are not native languages, but sign languages developed with varying complexity
Baby signs
Pidgin Signed English
Mudras, etc
Manually Coded Languages:
Cued speech
Manually Coded English
Signed Exact English, etc
What is Sociolinguistics?

The descriptive study of the effect of society on language
Cultural norms
Cultural expectations
Cultural context
Consideration of the impact of the following factors upon the use of language
Disability/Sensory experience
Issues in American Sign Language
An Introducion to Sociolinguistics

Levels of Sociolinguistic Analysis
The Sociolinguistic
Subordination of Sign Language
The relationship between the spoken language of the majority community and the sign language, particularly in educational settings
Limited knowledge of the linguistic structure of the sign language
Doubts as to the actual status of the sign language as a "real language"
Application of spoken language sociolinguistic models to sign language situations (P. 4)

Choose a major sociolinguistic event for a marginalized community. Analyze this event according to the four levels of sociolinguistic analysis. Consider the questions you need to ask before seeking the answers to these questions.
Fundamental Level: Assumptions regarding sign languages' relationship with national boundaries and it's correlation with spoken languages and/or sign languages
Superiority of spoken languages

Descriptive Level: Complex issues related to documenting sign languages due to historical and comparative factors
Sign language dictionaries
Regional variations
"Speakers have more than one way to say more or less the same thing."
- Ralph Fasold

What are the similarities and differences between spoken and signed languages?
Significant Sociolinguistic Events
in the Deaf Community
Language and culture are directly linked.
Language choice reflects upon cultural affliction.
Language fluency reflects upon cultural loyalty.

What are the ways language and culture co-exist with one other?
Language Use and Cultural Identity
The Evolution of Sign Language Sociolinguistics
1957: Dictionary of American Sign Language by William Stokoe
1965: Recognition of how language and culture formed a special community in Stokoe's publication
1982: Lee's re-examination of the term, "disglossia"
1983: Cokely's re-examination of the term, "pidgin"
1989: Unlocking the Curriculum by Johnson, Liddell & Erting
1992: Sign language resulted from bilingualism (contact between ASL and English) by Lucas and Valli
1995: Sign language variations (Lucas)
Group Activity
Full transcript