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Deaf around the WorldThe Impact of Language$
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Gaurav Mathur and Donna Jo Napoli

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199732548

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732548.001.0001

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Village Sign Languages

Village Sign Languages

A Commentary

Chapter:
(p.221) Chapter 6 Response Village Sign Languages
Source:
Deaf around the World
Author(s):

Ulrike Zeshan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732548.003.0012

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

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