A Sociolinguistic History of British Sign Language in Northern Ireland

Autor/a: O'CONNELL, Noel Patrick
Año: 2022
Editorial: Sign Language Studies, 22(2)
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


The development of a considerable body of literature on British Sign Language (BSL) now permits of analysis and describing the sociolinguistic history of the language. An impressive amount of socio-linguistic information on BSL pertaining to Great Britain provide rich material for such analysis, but, until now, very little BSL research has focused on Northern Ireland. BSL is the first and preferred language of the deaf community in Northern Ireland, and has held that position since the 19 th century. Despite this, almost no attention has been given to the sociolinguistic history of BSL in the region. The aim in this article is to fill the gap in knowledge by detailing, as far as possible, the sociolinguistic history of BSL in Northern Ireland rooted in British colonialism. The study shows how the Protestant schools played an important role in the transmission of BSL in the island of Ireland. This research is therefore an attempt to place the study of BSL in Northern Ireland within the canon of literature on sign language.