Accent or not? Language attitudes towards regional variation in British Sign Language

Autor/a: ROWLEY, Katherine Rowley; CORMIER, Kearsy
Año: 2021
Editorial: Applied Linguistics Review
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


British Sign Language (BSL) has been shown to have a high degree of regional variation especially at the lexical level. This study explores awareness and attitudes of the British deaf community towards this regional variation. We studied interview data from the BSL Corpus ( from 121 deaf, BSL signers from six regions across the UK including Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, London and Manchester, focusing on responses to five questions in relation to regional variation in BSL. Responses were analysed using thematic analysis, following (Braun, V. & V. Clark. 2006. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3(2). 77–101. Findings reveal that BSL signers exhibited overall high levels of meta-linguistic awareness, as many of their attitudes and beliefs were in line with what has been reported in relation to linguistic behaviour with BSL such as mouthing, fingerspelling and accommodation. In addition, BSL signers seem to place enormous value on regional variation in BSL, believing that such variation contributes to the richness of BSL as a language and puts it on equal footing with the surrounding majority language, i.e. English. We explore the implications of these attitudes towards a broader understanding of language ideologies, including the concept of accent.