Language contact in the American deaf community

Autor/a: CEIL, Lucas; CLAYTON, Valli
Año: 1992
Editorial: San Diego, CA: Academic, 1992
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


One of the major sociolinguistic issues in the deaf community concerns the outcome of language contact. Specifically, there exists a kind of signing that results from the contact between American Sign Language (ASL) and English and exhibits features of both languages. It has been claimed (Woodward, 1973b; Woodward and Markowicz, 1975) that this kind of signing is a pidgin and that it is the result of deaf-hearing interaction. This chapter re-examines this claim, based on a preliminary structural description of contact signing resulting from naturalistic interaction. The objectives of the study are: to describe the data-collection methodology used to induce switching between ASL and this contact signing, to describe the sociolinguistic factors that sometimes correlate with the production of signing other than ASL, and to describe some aspects of the morphological, syntactic, and lexical structure of contact signing. The preliminary evidence suggests that the outcome of language contact in the American deaf community is unique and quite different from anything that has been described to date in spoken language communities. The overall goal then is re-examination as a way of getting at an accurate characterization of this unique and complex phenomenon.