The non-(existent) native signer: sign language research in a small deaf population

Autor/a: COSTELLO, Brendan; FERNÁNDEZ, Javier; LANDA, Alazne
Año: 2008
Editorial: Petrópolis: Arara Azul, 2008
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística, Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


This paper examines the concept of a native language user and looks at the different definitions of native signer within the field of sign language research. A description of the deaf signing population in the Basque Country shows that the figure of 5-10% typically cited for deaf individuals born into deaf families does not hold true, and consequently there are very few signers who could be considered native users of the language. As a result, a research methodology has been developed which involves registering sociolinguistic metadata for each informant in order to gauge the extent to which an individual is or is not a native signer. An analysis of the expression of role shift reveals correlations between nativeness and specific aspects of language use, and suggests that the examination of non-native language production may provide important insights into grammaticalization processes and language structure in general.

En: Quadros, Ronice (ed.), "Sign languages: Spinning and unravelling the past, present and future". TISLR 9: Papers from the 9th Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research Conference, Florianopolis, Brazil, December 2006 (pp. 77-94).