Sign Language Planning in the Netherlands between 1980 and 2010

Autor/a: SCHERMER, Trude
Año: 2012
Editorial: Sign Language Studies, Vol. 12, nº 4 (2012) pp. 467-493
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística, Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


This article discusses several aspects of language planning with respect to Sign Language of the Netherlands, or Nederlandse Gebarentaal (NGT). For nearly thirty years members of the Deaf community, the Dutch Deaf Council (Dovenschap) have been working together with researchers, several organizations in deaf education, and the organization of parents of deaf children (FODOK) to improve Deaf people's accessibility to the hearing society and to change the status of their language. They have also joined forces to implement a sign-language policy that has influenced several areas, such as guidance programs for the parents of deaf children, deaf education, the development of the NGT lexicon, the development of national sign-language (teaching) materials, the introduction of NGT in higher education, interpreter facilities, the status of NGT as a language, and the rights of deaf people as a linguistic minority in the Netherlands. Language planning can be divided into three subtypes: status planning, corpus planning, and acquisition or educational planning. In this article, the author focuses first on the relationship between educational methods and the status of NGT. This is important to the understanding of the history and the process of language planning in the Netherlands with respect to NGT. After that the author discusses status planning in relation to the infrastructure, the milestones, and the current situation with respect to the recognition of NGT. Following that the author describes aspects of corpus planning: the developments with respect to the NGT lexicon, the standardization of part of the lexicon, and the modernization of the lexicon. Subsequently, the author explains the developments with respect to the teaching and learning of NGT and then concludes the article.