The eye and the other: Language and ethics in deaf Nepal

Autor/a: GREEN, E. Mara
Año: 2022
Editorial: American Anthropologist, 124(1) pp. 21-38
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


This article examines interactions between deaf and hearing people in Nepal that are conducted in natural sign, a mode of signed communication involving relatively small repertoires of conventional signs complemented by iconic and indexical strategies. Natural sign is an exemplary case for unpacking the claim that ethics is not only intrinsic to linguistic interaction but also grounds its very possibility. While this is ultimately true for all language use, natural sign heightens this quality and its consequences, in terms of both interaction (whether people understand) and analysis (how scholars understand whether people understand). Bringing together Nepali Sign Language users’ insights with academic theories of interaction, pragmatics, and semiotics, this article demonstrates the high stakes for deaf natural signers of being rendered intelligible or unintelligible by the “ordinary” ethical actions of their interlocutors.