Variation and recent change in fingerspelling in British Sign Language

Autor/a: SUTTON-SPENCE, Rachel; WOLL, Bencie; ALLSOP, Lorna
Año: 1990
Editorial: Language Variation and Change, Vol. 2, nº 3 (1990) pp. 313 - 330
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Lingüística » Lingüística de otras Lenguas de Signos


British Sign Language is a language exhibiting extensive regional variation and undergoing rapid change, in a period of changing attitudes to the language and the community of signers. Fingerspelling (a representation of written English) is an aspect of BSL that reflects these variations strongly. Analysis of interviews with Deaf signers appearing on BBC television shows that use of fingerspelling may vary according to various demographic factors and the signers' use of voice. There has also been a decrease in the overall use of fingerspelling in BSL over the last 10 years. Strong evidence is presented to support the claim that fingerspelling in BSL is of two distinct linguistic types. Some fingerspelling involves code-mixing with English, whereas some has become incorporated into the language itself. Further evidence for such a “discontinuity” between the code-mixing and borrowing is presented and discussed.