Why Protect Heritage Sign Languages?*

Autor/a: TURNER, Graham
Año: 2010
Editorial: Routledge, 2010
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital




In this chapter, the author sets out one very basic viewpoint: ‘that the potential endangerment of sign languages, however it may occur, is an issue whose broader significance all applied linguists may wish to ponder’. The chapter deals with wider issues concerning how ‘changes in language are plainly linked to changes in society’, and, more specifically, how ‘when a speech community loses its language, it ceases to be a community, and the associated lifestyles and cultural reality also disappear’. The social and hence linguistic contexts of signing Deaf communities differ markedly around the world. Nevertheless, it is hard, if not impossible, to imagine a country anywhere that cannot expect its signing Deaf community to be overshadowed by one or more forms of linguistic threat. As the Deaf writers Carol Padden and Tom Humphries have pointed out, the cultures and languages of Deaf people, just like those of hearing people, have evolved over generations to fit the group’s biological characteristics.

En: Language in use: a reader.