The status of Sign Languages in Europe: A Case of Linguistic Birthright or Service Provision?

L Allsop, L Atalianis-McEntee, JG Kyle

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

    Abstract

    This paper will report a further analysis of the Sign on Europe data collected by Kyle and Allsop (1997). Data from approximately 1200 informants has been examined. It consists of structured interviews (undertaken by Deaf interviewers in the national sign language), and postal questionnaires collected from organisations and institutions in contact with deaf people, and respondents with limited or no contact with Deaf people. Recent international studies of language use, identity and cultural inferiority/superiority of varieties and their users have investigated reported attitudes, marrying this analysis with sociological and anthropological models of human exchange (e.g. McEntee-Atalianis and Pouloukas 2001). This study aims to further exploit and inform this paradigm, combining an interpretation of findings with Bourdieu’s (1997) consideration of the linguistic marketplace. This paper describes the linguistic identity of Deaf people in Europe and the extent to which they are able to defend their language and rights. We contrast the attitudes and approach to other minority spoken languages and the resulting economic and social impact on the Deaf Community. Understanding our approach to the non-speech languages of Deaf people in Europe offers insight into the policies and practices regarding language and disability.
    Translated title of the contributionThe status of Sign Languages in Europe: A Case of Linguistic Birthright or Service Provision?
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSS15, International Congress of Sociolinguistics, Newcastle, April 2004
    Number of pages18
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Bibliographical note

    Conference Proceedings/Title of Journal: Proceedings of SS15
    Conference Organiser: Sociolinguistics Symposium

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