Uva Dare Digital Academic Repository Signed Languages-Books Pdf

UvA DARE Digital Academic Repository Signed languages
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Language in Society 40 483 505, doi 10 1017 S0047404511000480. Signed languages and globalization, ANJA HIDDINGA, University of Amsterdam Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185 1012 DK Amsterdam, The Netherlands. H J Hiddinga uva nl, ONNO CRASBORN, Radboud University Nijmegen Centre for Language Studies. P O Box 9103 6500 HD Nijmegen, The Netherlands, o crasborn let ru nl.
Deaf people who form part of a Deaf community communicate using a shared. sign language When meeting people from another language community. they can fall back on a exible and highly context dependent form of com. munication called INTERNATIONAL SIGN in which shared elements from their. own sign languages and elements of shared spoken languages are combined. with pantomimic elements Together with the fact that there are few shared. sign languages this leads to a very different global language situation for. deaf people as compared to the situation for spoken languages and hearing. people as analyzed in de Swaan 2001 We argue that this very exibility. in communication and the resulting global communication patterns form. the core of deaf culture and a key component of the characterization of. deaf people as visual people Globalization sign language international. sign Deaf culture language contact multilingualism. INTRODUCTION, Imagine the following a seventeen year old sits behind a computer in his. bedroom in Amsterdam big grin on his face signing to the screen As is turns. out he and some four friends from Denmark Spain the Czech Republic and. Germany are chatting together via Oovoo a video conferencing program. They can all see each other at the same time The kids met at an international. Deaf camp in Finland and now back in their own countries chatter away in inter. national sign not having a shared sign language to use They communicate. Cambridge University Press 2011 0047 4045 11 15 00 483. ANJA HIDDINGA AND ONNO CRASBORN, sometimes trying out signs and mouthing words making certain meaning gets. across They are all young and happy and proud to be Deaf. This is the reality of Deaf culture with a capital D a notion that evolved in the last. forty years and to which deaf people from various countries have contributed their. ideas 1 A core part of Deaf culture is the use of a sign language Signed languages. have been the object of research for some fty years 2 Work of linguists such as. Bernard Tervoort and William Stokoe in the 1950s and 60s has been paradigmatic. in treating signed languages as real languages instead of primitive ways to exchange. simple messages in predictable circumstances and structured settings as was the. current way of thinking Tervoort 1953 Stokoe 1960 Since then institutionaliza. tion of this research has yielded special departments chairs and research programs. in universities all over the world and international journals that are rated in aca. demic citation indexes e g Sign Language Linguistics Sign Language. Studies Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education The eld has grown up. one could say and in this process much attention has been given to the similarities. between signed and spoken languages In all of this most research has been devoted. to the linguistic characteristics the speci cs of lexicon and grammar and their. relation to the auditory versus visual modalities of speech and sign respectively. Aside from the general use of a signed language within the local or national com. munity Deaf culture can also be characterized by the possibility of another mode of. communication that is used when meeting deaf people who use another sign. language The latter is often referred to as INTERNATIONAL SIGN It is not an estab. lished contact language but a mode of communication that arises on the spot. which combines elements of the sign languages of the people involved elements. of shared spoken languages and the intensi ed use of iconic or pantomimic struc. tures that are already inherent to various extents in any sign language Allsop 1993. Webb Supalla 1994 Allsop Woll Brauti 1995 Supalla Webb 1995. Monteillard 2001 Rosenstock 2004 Crasborn 2006 The aim of this article is. not to provide empirical evidence on the precise nature of international sign. even though it has been seriously understudied We realize that some of our argu. ments are tentative and we hope that this article will stimulate further research in. this area Our own focus is on the existence of signed and spoken languages to. gether with the possibility of transnational communication in the visual mode. and the relation between them, This broader perspective on sign languages in the world that we aim to sketch in. this article arises from a particular characterization of the global linguistic situation. among hearing people who together speak more than 6 000 different languages. Many of these spoken languages are faced with serious endangerment or even. extinction in the coming decades while others grow typically with the economic. impact of their communities Hale Krauss Watahomigie Yamamoto Craig. Jeanne England 1992 Nettle Romaine 2000 Skuttnab Kangas 2000. Tsunoda 2005 The model we examine in order to get a better grip on the situation. 484 Language in Society 40 4 2011, S I G N E D L A N G U A G E S A N D G LO B A L I Z AT I O N. of signed languages in the world is that of de Swaan 2001 who proposed a global. language system with different layers In sociolinguistics the attention for growing. communication between different speech communities has focused mainly on the. socio linguistic consequences of increased mobility and global demographic shifts. Trudgill 1986 Milroy 2002 However as Blommaert argues globalization forces. sociolinguistics to unthink its classical distinctions in which a focus on static vari. ation on local distribution of varieties on strati ed language contact and so on has. been dominant Blommaert 2010 1 De Swaan with a background in political. sociology indeed approaches the global linguistic situation from a different per. spective If we adopt such a perspective new questions arise how can transnational. communication between deaf people be characterized Can we simply add various. sign languages to de Swaan s global language model or do we need a separate. model for deaf communication, We begin by introducing the issue of language and globalization and discuss the.
language model of de Swaan in the next section We then discuss the situation of. deaf communication and sign languages in the world brie y characterizing the. nature of international sign on the basis of the few studies that have been published. and our discussions with international sign interpreters and Deaf people who have a. lot of international experience Next we propose a model that characterizes the com. munication between deaf people in the world on the basis of de Swaan s spoken. language model Finally we discuss some of the implications of the proposed. model and offer concluding remarks, THE STUDY OF LANGUAGE IN. TRANSNATIONAL COMMUNICATION, The priority of the role that language plays in the exchange of ideas across borders. may seem obvious but in discussions on globalization re ections on this subject. have been very limited This is the case even in linguistics the eld that seems. most appropriate for studying the role of language texts or speech communities. in this context In the host of studies and debates about globalization in the past. two decades work from almost every disciplinary angle and viewpoint has seen. the light but contributions from the side of linguists have been scarce Nikolas. Coupland referring to the scarce attention to this subject in his eld remarks. that sociolinguists have been late getting to the party Coupland 2003 465. and in the same issue of the Journal of Sociolinguistics Jan Blommaert urges his. colleagues to start developing a sociolinguistics of globalization Blommaert. 2003 623 In his recent book Blommaert has started this endeavour himself. trying to work out a new theoretical approach towards a sociolinguistics of. mobile resources framed in terms of trans contextual networks ows and move. ments Blommaert 2010 1 The challenge he feels we face is to contribute to. an understanding of society through an understanding of language 3. Language in Society 40 4 2011 485, ANJA HIDDINGA AND ONNO CRASBORN. The fact that processes of globalization are bound up with transformations of. language and identity in many different ways has been noted in the social sciences. where social theorizing about global changes in modern states began to take shape. some twenty years ago 4 The considerations of sociologists however have been. focused foremost on subjects bound up with economic changes and the emergence. of global markets while languages as such have barely gured in the sociological. discussions about globalization, The work of de Swaan is an exception In his study Words of the world he inves. tigates what he calls the global language system Taking a truly global perspec. tive he conceptualizes a dynamic system in which all of the languages of the world. can be ordered Drawing his theoretical inspiration both from political sociology. and political economy he sees the world s languages as interconnected with one. another through multilingual speakers The groups of interconnected languages. thus formed are in unequal competition with one another At the present day a hier. archical pattern can be distinguished in the groups of languages the result of a com. petition process of centuries intimately bound up with developments in the world s. sociopolitical constellation, With his study of the system of world languages and the ways that they are con.
nected de Swaan wants to understand the evolving transnational relations between. people from a different vantage point than most sociologists It is through languages. in which people communicate across traditional borders of language groups and. nations that the circulation of ideas cultural goods and practices becomes possible. in the rst place For scholars interested in globalization then the rise of transna. tional constellations of languages constitutes an important research area However. de Swaan concludes that the evolution of these constellations the rivalry and adap. tation between language groups and the way in which they operate in connecting. people in a transnational context has not been given much theoretical re ection. His study is innovative and his conceptualization of a world system of languages. based on a number of case studies provides a fresh perspective in a eld thus far. hardly entered by linguists His book was deemed important and deserv ing. careful attention by Morris 2004 in Language in Society and in general lin. guists have been receptive to his ideas 5, In de Swaan s global language system of today languages are hierarchically. ordered in four categories peripheral central supercentral and hypercentral see. The central category includes some one hundred widely used languages spoken. by about 95 of the people These are usually the of cial national languages which. typically have a written form and are taught in primary schools For example Dutch. is considered a central language connecting together people speaking Frisian. Flemish and Lower Saxon among others, There are only twelve different languages in the supercentral category interna. tionally connecting together people over much larger distances These languages. enable speakers of central languages to connect internationally and over long. 486 Language in Society 40 4 2011, S I G N E D L A N G U A G E S A N D G LO B A L I Z AT I O N. FIGURE 1 The global language system consisting of four categories. distances and are spoken by large numbers of people 6 In this group we nd for. example English French Hindi and Chinese, The hypercentral category includes only one language English It connects. together central languages but also supercentral languages Arabic and Malay. are supercentral languages used by speakers of many different languages But. when an Arabic speaker meets a Malay speaker their communication is likely to. be in English In terms of languages used de Swaan points out that the transform. ation of societies through the spectacular growth of international markets traf c. and media takes place in English, The last category consists of the peripheral languages to which all of the thou.
sands of other languages spoken on the globe belong They hardly if at all serve to. connect different speech groups and are usually not seen as a useful means of com. munication in multilingual encounters For this reason few people will want to. learn these languages as foreign languages, In addition to the conceptualization of this four layer hierarchical system de. Swaan developed a means of measuring any language s value in multilingual situ. ations the so called Q VALUE 7 He argues that people will be more inclined to learn. another language if they perceive a communicative advantage because for. example they will be able to speak with many more people than those in their. own community They gain access to a greater and richer pool of language. bound cultural products such as of cial documents and literature or theatrical per. formances and media culture Thus people speaking a peripheral language will be. inclined to learn a central language because it offers them more possibilities to get a. example they will be able to speak with many more people than those in their own community They gain access to a greater and richer pool of language bound cultural products such as of cial documents and literature or theatrical per formances and mediaculture Thus people speaking a peripheral languagewill be

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