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Language Attitudes

  • By: Ian C. Clift
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Important in the study of any language is the way in which it is interpreted by other groups and how dialects and variations are interpreted within a group. What are the feelings of individuals when they see someone speaking with hand gestures, and how does this influence their interaction with the individual? How do individuals respond to different forms of signed languages? How can we gain meaningful data while mitigating bias in informants? These are some of the major questions asked by those who study language attitudes within the Deaf community. This article describes the concept and measurement of language attitudes as well as its importance in Deaf Studies.

American Sign Language (ASL), a grammatically complete language that is distinct from English, evolved from Old French ...

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