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Volume Ten: Issue Three

Spring 2010

ARTICLES
The Estonian Deaf Community
Kadri Hein

Abstract

On the System of Person-Denoting Signs in the Estonian Sign Language: Estonian Name Signs
Liina Paales

Abstract

Biopower, Biosociality, and Community Formation: How Biopower is Constitutive of the Deaf Community
Michele Friedner

Abstract

American Sign Language Curricula: A Review
Russell S. Rosen

Abstract

BOOK REVIEW
Survival Artist, A Memoir of the Holocaust by Eugene Bergman
John S. Schuchman
In Memoriam

Brief Notice

ABSTRACTS
The Estonian Deaf Community

Interest in research on Estonian Sign Language, or eesti viipekeel (EVK), has been increasing. Studies have been conducted on different aspects of EVK, such as ways of expressing time (Trükmann 2006) and color terms (Hollman and Sutrop 2007, Hollman 2008). Moreover, EVK has lately received more attention in legislation. The language obtained an official status in 2007, which the Deaf community greatly appreciated. Therefore, an overview of the Estonian Deaf community and EVK should be given in order to identify the areas that have been studied and those that have not received much attention. The main aspects of the Deaf community covered in this article are as follows: history, members, and Deaf associations. The distinguishing features of the language used by the Deaf community are also described, and Deaf children’s educational options in Estonia are explained.

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On the System of Person-Denoting Signs in the Estonian Sign Language

This article discusses Estonian personal name signs. According to study there are four personal name sign categories in Estonian Sign Language: (1) arbitrary name signs; (2) descriptive name signs; (3) initialized-descriptive name signs; (4) loan/borrowed name signs. Mostly there are represented descriptive and borrowed personal name signs among the Estonian Deaf people.

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Biopower, Biosociality, and Community Formation: How Biopower is Constitutive of the Deaf Community

Key thinkers within Deaf Studies (e.g., Lane 1992 and Ladd 2003) have utilized the work of Michel Foucault on biopower in order to critically examine the ways in which the Hearing community oppresses the Deaf community through medical, audiological, social service, and educational institutions. In this article I argue that biopower is not just oppressive but that it is actually productive as well and creates the conditions of possibility for the formation of the Deaf community. I use recent anthropological works on biopower and community formation in order to make this argument and I situate the emergence of the Deaf community within the current neo-liberal political, economic, and social moment.

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American Sign Language Curricula: A Review

There is an exponential growth in the number of schools that offer American Sign Language (ASL) for foreign language credit and the different ASL curricula that were published. This study analyzes different curricula in its assumptions regarding language, learning, and teaching of second languages. It is found that curricula vary in their assumptions, and can be classified along the three main theoretical frameworks: behaviorism, linguisticism, and communication. Strengths and weaknesses of each theoretical framework are identified in second language acquisition research. Current second language theories of language, learning, and teaching are described, and suggestions are offered for future curriculum in ASL.

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