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American Annals of the Deaf

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Language Attitudes in the American Deaf Community

Joseph Christopher Hill

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The 18th Volume in the Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities Series

In a diverse signing community, it is not unusual to encounter a wide variety of expression in the types of signs used by different people. Perceptions of signing proficiency often vary within the community, however. Conventional wisdom intimates that those who learned at an early age at home or in school know true standard American Sign Language, while those who learned ASL later in life or use contact or coded signs are considered to be less skillful. Joseph Christopher Hillís new study Language Attitudes in the American Deaf Community explores the linguistic and social factors that govern such stereotypical perceptions of social groups about signing differences.

Hillís analysis focuses on affective, cognitive, and behavioral types of evaluative responses toward particular language varieties, such as ASL, contact signing, and Signed English. His work takes into account the perceptions of these signing types among the social groups of the American Deaf community that vary based on generation, age of acquisition, and race. He also gauges the effects of social information on these perceptions and the evaluations and descriptions of signing that results from their different concepts of a signing standard. Language Attitudes concludes that standard ASLís value will continue to rise and the Deaf/Hearing cultural dichotomy will remain relevant without the occurrence of a dramatic cultural shift.

Joseph Christopher Hill is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the ASL Teacher Licensure Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC.

Print Edition

ISBN 978-1-56368-545-3, ISSN 1080-5494, 6 x 9 casebound, 208 pages, photographs, references, index

$80.00s

E-Book

ISBN 978-1-56368-546-0

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