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Gallaudet University Press

4:3 Wednesday, March 13, 2002

The Stokoe Impact

His Groundbreaking Research
Continues to Be Recognized

One of the Press's forthcoming titles pays tribute to the late William C. Stokoe, known to many as the father of the linguistics of American Sign Language (ASL). The Study of Signed Languages: Essays in Honor of William C. Stokoe contains papers from scholars who explore the historical perspectives, language origins, and diverse populations considered in the study of signed languages worldwide. Edited by David F. Armstrong (Original Signs), Michael A. Karchmer (Context, Cognition, and Deafness), and John Vickrey Van Cleve (A Place of Their Own, Deaf History Unveiled), this volume demonstrates the enormous range of influence exercised by Stokoe and serves as fitting recognition of him and his work. Read the preface and order The Study of Signed Languages and receive a 20% discount off the regular price.

Also, Stokoe's Language in Hand: Why Sign Came Before Speech recently received resounding applause again. In its February 2002 issue, CHOICE states, Stokoe's arguments are powerful and compelling, and deserve the widespread attention and respect they will certainly receive. In Language in Hand, Stokoe argues that signed language preceded spoken language. He supports his proposed order of linguistic development by using the following four approaches: exploring the unique ability of visible signs to resemble what they represent, comparing human anatomy involved in gesture and speech to the anatomy of chimpanzees and other primates, examining signed languages still in use today among both hearing and hearing-impaired communities, and observing linguistic development in children. You can read Stokoe’s preface and CHOICE's full review here and order Language in Hand today.

Sign Language Studies, the seminal journal that Stokoe began publishing in 1972, continues to present a unique forum for revolutionary papers on signed languages and other related disciplines, including linguistics, anthropology, semiotics, and deaf studies, history, and literature under the editorial direction of David F. Armstrong. In the current issue, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Winter 2002), you can read such provocative articles as Genetics and Deafness: Impacts on the Deaf Community, Deaf-Blind Interpreting: Interpreters' Use of Negation in Tactile American Sign Language, and The Life and Times of the French Deaf Leader, Ferdinand Berthier: An Analysis of His Early Career. Read the complete contents of forthcoming issues, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Spring 2002), Vol. 2, No. 4 (Summer 2002) and Vol. 3, No. 1 (Fall 2002), and subscribe to Sign Language Studies.


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