To the Lexicon and Beyond

Sociolinguistics in European Deaf Communities

First Edition

Edited by Mieke Van Herreweghe & Myriam Vermeerbergen

Categories: Linguistics
Series: Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities
Imprint: Gallaudet University Press
Hardcover : 9781563683060, 272 pages, October 2004
Ebook : 9781563684616, 272 pages, September 2009
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Volume 10 of the series explores sociolinguistics in various European Deaf communities. Editors Van Herreweghe and Vermeerbergen present a wide array of research inspired by the Sociolinguistics Symposium 14 held at Ghent University, Belgium, in April 2002. Noted contributors from Finland, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Spain and the United Kingdom offer insights gleaned from the languages of their countries.
Part One of this five-part volume investigates multilingualism and language contact among Finland-Swedish Deaf People. Part Two looks at regional variation and the evolution of signs in Flemish Sign Language, as well as gender-influenced variation in Irish Sign Language. Language policy and planning receives consideration in the third part, with a study of sign language lexical variation in the Netherlands and an analysis of the risks of codification in Flemish Sign Language. Part Four examines the implementation of bilingual programs for deaf students throughout Europe, and updates research on language use visually oriented in Swedish Deaf education classrooms.
The final part of To the Lexicon and Beyond: Sociolinguistics in European Deaf Communities presents data on language attitudes, including a census of sign language users in Spain that reveal a changing language community. The last chapter of this fascinating assembly assays British Deaf communities and language identity in relation to issues of transnationality in the 21st century.


Mieke Van Herreweghe is Professor in the English Department at Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Myriam Vermeerbergen is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Fund for Scientific Research-Flanders working at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium.