The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL: Its History and Structure

Overview

People who first encounter sign language often ask if deaf people around the world sign the same language. Frequently, they are surprised to learn that there are different sign languages in different nations worldwide, as well as variations of these languages. These variations depend on social factors such as region, age, gender, socioeconomic status, and race. One variation, Black ASL, has been recognized for years as a distinct form of sign language but only through anecdotal reports. This volume and its ...

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Overview

People who first encounter sign language often ask if deaf people around the world sign the same language. Frequently, they are surprised to learn that there are different sign languages in different nations worldwide, as well as variations of these languages. These variations depend on social factors such as region, age, gender, socioeconomic status, and race. One variation, Black ASL, has been recognized for years as a distinct form of sign language but only through anecdotal reports. This volume and its accompanying DVD present the first empirical study that begins to fill in the linguistic gaps about Black ASL.

The powerful cast of contributors to The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL considered three questions in their study. First, what was the sociohistorical reality that made a separate variety of ASL possible? Second, what are the features of the variety of ASL that people call Black ASL? Third, can the same kind of unique features that have been identified in African American English be identified in Black ASL? This groundbreaking book and its companion DVD go far in answering these questions while also showing the true treasures of Black ASL.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563684890
  • Publisher: Gallaudet University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2011
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 860,315
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn McCaskill is Professor, Department of ASL and Deaf Studies, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.

Ceil Lucas is Professor, Department of Linguistics, Gallaudet University.

Joseph Hill is Assistant Professor, Department of Specialized Education Services, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC.

Robert Bayley is Professor, Department of Linguistics, University of California, Davis, CA.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

List of Tables xiii

Foreword xvii

Acknowledgments xxi

1 Introduction 1

2 The Sociohistorical Foundation of Black ASL 14

3 Research Methods 49

4 Signers' Perceptions of Black ASL 64

5 Phonological Variation 75

6 Variation in Syntax and Discourse 109

7 The Effects of Language Contact 126

8 Lexical Variation 136

9 Conclusions 161

References 167

Index 183

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