Sign Language Typology: The contribution of rural sign languages

Connie De Vos, Roland Pfau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Since the 1990s, the field of sign language typology has shown that sign languages exhibit typological variation at all relevant levels of linguistic description. These initial typological comparisons were heavily skewed toward the urban sign languages of developed countries, mostly in the Western world. This review reports on the recent contributions made by rural signing varieties, that is, sign languages that have evolved in village communities, often in developing countries, due to a high incidence of deafness. With respect to a number of structural properties, rural sign languages fit into previously established typological classifications. However, they also exhibit unique and typologically marked features that challenge received views on possible sign languages. At the same time, the shared features of geographically dispersed rural signing varieties provide a unique window into the social dynamics that may shape the structures of modern human languages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-288
Number of pages24
JournalAnnual Review of Applied Linguistics
Volume1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sign Language Typology: The contribution of rural sign languages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this