Recent Perspectives on American Sign Language

Recent Perspectives on American Sign Language

Recent Perspectives on American Sign Language

Recent Perspectives on American Sign Language

Excerpt

As its title promises, this book presents several current perspectives on American Sign Language: linguistic, psycholinguistic, developmental, neurolinguistic, sociolinguistic, and historical. Each chapter reviews recent literature comprehensively, but of course not exhaustively, and the six chapters taken together provide an overview of a very rapidly expanding field. We hope this review will be helpful to a variety of social scientists and educators, and to students who, in rapidly growing numbers, are enrolling in courses concerning the deaf community and their language. We have included an introductory chapter by Harry Markowicz that calls into question some common presuppositions of those who--like ourselves but a few years ago-- encounter sign language for the first time.

This book is also appearing in French, as an issue of the journal Langages; however, Wilbur and Hoffmeister's discussion of research on sign-language acquisition appears only in this edition.

The present work was inspired by discussion with French deaf people at the Seventh World Congress of the Deaf in Washington, D.C. in 1975. We would like to dedicate it to the numerous deaf people who, in the tradition established by Jean Massieu, Ferdinand Berthier, and Laurent Clerc, are contributing to the study of their language. As the editors' prerogative, we mention those with whom we have worked personally: Bonnie Gough, Ella Mae Lentz, Carol Padden, Marie Philip, Ted Suppala, and Harmut Teuber.

HARLAN LANE
FRANÇOIS GROSJEAN

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