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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Academic Paper

Title: Language ideologies in the shared signing community of Adamorobe
Author: Annelies Kusters
Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity
Linguistic Field: Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Adamorobe Sign Language
Ghanaian Sign Language
Abstract: This article analyzes language ideologies with regard to sign language in Adamorobe, a “shared signing community” in southern Ghana. Adamorobe Sign Language (AdaSL) is a “shared sign language,” used by all deaf people and a large number of hearing Akan-speaking people. Deaf schoolchildren from Adamorobe attend a school where Ghanaian Sign Language (GSL) is taught. Hearing interviewees have experiential knowledge that everything can be said in AdaSL, emphasise the shared roots of AdaSL and Akan, and called AdaSL “natural.” Deaf interlocutors describe Akan, AdaSL, and GSL as three distinct but equivalent languages. AdaSL is said to be a “hard” language, more pleasant to use, and more expressive than GSL, but sign bilingualism is highly valued. These findings are compared and contrasted with accounts on language ideologies with regard to other shared sign languages and larger urban/national sign languages. (Language ideologies, language practices, Ghana, Ghanaian Sign Language, Adamorobe Sign Language, Akan, shared sign languages, shared signing communities, village sign languages)


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 43, Issue 2.

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