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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: Signed languages and sociopolitical formation: The case of “contributing to society” through Hồ Chí Minh City Sign Language
Author: Audrey C. Cooper
Institution: American University
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Ho Chi Minh City Sign Language
Abstract: Claims about signed languages present a unique resource for examining sociopolitical formation and change. Examining three claims drawn from original ethnographic data on Hồ Chí Minh City Sign Language, analysis centers on the ways language practices and language ideologies reflect, respond to, and impact sociopolitical formation in Việt Nam, particularly in connection to state restructuring of deaf education during the political reform period (1986 to present). Signer narratives evaluate such circumstances in relation to notions of citizenship, national development, and social participation to posit signed language as the basis for Deaf people's contributions to national development and broader social change. Articulations between signed language and sociopolitical formation have been largely ignored within mainstream social science disciplines and global disability-oriented development, hindering theoretical and practical projects. This article aims to expand the theoretical scope of language-centered inquiry by demonstrating how ethnographic research on signed languages contributes to examination of sociopolitical formation. (Signed language, Việt Nam, deaf education, sociopolitical, citizenship)


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 43, Issue 3.

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