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  • Cited by 6
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Bank, Richard Crasborn, Onno and van Hout, Roeland 2015. Alignment of two languages: The spreading of mouthings in Sign Language of the Netherlands. International Journal of Bilingualism, Vol. 19, Issue. 1, p. 40.

    Vercellotti, Mary Lou and Mortensen, David R. 2012. A classification of compounds in American Sign Language: an evaluation of the Bisetto and Scalise framework. Morphology, Vol. 22, Issue. 4, p. 545.

    Batterbury, Sarah C. E. 2012. Language justice for Sign Language Peoples: the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Language Policy, Vol. 11, Issue. 3, p. 253.

    Berent, Gerald P. 2012. The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism. p. 351.

    Grosjean, François 2010. Bilingualism, biculturalism, and deafness. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Vol. 13, Issue. 2, p. 133.

    Lucas, C. 2006. Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics. p. 354.

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  • Print publication year: 2001
  • Online publication date: November 2009

3 - Bilingualism and language contact

Summary

… People say our signs [in Singapore] come from Australia, China and America. So I am worried that [this means that] we do not have our own sign language … Also, why are there so many signs for the same thing? Which is the right sign? … Why can't everyone just sign the right way?

Excerpted from a fax to the author from a Singaporean deaf person, 1994

It is probably true that no language group has ever existed in isolation from other language groups, and the history of languages is replete with examples of language contact leading to some form of bilingualism.

François Grosjean, Life with Two Languages (1982: 1)

Spoken languages have always been in contact with each other, and there have always been linguistic and sociolinguistic consequences of this phenomenon. Languages come into contact through their speakers, who are brought together under different sorts of conditions, including political turmoil, immigration, education and geography. Indeed, languages are sometimes said to be “in contact” within bilingual individuals (Grosjean, 1992: 309). The immense and engaging field of the study of language contact points up interesting linguistic situations. For example, examination of the current position of English in the world confirms that English is an extremely prestigious language that is learned as a second language with great frequency. It is the world's lingua franca; that is, it is the language chosen by speakers of diverse languages in the hearing world for many sorts of needs, from science and technology to business and scholarship.

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The Sociolinguistics of Sign Languages
  • Online ISBN: 9780511612824
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511612824
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