Sign Languages

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This entry provides a look at various topics pertaining to sign languages, including a history of ASL in the United States and its rightful place among natural languages. ASL, British Sign Language, Black ASL, and two attempts to create an international sign language are briefly discussed. Tactile Signing, an umbrella term for a number of methods for signed communication among Deafblind people, is also described. Next, 10 sign language writing systems are outlined. Finally, the concepts of a Deaf culture and Deaf identity in the United States are discussed along with the role that ASL plays. To conclude, a few ethnographies are suggested as further reading.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe International Encyclopedia of Linguistic Anthropology
EditorsJames Stanlaw
ISBN (Electronic)9781118786093
ISBN (Print)9781118786765
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • deaf
  • sign language
  • linguistics


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