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ERIC Number: EJ887104
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0155-0640
Signs of Change: Contemporary Attitudes to Australian Sign Language
Slegers, Claudia
Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, v33 n1 p5.1-5.20 2010
This study explores contemporary attitudes to Australian Sign Language (Auslan). Since at least the 1960s, sign languages have been accepted by linguists as natural languages with all of the key ingredients common to spoken languages. However, these visual-spatial languages have historically been subject to ignorance and myth in Australia and internationally. Absorbing these views, deaf Australians have felt confused and ambivalent about Auslan. Whilst recognising the prestige of spoken and signed versions of the majority language and the low status of their own, they have been nevertheless powerfully drawn to sign language. In the past two decades, a growing awareness and acceptance of Auslan has emerged among deaf and hearing Australians alike, spurred by linguistic research, lobbying by deaf advocacy groups and other developments. These issues are explored using semi-structured interviews with deaf and hearing individuals, participant observation in the deaf community, and analysis of government and educational language policies. (Contains 4 endnotes.)
Applied Linguistics Association of Australia. Available from: Monash University ePress. Building 4, Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton 3800, Victoria, Australia. Fax: +61-3-9905 8450; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia