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ERIC Number: EJ940517
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 43
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 73
ISSN: ISSN-0302-1475
Old Signs, New Signs, Whose Signs? Sociolinguistic Variation in the NZSL Lexicon
McKee, Rachel; McKee, David
Sign Language Studies, v11 n4 p485-527 Sum 2011
Lexicographers, teachers and interpreters of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) are challenged by the degree of lexical variation that exists in this young language. For instance, most numerals between one and twenty have two or more variants in common use (McKee, McKee, and Major 2008), a situation that contrasts with most established spoken languages. This article reports on an analysis of the effects of signers' age, region, gender, and ethnicity on their use of variants for eighty lexical items in NZSL. The study formed part of the Sociolinguistic Variation in NZSL project, which investigated features of phonology (Schembri et al. 2009), syntax (McKee et al., in review), and lexicon. The project, including this substudy, was modeled on quantitative investigations of sociolinguistic variation in American Sign Language (ASL) (Lucas, Bayley, and Valli 2001) and in Australian Sign Language (Auslan) (Schembri and Johnston 2006, 2007; Schembri, Johnston, and Goswell 2006). The article is organized as follows: (1) a review of lexical variation in signed languages; (2) historical context of the NZSL community; (3) research method; (4) findings and discussion; and (5) conclusions and limitations of the study. (Contains 7 notes, 11 tables, and 1 figure.)
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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; New Zealand