ERIC Number: EJ1174123
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Writing Signed Languages: What for? What Form?
Grushkin, Donald A.
American Annals of the Deaf, v161 n5 p509-527 2017
Signed languages around the world have tended to maintain an "oral," unwritten status. Despite the advantages of possessing a written form of their language, signed language communities typically resist and reject attempts to create such written forms. The present article addresses many of the arguments against written forms of signed languages, and presents the potential advantages of writing signed languages. Following a history of the development of writing in spoken as well as signed language populations, the effects of orthographic types upon literacy and biliteracy are explored. Attempts at writing signed languages have followed two primary paths: "alphabetic" and "iconographic." It is argued that for greatest congruency and ease in developing biliteracy strategies in societies where an alphabetic script is used for the spoken language, signed language communities within these societies are best served by adoption of an alphabetic script for writing their signed language.
Descriptors: Sign Language, Written Language, History, Orthographic Symbols, Literacy, Alphabets, Multiple Literacies, Deafness, Bilingual Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A