Natural Language Planning Vs Sign Language PLANNING: A Specialized Approach

  • By Dr. Pallav Vishnu & Dr. G. D. Wanode

ABSTRACT

This article introduces the present collection of Sign language planning and natural language planning studies. Contextualising the analyses against the backdrop of core issues in the theory of language planning and the evolution of applied sign linguistics, it is argued that – while the sociolinguistic circumstances of signed languages worldwide can, in many respects, be treated analogously to those of other minority languages – there are unique features to the socio-political landscape facing signing communities and sign language planners. With reference to topics addressed in this collection (language teaching, codification, education and legislation), the distribution of power emerges as a constant theme, inevitably centered upon the relationship between Deaf people and others. While immense changes in sign language prospects have evidently taken place worldwide over the last half-century, it can be seen that the power balance remains precarious and that major forces continue to align to ensure that sign language planning remains at best an uphill struggle.

Keywords:  Socio-linguistics, applied sign linguisticssign languagepower,

language policylanguage maintenance

Sign Language and the deaf world as a Special Case

The traditional way of writing about Deaf people is to focus on the fact of their condition—that they do not hear—and to interpret all other aspects of their lives as consequences of this fact . . . In contrast to the long history of writings that treat them as medical cases, or as people with “disabilities” who “compensate” for their deafness by using sign language, we want to portray the lives they live, their art and performances, their everyday talk, their shared myths, and the lessons they teach one another. We have always felt that the attention given to the physical condition of not hearing has obscured far more interesting facets of Deaf people’s lives. (Padden & Humphries, 1988, p. 1)

Lately . . . the deaf community has begun to speak for itself. To the surprise and bewilderment of outsiders, its message is utterly contrary to the wisdom of centuries: Deaf people, far from groaning under a heavy yoke, are not handicapped at all. Deafness is not a disability. Instead, many deaf people now proclaim, they are a subculture like any other. They are simply a linguistic minority (speaking American Sign Language) and are no more in need of a cure than are Haitians or Hispanics. (Dolnick, 1993, p. 37)

For those interested in language planning and language policy, deaf people, as a cultural and linguistic community, are an especially fascinating case study. Both the deaf world and sign language exist only in the plural; that is, although deaf people in different countries and settings certainly share certain experiences, attitudes, values, and concerns, they are also quite distinct in nature. In addition, and making the situation even more complex, whereas language planning and language policy studies for sign languages are similar to such activities for spoken languages, they are not identical. Thus, language planning and language policy studies for sign languages essentially creates something of a parallel universe to that with which language planners and policy makers are normally most familiar. And yet, at the same time, this universe in which deaf culture and natural sign languages exist is not completely independent of the universe in which we live and operate. It overlaps the world of the hearing and spoken languages, in important ways. Furthermore, because deaf people inevitably live in the hearing world as well as in the deaf world, the decisions that we make with respect to language planning and language policy for both spoken and sign languages have immense impacts on them.

The literature on language planning and language policy studies but not particularly familiar with either the deaf world or sign language and wish to learn about the case of sign language and deaf people with respect to issues of language planning and language policy more broadly conceived. The second audience for this study are those readers who are either members of or those close to the deaf world and sign language but unfamiliar with matters of language planning and language policy studies.

On language planning and language policy, such issues are addressed implicitly here in two ways: First, in order to understand issues related to language planning and language policy for sign languages, both in the U.S. and around the world, it is essential to have a foundational understanding of the nature of sign language and the deaf world . Second, although many of the aspects of language planning and language policy for sign languages do reflect and overlap those for spoken languages, there are some important differences between spoken and sign languages in terms of language planning and language policy .

CONCEPTIONS OF DEAFNESS

The literature on deafness now commonly identifies two quite different ways to view deafness (see Baker, 1999; Benvenuto, 2005; Branson & Miller, 2002; Corina & Singleton, 2009; Janesick & Moores, 1992; Kyle, 1990; Lane, 1992; Lane, Hoffmeister, & Bahan 1996; Lindgren, DeLuca, & Napoli, 2008; Mather, 1992; Padden & Humphries, 1988, 2005; Reagan, 1988, 1990a, 1995a, 2002c, 2005b [1985]; Senghas & Monahgan, 2002; Skelton & Valentine, 2003). The dominant perspective is grounded in the view that deafness is essentially a medical condition, characterized by an auditory deficit—that is, deaf people are people who cannot hear. Such a perspective, which has been labeled the “pathological” or “medical” view of deafness, leads naturally enough to efforts to try to remediate the deficit. In short, the pathological view is premised on the idea that deaf people are not only different from hearing people, but, at least in a physiological sense, are also inferior to hearing people. If one accepts the pathological view of deafness, and the myriad assumptions that undergird it, then the only reasonable approach to dealing with deafness is indeed to attempt to remediate the problem—which is, of course, precisely what is done when one focuses on the teaching of speech and lip-reading or speech-reading in education, utilizes technology such as hearing aids and cochlear implantation to maximize whatever residual-hearing a deaf individual may possess, and otherwise seeks to develop  medical solutions to hearing impairment. In other words, the pathological view of deafness inevitably leads to efforts to attempt to assist the deaf individual to become as “like a hearing person” as possible. Such a perspective is common in general in the hearing world, and, perhaps most importantly, among hearing parents, who “typically view being deaf through the lens of audiology, hearing loss, and difference, not as a cultural phenomenon” (Leigh, 2008, p. 23).

The alternative way of understanding deafness has been termed the “sociocultural perspective” on deafness. This view of deafness operates from an anthropological rather than a medical perspective, and suggests that for some (though not all) deaf people, it makes far more sense to understand deafness not as a handicapping condition, let alone as a deficit, but as an essentially cultural condition (Ladd, 2003, 2005; Lane et al., 1996; Padden & Humphries, 1988, 2005; Reagan, 1988, 1996, 2005 [1985]). Thus, from the perspective of advocates of the sociocultural perspective, the appropriate comparison group for deaf people is not individuals with disabilities but individuals who are members of other dominated and oppressed cultural and linguistic groups. In short, the sociocultural view leads to efforts that focus on issues of civil rights and to assist deaf people to function fully in the dominant (hearing) culture (Bauman, 2004; Ladd, 2005; Shapiro, 1993, pp. 74–104; Simms & Thumann, 2007).

SITUATING THE TARGET POPULATION: THE MANY FACES OF DEAFNESS

The case of deaf people presents an especially interesting example of the limitations of traditional discourse about “mother tongue” and “native language.” The vast majority of deaf individuals are born to hearing, and nonsigning, parents. Once a child is identified as having significant hearing loss, intervention begins (under the best of circumstances)—perhaps through the introduction of a sign language, perhaps through intensive oral and aural rehabilitation, and perhaps through surgical interventions such as those provided by cochlear implants. In some instances, a combination of these different approaches is used. What is important to note here is that in most cases the deaf child’s exposure to language (whether spoken or sign) is delayed. Such delays, in turn, have developmental consequences that are difficult to address later on in the child’s education. The exceptions here—and by far the luckiest of deaf children—are those who are born to parents who are themselves signers (and, in most cases, presumably also deaf themselves).

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In everyday discourse, however, the terms deaf and hearing impaired refer to a wide array of different kinds of hearing loss and responses to hearing loss—including, for example:

  • A person who uses ASL (or some other natural sign language) as his or her primary language and identifies with the deaf cultural community.
  • A person who communicates primarily through speech (i.e., in a spoken language) and identifies with the hearing community.
  • A person who does not know either ASL (or some other natural sign language) or English (or some other spoken language), but rather communicates through gestures, mimes, and their own “home” signing systems.
  • A person who became deaf later in life, generally as a result of aging (i.e., the elderly deaf).

The population with which we are concerned is a subset of the hearing impaired population: children who are prelingually deaf—that is, deaf prior to the acquisition of spoken language—and profoundly or severely deaf, not with those with a broadly defined hearing impairment. We are also concerned both with children who are raised in homes in which the dominant language is not a sign language, regardless of the hearing status of the parents, and those who are raised in homes in which the first language is indeed ASL. This may seem to narrow my focus, but it actually does not do so all that dramatically—the vast majority of children in residential schools for the deaf, for example, fit into this definition. Although the numbers of such children is declining, it is these children who are most likely to constitute core members of the deaf world.

THE NATURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF SIGN LANGUAGE: A BRIEF OVERVIEW

Since the 1960 publication of William Stokoe’s landmark study, Sign Language Structure (Stokoe, 1993 [1960]), there has been a veritable explosion of historical, linguistic, psycholinguistic, and sociolinguistic research dealing with ASL (see, e.g., Fischer & Siple, 1990; Liddell, 1980, 1995, 2003; Lucas, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1996; Lucas & Valli, 1992; Metzger, 2000; Siple & Fischer, 1991; Valli et al., 2005), as well as with other natural sign languages (see, e.g., Emmorey & Reilly, 1995; Lucas, 1990; Plaza-Pust & Morales-López, 2008; Reagan, Penn, & Ogilvy, 2006). The result is that we now know far more about the nature and workings of natural sign languages than we did a half-century ago. In his recent book on grammar, gesture, and meaning in ASL, Liddell notes:

By the early 1970s many other linguists and psychologists began studying the properties of ASL. At that time, their published papers tended to begin with brief justifications explaining that ASL was a language. Such explanations were needed since most people still held the view that ASL was not a language. By perhaps the mid-seventies, and most certainly by the early eighties, the weight of published descriptions of ASL and its grammar was sufficient to turn the tide of opinion about the language status of ASL. Studies of various aspects of the grammar of ASL left no doubt that signers using ASL were using a real human language. . . . The recognition that sign languages were real human languages set off a flurry of activity in a number of academic arenas beginning in the seventies . . . More and more sign languages continue to be identified and investigated as researchers around the globe pursue answers to a wide variety of interesting scientific questions. (2003, pp. 4–5)

LANGUAGE PLANNING:

Language planning is a deliberate effort to influence the function, structure, or acquisition of languages or language variety within a speech community. It is often associated with government planning, but is also used by a variety of non-governmental organizations, such as grass-roots organizations, and individuals. Goals of such planning vary. Better communication through assimilation of a single dominant language can bring economic benefits to minorities but is also perceived to facilitate their political domination.

Language engineering involves the creation of natural language processing systems, whose cost and outputs are measurable and predictable, as well as establishment of language regulators, such as formal or informal agencies, committees, societies or academies as language regulators, to design or develop new structures to meet contemporary needs. It is a distinct field contrasted to natural language processing and computational linguistics. A recent trend of language engineering is the use of Semantic Web technologies for the creation, archiving, processing, and retrieval of machine processable language data.

LANGUAGE PLANNING AND LANGUAGE IDEOLOGY:

Four overarching language ideologies motivate decision making in language planning. The first, linguistic assimilation is the belief that every member of a society, irrespective of their native language, should learn and use the dominant language of the society in which they live. An example is the English-only movement of some residents of the United States.

In contrast is the second ideology, linguistic pluralism – the recognition and support of multiple languages within one society. Examples include the coexistence of FrenchGermanItalian, and Romansh in Switzerland; and the shared official status of EnglishMalayTamil, and Mandarin Chinese in Singapore. The coexistence of many languages may not necessarily arise from a conscious language ideology, but rather related to the relative efficiency in communication of a common language.

The third ideology, vernacularization, denotes the restoration and development of an indigenous language, along with its adoption by the state as an official language. Examples include Hebrew in the state of Israel and Quechua in Peru.

The final ideology, internationalization, is the adoption of a non-indigenous language as a means of wider communication, as an official language or in a particular domain, such as the use of English in India, Singapore, the PhilippinesPapua New Guinea, and South Africa.

LANGUAGE PLANNING GOALS :

Eleven language planning goals have been recognized (Nahir 2003):

1. Language Purification – prescription of usage in order to preserve the “linguistic purity” of language, protect language from foreign influences, and guard against language deviation from within.

2. Language Revival – the attempt to restore to common use a language that has few or no surviving native speakers.

3. Language Reform – deliberate change in specific aspects of language, such as orthography, spelling, or grammar, in order to facilitate use.

4. Language Standardization – the attempt to garner prestige for a regional language or dialect, developing it as the chosen major language, or standard language, of a region.

5. Language Spread – the attempt to increase the number of speakers of one language at the expense of another.

6. Lexical Modernization – word creation or adaptation.

7. Terminology Unification – development of unified terminologies, primarily in technical domains.

8. Stylistic Simplification – simplification of language usage in lexicon, grammar, and style. That includes modifying the use of language in social and formal contexts.

9. Interlingual Communication – facilitation of linguistic communication between members of distinct speech communities.

10. Language Maintenance – preservation of the use of a group’s native language a first or second Language where pressures threaten or cause a decline in the status of the language.

11. Auxiliary-Code Standardization – standardization of marginal, auxiliary aspects of language, such as signs for the deaf ,place names or rules for transliteration or transcription.

TYPES OF LANGUAGE PLANNING:

Language planning has been divided into three types i.e., Status Planning, Language Planning and Corpus Planning.

Status planning:

Status planning is the allocation or reallocation of a language or variety to functional domains within a society, thus affecting the status, or standing, of a language.

Language status:

Language status is a concept distinct from, though intertwined with, language prestige and language function. Strictly speaking, language status is the position or standing of a language vis-à-vis other languages. A language garners status according to the fulfillment of four attributes, described in 1968 by two different authors, Heinz Kloss and William Stewart. Both Kloss and Stewart stipulated four qualities of a language that determine its status. Their respective frameworks differ slightly, but they emphasize four common attributes:

  1. Language origin – whether a given language is indigenous or imported to the speech community
  2. Degree of standardization – the extent of development of a formal set of norms that define ‘correct’ usage
  3. Juridical status
    1. Sole official language (e.g. French in France and Turkish in Turkey)
    2. Joint official language (e.g. English and Afrikaans in South Africa; French, German, Italian and Romansh in Switzerland)
    3. Regional official language (e.g. Igbo in NigeriaMarathi in Maharashtra, India)
    4. Promoted language – lacks official status on a national or regional level but is promoted and sometimes used by public authorities for specific functions (e.g. Spanish in New MexicoWest African Pidgin English in Cameroon)
    5. Tolerated language – neither promoted nor proscribed; acknowledged but ignored (e.g. Native American languages in the United States in present day)
    6. Proscribed language – discouraged by official sanction or restriction (e.g. Galician, Basque and Catalan during Francisco Franco’s regime in Spain; Macedonian in Greece); indigenous American languages during the boarding school era.
  4. Vitality – the ratio, or percent, of users of a language to another variable, like the total population. Kloss and Stewart both distinguish six classes of statistical distribution. However, they draw the line between classes at different percentages. According to Kloss, the first class, the highest level of vitality, is demarcated by 90% or more speakers. The five remaining classes in decreasing order are 70-89%, 40-69%, 20-39%, 3-19%, and less than 3%. Stewart defines the six classes are determined by the following percentages of speakers: 75%, 50%, 25%, 10%, 5%, and less than 5%.
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Together, origin, degree of standardization, juridical status, and vitality express a language’s status.

William Stewart outlines ten functional domains in language planning:

  1. Official – An official language “function[s] as a legally appropriate language for all politically and culturally representative purposes on a nationwide basis.” Often, the official function of a language is specified in a constitution.
  2. Provincial – A provincial language functions as an official language for a geographic area smaller than a nation, typically a province or region (e.g. French in Quebec).
  3. Wider communication – A language of wider communication is a language that may be official or provincial, but more importantly, functions as a medium of communication across language boundaries within a nation (e.g. Hindi in India; Swahili language in East Africa).
  4. International – An international language functions as a medium of communication across national boundaries (e.g. English, formerly French as a diplomatic and international language).
  5. Capital – A capital language functions as a prominent language in and around a national capital (e.g. Dutch and French in Brussels).
  6. Group – A group language functions as a conventional language among the members of a single cultural or ethnic group (e.g. Hebrew amongst the Jews).
  7. Educational – An educational language functions as a medium of instruction in primary and secondary schools on a regional or national basis (Urdu in West Pakistan and Bengali in East Pakistan i.e., Bangla Desh).
  8. School subject – A school subject language is a language that is taught as a subject in secondary school or higher education (e.g. Latin and Ancient Greek in English-language schools).
  9. Literary – A literary language functions as a language for literary or scholarly purposes (Ancient Greek).
  10. Religious – A religious language functions as a language for the ritual purposes of a particular religion (e.g. Latin for the Latin Rite within the Roman Catholic ChurchArabic for the reading of the Qur’an).

Robert Cooper, in reviewing Stewart’s list, makes several additions. First, he creates three sub-types of official functions: statutory, working, and symbolic. A statutory language is a language that a government has declared official by law. A working language is a language that a government uses as a medium for daily activities, and a symbolic language is a language that is a symbol of the state. Cooper also adds two functional domains to Stewart’s list: mass media and work.

Corpus planning

Corpus planning refers to the prescriptive intervention in the forms of a language, whereby planning decisions are made to engineer changes in the structure of the language. Corpus planning activities often arise as the result of beliefs about the adequacy of the form of a language to serve desired functions. Unlike status planning, which is primarily undertaken by administrators and politicians, corpus planning generally is performed by individuals with greater linguistic expertise. There are three traditionally recognized types of corpus planning: graphization, standardization, and modernization.

(a) Graphization

Graphization refers to development, selection and modification of scripts and orthographic conventions for a language. The use of writing in a speech community can have lasting socio-cultural effects, which include easier transmission of material through generations, communication with larger numbers of people, and a standard against which varieties of spoken language are often compared. Linguist Charles A. Ferguson made two key observations about the results of adopting a writing system. First, the use of writing adds another variety of the language to the community’s repertory. Although written language is often viewed as secondary to spoken language, the vocabularygrammatical structures and phonological structures of a language often adopt characteristics in the written form that are distinct from the spoken variety. Second, the use of writing often leads to a folk belief that the written language is the ‘real’ language, and speech is a corruption of it. Written language is viewed as more conservative, while the spoken variety is more susceptible to language change. Isolated relic areas of the spoken language may be less innovative than the written form, or the written language may have been based on a divergent variety of the spoken language.

(b) Standardization

The process of Standardization often involves one variety of a language taking precedence over other social and regional dialects of a language. Another approach, where dialects are mutually intelligible, is to introduce a poly-phonemic written form that is intended to represent all dialects of a language adequately but with no standard spoken form. If one variety of a language is chosen, that variety comes to be understood as supra-dialectal and the ‘best’ form of the language.

The choice of which language takes precedence has important societal consequences, as it confers privilege upon speakers whose spoken and written dialect conforms closest to the chosen standard.  The standard that is chosen as the norm is generally spoken by the most powerful social group within the society, and is imposed upon the less powerful groups as the form to emulate. This often reinforces the dominance of the powerful social group and makes the standard norm necessary for socioeconomic mobility.  In practice, standardization generally entails increasing the uniformity of the norm, as well as the codification of the norm.

The history of English provides an example of standardization occurring over an extended time period, without formally recognized language planning. The standardization process began when William Caxton introduced the printing press in England in 1476. This was accompanied by the adoption of the south-east Midlands variety of English, spoken in London, as the print language. Because of the dialect’s use for administrative, government, business, and literary purposes, this variety became entrenched as the prestigious variety of English. After the creation of grammars and dictionaries in the 18th century, the rise of print capitalism, industrialization, urbanization, and mass education led to the dissemination of this dialect as the standard norm for the English language.

(c) Modernization

Modernization is a form of language planning that occurs when a language needs to expand its resources to meet functions. Modernization often occurs when a language undergoes a shift in status, such as when a country gains independence from a colonial power or when there is a change in the language education policy. The most significant force in modernization is the expansion of the lexicon, which allows the language to discuss topics in modern semantic domains. Language planners generally focus on creating new lists and glossaries to describe new technical terms, but it is also necessary to ensure that the new terms are consistently used by the appropriate sectors within society. While some languages, such as Japanese and Hungarian, have experienced rapid lexical expansion to meet the demands of modernization, other languages, such as Hindi and Arabic, have failed to do so. Rapid lexical expansion is aided by the use of new terms in textbooks and professional publications, as well as frequent use among specialists. Issues of linguistic purism often play a significant role in lexical expansion, but technical vocabulary can be effective within a language, regardless of whether it comes from the language’s own process of word formation or from extensive borrowing from another language. While Hungarian has almost exclusively used language-internal processes to create new lexical items, Japanese has borrowed extensively from English to derive new words as part of its modernization.

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Acquisition planning

Acquisition planning is a type of language planning in which a national, state or local government system aims to influence aspects of language, such as language status, distribution and literacy through education. Acquisition planning can also be used by non-governmental organizations, but it is more commonly associated with government planning.

Frequently, acquisition planning is integrated into a larger language planning process in which the status of languages are evaluated, corpuses are revised and the changes are finally introduced to society on a national, state or local level through education systems, ranging from primary schools to universities. This process of change can entail a variety of modifications, such as an alteration in student textbook formatting, a change in methods of teaching an official language or the development of a bilingual language program, only to name a few. For example, if a government decides to raise the status level of a certain language or change its level of prestige, it can establish a law that requires teachers to teach only in this language or that textbooks are written using only this language’s script. This, in turn, would support the elevation of the language’s status or could increase its prestige. In this way, acquisition planning is often used to promote language revitalization, which can change a language’s status or reverse a language shift, or to promote linguistic purism. In a case where a government revises a corpus, new dictionaries and educational materials will need to be revised in schools in order to maintain effective language acquisition.

The education sector

The education ministry or education sector of government is typically in charge of making national language acquisition decisions based on state and local evaluation reports. The responsibilities of education sectors vary by country; Robert B. Kaplan and Richard B. Baldauf describe the sectors’ six principal goals:

  1. To decide what languages should be taught within the curriculum.
  2. To determine the amount and quality of teacher training.
  3. To involve local communities.
  4. To determine what materials will be used and how they will be incorporated into syllabi.
  5. To establish a local and state assessment system to monitor progress.
  6. To determine financial costs.

Problems

Although acquisition planning can be useful to governments, there are several problems that must be considered. Even with a solid evaluation and assessment system, the effects of planning methods can never be certain; governments must consider the effects on other aspects of state planning, such as economic and political planning. Some proposed acquisition changes could also be too drastic or instituted too suddenly without proper planning and organization. Acquisition planning can also be financially draining, so adequate planning and awareness of financial resources is essential. It is important therefore that government goals, such as those described above, be organized and planned carefully.

Multilingualism

There is also a growing concern over the treatment of multilingualism in education, especially in many countries that were once colonized.  Deciding on which language of instruction would be most beneficial to effective communication on the local and state level is a task requiring thoughtful planning and is surrounded by debate. Some states prefer instruction only in the official language, but some aim to foster linguistic and thus social diversity by encouraging teaching in several (native) languages. One reason some states prefer a single language of instruction is that it supports national unity and homogeneity. Some states prefer incorporating different languages in order to help students learn better by giving them diverse perspectives.

Non-governmental organizations

In addition to the education sector, there are non-governmental sectors or organizations that have a significant effect on language acquisition, such as the Académie française of France or the Real Academia Espanola of Spain. These organizations often create their own dictionaries and grammar books, thus affecting the materials which students are exposed to in schools. Although these organizations do not hold official power, they influence government planning decisions, such as with educational materials, affecting acquisition.

Sign languages and language endangerment:

As with any spoken language, sign languages are also vulnerable to becoming endangered. For example, a sign language used by a small community may be endangered and even abandoned as users shift to a sign language used by a larger community. One example of an endangered sign language is Hawai’i Sign Language, which is almost extinct except for a few elderly signers. Methods are being developed to assess the language vitality of sign languages.

CONCLUDING REMARKS ACCORDING TO THE AUTHORS:

Language contact and creolization is common in the development of sign languages, making clear family classifications difficult – it is often unclear whether lexical similarity is due to borrowing or a common parent language, or whether there was one or several parent languages, such as several village languages merging into a Deaf-community language. Contact occurs between sign languages, between sign and spoken languages (contact sign, a kind of pidgin), and between sign languages and gestural systems used by the broader community. One author has speculated that Adamorobe Sign Language, a village sign language of Ghana, may be related to the “gestural trade jargon used in the markets throughout West Africa”, in vocabulary and areal features including prosody and phonetics.

According to an SIL report, the sign languages of Russia, Moldova and Ukraine share a high degree of lexical similarity and may be dialects of one language, or distinct related languages. The same report suggested a “cluster” of sign languages centered around Czech Sign Language, Hungarian Sign Language and Slovak Sign Language. This group may also include Romanian, Bulgarian, and Polish sign languages.

In the 19th century, a “triangle” of village sign languages developed in New England: one in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; one in Henniker, New Hampshire, and one in Sandy River Valley, Maine. Martha’s Vineyard Sign Language (MVSL), which was particularly important for the history of ASL, was used mainly in Chilmark, Massachusetts. Due to intermarriage in the original community of English settlers of the 1690s, and the recessive nature of genetic deafness, Chilmark had a high 4% rate of genetic deafness. MVSL was used even by hearing residents whenever a deaf person was present.

In the era of the influential linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, it was assumed that the mapping between form and meaning in language must be completely arbitrary. Although onomatopoeia is a clear exception, since words like ‘choo-choo’ bear clear resemblance to the sounds that they mimic, the Saussurean approach was to treat these as marginal exceptions. ASL, with its significant inventory of iconic signs, directly challenges this theory.

HENCE, WE CAN SAY THAT BOTH THE LANGUAGES NEED TO BE PLANNED AS TO DEVELOP THEM IN NATURAL ENVIRONMENT FOR THE GENERAL AND SPECIFIC USAGE WITHOUT ANY HINDRANCE. AS SIGN LANGUAGE STILL NEEDS TIME TO BECOME OR ACQUIRE THE STATUS OF A FULLY DEVELOPED LANGUAGE IN COMPARISON TO VERBAL LANGUAGE. BUT IN ACTUALITY BOTH REQUIRES A SUFFICIENT BACK-UP TO BE SAVED AT ALL COSTS FROM EVICTION AND EXTINCTION.

Note: Authors are grateful to all the concerning researchers and great scolars who are really giving the incentives the people like us to present and enlarge their views according to our understandings.

REFERENCES:

– Dr. Pallav Vishnu – Dr. G. D.Wanode

Assistant Professor (Ad-Hoc) Assistant Professor & Head

D/O Llinguistics,A.M.U., Aligarh-202002(U.P.) Antarrashtriya Hindi Shikshan Vibhag,

E-mail: sansthansamachar_pv@yahoo.co.in Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Agra-282005

E-mail: gwanode@gmail.com

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