Language ideologies in the shared signing community of Adamorobe

Annelies Kusters*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This article analyzes language ideologies with regard to sign language in Adamorobe, a shared signing community in southern Ghana. Adamorobe Sign Language (AdaSL) is a shared sign language, used by all deaf people and a large number of hearing Akan-speaking people. Deaf schoolchildren from Adamorobe attend a school where Ghanaian Sign Language (GSL) is taught. Hearing interviewees have experiential knowledge that everything can be said in AdaSL, emphasise the shared roots of AdaSL and Akan, and called AdaSL natural. Deaf interlocutors describe Akan, AdaSL, and GSL as three distinct but equivalent languages. AdaSL is said to be a hard language, more pleasant to use, and more expressive than GSL, but sign bilingualism is highly valued. These findings are compared and contrasted with accounts on language ideologies with regard to other shared sign languages and larger urban/national sign languages. (Language ideologies, language practices, Ghana, Ghanaian Sign Language, Adamorobe Sign Language, Akan, shared sign languages, shared signing communities, village sign languages).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-158
Number of pages20
JournalLanguage in Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Language and Linguistics


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