Language Ideologies on the Difference Between Gesture and Sign

Annelies Maria Jozef Kusters, Sujit Sahasrabudhe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
173 Downloads (Pure)


This article investigates academic and everyday perspectives on the difference between gesture and sign. A large number of language scholars have suggested that gesture is not language, that different forms of gesturing and signing exist on continua, and/or that they could be classified on a developmental cline. “Everyday” ideologies of deaf people in Mumbai showed either an analytical collapse of gesture and sign or a distinction between them, and were more focused on hearing status and on contextual factors in deciding whether something counted as gesture or sign –as compared to academic ideologies which were more focused on form. In the context of language classes and research projects, academic ideologies bleed into, are resisted, adopted or transformed in everyday contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44–63
Number of pages20
JournalLanguage and Communication
Early online date26 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


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