More Than Signs: International Sign as Distributed Practice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article makes a case for understanding International Sign (IS) as a distributed practice.IS, a translingual practice, arose from interactions among individuals from diverse linguistic backgrounds, integrating signs from multiple national sign languages and leveraging iconic and transparent features of sign language lexicons and grammars. At the heart of IS is the principle of calibration, an adaptive process aimed at aligning signs to foster mutual understanding. This study delves into the use of IS in an adult education classroom in Denmark, where IS includes not only the use of signs but also their interplay with technology and writing. The discussed examples suggest that IS is a fluid process in which people shift between conventional and adaptive signing. Furthermore, the examples showcase an intricate relationship between signing and forms of writing, suggesting that the latter should not be seen as separate from IS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-57
Number of pages21
JournalSigns and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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