Sociolinguistic Variation and Change in British Sign Language Number Signs: Evidence of Leveling?

Rose Stamp, Adam Schembri, Jordan Fenlon, Ramas Rentelis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article presents findings from the first major study to investigate lexical variation and change in British Sign Language (BSL) number signs. As part of the BSL Corpus Project, number sign variants were elicited from 249 deaf signers from eight sites throughout the UK. Age, school location, and language background were found to be significant predictors for the use of regional number sign variants. The results suggest that leveling may be taking place in BSL number signs inasmuch as younger signers are using a decreasing variety of regionally distinct number sign variants. These results need to be understood in light of the sociolinguistic characteristics of the British deaf community, which differ from those of spoken language communities, with which linguists are more familiar.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)151-181
    Number of pages31
    JournalSign Language Studies
    Volume15
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sociolinguistic Variation and Change in British Sign Language Number Signs: Evidence of Leveling?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this