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Indigenous sign languages of Arnhem Land

Adone, Marie C. D. (2014). Indigenous sign languages of Arnhem Land. Australian Aboriginal Studies,2014(1):132-136.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 0 times in Scopus Article
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IRMA ID 84279116xPUB189
Title Indigenous sign languages of Arnhem Land
Author Adone, Marie C. D.
Journal Name Australian Aboriginal Studies
Publication Date 2014
Volume Number 2014
Issue Number 1
ISSN 0729-4352   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84904598910
Start Page 132
End Page 136
Total Pages 5
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Aboriginal Studies Press
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract This report presents some preliminary findings of a pilot study conducted in some communities of Arnhem Land on the use of Indigenous sign languages. The report gives an overview on the domains and contexts in which these sign languages are used, and addresses some of the issues of language endangerment in these communities. It looks at five communities: Elcho Island, Milingimbi, Gunbalanya, Minjilang and the Tiwi Islands. The three key findings are, first, that signing is part of Aboriginal culture; second, the Aboriginal people in these communities (and most probably in many other parts of Australia) are bimodal bilinguals (i.e. they grow up with several spoken and sign languages); and, third, the Indigenous sign languages are 'traditional languages' in decline, as discussed by Marmion, Obata and Troy (2014) for spoken languages. Most linguistic work so far has focused on the documentation and description of spoken languages. A close look at the sign languages in Arnhem Land shows that these languages are endangered. The inter generational transmission of the sign language is taking place only in a few communities. More research needs to be conducted. The report concludes constructively by proposing the immediate documentation of these sign languages and by making some recommendations to keep these languages alive. This report presents some preliminary findings of a pilot study conducted in some communities of Arnhem Land on the use of Indigenous sign languages. The report gives an overview on the domains and contexts in which these sign languages are used, and addresses some of the issues of language endangerment in these communities. It looks at five communities: Elcho Island, Milingimbi, Gunbalanya, Minjilang and the Tiwi Islands. The three key findings are, first, that signing is part of Aboriginal culture; second, the Aboriginal people in these communities (and most probably in many other parts of Australia) are bimodal bilinguals (i.e. they grow up with several spoken and sign languages); and, third, the Indigenous sign languages are 'traditional languages' in decline, as discussed by Marmion, Obata and Troy (2014) for spoken languages. Most linguistic work so far has focused on the documentation and description of spoken languages. A close look at the sign languages in Arnhem Land shows that these languages are endangered. The intergenerational transmission of the sign language is taking place only in a few communities. More research needs to be conducted. The report concludes constructively by proposing the immediate documentation of these sign languages and by making some recommendations to keep these languages alive.
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URL http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=362477006491630;res=IELIND
 
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Created: Wed, 19 Aug 2015, 12:05:21 CST