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Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

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Academic Paper


Title: Sensing the Rhythms of Everyday Life: Temporal Integration and Tactile Translation in the Seattle Deaf-Blind Community
Author: Terra Edwards
Institution: University of California
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: American Sign Language
Abstract: This article is concerned with how social actors establish relations between language, the body, and the physical and social environment. The empirical focus is a series of interactions between Deaf-Blind people and tactile signed language interpreters in Seattle, Washington. Many members of the Seattle Deaf-Blind community were born deaf and, due to a genetic condition, lose their vision slowly over the course of many years. Drawing on recent work in language and practice theory, I argue that these relations are established by Deaf-Blind people through processes of whereby continuity between linguistic, embodied, and social elements of a fading visual order are made continuous with corresponding elements in an emerging tactile order. In doing so, I contribute to current attempts in linguistic anthropology to model the means by which embodied, linguistic, and social phenomena crystallize in relational patterns to yield worlds that take on the appearance of concreteness and naturalness. (Classifiers, Deaf-Blind, integration, interpretation, language and embodiment, practice, rhythm, Tactile American Sign Language, tactility)

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This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 41, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .



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