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Deaf around the WorldThe Impact of Language$
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Gaurav Mathur and Donna Jo Napoli

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199732548

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199732548.001.0001

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The Language Politics of Japanese Sign Language (Nihon Shuwa)

The Language Politics of Japanese Sign Language (Nihon Shuwa)

(p.316) Chapter 10 The Language Politics of Japanese Sign Language (Nihon Shuwa)
Deaf around the World

Karen Nakamura

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines difficulties in determining a national sign language, examining language ideologies. The author witnessed political fragmentation in Japan, as the older generation, represented by Japanese Federation of the Deaf (JFD), coined and disseminated new signs in order to compete with the national public television service as well as fend off criticism from younger, cultural Deaf members. While everyone agrees new signs are necessary, JFD is challenged as the guardian of the JSL lexicon both by D-Pro, a group that wants to protect against spoken language influences, and by the television network NHK, which reaches out to all deaf, regardless of the extent to which they vocalize or sign and regardless of which variety of sign they use.

Keywords:   Deaf activism, deaf rights, sign language linguistics, Japanese Sign Language, Japanese Federation of the Deaf, language politics, Deaf pride

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