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[Review of the book Deaf around the World: The impact of language / ed. by Mathur & Napoli]


De Vos,  Connie
Language and Cognition Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

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De Vos, C., & Palfreyman, N. (2012). [Review of the book Deaf around the World: The impact of language / ed. by Mathur & Napoli]. Journal of Linguistics, 48, 731 -735.

First paragraph. Since its advent half a century ago, the field of sign language linguistics has had close ties to education and the empowerment of deaf communities, a union that is fittingly celebrated by Deaf around the world: The impact of language. With this fruitful relationship in mind, sign language researchers and deaf educators gathered in Philadelphia in 2008, and in the volume under review, Gaurav Mathur & Donna Jo Napoli (henceforth M&N) present a selection of papers from this conference, organised in two parts: ‘Sign languages: Creation, context, form’, and ‘Social issues/civil rights ’. Each of the chapters is accompanied by a response chapter on the same or a related topic. The first part of the volume focuses on the linguistics of sign languages and includes papers on the impact of language modality on morphosyntax, second language acquisition, and grammaticalisation, highlighting the fine balance that sign linguists need to strike when conducting methodologically sound research. The second part of the book includes accounts by deaf activists from countries including China, India, Japan, Kenya, South Africa and Sweden who are considered prominent figures in areas such as deaf education, politics, culture and international development.