Introduction: Ideologies in sign language vitality and revitalization

Authors Kristin Snoddon , Maartje de Meulder
Published in Language & Communication
Publication date 2020
Research groups Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication
Type Article


This paper introduces our special issue about ideologies in sign language vitality and revitalization and discusses ideologies related to the vitality of sign languages. Rather than taking for granted the notions of vitality and endangerment or developing criteria for measuring sign language vitality, the papers in this issue will provide a discursive construction of sign language endangerment. This construction in turn provides critical and historical reflection on how vitality has emerged as a concern for sign languages in specific local, national, and international contexts, the actors and institutions bringing forward this framing, and in whose interest it is to promote such discourses. The issue will survey how and by whom these ideologies are described, mobilized and legitimized, and what conceptualizations of language are emphasized and by whom.

Language English
Published in Language & Communication
Key words sign language, language vitality, language revitalization, language transmission, language endangerment, language shift
Page range 154-163