Macro and micro-social variation in Asia-Pacific sign languages

Palfreyman, Nick orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9095-4937 (2020) Macro and micro-social variation in Asia-Pacific sign languages. Asia-Pacific Language Variation, 6 (1). pp. 1-12. ISSN 2215-1354

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The volume of research on sign language (SL) variation has grown considerably in recent years but, as in other areas of SL research, there have been comparatively few reports from the Asia-Specific region (Moriarty Harrelson et al., 2016). The region is already known for extreme diversity of its (spoke) language ecologies (Cunningham, Ingrahm, & Sumbuk, 2006; Goebel, 2016: Volker, 2015), and it should come as no surprise that this diversity extends to the signed languages of the region.
Taken together the articles in this special issues draw attention to that diversity: perhaps contrary to popular belief, SL practices across the Asia-Pacific region can, and do differ in remarkable ways that strengthen our understanding of language variation. To that end, I begin by highlighting the distinctive sociolinguistic settings and practices covered by this special issue. This is followed by a discussion of macro- and micro-social variation, why this theme is so relevant for SL variation studies, and how it is taken up by the papers that follow.

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