Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2215-1354
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1362
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Abstract (International Sign)

Sign languages can be categorized as shared sign languages or deaf community sign languages, depending on the context in which they emerge. It has been suggested that shared sign languages exhibit more variation in the expression of everyday concepts than deaf community sign languages (Meir, Israel, Sandler, Padden, & Aronoff, 2012). For deaf community sign languages, it has been shown that various sociolinguistic factors condition this variation. This study presents one of the first in-depth investigations of how sociolinguistic factors (deaf status, age, clan, gender and having a deaf family member) affect lexical variation in a shared sign language, using a picture description task in Kata Kolok. To study lexical variation in Kata Kolok, two methodologies are devised: the identification of signs by , and a way to compare individual repertoires of signs by calculating the lexical distances between participants. Alongside presenting novel methodologies to study this type of sign language, we present preliminary evidence of sociolinguistic factors that may influence variation in the Kata Kolok lexicon.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Kata Kolok; lexical variation; shared sign language; sign language; sociolinguistics
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