Identifying overlapping language communities: The case of Chiriquí and Panamanian signed languages

Elizabeth S. Parks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper, I use a holographic metaphor to explain the identification of overlapping sign language communities in Panama. By visualizing Panama's complex signing communities as emitting community "hotspots" through social drama on multiple stages, I employ ethnographic methods to explore overlapping contours of Panama's sign language communities in both time and space, similar to what a hologram accomplishes. Based on rapid appraisal of Panama's signed languages through 2 weeks of participant observation, interviews, and lexical comparisons, and contextualization of this data in a broad 5-year project that included fieldwork in 15 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, I propose recognition of overlapping Chiriquí and Panamanian Signing Communities using distinct signed languages: Lengua de Señas Panameñas and Lengua de Señas de Chiriquí.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-330
Number of pages26
JournalMultilingua
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Keywords

  • Panama
  • language identification
  • sign language

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