OLAC Record

Title:A Survey Report of the Deaf People of Northern Ireland

In January of 2010, our sign-language-assessment survey team did fieldwork in Belfast, Northern Ireland. At a preliminary research level, our primary focus was to investigate the variation of sign language varieties in Northern Ireland compared to Britain and Ireland sign language varieties. We gathered language attitudes among the deaf community in Belfast toward local sign varieties, British Sign Language (BSL), and Irish Sign Language (ISL) through interviews and online questionnaires. We investigated similarity among sign language varieties through wordlist comparisons using the Levenshtein distance metric.

Our results indicate that, although both BSL and ISL are formally recognized as official languages in Northern Ireland, more of the Northern Ireland deaf community identifies with and uses a sign variety that is more similar to BSL than ISL. There may be greater identification with ISL and more similar sign varieties with ISL among deaf people from the western and southern parts of Northern Ireland. Initial results suggest that there is a vibrant local deaf identity; there may be considerable variation between Northern Ireland sign varieties and sign varieties from Britain. In light of this information, we recommend that, prior to distribution in the Northern Ireland deaf community, both BSL and ISL sign language materials be tested for acceptance and that local deaf leadership is consulted in any adaptations of materials that may be needed.

Contributor (author):Parks, Elizabeth
Parks, Jason
Date (W3CDTF):2012
Description (URI):http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/43483
Extent:24 pages
Identifier (URI):http://www.sil.org/resources/archives/43483
Is Part Of:SIL Electronic Survey Reports 2012-001
Language (ISO639):eng
Publisher:SIL International
Spatial Coverage (ISO3166):GA
Subject:British Sign Language language
Irish Sign Language language
Language surveys
Subject (ISO639):bfi
Type (DCMI):Text


Archive:  SIL Language and Culture Archives
Description:  http://www.language-archives.org/archive/sil.org
GetRecord:  OAI-PMH request for OLAC format
GetRecord:  Pre-generated XML file

OAI Info

OaiIdentifier:  oai:sil.org:43483
DateStamp:  2013-04-27
GetRecord:  OAI-PMH request for simple DC format

Search Info

Citation: Parks, Elizabeth; Parks, Jason. 2012. SIL Electronic Survey Reports 2012-001.
Terms: area_Europe country_GB country_IE dcmi_Text iso639_bfi iso639_eng iso639_isg

Inferred Metadata

Country: United KingdomIreland
Area: Europe

Up-to-date as of: Mon Jun 15 6:06:14 EDT 2015