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date: 05 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an introduction to endangered sign languages specifically designed for linguists who know little about sign languages but who may have an interest in the documentation of endangered sign languages. Focusing on ten Southeast Asian sign languages, nine of which are endangered or dying and six of which are being documented by fluent Culturally Deaf users trained through the Asian-Pacific Sign Linguistics Program in The Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, this chapter provides information about: the historical relationships of these sign languages, sign language phonology, “alphabetization” of signs by formational parameters, sign language morphology, sign language syntax, and sign language lexicons and lexicography. Finally, the chapter provides some discussion about the possible future of the documentation, conservation, and possible revitalization of endangered sign languages.

Keywords: sign language documentation, Southeast Asia, sign language phonology, sign language morphology, sign language syntax, sign language lexicography

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