The sight of silence : the conceptualisation of silence in the visual cultures of sign language communities

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The sight of silence : the conceptualisation of silence in the visual cultures of sign language communities

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Title: The sight of silence : the conceptualisation of silence in the visual cultures of sign language communities
Author: Uhlig, Anne C.
Abstract: Deaf people are perceived by hearing people as living in a silent world. Yet, silence cannot exist without sound, so if sound is not heard, can there be silence? From a linguistic point of view silence is the absence of, or intermission in, communication. Silence can be communicative or noncommunicative. Thus, silence must exist in sign languages as well. Sign languages are based on visual perception and production through movement and sight. Silence must, therefore, be visually perceptible; and, if there is such a thing as visual silence, how does it look? The paper will analyse the topic of silence from a Deaf perspective. The main aspects to be explored are the perception and evaluation of acoustic noise and silence by Deaf people; the conceptualisation of silence in visual languages, such as sign languages; the qualities of visual silence; the meaning of silence as absence of communication (particularly between hearing and Deaf people); social rules for silence; and silencing strategies.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10437/3025
Date: 2011


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