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  • 1. Le Guen, Olivier
    et al.
    Safar, JosefinaStockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.Coppola, Marie
    Emerging Sign Languages of the Americas2018Collection (editor) (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Safar, Josefina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Beyond the impact factor: Personal accounts from linguistic fieldworkers: Sarvasy, Hannah and Diana Forker (eds.). 2018. Word Hunters: Field Linguists on Fieldwork. Amsterdam: John Benjamins2018In: Linguistic typology, ISSN 1430-0532, E-ISSN 1613-415X, Vol. 22, no 3, p. 505-516Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Safar, Josefina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Translanguaging in Yucatec Maya signing communities2019In: Applied Linguistics Review, ISSN 1868-6303, E-ISSN 1868-6311, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 31-53Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article looks at translanguaging practices in four Yucatec Maya communities with a high incidence of deafness in the peninsula of Yucatán, Mexico. Deaf and hearing community members draw from a broad spectrum of semiotic resources to interact with each other and with people from other villages in the region: they sign with different degrees of fluency, speak Yucatec Maya and/or Spanish, gesture, draw, point and incorporate objects in their physical surroundings. Human beings have a general tendency to communicate between and beyond different languages and modalities and to creatively adapt their semiotic repertoires to each other to negotiate meaning. On top of that, I show that sociolinguistic and cultural features of Yucatec Maya communities scaffold translanguaging practices. The rich inventory of conventional co-speech gestures of Yucatec Maya speakers, positive attitudes towards deafness and signed language and a critical amount of shared cultural knowledge facilitate communication between deaf and hearing and contribute to the emergence of similar sign languages in historically unrelated communities. The investigation of Yucatec Maya signing communities through a translanguaging lens allows us to critically deconstruct existing classifications of sign languages and varieties. Yucatec Maya Sign Languages are portrayed as a multi-layered network of different villages, families, generations and overlapping deaf and hearing spaces, where translanguaging takes place.

  • 4.
    Safar, Josefina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Le Guen, Olivier
    Collí Collí, Geli
    Collí Hau, Merli
    Numeral Variation in Yucatec Maya Sign Languages2018In: Sign Language Studies, ISSN 0302-1475, E-ISSN 1533-6263, Vol. 18, no 4, p. 488-516Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, we examine various strategies used to express cardinal numbers in Yucatec Maya Sign Languages (YMSLs) from three historically unrelated communities in Yucatan, Mexico: Chican, Nohkop, and Cepeda Peraza. Our findings describe some numeral strategies, which remained unattested in previous accounts, and demonstrate that YMSL numerals exhibit patterns of systematic inter- and intracommunity variation as a result of linguistic and sociolinguistic factors. These patterns are still in process of becoming solidified and a high level of individual variation persists. The analysis of numerals in YMSLs provides us with an excellent opportunity to observe the emergence of sociolinguistic variation in young village sign languages. Our study is based on data from elicitation, natural conversations, and interviews, and takes into account several aspects: the influence of Yucatec Maya gestures on the formation of YMSL numeral signs, the regional and intracommunity distribution of numeral signs and numeral strategies, the impact of literacy on YMSL number - expression, the existence of familylects and community members' language attitudes. Finally, we discuss some methodological challenges to studying variation in rural sign languages.

  • 5.
    Safar, Josefina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics.
    Petatillo Chan, Rodrigo
    Strategies of noun-verb distinction in Yucatec Maya Sign Languages2018In: Emerging Sign Languages of the Americas / [ed] Olivier Le Guen, Josefina Safar, Marie Coppola, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2018Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 6. Webster, Jenny
    et al.
    Safar, Josefina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics, Sign Language.
    Scoring sign language vitality: Adapting a spoken language survey to target the endangerment factors affecting sign languages2019In: Language Documentation & Conservation, ISSN 1934-5275, E-ISSN 1934-5275, Vol. 13, p. 346-383Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores factors affecting the vitality/endangerment levels of sign languages, and how these levels were assessed through an international collaboration using a systematic scoring scheme. This included adapting UNESCO's Linguistic Vitality and Diversity survey and developing a system for determining endangerment levels based on the responses. Other endangerment scales are briefly explored along with UNESCO's, and the survey adaptation and systematic scoring processes are explained. The survey needed to be carefully adapted because even though many spoken language procedures can be also used for sign languages, there are additional challenges and characteristics that uniquely affect sign language communities. The article then presents the vitality scores for 15 languages, including both national and village sign languages, and the major factors threatening their vitality. The methodology of scoring based on averages is innovative, as is the workflow between the questionnaire respondents and scoring committee. Such innovations may also be useful for spoken languages. Future efforts might develop best practice models for promoting sign language vitality and compile diachronic data to monitor changes in endangerment status. The findings can also inform policy work to bring about legal recognition, greater communication access, and the protection of deaf signers' linguistic and cultural identity.

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