Sociolinguistic survey report of the Deaf community of Guatemala

Statement of Responsibility:
Parks, Elizabeth and Jason Parks

The goals of this survey were to determine the levels of similarity and intelligibility of the sign language varieties in Guatemala and whether, as previously reported, Deaf Guatemalans use American Sign Language (ASL) as a first language. The following Guatemalan cities were chosen for specific investigation as they were reported to have Deaf schools and/or significant numbers of Deaf people: Guatemala City, Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango, San Marcos, Mazatenango, and Cobán. Over a period of nine weeks, the study gathered general sociolinguistic information, investigating the stability of each sign language variety, levels of standardization and unification across the country, and language attitudes. To facilitate this research, the following methods were used: interviews, face to face sociolinguistic questionnaires, and wordlists. Survey results indicate that ASL is not used as a first language in Guatemala and that there is significant regional lexical variation within Guatemala.

30 pages
Sign languages
Language surveys
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