BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN DEAFBLIND MINDS: Interactional and Social Foundations of Intention Attribution in the Seattle DeafBlind Community


Terra Edwards

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This article is concerned with the linguistics of Tactile American Sign Language (TASL). It analyzes some of the social and interactional mechanisms that constrain pragmatic acts of intention attribution among DeafBlind people in Seattle, Washington. Drawing on analyses of video recorded interactions, notes from fieldwork, and more than 15 years of involvement in the Seattle DeafBlind community, the author argues that under the influence of the recent “pro-tactile” movement, DeafBlind people are generating new and reciprocal modes of access to their environment, and this process is aligning language with context in novel ways. She discusses two mechanisms that can account for this process: embedding in the social field and deictic integration. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, Vol. 6, Article 1497.

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