Signing in a "deaf family" - documentation of Mardin Sign Language, Turkey
Ulrike Zeshan, University of Central Lancashire
Major Documentation Project. Duration: 2010-2012. £74,980
Mardin Sign Language exists in a unique setting, a group of ca.40 members of an extended family with a high incidence of hereditary deafness over five generations. "Dilsiz" is the Turkish word for "deaf", and the sign language is used by both deaf and hearing family members. The language originated in the town of Mardin in south-eastern Turkey, but users of the language now live in Istanbul and Izmir. Mardin Sign Language is undocumented and on the brink of extinction under the influence of Turkish Sign Language, the language of the urban deaf community in Turkey.