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Seeing Language in Sign The Work of William C. Stokoe (Jane Maher) (Z-Library)
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lished Linguistics Research Lab at Gallaudet and in 1972 launched anew journal, Sign Language Studies. At the centennial convention of the National Association of the Deaf in 1980, he was presented with a Festschrift a celebration of writingin the form of a book of essays in his honor, Sign Language and the Deaf Community.
Today, Gallaudet University honors William C. Stokoe, a man of vision and courage, who has helped immeasurably in reducing the bonds of cultural and language oppression among deaf people, and whose scholarly contribution to the field will be remembered in the years to come. 9 Much is said in that citation, but much is also omitted. On the day that Stokoe received his honorary degree, he sat on the stage with some of the very same colleagues who had, during his many years at Gallaudet, treated him with the "scorn and skepticism" so conveniently left unexplained in the citation.
Through interviews and correspondence with Bill Stokoe, his family, his students and colleagues, his friends and foes through reading his many essays, reviews, and speeches through research of the many books and essays that have been written about deaf people and their language through research at Gallaudet University and many other institutions and through correspondence with linguists in five countries, I have collected enough information to present the story of an indomitable manone who labored fora large period of his professional life with little or no support from his colleagues, from the Gallaudet administrators, from deaf people who disagreed with his theories. Bill Stokoe proved them wrong. It took almost thirty years, but
Stokoe's work has shown that deaf people have their own language and culture, a language and culture that are different frombut equal tothose of hearing people.
When I. King Jordan, the first deaf president of Gallaudet University, agreed to help me in this endeavor, he wrote me a letter.
"Do a good job" he urged. "Bill Stokoe is a giant in this field. He's not only a giant in this field, but he's a giant of a person.
There's not enough I can say about the guy I truly love him. I hope your work reflects that."10
I hope so, too.

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