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October 2016 Vol. 54 No. 2

Gallaudet University Press

The following review appeared in the October 2016 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email

Social & Behavioral Sciences

International Sign: linguistic, usage, and status issues, ed. by Rachel Rosenstock and Jemina Napier. Gallaudet, 2016. 220p bibl index afp (Sociolinguistics in deaf communities series, 21) ISBN 9781563686566, $80.00; ISBN 9781563686573 ebook, $80.00.

International Sign (IS) as a relatively new phenomenon, used at specific moments and locations—for example, in translating at international events. Here, 14 contributors examine IS's history, structures, and uses, looking at whether or not IS is a language. Though recognizing that IS is not the equivalent of national signed languages, the volume presents exciting possibilities for its use and looks at what IS might reveal about the transnational nature of signed languages. The work dispels the notion of IS as either a global or a pidgin language, and instead argues for a new paradigm of the meaning of language. The nine chapters are thoughtful and supported by data-driven and peer-reviewed work. This book will be most useful for those in sign language interpreter training programs, but it is also a good resource for readers interested in general linguistics, neuroscience, cognitive development, and psychology.

--O. Robinson, College of the Holy Cross

Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.