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Język jako centralny element budujący tożsamość mniejszości językowej na przykładzie osób niesłyszących

Karolina Ruta i Marta Wrześniewska-Pietrzak

Language as Central Element Establishing Identity of Language Minority (on the Example of Deaf People)

This paper comments on the problem of the identity of a minority group – the deaf people in Poland. The arrangements adopted by the authors suggest that social identity, which describes a minority of the deaf people, is an example of the ethnic identity. The primary factor of this identity is the language – the Polish sign language. Statements relating to the deaf sign language features confirm its central role, which, however, is built on the basic of the positive categorization (positive valorization of the natural sign language as a communication tool for all deaf people, the beauty of the language, its sociological and accumulative function), but also through the creation of stereotypical opposite pairs regarding the mine – others categories, in which the Polish language and the system of sign language become negative valorization aspect. This antinomy remains in conflict with the attitude of seeking to implement biculturalism and bilingualism in education systems of the deaf in Poland, because they often treat the Polish language as the language imposed by the majority.