abstract : the aim of this paper is to investigate how and if sign languages are transmitted from one generation to another and to what extent this transmission is conscious. transmission is strongly affected by the nature of language and its users. although primary sign languages or home sign systems are individual products, they can become natural languages if shared by a signing community, whereas spoken languages can become artificial because they are not accessible to deaf people. the accessibility of a language to its users represents the basis for the foundation of a linguistic community.
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