Capitalized D to show cultural connotations (Deaf person, Deaf community) an International convention?

Christine Multra Kraft lmcmultrakraft at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 6 15:57:57 UTC 2011

Good day everyone,

I'm tracking the convention of using a lowercase "d" in deaf to indicate the
physical condition of being deaf and capitalized "D" in Deaf to indicate the
cultural connotation.  We can see this used in all English publications on
signed languages and/or the Deaf community.  My research shows this
convention first showed up in James C. Woodward's 'Some observations on
sociolinguistic variation and American Sign Language'  in the Kansas Journal
of Sociology, Fall 1973.  Reviewing articles and other literature in
English, from researchers around the world, I can see this convention used.
I'm curious about writings in languages other than English.

My question for you all: in languages other than English, in articles and
writings, do the scholarly and Deaf communities follow similar
capitalization rules to indicate a difference between culturally Deaf and
physically deaf?   Any idea on when this started in your country?  With
which article/author?

many thanks!

Christine Multra Kraft
Ball State University
Indiana, USA
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