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Note on terminology:

The published literature related to sign language use that is not widely or conventionally used (i.e., atypical) makes reference to language dysfluency, language deprivation, emergent signers, or to individuals with minimally linguistically competence. Because this area of inquiry is an ongoing, developing field of discovery, terminology used in some older studies in this annotated bibliography may be perceived in modern day as pejorative towards individuals or the language behavior of individuals.  Readers are therefore encouraged to take into account the time frame and historical context behind each publication.  Early studies are informative and provide a foundational starting point for ongoing, continued research that builds upon knowledge and new literature as each year passes. 

We will continue to update the studies listed below with the aim toward understanding varied ways that signing people of typical and atypical lived experiences create meaning with their languaging skill, in order to support increasingly effective interpreting services.

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The Annotated Bibliography includes articles, books, presentations, and videos related to atypical language and relevant to CALI’s curriculum development. Each resource is summarized in ASL and English and includes direct links whenever possible.

The Annotated Bibliography consists of the following categories:

For more information on the methodology, application, and intended outcomes of the Annotated Bibliography, read CALI’s executive summary here. To suggest a resource for the Annotated Bibliography, email us at