Current Issues in Language Planning vol:10 issue:3 pages:308-326
In 1997, the Flemish Deaf community officially rejected standardisation of Flemish Sign Language. It was a bold choice, which at the time was not in line with some of the decisions taken in the neighbouring countries. In this article, we shall discuss the choices the Flemish Deaf community has made in this respect and explore why the Flemish Deaf community has decided to reject standardisation imposed from above. The main reasons are negative experiences with a former lexical unification scheme within the 'Signed Dutch' project and a lack of in-depth lexicological research into Flemish Sign Language. At the same time, it has become clear that a form of spontaneous standardisation has been evolving in the past decades. While the Flemish Deaf community has rejected imposition of a standardised form from above, they have opted to find ways to support this ongoing standardisation process. We shall look at what actions have been proposed and taken in this respect.