The sociolinguistics of sign languages
As the languages of deaf signing people, Sign Languages are not only minoritary, but also have been marginated and surrounded by prejudices based on ignorance. As minority languages, they did not have a share in most of the spheres of the majoritary society around them until quite recently, and were therefore restricted to informal usage the environment of the family. This situation has changed in many countries, like our own, and Sign Languages are becoming more visible in many fields they could not reach before, such as mass media, education, or justice, for instance. In some cases, like Catalonia, Sign Languages have been recognized as natural of the country by law, which promotes their presence in education and in the institutions.