文/安德魯.所羅門;譯/謝忍翾

「聾人」(Deaf,字首大寫)指的是一種文化,而「聽障」(deaf,全小寫)則是病理學名詞,兩者截然不同。這樣的差異和同志(gay)及同性戀(homosexual)相互呼應。越來越多的聽障人士表示,自己不會選擇當聽人。在他們看來,把聽障當成疾病來治療,令人嫌惡;將聽障當成障礙來適應,比較可以接受;把聽障當成文化來讚頌,才是王道。

保羅在聖經的〈羅馬書〉中稱:「信道是從聽道來的。」此話長期以來一直被誤解為聽不到的人便無法信道,羅馬教廷也不准無法告解的人繼承財產或頭銜。051 因此,從十五世紀開始,某些近親通婚的貴族就讓聽障的孩子學習口語,不過大部分聽障人士還是得依賴自己制定的基本手語生活。在都市環境中,這類基本手語發展出比較完整的系統。

十八世紀中葉,德雷佩神父獻身為巴黎窮困的聽障人士服務,他也是最早學習這種手語的聽人之一。他用手語解釋法文,教導聽障人士讀書寫字,也揭開了解放的序幕:你不需要口語能力,也能學會口語世界的語言。德雷佩神父於一七五五年成立「巴黎聾校」。十九世紀初,康乃狄克州的高立德牧師對於聽障孩童的教育產生興趣,因此前往英格蘭,希望了解聽障教學法。英格蘭人告訴他,教導聾人口語的方法是不傳之秘,於是他又轉往法國,在巴黎聾校獲得盛情接待。之後他請了一位聽障的青年羅倫.克雷陪他回美國開辦學校。

一八一七年,兩人在康乃狄克州的哈特佛建立「美國聾人教育庇護所」。此後五十年為黃金時期,法國的手語結合美國本土手語及瑪莎葡萄園島上的地方手語(當地有聽障遺傳的家族),成為「美國手語」。聽障人士開始寫書、站上公眾舞臺,有各式各樣的成就。

一八五七年,華盛頓特區成立「高立德學院」,目的是讓聽障人士接受高等教育。林肯總統授權高立德學院頒發學位。聽障人士一具有表達能力,就有人要求他們出聲說話。加拿大發明家貝爾便發起十九世紀支持口語教育的運動,運動越演越烈,在一八八○年米蘭會議達到高峰──該會正式宣布禁止「比手畫腳」(manualism,手語的貶詞)。貝爾的母親和妻子都是聽障,但他貶抑手語,稱之為「默劇」。他也無法接受「聾人也是一支種族」的觀念,還創立了「美國聽障口語教學協會」,希望能禁止聽障人士通婚,也隔絕聽障學生和其他聽障學生的接觸。他要求聽障成人絕育,也說服部分聽人父母為聽障孩子結紮。愛迪生也跟隨這波潮流,推動完全的口語教育。萊辛頓成立的時候,聽人希望能教聽障人士說話、讀唇語,如此他們才能在「真實世界」中生活。052

這樣的夢想越走越偏,最後一發不可收拾,而現代的聾人文化就是在這樣的嚴重錯誤中孕育而生。

一戰之前,約有八十%的聽障兒童只能接受口語教學,此後半世紀一直如此。曾使用手語的聽障教師突然遭解僱。支持口語的人士認為手語會干擾孩子學習英語,孩子若在口語學校比手語,手上就要挨一記排尺。

維迪茨是「美國全國聾人協會」的前任會長,他於一九一三年提出抗議,說:「『又一派不識約瑟的法老』[1]正逐漸掌握我國。與手語為敵的,便是與聽障者的福祉為敵。希望吾輩皆能愛護並捍衛自己美麗的手語,視之為神賜予聾人最高貴的禮物。」當時聽障人士被視為低能,也因此英文「dumb」(喑啞)一詞也用來形容「愚蠢」──殊不知他們之所以處處受限,正是由於他們的語言受到打壓否定。聽障權利運動分子布德侯曾把口語教育比擬為將同性戀「變成正常人」的轉化療法,一種社會達爾文主義的醜惡暴力。不過,雖然有上述種種負面發展,校園仍然是聾人文化的搖籃。

據說海倫.凱勒曾評論道:「失明讓我們與世隔絕,失聰卻讓我們與人隔絕。」對許多聽障人士而言,用手語溝通的意義還大於耳聾。比手語的人即便能使用聽人世界的語言,仍深愛自己的語言。作家戴維斯是「聾父母的聽小孩」,也是障礙研究的教授,他寫道:「直至今日,我用手語比出『牛奶』,仍比說出這個詞更能感受牛奶的質地。手語就像翩翩起舞的口語,是手指跟臉不斷跳著雙人芭蕾。不懂手語的人看著手語的動作,覺得十分隔閡、不細膩。懂手語的人,卻能看見每個手語中最細緻的意涵。有些聽人喜歡感受字詞之間的淡濃深淺,例如:乾、乾燥、乾旱、乾荒、脫水。同樣的差異,手語的動作也有,聽障人士也同樣能細細品味。賈姬曾說:「不論是公開或私下,我們總是打手語。沒有理論能讓我們的語言消失。」056

根據定義,聽障是發生率很低的障礙。據統計,每千名新生兒當中有一名是重度聽障,聽力受損較輕微的人數則是兩倍。另外還有大約二到三‰會在十歲前失去聽力。推動聽障權利的帕頓和漢夫瑞斯寫道:「有了文化,聾人就能夠重新想像自己,不再只是想方設法適應現在,而是能夠繼承過去。有了文化,他們不再覺得自己是未完成的聽人,而是一群有語言、有文化的人,且住在共同的世界裡。有了文化,他們就有了理由,足以與他人一起生存在現代世界中。」

長久以來,聽障總伴隨著羞恥感。路易斯.默金是演員也是劇作家,他和賈姬一樣,童年時期也不斷和這種羞恥感角力。他說道:「從小到大,看到這些底層的聽障人士活在邊緣、無足輕重,只能相濡以沫。他們沒受過教育,覺得自己是次等人。我不斷退縮。一想到自己的耳聾,我就厭惡。我花了很久時間才明白當『聾人』是什麼意思,此後,一個新世界豁然展開。」路易斯也是同志。「我見過陰柔的變裝皇后,還有穿皮衣的男同志,我再次覺得,那不是我。我花了一段時間才找到真正的同志認同。」在高立德大學教授美國手語及聽障研究的比安維努教授告訴我:「我們的經驗實在太類似,如果你是聾人,你幾乎就能完全知道身為同性戀的感受,反之亦然。」

註釋

[1]典故出自聖經〈出埃及記〉一章八節,約瑟代表猶太人的後代,而當時埃及法老擔心猶太人勢力擴張,因而不斷打壓。此處用以比喻聾人使用手語遭受打壓的情形。──譯注

注解

051 The story of Gallaudet University is told in Brian H. Greenwald and John Vickrey Van Cleve, A Fair Chance in the Race of Life: The Role of Gallaudet University in Deaf History (2010).

051 Alexander Graham Bell set forth his proposals in “Memoir upon the formation of a deaf variety of the human race,” a paper presented to the National Academy of Sciences on November 13, 1883, and published in the 1884 Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences; and in “Historical notes concerning the teaching of speech to the deaf,” Association Review 2 (February 1900).

051 Thomas Edison’s interest in the oralist movement sprang in part from his experience as a hearing-impaired person. Edison served for a time as a member of the Advisory Board of the Volta Bureau, the organization founded by Alexander Graham Bell to promote education in “speech reading, speech and hearing” to the deaf; see John A. Ferrall’s article “Floating on the wings of silence with Beethoven, Kitto, and Edison,” Volta Review 23 (1921), pages 295–96.

051 Bell and the ascendancy of oralism are discussed in Douglas C. Baynton, Forbidden Signs: American Culture and the Campaign against Sign Language (1996); Carol Padden and Tom Humphries, Inside Deaf Culture (2005); and John Vickrey Van Cleve, Deaf History Unveiled: Interpretations from the New Scholarship (1999).

052 The quotation from George Veditz appears in Carol Padden and Tom Humphries, Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture (1988), page 36.

052 Patrick Boudreault is an assistant professor at California State University, Northridge. All quotations from Boudreault come from my interview with him in 2008 and subsequent communications.

052 Aristotle’s conclusions about the comparative intelligence of the deaf and the blind were set forth in The History of Animals and On Sense and the Sensible. Aristotle contended that “of persons destitute from birth of either sense, the blind are more intelligent than the deaf and dumb” because “rational discourse is a cause of instruction in virtue of its being audible.” These quotations occur at Sense and Sensibilia 437a, 3–17, on page 694 of The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revise Oxford Translation, edited by J. Barnes (1984).

052 William Stokoe’s Sign Language Structure: An Outline of the Visual Communication Systems of the American Deaf was originally published in 1960 by the University of Buffalo’s Department of Anthropology and Linguistics and was reprinted in the Journal of Deaf Studies & Deaf Education 10, no. 1 (Winter 2005).

052 Hemispheric lateralization and sign language are discussed by Oliver Sacks in Seeing Voices: A Journey into the World of the Deaf (1989), pages 93–111; and in Heather P. Knapp and David P. Corina’s chapter, “Cognitive and neural representations of language: Insights from sign languages of the deaf,” in Kristin A. Lindgren et al., Signs and Voices: Deaf Culture, Identity, Language, and Arts (2008), pages 77–89.

052 The effect of left-hemisphere damage on the ability to produce Sign is the subject of Ursula Bellugi et al., “Language, modality, and the brain,” in Brain Development and Cognition, edited by M. H. Johnson (1993); and Gregory Hickock, Tracy Love-Geffen, and Edward S. Klima, “Role of the left hemisphere in sign language comprehension,” Brain & Language 82, no. 2 (August 2002).

052 Studies demonstrating that people who learn Sign in adulthood tend to use the visual part of their brain more include Madeleine Keehner and Susan E. Gathercole, “Cognitive adaptations arising from nonnative experience of sign language in hearing adults,” Memory & Cognition 35, no 4 (June 2007).

056 Figures on the incidence of deafness come from “Quick statistics” on the website of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick.htm.

056 The quotation from Carol Padden and Tom Humphries (“Culture provides a way for Deaf people to reimagine themselves…”) appears in Inside Deaf Culture (2005), page 161.

056 The Gallaudet protests were extensively covered by the mass media; one representative article is Lena Williams, “College for deaf is shut by protest over president,” New York Times, March 8, 1988. The Deaf President Now! story has since been told in depth in Jack Gannon, The Week the World Heard Gallaudet (1989); Katherine A. Jankowski, Deaf Empowerment: Emergence, Struggle, and Rhetoric (1997); and John B. Christiansen and Sharon N. Barnartt, Deaf President Now!: The 1988 Revolution at Gallaudet University (2003).

※ 本文摘自《背離親緣(上)》,原篇名為〈聽障| DEAF〉,立即前往試讀►►►

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