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Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research, Volume 1


Only recently has linguistic research recognized sign languages as legitimate human languages with properties analogous to those cataloged for French or Navajo, for example. There are many different sign languages, which can be analyzed on a variety of levels—phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics—in the same way as spoken languages. Yet the recognition that not all of the principles established for spoken languages hold for sign languages has made sign languages a crucial testing ground for linguistic theory.

Edited by Susan Fischer and Patricia Siple, this collection is divided into four sections, reflecting the traditional core areas of phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. Although most of the contributions consider American Sign Language (ASL), five treat sign languages unrelated to ASL, offering valuable perspectives on sign universals. Since some of these languages or systems are only recently established, they provide a window onto the evolution and growth of sign languages.

348 pages | 59 halftones | 6.00 x 9.00 | © 1990

Cognitive Science: Language

Language and Linguistics: Language Studies, Syntax and Semantics

Table of Contents

James J. DeCaro
Susan D. Fischer and Patricia Siple
1. Temporal Aspects and ASL Phonology
Wendy Sandler
2. Structures for Representing Handshape and Local Movement at the Phonemic Level
Scott K. Liddell
3. On the Segmental Representation of Transitional and Bidirectional Movements in ASL Phonology
David M. Perlmutter
4. Why Syllables? What the Notion Means for ASL Research
Ronnie B. Wilbur
5. Emphatic Stress in ASL
Geoffrey R. Coulter
6. Serial Verbs of Motion in ASL
Ted Supalla
7. Predicates of Perceived Motion in ASL
Ceil Lucas and Clayton Valli
8. Deictic Pronouns in Swedish and Swedish Sign Language
Inger Ahlgren
9. Person Deixis in American Sign Language
Richard P. Meier
10. Pointing Out Differences: ASL Pronouns in Syntactic Theory
Diane Lillo-Martin and Edward S. Klima
11. Evidence for Auxiliaries in Taiwan Sign Language
Wayne H. Smith
12. Epistemic, Alethic, and Deontic Modalities in a Brazilian Sign Language
Lucinda Ferreira Brito
13. Lexical Branching in Sign Language
Shunchiu Yau
14. Word Formation Processes in New Zealand Sign Language
Marianne Collins-Ahlgren
Author Index
Subject Index

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