Modality and Structure in Signed and Spoken Languages

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This book provides a cross-linguistic examination of the properties of many signed languages, including detailed case studies of American, Hong Kong, British, Mexican, and German Sign Languages. The contributions to this volume, by some of the most prominent researchers in the field, focus on a single question: to what extent is linguistic structure influenced by the modality of language? Their answers offer particular insights into the factors that shape the nature of language and contribute to our understanding of why languages are organized as they are.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'For those researchers willing to ask the modality question, this volume will be an excellent resource.' First Language
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521112581
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/4/2009
  • Pages: 500
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

RICHARD P. MEIER is Professor of Linguistics and Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

KEARSY CORMIER is a doctoral candidate in linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin.

DAVID QUINTO-POZOS is a doctoral candidate in linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Table of Contents

List of figures
List of tables
List of contributors
1 Why different, why the same? Explaining effects and non-effects of modality upon linguistic structure in sign and speech 1
Pt. I Phonological structure in signed languages 27
2 Modality differences in sign language phonology and morphophonemics 35
3 Beads on a string? Representations of repetition in spoken and signed languages 65
4 Psycholinguistic investigations of phonological structure in ASL 88
5 Modality-dependent aspects of sign language production: Evidence from slips of the hands and their repairs in German Sign Language 112
6 The role of Manually Coded English in language development of deaf children 143
Pt. II Gesture and iconicity in sigh and speech 167
7 A modality-free notion of gesture and how it can help us with the morpheme vs. gesture question in sign language linguistics (Or at least give us some criteria to work with) 175
8 Gesture as the substrate in the process of ASL grammaticization 199
9 A crosslinguistic examination of the lexicons of four signed languages 224
Pt. III Syntax in sign: Few or no effects of modality 237
10 Where are all the modality effects? 241
11 Applying morphosyntactic and phonological readjustment rules in natural language negation 263
12 Nominal expressions in Hong Kong Sign Language: Does modality make a difference? 296
Pt. IV Using space and describing space: Pronouns, classifiers, and verb agreement 321
13 Pronominal reference in signed and spoken language: Are grammatical categories modality-dependent? 329
14 Is verb agreement the same crossmodally? 370
15 The effects of modality on spatial language: How singers and speakers talk about space 405
16 The effects of modality on BSL development in an exceptional learner 422
17 Deictic points in the visual-gestural and tactile-gestural modalities 442
Index 469
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