A Prosodic Model of Sign Language Phonology / Edition 1

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This book is intended in part to provide linguists and cognitive scientists who do not know sign language with a point of entry into the study of sign language phonology. At the same time, it presents a comprehensive theory of American Sign Language (ASL) phonology, while reviewing and building on alternative theories. One claim of this theoretical framework is that, because of sign language's visual/gestural phonetic basis, the consonant-like units and vowel-like units are expressed simultaneously with one another, rather than sequentially as in spoken languages. A second claim is that movements operate as the most basic prosodic units of the language. The author is concerned to show both the similarities and differences between signed and spoken languages, and to indicate some directions for future work in cognitive science that can be derived from her phonological model.

Presents integrative model based on language-specific gram- mar, incl. form, conventional parameters, gestures.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Brentari has written a lucid, engaging, and expert account of thephonological structure of signed languages, providing an excellentresource for linguists and psychologists,alike. Brentari's book isessential reading for anyone interested in the abstract nature ofhuman language." Karen Emmorey , The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Karen Emmorey
Brentari has written a lucid, engaging, and expert account of the phonological structure of signed languages, providing an excellent resource for linguists and psychologists, alike. Brentari's book is essential reading for anyone interested in the abstract nature of human language.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262024457
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 2/16/1999
  • Series: Language, Speech, and Communication
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 396
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Notational Conventions and Abbreviations
Ch. 1 Goals of the Model 1
Ch. 2 The Use of Constraint-Based Frameworks and Prosodic Units in Analyses of Sign Languages 53
Ch. 3 Inherent Features 93
Ch. 4 Prosodic Features 129
Ch. 5 Timing Units 177
Ch. 6 Complexity, Sonority, and Weight in ASL Syllables 213
Ch. 7 The Structure of Two-Handed Signs 247
Ch. 8 Contributions of Sign Language Phonology to Phonological Theory and Cognitive Science 285
App. A The Letters of the ASL Manual Alphabet Labeled [Flexed] or Nonflexed 315
App. B Verb Forms That Do and Do Not Allow the [Delayed Completive] Aspect 317
App. C Forms That Undergo Reduplicative Nominalization 319
App. D Descriptive Categories of Two-Handed Signs According to Their Ability to Undergo Weak Drop 321
Notes 325
References 335
Index of Illustrated Signs 353
General Index 355
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