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Sign Language and Linguistic Universals

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Overview

Sign languages are of great interest to linguists because, while they are produced by the same brain, their physical transmission differs greatly from that of spoken languages. Wendy Sandler and Diane Lillo-Martin compare spoken languages with those that are signed, in order to seek universal properties of human languages. No prior background in sign language linguistics is assumed, and numerous pictures are provided to make descriptions accessible to readers.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This book quite nicely fills a void long present in the sign linguistics literature. Most sign linguistics volumes have focused on one particular issue or theme … within just one sign language … the book is very reasonably priced, and you get quite a lot for your money … I recommend this book to linguists interested in learning more about sign languages. Given the overall theme, the book would be of particular interest to those studying language typology. I would also recommend this book to students who have some background in theoretical linguistics (particularly phonology and syntax), and to anyone who is interested in the nature of modality and human language.' Journal of Linguistics
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521483957
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 1/31/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 572
  • Product dimensions: 6.85 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Sandler is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Haifa, Israel.

Diane Lillo-Martin is Professor and Head in the Department of Linguistics, University of Connecticut, and Senior Research Scientist at the Haskins Laboratories.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction: 1. One human language or two?; Part II. Morphology: 2. Morphology: introduction; 3. Inflectional morphology; 4. Derivational morphology; 5. Classifier constructions; 6. Entering the lexicon: lexicalization, back formation and cross-modal borrowing; 7. Morphology: conclusion; Part III. Phonology: 8. Meaningless linguistic elements and how they pattern; 9. Sequentiality and simultaneity in sign language phonology; 10. Hand configuration; 11. Location: feature content and segmental status; 12. The non-dominant hand in the sign language lexicon; 13. Movement; 14. Is there a syllable in sign language?; 15. Prosody; 16. Phonology: theoretical implications; Part IV. Syntax: 17. Syntax: introduction; 18. Clausal structure; 19. Clausal structure across sign languages; 20. Variations and extensions on basic sentence structures; 21. Pronouns; 22. Topic and focus; 23. WH-questions; 24. Syntax: summary and directions; Part V. Modality: 25. The effects of modality: linguistic universals and sign language universals.

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