Sign Languages


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Brentari, Diane
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What are the unique characteristics of sign languages that make them so fascinating? What have recent researchers discovered about them, and what do these findings tell us about human language more generally? This thematic and geographic overview examines more than forty sign languages from around the world. It begins by investigating how sign languages have survived and been transmitted for generations, and then goes on to analyse the common characteristics shared by most sign languages: for example, how the use of the visual system affects grammatical structures. The final section describes the phenomena of language variation and change. Drawing on a wide range of examples, the book explores sign languages both old and young, from British, Italian, Asian and American to Israeli, Al-Sayyid Bedouin, African and Nicaraguan. Written in a clear, readable style, it is the essential reference for students and scholars working in sign language studies and deaf studies.


1. Introduction Diane Brentari; Part I. History and Transmission: 2. Transmission of sign languages in northern Europe Penny Boyes Braem and Christian Rathmann; 3. Transmission of sign languages in Latin America Claire Ramsey and David Quinto-Pozos; 4. Transmission of sign languages in the Nordic countries Brita Bergman and Elisabeth Engberg Pedersen; 5. Transmission of sign languages in Mediterranean Europe Josep Quer, Galini Sapountzaki and Laura Mazzoni; 6. Transmission of sign languages in Africa Dorothy Lule and Lars Wallin; 7. Transmission of Polish sign systems Piotr Wojda; Part II. Shared Crosslinguistic Characteristics: 8. Notation systems Harry van der Hulst and Rachel Channon; 9. Verb agreement in sign language morphology Gaurav Mathur and Christian Rathmann; 10. Functional markers in sign languages Sandro Zucchi, Carol Neidle, Carlo Geraci, Quinn Duffy and Carlo Cecchetto; 11. Clause structure Ronice Müller de Quadros and Diane Lillo-Martin; 12. Factors that form classifier signs Elisabeth Engberg-Pedersen; 13. Handshape contrasts in sign language phonology Diane Brentari and Petra Eccarius; 14. Syllable structure in sign language phonology Tommi Jantunen and Ritva Takkinen; 15. Grammaticalization in sign languages Sherman Wilcox, Paolo Rossini and Elena Pizzuto; 16. The semantics-phonology interface Ronnie Wilbur; 17. Nonmanuals: their prosodic and grammatical roles Roland Pfau and Josep Quer; Part III. Variation and Change: 18. Sign language varieties in West Africa Victoria Nyst; 19. Sign languages in the Arab world Kinda Al-Fityani and Carol Padden; 20. Variation in American sign language Ceil Lucas and Robert Bayley; 21. Sociolinguistic variation in British, Australian, and New Zealand sign language Adam Schembri, Kearsy Cormier, Trevor Johnston, David McKee, Rachel McKee and Bencie Woll; 22. Variation in East Asian sign language structures Susan Fischer and Qunhu Gong; 23. Crosslinguistic variation in prosodic cues Gladys Tang, Diane Brentari, Carolina González and Felix Sze; 24. Deixis in an emerging sign language Marie Coppola and Anne Senghas; 25. The grammar of space in two new sign languages Carol Padden, Irit Meir, Mark Aronoff and Wendy Sandler.


Diane Brentari, Penny Boyes Braem, Christian Rathmann, Claire Ramsey, David Quinto-Pozos, Brita Bergman, Elisabeth Engberg Pedersen, Josep Quer, Galini Sapountzaki, Laura Mazzoni, Dorothy Lule, Lars Wallin, Piotr Wojda, Harry van der Hulst, Rachel Channon, Gaurav Mathur, Sandro Zucchi, Carol Neidle, Carlo Geraci, Quinn Duffy, Carlo Cecchetto, Ronice Müller de Quadros, Diane Lillo-Martin, Petra Eccarius, Tommi Jantunen, Ritva Takkinen, Sherman Wilcox, Paolo Rossini, Elena Pizzuto, Ronnie Wilbur, Roland Pfau, Victoria Nyst, Kinda Al-Fityani, Carol Padden, Ceil Lucas, Robert Bayley, Adam Schembri, Kearsy Cormier, Trevor Johnston, David McKee, Rachel McKee, Bencie Woll, Susan Fischer, Qunhu Gong, Gladys Tang, Carolina González, Felix Sze, Marie Coppola, Anne Senghas, Carol Padden, Irit Meir, Mark Aronoff, Wendy Sandler


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