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In the sign languages of the deaf some signs can meaningfully point toward things or can be meaningfully placed in the space ahead of the signer. Such spatial uses of signs are an obligatory part of fluent grammatical signing. There is no parallel for this in vocally produced languages. This book focuses on American Sign Language to examine the grammatical and conceptual purposes served by these directional signs and demonstrates a remarkable integration of grammar and gesture in the service of constructing meaning.Read more
- Challenges customary notions of what constitutes 'language'
- Integrates Mental Space theory and Cognitive Grammar theory (previously viewed as separate domains)
- Contains over 900 photos illustrating examples of American Sign Language and its actual use in context - helping to make the book accessible to non-signers
Reviews & endorsements
Liddell's "...non-polemical and carefully reasoned argumentation is a welcome relief in an overheated field...The lucidity of presentation and the cogency of the new analyses lead the reader into exploring rich new territory, rather than into quarrels about assessments of established domains. In the end, I expect that readers of various theoretical persuasions will have a number of "aha experiences" as they slowly come to understand and appreciate [Liddell's] re-mapping of the territory. This is a major contribution to sign language linguistics, and to linguistics generally."
Dan I. Slobin, University of California, Berkeley, Language
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- Date Published: March 2003
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521816205
- length: 400 pages
- dimensions: 233 x 159 x 29 mm
- weight: 0.74kg
- contains: 13 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. American Sign Language as a language
2. A sketch of the grammar of ASL
3. Pronouns and real space
4. Indicating verbs and real space
6. Directing signs at locations and things
9. Depicting verbs
10. Five brothers
11. Grammar, gesture, and meaning
Index of illustrated signs.
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