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Grammar, Gesture, and Meaning in American Sign Language

Grammar, Gesture, and Meaning in American Sign Language

£42.99

  • Date Published: March 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521016506

£ 42.99
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About the Authors
  • In sign languages of the deaf some signs can meaningfully point toward things or can be meaningfully placed in the space ahead of the signer. This obligatory part of fluent grammatical signing has no parallel in vocally produced languages. This book focuses on American Sign Language to examine the grammatical and conceptual purposes served by these directional signs. It guides the reader through ASL grammar, the different categories of directional signs, the types of spatial representations signs are directed toward, how such spatial conceptions can be represented in mental space theory, and the conceptual purposes served by these signs. The book demonstrates a remarkable integration of grammar and gesture in the service of constructing meaning. These results also suggest that our concept of 'language' has been much too narrow and that a more comprehensive look at vocally produced languages will reveal the same integration of gestural, gradient, and symbolic elements.

    • 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
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is a major contribution to sign language linguistics, and to linguistics generally.' Language

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521016506
    • length: 400 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 153 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 13 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    Acknowledgements
    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
    5. Surrogates
    6. Directing signs at locations and things
    7. Tokens
    8. Buoys
    9. Depicting verbs
    10. Five brothers
    11. Grammar, gesture, and meaning
    Appendixes
    References
    General index
    Index of illustrated signs.

  • Author

    Scott K. Liddell, Gallaudet University, Washington DC
    Scott K. Liddell is Professor of Linguistics and Program Coordinator for the Linguistics Program at Gallaudet University, Washington DC. His publications include American Sign Language Syntax (1980), and he is also the author of nearly 40 articles and chapters relating to sign language grammar and the use of sign language in educating deaf students.

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