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Sign Language

Sign Language
The Study of Deaf People and their Language


  • Date Published: March 1988
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521357173

£ 51.99

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About the Authors
  • The discovery of the importance of sign language in the deaf community is very recent indeed. This book provides a study of the communication and culture of deaf people, and particularly of the deaf community in Britain. The authors' principal aim is to inform educators, psychologists, linguists and professionals working with deaf people about the rich language the deaf have developed for themselves - a language of movement and space, of the hands and of the eyes, of abstract communication as well as iconic story telling. The first chapters of the book discuss the history of sign language use, its social aspects and the issues surrounding the language acquisition of deaf children (BSL) follows, and the authors also consider how the signs come into existence, change over time and alter their meanings, and how BSL compares and contrasts with spoken languages and other signed languages. Subsequent chapters examine sign language learning from a psychological perspective and other cognitive issues. The book concludes with a consideration of the applications of sign language research, particularly in the contentious field of education. There is still much to be discovered about sign language and the deaf community, but the authors have succeeded in providing an extensive framework on which other researchers can build, from which professionals can develop a coherent practice for their work with deaf people, and from which hearing parents of deaf children can draw the confidence to understand their children's world.

    Reviews & endorsements

    'There is a deplorable lack of books which relate the language questions of hearing-impairment to sound linguistic study in the wider field of general language development. However, [in Sign Language] we have such a book which is to be commended for its rooting in linguistic theory, linguistic writings and linguistic research … Its recognition that this field can only be properly tackled on an international basis is one that will profit the reader and increase the outlook of serious students. Similarly the book should encourage further examination of minority languages and minority language learning together with mother-tongue language studies, both fertile fields of modern educators of deaf children … This is a book to buy. Overlooking, or neglecting it, would be to fail to recognise its general excellence.' Journal of the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1988
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521357173
    • length: 328 pages
    • dimensions: 233 x 153 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The deaf community
    2. British Sign Language
    3. Historical aspects of BSL
    4. Sign language acquisition
    5. The building blocks of sign language
    6. The structure of signs
    7. Sign morphology and syntax: the grammar of BSL
    8. Comparing sign languages
    9. Learning and using BSL
    10. The psychology of sign
    11. Sign language interpreting
    12. Sign language in schools
    13. Which sign language?
    14. Developments for sign language
    Subject index
    Index of signs in the text
    Index of names in the text.

  • Authors

    Jim G. Kyle, University of Bristol

    Bencie Woll, University College London

    G. Pullen

    F. Maddix

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