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Sign Languages
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Book description

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.

Reviews

‘… an extremely helpful snapshot of where Sign Language research finds itself and should prove to be a route map for future research into as yet unchartered territory.’

Debra Aarons - School of Language Studies and Linguistics, University of New South Wales

‘Diane Brentari has gathered an immense wealth of linguistic and anthropological information on signed languages around the world. It represents the most up-to-date knowledge we have in this important, growing field. Each chapter is well worth reading on its own, but altogether the work is a superb, insightful picture of the complexities of signed languages and the breadth of current signed language research.’

Terry Janzen - University of Manitoba

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